Worst Cover: Hawk & Dove #6
Well, that’s just a hot mess, isn’t it? Setting aside any bias against a certain artist, that simply isn’t a very good looking Batman. He’s just kind of jumping in mid-air, but there’s no surface below him from which he could have done so. Then he’s doing something with his arms that no one would ever do. And look! His grappling wire was clearly drawn in well after the fact, when Liefeld remembered that Batman can’t fly. And Dove is doing the pretty much same thing, but she can’t fly, either. At least Batman has a half-assed grappling wire; what’s Dove’s excuse?
Finally, crossing out “Hawk” from the title and superimposing “Batman” over it simply doesn’t reflect well on the book, no matter how good it may be. (spoiler: not very) Someone casually browsing the racks wouldn’t be out of bounds to assume that the book can’t sell well with its own characters, and needed Batman shoehorned into it.
Ew ew ew.
Best Cover: Batwoman #2
Unlike finding the worst of the lot, choosing the best cover from hundreds of New 52 books was tricky. There were more than a couple of choice candidates, including other Batwoman covers, but in the end Batwoman #2 is just too good.
It’s one of the creepiest covers that DC has released over the last year, beautifully illustrating Batwoman’s search for the mythical Llorona of Hispanic lore. The look of desperation on Kate’s face is intense, and the transition to a watercolor skeleton below the water line is masterful. You can’t see it, but we’re doing the gesture that French chefs make when there’s really good food in front of them.
Best Art: Batwoman
J.H. Williams III’s artistic brilliance doesn’t stop at the front cover. Issues 1-5 with him pulling art duties were consistently the best that DC had to offer, and his liberal use of two-page spreads came to a head in issues 4 and 5, which were almost entirely two-page spreads. That sounds like overkill, but the sequences were so beautifully handled that no one dared complain. Check out one of the spreads from issue 4 below, and don’t be shy about clicking to blow it up to full size!
Even issues 6-11 with Amy Reeder and Trevor McCarthy handling art were well done, clearly done under the guidance of Williams, who has been co-writing the series with W. Haden Blackman from the beginning.
Williams is back on art with issue 12, and we’re plenty excited to see what’s in store for the future.
Honorable Mentions: All-Star Western, Animal Man, Batman
Onwards to Page 4!