Unearth #1, Cover art by Baldemar Rivas, Image Comics
One look at the cover of Unearth #1 and you know something really, really terrifying happens to people’s bodies in the story.
Sure enough, the story is about a “flesh-warping disease” with a supernatural twist. To illustrate this, cover artist Baldemar Rivas turned to a Renaissance master for inspiration, adapting Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” as the focus.
The human body, and the entire cover, is split down the middle to represent a dramatic before-and-after effect of the disease. On the left, a person is stripped of their HazMat suit, symbolizing their exposure to the disease. The reason for green color of the body is twofold: the “Before” side is green, the color of life; the body is also overlaid on a terrain map, with the map lines showing through the body, perhaps implying that the body also represents all life in that region. It is a very ingenious and visually creative way to communicate this.
On the right, the “After” side is a nightmare, the person is now stripped of their flesh as well as their protective clothing, depicted in a creepy x-ray effect. The background is blood red, with waves of unearthly supernatural energy throughout.
But the art alone isn’t what makes this the POP Cover Of The Week. What puts it over the top is the spare and unusual trade dress, and the very appropriate deconstructed font, further symbolizing the inside story about a destructive disease.
A lot of thought and design went into this cover, well-deserving of being honored this week!