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 #1027
Variant Cover by Terry Dodson
Say what you will about DC right now, but the publisher sure knows how to throw anniversary celebrations. After earlier commemorations for Joker and Catwoman, now comes a big one: a 144-page book marking the debut of Batman way back in May 1939’s Detective Comics #27. As such, the book is packed with a who’s who of talent, including Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Marv Wolfman, John Romita Jr., Tom King, Jordie Bellaire, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Brian Michael Bendis, among many, many others. So just which of the dozen or so covers actually deserves the nod? Is it Mike Mayhew’s all-out brawl? Or Frank Cho’s homage to The Dark Knight Returns? Maybe this piece by Tony S. Daniel, or this one by Ben Oliver. They’re all great, but it has to be the Terry Dodson variant, which captures something essential about Bats/Detective Comics while further pushing both into the future. Happy birthday, Dark Knight!
Cover by Leinil Francis Yu
This summer, the X titles go all Renaissance fair with the eagerly anticipated “X of Swords” event. For those unaware, it’s a big world-threatening event for the island of Krakoa, and if another chapter in this excellent saga weren’t enough, there’s promise of actual swords. In the meantime, we get this sick cover for issue #12 of X-Men, in which artist Leinil Francis Yu has expertly depicted the High Summonor of Arakko. What exactly does this have to do with “X of Swords?” Not sure yet. But is it totally cool, and the kind of titillating and terrifying imagery that should prime just about everyone’s pumps? You know it.
Cover by Ramón K. Pérez
Oh hey, another non-Marvel series from everyone’s favorite wacky uncle, Chip Zdarksy. If you only read Zdarksy’s work with the Big Two, you’re missing out on some amazing stuff (see The White Trees). This time around, Zdarsky’s teamed with artists Mike Spicer and Ramón K. Pérez for Stillwater, which follows a titular town in which no one can die. The series promises that said immortality is more a threat than a promise, so we’re sure to expect ample horror. Case in point: this excellent cover, which given the actual premise of the book, takes on new levels of terror and beauty in equal parts. On the plus side, the skeleton lady’s hair remains as immaculate as ever.
Cover by Olivier Coipel
One of the most interesting threads of this ongoing Thor series (and there’s plenty of them) is that something’s afoul for the All-Father, and he’s having trouble lifting the mighty Mjolnir. It’s a great way to play with Thor’s self-perception at a really important time in his development (and it also makes me think of that one scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that’s super dope). So that’s why this cover is so great: with Mjolnir proving too great a burden, what’s this mean for Thor as he deals with the continued chaos in the Golden City? Could someone new pick up the dopest hammer in the universe, or is this some keen insight into Thor’s mental state and his sense of profound worry and dread? And just how far will he go to pick up the hammer and preserve his own sense of self? This cover asks a lot of questions, and they’re all the right ones.
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Tomeu Morey
Don’t think that Detective Comics #1027 gets to hoard all the dope Batman stuff this week/month. There’s also great titles like the ongoing Batman series penned by James Tynion IV. Even if you haven’t been reading all the stuff around the “Joker War” saga, you can appreciate this cover. Is it the most exciting or dynamic? Maybe not. Are creepy clowns a little played out? For sure. But it does depict Batman and Nightwing standing together in the face of great evil, and that’s more than enough. Seeing them together, especially after Bats does away with his whole “I don’t need help” shtick, strikes at what makes these two characters such dynamic foils/collaborators. Long live Team Batman 1.0!
Iron Man #1
Cover by Alex Ross
If you haven’t, you should read Christopher Cantwell’s Doctor Doom series. Perhaps more than any one before him, Cantwell captures the nuance and subtlety of a genius with pronounced issues and who wears metal armor to battle super-powered foes. Which is why I’m super excited to see what Cantwell does with Tony Stark, especially as he promises to go “back to basics” to tell a more streamlined story around Iron Man and some down-to-earth superheroics (read: a universal threat). And all of that makes the Alex Ross cover all the more dynamic — no one else captures the essence of an old-school Iron Man quite like Ross, and his line work just bleeds 1960s vibes. Welcome back, Tony.
You Look Like Death: Tales From The Umbrella Academy #1
Cover by Gabriel Ba
With second season of The Umbrella Academy earning some high praise, it only makes sense to roll out a new spin-off miniseries. And what better character to help lead the way than Klaus Hargreeves (aka Seance), who at just 18 gets dropkicked out of his family and winds up in trouble with a vampire drug lord. There’s sure to be some weirdness involved, and we get our first taste courtesy of this Gabriel Ba cover. Cool ectoplasmic magic stuff? Check. Seedy scene ripe for totally bonkers storytelling potential? Double check. The sense that we’ve only scratched the surface of Klaus’ depravity? Triple check! Who needs family when you’re a degenerate with superpowers.
Hundred Wolves #1
Cover by Tony Akins
This brand-new series from Vault Comics is a tale as old as time. A couple of badass warriors try to leave their Cossack band to instead become parents and farmers only to be pulled back into their old lives. And there’s plenty of talent to pull off this series readily mixing fantasy and historical fiction, courtesy of a script by writer Myke Cole (The Sacred Throne Trilogy) and artist Tony Akins (Fables, Wonder Woman). And as far as a very early preview goes, Akins’ cover to issue #1 is doing a lot of work. It feels like some grindhouse movie poster, but with the pop and wonder of a Broadway playbill. Either way, this family drama is going to be delightfully bonkers.
Seven Secrets #2
Cover by Daniele Di Nicuolo
Last month, writer Tom Taylor and artist Daniele Di Nicuolo debuted Seven Secrets, a promising and dynamic new entrant into the canon of magic adventure sagas. Now, issue #2 covers, and if we go solely on this cover, it seems like this book just might continue to deliver. Props to the Dustin Nguyen variant that debuted recently, which is stunning in its ability to capture something truly elegant regarding this series’ larger dynamic. But the true nod belongs to Di Nicuolo’s main cover, which is like the love-child of an M.C. Escher painting and a martial arts film. Even if this doesn’t hint at anything within the actual issue, it’s the sort of wonder that makes this series so great in the first place.