Front image description:
Communicate an alternate world that is seedy and nightmarish. Lighting, POV, and figure poses should be for melodramatic effect. Nothing shiny, neat, or clean, except the Hero.
Communicate some or all of these genres: thriller, mystery, steampunk, retro pulp fiction (of the 1940s). The image must convey horror or fear on the part of the main character, in a lurid or exaggerated way to communicate light satire. Pulp fiction cliches are welcome, including in the font selection, but don't overdo it. (Dripping blood fonts are likely too much.) Mere hints of irony are best. See below for suggested themes and elements. Or create an image based on the book above.
The main character should appear on the image. He wears a judge's robe. He is 35 years old. He should fit the stereotypical athletic, earnest heroic type with brylcreemed black hair. Models are Superman or Ronald Reagan at that age. Although earnest and likeable, he is haunted by guilt: he is the personal assassin to the Chief Justice.
A secondary character may also appear. He is the evil Chief Justice. He is old and haggard, his body ravaged by alcoholism. He's like an older version of the hero who has not aged gracefully. He menaces the Hero.
Other possible elements (don't try to fit them all in!):
A huge raven.
A judge's gavel made of gray metal (belongs to the Chief Justice)
A bloody knife (belongs to the Hero)
The facade of the US Supreme Court building (but a nightmare version--broken windows, crumbling marble, weeds; the capitals are crowned with thorns, not acanthus leaves).
A red-white-black American flag with a Jolly Roger where the blue field of stars ought to be.
1. The Hero is menaced by Chief Justice, who may stand behind the Hero, possibly holding his gavel to the Hero's throat like a knife. Or maybe he smiles creepily as his hand rests on the main character's shoulder, communicating a creepy paternal control, as the main character regards the bloody knife in his own hand with dread.
2. The main character clutches his chest melodramatically as though he has been shot. But the "blood" stain is white instead of a red. Meanwhile, a raven is flying over him like a bomber, prompting the viewer to wonder if the bird just pooped on him.
3. The Hero might hold a bloody knife. It stains his hand; he may regard it with loathing. Maybe he is draped in the flag described above.
The Hero stands before a crowd of men (in ranks?) all of whom look exactly like him. He wears a judge's robe; they are common laborers in various shades of brown. In any event, they are grimy look-alikes of the tall, clean hero. They all look afraid, and seek salvation in the Hero.