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.
Convergence: Wonder Woman #1, by Joshua Middleton. (DC Comics)
JJ: The best bit about choking down two solid months of DC’s Convergence is that we’re privy to so many spectacular covers. And Joshua Middleton’s downright creepy front to Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 absolutely demands my attention: a fallen Amazon at the mercy of some kinda cult, down but never out (that expression on her face–great Hera!)… what the hell is going on here? No matter what’s inside the book itself (wait, more Middleton art? oh, DC, just take my wallet), Middleton’s image is by far the most attention-grabbing rendition of Diana I’ve seen in a while (it certainly helps that the artist’s Wonder Woman looks a little like PJ Harvey). And the hallmark of all great covers is the achievement of a single purpose: Make the reader gawk at it.
Black Widow #17, by Phil Noto. (Marvel Comics)
MJ: Phil Noto has been drawing and coloring Black Widow’s interiors for the entirety of the series so far, but every cover of his has been an exercise in great art. Throughout his career, Noto has always excelled at covers and pinups, and in the cover for Black Widow #17, Noto draws her dressed in white stealth snow gear, contrasting incredibly from her typical black leather catsuit. The red splash of her hair stands out from the snowy background, and the foreshortened hand of her fallen prey brings the viewer’s eye inward. Just like the Widow herself, this cover is dangerous beauty.
Convergence: The Adventures of Superman #1, by Mikel Janin. (DC Comics)
JJ: It’s no secret around here: I absolutely love the work of Mikel Janin. What’s he’s done over on Grayson is nothing short of a miracle, and if I know he’s on a cover elsewhere in the DCU, odds are I’m all over it. Case in point: this week’s cover to The Adventures of Superman #1 is a one-two punch of creative majesty. One solid left to my stomach comes from Janin’s lush reds and blues that adorn our Cousins of Steel, but it’s the right-handed uppercut of a Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Kara Zor-El (that headband!) that lays me flat.
Star Wars #4, by John Tyler Christopher. (Marvel Comics)
MJ: The amount of variants Marvel has commissioned for its new (and blockbuster-selling) Star Wars series has to have broken some sort of record. And it would be a point of money-grubbing aggravation if a majority of the covers weren’t so damn good. This week’s issue #4 has approximately a tenth as many variants as the first issue, but thankfully we get another variant from John Tyler Christopher. This time it’s the mighty Chewbacca getting the action figure packaging, and it looks uncannily perfect, even down to the crooked “price sticker” up top.
Convergence: Swamp Thing #1, by Kelley Jones. (DC Comics)
JJ: When DC Comics delves into the macabre, if Kelley Jones is involved, the endeavor is always, always, a fruitful one. The ink-black darkness of Jones’ famous work is on full display for this Convergence tie-in, a spooky, iconic image of Alec Holland pulling himself from the horror of the swamp that spawned him. Whatever Jones’ plans are post-Convergence, this cover makes me hope that a DC mini-series is among them.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4, by Erica Henderson. (Marvel Comics)
MJ: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl probably has the best sense of humor of any Marvel comic out there these days (I laugh aloud continuously when reading each issue); the art by the glorious Erica Henderson continually matches Ryan North’s writing, joke for joke. The cover to issue #4 is no exception, as ol’ Doreen Green sizes up Galactus himself in a 16-bit riff on Marvel Vs. Capcom. But she’s taken on worse. Doreen’ll be just fine. (Right…?)
Convergence: The Flash #1 and Batman ’66 #22, by Michael Allred. (DC Comics)
JJ: It’s a tie, folks. Michael Allred nailed not one, but two DC covers this week. Just look at all this pop imagery on display: tell me you don’t want a full print of both of those under glass right now, this instant. Whether he’s illustrating a loving ode to Adam West, or a kinetic rush of Flash greatness, Allred’s covers win my week. Once his superb Silver Surfer comes to an end, DC would do well to throw a lucrative exclusive contract his way for some monthly work. (Teen Titans, anyone?)
Agree? Disagree? What covers caught YOUR eye this week? Let us know in the comments below.