I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got fivenew comics.

  • Clone – 13
  • Rachel Rising – 22
  • The Manhattan Projects – 17
  • Saga – 17
  • Catalyst Comix – 7
  • This week’s comic book cover to look at and examine is Batman #406 by David Mazzucchelli. This comic is from my college years, April 1987, and I bought it off the rack of my local comic shop but I don’t remember this cover. I remember the story, of course, but mostly the image associated with this book is the collected edition cover. I like this one better.

    They weren’t ever going to use this one for the collected edition because Batman is hiding in it. He’s not front and center as you’d want to sell a Batman book but I think it’s cool. When I pulled the comic off my shelf I didn’t even see Batman at first since he was hiding so well.

    The first thing that jumps out at me with this one is the composition. It’s unusual. It’s almost a grid but not really. It’s almost a cross but not really. The large black Batman symbol behind the logo could dominate the whole space but instead here it’s used almost like a roof and is balanced out by the large amount of black on the bottom quarter of the page. Though the two roof beams that the policeman has his hand on are at a right angle the guy’s arm and body are not. So it suggests a grid but isn’t one.

    The drama of the scene is good too. The police are searching the rubble by flashlight but for what? We don’t know. Is it Batman they’re looking for? Could be but he is one step ahead of them as the hunters become the hunted? Or at least the watched? Batman doesn’t appear to be so much of a threat as he is a mystery. I like that.

    Mazzucchelli does his normal excellent job of drawing by showing us a lot with a little. Eerie shadows and half seen faces create a mood and a moment where I can really feel those men walking by and doing their job. It seems much more real than the normal Batman cover. Not that fantastical isn’t good too but here it’s “Real” that is working for me. You don’t often see this kind of cover on a super-hero comic. Good stuff.