Fatale #14 by Sean Phillips
Why did it have to be toothy Cthulu faces? I hate toothy Cthulu faces! The eerie use of black and white works quite well with this cover, followed by the stunning red center drawing attention to our femme fatale. She’s got her Chicago Typewriter prepped and ready for action. Judging from her outfit and the iron eagle looking symbol at the bottom, if I didn’t know any better I’d guess this issue take place during World War II! With a cover as intriguing as this one, I’m willing to check to see if I guessed right.
In this issue, Conan embraces the hippie culture of the 1960s in Cimmeria, drops acid, and takes advantage of all the free love going around. All kidding aside, this is truly a beautiful cover. Carnevale just goes wild with the coloring, making it a pleasure to let your eyes wander and really soak-in the cover in its entirety. Great contrast of warm and cool colors, and creepy use of the dangling hands.
Speaking of contrasts, major props to Ross for this bloody masterpiece. It brings chills seeing the Shadow in the reflection, for it looks as if he’s trapped in a doomed city of some kind. The lady in white doesn’t look all that innocent for no matter who you are, everyone has someone’s blood on their hands (including her). Ross always succeeds with the angelic glow technique, for just from looking at this cover you’re lead to believe that she must be innocent in all of this. Absolute stunning job by Ross.
“Always the artists,” –Mance Rader. Great use of faces forming from the blood, as it spirals out of a lifeless corpse front and center. It’s almost like following the yellow brick road, only nastier. The expressions on the faces are those of pure horror, for this death was shocking to everyone it seems, and Yardin does a fabulous job conveying that in a few brush strokes. The real question isn’t ‘who did it,’ but rather ‘who is going to clean up this mess?’
I now know what’s black and white and red all over (spoiler: it’s not a newspaper). Williams III does a superb job incorporating Gotham City and the occult-looking archeology into Batwoman’s cape, having it all connect together as a whole. It’s a great use of layout, something Williams III has been displaying for the past 20 issues with ease. The blood spatter up top only makes the cover that much more thrilling.
This is my favorite cover of the week, hands down. The sleek grayscale look of Wonder Woman and her logo is so cold feeling, that the swarm of red-hot hands make for an intense scene. The god baby with the blue eyes and aura is a little unsettling, but obviously it’s somehow special enough to warrant being surrounded by would-be babynappers. The arms alone remind me of the style of Saul Bass, which always scores extra point in my book. Bravo to Chiang for making a cover design so simple spring to life with just the right use of color.