Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
The theme this week apparently was revolvers, as they appear on three of my five favorite covers. Another two that didn’t make the final cut also sported guns. Make of that what you will.
DC Comics and its Wildstorm imprint took three of the spots, with Marvel filling out the remaining two.
To find out what made this week’s list, read on.
Artist Brandon Peterson — with colorist Richard Isanove, perhaps? — hits all the right notes with this cover for the first issue of Marvel’s sixth miniseries based on Stephen King’s Western/fantasy/horror epic The Dark Tower. The imagery screams “Western”: The scorching sun beating down on the duster-wearing Mysterious Stranger — a young Roland Deschain, I presume — his face obscured by the shadows of his hat, and his hands gripping twin gleaming, smoking six-shooters.
Darwyn Cooke returns for a special anniversary issue of Jonah Hex and delivers a solemn, but spectacular, cover. It’s like a scene from a Sergio Leone film — fitting, considering that Jonah apparently was inspired by Clint Eastwood’s roles in “The Dollars Trilogy” — with the enormous pale sun bleaching the sky and fading the remaining colors. The dust plume on the left is a nice touch, too.
I’ve been following, and enjoying, Dave Johnson’s cover work for several years now, from Detective Comics to 100 Bullets to The Punisher MAX. The man rarely disappoints. So it comes as little surprise that his stint on DC Comics’ low-key series The Mighty has been impressive. The covers are marked by a heavy use of blacks, dramatic angles and a vertical logo; they’re noticeably different from most superhero titles on the shelves.
On the cover of Issue 11, I like Johnson’s color palette and what appear to be the glowing, smoking marks from (maybe?) a heat-vision assault across the figure’s chest and face.
I rank these covers alphabetically, but this one by Fiona Staples for the finale of Wildstorm’s Lovecraft-in-the-Midwest miniseries is probably my favorite of the week. Yeah, the gun is a bit suspect — Had the sheriff just emptied the cartridges from the cylinder before the creature attacked? — but it helps to underscore the futility of the situation. And then there’s the pentagram and, best of all, the reflection of the monster’s eye in the pool of blood at the right.
Skottie Young has been doing some of the best cover work of his career this past year on Marvel’s all-ages books like Wolverine: First Class, the Wizard of Oz adaptations and Marvel Adventures Spider-Man (which makes me particularly sad to learn this week that his run on the latter series has come to an end).
Add to that list the X-Babies miniseries, whose covers have been as well-drawn as they are funny. Take Issue 3, for instance: What’s not to love about a frowning Wolverine dangling a diaper-wearing, hairy-armed Lil’ Logan from his claws? And the pacifier-sucking sound effect? “Bub-bub”! Perfect.