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Judging by the Cover – 01/15/19 new releases

Chris shares his 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 comics editor Chris Coplan.

Teen Titans #38

Cover by Bernard Chang

While it’s a series I haven’t kept up with, Adam Glass and Bernard Chang’s run on Teen Titans has delivered some really great covers as of late. This one, in particular, feels like a combination of the Teen Titans cartoon mixed with some of Tom Raney’s work from Outsiders in the early-ish 2000s. But there’s also something darker here, and Chang provides a depth and minimalism that’s especially stirring.

Venom: The End #1

Cover by Rahzzah

As I remarked either 1 or 700 weeks ago, Marvel’s The End stories are interesting enough. It’s a way to fast forward to some new part of a character’s life and make us question all of our understandings and assumptions. With Venom, it’s nice to see some interesting blend of evolution (peep the neat-o helix sigil deal) and his continued growth into dummy thicc space demon. Because if you’re gonna tell a story over 1 trillion years, let it be a little daring.

Transformers #16

Variant Cover by Hazen Becker

I’ll be honest: I have zero interest in anything Transformers unless it’s a cartoon or, gasp, even the movies. Because if I can’t see them transform in real-time, then it all feels a little pointless. Unless, of course, there’s this cover, which hints at a certain kind of nostalgia that tickles my brain in the best way. It also makes me want to play the first Prince of Persia (on Apple II, FYI), but that’s probably best left for another kind of article.

SfSx #5

Cover by Tula Lotay

Besides the fact I love the story and themes of SfSx, I’m a little scared as issue #5 introduces a new artist in Jen Hickman. Luckily, we still have the uber talented Tula Lotay on covers, and this one is a real gold-plated winner. She manages to capture both the inherent coolness, sense of inclusion, and sexual diversity all in one dynamic image. Oh, and did I mention it sort of looks like the best Britpop album ever? ‘Cause it does.

Avengers #29

Cover by Ed McGuinness

As a rule, Ed McGuinness should be mandated to do at least 1 comic cover every week (if he already doesn’t). Because there’s few people who manage the blend of bombastic and thoughtful as McGuinness. This Avengers cover is the leather-bound love-child of the ’90s Ultraforce cartoon, American anime, and a modern version of the classic Heavy Metal. I want to be 14 again and slap this cover up on my bedroom wall, pronto.

Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy #2

Cover by Tonci Zonjic

Because it’s Jeff Lemire, I bought this book immediately. Yet for some reason I haven’t actually read it yet ’cause money is clearly an arbitrary construct. That said, Tonci Zonjic’s excellent cover has me rethinking all my decisions. I don’t know exactly what’s going on here, but I want nothing more that to understand the story and admire this cover for a few hours. It’s the sort of work that grabs you by the lapels and demands your undying interest. Now excuse me as I power through issue #1.

Legion of Super-Heroes #3

Cover by Ryan Sook

I’ve mostly fallen in love with Jordie Bellaire’s work in coloring Pretty Deadly: The Rat. And while this Legion of Super-Heroes book is the first time I’ve paid much attention to her work with the Big 2 , I’ve got to say she does even better work with the caped crowd. Yes, it’s Ryan Sook’s art on the cover, but it’s Bellaire’s coloring that drives home that combination of humanity and otherworldliness, intensity and playfulness. I mean, just look at the nuclear-level aw-shucks on Superboy’s face.

Ruins Of Ravencroft: Sabretooth #1

Cover by Gerardo Sandoval

is that Wolverine depicted on this cover? Sure, seems likely. Is it actually Sabretooth dressed up as his rival/brother/BFF? That could also be the case (and one I’d sell my first born for to be true). But regardless, this cover has attacked the parts of my brain for reason and reality, and I am deeply and truly in love with it. Long hail Wolvertooth!

Over My Dead Body

Cover by Jacob Phillips

It’s a rare thing to be able to do a truly great pulp cover. You’ve got to achieve that perfect balance of retro-flavored cheesiness, minor-key absurdity, and actual grit and depth. Jacob Phillips’ cover does wonders, and the whole thing feels like this beautiful homage to the genre, to the point I’m not entirely convinced this wasn’t a paperback cover ripped from 1948. Does it also help the story’s from the beloved Near Death series? Sure, but man oh man, is this cover pulling serious weight.

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