[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Mack
Comics creator Max Field has been recruited to be a spy—and now it’s beginning to affect his work. The lines of fantasy and reality are beginning to blur, and the world of comics may never be the same. A valentine to all that comics can be, COVER is a genre-bending series Comic Watch called “a masterful book” by the award-winning team of Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack.
Bendis is so synonymous with comics these days that it is easy to forget that he came from a stage background. He is a playwright at heart and issues like this one really emphasize that with some wonderful dialogue sequences that draw readers in just as well as any Mamet scene would. So it’s odd to have an issue receive praise as high as that and still feel underwhelming.
It must be said that this is the best issue since the series started. The plot really feels like it’s going somewhere now and there’s a key conflict for Max. Shame it’s five issues in but with Bendis what can readers expect. It adds fuel to the fire that this series is being written for the trade paperback release, or even a limited edition graphic novel. It’s both a testament to his writing as well as a drawback that issues of Cover fly by in a matter of minutes.
The climax is honestly great but it should have been the climax to issue two or three. Readers will definitely be hooked but that’s only for those that weathered the storm of the first four issues. It’s a shame it took so long for the story to pick up.
As always, Mack’s art is fantastic and provides a fairly strong argument to pick up the book even if the writing can be hit or miss.
Cover is hard to categorize into positives and negatives as almost every aspect of the book falls into both fields. Take the comic within a comic scenes that highlight Max’s own artwork as well as that of his peers. These pages are amazing. They stand out from the rest of the book. But at the end of the day, they advance the plot almost none (for the time being) and are an example of style over substance. Perhaps when the collection comes out these pages will make more sense when reader all at once. But for a 22 page comic book to dedicate almost half of that page count to ‘cool art’ it starts to make readers question if the book is worth it.
Cover #5 is by far the best issue of the series so far. Finally the series is showing the potential that the synopsis and creative time should have. If you’ve missed this series so far or even dropped off since it started, maybe pick this one up.