By Molly Jane Kremer and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. Each week, we single out the most striking covers that grace comic book stands and gush all over them.
MJ: Aww. Just look at those red boots. Ben Caldwell is the newest in a string of great cover artists to be featured on the front of DC’s digital-first, out-of-continuity Wonder Woman comic (Gene Ha, who crafted the cover to issue #2, is another that comes to mind). Caldwell draws Diana simply and adorably, wearing a costume containing elements of both Pre-Flashpoint and the New52 — altogether more than reminiscent of Bruce Timm’s Justice League Unlimited design. Not to mention, we have Cheetah, Circe and Medusa already captured and lassoed up by our heroine. It’s simply a great look for a classy-looking cover.
Revival #29, by Jenny Frison. (Image Comics)
JJ: Where the hell has Jenny Frison been all my life. Her artwork consistently boasts a checklist of almost everything I hold aesthetically dear: Iconic imagery, bold lines, subtle detail, raw sensuality, and eye-searing color are always at the forefront of Frison’s illustrations, and this cover to Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s Revival is an appropriately addition to my growing admiration to her work. (And hey! We’re featuring her twice this week. See below.)
Betty & Veronica #275, by Adam Hughes. (Archie Comics)
MJ: Adam Hughes is a master, and the only reason this is the first time he’s been featured in Undercover is because, well, we only started doing this a week ago. His composition is, as ever, flawless, as are his articulate expressions and his delightful sense of humor (and unerring ability to express it visually). Down to its rendered, minuscule details (take a look at Betty’s pink socks and their little puffball adornments above the heel: Betty would so wear those socks), this cover is perfect.
Archie vs. Predator #1, by Francesco Francavilla. (Dark Horse Comics)
JJ: This cover cracks me up. Listen; you can almost hear Archie using his worst Schwarzenegger holler: “Go! Get to the sock-hop!” What a riot. I give scads of approval to this most unlikeliest of Archie crossovers (well, since the last one) from Dark Horse and Archie, but the man who deserves a drink is Francesco Francavilla for this absurdly brilliant cover. That Riverdale sweatshirt is likely to shrink in all that swamp water, but fuck that; Archie is gonna survive. So good.
Ms Marvel #14, by Jenny Frison. (Marvel Comics)
MJ: While the months featuring themed variant covers can be hell on the wallet for those more collection-savvy, they give us such. Great. Art. Take Jenny Frison’s “What The Duck?!” variant to Ms. Marvel #14: The artistic technique is superb, the art nouveau, Mucha-esque sensibility and layout is perfectly on par, and the visual gag is incredibly giggle-inducing. Frison is so good, her presence on Undercover might end up becoming a regular thing.
Shaft #5, by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. (Dynamite)
JJ: David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely’s Shaft is one of my favorite comic books running today. You want a foreboding, gritty, eerily recognizable, and downright habitable world to visit? Stop right here. And let the appropriately moody covers by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz guide you straight into John Shaft’s private Hell. You’ll never want to come back.
Convergence: Superboy #1, by Babs Tarr. (DC Comics)
JJ: If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge Tom Grummett/Karl Kesel-era Superboy fan. And with Convergence forcing me to take a nostalgia trip all summer, this wonderfully illustrated cover by Babs Tarr is the balm that soothes my ire. This is taking me back to the days when Superboy had no other name, dated Tana Moon of GBS (because all superheroes date reporters, duh), and saved Metropolis from big-ass missiles from Engine City. (*sniff* Still puts a lump in my throat.)
Agree? Disagree? What covers caught YOUR eye this week? Let us know in the comments below.