Each Monday, staff writers Kevin Melrose and Steve Sunu discuss their five favorite covers from the previous Wednesday's new comic releases, selecting from among them CBR's Cover of the Week.
This week, Hooded Justice goes ghostly, Batwoman and Wonder Woman go snake-hunting, Deadpool goes whaling, Mars goes all Strangers in Paradise and the Young Avengers go clubbing.
Keep reading for Kevin and Steve's favorites from the week of Jan. 23, and then discuss your choices in the CBR forums.
"Batwoman" #16, by J.H. Williams III (DC Comics)
Two questions: One, how many lovely covers will DC Comics have to mar with those terrible promotional banners?; and two, why did it have to be snakes? J.H. Williams III brings the Medusa storyline to a head, quite literally, with this gorgeous (and nightmare-inducing) image of Batwoman and Wonder Woman battling with the mythical monster's slithering hair. The twin death's heads in the eyes perfectly underscore the gravity of their situation. -- Kevin Melrose
"Before Watchmen: Minutemen" #6, by Darwyn Cooke (DC Comics)
As if the executioner's hood and noose weren't enough to lend a sinister air to Hooded Justice, the first of the masked vigilantes in the Watchmen universe, Darwyn Cooke imbues him with an almost otherworldly, even hellish, appearance on this cover. (I instantly thought of Oogie Boogie from Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas." -- Kevin Melrose
"Deadpool Killustrated" #1, by Mike Del Mundo (Marvel)
In case you couldn't tell from the title that this is a parody of "Classic Illustrated," the long-running comic series that adapted literary classics, artist Mike Del Mundo drives it home with a terrific send-up of the 1969 cover for "Moby Dick." While much of the image is straightforward, and beautiful, as if it were torn from an old book, we're treated to Deadpool astride the white whale, ready to hurl a cartoonish bomb (note the jolly roger fish skeleton painted on it) into the creature's blowhole. And with that handy painted target, how could he miss? -- Kevin Melrose
"Mars Attacks Transformers" #1, by Terry Moore (IDW Publishing)
Although it may be a variant cover "Mars Attacks Transformers" #1, Terry Moore's image has nary a Robot In Disguise in sight. Moore instead takes readers to a world where Mars Attacks "Strangers in Paradise." While Moore's human is well-drawn and realistic, it's his Martians that really make this variant shine. Seven tiny Martian children drawn with the most hilarious expressions litter the foreground of the piece, while a potbellied Martian sits in a chair and watches television in the background. It's a riff on the beleaguered mother with a lazy husband, but Moore's added Martian spin does a lot to make this cover something readers don't normally get to see. -- Steve Sunu
COVER OF THE WEEK: "Young Avengers" #1, by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Marvel)
It's rare to see a new piece of art from "Scott Pilgrim" creator Bryan Lee O'Malley in the wild, which is part of what makes his "Young Avengers" #1 variant cover so special. Not only is the series concept a nigh-perfect fit for the artist, O'Malley nails the book about young superheroes in a single image that captures the essence of being a teenager for Miss America Chavez, Kid Loki, Hulkling, Wiccan, Noh-Varr and Kate Bishop. The cover is incredibly effective in portraying the larger-than-life cast as regular teens -- so much so that it's easy to picture them showing up in the background for O'Malley's "Scott Pilgrim." -- Steve Sunu<.>