This magazine-sized book contains extra large versions of various covers to Fear Itself and related issues, with the titles and business elements removed. The posters are nestled inside of each other so you’d have to remove the central staples to get to them, and you get a folded-in-half poster as a result. Unfortunately, they are double-sided, so you have to buy two copies if you want to hang all of them on your wall. Northstar appears on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #541.
The strange part about this particular poster book is that many of the posters are taken from cover art that was largely obscured or otherwise truncated by the very large Fear Itself trade dress that occupied so much of the cover real estate. The result is that many of the covers are letterboxed – printed with black borders on the top and bottom. Also, many of those are even further cropped on their left and right sides to help with the aspect ratio as well. There is an unusual amount of landscape orientation pieces as well, as many of the covers had an additional Fear Itself border beneath (see the cover shown above for an example), and many others had a giant stripe going across which resulted in two landscape oriented pieces, and those are similarly letterboxed.
The huge Fear Itself trade dress has a particular importance for Alpha Flight fans because it was slathered all over the first four issues of volume 4. Of course, without the crossover, likely the fourth series wouldn’t even exist, so no complaints! Luckily, for the first four issues of the series, we also got full page variant covers that were free of the giant ugly block taking up nearly half the page.
In the poster where Northstar appears, both the black letterboxing and truncation had to be used to get the poster to fit onto the page. Fortunately, Northstar, who was near the bottom right corner on the original cover, wasn’t truncated. Just to show how much of the image was removed, here are the Poster Book (sans UPC bar-code) and original versions for comparison, with the truncated portions shown in dark red.
For the truly insane: the Poster Book version also reveals that there was a small area of art that extends further down than the original to the extent shown also shaded in dark red on the original.
The original pencil tracing by Greg Land shown below (in high contrast) gives the overall picture of how much the top portion of the page ended up covered by the Fear Itself logo. It’s practically half a page!
Here is an inset from the original pencils so you can see Northstar fully to the left, right, up and down without anything being snipped off the guy.