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Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

Comic Books

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

Chris shares his 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.

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Justice League #41

Cover by Bryan Hitch

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

Perhaps I chose this cover because I’m a ’90s kids, and endless nostalgia is the only real distraction I have from my own swirling feelings of existential dread. But also, The Eradicator is dope! He was arguably one of the cooler aspects of the “Death of Superman” saga (that wasn’t Superboy’s leather jacket). Once again, Bryan Hitch does a great job of creating a cover that’s steeped in lush retro vibes but while still feeling new and energized with modern comic energies. Evaluation, complete.

Wolverine #1

Cover by Adam Kubert

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

Despite how massively popular this character has been for decades, not everyone properly nails Wolverine. Sometimes he’s too tall, or even far too short and thick (but also sometimes thiccc). There’s artist who can’t quite portray his animalistic side, and others who strip him of any humanity. Luckily, Adam Kubert is on the case, and his Wolvy is pretty much perfect. It’s a solid encapsulation of what makes this character so visually appealing, and his eyes and claws especially balance his ferocity and his sense of human vulnerability. Kubert’s the best there is at what he does, and what he does is very nice.

DCeased: Unkillables #1

Cover by Howard Porter

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

There’s a lot working in favor of the next chapter of the DCeased series/saga. A badass plot involving villains turned heroes, the promise of “street-level” death and heroism, and a team led by Deathstroke and Red Hood. But really, it’s the cover that has me sold. There’s few moments where I just stare, mouth fully agape, with nary a thought or insight to share. And that’s what made this cover work: it tickles that part of the comics fan’s brain housing a love of huge, over-the-top action and unrealistic muscles. It’s the same part of the brain responsible for our adoration of monster trucks and Michael Bay films.

2020 Machine Man #1

Cover by Nick Roche

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

The great thing about Machine Man is that he’s a walking, talking metaphor for the intersection between technology and people, and how our evolution is shaped by our own advancements. The other great thing about Machine Man is that he’s funny as all get out and has stretchable arms and a chainsaw hand. This is a character where thoughtful meditations and kick-ass action can fully coincide in peace. Nick Roche’s cover may not be the best example of that dynamic, but it does make you want to pick this book up. And once you do, Christos Gage and Andy MacDonald will have a potentially killer story. Boom, uber synergy.

Bang! #1

Cover by Wilfredo Torres

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

You could tell me Matt Kindt is writing a story about squirrels listening to classical music and I’d pre-order the second it was available. But then you assure me that his new tale is far more interesting, a massive interwoven story about secret agents and writers, all involved in a plot surrounding a global terrorist cell. Wilfredo Torres’ cover is really all you need to further confirm how great this could be, a Bond-ian spy figure remaining chic and fashionable amid the bloody chaos of his work. It’s not so much a tease but a powerful encapsulation of the ideas and aesthetic. Oh, and Mr. Kindt, if you ever want to do that squirrel story, I was totally serious.

Godkillers #1

Cover by Jeremy Haun

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

As far as story premises, the one about “a special forces team that fights monster-wielding terrorists” is among the more insane I’ve heard in recent months. While I don’t have anything else to go off just yet (other than my own plottings of this proper promising story), the art seems to confirm a few important things. Namely, the grittiness of war mixed with the surreal, slightly psychedelic magic/supernatural tidbits. Oh, and the importance of religion to a story clearly interested in exploring some of the larger ramifications of war. If this is the future of war comics, enlist me right away.

Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy #3

Cover by Tonci Zonjic

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

As with the much larger Black Hammer universe, Jeff Lemire and Tonci Zonjic are using Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy to explore and subvert heroic stereotypes. Take the cover for #3, for instance: we can tell that this hero (likely the Crimson Fist, aka Spiral City mayoral candidate Tex Reed) is probably breaking in for a good cause. But that doesn’t change how menacing this feels, a deeply personal invasion that feels truly disturbing. And that’s this series’ strong point thus far: it makes you question your assumptions every page turn, and it never once lets you back away from bigger, far more complicated truths.

Aquaman #57

Cover by Robson Rocha

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

For some people, Aquaman will always be a running joke. But in the hands of a capable creative team, he’s just as emotionally rich and nuanced as any Batman or Superman title. Kelly Sue DeConnick has done a damn fine job portraying Arthur in a way to make him a deep and well-rounded character, and Mera’s pregnancy is just the sort of decision to give him a richer story and emotional makeup that the character deserves. Luckily, Robson Rocha nails the visuals, and there’s a sense of hope and power to this cover that still hints at something more to come. Aquaman may talk to fish, but he probably shares all of his doubts and fears, too.

Daredevil #18

Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco

Judging by the Cover – 02/19/20 new releases

There’s no denying that Julian Totino Tedesco has been killing it with the Daredevil covers in recent months. There’s a level of madness and chaos to these pieces, and yet they also retain some semblance of romanticism, like an 18th century French painting (but with bloody superheroes). Issue #18, though, really stands out, and this snarling, screaming slice of urban warfare between Daredevil and The Owl achieves an intensity and level of detail that few fight scenes could ever fully portrayal. The only real winner of this nasty fight is everyone who gets to peep this cover.

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