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Judging (DC’s February) Books By Their Covers

by  in Comic News Comment

DC’s February solicits are up (they’ve been up so long that March is up today!), so let’s 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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Dynamic Aaron Lopresti cover for Action Comics.


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Bit of a lackluster cover homage, though, by Lopresti to the #0 issue of the new Adventure Comics.


I really don’t understand why you’d change the angle on the shot like that. I don’t think it helps the piece at all.
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Decent straightforward Batman Confidential cover by the legendary Jose Garcia-Lopez.


Can’t believe it’s really taken this long to get King Tut into the comics!
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I was there that day that Kelley Jones and Anatomy got into a huge fight. As Anatomy walked away in a huff, I heard Jones shout, “I’m through with you, Anatomy! THROUGH!”


This Batman: Gotham After Midnight shows the ramifications of their quarrel.
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I’m digging the slightly tighter pencils from Lee Garbett here.


How amusing is it, though, that the book lasts 50 issues as the Outsiders, gets re-launched as Batman and the Outsiders, and within 15 issues, it’s back to the Outsiders again?

Not exactly stellar future planning there…
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Speaking of odd homages to classic covers, Andy Kubert makes some rather, well, odd design decisions on this Detective Comics cover homage to Bob Kane’s famous Detective Comics #27 cover.


I think it works better, though, than Lopresti’s Adventure Comics #0.
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Strong final issue cover by Don Kramer.


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Good final issue cover by Freddie Williams III (I wonder where he’s going to be going next?), although Robin really should ease up on the hair product.


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I love me some Joshua Middleton, and this Supergirl cover is okay, but it’s not nearly as dynamic as his usual Supergirl covers.


In addition, is Superwoman supposed to look that unimposing?
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Impressive cover layout on this Brave and the Bold cover by Doug Braithwaite.


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A very clever farewell cover by Rafael Albuquerque.


One of the few things to look forward to re: Blue Beetle’s cancellation is that we will likely get to see Rafael Albuquerque get bigger and bigger assignments – he is good and just getting better all the time.
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Woah, unannounced Marvel/DC crossover on this Cully Hamner cover for Black Lightning Year One!



Look everyone, it’s that guy from that issue of Generation X!

Or at least his cousin.

Seriously, though, that’s a nice cover design by Hamner – the Superman, in particular, looks dynamite.
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You can usually count on Dan Jurgens to provide bold superhero poses on his covers, and he does so on this Booster Gold one!


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Nice final issue cover by Stephane Roux.


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If you add some laughter to this cover, Joker-style, this Phil Hester cover would be amazing.


Even without lettering, it is quite good. Electrifying, even. 😉
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Gotta give Ivan Reis credit, he delivered on the emotion “required” by the character on this Green Lantern cover, and greed is certainly something that’s not exactly easy to convey. So good job, Ivan!


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Pat Gleason must have missed the memo – he covered up the female character’s ass shot and gave us the guy character’s ass shot!

Doesn’t he know anything about the public’s desire to see the asses of female comic book characters on comic book covers?!?!?


Someone get Professor Benes on the line for some tutoring!
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Of course, as if on cue, right after I tease the guy, Benes come back with this stunning Justice League drawing (sans ass shot).


I dunno if it necessarily works as a cover, but wow, as a drawing, that’s an amazing looking Doctor Light by Benes (he’s credited in the solicits, at least).

If we could get THAT in JLA monthly, could that be arranged?
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The cover idea is good, but David Michael Beck’s art here is way too “photoshop-y.”


The flier looks like it does not exist on the same plane as the background figure.
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That’s an awesome, awesome drawing by Jerry Ordway.


I don’t have it higher because the way it is laid out, it looks more like an interior panel than a shot meant to stand on its own, but still, what a great drawing.

I have been LOVING the way Ordway has been given more and more to do with JSA as of late.

He’s a great artist.

And I bet he’s happy with the notion that Desaad has likely been possessing Mary Marvel for quite some time now (yes, that was not conveyed in Countdown at ALL, but hey, communication between creators is overrated).
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Good Dave Johnson cover for this new out of continuity superhero book by Peter Tomasi and Peter Snejbjerg (you might recall them as being the creative team for Tomasi’s first comic work for DC,


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A fun thing about outer space is that you can have people leaping out at you at all sorts of odd angles and explain it as “no gravity!”


With that in mind, good REBELS cover by Andy Clarke.

When did Vril Dox start working for JAG, though?
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The slightly more restrained approach really suits Justiniano.


Good cover for Reign in Hell.
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Scott Hampton’s Simon Dark covers usually are not the most dynamic of covers, but usually the design elements are so strong that the cover still pops.


This cover, though, seems flat AND doesn’t exactly have an impressive design.
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Nice drawing by Nicola Scott, but I don’t think it is bold enough for a cover shot – as an interior, it’d be great, but as a cover it is lacking.


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Interesting to see Dan Jurgens do the cover for the last issue of Tanget: Superman’s Reign.


Decent enough cover by Jurgens.

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Poor Joe Bennett – the Clock King is not exactly the greatest figure to feature on a comic book cover, and a result, this Terror Titans cover just looks kinda hokey.


But Bennett draws it well enough.
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I love how bold this Howard Porter Titans cover is, however, the character drawings are way too sharp and angular, and the perspective seems to be all off for most of the characters on the cover.


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It’s interesting, I am not too impressed by the main character drawings on this Shane Davis triptych, but the REST of the characters are drawn quite well, and in the cool style that I know Davis can draw in (and the inker helps, too, of course) – bright and not a lot of cross-hatching.


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So…male or female on this Eddy Barrows Teen Titans cover?


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Nice sense of movement by Walt Simonson on this Nightwing cover, but the figures look a lot less sharp than a typical Simonson drawing.


Nightwing, in particular, appears to be lacking definition.
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Good Justiniano cover for the War that Time Forgot.


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Can’t blame Aaron Lopresti for this Wonder Woman cover – unless, of course, he was the one who designed Genocide.


If so, then, well, okay, I guess we can blame him.

Genocide looks re-donk-you-lus.
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Nice Mike Kunkel cover for Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam.


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Very strong cover layout by Scott Jeralds for the Batman: Brave and the Bold.


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I love the idea of giving the popular features of Cartoon Network Action Pack the whole cover, and a group shot works well here that it might not work so well on a serialized comic.

This Jay Stephens’ cover of Secret Saturdays could really help sell the book in a way that an action shot really might not.


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Good Camp Lazlo cover by Robert Pope for Cartoon Network Block Party.


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Perhaps I should move this Robert Pope Scooby Doo cover up higher – it’s a very strong visual design.


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Very cute Supergirl cover by Eric Jones.


I love the look on her face as she drops the book and pencil.
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I really don’t get how this Simon Coleby Authority cover is meant to sell the book.


It’s well-drawn, but it is as interesting as paragraphs of exposition.
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Howard Chaykin gives the first cover of Bang! Tango a cover that certainly evokes the title better than one could ever expect.


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Once again, Brandon Badeaux is doing his best with what he has to work with.


What fascinates me is that Liam Sharp is not doing rhe covers – the he-men of Gears of War seem to fit Sharp’s style perfectly.
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An okay Niko Henrichon cover for the Mirror’s Edge.


Excellent city backdrop, though.
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A very endearing cover by Tom Fowler for the second issue of his new book with writer Jeff Parker.


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Maybe I should just drop judging these video game covers, because you have to imagine the editorial restraints are massive.


Mario Alberti is a lot better artist than this, and I bet it came down to him following some sort of guideline for the cover. Same with Mirror’s Edge, Gears of War, etc.
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Then again, while I am unfamiliar with the video game Resistance, I find it hard to believe that this CP Smith is what the game is like, so perhaps they have more freedom than I think.


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Leandro Fernandez changes his usual Stormwatch cover routine a bit, and the results are impressive.


Nice motion and an intriguing design.
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Neil Googe, too, comes back from a rather disheartening Wildcats cover last month with an intriguing one here.


A lot more laid back of a cover than last one, with the over the top silliness of Maul fighting some other jolly goofy giant.
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Straightforward Jon Buran cover for World of Warcraft, but I think it’s an effective one.


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I’m really liking these drawn X-Files covers by Jim Daly & Tim Bradstreet.


Nice dramatic feel to the cover, and the characters are still cartoon-y enough to be fluid and not stiff.
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I still can’t get over how seamlessly John Paul Leon took over DMZ cover duties.


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Man, what a lame cover by James Jean! Who wants to see a big ol’ Top Secret sign on a cover?!?!

Of all the nerve!


What’s that?

Oh….

Never mind, then.
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I like the slightly different cover layout than normal from Glenn Fabry for Greatest Hits.


It’s a nice mix of the mundane with the surreal.
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That’s one scary-ass effed up baby right there by Lee Bermejo!


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This Glenn Fabry cover, unlike the Greatest Hits cover, is ONLY mundane.


Nicely drawn of course, as this IS Glenn Fabry we’re talking about, but what a boring cover image for House of Mystery.
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A strong Kaluta cover for Haunted Tank.


This book has gotten some impressive cover artists so far!!
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Brian Bolland must be having a BLAST with these Jack of Fables covers.


Yet another hilariously offbeat one.
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Solid Young Liars cover by Lapham, as usual.


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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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I love the layout on this Yuko Shimizu Dream Hunters cover.


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Brian Bolland is having some fun on this Spirit cover, too, but I think this cover idea jumps out a bit more than the Jack of Fables one.


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Bold Air cover by M.K. Perker.


It adds a bit more flair than previous issues – so it was definitely a good pick by DC to use for their “jump on” issue.
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A good, distinct conclusion to the Vixen mini-series by Joshua Middleton.


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Come on! It’s Starro as a pirate!!


J. Bone – will you marry me?
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Mike Huddleston has such an amazing style to him.


This Gen 13 cover is way too cool for a cover that is basically just a guy riding a skateboard.
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It’s not even that Amy Reeder Hadley rocks this Madame Xanadu cover, execution style, but the idea is so strong that I still enjoy it a lot.


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It’s Jock!

He is almost genetically incapable of doing a bad cover!


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Igor Kordey has had a number of very striking covers for Unknown Soldier.


Love the water effect.
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A grand farewell to 100 Bullets courtesy of Dave Johnson.


For 100 issues, Johnson has delivered with numerous stunningly designed covers – he is a comic book treasure.
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TOP FIVE
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5. Andy Kubert is a pretty good cover artist, but this Batman cover for the first part of the Neil Gaiman two-parter is some of the best work I’ve seen from him on a cover in awhile.


The layout is excellent and the execution is strong, too.
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4. This Alex Ross cover loses some points for the fact that Pa Kent died, what, seventeen months ago or something like that?


Still, it’s a powerful image.
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3. Speaking of a powerful image (and I was – look at ranking #4 if you don’t believe me), Ladrönn delivers one on this Green Arrow/Black Canary cover.


Definitely a cover that forces you to take a gander at it.
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2. See, this is what I’m talking about when I say Billy Tucci should just DRAW!

When he is just drawing freehand, he can be dynamite, like this bursting off the page Sgt. Rock cover.


If Tucci spent too much time on photorealism for Rock and the Tank (which many artists do), it would have DRAMATICALLY sapped the cover out of tons of energy – by drawing them freehand (with photo references, of course, but that’s fine), Tucci allows himself to add a great deal of manic energy to the cover, resulting in an awesome cover – the best of the series so far (by far).
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1. Massimo Carnevale should really start doing covers on, like, stilts or something or drawing in the back of a convertible with the top down. He needs to up the difficulty level somehow, because he makes great covers look so easy.


Yet another dramatic cover using colors and shading beautifully, as well as shadows and perspective to create a beautiful work of cover art.
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Well, there you have it!

Feel free to share YOUR Top Fives and YOUR prejudices!