By Molly Jane KremerClyde HallMickey Rivera, Kaitlin Beer, and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From Aco’s ‘Astonishing X-Men’ to Joëlle Jones’ ‘Batman’, here’s what we’re loving this week.

Astonishing X-Men #10 by Aco and Marcelo Maiolo. (Marvel Comics)

MR: Six against two would typically be good odds, but this cover by Aco (and colored by Marcelo Maiolo) demonstrates how untrue that is in a world full of ridiculously overpowered supervillains. The heroes of Astonishing X-Men serve here mostly as directional guides, a ring of knocked arrows pointed directly at the glowing mass of psychic trouble at the center. Proteus, who has been undertaking some catastrophic redevelopment initiatives in a small town in Scotland, backs up a rather well-dressed Fantomex. The two combine in a swirl of menacing noise.

Proteus is the only character drawn without a solid black outline, dissipating his form, driving home his essential shapelessness as a being of pure energy. The cover’s framing makes it feel like all that electric pink and green energy is about to explode. Clearly Aco is the one to hire when things are about to get rowdy and you want to capture every little action packed moment with kaleidoscopic intensity.

Batman #44 by Joëlle Jones and Mikel Janín. (DC Comics)

MJ: Both covers for Batman #44 are stunners, highlighting the dual lives of its two vigilante (sometime-villain, in Catwoman’s case) protagonists.

Mikel Janín remains on main cover duties, and continues his streak of superb images here. Batman is reflected in a standing mirror, though it’s Bruce Wayne posed in front of it in his groom’s morning jacket, suffused in cool tones. (Not the wedding style I’d have thought Bruce would go for, but it works.) Batman being Batman, it makes sense to see a scowl under the cowl, but hopefully he’ll put on a happier face for his bride-to-be.

Not to be outdone, Joëlle Jones’ variant — Catwoman posing in her wedding gown, a reflection of the main cover in more ways than one — really takes my breath away. The details make this piece, with gorgeously intricate lace detailing on Selina’s gown and, in her hands, even a cat-eared tiara. Including the time-honored cliche of “something borrowed, something blue” has a special resonance for the Feline Fatale.

Motor Crush #11 by Cameron Stewart and Tom Muller. (Image Comics)

JJ: You can almost hear a synthetic hum when you look at Cameron Stewart’s cover to Motor Crush #11. Chords by Tangerine Dream, beats by Aphex Twin, attitude by Au Pairs. It’s a portrait by night, a study in scarlet. Stewart lets us catch a glimpse of his subject’s profile, just a hint of danger in there, somewhere. Then a neon arrow flashes across the eye and like that — they’re gone. So much movement where there should be none at all.

Of course, what brings this beaut together is the eagle eye of Tom Muller. Without designers like Muller, trade dressing would be a hopeless bore. Here he frames the book’s logo dead center, bottom of the image. For a piece such as this balance is crucial; something as innocuous as a trademark sign could throw the whole enterprise into shambles. It’s here where Muller endures; he tucks the pesky trademark inside the “Motor” and calls it a day. An act of anti-conformity, of sheer defiance. There’s something about that detail sets my heart ablaze.

An aside: Originally I wasn’t completely sure if that inverted triangle was a Stewart or a Muller innovation (it was Mr. Stewart), but ultimately it doesn’t matter. That it structures this piece so gloriously is a testament to how well these two artists work together.

Justice League #42 by J.G. Jones. (DC Comics)

KB: Wonder Woman knotted up in her own lasso is a strong image to begin with, but J.G. Jones’ characteristic style adds other elements that further elevate this cover to Justice League #42. Raven overshadows Themyscira while the weaving of Wonder Woman foreshadows the events soon to unfold. The clouds and murkiness that comprises Raven give the image an ominous charge, while Jones’ use of watercolor tops off the misty and foreboding scene.

I can’t get over Raven’s gaze as she stares down at the contorting Wonder Woman. The light shining down from above only touches the top of Raven’s head and hands as clouds encircle her form from behind. The shadow covering the edge of Raven’s face is beyond perfect as it invites the eye away from the obvious focal point, Wonder Woman, to the role of the cloak in the cover. The hard, red outline is the only thing containing the vaporous world within.

J.G. Jones does this cover justice. Too much? Maybe, but it is truly in a league of its own. Seriously, done.

Green Hornet #2 by Mike McKone. (Dynamite)

CH: Long ago, between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of across-the-board issue prices, there was an age of comic book covers undreamed of. And unto this, there came the periodically appearing Photo Cover, usually reserved for major characters but occasionally cropping up anywhere a novel approach was deemed fitting. Some were decent, others less so. Even Jack Kirby plied the concept for both covers and inside panels.

Mike McKone’s cover for Green Hornet #2 is a playful throwback to that aesthetic, the background either FX-ed photography or art made to simulate a photo. I’m guessing the former, given the detail of the stairway handrail supports, the realism of the No Entry signs, and the lighting of the doorway. But I’m not certain, nor does it matter. Either way, McKone uses it to embody the spirit of the series, true to what’s come before but with a fresh conceptual approach to update the Hornet mythos.

Centerpiece of the cover is Mulan Kato herself, the new Green Hornet showing the proper martial arts technique for a stairwell dismount. A perfectly cinematic Three Point Landing begs a maneuver this acrobatic as a precursor. Judging by her satisfied little smile, Green Hornet knows exactly how impressive she’ll be when the onlooker’s smartphone footage uploads to YouTube. We also get a decent view of her uniform in action, and it’s still scoring points with me for its practicality (note the cape anchor straps) and sensible shoes. McKone’s framed a unique, lively snapshot of street justice on mission and underway.

And that’s it! Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below. Best response wins a pack of DoomRocket stickers!