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Judging (DC’s March) Books By Their Covers

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

DC’s March solicits have been up for quite awhile, but I don’t think April’s are up just yet, so I can still claim to be current when I 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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Very strong visual by Phil Hester for this Superman Confidential cover.

Even T has to give it up to Hester for this cover design!
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The return to DC really seems to have agreed with Scott Kolins.

His work since he’s gotten back to DC has had a lot more “pop” to it than his Marvel work.

Nice Superman/Batman Annual cover. I like seeing Joe Kelly get another crack at the World’s Finest team!
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I dunno if Renato Guedes really nailed the whole perspective shot here on this Superman cover.

It seems a bit out of proportion.

On the whole, though, Guedes is awesome.
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Intriguing Supergirl cover by Drew Johnson.

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Nice, straightforward Robin cover by Freddie Williams.

Hey, no covers by Patrick Gleason this month! What gives?
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Deathlok sure has gotten grumpy since he got wings.

Nice Nightwing cover by Rags Morales and Michael Bair.
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Stronger Gotham Underground cover by Jim Calafiore than usual.

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I love the idea of DC doing brand new covers for their trades!

That said, this Andy Kubert cover is decent, but not much more than that.
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Pretty good Tony Daniel Batman cover.

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Another nice target cover by Rags Morales for Batman Confidential cover.

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Gary Frank showing a bit more of the ol’ spark with this cover.

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VERY strong Wonder Woman cover design by Terry Dodson.

It probably should be an honorable mention.
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I don’t get Mauro Cascioli’s thought process on this Trials of Shazam cover.

It looks like he’s using models – but he’s using models who look nothing like the characters he is drawing – you don’t need to make the characters look JUST like the models, Mr. Cascioli – at least not when the models don’t look like the characters in question.
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The conflicting nature of a nice Carlos Pacheco cover and a 12-issue maxi-series catching up on the Tangent universe is enough to blow many a man’s mind.

Really?

A TWELVE-issue series devoted to the Tangent universe?
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Cool John K. Snyder cover for Suicide Squad.

Reason #139393 why the Salvation Run plot is lame – it takes Deadshot out of the Squad!!
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Cute Simon Dark cover by Scott Hampton.

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Pretty cool looking Shadowpact cover by Phil Winslade.

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Fairly blah cover for Salvation Run by Sean Chen.

I love that Girder is in this story. “Oh no! I hope Girder doesn’t get hurt!” “What will Girder do?!?” “I wonder which side Girder will take?”
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Nice cover for the Raven mini-series by “maverick” artist, Damion Scott.

I love the concept of a comic artist being a “maverick.”

If he’s like James Garner’s Maverick, then that would explain how he convinced his editor to accept some of his past Robin covers – “No, you see, I’m going for a REALLY minimalist work!”
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Pretty good Legion cover by Francis Manapul, but I wonder if perhaps the staging of the cover is a bit unclear.

Is Lightning Lad producing the lightning or reacting to it?
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Effin’ Cloud Dracula.

I hate him.

Nice JSA cover by Alex Ross.
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When I do favors for people, I tell them I’m doing them a “Sean Chen.”

Decent enough JSA Classified cover.
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Holy crap! Major Force is guest-starring in Jonah Hex?!?!

Oh, oops – sorry, Rafa Gares! My bad!
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Sadly, this JLA cover is probably a step UP for Benes.

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“What the hell has he got there??!?!”

“I think it is a kerosene lamp!”

“Holy crap! Back the hell up, Leaguers!!”

“Is it lit?”

“Omigo, I think it is lit!”

Trippy, Joshua Middleton, trippy!

Farewell, JLA Classified! You opened with Grant Morrison and you ended with Stern/Byrne – that is a fine way to open and depart!
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I guess I can give Matt CampMax Fiumara this much on this Infinity Inc. cover – the design (while not exactly inspired) is decent enough.

But overall – worse than blah.
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Nice to see Ivan Reis experimenting with his style a bit.

I like the results on this Green Lantern cover.
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Interesting Nelson cover for Green Lantern Corps.

He has a real nice, clean style.
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Oh crap!

It’s “makes you see yourself with worms on your face” man!

I love that guy!

Freddie Williams portrayed “Makes you see yourself with worms on your face” man really well on this Flash cover.
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Nice, old fashioned cover by Starlin for Death of the New Gods.

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Damn, if this Lord Havok and the Extremists cover demonstrates the amount of detail Liam Sharp puts into his PENCILS, no wonder his covers are often a bit on the tight side.

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Another good Scott Kolins cover, this time for Countdown to Final Crisis.

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This Eddy Barrows Countdown to Adventure cover is pretty much the epitome of average.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing, of course.

Better than a BAD cover!
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I like the way Stephane Roux chose not to use a standard mixed lines cover for this Birds of Prey cover.

It’s definitely interesting.
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Nice Dan Jurgens Booster Gold cov…oh wait, it has stupid OMAC robot things.

I take that back – bad cover!
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“Stay behind us, Ice! You know DC wouldd love to kill you TWICE!”

Good Rafael Albuquerque cover for Blue Beetle.
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Interesting cover by Ladrönn, in that we see a large enough picture of the Atom to see how Ladrönn handles his eyes.

And he handled them quite nicely, I might add (and I just did!).
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I like the idea of doing multiple stores in Teen Titans Go.

Todd Nauck’s split cover got the job done.
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The code for this comic is TITI.

I think the Tiny Titans are more mature than I am for finding that amusing.

Nice Art Baltazar cover.
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Cute Robert Pope Scooby Doo cover.

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Basically a good Looney Tunes cover by Scott Gross, but I think it would be nicer if it was clearer exactly what the three fellows were doing.

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A strong Cartoon Network Block Party cover by Stephanie Gladden!

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And a strong Cartoon Network Action Pack cover by Travis Kotzebue.

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Nice design on this Batman Strikes cover by Christopher Jones.

Harley Quinn seems to show up on an animated comic every other month!
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Nicely laid out Wildstorm Revelations cover by Ivan Reis.

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I especially like Reis’ level of facial detail on this next cover of Widlstorm Revelations.

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Speaking of facial features, gotta love Samwise Didier’s digital spittle on this World of Warcraft cover.

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The film Sweeney Todd used the color red in much the same way as CP Smith does on this cover.

Both look quite nice.
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Interesting cover for the New Dynamix by JJ Kirby.

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Clever looking Midnighter cover by Lee Garbett.

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Woah!

I was NOT prepared for Gen13 to suddenly have a cool looking cover!

You scared me, Michael Lopez!!
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Decent enough Freddy/Jason/Ash cover by Jason Craig.

Is Jason Craig related to Wes Craig?
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Well…that’s A cover by Darick Robertson for Authority: Prime.

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Nice, standard Jack Hawksmoor cover by Cully Hamner.

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Nice to see Tomer Hanuka try an Un-Men layout that is not simply “look at the freak!”

Even then, it’s not MUCH more than “look at the freak!”
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I expect a lot out of Jock, so I was a bit disappointed in this Scalped cover.

Not a BAD cover, but not that good, either.
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Massimo Carnevale continues his excellent usage of negative space on this Northlanders cover.

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This Zachary Baldus Jack of Fables cover is GOOD.

That said, why make a big deal out of Brian Bolland becoming the cover artist, only to replace him so soon?

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Not a big fan of this Glenn Fabry Hellblazer cover.

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What’s going on on this Tony Moore Exterminators cover?

Whatever it is, it is drawn pretty well. I just don’t get what’s going on.
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Another strong DMZ cover by Brian Wood.

He is Mr. Reliable.
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Look!

It’s the dude from Hellraiser!

Decent enough JH Williams cover for Crossing Midnight.
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Good Dave Johnson cover for 100 Bullets.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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This Dougie Braithwaite Outsiders cover is here only because I am continually amazed by how nice looking Braithwaite’s Alex Ross-inspired style is.

Even when it doesn’t exactly work, like this Outsiders cover.
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VERY clever cover approach by Alexander Serra for this Legion cover.

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Another strong Nguyen cover for Detective Comics.

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Striking cover design by Tony Harris for the first Sandtarman Omnibus.

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Same with Kevin O’Neill and the Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier.

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Cool Cliff Chiang Black Canary/Green Arrow cover, depicting them fighting off against their newest arch-rival – random lasers from the sky!!

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Kalman Andrasovfsky just continues to improve on these Checkmate covers.

Well done, Mr. Andrasovfsky!!
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Perhaps a standard pose by George Perez for this Brave and the Bold cover, but so well executed.

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Very nice job for this first issue of Super Friends by J. Bone.

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Another imposing Marcelo Frusin cover for Loveless.

I needs me some more Marcelo Frusin interiors!!
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This is why you should just let Sean Phillips draw what he wants.

He won’t let you down (as seen by this Vinyl Underground cover).
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Beautiful Mario Alberti cover for Countdown to Mystery!

He’s been quite the find for DC, hasn’t he?
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I absolutely adore this Christopher Jones Justice League Unlimited cover, but this is a strong month for covers, so it just misses…

The 2004 date is curious – was this originally meant to come out awhile ago, or was it a pin-up by Jones made INTO a cover? What’s the deal?
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TOP FIVE!!
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5. This is a really great cover for a New Frontier one-shot by Cooke.

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4. I am flabbergasted sometimes by the amount of energy Hughes manages to put into these Catwoman covers.

He’s got to be leaving the book soon, no?
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3. Very cute Teen Titans Year One cover by Karl Kerschl.

Cute AND a strong cover layout (and typical excellent execution by Kerschl).
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2. If folks choose not to pick up David Lapham’s new Vertigo title, Young Liars, it won’t be for lack of effort on Lapham’s part!

This is a great cover for a first issue.

Brimming with energy and really drawing in the reader.

Well done.
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1. It’s been awhile since I’ve been stunned by a James Jean Fables cover.

This one is stunning.
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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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