To say this is a big week for comics is an understatement. The much-hyped Before Watchmen begins, Marvel’s Summer event continues, and Spider-Man movie tie in comics have begun to pop up. Someone must sift through all this racket! Check below for our favorite (and least favorite) covers.
Avengers vs. X-Men #5
Dave: There are quite a few pretty covers this week, but I chose this cover mostly because it’s reminiscent of a movie poster. Cheung delivers all the major players in the Summer event in an interesting way. I also like how they’re combined, symbolically showing the Phoenix tearing through them all as one. The giant Cyclops head is the only weird thing going on here, but I think this cover works very nicely.
Brendan: Another cover from the AvX line that makes you really get a sense of how strong the Phoenix is as it easily tears though some of the top toughies in the Marvel universe. It did take me a few seconds to figure out what exactly was going down on this cover as the blues and reds seem to blend some of the characters together a bit too much. I keep trying to place where exactly Cap’s legs turn into Cyclops’ visor. A few strategically placed lines of fire could have really helped this cover make more sense.
Journey Into Mystery #369
Brendan: This cover brings color and depth that you don’t always find gracing the top page of your weekly comics. Slight details throughout the image really gives this life. I’m also a big fan of the smaller, cuter touches, such as the fairy, bird, and the fire puppy.
Dave: I enjoy the magical storybook qualities this cover is doing. The soldiers down the line on the right side, the bird, and Loki, who is just a boy, pointing with some strong leadership. It’s faint, but the cloud billowing up from the bottom right to the top of the frame suggests there’s some war/retribution in the cards.
Brendan’s Honorable Mentions
Animal Man #10
Brendan: Man, poor Buddy is going on one hell of a trip in Animal Man (I really hope you’re reading this comic) and that concept is taken into the literal with this week’s cover. Much like Journey Into Mystery, there is a depth to this cover that really pulls you in. It gives you the sense that the gradient red background isn’t just a lazy fill tactic but is moreso a strong depiction of the endless void that Animal Man is stuck within. Mr. Foreman can bring the creepy like no one else.
Dave: Something about the detail in those monsters musculature creeps the heck out of me. I also like the contrast between the solid flat skull ground and the highly detailed monsters. You know you’re getting a very fresh cover when it comes to Foreman every time.
30 Days of Night #8
Brendan: I enjoy the blood more than anything on this cover. Although the drip lines may be a bit over the top, the shades and coloring of the different blood spots adds a depth to the unseen slaughter. The pencil-work on the vamp hand is crisp and the overall shading really works.
Dave: What happened to the FBI agent?! Did he fall into a vat of melted red Crayola? I agree with everything Brendan says, but this cover is too obvious to me. Like being repeatedly beat over the head. With a giant foam crayon.
Dave’s Honorable Mentions
Action Comics #10
Dave: The sniper shot cover is always an attention grabber, but in most cases it’s the same thing over and over. I like this cover because it adds to the meme, specifically the information being relayed on the scope screen. Temperature, Speed, etc. I’m not sure why it needs to calculate “density” but my best guess is it’s calculating the depth in order to break his flesh. Cool stuff.
Brendan: I appreciate Morales trying to add some new flair to the age-old sniper cover, although at the same time it does feel superficial. I haven’t done much gun shooting in my life (let alone with highly advanced comic book weaponry) but can scopes really give you this much information? I think I’m looking too deep. I do like the red version of this cover better than the ugly green that they are also offering this week. It adds a sense of danger.
Invincible Iron Man #518
Dave: There’s a new Iron Man in town and he’s looking very sexy. It looks semi-Tron like, but if you look closely the suit seems to be going invisible. I’m a huge fan of the Iron Man comics that showed off Tony’s relationship to the inner workings of technology. The story “Hypervelocity” by Adam Warren is one of my particular favorites as the suit becomes sentient. This cover exemplifies that techno-slickness that I love.
Brendan: This cover is very slick. The black suit to blue light contrast does get a bit fuzzy where things are more complicated (such as his right hand) but I can let that go. I love the warm-to-cool color transition from the top to the bottom of the page. I also like the use of new colors that are somewhat foreign to Tony while still familiarizing the audience by keeping the classic faceplate. Good stuff.
Dave: This cover brings me back to the Tintin days, or better yet the classic Rupert comics. The stars have a weight to them I love, the surroundings are surrealistic and mellowing, and the lower thirds bar hyping a ridiculously named old man is fun. This cover puts a smile on my face.
Brendan: Poor Olive Oyl. They were just going for a nice walk in the park when Popeye just had to go and prove how tough he is by knocking out a passing railroad tycoon. Can’t she have a single day that’s just about her?
Dave: The first issue of this series was pretty good and by any indication of the cover this is a character that’s pretty cool. I’d like to think he’s a combo between Batman, The Shadow and Spider-Man. John Cassaday does a great job here creating an interesting atmosphere in the background city landscape; the shiny webs shooting out of the guns and the purposefully flat cape to highlight the title.
Brendan: This cover is great. I love how the different points of reference all draw you into the center to behold our hero. This cover has some depth to it and I appreciate that.
WTF? Covers of the Week
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.
Dave: I’m a big fan of Romita Jr.’s, but this cover rubs me the wrong way for a few different reasons. Most notably that motorcycle has got to be a scooter if it’s proportionate to the little girl…yet it looks like a motorcycle. The smoke gives me a Purple Rain vibe and the sword makes me think she needs a crutch. This is a spin off from the Kick-Ass series, attempting to convey a badass Hit-Girl…and failing miserably.
Brendan: Those proportion are fucked. Hit-Girl’s head rivals Hector Hammond and her torso needs to be filled out something fierce. I also don’t like the position of her right foot behind the bike. It doesn’t make sense for the pose. I suppose she could be on one of those hip mini-bikes all the cool kids are revving up and down the street at all hours of the night. That might be the explanation for Dave’s baby motorcycle problem.
Earth 2 #2
Dave:Every single Earth 2 cover from issue #1 to issue #4 has a hero screaming like a madman. I find it comical if you Google them and look at them side by side. In this instance, he’s screaming because there’s a bunch of rats on him. Grow up, baby! Sure they look semi-mutant, but please, this is the silliest cover of the week. You’re the Flash, just stomp on them going 200 mph and call it a day!
Brendan:Hey man, those rats look like they give one hell of a chomp. I wouldn’t want to be bitten by one, let alone a dozen, all at once. This cover again falls into the Flash paradox of “how did those rats even catch up to Jay to bite him? How fast can a rat be?” We just have to recall that we’re trying to sell comics here. Those babies aren’t going to move by throwing on the same few shots of Flash nonchalantly sprinting away from any enemy.
Dial H #2
Brendan: This isn’t your typical WTF because in truth I actually like the cover a lot. Having said that, What the fuck am I even looking at? This new cast of characters is both all types of intriguing and incredibly weird. Toxic clown vampire? Jesus lion scorpion? Captain Pelican? I want to know what the hell is going on here!
Dave: It’s China Miéville’s world and we’re just livin’ in it. In this case we’re literally reading it. This book is all about a guy who can change into different heroes by the use of a telephone booth. It appears those heroes are a weird lot. I’m a big fan of any book that plays around with what a superhero is. With this and Before Watchmen hitting the shelves this week I think I’ll be spoiled in this category.