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Judging (DC’s October) Books By Their Covers

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

DC’s October 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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This is probably the best Andy Kubert cover yet for his Batman run.

Still not great, but pretty close to being good.
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It’s been leaning this way for awhile, but it’s finally reached it.

Simone Bianchi’s covers are just plain ol’ boring.
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Very nice Mad Monk cover by Matt Wagner.

Nice juxtaposition.
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Here’s what I don’t get…

…if the guy is still tied to the chair, exactly how much help is a knife going to be against Batman? He’d still need to cut himself out to DO anything, right? And you’d think Batman would figure out he has a knife by then – so the surprise factor would be ruined.

Unless he isn’t ACTUALLY tied, and those ropes are just around his wrists. But if THAT’S the case, then why tie them at ALL? It’s not as though Batman can SEE them!

So yeah, good initial idea for a cover, but ultimately, I don’t think it makes sense.
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I think this is a good drawing of Selina Kyle by Adam Hughes.

It just isn’t a very interesting cover.
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Oh man, I am so happy about Bruce Jones being off of Nightwing that I will live with Jock no longer being the cover artist!

Decent Andy Clarke cover. I hear that Wolfman’s run is only an interim one. Say it ain’t so!
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I have been digging Patrick Gleason’s Robin covers…

…however, I think this one is a bit too busy.
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How worrisome must it be for Invincible fans to see Ryan Ottley working on Superman/Batman Annual? Especially with Ed McGuinness leaving for Marvel.

As for the cover, decent enough layout, but not the most inspired of covers.
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This Pacheco cover for Superman looks to me like an example of where a lot can be done post inks, because I find it hard to believe this will be remotely the final product for this cover.

Nice enough cover, though. Not all that striking (pun intended) of a cover.
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Supergirl joins the Outsiders!

Wait…didn’t see already join the Outsiders?

I guess not.

Total colorform cover.

Although, was Supergirl Nightwing or Flamebird in Kandor? Either way, it’s a cool matchup with Earth’s Nightwing (cooler if she was Flamebird in Kandor).
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Oh no!

Black Adam is in mourning!

Now he might be vengeful!!!

Oh…right….never mind.

And why only one 52 cover?!? Damn you, DC!!!
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Decent enough Butch Guice cover for Aquaman.

I see Karl Kesel listed as co-writing the issue (if it’s a back up, the solicit doesn’t say). That makes sense, as Busiek is a busy man. It’s also nice to see Kesel get some writing work. ___________________________________________________

Very clever Ariel Olivetti cover for the Atom.

VERY clever.

Not the greatest execution, but a totally clever idea.

And a different penciller already? Byrne doesn’t do “late,” so is it a replacement already?

That’s too bad.
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Good Jerry Ordway Birds of Prey cover.

Dramatic without being over-the-top.

I am impressed.
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On the other hand, this was a nice USE of over-the-top by Duncan Rouleau for this Blue Beetle cover.

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I dig the Bronze Tiger.

I really hope Greg Rucka doesn’t feel the need to “improve” the character.
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Cool Justiniano cover for Creeper.

A little too non-descript, but still cool.
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Nice, dramatic Brian Stelfreeze cover for Firestorm.

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Ken Lashley has a clever cover idea.

However, he seems to let the little details fall by the wayside. Like the angles of the cameras.
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When’t the last time Crimson Fox appeared on a comic book cover? The issue of Starman she died?

Pretty good Ethan Van Sciver cover.
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Is that Radu??! Cool!

Sadly, even Radu can not liven up this Kalman Andrasofszky Ion cover.
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Chaykin’s doing covers still, at least!

How funny is it to see Joe Bennett RETURN to Hawkman. It’s like Cockrum following Byrne! Well, except that whole “difference of scale” thing.

By the way, if I was Simonson, I would start writing issues just to make Chaykin jealous.

“There is an emergency, so Kendra has to enter a lingerie modeling event!”

“Kendra and some of her girlfriends have a sleepover.”

“Kendra is on the trail of a bad guy, but has to go undercover as a prostitute at a brothel to catch him.”
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This is such a dorky Green Arrow cover.

It’s like a cover of people doing aerobics. Who wants to see heroes exercise on a cover?
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First Shane Moll, now Kilian Plunkett…

…does Tom Nguyen just make EVERYbody look like Doug Mahnke?

Otherwise, cool JLA Classified cover.
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That’s a brutal case of “got your nose” on this JSA Classified cover!

Oh?

That’s just how Scott McDaniel drew his mask?

Oh, my bad.
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“REPENT, SINNER!”

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Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.

A cool looking Michael Turner cover.

I guess it helps that it is robot anatomy. And he doesn’t have to draw the legs.

It’s beginning to make more sense…
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Sorry, Luke Ross.

I just don’t dig the portrait cover.
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Can’t blame Al Barrionuevo for the design.

Can’t blame Al Barrionuevo for the design.

Can’t blame Al Barrionuevo for the design.

Can’t blame Al Barrionuevo for the design.

Can’t blame Al Barrionuevo for the design.

Can’t blame Al Barrionuevo for the design.

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I’m enjoying Batt’s inks over Shane Davis.

By the by, why MENTION Batt at all if you’re not going to CALL him Batt?

What, does DC have a problem just using a dude’s work name?

I mean, I get it if it’s, like, some established artist suddenly going by a new name, but I think more people know Batt AS Batt!
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That is one wacky ass Next cover.

And The Next IS one wacky ass book.
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Sorry, Daniel Acuña.

NOone can make Grace look interesting.

Man, the Outsiders are lame.

Also, I love “An old foe returns with a new plan as the Outsiders’ secret cover crumbles!” Wow. the new status quo sure lasted for a looooooooooooong time, eh?
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I really can’t believe Tigorr is still alive. I’ve been expecting his death for, like, literally seventeen years.

Think of all the impressionable young children from Karna who will think it is “cool” to smoke because of their hero Tigorr!

Tsk tsk, Tigorr.

Tsk, tsk.
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Hey, if Superman can do it in Superman Returns, why can’t OMAC do it?

Even if he IS a stupid OMAC robot thing that I hate so very very much.
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I’m really glad this is solicited.

Can’t say I love the cover, though.
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Cool Karl Kerschl cover for Secret Six.

However, that’s some low tech security system in that bad guy hideout! They have to use sketch artists to depict the intruders coming!
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I love Cory Walker’s work.

So this disapointing Shadowpact cover came as quite a surprise to me.
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Pretty cool looking Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes cover by Barry Kitson.

Oh? An Adam Hughes variant?

Nice sales push, DC. Well done.
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Cool, if generic-looking, cover by Mike Mignola for Tales of the Unexpected.

Seeing David Lapham and Eric Battle working together on a story is a tale of the unexpected to me (just because of their differing styles)!
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Pretty cool looking Howard Porter cover for Trials of Shazam.

I wonder what the finished product will look like.
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Blasts them where she knows their eyes are looking! Clever move, Phantom Lady!

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Pretty cool Warlord cover by Bart Sears.

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Man, Dave McCaig is mean!

He looks like he wants Clayface to kill himself!
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I am sorry Ty Templeton.

I still love you, but not even you can make Black Manta pull off this kind of ominous pose.

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It’s pretty cool to see the show creator, Glen Murakami, do a cover.

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What’s especially neat about this Scott Jeralds’ Krypto cover is how we get to see how he takes into account the UPC code box.

Very interesting.
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Yes, Gene Ha, that IS the Engineer and Midnighter.

I can see that.

Would you like to have them, perhaps, DO something?
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This Carlos D’Anda Deathblow cover is pretty cool.

I don’t think it’s a great FIRST issue cover, but still, pretty cool.

I loved Deathblow. I think killing him off was such a big mistake.

However, besides the return of Michael Cray, this series features the return of SPLATT!!!

ARE YOU READY!?!??
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That’s actually a halfway decent cover by Talent Caldwell.

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I think, perhaps, Caldwell sapped some of Art Adams’ goodness.

Because this Worldstorm cover is just dreadful.
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Whilce Portacio is doing pretty nice work with his Wetworks covers.

It’s good to see a return to good art from Portacio.
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At first, I thought this The Boys cover was bland.

But now, I think it is JUST interesting enough.
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Garry Leach sure can draw him some planes!

Good stuff on this Battler Britton cover.
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Pretty humdrum Claw cover by Andy Smith.

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It’s beginning to look like Tony Harris just draws up a bunch of Ex Machina covers and randomly labels them “#21,” “24,” “37,” etc.

Very nice art, though.
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ANOTHER cool Michael Chang Ninja Scroll cover.

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Nice beginning cover for Danijel Zezelj on his stint on Desolation Jones.

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Man, drawing famous people is RIGHT in Tony Harris’ wheelhouse!

And he really knocked it out of the park!

Although I like that there isn’t anything really solicited yet for this issue. Always a good sign of quality to come!
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Can’t say I’m thrilled with this Manifest Eternity cover.

I DO like the improved color work by Dustin Nguyen.
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Nick Bradshaw gets more and more clear with his art on each successive Rokkin cover.

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Is this a new Dave McKeon piece for Absolute Sandman?

It’s quite nice.
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Dramatic Joshua Middleton cover for American Virgin.

I like it.
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WAY too cramped DMZ cover by Brian Wood.

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Nice idea by John Watkiss for this Deadman cover.

I don’t think he ultimately pulls it off, though.
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Pretty cool Kent Williams cover for The Fountain SC.

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Great drawing of a fence by James Jean for Jack of Fables.

Behind the fence?

Not so much.
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Pretty run of the mill Testament cover by Liam Sharp.

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Is this a new cover by Massimo Carnevale for the trade?

I like it.
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Massimo Carnevale does a good job on this cover for #50.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS!
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Wow, that’s a badass Hansel by James Jean for Fables!

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What a striking cover design by Dave Johnson for 100 Bullets!

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This was such a poor month for covers that I actually considered Tadhg’s suggestion of using this Robert Pope cover from Cartoon Network Block Party.

It IS a nice use of having a character work as the border for the drawings.

Man, I mention Tadhg every once in awhile, but he never actually posts on the blog. You folks must think he’s, like, a ghost or something.
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Robert Pope actually did ANOTHER cool cover this month, for Scooby Doo!

VERY cool homage cover!
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I don’t believe this is the final version of the cover, so it can’t be more than an honorable mention, but damn, is Miss Martian cool or what?

It’s such a Morrison-esque idea! And Tony Daniel does a good job of drawing her for this Teen Titans cover.
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I love the little touches in this Dave Gibbons’ Green Lantern Corps cover.

Like the ring breaking the sword.

Good stuff.
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TOP FIVE!
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5. Jock is incapable of drawing a bad cover.

This Rush City cover is actually not THAT interesting, but in such a weak month, it’s an easy top five choice.
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4. Likewise, this Lee Bermejo Hellblazer cover is good, but in a stronger month, wouldn’t be close.

Still, a ghost coming from the smoke of his cigarette?

COOLNESS!
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3. Marcelo Frusin has continually done strong work on his Loveless covers. This month is a good time to give him a shout out.

Great, great work.

Sorta reminds me of a Civil War version of those old Mike Zeck G.I. Joe covers! Remember them?
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2. Strong design work by Alex Ross for this Astro City cover.

A striking cover with good character designs, as well.
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1. Tadhg called that I would pick this one as my #1.

He said,

I take it Stewart is getting your award for best cover. Not that his is great, but it’s the most striking and well rendered.

Well, he was right.

Except for the “not that his is great” part. I think it IS a great Cam Stewart cover.

You can’t have him, Marvel!!!
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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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