Covers of the Week 08/21/13

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 PlaceVenom_39Venom #39
Cover Artist:
 Declan Shalvey
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Fourth Place Batman-Beyond_Universe_1Batman Beyond Universe #1
Cover Artist:
Sean Murphy
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Third Place Wonder-Woman_23Wonder Woman #23
Cliff Chiang 
certainly delivered one compelling cover this week to take the third place spot. This is a cover that is both badass and ominous at the same time. Front and centre is Wonder Woman, an intricately designed axe in either hand, her hair flowing magnificently, and a look of determination mixed with confidence emblazoned across her face as she takes purposeful stride after purposeful stride. That in itself would make for a great image but then we pull back to take the rest of the cover in. The “ground” she is walking on is actually the beard of Ares, the God of War, who is depicted absolutely immense. His whiskers appear to have a life of their own which is actually pretty ironic considering the rest of his face is anything but full of life. The helmet he is wearing is beautifully detailed with nicks and scrapes and aged to perfection while his actual face is completely gone, flesh and eyeballs wiped away to reveal just the horrifying skull of the God of War, hinting that death might be coming to claim him or the woman who stands before him. This is a cover that grabs, nay demands your attention and never lets go.
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Second Place Supergirl_23Supergirl #23
Mahmud Asrar 
is the runner-up this week with this cover featuring the clash between Supergirl and the Cyborg Superman. Another stellar offering from Mahmud whose only real problem is that his covers come out the same week as the legendary J.H. Williams III so he is unable to capture first place. His latest offering is an excellent example of art deco. What is art deco you ask? It is defined as: “An eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation.” I love the symmetry between the two characters with each one having a raised fist and an outstretched arm. Keeping them symmetrical is also very relevant after reading the shocking reveal at the end of issue. The diagonal path of motion creates a visually interesting dynamic and, as I mentioned, the art deco background brings a beautifully classic arrangement to the image at hand. The real standout however is Supergirl’s cape, rigid and geometric which once again follows the surrounding design aesthetic brilliantly. Keeping the majority of the background black and muted makes the colors of the two characters pop off the page even more as well as the enticing caption “The living horror of Cyborg Superman!” I simply love covers like this where there is a beautiful image to look at while also having it contain a hidden clue to the story that isn’t apparent until after reading. What isn’t hidden is the fact that Mahmud Asrar is very skilled individual indeed.
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First PlaceBatwoman_23Batwoman #23
And here is the Cover of the Week by J.H. Williams III who wins this distinction for the seventh time. Just take a look at that cover and tell me how I cannot bestow the Top Prize of the week to it. Over the past 11 months. J.H. Williams III has dominated this feature, if not securing first place then usually being found in the Top 3. Why is that? He consistently creates these visual masterpieces just like the one on display here. and with his latest offering, he limits himself to only three colours (red, black, and white) to awesome results. The central image is that of Kate Kane in bed, troubled by the nightmares that make up her life. She is rendered in black and white, save for her trademark red hair, and this does wonders in separating the real world from the dreamscape. Surrounding her are various images that Williams effortlessly blends and transitions from one to the other, a real testament to his abilities. The dreamscape portion is soaked in blood-reds and blacks and together with Williams’ talents they make a collage of pure awesomeness. At the bottom rests Director Bones, a haze surrounding him, smoking away, his smoke trail turning into the visage of Kate’s sister, Alice, who is depicted with a lizard’s tongue. The skeletal costumed figure of Batman lies above, ripping off his outer shell which is not Bruce Wayne but actually Kate’s father Jacob, a perfect correlation as just as Jacob helped give birth to Kate, Batman gave “birth” to Batwoman. The upper left-hand side of the cover is taken up by Kate’s heroic identity, Batwoman, her red hair streaming across the top like blood in the water, her black costume becoming one with the black background, her red Bat-logo bleeding downwards, and her eyes replaced with forked tongues signifying the duplicitous nature of her double life and that everywhere she turns all she sees is lies. Finally, there is the beautiful shot of Maggie Sawyer her back turned to us, making us wonder what is on her mind. In fact if you were to glance at this sitting on the shelf you would truly be wondering just what is going on here? How are all these people tied together? And what is the deeper meaning within each image? It compels you to open the book up for answers and like I always say…that is what truly makes a great cover. With that said, J.H. Williams III, 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 four-to-one showing against Marvel. What’s your personal favourite covers from the week that was? Comment below!

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