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 Nick Roche
A few weeks back, we spoke to writer/artist Nick Roche about Scarenthood, his new IDW series in which a group of parents “disturb an ancient evil,” transforming an endless string of playdates into a “battle for the souls of one broken family.” The art in the book proper (also by Roche, with totes amazing colors courtesy of Chris O’Halloran) more than captures the nuance and intensity — not to mention bloody terror — of this book with sheer mastery. Yet it’s Roche’s covers that make the most prominent statement: a slightly whimsical and colorful piece that manages to illustrate the palpable honor but in a really cutesy way. It doesn’t so much go against the art in the book per say, but it’s another layer to the story and aesthetic and it shows just what makes this book so deeply intriguing. Who says adorable things can’t also be brain-smashingly terrifying?
Detective Comics #1030
Cover by Bilquis Evely
On the surface, a villain called The Mirror doesn’t exactly sound all that menacing; even Condiment King’s weapon of choice is both sticky and packed full of sugar and empty calories. Then again, the best Batman villains have always been able to show some side of the Caped Crusader’s damaged psyche, using that as a better weapon than an AK or ketchup gun. Like, how Mr. Freeze is a reflection of Bat’s own obsession with repairing damaged family, or how Two Face personifies his own struggle between savagery and normalcy. So The Mirror could be a really great addition to the Bat-Family rogues gallery, and if absolutely nothing else, this cover to issue #1030 is a deeply powerful visual metaphor for this very phenomenon. The enemy is here, and it’s you — dun dun dun!!
Cover by Matt Wilson and Russell Dauterman
(Editor’s Note – 11/9 at 10:13 a.m. EST: Thank you to the savvy readers for pointing the cover, in fact, depicts Opal Luna Saturnyne. Please pardon the error.)
I get for some readers, Emma Frost is a complicated character to try and engage with. But then that’s always been the point. As writer Leah Williams once pointed out, Frost mostly transcends the “good vs. bad” debate, as she’s “radically compassionate enough that she’s capable of doing whatever it takes to accomplish her objective…” Case in point: the cover to Marauders #15, which seemingly looks like she’s poisoned several X-Men. Is there a deeper, more virtuous reason for doing so? You’d hope so. But even if it’s not, Frost operates in a way that it’s difficult not to relate with here in a very specific way — she’s deeply human, for absolutely better or worse. So put aside your moral conundrums and get ready for another great insight into the best thing to come out of X-Men since, IDK, Glob Herman?
Cover by Ivan Reis and Danny Miki
Here’s the rub with Superman: he’s an alien from a doomed plant millions of light years away, but his real power are the people. That’s right, forget solar-powered abilities; Supes’ real strength is his connection with people, and his ability to draw on their emotions and endless idolizing (or distrust) to help him save the world. So what happens when you throw him into some dark and distant corner of the galaxy? You place Superman in a unique position. Will he have the strength to overcome a new threat? Could his isolation away from the people that mean so much to him be his inevitable downfall? Guess we’ll find out. Either way, this cover captures Superman in a vulnerable position, and that’s the source of all the best stories in his red-and-blue canon.
Iron Man #3
Cover by Alex Ross
I get that some people weren’t with this new Iron Man series. After all his mad-cap adventures (not to mention his place in the pop culture canon following the movies), the idea of going “back to basics” seemed slightly silly. But writer Christopher Cantwell has done wonders with just a couple issues, trying to show us a new side of Tony Stark (one who is perhaps more angry and slightly abrasive but also fully aware of what might be most important in his life as both hero and genius playboy philanthropist). That very balance is what makes this gorgeous Alex Ross cover all the more effective: Iron Man has changed, and his new “life” (or, more accurately, KORVAC) may very well consume him. It’s not so much about going back to basics as it is stripping down Stark to something elemental and visceral and watching what happens. Magic, that’s what happens.
Resident Alien: Your Rides Here #1
Cover by Steve Parkhouse
When I spoke with writer Peter Hogan recently, he explained the amount of change that had permeated the universe of Resident Alien. These are not the same people living in the same town, and that sense of evolution is both great for the narrative’s larger potential but also a new source of added intensity and mystery. It’s those energies and ideas that makes the cover for the series’ latest chapter, “Your Ride is Here,” feel all the more effective. Is this really as serene a shot as we believe it to be? Or are there larger forces threatening Harry and the people of Patience? The tension is strong enough to break bones, and that’s what’s made this series so great — anything could go wrong, and all you can do is follow along and watch what happens to this alien adventurer.
Terminal Punks #1
Cover by Shelby Criswell
You can always win me over with a giant monkey. But as it turns out, the rest of this new Mad Cave series, from writer Matthew Erman and artist Shelby Criswell, seems pretty promising, too. Here, a young group of punk rockers take to New York City for a huge show, only to be faced with the threat of a “viral genetic mutant nightmare.” So any book that explores punk music and the rebellious nature of youth seems to be ripe with potential — but boy oh boy, does that massive orangutan on the cover help. Is that the series’ big bad? Could his name be George and maybe he’ll actually join the band? Even if none of that proves to be true (::sad face emoji::), the rest of the book is hugely promising.
The Recount #1
Cover by Gabriel Ibarra Nunez
How’s this for an extra pertinent comic: written by Jonathan Hedrick, with art from Gabriel Ibarra Nunez, The Recount tells the story of a world in which a president and anyone who helped or voted for him becomes the target of assassination. Clearly nothing like that could ever happen (right??), but if the last four years of Donald Trump have taught us anything, it’s that there’s clearly enough animosity and tension in this country to make any tale (no matter how far-fetched) feel conceivable. That only enhances an already deeply moving and beautiful cover from Ibarra Nunez, as the use of that depressive gray-green drives home where we’d have to be as people and as a nation to get to the point of large-scale assassinations. Even if this isn’t 1,000% probable, the emotions and energies of this cover feel relatable, and that’s the most troubling thing of all.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #111
Cover by Jodi Nishijima
And from the utterly depressing to the massively whimsical, a cover from the long-running Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Having never read a single issue, I only chose this cover for Jodi Nishijima’s absolutely amazing work. As an OG Turtles fan (I had a Michelangelo cake for my fifth or sixth birthday and made my dad blow up the blimp one Xmas), this cover totally captures the same sense of silliness and playfulness that’s always made this canon (regardless of respective medium) such a hugely essential one in the pop culture landscape. Does it take away from their status as karate-wielding badasses? No way; being dumb and relatable on top of saving the day has always been what separates TMNT as a franchise. Oh, and shoutout to Donatello for using his free time for conducting even more science.
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