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 Travis Moore
The “Joker War” storyline is officially in full gear across several Bat titles. As a result, there’s some pretty neat-o keen covers this week and month, including this extra gnarly piece on Batman #97. But for this fella’s money, Nightwing #73 is especially awesome in what it’s trying to accomplish. Given Joker’s, um, unique interest in the Robins (and really all Bat allies), not to mention the actual text on the cover (including the the style/format), this should illicit the same kind of fear and dread as A Death in the Family. But this book does something all its own, and while it uses that powerful piece o’history as a springboard, it’s really the faces depicted here that illicit the most existential terror and wild uncertainty. Good luck sleeping — ever.
Cover by Rachelle Rosenberg and Matteo Scalera
We’re already three issues into the “Age of Khonshu” story, which if you haven’t been paying attention is basically, “Hey, let’s make Moon Knight look like a G-D super badass for a while.” And if you’re going to do that, the best way is to pit ol’ Marc Spector against a true OG in Thor and have him play Whac-A-Mole with the handsome Asgardian. That’s not to say Thor never gets his muscular buttocks handed to him, but the cover art really plays up not only the struggle of Thor and the power of MK, but that air of surprise and chaos that this whole storyline is meant to represent. It feels wrong in all the best ways, and it’s a powerful way to further elevate Moon Knight into true elite status.
Once & Future #10
Cover by Dan Mora
Truth be told, I recently binged the entire first volume of this amazing BOOM! series. If you’re not on board (and shame for you), it’s basically about a grandmother and her grandson fighting monsters, including a resurrected King Arthur who is trying to deliver England into some hell dimension. It’s like Supernatural meets National Treasure with a dash of, say, Extreme Ghostbusters (and loads and loads of epic history and fantasy). Or if that’s too silly of a description, just peep this cover for issue #10, which is the single coolest metal album cover in the world (or, a gnarly R-rated version of Lord of the Rings). Either way, this image sort of encapsulates the depths (or heights?) this story goes, and it’s one you need to witness — even without binging.
Cover by Olivier Coipel
I can’t read Donny Cates’ mind (if I did, I’d spoil Venom). But I’d like to think his goal with the excellent ongoing Thor title was to say, “I’m going to make the most badass, black metal version of the God of Thunder that anyone has ever dreamed of.” And so far, he’s done just that, thanks in huge part to the series’ art, which now includes this latest cover from Olivier Coipel. As Thor struggles with the threat of the Black Winter (and thus the death of all existence, effectively), his epic pose in front of Yggdrasil (aka, the tree of life) speaks volumes about his emotional state and the scope of this book. Is this a vision of what’s to come, or the actual reckoning for the cosmos? Either way, this cover deserves a massive devil’s horn raised up to the high heavens.
Savage Dragon #251
Cover by Erik Larsen
Recently, Savage Dragon hit a massive landmark with issue #250. That cover, once again by series creator/writer/artist Erik Larsen, felt like a proud encapsulation of what made that series cool (i.e., a cool dragon fighting crime in epic fashion). But what’s made the series work is that SD isn’t afraid to get down and dirty, as evidenced by this post-fight scene mug shot. Whether it’s the ample use of blood, the great shadows and cuts, or just the subtle lighting, we get to see that even after 250-plus issues, this hero still has to take his lumps to make a difference. But maybe for issue #252, we can see him get a good night’s rest or something.
Shadow Service #1
Cover by Triona Farrell
Written by Cavan Scott, and with art by Corin Howell, this new Vault Comics series is basically a witch who acts as a P.I. getting involved with a magical conspiracy threatening jolly old England. It feels like a few other magic-leaning titles (in the very best way), and the story’s first issue sets the stage for a solid spy thriller with a heavy sprinkle or two (or 100) of magic. But this is Judging by the Cover, and that art alone works by presenting us with a totally dope pulp novel/movie poster hybrid dripping with sweet action (and a solid dash of satanic imagery, maybe?) The premise alone should hook you, but the cover drives home the endless style of this promising new book.
Cover by Adam Kubert
If you’re as old as Wolverine, you collect quite a few enemies along the way. And though Sabretooth, or even his own son Daken, are seen as especially bitter rivals, Logan’s feud with Omega Red is truly the stuff of comic book history. It’s hard to describe fully why they make such perfect combatants in an ongoing conflict of emotion and ideology. Are they perhaps a commentary about the ongoing socio-political tensions between the West and Russia (even though Wolverine is Canadian)? Or is it that they’re two badass dudes with cool hand weapons? Either way, Adam Kubert (aka, Lord of Wolverine Covers) depicts something essential and extra potent about their relationship. Some feuds should never truly end.
Cover by Guillem March
If you’re a savvy or extra attentive sort of reader, you may have noticed I mentioned Batman #97 already. Even if the Nightwing #73 cover is technically the better cover (at least from the standpoint of sheer comics nerdery and emotionality), I can’t not mention this “chapter” of the ongoing “Joker War.” It basically checks the box for “super effective Batman cover”: 1) Batman in a position of weakness and/or vulnerability 2) Joker looking fiendish (in this case, uber demonic), and 3) some kind of joke and/or pun from the Harlequin of Hate. Plus, bonus points for the Kelley Jones vibe and use of Joker poison/fear gas. Sure, war sucks, but this one is hitting all the right notes (visually, at least).
Cover by Fabiana Mascolo
In case you missed the first issue, I was a fan of the visuals for this coming-of-age drama set around ISIS’ invasion of Mogul. (And as it turns out, the story itself has been properly gripping and thoughtful so far.) While it remains to be seen how issue #2 will further the story of Yasmeen and her move to America, at least the cover once again delivers (and then some). Here, Fabiana Mascolo has recreated the profound sense of distance and boundless nostalgia that all immigrants must likely experience in a strange new land. But not all is as it initially appears, and the cover hints at others kinds of fear and uncertainty for the young Yasmeen, complicating her narrative and goals in the most effective way possible. This is a story with so many delicate layers, and the art alone is so deeply important to the rich emotion abounding within.