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: Li’l Gotham #5
Dustin Nguyen certainly delivered one gorgeous cover this week to take the third place spot. It is a perfect case of two opposites attracting, working together to produce fantastic results. We have the cold, freezing, harsh nature of winter represented by the villainous Mr. Freeze and the icy cityscape behind him mixed with the life-giving, warm, springtime plants and twisted vines, flowers blooming as they grasp hold of Freeze’s frozen wife Nora. There is actually a good reason for this storywise and one that actually creates a very funny end scene that you have to see for yourself. As I mentioned, Gotham City is rendered in cool blues and whites because Freeze’s aim is to flash freeze the entire city to preserve it for his wife, an effect that works great by causing the vines to stand out even more. Watching over this whole scene is the immense shadowed silhouette of the Dark Knight himself, cape flowing brilliantly, working even better by not revealing his facial features but just his piercing eyes. All the elements compose another stellar cover from a series that is just plain fun.
Second Place Batgirl #23
Alex Garner is the runner-up this week with this cover featuring Batgirl and her father, Commissioner Gordon. Batgirl struggles defiantly, not being bound by a criminal or other nefarious individual but rather entangled in police caution tape. This is a perfect nod to the fact that she has become public enemy number #1 thanks to Gordon’s crusade against since she caused the death of his son, oblivious to the fact that she is actually his daughter. Framed by the tape and Batgirl’s stance is an extreme close-up shot of Commissioner Gordon, his expression being one filled with hatred, thirsting for vengeance, with his gun drawn. It’s a side of him that we rarely see so it makes it all the more impactful when it actually occurs. The colours highlighting him consist of the reds, blues, and whites which creates the feel of police lights. Meanwhile, Batgirl’s background is stark white making her pop off the page while being symbolic that life as she knows it seems to be fading to white, losing all shape. For those that haven’t been following this series it is a cover destined to draw them in and produce question after question. Why is Batgirl “wanted”? Why are the police after her? And why is the Bat-symbol removed from her chest? It compels you to open the book up for answers and like I always say…that is what truly makes a great cover.
First PlaceFearless Defenders #8
And here is the Cover of the Week by Mark Brooks who wins this distinction for the fifth time. I absolutely love covers that are chock full of details, ones that just beg for you to analyze every square inch. This cover succeeds in meeting that criteria while creating a truly captivating collage of images mixed with some fourth wall breaking material. The cover is a peek into the creative process of Mark Brooks as he designs a new costume for Valkyrie, planning her look with a multitude of sketches complete with various footnote captions to describe particular details/notables where needed. I particularly like that his various artistic tools (regular pencil, marker, and blue pencil) are photoshopped on top of the drawing making it appear that we are witnessing this sitting on his drawing table in real life. This blue pencil in particular, besides causing the various drawings to pop with colour actually serves a purpose I was unaware of before writing this article. You see, blue lead is used by artists because it is easier to erase than regular graphite and thusly is utilized for rough sketches. After that process is complete, the strong graphite of the regular pencil comes to play followed by the marker for colouring and standing front and centre is the finished product, fully coloured and sprung to life in this sea of Valkyries. Other details, like seeing the blue pencil around the title demonstrating how the artist actually plans out the letter placement with a grid pattern and the cover being “drawn” on the official Marvel comic paper including disclaimers like “May not be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner” and “All bleed art must extend to solid line” makes for an even richer experience. This brilliant insider look is beautiful and informative at the same time while producing yet another winner for this series. 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-one-to-one showing against Marvel and the Independents though Marvel did take the first place prize. What’s your personal favourite covers from the week that was? Comment below!