Mark Waid, one of the better comics writers extant, suggest that this is the perfect comic book cover:
What he has to say about it is pretty much dead on and offers a lot of insight into what makes for a good cover for you wanna-be artists.
Two things, though:
1) He makes a point about the coloring of the villains hands and arm in the lower right part of the art. What he doesn’t mention is that the purple tones are the historic ones used for the never-seen, ultimate Spirit villain, the Octopus, in the original Will Eisner strips. In other words, there is history conveyed by the art as well as aesthetic value. Given Waid’s almost encyclopedic knowledge of comics history, I am somewhat surprised that he didn’t mention this, almost stunned if in fact he didn’t even know it.
2) It really is a great cover in and of itself but the art has absolutely nothing to do with the story inside the issue. It does tell a story all by itself, agreed, but a cover surely cannot be considered “perfect” if it gives the prospective reader no information about what he is to expect, can it?