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Judging by the Cover – 5/8/19 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 AiPT! Comics podcast co-host Forrest Hollingsworth and Manga Editor Eric Cline’s attention this week.

Forrest’s Picks:

Black Hammer: Age of Doom #10
Cover art by Dean Ormston 

Dark Horse Comics

Because you only get to do a primarily white cover every once in a while (they’re typically less interesting, less to work with, more prone to getting dirty, confused imagery, etc.) the best way to handle them is to lean into them hard, and boy, Ormston does here. I really love the way this cover plays around with negative space, both literally and figuratively. The expanse of white, a sharp contrast to the strictly contained literal outer space in the silhouette, the sharp cropping of the character’s face and the otherworldly elements thrown in with more traditional sci-fi fare — it’s a great mix of things that hits a strange, off-putting and still interesting spot just right.

Captain America #10
Cover art by Alex Ross

Marvel Comics

When is Alex Ross not good? Across books like SupermanTony Stark: Iron Man, and recent covers for The Immortal Hulk, Ross has set an impossibly high bar for himself — but this still stands among them easily. Evocative of quintessential Americana iconography, vintage and crisp, this is a singularly fantastic cover that speaks volumes not only about the artist, but the titular character and the book itself. There’s the red lines leading out of the central figure, presumably Cap, and the way they streak across the blue sky in parallel with the American flag. There’s the shield itself, creating a strong cut down the center of the cover that’s visually appealing but also gives the scene momentum and force, and keys you into who’s the bad guy and who’s the good guy here. And, more narrowly, there’s the bad guys, the riot police (for the purposes of a prison break in this issue). Railing against the police state is, of course, something Captain America would do, something that is quintessentially American, something straight from the pages of Coates’ script, and something terrifyingly as timely as it was during the times that this vintage pastiche calls back to. “No, you move.”

The Batman Who Laughs #5
Variant cover art by Viktor Kalvachev 

DC Comics

It’s genuinely surprising to me that the Batman Who Laughs didn’t take up this imagery sooner. When Batman is a heroic figure clad in all black, the way to make him seem off-kilter and unsettling is to make his antithesis, his ghastly mirror image, all white. It’s a complete and total success. The way the red, thick and velvety blood plays off of the whites and blacks elsewhere – punctured by two horns – and feeding into a kind of grotesque maw of a man’s mouth is really, really unsettling in a way that few straight up and down horror covers, let alone superhero covers, are. I’m here for it.

Eric’s Picks:

Wonder Woman #70
Variant cover art by Jenny Frison

DC Comics

Jenny Frison’s been doing nice variants on Wonder Woman for a while now, and this is one of the best yet. It’s just gorgeous. The colors look fantastic, and Diana’s pose is an elegant and interesting departure from the usual straight-on action shots you typically see on superhero covers.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch #2
Cover art by Veronica Fish

Archie Comics

What a nice, fun cover. The light blues and pinks are pleasing to look at and pop off each other well, and the composition is very well-thought-out. The line-work is nice and flowy, conveying the fun one expects from magic in a Sabrina series. Also: Salem!!

Sabrina the Teenage Witch #2
Variant cover art by Paulina Ganucheau

Archie Comics

Salem!! This cover speaks for itself; I really don’t need to explain why I picked it. That’s what we do here though, so I will anyway: Salem!!

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