Most comic book fans have a pretty good idea of what they’re going to buy every week when they visit their local comic shop. With that said, there’s still a lot of fun to be had just glancing at the week’s new releases and taking a chance on a book that looks promising. That’s where covers come in-a fantastic image can make the difference between trying something new or saying, “Nah, not this week.”

In that spirit, here are the covers that captured Gaming Editor Patrick Hellen and Manga Editor Eric Cline’s attention this week.

Patrick’s Picks:

Black Bolt #11
Art by Christian Ward

The color and the lighting completely sell this one for me. The subtle light spray from the gaping mouth, the way it lights up and changes the color of BB’s suit, and the soft bubbles in the background all make this image explode and that sickly green background adds another full layer of oddity here. That green also just makes the entire scene explode forward, jumping into your view.

One other great piece here is Bolt’s expression. BB looks like he’s trying to pass a bowling ball, neck straining and veins a popping. The sheer intensity of his grimace and how hard he’s pulling are only magnified by how he has to do it all silently – adding another layer of power to that grimace.

Batman: White Knight #6
Art by Sean Murphy

This variant of White Knight #6 is head and shoulders cooler than the original. Batgirl and Nightwing, motorcycle leathers as costume, with a distinct character angle that reminds me of Paul Pope’s Batman Year 100? Hell to the yes.

Also, while Batgirl’s duds are certainly reminiscent of the latest redesign, the Nightwing with leather jacket shown here is quite possibly the best reimagining of Dick’s outfit since the chest-hair webcollar of old. This looks functional and badass, and far more reasonable than the normal blue-black body stocking.

The yellow overwash, and the teeny tiny Batsignal in the background are all just window dressing–making this moment about these two, and not the overshadowing caped growl-cowl who usually gets top billing. Can I get a series about Nightwing and Batgirl, just zipping around and stopping crooks?

Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack #6
Art by Michael Adams, Portrait by Marco D’Alfonso

Big Trouble in Little China has been a mainstay in my life for nearly 3 decades. My parents didn’t think TV was a bad influence on kids, and figured I was smart enough to stop watching something if it scared me. With that hands-off approach, I spent many a Saturday at my Grandma’s house, devouring HBO and TMC for every cult classic they had.

I’ve probably seen Big Trouble 20 times on cable and VHS, and my wife took me to see it in the theatres right before our first son was born, so seeing this as the variant made me immediately pick it. The three storm spice shakers? Brilliant. The chef’s hat on top of the head-dress? Well done.

I’d be more likely to buy this as an action figure than the comic, but the creativity here, and the attention to detail is impressive as hell. Bravo for them sending this out as the subscription variant too, to give the people putting their money down for the oldest form of comic collecting the best version.

Eric’s Picks:

Iceman #11
Art by Kevin Wada

Just looking at this cover makes me feel nostalgic, and the issue hasn’t even come out yet. I’m sad Iceman is ending, but Kevin Wada’s done a great job calling back to its various characters and moments. I like the fractured background combined with all the smiling faces; Bobby’s struggles are alluded to, but there’s still a sense of hope present. I especially appreciate the prominent placements of Judah, Professor X, and Bobby’s ex-teammates from the Champions.

Gideon Falls #1
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

I’m a big fan of zoomed-out city shots, and this one does something I’ve never seen before. I don’t know how Andrea Sorrentino imbued a bunch of buildings and roads with emotion, but he did. This is an image-as-another-image that doesn’t feel forced at all; the layout of the city as a body is composed in a way that makes complete sense. Really nice work.

She-Hulk #163
Art by Rahzzah

What a beautiful mixture of the past and present. I tend to tire of homage covers easily, but this one by Rahzzah really works. The angle is great, the shading and the spotlight are great, and the puzzle motif–though perhaps cliche–is beautifully executed. Sometimes cliches are okay–this one, for instance, is a perfect fit given the current She-Hulk series’ ongoing preoccupation with Jen’s picking up the pieces of her life and emotional health. Very cool.

Do you agree with these picks? Let us know in the comment space below!

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