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Comic Books

Judging by the Cover – 1/30/19 new releases

Forrest and Eric share their favorite covers from this week’s new comics.

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:

The Man Without Fear #5
Cover art by Gerardo Zaffino

Marvel

The Man Without Fear covers have been ranking high in my personal view since the miniseries’ debut, and this one is no different. First I was wowed by Kyle Hotz’s take on the masked Devil (still am, this week’s cover is equally great), then Declan Shalvey’s, and now Gerardo Zaffino’s. I love the pulpy simplicity of the elements here with similar tones like the red in Matt’s suit set against the red in the background, the same with the way the etched black blends into the fire escape, and especially the slightly askew title playing of that eye-catching spiral. You can easily get lost in a near monotone cover like this, but Zaffino finds a great and enticing balance between varied penciling and color that serves everything here really well.

Iron: Or, The War After TP
Cover art by Shane Michael-Vidaurri

Archaia

I don’t normally like to draw a sharp delineation between comics and novels (it’s usually reductive of one or the other medium and wastes time in pedantry, c’mon) but this cover is much more in line with something I would expect to find on a great English fantasy novel I’ve been meaning to read for ages than a comic. That’s intentional I’m sure, given the more prose akin name of the book itself, but it’s still not often that you see covers like this aside from those immaculate Hellboy and B.P.R.D. library collections. Strikingly simplistic, almost aged looking, and effectively mysterious, everything about this makes me want to see what’s within. That’s the best compliment a comic cover can be given, I think.

The Terminator: Sector War #3
Cover art by Tula Lotay

Dark Horse

If you had told me just a week ago that one of my favorite comic covers of 2019 thus far would be a Terminator cover, I uh…wouldn’t have believed you, but here we are. I can see being put off by the horizontal lines here, but I think they’re a really cool way to play with perspective! The police car looks angled as if its popped right up on a curb, our heroine’s shotgun almost looks nestled right across them, and the Terminator’s eyes– with their offset circular lines– offer a great piercing feature. Throw some of that fantastic pink and purple bisexual lighting on there and baby you’ve got a retro-ready stew going! I really like this.

Eric’s Picks:

Dead Man Logan #3
Cover art by Declan Shalvey

Marvel

I always like when art plays with the angle from which the viewer is looking at the subject matter. The upside down placement of the villains makes them all the more physically opposed to the heroes, plus it just plain looks cool. The color palette is very nice too, with the mostly muted tones and a few bold pops of red. A cool piece all around.

Detective Comics #997
Cover art by Jaime Mendoza

DC

I really appreciate the attention to small details present in the line-art here. From all the indentations in the ground to the several chains to the shadows of said chains, no portion of the image feels phoned in. Of course, the image of Batman all tied down immediately generates interest. How will he get out of this? Can he live up to the Mister Miracle mask he’s wearing?

Iron: Or, The War After TP
Cover art by Shane-Michael Vidaurri

Archaia

Wow. I think Forrest covered most of my thoughts already, but this cover is great. It has a very classic kid’s fantasy novel feel to it that I like. The composition is great, and the gold center pops extremely well against the black outer border. All in all, this cover gives off the impression that Vidaurri is crafting a journey well worth following.

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