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CSBG Archive

Judging (DC’s April) Books By Their Covers

DC’s April solicits have been up for awhile now, so let’s make some prejudgments based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgments, don’t we?).

Let’s begin!
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I don’t know if Ursa is really famous enough for this cover to work the way it is intended. You know, like, “Oh man, it’s URSA!!!”

Otherwise, though, it’s a strong Andrew Robinson cover for Action Comics.
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Guillem March has already established himself a bit as a fellow who likes to draw some top-heavy characters, hasn’t he?

Still a pretty good Azrael cover, though.
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Ladrönn is such a great artist, so I’m disappointed when he comes up with bland covers like this Arkham Asylum one-shot.

This would be a boring looking drawing if it was an interior page, let alone the cover of the comic!!
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He gets slightly more stylized with this Man-Bat cover.

It is a step up.
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I think it would be awesome if Squire was the new Batman.

While I dunno if I like the idea of a triptych for such a big mini-series for DC, Tony Daniel does a cooler looking cover here at least for the second part of The Battle for the Cowl.

It’s quite odd, though, how Catwoman is in the same pose as Damian – almost exactly, reallly.
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Perhaps we’re not getting the whole story on these Ladrönn Battle for the Cowl covers, maybe there is some notable part of the trade dress that explains why he’s doing these bland arrangements of just drawings of people (well done drawings, of course, as he IS Ladrönn, after all).


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Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez has been using silhouettes on every part of this Batman Confidential series.

It’s an interesting little touch.

Another good cover by the old pro.
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Very cool Zach Howard cover for this collection of Batman stories with Two-Face and Scarecrow.

The design is quite sharp.
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A suitably eerie conclusion cover by Kelley Jones to this Batman: Gotham After Midnight story.


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Hahahaha!!!

Come on, seriously, no one saw Guillem March’s cover here and didn’t think it was a bit over the line?

No one looked at that and said, “Wait, huh? Why is Oracle dressed like that? Why are you focusing on Oracle’s breasts? What gives?!?”

That said, if DC ever starts doing a line of Naughty Librarian comic books, they know who to turn to for the covers…
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I like Joshua Middleton’s thinking here… a shock for Supergirl and a treat for the audience!

I’m gonna give Middleton a pass on the odd ass shot, as it seems like a momentary lapse.
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So is Andrew Robinson the regular cover artist on the two Superman titles?

If so, you could certainly do worse.

Nice looking cover, the reflection idea is an oldie, but a goodie.
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So….what’s going on on this Whilce Portacio Superman/Batman cover?

Should I know by looking at it?


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Is that a new Carlos Pacheco cover for this collection of Superman: Ending Battle?

I seem to recall liking Ending Battle. That was Geoff Johns’ first Superman work, right?

It was good, I particularly liked Joe Kelly’s finale to it all, with Superman versus Manchester Black.
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This World of New Krypton cover is by Pete Woods, right?

It’s a good looking cover, a good examination at the torn nature of Superman between Krypton and Earth.
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Dan Jurgens does a lot of these dramatic old-school pose covers. He’s gotten quite good at it. He used to do it on Superman covers a lot


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Very clever cover idea for the beginning of Flash Rebirth by Ethan Van Sciver.


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Isn’t it kind of silly to expect some random obsessed lady to handle herself at ALL in hand to hand combat with Black Canary?

Isn’t Black Canary supposed to be really, really, really good at this stuff?

AH well, forgetting that minor detail, good Black Canary/Green Arrow cover from Ladrönn.


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That’s a pretty cool cover design for this Green Lantern cover by Philip Tan.

If you were going to design a character who was “greedy” and have them go into action, isn’t that basically exactly how you would draw it?

Good job!
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Interesting Green Lantern Corps cover by Rodolfo Migliari.

It certainly has a strong bold feel to it.
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This History of the DC Universe cover by Alex Ross is not a new piece of artwork, is it?

If it is new, it’s a good piece, although Captain Marvel’s presence is kinda odd. You split the cover into three…then add Captain Marvel! Strange.
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Okay, is this, like, three good months in a row for Ed Benes?

Very strong work on this Justice League cover, without any of his typical problems.

Top notch execution of an engaging cover idea.
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Cute Jordi Bernet Jonah Hex cover.

I love how he is playing upon the reader’s knowledge of Hex, while at the same time, for a new reader, the question would be “How could he get out of this?” while the regular reader is thinking, “It’ll be fun seeing Hex get out of this.”
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A cool send-off to the creative team of Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham by Alex Ross.

Although Wildcat II’s spot in the picture is kinda odd.
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A typical striking piece of cover work from Dave Johnson.

This time on The Mighty.
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These character spotlight covers for the Outsiders by Lee Garbett are quite striking.


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What a bizarre Andy Clarke cover for the R.E.B.E.L.S.

I dunno what is going on on it, to be honest.

Is that supposed to be Dox?

If so, why is his space suit shaped like a woman’s bathing suit?
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This Robin cover by Alex Ross is also not a new piece of artwork, right?

It’s a very charming piece of art if new!
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Ryan Benjamin tries out a different style on the cover to this new project, Dead Romeo.

Honestly, though, it might just be a matter of him simply taking more time. His recent awful Batman fill-in could easily have been due to being rushed.
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An interesting exaggerated cover by Scott Kolins on this Solomon Grundy cover (vs. Bizarro).

I think the whole thing works pretty darn well.
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Everyone is once again a little too smooth, but the design of the cover by Billy Tucci is sound.


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I dig the sort of off kilter expression Bolland gives the Spirit on this cover.

Almost as though he is unease in the different duds.
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Speaking of off kilter expressions, Deadshot certainly has one on the cover to the Secret Six, courtesy of Nicola Scott!


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Impressive design work by Tony Harris on the latest Starman Omnibus.


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With Adam Strange pointing at the sun that is still there, I think it defeats the purpose a bit on this Strange Adventures cover by Starlin to show that the OTHER sun is disappearing.

Why not draw attention to the VANISHING sun?
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These Andrew Robinson covers for Titans, Teen Titans and Vigilante, respectively, are clever.

I really dig the whole “targeting” aspect of the covers.

Good crossover tie-in motif.
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Shane Davis appears to be more concerned with each part of this Trinity triptych working on its own than for them to work together as a whole, as the three main figures really don’t seem to interact well enough on the cover.

Wonder Woman, in particular – what is she even doing?
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Nice George Perez evocation by Eddy Barrows on this Teen Titans Annual cover.


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Neat Howard Porter cover for the last issue of The War That Time Forgot.

This series has had some very strong covers!
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I dig Aaron Lopresti’s style on this Wonder Woman cover.

It almost had a Brian Stelfreeze feel to it!

Impressive.
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Cute Billy Batson cover by Mike Kunkel


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It’s Batman in a dinosaur, so I have to give Scott Jeralds credit for THAT idea, but otherwise, this cover seems oddly bland.

And Aquaman just looks ridiculous.
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Jay Stephens sets the mood nicely on this Cartoon Network Action Pack cover.


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Very clever Cartoon Network Block Party cover by Andy Suriano.

Definitely the sort of cover that stands out on a rack.
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Good take-off on Supergirl #1′s cover by Eric Jones.


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Another cute Tiny Titans cover by Art Baltazar.


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Great Ex Machina cover by Tony Harris.

I love the overlaps of the heads.
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I dunno, does this image make you intrigued by Fringe?


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Mike Huddleston reminds me of Eric Powell a bit on this Gen 13 cover.

That’s a good thing!
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Is this the cover of Gears of War #7?

It says “Video game cover art” in the solicitations.

Doesn’t LOOK like vidoe game art. I dunno.
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Niko Henrichon actually mixing up the Mirror’s Edge cover format a bit – I like it.

Henrichon has a really nice flair to his pencils.
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It must be pretty darn cool to have Jim Lee do the cover of the first issue of your comic book.

It’d be nicer if the Prototype didn’t look so generic.

Man, with some of these video games, I think Bloodlines was just fifteen years too late and in the wrong media format!
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I love how Sean Phillips works Point Blank into the Sleeper mythos through his cover.

Good stuff.
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Well then, C.P. Smith does draw alien troops quite well.

I would not have expected that, to be honest.

So I guess him doing covers for Resistance makes more sense than I thought at first.
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Good cover art by Kevin Sharpe for the Resident Evil comic.

It has an interesting, almost Dodson-esque flair to it.
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I like this Neil Googe Wildcats cover.

Intriguing match-up.
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This Jon Buran Worlds of Warcraft cover is almost overflowing with dynamism.


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Interesting cover layout by Brian Denham.


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I dig the cover design of this issue of Air by M.K. Perker.

It gets across the feel of the book nicely.
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For Howard Chaykin, this Bang Tango cover is practically G-Rated.


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Cool book design of the first Bayou print collection by Jeremy Love.


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Joao Ruas gets thrown into the mix, and his Fables cover holds up admirably well.

I do think Bolland….

and Mark Buckingham…

outpace Ruas, but Ruas had a good debut.

The overall trade dress for the crossover is excellent.
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Clever cover design by Esao Andrews for House of Mystery.


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An expertly haunting Haunted Tank cover by Ted McKeever.


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Decent Madame Xanadu cover by Amy Reeder Hadley, but I don’t think we’re exactly seeing anything new here.


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Good Scalped cover by Jock, but I think a lot of the power comes from what we know of the character, and I dunno if that’s the sort of thing you want people to have to know to appreciate the coolness of a cover.


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Decent Young Liars cover by David Lapham.

It seems to actually be repeating a lot of last month’s cover, but in a less distinct manner.


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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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A standout DMZ cover by John Paul Leon.


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Gotta give it up to Simon Coleby – a dude in armor riding a dinosaur through a portal with some World War II-era airplanes on his side?

That’s an awesome cover for ANY title, and certainly for The Authority.
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Interesting cover idea by Scott Gross.

A good job playing with the character’s personalities to comedic effect.
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They’re being attacked by a book on this Mysterius cover, right?

Awesome idea, Parker and Fowler! And great execution of said idea, Fowler!
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TOP FIVE
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Man, NO Massimo Carnevale covers this month?!!? What will the Top Five be like if I don’t have a Massimo Carnevale cover in it??!!??!
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5. Awesome Mike Grell cover for the return of Warlord!

Wish he was drawing the interiors.
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4. Dave Johnson gets me – he knows how much I love me some negative space.

Very cool cover for the Unknown Soldier.

It reminds me a lot of his current Punisher cover gig.
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3. Well, if you are at all going to be interested in Seaguy, this Cam Stewart cover is going to do the trick for you.

An engaging, offbeat cover.

That is also how I would describe Seaguy!
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2. I think I’d prefer they just reprint the issues from the first Static series. They were really, really good (as opposed to the just plain good of the Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool mini-series).

Great John Paul Leon cover – I absolutely LOVE the whole “collecting the issues” deal. I can’t wait until I see that when it is finished.
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1. J. Bone beat Pet Avengers to the punch!

After a couple of slightly down covers, Bone returns to greatness with this amazing Super Pets cover.
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Okay, that’s it! Feel free to share YOUR Top Fives and YOUR prejudices!!

29 Comments

You’re right, those two Ross pieces aren’t new nohow.

They’ve often sexualized Oracle. I don’t think this is new, how often do you have Superhero who is also a Sexy Librarian. The character sexes it self up.

I think there’s only one sun on the cover with Adam Strange; the starfield stays the same in all three panels (and the sun is identical, except faded).

The History of the DC Universe is an original piece of art Alex Ross did to be the cover for it, but was first used the last time they reprinted it.

Brian,
I know we all want Grell to draw the interiors of Warlord. Personally I would’ve picked Phil Winslade to be in the interiors if Grell wouldn’t do it. But seeing some of Joe Prado’s work, I think we’re in good hands
http://joeprado.deviantart.com/art/And-another-Warlord-piece-104510987

My Top 5 (in no order)
5. JP Leon’s DMZ
4. Jock’s Scalped
3. Johnson’s Unknown Soldier
2. Cameron’s SeaGuy
1. Frell’s Warlord

Oh, and that pose Wildcat II is doing, looks like a Muppet Show type pose of the whole cast.

The Batman and Robin cover is from Legends of the Dark Knight #100. The story was about Robin’s (Dick Grayson) first mission.

Is that Wonder Kangaroo? Does that exist in previous continuity? How could i not have known!?

Um, I really, really like the Oracle cover…

The Alex Ross History of the DC UNiverse cover looks like a Photoshop job using his Oversize Albums – Wonder Woman: Peace, Superman: Hope, Batman: War on Crime and can’t remember the Captain Marvel one… but it would fit the theme… The picture of Bruce with his parents is definitely from the interior of the Batman one

One of the interesting things about that cover for Flash: Rebirth#1 is that it’s exactly the same pose as the promo poster they released at San Diego last year, just with the perspective rotated from profile to head-on.

And I think they’ve fixed the boots too… They were a bit chunky in the promo…

Why does Ursa need a pack belt and a weapon?

Did Oracle just discover a voyeur cam that Dr. Light left in her bathroom? It’s not just the cover layout, the details included are kind of disturbing.

I’ll probably buy at least 3 copies, but not for the reasons DC should want people to buy their books…

I’m also curious about the Wonder Kangaroo…how could I have missed that all these years?!?

March’s cover is a bit much, but then you give Ladronn a pass on that Black Canary cover, where her breasts are so huge and popping out of his shirt yet her waist is so ridiculously skinny it actually bugs me a lot. Ladronn’s women are usually much better proportioned than that.

Or, you know, her shirt.

- Is JLG-L doing interiors for Confidential as well, or just covers?

- What, no mention of the Booster ass shot on the Jurgens cover? Mabe Jurgens knows something about his readership to invoke the equal opportunity clause….

- Speaking of equal opportunity… you don’t get to complain about the Oracle covers without mentioning how Dinah apparently measures 44DD-10-34 on that GD/BC cover. :)

- Not to mention, the lightning bolt on Cap just looks WEIRD. Has it ever been depicted like that?

- That Spirit pose is a swipe from a movie poster, but damn if I can remember which one.

- Well, I guess we know the new Teen Titans lineup….

- Is the Olympian supposed to be someone we know (Nemesis, for instance?). It seems as though they’re going through an awful lot of machinations to keep his face hidden.

- The Ex Machina piece would’ve made my top five.

- Who the heck are the leads in the Resident Evil comic? I don’t recognise either one.

- I am also curious about the Wonder Kangaroo. Urban Legends piece, stat!

The Kanga is a long time piece of Wonder Woman lore (it dates back to Marston.) Basically, it’s the Paradise Island version of a horse.

For what it’s worth, I’ve never read SCALPED and know nothing about any of its characters, but that is a really cool cover.

The Kanga is a long time piece of Wonder Woman lore (it dates back to Marston.) Basically, it’s the Paradise Island version of a horse.

Thanks for the heads up. I have no idea how I’ve missed that, but it’s a dozen different kinds of awesome.

You guys should know that Guillem March used to draw cartoons for European Playboy magazines.

So you can hardly fault the guy for doing what he’s been trained to do.

I love how Sean Phillips works Point Blank into the Sleeper mythos through his cover.

I don’t get this sentence…what do you mean? The Sleeper characters appeared in the Point Blank book, I don’t see what’s so amazing about Sean having them on the cover?

R.E.B.E.L.S. – Dox got a sex change?
Brian…look closer at the chest…that ain’t a guy. ;-)

Batman: Gotham After Midnight – whoa…
Put Kelley Jones, Berni Wrightson, Stephen King, and Glenn Danzig in the same room with a thousand monkeys typing on a thousand typewriters…yeah…say goodbye to the world…

Superman: Ending Battle – “Mongul! I told you to leggo o’ my Eggo!”

Justice Society Of America – That’s Wildcat III, actually…

Green Arrow/Black Canary – I’d have Canary’s expression on my face too if a Poison Ivy lookalike punched me where it looks like Canary’s being punched…I will say no more about this…

The Spirit – Brian Bolland more than makes up for the British nightmare that is John Byrne.

Wonder Kangaroo – I am confirming what Thok said…just to make it official…
But, you can’t say you’re a comic geek (as I proudly admit to being) if you never knew of the Kangas in Wonder Woman…

Overall…
Despite my questioning of Dan Didio’s sanity…I’ll still take DC over Marvel any day. Didio’s madness just doesn’t seem to be as far-reaching as Quesada’s.

The Pacheco cover was also used for one of the individual issues of “Ending Battle”.

Am I the only one who remembers that? I suck!

Nearly all librarians are sexy. Trust me, I know (and am one).

The anatomy on that Teen Titans Annual is VERY strange.

I don’t get this sentence…what do you mean? The Sleeper characters appeared in the Point Blank book, I don’t see what’s so amazing about Sean having them on the cover?

Phillips didn’t draw Point Blank, but by getting him to do the cover for the trade, it works it directly into the Sleeper mythos, as all the covers of the trades will look alike.

The R.E.B.E.L.S. Cover features a character called “Wildstar” – not sure who she is, but there is a character sketch of her in the interview with Tony Bedard (Reflections) on CBR (got bumped down the pages by all the NYCC stuff..
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=20002

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 15, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I’ve got to say, that Black Canary cover is the worst Landronn cover yet.
He’s normally so very very good, and that one’s just so bland.

And I have to disagree with your take on Guillem March’s Oracle cover.
Up until this point I’d never known what it would feel like to stand over someone sexy in a wheel chair and get caught staring down their top.
Now I do.
It feels creepy.

Yes, that’s Jumpa, Wonder Woman’s kanga from Paradise Island. The story also features Aquaman’s octupus, Streaky, Ace, Beppo and Krypto. Sorry, no Comet. After Kanjar Ro incpacitates the SuperFriends, the Super-Pets have to defeat him.

I hope you like the interior art; it’s penciled by Mike Kazaleh with an assist from me, inked by Terry Beatty. I got to draw the army of giant alien ants attacking the UN General Assembly. It was a lot of fun.

Thanks for the review. It’s an honor to be included with so many great artists.

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