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Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

Comic Books

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

Chris, Connor, and Kyle 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.”

In that spirit, here are the covers that captured our attention this week, with entries from comics editor Chris Coplan and writer/contributors Connor Christiansen and Kyle Matz.

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Chris’ Picks

Wonder Woman #750

Variant Cover by BossLogic

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

As we heard from Steve Orlando himself, issue #750 is the start of a new era for Wonder Woman. And what a way to kic-kstart this fresh beginning than with a slew of awesome variant covers by comic artist elite. Yet for this fella’s money, none seem as cool as the version by BossLogic, which is decidedly dark in its scope/aesthetic (a sullen Diana caught mid-butt whopping) and also somehow hopeful (she’s breaking new ground, literally). All hail the future!

Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Cover by Juann Cabal

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

With the arrival of Al Ewing on the Guardians book, it feels like the title has achieved a new level of shimmer (and there’s been some pretty great talent attached to this book in recent years). So it only makes sense to attach a similarly great artist, and Juann Cabal and his cover for issue #1 is a clear example of the awesomeness this book could achieve. Whether it’s the Bond-ian pose between Rocket and Starlord, or that said raccoon is rocking his best leisure suit, this kind of sheen is going to do wonders for the Guardians. Swag.

Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1

Cover by Gerardo Sandoval

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

Sometimes Captain America is a defining image of bravery and selflessness. And other times he’s a giant dweeb with a metal Frisbee. The character’s magic, then, often comes with how he’s being depicted. In the case of this new book in the Ruins of Ravencroft project, pitting Cap against actual Dracula is like capturing some fever dream from a wacky pulp fiction writer as he vacations in 1940s Havana (how’s that for specific?) It’s often about making such a “pure” character get down and dirty, and in one succinct image, it doesn’t get more bad and bloody.

Excalibur #6

Cover by Mahmud Asrar

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

While there’s been a ton of great X-related content as of late, there’s something special about Excalibur. A lot of that is Tini Howard’s writing, which weaves in magic and the Captain Britain mythos brilliantly into the X-Men’s ongoing shenanigans. But it’s also the art work, including Mahmud Asrar’s cover for issue #6. It’s the way he blends all the dynamic energies and imagery, and the sense of intrigue and drama that each character exudes. Plus, he manages to make Apocalypse 100-times scarier, and that’s a gosh dang miracle.

Family Tree #3

Cover by Phil Hester

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

It seems that I;ll use any opportunity possible to gush deeply about Family Tree, the excellent new series from Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester. But it really checks all my boxes for an amazing title: 1) an inventive world, 2) some apocalyptic elements, 3) family drama galore, and 4) a heaping helping of weirdness. The cover for issue #3, especially, exemplifies what’s great about this book: amid the weirdness of the world beats a soft and vulnerable heart of pure emotion. Oh, and Hester’s trees are just hella cool.

Connor’s Picks

Kill Lock #2

Cover by Livio Ramondelli

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

Kill Lock is a series that might fly under a lot of people’s radar, but a cover as vibrant as this should catch most readers’ eye. The contrast of massive flames atop a sheet of frozen ice is oddly calming, and the glow of the mysterious box/robot invites those who look at this cover to explore the book further. Those who opt to go deeper will be treated to a surprisingly deep and thought-provoking story about robots and what it means to be alive.

Batman/Superman #6

Variant Cover by Simone Bianchi

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

I am a sucker for Simone Bianchi’s art, and this cover is no exception. The pastel colors always give his work a more grandiose feel, but this cover, in particular, is slightly reminiscent of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam.” Superman has this angelic glow about him as if he is descending down to assist Batman in his mortal struggles, though Batman looks less afraid and more ready for a brawl to the death. It’s a cover that is indicative of the nature of each character — and it is just so goddamn pretty.

Batman #87

Cover by Tony S. Daniel

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

James Tynion IV’s run on Batman is off to an unsurprisingly awesome start. If this cover is any indication, this second issue will be just as good as Tynion’s first. This cover from series artist Tony S. Daniel evokes big-time horror vibes, with a blood-splattered Batman looking up at blood-soaked hands with a look of sheer terror splashed across his face. Fans of Tynion know just how good he is at writing horror stories, so this bloody cover should make every reader doubly excited. Plus, there’s just something undeniably unsettling about seeing Batman so shook.

Kyle’s Picks

Far Sector #3

Cover by Jamal Campbell

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

NK Jemisin’s new entry into the Green Lantern mythos has already turned a lot of heads with its spectacular world-building and engaging murder-mystery plot. Jamal Campbell’s cover for #3 puts that tension front and center, showing a world falling in around Jo Mullein. For a book focused on a character who wields green light as her strongest tool, it should come as no surprise that the coloring would be used so effectively. But there’s still just something about the different shades of green colliding with each other that really sells the impact of this cover.

Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #5

Cover by David Rubin

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

Now, I’ll be totally honest here: I haven’t read any Ether yet. It’s always caught my eye, and I absolutely love both Matt Kindt’s and David Rubin’s respective works, but something about the weekly comics grind just hasn’t afforded me the opportunity quite yet. I’m now realizing how much of a mistake that is just by looking at the newest cover for the series. Rubin, whose art I think of as the epitome of vibrant, with its strong linework and bright colors, has somehow given us one of the most beautifully haunting covers I’ve seen in a long time. Frankly, it’s ethereal (pun not intended but definitely recognized). This cover has done its job well, because now I’m feeling a compulsion to read the whole of Ether, kicking myself for not getting on it sooner.

Vampire State Building #4

Cover by Rafael Albuquerque

Judging by the Cover – 01/22/20 new releases

In a similar vein, I have never read Vampire State Building. I’ve never even heard of it, just as I’ve never heard of its publisher Ablaze. I’ll be damned if this isn’t a fantastic cover, though. It tells me everything I need to know about the series going in, with its gripping horror vibes and the high-contrast monster movie aesthetic. A deformed, grotesque hand reaches for the Empire State Building, this iconic symbol of human achievement, and in doing so promises a terror-filled, blood-pumping ride. Again, this is only what I can surmise from the cover, but I am certainly eager to read Vampire State Building pronto.

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