COVER STORIES for 04/08/2007
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #100
Welcome, faithful readers (and those of you joining us for the first time) to the 100th installment of Cover Stories, the weekly column in which I, Jon B. Knutson, present a group of covers with a common theme!
This week's theme is "What Were They Thinking?" The four covers I'm presenting this time around represent what I feel are some lapses in judgment and/or taste... and let's get started!
Now, on the face of it, this cover from Action Comics 98 looks pretty funny, and parallels a scene in the much-later Superman: The Movie... but think about it: Here's the Man of Steel, floating in the air (well, sitting in the air), and he decides he's got nothing better to do than silently float up to a window washer working very high, and saying, "Looks like pretty dangerous work!" If I were that window washer, I'd be pretty startled by that, and safety belt or no, the job would become that much more dangerous!
This cover was by Wayne Boring and Ed Dobrotka. Inside, Superman stars in "Starring Susie!" featuring Susie Tompkins, the tall-tale telling niece of Lois Lane, by Jerry Siegel, Ira Yarbrough and George Roussos; Hayfoot Henry in "A Very Close Shave" by Alvin Schwartz and Stan Kaye; Zatara in "Fish Catches Man" by W.F. White; Congo Bill in "The Perilous Pearls" by Al Schwartz and Edwin Smalle; a Daffy & Doodle filler by Lit. Win; the text story "Knife Party" by Been Ballard, and the Vigilante in "Treasure of the Ancients" by Don Cameron and Mort Meskin!
It seems Superman's lapses in cover judgment started at an early age, though... using his x-ray vision to win the contest featured on Adventure Comics 105! I hope at least the Boy of Steel gave the jelly beans away to the kids hanging around! Let's see, there's six kids there, so that's about 620 jelly beans each... I think Smallville's dentist is going to get some new customers, eh?
This cover was by Stan Kaye. Inside, we have Superboy in "The Palace of Fantasy" by Don Cameron, Joe Shuster and Marvin Stein; Green Arrow in "Pennants of Plunder" by George Papp; Johnny Quick in "Tubby Reduces" by Joe Samachson, Mort Meskin and George Roussos; Aquaman in "The Impossible Voyage" by Louis Cazeneuve; and Shining Knight in "The Knight's Gambit" by Chuck Winter.
Let's stop picking on Superman and DC for one cover...
Here's Adventures of the Fly 14... let's see, what can we pick on here? Well, like so many Archie superhero covers, the word balloon is completely redundant! I mean, we can clearly see that a huge metal statue of a fly has come to life, can't we? So why does the Fly feel he has to say what's happened? And who builds huge, metal statues of flies anyway? Plus, what makes the Fly think the best way to tackle this menace is to ride it like a bucking bronco? Quick, Henry, the Flit! (wow, that's a reference I'd imagine most of you will be scratching your heads over).
At least Fly Girl looks cute here. I wonder what her secret was? This cover was by John Rosenberger. Inside, the stories are "The Menace of the Metal Monster" by Robert Bernstein and Rosenberger; and "The Scourge of the Mesas" by the same team. The first story features the origin of Fly Girl, which I guess is what her secret is about, eh?
Here's Blackhawk 135, and while it doesn't feature the super-Blackhawks... it does feature the Hoopster, one of the most ridiculous villains I've ever seen! He's dressed in an outfit that resembles Flash villain Heat Wave's, except the headpiece is closer to the Human Bomb's... and he's riding a giant flaming hoop (and he apparently has 999 more hoops, too... oooh, scary!).
I wonder if this cover inspired the 1970s Spider-Man villain Big Wheel, or whatever he was called? You know, the guy who basically had a War Wheel that was open in the middle so he could ride it? This cover was by Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera. Inside, the stories were "The Underworld Supermart" by Dillin an Cuidera; "The One-Man Blackhawk Team" by Dillin and Sheldon Moldoff, and "The Villain with 1,000 Hoops" by Dillin and Cuidera.
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," in which I'll present another installment of "Comics They Never Made" (and they won't be "Drive-In Movie Classics" issues for a change!), and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at http://waffyjon.blogspot.com for other musings and ramblings by me, or email me with comments about this column at !