Each month, hundreds of comics are released to stores for the hungry masses of fans around the world. To stand out on the shelves, you have to put the great art up front. You can judge a book by its cover.
Welcome back to our continuing monthly column, or at least it would be if we hadn’t missed July. If there is a story to be gleaned from this month’s covers, it’s all about the ladies – and they seem to be in control. It’s Batgirl vs Batwoman! In Before Watchmen, Ozymandias is a little tied up, while Captain Marvel #2 is doing it old-school. The cover girls of Catwoman #12 are also going retro, while It-Girl loves us despite being without her Atomics.
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Avenging Spider-man #11 (Marvel) – Artist: Chris Samnee
Chris Samnee is doing some exceptional art, both on covers such as these and interiors for the current run of Daredevil. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of Spider-man, this is a classic touching moment between Peter and his Aunt May.
Batgirl #12 (DC Comics) – Artist: Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Catfight! Or is that Batfight? Hong Kong’s Stanley Lau is known for blending East and West in his various work for DC, Capcom and Square Enix. Despite the impossible angles of the limbs and fists, there is something undeniably cool about this cover.
Batman #12 (DC Comics) – Artist: Greg Capullo
Speaking of undeniably cool, how about Batman getting supercharged? We’ve run out of hyperbole for the Scott Snyder run of Batman, and Greg Capullo’s covers. Just kick back and worship it.
Before Watchmen #2 (DC Comics) – Artist: Jae Lee
We may disagree with the whole Before Watchmen thing, but Jae Lee is so hot right now and so are his covers. Regardless of whether you have an interest in this series, this cover immediately sells it with sex and a hint of violence. Mission: accomplished.
Captain Marvel #2 (Marvel) – Artist: Ed McGuinness
The new Captain Marvel is inspired by the classic Second World War “We Can Do It” posters featuring Rosie the Riveter rolling up her sleeves. This strong-armed woman is all her own woman though, representing a strong new face for the Marvel Universe.
Catwoman #12 (DC Comics) – Artist: Guillem March
Artist Guillem March has copped some flack for his backbreaking cover to next month’s Catwoman #0, but he redeems himself with this early 20th century inspired piece of art. From the muted colours to March signing his name as a tattoo, this is one of our favourites.
Daredevil #16 (Marvel) – Artist: Chris Samnee
It’s that Chris Samnee again! Taking minimalism to its natural next step, Samnee’s simple lines depict the massive gulf – and the form of it – that now exists between Matt and Foggy. Says more in this one shot that most comics do in 22 pages.
Fables #120 (DC/Vertigo) – Artist: Joao Raus
Every month, Raus manages to find new ways of dropping our jaws to the floor. This month, it’s with stained glass. Lovely.
Fairest #6 (DC/Vertigo) – Artist: Adam Hughes
While others are titillating or sending super-heroines to chiropractors, Adam Hughes takes his subject Sleeping Beauty and gives her a simple grace.
Flash #12 (DC Comics) – Artist: Francis Manapul
Nobody is safe from nymphs this month, and not even the Flash can outrun them. Francis Manapul is the reason to keep looking at the Flash each month.
Hawkeye #1 (Marvel) – Artist: David Aja
This was one of the strongest debuts this month, and Aja’s magnificent artwork is unquestionably perfect, suiting this gritty world of the New York streets. The minimalist cover catches the eye with simple concentric circles, and what is essentially a tricolour cover.
Hoax Hunters #2 (Image) – Artist: Tristan Jones
We haven’t been reading this book, and really know nothing about it. But how often do you see crows chasing an astronaut?
It Girl and the Atomics #1 (Image) – Artist: Mike Allred
Mike Norton does a terrific job of capturing the spirit of the Allreds on the interiors, but it is great to see Mike and Laura Allred bringing life to It Girl once again. The full cover is done as a glossy magazine, making It Girl something of a pin-up model.
National Comics: Looker #1 (DC Comics) – Artist: Guillem March
There are two good reasons why we chose this cover for the month…and they are ‘Guillem’ and ‘March.’
Planetoid #3 (Image) – Artist: Ken Garing
Another book we know very little about, but how can one argue with a blu frog thing inside an industrial complex?
Red Hood and the Outlaws #12 (DC Comics) – Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
We can help but be reminded somewhat of the Drew Struzan style of classic poster art from the 1980s with this poster, playing more like a cinema ad than a comic book cover. This is epic.
Saga #6 (Image) – Artist: Fiona Staples
If the story wasn’t so captivating every month, then Fiona Staples artwork would be worth the purchase price alone. This stunning cover demonstrates everything that is great about the book, balancing the sprawling saga against the delicate nature of the precious life it is in awe of. Beautiful.
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #14 (Marvel) – Artist: Michael Komarck
Michael Komarck’s cover oozes coolness from its very pores, taking the coolest of cool characters in Iron Man and throwing him in a god-like pose in front of a whole lot of cool S.H.I.E.L.D. tech. If that isn’t cool enough, then there’s a cool explosion in the background. That’s just cool.
X-Men #33 (Marvel) – Artist: Jorge Molina
Jorge Molina, who simply says that he did “the cover with pencils and inks and the colors in Photoshop”, has also placed Storm inside a giant skull with tubes. It’s probably a good note to end on for the month.