Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

In the Corner Pocket

I miss the way Marvel Comics once displayed character headshots in the upper-left cover corner of team books.

For the Defenders, that tradition began with their debut appearance in Marvel Feature #1, with founding members Hulk, Sub-Mariner, and Dr. Strange featured in the boxed-in corner.

During the 1970s, Nighthawk, Valkyrie, and Hellcat were the only new members to earn a slot in the upper corner of the Defenders series.

Things started to shake up in 1980, when guest-star Black Panther accompanied longtime members of the team in the corner of Defenders #84 (and again in #86).

In the months ahead, the cover corners changed almost every issue, showcasing returning members, such as Daredevil and Daimon Hellstrom—and making room for newcomers like Gargoyle and Beast.

I generally prefer when all of the faces fit within the box.

Routinely overlooked, Clea finally received corner attention on the covers of Defenders #102-103.

Though from a distance they might look alike, the headshots of foundational-member Silver Surfer and new-member Iceman had enough detail to keep them distinct. Speaking of detail, Moondragon's corner image gained a headband to reflect her appearance among the New Defenders.

During Assistant Editors' Month in 1984, the corner showed a characakture of Marvel staffer Ann Nocenti dressed as the high-flying Angel. Near the end of the original series, the Defenders corners began to feature reduced-size headshots of most of the team and a full-body image of one of the heroes.


Anonymous said...

I definitely miss those as well. I know it seems like a little thing, but it really set Marvel comics apart for me and made the heroes seem even more iconic. I wish they'd bring it back.

#6 said...

I wish they'd bring a lot of things back... and the recent treatment of the Defenders brand and members is nothing short of disgraceful. Strange in particular will never recover from the witlessly unnecessary and objectionable, stupid Illuminati crap.

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