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 Jorge Jiménez
As if DC didn’t hadn’t already celebrate enough over-sized anniversaries this year, there’s one more. Issue #100 of the latest Batman ongoing promises not only the conclusion to the mostly great “Joker War” arc but star-studded appearances by a whole slew of artists. There’s this totally terrifying cover of the Joker from Mico Suayan. Or, Rafael Grassetti’s especially gritty Batman-Joker fistfight. And you can’t deny the mere satisfaction abounding with Philip Tan’s contribution. But for this fella’s money, there’s nothing more effective than Jorge Jiménez’s primary cover. Not just ’cause it looks cool as hell (and has a great ear length for Bats), but more for the message it says. This is always Batman’s world, but it’s the many characters (good and bad) that define this dynamic hero. Here’s to 100 more!
Cover by Olivier Coipel
The thing about Donny Cates’ run with Thor is that it’s felt mostly serious. Its this huge, dark space opera that’s about, among other things, leadership and what we sacrifice for peace. But don’t get it twisted: there’s still ample humor to be found, especially as issue #8 promises to return to Broxton, Oklahoma and open up the power to the mighty Mjolnir. So given this slightly playful turn in the story (without foregoing any serious vibes), it makes sense to lead with this amazing cover. Does it have an end-credits Avengers vibe? For sure. Does this make canon that Thor may have a preference for, what I assume to be, is a sloppy joe? Oh yeah. But mostly, it’s a much-needed shot of weirdness and brevity before this story is likely to smack you in the jaw. Supper’s ready, y’all.
We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #2
Variant Cover by Rafael Albuquerque
If you missed this last month (god, don’t you feel dumb!), We Only Find Them When They’re Dead is a brand-new, totally amazing space epic from writer Al Ewing and artist Simone Di Meo. Without spoiling too much, it’s basically about intergalactic salvage crews… who work with the stadium-sized bodies of deceased gods. My own review demonstrated just how awesome the fist issue was, establishing this as a kind of poignant space opera with heaps of narrative potential. And based on this excellent variant cover from Rafael Albuquerque, issue #2 could very well build on that. Namely, it feels like a great encapsulation of the sheer scope and drama attached to this series, as well as being perfectly in line with Di Meo’s own work inside the book. If you don’t read this book, we’ll find you on the wrong side of history.
Black Widow #2
Cover by Adam Hughes
If you’re a more casual MCU fan, you may have been bummed at the continual delays to the long-awaited Black Widow film. But as a nice consolation prize of sorts, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Elena Casagrande recently kicked off a brand-new series staring everyone’s fav super spy (that isn’t James Bond). I’ve yet to catch up with the series’ debut, but based solely on Adam Hughes’ cover for issue #2, there’s something awesome brewing. Namely, what could be the most awesome action-thriller of, say, 2005, with sick motorcycle chases and what appears to be lipstick bullets? Regardless, if the cover alone nails this aesthetic so well, the story proper is bound to be great. Or at least prime the pumps till May 2021.
American Vampire 1976 #1
Cover by Rafael Albuquerque
Fans of the American Vampire series appreciate 1) a great vampire story with a proper spin of Americana and 2) the fact that the story has built up a proper canon that’s nuanced and utterly unique. Even if you’re not a fan, the 1976 story, which represents the final nine issues of the series, seems like the perfect place to jump in. A totally dusty ’70s aesthetic? Check. The promise of era-appropriate motorcycle action? Double check. Vampires in leather and bell bottoms? Triple check. And on a special note, Rafael Albuquerque’s cover for issue #1 has some real Easy Rider, heyday Peter Fonda vibes, and there’s never enough of that in the world.
Spy Island #2
Cover by Lia Miternique
If you somehow missed this new Dark Horse series, it’s totally understandable. I often am actively dumb and deprive myself of great things. But even if it’s been released around tons of other great books, go out of your way to grab this one. Don’t believe me? Peep this cover to issue #2. If you know absolutely nothing about it (think mid-century spy thriller directed by David Lynch), this gorgeous piece speaks volumes about the ’60s-ish vibes, endless color, and deep, engaging mystery that permeates this book. Come for the sick colors, stay for the great story.
Variant Cover by Mico Suayan
Don’t you think for one second that DC has the market cornered on “special issue with 1,000 variant covers.” This month, the Champions (the MCU’s teen-centric superhero team-up book) returns in time to kick off the “Outlawed” story (in which said adolescent heroes are banned following the “death” of Ms. Marvel). When it comes to great variants, Marvel has delivered, and then some. Want cutesy anime? Try Rian Gonzales’ cover. Or maybe some Spider-Man-centric pseudo-horror? Why Peach Momoko has you covered. And if you never got enough of Marvel Zombies, then Kaare Andrews brings it all back. But once again for this writer’s money, you can’t go wrong with Mico Suayan’s contribution. Sweet, simple, and nonetheless elegant, it shows the heroism of these youngsters in true Marvel fashion. Champions, go!
The Prisoner #1
Cover by Gordon Court
This series, from Source Point Press, initially struck me not with the cover but the series blurb. Namely, it’s about a paramedic named Andrew from a “crime-ridden city” and how he’s “faced with suffering and agony devoid of mercy!” And then the cover, from series artist Gordon Court, comes and delivers and your heart just explodes with the wonders of bloody synergy. It’s the frantic yet controlled line work, the choice of haunting two-tone colors, and, of course, the massive demon skeleton in the sky; The Prisoner could be a brave new entry in horror comics. And if nothing else, you can use the cover to issue #1 to scare off trick-or-treaters later this month.
The Walking Dead Deluxe #1
Cover by Dave McCaig
And speaking of horror, the return of one of the most terrifying (spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, etc.) series in modern comics, Walking Dead. As the name might imply, Walking Dead Deluxe is just that: in addition to now being in proper full coloring (courtesy of Dave McCaig), there’ll also be cool features like handwritten plots and other commentary tidbits. So will some new hues make Walking Dead all that different? Maybe. But based on McCaig’s own cover to issue #1, at least it looks hella cool (especially the use of blue for the zombies, which mostly screams Dawn of the Dead). Plus, any excuse to celebrate this series is probably enough of a reason for a giant re-release.