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Judging by the Cover – 11/27/19 new releases

Dave, Nathan, and Chris 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.”

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In that spirit, here are the covers that captured our attention this week, with entries from media and content manager Dave Brooke, writer Nathan Simmons, and comics editor Chris Coplan.

Dave’s Picks

X-Force #2

Variant Cover by Gerardo Zaffino

I talk about this cover on the Comics Podcast and it’s definitely my favorite of the week. The feral nature of how these characters look, the chaos going surrounding them, and the blood splatter caking the scene are incredible. This is cover that seems to suggest Beast and Wolverine prefer violence and they’re loving it.

Batgirl #41

Variant Cover by Terry Dodson

I love the play between the bright yellow striped background and Batgirl’s cape. Mix in the reflective stripes on the batarangs and there are pleasing lines throughout the cover.

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1

Cover by John Paul Leon

This is a great cover due to layering. From the red backdrop to the trees to Constantine lighting a cigarette and illuminating his face, and finally to the gravestone, your eye plays with the purpose and meaning between the background and foreground. There’s some excellent framing here too and the overall atmosphere is stunning.

Nathan’s Picks

The Crow: Hark the Herald #1

Cover by Tim Seeley

I’m a sucker for comic book Christmas specials and I love The Crow. Plus, there’s already an air of Dickensian ghosts to the series, so I’m a little surprised this one wasn’t already on my radar! Regardless, this cover immediately grabbed my eyeballs. Seeing her leaving a trail of blood with her own sack of goodies put a chill in me in all the right ways. The snowy landscape is a striking image that calls to mind some of the black and white artwork from the original series (and the black and white variant of this cover is a beaut as well). I’m excited to pick this one up!

Punisher 2099 #1

Variant Cover by Steve Epting

I love Steve Epting’s art and I’ve always gotten a kick out of Punisher 2099. While previews are hinting that the Punisher here isn’t the wonderfully named Jake Gallows from the original series (though Gallows does play a role in this story), it’s great to see Jake on this cover. The pose and shading bring to mind classic Punisher tales like Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson’s Punisher: P.O.V., which seals the deal on the nostalgic excitement for me!

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1

Variant Cover by Charlie Adlard

This is my most anticipated comic of the week, and this variant cover increased the hype for me 400%! It looks about as classic Vertigo Hellblazer as you can get. I love the juxtaposition between the bright city lights and the darkened alleyways John Constantine calls home. I also quite like how much room was devoted to the smoke curling up from his cigarette. You can almost hear the gears turning in JC’s brain as he stares into the middle distance with a poisoned smirk on his face, unaware of (or undisturbed by) the demonic shadow cast over him.

Chris’ Picks

Venom #20

Cover by Kyle Hotz

In his rather excellent run on Venom, writer Donny Cates has done a lot to expand and add depth to Eddie Brock’s character and overarching mythos. He’s also tackled the “Absolute Carnage” event around the same time, shedding new light on Carnage and casting the naughty symbiote in exciting new lights. Both of these events together have not only been damn fine stories, but unlocked all sorts of new visual potential for artists. Kyle Hotz’s cover feels like either the must disgusting album cover ever, or your average Tinder profile pic. Either way, it strikes at the convergence of these two events, and all their storytelling potential, with true subtlety and prowess.

Fallen Angels #2

Cover by Ashley Witter

If you haven’t heard, Marvel is having a field day with all things mutant related. But even among X-Men and Excalibur, Fallen Angels feels extra special. It feels like this company’s version of The Outsiders, the unloved and underappreciated heroes cast together for a “covert” mission. And Ashley Witter’s cover reflects just that: a story about heroes and warriors driven by their desire to fight ever onward, banded together against the odds to battle because that’s all they really know. Godspeed, Angels.

Killadelphia # 1

Cover by Jason Shawn Alexander

Before even word one, Killadelphia has loads of promise. You’ve got art by Jason Shawn Alexander (Spawn), plus a script penned by Rodney Barnes (Starz’s American Gods). And I didn’t even mention there’s vampires galore! But it’s Alexander’s cover for issue #1 that really stands out, striking at the grief and agony of hero James Sangster Jr. as he comes home to bury his dad. There’s also this look of uncertainty, a kind of unlikely hero quality, that makes this mystery feel all the more resonant.

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