I’m introducing a new segment called Comic Cover Corner. It’s dedicated to my favourite comic cover art in the industry. A cover can set the tone for the rest of the story, and I feel some are very underrated. The first one I’ll be reviewing is the cover of Detective Comics #880, drawn by Jock. It features one of the most terrifying images of The Joker in recent memory.
The cover was drawn as part of the ‘Black Mirror’ storyline, written by Scott Snyder. The Joker is illustrated with different motifs and they all blend together to create something unsettling. The most notable element is half of Joker’s face is constructed out of bats. It’s as if a nightmare is coming to life on the page.
Joker’s eyes have been replaced by the bat symbol, and there is more than one meaning to it. It could be argued that Joker is watching over all of Gotham, waiting for his moment to strike. Or, the symbols could represent his obsession with Batman and he’s waiting for him to return. The orange colour matches the sloppiness of Joker’s lips, which appear to be smeared. This could be perceived as blood or make up.
Joker’s grin is disturbing, with each tooth drawn crookedly. The gums are as white as his face, linking back to the image of him being constructed out of bats.
Within the context of the story, the cover works well because Joker comes into conflict with Dick Grayson as Batman. He blinds Grayson with a piercing white light and that matches with Joker’s eyes being beacons.
Overall, the cover has a grungy style to it that you’d expect to find in street art. I think that’s deliberate on Jock’s part, as Joker is woven into the fabric of Gotham. There’s no escaping him, and his eyes are looking straight through you.
Do you have any favourite comic covers? If you’d like me to review one then leave a comment below!