Investment Case For Annihilation: Cover Tunes

Investment Case For Annihilation: Cover Tunes

This is part of a series of articles about why the books in Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest are actually great investments.  To read the first article in the series, click here.  I knew when I was devising this article series that I would want to talk about the incredible covers for these books.  So Kornblatt’s Corner and CoverTunes are teaming up to talk about these awesome books and their incredible covers!!

Annihilation Covers

A “Best of” List

Welcome back to another Cover Tunes! I hope you are all well, happy and healthy. Today, we get to look at some of the best inexpensive comic covers to ever be published. I am excited to do that with you all.

So, back in the early 2000’s, we got a slew of these tie-ins and mini series that ALL have ridiculously masterful Dell’Otto painted covers. Dell’Otto has been a fan favorite for many for quite some time, but it seemed that over these years, people were more interested in his rare variants like his Spider-Man #667 and his X-23 #1 or his hyper-modern stuff. As such, most (if not all) of the Annihilation covers went completely under the radar for years. Then, a Skrull popped up on the MCU screens, possible news of Nova hit, Disney bought FF, Thanos became the big bad and all hell broke loose. Everyone began to go nuts for these, but they have remained inexpensive despite that.

The roughest thing with these covers is finding them in good shape since they sat in bargain bins for so long. There is no denying that some of these covers are among Dell’Otto’s best work and while other artists worked on the covers for a few of these tie-ins and minis, none of them can hold a candle to the Dell’Otto’s. Here are a few of my absolute favorites. I hope you like my choices. I could have easily chosen any number of the more than 40 total covers and been completely satisfied.

There is very little I can say about Gabriele Dell’Otto’s mastery that I haven’t already said in previous issues of my Cover Tunes articles, but for our purposes in this article, I will focus on a few key components of each.

Let’s dive in…


Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 & #2

PUBLISHED: Marvel – Apr., ’07 & May, ’07 (respectively)

ARTIST: Gabriele Dell’Otto

I couldn’t very well feature one without the other as they are connecting covers and MAN are they awesome. In the same manner as pretty much all of the other Dell’Otto Annihilation covers, this one does not disappoint. It is a masterpiece of artistic control, composition, palette and beauty. These do not pop up often, but when they do, they can still be had for $5-$10. That seems like a steal to me.


Annihilation: Super Skrull #4

PUBLISHED: Marvel – Sept., 2006

ARTIST: Gabriele Dell’Otto

Another nearly spotless examples of the prowess of Dell’Otto. There are not many decent Skrull covers in general. Most of them are hokey Silver and Bronze Age jobs where the skrulls look more like green smurfs than they do villains. In this cover, Dell’Otto finally realizes the proper menace of the race and depicts it elegantly with great depth, emotion and action. Of course, Dell’Otto’s mastery of the media is unparalleled and it is shown off in all of its splendor on this puppy. The attention to detail and palette are superb and make viewers actually care about a character they might have otherwise dismissed.
With the Skrulls seemingly set to continually pop up in various on-screen projects, I expect this cover, specifically, to do well. There are three others in this mini-series, but this #4 blows them all away. It’s an easy get at cover price or just slightly more for a NM example. I don’t expect that to last long.

Annihilation #4

PUBLISHED: Marvel – Jan., 2007

ARTIST: Gabriele Dell’Otto

Next on the list is one of the toughest, most bad@$$ covers ever (by any artist, really) in Annihilation #4. Thanos peering down on Drax. Honestly, one of Dell’Otto’s best ever covers, incentive variant or not. It is quite simply a flawless cover and should be worth a ton more than it already is.

Of the series, this one has caught the most heat and cannot be gotten for cover price any longer. It has become the toughest to find cheaply and copies have crept up to the $15-$20 mark. However, comparing that against similarly-styled incentive variants from Dell’Otto, that is still an amazing deal. I wouldn’t sleep on this one for much longer. I think it will soon be out of the low-end price realm, very soon.


Annihilation: Ronan #2

PUBLISHED: Marvel – July, 2006

ARTIST: Gabriele Dell’Otto

I love the lighting on this one. The other three covers in this mini are excellent as well, but they feel a little static in comparison to this one which is a much better snapshot of strength and regality than the others. Also, the hammer seems the correct size in this one (unlike the others). Little intricate details, especially in the shadowed areas, rival some of the best work from Dell’Otto. I particularly enjoy the mist encircling his feet as if he has just obliterated something (or someone).

Annihilation: Super Skrull #1

PUBLISHED: Marvel – June, 2006

ARTIST: Gabriele Dell’Otto

I chose this Super Skrull cover as well as the next cover (Nova) for similar reasons. They are both superb single-character compositions that a show nearly perfect proportion, rendering, color and life. The tense nature of both and the depicted strength in both are astounding to me.

For this one in particular though, it’s the fire that sends it over the top. Rendering fire in a way that actually looks ‘hot’ is really difficult to pull off. With the smoldering embers and sparks, Dell’Otto accomplishes it in grand fashion.

Annihilation #6

PUBLISHED: Marvel –  March, 2007

ARTIST: Gabriele Dell’Otto   

Look at that mist coming off of Nova! Man, that is killer. Only a true master could accomplish that. The depth within shadows and the mood that is accomplished here are unrivaled even by more modern Dell’Otto work. This feels like incentive-level stuff, but it is still a cheap book. I think this and the previous cover are next up on the hot commodities list from this series of books, especially if we see the Skrulls and/or Nova in upcoming MCU films like many of us expect we will.


Annihilation: Silver Surfer

PUBLISHED: Marvel – July, 2006

ARTIST: Gabriele Dell’Otto

I saved one of the best for last. This Silver Surfer cover crushes. I mean I can feel the speed and the emotion in this cover not to mention the exquisite contrast of light and dark to create the extremely realistic look of actual silver.  Amidst all of that, it is also a study in perspective perfection.

This cover has the integrity of fine art. As a matter of fact, the entire 4-issue run of Annihilation: Silver Surfer covers are all equally as amazing. This one spoke to me a little more than others, but they are all worth grabbing. They’d look ridiculous together. Much like the Skrull and Nova covers, if we see Surfer in an MCU film, I suspect that this cover will become highly sought after. Right now, it’s an easy get at cover price.

I fear that will not last long, though.

Jack’s Picks

While Annihilation definitely has the better covers between the two events, there are some really incredible Annihilation: Conquest covers that I also wanted to highlight.

Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #4

PUBLISHED: Marvel – October, 2007

ARTIST: Matt Wilson

This cover has a really fun swords and sorcery element to it that adds a wonderful contrast and compliment to the more traditional sci-fi aesthetics of some of the other covers.  The entire point of this issue to show Phyla-Vell fully empowered for the first time in her new role as Quasar.  This is brilliantly achieved not only by giving her a slightly different color pallete than the rest of the composition, but also by placing the imposing dragon in the background.  This drives the idea that, even though there is a freakin dragon here, it is Phyla that opponents should be most concerned with.  With Phyla Vell and Moondragon heavily expected to appear in the MCU, covers like this that feature the both of them could see a bump in value.

Annihilation: Conquest #5

PUBLISHED: Marvel – March, 2008

ARTIST: Aleksi Briclot 

To each their own, but I think this may be the best Ultron cover out there.  The cover is mainly painted in varying shades of grey, which allows the comparatively fewer uses of red to really stand out.  Ultron has never looked more powerful, more in control, or more terrifying than he does on this cover.  The composition is absolutely equisite and really helps to drive how great a threat Ultron represents.  There are so many small details, like the drained color from the bodies littered in front of Ultron that make this a stunning piece of art and an incredibly novel take on a long time villain in the Marvel Universe.



NOTE: All products, pictures, names, descriptions and logos are property of their respective copyright and trademark holders. No items are listed for sale. All information is for educational purposes, only.



* This article was originally published here


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