The Cover rule is a rule used to classify interactions between series that happen on the cover of anthological works, and similar illustrations:

Elements from different series appearing together in an illustration create an in-universe link only if the illustration features narrative elements, otherwise it doesn't count as a fictional link.

This is because an illustration can only be considered a fictional work if it tells a "story", otherwise it's just a promotional image and it's unnotable to this wiki. In general, when characters are just seen posing for the "camera", that doesn't count as a link, when they're seen in a situation that requires background, like living an adventure together, that counts as a link.

Some cases might be arguable, such as characters performing a generic activity, like playing sports or driving cars: that scene tells an event, but it doesn't require any background and could still be considered just posing. Such cases are open for interpretation and should be noted as arguable in the detailed link page, letting readers come to their own conclusions.
If we need to make a choice on arguable cases, this wiki's directive is that if the scene shows a situation that makes sense, then it can be considered a plausible situation and it counts as happening in a fictional universe creating a link, if it shows a theoretical situation that doesn't make sense then it's still just considered a promotional image.

Of course, if elements are together on the cover of an anthology work, the rule is only worth discussing if the elements don't also meet within the work itself. If they do then it's a legitimate crossover work, and the interactions on the cover doesn't matter.

This rule can be extended beyond illustrations: commercials or television channel bumpers might show characters together in a small video. These are considered links only if there's some narrative element to the video beyond just posing for the camera.


Marvel Mystery Comics is a comic book series by Marvel, including stories of Namor, Human Torch and other heroes. While the characters usually don't meet in the stories, they sometimes do on the cover:

World's Finest Comics is a comic book series by DC Comics featuring stories of Superman, Batman and other heroes. While starting with issue 71 the series included crossover stories, the heroes were sometimes shown meeting on the cover in previous issues:

Star Comics Magazine is a comic book series by Marvel aimed at children, including various licensed stories such as Heathcliff. While characters usually don't meet in the stories themselves, they sometimes do on the cover: