The Cover Count is when I sort the comics I have read in a given week into two piles: one for those with a cover that well represents the interior and another for those that fail to do so.  This week, I will make two counts.  One will be strict, much more like the normal count.  The other will be more loose and include the borderline covers.

Action Comics #860–Represented are the evil Justice League of 3008 with Superman banners in the background.  There is a blurb at the bottom that actually tells the reader that this is a Legion story.  Unfortunately, since there is no mention of which Legionnaires are included nor the condition of the Earth at that time (not even that the sun is red), this cover is lacking.

Amazing Spider-Man #545–Here we see a cracked picture of Peter and Mary Jane with a hand gloved in red holding shard.  I don’t know who wears the glove and, speculation aside, there are many reasons why the couple could be depicted this way.  There is more that needs to be said, in spite of the “‘Nuff Said!” written in the corner.  The marriage is in jeopardy and Mephisto is running the show.  Neither of those is clear given this cover.

Batman #672–Batman riding a motorcycle?  Next.

The Brave and the Bold #9–This cover shows the three team-ups of the issue and includes mention of the Challengers of the Unknown.  It is true that no mention is made of the villains inside, but since so much else is covered, I can’t bring myself to hold that against it.

Captain America #33–Yes, that would be Iron Man and the Winter Soldier duking it out on a helicarrier.  Surprisingly, except for the fact that they fight inside, this is pretty much what we get.  The Winter Soldier escapes and then engages in a fight that takes up at least a third of the issue.  This pleases me, as this title has not been doing too well in the count previously.

Captain Marvel #2–For the most part, this is an issue dealing with both Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel and their relationship.  The cover gets some credit there.  However, there is a bit more to this issue, such as S.H.I.E.L.D. management and the Cobalt Man.

Countdown: Arena #4–Three Supermen  Supermans fight each other.  Unlike Captain America, however, the fight depicted is not the main event of the issue.  The fight between Iron Man and the Winter Soldier is built toward, given, and ended, with a little more happening.  Here, though, the issue starts with the three characters being thrust into a fight (which they don’t actually start until page 4).  The main fight, however, is the one against Monarch and includes much more than multiple versions of Superman.  This cover tries, but not hard enough.

Countdown to Final Crisis #18–Ray Palmer travels in a bloodstream.  In the corner is a message saying “The Search is over!  The NEW life and times of RAY PALMER!”   Anyone who has been following Countdown will know what this means.  The Challengers (not the same from above) have finally found who they were looking for, finally found their Ray Palmer.  It is true that we go on a journey with him in his new life, but there is no sense on the cover of what that life entails.

The Death of the New Gods #4–The cover shows Mister Miracle using the Anti-Life Equation, the dead bodies of the Forever People, and, if you look at it from a distance, the face of Darkseid blended into the background.  The first two are important parts of the issue, even though they happen early on.  Darkseid is less important, but I suppose it is nice to remind readers that he will be in the issue, just for those who will buy things if he’s in it.   This one works for me.

The Flash #235–Linda and Wally are caught in a sandstorm presumably in front of the Flash museum (give the statue and the building in the background).  This just doesn’t happen.  Something akin to a sandstorm occurs, I suppose, but even then Linda isn’t in immediate danger nor are the two of them “Stranded” anywhere.  More importantly, there are villains and heroes unaccounted for on the cover.  I would think that the inclusion of Wonder Woman on the cover might pull in some reader.  Ah well.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #37–The cover simply shows a bunch of Legionnaires, some of which don’t appear and one of which gets a costume change two pages in.  I would’ve settled for a fight scene with the enemies of the issue.  That would still be a group shot.  No?  Too bad.

Thor #5–Thor does more seeking for compatriots and we get the sense that he really wants to find Sif.  He does indeed find a female Asgardian, as the cover depicts, but that’s not how she looks.  The fight scene of the issue is entirely ignored, as is the villain therein.  This one just isn’t really close enough.

Ultimate Spider-Man #117–Much like the Captain America issue,  this fight is an important part of the story.  The stuff before builds up to the fight and the stuff after is a direct results of it.  The issue is pretty much centered around what’s on the cover.  Good job.

X-Men: Emperor Vulcan #4–The cover would have you believe that Marvel Girl unleashes the Phoenix.  This is not so.  That aside for the moment, I cannot from the cover who she would be attacking nor why she would be attacking them.    Is Emperor Vulcan even in the issue?  I know that he is, but I wouldn’t be able to tell from just the cover.  This cover is misleading and provides no information.

Strictly speaking, the ratio would be 4:10, with Brave and the Bold, Captain America, Death of the New Gods,  and Ultrimate Spider-Man making the first pile.

If I become less strict, and therefore more loose, I could throw in Countdown: Arena, bringing the ratio to 5:10.  That hardly helps this week.