One Cover To Rule Them All…
“Well hey there fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to another exhilarating episode of Comic Cover Of The Week. And this week we have a cornucopia of cool and collectively creative covers for your decidedly discerning delectation”
Before we begin, picture this scene… yours truly hasn’t darkened the doorsteps of my local comic book emporium for just over a month due to circumstances beyond my control (look, someone had to stop that rampaging horde of evil ninjas, right!?) So, there I am crossing the treasured threshold of my favourite purveyor of superheroic saga’s, when the proprietor looks me grimly in the eye – “been awhile Bruce” he proffers ” you may want to sit down, the shock of your pull list may take you back a bit” he continued with a wry glint in his eye, as he realises that he may be able to shut early even if I only buy a modicum of my haul. From my back pocket I could hear my, near sentient, wallet groan and sigh when the inevitable mountain of comics slammed down on the shop’s counter with such force, that the planet almost tipped off it’s axis and hurtled into the sun! There were quite a few, that’s for sure…
So let us begin by careening into a chasm containing a cavalcade of cleavage clad comic-covers starring the delightfully delectable and exquisitely enchanting – Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.
I buy as many variants of the voluptuous vixen vamp’s monthly adventures as I can possibly seize my hands upon… I am a massive fan of the charming Cassandra Peterson alter ego… I mean, you can never have too much Elvira in your life!
Next up is this captivating Catwoman variant (actually based upon a golden age original – Batman#42 from 1947) by the stunning Stanley (Artgerm) Lau. Lau has become one of my absolute favourite cover artists over the years (joining other greats such as Amanda Conner, Jenny Frisson and Adam Hughes) Stanley is one of the best artists working in comics today as you can see for yourself with this rousing rendition of the classically costumed Selina Kyle (an extra bonus, as this is my personal most beloved costume of the calculatingly cool and capricious cat-burglar)
All these covers and more (oh so many more…) are available at your local comic-book emporium right now! best get there quick before my meddling with the Earth’s axis plummets us into the abyss!!
Batman scribe mainstay – the sensational Scott Snyder has been weaving titanic tales of Gotham’s grim guardian since 2011, when he took over the reigns of DC’s flagship title – Detective Comics. This marked the beginning of Snyder’s exclusivity deal with DC, that very same year he also penned the sterling – Batman: Gates Of Gotham mini-series, and then in September 2011 fully took control of the Caped Crusader’s vengeance driven chronicles by becoming the backbone of the New 52 reboot of Batman, through which he introduced, the now iconic, Court Of Owls and the character of Talon.
For the past couple of years, Batfans have been teased by the outlandish image of the Dark Knight crossing endless ocean of red sands, as he treks across an unknown desert, his only companion… the Joker’s severed, but still very much alive, head! And finally, with the release this month of Batman: Last Knight On Earth, we finally get a glimpse of the outlandish premise that initial image teased us with, and fortunately (not that we believed any different, I mean it’s Scott Snyder after all) it’s Bat-tastic, and was well worth the excruciating wait.
Alongside artistic auteur – Greg Capullo, Snyder has created yet another Batman masterwork, which is apparently to be his swan song (Bat-Song?) with the character, whether that means forever or just in the chronology of his own personally scribed Batman timeline, is unknown at this point.
Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum, young, sane… but, it appears, he was never The Batman! Thus begins this unusual odyssey for the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC Universe. As he attempts to piece together his now mysterious past, he must untangle the root of this frightful future and ultimately track down an indescribable force that has seemingly destroyed the world as he once knew it…
Another breathtaking Bat tale from the well established team of Snyder and Capullo, the first issue effortlessly sets up an unfamiliar world, one that appears to be bereft of the heroes from the past, and even the Batman himself seems… different, though all will be (possibly) revealed as the marvellous mini-series continues its anachronistic arc. (Oh, and did we mention it has a talking severed Joker head accompanying the dark and surly one on his travels? we did? well it was definitely worth mentioning again… a bloody, talking, decapitated, joker, head!!)
Warning: Astonishing Alliteration and Ironic Innuendo Ahoy…
“It’s raining Elvira’s, hallelujah, it’s raining Elvira’s…” Ah, okay, it isn’t actually raining Elvira (unfortunately!) but this is literally the second Comic Cover Of The Week in a row dedicated to our ferociously favourite, tenaciously teasing tantalising temptress – Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark!
That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction, Cassandra Peterson’s awesome alter ego – voluptuous vamp Elvira is back in a brand new mini-series brought to by the dynamically detonating – Dynamite Comics! with this brand spanking new series (as you may have surmised from the title) poking (good-natured) fun at Guillermo Del Toro’s recent hit movie – The Shape Of Water.
“The Mistress Of The Dark lands the leading role in a touching art film about human/gill monster romance (!?) but there’s something decidedly fishy about her co-star. Is there an Oscar in her future, or is the director Billy Bullworth interested in spawning something more than an Academy Award winning movie?”
Competing compellingly with Elvira’s previous mini-series, the saucy and spooky Shape Of Elvira also boasts a cavalcade compendium of cleavage clad comic-book covers that reaches a combustible crescendo with no less than eight extraordinary variant covers!!
The first issue of Elvira’s newest astonishing adventure is available at your local comic-book emporium right now! If you’re a fan of Cassandra Peterson’s raunchy, racy, ribald and generally risque alter-ego then dive right on in, and tell her Precinct1313 sent you (oh, and could you get her phone number for me whilst you’re there!?)
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of Comic Cover Of The Week, and an extra special welcome to our continuing “Women’s History Month Spectacular” a bombastic blogging event set up by the tantalisingly talented Cupcakes and Machetes.
Supergirl’s more recent adventures since her DC Rebirth renewal have been rather awe inspiring, as the creative teams have foregone a lot of what constitutes the typical cape and cowl comic book hero tropes, and have been focusing their efforts on Kara’s trials and tribulations as a teenager and alien visitor. The stories have been much more intimate and slow burn than out and out action and conflict, and with the Girl of Steel finding herself back in mainstream public consciousness thanks mainly to the amazing CW television series, Superman’s Kryptonian cousin is soaring higher than she ever has.
Diversity has been at the forefront of Kara’s comic book adventures, with DC Comics evolving along with the world around them to spotlight and champion characters from across a much broader spectrum of gender, race, and ethnic heterogeneity.
In fact Supergirl #19 steers itself away from the principal narrative of Kara Zor-El and focuses its attention on Lee Serrano, a brand new non-binary character who is struggling with their emerging identity crisis, bullying from their student peers, and an increasing anxiety about revealing their gender quandary to their parents, this topical storyline is deftly handled by writer Steve Orlando with an extremely sensitive and compassionate take. Lee is initially presented as androgynous up until the point of their coming out in two sequences, once with Supergirl and secondly to Lee’s parents. It’s an emotional and fantastically wrought piece by the book’s creators and is a heartfelt tale that sits perfectly with what we have come to expect from the ongoing Supergirl monthly comic series.
‘In his search to write a CatCo piece on the truth about Supergirl, Ben Rubel interviews a young kid named Lee Serrano, who recently became close friends with the Girl of Steel. As Lee struggles with their parents and school bullies for acceptance as non-binary, Supergirl is caught between punching her way through the problem, and standing behind Lee as a symbol of hope’
Supergirl #19 is available right now. This stunning variant cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau is sure to be in short supply, so why not don your cape and red boots and super speed your way over to your nearest comic book emporium, before it disappears into the phantom zone forever…
“Why do you do this to me DC… why!?” *shakes fist angrily at sky* “I mean, don’t I already buy enough of your monthly comics, trades, statues, t-shirts, action figures, posters, toys etc, without you tempting me with yet another astonishing piece of cover art on a title that isn’t even included in my mammoth monthly haul!”
Oh hi there, you may have caught me having a slight rant there… sorry about that, but you see I have just got back from my bi-monthly visit to the local comic-book emporium to pick up my staggeringly huge pile of monthly titles (I actually buy so many that whenever the shop’s proprietor sees me coming, he smiles with contented glee at the prospect of closing the shop early because I have almost wiped him out of DC merchandise… again!) Now, usually after handing over my life savings to the comic-book guy, I peruse the shelves before leaving, and what do I spot… a sensational Starfire cover on this months Teen Titans, dammit, it’s Starfire which means I am under an obligation to buy it… *sobs into wallet*
Don’t get me wrong, I really do like the Teen Titans, but I just don’t have enough money, time, or space to buy everything, so certain monthlies I have to begrudgingly let go, and Titans is one of those… yet, I love the character of Starfire so much, that I am predisposed to buy literally everything that she’s involved in. Luckily this specific Titans issue is a standalone title, a one shot story, meaning there is no need to read the previous fifteen issues to understand what in X’Hal is going on… so, phew!
The other reason, apart from the sterling cover that made me HAVE to buy this particular Titans issue, is the fact that one of her co-creators… the legendary Marv Wolfman is the writer for this issue, and ooh, it’s a doozy, believe me…
An unseen villain has taken over the citizens of San Francisco with one target in mind… Starfire! Can Kori and her teammates figure out a cure for the masses before they lose control of their minds and bodies forever? Find out in this one shot epic by the mythical Marv Wolfman!
Starfire, Teen Titans and all images are copyright: DC Comics.
Welcome, my comic collecting cohorts, to another episode of Comic Cover Of The Week, and once again we bask in the illuminating magnificence of Jenny Frison’s incredible artistic talent.
DC Comics’ Wonder Woman Rebirth series has been a revelation since its 2016 relaunch, the twice monthly title has been one of the most beautifully crafted and emotionally absorbing runs in Diana’s long and varied history. Enhancing Greg Rucka’s initial story arc were the vivacious visuals courtesy of Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott, with each and every panel a masterpiece in its own right.
Rucka’s epic “Truth and Lies” saga came to a close in issue #25 after its award winning run, with the initial team of superstar creators leaving the book to move onto other projects for DC. And though the sacred duties for guiding our favourite Amazon warrior Princess have now fallen into the capable hands of Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo, one of the original artistic architects is still onboard with the title, the fantastic Jenny Frison.
Jenny has been the variant cover artist for Wondy’s rebirth since issue #7, taking over duties from Frank Cho who sensationally quit after apparent ‘artistic differences’ with series writer Greg Rucka. Frison’s variant covers have been breathtaking, beautifully rendered paragons of artistic endeavour and this month’s issue is yet another paradigm of grandeur, and quite possibly my favourite piece from the talented artist yet.
Wonder Woman #27 continues the “Heart Of The Amazon” tale and finds someone close to Diana being the architect behind the recent attacks on her and her friends… but what has this person learned about her powers that she never even knew herself?
Wonder Woman Rebirth #27 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
The Bat, The Cat… And Wedding Bells!
Where exactly do Superheroes get married anyway?… mmmmmm, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and this week our splendiferous spotlight of excellence falls upon Batman Rebirth #24. This illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by those ceaseless composers of comic-book craft – Tom King, Danny Miki and David Finch.
Writer Tom King sure knows how to weave a compelling tale or two, it has to be said, his run on the the Rebirth Batman title has been nothing less than astonishing. His prodigious writing talents run the gamut of horror, thriller, good old fashioned heroics and comedy… narrative-wise, he really is the King (pun most definitely intended!)
Batman #24 is an emotionally charged issue from beginning through to emotive end, the Bat, the Cat and wedding bells? it’s certainly a possibility as Gotham’s grim guardian sensationally gets down on one knee to propose to the feisty feline felon known as Catwoman. So will this mean a happy denouement to the trials and tribulations of the dark and scary one’s overtly complicated and melancholic life? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, this is the Batman we’re talking about here, when has his life ever involved anything more than tragedy and vicissitude.
“Aftermath!” Gotham City is at peace… but a war is coming. Armed with the terrifying knowledge gained from the mysterious button, Batman must prepare for the coming storm by making a proposition to one of his enemies… one that may change everything for the Dark Knight and his allies.”
Batman #24 is available at your local comic book emporium right now.
The original Dark Knight Returns saga by Frank Miller was a defining moment for The Batman, Miller’s alternate take on the much loved Superhero cast the character in an even more extreme grim, gritty and violent setting, with the caped crusader himself a dour and sullen character whose inner demons continually haunt him as the weight of age and a life of brutal violence takes its toll. We follow an ageing Bruce Wayne as he struggles with these psychological demons, and attempts to hold back his rage and inefficacy through alcohol addiction and suicidal abandon of his life through varying extreme motor sports.
Miller’s classic 80’s series, alongside classics – Watchmen and V For Vendetta, shook up an atrophying comic book industry and presented a much more adult and psychologically emotional depth to Superhero comics, defining the future of the industry in a monumental way.
Miller returned to his raison d’etre in the 2001 follow up mini series The Dark Knight Strikes Again, yet, unlike its groundbreaking predecessor, this was not favourably received by fans or critics alike (myself included) the book was little more than a parody of previous events, and Miller’s artwork had taken a severe downturn in quality.
Jump forward 14 years and Dark Knight III: The Master Race debuted, the newest chapter in the alternative Batverse, and it’s been… mostly OK, I guess, unfortunately the original series was such a phenomenon that any subsequent take has fared rather badly, unable to match the originals magnificence.
That said, there have been some defining moments (mainly visual) in this ongoing series that have certainly taken the breath away from this particular Batfan, and the gorgeous Bill Sienkiewicz variant cover is one of those marvellous moments. It evokes so beautifully a man haunted by his past, a broken figure who has ultimately accepted his failing to protect the city and people he loves, yet will fight on even though it will probably mean his own demise… this image, to me, defines The Batman irrevocably, and contains more emotional substance than both the second and third chapters of the Dark Knight trilogy put together.
“Feetal’s Gizz” why didn’t anyone think of this pernicious pairing before now (OK, I admit, it didn’t even cross my mind until I saw the previews for this latest issue) but the Main Man and the Mistress of Mayhem teaming up is a match made in heaven (actually, in their particular case, Hell) That’s right my DC Comics’ loving compatriots, Harley Quinn and Lobo are together at last, and it’s as unpredictable, chaotic and crazy as you could imagine… which is great!
Now I’m sure that by now, even if you aren’t a huge fan of reading comics (tell me that ain’t so) you all know who the hellacious Harley Quinn is, but maybe you have never crossed paths with the invincible, space biking Czarnian psychotic Lobo, well never fear… the Precinct is here, and you can read up on the Main Man’s troubled history right here… phew! are you still with us after that briefly violent respite into Lobo’s malevolently malign backstory, you are!? In that case you will love this delectably dangerous duo’s teaming, and there is also icing on this deliciously depraved cake in the form of artistic auteur Simon Bisley!
British artist Simon Bisley is the person most people think of when referring to Lobo, thanks to his stellar work on the character throughout the 90’s, alongside Keith Giffen they made Lobo a household name to comic book aficionado’s across the globe. ‘It’s good to be bad’ was pretty much their mantra, and Lobo is so bad, he makes Harley seem (almost) angelic in comparison!
This book contains so much toilet humour, sexual innuendo, extreme ultra violence and offensive material that it probably shouldn’t be read by anyone… well anyone who is offended by such things, the rest of us should just dive on into a fantastically funny comic brought to us by that dynamically delightful writing duo Amanda Conner (who also drew the classic cover) and Jimmy Palmiotti, once more showing us that as far as comedic storytelling in comic books is concerned, they are the unequivocal vituosi of the art.
“Lobo’s back, the main man and Harley Quinn have a lot in common – motorcycles and mayhem for starters, so it’s long past time they found each other! This could be the start of a fraggin’ beautiful friendship… or they could destroy the planet. Or both! it can be two things!”
Harley’s Little Black Book #6 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Brought to you by – Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Simon Bisley… go and fraggin’ buy it, you don’t want Lobo to find out you didn’t!!
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover of The Week, and this week’s illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by, superlative scribe Scott Lobdell, and kingly Kenneth Rocafort. The Red Hood and the Outlaws Rebirth series has, thus far, been fantastic, Lobdell’s intense interactions between the offbeat triumvirate of Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro are definitely the highlight of the series.
Lobdell’s cracking characterisations are equally matched by Rocafort’s amazing artwork. We have been huge fans of Mr Rocafort’s peerless mastery of pen and pencil since we first discovered his work on the original 2011 Red Hood and the Outlaws series, it’s the little details he puts into each and every panel, in fact the art is so busy and complex, we do have to wonder how in Tartarus does he get the time to illustrate a complete issue, each… and every… month, the man is a machine!
This issue kicks off the “Who Is Artemis” storyline, as we catch up with our favourite band of justice seeking miscreants in a Gotham City bar, on the trail of ominous Bat-Villain, Cornelius Stirk. The majority of the comic takes place within said bar, and revolves around a conversation between Jason (Red Hood) and Artemis, as she regales her crime fighting colleague with her rather colourful history in Amazon lore.
The synergy between Jason and Artemis is ably captured by Lobdell this issue, especially Jason’s idiosyncratic personality. The quirky banter between our two leads makes for an exceptionally fun read as we explore Artemis background, and the reasons behind her (ongoing) search for the legendary Bow of Ra. And just when you think the issue couldn’t possibly get any better, we get a guest appearance from Artemis’ Amazon sister, Wonder Woman!
Red Hood and the Outlaws #8 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’ and this week’s illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by the astonishing Amanda Conner. Conner is, and always shall be one of our favourite artists here in the depths of the Precinct’s colossal comic crypts, her peerless mastery of pen and pencil is almost unmatched in the industry, her alluring artwork always oozes emotion and style, and her character’s facial expressions are worthy of the great Keith Giffen himself.
Justice League vs Suicide Squad is the first major storyline event since DC’s Rebirth relaunch, with the titular team up of the world’s greatest superheroes finally discovering the existence of Amanda Waller’s Task Force X (Suicide Squad) the government sponsored team of supervillains and disgraced superheroes who perform covert black ops missions off the radar, and are kept under control through an implanted micro explosive lodged in their brains.
Issue #3 finds the Justice League imprisoned in Belle Reve penitentiary by Amanda Waller who delights in telling the captured Leaguers of the crisis revolving around them. The Joshua Williamson penned mini-series has been a delight thus far, and the interior visuals by Jesus Merino are fantastically well realised and at times spectacular to behold. It’s also awesome to see the return of some of my very favourite villains including Maxwell Lord, Killer Frost and the Main Man himself Lobo! This really is required reading.
Justice League vs Suicide Squad is available at your local comic book emporium right now.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to new comics Wednesday, and with it comes a slew of classic covers to obsess over by some of the medium’s most illustrious illustrators. But with so many cool covers available each week how on earth do we pick just one for the honour of featuring in our weekly highlight… we don’t, because this week, you do, my celebrated comic contingents.
Before we get to the most important part, your vote, let’s take a look at our heroic hopefuls that are currently squaring up for this blistering battle-royale…
Superman #10 teams together the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder, with the Man Of Tomorrow and the Boy Of Steel in an awe inspiring adventure aptly called “In The Name Of The Father.” The cracking cover is finely wrought by Marvellous Mick Gray and perfectionist Pat Gleason.
Harley Quinn #7
Harley Quinn #7 brings a colossal conclusion to Harl’s punk rock escapades as it finds our irascible heroine, and her bandmates way too deep on their undercover assignment to take down a brutal gang of thieves and murderers, in a tale entitled “Eat To The Beat.” This illuminating issue’s cover is brought to you by the always astounding Amanda Conner.
Green Arrow #10
Green Arrow #10 follows Oliver Queen’s new Trans-Pacific Railway, an undersea vehicle that symbolises world peace, on its maiden voyage… but it seems not everyone is enamoured by Ollies olive branch to humanity as the Ninth Circle attempt to stage a high profile assassination onboard the luxury liner. Luckily Green Arrow, Black Canary and John Diggle are onboard as stowaways in a terrific tale titled “Murder On The Empire Express.” The iridescent issue cover is brought to you by jaunty Juan Ferreyra.
Bombshells #19 brings back our fave team of fighting females ‘The Batgirls’ as they take on the malevolent shadow known as The Reaper, to thwart his attempts to exact vengeance on Harvey Dent, Hugo Strange, Killer Frost and The Penguin. The cosmic cover is brought to you by the astonishing Ant Lucia.
Which of the four do you favour my fellow fanatics of fantastic fiction? cast your valiant votes below…
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’ and this week’s wonderfully wrought cover is brought to you by the fantabulous Frank Cho.
Wonder Woman Rebirth has been a rather wondrous soft reboot of DC Comics’ premier Superheroine. After nearly 75 years in print, Diana’s history has become rather convoluted, in comparison to her Trinity stablemates – Batman & Superman, the amazing Amazon’s past has been, at times, in conflict with itself. Is she the daughter of Zeus? or was she formed of clay and brought to life by a pantheon of Greek gods? These questions and many more have been asked by the fans over the last seven and a half decades of her virtual existence.
Her byzantine history is finally being definitively addressed through DC’s ‘Rebirth’ a soft reboot of their entire universe of characters, that will finally provide an answer to those many questions posed by her faithful fans.
The Rebirth series is split into two alternating titles, written by the groundbreaking Greg Rucka, with rotational art duties performed by nifty Nicola Scott and luminous Liam Sharp. Wonder Woman Rebirth expertly focuses on two halves of her life, her ongoing adventures during the modern era and her ‘Year One’ origin story.
Wonder Woman #6 finds the awesome Amazon encountering the world outside her paradise home of Themyscira for the first time, alongside her cicerone, Steve Trevor. Unable to understand the language or customs of these outsiders, Diana’s day becomes increasingly embroiled in mishap and misunderstanding.
Wonder Woman Rebirth #6 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
This week’s wonderfully wrought comic cover celebrates not only the absolutely astonishing artwork of Eber Ferreira & Eddy Barrows, but also the reversion of Detective Comics back to its original numbering. Detective Comics first appeared in 1937, but it was its twenty seventh issue that has become the most important of its seminal run, the first appearance of the Masked Manhunter himself – The Batman.
When DC Comics rebooted its Universe in 2011 with the ‘New 52’ they renumbered all of their issues back to #1’s. Before this back pedal of numbering, Detective had reached the almost incomparably immense issue #881, with the oncoming of DC’s recent ‘Rebirth’ which aims to reinsert the legacy of DC’s long and varied comic history, they have decided to revert the numbering of their two original and most popular comic books – Detective & Action Comics (which itself goes back to #957, tantalisingly close to issue #1,000!)
Detective Comics 934 finds the Batman attempting to bring together all of Gotham’s Guardians into one cohesive unit of crime-fighting badassery. A rebirth for the classic Bat-Family of old that sees the return of beloved characters like Stephanie Brown as the Spoiler and former Batgirl Cassandra Cain under her new identity of Orphan. Throw in the fiery haired vigilante Batwoman, wayward zealot Azrael and the Caped Crusader’s loyal sidekick Red Robin, and you end up with an almost unbeatable team of spandex clad heroes that will have the Supervillains of Gotham running for the proverbial hills!
Detective Comics will start shipping twice monthly from June 08, beginning with issue #934. Written by: James Tynion IV. Art and cover by: Eber Ferreira & Eddy Barrows. Variant cover by: Rafael Alburquerque.