“Lupita: The Power and the Glory” is a supreme cover line, both for her in general and for this photo. It’s perfect. She is power and glory. The photo isn’t necessarily immediately recognizable as her; it washes over you, but the reason it does is because it grabs you and won’t let you look away until you know. How many people could pull off that angle? And it does distort her features, too, but somehow in the most compelling way. The other words on the cover — seductive, desire, even mood — suit it beautifully.

The other is less successful:

lupita-nyongo-porter-2-cover-fall-2018-1533668381

It’s still cool, but her facial expression is less assertive; it’s more confused. The shadows create an air of fatigue rather than mystery. And is she… eating a blade of grass? No wonder her vexation is creeping to the fore. I, too, would be puzzled.