Best of the Week in… Covers (06/17/09)

That’s right, Conor’s got the week off from having to pick the best covers, so I’m taking a stab at it.  A first impression is all important, and while you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you damn well know you do.

Here are my picks for best covers of the week:

G.I. Joe Cobra #4
Cover by Howard Chaykin and Edgar Delgado

I know there are some people who aren’t down with Howard Chaykin, and I used to be one of you.  I was won over by Enemy Ace: Flight of the Phantom Eagle, and as far as I’m concerned, this cover does everything it sets out to do.  Right off, it looks incredibly simple.  But in that simplicity, it’s eye catching.  Then it goes on to very elegantly tell us exactly what’s going on in the story.  Chuckles is quietly contemplating a decision about what he’s going to do, or perhaps he’s made up his mind, and he’s coming to terms with it, staring at the gun, and what it represents.  The more I look at this cover, from the brick dungeon walls contrasting with the floral print shirt, to the single bullet, the more I see.

Invincible #63
Cover by Ryan Ottley and FCO Plascencia

Ugh.  Just look at it.  Ugh.  I’m such a fan of the single character cover, as opposed to the big group cover.  Regardless of what you think about Invincible, this cover is going to grab your eye.  We’ve seen Invincible in all kinds of bad shape, but never have we seen Mark worse than this.  Ryan Ottley understands how to do iconic comic book work that has the best of the past, but looks modern.  You could say this is a cover based on shock value, but really it’s telling you a story, and the story is not a good one for Mark Grayson.  He’s on his knees, face bloated from beatings, and his arm is just…well, like that.  It’s just a wonderful cover.

The Man with No Name #11
Cover by Diego Bernard

This is a title I don’t read, but I love the stark western imagery.  The fabric is rumpled on the ground, and the blowing in the wind on the man left standing while smoke flows from the barrel of the shotgun.  Speaking of that shotgun, the slain man went up against it while holding two pistols.  He didn’t make it.  This suggests that the shooter either had much better aim, or the winner was just prepared.  Great image, great composition.  This makes me want to read the issue.

Those are my picks, what are yours?


  1. I’m going to have to go with Invincible, Phonogram, and Herogasm for the best covers. Also loved Wizard of Oz and Man with No Name.

  2. I love the GI joe cover.  This has been the one of the best series.  If you havent read it, you need to. 

  3. I love the Phonogram cover. It’s so different and it pops right out at you.

  4. Dead@17:Afterbirth.


    Definitely not X Men Origins: Gambit (way too much purple for my liking.  At least I think it’s purple, but I’m somewhat colorblind).

  5. I know it’s been plastered all over the place, but I really like both covers for Cap 600. Also I liked Young Allies. The covers that Howard Chaykin’s been doing for GI Joe Cobra have been really good. The one here is a good bookend to the first issue, which I assume was done on purpose.

  6. I love the Jack of Fables cover. Very bright and not much like other comicbook covers. Also a fan of the variant cover to GI Joe Cobra.

    That Invincible cover hurts me to look at it. That’s just fantastic work by Ottley. Almost makes me want to read the books.

  7. I agree with Josh about Invincible, its a really strong picture.The garish yellow writing I could have lived without but meh,they are trying to hype their comic.

    I also liked the War Machine No.7 cover.Its not really an above average image but I like Mattinas style,the muted palette and smoky textures.

  8. Invincible hands down is the best this week.  My other two are Phonogram and Cap. Brit.

  9. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an arm that broken on a cover before

  10. @ Heroville
    Just wait ’til you see my upcoming team book, ‘Captain Broken Arms & the Dangly Limbed Avengers’!

    *scrolls back up to cover to realize just how broken that arm is*
    I retract my inane joke in lieu of the seriousness of that fracture.

  11. Not just cause it was my pick; but Young Allied Comics certainly had a great cover this week.

    You might as well just have that arm ripped out of that kid in the Invincible cover. No way that is gonna move again.

  12. Invincible wins out of those three.

  13. The nice thing about the sphincter-tightening, nausea-inducing Invincible cover is the way you get to see it whether you volunteered to or not. It’s just right out there on the shelf. Hooray! The moment I saw it, I knew, "I cannot wait to get this home and have to hide it from my daughter."

  14. The Captain Britain cover this week was the best/spookiest cover I’d seen in a long time.

    The Invincible cover is distasteful in my opinion. It reminds me of the worst sort of stuff Image put out circa 1995. I realize that Invincible is probably (I don’t read it) leagues better than "Bloodwulf" or whatever, but a cover like that makes me less likely to ever read the book. I’m not a prude; I don’t mind when a book like Kick-Ass shows tons of core, but I don’t LIKE gore either. Putting gore right there on the cover basically says "Look at me! Hey, looking for a reason to vicariously devalue human life? Then buy me!"

  15. I have been loving the design of The Outsiders covers for the last 4 months; simple, clean graphic design highlighting the members of the team. This months cover with Owlman ascending with cape unfurled and Alfred, posed in thought was symmetrical and beautiful. Spoilt only by the massively outsized logo and Batman Reborn branding.

    I’m also digging the vibrant covers of Stanley Lau on Dance, which is the strongest of the four Final Crisis Aftermath minis. 

  16. I don’t remember Invincible having a history of gory covers.  It’s a story point, and it’s visceral nature is the exactly the intended effect.

  17. I was a fan of phonogram and supergirl

  18. It took me a moment to notice his arm. It went a little something like "Hmm, he’s pretty beaten up and bloody, but I’ve seen wor- OH JESUS F*CK, what the hell happened to his arm?!"

  19. Yeah.  Invincible if severely effed up in that cover.

     And Josh the real question is, did you in fact read The Man With No Name?

    And if you didn’t pick it up, did the cover really do its job?

  20. Phonogram #3 was the best and most striking off the rack

     Really don’t care for Ottley, personally. That Invincible cover is ugly

  21. batman streets of gotham cover, captain america #600, and phonogram #3

  22. No, I didn’t buy that.  But I also did these this morning, and never looked for it in the shop. But I wouldn’t have anyway, because I tried the series and didn’t like it.  But I like the cover.

  23. You’d tried the series previously aye?  Well played Mr. Flanagan.

  24. This cover for Invincible is pretty brutal. But if I’m not mistaken the next cover is even worse in terms of gore. I think I saw a preview of it online and…..if it is the cover then…yeesh…

  25. ugh, that fucking terrible chaykin cover…i didnt know danny rand/ steve rogers/ hank pym was in GI Joe Cobra.

  26. So every blond white guy is those Marvel characters?

  27. Actually that does look a lot like Rogers…

  28. I really like the the Wonderful Wizard of Oz 7 cover very cute, raw and strark

  29. Red Mass.

  30. Loving the Chaykin love – it does accomplish exactly what it sets out to do.  I’m sorry, I know loads of people don’t dig his work, but the man has a sense of design that is utterly unique.

  31. All the Red Mass covers look exactly like all the Transhuman covers, look exactly like everything else.  It’s cool yes, but this is the 15th time I’ve seen it, so no special treatment.

  32. @josh the Howard chaykin draws them, yea.

  33. I thought Hellblazer’s cover was pretty freaking awesome this week.  I love the new cover treatment they used for it, and Bisley’s cover was very rad.

  34. Supergirl, Hellblazer, Phonogram, and Streets of Gotham’s variant were all in the running.

  35. Captain Britain and Mi-13’s cover was my favourite from this past week… when I saw it in last’s month’s issue.  It got a horrible treatment on the actual issue, which is too bad, because the picture itself is fantastic.