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Judging (DC’s February) Books By Their Covers

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

DC’s February solicits have been up for quite awhile, but now I’m finally going to make some prejudgments based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgments, don’t we?).

Let’s begin!
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I am really enjoying the trade dress for these Superman trades reprinting the post-Byrne Superman stories.

Nice Jerry Ordway cover.

Although, that IS a rather odd expression on Superman’s face, isn’t it?
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Strong cover visual by Peter Vale for this Superman cover.

Is anyone out there familiar with Peter Vale’s work prior to working on Superman?
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Decent Shane Davis cover for Superman/Batman.

Sometimes, it seems like the idea on how to handle kryptonite in Superman comics changes weekly – “There’s very little” “There’s a lot” etc.
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Reactron looks like he’s getting all Wayne Brady up on Supergirl.

That’s a frightening visual.

Nice Drew Johnson cover.
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Gary Frank seriously did not always draw like this.

Look at this random (well, fairly random, I went alphabetically – and this was the first one that popped up) Gary Frank cover from the 90s…

Now look at the overly-rendered stuff he is doing now, such as this Action Comics cover…

and, well, what the heck??!

How do you go from fluid and beautiful to stiff and…well, the opposite of beautiful?

Someone should do a rendering intervention for Frank!
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I can just imagine how other creators took the news of DC’s “ah, just finish the story in an Annual!” idea. “Wait – we’re allowed to DO that?”

Can you believe that this story began in October of 2006?

And it’s finishing in a 2008 Annual.

Ridiculous.

Fine Adam Kubert cover, though!
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Strong Freddie Williams cover for Robin.

Gets the plot across quite nicely.
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Unlike this Rags Morales/Michael Bair Nightwing cover, which IS pretty nice to look at.

Nice use of perspective, though.
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What’s your call? Jim Calafiore’s drawing of Robin on this Gotham Underground cover looks, to me, a little unnatural-looking.

What do you think?

The Gotham Underground oct-tych bit, though, is a nice idea.
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Holy violence, Batman!

This Tony Daniel cover is fairly gory, no?

Well designed, I guess, but dang….that’s some graphic violence right there for a cover.
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Nicely designed Rags Morales cover for Batman Confidential.

I love the idea of bringing back the Wraith.
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Someone should tell Wonder Woman that her bracelets do not reflect fire.

By the by – when’s the last time a Wonder Woman cover had her using her bracelets to deflect bullets? That’d be a great cover idea, no? I think Bolland did one during his run as Wonder Woman cover artist, but I don’t recall for sure…anyone?

Anyhow, decent enough cover by the Dodsons.
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I like this Sanford Greene Wonder Girl cover, except that it does appear a bit like Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl are the same size…

They’re not, right?
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Who drew this Teen Titans cover?

I like it a lot.

I don’t recognize the style offhand, and can’t make out the signature. Anyone know?
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Decent John Synder cover for Suicide Squad.

Reasonable enough action set-up.
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Cute Spirit cover courtesy of Paul Smith.

I still miss Cooke’s covers dearly.
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This Phil Winslade Shadowpact cover looks like a Mad magazine parody.

That is weird.
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Not a bad tagline for Salvation Run!

“Salvation Run – It’s like getting hit over the head with a robotic brain.”

As to the cover itself, interesting enough idea by Sean Chen.
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Is this actually NEW cover art for a trade paperback?

My mind – it is blown.

Good cover by Matthew Clark for this Outsiders trade.
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Nice mood evocative Legion of Superheroes cover by Francis Manapul.

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Dependable enough job by Sean Chen on this JSA Classified cover. You usually can count on Chen to do a reasonable enough job on all his covers, even if none of them will be necessarily inspired.

When I think of the three states of water, I think of them as gas, liquid and Sean Chen.
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I think each issue of this JLA Classified arc should have a Joshua Middleton cover where Wonder Woman’s lasso is tied around a different person each cover!!

Or not.

I’m open to suggestions.
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That is not a good looking JLA cover by Ed Benes.

Do you think he knows that Bronze Tiger is not actually a tiger?
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Yeah! You BETTER scream, woman!

Man – Jonah Hex sure has a lot of violence against women, doesn’t it?

It seems like every other issue Hex is running into a woman who has been raped.

Although last issue DID have the raped women then cut off the legs and tongues of the dudes, so I guess that’s something…

Nice cover idea by John Higgins, though. That IS supposed to be a woman in the knife reflection, right?
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I love how the Green Lanterns have decorative handcuffs.

Pretty funny.

Besides that, pretty okay Mike McKone cover.
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SPOILER WARNING!!

Kinda hard to be all deep and mopey when Conner is killed by a freakin’ random ass laser from the sky.

Ah well – at least it is a nice Cliff Chiang cover.
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Nice Death of the New Gods cover by Starlin.

I like the little touch with the eyeballs.
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Another good Countdown to Mystery cover by Mario Alberti.

Although the similar coloring makes the covers bleed together a bit.
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Liam Sharp has already had sex scenes in the interior of the Extremists comic – but now the cover, too!?!?!?

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Nice Countdown cover by Stephane Roux.

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John Van Fleet, you almost had me!!

Then you had to have the cheesiest looking skull that has ever graced a comic book cover, and the effect – it was ruined!

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I think this is probably Kalman Andrasovfsky’s best Checkmate cover yet!

And the idea of having a baby made up entirely of snakes is awesome!

Unless that’s not what that is.
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Forerunner is not a good character, so please do not feature her on covers of Countdown to Adventure, Eddy Barrows.

Thank you.

Your pal,
Brian.

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Strong Walt Simonson cover for Bat Lash.

I love the bars, in particular – really jump out at you.
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I really thought that “tastes great”/”less filling” argument was settled YEARS ago.

Ah well.

I like the look on Oracle’s face on this Birds of Prey cover by Stephane Roux.
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Note that this is the SECOND DC storyline in the past year or so that involves teasing readers with the possibility of Ted Kord’s return.

Obviously, such a story is hinged upon the idea that fans really want Ted back.

Okay, so then why not just bring him back!?

Nice Booster Gold cover by Jurgens.
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Blue Beetle has got to watch himself! The world of Tron is serious business!!

Nice Rafael Albuquerque cover.
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Very nice Atom cover drawing by Ladrönn, but I think it is a bit too little to hang a whole cover on.

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Cute Joe Quinones cover for Teen Titans Go.

When is the last issue?
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VERY cute Tiny Titans cover by Art Baltazar.

It’ll be very interesting to see if this type of title actually has a market.
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Another very strong Robert Pope cover for Scooby Doo.

The contrast between the foreground figures and the background drop is wonderful.
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Clever Scott Gross cover for Looney Tunes, although it seems a BIT on the minimal side. I’d prefer a bit more meat to the cover.

Still, the idea is spot on.
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Decent Legion of Superheroes cover by Alexander Serra.

I do like the use of the statue.
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Not a bad Cartoon Network Action Pack cover by Travis Kotzebue.

I love that there has to be a little balloon with Ben 10’s face in it, even though Ben 10 is the featured bit on the cover, because they are afraid fans won’t KNOW that Ben 10 is in the comic.
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This Stephanie Gladden cover for Cartoon Network Block Party is a little too bland for me.

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Who is that on this Batman Strikes cover? Is that White Lightning, from Impulse?!?

If it is…wow.

If not, who is it?

Anyhow, nice cover by Andie Tong, as it is not Tong’s fault that the cartoon Bane looks ridiculously foolish.
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You know what would make the Wildstorm Nemesis cooler?

If she was secretly the DCU Nemesis in (of course) disguise!!

Maybe I would not hate the character so much.

Nice Ivan Reis cover, though. I especially like Savant’s facial reactions.
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Why are the rest of them there with Nemesis? Don’t they know she’s the bestest fighter ever, and she doesn’t need anyone’s help?

Again, nice cover by Reis.
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An okay Samwise Didier cover for World of Warcraft.

An odd mix, though, of cartoony artwork and violence.
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Interesting cover by the new Midnighter artist, Lee Garbett.

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I don’t think this Carlo Barberi Gen13 cover does a strong enough job capturing the reader’s eye.

The action seems more awkward than striking.
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Richard Friend! Intriguing choice to do a big cover for Freddy/Jason/Ash, unless this is a triptych.

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Fairly nondescript Mike McKone Friday the 13th cover.

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This isn’t the actual cover, right?

Very nice drawing by Tony Harris, though!
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Very cool, and quite appropos, cover for the last issue of Deathblow, by Carlos D’Anda.

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This Darick Robertson Authority Prime cover shows the GOOD kind of creepy – as Bendix is damned creepy looking on this cover.

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I really think Vinyl Underground would be better off if they just let Sean Phillips have some more freedom with the covers.

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Oh man! Un-Men, a book where everyone is a “freak,” has a freakish creature on the cover!

Tomer Hanuka has to start coming up with some cover ideas more original than “here’s ANOTHER really freaky looking creature!!”
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Decent Jock cover for Scalped, if a little too much on the subdued side.

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Another funny Bolland cover for Jack of Fables.

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The solicits say Fabry, and the sig looks a bit like Fabry, but the image doesn’t look THAT much like Fabry, unless he’s mixing things up a bit.

It looks good, though!
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It would have been cooler if Philip Bond had used spiders on this Exterminators cover, because then the cover could have been “T & Arachnids!”

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Another good “spotlight” DMZ cover by Brian Wood.

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This Crossing Midnight cover by JH Williams appears a bit on the rote side.

We’ve seen most of these cover images already in the series – it is almost like a rerun.
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Not one of Rick Veitch’s more clever cover ideas for Army@Love.

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Really good 100 Bullets cover by Dave Johnson.

Nicely done.
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I dunno if Jack Mathews properly captured the expression Terry Dodson was going for, but otherwise, strong sculpting by Matthews on this Wonder Girl bust.

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I wonder if insurance would cover a Joker cane?

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Nice looking designs on these Green Lantern toys.

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Neal Adams’ son, Jason, does a nice sculpting job on this figure based on his father’s work.

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I think someone went a bit overboard with the design of Wonder Woman’s shield and sword.

Not the most effective of combos – huge sword and tiny shield.
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Does this Cheetah figure even have pointed claws?

They look almost rounded.

Odd.
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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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I definitely did not expect to have a Jim Lee cover in this section, but boy did he draw the heck out of this homage cover!!

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While the whole design of this Adam Hughes’ Catwoman cover is strong, I especially love the cat.

How cute is that?
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Look how Simon Dark looks so much more interesting when he is actually DOING something!

Nice cover by Scott Hampton – good overall design and the middle really pops out.

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While still a strong cover, this Countdown Special is Sook’s weakest so far.

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So THAT’s what the unused rings from Green Lantern: Mosaic #1 went to!

Strongly designed cover by Pat Gleason for Green Lantern Corps.
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It’s like Billy from Family Circus – only on speed.

I bet Flash is in such a hurry to Metropolis because Superman called him up and said, “I’m going to smother your kids!!”

“What?!?!”

“I meant with KINDNESS, silly!”

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Kid Flash is the messiah!!!

Seriously, another nice Brave and the Bold cover by George Perez. I love the split cover motif.

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Eye-catching Justice League Unlimited cover by Christopher Jones.

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Very strong Massimo Carnevale Northlanders cover.

I absolutely adore his use of negative space.
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So THAT’s where the Defiant Ones came from!

Another strong Frusin Loveless cover.
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James Jean, back into the mix!

This clever Fables cover just barely missed the top five.
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TOP FIVE
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5. Dustin Nguyen has been a godsend to Detective Comics.

What a striking cover.
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4. I am loving the new Dougie Braithwaite. He seems to have picked up a number of tricks from Alex Ross.

A strongly designed and executed Batman and the Outsiders cover.
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3. Another personality-infused Teen Titans Year One cover by Karl Kerschl.

He puts so much into this cover – it’s remarkable.
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2. I didn’t expect to find myself having Alex Ross in the top five, let alone #2, but what can I say? The guy drew a helluva cover this month for JSA.

Striking – classic – eye-catching – clever – it’s got a lot!!
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1. But Duncan Rouleau then blew me away, yet again, with his great looking Metal Men covers, which are both well drawn AND manage to work in the number of the issue into the drawing.

That’s just SO hard to do, and for him to do it with such convincing flair?

That’s just top notch in my book.
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Well, that’s it for me this month! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your Top Fives)!

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