Judging (DC's September) Books By Their Covers

DC's September 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! ___________________________________________________

Not a bad Pacheco cover, but also not the most dynamic of covers.

I understand what he's getting at (trying to demonstrate the scope of the event of Superman's fight with Subjekt-17, but, well, let's face it - it's Subjekt-17 he's fighting, after all.___________________________________________________

Another nice Renato Guedes Bernard Chang cover, although I think his previous issue was a little nicer.

Still, strong work.___________________________________________________

Wow, I feel like I've traveled through time to 1989!

Look at the computerized art on this cover! I thought computer modeling had improved, but I guess it is still a ways away.

Edited to add: Apparently, it's just a photo of a toy! That is a lot better! Phew!___________________________________________________

Pretty good Simone Bianchi cover on Detective.

How, exactly, is Bianchi still the cover artist on Detective? Didn't he sign an exclusive with Marvel, like, a year ago?


Decent Denys Cowan Batman Confidential cover, although this very month, DC is soliciting a trade of Cowan's Question series.

His art was a lot cooler looking there. ___________________________________________________

The cover design for this Batman/Lobo cover by Sam Kieth is a big step-up from the previous issue.

Still not a lot to write home about (although the actual art itself is quite nice, as is typical for Sam Kieth).___________________________________________________

Besides the slightly creepy Black Canary, this Jim Lee All Star Batman cover is pretty mundane.


Okay, you attention-payers out there!

Tell me, by their arms, who the Outsiders on this cover are!

And please tell me (although I know I couldn't be that lucky) that Grace is not one of them! ___________________________________________________


Yes, it is true...there is a comic book now for the PLANNING of the wedding.

So sad - so very sad.

Nice enough Stephane Roux cover, though.___________________________________________________

Wow...this Ed Benes Justice League Wedding Special cover is bizarre.

First off, you figure it's a bachelorette party, right? Except Superman's there - which is weird.

Then you got all the ass-shots....glad that they're keeping this wedding classy!

And this is the beginning of Dwayne McDuffie's run?


Edited to add: Okay, so yeah, Superman is apparently flying out of the cake - but that's just another bad job by Benes, because that isn't clear at all.___________________________________________________

Amanda Conner does a better job on the actual Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding issue (this IS the wedding issue, right?)

Pretty funny cover.

Edited to add: I did mean to mention, though, that yeah, it is a bit of a randy cover for the actual WEDDING.

See earlier comments regarding DC keeping the wedding classy.___________________________________________________

Okay Dodsons cover for this Wonder Woman Annual.


I really dig this Sanford Greene cover for Wonder Girl's mini-series.

Although, remember when Wonder Girl was just, you know, normal-looking?

That was an interesting approach. ___________________________________________________

Another dynamic Ale Garza cover, but like last issue, it seems that sometimes his covers are SO dynamic and so full of vigor that they sometimes appear to be a bit ill-thought-out.

The design of this cover seems a bit strange, especially the look on Superman's unconscious face. ___________________________________________________

While still good, Dennis Calero's Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes covers are progressively getting worse.

Timber Wolf looks bizarre - not in a good way. ___________________________________________________

I love the special effects look to this JSA Classified cover by Alex Sanchez, but can't say I enjoy his figure work as much.


Jordi Bernet is an awesome artist, but I do not think this Jonah Hex cover by Bernet is anything much more than just an accomplished piece of art.

Nothing really draws you in based on just the cover. ___________________________________________________

Very strong John McCrea cover for JLA/Hitman.

Are they going to finish printing the Hitman trades?

That'd be neat. ___________________________________________________

On the whole, as would be expected, this Walt Simonson cover is quite strong.

I can't say, though, that I dig how the character (I assume that's Ma'alefa'ak) appears in the background, though. Seems a bit out of place. ___________________________________________________

Wow, that's Ian Churchill?

Outside of that cover where he intentionally drew in an old-fashioned style, this might be the best Churchill cover I've seen.

VERY much like Art Adams - not quite as strong, but still, a really good cover for Churchill. ___________________________________________________

Steel is such a straightforward superhero, it'll be interesting to see what Peter Milligan will do with him.

Decent cover by Max Fiumara for Steel's new ongoing title, Infinity, Inc.___________________________________________________

Surprisingly bland Green Lantern Corps cover by Patrick Gleason.


I love the cover homage here by Ivan Reis.

Completely out of the blue, but it really, really works. ___________________________________________________

So wait, this is Parallax's spotlight issue - so it's going to be Kyle now?

That is so silly, if true.

Especially as he is needed in Countdown, right? So if he IS made into Parallax, then he's gotta be out of it by the end of the Sinestro Corps storyline, right? ___________________________________________________

I can't even tell what is happening on this Green Arrow Year One cover by Jock!

By the by, there's apparently another funny file-naming story out there to go with GAY1. Baseball Prospectus files players by the first five letters of their last name and the first two letters of their first name (plus numbers if needed to differentiate players with the same exact name, like the two Alex Gonzalez's who were in the majors for a few years). So for Mariano Rivera, it'd be RiverMa.

Okay, so do it for Boston Red Sox first-baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Baseball Prospectus now knows how Brian K. Vaughan felt, I guess.___________________________________________________

First, they let Ed Benes do covers for Countdown - now Talent Caldwell?

Countdown seems to be going out of its way to annoy me personally. ___________________________________________________

Interesting JH Williams cover for Crossing Midnight.

It's a BIT much, but still pretty interesting. ___________________________________________________

A big problem I have with Checkmate is that it is set-up for Amanda Waller to be the "bad guy," and yet I like her about ten times as much as any of the "good guys" in the book, so a storyline where Rucka's pet character "takes down the Wall" really isn't going to do anything for me.

Big improvement by Kalman Andrasofszky over the cover of last issue, but I'm still not a fan of the cover. ___________________________________________________

So seriously, we're going to already be traveling to all the 52 Earths for crossovers?



Well, otherwise, decent Ivan Reis Countdown to Adventure cover. ___________________________________________________

Wow, Art Adams, slow down! Give the inker something to do, man!

I kid, I kid - Adams inks himself, I believe.

In any event, ANOTHER comic where people travel to other Earths - this time the Wildstorm Earth!

The idea of DC heroes routinely crossing over into the Wildstorm Universe unsettles me. ___________________________________________________


I love it - no more Doctor Fate series, but instead, Doctor Fate highlights a new series that manages to fit Countdown into it!


In any event, if it ends up with me getting more Steve Gerber comics (and without Paul Gulacy's current art style), then I'm cool with it! Justiniano does a good job with the cover. ___________________________________________________

I like the way Stephane Roux does a bit of a throwback to Brian Stelfreeze's original Birds of Prey covers.


VERY fun looking Cully Hamner Blue Beetle cover.

Nice job.___________________________________________________

Suitably eerie Black Adam cover by Doug Mahnke.

It's pronounced Man-key, by the way, in case you had been wondering. ___________________________________________________

Very clever cover homage by Dan Jurgens for this Booster Gold cover.

I love cover homages with twists! ___________________________________________________

Well...it's, uhm, a well drawn hand by Ladronn!

That's something! ___________________________________________________

I think this Butch Guice Aquaman cover can be used as a sleep aid.

And it's too bad, as the idea of Aquaman fencing with a swordfish is actually pretty darn clever on Guice's part! So the fact that the execution looks so soporific is a shame. ___________________________________________________

I love Ethan Van Sciver's zombies on this cover - and he does a great job on Superman's shirt, making it look realistic.

Not so much a fan of his actual Superman. It gave me bad flashbacks to his Batman/Superman covers.___________________________________________________

Yet another strong Zach Howard Justice League Unlimited cover.

I'd like to see some more work from Howard.___________________________________________________

Nice Todd Nauck Teen Titans Go cover.


Decent Sanford Greene Batman Strikes cover.


I know I said I'd avoid talking about the cover insets, but on this Robert Pope Carton Network Block Party cover, the cover insets really negatively affect the main cover image.


Sweet Scott Jeralds cover for Cartoon Network Action Pack.

Seriously, they REALLY should re-title the comic Ben-10.


Amusing Robert Pope cover for Scooby Doo, although I think the layout could have been a bit stronger.

The joke wasn't strong enough to carry the cover.___________________________________________________

Decent Scott Jeralds cover for Looney Tunes.

And I think it's awesome that we have a "special issue" to tie-in into a video game!

Am I being sarcastic?


Strangely flat Alex Ross cover for Astro City.

He usually pulls out the stops on his Astro City covers (and leaves the boring stuff for JSA covers). ___________________________________________________

Nicely eerie cover by Whilce Portacio for Wetworks.


Tomer Hanuka's cover for Un-Men is also nicely eerie.


Carlos D'Anda, help us out a bit!

Give us SOME clue what the heck is going on on this Deathblow cover! ___________________________________________________

Decent Neil Googe Welcome to Tranquility cover.


Fairly bland Mike McKone cover for Stormwatch: PHD

Comics are so much smarter than they once were, even getting doctorates! ___________________________________________________

Nice Tony Harris cover for Supernatural.

Hey, I notice Matt Smith is going by Matthew Dow Smith. Are there more than one Matt Smith doing comics nowadays?___________________________________________________

Pretty cool Darick Robertson cover for this horror anthology.


Another well-drawn, but bland cover design by Chris Sprouse for a Midnighter cover.


Authori-teens is definitely a cute idea.

Maybe a bit TOO cutesy, but I think it toes the line well enough.

Not a great Gen13 cover, though, even with the cute idea. ___________________________________________________

Nice M.K. Perker cover for this original graphic novel, Cairo.


Surprisingly uninteresting 100 Bullets cover by Dave Johnson.

Luckily for us, Johnson did TWO covers this month, so his other cover can redeem him!___________________________________________________

Decent Massimo Carnevale cover for Y: The Last Man.

The solicits seems to have a problem with their dictionary, though.

It says this issue is the first of three final issues.

I'm pretty sure that, by definition, you can only have one final issue. ___________________________________________________

Testament is now bi-monthly.

When's the last time a book was an ongoing bi-monthly for sales reasons?

I actually like the idea, if it means low-selling books stick around.


Jock's cover for Scalped is a bit too out there for my tastes.


I presume there will be more to this Brian Bolland Jack of Fables cover, right?


Funny Lee Bermejo cover for Hellblazer.


Pretty low key Fables cover by James Jean.


Possibly the most straightforward Exterminators cover by Philip Bond yet!


Is this Brian Wood DMZ cover an homage to something?


Celia Calle is a little more under control on this month's American Virgin cover, and the results are quite good.


This World of Warcraft action figure is so well-crafted, I thought it was a drawing at first!

You know, one of those computer art-type covers.___________________________________________________

What the heck ARE Uni-Formz?

Is this something DC came up with?

Or is it something popular that I should have heard of already?

This Batman version of it looks cute enough, I suppose. ___________________________________________________

Nice toys based on Ed McGuinness' work.

I love the fact that the Composite Superman has TWO action figures! ___________________________________________________

Bland looking 13 inch Robin figure.

Then again, Dick Grayson Robin IS pretty bland. ___________________________________________________

HONORABLE MENTIONS___________________________________________________


First off, we have CP Smith on The Programme...


Next, we have Brian Stelfreeze on Highwaymen...


Finally, a strong finish to his lackluster cover start by Dave Johnson, with this Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters cover...


Interesting Jock cover for Faker.

I think it'd be better if it gave us some idea of what it is supposed to mean. ___________________________________________________

Another hilarious Army at Love cover by Rick Veitch.


Edited to add: I just totally forgot to comment on this nice Adam Hughes Catwoman cover.

Here's my question - the flame there on Helena's crib has got to be meant to look like an S, right?

But Shelena makes no sense, right?

Unless there's something else written in the flames that I'm missing, like "She" something.

Anyone see anything?

Or is the flame just a flame? ___________________________________________________

I love how Patrick Gleason manages to often make Robin look imposing on covers without it looking way too silly.


Dustin Nguyen is doing a great job on this Friday the 13th covers.


Very amusing Tony Harris Ex Machina cover.

Quite striking.___________________________________________________

I am quite digging Dougie Braithwaite's new Alex Ross influenced artwork.

It works nicely on this Shadowpact cover. ___________________________________________________

Very frightening Action Comics cover by Eric Powell. If Superman was on the cover, I think the effect would have been even stronger - like if it was Superman being surrounded by Bizarros.

Still, very nice cover.___________________________________________________

This Superman Confidential cover is a big step up over the previous issue.

It's credited to Koi Turnbull, but no way is this him. Who is the artist? I can't make out the signature.___________________________________________________

A stunning piece of artwork by Darwyn Cooke, but I think it fails a bit as a cover.

This piece works best upon re-examination - that's not how covers work, though. They have to get their point across right away.___________________________________________________

If it weren't for Batman's hand over her breast thing (which really stands out as a weird addition to the cover), this excellent Dustin Nguyen cover for Superman/Batman would be Top Five easy.

It just doesn't look right. ___________________________________________________

TOP FIVE!!!___________________________________________________

5. Ryan Sook works his magic on this Nightwing cover.

A lot of detailed work going on, but all combining for a visually gripping cover. ___________________________________________________

4. This may just be my biased love of the original Ostrander Suicide Squad, but I really dig this John K. Snyder Suicide Squad cover.

I dunno about Javier Pina on interiors, though. I like Pina a lot, but he's a bit too clean of an artist for such a gritty book. ___________________________________________________


Wow...if Daniel Acuña is actually IMPROVING as an artist (as this cover appears to attest to), then we are in for some great future comic book art!

Nice Flash cover. Good to have Waid back on the book. Please tell me Wally's in tow! ___________________________________________________


Clever/cute, well-designed, well-executed and very original.

All this makes this Duncan Rouleau Metal Men cover a visual treat. ___________________________________________________


An extremely well-designed and striking Batman cover by JH Williams.

I would support a Club of Heroes series based just on this cover alone.

Also, note how the cover image gets you right away, BEFORE you look at it carefully and see all the detail Williams put into it?

That's a beautifully handled cover design by Williams.___________________________________________________

Well, that's it for me this month! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your Top Fives)!

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