Thanks to the various people from whom I stole these images. Let's get down to business.
Action Comics 830:
This is a great cover concept that's poorly executed. The people reaching for Superman, the explosion in the background, the added text of "Save us Superman!" on the final version, all very good. But the Man of Steel himself: Yikes. Amazingly, this is a Dan Jurgens piece, but you couldn't tell it from how twisted Superman's torso is. That body is moving in a way impossible outside of GI Joe action figures (the little ones from the 80s, not the big dolls). And I really could have lived without the indentation of his ass crack. John Byrne is doing great covers on Blood of the Demon; why not let him cover his own work here as well? This is not a good cover.
Interesting choice; another pseudo-pinup cover. It advertises a giant robot, which people seem to like. New readers won't know that the little giant robot is in fact Morph, though, and it's pretty static. There's no action, implied or otherwise, just characters looking badass. This one could very easily get lost in the shuffle. Compare it with last month's, which is featured on the "Previously" page, and you can see the difference. This cover is only mediocre.
Incredible Hulk 85:
Better. The House of M banner (not shown) lets people know that this is part of the big summer crossover, which helps with their buying decision either way. This is another "pose" cover, with not much action, but you do get the general sense that the story will involve the Hulk (who has a very cool visual for the duration of the event), Scorpion, and a robotic arm. The snake symbolism will be lost on most readers who haven't picked up part 1, though. The best can be said is that the Hulk makes a great badass. It's a fair cover, better than the Exiles one if only for the image of the rising hand implying a bit of action.
This is the second printing cover. The first has our mysterious heroine in a compromising situation in a shower, which at least dovetails to the plot. This one, though, is a more generic, girl looking enigmatic cover. It makes for a nice conversation piece, but as I've said, generic covers really only work well for a first issue. I like what they do with the green wash, making her look all eerie and supernatural, but it's not a very good cover. Looking at their website, I see the pattern repeating itself over the following months, which disappoints me. I mean, yeah, naked chick, but that can only take you so far. As someone who's watched a good deal of porn, I can state with confidence that even nudity gets boring after a while.