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 Marco Checchetto
I’ll say this until I’m actually blue in the face, but the Chip Zdarsky-penned run on Daredevil has been nothing short of a master class. It’s a series that retains the essence of Matt Murdock (his moral back-and-forth, his issues with justice vs. revenge, etc.) and yet still manages to push the long-standing character in new directions. Case in point: the cover to issue #22, which is set to feature a huge decision from Murdock with potentially irrevocable consequences. From the looks of it, is that a magic hybrid with Iron Man and possibly Loki (right)? A traditional selling of the soul to some MCU devil-type for more power? Really, the direction doesn’t matter at all: this series just knows where to move Mr. Murdock to make for truly compelling storytelling and art.
Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli
If you haven’t been staying up to date with Batgirl, Babs is basically contending with a killer who deals exclusively with redheads. It’s not just that the ol’ crimson locks remind Barbara of herself, but she’s got a singular history and a keen awareness of being the target of real brutality by some grade A nutjobs, so these cases hit close to home in ways you couldn’t imagine. What I love most about this cover is the synchronicity and similarities between the two “Batgirls”; it’s almost hard to tell who is who, and that’s sort of the point. Barbara is lost in her grief and fear, and what she does in the story proper will further define her as a true hero.
X of Swords: Creation #1
Cover by Pepe Larraz
Fans of the ongoing X titles are already aware of just how ginormous the “X of Swords” event will actually prove to be. Marvel’s really quite good at these massive, title-spanning events, and this one in particular looks to both deliver in scale and give fans what they want most (read: swords). As the story continues to unfurl, we get another look at the happenings with Creation #1, which builds off last week’s X-Men #12. And what can be said about this cover that isn’t already abundantly clear: this is going to be a ’90s-inspired mish-mash of sick visuals, over-sized battles, and giant universe-threatening enemies. Talk about X marking the spot, amirite?!
Action Comics #1025
Cover by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson
In the land of DC, there’s always talk of the Batman Family. For a guy who loves to tout his orphan status (was a awesome dad-butler never enough?!), Batman has assembled quite a tight-knit, rag-tag family of allies. But so has Superman, even if the Super Family doesn’t always get nearly as much credit or attention. That’s what makes this cover so great: not only are they actually building up this aspect of the Supes canon, but they’re doing so in a way that looks absolutely badass. Superman, especially, is all about connections and our strengths as a collective, and having a proper family as a storytelling focus is a natural development. The only thing they’re missing? Krypto.
Shadow Service #2
Cover by Corin Howell
Last month, Vault Comics debuted Shadow Service, a rather promising love-child of urban fantasy and a spy thriller. With its cheeky English humor, inventive style of magic within the story proper, and a great overall aesthetic, there’s quite a lot to like about this little project. And based on the cover for issue #2, it seems like they’re doubling down on what made #1 such an effective introduction. Namely, the whole magical spy vibe, which marries perfectly in ways you might not always expect. (I assume that has everything to do with the semi-realistic melting demon skull, somehow.) Even if you only magic or spies, Shadow Service still delivers enough win over almost anyone.
Cover by Geoff Shaw
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t look at Juggernaut and think, “Hey, that’s a leading man right there.” (Instead I think, “He must have to consume 55,000 calories a day.”) But that’s something Marvel is seeking to remedy as writer Fabian Nicieza (no slouch in the X universe) and artist Ron Garney join forces for a new spin on the unstoppable one. And if we’re basing this solely on Geoff Shaw’s cover (which we certainly are), I may have to eat my words just yet. It’s nice to finally see this deranged and savage side of a man who’s supposed to be the very definition of a ceaseless fiend. Will it translate to the story proper? That remains to be seen. However, it’s a good step in the right direction.
An Unkindness of Ravens #1
Cover by Marianna Ignazzi
This new BOOM! Studios series follows those witches who survived the Salem Witch Trials, and how they now spend their time guarding the “ancient” magics from falling into the wrong hands. Cue the addition of a new girl in town who gets entangled in the centuries-spanning mystery, and you’ve got a series with heaps of potential. Do I get the same sort of vibe as if Sabrina the Teenage Witch met The Umbrella Academy? Yes, yes I do. Is that a good thing? For the most part, sure. If nothing else, the cover by series artist Marianna Ignazzi hints at an aesthetic that perfectly blends the playful and the doubly gritty, and that’s a good thing. Also working for this series? The best title ever.
The Flash #762
Cover by Howard Porter
I know I just said this a couple weeks ago (and I’ll likely say it in another couple of weeks), but the Flash-Reverse Flash rivalry is always among comics’ finest such relationships. With #761, we got to see just how Reverse-Flash could victimize Flash like few other members of his rogue’s gallery — in a way that’s both brutal and deeply intimate. So, for issue #762, Flash gets to repay the favor with this equally unsettling, deeply de-humanizing treatment of his foe in bright yellow. That’s why they’re just such great enemies: they bring out the best and the worst in each other in equal parts, and it’s a back-and-forth that builds with such depth and nuance with every new interaction. Here’s to a super-speed, time-spanning rivalry that lasts forever!
Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams – The Lost Year Compendium
Cover by Sam Kieth
As a long-time fan of both, I’m dismayed and disgusted at myself for having missed this team-up between The Maxx and Batman. (Especially since it’s Sam Kieth rocking everything solo style.) Luckily, this new compendium collects the first three issues before issues #4 and #5 drop in October and November, respectively. And if I’m once again going off the cover alone (and yet again I totes am), I love Kieth’s approach. Do I wish I could see the two heroes fight some big baddies or just strike some super cool, totally synchronized poses? Sure. But this delightfully meta cover sees Kieth poking fun at himself while displaying a wonderful camaraderie between Batman and Maxx. And all of that together translates into a series I won’t miss this time around. Or you can take my Batman candy jar away from me forever.