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.
Empyre: X-Men #2
Cover by Stephen Segovia
Given the sheer size and scope of Empyre (not to mention our own continued coverage), we’re totally compelled to feature it in this column as much as possible. That doesn’t mean, however, we have to go with the proper Empyre issue every single week. No, it’s time to sped a little love for something else, and this X-Men cover feels like a perfect choice. Does it have the same sort of “mish-mash heroes united” approach? To an extent — there’s a great image here of the poised Angel and the more battle-obsessed Magik. Does it still speak to some larger story motif and vibe while maintaining its own feel? Oh for sure. So all in all, it’s a great cover to further drive home what Empyre is all about. As if most of y’all needed even more proof, that is.
Fire Power #1
Cover by Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson
It’s not an official bylaw of this feature, but any time there’s a new Robert Kirkman book, it sort of has to be covered. And what a book this promises to be, even beyond having Kirkman as writer. Artistic contributions from Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson? Check. A super-powered world-saver type struggling with his responsibility? Double check. The promise of cool fireballs being thrown around on the regular? Ah, triple check! And a slew of bonus points for this invoking images and feelings of Ryu from Street Fighter. Sometimes it’s hard to pick books each week, and other times the books sort of pick you.
Justice League #50
Variant Cover by Travis Charest
In recent weeks, I’ve been fairly hyped about Si Spurrier hopping aboard this title, and what’s been done with “The Rule of War” storyline. Now, Spurrier and artist Aaron Lopresti get to go out on a bang with a giant-sized anniversary issue. Such a triumphant moment deserves a special cover, and Travis Charest has done just that with this slick variant cover. It may not exactly connect back to the storyline as the main cover does, but this epic piece captures a powerful side of the League, one brimming with hugely stoic vibes and not a small amount of nostalgia. Whatever is inside is bound to be great, but this cover shows something truly essential about the League. Also, shout-out to The Flash for straight running vertically.
Sex Criminals #30
Cover by Chip Zdarsky
The end is here: after seven-ish years and 29 previous issues, Sex Criminals finally wraps up. (It should be noted, though, that Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky have plans for a “coda or reprise or something classy like whatever the WICDIV guys called it,” but this seems like the proper end right here.) After all the dick jokes, and the dynamic ups and downs of Suzie and Jon’s relationship, our final image is this singular cover. In addition to making me instantly think of Quantum Leap, it’s both deeply comforting, appropriately erotic, and a little scary. So, in other words, a powerful encapsulation of what this thoughtful series has always delivered. Godspeed, you sexy criminals.
Cover by Greg Land
Hey, did you know there’s non-Empyre-related stories and books still going on at Marvel? Who would’ve thunk it! But, on the reals, Deadpool has been a fairly entertaining book for several months, as the Merc with a Mouth deals with all that insanity that comes as King of the Monsters. For issue #7, he winds up on Krakoa, and oh how the hilarity ensues. And by hilarity, it seems like Deadpool gets tied up in some magic Krakoan tree and some of the islands’ baddest mutants serve as the welcoming committee. Any time Wade Wilson can look like a straight dummy, you’re going to get something truly magical. But this cover in particular still manages to make him look cool amid all the X-Men’s dynamic badassery.
Undiscovered Country #7
Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Recently, we ran an excellent feature from our own Vishal Gullapalli that explored Undiscovered Country‘s first six-issue run. In said piece, Gullapalli explores how, while the series held some promise, we’d have to wait and see if it could overcomes its issues and meaningfully explore larger issues of identity and inclusivity. Now, we may have that very chance as the series returns with issue #7 and a new arc, “Unity.” While there’s no discerning the story from the cover, the piece does offer a sneak peek of the world of Unity, which seems to be like a hidden bubble of “gleaming technology.” The change of scenery may help the book find its footing (in purveying its larger social messaging), but if nothing else it may be a chance to delve into other issues with much more nuance and purpose.
The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1
Cover by Nick Robles
As press for this new series explains, the “Sandman Universe is changing.” Which I’d gather means that the formerly untouchable world crafted by Neil Gaiman has been opened up to new artists and writers to play around with. First came the mostly excellent, recently completed The Dreaming series by writer Si Spurrier and artist Bilquis Evely, and now a new creative team (G. Willow Wilson and Nick Robles) get their turn. As based solely on the cover (and a lil’ bit of press material), we can expect a deeply poetic and huge metaphysical tale involving nightmares and The Ruin. Which is to say, another chapter that looks to fulfill the legacy of The Dreaming in a big way. If we’re are, in fact, dreaming, please don’t wake us up.
Alien: The Original Screenplay #1
Cover by Guilherme Balbi
In their many configurations, Alien comics have been mostly good; with that kind of source material and larger universe, it’s really hard to go wrong. But now there’s something especially novel set to debut: a comic on Dan O’Bannon’s original 1976 screenplay, which among other things, promises a “new alien.” Until that creature rears its ugly head, we only have the cover by 1976 Guilherme Balbi to go off, and oh what a cover it is. Balbi’s certainly recreated the weird techno-organic vibe of the series, and he expertly skirts the line between the glorious and gorgeous and the outright and utterly terrifying. Whatever fresh scares this series delivers, the cover sets the tone. And that tone is a weird alien clicking and salivating before it eats your face.
Strange Adventures #4
Cover by Mitch Gerads
I’ve said from before issue #1 debuted that Strange Adventures was going to be as much of a cerebral and emotional tale as Mister Miracle. And based on the events leading up to #4, it’s mostly delivered in this regard. Here, we find Mr. Terrific on the planet of Rann, and he’s faced with an uphill challenge in cracking the case around Adam Strange. Given that focus, it’s super neat-o to see Terrific on the cover, and Gerads has done a bang-up job adding a kind of celestial vibe that plays with our notions of ol’ “Captain 1,200 PhDs.” What’s that mean for the story proper? Who knows just yet. But this cover shows the series’ larger ability to mess with characters in the absolute best possible ways.
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