Cover #3 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; David Mack, Artist
Ray – 10/10
Ray: While Brian Michael Bendis’ other new creator-owned title, Pearl, has settled into a comfortable groove as an effective neo-noir with great art, Cover is turning into something that’s likely to be one of the best achievement of his and artist David Mack’s career. A fascinating story that’s as much musing about life in the comic book industry as it is a globetrotting spy story, it’s one of the most inventive books I’ve read in a while.
And the credit for that goes equally to Mack, who pulls off one of the most impressive chameleon acts I’ve ever seen a writer do. There are at least four distinct art styles in this issue, with Mack drawing all of them with no assist. He can do a minimalist, dreamlike style when doing the main character’s famous Samurai comic. Then he switches to a more realist style for a hilariously awkward blind date, a cartoony style for a comic convention, and a grittier style for a brutal interrogation.
The plot is dense but not impenetrable, zig-zagging all over the place in time and space. Often it’s a little hard to keep track of the action, but the plot this issue mainly centers around a fellow comic book artist of Max Field’s, a hulking Bulgarian man named Essad Sinns.
At Angouleme, the comic book Oscars, the two are brought together by Max’s handler, Julia. He’s a contact they have interest in, but he quickly turns the tables and turns out to be far more than an artist. David Mack has one more crazy trick up his sleeve as he perfectly impersonates the style of a gritty 90s comic book artist.
This is a book where anything can happen, at any time, and the next issue is a swerve into a completely different direction. It’s gotten better every issue I’ve read, and it makes me wonder how we did without David Mack interiors for so long. When you pair Bendis and Mack, a rare kind of comic book magic happens.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.