Thursday, 17 February 2011

Covering the Covers part 1

We all like covers, right? Not all of them, obviously, some of them are shit. Still, there's some pretty good ones out there. But can you cover a cover? Of course you can. You all know I'm talking about comics, right? Yep, some of the all time classic covers have, for want of a better word, been covered on other comics over the years.

Call it a homage, a spoof, a blatant rip-off, whatever you like, it's been done again and again, and sometimes to quite wonderful effect. Here's some examples.

We all know this image, right?

Yep, it's only Action Comics #1, from 1938, featuring the first appearance of Superman. Pretty cool, huh? It's an iconic image, with the Man of Steel stopping some crooks by lifting their car over his head and trashing it. It immediately lets you know who Superman is, and just looks awesome. It's been riffed on a few times, including once in a much later issue of Action Comics itself. Action Comics is DC's second longest running title (after Detective Comics), and Superman has been the star for the vast majority of that time. For a long while, the comic was billed as Superman in Action Comics. Then Supes only went and got himself killed by Doomsday during 1992's Death of Superman storyline. During the Funeral For A Friend story arc which followed, Action Comics was given over to Supergirl. Her first issue as the title star was celebrated thusly...

Other Superman comics have riffed on Action Comics #1 too. Remember when Mr Majestic started appearing in Superman's books? Here's the cover to Superman #201 from 2004.

Then there's this fun take from 2000's Tales of the Bizarro World #9.

Hell, it was even featured in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns movie.

Of course, many other characters have played on Action Comics #1 iconic status including, bizarrely, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in this cover from season 8, issue #32, which even features a Joss Whedon cameo.

However, my favourite take on the Action Comics #1 cover, aside from the original? Has to be 1988's Amazing Spider-Man issue #305.

Speaking of Spider-Man, his own first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 features a pretty iconic cover, huh?

Besides Spidey himself covering the cover in Amazing Spider-Man #252 to introduce his new black costume,

Or in Stan Lee Meets The Amazing Spider-Man,

Or even in Marvel Zombies issue #1,

There are a few other characters who've had a crack at it. Here's Hardcase #24.

Spidey's alternate reality daughter, May Parker, let her dad join her for this homage from Amazing Spider-Girl #0.

And then of course, there's Deadpool, who took his own crack at it in Deadpool #11.

Deadpool was given a second chance, on the cover of Deadpool: Suicide Kings issue #4, but after the last time, they weren't leaving him unsupervised.

Of course, there's every chance that the cover to Amazing Fantasy #15 is itself a homage. Look at this cover to Detective Comics issue #27, featuring the first appearance of Batman. Look familiar?

There's another Spider-Man cover which I want to touch on briefly. Remember the classic Amazing Spider-Man #50, in which Peter Parker gave up being Spider-Man?

Well, this has been done several times since, including Howard the Duck #19,

And Bartman #4.

My personal favourite though? This elegantly simple reversal from Amazing Spider-Man #392.

To be continued...

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