COVER STORIES for 04/29/2007
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #103
Welcome, faithful readers (and those of you joining us for the first time) to the 103nd installment of Cover Stories, the weekly column in which I, Jon B. Knutson, present a group of covers with a common theme!
As I've done at times in the past, I'm revisiting a theme that I'd covered before. You may recall back in column #94, the theme was "Sexy!" featuring covers with sexy babes. Now, as with all the themes I've done so far, I've got a folder on my computer's hard drive with oodles of cover scans that fit the theme, and each week, I present four or sometimes five of them for that week's theme. So, column 94 featured a few from my files... but not all of them!
Still, the week that column debuted, I received an email from new regular reader Joe Lenius, who had this to say:
Jon, I just discovered your column online ... pretty darn good!
But I do have a bone to pick with you about those "Sexiest Women" covers. I don't think what you have there is truly "special" in any way. You sort of half-heartedly admitted this with the Adams' cover with Supergirl. There have been better covers with sexy gals by Adams and also covers featuring Supergirl.
Also, I assume you're not limiting this to only "super" characters ... that being the case, there has to be a slew of romance, horror, mystery and detective covers out there by great artists that I can't even begin to think of (and covers I am probably unaware of as well).
As most of you know, I don't limit my choices to "super" characters, but that can be an easy assumption to make (as well as that each theme will have at least one Superman family title in it). Anyway, Joe went on to offer up his choices as to what he considers the sexiest comic book covers! I've included his comments in italics, followed by info from that issue.
Detective Comics #359: Great Infantino/Anderson cover for the Batgirl intro. One of the greatest art teams of all time does a bang-up job on Batgirl in her (Spandex?) form-fitting costume!
Good choice there! As Joe said, this cover was by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. The entire issue was reprinted in a Millennium Edition a while back, which you should be able to find cheap. Inside, "The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!" was by Gardner Fox, Infantino, and Sid Greene. This story has been reprinted scads of times, in Batman From the 30s to the 70s, DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #9, and in Batman #208.
Also in this issue, Cap's Hobby Hints by Henry Boltinoff, and the Elongated Man in "Riddle of the Sleepytime Taxi" by Fox and Anderson, which was also reprinted in 100-Page Super Spectacular DC-22, and probably in Showcase Presents The Elongated Man Vol. 1.
Batman #181: By coincidence (honest!) another Infantino/Anderson sexy gal. Poison Ivy's an itch you can't scratch by this duo (great thighs and legs there)!
You won't get any complaints from me about choosing Infantino/Anderson covers! "Beware of - Poison Ivy!" was by Robert Kanigher, Sheldon Moldoff (ghosting for Bob Kane) and Joe Giella, and it was reprinted in part in Batman #208. This issue also featured a center spread pin-up of the Dynamic Duo by Infantino and Anderson, which has that classic pose of them on a rooftop that's been used numerous times since then. There's also "The Perfect Crime - Slightly Imperfect!" by Fox, Chic Stone, and Greene, reprinted in Batman #260, and a letters page including a letter from Mike Friedrich!
Action Comics #289: By Curt Swan, with a gorgeous "L.L." Superwoman. As an added bonus, a sexy gorgeous-but-subdued "girl next door" Supergirl.
I always considered this particular story a bit on the odd side, as Superman falls in love with someone who resembles his cousin as an adult! Kind of an "eww" factor there, and I may have even mentioned this in a "What Were They Thinking?" theme (or I will in the future).
Inside, the cover story wasn't the first feature... instead, it was "The Super Practical Joker" by Leo Dorfman and Al Plastino. This was followed by an Ollie filler by Boltinoff, a Little Pete filler also by Boltinoff, and then "Superman's Super-Courtship" by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney! This tale was reprinted in Adventure Comics #390 and #496, as well as in the Legion of Super-Heroes Archives #1. Rounding out the issue was the PSA "Your Pass to New Worlds" by Jack Schiff and Moldoff.
Adventure Comics #317: Also (and also coincidentally) by Curt Swan. The intro of the beautiful Dream Girl.
Yes, Dreamy was beautiful... but let's face it, her costume here was a white one-piece bathing suit! The issue leads off with part 1 of the Legion story "The Menace of Dream Girl!" by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte, which was reprinted in Adventure #502 and Legion Archives #2. This was followed by a Super-Turtle filler by Boltinoff, then a Moolah the Mystic filler by Boltinoff, then part II, "Doom of the Legion!" by the same team, and reprinted in the same places. The issue's rounded off with a Superboy tale, "The Shrinking of Superboy" by John Sikela, reprinted from Superboy 61.
Flash Gordon #6: Reed Crandall drew some of the sexiest gals ever, and here's a gorgeous Dale in distress. Flash Gordon #6 is probably Reed Crandall's truly great last work, considering his later health problems (and alcoholism), and the move to the smaller "modern size" original art boards was another negative for his drawing.
Flash Gordon #3: Al Williamson showcases a sexy and really classy-looking Dale (which I'm guessing is based on an Alex Raymond drawing from somewhere).
Good choices there, too, Joe! Flash Gordon 6's interiors featured "Cragmen of the Lost Continent" by Bill Pearson and Reed Crandall, as well as the Secret Agent X-9 tale "The Third Key of Power," for which the creators have not been identified.
Issue 3's stories had Flash Gordon in "Lost in the Land of the Lizardmen" by Bill Pearson and Ric Estrada, Mandrake the Magician in "The Little Giant," and "Flash Gordon Meets Monolith, Champion of Mongo" by the same team as on the first Flash tale!
I'd like to thank Joe for providing the choices for this week's column, and I'd also like to invite any of you readers who have your own alternate choices for any of my week's themes (as opposed to a "weak theme") to send them my way!
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," in which I'll celebrate the second anniversary of this column! And in the meantime, you can check out my blog at http://waffyjon.blogspot.com for other musings and ramblings by me (including postings of comic book ads, classic toy photos, and much more), or email me with comments about this column at !