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Judging by the Cover – 01/08/20 new releases

JJ 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 events coordinator JJ Travers and comics editor Chris Coplan.

JJ’s Picks

Daphne Byrne #1

Cover art by Piotr Kowalski


Nope! Nope! Huge bucket of nope. I love horror, and I’m a big fan of everything that’s come out of Hill House Comics thus far, but this cover freaks me the f*ck out. Of course, I’m still intrigued and I’m absolutely going to read this book since I’ve been looking forward to it since its debut in the press. But ugh! Man, this is so uncomfortable. Hats off Piotr Kowalski and the poor editors at DC that have to stare at this all day.

Morbius #3

Cover art by Skan


This comic has been great thus far. Poor Morbius continues to degenerate into a more feral form of vampire, and that’s exactly what we’re looking at here. It feels like there’s more beast than man here and that’s what I love to see in a good monster story. Skan’s take on Morbius reminds me of the feral creatures from Daybreakers, those vampires so removed from their humanity that their sole driving force is the endless quest for blood. The skeletal wings, blood moon, and vampire bats are all nice touches that provide a complete and awesome cover.

Catwoman #19

Cover art by Joëlle Jones


I haven’t been reading this series and I have no idea what’s currently happening with Catwoman. That being said, this cover has me tempted to try and find time in my already overburdened schedule to read this title. The pencils are absolutely gorgeous and the colors — purple, pink, and black — complement one another nicely. Jones nailed Catwoman’s overflowing confidence and the dash of smug she’s always laying down.

Chris’ Picks

Excalibur #5

Cover by Mahmud Asrar

Generally speaking, Excalibur has been a deeply pretty comic book. And perhaps rightfully so, as artist Marcus To has had a lot of great characters and otherworldly locales and situations to work with. But there’s something especially endearing about Mahmud Asrar’s cover: the balance of colors and light, the connotations of Apocalypse’s hands, the stillness of Rogue, and even just how every leaf seems to come alive. It’s like the best version of Sleeping Beauty, only way more stirring and cooler ’cause all the superpowers.

Miles Morales: The End #1

Cover by Rahzzah

If you’re going to portray the “end” of a superhero, it can either come off as water-logged and depressing as the entirety of the Dark Knight Strikes Again series or genuinely thoughtful and touching like Spider-Man: Reign. In the case of Miles Morales: The End, it appears it may be one of the latter. Not only is Saladin Ahmed penning this (he’s done deeply solid work with the character as of late), but there’s something like Rahzzah’s cover. A balance of the Miles as we know him and yet something darker and sullen in his latter years. Maybe ends aren’t so bad after all?

Pretty Deadly: The Rat #5

Cover by Emma Rios

If you’ve read any of my reviews, you’ll know I am bonkers over this chapter of Pretty Deadly. Not only is Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing at its most lethal and engaging, but Emma Rios continues to dazzle. The cover to issue #5 is yet another crisp and effective example of Rios’ blend of skills and ideas, a cover that as spell-blindingly beautiful as it is almost unsettling. It’s Rios’ work that fosters so much of that dichotomy in the book proper, and this cover says so much about the story and its emotions and its larger narrative goals. OK, sometimes endings do suck, y’all.

X-Force #5

Cover by Dustin Weaver

I’ll admit that I’ve mostly skipped out on X-Force (despite being a fan of writer Benjamin Percy, especially on Green Arrow). That said, this cover alone makes me regret that decision. For one, you have Forge on the cover, and that’s always 1,000 points for Gryffindor. Plus, cool techno-organic robot-plant stuff, which makes me think of Akira (1,000 additional points). And sick bone weapons just round out a candidate for “perfect cover.” Count me in for the rest of this series.

Batman and The Outsiders # 9

Cover by Tyler Kirkham

I’ll admit it: I am a sucker for covers that heavily feature text. When it happens nowadays, it’s reminds me of comics from the ’40s and ’50s, where they’d pretty much spoil the whole issue as quickly and bluntly as possible. And that’s pretty much what this issue appears to do, and I’m totally on-board. Let’s not play games and make sure everyone knows what to expect; in this case, some gnarly in-fighting between Batman and Black Lightning. Is it too obvious perhaps? Doy. But, hey, at least they both look cool as hell mid-conversation.

The Clock #1

Cover by Colleen Doran

Truth be told, I’m not exactly sold on the new series from indie comic icon Matt Hawkins. The idea of “mega cancer” makes me feel unsettled; there’s exploring a massive societal issue to foster an engaging narrative, and then there’s beating everyone over the head with it. With that said, the artwork of Colleen Doran does make me feel hopeful. The overall aesthetic and vibe is just abstract enough, with an organic, almost peaceful quality to the all-consuming monster vines, that maybe this story will be far different than I’d assumed. If nothing else, the art makes me want to see a medical professional pronto.


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