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.
Detective Comics #942, by Rafael Albuquerque. (DC Comics)
Now there’s something you don’t see every day. The Batman, standing atop a spire in the heart of Gotham City, staring into the fiery mouth of a titanic, raging beast. While the Bat-crossover “Night of the Monster Men” is coming to a close, I certainly hope that the door isn’t also closing on wild concepts such as “Batman versus a bunch of giant monsters.” Because that would mean the only way we’d get to behold stupendous images of such things, like Rafael Albuquerque’s staggering variant to Detective Comics #942, would be to close our eyes and dream an amazing dream. (Or, y’know, commission them.)
Darth Vader #25, by Cliff Chiang. (Marvel Comics)
Maybe it’s the adrenaline from that brand new Rogue One trailer that’s still coursing through my veins, but Cliff Chiang’s ready-to-frame variant cover to Darth Vader #25 is about to make me hyperventilate. Here, the Dark Lord of the Sith’s signature red lightsaber casts the entire image in a sinister red, our only hope for contrast the shimmering twin suns of Tatooine. Vader looks like he’s about to take his home planet by storm, or maybe find a nice, quiet moisture farm where he can have a good, long cry. (Sith Lords have feelings too, you know.)
The Electric Sublime #1, by Frazer Irving. (IDW Publishing)
The Electric Sublime is a cool comic book. Cool in the way none of us will ever be. Cool like Jarvis Cocker. That’s right — cool like the frontman to an iconic Nineties BritPop band. Nineties like Frazer Irving’s variant to Sublime‘s first issue, submerged in wild, Dave McKean/Bill Sienkiewicz vibes. Emanating vibes. Art bleeding through our eyes and into our dreams. A fitting cover for a book as mad and provocative as The Electric Sublime.
Howard the Duck #11, by Joe Quinones. (Marvel Comics)
If I start weeping giant sad tears all over my keyboard, that would be unfortunate because I just bought this laptop. But that’s how I feel in this moment: Marvel Comics, for whatever reason, is pulling the curtain over Howard the Duck. Series artist Joe Quinones has bid the Main Mallard a fond farewell with this wrap-party cover, where all the important players of this wonderful series are already planning the next chapter of their lives (while ignoring, deliberately or otherwise, the disconcerting white void behind them, a la the downright existential Daffy Duck episode, “Duck Amuck”). Let this not be a moment for sadness, but for joy — joy that we had Chip Zdarksy and Joe Quinones’ Howard the Duck as long as we did. Comics like this don’t just pop up on shelves every week.
Action Comics #965, by Clay Mann. (DC Comics)
Go ahead — name the greatest character in DC Comics history. Sure, many of you’ll say “Batman” or “Superman” or “The Creeper” because you’re contrary like that, but for me? Lois Lane. That’s right, the intrepid reporter for The Daily Planet is my #1 pick for all-time greatest character in DC Comics history. Why? She’s been around longer than the Batman, she has a Pulitzer Prize for writing damning exposes that illuminate society’s more evil entities, and like another person I can mention, she has always fought for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Or maybe it’s just because I’m excited about Clay Mann’s cover to Action Comics #965, which prominently features Ms. Lane in a way I haven’t seen in years. Or maybe it’s both. (It’s definitely both.)
And that’s it! Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week’s releases in the comments section below.