“What the hell were they thinking?” These were our sentiments exactly when the new, controversial, and trending, cover of Rolling Stone Magazine was recently released. The cover features a softly rendered Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is the remaining brother of two, accused of plotting and executing the Boston Marathon Bombings on April 15th, 2013. 

The cover article, titled, “The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster,” runs through accounts of the boys previous life through those who knew him best. It includes much of the same horse-beaten stories that have plagued media in past months, but also delves into anecdotal memories from close friends of the suspected radical.

Gracing the August cover puts Tsarnaev in company of industry royalty. Adam Yauch, the beloved and lost member of the Beastie Boys, Jim Morrison, of The Doors, and even the man who upholds policies that the bombers were supposedly fighting against, Barack Obama, have all been featured at one point or another. The move by Rolling Stone has predictably sparked outrage and concern with consumers – some even calling for an all out boycott of the issue.

Long gone are the images of the enemy sporting tangled beards, crooked teeth or greenly faded tattoos. Will the cover serve as a warning sign that misdirected evil comes in many faces, or will it just be another gallon of fuel thrown into the already overflowing gas tank of fear mongering and pre-judgmental mores? Either way, we can’t image this one is on any avid collectors lists of must-haves.