COVER STORIES for 06/17/2007
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #110
Welcome, faithful readers (and those of you joining us for the first time) to the 110th 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 "Seeing Double," and yes, it's a theme I've covered before, and will likely cover again in the future! So what will it be this time... evil twins? Secret and civilian identities on the same cover? Let's find out, beginning with (naturally) a Superman title!
Here's Action Comics 139, and as you can plainly see, it's a secret and civilian identity on the same cover! Although, to be honest, I would almost have to guess that the Superman figure was added on, since there's nothing on the cover like "How can Clark Kent and Superman be in the same place at the same time?" I'd guess Supes is there so nobody mistakes this for some other comic book (although the Superman logo should've been a giveaway). Al Plastino did the cover here.
Inside the book, we have "Clark Kent... Daredevil" by Bill Woolfolk and Plastino, Tommy Tomorrow in "Badmen of Mars" by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and John Fischetti, Congo Bill in "Weapons of Genghis Khan" by Ed Smalle, a Shorty filler by Henry Boltinoff, and the Vigilante in "Ring Out The Old! Ring In The New!" by Gardner Fox, Dan Barry and Sy Barry.
Now, here's a cover where it's obviously seeing double, and intended that way! It's Adventure Comics 315, cover by Curt Swan and George Klein. What is it with giant-sized people and bridges in the DC comics, anyway? Giant Turtle Boy Olsen was cover-featured menacing a bridge, and I recall at least three or four other covers with something similar (gee, maybe "Giant Threatening a Bridge" should be a future theme to present here?).
The issue leads off with the Legion of Super-Heroes in "The Legionnaire's Super-Contest!" by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte, in which the LSH finds out about the Subs and holds a contest to induct the winner in the Legion. This tale was reprinted in Adventure Comics #501 (a digest book) and Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2.
Also into his issue was the PSA "Your Free Trip Around the World!" by Jack Schiff and Sheldon Moldoff, telling readers about how great the library is, the letter column "Smallville Mailsack" features a letter by E. Nelson Bridwell, and then it's time for the Superboy story, "The Titanic Boy of Steel!" by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. I'm not sure how the cover situation works out in the story, which the Grand Comics Database says has Red Kryptonite making Superboy giant size. This was the last new Superboy story in Adventure comics during the Legion's run in the book.
How's this for a "seeing double" cover? It's Aquaman #6, with two Quisps, and they're both evil, apparently! Quisp, in case you're unfamiliar with him, was one of those other dimensional imp-types that started popping up in most of the DC books at the time. Superman started it, of course, with Mr. Mxyzptlk, and then Batman had Bat-Mite, so Aquaman got Quisp (who, thankfully, didn't last that long). The Flash got Mopee later, in just one story that we'd all just as soon forget ever happened.
This Quisp, by the way, doesn't have a thing to do with the Quaker Oats cereal of the same name that was introduced in the late 1960s, save for the name. That Quisp was designed by Jay Ward's studio (you know, the same people who made Bullwinkle & Rocky), and he was a little bald guy with a propeller on his head who vaguely resembled the Moon Men from the aforementioned Bullwinkle show.
Nick Cardy, artist extraordinaire, did this cover, as he did many of the Aquaman covers (this one definitely doesn't show him at his best, as I'm sure you know). "Too Many Quisps" was by Jack Miller and Nick Cardy, and was reprinted in Showcase Presents Aquaman Vol. 1, which I really need to get one of these days! By the way, one of the "Quisps" is really "Quink," a villain. But you might've already known that.
Rounding out this issue was a Homer filler by Henry Boltinoff, the filler "The First Frogmen!", and the text feature "Mystery Denizens of the Deep".
"Hey Jon!" I can hear you thinking as you read this, "You keep showing us all these DC books where you're seeing double... didn't Marvel do any seeing double covers?" Well, of course they did, and here's one of them!
Yes, it's The Incredible Hulk #156, with not one, but TWO Hulks! Doubly incredible, isn't it? This really cool cover is all Herb Trimpe (rhymes with "blimpy"). From the title alone, you know this has to take place in the sub-atomic universe that Jarella, the Hulk's alien lady-love, hails from, don't you?
"Holocaust ad the Heart of the Atom" was by Archie Goodwin, Trimpe, and Sal Trapani, and should be getting reprinted in Essential Hulk Vol. 4 whenever they publish it... and it would've been reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes if that title hadn't been cancelled a year or so too soon!
And before I wrap things up, let me remind you again about my Reader Challenge! Can you think of other covers that fit a theme I've presented here, or do you have a theme of your own that you can come up with four or five covers for? If so, send me an email at with your list, the theme, and whatever comments you want to include with your choices, and I'll run 'em in a future installment of Cover Stories, duly crediting you, naturally!
What will you get for your troubles, other than the glory of seeing your name credited in here? It'll be a surprise... in fact, as I write this, it'll be a surprise to me! One of these weeks, I just may have to figure out what it'll be!
This is an open-ended challenge to you readers... at least, it's open until I get tired of reminding you guys about it!
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," when the theme will be "Real People," and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at http://waffyjon.blogspot.com for photos of classic toys, other comics covers, comic book advertisements, monster movie stills, and other musings and ramblings by me, or email me with comments about this column at !