Yeah, so, my first attempt at this was a bit of a mess. Let's try this again. I MIGHT go back and finish the Zero Month solicits, but I'm not sure.
I had a realization that made me really like the idea of the Zero Month. With the zero issues in September, we get the #13 issues in the month of Halloween! Awesome synch, and some BIG stuff. Return of the Joker, Rotworld, Rise of the Third Army; the DCU is getting unlucky this October, and that's a good thing. Batman and family really have some FANTASTIC covers this month, and there's a few artist changes or guest stints that seem pretty interesting.
ACTION COMICS #13
You know, that hand is pretty ominous, but I'm not super fond of the art style. I feel like this cover design is actually really nice, but I just can't get sxcited by it. And am I the only one who things the hand belongs to like... Lois Lane in bondage gear? That's totally a Superman collar right there. But for me, all of this is moot because I'm SUPER excited about this issue because TRAVEL FOREMAN IS DRAWING IT. Grant Morrison + Travel Foreman = WINNING.
ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #1
The overall design is pretty boring, not to mention I've seen this boring cover layout done far too many times. Cully Hamner's art doesn't quite look its best. But mostly, I'm not excited about this in the least upon finding out it's entirely Sholly Fisch and no Grant Morrison. Sure there have been a small handful of backup stories in Action Comics that were actually great, but aside from the usually crap ones, there's others that came so close to greatness but were ruined in the end. This just doesn't feel like it will matter, at least not even a fraction as much as the Batman, Teen Titans, or Animal Man Annuals.
ALL-STAR WESTERN #13
Yeah, Ariel Olivetti is MUCH more suited for covers than interior art. Although, words can't even begin to describe.... this is either gut bustingly hilarious, or pants-crappingly terrifying. I mean.... how do you react to THAT? Even Jonah Hex is shitting himself. On a more serious note, it's still awesome to see just how much Gotham history Gray/Palmiotti are infusing into this series. Jonah Hex will be just coming off a Court of the Owls storyline at this point, so to see Haly's Circus next raises some serious intrigue.
ANIMAL MAN #13
Taking a page out of Yanick Paquette's book I see, Pugh? Frankly, it works. It's subtle, but awesome. And that's a messed up disturbing Rot-Hawkman you've got there. Lately I've really seen the art on Animal Man improve as Pugh started to be more true to his own style instead of trying to be like Travel Foreman. Though, for all my praise, this cover's actually not super interesting in layout. Animal Man's posed a bit odd and there's not a whole lot to it. But the solicit makes this sound ridiculously epic, and Animal Man has yet to let me down, so bring on Rotworld!
At first I thought this was a different artist, perhaps Kenneth Rocafort, but upon closer inspection, I think it's just unfinished. I kind of like the gentler colors though, it might actually be a shame to see this one completed. It's got a nice movie poster quality to it, one of the better Reis covers, though not as stunning as some of the ones right before it. It's a good overall wrap-up cover for this arc.
Why is Batgirl so ridiculously curvy... OH! Ed Benes! Oh...
Boring design, WAY too much of a close up without an interesting pose. Blah.
BATGIRL ANNUAL #1
It's a shame, this design is really clever, but the poses for ALL the characters are just terrible and awkward. OH RIGHT, Ed Benes again. Oh...
The solicit is the dumbest thing I've ever read. "Batgirl is on the hunt for Catwoman – but who is after Batgirl?" Gee, I don't know, is it maybe THE TALON!? The Talon who is ONE THE COVER and mentioned in the previous solicit to be hunting Batgirl? I'm excited though, Gail Simone did a lot of clever things with the Talon, but let a lot of them fizzle, so the fact that she's bringing her back excites me. But Ed Benes....
Dear sweet lord is that creepy as hell and I absolutely ADORE it. THIS is how you do a nice simple cover and still be unique and awesome. It's horrendously unnerving to look at what little we see of The Joker's face, and the huge empty space just makes you really nervous about what we're NOT seeing. But it's not just blank white space, it's like he's.... somewhere. Somewhere dark. MAYBE HE'S IN THE SHADOWS RIGHT BEHIND YOU OH GOD! The title's a little overly self-indulgent, Return of the Joker: Death of the Family, name dropping two major Joker stories... Scott Snyder's writing a check that few writers's pens could cash. But he's SCOTT SNYDER. He's just wrapping up The Court of Owls. It is odd that he's said he like the more quiet short detective stories, and he's about to do his second major Batman Family-wide affecting event type story, but what the hell, I'm excited beyond all reason.
BATMAN AND ROBIN #13
This is utterly HORRIFYING in so many right ways. It's all centered nicely and I just..... holy damn. Patrick Gleason's probably makes DC's printers run out of red ink CONSTANTLY.
BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #9
It's pretty boring. Standard overused stock design. It does seem to confirm my suspicions that whoever's on the cover is the one who's story will be first in the issue. I REALLY wish DC wouldn't be trying to fit 3-4 titles in one. Keep it $3.99 with 40 pages as you've been doing, but split it into two series. Batman Beyond with Beyond Origins as the Co-Feature; and Justice League Beyond with Superman Beyond as the Co-Feature. 20 pages each time for all series'. And can we get someone besides Norm Breyfogle to draw Batman Beyond? Can we put Dustin Nguyen on Batman Beyond and then like... I don't know, Peter Nguyen on Justice League Beyond? Or Lee Garbett maybe. I dunno. Also FUTURE MAFIA LEADER SOLOMON GRUNDY!!!!!
Batman Incorporated #5
SO. AWESOME. I love how Burnham left room for EXACTLY where to fit the logo. This is going to look AMAZING with the text. And it's just so.... We're looking OUT from Arkham, from behind Batman as GOTHAM CITY burns, and the mob rushes in. Everything just works so damn well here, I'm in awe. Not to mention we're visiting the Batman #666 future which I love beyond all reason. I'm working on an entire ongoing series pitch set in that future, if/when I ever get into the industry. I can't freaking wait for this.
Batman: The Dark Knight #13
Sure, Batman's face looks a little bizarre, but overall I love this cover. The wood cluttering the image actually SUCCEEDS in creating a seemingly intentional sense of looming claustrophobia, the chains suggest desperation; but what MAKES this cover is the way Batman's cape rips the bottom off the image. Gregg Hurwitz's first issue was definitely miles above ANY of Finch's, but it hasn't quite hit greatness. The potential is definitely there, so come October we might have all five Batman titles being excellent.
Seriously, DC's going to have to use the blood of Rob Liefeld to have enough red ink to accommodate the Batman Family alone.
Wonder Woman's face looks a bit off.... this is a little simplistic for J.H. Williams, but that just means its still heads and tails above most.
BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #2
You know, I wasn't planning on talking about the Before Watchmen covers...... but this one is just..... too awesome for words..... holy damn.
BIRDS OF PREY #13
I.... want to say this one's good. The layout is a nice sort of intriguing, the art style is good... but it just... doesn't work. It's awkward on so many levels. Katana's body looks super weird, Catwoman's pose is just a little off; and something just feels... I don't know. Well... it's actually a pretty good cover, I just don't think the characters balance out the image as good as they could. The colors are beautiful though.
BLUE BEETLE #12
OH MY GOD FINALLY AN IG GUARA COVER! Unfortunately it's STILL very boring, better than most Blue Beetle covers (How depressing is that!?), but it looks SO much like it's supposed to be a full page image, or even just a blown up panel. Sigh.
Ok, this Andy Clakre cover is super cool, but I'm not fond of the way Catwoman's face looks here. But overall, I'm EXTREMELY bummed that Winick's off the title. There have been FAR too many haters on this series going "Oh look at all the sex and violence, this must be a shallow series. HEY! THIS IS A SHALLOW SERIES!" Well F*** THOSE GUYS. Catwoman's been a series TEEMING with depth, YOU JUST HAVE TO LOOK FOR IT. But no, everyone judged it at a glance. Winick's been KILLING it on this series, inspired me to write several Grade A (Literally, I used them for college classes) Essays on the deeper issues; and all I know of Nocenti is that she's celebrated for Typhoid Mary on Daredevil and she's managed to just about be slightly less terrible than any New 52 Green Arrow writer before her.
DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #13
Sook just keeps on nailing these DC Universe Presents covers. I think this one's unfinished, but I hope it stays exactly like this. Also... Black Lightning and Blue Devil!? That's a hilariously random pairing, can we get a Brave and the Bold series with random team ups like this? I'm not sure about Blue Devil's new design though, It's REALLY COOL but it's..... not at all like he was before. But we're back to a 5-Issue arc, so that means there's a lot more time to explore these characters than the most recent stuff.
You know how earlier I recommended DC use the blood of Rob Liefeld to ensure they have enough red ink? Yeah.... they could not do that soon enough. IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE LOPPED OFF HALF OF DEATHSTROKE'S RIGHT FOOT WITH A LASER SCALPEL.
DEMON KNIGHTS #13
At least everyone's actually PRESENT for once.... BUT IT'S STILL ETRIGAN AS THE CENTRAL FOCUS. Everything else is so damn cool though.... I HATE that I can't really like this cover.
DETECTIVE COMICS #13
This is a fairly decent cover, but it could be a photograph of Stan Less dressed as Namor for all I care and I'd still be excited as hell for this because JOHN LAYMAN IS GOING TO BE WRITING DETECTIVE COMICS!!!!!!!!!
DIAL H #5
Bolland has consistently been utterly NAILING these Dial H covers, but this...... this is GORGEOUS. Such a simple idea.... but the twisting and the blur and just..... oh wow. And China Mieville's writing and Mateus Santolouco's artwork have continually been amazing to match. When I get this issue I might literally die, this thing's going to hypnotize me.
EARTH 2 #5
Hmmmm, as I've come to expect from Ivan Reis, it's certainly cool art, but it's a really boring cover. Decent, but lackluster. But inside we get James Robinson and Nicola Scott and Alan Scott and the I'm-still-uncertain-about Solomon Grundy.... Yeah.
FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #13
A THREE ISSUE ROTWORLD TIE-IN!? SIGN ME THE HELL UP!
Alternatively, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
G.I. COMBAT #5
Bah, that cover's pretty messy. Haunted Tank is too bizarre sounding to not be at least somewhat interesting, AND UNKNOWN SOLDIER ISN'T ENDING! I hope Staz Johnson is as fun an artist as Dan Panosian though. Maybe this WILL become 90% a replacement for Men of War (Will never be 100% because MoW had the most incredible covers of ever.
GREEN ARROW #13
This Aaron Lopresti cover is pretty dull. It's an action scene with no momentum. That said, the dude with the katana's got a SWEET cape and some pretty badass tattoos. I dunno, there's been only one issue in this series thus far that's actually wowed me through three writers, but lately Ann Nocenti seems to be improving.
GREEN LANTERN #13
THANK GOD THAT'S NOT MEANT TO BE JOHN STEWART.
OH SHIT I JUST NOTICED ALL THOSE FREAKY DUDES IN THE BACKGROUND. I kind of skimmed over all the GL covers the first few looks, because none of them look particularly compelling on their own, but they make a decently cool connected image. I kind of thought that new Green Lantern was more a prototype or something for The Third Army.... I'm not so sure how I feel about adding a 5th/6th (depending on how you look at it) Earth Green Lantern... But the presumedly Third Army guys in the background there are completely disturbing and uncanny in all the right ways.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #13
Mostly ditto on the above. Oh but CAFU doing Green Lantern art? Intriguing.
GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #13
Ditto again, but let it be known that Larfleeze is the best thing ever. @OrangeLarfleeze is fucking fantastic, hasn't updated much lately thought. Unrelated.
So, you know how when you post an image, it asks if you want to edit it? I had to lie when I clicked 'no edit needed' because .... I can't even think of an explicative strong enough for this atrocity. Just find quotes from Punk Zombie Zed from Lollipop Chainsaw, and that sums up my feelings about Rob Liefeld's artwork.
I, VAMPIRE #13
Clayton Crain's first cover for this series was PHENOMENAL but lately he seems to be creating a tone more akin to the first few. DO MORE CREEPY STUFF MAN! That said I LOVE the snow effects here, and I'm beyond intrigued by this notion of Human Mary trying to kill Insane Andrew. How the hell did we get here from where we are now? And shame on everyone who's not reading this. Look at the cover for #9 to get an idea of what this series is all about.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #13
So The Villain's Journey is only going to be a 4 issue arc? Oh... It'll be cool to see Tony Daniel's art on Justice League, but his cover's really far from his best work. The design is about as cluttered and messy as most Justice League covers, so I'm starting to think Geoff Johns designs them; but his art style's got a lot more awkwardness than usual. And no offense to the woman, but Cheetah's 'destined to become one of the greatest threats to the DC Universe?' BULL. CRAP. SIR.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #13
I WANT to say there's nothing wrong with this cover.... but there's this bit of empty space under Deadman's arm and above-right of Constantinte's head, it just makes the whole thing feel a little off. But if another character or some text gets put there, it might actually make this cover work just fine.
Oh no wait, I think that's not the final cover. The solicit says Ryan Sook is still doing cover's but that's Mikel Janin. Yeah, there's some other stuff that... I think this is interior art as a holdover.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK ANNUAL #1
Yeah, ok, THIS is a Sook cover. Pretty nice but nothing super special though. But, guest starring Frankenstein? AWESOME.
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #1
I'm really excited for Legends of the Dark Knight to be returning! And there's a story with art by Jeff Lemire? Cool! Though I like that I don't know most of the creative teams, I think many are new or obscure talent, it's nice to see them shine. That said, this cover's pretty bad. Batman's way too close taking up way too much space. Blah.
LEGION LOST #13
The mostly white background REALLY isn't doing this cover any favors. Then there's probably the worst rendition of Dawnstar's ridiculous exposed chest, Wildfire and Timber Wolf have odd overlapping bodies.... It's a bit of a mess. That said, the return of Harvest promises to be interesting and awesome.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #13
At least everyone else on this cover is as freaked out as I am by whoever that is's back being arched so painfully... not to mention his deformed stomach or chest! o.O. I also don't recognize a single person on this cover, and that doesn't surprise me. The Legion is far too damn big. And I'm sorry Legion, but it's too late to excite me with Space Pirates, you've been too lame for too long.
LOT 13 #1 of 5
WOW! Just... WOW! This is absolutely stunning! The nice sepia touch to give it an old-fashioned 'homey' feel; but then JUST the right sprinkling of super subtle creepiness. This is GORGEOUS and just slightly unnerving in every right way! My only concern is, what the hell IS this? It's rated 'Mature' and it's not in the DC Continuity..... why isn't this a Veritgo title?
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: THE ORIGIN OF SKELETOR #ONE SHOT
So at first glance (Since DC no longer freaking includes the covers ALONGSIDE the solicits like a sane and rational company!) I was ready to completely disregard this. Nothing against it, I just have no real interest in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Not a seething hatred like Legion, just general apathy. Then I went back to look at the credits and I was like 'JOUSHUA HALE FIALKOV!?? Writer of I, Vampire; my third favorite OF ALL 52!? FRAZER IRVING!?? ARTIST OF XOMBI!? Well FUCK, I guess I HAVE to get this now. Thanks DC, my wallet hates you.
NATIONAL COMICS: MADAME X
A Fiona Staples cover pretty much guarantees awesome. Her nudity is a little odd, but it mostly works. Overall I'm just not sure how to feel about this. 'Madame X' over 'Madame Xanadu' is a little odd, and though I've only just started reading her Vertigo series I am absolutely in LOVE with that version. Could definitely be due in part to Amy Reeder's artwork. I just don't know if there's any way for me to not be let down by this, and that's kind of a shame on my part.
I uhhh.... eh. Lady Shiva's New 52 debut has potential, but overall this cover is just... eugh. The forced perspective with the circle just looks stupid because there is absolutely NO contextual justification. The grainy effect is really odd here, Nightwing's position is kind of stupid and overused, and the assassin's proportions look really off. And overall the design's just pretty dull and uninspired. Super bummer really.
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #13
I uhhh.... Huh. Blackfire looks.... strange, to say the least. And Starfire looks like.... she's humping her sister's leg with an orgasmic expression? And Red Hood looks pretty apathetic. This is just a mess. And it's a shame that Kenneth Rocafort is leaving the title right before the end of the story arc XP
RED LANTERNS #13
Same as the other Green Lantern covers. Also Dex-Starr looks HORRIBLE here. Ugh. Sad kitty :c
Guillem March.... was not born to draw Etrigan. Hooooo boy does he look awkward here. The whole thing is too bright without having a darker contextual contrast so it just looks off; and the background is non-existent, and the characters are WAAAAAY too crowded into the front and just... Ugh, this cover's a massive mess. It makes Scott Clark's strangely crappy covers for this series look great. I like the idea of finally exploring the connections to Demon Knights, but Apollo and Midnighter rebelling so soon after Martian Manhunter? Eh... and this series' severely inconsistent artist schedule really isn't helping Sigh.
SUICIDE SQUAD #13
I uhh..... ugh. This is one of the absolute messiest of Suicide Squad's recent string of super messy covers. OH HEY LOOK AT KING SHARK AND HIS UNCONSCIOUS FACE IT LOOKS LIKE HE'S JUST NAPPING! XD Leave it to King Shark to make me feel better. Oh but part of the fight is taking place in Amanda Er's home? Ugh. Just going to explore her 'emotions' and 'family' stuff more. Sigh.
You know, I think this would be pretty dull and standard if it weren't for the well placed city right behind/below Superboy. It brings a nice sense of balance to the image.
Ohhhhh the return of Tycho? This I gotta see. AND SAMI BASRI!? YES! He was pretty much the only thing keeping me interested in Voodoo once WIlliamson came on.
Pretty generic, but pretty cool. I'm excited to see what Rocafort can bring to Superman, his Action Comics comics with Paul Cornell were STUNNING.
SWAMP THING #13
I feel like I've just walked into a dark alley, and Swamp Thing's just like; "Hey kid. C'mere. I got somethin' for ya'." And Poison Ivy I get, but why is DEADMAN here? Oh well IT'S STILL GOING TO BE AWESOME.
SWAMP THING ANNUAL #1
The skull's a little awkwardly placed, but overall this is more like the earlier Swamp Thing covers with awesome borders.
SWORD OF SORCERY #1
I'm actually really excited for this. Aaron Lopresti's art seems very fitting for this unusual title; I'm just getting annoyed that all the really unique DC series' who would have a harder time getting an audience, are the ones that get co-features. All-Star Western, G.I. Combat, Men of War; the furthest out there from traditional superhero fare; is DC TRYING to kill these series'?
GUILLEM MARCH + CREEPY ASSASSINS WITH AN EXTENSIVE SECRET HISTORY + SCOTT SNYDER'S CO-WRITER = TOO MUCH YES FOR WORDS.
TEAM 7 #1
"FUCK ALL TIME PERIODS EXCEPT THE NINETIES BROOOOOOOO!!"
"YEAH MAN! ALL CHICKS MUST BE SKINNY AND SEXY!"
"WORD UP BITCHES!"
And I die a little bit inside.
TEEN TITANS #13
This odd angle actually works better the more I look at it. Probably one of the best Teen Titans covers yet. That said, based on the solicits, it feels like the story is going to drag on. The descriptions for the few issues leading up to this one all sound practically the same.
OH SNAP BUT ART BY ALE GARZA NOW I SERIOUSLY WANT IT! Dude drew that Superman/Batman issue with Supergirl and Damien, gave it a 5/5 and it's my highest recommended review by a longshot.
THE FLASH #13
The Flash ruins his own cover. His own pose is so static and unmoving... it just ruins all the nice balance of the sign and the gorillas and the Rogues.
THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #13
I'm super bummed to see Joa Harris/Ethan Van Sciver off this series, after such a shaky start, they were actually doing some really unique and interesting storytelling. This is probably the best Dan Jurgens' artwork has look since the relaunch, but the cover design is pretty awkward.
THE PHANTOM STRANGER #1
I'm assuming that girl is Raven based on the solicit's mention of Trigon and the shadow on the edge. Subtly done enough though. This cover IS really nice, I'm just concerned about exploring The Phantom Stranger's backstory and motivations. I like him being mysterious, being A STRANGER. But the moral ambiguity is still there, what with making a deal with Trigon and stuff.
THE RAVAGERS #5
The odd angle on this cover doesn't really work well, and I think this series is a little over ambitious. It's got to balance Wildstorm characters with Teen Titans/N.O.W.H.E.R.E. stuff AND NOW ALSO Beast Boy and Rotworld stuff; and we're only at issue #5. Nice art though.
THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #13
WHOA WHOA WHOA WAY TOO CLOSE! THIS SAVAGERY IS OVERWHELMING!
WONDER WOMAN #13
Cliff Chiang just.... always. Such elegant simplicity. I think this might have a link to Apollo, being with the sunny desert and stuff and ARES IS GOING TO BE INVOLVED NOW and Wonder Woman is just so great. I wish Tony Akins didn't fill in so frequently, but, whatever. Not terrible.
WORLD'S FINEST #5
Uuuuuugh. This is easily the worst Worlds' Finest cover yet. SUUUUUUUUCH a horrendous mess, and Power Girl looks TERRIBLE and nothing like she's looked in the series before.