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Judging by the Cover – 12/26/18 new releases

Forrest and Eric share their favorite covers from this week’s new comic book releases.

Most comic book fans have a pretty good idea 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 contributor Forrest Hollingsworth and Manga Editor Eric Cline’s attention this week.

Forrest’s Picks:

Bone Parish #5
Cover art by Lee Garbett

BOOM! Studios

This cover bleeds (heh, literally) a sleek simplicity that I love. Everything here is in a nuanced, powerful balance between the dark backdrop of the tree, the more striking detailing of the alligator, and the touches of white, black, and red throughout. Given what I know about Bone Parish, I very much doubt that this little vignette has anything to do with the story inside, but it’s a slight, effective piece of visual storytelling all on its own and I think that’s a fantastic type of cover, too.

The Superior Spider-Man #1
Cover art by Mike Hawthorne

Marvel Comics

While there have been a lot of Spider-Man on a city backdrop covers over the years, I think this one really stands out, and I actually prefer it to the main cover for the launch of this story because it captures the unique energy of this sometimes-hero. Otto Octavius, the eponymous Superior Spider-Man himself, waxed poetic and intellectual about his relationship with New York and its people more than a handful of times in the original Superior run, and was eventually swayed a bit by the pressures of the responsibility for all those lives. Now, in a new city, San Francisco, we see him cast – sharply – against the skyline in a kind of stern but hesitant demeanor that really encapsulates his character. There’s a good balance between the relative emptiness of the night sky mirrored by the black of Otto’s suit, contrasted with the busyness of the city itself and the upper, red portions of the Spider as well – I just like everything about this cover.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1956 #2
Cover art by Dave Johnson

Dark Horse Comics

There’s a number of visual elements here that could get out of hand quickly: the bottle, the shot glass, limes, several faces, silhouettes, a garish-ass gold skull. Nevertheless, Johnson does a great job of keeping everything balanced and evenly weighted in such an effective way that it all comes together quite nicely. I like the textures here – the subtle grime of whatever table the bottle is set on, the sheen of Hellboy’s glass prison, the shading of the long, wide shadow cast into the upper portion – it’s a great exercise in form and function.

Eric’s Picks:

Man-Eaters #4
Cover art by Lia Miternique

Image Comics

What a great encapsulation of cats: adorable yet ferocious. The contrast between the cat’s unbothered expression and the presumed blood stain is awesome. The eyes’ heterochromia is also striking, especially against the stark white fur. The composition is great, too. The placement of all the text is clean and doesn’t get in the way of the main focus: that intense gaze.

X-Force #1
Cover art by Gerardo Zaffino

Marvel Comics

There are multiple solid X-Force covers this week, but this one’s my favorite. That’s mainly due to this piece’s sense of momentum–the heroes are blazing on, guns firing and blades unsheathed, just as one expects from X-Force. The color palette is also a great fit for the team, with the muted grays and blues contrasting the bold red of the backdrop.

Survival Fetish #5
Cover art by Antonio Fuso

Black Mask Studios

I really dig the interesting composition choices here. By and large this cover is simple, but it also does something I’ve never seen any other book do: it manages to incorporate a synopsis on the front, and it does so in a way that actually works. The layout is nice and clean so the image doesn’t look too busy, and the short paragraph actually builds interest for the story. This cover gets major points for uniqueness.

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