I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got six new comics.

  • Lazarus – 4
  • Hit – 2
  • The Occultist – 1
  • Catalyst – 4
  • The Activity – 15
  • Mind the Gap – 15
  • This week’s comic book cover to look at and examine is “The Atomics” number 4 by Mike Allred. This is one of the more recent covers I’ve written about and it’s from April of 2000. Wow, thirteen years ago is recent! I like Allred’s art in general and I think he does some of the best covers out there. I don’t buy the comic but the covers he does on his current book for Marvel are really good. Allred is a throwback to the age when comic book covers strived to tell an interesting story rather than just make pin-up art. I could really pick any of his “Atomics” covers but I went with this one.

    I can’t even remember any of these characters names but I still like this cover. We’ve got a stretchy guy, a robot, a helmeted hero, and a giant insect monster. And somebody just got eaten. What’s not to like?

    Allred uses the stretchy guy nicely as a compositional element. That’s one of the benefits of stretchy guys. You can move them anywhere and their stretched bodies become lines of movement and elements in the composition. He handles the upset guy’s pose well but the robot is a little stiff. But he’s a robot. They’re also all on the roof so we can see how big and tall the insect monster is. I’ll say it again: Allred can tell a story.

    The color is nicely done. It’s kept mostly open with only hints of shading and is therefore clean and bright. The art is drawn in a graphic style so there isn’t much need for modeling in the color and thankfully it was left out. Often these days I see too much color modeling when it’s not needed. I also like the way he lightened up the black line of the insect monster so it stays in the background a bit more. Except for the teeth. That’s a nice touch.

    Even the orange logo on the lighter orange of the monster’s face works. The logo still stands out and is easily readable and doesn’t distract from the scene below. Having had to apply inappropriate logo colors on many a comic book at an editor’s request back in my bullpen production days I appreciate a subtle logo. Too many editors would have made that logo bright yellow. But that didn’t happen and I’m glad to have another good cover from Allred.