This installment of ‘Top 10 Covers” comes from The Yuan Twins. You may have seen them on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Observe & Report or most recently in the new season of Arrested Development. More importantly they run LA’s newest comic shop, Cool Cat Comics & Cards at 10922 1/2 W. Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles! What makes their store so great? Plentiful parking, they care about independent comics (they produce one themselves!), they’re open late (9pm!), but most of all it’s the fact that it’s a shop run by two self-professed dorks who were excited to create a Top 10 list of their favorite covers. Sweet!
Now let’s see their Top 10 list!
FANTASTIC FOUR #278 by John Byrne: The comic that started us collecting. We’d read comics before, but this is the one that got us to dive into that deep, dark rabbit hole of bagging and boarding and all the other sorts of obsessive-compulsive stuff that comic collectors engage in.
THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #4 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley: Superman vs. Batman. One of the first, definitely the best.
THE PUNISHER #21 by Erik Larsen and Scott Williams: The Punisher takes on corruption in professional boxing! YEE-HAW!!!! Why should drug dealers, human traffickers, murderers, and cannibals get all the fun? Time for Frank Castle to put the smack down on loud, obnoxious fight promoters with big hair! Hot damn, this was a great issue!!!!
UNCANNY X-MEN #199 by John Romita, Jr.: Not only was this a great cover, but it was first time there was a sequel to an “event” that didn’t make us roll our eyes and throw up all over the place. Rachel Summers as Phoenix was awesome and the writer who made her not-Phoenix deserves to be shunned ruthlessly.
DAREDEVIL #232 by David Mazzuchelli: A great cover to one of the greatest storylines ever.
GREEN LANTERN #49 by Darryl Banks: A psychotic Hal Jordan with two fistfuls of stolen power rings. This cover not only shows the depths to which Hal Jordan succumbed to grief, but it also offered definitive proof that while one power ring is awesome, ten or more is even awesomer (and if that’s not a word, it is now).
EXCALIBUR SPECIAL #1 by Alan Davis: Excalibur was a fantastic book without the sort of angst, drama, and nonsense so prevalent in comic books of the time. While everyone was trying to prove how much of a wringer they could put their characters through, Chris Claremont and Alan Davis spent their time telling enjoyable stories with likable characters.
ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN #4 by Bill Sienkiewicz: Okay, so all the covers to Elektra: Assassin were amazing, but this one epitomizes the brilliant lunacy that Sienkiewicz’s art brought to the series. This series was one of the first ones to show us that comics could be so much more than just spandex-covered folks beating each other stupid.
HECTIC PLANET #6 by Evan Dorkin: Pirate Corp$/Hectic Planet was the other one. This comic really blew our minds. Here was a comic that was black and white and full of people talking rather than knocking each other around for twenty-some-odd pages. With its amazing dialogue, truly original and creative stories, and memorable characters, “Hectic Planet” should be read by everyone.
MARSHAL LAW #1 by Kevin O’Neill: Before “The Boys”, before “Kick-Ass”, Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill took the notion of superhero parody, tossed into a blender, added a pound of razor blades to the mix, and served it to children. Marshal Law was the firstest with the mostest not only because of the amazing artwork and brilliant writing, but because Pat Mills’ satire goes deeper than just poking fun at the patent absurdity of the whole superhero genre. Whereas other writers prance about and say, “Look at me! I’m poking fun at sacred cows by making them swear and get naked,” Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill turn every cherished icon into something disturbingly and frightfully human and in doing so make it repulsive in the extreme. And while other creators mock super heroes purely for shock value, Mills and O’Neill do it, it seems, almost out of a sense of civic duty. As Marshal Law says, “I don’t like being a bastard, but they leave me no choice.” We’re sure Pat Mills feels the exact same way.