By Molly Jane Kremer, Arpad OkayClyde Hall, Mickey Rivera and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From the cosmopolitan cool of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s ‘Snotgirl’ to the knockout one-two cover punch of ‘The Dreaming’, here’s what we’re loving this week.

Heavy Metal #291 by Carla Harvey & Jacque Edyer. (Heavy Metal)

JJ: Heavy Metal‘s Fetish Issue is always a feast for the eyes and its variant for this year’s sumptuous offering has left me weak in the knees. That’s calculated perfection from artists Carla Harvey (of the Butcher Babies) and Jacque Edyer, who ensnare a killer portrait, pop it in the VCR, and fuck up the tracking. It’s a whole goddamn mood, radiating life from the confines of the toniest panic room. Scads of distortion, oodles of fuzz, all the sass. Niagara, undisputed champion of Detroit lowbrow art, would be proud.

And that portrait? Klaus Nomi sophistication, war-ready, ferocious. It’s sharp—you know what? Forget sharp, this cover is deadly. Stealthy, silent as a dagger between the ribs, an image prepared to punch you in the face. It’s another example of the next-level curation offered by Heavy Metal‘s esteemed EiC Grant Morrison: He finds exemplary work from treasured parts of the world and brandishes it like a lightning-charged broadsword. It’s staggering.

The Immortal Hulk #5 by Alex Ross (Marvel)

MR: No one does epic like Alex Ross. Readers following The Immortal Hulk have already been treated to four covers by this comics legend. Ross’s is a just-barely contained muscle explosion. I have never seen the green guy’s muscles so ripped, his sneer so contemptuous.

Like in some of this other covers for this series, Ross has tilted our viewpoint into a precarious lean. We’re looking up from the side, ever so close to a brutal and imminent beatdown. As the light streak across the background we gaze into Hulk’s hate filled eyes, then back at Sasquatch’s pained howl. And then we dance our eyes down that beefy green arm, giving thanks to whatever higher power may be listening that we are not in the poor orangutan’s shoes.

Snotgirl #11 by Bryan Lee O’Malley. (Image Comics)

AOK: The new issue of Snotgirl looks like how growing up feels. Has it really been fifteen (plus) years since Bryan broke out onto the scene? This piece feels like the same indie sensibilities of yesteryear, matured. This could be a cover to Love and Rockets but for the colors and the shōnen sensibilities. I’ve seen Kim Pine on the cover of Scott Pilgrim looking eerily familiar to this, but that was definitely then and Snotgirl looks like now, now, now.

That simple composition is still strong. The details go into the eyes. The fashion. The devilish expression of Caroline. The texture of hair. The Snotgirl logo just kills me. “Fall/Winter 2018” is a great zine throwback, too. O’Malley understands the industry as well as any other veteran and it shows. This cover is so crisp and simple and delightful, a testament that the classics never go out of style, that Snotgirl is timeless.

Asgardians of the Galaxy #1 by Cliff Chiang. (Marvel)

CH: With a lineup like this, the title could just as easily have been Asgardians with Attitude. Angela, Valkyrie/Annabelle Riggs, the Executioner, Kevin Masterson AKA Thunderstrike, and under the direction of an unknown additional member, the Destroyer. Joined with the awesome emerald might of Throg, Frog of Thunder, I’ll get this issue based on the cover alone. Because Throg!

While there will surely be jests and jovialities included, there’s even more likely to be serious mythic butt-kickings, and artist Cliff Chiang’s variant cover manifests the best of both possibilities. His lines are a smooth conduit for the rising tide of adventure, imbuing a personalized morale boost for each character. Throg’s battle joy (Croaking out a Wagnerian martial fanfare!). Skurge’s Frank Castle Gaze of Death. Thunderstrike’s unnerving punk sneer. Angela’s unchanneled rage. Valkyrie as confidence personified, in her fellows and in herself.

Between Asgardian Amazons, young gun Thunderers, tough old veterans, and a rain of Frogjolnir ruin, any sensible opponent would forego begging mercy and endeavor to die valiantly in battle. With gratitude that Valkyrie’s on hand for your afterlife cleanup. Defeated by Throg as he’s gloriously ferried into battle astride the flat of Brunnhilde’s Dragonfang. What blackguard could wish for a more magnificent undoing than that?

The Dreaming #1 by Jae Lee & June Chung, Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn.(DC Vertigo)

MJ: I would have been disappointed if either cover for this week’s The Dreaming #1 had been less than (as the kids say) dreamy af. In the hands of Jae Lee & June Chung and Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn, that was never a possibility.

Jae Lee and June Chung’s style is signature at this point, as are the soft, cool tones of their graceful, spindly, expressive figures. Their textures too are palpable, from the perpendicular creases in Dora and Lucien’s near-matching trousers and shirts to the crumbling tree-moon underneath them. The surprised crescent moon (or moon-shaped thing) wears a look somewhere between an aggressive snarl and a fearful gasp, both understandable responses to Dora’s boot kicking a hole in its forehead. There’s always an element of the ephemeral in Lee’s work, of the magnificently temporary, and the slow dissolution beneath our protagonists’ feet may speak of what’s to come.

Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn’s cover is a little more down to earth, with rich detail surrounding Dora, furtively exiting clasping a (purloined?) book as Lucien looks on. Creamy warm tones in the foreground fade into the cool back-lit glow of an ornate stained-glass window (depicting Dream, natch). Amidst towering bookshelves, a spiraling staircase, and a Tiffany lamp bedecked with tiny succubi, this is a library—much like the Sandman mythos itself—to lose oneself in.

Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below. Best response wins a pack of DoomRocket stickers!