After a gorgeous, game-raising 2015, this week witnesses the first new comics of a year that’s already off to an auspicious start in other ways. If this new slate of eye candy reinforces any trend in comic art, it’s that mood coloring is alive and well. Mike Del Mundo (Carnage), Julian Tedesco (Black Knight) and Ryan Kelly (Cry Havoc) articulate emotional states through shockingly vivid blue and red hues.
Like Dario Argento’s surreal casts of crimson and cobalt in films like Suspiria—a technique Guillermo del Toro used to gorgeous effect on, appropriately, Crimson Peak —this approach articulates emotion through saturated backdrops. No pure white can be found in the icy washes of an incarcerated Black Knight or a werewolf engulfed in blue flame. The resulting images alternate between infernal heat and hyperthermic cold, a fantastic way to visually tell the reader how the book feels as much as what might happen within its plot. In addition to these covers, Kelley Jones returns to the visceral, ink-heavy horror of Swamp Thing and R.M. Guera continues his muddy descent into The Goddamned’s biblical grindhouse.