Monday, April 17, 2006

Judging (DC's July) Books By Their Covers

DC's July 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!).

Let's begin!
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Jock is incapable of drawing a bad cover.



That doesn't mean, though, that he can't draw a cover that looks stupid! Because I don't think even his talents can save this concept...
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NEW BATMAN CREATIVE TEAMS!
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This Adam Kubert Batman cover is pretty decent...



but this ANDY Kubert Batman cover looks like Scott Mc-freakin'-Daniel!!! And THIS is the Kubert who is actually drawing the INSIDE!



ARGH!!!
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Luckily, Simone Bianchi shows up with a solid Detective Comics cover...



it is not amazing or anything, but still, a strong cover from Bianchi.
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The cool thing about this cover is as follows...



A. Miller is one of the few artists ballsy enough to try a cover like this

while

B. Miller is one of the few artists who could almost pull this cover off.
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What a super clever cover idea by Adam Hughes!



Not clever enough to make it a great cover, but man, what a clever idea. That's some true cleverness right there.
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I'll give Ariel Olivetti credit...



this Legends of the Dark Knight cover is certainly striking.
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This Pat Lee cover looks like it is {ahem} inspired by that other Lee guy...



but it is an improvement for THIS Lee.
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Very strong Kieth drawing.



I just don't think it works as a cover.
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This is a trippy ass Man-Bat cover by Mike Huddleston.



What the heck is going on with this cover?
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I think showing people this Superman/Batman cover should be added to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.



Or would that constitute cruel and unusual punishment?
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It is covers like this that make me realize why perhaps some artists just draw asian people as white people...



because they're afraid they'll go too far the OTHER way, like this cover.

What is this, a World War II Superman cover?
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Too...

hard...

to...

look....

at....

awesome Chiang art...

with...

stupid, stupid...

goatee!!
___________________________________________________

Daniel Acuña covers!!!!

Battle for Blüdhaven...you ever hear the one about how, if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say it at all? Well, reading Battle for Blüdhaven, it felt like Silent Night...



And the same writing team gets to do Freedom Fighters! Joy!



At least it will be interesting to see if Acuña can handle interiors.

Great Outsiders cover, by the by.


___________________________________________________

52 COVERS!!!

Really sweet JG Jones cover here, makes it look like a story Grant Morrison would rock at...



Pretty interesting cover, although Supernova's design is a bit weak.



Who is that that Black Adam is wooing?



All in all, very nice covers for the month by Jones. He's a fine artist. And he even gets to do a sweet Savage Dragon cover, too!!
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I see that Butch Guice is using a Ken doll for his Ocean Master design.


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I like Jerry Ordway a lot, but I cannot say that I love this cover.



But I like the IDEA of him doing covers for Birds of Prey!!!
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LAST ISSUE COVERS!!!

Very nice last issue cover by Byrne, fitting in nicely with the "Blood of the Demon" theme.



Good job.
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Also, a very nice JSA final issue drawing by George Perez.



Very classy send-off.
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Eric Powell, also, has an excellent send-off to Swamp Thing here.



Man, how did this comic last this long?
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This Blue Beetle cover might (just might) be the best work I have ever seen from Duncan Rouleau.



That is a sweet cover.
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Is that King Faraday in the background of the Checkmate cover?



Ooooh...I hope so!
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Very nice Firestorm cover by Stelfreeze.



I like it.
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Question for the masses:



ANYone here LIKE Brick?
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THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!



Not a SINGLE issue from the current, greatest, Green Lantern series has made the Greatest Green Lantern Stories Ever Told!!!

It is like a slap in Geoff Johns' face!!!

Oh wait, his Secret Files story got in there.

Phew.

All is not wrong with the world.
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Holy crappy perspective, Batman!!



Is he really supposed to be standing up on that cover?

Really?

Seriously?
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This Green Lantern Corps cover reminded me of that issue of X-Factor where Strong Guy had Lorna stand up, put her arms behind her head and arch her back...hehe.


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BOOO!

The helmet is covering the protuding nipples!



Hehe.

Nice cover, actually.

I just can't believe DC let Chaykin draw protruding nipples on a comic book cover. Remember when that was actually, like, a THING? Infinity Inc. #3 and some X-Men issue from the 80s - "Look! You can see protruding nipples!"
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Wait, so the star effect isn't a mask?

It's just his face?



That's...creepy.
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Still think this JLA Classified cover looks like Semeiks.



Nice cover, though!
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And it's a neat idea to have this continue in JSA Classified.



Neat cover, too!
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You see the vague look of disdain upon their faces?



I think they're looking at a reflection and seeing the cover.

Yee-ikes.
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Overall, a sweet Brian Bolland cover for this Justice Society trade...



but (and please pardon my language) what the fuck is up with Dr. Mid-Nite's hands?!?!
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This cover does not look good..



However, I think Dietrich Smith's talents as an artist are suited to a project like this.
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Guess what?



There ain't a single character who can be revealed to be that question mark to make this series a good idea.
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VERY cool Jesus Saiz Manhunter cover!!


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Pretty cool cover idea by Karl Kerschl for this Secret Six cover.


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Very nice sense of movement on this Barry Kitson cover.



Who inked it?
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Pretty boring looking Shadowpact cover.


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At least Bart Sears is all about equality!



NOone wears much clothing!
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Are we already nostalgic for the Cold War?



Already?
___________________________________________________

The giant fist is trying to do the reader a favor.



But will the Dodsons let it? Noooooooooo....
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DCU CARTOON COVERS!

Pretty decent Batman Strikes cover....



Also, a similarly decent JLU cover...



but a REALLY nice Teen Titans Go cover!



Then again, I am partial to baseball covers.
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That's a sweet Garry Leach cover for Battler Britton!!



Garth Ennis and Colin Wilson?

I'm there!
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Can't say that this American Way cover thrills me.


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This Ex Machina cover by Tony Harris is pretty good.



I like that it is a bit more "story-oriented."
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Oh lord, is this Claw cover terrible.


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More Kev?



Really?

MORE KEV?!?!?

Why?!?!?!
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Pretty sweet Dustin Nguyen cover for Manifest Eternity.


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Not so sweet Alé Garza cover for Skye Runner.



And you NEED sweet covers for fantasy comic books.
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A la this Nick Bradshaw cover for Rokkin, a fantasy book by the Danger Girl: Back in Black mini-series creative team.



It's PRETTY good looking.
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Dave Johnson can probably draw cool covers blindfolded by now.


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Ah...now THIS is definitely Joshua Middleton!



I miss Quitely.
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Howard Chaykin, however, makes the Quitely missing diminished.



Nice Bite Club cover.
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Philip Bond has that innate ability to make even the most inane idea look pretty cool.



Which is why, when he's given REALLY cool ideas to draw - he's amazing.
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Very nice cover design by Brian Wood for DMZ.


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Pretty good James Jean cover for Fables.


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Excellent Marcelo Frusin for Loveless.



He's been doing a great job on these covers.
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What a weird Neverwhere cover.


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Liam Sharp looks like he's doing a Quitely vibe for this Testament cover.



I like it.
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Massimo Carnevale had some big shoes to fill on Y The Last Man covers (JG Jones), and he has done the job quite well.


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HONORABLE MENTIONS

This Pachecho Superman cover is pretty darn good.



And this Patrick Gleason Robin rocks!



A really, really nice Tony DeZuniga Jonah Hex cover...



Finally, this JH Williams Prometha collection cover is awesome...


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TOP FIVE COVERS!
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5. This Doom Patrol cover by Brian Bolland is expertly done.



I can't wait to see if we have a Flex Mentallo trade!
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4. Very cool All Star Superman cover, but not one of Quitely's best.


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3. An absolutely brilliant Frank Miller cover.



A pun?!

Yes, a pun.

I am sorry.
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2. What an awesome Dave Gibbons Superman cover.



Gibbons can be amazing at times.
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1. I have often complained about James Jean covers recently lacking a certain inspired spark.

This Jack of Fables cover delivers that spark in spades.



Great cover idea, and executed flawlessly.
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Okay, that's it for me, folks!

Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and YOUR top five)!!

Read More

35 Comments:

Anonymous david said...

"Really?

MORE KEV?!?!?

Why?!?!?!"

I'm hoping it's because Ennis desperately wanted to write a stupedously kick ass comic to make up for the awfulness of the most recent Kev miniseries.

4/17/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

The lady getting Black Adam all sexed up is...

wait for it...

Isis.

4/17/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

The theme for this month's cover, it seems? CROTCHES AND ASSES.

4/17/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Is that comment about Andy Kubert looking like McDaniel and providing the insides of the book meant to be a compliment or a bad thing? Because someone drawing like McDaniel and doing the interiors sounds awesome to me.

4/18/2006 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

We've done McDaniel on Batman already.

And it sucked.

Hard.

Like, HARD.

Like, "Woah! This is the same guy who was so awesome on Nightwing?" hard.

4/18/2006 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Really? I only saw one issue of McDaniel's Batman and it looked okay to me. It was the one where he fought Nightwing.

What was the rest of the run like? Was it Phil Hester bad?

4/18/2006 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

It was just a mess. I'm reading it, expecting big things from McDaniel, because his Nightwing was so good, and instead, it basically ruined his career.

He was bumped off the book by Jim Lee, forcing McDaniel to take Superman, which was a TOTAL waste of his talents (Batman at least was a match on the face of it).

Then Richard Dragon. Then Robin. Now Green Arrow.

It's a mess.

Of course, at the same time, Nightwing currently has a crappy artist - but we couldn't have McDaniel come back to the book he was so good on, now could we?

Noooo...that would make far too much sense.

4/18/2006 01:37:00 AM  
Blogger Justin Davis said...

I agree with most of what you say, but some of it seems like crazy cuckoo talk.

The only thing that looks McDaniel-like on that Batman cover is the heavy inking. The anatomy styling is totally different.

I totally expected you to say something mocking about Batman's face on Bianchi's cover since it comes off looking awkward because Batman has no neck! Where's his neck?!

Ah, the Atom cover tackles one of your pet peeves. However, I'm at a loss at how to respond because I'm not sure what you want. Olivetti should have drawn him... less Asian looking? I like the cover. Kind of shows that just like white people who get drawn in many different ways in comics, so can Asian people. Or something. Actually, he looks a little like the guy who plays Jin on Lost to me.

Ha, Chiang drew Spectre with a goatee! Ha, ha! . . . doesn't look that bad after some adjustment. . .

Good god, why do people keep bring Major Force back? Is there some demand for him that I don't know about?

People don't seem to like Supernova's costume even though we barely get to see it here. What I notice more is that he has a mask covering his entire face. Besides the fact that there's probably someone we know underneath it, it made me think about how few DC heroes have done that.

Did everyone else know JSA was ending? I had no idea. And they chose to go out with a Gentleman Ghost story? .... Ooookay.

I hated Duncan Rouleau's art when I first saw it. Now, I'm quite fond of it. Actually, he did the art on some of my favorite Superman stories of the past few years.

The Steelfreeze Firestorm covers are awesome, and I have no idea how they don't make it into your top five.

I think creepy is the what they intended with Ion's star-filled face.

Did you see the line-up for interior art of the JLA book? Ed Benes, George Perez, Jim Lee, J.H. Williams, Gene Ha, Dick Giordano, Eric Wright, Tony Harris, Kevin Maguire, Dan Jurgens, Howard Porter, Luke McDonnell, Rags Morales, Ethan Van Sciver and Phil Jimenez. All those people and they go with Turner and J. Scott Campbell for covers? Some real missed opportunities there.

Again, how that Manhunter cover didn't make the top five, I don't know.

The Shadowpact cover is mimicking the first issue's cover.

A rat versus a luchadore? Awesome.

Flex Mentallo?! Yes! This can only raise hopes too high for a trade! Yay, I won't have them dashed at all!

I is stupid. I don't get the Frank Miller Batman pun.

Aaaaaand, I'm done.

4/18/2006 01:37:00 AM  
Anonymous HMM said...

I don't think the inking looks like Scott McDaniel either. McDaniel's work looks like he draws with a god damn sharpie on postcard sized paper, whereas that cover is clearly drawn using a normal pen. Also, anything he draws looks like a five minute sketch, whereas that cover actually has some detail.

And for the record, I wouldn't put Scott McDaniel on my top ten list of artists named Scott McDaniel. He ruins any book he's on.

4/18/2006 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Tim O'Neil said...

1. Why the hate for Phil Hester? I've bought a few books in my time just for his art...

2. You're dead wrong about the Catwoman cover. Not only the stand out of this month, but if there's a better cover on the racks anytime this year I'll be extremely surprised. The man can draw like a ouse on fire and he can make Catwoman sexier in her bathrobe than any other artist drawing her in a tiny bikini.

So there.

4/18/2006 04:51:00 AM  
Blogger ninjawookie said...

yeah catwoman should so be on top5

batman issue 600 was awesome, although tainted b the whole fugitive thing, but brubaker and mcdaniel pulled it together to make something cool out of it.

mcdaniel was ruined by hama (aqua suit shudder), and gross crossover madness brought on after the awesome NML

4/18/2006 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

Cheeks has an entry on his deviant art account that shows that teen titans go cover from inspiration to finished piece. It's pretty neat because he does a good job of using an illustration as inspiration without copying it line-for-line.

You can find it here: http://www.deviantart.com/view/31753821/

4/18/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger alan brown said...

For my money Catwoman and Fables are 1 and 2 respectively. Sometimes I wish they would print two variant covers, one clean and the other with the title, upc and other crap.
That should in no way be construed as supporting variant covers in general.

4/18/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

Put me down for the Andy Kubert, Scott McDaniel-esque cover, too. And if I recall correctly, it wasn't McDaniel that buried McDaniel's run on Batman - it was Larry Hama, who decided to make the book into a sunny campfest of cornball villains like Orca the Whalewoman. McDaniel's art would've gone great with nearly any writer who took a halfway standard approach to the title.

4/18/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Hama, McDaniel himself was doing a lot of the writing during that run, which led to Hama's exit.

4/18/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

It wouldn't surprise me that much if McDaniel had more power during that run than Hama, as McDaniel was at the peak of his popularity when he began Batman.

4/18/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

The point isn't whether McDaniel or Hama was to blame for the writing (although I don't blame Hama for trying to distance himself from that run). The point is that it was bad writing, not bad art, that was the problem on that run. McDaniel's art works pretty well on darker, more down-to-earth material, as opposed to the day-glo action figure stuff he was doing on his Batman run. So there's no reason to assume that Andy Kubert's taking a similar approach to Batman is a bad thing, unless Grant Morrison is going to bust out Orca and the aqua suit.

4/18/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger ninjawookie said...

So we're blaming who for the orca suit?

Actually if Grant Morrison did hypothetically bring the orca suit back in, it would be hilarious not to mention a kick in the balls (for whoever got paid out for introducing it in the first place) if it were really well recieved.

I'm sure it's in that sci fi closet somewhere.

4/18/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Bully said...

There ain't a single character who can be revealed to be that question mark to make this series a good idea.

But what if it's Vibe? What if it's Vibe?

4/18/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

I didn't get the Bat-pun either.

And I'm additionally defective for picking up absolutely no motion in that Gibbons Superman cover.

Wasn't there just recently a Batbook cover just like the Manhunter one? It's still nifty.

4/18/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Looking at that Superman cover by Pacheco, I find it interesting that he's homaging himself.

Will he sign it "after me"? ;)

4/18/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Sp said...

The "absolutely brilliant Frank Miller cover" is for Absolute Dark Knight. Don't feel bad, I didn't get it at first either.

Speaking of Frank Millar, I love that All-Star Wonder Woman has his initials tattooed on her inner thigh. I'm glad the editor was able to talk him out of the original cover concept, Wonder Woman's autographed clitoris.

And JSA is ending? I'm surprised. They just came out with JSA Classified, so I figured the parent magazine was doing pretty well. What a shame.

4/18/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

I'd be disappointed if Morrison didn't at least mention the aqua suit.

That Atom cover kinda looks like he was trying to reference the guy and transformation sequence from "The Next" (the Ultraman movie, not the comic mentioned above) only with more Byrne-y stylistic features. In fact he looks similar to the Lois Lane stalker from Byrne's recent Action run.

Helmet obscuring aside, the Hawkgirl cover stands out to me simply for making the character actually look Latina, or at least better at such than prior artists I've seen.

As for personal faves, I'd go with the Devilance 52 cover, the Robin cover, and all 3 Superman covers (action, All-star, and Superman).

4/18/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Anonymous SpiritGlyph said...

sp? Damn it, I meant spiritglyph.

Since I'm double-posting, here's a bonus comment: That ASS cover is my favorite so far. I just love the body language there. Look at Clark hiding behind Lex Luthor. He's not scared but definitely worried, and Lex is playing peacemaker. That's one damn expressive picture. Sure, Superman sitting on a cloud is a better concept, but this is just so well executed. Awesome.

4/18/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger J'onn J'onzz, Martian Manhunter said...

So is JSA classified going to outlive JSA? I had no idea it was ending either. There goes my only current mainstream DC book.

4/18/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Apodaca said...

I thought that Pacheco pose looked familiar.

I wonder if he took the shortcut or just unintentionally repeated himself?

4/18/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff R. said...

Prediction: JSA will be re-launched almost immediately after the last issue, as "Justice Society of America" or "Justice Society". The three-letter title was there in the first place to associate it with JLA, which is reverting to the full name. So why not revert the companion book?

(May take a few months off to line up a permanent creative team and/or launch with Meltzer's take on a JLA/JSA crossover, though.)

4/18/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Oh yeah, no doubt that it is going to be relaunched.

4/18/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Nobody said...

I also immediately thought of McDaniel when I first saw that Kubert image six weeks ago and compared it to Batman #600.

McDaniel on Batman wasn't as bad of an idea as McDaniel on Superman. I think his main problem was depicting Bats and Supes as basically the same size and body type as Nightwing. I remember liking most of his covers on Batman though. I think he's a good heir to Phil Hester on Green Arrow.

But does anybody remember McDaniel's old Batman/Daredevil crossover? That was awesome but I think he did his own inkwork (maybe someone can correct me).

4/19/2006 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

See!

Nobody gets me!

4/19/2006 03:34:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Derek Fisher inked McDaniel on the Batman/Daredevil crossover.

This fits right into the Lakers discussion from before!!!

4/19/2006 03:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

They announced that Johns was coming back to JSA not too long ago, so I guess they're canceling it and putting it on hiatus so he can find time in his schedule.

4/19/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger melvin p. mouse said...

I don't know why you loved some boring Brian Bolland and JLA Classified and JSA Classified covers, and disliked the Kubert Batman covers. The Andy Kubert one is prolly my favorite cover out of this bunch...

Then I read your opinions on Scott McDaniel in the commments...

there's no accounting for taste...

must be why I ddin't care for the Duncan Roleau cover you liked...

4/20/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

The Doom Patrol one isn't boring!!

The Justice Society one is kinda boring, though, which is why it's not top five or an honorable mention!

Same with the Classifieds!!

4/20/2006 06:01:00 PM  
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