Welcome to my choices for the Best Comic Covers to his stores this week. For those here for the first time, I may have different criteria than you are used to for this list.
When I am looking at covers I want to see story and creativity. So a variant cover that can be slapped onto any book most likely won’t make the cut.
So let’s get to my choices.
Chained to the Grave
Cover By: Kate Sherron
I appreciate those covers that leave me asking so many questions. With this Kate Sherron’s cover for Chained to the Grave #1 the design evokes that type of response. We see this pulling of the chain but who is pulling who? The hand reaching from the grave appears to be some sort of creature. My thought is people may be unknowingly bringing this creature back from the dead, or maybe that’s their purpose. Those hands appear to be reaching from the sky. Is that meant to be a purposeful reference to heaven or other realms in the afterlife? Having that highlight of the coffin adds a nice touch as well. This is what covers should do. Provide context to the story you are about to read in an intriguing way. When you are a new number one that purpose is even grander.
Fear Case #1
Cover By: Tyler Jenkins
Simplicity can be just as effective as grand detail. Case and point this cover. All black covers are quite rare. The amount of ink to create this image is probably quite extensive. On the bright side, it helps catch the eye. I appreciate covers that look like they could exist in the world that they are creating. Not having read Fear Case I get the sense this ominous imagery is speaking to the very totem they are chasing. Having the title so pronounced helps as well. You will have no issue identifying the name of this comic on the shelves. Lastly, that small green eye brings you in as a viewer. With everything else being muted that element has a haunting impression. Now I know if I see a briefcase with a simple ‘X’ on it, that is not something I should approach.
Fire Power #8
Cover By: Chris Samnee
Another cover that shows that sometimes less is more. Knowing Robert Kirkman’s knack for surprises I do wonder who exactly is under that hood. One would think the answer is obvious but you never know with Kirkman. A random detail that is worth pointing out is how well Chris Samnee draws clothing. That sweatshirt has just the right amount of bagginess to give it that comfy feel you want with a good hoodie. This story has been about the converging of a normal life with that of a mystical martial arts warrior. A character in gym clothes holding a mystical weapon furthers that concept. Oh yea, and there is a green flaming sword. Being mostly in the dark that green gets to illuminate the world. With those glowing eyes, it has an anime-like feel.
Cover By: Darick Robertson
John Constantine looks right at home laying atop of bunch of human skulls. Some may be freaked out to find themselves in this situation. Those on the more evil side may find glee. Constantine is just indifferent about the entire thing. He looks like a man waiting on the bus to arrive. The one thing that is missing is a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Otherwise, Darick Roberston captures the character quite well here. I do wish the colors were not so saturated in brown but it’s a minor complaint about a cover that is otherwise well-executed. Sean Phillips’s variant cover is also quite good as well, but I did not include it as I am trying to limit it to one cover per book.
Cover By: Stephen Segovia
When looking at this cover I get major, “Duck Season!”, “Rabbit Season!”, vibes. Hellions has had this humorous tone so I have a major suspicion that was purposeful. You almost wonder if this is some running prank that has been going on for years between these two. As a person who grew up in the nineties, it is still a bit odd seeing Mister Sinister being treated as comic relief, but in reality, it was such the right move. So much of the current X-Men run has been hefty in its design sp something light like this is extremely refreshing. When your cover is like this you know right away this is the oddball in the current line. So you are not surprised by the story that follows.
The Immortal Hulk #43
Cover By: Joe Bennett
If there is an issue of The Immortal Hulk there is a near guarantee a cover will be making this list. In most cases, it will be due to the work of Alex Ross, but I did not really dig his cover this week. Luckily, we got this Joe Bennett variant. Bennett has redefined his career with this series so if there is anyone who deserves to showcase his work on a cover like this it’s him. Having the throwback feel is a nice touch as well. His body horror designs have been the things nightmares are made from. This is not one of the more extreme but very reminiscent of what has made this book so legendary. Considering this series has been encapsulating the history of Hulk a cover like this that combines old and new is fitting. It is also very Marvel that issue forty-three has a massive, ‘Premiere Issue’ logo.
Cover By: Skylar Patridge
If there is one word to describe Resonant it is chaotic. There is this energy that makes you feel like you have a creepy itch that just cannot be scratched. Even the cover logo helps present that type of atmosphere. This cover captures that same energy. Even that lighting looks more uncontrolled than normal lighting. Sharper angles and sporadic lines make it look like Zeus sent those blasts with chills running down his back. Taking up the majority of the cover is that unforgiving sea with that gloomy water and massive skull to represent the certain death. You feel bad for that boat because survival is looking like an impossibility at this point.
Sea of Sorrows #3
Cover By: Alex Cormack
If covers like this and Resonant #7 keep happening I am never going to go into the ocean again. I mentioned in my Most Anticipated article how well Alex Cormack uses deep blacks within his art to establish atmosphere. That same effect can be found here. This is a cover of discovery. With the murky water, you cannot fully make everything out. You see part of this ship but a closer exploration leads you to see it is actually a submarine. Then within those bubbles, you have a diver swimming in the deep. Finally, a ghostly image appears as two arms reach out. Are those arms reaching for salvation or damnation? We shall see.
The Amazing Spider-Man #55
Cover By: Patrick Gleason
This is the first time I have ever included the cover of a reprint in this article. Since I was not doing this when the first one came out I decided to include it this week. I saw many call it the best cover of last year and it is hard to argue. What an impeccable design both in creativity and execution. My preference would be the white vs the red, however, each has its benefits. The white just works better against the black background. Some of the texture is not as quite pronounced. Still, those are minor quibbles for what is a stellar cover. I will say do not go crazy with this cover. I see people selling it for ridiculous amounts of money. There will be more prints and the trick is the inside does not change no matter what the cover looks like. Little known fact.
Strange Academy #8
Cover By: Humberto Ramos
So many dark covers this week. Humberto Ramos’s art on this reminds me of what works for the cover of Firepower this week. How it uses one central source to light the entire book. As a person who grew up in the 90’s I get major Are You Afraid of the Dark? vibes from this. When someone would use a light or match under their face to add effect to their ghost story. In Emily’s eyes, I do not see fear but sadness. Ramos is great with the details as well. When you look into those eyes you also see the reflection of the flame. As that flame is dying some part of her is leaving with it. Considering the recent events in past issues a death to a friend may be the reason behind all of this. She is learning more and more about the power she wields.
Future State: Swamp Thing #2
Cover By: Mike Perkins
Of all the Future State books Swamp Thing has had some of the best covers. This week I had to include both. In the world of this story, humanity is nearly extinct. One would assume those skulls help represent the death that surrounds the Guardian of the Green. Swamp Thing has been able to create life but that Alec Holland part of him longs for a human connection. Based on the ending of the last book his role maybe switching. No longer protecting the green from humans but the other way around. This image of him blocking out the Sun is a reflection of that struggle. Throughout history, the Sun has been a symbol of life. Now it is surrounded by death. How can one find peace within all of this? Maybe, it is simply impossible.
Future State: Swamp Thing #2
Cover By: Dima Ivanov
Yes I know I said I do not include multiple covers but it was a slower week and let’s appreciate Swamp Thing series when we get them. Despite this variant cover having less connection to the story there similar themes to be found. Again death and life are in this internal conflict. That massive skull shadow stands out, but that shadow is being cast by Swamp Thing who is full of life with flowers blooming. Also, that shadow resembles Swamp Thing’s face as well. So it is regarding death or his ability to create life? To counteract that you have Swamp Thing walking through the frigid snow with ghostly hands gently reaching out. Both of these covers are what I personally want from a cover. Artistry with a purpose that directly links to the book I am about to read.
Vengeance of Vampirella #14
Cover By: Stephen Segovia
There may not be a publisher that puts more variant covers than Dynamite. Yes, even more than Marvel. At least in cover to book ratio. Having such a large number you get some gems including Stephen Segovia’s cover for Vengeance of Vampirella #14. Vampirella covers often lean very heavily on the character’s sex appeal and not much more. Segovia goes deeper than that. Beauty is the word the comes to mind looking at this. Yes, she is holding a heart in her hand but the flowers! Similar to the Swamp Thing covers life and death are major components. A bit obvious I know when you have the embodiment of death on the cover. Juxopositing Death and Vampirella with a decorative floral background proves to be a very successful method for a cover.
Cover By: Iban Coello
My favorite cover of the week comes from Iban Coello’s cover for Venom #33. If chaotic anger could be an image it would look something like this. This looks like a Russian doll of symbiote savagery. Eddie Brock’s crazed eyes speak to the insanity of the moment. He is a dude, inside a dude, who ate another dude. That’s a lot to take. Metaphors are not being subtle this week. When it comes to comic covers why should they? Make your message as loud and clear as possible as long as the artistry is there. Coello clearly brought the talent. Lines are sharp and distinct. Emotion is strong and well reddened, and to get philosophical for a moment…it looks cool as hell. Although with so much phlegm coming from those mouths maybe we a mask or two? There is a pandemic going on right now.