by Clyde Hall, Brendan Hodgdon, Lauren Fernandes, and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From Jenny Frison’s ‘Hellmouth’ portrait cover to Dani & Brad Simpson’s garishly perfect ‘Coffin Bound’ #3, here are the covers we love the most this week.
Hellmouth #1 by Jenny Frison. (BOOM! Studios)
CH: Who retains her cool and her keen fashion sense even while the world around her gainers to Hades in a Hellmouth? Buffy! You’re damn right. Sorry John Shaft, but when it comes to fending off netherworld nemeses, we’ll take Summers as our pick for saving the human race. Again.
BOOM! Studios’ update of the Buffy Saga varies from the continuity we’re familiar with, but the rock of the story is still our young cheerleader-turned-Vampire Slayer supported by her Scoobies. Jenny Frison’s cover for Hellmouth #1 depicts that one-woman foundation with a Watchers Council gallery portrait.
There’s flame dervishing around Buffy, but it’s no match for the kelvins reflected in her steady, glowing gaze. It’s the last earthly view, determined eye daggers set into angelic visage, leveled against many a supernatural Big Bad before finding themselves diced, impaled and dispatched. The stake Buffy wields unfortunately isn’t Mr. Pointy, but as rendered by Frison its woodgrain and stabby bits appear ready for noblest heart-piercing duty.
Stack all your spooky October titles together, bring up the “Once More, With Feeling” soundtrack on Spotify, and then position this book squarely on top of your horror comics. Buffy will keep those Walkers and Mads and Night Bumpers in line.
Vampirella/Red Sonja #2 by Tula Lotay. (Dynamite)
LF: Once upon a time, there was a child of darkness was born unto the world. She was a fearsome vixen, a vampire prepared to defend humanity at all costs. Vampirella’s quest took her near and far, stretched her across time and space. Along the way she made many friends, but few rivaled her power and ferocity.
Until Red Sonja entered her life.
What happened then was beautiful; the intense loyalty and friendship that develops between a pair of powerful women who have no intention to let anything stand in their way. The kind of partnership that develops between women that know they are much more formidable together than they are divided.
Tula Lotay gives us a slice of this fabulous team. Vampirella reclines, martini glass in hand, at ease with the world. Of course she’s at ease, because her girl has her back. Red Sonja stands beside her, wielding her blade and throwing shade.
Vampirella and Red Sonja look as though they are daring the world to challenge them. They look as though they can’t be bothered with the dribbling of mere mortal men. They look like they’re in on a secret, one only they are privy to.
Because only they have harnessed so much raw female power, only they have mastered it. Their secrets are between them and them alone, like an exclusive club or a clique I desperately want to be a part of.
But no. They are too powerful, too closely knit. They stare me down, their eyes seeming to say,
“You can’t sit with us.”
Spawn #301 by Alex Ross. (Image Comics)
BFH: When you set a record, you can’t be blamed for pulling out all the stops and finding a special way to commemorate your accomplishment. And if you’re Todd McFarlane and your series has just become the longest-running creator-owned comic in history, what better way to highlight your creation’s immortality than having him rendered by Alex Ross?
Seeing the Hellspawn in Ross’ polished, painterly style is quite the shock to the system, and yet Ross makes himself right at home with McFarlane’s baby. Spawn’s demonic surroundings take on a Biblical, mythological quality, while the monstrous hero himself finds a new sort of grace under Ross’ ministrations. The horror of hell is a sight worth seeing here, even knowing the awful fury that those flames have birthed in Al Simmons over the years.
There’s no denying Spawn’s legendary status, especially now. Every legend deserves a portrait from Alex Ross.
Coffin Bound #3 by Dani & Brad Simpson. (Image Comics)
JJ: The world as depicted in Coffin Bound hurts. Sharp angles, scorching heat, zero respite—and enemies. People who want you dead and have the time and the means to make it happen. Live a day of Izzy’s life and feel the tension iron wrinkles across your brow, feel the last few embers of innocence burn out in your eyes, your gaze forever alert, pensive. This is not a place for the weak. The weak wash right the fuck out.
Dani’s lines on the cover to Coffin Bound #3 convey pain and hurt and the anticipation of both. It plays arts and crafts with the contents of Dr. Frankenstein’s workbench, assembles a blasphemous mockery of the human body, and strips away the dignity of living as vultures rip away flesh from a rotting corpse. It’s beautiful.
Brad Simpson goes Herbert West with the colors, adds dimension and shape and texture—makes the image extra gross, a living, pulsating thing. The graying flesh of the subject’s forearm peels back, a cage door revealing the ghastly contents within. With hair black as jet waving in the navy background, we know this is Izzy’s prize, Izzy’s property—and now, Izzy’s project. It’s disorienting, nauseating, and one of this week’s finest covers.
Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below!