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Judging by the Cover – 1/16/19 new releases

JJ 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 Event Coordinator JJ Travers and Manga Editor Eric Cline’s attention this week.

JJ’s Picks:

Evolution #13
Cover art by Joe Infurnari

Image Comics

It feels like someone dipped this into a bucket of liquid ’80s and pulled out something straight from my youth. One look at the monster on the cover and I’m thrown back to a time of monster manuals, Lovecraft-inspired horror flicks, and eldritch horrors that my friends and I battled in my parent’s basement. The creature is creepy, gross, unique, and looks like something straight out of From Beyond — in short I love it. The neon border encasing the image, with the neon title against the black background, really makes the monster and series title pop off the page. What an awesome design.

Deadly Class #36
Cover art by Wes Craig & Jordan Boyd

Image Comics

Deadly Class has received a lot of attention recently thanks to the upcoming adapted television series on SyFy. But artist Wes Craig isn’t about to let you forget where the series started. This man is a huge part of why this comic now has a television show, and with one look at this cover it’s easy to understand why. I also have to give big props to colorist Jordan Boyd, his choices here are perfect. At first look the colors grab your eyes and stick them on Marcus and Master Lin, then allow you to slowly take in the rest of the image. Craig has me feeling like I’m observing the end of a vision quest taking place at the end of the world, where our hero is either going to end up joining the bones beneath the Earth or majorly leveling up.

The Batman Who Laughs #2
Cover art by Jock

DC Comics

Series artist Jock has a style that combines clean crisp lines with jagged and downright messy ones, and it works wonderfully here. The eye-spikes on The Batman Who Laughs are clean and sharp; they feel dangerous. But drop down an inch or two to his mouth and there’s suddenly a feral creature smiling back at you with a mouth full of broken, uneven teeth and jerky lines. The Grim Knight showcases another one of Jock’s many strong points: his ability to negative space– which, when used with a character that encapsulates darkness and the color black, is a match made in heaven. The Batman Who Laughs and The Grim Knight– two of the most interesting and compelling characters within the DC Universe on the same cover together. Who wouldn’t pick up this comic?

Eric’s Picks:

The Amazing Spider-Man #13
Cover art by Phil Noto

Marvel Comics

What a nice homage to perhaps the most forgotten era of Marvel’s history. Hard as it is to belief, there really was a time when the company’s line consisted of nothing but genre oddities: big bizarre monsters and several young cowboys. Noto does a great job capturing the monsters’ humorous, big-eyes faces, along with the cowboys’ attitudes. The choices of poses are also good; they really capture the western genre’s sense of dramatic tension.

Uncanny X-Men #10
Cover art by Ron Lim & Israel Silva

Marvel Comics

Yet another fun homage, this time to Jim Steranko’s cover for Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (1968) #1. The composition is as fun here as it was back then, and the faces on the cubes are a cool surrealistic touch. The background gradient from pink to blue is also visually pleasing. All in all, this is one of the current Uncanny’s best covers so far.

Venom #10
Cover art by Humberto Ramos

Marvel Comics

Even if this Conan-themed variant doesn’t reflect the issue’s contents, I like that Ramos actually incorporated Venom into it. And boy do these two make a cool combination! Conan squaring off against a gigantic, monstrous symbiote? That’s super cool, and Ramos’ style is a great fit for this fight. Venom looks especially great, as Ramos captures the character’s liquid body, drooling tongue, and maw full of sharp teeth. It’s just rad.

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