Last we looked at Shonen Jump's 19-year run of yearly covers featuring various mangaka in all their photographed glory, we saw Shueisha slowly expand its horizons with the concept. After a few years of simple "New Years kimono" covers, we saw the mangaka dress like spacemen, American football players, ready to attend a matsuri, Warring States period daimyo, & even futuristic high-flyers. We've seen the "full runs" of mangaka like Hiroshi Motomiya, Shinji Hiramatsu, & Yoshihiro Takahashi, while the likes of Masami Kurumada, Yudetamago, Akira Miyashita, & Yoichi Takahashi have stuck in there, though we all know that their most iconic works are nearing their respective ends. Likewise, mangaka like Osamu Akimoto & Akira Toriyama are already feeling like evergreen mangaka in that they'll never leave these covers, and with the second half of the "Golden Age of Jump" left to cover, we'll be sure to see even more iconic names.
So let's get straight to this latter half & start with the end of the 80s!
After a four-year stint of single-numbered issues for these mangaka covers, we break the streak with 1989's combined Issue #5+6, which features 19 mangaka. So, after seeing everyone fly in the sky the previous year, it only makes sense that Shueisha would do something similar the next, so for this cover we have everyone donning power suits as literal "Cosmo Warriors"! No, this has no relation to Saint Seiya, though Masami Kurumada is definitely "front & center"... though not literally in the center, as those would be Hirohiko Araki & the only appearance we'll see of Kazushi Hagiwara (Bastard!!). Due to the non-standard grouping, it's tough to really say that anyone's on the "front row", but the most prominent (i.e. the largest) are easily Kurumada, Osamu Akimoto, Akira Toriyama, Akira Miyashita, & (arguably) Yoichi Takahashi, who had ended Captain Tsubasa the previous year & was now doing tennis manga Sho no Densetsu. Likewise, Tetsuo Hara is still making an appearance, even though Fist of the North Star had now ended, & in its place is Cyber Blue. Motoei Shinzawa also returns with new manga Boku wa Shitataka-kun, while Masaya Tokuhiro returns after a four-year cover hiatus with the manga he'd become most well known for, Jungle King Tar-chan; Shinji Imaizumi, who had previously appeared in 1987, also returns with his major work, Kami-sama wa Southpaw. As for newcomers, the main one is definitely Masanori Morita (Rokudenashi BLUES), who'd be on every single mangaka cover from here on out, though we shouldn't ignore Tatsuya Egawa (Magical Taruruuto-kun). Finally, though Yudetamago is nowhere to be seen anymore due to the quick end of Yurei Kozou ga Yattekita!, the duo still are in the issue, due to the original one-shot for Scrap Sandayu, which would also wind up being a really short series in the end. This is kind of the only mangaka cover that one can call a "sequel" to a previous one, and while it's not quite as memorable as 1988's weirdness, it's still a cool one, nonetheless.