by Arpad Okay, Clyde Hall, and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From Adam Hughes’ fantastic ‘Invisible Woman’ #1 to Riley Rossmo’s summertime take on ‘Young Justice’, here are the covers we love the most this week.
Invisible Woman #1 by Adam Hughes. (Marvel)
JJ: One glance is all you need to know you’re looking at superhero royalty. Sue Storm. The Invisible Woman. Power beyond reckoning. A premiere packed with such prestige as Invisible Woman #1 demands an incredible display of power and iconography. Adam Hughes’ cover fits the bill on both fronts.
Hughes appreciates the legacy, honors it. Here, Storm is framed in a portrait of potency and prominence, an omega-level champion immortalized in grace. It’s the whites and blues, fantastic shades, that give this cover its optimism and strength. Sue could be hurtling through some wormhole towards the Negative Zone, forming the force fields that will choke out a supernova or stop a juggernaut dead in their tracks. But we’re still in the seconds before the skirmish, watching her work out the equations, meting out just the right amount of energy to avoid further catastrophe.
She’s a hero. One of the greatest we’ve ever known. Able to blend into the environs for a stealth attack or hover into the heavens with her ostentatiously-caped colleagues. The Marvel Universe is a weird, wonderful place; worthy of exploration, it instills in us a profound sense of awe. As one of its proudest stewards, Sue Storm stands at the ready, hands splayed out towards the reader, willing invisible bubbles into the space around her, a true challenger of the unknown.
Catwoman #13 by Joëlle Jones. (DC)
AOK: Joëlle Jones tells us a story of violence and shock framed in flesh. It’s a penny dreadful behind a poem of submission, of vulnerability. Not seeing but being seen. Wreathed in a storm of cobalt and ultrablack swirl and edged with an ornate pattern of boudoir burlesque, Jones works magic in the calligraphy of desire.
Catwoman’s body is a rune. A signet. A letter unrecognized by intellect but understood nonetheless. Two strokes down, two strokes out, a spine beautifully bowed. You could lose it for all its black, Catwoman being shadow incarnate, but how could you?
This cover is a tarot card, a story within a story, the wildest thing I’ve seen covering a mainstream superhero comic in some time. We mourn the passing of Vertigo but here is the spirit of comics-the-greater still to be found thriving at DC.
Ghosted in LA #1 by Kris Anka. (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios)
CH: Whether at work in action sequences, at rest between battles, or at play with friends and teammates, superheroes rendered by Kris Anka are at their best. His punchy, playful style has a thoroughly modern air in the cut of the costumes, the hairstyles. The clean, linear technique he uses registers on several levels of appeal.
There’s no superhero in sight for Anka’s variant cover on Ghosted in LA #1, and yet the appeal is just as strong. Central is Daphne Walters, protagonist long on heartbreak and short on means for coping with life in Los Angeles. Anka captures her vulnerability and her wholesome appeal. He’s brought to unlife her ghostly roommates in the background. Though they don’t occupy center stage, they draw almost as much attention as Daphne. Largely Disapproving Guy. Studio System Fallen Diva. Wunderkind Scythed in His Prime. Aspiring Actor Eternally Denied the Floodlights. Only guesses regarding this entourage of hallowed Haunts, but each carries a pre-investment backstory by appearances alone thanks to Anka. He challenges us to discover how each one came to their lamented state. And then died.
Young Justice #7 by Riley Rossmo. (Wonder Comics/DC)
JJ: Imagine the amount of calories it would take for Bart Allen to maintain standard bodily functions with the speed force working lightning through his skinny frame every second of the day, and then acknowledge that this kid is just that—a kid. Teenagers eat. I figure Bart needs to cram as much carbs ‘n’ such into his yammering maw as it can hold per minute just to keep upright, but that still doesn’t justify swiping Conner Kent’s hamburger sandwich and trampling his french fried potato garnish in the process. That’s just rude, Bart. Rude!
Such are the perils of wielding the speed force, an amphetamine x one trillion cosmic power that can send you from Central City to Tokyo to Sydney, Australia in the span of a second hand ticking to the next. Impulse uses his power to save the world, so that purloined hamburger sandwich is likely a necessary thing, but swiping Cassie’s tasty beverage just to wash it down? C’mon, man!
Social gaffes among the super-set aside, Riley Rossmo’s hilarious variant cover to Young Justice #7 is a slice of summertime abandon, boosted by maximized character expression and a picture postcard aesthetic. As Impulse runs the gamut of selfishness, all the way from “want” to “take”, so too does Rossmo put his teammates through the full spectrum of betrayal: Left to right, we see Cassie become frustrated, Conner furious, and Bart? Satisfied. It takes a lot of grub when you gotta go fast. Besides, what are friends for?
Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below!