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Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

Comic Books

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 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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In weeks past, we’ve run a similar version of this feature. Check out entries from the “Nostalgia edition.”

The Terrifics #27

Cover by Dan Mora

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

I’m still woefully behind on The Terrifics, but even I can enjoy this Dan Mora cover. Because even with that 12-ish-issue gap, I have a pretty good idea of what’s going on right now. Namely, the Terrifics are still this weird and wonderful mash-up of superheroes, and the chaos of this scene (why are there two Atoms? is Man-Bat an official member) is just part of the series’ inherently magical charm. Because storylines and character development are great, but the appeal of this title is that it’s light and breezy even when things get hectic, and the thing to enjoy is that endless cheese and grin of self-awareness. That, and the best logo in modern comics.

Avengers #33

Cover by Matteo Scalera

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

I’ve also fallen behind on this latest Avengers run, even though I believe Jason Aaron could write an instruction manual to a ’77 Pinto and make it compelling. But I’m jazzed for this issue as the start of a much larger storyline where Moon Knight takes center stage. Am I worried the Fist of Khonshu might become some second-rate villain just to give Aaron the ability to write about the undead? Sure. Do I think the character’s more complex and nuanced than this storyline might fully allow him to be? Yeah, duh. But based solely on Matteo Scalera’s cover, at least old Marc Spector looks hella cool, and that’s enough to get me back into this series.

Dead Day #1

Cover by Andy Clarke

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

The whole idea of the dead returning has been done, in one form or another, almost as much your average zombie movie. (Please see The Revenant, The Returned, iZombie, and the excellent Babylon Fields pilot, among others.) But if anyone could do a solid job of telling the story of a town celebrating an annual Resurrection holiday, it’s Ryan Parrott. Plus, Andy Clarke’s cover is amazing, and the way it plays with imagery of Heaven and standard zombie fare is really doing a lot in the series’ favor. We don’t need more zombie fiction, but if it’s going to happen, better it this than anything else (read: another Walking Dead-style entry).

Venom #25

Variant Cover by Marco Checchetto

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

Given that it’s already a huge series, the creative team/editors went all out on variant covers for Venom #25. There’s a dozen-plus artists having contributed, and each one gives his or her own unique spin to the snarling face of the world’s favorite symbiote (that isn’t Carnage — zing!) Special props to Shannon Maer’s creepy portrait, Greg Horn’s Flash Venom/Iron Man-esque depiction, and Clayton Crain’s disturbingly ripped cover offering. Still, the one that really stands out is Marco Checchetto’s cover: simple but deeply effective, it balances the horror and elegance of Venom, while hinting at the larger themes of the Donny Cates-penned series. Happy No. 25, y’all!

Batman Beyond #43

Cover by Dustin Nguyen

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

There’s a whole universe of differences between the Batman Beyond cartoon and its more modern comic book adaptation. Whereas the former was a slightly hokey affair (which makes sense given it was a way to get a new generation to fall for Batman), the latter has developed all-new layers of depth and nuances to the larger caon. Still, there’s a certain thread of color and intensity these two properties share; Dustin Nguyen’s cover, for instance, feels like the perfect encapsulation of both titles’ commitment to giant-sized aesthetics and endlessly sleek portrayal of Batman’s future. Because regardless of the medium, Bats fighting giant monsters will always be hella cool.

Heavy #1

Cover by Eryk Donovan

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

Heavy could become a really great series… or it could fizzle out in an instance. For one, you have Max Bemis on writing duties, and this whole story (which is basically, “dude works as a multiverse cop in order to make his way to the afterlife”) seems like it’d be right in his wheelhouse. At the same time, though, it’s closeness to The Preacher series, not to mention its tag line of “The Punisher for neurotics,” could be either too much of a good thing or a case of dichotomous threads just not meshing together at all. Still, based on the cover by series artist Eryk Donovan, leaning into the Punisher vibes, not to mention what is basically a gun that might shoot actual cherubs, clearly merits a first read. Bang bang, existentialism!

Marauders #10

Cover by Russell Dauterman

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

There’s heaps to love about the current Marauders book. Even among the jam-packed run of excellent ongoing X titles, it stands out for its great exploration of geo-politics among a mutant renaissance. Plus, you have to commend any team that includes Forge, Storm, and Iceman. And that’s not even mentioning the creative team, which includes writer Gerry Dugan and artist Stefano Casselli. But even among all those upsides, it’s still nice to have a cover like this from Matt Wilson, which is just a straight up epic battle scene with cool lasers and ice beams and Emma’s, um, brain waves? Because nuance and emotionality are great, but so is finger lightning.

Aquaman #59

Cover by Stjepan Sejic

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

Does this Stjepan Sejic cover to issue #59 look like a still from the (mostly great) Aquaman film? Sure. Is that probably the point, and a great way to continually remind people of something DC did fairly well? You betcha. Is it still mostly indicative of the story, as Arthur steps up his battle for the throne of Atlantis? Oh for sure. Am I overthinking all of this, and thus distracting myself from a great piece of art brimming with huge drama and killer sea monsters? Yes, yes I am.

X-O Manowar #3

Variant Cover by David Lopez

Judging by the Cover – 05/27/20 new releases

Sure, like most kids, I was raised on a steady diet of Batman. But there were other heroes who helped shape and influence my tastes. X-O Manowar was one of them, and whether it’s the original version or the awesome Matt Kindt update, the character has always struck me as a great balance of ’90s cheese, genuine heroism, and a dash of sci-fi magic. That holds true for the current ongoing by Dennis Hallum/Hopeless and Emilio Laiso, and the pair are telling a chapter of X-O’s story in a way that feels true to his roots and aesthetics and overarching value. All of that’s also a part of David Lopez’s variant cover, which pulls in a little Star Wars-esque magic to cement this hero’s dynamic place in our modern canon.

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