Michael Golden - The Exceptional Continuity Comics Covers
Michael Golden is renowned artist in a field of brilliant talent. His work includes Avengers Annual #10 (the introduction of Rogue), Batman, the G.I. Joe Special #2, The Nam, Mister Miracle, the Micronauts and endless covers for The Punisher, Jurassic Park and Batman. His style, layouts, unique vision of the world, his hyper-intelligent attention to detail, understanding of the vehicles, weapons and uniforms of the world’s military forces make him one of the most unique storytellers in the world of comics.
There is a group of Michael Golden covers that remain largely unheralded within the group of Golden Fans…the covers of Continuity Comics. Although they do not feature Batman or the members of G.I. Joe, these covers are perhaps some of the most interesting images Golden has ever created. For the sake of space, I’ll focus on a few of the more interesting images to whet the appetite.
First up – The Deathwatch 2000 issue of Armor #2. Michael created an image that allows the reader to see both the hero and the villains – the Hellbenders. Michael gives each one of the various Hellbenders their own personality and unique way of showing their powers. Fire, Magic, Sci-Fi guns and…now for the special touch, REM. She’s the chick with the leather outfit and the white hair who can create nightmares with her black-hooked lightning. But, I hear you ask, so what? Black-hooked lightning isn’t all that special. But oh, my uninitiated in the world of Golden’s genius…it is very special. Each one of the hooked-barbs of lightning is cross-hatched. The hooks are made up of exquisitely drawn lines with the precision of a computer. Oh, REM is terribly special, all right.
Did I mention that the cover is also a laser die-cut? All the foreground figures are cut out with the precision of…well…a laser. Better and more perfect than any die-cut you’ve ever seen before with a second image BEHIND the figures. Designed, drawn, and inked by Michael, this cover is truly spectacular. For Continuity Comics, Armor #2 is an “iconic” image with a double-sized helping of intellectualism and brilliance.
Next up, the Rise of Magic’s Armor #4 and #5. I do worry that Michael made a mistake and did not add enough elements to these two brilliantly complicated yet clear and focused images. On Armor #4, Armor is in the midst of a battle with a magic-created octopi and its swirling tentacles in a desperate attempt to protect the beautiful female character who will become a major element in the entire rise of magic. Lurking in the background are the Atlantean characters controlling the octopus and trying to kidnap the girl. Nothing on this cover is unclear or confusing. Armor is strong and heroic, the girl terrified and the monsters threatening and mysterious. The tight composition, the circular nature of the image, all focusing the eye on Armor and his potential girlfriend while keeping all the threatening monsters around the outside.
On Armor #5, we see our hero in combat with the mage, Shaman. In the background, we see the evil witch-queen Shishaldin with her horrifying magic creatures orchestrating the combat. Beyond the layout, Michael’s execution of the art is amazing. Tight pencils with Golden’s own hyper-precise inks and then as an added benefit, the brilliant colors provided by the eminently talented Cory Adams.
It’s a brilliant pair of covers to kick off the Rise of Magic Crossover.
Having written these issues, I had the distinct feeling of regret when Michael handed them in. There are a handful of artists who, with a single image, make the writer realize that he could have gone farther, worked smarter, thought bigger. Michael is definitely one of them.
For those interested (and that SHOULD be everyone), below are images from some of the other fantastic Golden covers he did for Continuity as well as Toyboy #7 and Bucky O’Hare. This work is by far, some of the best work Continuity has ever produced and belongs hanging in the Comic Book Hall of Legends.