So my brain neglected to remind me that today is in fact Wednesday, and I neglected to do any research or searching for a potential cover write about prior to right now. However, as luck would have it, Marvel just happened to be releasing this gem by Gabriele Dell'Otto today. The one sentence rundown for the story here is, "Spider-Man fights dinosaurs in the Savage Land." Best thing ever, right? But wait, there's more. What makes it even better (and the reason I chose this cover over the previous issue) is that Spider-Man is teaming up with a dinosaur (specifically, Devil Dinosaur) to fight other dinosaurs (specifically, scientifically enhanced Velociraptors). Yes, comic books are that awesome. So if you were hoping for some intelligent or insightful commentary on a particular piece of comic book cover art today, I'm afraid I don't have any. To be fair though, this is the Internet; and if there's anything the Internet needs to showcase more, it's pictures of Spider-Man riding a dinosaur. Good day.
Ed Benes' run of comic covers for Batgirl is just outstanding. I'm having a hard time choosing a favorite, but this is definitely one of them. The black background with the Joker stepping out holding a knife and a heart-shaped box is a very good portrayal of his character. Add in the creepily realistic wind-up teeth, and you've got a cover that oozes his unique sort of ruthless insanity. Benes' also draws a great Barbara Gordon Batgirl, so all in all, it's pretty hard to go wrong here.
This week's cover is the first issue of the new Marvel NOW, All-New X-Men series. And yes, I'm going to largely ignore the fact that I haven't posted anything in the past few weeks. I chose this cover for two reasons. One is the series premise, which is awesome and I'll talk more about it later. The second is because of this variant cover, featuring one of my favorites. This is the joke in case you missed the Olympics/Internet this year. It is one of about eight different variant covers from various artists, including J. Scott Campbell, Paolo Rivera, Skottie Young, Joe Quesada, Salvador Larroca, and Stuart Immonen. They span a wide range of styles so that was also cool to see for a single issue. Going back to Reason for Choosing This Cover #1, the story they are going for is really intriguing. The general premise is this: Xavier's first class of students is brought forward in time to see the current state of the X-Men. When you think about the X-Men story arc, how long it has been, who is on the team now versus then, and how much the characters have changed from first class to now, putting the two versions of the X-Men together has to get interesting. The present X-Men (especially Summers) will be face-to-face with their past, idealistic counterparts, forced to re-rationalize their choices and concessions that have caused the two groups to be so different. Then the past X-Men will have to find footing in this new environment, having to make sense of what their mission and dream for mutants has become. Wolverine is also likely to make a joke regarding which versions of Summers he prefers. Regardless of which one he chooses, this is a series I'd definitely like to pick up just to see how either side fares.
It's been about a month since I highlighted a DC cover, and DC was kind enough to provide me this on the 17th. Number 13 in Justice League's New 52 series, this issue focuses the League's conflict with Cheetah, Wonder Woman's old nemesis. I say old nemesis because although DC's story intro suggests they are continuing that relationship, they have shown that they aren't afraid to make big changes in the New 52. Regardless of your feelings toward the new 52, I think it's pretty hard to say this isn't an awesome cover. While the regular release cover isn't bad, I just don't think it's as interesting. The variant cover is by Tony S. Daniel who has done a lot of work on the Batman and Detective Comics series. While his deviantART page doesn't have a whole lot of material, Daniel has done enough that you should be able to find something he's worked on with relative ease. If not, you can always check the DC Comics website for a list of the projects he's worked on. It's worth a look, especially if you're a Batman fan.
This weeks post is a variant cover I found for Amazing Spider-Man #692 that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Spider-Man. Artist Marcos Martin created five variant covers to mark the occasion, one for each decade, that depict key moments in Spider-Man's history. You can also recognize Martin from his work on Batgirl: Year One. Each cover is created in the same kind of style, a single color with black lines and occasional white highlights. I personally like the simplicity the cover offers, which (as I've mentioned in an earlier post) is something I don't see in a lot of Spider-Man covers. I also like that it addresses an important, and at the same time not what I would consider high-profile, story from Spidey's past. The Clone Saga has been a favorite of mine in comics as well as in the '94 animated series; and not only did I like it's inclusion in this tribute cover series, but I also liked how it was showcased. Even from a purely artistic standpoint, it's my favorite out of the five. But you don't have to take my word for it! You can see the other four covers here, here, here, and here.
Again, I must apologize to my one reader for missing last Wednesday's comic cover post (sorry, baby). However, in my attempt to make amends, I was able to find a pretty awesome Daredevil wraparound cover. It features Daredevil (go figure), Elektra, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and Black Widow surrounded by what I can only assume are Hand ninjas and a few choice villains. That team-up was part of what drew me into this cover. The Daredevil universe is something I know very, very little about; and while Marvel doesn't mind mixing their vast supply of heroes together, this mix seemed to pull from a lot of different areas. The big thing that made this cover stand out is the incredible artwork. Like I said, Daredevil is something I've never really gotten into, but Marko Djurdjevic has a way of making everything look like something I want to read. The detail and realism he brings to his characters is simply amazing. I could just pick covers from his website and I'd have good material a year. There are at least a couple that I'm setting aside for later posts. So if you have a few spare minutes, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at his portfolio.
Today is turning into a really busy day, so this week's comic cover post is going to be a little short unless I get on a rant about something. This is a recent offering of Avenging Spider-Man, and it's hard for me to pass up any Spider-Man/Deadpool team-ups. The cover itself was a team effort by Shane Davis, Mark Morales, and Matt Hollingsworth. The series is one I'm barely familiar with; it's pretty new, starting a little under a year ago. What really interests me about it is the style. Each issue is a little bit different thanks to a rotating cast of pencilers, inkers, colorists, and sometimes even writers. The stories depicted are also similar in that respect; the issues seem more like a collection of separate stories rather than a coherent arc. I don't know if this is by design or coincidence (like I said, I haven't sat down to read any in this series), but the random draft appearance does make it a bit more intriguing. Also, Spider-Man/Deadpool covers.
This week's cover is Supergirl #55, and I'll admit, I haven't read it. I was a little low on inspiration this week, and I haven't gotten a chance to run to a comic shop in a while, so I reached back into the pile of cover images I accumulated while putting this site together and pulled out this one. Unlike a couple of my friends whose first big date together was a Smallville tour through British Colombia, I never got into the Superman universe (comics, TV, or otherwise). The closest I get is Justice League, and it's not quite the same. Still, when I came across this cover, looking for some DC covers for a header graphic, I thought it was one of the cooler designs I had seen. At first I thought it was a kind of shattered mirror image, with the cracks separating the different elements. Looking at it a little closer, I could see that it was actually the viewpoint of Supergirl looking at Bizarro Supergirl through a field of broken glass. I think it's a really cool concept that translates into an awesome cover. Supergirl #55 was was Amy Reeder Hadley's introductory cover to the series, where she did several covers before working on (coincidentally, given my last comic cover post) on the new Batwoman series. Hadley has a website, a blog, and recently completed a Kickstarter project for a Halloween Eve comic book. It's all definitely worth a look.

Wednesday’s Weekly Comic Cover: Batwoman #5

September 12th, 2012 | Posted by Emmett in Comics - (1 Comments)
Batwoman #5 I'm glad I remembered this one. I saw this cover a month or two ago on a Wednesday after writing the comic cover post for that week, and I told myself that I'd remember it for the following Wednesday, but I didn't. Luckily, something about it stuck and I thought of it immediately after seeing the cover for the latest Batwoman issue earlier this week. This cover is for Batwoman #5, and in addition to being incredibly beautiful, I also find it a little unsettling. Kate Kane's turmoil is depicted so well that you can't help but internalize that emotion a little, or at least not in my case. This cover, and the others in Batwoman's flagship series, was done by JH Williams III who has a website you can check out if you're interested. Williams also just won two Harvey Awards this past weekend at the Baltimore Comic Con for Batwoman, one for Best Artist and one for Best Cover Artist.

Brought to you by someone who definitely did not also make NFL Blitz.

Injustice was one of the few games I waited in line to play at PAX this year. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I'm usually not big on things that just give me a glimpse of something I'm really interested in like trailers or demos. However, there are a lot of exceptions to this tendency of mine, and fighting games (where there is no story to spoil) are one of those exceptions. Truth be told, fighting games are really the main reason I own a console; my affinity for computer gaming has claimed the remaining genres. Not that I haven't tried fighting games on a PC. I have and it was a mistake, but I'll digress. Injustice is a head-to-head fighting game set in the DC Comics universe. It's being developed by NetherRealm Studios, who you may recognize from last year's Mortal Kombat title, because when you're eight or nine games deep in a series, you might as well just start over with your numbering convention. This may also sound familiar to those of you who remember the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe crossover title from 2008, but lucky for us, that was a different developer. Moral Kombat vs. DC Universe was developed by Midway, the people who brought you what was always the loudest and most obnoxious game from your childhood arcade / bowling alley / sports-themed pizza buffet restaurant.

The absence of Midway games in development probably means no Big Head Mode for Injustice. Sorry.

Regardless of whether know who the developers are, if you have played the most recent Mortal Kombat game, you'll instantly notice similarities in the look and feel of Injustice. The dark but polished look of the character designs (at least from who was playable at PAX) and the character movement was almost identical in the classic forward/back, up/down options with minimal running. The Soul Calibur series is a good contracts in terms of movement and combat styles, I think. Injustice doesn't seem to be trying to keep up with the level of gore you expect from it's Mortal Kombat counterpart, but the combat is a lot of fun. Characters introduced so far seem to fall somewhere on the acrobat/strength-focused/gadget-focused Venn diagram. My girlfriend and I played as Harley Quinn and Nightwing, respectively, and as I was getting my ass handed to me, I got the impression that there are a lot more extra combat elements than what we were able to discovery from a single round with no other information. On a couple exchanges, the combat would become more cinematic (beyond what you see with a lot of grabs), and it seemed to do this in the form of special attacks for a single character as well as kinds of mutual attacks that trigger some kind of quick-time or button mashing challenge between the two players.

While I don't think we're going to see a spine removed, it's still pretty intense.

Again, we didn't get much opportunity to experiment, but even the normal combat was fun. Your choice of characters gives you a lot of variation in terms of weapons or no weapons at all, and even individual characters give you options on how you want to use them. For our experience, Harley had a interesting mix between acrobatic combat and weapons like pistols or a giant hammer and Nightwing had two different play styles based on whether he used his two Eskrima sticks separately or joined together as a staff. Really, there was little chance I wouldn't pick this up, and there's also little chance that I wouldn't spend a fortune on DLC if they keep adding characters to the roster. It's the characters I'm really in this for, and I'm guessing it also is for 99% of the people who eventually buy this game. Games like this mix the childhood joy of nostalgia with the adulthood joy of decimating your opponent. This game in particular also provides a medium to settle those "who would win in fight between..." discussions, and allows you to champion your hero and kick the crap out of anyone who doubted that they were the best. Not that it will likely help you and your friends settle those discussions, but you can still have fun trying.