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Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Comic Books

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Chris shares his favorite covers from this week’s new comics.

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.

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Marauders #17

Cover by Russell Dauterman

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

In wrestling, the trick is to make you and your opponent look good, even when one of you is clearly being bad. That feels like the best sort of lesson to encapsulate this cover for the latest issue of the mostly excellent Marauders series. Storm is a certifiable badass, and Callisto is no slouch either. So artist Russell Dauterman has managed to pit them together in such a way that both feel like a threat to one another (even if we know who may end up “winning” in the long run). That tension and drama is displayed perfectly — in fact, it’s heightened give the dynamic angles and their respective position counter to the Earth. Got to love a good aerial fight amid a terrible thunderstorm.

Future State: Dark Detective #1

Cover by Dan Mora

Judging by the Cover

It must take a lot to actually break Batman. (And not just a well-placed knee from Bane.) Over his 90-plus-year career, the Caped Crusader has been to hell and back, so to see him like this must mean that he’s deep in the midst of some serious existential anguish. I won’t reveal too much about this Dark Detective series, but it’s certainly about taking the Bruce Wayne character, placing him in some strange new circumstances, and watching how the man behind the mask battles some clearly stacked odds. Series artist Dan Mora has done a bang-up job showing the animalistic sorrow and rage Wayne’s grappling with, and even amid the shimmer of a futuristic Gotham, he remains a vital star.

King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #1

Cover by Tony Moore

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Whether you’ve been keeping up with King in Black or not, the series works because of one key factor: the visuals are totes bonkers. It’s an easy enough sell: giant space demon comes to Earth to feast on our bones and annihilate the planet. Even still, artist Tony Moore has gone above and beyond with this tie-in, depicting the fiendish Knull as some kind of enormous vampire by way of Galactus, not only crushing the planet but working his evil tendrils through the upper core. Is it scary? Yeah, duh. But it’s also got this sense of realism and grit that just makes it all the more horrifying. Between this and Walking Dead, and Moore knows about drawing our biggest fears.

Future State: Green Lantern #1

Cover by Clayton Henry

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Here’s a cover I’m picking because I absolutely love the book. Again, without spoiling too much, it’s a dynamic take on Green Lantern that 1) plays with the franchises’ overall scope while remaining true to its essence and 1) lets John Stewart secure the spotlight. And Stewart’s humanity and general chutzpah are a huge part of what makes this story so wildly effective; we see the fear and uncertainty in his face, and it’s easy enough to assume that we’re going to be dealing with some pretty sizable drama surrounding the Lantern Corps. But from the slight ’90s vibe to the humanity pouring off the page, this is an excellent preview of a truly excellent narrative.

Haha #1

Cover by Vanesa R. Del Rey

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Unlike some folks out there, I don’t have a fear of clowns. (Just bees and heights above 50 feet.) Whether it’s IT or those freaky clowns from outer space, I guess that even the most demonic clowns are just too weird or silly to stir any real fear. But that doesn’t mean clowns can’t make me uncomfortable, as evidenced by this cover to a new one-shot from writer W. Maxwell Prince. The creator who made ice cream men terrifying has decided to turn his attention to clowns, and if this cover from Vanesa R. Del Rey is any indication of the book proper, it’s going to be a gauntlet of emotions and ideas that are more confusing than how they fit 10 clowns in a tiny car. Haha, indeed.

Serial #1

Cover by Terry Moore

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Here’s the description of Serial, the new series from artist/writer Terry More: “Zoe [from Rachel Rising fame] has been 10 years old for 50 years. Most of her life has been spent on the run fighting the demon that lived within her, kept her young and turned her into a serial killer.” If that weren’t already enough to get you to buy 45 copies, look no further than Moore’s dope cover. It’s more than the young girl wielding a sword amid an alley of dead bodies. Or the juice box she’s hilariously still sipping on. It’s the interplay between cartoonish vibes, pulp undertones, and gritty reality that make this a truly compelling peace of art. Also, props on the double knot with the guy strung up by the roof’s A/C unit.

The Immortal Hulk #42

Cover by Alex Ross

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Over the span of 41 previous issues, there’s been heaps of weird things to happen to Hulk. He’s gone to this alternate hell dimension a couple of times, and he even had his heart eaten (by his wife, no less). But the cover to issue #42 must be some kind of watermark even for this series. You’ve got the Leader looking especially intense and alien, Hulk being beaten by winged demons, and throngs of suffering souls. Is this a metaphor, a glimpse of yet another alternate dimension, the end result of Leader winning, or some horrifying combination? Either way, the weirder the places this book saunters, the better it is overall.

Future State: Robin Eternal #1

Cover by Emanuela Lupacchino and Irvin Rodriguez

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Some of you reading this may not care for a Robin-centric book/story, but you’re totally wrong. Especially because this Future State story has heaps of things working in its favor. That includes a story from writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural), art by Eddy Barrows (Detective Comics), the dynamic combo of Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown, and even references to the Lazarus Pit. Add in a setting described only as a “sky convoy,” and this one is sure to be a standout. Does it also help that his Robin looks a little like Brenton “I’m totally Nightwing” Thwaites? Yes, yes it does indeed.

Stake #1

Cover by Francesca Fantini

Judging by the Cover – 01/13/21 new releases

Perhaps by now, the 21st year of the 2,000th year CE (is that right?), you may be a little tired of vampire stories. But maybe give Stake a try. For one, it’s penned by David A. Byrne, who wrote a book called Shady Place that makes old people seem kind of cool. It’s also in how the story tackles vamps, creating a kind of hunter’s union that could be both hilarious and nice bit of pointed commentary. But if nothing else, series artist Francesca Fantini brings a neat aesthetic, this really trippy mix of ’90s attitude and psychedelics that actually feels fresh and vital. Plus, who doesn’t love the chutzpah of naming a vampire hunter Stake. Let’s hope I’m right and this book doesn’t… bite.

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