byArpad Okay, Clyde Hall, Brendan Hodgdon, and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From Jenny Frison’s latest bit of ‘Wonder Woman’ brilliance to Joëlle Jones’ ‘Catwoman’, here’s what we’re loving this week.
Wonder Woman #72 by Jenny Frison. (DC)
AOK: Diana wears a cloak that is solid stone. A single piece textured background gives Jenny Frison’s variant cover for Wonder Woman the elevated, fine art sensibilities that lifts a comic off of a spinner rack to place it on a bookshelf. A promise of magic.
Move away from the impossible wall and the Lasso of Truth, glowing, forms a kind of occult signet. Marble, cut away into person, holding a rope of glowing neon. Look at her eyes. This is Wonder Woman in a Kenneth Anger film, at maximum Twin Peaks.
Everything about Wonder Woman that is iconic is thought on and made beautiful and fascinating. The light from her lasso gives painterly texture to tiara and bracelet. Arms crossed, passing through, wrapped in, and wielding the pure colors that are hers. It’s inspired, mysterious, and powerful.
Spider-Man: Life Story #4 by Chip Zdarsky. (Marvel)
BFH: When we here at DoomRocket chose to include Chip Zdarsky in our latest Year To Come column, it was largely based on the year he was having as a writer. But even as he conquers comicsdom with his writing skills, Zdarsky is still equally gifted as an artist. It’s been some time since Zdarsky drew interiors for anything, but as this cover for his Spider-Man: Life Story #4 proves he still knows his way around a Bristol board.
First, there’s Zdarsky’s Spidey, who seems a bit fuller and stockier than we are used to seeing as befitting a story that would see him well into middle age by the 1990s. It quietly drives home the specific nature of this story, and how Peter Parker would be affected by the passage of actual time. But then there’s the composition overall, and this is where Zdarsky really taps into his deep reservoirs of cleverness. We see what is clearly meant to be an anonymous, sheer-glass skyscraper, the kind that became commonplace in the 90s, only rendered and colored in a way that happens to echo the pattern of Spider-Man’s suit. But then Zdarsky throws in the cracked window, which gives the image a bit of character but also directly recalls the “broken window” policing initiative that also took New York City by storm during that decade. These subtle details link the image back to the timeframe of the book, without being boorishly direct about it.
While Zdarsky writes Life Story with great skill, and having the great Mark Bagley on art is nothing to sneeze at, the craft and thoughtfulness of this cover makes one long for a series both written and drawn by Zdarsky. For now, there remains these incredible covers, more than satisfying on their own.
Catwoman #12 by Joëlle Jones. (DC)
JJ: Joëlle Jones doesn’t so much ring in twelve issues of Catwoman but blast out into the world a sonic yellow boom. It’s a candid Polaroid shot, cleaned up, lassoed and expertly positioned over some brilliant Villa Hermosa magazine spread. A small legion of Selina Kyle’s familiars spill out from the blackened doorway, taking form from the formless void behind, nuzzling vinyl boots and blithely adding balance to the yellow/black contrast of the image. Artless and perfect, good cattos.
Then there’s Selina. Jones’ mastery of the inkwell makes her uniquely qualified for a book like Catwoman, which is jewel thievery and shadows and slinky onyx work uniforms. Jones’ pop art bonafides wield shapes to her will: lines form sharp angles, waves of ben day dots radiate into a perfect bullseye, framing our heroine, briefly, before she dives out some window like the mad brilliant misanthrope she is. Escape is on Selina’s mind, you can tell; Jones gives her Liz Taylor eyes a playfulness that suggests her cat-cowl is about to get tossed up in a casual rock of the shoulders. Time to go to work.
Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below!