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Judging (DC’s June) Books By Their Covers

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

DC’s May 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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Surprisingly uninspired 100 Bullets cover this month by master cover artist Dave Johnson.

Nice enough drawing, though!
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I really enjoy the way Pete Woods draws the anatomy of Wonder Girl and Supergirl. They seem so realistic, while not done in a photo-realistic style at all.

Beyond that, though, besides the frame itself, this is a pretty boring cover.
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I don’t like this Celia Calle cover for American Virgin, but let me again note how pleased I am to see Calle get work on covers, if only because Calle is so DIFFERENT from other cover artists. It is good to see an attempt to diversify the style used on comic book covers.

That it didn’t turn out that great for this particular cover does not mean that they were not right to use her.
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This Paul Rivoche Aquaman cover is soooooo close to being an awesome cover.

The use of the Aquaman statue was brilliant – setting up an excellent mood and setting.

But then Rivoche had to go and draw the current Aquaman – awfully.

That is just a hideously drawn Aquaman – so bad that it drops this cover down a bunch of notches in my book.
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How funny is this? They previewed a poster version of a cover that hadn’t been solicited yet!!!

Decent enough cover by the Dodsons.
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Nicely executed cover by Ladronn, except that the idea he is executing isn’t exactly a great one.

He gets the best out of the idea, though.
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Hopefully we won’t hear Lobo’s thoughts of the sexual availability of Supergirl.

Anyhow, not a bad cover, really.
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A bad cover, really.

I’ll cut Cully Hamner some slack, in that I don’t think anyone could really make the new Eclipso look good (who designed her, anyways? Anyone know? A cool point to the first person to tell me who designed her!), but even then, the layout is just not very good at all.
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This could possibly be the best cover Whilce Portacio has ever drawn.

I don’t see a signature – could someone else have possibly drawn this and they just mis-credited it in the solicits? It isn’t, like, amazing or anything, but it is a good, solid cover with a clever premise.
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This Sanford Greene cover is all over the place – in a bad way.

Not a good Batman Strikes cover.
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Doesn’t Stephane Roux’s art look just like Scott McDaniel’s on this Birds of Prey cover?

Otherwise, while not the most inspired of cover ideas, Roux draws it well – using a very different style than usual.
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Pretty bland Travis Kotzebue cover for Cartoon Network Action Pack.

Two big guys wrestling – and that’s it. Bland, I say, BLAND!
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Decent Robert Pope cover for Cartoon Network Block Party, as the cover idea, while not super clever or anything, is at least AN idea – and not just two big guys wrestling.

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Wait, this is still part of the crossover with Outsiders, right? But this cover doesn’t look like it would connect with ANY of the covers shown before, does it?

Weird.
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I think this is a terrible cover design.

If you wanted to go with the top style of art – fine. If you wanted to go with the bottom style of art – fine.

But to MIX?

It looks really jarring (in a bad way).
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I think JH Williams, on his Crossing Midnight covers, has reached the level of “Hey, I’m JH Williams! Everyone knows I am awesome! I drew all those rad Promethea covers! So if I want to just draw some weird crap that doesn’t really make any sense on these Crossing Midnight covers, you’re going to let me and you’re going to LIKE it!”

Not a good cover.

But Williams is still awesome.
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I think this is actually one of the biggest signs of trouble I have seen from DC – the notion that they’re letting Ed Benes be the cover artist for a full month’s work of their big year-long project?

That’s just absurd.

They had JG Jones draw each cover of 52.

They had Adam Kubert draw the first month’s covers for Countdown.

And now ED BENES?

It’s absurd.

And yes, the cover is really bad otherwise (besides the utter stupidity of “DARK MARY MARVEL”), too.
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Decent Catwoman cover, but I will be so happy when the Hammer/Sickle storyline is over.

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Okay, if you know me at all, you would know that I am not a fan of the whole “half-naked chick poses lying down on the cover” cover (although Quitely did such a great job with that concept on Bite Club, I made an exception), but I have to hand it to Nick Bradshaw…that is a damn funny cover concept.

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This cover reminds me of those old Wonder Woman comics where Diana teamed up with herself as a girl and a toddler.

If there is a future cover of Ex Machina where Mitchell Hundred is balancing his young self while he is water-skiing, then I would be happy.
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Not a BAD Philip Bond cover for Exterminators, but nor is it a particularly inspired one, either.

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I will admit it – they’ve got my curiosity piqued.

Apparently, the missing parts of this Flash cover will be filled in when the issue comes out – but with WHAT?

I am actually intrigued. Well done, Tony Daniel and DC!
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Scott McDaniel is not exactly the type of artist I’d have draw a romantic scene.

Maybe a romance between, like, two ninjas – while fighting on a rooftop! But that’s about it.

With that being said, he puts in a solid effort here. It’s not all that good, but the effort is clearly there.
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Wait…Tranquility? Not Tranquility from that other book? The first arc is barely over, and already a crossover? Weird.

Carlo Barberi is an upgrade over Talent Caldwell, but not a big one.
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Pretty badass Green Lantern Corps cover by Patrick Gleason.

A nice use of perspective.
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I KNEW that Hal Jordan would die for all my sins! I KNEW it!!

Seriously, though, pretty silly Sinestro Corps cover by Van Sciver, although the idea of the Sinestro Corps is a good one.

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It looks like the creature at the forefront of the cover just, like, accidentally walked into the frame.

“Honey! We’re trying to shoot a Grifter/Midnighter fight scene here! Could we get security out here, please?”
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Forgive me, but this all I thought of when I saw this cover…

When you’re a Hawk,
You’re a Hawk all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin’ day.

When you’re a Hawk,
If the spit hits the fan,
You got ancestors around,
You’re a family woman!

You’re never alone,
You’re never disconnected!
You’re home with your own:
When company’s expected,
You’re well protected!

Then you are set
With a capital H,
Which you’ll never forget
Till they cart you away.
When you’re a Hawk,
You stay a Hawk!
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Good Lee Bermejo Hellblazer cover.

Nothing too fancy, but it gets the point across.
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If it weren’t for the glaring genericness of all the characters featured on this Brian Stelfreeze Highwayman cover, I think it would be an honorable mention.

Very nicely designed cover by Stelfreeze (hey, he ever finish that comic he was working on with Devin Grayson?).
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Okay, here’s the funniest thing about this JLA cover…courtesty of Loren, I found a blog entry on Brad Meltzer’s MySpace page, where Meltzer stated that he had Turner REDUCE the size of Power Girl’s breasts on this cover.

And this is what we got (AFTER the reduction)….

Come on, that’s just plain ol’ hilarious, no?
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Interesting cover idea by Howard Porter for JLA Classified, but I don’t think he worked the idea out well enough for the actual publication.

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I really like this Zach Howard JLU cover.

Very dynamic.
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Another good Matt Haley JSA Classified cover, but a big drop-off from the previous issue, which was a lot cleverer (more clever?).

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Here’s a good example of using odd perspectives to good effect.

The weird angle Ross takes with this Justice cover is jarring, but in a good way.

Draws the reader’s attention to the cover image.
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THIS one, though, is jarring in a bad way. Rather than drawing the reader’s attention in, it just confuses them – “What the hell am I looking at?”

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Decent Steve Uy homage cover.

First one to name the cover it is homaging gets a cool point!
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Decent Scott Jeralds Looney Tunes cover, but a big step down from his previous efforts, which showed a lot more cleverness.

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Frusin goes a BIT too much over the top with this Loveless cover.

Is he EVER gonna draw an interior again?
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Not a bad Chris Sprouse cover, but also not all that striking of a cover.

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Besides some of the figure work, this JonBoy Meyers cover is quite strong.

Nice, dynamic layout.
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No offense to Kevin West, but the drop off from Ryan Sook to Kevin West is striking.

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SEE! But THIS Outsiders cover looks like it IS tied in to the other Checkmate and Outsiders covers!!

What gives?!?

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A little too strange of an idea by Pat Gleason, but I give him points for trying.

It just doesn’t work all that well as an idea – the reflection from the back of a watch? That really doesn’t even make all that much sense.
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Very nice Robert Pope Scooby Doo cover.

Nice perspective use.
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Which cover is this homaging again? I honestly forgot. I guess a cool point for the first one who tells me, but it feels like a cheap cool point, as I know it is a famous cover.

Decent enough cover by Ale Garza, except those creepy ass facials.
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Bland cover idea, but executed well enough by Barry Kitson.

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Nicely drawn by Tom Derenick, but this Shadowpact cover is a total “scene from the comic as cover” cover, which I generally do not like.

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My pal Justin told me he knew what joke I’d make here – “Oh no, the Metal Men are stupid OMAC robot things now!!!”

That’s not a bad point.

Instead, I will just note that that is a really bad cover by “Pat Lee.”
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Okay, I get Superman’s background being Krypton exploding, but why is Batman’s background ping pong balls?

Oh, PEARLS.

Yeah, not too clear there, Dustin Nguyen.

And not a great cover period, really.
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Carlos Pacheco’s cover for this Superman issue is strangely ugly.

I’ve heard the criticism that Pacheco’s faces look weird – anyone agree?
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Nice Sale cover for Supernatural.

The sort of thing that would be appealing to folks (like me) who know nothing about Supernatural.
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Nice Mike McKone cover for Stormwatch.

Anyone read the latest issue of Stormwatch? That was hilariously lame. A whole issue just to explain how the original Stormwatch are still alive? What the heck was the point of the “Worldstorm” other than to let creators do what they want with the books? Gail Simone isn’t spending issues of Gen13 explaining why the Gen13 characters are meeting each other again for the first time. Just use the “Superboy punch” that was given to you!
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This is a great poster, but not a great cover, I don’t think.

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Man, Darick Roberston is sooo wasted on these Texas Chainsaw Massacre covers.

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I don’t like Sharp’s rendering on this Testament cover, but the weirdness factor is just enough to bring it up to a solid “okay” cover.

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Decent Trials of Shazam cover by Howard Porter.

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Another “panel as cover” cover for Welcome to Tranquility.

The emoticon character is a funny enough idea, but it’s not so clever as to merit its own cover.
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You know what? Tony Daniel is becoming a pretty good artist.

He’s shedding the bad habits he had in the past and adding good fundamentals. Nice to see.

Decent Teen Titans cover.
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I don’t dig this Todd Nauck Teen Titans Go cover.

A bit too busy.
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“She used to use this when killing people…I miss her so much.”

Weird Portacio Wetworks cover. Are we sure about the credits to that Batman Confidential cover?
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HONORABLE MENTIONS!!
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Very nice Jock cover.

Striking and clever, easily the best thing Scalped has going for it.
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Nicely subdued Dodsons cover for Wonder Woman.

I like when they experiment a bit with their art.
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Veitch continues to have some funny, striking covers for Army@Love.

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Very clever cover design by Brian Wood for DMZ.

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You know, Simone, there ARE colors in the rainbow that you can use!

Still, very nice cover layout for this Detective Comics cover.
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So, I’m looking at Jack of Fables, and it mentions “a shocking new mystery cover artist!” But the previous cover artist was James Jean, one of the best cover artists in the industry – so who could they possibly be having to replace Jean with that would “shock” us?!

My interest…it is piqued.

Nice James Jean Fables cover.
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TOP FIVE!!!
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5. I love when Brian Bolland draws covers in this style. He is such an awesome aper.

Nice cover layout. Very attractive.

And a trade filled with Jimmy Olsen’s many transformations? AWEsome.
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4. Gotta feel for Ryan Sook, first Nightmare on Elm Street, and now Nightwing?!

Not exactly top of the market.

Still, he does an excellent job on his debut cover.

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3. Very clever Cooke cover for Spirit.

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2. JH Williams back on covers!!! Awesome!

I love when artist do those old school/new school mixes, and Williams does it really well here.
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1. Williams AND Quitely doing great covers the same month?

Awesome.

Very neat All Star Superman cover.
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Well, that’s it for me! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top fives)!!

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