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Judging (DC’s August) Books By Their Covers

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

DC’s August 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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I absolutely love the background of this Denys Cowan Batman Confidential cover.

The image on the brick is awesome.

The rest?

Not too good, although I might appreciate the Batman figure more if it took up less of the cover (and what is the deal with the batarangs? Weirdness).
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Very striking Patrick Gleason Robin cover.

Good stuff.
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Ouch!

I know it’s just the cover of Nightwing, so Ryan Sook I presume figures he can do some real experimental stuff, but man, the end result is none too good looking.

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Good Simone Bianchi Detective Comics cover, although I’d prefer to see some color.

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I guess this is a decent enough Catwoman drawing by Adam Hughes.

Not much of a cover, though.
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I loves me some Sam Kieth, but man, this Batman/Lobo cover is about as close as Kieth will ever get to being a “generic cover.”

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I swear, I thought this Batman Annual cover by Tim Sale was a reprint of an older Sale Batman cover.

Usually not a good sign of originality.

The “2005” dating probably doesn’t help, either.
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Wow, “art sensation Koi Turnbull”? Talk about a misuse of terminology!

Then again, I suppose Turnbull’s work does evoke A sensation…maybe not a GOOD one, but it’s something, I suppose.

Like a burning sensation….
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Decent cover idea by Brad Walker for this Action Comics cover…

but I found the execution to be a bit lacking.
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Better work, though, on this next Action Comics cover by Walker.

I especially loved the job he did with Jimmy’s feet. Very nice attention to detail.
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I certainly do not, like, dislike Ale Garza’s art or anything, but at the same time, I was taken by surprise at how strong this Teen Titans cover by him was.

Forceful, dynamic – some good work.

I think I would have preferred to have seen what, exactly, Robin is standing on, though.

Or does he levitate nowadays?
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These Howard Porter Shazam covers keep on having these really awkward fight scenes.

It’s weird.

I DO like Freddy’s Captain Marvel costume, though!
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An odd decision by Darwyn Cooke for this Spirit cover.

Why, exactly, is he showing us how Michael Jackson first met Emmanuel Lewis?
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I don’t usually post these reprint covers, but my pal Justin wanted to know something about this one.

Does anyone know if there is a point behind having a black cat crossing their paths on this cover?
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For crying out loud, Tom Derenick!

You may have missed the memo, but Zatanna is supposed to wear LESS clothing!!

MAN! SO unprofessional!

Seriously, decent Shadowpact cover (the layout is a bit weird, though).
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Very cool Christian Alamy for this weird “Who will Batman pick to be a member of the Outsiders?” crossover.

The weird thing is that, unless Winick is planning on just bizarrely surprising us, the majority of these choices will be who we expect, right?

So how, then, do you make a good argument for picking, say, Grace over Wonder Woman?

Ah well, I can’t very well knock the decision until Winick comes up with it, right? That would be unfair, so I will not!
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Not a big fan of this Shazam/Katana cover.

One of the most disappointing Cliff Chiang covers that I have seen.
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Check out this Freddie Williams II cover featuring Boomerang and Nightwing.

That’s a pretty Scott McDaniel looking cover, no? What’s McDaniel up to now, by the way, with Green Arrow ended?
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This Koi Turnbull cover with Thunder and Martian Manhunter is a lot better than the Superman Confidential cover.

Still not all that good.
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I really like Joshua Middleton’s character work on this Metamorpho/Aquaman cover, but I dunno if the cover layout is that appealing.

Still, some nice drawing there.
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A new Metal Man is probably a good idea.

Always nice to have more than one female on the team.

Nice Duncan Rouleau cover. Also impressive to see DC letting him write this one, too! He did a pretty good job writing the Nightmarist. I think this could be pretty neat.
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I guess this is an interesting enough Justice Hardcover cover by Alex Ross.

It’s fairly clever using the restraints he has placed upon himself for these covers (that they are all similar to the Kingdom Come “Everyone stands looking forward” covers).

But man, if only there was a toy tie-in to this…

Cha-CHING!
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How, exactly, does Mr. Terrific’s mask work?

I mean, is it just like face paint, or does it actually COVER/obscure his mouth?

Either way, while an interesting design, I don’t think Alex Sanchez did a great job with this JSA Classified cover.
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IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN!

YOU, the reader, supply YOUR cover snark for this cover!

That would be an awesome cover if she was just doing Superman’s laundry. – Sean Whitmore
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A slight improvement by Sami Basri over Basri’s past JLA Classified covers.

Especially the figure work of the JLA. The end result, though, is still a bit iffy.
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Just getting this clear – in the 12 issues so far, this title has had TWELVE variant covers, plus THREE “50/50 cover split” covers.

That is just astonishingly lame.

By the by, I look at the artists listed for this book (interiors and covers) – Ed Benes, Alex Ross, Michael Turner and…ERIC WIGHT?!??!

Talk about the proverbial diamond in the rough.
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While a fairly standard cover, this Patrick Gleason Green Lanterns Corps cover is still a strong cover.

And I love the concept of “The Battle of Mogo.”

Clever, Johns and Gibbons!
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This Andy Kubert cover is a good example of how you can use dynamism to make up for other areas where you may be lacking.

The cover is so striking that you really can’t fixate on the various problems with his anatomy, poses, etc.

Clever work, Andy Kubert!
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Another badass Green Arrow Year One drawing by Jock that doesn’t exactly lend itself to being a cover of a comic book.

Still, awesome picture.

How’s the archery, archery folks?
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Is this an original Ross work?

If so, I’m impressed!

Not so much by the drawing itself (which IS good), but by the fact that DC actually had him draw a new cover rather than just chop up older drawings by him!
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Did you hear the bit where someone is claiming that this cover originally had Zatanna’s shirt colored as skin, and that this is a re-colored attempt to make the cover a bit less sleazy?

I dunno if I believe it or not.

In any event, decent enough Shane Davis cover for Countdown. I like that JG Jones is doing a cover!!
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Holy hell! What the heck is THAT?!

I mean, it’s not just that the guy is sorta monster-y, but it is just horribly laid out AND drawn!

I am sorry, Kalman Andrasofsky, but I really do not understand why you keep getting cover assignments.

Maybe you are a really good interior artist! Let us see more Kalman Andrasofsky on interiors, to see if that is where his talents lie – because cover art is not it (remember his awful Ion covers? Yuck).
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Little bland, but overall, this Ivan Reis cover for the first issue of Countdown to Adventure is pretty decent.

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Decent enough Stephane Roux Birds of Prey cover.

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Fun Cully Hamner Blue Beetle cover.

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Decent cover design by Paulo Siqueira for this Black Canary cover, but the execution (particularly the faces) is way off.

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This next cover by Paulo Siqueira is an improvement.

How hilarious would it be if they seriously killed Sin?!
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You know what?

All things considered, Isis looks better on this Black Adam cover by Doug Manhke than if she was drawn by Turner.
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I like the cover layout by Jurgens, even if the final product leaves something to be desired.

Isn’t it weird, though, that Blue Beetle doesn’t get a mention on the cover?
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This might be Perez’s strongest cover of the Brave and the Bold series so far.

Good, twisted stuff.
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This Atom cover by Ladronn almost looks like an afterthought.

“Oh? I have to draw the cover for Atom? Crap! I totally forgot!”
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Decent Kevin Maguire Aquaman cover.

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I was not too impressed with these two Pete Woods covers for Amazons Atack.

This one, featuring Grace, is okay…

but this next one, for the FINALE, no less!, seems just a bit lacking in the “oomph” factor.

That sword battle looks absolutely lame.
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This 52 Aftermath cover may just be the worst thing I have ever seen Pat Olliffe draw.

Wowsa, that is bad.

Not AWFUL, but for Olliffe, who is a strong artist, it is really bad.
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Good Todd Nauck cover for Teen Titans Go.

I heard that this series is ending. Too bad. It was some fun comics.
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VERY sharp Scooby Doo cover by Robert Pope.

Just in time for kids going back to school! I dig it.
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Clever enough of a cover idea by Scott Jeralds, but the drawing itself is a bit listless.

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To use a pun, this is a striking cover by Steve Uy for Legion of Superheroes.

Uy does a pretty good job of depicting a fight just about to commence.
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Decent Cartoon Network Block Party cover by Robert Pope. Who is the character featured on the cover?

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Travis Kotzebue does a good job on Ben 10…oh, wait, they’re not calling the comic Ben 10 yet?

WHY NOT?

What is the point of calling it Cartoon Network Action Pack when the book basically stars Ben 10 now, and if you CALLED the book Ben 10, it would probably sell better!?!

Just have it be Ben 10 and have the other characters be back-ups. Or heck, just pull them and feature Ben 10 backups! Give the fans what they want! And what they want seems to be Ben 10.
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Is this a NEW cover for a Batman Strikes collection, of all things?

If so, nice cover (Jeff Matsuda, it appears, did the cover)!
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This Sanford Greene Batman Strikes cover is a bit too busy for my tastes.

I like the idea, though.
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FINALLY! They kept returning my letters unopened, but I just knew that they still managed to read them! Why else would they be doing the Ex Machina/Spider-Man crossover I wrote to them 478 times about?

Thank you Ex Machina!

Tony Harris was BORN to draw Jack O’Lantern!!
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Brian Wood has really done some terribly clever covers for this Friendly Fire storyline, and he continues with this one.

Good stuff.
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I like the risk John Watkiss takes with this Deadman cover – it’s quite the strange looking piece, but I think it works.

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Pretty good JH Williams III Crossing Midnight cover.

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Rick Veitch sure is hitting his themes well with his Army@Love covers.

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These Celia Calle American Virgin covers are veering a bit from “interestingly weird” to just annoying.

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Is this Whilce Portacio cover seriously supposed to be a cover?

It looks like it would be boring as a PANEL inside a comic book, let alone the COVER of the book!!!
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Decent Tomer Hanuka cover for Un-Men #1.

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Suitably twisted Testamnet cover by Liam Sharp.

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Nice Darick Robertson cover for this Texas Chainsaw Massacre collection.

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Pretty boring Mike McKone Stormwatch cover.

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Sweet looking Dustin Nguyen Supernatural cover.

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A DECENT Jock cover for Scalped, but I think it could use a bit more polish.

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I feel like I’ve seen this Ninja Scroll cover before.

Not a good sign!!
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Another blah Chris Sprouse Midnighter cover.

He’s not exactly going out of his way to be clever on these covers, is he?
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This Minx cover by Aaron Alexovich is pretty clever.

Nice use of emoticons!
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A couple of points

1. Why do a “mystery cover artist,” then solicit an issue saying who the cover artist is BEFORE the first cover is released?

2. Brian Bolland is great – no question. But is he really that much of an upgrade over James Jean, who is right there with Bolland as far as great cover artists go?

In any event, nice Jack of Fables cover by Bolland.
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Good Brian Stelfreeze Highwaymen cover, but I think it’s a bit too traditonal, much like the first issue’s cover.

Still, it’s good, strong work.
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I appreciate that Lee Bermejo is trying different things with his Hellblazer covers, but this cover layout doesn’t really work, I don’t think.

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This Ryan Benjamin Grifter/Midnighter cover looks like a rejected GI Joe cover.

And that wasn’t a compliment.
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I like Fairchild having a cold sore. Nice touch, Carlo Barberi!.

Oh, that’s just a shadow?

Oh.

Never mind, then.
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What a weird assortment of toys.

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I was about to knock DC for waiting until series, like, 12 of Infinite Crisis before releasing the “Big Three,” but instead, it appears like this is just a box set.

Fair enough, DC!!
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Wow, that’s some actual good statue designing by Andy Kubert.

Good job.
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Heh.

Hehe.

Hehehe.

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Thank you, DC. You are always accomadating with the laughter. Marvel at least is clever enough to let OUTSIDE companies do these statues!!
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HAHA!

The laughs keep coming.

From Power Girl’s figure description – “POWER GIRL is the newest female addition to DC Direct’s line of realistically proportioned, super-heroic 1:6 scale figures!”

Come on, that HAD to have been thrown in as a joke, right?
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I think this is actual a fine bust designed by Terry Dodson.

Which, I suppose, really shouldn’t come as a surprise, no?
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HONORABLE MENTIONS!
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DUSTIN NGUYEN COVERS!

First, yet another strong Friday the 13th: Pamela’s Tale cover.

Next, a very imposing Batman/Superman cover featuring an impressive looking Darkseid.

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CP Smith does a better job on the second issue of The Programme.

Nicely disturbing.
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WOW!

Neil Googe breaking out a whole new style on this Welcome to Tranquility cover!

Nice.
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Clever Zach Howard JLU cover.

The Question rules. I am so glad he’s not around anymore.
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Nice throwback cover by Phil Noto.

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Another striking Denis Calero Legion of Superheroes cover, but probably a little less striking than last month’s.

To be honest, it’s a bit confusing-looking.
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Just a pin-up cover by the Dodsons, but I think it is a good one.

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Walt Simonson doing the 666th issue of Superman.

Bold, inventive and striking.

I approve.
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Renato Guedes follows up the example of Denis Calero last month by giving us a strong-looking Supergirl.

Good, clean-cut work.
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I love this Eric Powell cover featuring Superman and Bizarro.

It is an amazing drawing, but I dunno if is dynamic enough to make Top Five.
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How twistedly awesome is this Philip Bond Exterminators cover?!?

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TOP FIVE!
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5. The first Faker cover was twisted looking, and so is this one, but this one is a bit more restained, and I think this Jock cover is very effective.

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4. While I think this Fables cover by James Jean is very well drawn, I will admit it, it’s this high mostly because it is just sooo adorable!

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3. Wow! This is Dougie Braithwaite?!

VERY strong work by Braithwaite!!
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2. The Spirit hardcover collection by Cooke.

This is the first image I saw of the Spirit by Cooke, and I remembered thinking – “Wow, that’s awesome looking.”

I think the same of it as a cover, too!
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1. Come on, could it be anything BUT Cliff Chiang’s Team 13 trade cover?

Perfect comic book joy.
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Okay, those are my picks! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top five)!!

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