It’s Monday morning, which means it’s time for us to pick the best comics that are coming out this Wednesday based on the cover alone. We’ve got a sexy Agent Fury, a hot Thor, and a hairy-chested Winter Soldier. No, this isn’t Comic Cover Critique: Sex Edition, just another week in comics! A visual feast awaits. Are you ready?
Avengers Vs. X-Men #4 (Variant Cover)
By Jerome Opena
Brendan: You know what I don’t find myself often thinking?: “Wow, Thor is f----d.” But that is exactly what this cover makes me think. Thor’s stance suggests that perhaps he was ready to face the Phoenix force, but perhaps his confidence has waned. Nevertheless, he is going to face the thing, hammer in hand. The Phoenix force is straight-up gorgeous. It perfectly evokes the senses of rage and hellfire that are barreling towards Earth.
Dave: Great pick. I love how Thor is just floating there dumbstruck. He’s unnaturally got no feet on the ground but his cape is flowing. Since he’s obviously in space, that means the Phoenix is screaming hell at him. Badass all around.
Winter Soldier #5
By Lee Bermejo
Dave: One thing that has remained a constant with this book is the awesome covers. Lee Bermejo has an incredible ability to add texture and weight to his imagery. If you’ve read Brian Azzarelo’s OGN Joker, you’ll know what I mean.
The shadow behind Bucky adds to the drama of him falling, the smoke from his gun, and the bursts of light from the rail gun are intense. Oh yeah, and there’s a giant gorilla in the foreground lighting it up. If you’ve been reading this comic you’ll know this gorilla speaks Russian. Naturally.
Brendan: Cap’s once-dead-but-he-got-better sidekick fights a gorilla with a chain gun! Yay comics! Great colors and great shadows really make this cover stand out. I would have picked it myself if it didn’t have that WTF vibe to it.
Brendan’s Honorable Mentions:
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth The Devil’s Engine #1
By Duncan Fegredo
Brendan: This cover is straight-up epic. I love the transition from cool earthy tones at the bottom to the hellfire and damnation reds at the top. The landscape is beautiful and is a great contrast for the giant hell-Frankenstein looming above. The only thing that throws me is where is this guy standing? Is the hell-Frank a figment of the imagination, or does he just have the teeniest legs imaginable? Perhaps he’s emerging from a deep body of water on the other side of the landscape.
Dave: These B.P.R.D. covers are always great because of the pulpy nature to them. They always tell a story. I like how hell-Frankenstein is reaching around that volcano. Nice depth.
Fury MAX #2
By Dave Johnson
Brendan: I say that is one classy piece of cover art. It tells you a lot of information about the contents within without having to resort to blatant explanations. A badass Fury, snooty Frenchmen, a sexy dame and lots of guns and explosions. Sign me up.
Dave: “My hips don’t lie and I’m starting to feel you boy,” as Shakira says. They certainly don’t in this cover. Dave Johnson has been all over this column the last few weeks. Typically he does Deadpool covers, but based on this cover, damn is this guy skilled.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #9
By Kenneth Rocafort
Brendan: I think I’ve been having one of these every week. I’m not too crazy about the characters in the foreground (nothing against them, they just don’t pop) but I find myself getting absolutely lost in the gorgeous background. Great attention to architectural detail and some fantastic coloring by Kevin Senft (credited under his moniker “Blond”) have me just fawning over this cover.
Dave: The colors definitely add a vibrancy. It’s too bad we couldn’t get this cover with the title in it. That might help. The color scheme is a tad similar to Catwoman (below).
Captain Atom #9
By Mike Choi
Brendan: Nothing says “armageddon” like three-faced, 24 packed Captain Atom. I just really enjoy the sense of dread that this cover gives off. Collapsing buildings, fire in the sky, and the ominous figure just make you feel uneasy in the best way possible. I also really enjoy the flow of his shroud.
Dave: Is this dude hanging out in the Borderlands video game? Why must the sky always be bleeding when the world ends? I suspect it’d actually be very dark and boring. That cloak is silly. How does he not let his pee-pee show?
Dave’s Honorable Mentions:
By Guillem March
Dave: Love the use of the screened image at the center in the background of the image. Reminds me of Alex Meleev’s work. The spotlights do a good job directing the eye outward toward the figures. Catwoman is in an interesting pose I’ve never seen before, and those claws on the Owl are looking mighty scary. The lighting on her rubber outfit really punches up the sickly feeling the greens give off. Need I say more?
Brendan: I love the way the warm colors of the bay contrast against the dark greens of the city where our fight takes place. The figure poses are a bit confusing. Why is the Owl’s leg doing that and I think Catwoman’s butt is lopsided on the wrong side (shouldn’t the right cheek be down and the left up?) Luckily the colors, lighting and pretty background keep you distracted enough to not stress these little things.
By Simon Bisley
Dave: Hellblazer meets his hell-dwelling twin, and boy, does he have a nice hanger on his door. The face is creepy evil and reminds me of the pulp novel Sandman Slim. That wood is simply gorgeous. The deep red at the bottom and the smoke filtering up into whiteness gives it a otherworldly feel as well.
Brendan: There’s great detail on the wood, but I think there’s something missing from the knocker. He sure looks dastardly, but maybe a slightly different coloring choice would have given it a more metallic feel.
Sonic Universe #40
By Jamal Peppers, Jim Amash and Steve Downer
Dave: Move over Avengers vs. X-Men, there’s a new versus battle in town! Having never read a Sonic comic book I can safely say I have no idea who that dude is on the left. Be that as it may, I love the layout of this cover. Sonic giving Dr. Eggman a roll of the eyes cheers me up too. I’d most likely choose Knuckles for my fighter.
Brendan: I love the ironic comedy in this cover. Eggman trying to look like a badass is laughable and Sonic is the only one in on the joke. I also like the idea of taking a VS comic to the next level by turning the whole thing in a fighting game character select format.
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 Jock (Mark Simpson)
Brendan: I… I don’t know what is happening here. I don’t read Scalped so perhaps there is a perfect explanation to this cover that lies within the history of the book but as an outsider it makes little sense. Is this an action shot of a single dog grabbing a bone? Are these multiple dogs jumping about? I’m just lost. I do enjoy the dark colors and shadowy figures. I just wish the action (or lack of action?) was more intuitive.
Dave: I’d say it’s a bunch of dogs, Brendan. I do like that weird twinkle in the dog eye at the bottom. Gives it a demonic look, and the dude in the background has weird yellow eyes that help give a tone of death to it all. The blood splatter seems to be added willy-nilly. My first question when looking at this is, “where the hell does the title go?”
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #4
By Jan Duursema
Dave: WTF are those spiders? What the hell is wrong with his face? This cover is a mess and I am not interested in the story based on this cover. I read the last issue of this and I can safely say I have no clue why there are spiders on this cover. Also, since when did Jedi get the ET power of love and healing?
Brendan: That face is pretty jacked up, but those spiders are because he is in the abyss. There are always spiders in an abyss. I know it’s supposed to be all grim and dark but a bit more color could have really helped this cover out. Right now everything is just kind of mushed together.
By Nic Klein
Dave: I was hesitant to add this cover because it’s so damn pretty. But it sucks you in and then forces your brain to ask, “what the hell is going on here?” So I get there is some kind of sniper dude, but is that dancer a memory? Why is it stenciled there, with blood somehow coloring its face? The artwork here is done well, but I don’t get it.
Brendan: That guy’s hair bums me out. I think I get the gist of this cover. The girl is the sniper’s target (thus the bullet wound surrounding her face). Am I right? Did I win? Regardless of what was intended there is still some good stuff going on here. I like the watercolor feel of the building and the overcast sniper is at least a bit threatening. I think small changes would have taken this from an okay cover to a great cover.
By Alex Ross
Brendan: Voltron, why are you so angry? You don’t have feelings. You are a robot. Looks like Ross is still going through a Neons phase. Let me know when he’s done with that.
Dave: Did a unicorn s--t on this cover? I can barely make out what the hell is happening to Voltron. The best part of this cover is the green planet. It gives me peace after looking at this diarrhea war zone.