By Clyde Hall, Brendan F. Hodgdon, Sara Mitchell, Jami Jones and Jarrod Jones. Undercover is our opportunity to lovingly gaze upon gorgeous works from magnificent artists. From Martin Simmonds’ ‘Quicksilver: No Surrender’ to Sonny Liew’s penultimate cover for ‘Eternity Girl’, here’s what we’re loving this week.
Eternity Girl #5 by Sonny Liew. (DC’s Young Animal)
SM: Warning: This cover pairs well with another viewing of the last scene from Fight Club. Destruction, chaos… debris. This is what romance is made of, right? For Eternity Girl, the closest thing to romance in her life is the final moment before she hits the water’s surface, jumping off that bridge for eternity, letting herself believe that maybe this time it will work. Maybe she’ll die. She’s doomed to live forever and pines for annihilation. So, yeah, I’d say this looks right up her alley. The unfortunate thing is, and this is the shocking trend in her life, the destruction she seeks isn’t destroying her, just those around her. This is what happens when you get close to the light and heat and radiation of Eternity Girl. Boom. Explosion.
While suffering for love and enduring the tragic flaws in each other might work for these two, what makes this cover romantic to me is that it looks like a craft made at home. Like they don’t have a lot of money or possessions but there’s a brown paper bag nearby and Never Man decided to paint a portrait of them on it. On the other side of the bag it says, “I don’t care if you’ve got mangled-ass chicken limbs or greyscale or anger management issues or that you’re an actual atomic bomb that melts my skin off whenever we touch, I still love you.”
Quicksilver: No Surrender #3 by Martin Simmonds. (Marvel)
CH: If you’ve been following Quicksilver: No Surrender, you know what a hectic, chaotic ride it’s been for Marvel’s mutant speedster. Artist Martin Simmonds’ cover to the first issue speaks of breakneck speed and trippy dimensions beyond our own, plus a modern Pietro seeing his life virtually flash before his eyes. Not a bad preview of series elements, and appealingly presented.
The situation intensifies in issue #2, so by #3 we expect dire doings indeed, with superspeed momentum mounting. But Simmonds’ cover art for the issue instead arises like a needed moment of clarity, and it’s the more potent for it. A still photograph of Quicksilver and his sister, Wanda, as they were a lifetime ago. Just kids really, and wearing their classic attire. We can imagine the captured moment of their shared past, maybe after escaping Magneto and the Brotherhood to join Cap’s Kooky Quartet of Avengers.
At least there’s an indelible sense of lightness and hope the way Simmonds has portrayed the siblings; Wanda, giggling at something Pietro said in all seriousness, and Pietro, mystified but also slightly amused by her reaction. It’s as endearing, sweet, and sunny as a Seals and Crofts tune about summer breezes and mental jasmine.
The bloody fingerprints on the snapshot hint at a much graver present than this carefree, preserved past. But the cover also connects us to just the sort of things we’ve all latched onto in our times of uncertainty, in our own moments of trepidation: An image or a flash of memory that we cling to. It clarifies the hazardous here-and-now, and it steels our failing resolve. They are the little things, vested with lovely intangibles, that often overcome our most unnerving trials. And this photo may be the memento boost Quicksilver needs for the murderous marathon he’s running now.
Hawkman #2 by Stjepan Sejic. (DC)
JamiJ: Stjepan Sejic has created an epic on a single page. His cover to Hawkman #2 is an exercise in depth and texture and form. The form of Hawkman doing battle with a smoldering dragon; a piece of Renaissance art depicting good versus evil. Gold tones and heavy saturation give this cover a richness, and light plays along the figures adding a sense of realism to a fantastic situation.
Sejic’s bodies are stunning and the people who populate his word are stylized versions of body types found across the world. Hawkman soars in mid-strike, wings spread, ready to counter the salivating dragon, every muscle and feather deliberately enhanced to maximize the intensity of the scene. The dragon, coiled and ready to scorch, seems insurmountable, a foe worthy of going toe-to-toe with the Winged Warrior.
And there they hang, forever on the precipice of contact. Sejic has gone a step further than merely illustrating a comic cover. He’s captured the precise moment when the potential explodes into the kinetic.
The Dead Hand #4 by Stephen Mooney. (Image Comics)
BFH: As Kyle Higgins and Stephen Mooney’s post-Cold War thriller barrels along, we continue to receive the added bonus of Mooney’s beautiful Soviet-style covers for the series. They do so much to convey the tone and backdrop of the story, while showcasing the artist’s impressive talents. The series has enjoyed great covers thus far, but this week’s issue is particularly impressive.
Here Mooney highlights his in-over-her-head teenager character. The depiction of a girl wearing a backpack full of ‘90s rock band logos while also toting a pistol speaks both to the misleading nature of the series’ setting and the revolutionary punk attitude I imagine will play a role in the series as it progresses. It’s an image full of give-and-take, that imparts the willful uncertainty of such a twisty, mysterious series. In short, it represents exactly what makes The Dead Hand so awesome, exactly as a good cover should.
Plastic Man #2 by Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes. (DC)
JJ: Wrap your eyes around this. Eel O’Brian, striking a pose. Such chic. Much sass. Our Elasti-boy gets the coverboy treatment courtesy of Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes this week, and my heart’s all a-flutter. Who among us could resist that silly-putty smirk, those dazzling goggle-things, that elongated torso?
It’s Evely’s penchant for character that kills me. The background is not at all, a standard deadline-appeasing black, but Eel’s natural cool transcends. He looks as though he just heard the dumbest thing ever, possibly from some dunder-headed miscreant from Cole City, and he just had to unwind himself for maximum incredulity. “Hey, guy,” Plas seems to say. “Is that the story you really want to go with?” O’Brian’s my kind of P.I. Now slap the cuffs on me, Eel. I’m yours.
Don’t forget to share your favorite covers from this week in the comments section below. Best response wins a pack of DoomRocket stickers!