Covers of the Week 08/14/13

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 PlaceSmallvilleS1116Smallville Season 11 #16
Cover Artist:
 Cat Staggs
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Fourth Place Mind-the-Gap_12Mind The Gap #12
Cover Artist:
Rodin Esquejo
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Third Place batmanlilgotham5Batman: 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.
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Second Place Batgirl_23Batgirl #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.
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First PlaceThe-Fearless-Defenders_8Fearless 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!
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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!

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6 thoughts on “Covers of the Week 08/14/13

  1. Fearless Defenders continues to have awesome covers.

    While I staunchly oppose the whole concept of Avengers Arena . . . damn if it didn’t have a great cover. Totally heart-breaking.

    • That Avengers Arena cover just barely missed out on my Top 5. With Avengers Arena ending soon, I really wonder where they are going to go from here…and who will make it out alive. Just thinking about it gets me mad. Why Marvel did you have to make a series where you kill off your younger characters? WHY?!

      • As far as where it goes, there are plans for a Season Two following the survivors (excepting Laura, who Bendis has said he’ll be using – I really, REALLY hope it’s for a new New X-Men series, because those characters were so great, and Aaron has left them lucky to be wallpaper). I’m betting against Hazmat making it. She may get to die by making a heroic sacrifice, but I’m pretty sure she’s a goner. Given that, I suspect Reptil will make it. Nico and Chasehawk seem likely survivors. I doubt Cullen will survive his monster-out. Apex is a possibility as a villain for Season Two. Since I would bet on 6 protagonists for Season Two – just a hunch, as it’s a pretty common number for teams – I would also bet on Cammi making it, Anachronism, and either Nara or Deathlocket. Probably Deathlocket.

        Just my guess. Of course, Mettle and Hazmat were my second- and third-favourite Academy kids, and Reptil my least-favourite, so I don’t even give a shit about the others. I still don’t understand why I’m supposed to care about Deathlocket when Marvel’s just established that teen characters are cannon fodder.

        • Laura going to All-New X-Men would be fantastic!

          As for survivors, I’m going with: Hazmat, Nico, Chase, Cammi, Deathlocket, and Reptil. Apex has potential but with this series being so kill happy I think she might just bite it. Certain death: Nara, Anachronism with Cullen up in the air for me.

          Of the Avengers Academy kids Hazmat is second only to my #1 character from that series, Finesse, a character that I’m happy wasn’t involved in this series and thusly placed in mortal jeopardy. Who was your #1 kid?

          • Finesse was also my favourite from Academy, followed by Mettle, then Hazmat. Finesse just has so much potential. I imagine her as straddling the line between hero and villain for a long time. Too smart to actually become a villain, too ruthless to truly be a hero.

            My hunch is that All-New X-Men is going to end after BotA, and that it’s going to be replaced with a new volume of New X-Men, dealing with the students from the last volume – Surge, Rockslide, Anole, Dust, and so on.

            • Hopefully her short cameo in Gage’s Avengers Academy guest-issue is not the last we’ve seen of her for the time being…

              “My hunch is that All-New X-Men is going to end after BotA, and that it’s going to be replaced with a new volume of New X-Men, dealing with the students from the last volume – Surge, Rockslide, Anole, Dust, and so on.”
              I like this theory very much and it makes complete sense especially after this week’s happenings.

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