Cover of the Week: July 24

After a hiatus due to Comic-Con International, we're back to discuss our favorite covers from the previous Wednesday's new comic releases, and to select from among them CBR's Cover of the Week. Or at least Kevin Melrose is back; Steve Sunu will return next week.

This week, it's Batman and Superman versus Batman and Superman, The Flash versus the Reverse Flash, The Rocketeer versus The Spirit, and Kate Bishop versus Madame Masque.

Keep reading for Kevin's favorites from the week of July 24, and then discuss your choices in the CBR forums.

I enjoy Jae Lee's work, but my appreciation for this cover goes beyond simple personal taste: While the image is undeniably modern, it also strikes me as a throwback to the era of the spinner rack, where the cover would present a bizarre or seemingly impossible scenario that demanded the browsing kid to pick up the issue, if only to answer "How?" Here, it's the depiction Batman and Superman being strung up by versions of themselves.

The image is so simple yet so wonderfully effective, telegraphing a confrontation with the Reverse Flash in the scorched silhouette left on the ground by the lightning strike. I also like the style, which is reminiscent of graffiti art.

Frequent collaborators Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone are no strangers to The Rocketeer and The Spirit, having worked (both together and separately) on previous series starring the heroes for DC Comics and IDW Publishing. They know the characters, and how to draw out their more lighthearted aspects, such as in this cover for "The Rocketeer & The Spirit: Pulp Friction," which not only looks like poster for a 1940s romantic comedy but -- when you fold out the wraparound cover -- sets up a complicated romantic rivalry that involves Ellen Dolan and Betty.

Created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, Madame Masque may boast one of the most underrated designs in comics. There's a reason her look hasn't changed all that much since her introduction in 1968: Her metal faceplate is timeless, and damned creepy. A longtime enemy, and sometimes love interest, of Tony Stark, she was undoubtedly designed with Iron Man in mind; Madame Masque's cold, blank faceplate in many ways mimics that of the Golden Avenger. But between the suggestion of eyebrows and the glowering eyes, Whitney Frost resembles, more than a little, some sort of demonic doll. That connection is only intensified in Javier Pullido's cover for "Hawkeye Annual" #1, in which we -- and Kate Bishop -- are confronted with a wall of Masque's masks.

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