Covered 365: Day 156

Fantastic Four #156, Marvel Comics, March 1975 – Artist: Rich Buckler.

Fantastic Four #156 has always been one of my personal favorite Doctor Doom covers, we even get some Kirby Krackle.

I did notice the rainbow Blackhawk cover, hard to miss it!

Hey, is the girl crying while she’s thinking “I can’t love him back because of my secret” the most used romance cover trope? Has anybody read any of these? What is the secret keeping her from love?

Yes, the JOWA goes to Millie and you are right, nobody needs to see that but since I know we all secretly want to I’ve included the cover below.

I really like the cover to Ghostly Tales #156, something about it, I included a picture of it as well.

A great comic book cover matching each day of the year, 1 through 365. Please chime in with your favourite corresponding cover, from any era.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1714


  1. I can’t agree on today’s pick – I find it too visually confusing. Contrasting saturated colors, krackle, chains/cages/machinery, small figures/partial faces (especially Medusa peeping from under Doom’s crotch). This is classic Buckler doing a Kirby-esq layout in Buscema-esq style. I remember how my shoulders would drop when I opened a book to find Buckler was the artist. He was totally serviceable but had no distinctive style, so I knew there wouldn’t be any really exciting art. As a 80% art / 20% story guy, this was my main concern.

    I liked the top half of Ghostly Tales and I would have picked it if the whole cover had been like that. I’m wondering if that was what was delivered, and a Charlton editor nixed it as too conceptual, forcing the addition of the more traditional bottom half. (I did a bit of googling but I couldn’t find anything on the original art.)

    For #157 it is Thor. The colors are perfect for the image. Unlike Thor #155 I have never had a copy of this one, but I have an equally sad tale of giving up way too soon on a perfect copy, because it wasn’t a “key”. Action and ASM (NOT visually confusing – compare and contrast) are distant runners-up. Adventures into the Unknown and Famous Funnies are both good octopus covers – I think if I ever actually get into a collecting strain, octopus covers should be it. (And as a bonus, Adventures into the Unknown has me very intrigued by “The Case of the Tittering Texan!”)

    Girls’ Love Stories is amusing and the composition is great. I would imagine that a very high grade copy of this is virtually unattainable and worth an incalculable sum. If you agree let me know, I know a guy…

    Carrie on Girls’ Romances has another terrible secret. My guess is that these problems are generally large investment portfolio losses, which would certainly disincentivize me with respect to nuptials.

    And continuing with my deep feelings of romance, the JOWA goes to Young Romance. If she’s crying over anything, it’s in her mother’s taste in boys. (Another bit of googling didn’t uncover any real band called The Living Dream, so you are on notice that it is now taken for my one-man accordion and spoons act.)

  2. I like this cover despite there is s lot going on. Buckler has been maligned in many an article I have read for his thefts of others works… and yes he is serviceable, but there have been a lot worse artists ( I didn’t mention Liefeld but I was thinking it) to grace Marvels pages over the years and I for one have always enjoyed his work.

  3. In looking at today’s covers, I thought there were several worthy contenders – and FF #156 made my initial cut along with some of the nominations from yesterday including Daredevil, Wolverine, Star-Spangled and Strange Tales.

    I was leaning to Strange Tales #156 for its unique “feel” that embraces the mysticism of Dr. Strange in a significantly different way than the more familiar Colan/Brunner style.

    But I think FF #156 is a good choice, mainly because I agree with Walt that the main presence on the cover is reserved for one of Marvel’s best characters, Dr. Doom.

    However, I find myself somewhere between Chris & Gerald on the merits of Buckler. When I read Chris’s comment about the art of a particular comic making the shoulders sag, I recognized that feeling as well and decided to recall some of the comics that personally elicited that feeling. As I googled some of the issues from my memory, the Buckler name did appear on limited number, but my personal shoulder-sagging list was dominated much more by other artists. As I looked at the very limited number of Buckler issues on my list, it was more of a feeling as to what could have been – a little more detail here, or a stronger pose over there would have made a huge difference. And then I looked at some other familiar Buckler issues, and thought the art was well done throughout.

    But as to the cover of FF #156, I think Buckler did an outstanding job.

  4. Outstanding choice Walt…and I personally believe that Bucklers run on the FF…say from Fantastic Four #142–144, 147–153, 155–159, 161–163, 168–169, 171, Giant-Size #1, were the best FF comics since Jack Kirby and john Buscema ….and hasn’t reached that level since. His Giant sized Superstars Hulk vs FF might be as good as Hulk vs epic ever. His FF 143 and 144 are as good as any FF cover/story in history methinks and his art was a homage to Mr Jack Kirby, not a rip off. I honestly Believe Rich Buckler, Bob Brown, Gil Kane , John and Sal Buscema and Dave Cockrum and a little mike Ploog saved Marvel from going out of Business. I hope to write an article one day explaining why.

  5. In answer to Walt’s request – As a Spider-Man fan, Marvel Team-up was one of my favorite titles. But with MTU you would often get an amazing Gil Kane cover, and open the comic to find Sal Buscema pencils and Vince Colletta as inker, and be totally underwhelmed by page 3. The feeling was very real me, and carried disappointment that art was actually taking away from the story. I would cite MTU #33 and #34 as the examples that immediately sprung to my mind when first reading Chris’s “shoulder drop” comment above.

  6. Amen Derrick. This is exactly what I was talking about. I didn’t know the term “bait and switch” when I was a kid, but I knew the concept after grabbing a few books like this without paging through them. The further problem was that I (like most collector types in those days) was a “run” guy, so I would dutifully plunk down my twenty-five cents and take my medicine in a lot of cases. It was John Bryne who broke me out of this, because his art was so much better than average, and he was prolific, so I gave up following runs by title, and instead followed titles as long as he was doing the art.

  7. I agree with you buying methods Chris. I ended up dropping FF around the time the would stick just about anyone on the book and didn’t pick it up again until Byrne took it over. Likewise I was disappointed as a teen when I got a subscription to Swamp Thing and by the time I received my first issue Wrightson was off the book (Redondo was good but the look wasn’t the same).

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