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.
Cover by Mike Perkins
Over the years, the Joker has served as everything from a thorn in the Bat Family’s side to the harbinger of their very downfall. That’s especially true with the Robins, and they’ve always been a prime source of his cruelty to strike at the very heart of Batman. So, given that history, it’s especially unsettling to see the Crown Prince of Crime rocking a bloody Nightwing costume. It’s like the worst kind of perversion, yet another twisted way to warp and alter the family’s very core. Even if Joker does fill the suit out rather nicely.
Cover by Chris Bachalo
I’ve likely said this before, but Kelly Thompson is doing some great things with this latest Deadpool series. Not only is she placing him in a unique position with the whole “king of the monsters” shtick, but pitting him against a threat like Kraven feels like a new and novel way to play with both characters. And none of this could be possible without Chris Bachalo’s art, which finds that perfect line between comedy and carnage, the silly and the assaultive. This cover, in particular, is like an even more frightening version of Marvel Zombies, and that’s saying a bloody lot.
DCeased: Unkillables #2
Cover by Ben Oliver
When I wrote about the first Unkillables cover, I loved how quintessentially comics it felt. Howard Porter’s art felt like this big, brawny ode to pure action and mayhem that could draw in people’s attentions and explore the mix of heroism and violence these “heroes” exemplified. But you’ve got to give it up to the more thoughtful approach by Ben Oliver. This homage to Full Metal Jacket isn’t just totes dope to look at, but by creating a link between these properties, it makes all sorts of connections thematically that could be interesting. And even if that’s not the case, sometimes a cool cover is simply enough.
Black Stars Above #5
Cover by Jenna Cha
If you’re looking for a distinct kind of horror, Black Stars Above has delivered since day one. Jenna Cha’s covers, especially, have been stirring and unsettling, a snapshot of the kind of silent psychic scares awaiting in the book proper. Yet this one feels slightly different, and there’s just as much hope and determination on Eulalie’s face as there is a recognition of pure existential terror. It’s somehow even more affecting, and that little sliver of grace only makes me worry all that much more about what’s waiting in these pages.
Cover by Pepe Larraz
If you’re unaware, Outlawed is basically going to be, “Hey, you damn kids can’t superhero no more,” to which the teens respond with a massive raspberry in the form of continued heroics. I, for one, am down with this shift in the MU: if you look at a book like Champions (which is still great), it feels a little too aw-shucks sometimes. Being a teen is hard, and a teenage hero is doubly difficult, and it’s time to do as this cover does: have these kids make the hard decisions to show what they’re really made of. F the man, y’all.
Justice League #43
Cover by Bryan Hitch
If you haven’t been reading Justice League up to this point, you may be rather confused and/or concerned. Superman and Wonder Woman are in the middle of torturing and possibly murdering the Eradicator, with Green Lantern possibly helping and Batman too far away to do anything. Yeah, it’s scary and confusing, but then that’s maybe the point. The best covers shock and awe in all the right ways, and Bryan Hitch’s cover feels like a special kind of perversion and disruption of these beloved heroes. Feels like a punch to the gut in all the best ways.
Family Tree #5
Cover by Phil Hester
It’s that time of the month where I once again demand that everyone read Family Tree. If you love dense family drama, tales of the apocalypse, and sick action pieces, then this is the book for you. This cover, in particular, just encapsulates what’s so great about Phil Hester’s art: the blend of beauty and body horror, the examination of youth and painful changes, and how the world is scary just as much as it is utterly compelling. Few books balance such ideals so perfectly, and if I haven’t sold you already, there’s always April.
Cover by Dustin Weaver
Forget the covers where the heroes like stoic and perfect. This Edgar Delgado cover portrays X-Force just as they are: angry, dirty, and about done with it all. And it’s totally fitting, given they’re stuck in the Amazon, there’s a big bad on the rise, and they may be partially responsible for their own current predicament. So as merited as their visages may be, it’s still nice to see a kind of desperation and edginess across the team. Oh, and Quentin Quire, you still look super dapper somehow.
Cover by Jack T. Cole
Last month, writer Johnnie Christmas and artist Jack T. Cole unveiled their new series Tartarus, which is basically “Breaking Bad set in Mos Eisley.” And that first cover was truly spellbinding, a mishmash of sci-fi imagery and influences that felt truly special. And while the cover for #2 doesn’t quite explode with the same force, there’s also a kind of quiet intensity and beauty here that makes this title feel all the more compelling. Sometimes being simultaneously intrigued, scared, and enthralled can be the best feeling in the world.