By 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.

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Justice League #3, by Yanick Paquette. (DC Comics)

Look. I know it’s just one part of a seven-part jam cover. But I lov–wait, you know what? I don’t have to justify myself to you, or you, sir! Yes, you! *points* I love Superman. I love Yanick Paquette. (Also his artwork.) And when they’re put together, we always get something magical. But with Paquette’s variant to Justice League #3, we get something especially wonderful: A smoldering Man of Steel. Almost like he’s saying, “Hah, I ain’t cleaning this mess u–psyche, you guys. I’m just kidding. Let’s put this city back together for these folks.” Love it.

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Gwenpool #5, by Stacey Lee. (Marvel Comics)

Team-ups are always fun. That’s an odd thing to say nowadays, because it seems whenever two superheroes get together anymore they generally end up smacking the silly out of each other. It’s one nuance of contemporary comic book storytelling I’ve just never been able to grasp. Whatever happened to the halcyon days when Booster Gold and Blue Beetle bopped around the gleaming skyline of Midway City (or wherever) for some good ol’ fashioned daytime derring-do? It seems that, with her downright fun cover to Gwenpool #5, Stacey Lee not only understands this sentiment, she’s brought fun back to team-ups in the Mighty Marvel Manner. Sweet.

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Suicide Squad #1, by Lee Bermejo. (DC Comics)

I’m so sick of talking about Suicide Squad at this point that I feel like my fingers may just fall off my hands and scatter all over my desk if I have to mention this property one more time. And yet, when it comes to singing the praises of Lee Bermejo’s killer variant to Suicide Squad #1, not only do I find myself getting pumped about the Jim Lee-fronted debut that dropped this week (#reviewpending), I’m genuinely ready to give that movie another go. (Just… not right away, okay?) Look at this thing: Scuzzy, foreboding, dangerous. Bermejo is a monster.

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1, by Kamome Shirahama. (DC Comics)

The Birds of Prey are reunited, and all is right in the world. (Though… isn’t Dinah ‘sposed to be in Seattle rn? Asking for a friend.) And while I won’t consider this mission accomplished until Cassandra Cain takes her rightful spot on the team, there is a certain amount of excitement that comes with the return of DC’s most wildly undervalued superteam. That energy is exemplified perfectly in Kamome Shirahama’s gorgeously composed variant to Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1. Criminals beware — your one transgression away from getting a Doc Marten in your face, an arrow in your bum, and a sonic blast in what used to be your ears. That pain you’ll be feeling is what we here in Gotham call “justice.”

Shekhar Kapur’s Devi Rebirth #1 and Xena #5, by Jenny Frison. (Graphic India & Dynamite)

Jenny Frison’s cover game is downright lethal. It’s the hues she employs in every piece — smoky, lush, captivating. Almost like she’s tapping into whatever form of enlightenment that once beguiled Sandro Botticelli and refuses to tell the rest of us how. Then there’s her character work: Her subjects always exude power, whether it’s a physical strength (as evinced by her cover to Dynamite’s Xena #5), or something more elemental (behold her cover to Graphic India’s Devi Rebirth #1). Frison is always at the very top of her game; she leaves us so staggered by her compositions that we almost neglect that she’s sneaking in some Italian Renaissance into our silly world of superheroes.

And that’s it! Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week’s releases in the comments section below!

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