(Not So) Great Covers: THOR #153

You’d see this happen from time to time in the mid- to late-1960s on the Marvel books. There’s be a cover like this one that somebody–either editor Stan Lee or publisher Martin Goodman–didn’t like, feeling that it was too cluttered and difficult to read from a distance, and it would get colored in a horrific monochromatic style in order to force the viewer’s eye to one specific central element. In this case, Doctor Donald Blake stamping his mystic cane. I can understand the impulse, but this had the effect of pouring a bucket of red dye all over the image, making it far more difficult to make out than it should have been. And I don’t know that Don Blake is the most saleable element on this image, for all that he’s central to it. Certainly, it would have been better to have the looming spectral figure of Thor himself in more realistic colors (even if knocked back due to his status as a phantom) This book would definitely have jumped out from the racks, but it seems almost spiteful. While inker Vince Colletta kind of made a butcher job of penciler Jack Kirby’s linework here, the overall composition by itself is hardly inscrutable. So the choice feels spiteful, somehow, even though it was likely purely economic, the result of a long-held belief that the cover sold the magazine and that attracting the attention of an impulse buyer was critical.

3 thoughts on “(Not So) Great Covers: THOR #153

  1. Don Blake looks like a little Tom Brady. 😉 Yeah, should’ve colored it normally. Or have Thor w/ muted coloring, maybe for a faded look. Or that typical light blue “ghostly” effect. Everything/one else, though, colored as they would ne normally…


  2. I don’t like this cover because, in addition to the horrible coloring, the end of a quote which doesn’t really tell me anything.


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