The Best of the Week in…Covers (07/23/2009)

In narrowing down my selection of favorite cover images, I couldn’t help but notice a recurring theme. Cloud appreciation. Defiance of gravity. Attainment of mad air.  This week, we celebrate three faces of flight—excitement, grandeur, and grace—with a stirring and atmospheric triptych. I call it “Ahhhhhh! Oooh! Awwwww!” 

Nova #27 cover by Daniel Acuna
Legion of Three Worlds #5 cover by George Pérez
Supergirl #43 cover by Joshua Middleton

With Nova #27, Daniel Acuna delivers some rectangular chaos amidst a salmon and oatmeal sky. I love the diagonal trajectory. Our guys are charging headlong into the fray. While we don’t see the enemy in frame, we do see the brunt of their defenses (shit be blowin’ up). There’s some nice depth of field here, though I do wish we could pivot the angle so we were at more of a 3/4 view. As it is, we’re looking at this scene from the safety of a profile. If you think about it, a slight pan of the camera could place us, as viewers, in the role of either a Nova corpsman or the enemy. That’s a shift from objective distance to two very different, very subjective vantage points. Perspective can totally change the dynamic of a narrative image. That’s another interesting distinction of this cover. While the other two are almost purely thematic, this piece tells a story.

Now for our feature presentation from Dawnstar Pictures: the Legion of Three Worlds cover by George Pérez. Maybe it’s just my origins as a latchkey kid showing, but my instant reaction to this cover was, “Damn, that TriStar pony got all kinds of pretty since I watched The Fisher King last month.” Admittedly, the figure of Dawnstar herself looks a little soft when viewing this at full resolution, but the overall effect of those wings against the butterscotch clouds? Majestic. Then the contrast of the bronze and the blue in the background? It’s downright regal. Not since the coronation of King Moonracer on the Island of Misfit Toys has there been such gravitas in one place.

Okay, so those are big moments. Let’s talk about a smaller one. Let’s talk about my favorite cover this week. Joshua Middleton has been doing some top-notch work on these Supergirl covers (just as Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle have been doing with the words and pictures of the interior). While Supergirl is plenty scrappy (as evident in past covers) she’s not nearly so jaded as some of her peers. She’s competent, but she’s also curious. She’s in awe of the worlds she protects. This cover depicts a stop and-smell-the-roses moment for Kara. It’s not about immediacy; Nothing’s exploding, and though there’s a bit of a posture, it feels like a natural grace. If it doesn’t reveal much about the status quo or the conflicts within, it does say a great deal about this character. All that and a tremendous composition. Those birds are positioned all around the axis, each with its own distinct pose and direction. A simple scene rendered in a truly dynamic way. Flawless.

Alright, now that I’ve wrung a little worth out of the ol’ art history minor, I turn it over to you. What covers tickled your right hemispheres this week? There was a lot to drool over, so let’s give ’em their due.

Comments

  1. Supergirl looks like she could drop right into an issue of Fables.

  2. Excellent analysis, and I love all those covers.

  3. I saw the Legion cover with the two vertical bars and scoffed.  It wasn’t worthy to be on the same rack as this one.  I also liked X-Force #17’s cover, but that’s only because I’m a in the closet X-23 fan.  Don’t tell anyone.

  4. couldn’t agree more. All superb covers.

  5. John Romita Jr’s cover for ASM 600 was my favorite this week. My store had pulled the Alex Ross cover, but I opted for Junior’s: it iconic without looking retro, and it simply sums up the grace and dynamism of ol’ Web-head. If Marvel made posters of this cover, I’d buy one in a heartbeat (hint, hint).

    Also, the DC fanboy in me couldn’t help but love Green Lantern 44. Hal and Barry fighting a zombie J’onn J’onzz while the smash through Bruce Wayne’s tombstone??? Awesome. Mahnke just nailed it perfectly on that one.

  6. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @EAGLEBAUER – Agreed. That Spider-Man cover is appropriately amazing. Definitely a favorite. 

  7. Green Lantern 44 was a great Silver Age-y cover.  serves as a great example of Mahnke’s excellent action inside.

  8. Paul is obviously biased to flight! Good choices and great reviews of them. I think of the lot you picked I’d have to say Supergirl wins best cover because the cover is a mimic (Or the cover was mimicked? from?) of the first panel inside the book. While it may not tell a story that image is of significance to the book.

    My favorite cover this week? Hmmm… Probably Spock Reflections. 

  9. @Eaglebauer:  You made the right choice.  I haven’t been impressed with any Ross covers since the JSA.

  10. Legion of Three Worlds – nice touch with the many birds far in the background. Also the shadow of her arms on the wings is brilliant – she’s basking in the sun and enjoying the breeze.

    Supergirl – very lighthearted and playful. If I’m not mystaken, those are sun rays coming from behind the cloud. The art style reminds me of All Dogs Go to Heaven. 

  11. The Supergirl cover makes me think of the beginning of the first issue of Astro City.

  12. @ato220 I’m not big on Ross covers either, but something about how the all-red washed effect on the cover of ASM 600 was awesome.

  13. I’ll say it before, and I’ll say it again:

    Supergirl got really friendly with those birds BEHIND her. If this was a Adult Only website, we’d see the true cover to Supergirl.

  14. All the novas are phallic symbols. There. I said it.

  15. @TheNextChampion didn’t you hear, she wears shorts under her skirt now, like a cheerleader 🙂

    It is however an amazing cover, to bad it’s already sold, I’d totally buy a print. 

  16. @smokmnky: Cheerleader….schoolgirl….You cant go wrong! 😉

  17. Three different but equally powerful and beautiful ways of representing the most common and dreamt up superpowers

  18. @TNC You know, Dr. Freud would say you have a fixation…

  19. @Prax: On what scholars would call ‘bootylicious’?

  20. @TNC You are totally right, after thinking on this more I think I like the cover more

  21. She’s mooning god. It’s pure vanity.

  22. My fav covers of the week go to ASM, Green Lantern, and Gotham City Sirens.

  23. I really like the Supergirl one.

  24. That Supergirl cover was fantastic.

  25. Yup, I can get behind that Supergirl cover choice!  …  er… poor choice of words. 

    I agree with all of these cover choices!

  26. I don’t know why Dawnstarr isn’t used more.  She has such an interesting backstory.  I guess she is an example of backlash because her 70’s outfit was so sexy and over the top.  George Perez is amazing and improves with every minute.  Comics should never lose him.

  27. I stopped picking up Supergirl months ago and bought this issue just because the cover was so moving.

  28. @ s1lentslayer – or an issue of "Lost Girls."  Wink!

  29. The Legion of 3 worlds looks really good up close