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. This week, we’re paying far too much attention to all the covers to Gerard Way and Nick Derington’s ‘Doom Patrol’ #1!
Doom Patrol #1, by Nick Derington. (Young Animal)
JJ: Listen. The easiest way to endear yourself to me is to confess an undying love for The Velvet Underground. I don’t know how closely Gerard Way and Nick Derington work together when it comes to Mr. Derington’s covers for Doom Patrol, but I can’t imagine either fella frowned on the idea of paying homage to VU’s first album, The Velvet Underground and Nico. It’s just good business to be awesome. To me, the entire concept of this gorgeously executed cover has become Young Animal’s opening salvo, an instantly iconic declaration that its line of books has no intention of playing it “normal.” What the hell does that word even mean. Now. Somebody pop on Loaded.
Doom Patrol #1, by Brian Bolland. (Young Animal)
MJ: Oh, Brian Bolland. Have you ever done us wrong? The answer is of course an emphatic no, and it’s a joy to see his art once again gracing the cover of a comical book. Drawing from characters introduced (or re-introduced, in Robotman’s case) in the pages within, Bolland is incredibly faithful to interior artist Nick Derington’s character designs and style, even down to Terry None’s and Casey Brinke’s facial expressions. And seeing Cliff Steele lookin’ a whole lot like Threepio on Bespin, well. I have a feeling he’s gonna be right as rain soon enough.
Doom Patrol #1, by Sanford Greene. (Young Animal)
JJ: The art of Sanford Greene is animation in still form. Every time I look at his work, I feel like his lines hum with vibration, ready to pop off the page and enter my mind. An animated short, a feature film, Sanford Greene’s line work makes me feel like I’m watching some late-night MTV cartoon, rife with sass and more than a little profanity. Case in point is Sanford Greene’s selfie cover to Doom Patrol #1. Or maybe it’s just a particularly saucy group cover. Is it a selfie cover? Casey Brinke’s “anywhere but here rn” expression, Flex Mentallo’s “awr, shucks” smirk seem to imply that’s the case. And how everyone’s crammed into the cover’s dimensions… well, anyway. If this is a selfie cover, I’d like to think that’s why Robotman is reaching out towards us — to crush that damn smartphone.
Doom Patrol #1, by Jaime Hernandez. (Young Animal.)
JJ: Listen. I’m a reasonable person. I wake up every morning and herd a bunch of cats into the work area and refuse to speak to anyone until I’ve had two cups of coffee just like everyone else. But this Doom Patrol variant from Love and Rockets legend Jaime Hernandez has me feeling belligerent. There had better be a Hernandez-illustrated issue of ‘Doom Patrol’ in our future, by inner voice is barking at me. Or there’s gonna be trouble. Just look at these renditions of Casey Brinke, Negative Man, and Flex Mentallo and tell me that wouldn’t be the greatest idea in the history of greatest ideas. (Now, if only I knew what my brain meant by the word “trouble.”)
Doom Patrol #1, by Babs Tarr. (Young Animal)
JJ: Every publisher out there should have a Babs Tarr Variant Cover budget set aside. Her artwork has an energy to it, an irresistible spark that makes me more inclined to check out whatever book it is that features it. It’s her use of fuchsia, really — I’m a sucker for that color. Her character work always makes the image feel more vital and fun. And everyone knows fun rules. Listen, publishers, if you want eyeballs directed at your newest series, you’d better make damn sure Babs Tarr is knocking out a variant for it. Pay her whatever she wants. It’s always worth it.
Doom Patrol #1, by Brian Chippendale. (Young Animal)
MJ: Though none of these covers even approach DC’s nearly patented house-style superhero art (this is such a good thing by the way), Brian Chippendale’s cover is the most abstract of the bunch, and the least, well, comic-book-y–yeah, even less than that gyro-sticker cover by Derington. We can only just make out Cliff within the collaged and painted multimedia insanity, but the layers upon layers of colors and patterns and textures could be hiding who knows what else. Chippendale has given this piece the effect of a beautifully and intricately-devised screenprint, and of all these jaw-droppingly pretty covers, this is one I’d very much like to be able to get a big print of, to frame and display prominently.
And that’s it! Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week’s releases in the comments section below.