Seeing this Retro Cover Of The Week properly requires a Magic Eye: Ms. Mystic Prelude Deathwatch #1

Ms. Mystic Prelude Deathwatch 2000 #1, 1993, Continuity Comics, Cover by Neal Adams.

The POP Retro Cover Of The Week continues its examination and celebration of iconic comic covers from the 1970s through the 2000s, this week returning to the Nineties, the decade of untold gimmick covers.

One gimmick that was hot during the ‘90s was the Magic Eye posters and books, with the patterns that looked like tv static until you crossed your eyes and focused just right, and a shape appeared out of the chaos.

Ms. Mystic Prelude Deathwatch 2000 #1 (1993) is the only instance I am aware of that used this Magic Eye technique on a cover.

After Neal Adams left working for the Big Two in the mid-Seventies, he concentrated on his business at Continuity Studios, the advertising art studio he created and owned with fellow comics legend Dick Giordano. In the Eighties, a comic book publishing branch of the studio was created and guided by Adams, Continuity Comics, featuring new titles and characters like Ms. Mystic. Ms. Mystic was a witch, hundreds of years old, who used tech like funky antennae and a light saber-like sword to heighten and focus her abilities to harness the elemental powers of the earth.

Visually. Ms. Mystic was literally the embodiment of Adams’ decades-old love of zipatone, the adhesive acetate that was applied to comic art for dramatic pop-art effects. Adams used benday dot Zipatone in a gradated (light-to-dark) pattern for Ms. Mystic’s costume, perhaps gained during her lengthy stay in another dimension. But just as likely it was used because it looked damned cool.

Ironically, this POP Retro Cover Of The Week is the only Ms. Mystic cover where you won’t get to see this effect, since her body (Spoiler!) is hidden within the maelstrom of Magic Eye mystery.

Next week: A cover from the 2000s!

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