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

Let’s begin!
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Neat Tim Sale cover, but seriously, Absolute Long Halloween?

What’s next, Absolute Extreme Justice?
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Not a bad Simone Bianchi cover for Detective Comics. It is suitably moody.

I still get creeped out by how smooth he makes Batman, and what a bizarre looking chair – I get that it is supposed to look futuristic or something like that, but wow…what a weird-looking chair.
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Ah, I see the Joker has been looking at Andy Kubert’s Batman artwork.

Seriously, nice to see John Van Fleet doing the artwork on this issue of Batman. Should be a nice change of pace.
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This is a clever idea by Whilce Portacio for this Batman Confidential cover, but lordy, does he botch the execution.

Still, it is a very dynamic piece, at least.
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Nice moody Catwoman cover by Adam Hughes.

Although, his more recent covers have been telling a little more about what happens in the comic, so this generic cover is a bit of a letdown.
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Very strong Michael Golden cover for Nightwing, although “Bride and Groom” does not sound like a particularly clever idea for a villain team.

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Well, I have to give Adam Kubert credit for trying different things…but man, this Action Comics cover is pretty fugly.

Having 3-D inside the comic is a neat idea, though! Although having a 3-D and a non-3-D version is kinda odd. How would a retailer figure out how to order THAT? “Well, usually, when 3-D is in a comic, sales go up __%” – not something retailers are particularly familiar with.
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An ALMOST great cover by Carlos Pacheco for Superman…

Ultimately, though, what is the reason for Superman holding his hand like that? It seems sorta silly to not draw in a reason for his hands being positioned like he has them…
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Pretty nifty Supergirl cover by Stephane Roux.

Oh, you know what’s stupid?

Batgirl being a villain.
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On this Ariel Olivetti cover for Supermand and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator, it looks like Batman got confused, and thought this was an Elseworlds instead of a inter-company crossover.

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Wow…Alex Ross’ art is officially SO stiff that I can’t tell if this Superman/Batman: The Greatest Stories ever told image was originally a drawing of Batman and Superman, or two drawings of Batman and Superman that were cropped together.

That is how static his work is.

Scary.
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Very nicely creepy Lex Luthor on this Tim Sale Superman Confidential cover.

The sad thing is that, so far, Superman Confidential has been about as interesting as these covers – nice to look at, but basically a lot of posing, as far as plot goes.
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Oh boy! I like this Steel costume a lot better than the “Literal Man of Steel” cover he’s been having in 52.

Seems kinda reckless of Steel, though, doesn’t it?

“Sorry I crushed your family, but I was making a dramatic point!”
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Both of these Helmet of Fate covers, by Scott Hampton and Michael Kaluta, respectively, are nice enough images…but do not seem to be all that engaging, cover-wise.

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Wow…I can barely decipher what is going on in this Butch Guice Aquaman cover.

Maybe when it’s colored?

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New Blue Beetle artist Rafael Albuquerque has a nice Duncan Rouleau look to his work.

By the by, how hilarious is that Blue Beetle is, like, the only DC book set in the Southwest, and the new artist’s name happens to be Albuquerque?!!?

That’s like the new artist on Outsiders being called Derek Suckstein!!!

Truly weird coincidence.
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While a strong concept, this Stephane Roux cover just seems a bit…off to me.

Particularly the arms of Big Barda and Huntress – they appear to be oddly proportioned.

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Nice Jesus Saiz cover for Checkmate.

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Strong cover by George Perez for Brave and the Bold #1. I especially like the buildings.

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Very cool Pete Woods cover for Firestorm.

What is Pete Woods doing nowadays? He is ginchy.
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This is awkward.

I thought I was getting a bit unfair when it came to Ethan Van Sciver’s covers – it was getting to the point where I was using his work more as a punchline than as an actual critical concern.

So I figured, okay, this month, I’ll give the guy a break.

Then I saw this Flash cover…

….

He is making it difficult.
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Not the most original idea in the world, but this Derec Donovan cover design is still a good one (the execution is a bit off, though, especially Connor’s face).

Hey, MacQ, how’s the archery?
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This Green Arrow cover looks like each character is vogueing, because none of those poses looks particularly realistic.

How about this one, MacQ?
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Good Chaykin cover for Hawkgirl.

Very ominous.
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Nice cover design for Green Lantern by Ethan Van Sciver.

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By FAR the best Ion cover Kalman Andrasofszky has done.

Impressive work.
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Tallulah Black?

Seriously?

Oh well, I will have some faith!

Nice Phil Noto cover.
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How did Larry Hama miss out on Lava-Action Batman for his run on Batman?

Decent enough Dan Jurgens cover for JLA Classified.
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Pretty neat Alex Ross cover for Justice.

I think it is fairly dynamic, actually.
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Man, somber painted covers are awesome enough on JSA – but somber painted covers of brand-new characters, even better!!

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Interesting Alex Sanchez cover for JSA Classified – sorta like a good Pat Lee.

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Al Barrionuevo continues his strong, action-oriented covers on Martian Manhunter.

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Kevin Nowlan is awesome, but this Manhunter cover has some awkward posing.

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Shane Davis has another strong Mystery in Space cover. I enjoy his willingness to try different approaches for the covers.

Very dynamic.

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It may LOOK like the stupid OMAC guy is dead, but I think he is just sleeping, as he is as bored with this comic as I am.

Renato Guedes is great, though!
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A staggering switch in style by Henry Flint for this Omega Men cover. It’s almost Humberto Ramos-esque!

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“It’s okay, baby, I won’t let you read Outsiders anymore.”

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Tom Derenick has improved so much the past year or so. It’s great to see.

This Shadowpact cover is pretty good.

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Can’t say I find this Barry Kitson Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes cover all that interesting. It seems like one of those “scenes from the comic” covers.

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Hah!

I love it!

Mike Huddleston has realized, “There’s no way to make goateed Spectre look cool,” so he just drew him like a goateed black man. Well played, Huddleston!
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I love the cover design by Howard Porter for this Trials of Shazam cover (the idea being that these two are just in pitched battle)…but the execution doesn’t exactly look like pitched battle, does it?

Not much movement here at all.
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Pretty decent Dodsons cover for Wonder Woman.

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What is Jericho wearing on this Teen Titans cover?

Looks like scales.

Weird.

Neat Tony Daniel homage cover, though.
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This Uncle Sam cover by Daniel Acuña is strong. Very emphatic cover.

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Nice Sanford Green cover for Batman Strikes.

Is Catwoman in every other issue, or is it my imagination?

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A bit lackluster layout by Ty Templeton, who is usually a lot more interesting with his cover designs.

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It is SO weird not to see Sean Galloway drawing Teen Titans Go’s cover!

Todd Nauck does a fine job, but it’s such a dramatic shift.
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Not thrilled with either Matthew Jenkins or Robert Pope’s covers on these Cartoon Network anthologies.

I like it better when anthology covers try to work in all the features.

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Very clever Scott Gross cover for Looney Tunes.

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Robert Pope does a clever Scooby Doo cover, redeeming himself!!

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Not a bad drawing by Tony Harris for this Ex Machina behind the scenes comic.

Not the most thrilling of covers, though, is it?
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Pretty neat Gen13 cover by Talent Caldwell.

I’m as surprised as you.
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Very nice Chris Sprouse cover for Midnighter.

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Nice Doug Mahnke cover for Stormwatch PHD. He is a really good artist.

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A fine drawing by Whilce Portacio for this Wetworks cover, but it’s not the most interesting subject for a cover.

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Pretty good Darick Robertson The Boys cover.

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Nice enough drawing by Neil Googe for Tranquility. Not really something that’d make me want to pick up the book, but the drawing is nice enough.

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Another strange Jonboy Meyers cover for Ninja Scroll.

It still puzzles me – his style is nothing like the interior artist, and who’s picking up a comic just because it has a Jonboy Meyers cover?!

That’s not to say he didn’t draw a nice cover, which he did.
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I am still not loving the Red Menace covers.

Way too bland.
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Strong Danijel Zezelj cover for Desolation Jones.

Excellent use of the comic’s setting.

Reminds me of Hard Boiled Comics #1 (another cover that uses the Hollywood setting well).
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Clever enough Darick Robertson cover for Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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Pretty engaging cover by John Bolton for God Save the Queen.

Certainly makes you think, “Wow, what’s THAT about?”
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Joshua Middleton sure loves him his hot tubs, doesn’t he?

Nice American Virgin cover.
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I love Brian Wood’s symbol usage on this DMZ cover.

Some of his covers were getting a bit bland, I am glad he mixed things up for this one.
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Creepy John Watkiss Deadman cover.

But in a good way!
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I love Philip Bond, but I’m not feeling this Exterminators cover.

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Nice James Jean Fables cover.

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A much nicer Jack of Fables cover, though, by Jean.

Much more clever of a design.
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One creepy ass Hellblazer cover by Lee Bermejo.

Good stuff.
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I am loving Cam Stewart’s American soldiers in Other Side, but his Vietnam ones do not have nearly as much characterization with his art – it’s weird.

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Jock is incapable of drawing a bad cover.

This Scalped cover holds true to that adage.
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Tim Bradstreet, mixing things up on this Sandman Mystery Theatre cover!

I like it!

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Clever enough Liam Sharp cover for Testament.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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Another month, another couple of strong covers by Patrick Gleason!

First, we have this action-packed Green Lantern Corps cover…

And next, we have this really striking Robin cover (it would have been higher but I thought the posing was a BIT off – also, Robin’s new costume is ugly – what is holding his shirt together, bandages?!?)

Reader David C thinks that this cover is an homage, so one cool point to anyone who can find a cover that this is an homage of!
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Dave Johnson is another regular who continually produces great covers. This 100 Bullets cover is no exception.

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I can easily see this Adam Hughes Justice League of America cover being made into a popular poster!

Strong work.
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Another great Krypto cover by Scott Jeralds.

I thought this one, in particular, was nice enough to give it an honorable mention.

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Marcelo Frusin is yet ANOTHER regular to these lists, but as you can see from his extremely stylized, engaging and dynamic covers – it is no surprise as to why.

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Ben Oliver provides a striking Nightmare on Elm Street cover. DC has gotten some strong work from some big-name artists on these titles! The licensing money must be a nice attraction.

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Excluding this JH Williams Crossing Midnight cover was a really tough decision, but it ultimately came down, I will admit, to my biases – I went with a character I was more familiar with, while this cover may be better than #5’s.

Stll, it’s a strong work by JH Williams. Very engaging.
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TOP FIVE!!
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5.

Take notes.

There may be a quiz.

Captain Marvel comics should look like….

Class dismissed!
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4.

Great, great drawing by Ryan Sook for this Friday the 13th cover.

It contains a good deal of detail, but at the same time, it has SO much detail that it perhaps loses that one “drawing you in” aspect, which is why it is not higher.
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3.

The same lack of a “drawing you in” factor is why this stunning Darwyn Cooke drawing for The Spirit is not higher.

Great artwork, but doesn’t jump out as a cover, exactly.
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2.

This Massimo Carnevale Y the Last Man cover is probably the best one he’s done, I think.

Really draws the reader in with its goofiness. I dig it.
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1.
Ladronn has been doing some strong work as of late on Atom covers, but this one I think is by far his strongest.

What a trippy, delightful cover.

Great job.
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Well, that’s it for me!

Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top five)!

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