by Clyde Hall, Brendan Hodgdon and Sara Mitchell. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From Michael Gaydos’ ‘Pearl’ to Jenn St. Onge’s ‘Sabrina’, here’s what we’re loving this week.
Pearl #10 by Michael Gaydos. (Jinxworld/DC)
SM: She looks at the gun the way a child looks out the living room window on a stormy day. Shrouded in darkness, lost in a dream, helpless under the weight of the world. We’ve seen Pearl in this position before, but it’s been the gun next to the tattoo machine. Torn between the past and the present, truth and myth, the yakuza and liberation. It’s stunningly solemn to see her here, finally, with her one way out right in front of her. But it’s never been an easy life for Pearl. Torn now between love of another and love of self. Kill or be killed. What would you do?
Michael Gaydos has me feeling like she’s right across from me. We’re both on the floor in this inescapable darkness, and I want nothing more than to grab the gun and run. I wish I could save her from life’s terrible, unfair circumstances. Unfortunately, there’s no saving our fictional friends. It’s hard enough saving our real ones. I can’t will her out of her inevitable pain, so I’ll wait and see what plan her pensive mind conjures up to save herself.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7 by Patrick O’Keefe (Marvel)
CH: “It’s such a groove to be free, leave my teenage troubles behind. Lay my past with the mask and climb to impossible heights.” Kitschy lyrics from ‘Spider-Man: A Rockomic!’, 1972, the desire by youth to cut ties and escape endures. (Even if the Webspinners’ tune doesn’t.) Peter Parker embraced the freedom of his Spider-Man identity in the 1960s, and if you’re watching NOS4A2 or have read the book, modern heroine Vic McQueen shares the sentiment. She escapes an unhappy home life by punching psychic Inroads to a different reality or location. Through the digital painting of Patrick O’Keefe, Miles Morales carries on this teen tradition with the cover of Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7.
He’s captured true web-spinner glory here, elevated Miles above the neighborhood he protects in a poise inspiring chiropractic anxiety. The overcast sky showcases our young hero’s costume coloration but yields right of way to a street canvas of vehicles. O’Keefe works it all to create the right atmosphere, honking included, and overlaying the glow of taillights with the textures he’s known for.
Being any Spider-Man carries a sticker price. But here’s a moment for a hero to revel in, using abilities far beyond mortal limits to the thrill of onlookers below. As it was before, so it remains. The mask becomes a free-spirited invitation to discard juvenile routine and hold nothing back.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch #3 by Jenn St. Onge (Archie Comics)
BFH: Between the premise behind the character and her origin as an Archie Comics creation, Sabrina the Teenage Witch has always existed as an interesting blend of spookiness and Americana. This particular Stephen King-esque aesthetic is rendered in subdued but resonant fashion by Jenn St. Onge with her cover for Sabrina #3.
There’s a particular sort of cold that one might associate with pumpkin picking or such, the kind that almost feels refreshing until 45 minutes go by and suddenly your fingers are numb. You can feel that cold in the way St. Onge depicts this scene, right down to the pale colors that make it look like an early morning with no sun to speak of. Sabrina’s bundled up in a field shrouded in fog, and she seems comfortable, relaxed. This could almost be seen as a peaceful moment, but given Sabrina’s background it takes on a low-key tension and uncertainty.
In the world of a witch, what does the fog hide? What’s buried under the field? What rituals have been performed here? The image could easily be interpreted as a snapshot of desolation, with Sabrina standing alone with only Salem and this one green leaf as signs of life in this place. The mystery of this moment, right down to Sabrina’s enigmatic smile, is what really drives home the mix of the pastoral and the Satanic. That is Sabrina in a nutshell.
Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below!