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

  • Mind the Gap −14
  • Harbinger – 16
  • X-O Monowar – 17
  • Savage Dragon – 191
  • Buzzkill – 1
  • This week’s comic book cover to look at and examine is “Mister X” number 4 by Dean Motter. This comic is dated May 1985 and is another from my college years. I’d be nineteen when this one came out and finishing up my freshman year. I bought it at my local comic shop at the time.

    This cover is all about the design and color. Sure there is a bit of a story going on, Mister X is sneaking around but about to be caught, but this cover really wants to catch you eye with its form. Mister X has mostly disappeared into the background. He is wearing black and the background is black so the only thing that distinguishes him are his hands, feet, face, and our imaginations connecting a few lines into his body. It’s a fun bit of graphics and not as easy as it looks. Making something look simple is usually a lot of work.

    I like how his face and hands are high contrast and sculptural at the same time. They are defined by the planes of his form yet are mostly silhouette. His body is totally in profile but Motter throws in a bit of perspective in the yellow light of the window frame shadow. I even like the bit of yellow light and shadow on Mister X’s pants leg that throws things into a different perspective. That’s neat and something not everyone would think to do.

    Finally we have the logo. It’s also bold and graphic. Simple shape and simple color that works well. Even the spelled out as words “Number Four” is the right choice. The subtle dark blue/grey box behind the logo works as a shape and color and also works as a shape for Mr. X’s back to interrupt so our eye can complete his form. Good stuff.

    This is not your typical comic book cover but is none the less an excellent one and a great example of graphic design, illustration, and storytelling.