Monday, December 12, 2005

Judging (DC's March) Books By Their Covers

DC's March Solicitations are up, so now is as good a time as any for us to make prejudgements based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgements, don't we? And DC's covers are at least detailed enough that we CAN make prejudgements based on them!). Notably, this month has this thing that they're calling "One Year Later." You may have heard of it. I think they're just ripping off Comic Should Be Good' first anniversary, to be honest. But that might just be me.

Let's begin!

Jock makes it so simple to describe his covers. I just have to say, "Will Jock ever NOT draw a cool looking cover?"

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Strong homage-y cover.

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Weirder concept, but he still makes it look awesome.
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Does this even look like Simone Bianchi to you?

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Nice cover, though.
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THIS, though, is clearly Bianchi.

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Nice cover, but in both of the covers, it doesn't have the same OOMPH that a lot of his other covers have been.

Still, oomph-lacking Bianchi is still excellent.
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Do you think there is, like, a pool in the DC Offices, over who gets McDaniel next?

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"Yes, he only really fits dark books like Nightwing and Batman, but those books have artists already! So you take him!" "No, you take him!"

Nice cover, though.
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All Terry Dodson covers should be in silhouette.

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Striking Superman cover, though.

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I gotta tell you. This costume irritates me.

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The previous costume was SOOO perfect, I really do not like the idea of changing it. I mean, think about it, for FIFTEEN years, throughout all the times of "New costume!" comic books, this costume was kept. But it gets changed NOW? I think that is silly. The costume was designed by Neal Adams. Who is going to improve on it?
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The costume looks a little better on this cover.

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By the way, wouldn't it be cool if the other Titans are just shadow-like creatures, and that costume isn't hiding their identities in the shadow?
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Another good Perez cover.

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Not great, but definitely gets the job done.
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Similarly, here is a strong Garcia-Lopez cover.

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"Getting the job done" is how I would describe this cover, as well.
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My pal Chris had a funny line about this cover.

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"You're no Jason Todd, but you'll do!"

Very good cover by Wagner.
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Surprising job by Gulacy.

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I am pleased to see a strong return by Gulacy.
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I'm getting a good vibe from this series...

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Chaykin's art and Simonson's story ideas...looks like a winner here.
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Wouldn't it have been awesome if the comic was as cool as this cover?

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It wasn't.
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This Stelfreeze cover will haunt my dreams.

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Or rather, my nightmares.
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I think we've handled this one quite well already...

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Although I have to say, whoever came up with the "Maybe it's Ted Kord, coming back from the dead as a Hellspawn" joke - well done.
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I really like this Byrne cover.

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Spooooky cover.
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OH NO!

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The Shadow Thief is on the team now!

Oh...that is just hiding a character?

Never mind.
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I think we've handled this one well as well...

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but still, COOLNESS!!

Although, I sure hope there's a good reason why he looks so close to the original Aquaman.
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TWO SHADOW THIEVES?!!? What wonders One Year Later has given us!!!

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I bet this will be a fun looking cover.
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I don't think Pat Lee even knows what he was thinking with this cover.

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Yuck.
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I love that all you need to do is have Catwoman turn her back, and you can't tell if it is Selina or not...hehe.
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While not all that memorable, these are nicely drawn Olivetti covers...

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Woah.

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Is Ladronn taking classes from that guy who did the JLA Classified computer covers?

Not Ladronn's best work, by a mile.
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Very striking cover.

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I enjoy how Kitson made her not look so freaky.
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Some hot planet on planet action!

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The New DC, there's no stopping us now!
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What a great job by Brian Hurtt on this cover!!

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Depicting the sort of "aura of girliness" around "her." Soooo well done.
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They keep making it hard on Ross and Kieth with the covers to this book!

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What a clever idea by Bolland!
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This cover definitely makes you want to pick this book up.

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Just to see why Manhunter is defending Tattoo!
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My take on this cover is as follows:

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The cover is like a photograph of the team, and Nightwing is turning around, startled and embarrassed to be seen with the others.
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Bart Sears is going a WHOLE different direction!

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I do not dislike it.
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SEVEN SOLDIERS COVERS!!

Kinda hard to not do this one well, which I guess was the point...

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This certainly captures the spirit of the comic well...

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Now that...that is just freaking awesome.

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That is one weird looking Klarion.

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What a clever use of technology by Gibbons.

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Cute without being TOO cute.

Sorta like the little kid in The Goodbye Girl.
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I love Joe Kubert's work...

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but I am not loving the cover theme on this title.
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Ty Templeton really should be getting more work.

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This was a good cover.
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There is less going on that last cover, so no Top Five, but man...Tommy Lee Edwards sure is good as war stuff.

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This is like that episode of Star Trek where Data has sex.

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I can't wait to see what JH Williams does next.

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He is on a ROLL.
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I don't think this was a great cover.

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There is just not enough going on. It is a bit blah. Harris does this, it seems. He'll have an outstanding cover, then a couple of blah ones.
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Here are two great examples of artists using their background SO well to create a vivid depiction of the situation.

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and

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I think Leon does a slightly better job than Massimo Carnevale, but I think both jobs are impressive.
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This is meant as a joke, no?

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Please?
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Yep, that IS a picture of a monster.

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I don't know if it works a cover, but that is a fine monster drawing.
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Looks like Bradstreet is getting a run for his money on "Indecipherable Hellblazer covers"...

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Well done, Greg Lauren!
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Is that the lady from He-Man?

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What was her name? The one who hung out in Greyskull.
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This is a good example of depicting mood subtley.

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This is very important on a book like 100 Bullets, which is all mood.
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OMIGOD!

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LOOK OUT!

It's STITCH, from Lilo and Stitch!!
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I think this cover would be strong...

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...if we had any idea who this character WAS.
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This was disappointing.

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I think this is the least creative DMZ cover so far.
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HONORABLE MENTIONS FOR TOP FIVE COVERS

Kieth, to me, has been treading water with his recent mainstream work, so this Batman cover was a welcome change of pace.

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Look at how strong this cover is! Impressive job by Kieth.
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I just love how Powell can think up this monsters!!

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Awesome.
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MY TOP FIVE COVERS OF THE MONTH

5. Now THIS cover, I think, works really well as a cover.

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Paul Pope is awesome.
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4. This is a VERY strong piece.

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Another cover this month that is bold, while still managing to be subtle. Very impressive job. I wish the insides of Loveless was as good as this cover.
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3. Very strong piece from Bianchi.

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Much better than the Batman ones.
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2. WOW!

What a great cover by Quitely!

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The only question is, what artist could possibly unseat Quitely as the #1 pick?!!?
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1. You'll have to excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

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WOW.

Just...WOW.

I mean....just....WOW.
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Okay, that's it for me, folks!

Feel free to share YOUR prejudices!!

Read More

29 Comments:

Blogger Bill Reed said...

I was wondering when you'd get around to posting this so I'd have something to wrench me out of my horrible state of boredom. And so: Random comment time!

I might have to get this issue of Jonah Hex. It's got nuns. Nuns with guns. And the solicitation itself was all witty and stuff.

The new Robin costume isn't bad, aside from the panties, and cape scallops, and crappy R insignia. Okay, right, most of it's crappy. But I like that they're phasing out the green. Next: the yellow!

I think I'll be picking up Hawkgirl. 'Cause, you know, Simonson. And Chaykin. Together. On an ongoing.

American Virgin? I'll try it out. Same with Aquaman, even though I'm sure I'll hate myself because of it.

Those Batman covers do not look Bianchi-like at all. Either they stuck him with a bad colorist, or... or they're not him.

And JLU has Elongated Man, I see. Maybe I'll pick it up. I'm a sucker.

I could not possibly care less about Catwoman. Really. My interest in that title died when Gulacy hopped on way back when.

Is that it? Oh well. Maybe more later.

12/12/2005 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Wow, when Quitely can rein in the excessive chinnage on his characters, his work is perfect!

And that new Robin costume is basically the Tim Drake costume from the Paul Dini animated show with a few tweaks. DC loves jumping on Dini's ideas.

12/12/2005 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Re: Robin's new costume. But don't you see, it's all black and red now, because that's EXTREME! and dark and that's cool and stuff.

Hang on, the DCU is suppposed to be getting lighter, not darker, right?

And the "feathers" look ridiculous. And the "R" is utterly generic. Bleh.

But doesn't he look older in that second one? Could that be... Jason Todd?


Love that Wagner Batman cover. Bats looks really disinterested, as if someone just plopped the woman in his arms and said "hold this, I'll be back in a jiffy"

In the TWO SHADOW THIEVES cover, the lady on the right is presumably the new Batgirl/Batwoman, based on the look of that cape. Not sure about the Wonder Man rocket belts though.


What was her name? The one who hung out in Greyskull.
The Sorceress, or (and I can't believe I know this) Teela'Na.

12/12/2005 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

The scalloped feather wings on Robin's new costume come from the classic anime Gatchaman, about a science ninja team that dressed as birds.

Sooo...it's Robin with the Paul Dini Tim Drake color scheme, Batman's gloves and a Gatchaman cape. It's schizo enough to be surreal. I'm a little intrigued.

12/13/2005 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

I barely noticed that was a different Robin costume when I looked at it. To the extent that it's changed, I like the changes - anything they can do to make Robin less goofy-looking is fine with me.

Robin is still Tim Drake - there's no way that's an adult in that costume. Nightwing is Jason Todd - that's the Red Hood's weird curvy knife on his NYC cover dripping blood. Dick Grayson, I'm betting, will be Batman, and since Green Arrow is mayor of his city and not Bruce Wayne, I'm betting DC went with the "Wayne in Arkham" storyline that Rich Johnston broke months ago. This lets DC perfect Batman's emasculation: he never caught the Spoiler's killer, he never caught Black Mask, he can't catch the Red Hood, and now he's in the nuthouse. Way to go, folks!

Is it just me, or is the "shocking new lineup" of Birds of Prey the exact same lineup, but with Barbara Gordon as Batwoman?

Damn, Quitely can draw, can't he?

12/13/2005 01:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kind of like the OMAC special cover. It's reminds me of DOOM for some reason...

12/13/2005 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger Sleestak said...

That one cover makes it look like Nightwing is joining Charlie's Angels.

12/13/2005 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger Alex Scott said...

You know, I always did think Robin would look cooler with Gatchaman feathers on his cape. But did they have to give him trunks? I mean, really.

12/13/2005 02:44:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Foss said...

It's funny that you'd make a He-Man comment among this month's covers, since seeing that Claw/Red Sonja cover, my first thought turned to He-Man as well. Mostly "I thought that comic series mercifully ended."

I'm a He-Fan of the first degree, and I know(ish) the writer, but that Image/Crossgen/etc. series was awful.

Totally agree on the A-S Superman cover. I'd like to see Quitely's covers for this series turned into posters. Not a bad Superman cover in the bunch this month.

12/13/2005 02:49:00 AM  
Blogger Lex said...

"The cover is like a photograph of the team, and Nightwing is turning around, startled and embarrassed to be seen with the others."

If I was Nightwing, I'd be embarrassed to be seen on that team too.

Also, if I was Nightwing, I'd be a huge man-slut... but that's beside the point.

12/13/2005 03:00:00 AM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

"I love Joe Kubert's work...

but I am not loving the cover theme on this title."

On the one hand, I agree.

Kubert's strength as a cover artist is his ability to tell an entire narrative in one drawing.

The format of these covers kinda Nerfs his greatest strength.

On the other hand:

JOE!

MudderFAWKING!

KUUUUBBBBEEEERTTTT!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
hhhhHHHHHHHoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

(To complete this mental picture
you have to concurrently imagine
the little dance that I'm doing, and my housemates waking up and
throwing stuff at my head.

You can imagine out the part where
I'm naked, though.)

12/13/2005 03:16:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher Burton said...

Some thoughts:

Oh my god! He's goint to KILL the Statue of Liberty!

What up with all the silhouette covers this month?

That George Perez cover rocks.

Garcia-Lopez gets points for execution, but come on. Superman and the Martian Manhunter fighting a sea monster? They'll beat it to paste. That's so lame.

I like the Frankenstein cover but it made me laugh. It's the kind of cover that only us comics readers would think kicks ass. Most other people would think it's stupid. "So Frankenstein is on a giant bug. With a sword. Whatever."

The only thing lamer that the JLU cover or goofier than the Frankenstein cover is the entire concept of Red Sonja/Claw. My God. That's just desperate.

All right. I'm a philistine. Go ahead and say it. I can take it. I just do not get the praise you folks lavish on Frank Quitely's work. To me, it's usually fine, but there are other artists I prefer. I guess it's just a matter of taste. Speaking of which, I did like the one with the big mouth. In fact, I think it's some of the best art I've ever seen from him and it's one of my favorites for the month.

My other favorites are the Hurtt Hard Time cover, the Jonah Hex cover, and the Fables cover.

12/13/2005 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

The funny thing about the Supergirl cover is, the solicit spoils it. It's Power Girl and Supergirl, dressed as Nightwing and Flamebird.

12/13/2005 08:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Dizzy said...

I disagree on the Bianchi-covers, the first one is just terrible. The second one works, but is nothing special.

I like the dragon in that JLA-cover. The cover interests me enough to pick this comic up, so it gets the job done.

Agree on the suprisingly good Demon-cover.

Birds of Prey: All new team!! Which seems to be exactly the same as before only with a character added.

Don't like the Hawkgirl-cover that much, but the creative team on the series is more than enough to win me over.

Ladronn-cover: Is that Fire? Happy to see that at least she is safe.

I find the idea of trying to get the Engineer in a romantic relationship funny. Mostly because I remember her in the Authority sleeping around just like most of the other members and quite enjoying it. Poor Captain Atom hasn't got a clue what he's getting into.

What is that sword and sorcery type of cover meant to be?

Fables: I got a Jabberwock-vibe from that cover.

My top 5 favourites:
Dodson's Superman.
Jonah Hex: (what is he shaving at that side of his face? Ouch)
Frankenstein
Winter Men
and the Quiteley Superwoman

Not that taken with the Paul Pope cover, mostly because I can't decypher what that is supposed to be behind Batman.

12/13/2005 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take it that's also Power Girl dressed as Hawkwoman? And I think Power Girl may be the new Huntress -- AND the new Black Canary, too!

She really gets around, apparently.

Or maybe the Bulleteer is the new Black Canary.

12/13/2005 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

One Year Gap? One Year CRAP, more like.

Though I have seen pages of Simonsonaykin Hawkgirl, and while it's Kendra, it still looks pretty good. So I'd say pick that one up, at least.

12/13/2005 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent Dodson covers.

Like the new Robin cotstume, but i liked it in the cartoon and I liked the old one as well. The feathery bits are awful, though.

Daaayyymm, that long-haired guy is gonna get fisted by Hal Jordan!

Ambush Beetle... urgh

Hunstress has finally covered up after her stint in Jim Lee's "Who cares that she would never wear this? It's HOTT!11!!!" costume.

Looking forward to the Nightwing/Charlie's Angels team-up.

Mister Miiracle. Well, that's that spoiled. Cheers.

Frankenstein. Excellent.

Why isn't Klarion blue?

Quitely. Excellent.

Who the female Super-person? Looks a bit like Lois. Is that from ASS?

12/13/2005 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

There was an episode of Teen Titans where Robin wore a featheredm Gatchaman-style cape (and helmet, come to think of it), so I wonder if that helped inspire the new costume.

12/13/2005 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

The scalloped feather wings on Robin's new costume come from the classic anime Gatchaman, about a science ninja team that dressed as birds.
That's it. I knew I'd seen the design before. Thanks, T.

12/13/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Chad said...

I can't believe you bitched and moaned for months about the cover for All Star Superman 1 and then turn around and drool over this one. It's got to be the No-Doz of covers. It's so boring. Is it because there are tits that you like it so much? Because otehrwise it's just a chick in a really awful costume and Superman trying to get undressed. Blah.

12/13/2005 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Like the cover for issue #2, which I also loved, the cover for All-Star Superman #3 is dynamic.

Like #2, you don't have to understand the symbolism of the drawing for the cover to work, as is the case for #1.

It is an action shot, of a familiar depiction (Clark Kent getting ready to turn into Superman) interrupted by the unfamiliar - Lois Lane is dressed as a Superwoman.

The familiar interrupted by the unfamiliar, all depicted with grace and aplomb by Quitely, and all with moving pieces to it, creating a dynamic, eye-catching cover.

12/14/2005 02:19:00 AM  
Blogger ninjawookie said...

I am pleased to see a strong return by Gulacy.

You mean after he fucked Catwoman? Almost literally.

I have no love for the man, after that fiasco.

12/14/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The costume was designed by Neal Adams. Who is going to improve on it?"

The guy who removes the green from it and makes the cape resemble a bird's wings, that's who. The new costume is great.

12/14/2005 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"You mean after he fucked Catwoman? Almost literally.

I have no love for the man, after that fiasco."

Yeah, that WAS pretty embarrasing for Gulacy.

But he has such a storied past, and that cover looks good...he has got to be able to rebound.

12/14/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Okay, what happened to Gulacy? Link? Link?

12/14/2005 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

It was no big thing, Kelvin. He just really sucked on Catwoman.

In addition, he reacted...oddly to some of the criticism of his Catwoman work, but that is no big deal. The main thing is that the work was awful.

12/14/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Oh, okay. You lot were making it sound like he was selling the original art to fund a prostitution addiction or something. ;)

12/15/2005 03:09:00 PM  
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