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Judging (DC’s September) Books By Their Covers

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

DC’s September 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? And DC’s covers are at least detailed enough that we CAN make prejudgements based on them!).

Let’s begin!
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Jock is incapable of drawing a bad cover.

As seen her on this awesome Rush City cover, which, as of this cover, is the first time knowing that Rush City is set in the DCU.

You’d think they’d make a bigger deal out of that, no?
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Never has a solicit been so accurate regarding the creative team…

“by the incomparable team of writer Grant Morrison and artists Andy Kubert & Jesse Delperdang!”

That IS correct, you really can’t compare Grant Morrison to Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang.
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I really dug Simone Bianchi’s work on Shining Knight (and his Green Lantern fill-in).

However, the more Detective Comics covers I see from him…

the more I think DC didn’t really make that bad of a call letting Marvel have him.

The novelty of his covers are wearing off for me, especially the “muted color” covers, like this one and his Marvel debut (not counting the variant he did for Squadron Supreme), Wolverine Origins #3.
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One cool point to the person who can tell me the last time DC or Marvel did a Pieta cover (not counting Crisis homages)!

Pretty good job by Ariell Olivetti on the Legends of the Dark Knight cover.
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Have to give it up to Ian Churchill for this Supergirl cover…

Definitely a clever cover layout.
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Wow, first Infinite Crisis #7 and now Superman/Batman covers!

I see the new “in” thing to do is to just color unfinished backgrounds red!
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Certainly not a BAD Superman Returns cover by Adam Hughes…

…but nor is it all that memorable of one.

And I think it’d be awesome if the flag thing wasn’t just a mistake, but was actually some long, complicated protest. “You see, man, the stripes are off…just like AMERICA, MAN!!!”
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That is one creepy ass Atom cover by Ariel Olivetti…

I approve.
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I don’t mean to be too picky here…

But don’t the background figures on this Butch Guice Aquaman cover look like they have bland features for, like, no reason?
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Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!

THAT’s the type of fun, Silver Age-y cover I’d like to see from Jerry Ordway for his Birds of Prey covers. Strong cover.
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I am torn on this Duncan Rouleau Blue Beetle cover.

I like a lot of the detail work, and I love the Justice League members up on top, but ultimately, I think the piece is a little too busy.
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VERY strong Jesus Saiz Checkmate cover here.

Woo hoo! Suicide Squad is back!
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Either the new Flash has to register under Megan’s Law…

or Ken Lashley screwed the pooch a bit with the relative size of Flash and his new love interest.
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Very strong Creeper cover by Justiniano.

Creeper seems like it’ll be pretty good.
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It sorta saps the drama out of the current Firestorm storyline…

when you know from a cover that, months later, it’ll just be more punching those puppet-esque creatures.

Nice drawing by Stelfreeze, though.
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Check out the inter-company crossover!

Green Lantern versus U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M.!

But I though Flag-Smasher was dead?

As for the cover, man, that is some weeeird perspective.
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Very well-done cover for Green Lantern Corps by writer Dave Gibbons…

…but it is a bit strange following up regular cover artist (and penciller) Patrick Gleason’s style with Gibbons. Kinda jarring. Nice cover, though!
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Good to see Kalman Andraszofsky finally coming up with a good-looking Ion cover.

Nothing astonishing, but still, a nice improvement on his earlier covers.
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Only ONE 52 cover!

It’s a good one, though. JG Jones has been doing a great job on the 52 covers.

I LOVE the solicitations for the book, by the way. Every book should do this! Post quotes from the upcoming issue! What a neat idea!
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Not a bad drawing by Scott McDaniel for Green Arrow…

But as a cover?

Not engaging enough by any stretch.
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Great off-beat cover from Chaykin for Hawkgirl, though!

Although you have to put far too much effort in to see her protruding nipples (they’re still there, though). Chaykin, you have to make things easier for us! The protruding nipples should be visible a mile away!
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I am massively torn on this Martian Manhunter cover by Al Barrionuevo…

I don’t like the new look for J’onn, and I REALLY don’t like the new costume.

That being said, that’s a pretty well laid out cover, isn’t it?

Very dynamic.
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I’ll give them Tony Bedard some credit here, the idea of Hour Man fighting Bane?

I’m pretty sure NOone could have predicted THAT match-up, yet it makes more than a little bit of sense.

Weird art, though, by McDaniel, for this JSA Classified issue.
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First off – Boo on Kid Amazo being pushed back!

Secondly, ANOTHER arc involving the Justice League being concerned about interfering with foreign countries?

Is that the JLA Classified “go-to” plot nowadays? Sorta like how Legends of the Dark Knight’s is “Bruce discovers a secret from his father’s past.”

Finally, nice cover art by Killian Plunkett.
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Outside of some blurred Flash covers, I think this is probably the best Michael Turner cover I have seen yet for DC or Marvel.

And, like the blurred Flash covers, I think it is helped greatly by the shadowy outlines. Sorta distracts from the anatomy concerns.

So, who are the heroes on the cover? Is that Bulleteer? Is that Black Canary?
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When I saw that Art Thibert was going to do a Jonah Hex cover, I was worried, as Thibert is way too slick of an artist for such a gritty character.

And, well, I still think he is too slick, but not by that much. This was a good job by Thibert.
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While none of these characters on the Next cover seem all that, well, appealing…

…I will give artists Dietrich Smith & Walden Wong for a very nice cover layout.
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VERY strong cover work by artist Shane Davis for Mystery in Space #1.

Reminds me of Gary Frank.

My concerns with Davis in the past was that his pencils were a bit too loose, but this cover is quite tight. Strong work.
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Good cover layout by OMAC artist Renato Guedes, who did a good job filling in for Pete Woods on “Up, Up and Away.”

But man, do I hate them OMACs.
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Pretty good Outsiders cover by Daniel Acuña.

I would like to wish Outsiders artist Matthew Clark continued good health after his recent heart attack.
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Some strong work for this Shadowpact cover by Steve Scott.

Creative idea and nice drawing.
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Very nice cover layout by Barry Kitson, but I’m not digging the figure drawings as much. A little too stiff.

Still, a masterful cover design.
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While I don’t like the idea behind Trials of Shazam, I am digging Howard Porter’s new style.

Nice cover.
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Who the heck designed the Freedom Fighters?

I mean, YUCK.

It’s a nice cover idea by Acuña, and if he didn’t design the outfits, I guess he should be off the hook. But if he DID, then yuck.
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If Warlord was a Dark Horse book, I’d bet we’d see a variant sans loincloth…hehe…

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I’m not digging the costume of the villain, but otherwise, this is a strong Wonder Woman cover, courtesy of Terry Dodson.

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Very nice cover for Krypto the Super-Dog #1.

I am not familiar with the artist, Scott Jeralds. Does he work in animation?
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Ty Templeton could give a clinic on well-designed covers.

Excellent Justice League Unlimited cover.
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Not much going on for this Dave McCaig Batman Strikes cover.

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Nice art for Teen Titans Go by Sean Galloway…

but I think I’d prefer something more connected to the issue’s story.
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You gotta love the fact that even the WildC.A.T.S. continuity has gotten so mixed up that it needed a reboot.

WILDC.A.T.S.!!!!!!

Still, it DOES have Morrison, and a pretty strong Jim Lee cover.
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This Whilce Portacio Wetworks #1 cover may be the best piece I’ve seen from him since Heroes Reborn Iron Man…which was….well, awhile ago.

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Strong cover idea by Georges Jeanty for American Way.

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I honestly thought this was a re-solicitation of a previous Ex Machina issue.

Let’s mix things up a bit!
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Surprisingly strong cover by Andy Smith for Claw.

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A much tighter Manifest Eternity cover by Dustin Nguyen!

The difference is truly striking!
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At least we can decipher this Rokkin cover by Nick Bradshaw.

Not a bad cover.
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It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a comic book with sillier cover cleavage than this Skye Runner cover by Ale Garza.

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Very striking cover by Michael Chang for Ninja Scroll #1.

And with J. Torres writing the book, this adaptation could be quite good.
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Glenn Fabry is an…interesting choice for cover artist for the new American Splendour mini-series.

I’d prefer to see a Dean Haspiel cover.
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Good Dave Johnson 100 Bullets cover.

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Big cover design departure by Brian Wood for this month’s DMZ.

Clever idea on Wood’s part.
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I like John Watkiss, but this Dead Man cover is a bit…

bland.
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But wait, it gets blander!

Lee Bermejo is awesome. I’d like to see something more on a cover, though, then just Constantine standing there.

Even IN a pile of dead bodies!
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Just like how I’d prefer not to see the clever cover idea from Exterminators #1 repeated.

It’s loses cleverness when it is no longer novel.
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What a neat insight into Massimo Carnevale’s creative process for his cover art on Y The Last Man!

Unless, of course, that’s actually what the cover looks like. In which case, well, huh?
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Decent cover for Loveless by Marcelo Frusin, but he’s hurt by the high standards he’s set by such strong covers in the past.

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Well, that’s a nice drawing of a lady underwater by Liam Sharp.

Not sure if it works as a cover of Testament, but it IS a nice drawing!
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HONORABLE MENTIONS!
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JAMES JEAN ATTACK!!!!
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First, here’s an excellently moody cover to the new Fables hardcover using the clever idea of having Snow White do a Scheherazade routine, allowing Willingham to tell many different styles of stories with different artists.

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Nice Fables cover. Not much to say here.

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One of the more inventive covers by Jean in recent months. I’d like to see more covers like this from him (this one is for a reprint edition of Fables #1).

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Good Jack of Fables cover, but a bit lacking in the concept department.

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Yes, the cover CONCEPT of this American Virgin cover by Joshua Middleton is a bit…trashy.

But it is very well-drawn!
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Garry Leach drawing war planes.

Yep, I think that works.
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I LOVE the washed look on this Superman cover by Carlos Pachecho.

Each month, he does a great job on the Superman covers, but I think I’d like something a little more “oomph”y to get it to the Top Five.
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GREAT cover idea by Matt Wagner for Batman and the Mad Monk.

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Strong cover work by Adam Hughes for Catwoman.

So much going on here. It really works.
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Very bold Robin cover by Patrick Gleason.

I dig it.
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TOP FIVE!
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5. What did I say earlier about Jock?

This isn’t the most original cover in the world, but damned if it isn’t effective as all hell.
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4. In a stronger month, I don’t know if Dave Gibbons’ super-cool newspaper cover would make top five, but well, it makes it this month!

Strong work by Gibbons, great layout, and funny lines!
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3. A truly stunning cover by Kevin O’Neill for the last League of Extraordinary Gentlemen project.

Great, great work.
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2. I figured this All Star Superman cover would be #1 easily.

What a strong, bold, involved cover by Frank Quitely. But what could beat this?
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1. Darwyn Cooke.

Oh.

Yeah.
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Okay, that’s it for me, folks!

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

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