Oh how I do love Entertainment Weekly covers. I’ve explored a brief history of their remarkable collection of poorly-lit, terribly composited, and all around shitty-looking superhero covers before, and their latest Dark Knight expose has provided another one. There stands Bale’s Batman, lit like a member of the Friends cast, his costume losing all the grace of hidden detail that was so carefully crafted by the costume designers and the director of photography. While he doesn’t get a wonderfully dumb pose to add the cherry on top, the awkward crop on this mug-shot stance does the work for him. I love you EW, and the garbage style you’ve turned into an institution.

Along with the cover come three legitimate film stills that, quite naturally, look just fine.

There are also two new pictures within the issue, care of ComicBookMovie.com.

The new issue also comes with an absolute non-quote from Nolan, that some sites, tweets, and people have somehow contorted into a confirmation that you’ll “be able to understand Bane” which is now up in the air again as that whole “new prologue mix” thing seems to have been bunk. When asked about the villain’s voice, he had this to say:

“I think when people see the film, things will come into focus. Bane is very complex and very interesting and when people see the finished film people will be very entertained by him.”

Which amounts to “just trust me guys, he’s super fucking cool when you see the whole thing” but says nothing at all about audio quality. If that’s his answer to a very specific question about the intelligibility of the voice… well, I’m getting the hint that maybe he really doesn’t give a fuck if you catch every word or not.

Also, if you’d like a laugh, have a look at this snippet from a Collider interview with Jonathan Nolan about his interesting little show Person Of Interest, where of course a Batman question was forced through the door…

Can you comment on the reaction that people had upon hearing how muffled some of Bane’s dialogue sounded in that prologue?

NOLAN: I’d really rather talk about the show today, if that’s okay. There’s lots and lots and lots of talking to about The Dark Knight Rises, and I’m excited to do it, but we’re still in lock-down mode, in terms of talking about that project. I wanna talk about the show a little bit, if possible, because we’re coming back.

As a writer, is it bittersweet that you write some fabulous dialogue and it might be muffled, in some fashion?

NOLAN: I’ve gotta tell you, I think what Tom Hardy is doing with the role is spectacular. I’ve had the benefit of seeing a little bit more than the audience has seen, at this point, and it’s pretty spectacular.

I actually had an interview with Jonathan scheduled last year that didn’t end up happening, but to my surprise about 30 minutes before our time a PR agent personally called me to specifically forbid any Batman questions. Obviously that doesn’t stop everyone, even when the man in question says it himself!

But don’t worry, it won’t be long before the gates well and truly explode on this thing, which is undoubtedly on its way toward eclipsing even the massive success of its predecessor.