by Arpad Okay, Sara Mitchell and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From the murky, swirling chaos of Ian Bertram’s ‘Black Hammer/Justice League’ to Ray Fawkes’ ode to the ‘Gideon Falls’ Laughing Man, here are the covers we love the most this week.
Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! #2 by Ian Bertram & Dave Stewart. (Dark Horse Comics/DC)
JJ: From the swamps of un-reason, he walks. This broken thing, an inverted, blasphemed under-version of the World’s Greatest Hero, staggers through the murky, swirling swamps where darkness is. Where’s he off to? Some misadventure? Even he doesn’t know.
Bizarro isn’t a malicious character. As rendered by the pen of Ian Bertram and muted even more than usual in dim, ominous hues by Dave Stewart, however, he’s seen brighter days.
Bertram’s style slays me. Spooky, twisted, peculiar and more than a little disturbing. Serpentine tentacles just everywhere, always. His work is always so full of character, and to see Bertram’s take on comics’ classic quasi-monster is a thrill.
Because Bertram, Bizarro’s angular visage turns to cottage cheese, his tattered cape a thick, rubbery cloak. He’s Frankenstein’s monster, lumbering away from the growing, snakelike vines that threaten to ensnare him. He seeks refuge from those demonic, hateful things behind him too, looming, shifting, framing Bertram’s piece into a kaleidoscopic vision of terror. As they twist into a trap so too does Bizarro’s face contort into one of fear, anguish, confusion. I almost want to reach in and pull him to safety.
Silver Surfer: Black #3 by Tradd Moore & Felipe Sobreiro. (Marvel)
AOK: If you can see, you can see Tradd Moore draws some of the most compelling lines in comics today. He is very precise, heavy on detail, but with room enough for every figure to bend, curve, and flow. Like Ed Roth pinstriping. Each line finds the space to lie perfectly. Tight. Slick. This shit drips.
Moore’s version of a biology textbook made fruit punch molecular convergence with Felipe Sobreiro’s colors, it’s not just showing off. Norrin Radd, the mirror that reflects none of the cosmos he travels, should stand out in the mess. The shape of a man with infinite board in hand amidst a garden of chaos. Around him is naught but pattern, and the Surfer is supposed to be Silver. But Moore and Sobreiro find a way to lose him under the waves: the indelible man is stained and lost.
And that’s Silver Surfer: Black.
Gideon Falls #16 by Ray Fawkes. (Image Comics)
SM: “Our minds are machines for interpretation. Yes, I see the barn. I see that it’s black, and old. Maybe if I pass my hands over its exterior, I’ll get a splinter. That’s how I’ll know it’s real. And then I see the barn again, but not where it belongs. Maybe if I document where I see it, then I’ll find a pattern. I’ll prove that it’s real. But then I see the barn again, this time in my dreams. Maybe if I really devote myself to this, I can properly catalog everything I can find about the barn. It must be real. It must want me to know that it’s real.
“My mind is no longer the machine that interprets the barn, but the machine that manifests the barn. If my mind is the barn, and my mind is definitely real, then the barn is real. Right?
“And just like that, the barn completely, hauntingly, envelops my mind. To the point where I’m no longer interpreting or manifesting the idea, but completely under its influence. To the point where I’m no longer obsessed, but possessed. I am the barn and the barn is me.”
– The Laughing Man
Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below!