Cover may be the most artistically compelling comic to be put on the stands in years.
Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack’s incredible series Cover continues this week with issue #3. In it we learn a bit more about the protagonist, the plot thickens, and the melding of art and life continues.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Cover goes to Paris as Max is sent to the iconic Angoulême International Comics Festival, where he is about to receive their highest award. But did he earn it…or is it all part of an international spy cover operation? As the worlds of spycraft and comics clash in ways Max could never have imagined, his life–and more importantly, his artwork–begin to collapse around him! Don’t miss the latest chapter of this fierce new comic by the Inkpot, Peabody and Eisner Award-winning talents of Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack (SUPERMAN, Kabuki, Jessica Jones)!
Why does this matter?
This book is a love letter to comics and art. David Mack is drawing some of the most interesting introspective scenes ever, commanding your eye while making you think. Bendis is writing a story that is interesting, but also thought-provoking. Together they are putting out a comic for the ages.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with Max’s samurai story that deals with father issues and the intense learning a child goes through to become a warrior. This bleeds into an astronaut tale, and then the interrogation scene of the last issue. There’s a blending of art and story that makes this issue dreamlike and compelling on a psychological level. There are new developments that develop the complexity of Max’s new spy life but also delve into the introspective person. As the story unfolds you’re learning things on multiple levels which makes the read rich.
The biggest takeaway from this issue for many is going to be four or so pages that delve into the beauty of cosplay and then being an artist of comics. This series is an espionage story melding the comics world which makes its diatribes into the comic industry natural and also a bit of a fan service. Then again, can anyone argue this has been done before? It’s a fun aside that many will relate to.
David Mack’s art continues to dazzle. There are so many art styles at play here like an oil painting with cut out to watercolor. At one point we cut away to another artist within the story who has an Erik Larsen or Walter Simonson look drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz that does a great job of showing how visual styles change the mood of the reader. This is a series that may leans into the art and celebrates it in ways I’ve never seen a comic take on.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Aside from a major reveal of who Max is up against, there isn’t much progress made in the plot. Max seems to be carrying on with the spy stuff, but it’s not clear why given the torture he went through. At this point, this reads like a great comic that allows the creators to express ideas on a palette, but I want to know where this palette is going. It’s in a bit of stasis as far as plot goes, and we’ve yet to get a sense of where it goes from here.
Is it good?
Cover may be the most artistically compelling comic to be put on the stands in years. If you like to read a comic that makes you think due to its visuals and dialogue, read this book!