There’s Throwback Thursday, and then there’s what Entertainment Weekly concocted for its latest issue, which features Captain Marvel.
In keeping with the upcoming Marvel film’s mid-’90s setting, the magazine resurrected its ’90s font and logo for the cover, spotlighting the film’s stars Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson.
“We always like to put in little Easter eggs and have fun [with] the cover subject, and this was a perfect way to lean in,” said Entertainment Weekly executive editor Tim Leong.
Using its red logo and old color pallet, the magazine recreated its style, font and cover layout from when Jennifer Aniston was a cover star for Friends and Forrest Gump was competing for an Oscar.
The throwback cover was designed by EW deputy design director Chuck Kerr, who dove into the archives. Since the magazine had already featured Captain Marvel on the cover once before—for a costume reveal last year—the team decided to do something completely unique for its second go around, Leong said.
“The goal with all of our covers is try to make an event out of it and make a statement out of it and be bold,” Leong said. “We always try to make it feel special for the reader to add value to the print copy.”
For readers who sense the cover seems off but aren’t quite sure why, the magazine offers a small caption to explain what’s going on: “Booyah! Our 1990s logo and fonts are back for one week only!”
Entertainment Weekly worked with Marvel on certain elements of the cover, such as how to age down Jackson, given that he plays a two-decades-younger version of his character Nick Fury in the film. The magazine also considered featuring Larson’s character’s signature powers on the cover but ultimately determined special effects wouldn’t have been advanced enough in the mid-’90s for movies made then to feature them.
The cover also features another showstopper from Captain Marvel, the cat “Goose” (birth name: Reggie). Leong, a self-described “reluctant” cat person who would’ve given Goose his own cover given the opportunity, acknowledged that they had to feature the movie’s popular character on the cover.
“If we’re gonna get silly,” he said, “let’s go all the way. Let’s get that cat on the cover.”