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Top Five/Judging Books By Their Covers Catch-Up

As a sort of Top Five Month postscript, as well as catching up with the Judging Books By Their Covers, rather than do the four months worth of DC Comics as well as the two months worth of Marvel Comics, which would be tedious for me and I don’t think it would even be all that interesting for you folks to read four of these at once, I’m just going to post the Top Five covers for each month, so it’ll be then back to normal this upcoming month (and due to not doing catch-up anymore, November will be an expanded month!).


Top Five of DC’s July 2008 Covers (solicits here)


I think this Juan Doe is the coolest of all the Joker’s Asylum covers.

I am a sucker for covers like this Scott Kolins’ one where arrows are shooting at the protagonists like this!


Very cute cover by J. Bone, with a great level of detail.


Overall, this Cooke cover for Jonah Hex rules, but I dunno, it could be a bit less oblique.


I am a huge Mark Schultz fan, so I am glad that DC seems to continue to find covers for him to do.


A simple, yet evocative cover by J.H. Williams – a nice treat by DC giving us a new cover for this Batman: The Black Glove HC – especially since Williams already gave them a number of fine covers to work with.


I like how this Cooke cover for the next Spirit HC looks cool just on the face of it, but when you look deeper, it gets even cooler, and it is one of those rare covers that actually does entreat the viewer TO look closer.

An impressive visual feat by Cooke.

Top Five of DC’s August 2008 Covers (Solicits here)

First off, two special DIS-honorable mentions…

Was this Scooby Doo cover done in, like, MS Paint!?

Secondly, this Titans cover was so bad that they actually cancelled the book and re-solicited it with a different cover.

That’s usually not a good sign.


This is a very cute Ryan Sook Superman/Batman cover.

I love this Quitely All-Star Superman drawing as a drawing, but I don’t think it “pops” enough for it to be in the top five covers for this month. Can’t wait until the issue comes out, though!

Art Adams’ appreciation for apes/gorillas has got to be one of the most amusing comic artist peccadillos out there, doesn’t it?

I think it is actually quite charming that he is this forthright with liking something like gorillas/apes.

Sorta like Frank Cho and breasts!

Two strong Massimo Carnevale covers this month!

First off, he gets to put his stamp on early Y with this nice cover for the first volume of the Y hardcover collection.

Next, he gets to tell a whole lot of story with one cover image with his Northlanders cover.

Here is a nice Bill Sienkiewicz Joker cover for All Star Batman and Robin.


It’s a great cover concept for Scott Gross to work with, and he executes that good idea (why HASN’T there been a comic with these two racing before?) impeccably.

The effect they have on the roads is top rate.


This is where a standard cover format comes in handy, because occasionally, artists will “rebel” against that format, and it makes them stand out that much more for doing so.

This cover “pops” specifically BECAUSE Doug Mahnke chose to vary from the standard Final Crisis cover motif.


J. Bone has been absolutely nailing these Super Friends covers lately – he makes the book all-ages without talking down at all – it’s brilliant work.

Here’s another one where he does some intricate design and character work, all the while making it look like, well, child’s play.


There are times I can’t believe that these covers are by Bradstreet!

I liked the last issue’s cover, but I REALLY like this cover, especially his strong usage of negative space.

Eye-catching work by Bradstreet. More like this, Mr. Bradstreet, please!!


Stephane Roux was given a pretty awesome assignment here with this Birds of Prey cover – the Joker appearing in Birds of Prey again?

Story continues below

Such a confrontation needs an amazing cover, and luckily, Roux was quite up to the task, with this striking cover with just the right amount of twisted humor.

Top Five of DC’s September 2008 Covers (Solicits here)


Not a lot of covers stood out for me this month (some fine covers, just not standout ones).


Yeah, it’s just a dog posing, but come on, how often do you see covers with just a dog posing, let alone a Superman cover?

It looks cool, consarnit!


Very clever cover idea by Robert Pope and executed quite well.


I really dig the Mad Men-vibe Johnson went for with this 100 Bullets cover.

Nice work.


I like how James Jean captured the change in the book that is presumably going to happen post Fables #75.

And it is a cute cover, period!


Not as cute as this Sook Superman/Batman cover, though, where Sook manages to work the “Junior Leaguers” into the cover with a lot of style.

Top Five of Marvel’s September 2008 Covers (Solicits here)

Very cute Dave Bullock cover for this “Silver Age style” comic book mini-series.r

Another fun “movie poster” style cover by Steve Epting.

I am so happy that Sean Murphy is doing a Grant Morrison series – look how much style and cool this guy demonstrates in his art!

Another strong Gerald Parel cover – I love the collage effect here.

A very fun Patrick Scherberger cover.

I love how this Immonen Hellcat cover looks, but it perhaps is not the strongest cover image – he’s already done better in the earlier issues of this series.

Still, good stuff.


Can’t say that I’m normally a fan, but I dig this Deodato Wolverine cover a lot – he used the negative space of the cover brilliantly.


Kaare Andrews also uses the negative space nicely, only he also provides a cool looking visual, as well.


The “new” Dougie Braithwaite is a great sight to see.

A powerful and cool-looking Thor cover.


You might argue that this is just a pin-up cover, however, that’s not the case – these three heroes showing up together is a major part of Secret Invasion.

That, and it is an awesome shot of them by Gabriele Dell’Otto.


Marko Djurdjevic adds a great touch of quiet class to this Magneto Year One cover.

It may be a bit of a predictable angle to take, but Djurdjevic takes that angle and does wonders with it.

Top Five of DC’s October 2008 Covers (Solicits here)


Wow, a new Nick Cardy cover!!

Awesome! Great work by DC getting Cardy to do a new cover for the Bat Lash mini-series trade.

Cool Pat Gleason cover for Green Lantern Corps.

Another strong Massimo Carnevale cover.

He is quite consistent.

This Rags Morales Nightwing cover is a lot of fun.

Cute Joshua Middleton Supergirl cover (man, Cat Grant is not coming off great in the Superbooks, is she?).

Good cover by Cooke for the Spirit softcover, but I am shocked that it appears that he did not try to write anything on the ground in the rain.


Vixen looks odd and this cover idea was already basically done by JG Jones for a JLA cover, but otherwise, this is a really nice cover by Joshua Middleton for this Vixen mini-series.


Very cute cover idea by Aaron Lopresti – not as big of a fan as the execution.


J. Bone coming out with one of the scariest kiddy comic book cover you’ll ever see!


Love the look Sook gives Jimmy, as well as the implication on the cover that this is the type of life Jimmy Olsen lives – he has supervillains coming after him while he’s doing his work! Good storytelling.


Occasionally, I think Alex Ross’ manic looking covers work to great effect, and I think this Earth 1/Earth 2 match-up is one of them – his odd angles make the cover look like it is practically bursting with energy.

Top Five of Marvel’s October 2008 Covers (Solicits here)


Another nice drawing by Sean Murphy, but come on, man, it’s basically the same cover layout as LAST ISSUE!!!

I’ll keep it here because it IS still a cool-looking drawing, but come on, Murphy, mix things up a bit!

Really nice look to this JRjr Amazing Spider-Man cover.


Cute Ramos cover for Runaways, but I think it would be a much better image if we knew what Molly wanted to do INSTEAD of watching Chase play Guitar Hero, so I would make it clear what kind of DVD she has in her hand.


Yet another fun cover by Dave Bullock.

I think this one is actually a step up from #1.


Extremely simple, but still an effective cover by Steve Epting.


Another strong and evocative cover by Marko Djurdjevic.


The idea of Thor and Beta Ray Bill teaming up to kick Skrull behind may be such a cool idea that I am placing this Dougie Braithwaite cover too high, but I don’t think so, as it is awesome.

Those are the top fives! Agree? Disagree? Let me know! And share your top fives!


never mind the cover what about the title for that Iron Fist special ? Orson Randall and the Death Queen of California ? Superb.

The Teen Titans features one of the most awkwardly drawn kisses I have ever seen. I need a “History Eraser” button.

Whoa, when are they starting the Y hardcovers? The second I saw that I tried heading over to Amazon for naught..

Cooke’s SPIRIT s/c is, I believe, the h/c cover sans “Spirit” treatment wrap, which is to say, the dust cover with the s-p-i-r-i-t letters punched out. You singled out the v2 h/c at the top of the list; its dust cover does the same thing.

You used the word ‘Cute’ 8 times, which to me sums up the most disturbing trend in comics these days.

Too much cute art.

Pedro Bouça

August 5, 2008 at 6:19 am

There has been a cartoon episode with Roadrunner racing Speedy. Seriously!

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Like Pedro said, Road Runner races Speedy in a 1965 cartoon called “The Wild Chase”. It has a lot of recycled animation, and the potential isn’t realized very well, but it does exist. Also, you can watch it at AOL Video –


I kinda dig the “MS Paint” Scooby Doo cover. It reminds me of animation background art, or the work of Josh “Shag” Agle.

Okay… ANY cover by Alex Ross featuring Power Girl is brilliant in my books…


Isn’t that Jade at the bottom-right? I thought she had been ret-conned into New Earth and killed (badly) by the new Infinity Inc in Countdown… Or is this an un-ret-conned Earth 2?? (Ret-ret-conned????)

So we’ll have JSA vs JSA or JSA vs All-Star Squadron?!?! or JSA vs Infinity Inc?

OR… Infinty Inc vs. Infinity Inc… ????

Have to stop, my head is hurting now…

Andrew Collins

August 5, 2008 at 1:10 pm

The new JSA Annual explains what you’re asking. Power Girl was shunted off to the old Earth-2 by Gog where the pre-Crisis Earth-2 characters still existed, such as the Helena Wayne Huntress, the grown-up Robin, Silver Scarab, Fury, etc. Jade included. Though the Annual ended on an interesting cliffhanger that makes the reader think that not all is as it seems on this Earth-2…

I just want to say how happy I am that “Judging Books By Their Covers” will be back in all its glory soon. I was afraid we’d lost it…

Many thanks Brian! Looking forward to it.

I also missed this feature for the last few months. Even if you don’t plan on writing comments for all the months you missed, is there any chance of just posting all the covers? It’s nice to browse them all in one place without having to click on a ton of thumbnails or search through the publisher’s sites.

You used the word ‘Cute’ 8 times, which to me sums up the most disturbing trend in comics these days.

Too much cute art.

I don’t think there’s too much, because, as you note, it came up eight times, but in SIX MONTHS’ worth of comic covers!!

And that’s with me highlighting the ones I liked – most of the covers are not cute! :)

Just add me to the list of peeps who are very happy this feature’s back. It’s one of my faves.

Sean Murphy. Hell yeah.

Cannot wait for Warcop.

Had to open up a notepad file for this…

– That Nightwing / Hawkman BatB kicked so much ass. Great issue, and it’s nice to see that Kolins is apparently out of his slump.

– re: Titans cover: … … (wait! must not be distracted by boobs…. …. … crap!) As bad as it is, I think that would probably sell very well as a poster. I don’t get why Winick wants to dial all the characters’ love lives back to 1986 or so, but whatever.

– If Superman / Batman is going to adapt the JLU ep where they’re turned into kids, I’m all for it.

– I always thought that the last All-Star Superman cover should somehow be more iconic than that one is.

– There needs to be a Flash guest-spot in that Looney Tunes book

– re: Mahnke’s Supes cover – nitpicking, but why isn’t the “S” on the back of the cape coloured? Has that changed and I just never noticed?

– The Super Friends cover where they’re breaking out of the cage is basically “why Aquaman is always disrespected”: everyone else is doing their personal gimmick to break free, while Aquaman is just sort of sliding through the bars. That’s the best gimmick he’s got?

– Anyone want to put money on the fact that there won’t be a Cap movie poster as good as the covers? I know Iron Man got one, but that seemed like a one-off.\\\

– Kudos for actually writing the articles on that Supergirl cover. I hate it when stuff like that is just gibberish, especially on a cover with newspaper text.

– Geez, the Earth 2 JSA is overmatched.

Awesome. So happy this is back. We don’t always agree, but it is always good to judge a book by it’s cover.

The Mad Monkey

August 5, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Green Lantern Corps: Yes…nice cover by Gleason. However…weird/creepy looking Guy Gardner.

Wonder Woman: Lopresti trying to invoke Norman Rockwell.

Captain America: The cover is not as “extremely simple” when it’s looked at under more scrutiny. It’s raining (very subtly drawn) in the background. The background (even when you don’t look at the rain) really adds some nice depth to the cover. Kinda like what Djurdjevic is doing with his Magneto covers…

Dougie Brathwaite: I remember when he was a newcomer on The Punisher. I liked his odd style then and I really like his growth (very heavy Alex Ross influence) as an artist now. Since he adopted this style, he has done no wrong in my P.O.V.

Alex Ross: He still does great work. But, to me, he is becoming a bit of a hack now.

I wish Sienkiewicz would throw his computer away and just do some ink drawings.

You’re SOOOO wrong about Quitely’s All-Star cover.

“Lex Luthor powered-up and razing the city, backed by a tyrant sun, and Superman has nothing to fight back with but a ray-gun.”

How does that not pop?

It’ll be a great panel inside the comic, I’m sure.

You only need to compare it to some of his great previous covers to show how they have their most prominent images at the foreground of the cover, not in the background, like this one.

Thanks for these.


Are the new ones due up soon?

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