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.
In weeks past, we’ve run a similar version of this feature. Check out entries from the “Nostalgia edition.”
Birds of Prey #1
Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Alex Sinclair
There’s a lot to be excited over regarding this all-new Birds of Prey one-shot (formerly a proper ongoing?) Brian Azzarello will likely bring more pulp-y goodness, backed up by pencils from Emanuela Lupacchino and inker Ray McCarthy. It’s still mostly perfect timing for a new BoP series (I watched the film recently and it delivers and then some). I’m even excited about how they’ve positioned each of the Birds narrative-wise coming into the title. And even without all of that, there’s this totally excellent cover which feels like a pulp-tacular version of a superhero cover and shows some of the energies that make the Birds so enjoyable. Yay for promising starts!
Nailbiter Returns #1
Cover by Mike Henderson
If you’re a fan of AIPT, then you know we’re pretty jazzed about a sequel to 2014’s Nailbiter. There’s something about the story of town that breeds serial killers that’s just so compelling, and creators Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson have promised even more wondrous gore. As fart as promising starts are concerned, the cover to #1 feels like a home run. If home runs actually delivered endless nightmare fuel and made people question the variety nature of their own sanity. But that’s what makes this series so great: it doesn’t flinch in showing the worst of humanity to make us all reconsider who we are and the world we’ve helped make.
Force Works #3
Cover by Juanan Ramirez
An entire slew of series/titles were thrown off schedule following the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, Force Works was already two issues in before things fell apart, and so fans got to sit around and consider how this generally solid mini-series would end. Now, we get to find out at last as issue #3 promises to reveal whose been pulling the strings as Force Works contends with a mechanical menace. Based on the cover, it’s a finale that involves ample amounts of stylized robot-bashing, not to mention a little heartwarming teamwork from these lovable anti-hero-types. Who knows if all that will make the wait worthwhile, but this situation has clearly reinforced the notion that patience is a virtue.
Cover by Michel Fiffe
I get why some people may not like Copra (which, fun fact, is the dried out kernel of a coconut). But the series, which is “What if Suicide Squad were a Euro indie comic,” deserves ample praise for its pacing, overall wit and humor, and unique spin on comic book action tropes. So much of that has to do with the ever-compelling art by series mastermind Michel Fiffe. Case in point: the cover to issue #6, which balances the aesthetic of a weirdo indie comic with sick shots of robots and people shooting big guns. That piece of art should be enough to unite all comics fans under a banner of enthusiastic reading. Plus, it’s a new arc, so why not just jump aboard already?
Buffy: Every Generation #1
Variant Cover by Celine Loup
I’ve always held a controversial opinion: Angel the TV series is better than Buffy. I won’t go into it and try and explain away my most shamefully-held belief, but I can say that when it comes to comics, Buffy is still the true Chosen One. It’s because of offerings like Every Generation, which promises a handful of stories about Slayers from ye olden days. That includes the unnamed English slayer from circa 1530, who turned a tennis game into an opportunity to dust her opponent. It’s this kind of storytelling and imagery that makes the Buffy comics a wonderful and dynamic continuation of a beloved series. One that never featured an inferior puppet episode, but then nothing’s ever truly perfect, amirite?
Revenge Of The Cosmic Ghost Rider #5
Cover by Scott Hepburn
I won’t lie: I just didn’t get into Revenge Of The Cosmic Ghost Rider. It’s a really solid character, but after Donny Cates got done with him, I just never saw the point for more of this heavy-handed demonstration of uber meta comics goodness. But after peeping Scott Hepburn’s cover for the finale, I may have to revisit that opinion. The point of the character is, arguably, about making a super bad-ass. (Also, I think the character’s an exploration of aging and personal grief, but that’s for another essay.) Pitting him against demons in such a vivid way (this would make a killer Slayer album cover with just a touch more blood and fire) really plays up the character’s scope and value. Also, the shoulder pads remain as sick as ever.
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #1
Cover by Joe Eisma
When this series was first announced in January, folks weren’t exactly stoked. And rightfully so, as the idea of killing off the beloved Nancy Drew in what’s effectively her own book feels like the worst example of “Women in Refrigerators” imaginable (aside from the original instance, I’d reckon). The whole time, though, the creative team of writer Anthony Del Col and artist Joe Eisma have promised a more fair and nuanced take, one that celebrates the character’s legacy while pushing new narrative grounds. While that remains to be true, Eisma’s cover of issue #1 hints at that very promise, with Drew’s death casting a mighty shadow over the Hardy Boys and the series at large. Hopefully the book follows through and lets us better understand Drew in the process.
Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular #1
Cover by Natali Sanders
As far as birthday parties go, Catwoman’s 80th is a jam-packed soiree. The 100-page “spectacular” promises contributions from Paul Dini, Jim Lee, Tom King, Gabriele Dell’Otto, Steve Rude, and Ann Nocenti, among many others. Given all that talent, there’s a ton of truly great variant cover offerings celebrating the world’s greatest cat burglar. Special shout-outs to J. Scott Campbell’s nostalgia-inspired take, JeeHyung Lee’s noir-inspired creation, and Stanley “Artgerm” Lau’s highly stylized portrait. But the real winner has to be Natali Sanders’ version, which places Selina Kyle on a glamorous, pun-tastic magazine cover . Are those pearls stolen? Likely. But does this capture the very essence and beauty of the Catwoman franchise in all its glory? Duh.
The Boys: Dear Becky #1
Cover by Darick Robertson
As far as influential series are concerned, The Boys made readers reevaluate every trope and concept associated with modern superhero comics. The fact that Garth Ennis is revisiting this bloody weird universe is awesome, and it promises to be a great new chapter that offers fresh insight and perspective into The Boys themselves. What makes Darick Robertson’s cover so effective is that it touts that connection on its sleeve, showing us the other side of the series’ debut issue from back in 2011. It’s an image that’s as beautiful as it is unsettling, hinting at the story to come while leaving room for ample doubt and speculation. That’s why this series rules: it smacks you in the face without ever showing its actual hand.