Every so often, I take the comics I read in a given week and sort them into two stacks. In one stack are those that have a cover decently expressive of the interior. In the other are those that say little to nothing or are misleading.

American Dream #3–Here we have a simple homage of the classic Uncle Sam poster, with American Dream in Sam’s place and “TRAITOR!” written across the poster. The notion of American Dream actually being a traitor only comes up once, when Maria Hill says she could have her tried for treason based on a series of actions. Nothing comes of it and it only somewhat plays a role in other events. It is relevant, but only somewhat loosely and not without being potentially misleading.

House of Mystery #2–I know there is a girl on the cover. And some sort of monster is cradling her. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what the monster is. If it is actually a representation of the House of Mystery itself, then the cover symbolically shows an important part of the comic. However, since I can’t tell, I can’t in good faith put it in the first stack.

Justice Society of America #16–The issue is, in fact, about the guy in the center, the JSA’s shock, and the people of the village below. Good job, Ross.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #40–In this issue, Spider-Man does not actually lift Thor’s hammer and fight somewhere in New York. However, he does gain Thor powers (including a hammer), and the very inclusion of Asgard and Asgardians is the primary focus of the issue. I think this cover does a nice job of balancing salesmanship with content. Very nice.

(Side note: there is a Mini-Marvels comic on the last page. On the one hand, I want them to tell me so I know to buy it. On the other hand, there are more fingers. …I mean, it was a pleasant surprise.)

Noble Causes #34–This is a title that has multiple story veins running through it. That makes it difficult to do a cover that handles most of the issue. However, the main action sequence of the story is the Noble family facing off against Bonechill (and specifically those members of the family to boot). Another one for the first stack.

Wait. That makes three in a row. Something has to give.

Nova #14–The cover simply depicts the Silver Surfer holding Nova’s helmet.  I, for one, am unsure as to what that is intended to imply.  I do know, though, that issue #13 had Nova and Surfer fighting in front of Galactus.  That does happen this issue and is the highlight of approximately half the story.  I feel like the covers were switched, making the relevant cover end up on the wrong comic.  No dice here.  I have been left confused.

Rann-Thanagar Holy War #2–Much like Noble Causes, this title focuses on multiple plot points at once.  In this case, they are much more scattered, with different stars for each one.  Here, though, we have a cover that depicts an action sequence that takes up about eight pages of the comic.  Although Tigorr (who you can see in the lower right-hand corner) is not involved in that fight, he does play a minor role in the issue.  I’ll let that slide and put this in the first stack.

Secret Invasion #3–Two main things happen in this book.  The main thing is the Battle of Manhattan, as it takes up about thirteen pages or so of the comic.  I would have preferred that that be on the cover.  However, the Iron Man/Spider-Woman sequence, which is only about three pages, may be equally important.  It really does regard Spider-Woman, in a way, trying to seduce Iron Man.  This goes in the first stack.

Star Trek: New Frontier #3–I will be providing a review for this comic later in the week (at least, that’s the plan), as it is quite good and people need to be informed.  The cover provides some details.  The Vulcan woman (named Soleta) uses a mind trick to gather thoughts from the uniformed officer (Admiral Jellico).  It does not quite happen as depicted on the cover, but it is symbolically represented and may be the most important part of the entire story.  Also, the surprise twist at the end and the ship he controls are included as well.  And even here, we get a sense that the Excalibur (the Enterprise-looking vessel) is on the defensive.  This cover touches on some major points while actually revealing very little.  Good enough.

Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #4–I could make an argument for this cover, as the demon depicted is an important figure in the story and may even be the focus.  I cannot justify it, though, as other things happen and what he does is not adequately shown or even implied.

Tiger and Crane #2–For those of you unaware, this is a Bluewater Comics limited series that is an espionage/martial arts tale.   Anyway, the cover shows two men standing back-to-back holding guns, one appearing to be a soldier and the other being a man glowing green and wearing bandages and a trenchcoat (he’s actually called the Green Ghost and is a radio personality).  In actuality, the latter of those two is not important to the story at all and the former is very important, but does little within the confines of the issue.  Most of the issue follows a family in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  You cannot possibly know that given this cover.  Also, the cover implies that the Green Ghost is a character the soldier fights alongside, making it misleading as well.

Trinity #1–Superman stands in front of ancient architecture, presumably on Paradise Island.  Superman is not the focus of the issue–and barely appears as Superman himself–and Paradise Island is nowhere to be seen.  Based on what I’ve seen of upcoming issues, I expect this comic to be a recurring second-stack member.

Ultimate Origins #1–Wolverine poses for you.  Wolverine, as Wolverine, is arguably not even in the comic.  Yippee.

So, let’s see.  This week, the count comes to 6:7.  A couple of surprises in that batch, too.  At least it’s a better count than the ones I have been getting as of late.

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