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Judging by the Cover – 12/25/19 new releases

Nathan, Jason, and Chris share their favorite covers from this week’s new comics.

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.”

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In that spirit, here are the covers that captured our attention this week, with entries from writer Nathan Simmons, writer Jason Segarra, and comics editor Chris Coplan.

Nathan’s Picks

Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica #7

Variant cover by Robert Hack

I’m already a fan of all of these characters, not to mention Robert Hack’s work, but the choice to style this cover after one of Jack Chick’s infamous fire-and-brimstone “Chick Tracts” is a stroke of mad genius. It’s a foreboding image, but it also still has a wicked sense of humor about it.

Doctor Strange #1

Variant cover by IN-HYUK LEE

I’m a sucker for action poses where characters are staring down some unknowable and utterly large opposition. While this series is supposedly meant to be a very character-driven affair, this cover goes a long way to show us that Stephen Strange won’t shy away from doing what he’s always done: get in way over his head and face the opposition without blinking.

Jason’s Picks

The Marked #3

Cover art by Geirrod Van Dyke

What can I say? I’m a sucker for contrast — especially with black and red color schemes. There’s a beautiful air of mystery and power in this image, and the use of shadow adds a depth that renders this otherwise simple composition something remarkable. The steely gaze, the demure/uncomfortable body posture, and the mysterious aura emanating from the tattoos, this is an exciting and enticing cover.

Chris’ Picks

Kill Lock #1

Cover by Livio Ramondelli

The premise alone is enough to wanna pull this debut series from IDW and Transformers artist Livio Ramondelli: four people/robots — “a soldier, an addict, a murderer, and a child” are forced to work together to to survive after being bound together in punishment by the titular Kill Link (sort of like a “delete all” if just one of them bites the dust). Yet Ramondelli’s cover is somehow just as promising — this equally threatening and reassuring space backdrop with an equally cute but menacing robot. I like a series that promises dueling ideas and sentiments, and Kill Lock could very well be that. Plus, the robot looks like a badass version of Marvin the Paranoid Android.

East of West #45

Cover by Nick Dragotta

Long before he was killing it with the X-Men titles, Jonathan Hickman created East of West, perhaps the single finest series of the last 15 years (and, yes, I’ll fight you, even during Christmastime). It’s a story that doesn’t know quite what it is — a western political thriller mixed with a rom-com and a revenge flick, all set at or near the world’s end. But don’t mistake that indecision for poor quality, and EoW is far greater than the sum of its parts. If you wanted to really understand this series, and not read 44 previous issues, this cover would be a great start. There’s so many emotions and aesthetics poured on the page, you can pretty much pick up on the major points (action, chaos, human intrigue, war, etc.) It’s a shame even amazing things have to end.

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