R: The Inhumans #10 (April 1977), pencils by Ed Hannigan, inks by Mike Esposito
(Click picture to Gorgan-zolasize)
What's this? (in my best William Frazier voice) An Inhumans "Same Story, Different Cover" for two issues that are consecutive? What the Sam Scratch is that all about? Why, be patient, Gentle Reader, and all shall be explained. Except why the Inhumans can't hold down their own series. Sigh.
Once upon a time, boys and girls, long before yours little stuffed truly was collecting comics (I'm only six, y'know), there was occasionally a big scary monster known as the Dreaded Deadline Doom, which threatened your timely (not Timely) comics appearing every month on the newsstand or the spinner rack of your local Rexall. In those days, come heck or high water, the next issue of the comic book appeared on time, whether or not it was the issue you were promised in the Bullpen Bulletins or last ish's "next time" blurb. That's all thanks to the fairly extinct animal known as the Fill-In Issue, a comic book length story scheduled to be printed instead of the original story because the artist or writer or
Just open the cover of Inhumans #9 and you'll find out:
Splash page of Inhumans v.1 #9, reprinted from Amazing Adventures v.2 #1 (August 1970), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Sam Rosen
Covers of Amazing Adventures v.2 #1-2 (August-September 1970), art on #1 by Jack Kirby (Inhumans) and John Romita Sr. (Black Widow); art on #2 by John Buscema and John Verpoorten
Now, I don't know for sure, but here's what I think happened: Archie Goodwin had to plug the reprint into Inhumans #9, but he didn't have a cover that would fit it. Often a reprint would the cover of the original comic (sometimes mildly touched up or recolored), but Archie didn't have that choice: the double-story nature of Amazing Adventures meant there wasn't a full cover for that reprinted story. I'm only guessing, but I imagine he had to pull the trigger at the last minute and say "publish the reprint with the cover we were going to use for #9 anyway," and thus you have Inhumans #9, its dynamic cover featuring Black Bolt battling Mon-Tag (misspelled as "Mor-Tag" on the cover.) Now, Arch could have just used another Montag in its place which would have assured huge sales for this Marvel comic...
...but unfortunately Heidi Montag was not to be born until 1986.
Presumably another cover had to be commissioned for #10 when the story for #9 was finally printed in its pages, but the original #9 cover definitely refers to the story printed in #10. Here, in #10, is the same scene shown on the cover of #9:
Panel from Inhumans #10 (April 1977), script by Doug Moench, pencils and inks by Keith Pollard, colors by Don Warfield, letters by John Costanza
So, there ya go, folks. The strangeor should I say uncannytale of how two consecutive different covers are for the same story. Nowadays we have to wait for our New Avengers #Eleventy-Six...two, three, five months later, until Brilliant Young Gun Architect Creator Figure #1 can stand to finally take his fingers off it and send it to Marvel. Sure, good things are worth the wait...but sometimes you just gotta have your Inhumans.