Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My! How You've Grown...!

Doug: Hey, kids -- Karen and I are back again with another look at a comic book cover trope. Today it's larger-than-life depictions of villains! Be sure to leave your own suggestions for favorite covers in this genre, and we'll run a follow-up post next week some time.

NOTE: This post was updated on May 4 2020. There were originally 12 covers displayed; as my memory of those covers has fled, I post three here to give you an idea of the original intent. Thanks for your understanding. -Doug


William said...

Amazing Spider-Man #230 comes immediately to mind. With the webhead facing off (literally) against a menacing oversized visage of the Juggernaut.


William said...

Thought of another one.

Amazing Spider-Man #337, "The Return of the Sinister Six, part 4". Which features not one, not two, but SIX of Spider-Man's nastiest baddies hovering over the diminutive wall-crawler. It's such a literal looking image that makes makes one think that Spidey has actually been the victim of a shrink ray.


Anonymous said...

X-Men #135 where Dark Phoenix is towering over the defeated team and reaching up to crush the X-Men masthead - yes, I know this is a homage to an earlier X-Men cover but it's still terrific.

J.A. Morris said...

One of my favorites:Daredevil #170, giant Kingpin clutches DD, King Kong style.

Edo Bosnar said...

Wow, talk about an embarrassment of riches. X-men #135 is one of the first ones I thought of, too, as well as the iconic Avengers #57 - but that one really doesn't count since the Vision isn't a villain.

Anyway, here's some more I remembered:

A great one by Frank Miller:
Marvel Team-up Annual #4

Something from DC by Joe Kubert no less:
All Star Squadron #14

And a particular favorite by Perez:
New Teen Titans #22

And another memorable one by Byrne:
Fantastic Four #232.

By the way, Doug, does that last one you show count? Galactus is, after all, really that big in comparison to the FF (although granted, none of them are that big in comparison to Earth itself).

Doug said...

Yeah, Edo, I questioned that Galactus cover, but went with it for the reason you point out. I also thought about swapping out the Adam Strange cover, but time got the best of me. I am surprised at how quickly you all can make suggestions for other covers. Just goes to show the vastness of knowledge and memories this readership has acquired through a lifetime of comics loving!


J.A. Morris said...

Giant Doc Doom towers over the FF:

Anonymous said...

There must be hundreds of these - what about Fantastic Four #83 (I think) with a giant Maximus The Mad.

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, yeah, J.A., I love that one.
Otherwise, I kept trying to remember one with a giant Darkseid hold tiny heroes in his hand, and it finally came to me:
Legends #1.

Also, Doug, re: "Just goes to show the vastness of knowledge and memories this readership has acquired through a lifetime of comics loving!" Yeah, that's putting a nice spin on it ... :P

Doug said...

No, I'm serious, Edo.

When I got this idea, it came to me while I was getting ready to sell that Spidey cover with Mysterio's hands. Then I immediately thought of the Avengers cover with Kang, and on I went. But to get to the 12 samples you see posted I had to stretch myself.

Seeing everyone's suggestions so far, I've done more than one head slap "Of course!" this morning.


Edo Bosnar said...

Well, Doug, get ready for another head-slap because there's yet another giant Kang you missed, on the cover of Avengers #267.

And there's some more from the Stern/Buscema/Palmer Avengers run that I remember, namely #282,
and #285 - although do villainous Greek gods count as villains? They're not always bad...

I also remembered Invaders #38, but since they're looking at our heroes in a crystal ball, they're not necessarily "giant" are they? However, I think these looking-at-the-heroes-in-a-crystal-ball-or-similar-object covers could be a whole subset to this category. I know there's a lot more of them, but I can't of any more off the top of my head.

Doug said...

Edo, one of the early JLA/JSA cross-overs had a crystal ball cover.


Humanbelly said...

Y'know, it's funny that in the AVENGERS, you often had someone who really WAS giant-sized dominating the cover! Two that fit this post, though, came immediately to mind:

AVENGERS #57-- the great, great, two-tone red cover w/ the Vision standing over everyone else.

AVENGERS #79-- with a leeringly distorted Lethal Legion holding the team in an hour-glass (and honestly, looking far more formidable than they ever actually were!). This is a particular favorite of mine.


(PS- Thanks for including Hulk #115 there, Doug! Loved that issue and that cover!)

Garett said...

First one I thought of was Brother Blood on New Teen Titans 22, that Edo put up. Great cover with him shrugging off the Titans, and great storyline.

Nice Miller cover there Edo--I miss him drawing this way.

William said...

Wow! They used the "giant villain" cover concept a lot on the Amazing Spider-Man in the early 80's. This seemed to be an especially favorite theme of John Romita, Jr.

Here are few issues of ASM that feature the giant hovering villain concept.

#207 Mesmero
#213 The Wizard
#218 Sandman/Hydroman monster
#224 The Vulture
#225 Fool Killer
#230 Juggernaut
#240 The Vulture (again)

Anonymous said...

Here's a later one from JLA #251, with Despero towering over everyone:

Mike W.

Anonymous said...

When I read the post, the first one that came to my mind was Colin's suggestion of FF 83. Comicsfan did a post on the original and the reprint from World's Greatest Comics comparing and contrasting them.

The other one I was thinking of was also a Spider-Man. Amazing Spider-Man 86 where it's just the huge shadow of, what we find out to be, the Black Widow. She redesign's her costume.

The Prowler (On the road of experience, I'm trying to find my own way. Sometimes I wish that I could fly away. When I think that I'm moving, suddenly things stand still. I'm afraid cause I think they always will).

Martinex1 said...

I don't know what it was about the Defenders, but it seemed like the non team used this cover motif every other issue. I don't recall every story/issue I list below so some of these characters may have actually been large or grew to giant size at some point, but I remember thinking as a youngster that they always had a giant on the cover. Here are some examples:
Defenders Issues: 5, 11, 16, 32, 38, 40, 56, 62, 90, 112, 126, 137 and I will even throw in Namor Annual 2 guest starring the Defenders. Some even repeat very closely in layout; like 16 and 90 with the scale balance. I am sure I missed some, but boy that team sure took on "big" challenges.

Edo Bosnar said...

Martinex, good observation about the Defenders. You did miss one, Defenders #14, which is the first appearance of a giant Nebulon (before #38) and it also features the crystal ball motif I mentioned above.

Anonymous said...

Kirby was forever doing this. Obviously a way of cranking out a dramatic cover without much thought or background detail.

Actually, if you look at the FF, there was often either a giant character that actually was giant (1, 29, 48, 49, 64, 70, 80, etc.) or else that month’s baddie had been at Hank Pym’s sweetie jar. 8 – giant puppet master, 16 giant Doom, 21 Hate monger, 24 Infant Terrible, 28 Android, 39 Doom, 57 Doom, 83 Maximus, 84 Doom, 86 Doom, etc. Then with the exception of Kane’s Ultron #150, you don’t see it again until Kirby comes back to Marvel later.

I think it was hangover from the Atlas days. If you look at those old TOS, TTA, JIM, ST etc., they usually had a giant killer gorilla / alien / dragon / earwig dominating the cover.

They seemed to do it a lot on Iron man a lot as well, presumably because it’s hard to dial up the peril on someone you are describing as Invincible. Gladiator (8) Mandarin (11) Night Phantom (14), Death (19) Lucifer (20) etc., but you never get it later in that superb Michelinie / JRJR / Layton run. Better writing!

Great Big John work on Magneto on Xmen 43. And, lest we forget, a great Kane Nefaria on Xmen 94.


Anonymous said...

Humanbelly, seconding your shout-out to Avengers 79. My favorite "giant bad guys" cover -- even if the Lethal Legion did look as if they were auditioning for a Poli-Grip commercial.



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