Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Lyingist Cover In Marvel Comics History--Prologue

A few days ago I tangentially referenced the Marvel adaptation of Killdozer. In doing so, I mentioned that Chris Sims had declared this particular cover: The Lyingest Cover in Marvel Comics History.

His reasoning? "Not only does Killdozer not have jagged spikes on the end of the shovel or "angry eyebrows" covering its headlights, but it doesn't talk, nobody tries to shoot it with a pistol, and there is not a single woman in this comic book."

Now, I realized that this begs the Worlds Unknown #6 (1974) really the Lyingest Cover In Marvel Comics History (Henceforth referred to as the LCIMCH)?

Three and a half years is too long to let the concept lie fallow. So you, my readers, are going to help me find the LCIMCH!! Now, I've got a few ideas of my own as to who might have the title of LCIMCH. But I'm not going to rely just on my own pathetic memory, especially when I have a vast and knowledgeable peanut gallery like you guys at my disposal.

So send in nominations, and we'll discuss them here. Show your work, so those who haven't read the particular issues can understand why the cover is, indeed, a lying bastard. And from time to time I'll present my own nominations. After a while, we'll have a poll, or a contest, or something, to declare one particular comic the LCIMCH!!

A couple of ground rules:

**Let's not count over-hyperbolic cover captions by themselves as grand lies:

It might not be the most unexpected villain, or the grandest action masterpiece EVER...but that's hardly enough to make it the LCIMCH.

**Let's not count symbolic covers:

Clearly, Kang is not actually dropping giant numbers on the Hulk (although that would have been a better story). But any cover that is meant to representational rather than a literal depiction of the issue's action isn't the LCIMCH...unless, of course, the symbolism itself is a lie, presenting something/someone that doesn't actually appear.

** Let's not hold future retcons against the issues as lies:

Yeah, it later turned out that Johnny wasn't really marrying Alicia, and that Mockingbird (somehow, still not explained) didn't really die...but the authors at the time clearly didn't believe their covers were lies.

**Let's not take trivial errors and blow them up into the LCIMCH:

Sure, Thundra didn't really fight the Fantastic Four in this issue--she was on their side the whole time. So, technically, it is a lie. But it's such a tiny lie, and a tiny part of the cover, that it can't possibly rise to the level of Lyingest Comic In Marvel Comics History.

So send those nominations in, and together we'll discover the LCIMCH!!


TheyStoleFrazier'sBrain said...

I don't know if it's more dishonest than Killdozer, but the cover of Omega the Unknown #6 is in the same league. The cover (by Romita Sr, I think) features Omega getting pounded by a big guy in overalls wielding a glowing wrnech, while tauting Omega that he can't overcome "The Power of The Wrench!"

The story inside is about a mentally-challenged handyman who kills his mother with a wrench, then goes after one of Omega's friends. No superpowers, no taunting, no glow, no supervillain name. Just a sad, stupid guy with a wrench.

Mark Engblom said...

My nomination for LCIMCH would be The Human Torch #1, Marvel's 1974 series reprinting the solo adventures of both the Jim Hammond (Golden Age) Torch and Johnny Storm (from Strange Tales).

The cover of the first issue shows both Torches pitched in a furious, fiery battle, instantly causing me (as a long-time sucker for old version vs. new version clashes) to buy it:

As it turns out, NOTHING CLOSE TO THIS HAPPENS INSIDE OF THE COMIC BOOK! All of the reprinted stories focus on either Jim Hammond or Johnny Storm...but do not...I repeat DO NOT have them battle (much less meet) in any way, shape, or form.

snell said...

Mark---long time, no comment. I hope all is well.

Mark & Frazier--both excellent nominations, and both will be discussed in the follow-up LCIMCH posts.