Best Cover EVER? – Dan Cox

Published On December 6, 2014 | By Richard Bruton | Best Cover EVER?, Comics

Another Best Cover EVER? and this time it’s a beauty, but then again the whole point of the series is that they’re all beauties… at least for the week they hold the title. After that, well it’s up to you. There’s a lot of covers out there and no doubt your version of Best Cover EVER? is bound to be different to mine, that’s the fun of it.

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This weekend we welcome Daniel Cox whose fantastic writing along with the just as great art by John Riordan in the pages of the Great Best published Hitsville UK is a big favourite here. Issue 3 is now available. You need this one. How good is it? Here’s me on issue 1:

Ah, screw it. Who cares. Just go along with it, love it, it’s 36 pages of out and out brilliance. Even that slow start works on re-reading. Hitsville UK got hold of me. It started slow, but once it had me, there was no stopping, not even if I wanted to. It’s a pure, unadulterated hit of a comic.

And issue 2:

If you take only one thing away from this review, please let it be this…. DO NOT even think of reading issue 2 before you’ve experienced the delights of issue 1. They really do come as an essential pair. Take issue 2 on its own and it’s as confusing as psychedelic vomit, combine it with issue 1, and confusing transforms into sublime. 

So, now you know… go and buy it. But not before you hear Dan tell us all about his Best Cover EVER?

2000AD Prog 349 – 31 December 1983 – cover by Kevin O’Neill

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To call this the best cover ever is something of an understatement.

It is, of course, by living legend and begetter of many of my childhood nightmares Mr Kevin O’Neil. The way the man drew normal nose hair scared me and here he’s taken it to the limits. Nose hair as ectoplasmic tongue tendrils.

I was 8 years old and this was the most wonderfully horrible thing I had ever seen.

For the uninitiated the twisted spectral form is Thomas De Torquemada, Grand Master of Termight, a future earth at constant war with the galaxy in a quest to cleanse it of all non-human life. Torquemada’s body was destroyed in a transporter accident and this is his spirit form, fused with the ceremonial Catholic Klan fusion mask that is guess must be his true face.

And this is the truly terrifying thing about the image. This is the soul of a man who considers himself pure. The perfect human. Every other life form is a deviant, a perversion and must be destroyed. This is the devouring bigot unchained, drooling from his fearful maw while delighting in his perfection. Blind to why everyone else shudders in his presence.

Is it any good inside?

It’s tricky to go wrong with this period of 2000AD. Mills and O’Neil finish up the stunning Nemesis the Warlock Book III with Chira and Thoth at the mercy of the Terminators. Outside the action O’Neil gives some lovely shots of Termight and it’s near organic, intestine like buildings.

Judge Dredd has TB Grover, Ron Smith and T Frame finishing Bob & Carol &Ted & Ringo. A well-meaning but misguided robot tries to rescue 4 Cursed Earth Dinosaurs trapped in a circus. By releasing them in the middle of Mega City 1. Wide-screen comedy carnage ensues.

And Mills is back again with Mick McMahon on Slaine, Shoggey Beast Part 2. This is the era of Mick’s artwork that makes grown men weep. The near woodcut style with body shapes heading toward abstraction. The story itself sees Ukko trying to become a slaver and a disapproving Slaine dealing with the problem with a mix of casual violence and generosity that underlines his barbarian morality.

There’s also a dodgy Rogue Trooper story with hippies and a cute Mike White drawn Future Shock.

All for 20p.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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