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 comics editor Chris Coplan.
Cover by Mikel Janin
The ongoing “City of Bane” storyline is complicated (even for a Batman title). But all you need to know is that this may be the single greatest Batman cover of the modern times (in this writer’s most humble opinion). It’s a perfect reference to the epic Knightfall story, wherein Bane smashes Bats’ back, which in this instance works on about 732 different levels. That’s all you need for a truly metal comics cover: one totally killer image, a heaping helping of history, and the promise/threat of grave bodily harm.
Deadpool #1 Variant Cover
Cover by Carlos Gomez
The thing about any story/series related to Deadpool is that it doesn’t ever have to make a lick of sense. Which is why this “Mary Jane Variant” cover is just so wonderful: in a story about monsters, featuring another equally badass redhead in Elsa Bloodstone, having Mary Jane Watson on the cover works solely because creators say it does. Also, this whole cover just plays out like the best version of a Rob Liefield fever dream circa 1992.
Flash Forward #3
Cover by Evan Shaner
Never mind if you haven’t read the previous issues of Flash Forward. All you need to know is the Dark Multiverse is basically trying to consume the Regular Multiverse, and Wally West is trying to stop that via a little world-hopping. Now, he’s traveled to Earth 43, where Roy Harper himself is that planet’s awesome vampire hunter. Does it make sense? No, but that’s besides the point — it’s Roy Harper, Vampire Nightmare. But if you’re looking for larger meaning, it’ll be nice for Wally to have a “familiar” face as events get extra dark real quick like.
Cover by Alex Diotto and Dee Cunniffe
Olympia is the brand-new series from Curt Pires (WYRD) and his father, Tony, written as the latter underwent cancer treatment. Fittingly, it’s a story of “hope and loss” told through the lens of a superhero version of Last Action Hero. The cover alone is deeply effective, like a beautiful Jack Kirby piece recreated or Xeroxed by a lonely child. There’s some deeply nostalgic quality to it, and that sense of optimism radiates from every dot and pixel.
Absolute Carnage #5 Variant
Cover by InHyuk Lee
In a series that involves a lot of gnarly symbiotes oozing into people or rendering flesh with meat claws, there’s a lot of possibilities for sick covers. Yet Lee’s cover is extra unsettling: it’s the deeply organic quality to it all, like this is less a drawing and more a weird snapshot. It feels like Carnage is in the midst of actually obliterating Spider-Man, and it’s hard to shake those accompanying goosebumps. Oh, and props for the tentacles that look like Xenomorph mouths.
Heart Attack # 1
Cover by Eric Zawadzki
Heart Attack promises to be a series of star-crossed lovers… only with epic superpowers. That sounds like a story clearly indebted to a few different franchises, and the cover wears those influences with pride. Eric Zawadzki’s main cover feels like X-Men crossed with Scott Pilgrim, with just a dash of Love and Rockets thrown in. The end result really works, and there’s a real undercurrent of pure emotion amid all the sci-fi madness. If only real love were as powerful (just kidding, honey!)
Rai #1 Variant Cover B
Cover by Juan José Ryp
Not all variant covers are made equal. For every extra dope piece that reveals some new angle into the story and series, you get an absolute dud. But all of the variants for Rai #1 are pretty great, especially because Juan José Ryp has deep credit with Valiant thanks to his work with X-O Manowar. But it’s this version that gets the nod, if only because it fits with the whole “fight for the uncertain future” story and there’s a real low-key Akira vibe.