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Judging (DC’s November) Books By Their Covers

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

DC’s November 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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“Thank you, Superman! Now I will never have to read Countdown ever again!!”

The name change is a great idea, by the way!
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Nice cover by Pete Woods.

Then again, it is a cover by Pete Woods, so the “nice” part is usually implied.
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What a weird looking Andy Kubert Action Comics cover.

It’s not bad, probably one of Kubert’s stronger covers, layout-wise, but those are some weird-looking Legion of Superheroes designs, even if they ARE supposed to be adult versions of the Legion.

By the by, it happened awhile ago (during the Lightning Saga), but I am already way disinterested in the whole, “Why do we have different Legionnaires?” storyline.
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I can say, with about 87% certainty, that whatever costume this mysterious character is wearing, it is going to look bad.

That is one bruuuuuuuutl silhouette right there.

Otherwise, nice Superman cover by Jesus Merino.
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I like this Merino cover for the Superman Annual even more.

Nice cover design with a real “pop” to the characters.
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Yes, Supergirl! Use fire to cleanse yourself of the first two years or so of your title!!

Drew Johnson is a good pick-up for a new ongoing artist for Supergirl.
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Another strong Dustin Nguyen cover for Superman/Batman.

I especially enjoy his depiction of Darkseid. It has a real classic Kirby feel to it.
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Intriguing Mike McKone Superman/Batman cover.

The solicitation scares the bejeesus out of me, though – “Identity Crisis showed how evil Dr. Light could be, but writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and fan-favorite artist Mike McKone take him to a new level in this stand-alone special issue guest-starring Steel!”

Identity Crisis showed Dr. Light RAPING Sue Dibny! Do any of us REALLY want to see the next level?
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Very nice, understated Denys Cowan cover for Batman Confidential.

I think I’ve asked this question before – but those little credit boxes – does the penciler draw that, or the inker? I just wonder whether Cowan thought to include his inker in the credit, or if Floyd did that himself.
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Interesting Tony Daniel Batman cover.

Batman’s costume is beyond bizarre, though. It’s like Daniel was only allowed to SORTA redesign the costume for this storyline – I dig the idea of adding chain mail, but the overall look just seems weird.

Especially the belt just hanging out like that – that seems like a fashion decision, not something Batman would do.
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Simone Bianchi’s finest Detective Comics cover in months.

Surprisingly (okay, not surprisingly at all), it is when he added a little dash of color to the proceedings.
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I like this Andy Kubert Robin cover.

I especially enjoy the way he actually has the fight seem somewhat realistic. They look like they are actually in a real fight.

And I can’t even begrudge him for making Tim look a bit old, because I have no idea how Tim is supposed to be nowadays anyways.
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Nice Tony Daniel cover for Nightwing.

Daniel is impressing me with the fluidity of his pieces.
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Strong Adam Hughes drawing of Catwoman.

Bit routine for an actual cover, though.

Still, a strong drawing.

You could argue that Hughes just set such a high standard with some of his other covers. That’s a fair point.
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Interesting idea by Lee.

Show a cover of All Star Batman that depicts how a lot of fans seem to view the book, through crimson red with rage glasses.
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I’ll give Koi Turnbull this much – his covers certainly are packed with energy.

Not much MORE than that, but at least they’re packed with energy!!
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Sooo…Gotham Underground is a tie-in to Salvation Run, which is a mini-series tie-in to Countdown?

How can it NOT be good, then?!!?

Seriously, decent Calafiore cover. I love the little Bat-Mite bit.
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Well, as I said before, it was right sporting of DC to put both Judd Winick AND Ian Churchill on the same book.

I think people are making too much out of Power Boy being on the Teen Titans East. Winick is no fool, he will certainly address Power Boy’s Supergirl situation in the comic book.

Who is the blond woman, by the way?
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Nice Sanford Greene Wonder Girl cover.

I especially love the vacuum effect he has going on with her fingers. Very smooth.
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Is this the cover?

Or is it a page from the comic?

Either way, it is a bit less energetic than a typical Ale Garza drawing.
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Who drew this Ion cover?

It’s a decent cover – a little too laid back looking, though, for what the cover appears to be depicting.
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A very strong cover by Mauro Cascioli for Trials of Shazam.

Sabina actually looks pretty darn imposing on this cover, doesn’t she?
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Thankfully, Al Barrionuevo hides the stupid goatee quite nicely on this collection of the Spectre stories from Tales of the Unexpected.

They were all unexpectedly bad, as David Lapham is way too good of a writer for such bad comics.
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Simon Dark is described as “The most offbeat superhero in the DCU.”

“Offbeat,” sadly, in superhero comics, is usually just a synonym for “noncommercial.”

Nice Scott Hampton cover, though!
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Interesting Phil Winslade cover for Shadowpact.

The figures seem to fade to the background a bit too much, I think.
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Another good Denis Calero Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes cover.

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Kinda creepy for Dustin Nguyen to have to ape Mike Mignola. And what the heck is up with Donna Troy’s face?

Still, it was QUITE classy of DC to hire Brian Augustyn to write this one-shot.
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It was similarly classy to have Kelley Jones draw this issue, where they visit the Red Rain universe.

Odd that Moench didn’t want to do it (I presume they offered it to him, right? I mean, why would they offer it to Augustyn and Jones and not Moench?).

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Nice, solid cover by Sean Chen for Salvation Run, a goofy sounding concept involving supervillains being stranded on an alien world, Secret Wars-style.

Still, it’s Bill Willingham, so it might not be as bad as it sounds.
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Nice Kevin Nowlan Metamorpho cover.

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Suitably disturbing Lord Havok and the Extremists cover by Liam Sharp.

While I don’t like how it looks on Kyle in this drawing, on the whole, I approve of Kyle’s new costume.

Anything beats a dog collar, though, I guess.
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Wow, impressive Alex Sanchez work here.

It evokes Seth Fisher SO much to me.

I’d have it ranked a lot higher, but while it is DRAWN quite well, it doesn’t do much of a job of storytelling.
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Nice Rafa Garres Jonah Hex cover.

Nice and imposing.
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Besides the weird head in J’onn’s stomach, this Walt Simonson JLA Classified cover is note perfect.

I miss the old style J’onn.
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Pretty decent Julian Lopez cover for JLA Classified.

It reminds me a bit of Tom Derenick, before Derenick cleaned up his style a bit (and became awesome).
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Why, exactly, does Luthor not have hands with his armor?

He can blast Superman, but he can’t pick anything up. That seems like shoddy design.

Overall, this Ian Churchill Justice League cover has some nice moments to it (I like the Green Lantern and Red Arrow bits), but as a whole, it seems a bit lackluster.

Still, it’s a great concept for a cover. Really draws in the reader’s attention.

Famous superheroes fighting famous supervillains.

Wow, what a concept!
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Interesting cover layout for Infinity Inc. by Max Fiumara.

The smoke effects are quite nice.
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Sinestro’s haircut makes me laugh.

Another one of those “what are they trying to do” fight covers which I dislike, but otherwise, it is a nice idea for the close of the Sinestro Corps War storyline.
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I agree with my pal, Cay.

It is adorable the way Cliff Chiang uses partial noses for effect.

Nice Black Canary/Green Arrow cover.
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That’s one weird looking Flash cover by Manuel Garcia

He does a good Acuña impression!
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Pretty cool New Gods cover by Starlin.

He, too, has a nice classic feel for Darkseid.
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Nice John Van Fleet cover for the Crime Bible. Gives it a nice, old-fashioned noir feel, with a twist, of course.

Also, kudos to Greg Rucka for these names from the solicits – “the Daughters of Lilith” trying to convert people to “the Religion of Crime” via “the Lesson of Lust.”

It seems like Rucka took a class in cool comic names!!
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Good Gene Ha cover.

I love how he conveys such emotion in one simple drawing.
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Fun Scott Shaw! cover for the Captain Carrot comeback.

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VERY impressive Kalman Andrasofszky cover for Checkmate!

Nicely turned.

Oh, in case I didn’t make it clear these last few months – I dislike the idea of a storyline where the coolest character in the book gets “taken down” by the lamest character in the book.
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Not a fan of this Eddy Barrows cover for Countdown to Adventure.

Seems waay too busy.
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Old fashioned, but quite strong George Perez cover for Brave and the Bold.

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Nice Dan Jurgens cover for Booster Gold.

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Interesting Rafael Albuquerque cover for Blue Beetle.

I like the use of Ted Kord technology.
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Good Ladronn cover for the Atom, but it seems like Ladronn almost kinda rushed it.

It’s definitely GOOD, but doesn’t seem quite finished.
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I think the 4 Horsemen on this 4 Horsemen cover by Ethan Van Sciver are a bit Ron Frenz Rule Violation.

Well, except that I don’t think they look particularly good drawn by Van Sciver either, so I guess that’s a bit of an exception.
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Oh yeah, reissuing old Elseworlds tales as “Tales From the Multiverse”?

Pretty goofy.
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The concept behind this Stephanie Gladden Cartoon Network Block Party cover is awfully cute, but I don’t think she does a good enough of a job making the concept clear.

I think the figures should be bigger.

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Wow, a Cartoon Network Action Pack cover with not only not Ben 10 as the feature cover bit, but no Ben 10 on the cover at ALL!

That is amazing!

Nice Scott Gross Maurice Fontenot cover.From now on, if one of the cartoon artists is credited with drawing more than one cover, I will just automatically be suspicious! Bad solicits!! They also had the wrong covers up for Justice League Unlimited AND Teen Titans Go!
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Another nice Scott Gross cover, this time with a cute Daffy Duck superhero parody.

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It’s Sanford Greene, with three e’s, right? Earlier, in the Wonder Girl solicit, they only have two e’s.

Weird.

In any event, this Batman Strikes cover is a bit weird.

I don’t know what he is trying to get across here.

That Batman is dejected? I guess so, but it doesn’t come across that way. It almost looks like Batman is asleep.
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Pretty forgettable Jim Le cover for the first issue of World of Warcraft.

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This Samwise Didier cover is a step up over Lee’s, but even it is no great shakes.

I know that Walt Simonson is writing them, and he is awesome, but man, I find it hard to believe that there is enough story here to maintain an ongoing series.
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This Whilce Portacio Wetworks cover is actually pretty clever.

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Likewise, this Neil Googe Welcome to Tranquility cover, featuring a stand-off between a hero and dead comrade, is clever and just enough sweet.

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Pretty good C.P. Smith cover for The Programme.

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Again, this Chris Sprouse cover has Midnighter just posing, but wow, WHAT A POSE!

That is some nice artwork there by Sprouse. It’s like Midnighter is coming right at you!
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I’m just impressed that this Carlo Barber Gen 13 cover has something actually happening other than just a pose-off.

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Carlos D’Anda sure likes using blood to contrast stuff.

He sure is good at it, though, and it helps this Deathblow cover.
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Ah, so THAT’s why it’s called Authority: Prime, because it involves Stormwatch Prime!

Clever.

Nice superhero vs. superhero cover by Darick Robertson.
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Hehe…Armageddon: Wetworks.

What ever will happen in the future to characters no one cares about?!?

Please! I need to know!
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By the by, were these originally going to be called Apocalypse? Because the codes all say “Apoc_” rather than “Armag_”
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I love the idea of Armageddon: Tranquility.

Can anyone come up with a better oxymoron comic book title?

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I see that in the future, each member of Gen 13 is basically the same…just goofier looking (save fairchild).

All in all, though, Mike McKone did a nice job on these covers, and the cover theme was pretty well done, really.
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Clever cover concept by Massimo Carnevale.

The audience will always be worried about the pet monkey being killed!!
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So wait, each cover is going to feature a record like that?

That’s kinda boring.

You got Sean freakin’ Phillips drawing the cover for you! I think you can have him do something more interesting than that!

“Watching the Detectives” is a cool touch, though, I will admit.
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Nice enough Tomer Hanuka cover for The Un-Men.

The problem is, once you’ve committed to a book about freaks, you have to do something more than just showing us freaks in different situations.
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Well, Liam Sharp has boils down pat, at least!

All the people at least look really gross on this Testament cover!

That’s something!
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A nice piece of artwork by Jock for this Scalped cover, as we examine the death of the character featured on the cover.

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Nice looking Fables cover by James Jean.

Thank goodness for the convenient waterfall, though! Think of the children, James Jean! Think of the children!!
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This Glenn Fabry Exterminators cover is strange.

The guy is actually weirder looking than all the bugs crawling around him!
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It’s just what DMZ has been lacking…

Bootsey Collins.

Bring on the Funk, Brian Wood!
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Very strong Celia Calle cover for American Virgin.

It seems like a lost art to have the cover design draw the readers attention where the artist wants it.
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A GREAT piece of drawing by Dave Johnson, but I think it is a bit too subdued to be a good cover.

Still, that is some awesome artwork there.
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I like the nice touch of having Cheetah claw at the base of the statue.

That being said, why the heck does a Cheetah statue exist?
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I am totally digging DC’s “base figures on the work of cool artists” toy line idea.

Matt Wagner’s Trinity looked beautiful – and the toys look just as good.
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These New Gods toys based on Jack Kirby’s artwork look great, too.

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And DC continues with the strong 13 inch toy line.

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Is this Batman sculpt by Colby Jukes based on any particular artist’s work?

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Sadly, this Supergirl might be actually classier looking than DC’s actual version.

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Not so for Power Girl, though!

Why do her boots have handles?!?!
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HONORABLE MENTIONS!!
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Very strong Scooby Doo cover by Robert Pope.

Beyond the cleverness of the design, I like the moody detail, as the reader’s eye is drawn to see what Shaggy sees, and it is not obvious at first.
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A great cover design by Alexander Serra, and he executes the design quite well, as well.

The Legion of Superheroes in the 31st Century has had some nice covers recently.
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COVERS THAT LOOK LIKE PROPAGANDA!!

First, we have this John K. Snyder Suicide Squad cover…

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Next, we have this strong Patrick Gleason Green Lantern Corps cover.

By the way, where’s Dave Gibbons?!!? What is he doing now?!?!
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Kinda creepy, but ultimately awesome Dave Johnson cover for Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters.

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Great Stephane Roux Birds of Prey cover.

Wasn’t Sean McKeever taking over this comic, by the way?
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Doug Mahnke does a beautiful job of expressing Black Adam’s mindset on this Black Adam cover, and just so luckily, Adam’s weird mindset fits Mahnke’s art style perfectly!!

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Very amusing Brian Bolland Jack of Fables cover.

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A very strong JH Williams Crossing Midnight cover.

It’s like the cover to a children’s novel!
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A VERY strong cover for Faker by Jock.

This was a strong top five week, or else this would definitely be in there.
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TOP FIVE!!
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5. We say farewell to Darwyn Cooke on the Spirit with this lovely cover.

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4. Duncan Rouleau once again works in the number into the cover, and just when I thought it would look silly, he manages to make the idea work.

It would be better if more stuff was happening in the background panels that make up the four, though.
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3. A clever idea for a story by Andy Diggle, and a clever approach to the cover by Lee Bermejo.

It’s a winning combination!
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2. You just don’t get much more clever than this Rick Veitch Army@Love parody.

Scathing and brilliant.
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1. Brilliant also describes Ryan Sook’s cover work at times.

That times includes this Jimmy Olsen Countdown special cover.

That is absolutely brillaint looking.

I love how the background stone carving is even worked into the story of the cover!
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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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