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.
Detective Comics #1025
Cover by Kenneth Rocafort
Joker’s menaced Gotham City for years, but he’s clearly reached new heights of depravity as seen thus far in the “Joker War” story. Taking over Wayne Tower is a new low, and it’s clear that whatever the Harlequin of Hate has cooking for the long-term, it’s going to get extra nasty. But as the cover to #1025 proves, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor or penchant for absurdist weaponry. It’s those qualities that imbue this cover with a certain energy, like a weird remake of Die Hard from some deeply disturbed alternate universe. That’s why Joker is among the best: he’s not just scary, but he does so with a brevity that’s utterly confounding. That, and his suits remain perfectly pressed despite the chaos swirling around.
Cover by Frank Martin
I could have shared this cover because it’s Empyre, and it’s one of the hottest things going. Or because, for yet another week, artist Frank Martin has delivered something mostly compelling. But this time around I chose Empyre because it depicts one of comics’ best couples, Hulking and Wiccan. And if the press for this issue is accurate, Hulking is about to go on a profound journey of self-discovery. Could that irrevocably alter his relationship? Perhaps. If nothing else, that bit of tension will be ample emotional ground for these two to explore, and that’s something that I want more from this event than all the space battles in the world. Just don’t skimp on the intergalactic combat, OK?
Seven Secrets #1
Variant Cover by Justine Frany
There’s already a lot to be excited for about this new BOOM Studios series. A story by the awesome Tom Taylor? Check. Great art from Daniele Di Nicuolo? Double check. A narrative involving magic, secrets, and sword-based combat? Mega triple check! But then they went and added this amazing variant cover from Justine Frany referencing the equally dope Akira. I love when comics take something else, re-purpose it just enough to make it fresh and new, and yet retain everything wondrous about that other franchise. Does Akira have anything to do with this series? God, I hope so, even in the most minute of ways. But then it’s just more dopeness, and that’s always more than enough.
Big Girls #1
Cover by Jason Howard
Sort of like with Seven Secrets, there’s already plenty about this new Image series to make you want to slap it on ye olde pull list. Namely, Jason Howard has both written and drawn a story about a 300-foot female monster killer. The cover, though, really encapsulates what’s going to be great about this series. Like, the anime-leaning art style, the clear references to Pacific Rim, the focus on giant-sized action, and the fact that someone crafted a gun seemingly large enough for a 300-foot person. Because life’s all about the little, er, the really big things.
Cover by Dustin Weaver
Let’s set aside the fact that X-Force has been a really great comic. (It really has, and the whole “secret task force” thang is perfectly suited for this latest version of the X universe.) But even if you knew nothing about the ongoing story, the cover to #11 is perfect as is: a straight nasty brawl between Colossus and Omega Red. Why are they fighting and what does it mean? Who cares. This tussle radiates energy straight from 1994, and despite most things in the world at that time, that was mostly a great time for the X-Men. So, let this sweet cover pull you in, and the rest of the creative team should do a grand job of making you stick around. Boom, synergy.
Cover by Ivan Reis
After years of a mostly lukewarm relationship, I’ve recently gained a newfound appreciation of Superman. Sure, the Man of Steel is an OP Boy Scout, but a lot of what makes him great is testing him (physically and emotionally) and then watching him struggle to overcome the odds (which is generally a pretty decent metaphor for humanity’s own inherent struggles to prevail). And if you’re going to make the Last Son of Krypton really work to be the good guy, making him fighting a magical lord like Doctor Fate is probably a good place to start. (Especially because this Ivan Reis cover looks so profoundly awesome.) It’s likely Supes will win, but as I’ve come to understand, Superman is about overcoming weakness in the name of whatever’s good and decent.
Cover by Frank Martin
In the last couple years, Eddie Brock/Venom has gone through a lot, both in terms of self-discovery and getting drop-kicked endlessly by the universe. And there’s more to come as the “Venom Beyond” story promises a new threat and added danger for his son, Dylan. And because of that heightened drama, that’s why the cover to #27 is so perfectly. Here, we see Venom pulling a Spider-Man, having a ball as he zips across the futuristic city on webs. It makes for a potent kind of emotional dichotomy that’s going to result in some huge payoff down the line. That, or this is just a cool cover for a cool book and that’s more than enough. Either way, keep doing you, Venom (while you can — BWAHAHAAHAH).
Wonder Woman #760
Cover by David Marquez
The last year or so has seen some really great covers for this Wonder Woman ongoing. Though different in scope and overall vibe, each one has been a really effective way to showcase the power, bravery, heart, and prowess of the world’s greatest Amazon. But there’s something extra special about this David Marquez cover. It could be the simple but effective use of dialogue (that splash of red is doing some real work). Or, the threatening vibes of the robots (don’t tell me you’re not getting ’90s Sentinel vibes). It may even be the implications that this has to do with Max Lord, with all that rich drama just hanging in the air. Either way, this cover kills it, point blank.
Cover by Ben Templesmith
This new book from Heavy Metal feels like one of those Russian nesting dolls. The outermost doll is the fact that it’s co-written by Dan Fogler, aka Randy Daytona from Balls of Fury. (Fogler’s joined by Laurence Blum.) The next layer is the actual story, a mostly promising modern noir tale about a titular detective who takes on a case that will push him to the mental breaking point. But the final layer/doll is the art of the Ben Templesmith, including this awesome cover that feels like the love-child of pulpy noir books and Hellboy. This book could be a real catch, if you know what I mean.