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Judging (DC’s March) Books By Their Covers

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

DC’s March 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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Good drawing by JG Jones for this 52 cover.

It sets the issue up well, but I would have liked for it to be a bit more catchy.
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Wow.

That is a nice drawing by Dean Haspiel for the American Splendour TPB, and it fully encapsulates “the feel of an issue of American Splendour, but as a marketing sceme? If you weren’t already interested in reading American Splendour, would that cover make you want to pick it up?

Still, it IS a nicely drawn piece. I just think it’s a strange choice for a cover of a trade paperback.
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Is this seriously Joshua Middleton?

If so, impressive change of style for this American Virgin cover.

I like it.
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I get that Rick Veitch is most likely ATTEMPTING for a creepy looking cover here for the first issue of Army@Love, and I guess I should commend him for pulling it off so well…

But man, this cover creeps me out.
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Decent Ladronn cover for the Atom.

Kind of a let down after last month’s more inspired cover, though.
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Man, is Hal Jordan pulling a Linda Blair in the Exorcist or what?

Otherwise, I dig this Perez cover for the Brave and the Bold. A lot going on.
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Strong Black Alice cover (who is it by? It is credited to Scott Hampton, but it doesn’t look like his work, I don’t think), although, seriously, isn’t this, like, the third month we’ve had a solicitation for the Helmet of Fate covers?

Or has it just been two?

Either way, that’s a long time just to see who gets Dr. Fate’s helmet…

Let’s just hope whoever the new Dr. Fate is, he/she will not have a goatee…
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Oh, by the way, that Linda Blair joke was courtesy of my pal Stony. I would have mentioned it there, but it seemed like it would kill the rhythm of the joke.
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Interesting Blue Beetle cover by Derek Albuquerque.

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I don’t really know what’s going on on this Whilce Portacio Batman Confidential cover, but the colors are purdy!!

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This Andy Kubert Batman cover symbolizes the feeling of looking at an Andy Kubert Batman cover.

I kid because I love!

Seriously, the cops in the background are drawn very well. I don’t dig the main image at all, as I think it is oddly laid out, design and anatomy-wise, but I think the cops in the background are set up quite well.
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This Dave McCaig Batman Strikes cover is a BIT too laid back, I think, but overall, it is a nice cover.

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This Stephane Roux Birds of Prey cover is probably the worst done perspective shot that I have seen in a long, long time.

And this is following Roux’s bizarre “someone’s arm is either abnormal length or bending strangely” cover last month.

Why not just let Scott draw the covers?
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Pretty good Darick Robertson The Boys cover.

The look on Butcher’s face really makes the cover. Gotta give Robertson major credit for that – it is rare to see such a subtle part of a cover play such a major role in “making” the cover work.
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VERY nice Robert Pope cover for Cartoon Network Block Party.

I love the split screen, and the characters featured are worked in well.
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I guess it was that 1756th letter that I wrote to DC demanding some resolution to Judomaster’s death in Infinite Crisis #7 that got the job done.

Well done, DC!

I can finally sleep at night!

Seriously, for what he has to work with, Jesus Saiz does an excellent job with this Checkmate cover.
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A slightly less impressive Cartoon Network Action Pack cover by Matthew Jenkins.

The cover design is fairly bland. Using that much empty space is usually to bring about a stark quality to make the image pop out more – that doesn’t seem to be the case here – instead, it just looks like wasted space.
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Very trippy J.H. Williams cover for Crossing Midnight.

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Am I totally off, or haven’t we basically seen this Carlos D’Anda Deathblow cover before?

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This John Watkiss Deadman cover should fight with J.H. Williams’ Crossing Midnight cover to see who can be the trippiest!

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I really like how Brian Wood laid out this DMZ cover.

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Another strong Sook cover for Friday the 13th, although a clear step down from his earlier efforts.

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Decent James Jean cover for Fables.

Not all that catchy of a cover, but well-drawn.
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Striking cover idea for this Flash cover by Ethan Van Sciver.

And I think he does a decent job pulling off the idea.

Oh, and Bart is now going to be a cop? I mean, I’ll give credit to Guggenheim for making do with what he’s been given, but damn, DC, why the heck is Bart Allen Flash?!?!
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I dig this Pete Woods Firestorm cover.

The Female Furies look cool, and I love the way he makes anatomy and perspective just look soooo simple.
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Now, if this Green Arrow cover was like some other archery covers, she would probably still be able to shoot the bow….hehe.

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YOU MAKE THE CALL!

Rainmaker showing no signs of being wet on most of this cover is because:

A. She is using her powers to keep the rain off most of her body

B. The artist decided not to draw the rain affecting most of her body

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What an odd cover by Ryan Benjamin. Grifter and Midnighter…weird.

I like it, though, it is striking.
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This Patrick Gleason Green Lantern Corps cover is a bit TOO busy, which is often his downfall.

But damn, does he have a great imagination!
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I am on the fence with this Ivan Reis Green Lantern cover.

I don’t think I like it, but it IS pretty striking….

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If you’re just going to basically use a photograph for your cover, at least do something interesting with it – Tim Bradstreet followed that advice with this Hellblazer cover.

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I think this Lee Bermejo cover works well for an issue like this one, which is a “jumping on” point.

Let’s hope Diggle has a good run on the title!
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One cool point to anyone who can name everyone on this Kalman Andrasofszky Ion cover.

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Decent Phil Noto Jonah Hex cover.

Tallulah Black, though? Weird.
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Nice straightforward superhero cover by Dan Jurgens for JLA Classified.

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I shit you not – here is the solicitation for Justice League of America #7.

Now mind you, this is issue SEVEN.

“Best-selling author Brad Meltzer and super-hot artist Ed Benes deliver what you’ve been waiting for: the debut of the new Justice League of America!”

It’s issue SEVEN!!!!

Oh, and not feeling this Michael Turner Wonder Woman variant either.
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Strong Ty Templeton Justice League Unlimited cover.

I like when he lives up to my “Ty Templeton is a master at coming up with good cover layouts” hype.
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Where’s Steve Uy been?

Did he do the previous cover of JSA Classified? Or was that Alex Sanchez?
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Why is the cover that ties in TO the issue of JSA the VARIANT cover?

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Very nice Scott Gross cover for Looney Tunes. A unique (but consistently applied) perspective mixed with an interesting premise makes for a good cover.

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I LOVE the look the woman is giving on this Marcelo Frusin Loveless cover, but otherwise, the layout and execution are not to my liking.

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Very nice Manhunter cover by Sean Phillips.

Would be a nice Wonder Woman cover, too….hehe.
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Shane Davis continues to come up with some striking cover designs for Mystery of Space.

But I also think he continues to be not helped by Matt Banning’s inks. It is not that I think Matt Banning is a bad inker. I think he is fine, but I think he is not being used well here. It reminds me of Tom Palmer inking Sean Chen – it is not a good match.

I like Davis more when he is freer, not tied down with the heavy lines of Banning.
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Al Barrionuevo also continues his strong cover design work for Martian Manhunter.

Now if only Martian Manhunter didn’t look so lame…
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Pretty blah Midnighter cover by Chris Sprouse.

It is nice close-up drawing of Midnighter, though!

So it always has that to fall back on!
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Cool Jonboy Meyers cover for Ninja Scroll.

I love the sword usage.
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There just isn’t enough here on this Ben Oliver cover sketch for me to tell you if I think it’ll be a good cover or not.

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One cool point to the first person to tell me what, exactly, is going on on this Henry Flint Omega Men cover.

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Pretty cool Matthew Clark cover for Outsiders.

Although I fret when Judd Winick writes Black Lightning…
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Strong Patrick Gleason Robin cover.

He is just BURSTING with energy on his covers.
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Nicely drawn Red Menace cover by Jerry Ordway.

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I USED to think Jock was incapable of drawing a bad cover, but man, I am not feeling this Scalped cover at ALL.

The use of white is done masterfully, and the background is very nice, but the MAIN IMAGE on the cover is just kinda, well, humdrum.

I guess humdrum isn’t necessarily BAD, right?

Not good, either, though…

Certainly disappointing at least.
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Another strong Robert Pope cover, this time for Scooby Doo.

Clever idea for a cover.
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YIKES!

Power Boy is creeeepy looking!

Is that intentional, do you think?
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VERY strong Tom Derenick cover for Shadowpact. I am really digging how much he’s grown as an artist as of late.

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Nice Jeff Smith Shazam cover….but not a great Jeff Smith Shazam cover.

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Not digging this Pat Lee Superman/Batman cover in the slightest.

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Very cool Carlos Pacheco cover of Superman, though.

It doesn’t say that it is a wraparound cover. Do you think it is a sideways cover? That seems a bit risky.
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Very odd Gavin Wilson cover for this Sandman Mystery Theatre trade collection.

It looks like one of those computerized images from, like, 1989.
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Tim Bradstreet does a better job with his cover for the Sandman Mystery Theatre ongoing.

Why is it theatre and not theater?
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Nice Darwyn Cooke drawing for this Spirit cover.

Not thrilled with it as a cover image, though.
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Wow, this Stormwatch cover by Doug Mahnke, I’m pretty sure was not MEANT to look funny.

But wow, that’s a funny-looking cover.
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Do you know what makes this easier to do? No one does new covers for trades anymore! That cuts my cover snark time down by almost 10 covers a month!
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Man, using Darick Robertson for Texas Chainsaw Massacre seems like such a waste. But I am pretty sure licensed products pay well, so here we have a well-done cover for a silly comic.

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Pretty strong Liam Sharp cover for Testament. That is a wacky cover.

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Strong Teen Titans cover by Tony Daniel.

What is Jericho WEARING, though?

There HAS to be some meaning behind that outfit, but I can’t think of any offhand.
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Strong Teen Titans Go layout by Todd Nauck.

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Unimpressed with this Wildcats cover by Jim Lee.

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This Wetworks cover is the second Whilce Portacio cover this month that makes just no sense to me.

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What I don’t get is, J. Scott Campbell has a lot of talent. He really does. So when asked to do a brand new cover for a book DEVOTED to his art, he decides to basically draw like it was 1995 again?

Weak.

This cover shows little to no imagination on his part, and seems like an almost half-thought out piece. Look at the background characters – it’s like he barely spent time on them at all, choosing instead to just make Fairchild “pop out” of the cover.

Lame.

And on a cover of a book DEVOTED to his art?!?

I’m disappointed, because while he has drawn some silly books over the years, Campbell is a very talented artist. I’d think he’d choose this spot to demonstrate that.
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Heck, while not a great cover, just look at the energy and verve Campbell put into this Worldstorm cover!

Again, not a great cover, but at least it has some personality to it.

Also, a secret character?

Seriously?

Who could possibly be a surprise (that anyone would care about) in the Wildstorm Universe?
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I dig this Wonder Woman cover by the Dodsons.

And I am surprised to see the writer following Heinberg continue his storyline. No wonder she left the book (actually, I am now vaguely recalling reading her specifically say the same thing I was thinking, which is that it was lame to get Wonder Woman as an assignment, and then get told that, “Oh, but you’re going to write this particular Wonder Woman”). It is like when Dan Jurgens took over Spider-Man…just in time for it to be Ben Reilly who was Spider-Man.
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Nice Massimo Carnevale cover for Y the Last Man.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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VERY striking cover design by Barry Kitson for Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes.

The use of black really helps here.

What a cool cover.
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Giant robot Hawkgirl…need I say more?

I guess I should say “by Howard Chaykin”
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Bugs having sex….need I say more?

I guess I should say “Exterminators cover by Philip Bond”
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A few good uses of white and black to make images stand out this month, and this Welcome to Tranquility cover is one of the stronger examples of this method.

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Dave Johnson continues to put out strong 100 Bullets covers.

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I have really been enjoying Derec Donovan’s cover layouts for the Connor Hawke mini-series, and this very well may be the strongest one yet.

Anyone have problems with the archery on the cover?
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TOP FIVE!
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5. As a smart rabbit once said, the only golden rule is that Michael Golden rules, and while I still think the Bride and Groom are silly ideas for bad guys, I have to admit that this is a very well designed Nightwing cover by Mr. Golden.

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4. I am unfamiliar with the name, Mario Alberti, but I really like this Aquaman cover he did.

Reminds me of the late, great Seth Fisher.
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3. Often, when I praise Adam Hughes, it is because he came up with some really clever cover idea, which he does often.

Here, though, it is not a clever cover idea, but it is a very well-executed one.

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2. This James Jean Jack of Fables cover makes up for this month’s Fables in the “striking” department.

Very striking cover, with an excellent cover design.
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1. As you folks know, one of the things I amuse myself with on these cover things is seeing how various good artists handle how silly the Spectre’s goatee is.

Bill Sienkiewicz’s solution?

Cover it up as much as possible!

The result is a striking, eye-popping horror cover for Tales of the Unexpected that does a great job at involving the reader in the cover idea.

This is why Bill Sienkiewicz is a master – he does this stuff like it is nothing.
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Well, that’s it for me! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top fives)!!

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