Caleb Orecchio here with the cover for The Amazing Spider-Man no.241 by John Romita Jr. and Terry Austin


The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 no. 241, 1983; cover by JRJR and Terry Austin

Are those Spider-Man’s eyes sitting on The Vulture’s lap? Does this issue take place during winter? Why isn’t The Vulture green? Is this not the greatest cover ever?

The above image is certainly one of the top JRJR Spidey covers. John Romita Jr. is inked by Terry Austin and I can’t tell if the pair are geniuses or one of them made a mistake and just went with it. Spidey’s face is superimposed over The Vuture’s figure as if our hero is shining his bat-signal (from his belt) directly at our villain; but rendered in a way that suggests shadow rather than light.

The colors (probably by Glynis Oliver, the issues’ colorist) are brilliant too. With great contrast comes great dynamism and the orangey/purply reds against the wintery blue/greens do not serve to uncomplicated the image. There is little logic to this cover whatsoever. It is simply interesting to look at.

I can’t stop looking at it. I put it near my door so I can look at it before I leave to walk my dog and after I get back from walking her. Every time I pass it I wonder, “Is this the work of visual maestros or the result of varying professional degrees within a system?” Then I think, “probably a bit of both,” then I go get on with my day.

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