by Stefania RuddClyde Hall, Brendan Hodgdon and Mickey Rivera. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From Francesco Francavilla’s vicious ‘Vampironica’ variant to Becky Cloonan’s mysterious ‘Moon Knight’, here’s what we’re loving this week.

Vampironica #4 by Francesco Francavilla. (Archie Comics/Archie Horror)

CH: His take on the classic Universal Monsters is iconic modern goodness. His Black Beetle is steeped in full-flavored pulpiness. Now Vampironica gets the patented Francesco Francavilla treatment with his variant cover for issue #4. Whoever’s holding that wicked knife already has their cutting work stacked for them, because no mad slasher puts Ronnie in the corner. Especially not Vamp Ronnie.

With full moon bright enough to make Larry Talbot wince and sanguine illumination matched evenly by tactile murk across the confrontation, Francavilla has all lines radiating to our stylish moroaică. For her part, Ron is in a mood to reciprocate the hate as only a vamp-slaying Lodge can: Knuckle for knuckle, rip for rent.

The past cover work on Vampironica compares to the best available horror-allure sort. They’re the promise of sensual velvet kisses backed by a sharply fanged certainty. Francavilla retains the beauty but it’s etched in determined strength, not gossamer embraces. He adds a predatorial psychotic stalker bent on building their body count. Only this is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, and soon to receive an upper-class smack down from the real alpha in the fight.

Action Comics #1004 by Steve Rude. (DC)

MR: Looking at this cover, you can almost imagine the first time Superman had a moment like this. I’m not talking about any of his clumsy initial attempts at defying gravity. There’s absolutely no sense of struggle in Superman’s face here, no sign of a concentrated effort or novelty. And I don’t mean the first time he figured out how insanely cool it is to zip through the air without wings. This cozy two-tone cover isn’t trying to make a show of anything, despite the fact that it depicts a man floating in the sky.

What I’m talking about is all in the face. Like a happy old man, Supes is content to watch these south-bound geese live out their routine. They’ll make a return trip soon enough, and do it all again next year. You can see by his expression that something about the sight of this living clockwork feeds his heart.

I imagine the first time Superman had a moment like this he had just woken up from a 2 day nap. He was recovering from the fight of his life, having just barely pulled off a last minute gambit that saved his hometown, his loved ones, and everyone else on the planet including every goose. It’s sunrise.

Feeling rested enough, and perhaps not sure what to do with himself yet, he jumped into the sky, flew around for an idle hour just trying to let his mind fall back in order, and then caught sight of something stunning none of us could hope to see from the same vantage point: the ethereal glow of a distant city, a cloud of starlings twisting to avoid him, or just a bunch of geese going about their business. Something quite simple that stands for something quite deep, a microcosm of the vast planetary rhythms he’s listened to every day since he was a kid, that reminds him why he went to all the trouble in the first place.

Army of Darkness Halloween Special One Shot by Reilly Brown. (Dynamite)

CH: Normal trick-or-treaters may come away with a chocolate bar, a package of gum, or at worst a box of raisins. Masked deadite rugrats are sure to be treated to both barrels of a boom-stick when they light on Ash William’s doorstep. Forget rocks, think rock salt. Or shotgun slugs. Even a few rounds with a chainsaw prosthetic. Artist Reilly Brown captures the endearing Rockwell moment just before all the carnage commences for Dynamite’s Army of Darkness Halloween Special One Shot, out this week.

It’s a simple but detailed concept given just the right pumpkin spice for the season. Prominent chin, replacement hand attachment, harmless costume fare of robot and clown and tiger disguising the very harmful undead beneath, disapproving jack-o-lantern carved with suspicion apropos to the charade. The mirth and the mayhem are blended perfectly by Brown as a faithful representation of Evil Dead charm. You can almost hear the dialogue once the deadites are revealed.

“Trick or treat—we want your soul!”

“Yo, Garbage Pail Kids. Come get some.”

Scarlet #3 by Alex Maleev. (Jinxworld/DC)

SR: As a makeup enthusiast I am always drawn to the use of cosmetics and beauty regimens in comic books… or the lack thereof. How do those heroes (and villains) always look so polished fighting crime when I can barely pull it together to get to work on time on a Wednesday? Show me that, creatives, show me that!

Anyway I digress… When I look at the visually striking and fabulously gritty cover for Scarlet #3 by Alex Maleev, I am drawn to the bold red lipstick coming out of a bullet casing used to cover up the bloodied mouth of the title character. She isn’t letting whatever caused that mouth to bleed to stop what needs to be done. It’s an attempt at creating normalcy in chaos, something we’ve all done to self-motivate in order to keep ourselves going. I hear ya, girl. Slap on some lipstick and continue the fight.

Moon Knight #200 by Becky Cloonan (Marvel)

BFH: Moon Knight has always been a unique character in the Marvel pantheon, and with artists like Bill Sienkiewicz and Declan Shalvey illustrating him over the years, often one of the most visually-striking ones at that. His hooded white garb, juxtaposed against the dark of the night, makes for some great artistic potential. And now, just in time for Halloween, Becky Cloonan has provided us with a particularly spooky and menacing depiction of Marc Spector’s unpredictable alter-ego.

The contrast of Moon Knight’s traditional white costume against the black of the night and the dark greys of the gothic architecture upon which he’s perched is stunning enough on its own, with the gargoyle above echoing the hero’s monstrous appearance. But it’s Cloonan’s careful applications of red, particularly the demonic eyes and the blood splatter on his glaive, that make this image so wonderfully unsettling. Moon Knight has always been an unstable and unpredictable figure in the Marvel universe, and never has it been so succinctly realized as it’s been right here.

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