Welp, thanks to Christmas we’ve been shorted on comic releases, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a good amount of covers to peruse! Due to variants this little weekly column has plenty to chew on (even if there’s ten single issue purchases). Instead of choosing the best and the worst covers we’ll critique all of em; lucky you. Oh—as always—don’t forget to check out the release list at the bottom. First up is Amazing Spider-Man #700 and ALL of its covers!
Amazing Spider-Man #700
Dave: Oh coooool, I used to do this in elementary school. Or was it college? Either way, I like the effect, although I’m really not sure why Venom is in this. He’s not even in the issue…or is he?! MUST BUY NOW! ← Exact thought process Marvel is trying to invoke.
Brendan: I think this is a very cool and well done effect. I love the peekaboo Carnage and man spider in the red section. There are a lot of great hidden gems in this cover, as long as you have to time to squint through and find them.
Dave: I like the concept here, but I don’t see the point, really. I guess the bigger names were more influential? Is that why Ditko and Lee are so large? Either way, nice typographics in concept, but not sure on execution.
Brendan: I’m less interested in the names on the buildings (I do agree with the idea of bigger = more important) and more interested in the “vertical horizon” design of this cover. It gives us enough space to really appreciate the New York skyline, and I think if it were done the normal way it would have fallen very short.
Brendan: My favorite part of this cover is the longing in Aunt May’s demeanor. Her lost expression really portrays the toll that Peter’s “job” has on his life, whether with friends or family. My only critique of this otherwise excellent cover is how much the titular billboard stands out. It looks very pasted on, and could have used some alternate lighting effects.
Dave: This might be my favorite cover of the week. Just love the idea of the snow, mixed with Spidey fighting and yet…he can’t be with his friends and family enjoying a drink. Plus the diner is a classic look.
Dave: Never did much like Quesada’s heavily-inked work and while we’re only getting half of the wraparound…I’m glad. The mask doesn’t look right and it’s rather boring. It’s kinda neat how the city is upside down though.
Brendan: Yeah, this cover doesn’t have much going for it. The oddified perspective is fairly neat, but outside of that it simply looks like a zoomed in shot of a standard Spidey panel.
Brendan: Man, they are laying it on thick with the tower gimmicks this week, aren’t they? No lie, Ramos is probably my favorite Spidey artist, and one of the creators that altered my view of comics from character-driven to creator-driven. When I think of Spidey, I think of Ramos.
Dave: Humberto is making a name as one of the best Spidey artists ever. The man simply draws the perfect elastic Spider-Man with plenty of energy in his lines. Nice job here.
Dave: The city is a moving and the Spidey is a groovin’. My only issue with this cover is that the webs coming off that left hand look like semen…moving on!
Brendan: Here is another cover that, like the Queseda cover, doesn’t really do much outside of portray Spidey in a way we’ve seen 1,000 times before. There is some great detail going on in the city, but there is nothing very interesting that would make me pick this comic up.
Avenging Spider-Man (2011) #15.1
Brendan: I love this idea. The reflections on Doc’s tentacles are the reflections of his past and the torn costume hints at the dangers within.
Brendan: Sigh…whether you know the spoilers or not for Amazing Spider-Man #700, this is a rather bittersweet cover. At once it shows the stupidity of Doc Ock throughout his villainy, but the torn costume only hints at the possibility of him getting the better of Webhead.
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #4 (of 4)
Dave: Somebody needs to stop playing with lighter fluid! I do like the flames, although the characters look terribly weak and not very heroic. “Pathetic” is the word I’m looking for.
Brendan: This cover is a bit extreme in the “how would they ever survive this” category. I mean, they have Rosch chained up and on fire. That isn’t something that one would recover from quickly, even by superhero standards. Perhaps there is some deeper allegory that I am making a point of missing.
Dave: Love the scrape and the strong look on the female’s face. Nice balance of strength and vulnerability. The costume has an Aeon Flux fluidity I dig and the shapes at left really pull you in.
Brendan: I am in love with the strong pencil work throughout, from the minor details of her jacket to the etched cityscape behind her. The good ol’ red, black and blue color scheme was an excellent choice as well.
Hip Flask Ourborous
Brendan: Despite the WTF vibe, this cover is incredibly interesting. How could you not pick it up?
Dave: I really need to get me one of those tentacle hats. Just sayin’.
Shadow Special #1
Dave: Whatever Alex Ross is taking to reach his LSD trip of the last decade he really needs to stop. What happened to the iconic covers that took your breath away? This thing is equal parts weird and groovy. Either way…very odd.
Brendan: I think Ross’ problem is that he is attempting to experiment with his art while still maintaining that Alex Ross Standard. His classic works in Kingdom Come and Marvels has basically pigeonholed him into this one definition of what Alex Ross art should be. It’s a shame because you can kind of see the artist trying to break free from this preset definition, but his only outlet at the moment is noxious neons.
Dave: That awkward moment you walk into a room and realize people are in the middle of sexing it up. Always awkward, always phone camera worthy! Except for maybe this…odd scene. Those dudes sure are loving each other, but why the hell is Voltron posing like that? It’s like he’s going, “yeah I’m down with the gay guys. You dig?!”
Brendan: I think the blue dude is a lady, Dave. Although, as my police record will show, I have been wrong before.
Crossed Badlands #20
Brendan: Yay Crossed covers! We normally make a point of not reviewing these covers because it is the equivalent of acknowledging a misbehaving child. Some people are just trying to get a rise out of society, and because of that they feel the need to draw topless biker cannibals riding maimed torture victims.
Previously I wouldn’t have thought that was anyone’s cup of tea, but if it happens to be yours then go for it. Live your dream.
Dave: Two points I’d like to make. 1) The mileage that chick above is going to get out of the screaming bleeding man is a joke. She should be riding a fatty man. Everyone knows that. 2) Why aren’t there more limbs dangling/lacerated on the second cover? Caceres isn’t even trying!
Dave: Love that Boom is doing something new, not so sure about their cover artist though. The victim does have a very scary look and the angle is properly dramatic, but the faux gangster, side-turned gun—as well as this cover’s inability to tell you much about anything—is disappointing.
Brendan: Portacio seems to have gone to the Leifeld school of drawing. All he must do now is complete the ritual and finalize his deal with the devil so that he may continue working in comics for many years to come, much like his mentor.
Brendan: This wrap around is bad ass. There’s tons of action, some great character design and plenty attention to detail. This is a comic cover I would pick up that warrants a peek inside.
Dave: Now this is what I’m talking about. When I see the title says “Deathmatch,” I want me some death and I want me some matches. You get plenty of both. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, be it the giant monster dude at left, or the the dude getting speared off cover at top right. Nicely done.
Dave: Just imagine this cover 50 years ago. Blood on the hero’s chin!? Blasphemy! It’s a nice touch anyway. I do like the waves curling around the cover and the Aquaman pose, while a bit goofy, is still dramatic.
Brendan: Has this not been the cover of Aquaman since issue 1? Aquaman with a trident fighting an evil dude whilst knee deep in some water? I mean, from what I’ve read DC has done a great job rebooting A-man into something worth reading, but these covers are getting grossly two dimensional.
Justice League #15
Dave: Oh goody…another cover of the heroes rushing the viewer. How original. For a “team” they sure don’t know strategy do they? Also, is Supes giving us a “I’ll call you when your mom goes to bed” look? Eh maybe it’s just me. Call me maybe?
Brendan: I wonder how these covers get pitched during meetings.
“What do we have for the cover of JL#15?”
“Oh, I haven’t done anything yet. I’ll whip up a generic team splash while I have my morning coffee tomorrow.”
“Yeah, that’s fine I guess.”
These covers are getting more and more passionless. I know that you need to have all members present in order to sell the book, but can we at least make it interesting?
Justice League #15 Variant
Brendan: See? Now this is interesting! I am in love with this cover. It takes your standard team set up and places it in a non-standard environment. We get to see that yeah, Supes, Bats and Flash are all present and accounted for, but it isn’t boring.
I really love everything about this cover, even when considering Dave’s agreeable reservations. Something about the light colors, shadows, and excellent composition blows my mind. This is a cover to hang on your wall.
Dave: So it’s obvious this is an homage to The Great Wave off Kanagawa only with heroes! That aside I like the pastel quality to the cover.
NOW FOR THE NEGATIVES.
Why is Batman jumping INTO the wave with the helpless boy? You want to drown him you dick?! Why is Wonder Woman wearing a Pampers? Why is Flash running into the water? Suicide on the mind? Why is Aquaman flailing his arms rather than aiding anyone, can’t he swim? Oh and nice job Superman, I know you’ve seen kids punching waves on beaches up and down the coast but it doesn’t actually hurt the waves. Only pee does. Everyone knows that!
I also love how there’s a random lion statue taking up as much room as the heroes. WTF?
Comics Being Released This Week
This is a cleaned up list via ComicList.com. Comic availability subject to change.
- Avatar Press
- Crossed Badlands #20, $3.99
- BOOM! Studios
- Deathmatch #1 $1.00
- Dynamite Entertainment
- Shadow Special #1 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $4.99
- DC COMICS
- Aquaman #15, $2.99
- Before Watchmen Nite Owl #4 (Of 4), $3.99
- Justice League #15, $3.99
- Image Comics
- Hip Flask Ourborous, $4.99
- Mara #1 (Of 6), $2.99
- MARVEL COMICS
- Amazing Spider-Man #700(Last Issue), $7.99
- Avenging Spider-Man #15.1, $2.99