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. 


Shade: The Changing Girl #1, by Tula Lotay. (DC Comics/Young Animal)

Here lies a vista of dreaming, wonder, imagination, and chic, urbane cool. Tula Lotay’s variant cover to Shade: The Changing Girl may not hit shelves until next week (a squirrely printing error appears to be the culprit), but the latest Young Animal debut shouldn’t soak up all its accolades without us acknowledging how utterly stupendous Lotay’s contribution to the book turned out to be. Turn off your mind, relax, and float upstream to next week, where you can snag yourself another copy of Shade.


Black #1, by Khary Randolph. (Black Mask Studios)

Social unrest is a result of people demanding a better tomorrow for everyone. Some people take to the streets. Others create. During these moments in history, staggering works of art come to the forefront of our collective activism and take their place as a piece of historical iconography. If I were a street artist, I would most certainly reach out to artist Khary Randolph for permission to replicate his stunning cover to Black Mask Studios’ Black #1, because there are certain parts of this country that would benefit from featuring this image prominently on their walls.


The Amazing Spider-Man #19, by Aaron Kuder. (Marvel Comics)

Good morning, New York City! I hope you’re rested and ready for the craziness that will be NYCC. A cup of coffee warms my hands on this rainy Chicago morning, but Aaron Kuder’s vivid, instantly iconic cover to The Amazing Spider-Man #19 is making me wistful for the Big Apple, where so many of our friends are buzzing about their day, making comics, talking comics, loving comics. Thank you, Mr. Kuder — this variant is making my week.


Harley Quinn #5, by Bill Sienkiewicz. (DC Comics)

Bill Sienkiewicz has been contributing variant covers for Harley Quinn since the book’s Rebirth debut, and they’ve only gotten crazier and crazier as the series has continued. That’s not criticism, by the way, that’s a wide-eyed observation. Take a look at his latest cover, to Harley Quinn #5: his watercolors capture the blurry recollection of a night at a rock club, with all the fuchsias, pinks, and deep, bruising blues that go with it. I’m getting a hangover just looking at this thing. Well done, Mr. Sienkiewicz.


Jessica Jones #1, by David Mack. (Marvel Comics)

Jessica Jones has her own solo Marvel book once more, and all is right with the world. Brian Bendis, Michael Gaydos, and Matt Hollingsworth have returned to give their Alias hero the proper reintroduction her post-Netflix popularity demands. That we have David Mack returning as cover artist, as evidenced with the autumnal piece of artistry that is Jessica Jones #1, well. I dunno about you, but for me? Feels like coming home.


Superman #8, by Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza . (DC Comics)

Pterodactyls! Zooming in like Curtiss P-36 Mohawks! At the Man of Steel! And Superboy! That’s right, “Escape from Dinosaur Island” is upon us (and it’s stupendous), so it’s only right that Doug Mahkne and Jaime Mendoza would whip up this pulpy insanity for the story’s debut cover. If there’s another cover that came out this week that made me want to know what happens inside of it as soon as possible, I haven’t seen it yet.


Doctor Strange #12, by Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend. (Marvel Comics)

Oh, that Chris Bachalo would always render the peculiar and dangerous world of Doctor Strange. Whatever surreal imagery Jason Aaron concocts in his always-arresting stories, Bachalo meets head-on with his trademark zeal. When the artist is left alone to extract wild and sometimes discomfiting images from his imagination, Bachalo gives us home-run covers such as this sucker from Doctor Strange #12. Whatever horrible monstrosity the Sorcerer Supreme has in his sights, well — Bachalo leaves us to conjure that in our own thought-space. The artist and spectator’s minds swirl together in harmonious alchemy.

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