Most comic book fans have a pretty good idea what they’re going to buy every week when they visit their local comic shop. With that said, there’s still a lot of fun to be had just glancing at the week’s new releases and taking a chance on a book that looks promising. That’s where covers come in. A fantastic image can make the difference between trying something new or saying, “Nah, not this week.”
In that spirit, here are the covers that captured our attention this week, with entries from media and content manager David Brooke, writer Nathan Simmons, and comics editor Chris Coplan.
Cover by Kyle Hotz
This was my pick on the Comics Podcast yesterday, thanks to the creepy detailed wings and overall mood of the cover. I also love the detail in the tight, rippling muscles under his thin costume, making Morbius look ready for flight. There’s a body-horror element to these wings that’s also quite appealing.
Savage Sword of Conan #11
Cover by Juan Ferreyra
I’m a big fan of Ferreyra’s thanks to his unique painted style that can get vividly real or expressive depending on the work. Here, the composition is quite cool, drawing your eye to the center as Conan leaps at a scary looking vampire bat monster. The details in the face convey the grotesque and violent nature of the beast.
Cover by Duncan Fegredo
This is quite a cool series, and I was lucky enough to have series writer Matt Kindt on the Comics Podcast yesterday. Given the premise — a boy who knows there’s a real-world even though his fantasy world friends all call him crazy –this cover stands out due to the fantastical nature of it all. It looks like it belongs in a children’s book. The giant’s proportions are quite unnerving, and the use of light draws your eye in all the right places. Also, note the flickering embers that pepper the cover. Nice stuff!
Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor – Holiday Special #1
Cover by Claudia Caranfa
I love what Jody Houser has done with the Thirteenth Doctor, occasionally giving her even more to do than her inaugural season on television ever did! I also love that Titan is filling the void of the usual Doctor Who Christmas special by giving us one on the page. The artwork by Caranfa is stunning, giving us an illustration of Thirteen that nails actress Jodie Whittaker’s facial expressions. She seems cautiously hopeful and curious all at once, which is the Thirteenth Doctor to a T.
The Batman’s Grave #2
Cover by Jee-Hyung Lee
Look, there’s not much to this choice beyond the fact that it’s just so rad. The Batman’s Grave has been a refreshing return to the “detective” aspects of the World’s Greatest Detective, but it’s never not cool to see Batman straight-up skydiving with a look of sheer determination on his face. He sees the signal and he jumps into action, no matter which direction it may take him. The city lights below have a nice blur to them that shows just how fast the Dark Knight is plummeting.
Vampirella/Red Sonja #3
Cover by Babs Tarr
I love this series so far, which has done a fantastic job of balancing cool pulpy action and fish-out-of-water comedy. This variant cover captures both moods perfectly. I adore any time Babs Tarr draws these two ladies, and this is no exception. I love how gung-ho Sonja is and how perfectly surprised Vampirella appears in the background. You immediately get a sense of their dynamic in this series and it puts a big goofy smile on my face.
Wonder Woman #82
Cover by Rafael Albuquerque
There’s actually a perfect formula for a great comic book cover. It’s bizarrely erotic energy + the aesthetic of an ’80s metal album + some deep series or storyline reference + unabashedly cheesy vibes. And this cover is so much more than the sum of its parts, a weirdly timeless entry that does wonders to set the stage for the final Wonder Woman-Cheetah battle. Also, that crown fits Cheetah like woah.
Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #5
Cover by Matt Walsh
If you haven’t been following this crossover, Black Hammer/Justice League is both totally bizarre and yet utterly satisfying. It slaps together two worlds that aren’t congruous (the pillar of superhero comics with its wacky, satirical cousin), and yet its works like gangbusters. For the finale, Michael Walsh puts everyone on the same page, exemplifying the story’s ability to synthesize so many different parts and ideas into one enjoyable Thing. It also helps that Abraham Slam’s still in his civvies next to a flying Batman.
Punisher Soviet #1
Cover by Paolo Rivera
Punisher: Soviet is already a smash series if only because it sees Garth Ennis return to the fold. Add to the fact the story is more like a whodunnit, it seems like this is an immediate pull. But Paolo Rivera’s cover deserves ample praise: here, we see a perfect Frank Castle moment, wielding a weapon and looking as salty and sullen as ever, like some ’60s pulp fiction novel cover. The best Punisher stories are when Frank’s at his most human (as Ennis does on the regs), and the visuals should always show us something deeper than the dreaded skull vest.