Max's interrogation by fellow comics artist (and fellow spy, apparently) Essad Sinns. While the two grapple with relativity in the spy trade and subjective nature of art, Sinns presses Max further about his recent exploits in Turkey and beyond, leading the reader to a flashback tale of Max's second assignment. Max is invited to attend an international convention in France called Angouleme where his assignment is to get closer to Essad on a fact-finding mission. Mission accomplished, I suppose!
While the central premise of a comic book artist working under cover for the CIA is quite interesting and engaging, the real star of the series is the underlying critique of the comics industry and the associated fame (or lack thereof) it brings. Seeing Essad blast Max’s new project about a “sad astronaut” as a career killer is reminiscent of the Hollywood formula of “doing the safe movie in order to be able to do the movie you really care about”, but also speaks to the fluidity in this industry between talent and fandom. Max’s subsequent attacks on Sinn’s recent work history had the hint of being a targeted attack, but perhaps that is only due to my over-inundation with social media and comics. No judgement either way.
Max’s blind date is an exceptional example of what it is about Cover that resonates with many of its fans. In a way, I’m talking about fan service, but not in a typical form. Rather, it plays out in a unique formula that reminds the readers that the creators are there on the front lines with them in the battle against normalcy.
Cover remains one of the more remarkable books I've read this year. An instant classic built from a blend of spiritualism and realism, the absurd and the commonplace.
Cover #3: This is Major Thom to Ground Control
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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