After the Kirby tribute cover was rejected for BP#41 (see last gallery room entry)Sal submitted one of Priest’ other cover suggestions for the first chapter of “Enemy of the State 2”, a parody of the Beatles album “Meet the Beatles” which had been parodied sometime back with the Seinfeld cast on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. After some time passed we were planning to do the cover to issue 42 when our editor asked us to do another cover image to issue 41 to commence the arc and we were told that the Beatles cover would wind up on issue 42. Some time passed and instead of doing the cover to issue 43 we were asked to do another cover for 42 and that 43 would have the Beatles cover. Sometime early on in this hoopla Priest was allowed to extend his story arc to a fifth chapter. This allowed him to fit a lot of fun details into the tale, allowing issue 43 to be the ‘Kirbyapalooza’ issue. I then suggested to Sal that we come up with a fun new cover circle art shot of one of the Kirby characters for the Beatles cover, our editor approved of the idea and after Sal & I discussed ideas I left it up to him and he came up with what you see as the second file below. In the meantime I had been lobbying Marvel for weeks to use the “Panther on techno-tree” cover originally intended for THE COMIC READER magazine’s return before it went under. It was posted on my homepage for a while but I thought it was too good a piece to not be published. At the 11th hour our editor decided to use it in place of the Beatles one which he wasn’t very enthused about. Unfortunately, he also thought that the circle art wouldn’t work well with the new cover image or the next two covers. The cover below (first file image) is a mock-up by Sal, including the gray tones.
Other BP cover file images: The covers Marvel eventually chose for BLACK PANTHER issues 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45, all colored by Tom Chu except 43 which was colored by Tom Smith. Sal inked himself on #44. The final image is the EW Beatles parody cover with the Seinfeld cast