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:
Third Place Batman Annual #2
Jock certainly delivered one dramatic cover this week to take the third place spot. Previously wowing me with his New Avengers covers, Jock turns his artistic skills to the Bat-Universe this month and does not disappoint. Batman is covered in shadows as he is rendered completely black, void of any details except for the white of his eyes and his dazzling blue-coloured Bat-Logo on his chest. This glowing blue is carried over as a splash in the corner to create some added visual interesting while also being used on the Bat-Symbol of the main title and around the captions as a thin border. Otherwise, that is the only instance of colour being used as the remainder of the cover is black and white which excels in selling the whole noir atmosphere that this cover is trying to achieve. The sky is predominantly white with patches of black texture which could be standing in for clouds, we get a tiny glimpse of Gotham’s cityscape in the background, and two immense buildings frame our hero who looks like he is almost becoming one with them which is fitting since Gotham City and Batman are indelibly linked together. The perspective and positioning of these buildings creates a really claustrophobic atmosphere and if you take note it appears that Batman is holding onto something in his hand possibly a Bat-Grapple to scale one of these monolithic structures. Lastly is the caption “Featuring: The Anchoress, The Asylum and Zero Year” which is not featured on a straight angle on the cover but actually takes the same angle as the building’s wall to make it appear that it is one with the image. The contents of this caption is what get’s the reader’s mind racing though. Who is the Anchoress? What is going to happen at Arkham Asylum? And how will this tie into the Zero Hour event? Those questions and this stunning image compels you to open the book up for answers and like I always say…that is what truly makes a great cover.
Second Place Venom #38
Declan Shalvey is the runner-up this week with this cover featuring Agent Venom and Katy Kiernan. The cover itself is split into three sections, a cover that is actually very reminiscent of a comic page in that regards. The top scene shows Venom in a dynamic pose as he swings through the air, his web-line swishing past the title logo while the other end of it breaks the borders into the second panel. This middle panel is an extreme close-up of a camera lens which is focused square on Venom’s iconic chest logo. But who is taking this picture you ask? The revelation of this character’s identity is reserved for the bottom panel as we see it is none other than his reporter friend Katy Kiernan who is actually breaking the panel borders herself. This arrangement of images would be cause enough to celebrate this cover but we also have to admire the colouring choices. The background of the top panel has an orangey tone to it which is carried over onto Katy, the colouring used on Agent Venom’s suit is used as the basis of the background/camera lens in the middle panel, while the white of his chest logo on the second panel is used as the background for the bottom panel. This seamless transitioning of colours and the breaking of borders really unites these panels together, creating a fantastic visual spectacle indeed.
First PlaceFearless Defenders #7
And here is the Cover of the Week by Mark Brooks who wins this distinction for the fourth time. Not only did we already get one cover from Brooks this month but we are treated with a second one as well which is almost unfair for his fellow artists as this month he monopolized the top spot twice instead of his usual single achievement. I have to admit that I actually look forward more to his covers than the actual content within this series which is a story for another time but this cover actually gives us a lot of hints at what is taking place inside. At the conclusion of the first arc, this book is looking to start fresh and really left us wondering where we were going after its bleak ending. This blank slate is represented by the white wall that our three “construction ladies” are tirelessly working on, looking good in their white overalls to boot. They’ve ascended their scaffolding with the intention of wallpapering the wall with the image of Asgard/Valhalla, something they are only a third of the way through. Valkyrie acknowledges their progress by breaking the fourth wall and telling us that perhaps we better just proceed inside as she wipes some sweat off her brow, her trademark helmet replaced with a white painter’s hat. Misty Knight is still trying to attach a panel whose corner needs applying and if you look at the overall image you can make out the lines in certain places where they didn’t get the panels inline just right. Meanwhile, Dani Moonstar is taking her lunch break, casually relaxing on the scaffolding, giving us a stare as if to say “what are we looking at?” The artist’s logo also gets in on the action as instead of being overtop the image the scaffolding is actually covering part of it. It’s little details like this that he is known for and what truly sell the image. The use of shadows, the character emotions, the stunning imagery, the wallpaper hinting at the primary local of this issue, and the fourth-wall breaking nature of the cover itself all add up to yet another victory for the man who has a stranglehold over this category. With that said, Mark Brooks, I award you the first place crown this week. Congratulations!
So those are my favourites and it’s a victory for DC with a three-to-two showing against Marvel though Marvel did capture the #2 and #1 spots. What’s your personal favourite covers from the week that was? Comment below!