Wednesday’s Weekly Comic Cover: Astonishing X-Men #52

December 19th, 2012 | Posted by Emmett in Comics
This week's cover is one I almost posted about the first week it came out, but I think it got beat out by one of the incredible Batwoman covers by JH Williams III. I'd forgotten about it until this weekend when I saw it a comic shop while I was out buying a copy of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, which I thought provided a really interesting view of Deadpool, but that's getting off topic. Anyway, this week's cover features Karma, a hero I honestly knew nothing about until I first noticed the cover and did some research. Karma is a telepath whose primary ability is mental possession. When I first saw the cover, I thought she was some kind of cyborg like Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers, but it turns out her leg is a prosthetic that she received after having her leg cut off in a flight with Cameron Hodge (who actually is a cyborg) in the New Mutants series. Relatedly, she is one of the founding members of the New Mutants, and is also notable in the comic world as one of the first major lesbian characters in a mainstream series. The cover itself is done by Rachelle Rosenberg and Dustin Weaver, who has a cool blog post that talks about the development of that cover as well as some alternate designs. What I really like about the cover is the scene it depicts and how it reminds me of Stan Lee's vision for more human superheros. This cover, in a more basic sense, shows a girl sitting at the edge of her bed. Illustrate it slightly differently and she could be talking on the phone or tying her shoe or painting her toenails; things that anyone could be doing in this scene and you wouldn't think twice about it. Now, show the same girl is working on her robotic leg, and the image becomes a lot less commonplace even though the task is no more uncommon to the subject than anything else she could be doing at that time. It's like a Norman Rockwell magazine cover, except in a different universe. I can't say I've seen a lot of these kinds of covers (although X-23 Target X #2 is one that comes to mind); but to me, that is the essence of the humanity Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced into superheros with the Fantastic Four that revolutionized Marvel Comics and even comics in a much larger sense. It's the idea that despite the astonishing or amazing or fantastic things that these characters do, they are still people like us. And I like seeing that.

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