They say you should never judge a book by its cover. We happen to think that “they” are full of crap. Each week we take a look at upcoming comic book covers and pick the best, some honorable mentions and the those that make us ask, “What in the blue hell?” Sure, we’re sporting an Avengers hangover, but without criticism where would the internet be?
By Greg Capullo
Dave: I love how the Court of Owls characters are cowering in fear. The Iron Bat is a scary dude, and Wayne manor is bleeding because of it. My guess is a lot of blood is going to be flowing after Batman gets through with them. Gotta love zombie bad guys. Even heroes can kill zombies.
Brendan: I love everything about it. The reflection in the visor, the lighting of the broad shoulder line that makes Iron-bat menacing, and bloody almost-bat-symbol depiction of Wayne Manor gives you a full-on representation of what’s going down in this book. Pure awesome.
Mystery In Space (One Shot)
By Ryan Sook
Brendan: I think there is something genuinely elegant about this cover. The figures are beautiful and the steampunkish half-technologies are very intriguing. It’s a great combination of fantasy (the mystery part) and sci-fi (the space part). I think what really grabs me is the attention to detail in the brass work on the ladder and bucket, along with the gorgeous space motif that has been painted onto the metal dome. This cover makes me want to pick up this book. It’s as simple as that.
Dave: This cover brings the childlike wonder in droves. I particularly like the fairies. The thick ink job along with the glowing nature of their bodies makes them pop. This cover brings the magic.
Dave’s Honorable Mentions:
By Adam Hughes
Dave: Snow Queen is making it cold! Luckily she has the decency to show us her boobs…I mean spell the name of the book in the mirror.
Brendan: Those large lusty lips and impressive cleavage are somehow familiar to m– Oh Adam Hughes did the cover. Can’t really hate on this. It’s not as gratuitous as a majority of Hughes’ work and the coloring does make it look damn cold up in there. I dig it.
By Chris Bachalo
Dave: Spoiler alert, Cyclops fights Wolverine, at least according to this cover. Following the mantra “Keep it simple, stupid,” I can’t help but love this cover. Similar to “more cowbell” only over at Marvel they love to say, “more reflective visor!” It’s a tad kooky how Cyclops appears to be looking over a hedge, but I like the pop of the cover.
Brendan: But Cyclops! We already had our reflective visor cover this week! I’m not crazy on how Wolverine is depicted in the reflection. Is it the artist’s rendition, or is he wonky from the reflection? It is interesting to me how, while almost the same cover, the Batman version is leagues ahead of this replica shot. I’m not sure if the blank white background seems lazier or if it’s just the extra layers that went into the Batman book, but this cover just seems somehow incomplete.
By: Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
Dave: That Owl is very ominous, looming over our caped bird boy in the foreground. It doesn’t get much more exciting than this and I love the samurai motif going on with the blades and battle in the thickly fogged woods. This cover is made even more exciting with the shoelaces dangling off Robin’s boots.
Brendan: I love the foggy woods that are the background. The Owl’s action pose seems a little awkward but it’s only after several moments that you’d notice such a thing. I also dig the shoelaces. It gives our dual-katana-wielding that air of boyishness that reminds you how no matter how much of a badass Damien is, he’s still just a little kid.
By Doug Mahnke
Dave: This is an intense cover considering that eyeball is staring right at us… into our very souls. I guess Green Lantern is going to have a red-room moment in this issue. Either that or [deleted due to inappropriate menstruation joke].
Brendan: Oh Black Hand, you old so-n-so, why you making those poor GLs swim in a river of blood? A lot of cool color effects going on here (which is appropriate when your comic deals with the rainbow brigade). Black Hand looks as threatening as ever and it’s very interesting to see Sinestro with a look of helplessness. I’m for it.
Brendan’s Honorable Mentions:
The Ultimates #10
By Kaare Andrews
Brendan: This cover feels big. It feels like there is an entire mythical world waiting to be explored. I love the contrast between the cherry blossoms and the subtle waterfalls lost in a grey sky. I think it was a great choice to leave the characters small and simple. It really helps you focus on the world that surrounds them.
Dave: This cover is very elegant and mystical. The Ultimate comics have had a CGI thing going on lately which has been hit or miss, but I love these cherry blossoms. Check the character second from left. Is she posing provocatively whilst dangling from a cliff? Yep, it’s a comic book, therefore… dat ass.
By: Charlie Adlard
Brendan: Simple and menacing, that’s what this cover is. Adlard has been pumping out consistently grabbing artwork for almost 100 issues now and it is clear that with covers like this he deserves the praise he gets.
Dave: I was tempted to choose this cover as well. It reminds me of a Grindhouse film poster. It’s bold and menacing.
Scarlet Spider #5
By Ryan Stegman and Marte Gracia
Brendan: But Scarlet Spider! You just got your own book! You can’t die in an explosion yet! Can you? Yes, this is your fairly traditional “explosion going off” effect but damn it if it isn’t well executed. The lines and the shadowing really gives the cover an energy that you don’t always find and the colors, a simple contrast of warm over black, really add senses of heat and doom.
Dave: The contrast between the solid numbers and everything else breaking apart works really. It heightens the sense that time has run out.
By Dave Johnson
Brendan: While I’m not a big fan of the Deadpool cover mentioned in our WTF section (only moments away from your gaze!), I like this cover a lot. The ominous gravestones at the top are being immediately nullified by Deadpool’s cozy bachelor pad. That’s what Deadpool is, ridiculous humor in the most morbid and dire situations. Also, Deadpool’s living space is really fleshed out with cute ideas like the Adam Hughes-esque pin ups and the multiple air fresheners (It just has to stink in there).
Dave: This cover reminds me of the scene in Kill Bill where Uma Thurman must dig her way out of a grave or similarly the entire plot to the Ryan Reynolds film Buried. Either way, this should be a high tension moment where the character is scared shitless. Not Deadpool. It’s a nice pop culture reference but it also tells us something about the character.
Where we don’t understand, are insulted by or would rather stab our eyes with acid pops than look at these covers for various reasons.
By Chris Samnee
Dave: Wolverine, buddy, I think you took too much cocaine. Your nose is bleeding and your brain is floating on tree/brain balloons. I’ve seen it a thousand times. It’s a cool cover, but wtf?
Brendan: Pretty cool cover. I am immediately interested enough to pick this issue up and flip through it. I’m really into Samnee’s surreal brain-trees and what I can only assume is some sort of flashback to Logan’s log cabin years?
Deadpool #51 (2nd Printing Variant Cover)
By Dave Johnson
Dave: I like the colors, but Deadpool looks silly on those blades. Yes, I know he’s a silly character, but this is downright stupid. Deadpool has a deathwish, okay I get it, but can we have a cooler looking cover please? I’ve learned this cover went through a few different versions due to the censors. The original cover here, is a lot cooler. You can learn more about the process here.
Brendan: Deadpool looks silly? Cancel the book! That’s way too out of character! I’m not a big fan of this cover. I don’t even think it deserves to be WTF material. It just seems incredibly safe when you take into review the process that lead to it.
By Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes
Dave: I didn’t know there was a female Owl in the Court of Owls. Oh wait, it’s Batgirl so she certainly can’t fight a man. Also that Owl’s legs/crotch area needs a reevaluation. The right leg looks like it’s going to break off. Based on this image I suggest a calcium supplement. Bones should never bend like that.
Brendan: Dave makes valid points, but this cover is pretty gorgeous if you ignore its flaws. Both background and foreground colors pop and the exploding buildings add a nice touch of “shit’s going down”. I do have to agree that the owl’s pose is somewhat perplexing. Why would you ever jump at someone like that?
By Rob Liefeld
Dave: A fat tube does not a superhero make. Also what is with the twinkling sword? Liefeld is drawing a lot of books for DC this month most likely because he can draw so damn fast. Loose and sloppy. The Liefeld way.
Brendan: Robert Liefeld is the American Dream. Obtain steady income through limited effort and then milk that cow until it shrivels up in front of you. With so many amazing artists available and eager to draw for these companies, why do they keep going back to the pouch guy?
Captain America and Hawkeye #630
By Patrick Zircher and Matt Hollingsworth
Brendan: Comics, everybody! What says impending doom more than a mutated devil-raptor? A DOZEN MUTATED DEVIL-RAPTORS. Honestly, this cover (and, quite frankly, the entire concept) is just remarkably silly and something that you would only find within the pages of our favorite pastime. Go get ‘em, Cap!
Dave: Can I just point out having a barbed head doesn’t mean much when you have a jaw filled with razor sharp teeth? I get the barbed tails, but the barbed heads? Maybe it’s a growth evolved to preen the Demon-Raptors around you? This could be proof that birds came from demon/dinosaurs. Somebody get a paleontologist to review this issue!