By Molly Jane Kremer, Brandy Dykhuizen, Clyde Hall, Mickey Rivera, and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. Each week, we single out the most striking covers that grace comic book stands and gush all over them.
Keep reading all the way to the bottom of this piece to learn how to score free DoomRocket stickers!
Kid Lobotomy #4, by Tess Fowler and Lee Loughridge. (Black Crown/IDW Publishing)
AOK: “O great goddess of gentle hedonism. Put myrrh upon thy head and clothing of fine linen upon thee.” Celebrate donut, cronut, churro, and milkshake. Pie, cake, sundae, may your Gobstopper last unto forever. Let the minibar never run out. Let the hangover never come. Your brows are ambrosia. Your wings the height of subtlety. If that is blush, foundation, or simply the roses of your cheeks, we’ll never know, we’ll never tell. Ottla, you truly are perfection.
Have you looked into who Ottla is in relation to Franz Kafka yet? I love when side characters have mystery to them, I love it when they get their due, and this issue promises to do both. What better way to exhalt Ottla than place her heavenly body in an asteroid belt of confections? Tess Fowler has treated us to a cover that is simple, witty, iconic, peerless.
Avengers #677, by Mark Brooks. (Marvel Comics)
CH: Superhero uniforms can get too ‘busy’, lessening their iconic imagery while making me gnash my teeth. No, really — fillings-endangering, Biblical gnashing. It’s not an easy chore, taking a classic character in hand for an updated look, blurring lines between nostalgia and now, without going overboard. But there must be secret support groups for hard working, erstwhile artistic talents, given the panel-to-panel task of delivering modern superhero apparel minutia as presented in cover art. For Avengers #677, however, Mark Brooks’ depiction of Quicksilver achieves a balance that’s exciting, crisp, and doable as interior art. He’s got all cylinders firing for this head-on, action-filled cover, the mutant speedster center stage and amazing as he administers an accelerated beat-down.
Part of the joy is peering at those background figures on the receiving end of speedy justice to figure out just who’s who. The explosive effect, sans done-to-death lightning bolts, prompts a connect to cinematic Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s superspeed antics, but with the more taciturn bearing of comic book Pietro. It’s the best kind of cover for action movie (and action comics) fans, an inviting theater butter popcorn tub for the eyes.
Doom Patrol #10, by Nick Derington. (DC’s Young Animal)
KB: This cover makes you want to take a closer look, not just at it, but at the title in general. Anyone seeing this on the shelf should ask themselves what all of this means. Nick Derington chose to depart from his usual style with this cover to Doom Patrol #10, which makes it all the more eye-catching. The mash-up taking place here is indicative of the nature of this absurdist title. Do the human eyes staring out from within the head of a cat make you feel uncomfortable? How about the nonsensical writing on the VHS tape? Obviously, something big is happening when they have produced a cover that succeeds in embodying a breakdown.
It is also charming in its hideousness, which is something that feels unique to the Doom Patrol aesthetic. Even the subtle pseudonym of “Dick Nerdington” maintains the title’s sense of humor, while hinting at the disconcerting content that lies within. Things are clearly mixed up and not where they should be.
Black Magick #10, by Nicola Scott. (Image)
SR: When babies are born, it’s a joyous occasion to go to the hospital to meet the newest member to someone’s family. The baby-viewing window in the maternity ward in Portsmouth is about to get one visitor who looks innocent enough, but with that doll she has in hand, it’s just menacing.
We only see the figure from the hip down, the figure wearing a simple child-like dress and loafers. In her right hand, a Raggedy-Ann type doll drags on the floor leading up to the baby viewing window. This doll, however, is not a sweet toy meant to welcome the new babe. It’s dressed like Rowan, has two stick pins directly in the heart area, and has red glowing eyes. Which appear even brighter in this black, white, and gray cover. This whole scene has me nervous and anxious. What could possibly come next?
Legion #1, by Bill Sienkiewicz. (Marvel Comics)
JJ: Bill Sienkiewicz’s variant to Legion #1 is a nightmare in repose. Here we have David Haller, mutant. Son. Telekinetic, pyrokinetic, omnikinetic. His powers are… well, you know. So are his personalities. And from this image, the toll of David’s abilities — not to mention the toll of having a veritable community located right behind his eyeballs — seem to have taken him down a grim narrow road.
David is living his life in shadow. Sienkiewicz casts a mood by enveloping Legion in shades of rust and nightshade. The rust symbolizes decay, perhaps of the mind, and most certainly of the spirit; while the darker navy hues indicate a turmoil coming from within. And there, right before us, a crude scrawl, a child’s terror slashed across a notebook page. Is the face we’re looking at David, or some demon lurking in the recesses of his mind? Surely, Sienkiewicz’s cover seems to say, it can be both.
And that’s it! Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below — the best comment scores a free set of DoomRocket stickers!