Each Monday – in this case it’s Tuesday, because of the U.S. holiday — staff writers Kevin Melrose and Steve Sunu discuss their five favorite covers from the previous Wednesday’s new comic releases, selecting from among them CBR’s Cover of the Week.
This week, Peter Parker and Aunt May talk over pancakes, Black Manta goes head to head with Aquaman, Black Benny bangs the drums, Apocalypse goes all “Smallville,” and someone’s ringing for the butler in the crypt.
Keep reading for Kevin and Steve’s favorites from the week Aug. 29, and then discuss your choices in the CBR forums.
“Avenging Spider-Man” #11, by Chris Samnee and Javier Rodriguez (Marvel)
Superhero comics have a tendency to wallow in nostalgia, poking at childhood memories in an effort to connect with readers, to stir emotion. It’s a bit of a cheat but, hey, it frequently works. Chris Samnee plucks at those same heartstrings with the cover to “Avenging Spider-Man” #11, evoking a fondly remembered Silver Age with a Ditko-esque wall-crawler perched on a web-covered logo, watching the loving exchange between Peter Parker and Aunt May. It’s warm and comforting, much like that pancake breakfast on the table. — Kevin Melrose
“Aquaman” #12, by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado (DC Comics)
Ivan Reis and Joe Prado’s “Aquaman” cover is all about the detail beyond the central image. While it would be easy to focus on Black Manta racing toward the reader, there are a number of other, more subtle details at second glance. Aquaman’s reflection in Manta’s helmet shows of Reis and Prado’s great handle on composition, but it’s the inclusion of The Others drowning in the background that adds a sense of urgency to the inevitable clash between Aquaman and Black Manta. — Steve Sunu
“Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child” #6, by Rafael GrampÃ¡ (Vertigo)
With this penultimate issue, I’m reminded of why I’ll miss “Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child”: Rafael GrampÃ¡’s covers. For a story that delves into the origin of Dominique’s soul familiar, GrampÃ¡ depicts Black Benny gleefully banging away at the drums amid the seemingly smiling skulls – and an owl? – of a New Orleans cemetery. It’s weirdly joyful. — Kevin Melrose
“The New Deadwardians” #6, by INJ Culbard (Vertigo)
Speaking of weird, INJ Culbard delivers another cover for the Vertigo series that telegraphs the book’s genre and era without hitting us over the head with either. Here, he gives us a close-up of the servant bells – familiar to viewers of “Downton Abbey,” certainly – with the one for the crypt being rung. If it weren’t disturbing enough that a) there’s a bell in the crypt and/or b) that someone, or something, is ringing it, there’s the face of something decidedly undead reflected in the brass. — Kevin Melrose
COVER OF THE WEEK: “Uncanny X-Force” #30, by Jerome OpeÃ±a (Marvel)
Jerome OpeÃ±a works wonders on “Uncanny X-Force” covers, really nailing the subject matter of the issue inside. He depicts a scene not unlike what might have been shown in an episode of “Smallville” — a young Apocalypse, cloned by Fantomex and raised in a Clark Kent-like fashion, staring off into the distance among the wheatfields of Kansas, The idyllic scene would be impressive enough on its own, with OpeÃ±a ‘s fantastic line and detail work on both Apocalypse and the wheat in the foreground, but the artist raises the stakes by depicting an evilly smiling Shadow King in the clouds. The best part about the giant head of the evil mutant is the expression — OpeÃ±a nails the malevolent grin even while the face is composed of light, fluffy, autumn-colored clouds. — Steve Sunu