Welcome to another installment of our Cover Critique! We’ll be looking at some the damn fine drawings that grace the fronts of our favorite titles, as well at gasping in horror at some of the more ill conceived products that somehow made it past the editor’s table.
Brendan: Adam Hughes has made quite the name for himself by drawing purty ladies, and this cover is a perfect example of why he stands out. What I really like about this cover, aside from it being a bit more elegant than some of his more cheesecakey work, is the great use of color and shading. The purples used have amazing depth and range and the soft peachy fleshtones really make our gal come alive. This is just a classy piece of art.
Dave: I really love the use of flower petals as the base of this cover. They add to the softness of the woman and her flowing sheet. The red flair in her hair, which tapers off towards the top right adds a nice warmth to it as well.
Dave: I loves me this color palette. Sign me up for anything using the fall foliage motif. The Jack O’Lantern’s flaming head frames Venom quite nicely, but also allows some nice purples to infest his costume. The explosion coming off his gun and orange outline to the webbing draw the viewer’s eyes nicely from left to right. It’s an extremely busy cover, one might say too busy, although I see it as action packed. For me the chaos is brought together with the resolute and calm Venom aiming his weapon with his eyes peering through the sight.
Brendan: This cover has some great action. I also enjoy the heat that comes with the colors. I think Venom’s colors aren’t too shabby either. I especially like the monstrous maw that our guy seems to be falling into. There’s a great sense of dread that comes with this cover.
Brendan’s Honorable Mentions
Godzilla Half Century War #1
Brendan: I love the concept of this cover. We have a decimated city, a raging titan looming in the distance, and one hopeless man. It really gives you a sense of what utter horror could occur if there ever was such a monster unleashed upon us.
Dave: I’m glad to see James Stokoe branching out to other books other than Orc Stain. We saw it with his work on the kickstarter book Sullivan’s Sluggers and here he is again blowing our corneas out. I don’t think there’s an artist alive who can be as detailed as Stokoe while maintaining such a resolute focus on its subjects.
Brendan: This cover is super cool. I love the lighting effects as well as Batman’s lightning cape. I find it interesting that this is yet another cover that depicts Bats with a messianic halo surrounding his head. What are you trying to tell us, DC?
Dave: Alright! Out of sight! Batman is being powered up! Luckily he’s not getting the red rings of death here. I love the idea of his cape as the lightning although I am getting a faint Tron feel.
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #2
Brendan: This cover is kinda trippy. It actually took me a few moments to even realize what was being depicted. I love the warped visions of some of our favorite Marvel heroes as well as the cold, lifeless eyes on Deadpool’s mask. It’s funny how something that is normally so lighthearted and comical can also be drawn so disturbingly.
Dave: I’m a tad confused by this cover. Are we seeing into Deadpool’s head or is it a reflection of the madness he’s bringing to the Marvel universe? I do like the trippy feel and the look on Deadpool’s eyes which conveys…conscientiousness? Whatever it is it’s a nice way to show a relationship between he and the characters.
The Massive #3
Brendan: You just gotta love that depth. Every piece of real estate on this cover is utilized. The use of dark, earthy coloring in the foreground that transitions to cold, icy colors in the back really lets you take in everything this cover has to offer.
Dave: I like that pixelated blast coming from the AK-47. Spears vs. guns. Spear wins.
Dave’s Honorable Mentions
Dave: Frankly this should be my pick of the week, but its lack of action knocked it down a bit. For what it’s worth this cover is probably better when it comes to composition. That solitary mutant frog, such a small and fragile thing, is at once harmonic yet out of place. The hulking mass of the structure seems to cry out, “I am here and I am artificial” yet the frog don’t care. Never.
Brendan: I love the sense of solace that comes with this cover. There’s also some great contrast between the ever-encompassing dystopian surroundings when compared the the tiny, lively frog-man. It’s very cool.
Dave: This cover could be hung on a museum wall with ease. Not only does it make a statement but it’s downright textbook in quality. The texture of the coat, the blast of the gun as the blank unpainted canvas and the bullet casings…oh man this is a good cover.
Brendan: This cover is nothing but quality. I completely agree with Dave. It would be just as likely see this painting on the wall of a museum instead of on a comic cover. I think it’s awesome.
Before Watchmen Ozymandias #2 (of 6)
Dave: How the hell did this get through censors over at DC Comics? I suppose the erotic asphyxiation could be implied… but Ozymandias is clearly not fighting this. His arms wrapping around her legs actually show a man wanting it. I love the creepiness of the mask on this woman and the utter surrender in the heroes face. It conveys the mental state of our “hero” and potentially a moment where he wasn’t as heroic.
Brendan: This cover is pretty great. It could be a bit uncomfortable for the parents of younger readers, but for us desensitized slobs this is pretty tame. I think the figures are fantastic and there is a great creepiness factor with the whole BSDM angle.
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.
Storm Rider #2
Brendan: Mr. Seetoo has a serious case of the howdoIdrawfaces. That guy up in the top left corner looks like he’s pooping unexpectedly and our lady(?) with the gun looks almost like she has the Crossed grin going on. There are some good things about this cover, namely the fantasy BG and the general anatomy of the bodies but those faces just make me think he just gave up.
Dave: Somebody get Rich a book on how to draw facial expressions or for that matter a book on why humans have facial expressions at all.
Avengers Assemble #6
Dave: Wow… this cover… let me count the ways. Let’s start with the setting. Why are they floating in space, especially considering most of these characters have no propulsion? They’re going to sort of just float around and die by my estimation. Then we have Cap sort of posing for no apparent reason, Moondragon appears to be lining up her blade to kill Star-Lord and Bug is somehow behind Star-Lord… yet he should be very tiny and therfore in front of him. He’s holding onto an arrow right? I guess it’s a giant arrow. Hulk has his best poop face and Black Widow looks bored while floating aimlessly.
I understand you want to show off all the heroes in the issue but give them something to do at least.
Brendan: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this cover. It’s just your generic super-team pose that happens to be in front of a shot of space. Overall I think that there’s a lot of great stuff here. The figures are pretty spot on and while there may be some distance and proportion issues I don’t think it really hurts anything. It’s just another generic comic book cover.
Creator Owned Heroes #3
Brendan: Okay, so aesthetically there is nothing wrong with this cover. In fact, I like it very much. Having said that, it is so grossly improbable for that many firearms to be shooting at that woman without having a single bullet hit that I am completely removed from the experience. It just makes no damned sense! The fifth gun from the left is a god damned mini gun! That girl should be left a tattered rag on the floor.
Dave: You know, I’m not so annoyed by the guns missing so much as the fact that they’re all impossibly close to each other. These bad guys must be holding the guns with one arm outstretched while linked together romantically like Michael Biehn teaching Sigourney Weaver to fire a M41A1 Pulse Rifle in Aliens. Flip this cover around and it’d look mighty silly. Her shots will actually hit with more accuracy with them all lumped together. Idiot bad guys.