Roku #2, Valiant, by Elsa Charretier.
Sometimes the cover design chosen for POP Cover Of The Week can seem overly simplistic, as this week’s selection Roku #2 may be accused of being. But once you realize what the comic is about, you realize that looks can be deceiving and the cleverness of the symbolism reaches out and grabs you…
…Because Roku is the name of the comic’s female assassin with fiery red hair, hair that she can control every strand of, to choke or slash, in deadly fashion. Talk about a killer ‘do!
The obvious premise and inspiration for this book is: “What if Marvel Comics’ red-haired Medusa of the Inhumans used her living hair to murder for hire?” Cover artist Elsa Charretier has designed a cover that would have been perfect for a Medusa Inhumans cover, a concept so simple that it’s surprising no one has tried it before. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most difficult to conceive because they are so obvious. Her concept is to fill the cover with a smooth, flat orange-red color. Roku’s pure white face is centered on the cover, surrounded by all this brilliant color. Dry-brush strokes of orange-red streak her face, leading the viewer to realize that all that color is her hair.
Brilliantly beautiful and simple.
An alternate interpretation can be that the face is not Roku's, but her victim's, and Roku is using her mass of hair to smother, choke, or slash her, and the red streaks across her face are streaks of blood.
Limiting the color scheme to red, white, black makes for an effective and eye-catching approach. The trade dress (the publisher’s logo, the comic title logo, issue number, etc.) doesn’t intrude on the elegantly simple design, and while I think artists should be able to sign their work, in this case, her signature is a distraction to the POP Cover Of The Week.