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.
Gideon Falls #21
Cover by Andrea Sorrentino
I’ve only just started reading Jeff Lemire’s Gideon Falls, and thus I have absolutely no idea what’s going on right now, some two years into this dense and intriguing storyline. That said, the cover by Andrea Sorrentino has me deeply intrigued as to what’s to be expected when I do finally catch up. Whatever is being depicted here — perhaps some sort of robot demon with actual human parts? — it’s the sort of organic but unsettling imagery that’s clearly been a part of the series since issue #1. Which I’d know, ’cause I just finished it.
X-Men/Fantastic Four #1
Variant Cover by Javier Garron
It’s one thing that the X titles as of late have hit a storytelling peak. With so much going on, and so many creative teams managing these threads so effectively, it’s been a real treat for fans of great stories. But all of that ignores much of the great art born out of this “renaissance,” and that goes double for Javier Garron’s cover of X-Men/Fantastic Four issue #1. There’s a distinctly nostalgic quality here, like something from the ’90s heyday. But amid the color and whimsy, there’s also ample subtlety and emotion at play, especially in regards to young Franklin Richard. With art and story aligned around such organic displays of humanity, it’s hard not to be totes stoked.
Justice League #40
Cover by Bryan Hitch
There’s a solid reason that the Justice League is arguably DC’s most essential book. It’s the monthly gathering of the publisher’s biggest names, and everyone wants to be invited to that party. Which is why their covers don’t really need to do much other than assemble the cream of the crop and amp up the action and drama a few notches to get fans properly excited. Even if the Justice League is “easy” in the regards, Bryan Hitch still nails it, and his cover has a playfulness to the very dark and serious overtures of the League. Plus, bashing clones is always fun.
Immortal Hulk: Great Power #1
Cover by Jorge Molina
The idea of this new Tom Taylor-penned mini-series is absolutely ludicrous, with Peter Parker becoming the “host” of The Hulk. But even with such a wacky hook (even comics from the ’60s wouldn’t have the balls or imagination), there’s no denying that its absurdity is appealing. And a lot of what will make the story a successful will hinge on how well the art sells or facilitates everything. In the case of Jorge Molina’s cover, I have to admit that I’m already on board, and his Spidey-Hulk (Hulkdey? Spulk?) is actually bordering on the amazing. So much so that I don’t even hate that his webs are green and likely Gamma-irradiated.
Young Justice #13
Cover by John Timms
If the Immortal Hulk cover is something that works out of sheer absurdity, then the cover to Young Justice #13 is an example of the bizarre working ’cause it’s just damn awesome. Here, Superboy becomes stranded in Skartaris (AKA the home of the perpetually bad-ass Warlord), at which point he goes all native to become a bad-ass viking version of himself. Is this cover nearly as ludicrous? No, but then that distinctly organic “marriage” between characters makes me think this blurring of boundary lines could be all the more satisfying. Also, any chance to give characters swords and leopard loin clothes should be celebrated outright.
Cover by Eduard Petrovich
Based on the series’ description alone, it seems like this new Ant-Man title is trying to mirror some of the same dynamics and energies of the MCU films. Namely, Scott Lang’s lovable loser-dom, or his issues with impressing his family/daughter. And I’m all here for that, as it provides even more reasons for people to read the comics and care about a generally great character. Especially when it also delivers covers like this, which enhance and expand upon those same themes and ideas in wonderful and really playful ways. Plus, it’s a good thing we’re finally portraying beekeepers as the heinous villains they all are.
Conan: Battle for the Serpent Crown #1
Variant Cover by Luke Ross
To some extent, I’m including this one based solely on 1) my interest in the excellent work of Saladin Ahmed and 2) the fact that the whole pitch is “Conan stages a heist in the modern Marvel universe.” But the art, including Luke Ross’ excellent variant cover, perfectly reflects the story’s inherently weird and wonderful themes and objectives. It’s not just that Conan’s smashing a roulette table (cool!), but that everything’s done — at least on paper — to maintain the singular savagery and fantasy vibes that have always defined all of the character’s many stories. Because sometimes you can have it both ways.
The Man Who Effed Up Time #1
Cover by Karl Mostert
If you call your series The Man Who Effed Up Time, you really don’t need to do much else to win me over. But then they went ahead and put this cover together from series artist Karl Mostert, who for a relatively new name to comics has already blown this writer out of his black dress socks. It’s the organic quality of the time machine, the curious face of the T-Rex, the immediately judgy vibes of the Roman emperor, and the 3 kinds of robots — there’s just so much to joyfully geek out over. Ya know what’d be really effed up? Missing out on what promises to be a bright and silly time travel tale. Duh.
Joker/Harley: Criminal Insanity #3
Cover by Francesco Mattina
By now, most comic fans are aware of the toxic nature between the Joker and Harley Quinn. It’s right up there with Superman hates kryptonite, or Green Arrow has a boxing glove arrow. But even then, there’s still so much to explore within this disastrous dynamic, and Criminal Insanity seeks to delve deeper than some other titles. The cover for issue #3 may hint at something obvious about the pair — namely, Joker is always behind Harley, both emotionally and often physically — but that doesn’t make it any less engaging of a story to tell. Francesco Mattina displays this relationship in such a way that it demonstrates so much of the fear and hope that color their every interaction. Again, just ’cause something’s apparent doesn’t mean it can’t still shock and upset.
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