Retroactive: Legends of the Dark Knight 2004 & Daredevil 2003

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My Favourite Covers

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Okay, so our journey through the past is complete for this week but which covers reign supreme?

For Legends of the Dark Knight, the crown goes to: Legends of the Dark Knight #173. This cover, like the other ones from the Testament arc, showcases the main image in a letterbox format similar to what you’d find on a Blu-ray/DVD movie. This snapshot focuses on a group of masked thugs, giant guns drawn, ready to put down any hero who thinks they can bust up their latest criminal endeavor. If they would only look behind them then they would see that the man who is going to bring about their downfall is at present gliding through the night air and readying himself to burst through the window. I love how the oblivious bad guys are the focal point with the silhouetted figure of the Dark Knight lurking in the background. The image uses a limited colour spectrum for great results, colours that really pop on the page and are accentuated by the primarily black background. The cityscape is another great element with the orange lights working quite well next to the purple buildings to create quite an interesting neon-like stylistic look. The smaller image on the bottom right is interesting as we see some burning candles and a necklace with a mysterious symbol on the pendant. What this could possibly mean is a real mystery as is the subtitle “Betrayal of Brothers.” Did one of these criminals turn on the rest? Were they sold out by one of their own? A terrific design choice, some puzzling questions, and one captivating image ensures that this cover stands above the rest to earn the right to be called the best.
lotdk173


 For Daredevil, the title goes to: Daredevil Vol. 2 #43. Wow! This is one absolutely gorgeous cover that immediately stood out to me as the best as soon as I saw it. Here we have our hero, his head lowered, looking quite stoic and reflective. In the foreground are a bunch of lit candles that range in height and width. The light from the candles illuminate Daredevil perfectly, mixing with the shadows to create something truly special. The smoke twists and turns about which creates added visual interest while also adding to the moody atmosphere that this cover captures perfectly. Just when I think I’ve run out of things to mention I look closer at the candles themselves and see what appears to be tiny window-like boxes on them. What does this mean? Well in my opinion these candles could actually be symbolic of the buildings in the city and Daredevil stands at the ready to protect the people and stop the proverbial light from going out in its citizens lives. I may be reading too much into it but what cannot be denied is the skill of the artist that crafted this masterpiece. It may not tell us anything about what is going to happen inside the issue but when something looks this amazing does it really matter?DDV243________________________________________________________

So that’s it for this week. Agree/Disagree? Which covers are your personal favourites from this week? Comment below!

6 thoughts on “Retroactive: Legends of the Dark Knight 2004 & Daredevil 2003

  1. Daredevil # 52 blew my mind.
    First of all, the supporting character is in the foreground, and the leading one is in the background: as you know, I deeply appreciate this reversal of the most typical pattern of superhero covers.
    Secondly, I love the fact that Echo’s half – closed eyes are looking directly at us. This artistic choice helps building a strong emotional connection between her and us, even if we’re supposed to support Daredevil in the fight she’s running against him.
    Thirdly, I love the fact that the cover artist decided to underline the contrast between these two character in so many clever ways:
    – Echo exhales yellow smoke, Daredevil exhales purple smoke;
    – she’s been depicted in a frontal pose, Matt’s been drawn in a three – quarter pose;
    – she’s looking at us, our hero is looking in a completely different direction.
    All these delightfully subtle details want to convey the message that these two characters are getting more and more different and distant from each other. Instead of making that clear in the most expected way (for example, with an image showing Echo that throws punches at her former lover), the cover artist decided to convey this message in a much more subtle and fascinating way, and I deeply appreciated that.
    As for Batman, I completely agree with the cover you chose. Even this time I instantly understood this image would have won the gold medal, even if I hadn’t seen the other covers yet.
    Special mention for LOTDK # 183, because of the marvellous lighting on Bruce’s cape and mantle.

    • “All these delightfully subtle details want to convey the message that these two characters are getting more and more different and distant from each other. Instead of making that clear in the most expected way (for example, with an image showing Echo that throws punches at her former lover), the cover artist decided to convey this message in a much more subtle and fascinating way, and I deeply appreciated that.”
      There are some weeks that you completely blow me away with your thinking. You brought up all these points that hadn’t even occurred to me and made what was already a beautiful cover that much richer. Originally I was going to give my silver medal to another cover entirely but after reading your comment I cannot in good conscience not award the runner up to anything but #52. You changed my mind with your words and that is a very powerful ability indeed.

      “Special mention for LOTDK # 183, because of the marvellous lighting on Bruce’s cape and mantle.”
      And I would direct special attention to #177 which is both my runner-up and Paul Bowler’s #1 pick.

      Thanks, as always, for sharing your selections and the insight. 🙂

  2. Legends of the Dark Knight #177 gets my top spot this time. I’m always drawn to covers like this, the stark white background of the cover is in striking contrast to Batman perched atop the telephone pole, his form a dark shadow and with his cape billowing in the wind. A simple cover in design, conveying so much with so little color, its superb. I’m in complete agreement with you for Daredevil Vol. 2 #43 with DD standing before the candles, head bowed. You are so right when you say the candles seem to represent the city itself, with Daredevil watching over everyone, a beautiful cover.

    • “Legends of the Dark Knight #177 gets my top spot this time.”
      I came ever so close to selecting this as my favourite but in the end it had to settle with second place for me. It is a striking image that uses a limited colouring scheme to great effect.

      Thanks for providing your choices. It is much appreciated. And I hope you have a great New Comic Book Day! 🙂

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