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Judging (DC’s April) Books By Their Covers

by  in Comic News Comment
Judging (DC’s April) Books By Their Covers

DC’s April Solicitations are up, so now is as good a time as any for us to make prejudgments based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgments, don’t we?).

Let’s begin!
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Nice JG Jones cover for 52.

Montoya as the new Question (as I presume this cover is showing us) is a decent idea. I will give Rucka some props for that.
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Nice drawing by Joshua Middleton for this American Virgin cover, but I don’t think it grabs the reader’s attention as much as it probably should.

As a stand-alone piece, though, I think it is lovely.
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You see, this Rick Veitch Army@Love cover is just the sort of ridiculousness that other comic book covers present withOUT the clear parody that Veitch is going for, which is pretty darn sad, to me.

A funny cover.
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This is practically the same exact concept (right down to the teeth flying out of the guy’s mouth) that Phil Hester did for an Ant Man cover a few months back.

That’s surprisingly unoriginal from Ladronn, although Ladronn does a better job with the idea than Hester did, as Ladronn puts a little more pizazz into his cover.

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Pretty cool George Perez cover for the Brave and the Bold, and the idea of Batman and Blue Beetle versus the Fatal Five is just one of those nifty ideas that you don’t see as much of nowadays.

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Funny Cully Hamner Blue Beetle cover.

I dig Hamner’s take on Guy Gardner.
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This Whilce Portacio Batman Confidential cover is JUST wacky enough for me to actually recommend it.

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While there is a lot of nice things going on with Andy Kubert’s artwork here (particularly some of the detail work), I don’t think it is an overall very appealing cover.

In fact, my pal Cayman remarked to me that he was going to ask his local store if they could wrap it in brown paper when he purchases his copy.
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Fairly pedestrian Batman Strikes cover by Sanford Green.

Not bad, though.
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Stephane Roux’s unique perspectives have left me cold the last two Birds of Prey covers, as they ended up looking out of whack (especially the one from two months ago).

This cover is a significant improvement in that regard, as the battle here seems to proceed with a great deal of consistency and logical body movements.
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Darick Robertson seems to be intentionally going for subdued with his Boys covers.

I don’t think it’s the right way to go, myself.
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Not a bad Robert Pope drawing for this Cartoon Network Block Party cover, but again, there is no integration of the other featured characters.

I do not like that.
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This Dan Davis Cartoon Network Action Pack has an even stronger cover drawing, but again, it’s the standard, routine “tack on a couple of circles for the back-up characters” bit that I am not a fan of at all.

Do you think that’s an editorial mandate, or an artistic decision?
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Decent Adam Hughes Catwoman cover, although more than a bit disjointed to me.

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Another strong Connor Hawke cover by Derec Donovan, but I think it is a bit of a letdown when the PENULTIMATE issue’s cover has Connor Hawke faced off against a giant dragon, and now he’s against one tiny dude.

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It is so strange to see Matthew Clark handling the Checkmate characters.

It’s like Ed Benes doing an issue of Queen and Country…you are not used to seeing these Jesus Saiz portrayed characters drawn this way.
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Decent John Watkiss Deadman cover.

The image looks very familiar. Is it an homage to anything?

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VERY standard cover idea, but Paul Gulacy pulls it off nicely. I think he’ll be good on a character without a face, as Gulacy’s faces have looked a bit off ever since he became the regular Catwoman artist a couple of years ago.

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Nick Bradshaw reminds me of J. Scott Campbell, in the sense that both guys can be quite creative with their layouts and designs…I just wish they worked on some better projects.

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How freaking creepy is seeing Harley Quinn drawn sorta sexy-like?

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Question – does this cover have to do with the story in this issue?

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Wow, Philip Bond missed out on a career opportunity!

Forget Exterminators covers, he could make do just illustrating letters to Penthouse!
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Nice James Jean drawing, but not much of a cover.

Is this really the actual cover?
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I wonder what the research into this cover was like.

“Why’s Mr. Van Sciver laying down below all those dudes? Is he in trouble?”

“Don’t worry, kids, it’s all for perspective!!”
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Very nice design by Scott McDaniel.

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Not a fan of this Talent Caldwell cover.

Especially everyone’s waists…damn, those are some crazy looking waists there.

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Nice Patrick Gleason Green Lantern Corps cover.

He certainly knows how to draw some manic covers.
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Aw man, what is Ivan Reis doing?!!?

Her ass isn’t even on the cover!!!!!!!

Poor form, Mr. Reis.
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Interesting design work by Ryan Benjamin for this Grifter and Midnighter cover.

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Pretty standard looking Phil Noto Jonah Hex cover.

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FINALLY!

A reason to use the Batman costume with bat nipples!

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What’s the verdict on Howard Porter’s new art style?

I think it is ultimately an improvement.

And man, it is great to see Kid Amazo finally!

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How funny is it when Batman is in a room and he’s like, “Wow, my costume looks downright ordinary when I’m with a dude covered all in stars and another dude with a big T on his face.”

Seems a bit early for JLA/JSA crossovers.
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Good to see Dennis Calero getting some work. He’s a good artist who was cursed with having to ape Sook and to draw stupid big-head-wolf character in X-Factor.

This Steve Uy cover for the JSA Classified issue is pretty good.

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Here’s a question…shouldn’t the Alex Ross “character pose” covers be the VARIANT covers?

Why are Dale Eaglesham’s story appropriate covers the variants?

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“WONDER TWINS POWERS, ACTIVATE!!!”

“Form of a martini!”

“Form of a”…

Okay, I was just doing a “Hal Jordan is a drunk” joke. I don’t have any animal jokes with Sinestro.

By the way, please note that I am NOT saying that comics should be filled with “Hal is a drunk” jokes. I think that would be silly.

HOWEVER, I think it is pretty lame that a writer comes up with a bad idea involving Hank Pym, and that becomes grafted into his characterization from then on, but a writer comes up with a bad idea involving Hal Jordan, and that just gets dropped like the bad idea it was!

EQUAL REPRESENTATION, COMIC BOOK WRITERS!!
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Nice enough drawings by Steve Uy for this new Legion cartoon comic book, but the cover layout is pretty poor.

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Very strong Scott Gross cover.

He takes an interesting enough concept and executes it in a very dynamic manner.

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Good Frusin cover.

I am beginning to sour on Loveless a bit. The Frusin covers are generally my favorite part of the comic.
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This is the last issue of Manhunter.

With that in mind, I can’t be the only one who looks at this cover and hears George saying, “Look across the river. Describe the farm to me,” can I?

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Wow, finally, an even lamer costume than the one Midnighter already has….

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Now that Jonboy Meyers finally is drawing Ninja Scroll interiors, he ISN’T doing the cover! High-larious!

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Freddy Kruegger covers must be fun to come up with cover ideas for. Not like Texas Chainsaw Massacre covers.

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This image for this Nightwing Annual cover looks awfully familiar.

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Heck, so does this Nightwing cover…weird.

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Duncan Rouleau is such a dynamic artist!

What I don’t get is…I thought the current Outsiders storyline was explaining why the Outsiders are “dead,” so why the Annual as well?

Unless it’s part of the storyline going on in the title…that would be fine.
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Very nice design for the first Minx book.

Attractive enough look to sorta stand out, while still looking like a traditional paperback.
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Nice Red Menace cover by Jerry Ordway.

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Jock is back!

I figured last month’s poor showing was an aberration, and it was!

Fine, fine cover.
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Standard enough idea, but a funny one, and one Alexander Serra draws well.

I wonder, did Alexander Serra come up with the idea himself?
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I was going to make a joke about DC finally doing a comic book about menstruation.

But I was informed that that would be too creepy.

So moving on!
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Pretty decent Barry Kitson Legion cover.

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Hey, you know how some people say that listening to a band perform in reverse can sometimes give you really trippy results?

Well, that is not true for REM.

REM reversed is lame.
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I continue to be impressed by how strong Tom Derenick’s artwork has become.

He’s quickly become one of the strongest artists working for DC right now (not sure if that’s necessarily a compliment to Mr. Derenick or a shot at DC…I am leaning towards a compliment).

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Wow…maybe Tim Bradstreet SHOULD just stick to photo manipulation.

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This Superman Confidential bit by Tim Sale is well drawn and all, but it doesn’t seem like much of a cover image.

Is this actually the cover?

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Hey, check this out…look how much like Doug Mahnke Patrick Gleason’s art looks at times!

I believe someone told me Gleason was Mahnke’s assistant at one point. Did I imagine that? That makes a lot of sense, if true.
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See what I mean about Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Darick Robertson is clearly trying his damndest, and the work with the girl on the cover is top-rate, but come on, not much interesting things going on with a Texas Chainsaw Massacre cover.

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Good Liam Sharp cover for Testament. I think Sharp is trying a bit of a different style…his edges seem a bit looser…I like it.

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Take away the goatee, and I will approve this Art Adams cover.

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Nice Neil Googe Tranquility cover.

The contrast is clever.

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My pal Stony doesn’t think anyone will get the Manhunter joke. But I have faith in you all!!
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I take it that the effect is supposed to be that the Superboy clone is flaking apart?

It does not work very well.
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Good cover layout by Todd Nauck for Teen Titans Go.

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“EXPLAIN HOW AWESOME YOU ARE TO THE READERS OUT THERE THAT DON’T KNOW YOU!”

Hey, has Drew Johnson BEEN the regular Wonder Woman artist before?
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I think Wonder Woman would be pretty darn cool if she was a skeleton.

We’ve had blue skinned Superman.

We’ve had homicidal Hal Jordan.

We’ve had Walter West.

We’ve had Az-Bats.

I think the world is ready for Skeleton Wonder Woman!!
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Very nice Massimo Carnevale cover for Y the Last Man.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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PETE WOODS CORNER!

First, a nifty cover design for Firestorm.

I love his use of the black creatures throughout the cover.

Next, we have a really classic feel with his Amazons Attack cover.

The frame is a nice touch.

And the way he fills the whole frame…it gives their attack formation so much more power.

What a nice job of composition.
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Ryan Sook continues his very strong work (with a very limited palette) on Friday the 13th covers.

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Zach Howard should be getting more work.

He is a good artist.
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Possibly the strongest cover work I’ve seen from the Dodsons…

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Very good Dave Johnson cover, following the same formula as this month’s Y the Last Man cover, only doing it with a little more pizazz.

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Very trippy, but very good, JH Williams Crossing Midnight cover.

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TOP FIVE!!
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5. Very wacky, but still quite strong, Spirit cover by Cooke, who I love.

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4. I’d have this Smith cover higher, but I think that Captain Marvel seems a bit too detached from the creatures surrounding him.

Still, it’s a very striking cover.
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3. Very clever design idea by Michael Wm. Kaluta for this Aquaman cover…

And his execution of the idea is impeccable.
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2. First off, I am pleased to see Brian Wood use the full cover. I was not a fan of the half-cover thing DMZ has had for a lot of covers.

This is a strong cover at first glance that gets better the more you look at it.

Great job of design by Wood.
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1. Photo-realistic covers get a bad name because they’re usually done poorly, with not a lot of imagination.

This is done well, with a lot of imagination.

Lee Bermejo rules!
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Well, that’s it for me! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top fives)!!

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