Solitaire #1-6 (Cool Comic Covers #14)

It’s Friday! That means another Cool Comic Covers, a weekly (sometimes more!) look back at some of the most interesting, intriguing, and engaging artwork in pop culture. This week:

I’m a big Ultraverse fan. It started with Nightman. My freshman year in college, I was able to start with #1 of a series and collect each issue month after month. Unlike other comic collectors in the dorm, who were collecting Image comics, Ultraverse appealed to me because of one of their tag lines: “writers are our best gimmick.” Now, they still had holographic covers and polybagged issue #1’s that came with collector cards.

But here was a cover gimmick that was also writer related. If you were reading the Ultraverse title Solitaire, when you got to issue #5 it instructed you to look at the #1 through 6 covers. Those covers were actually panels of a battle scene that took place between issue #5 and #6. So you read issue #5, then follow six splash image covers, and continue in issue #6.

UPDATE: Jeff Johnson dropped by the blog and left a message below giving the behind the scenes of why these covers turned out the way they did. Turns out I was wrong that this was initiated by Gerard Jones. After you take a look at the covers below, find out how it happened from the source!

Solitaire #1, Malibu Comics, by Jeff Johnson (written by Gerard Jones — if ever a comic cover deserved a writer credit . . .) (UPDATE: Turns out I'm wrong about that . . . but check out the comments below for more information!)
Solitaire #2, Malibu Comics, by Jeff Johnson
Solitaire #3, Malibu Comics, by Jeff Johnson
Solitaire #4, Malibu Comics, by Jeff Johnson


Solitaire #5, Malibu Comics, by Jeff Johnson
Solitaire #6, Malibu Comics, by Jeff Johnson

Want to know what happens next? Well, you have to read issue #6.

I will say this: Solitaire was a pretty interesting series. About issue #8 or #9 it was changed into a maxi-series, and gave the story a definite ending with issue #12, something very few of the Ultraverse characters got after Marvel took over and shook everything up. It’s well worth tracking down in back issues or on eBay.

Join us next Friday for another Cool Comic Cover! Also, do you have a favorite comic book cover? Share it with us! It just may be featured as a cool comic cover!

~ Ben

Previous Cool Comic Covers:
#13 — Star Trek #25 and Top Dog #9
#12 — Aquaman #9
#11 — From Beyond the Unknown #23
#10 — Famous Funnies #214
#8 — AVENGERS WEEK: Captain America
#6 — AVENGERS WEEK: Iron Man
#5 — “Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction” Giant Size Special
#4 — “Fear” #1
#3 — “From Beyond the Unknown” #12
#2 — “Action Comics” #419
#1 — “Weird Science-Fantasy” #27

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3 responses to “Solitaire #1-6 (Cool Comic Covers #14)”

  1. Jeff Johnson Avatar
    Jeff Johnson

    Hey Ben,

    I’m really glad that you liked the covers from my run on Solitaire. And while I think Gerard was a great writer and don’t want to take anything away from him, the cover thing was my idea not his. My plan was to do a whole separate story with the covers but when we saw that the book and the company were going to end, we decided to weave those images into the ongoing story.

    Someday I’d like to revisit the idea of doing an extra comic where the covers could be an extra story for fans who buy the entire run. Sadly, most books don’t get that kind of time or preplanning but I can dream, right?



    1. Ben Avatar

      Thanks for stopping by and setting me straight, Jeff! I made some changes to the entry, but mainly to point people down here to your response so they could get the whole story from you (and still see my mistake so they could know what you were talking about).

      I am very curious now about what your “cover story” would be like for Solitaire. I assumed it was planned to feed into issue six from the beginning, because it fit so nicely.

      What else are you working on these days? Might as well plug your current projects to any Ultraverse fans who come here interested in seeing what you have to say!

  2. Jeff Johnson Avatar
    Jeff Johnson

    Thanks Ben,

    I was mostly planning a big fight scene with his father’s minions. It was just an experiment in splash pages. My goal was to do a whole issue on the covers. Unfortunately, Malibu went under before I got the chance to do 22 issues in a row. The truth is that I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. I figured they would say “no” if they knew what I was trying. But since the book was ending, Gerry figured out a cool way to tie the covers into the story.

    He was great to work with on that book and on Wonderman.

    Right now I’m doing storyboards on Transformers Prime. I miss comics though. Maybe someday Marvel will bring back the Ultraverse.


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