Cover of the Week: "Umbral," "Avengers Arena" and More

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, Barbara Gordon gets batty, Captain America swings at his mighty shield, "FBP" reaps the whirlwind, "Avengers Arena" hits its targets and we peel back the layers on "Umbral."

Keep reading for Kevin and Steve's favorites from the week of Nov. 13, and then discuss your choices in the CBR forums.

Perennial favorite Francesco Francavilla pops up with a cover for "Avengers Arena" that evokes memories of both a carnival game (fitting, considering Arcade's role in the series), and the X-Men's classic Danger Room. -- Kevin Melrose

Alex Garner returns to "Cover of the Week" with another issue of "Batgirl," this one a "Zero Year" tie-in that features a young Barbara Gordon before she donned the cape and cowl. I like that, even without the costume, Barbara is depicted with all of the familiar Bat-elements, from the spotlights and the gargoyle to Wayne Enterprises to, well, the bats. Yet, there's also something about the illustration that's reminiscent of a video-game cover, with Barbara depicted as an action hero -- no bat emblem required. -- Kevin Melrose

Mike Allred's variant for "Captain America: Living Legend" #3 is a wonderfully, vintage-infused comic design. Everything from the series' logo to the Marvel symbol in the right-hand corner is a great homage to classic Cap comics. While it doesn't have much to do with the actual story, Allred is an impeccable artist, as always, adding his unique brand of fun to a battle between Cap and his trusty shield. -- Steve Sunu

"FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics" has had some impressive covers, and Nathan Fox continues the trend with Issue 5. The massive surrounding background really gives this cover life; the central figure in blue is surrounded by arches of oranges and yellows, with spatters of red for good measure. The overall effect is an explosive tornado of a background that gives life to the central figure's fearful expression. -- Steve Sunu

Christopher Mitten's cover for "Umbral" #1 has three distinctive layers, each essential to the composition of the piece. In the foreground, he uses a sharp black outline for the trade dress with a shadowy gate-like outline. The middle ground features the main character bathed in white light with clean, detailed pencil work. The background employs the same detailed pencils, but overlaid with messy ink splatters over dark shadows and glowing red eyes. The contrast between the three layers is what makes this cover succeed as a piece of art -- though Mitten's detailed pencil work certainly helps. -- Steve Sunu

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