Cover of the Week - December 12

Each Monday, staff writers Kevin Melrose and Steve Sunu discuss their five favorite covers from the previous Wednesday's new comic releases, selecting from among them CBR's Cover of the Week.

This week, Conan gets up close and personal, Guy Gardner gets surrounded, Logan gets ghostly, "The Massive" gets technical and the Marvel Universe readies for a battle royale.

Keep reading for Kevin and Steve's favorites from the week Dec. 12, and then discuss your choices in the CBR forums.

Massimo Carnivale's cover for "Conan the Barbarian" #11 continues his incredible run on the series as he depicts a bloodied Conan in the heat of a one-on-one death match. Carnivale's pencils are incredibly detailed, using his masterful artistic sensibility to depict a detailed expression of rage on Conan's face. Perhaps the image's most amazing aspect is the person being choked, his face full of desperation as he tries to escape Conan's headlock. -- Steve Sunu

We've seen countless covers depicting the hero surrounded by supervillains, by the military or, as in this case, the police, but Trevor McCarthy's image of a besieged Guy Gardner stands out for its cleverness: The field of energy surrounding Guy and the cops link the two parallel squad cars to form the Green Lantern emblem. -- Kevin Melrose

J.P. Leon's depiction of oil platforms -- in the post-apocalyptic world of "The Massive," they've become a sovereign nation -- is futuristic and alien while still contemporary and familiar. The absence of color within the structures make this cover seem like a technical drawing, yet the precise lines give way to crude renderings; the rigs and the ships in the background lack any detail at all. The illustration, like the utopia the people on these platforms envision, is a work in progress, and impermanent. -- Kevin Melrose

Mike Del Mundo's "Wolverine" cover is less about Wolverine and more about the ghostly woman. While Logan looks fantastic, sporting a shredded mask and sorrowful expression, it's the woman that really brings this cover home. The figure, though translucent, has a level of detail that makes for a truly chilling effect when combined with the subtle background. One of the coolest design aspects of the cover is the positioning of the "Wolverine" logo, highlighting the female figure's transparency. -- Steve Sunu

A good homage cover is difficult to pull off. To work on more than a superficial level ("Oh, hey, that looks like 'Action Comics' #1!"), the image needs to not only evoke the original cover but also reflect the content of the current comic. How many nods have we seen to the cover of "The Uncanny X-Men" #141 or to the poster of some John Hughes film that look fine but don't really function when you consider the story inside?

Thankfully, Dave Johnson's homage to the "Battle Royale" poster works on both levels. That's partly because the premise of "Avengers Arena" is relatively simple (OK, some would say derivative): Arcade forces some of the Marvel Universe's young heroes to fight each other for his entertainment. However, Johnson's masterful execution deserves much of the credit; this image is effective even if don't instantly recognize the clever take on the "Battle Royale" logo (with little A's replacing the leaves of the laurel wreath). He smartly avoids trying to replicate the movie poster, foregoing the stiff, expressionless class photo and opting instead to play up the personality of each of the characters. And the red X of the source image here is more provocative, seemingly marking two of the heroes for death. -- Kevin Melrose

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