Gimmick covers ruled the 90’s comic stratosphere. Everything from chromium covers, die cut covers, embossed, bronze, and silver covers, gate-fold or wrap around covers or a combination of any of these graced every title on the stands at one point or another. Usually saved for #1’s, big issues – or when they were looking to have a sales bump – some of them made sense and were really cool – others were so corny you were worried people could hear your eyes rolling as you looked through the new release rack. But I did love one gimmick… the glow in the dark cover.
I think every one and their mother remembers the Ghost Rider cover at the top – and the second print that followed – because it just made sense to have the flame head really glow. Even though this comic was released in an age of the over-hype I don’t think I have come across one person who doesn’t have fond memories of owning this issue. Mixed with the art of the uber talented Mark Texeira this cover can still make people want to read Ghost Rider – just because of how cool this cover really is!
Now, I don’t have a complete run of glow in the dark covers – I think I have all the ones that Marvel offered – and none of the DC but the ones I do have are because I thought they made sense and blew you away when you looked at it. Save one… one of the covers I own completes a run – one that will be reviewed very shortly – it is the Spirits of Vengeance #12 which have slices through the cover between Ghost Rider and Vengeance… and the hook just doesn’t work. The end result is just terrible.
The best cover – the one that makes the most sense – is Daredevil #321 that shows Daredevil vs a demon. The reason why it makes sense is because the demon didn’t set off Daredevil’s radar sense – and if you make it glow you would see that the demon disappears. It’s a brilliant way to say exactly what the comic is about with a fantastic gimmick plastered on this – WRAP AROUND COVER. Woah! Combo gimmick alert! Only thing is… there is no reason for this to be a wrap around cover as there really is nothing on the back, as you can see here:
Venom was delivered his due – not that he would glow normally or even that it makes sense – but damn, it looks really great! You can still even see the tongue when it glows. It really is one of the best uses of the technology. If the Ghost Rider Cover didn’t exist then this would be the coolest cover to find.
Lastly, the only non-Marvel glow in the dark cover I have is The Maxx #1. Released years after the original #1 the glow in the dark cover is just one gimmicky version of the premiere issue that has been released. They have a 3-D version that is just brilliant also! It would be better if the entire figure somehow glowed – but instead the title, the splat and his mask and gloves are the visible parts when the lights go down.
These are my glow in the dark covers – how many do you guys have? Which one is your favorite? Which one do you guys have that I don’t? Let me know in the comments what you think!