Anime, Barbwire, & Creepy Portraits: Comic Book Covers of the Week 09/11/13

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 Placebatmanlilgotham6Batman: L’il Gotham #6
Cover Artist:
 Dustin Nguyen
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Fourth Place avengers19Avengers #19
Cover Artist:
Leinil Francis Yu
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Third Place courtofowls1Batman and Robin #23.2: Court of Owls
Patrick Gleason certainly delivered one chilling cover this week to take the third place spot. Front and centre is a quartet of Court members, portrayed with their positioning similar to what you would find in a typical family portrait. Each one is wearing one of their trademark masks, hiding their identities while creeping us out in the process, and causing us to be unable to read any emotion from them. Behind these four individuals, strung up in chains is a helpless Batman, drenched in shadows that really helps sell his hopeless position that he finds himself in. Then we have the richly detailed background: a white and blue floral wallpaper complete with various photos of other Court members in all matters of differing shapes and sizes of frame. These portraits beg us to slowly inspect the cover, going frame by frame to analyze each, something I receive great joy in as I do with any cover that is filled with such rich details.
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Second Place deadpool16Deadpool #16
Declan Shalvey is the runner-up this week with this cover featuring the title character and some rather familiar individuals. Deadpool stands ready for action, blades drawn, prepared to combat any oncoming threat. Behind him is a barbwire fence but what is even more interesting is those figures situated behind the barbwire: the…X-Men? They certainly resemble the X-Men but they are suspiciously clouded in shadows similar to Deadpool’s blacks on his costume while their eyes, mouths, and cape are rendered in a menacing red similar to Deadpool’s red. The roster consists of Banshee, Colossus, Sunfire, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Thunderbird. Looking at this roster more closely though is when we know something is off: some of these characters are currently dead (Nightcrawler, Banshee, Thunderbird) while others are depicted in costumes they haven’t worn for years. We slowly piece together that these cannot be the X-Men we know and upon reading the issue we realize there is a really good reason as to why their colouring is the same as Deadpool, a reason I will not spoil here. Elsewhere, the grass is drained of colour and the background is murky and grey reaffirming that this is not a typical jovial issue of this series but an issue where we mean some serious business. Unraveling the mystery behind these fake X-Men is just one of the tantalizing questions we form in our minds. 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 Placefearlessdefenders9Fearless Defenders #9
And here is the Cover of the Week by Mark Brooks who wins this distinction for the sixth time. It was so close this week as I almost gave top honors to Deadpool if not for one great fourth-wall breaking moment on this cover. Misty Knight, Valkyrie and Elsa Bloodstone are depicted in a Japanese anime-style complete with trademark poses such a Misty winking at us as she flashes the peace sign. I love that they poke fun and acknowledge this use of styling by having Dani Moonstar push back the bottom right corner of the image and say “Okay, now we’re just pandering!” It touches like this and these artistic decisions that are month in and month out so unique that makes me come back for more. 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 Marvel with a three-to-two showing against DC. What’s your personal favourite covers from the week that was? Comment below!

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