Covers of the Week 05/01/13

It is time for the best covers from the week that was. A quick reminder: only comics that I personally have purchased qualify for this piece. If a title contains more than one cover, only the one I own is taken into consideration. Now without further ado:

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Fifth Place Green-Arrow_20Green Arrow #20
Cover Artist:
 Andrea Sorrentino
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Fourth Place Iron-Man_9Iron Man #9
Cover Artist:
Greg Land
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Third Place Hawkeye_10Hawkeye #10
  Francesco Francavilla certainly delivered one haunting cover this week to take the third place spot. He replicated the style David Aja used on his previous issues of this series while adding his own touch. Whereas Aja has primarily used a white background on his covers, Francesco went with the predominant colour being orange to not only set it apart from the rest but also to get across the point that this is a very different type of issue from what came before, an issue where the villain is the star. Then there’s the extreme closeup on our main villain’s piercing eye which is not only creepy but also draws you in as you stare at it staring back at you. The eye’s iris is drawn to resemble a target, an inspired choice since it is a nod to our hero’s archery background while also getting across the mindset of the villain: everyone in his life is just targets for him to eliminate, he doesn’t see them as people but as jobs. Last but not least is the single black tear, the villain’s signature look that is evocative of a clown. It’s an image that clowns use in real life but in this case it states that he may be a ruthless killer on the outside but he is crying on the inside. He’s “crying” because of the hardships life has thrown at him, at the tragedies he encountered as a boy and how he takes this pain and bottles it up inside. You look at this cover and think sadness and this is exactly how you’ll feel when this issue is over…sad, uneasy, and horrified at what has just unfolded within.
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Second Place The-Superior-Spider-Man_9Superior Spider-Man #9
Marcos Martin
 is the runner-up this week with this creepy cover featuring the war for control of Spider-Man’s mind. The Superior Spider-Man’s brain is exposed as we bear witness to the internal struggle, the cat and mouse game between Otto Octavius and Peter Parker. The brain’s outside structure is almost like a maze but a maze that incorporates this book’s title right into the design to great effect. Trapped in a section of the brain is none other than Peter Parker who is dressed in the type of clothes that he wore early on when he first debuted al those decades ago. He is fighting for his survival, the walls closing in on him, as he tries to survive the mental onslaught that Otto is inflicting on him. That he is dressed in these retro clothes hints that elements from his past, that memories from his past will play a strong story beat in the ongoing battle. At the top of the brain stands the shadowed figure of Doctor Octopus, his tentacles stretched out far as if to say nothing is beyond his grasp. He is not worried or fleeing, he is simply standing there with the utmost confidence that he will emerge victorious, that he has the upper hand over his hated rival. The overall image is a sight to behold while also being indicative of the issue’s contents within. Who will emerge victorious? Who will be Spider-Man? Will Peter “die” yet again? It compels you to open the book up for answers and like I always say…that is what truly makes  a great cover.
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First PlaceAnimal-Man_20Animal Man #20
And here is the Cover of the Week by Jae Lee who wins this distinction for the second time. “The Return of Red Thunder.” Yeah, that is right. With this issue we once again visit the movie that Buddy Baker made, a movie where he played the title character of Chaz aka the Red Thunder. On the cover, the giant poster for said movie is pictured behind Animal Man who is stopping a real life crime in progress. I love how Jae mirrored the Red Thunder’s pose with Animal Man’s complete with outstretched arm and head held high. I also really like the way that he has the villain held effortlessly up in the air while he holds the hand of the fair maiden he rescued as she looks on in awe at his heroism. The remainder of the citizens watching this scene unfold are each drawn in an interesting manner. We have the little girl with her mouth wide open, the old man oblivious to the action as he listens to his MP3 player, the dogs with inquisitive looks on their faces, the young man rushing to help the young lady up, and the old man in the ticket booth leaning into view as he tries to get a glimpse of what is going on outside. The cover simply comes to life with all these details and the vast array of emotions on display. With that said, Jae Lee, I award you the first place crown this week. Congratulations!
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So those are my favourites and it’s a victory for Marvel with a three-to-two showing against DC, though DC did manage to capture the first place crown. What’s your personal favourite covers from the week that was? Comment below!

3 thoughts on “Covers of the Week 05/01/13

  1. I just finished to read Katana # 3, and this is what happened in that issue.
    Katana starts working as a waitress in a restaurant attended by Yakuza members, and by listening to what they say she gets to know that a meeting of the whole gang is about to happen on a ship.
    She goes there, and she finds out that it was a trap: all those gangsters wanted was to put their hands on Katana, and they had drawn her on that ship on purpose. This leads to a 1 vs 100 fight (obviously based on Kill Bill Vol. 1), and of course Katana beats them all.
    At this point, there is a totally unpredictable event: Killer Croc comes out of the water and jumps on the boat. He tells Katana that he had concocted the trap she fell into, because he wants to rob her sword (every single villain she faces has exactly the same purpose, now that I think about it).
    2nd unpredictable event: He manages to rob the sword.
    3rd unpredictable event: He breaks it with his teeth.
    At this point the soul trapped into Katana’s sword comes out, but (4th unpredictable event) it isn’t the soul of Katana’s dead husband, but the soul of an old Superman’s supporting character, the Creeper. The issue ends here.
    Miss Nocenti goes on filling Katana with a lot of unpredictable stage tricks and I appreciate that, but this issue left a bad taste in my mouth, because there were 2 events that don’t make any sense:
    1) Basically, Killer Croc is a “100 % muscles, 0 % brain” villain. He’s not smart enough to concoct a complex plan like the one I described you before.
    2) Why did he break the sword? I figured he wanted it in order to sell it, but he broke it, so obviously my hypothesis was wrong. I hope miss Nocenti will manage to make this apparently illogical narrative choice plausible in the 4th issue. If she doesn’t, I guess she started producing comics with massive plot holes again, as she did during her run on Green Arrow.
    Also, I don’t like Jae Lee’s art very much, but I agree with you that the cover for Animal Man # 20 is simply fantastic. : )

    • “Basically, Killer Croc is a “100 % muscles, 0 % brain” villain. He’s not smart enough to concoct a complex plan like the one I described you before.”
      Exactly. Now if it was Bane that would make more sense. Maybe his trauma in Batwoman somehow affected his intelligence?

      “Why did he break the sword? I figured he wanted it in order to sell it, but he broke it, so obviously my hypothesis was wrong. I hope miss Nocenti will manage to make this apparently illogical narrative choice plausible in the 4th issue.”
      Maybe his intention all along was to free someone from the sword? Did only the Creeper escape the sword?

      Katana’s “WTF” themed issue certainly sounds like it delivered the surprises. Killer Croc? Creeper? Too bad that some strange choices left that bad taste in your mouth. Thanks for giving me the synopsis on what I’m missing though.

      “Also, I don’t like Jae Lee’s art very much, but I agree with you that the cover for Animal Man # 20 is simply fantastic. : )”
      I’m happy to hear it! 🙂

      • “Maybe his intention all along was to free someone from the sword?” Nice one Gotham Rogue, I didn’t think about it!
        “Did only the Creeper escape the sword?” I watched that page again, and I found out that there were other souls, but they were not identifiable. I guess we’ll get to know their identities in issue # 4. Thank you for your reply! : )

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