Most comic book fans have a pretty good idea what they’re going to buy every week when they visit their local comic shop. With that said, there’s still a lot of fun to be had just glancing at the week’s new releases and taking a chance on a book that looks promising. That’s where covers come in-a fantastic image can make the difference between trying something new or saying, “Nah, not this week.”
In anticipation of Avengers: Infinity War, we’re publishing special editions of Judging by the Cover. We’re focusing on various characters who have left their mark on the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, and who will be featured in the crossover film event this summer. This time, we asked our contributors David Brooke, Connor Willesden, and Eric Cline to share their favorite Thanos covers of all time.
Silver Surfer (1987) #56
Art by Ron Lim and Tom Christopher
I wanted to pick three covers you may not expect and my first shows us how damn impressed Thanos is with himself. It’s a common theme for Thanos covers, the guy is a Mad Titan after all, but he also loves to relish how powerful he can be. I can’t be certain, but I think Geoff Darrow did a bit of an homage to this cover, too. That said, Silver Surfer, one of the most powerful beings on a leash, is a shocking sight to see. The fact that there’s a bikini-clad alien only boosts the dominant nature of Thanos.
Thanos Rising #1
Art by Skottie Young
I’m a big fan of Skottie Young’s covers in part because he does so much with so little. Many of his covers simply have one or two baby-looking heroes doing something simple. This cover is perfect as it uses a simple Death balloon to convey baby Thanos’s real priorities.
Infinity Gauntlet (1991) #4
Art by Art by George Pérez and Ron Lim
My third choice is this rather badass cover which has our villain positively elated to be taking on all the Marvel heroes at once. It’s also cool how he sort of floats there and yet you sense he’s tensing up to start the fight.
Thanos (2016) #14
Art by Geoff Shaw
This cover showcases Thanos surrounded by the galaxy with fantastic art by Geoff Shaw. It showcases Thanos’s connection to the cosmic side of Marvel by having the galaxy overlaid across him as he looms over the moon.
Thanos (2016) Annual #1
Art by Mike Deodato
This Deodato variant for the annual shows Thanos with his glowing hand inside the skull of the Cosmic Ghost Rider. This shows the two main parts of the run, Thanos himself as well as the newly created Cosmic Ghost Rider. It looks fantastic, especially with the colours.
Thanos (2016) #13
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
Last but not least here’s a variant to #13 by Rafael Albuquerque. I chose this one as it showcases the Infinity Gauntlet which shall be showing up this week in Infinity War. This is how most people know Thanos, with a smirk on his face and the most powerful weapon in the universe on his hand.
Thanos (2016) #2
Art by Mike Deodato
Talk about playing with expectations. Most Thanos covers aren’t gentle and serene, but this one is, which distinguishes it in a good way. The tree connects Thanos to nature in a way we don’t usually see, but my favorite detail is the butterfly. The complete and utter lack of violence (or any threat thereof) makes this cover a standout.
Infinity Gauntlet (2015) #3
Art by Dustin Weaver
I love Dustin Weaver’s super-detailed style. All the line-work on those buildings in the background is just fantastic. As far as Thanos goes, I love that this cover subverts expectations in yet another way. Thanos doesn’t just seem heroic here, but protective. There’s all this destruction around, but for once, Thanos isn’t the one to be feared.
Infinity Gauntlet (1991) #1
Art by George Pérez
When I think of Thanos, this is the first image I think of, and I suspect I’m not alone in that. The overlapping lines stemming from the Infinity Gauntlet’s stones are bursting with energy, and break up the surrounding images well. The wide variety of characters around the cover’s perimeter hint at how impactful Thanos is. The specific characters included also provide a charming hint to when the issue was published. Starfox? Sersi? This cover is so early ’90s!
AiPT!’s Fan Art of the Week
Art by Mitchell Mayorga
This week’s winning submission comes from Mitchell Moyorga out of Boston, MA, whose excitement for Avengers: Infinity War is infectious; love the crackling energy coming off Thor, the colors radiating off the Infinity Gauntlet and the sheer dominance exuded by Thanos’ face-mashing of Iron Man. Congratulations Mitchell!
Do you agree with these picks? Let us know in the comment space below!
Want to see your art featured in the next edition of Judging by the Cover? We’re now taking submissions: Contact us and show us what you’ve got.