COVER STORIES for 07/15/2007
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #114
Welcome, faithful readers (and those of you joining us for the first time) to the 114th 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 one that's on my mind... as this column is first appearing (assuming I've read the calendar correctly) on July 15, which is the first anniversary of the wedding of my wife, Jessi, and I! So, in keeping with that, this week's theme is "Going to the Chapel," and it's an extra-large installment for you!
First up, here's Adventure Comics 390, a giant issue!
It's a good thing that this giant was published, because I don't recall "Supergirl's Wedding Day" being cover-featured when it first appeared! As you can see, apparently Supergirl figures her uniform's all the wedding dress she needs, with the addition of a veil! The story, if I recall correctly (one of these days, there'll be a Showcase Presents Supergirl volume to help me out!), has Supergirl more or less tricked into marriage by the guy you see there, who (naturally) isn't what he seems! The giant diamond they're standing on is a tradition from Krypton, and I guess it's fortunate Superman had one of these in his Fortress of Solitude for situations like this!
Of course, that wedding didn't quite come off.
The cover for this issue was done by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson, but you could tell that just from looking at the cover, couldn't you? This Giant (not quite an 80-pager) reprinted "When Supergirl Played Cupid" (originally titled "Superman's Super-Courtship") by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney from Action 289, "The Secret Identity of Super-Horse" by Leo Dorfman and Mooney from Action 301, "Supergirl's Cowboy Hero" (original title "The Day Super-Horse Became Human") by Dorfman and Mooney from Action 311, "The Great Supergirl Mirage" by Otto Binder and Mooney from Action 256, and "Supergirl's Wedding Day" by Dorfman and Mooney from Action 307.
Now, on to a wedding that did happen... in Aquaman 18!
Yes, in this issue, the King of the Seven Seas married Mera, his love from another dimension, and as is usually the case with these things, all Aquaman's super-buddies are there, plus a few Teen Titans (well, at least Aqualad and Robin, anyway)! I must say, Mera looks pretty hot there, even with those webbed feet! And dig Green Arrow... you'd think the arrows in his quiver would just float away, eh?
This cover was by Nick Cardy, who did the best Aquaman covers ever, in my humble opinion! Inside, "The Wife of Aquaman" was by Jack Miller and Cardy. And apparently in this tale, Mera loses her powers! Also in this issue was the text feature "Escape to the Sea."
And now, with Flash 194, we enter into some really bizarre weddings, such as this one, "The Bride Cast Two Shadows!", which is (unfortunately) a story I've never read. Having the Devil (or a reasonable facsimile) on the covers seemed to be a semi-regular thing around this time (I recall a Lois Lane cover where she's being pulled into Hell, and there were likely others, too).
Speaking of bizarre weddings... here's Wonder Woman 155!
This has to be one of the most bizarre wedding covers ever... With all her Amazon sisters in attendance, Diana's happy as she can be, and apparently is the only one who doesn't notice her groom is a monster! But the biggest question I have about this cover is... with hands as huge as Mr. Monster has, how the heck did he get his coat on???
Here's a situation, courtesy of Marvel Mystery Comics 87, that we've seen in countless old movies and TV shows... a woman being forced to marry a criminal to prevent her from testifying against him in court! Now, I'm no attorney, but it seems to me that (at least from what I've gleaned from episodes of Law & Order) that the law can't compel a wife to testify against her husband... and anything that a husband and wife say to each other while they are married is considered privileged... but what's been learned before the wedding should be okay in court!
Anyway, what is really the most bizarre thing about this cover is that this woman being forced to marry the criminal seems to be at least six inches taller than he is! It's also interesting how easily one can overlook the presence of the original Human Torch!
The cover for this issue was probably by Don Rico. Inside, the Torch starred in "Master of Murder", penciled by Mike Sekowsky (and featuring Toro's last appearance in Marvel Mystery). Also in this issue, Sub-Mariner in "The Lost Atoll" with art by Ken Bald, the Blonde Phantom in "Mad Music Moans a Devil's Dirge" with art by Sekowsky, and Captain America in "The Boy Who Couldn't Study" with art by Syd Shores.
Now, we're on to Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen 21, and Jimmy's getting married... to Lois Lane? Well, isn't that a kick in the head? And Superman seems to be okay with that, too! While I don't have the issue handy to check against (nor do I have a reprint available), I have this sneaking suspicion this is one of those infamous Superman hoaxes designed to either teach someone a lesson or lure a criminal into a trap!
The cover for this issue was by Curt Swan and Ray Burnley. Inside, we have "The Legend of Greenbeard Olsen" by Otto Binder, Swan and Burnley (reprinted in Superman Family 175), a Shorty filler by Henry Boltinoff, a Varsity Vic filler by Boltinoff, "Wonder Lad" by Binder, Swan and Burnley, a PSA featuring "Worldwide Adventures in Science!" by Jack Schiff and Ruben Moeira, the text feature "Crisis for the Kansas Kid" with a spot illo by Joe Kubert, and finally, "The Wedding of Jimmy Olsen" by Binder, Swan and Burnley, reprinted in Lois Lane Annual 2. Oh, and another Boltinoff filler, featuring Lionel and His Lions!
From the ridiculous, we go to the intense... Sub-Mariner 36, with the wedding of Namor and his lady love, Dorma! At last, Namor would be able to live out his days in wedded bliss... except, unfortunately, that wasn't going to be the case. The villainess Llyra takes Dorma's place in the wedding, but thanks to Atlantean law, Dorma was still considered to be Namor's bride... or something like that, anyway. Sadly, even after a valid marriage to Dorma, Sub-Mariner's wife was killed (he doesn't have a great track record when it comes to love... his second wife, Marrina from Alpha Flight, also suffered a tragic end).
OK, after something that intense, perhaps we should go on to something a bit more outlandish, if not outright hilarious?
Here's Anthro 6, and believe it or not, I not only have read this issue... but I still have it! In this tale, Anthro goes hunting for a bear, but encounters a white lion instead. Anthro's not having an easy time of it, but a well-shot arrow saves his skin... an arrow shot by a giant (well, giant compared to Anthro, anyway). He makes friends with the giant, and then goes back on the track of the bear. Anthro falls into a "tiger trap," however, but is discovered by his lady love, Embra, and her father! Embra's father, Chief Tugg, had previously been attacked by the white lion, and succumbs to the wounds, falling to the ground. Anthro gets Tugg back to Tugg's tribe (insisting that Tugg gave his okay to marry Embra while delirious), but when he recovers, Tugg tells Anthro he'll first have to find a husband for Embra's sister, Ita! There's a competition to be her husband, and a large red-haired caveman, Grog, wins the competition and Ita's hand. So, Ita and Grog marry, and then it's Anthro and Embra's turn...
...except that in the middle of the ceremony, Nima, from the Bear Tribe, comes on the scene, and challenges Embra for the right to marry Anthro! Since Anthro is wearing an amulet that Nima gave him (for "good luck" in hunting that bear), that's "proof" of his intent to marry her! Under the laws of Tugg's tribe, the two women have to battle it out to settle the matter, as you can see from the cover. But bizarrely enough, the battle ends in a draw, so Anthro has to marry... Both of them!
And yes, this was Comics Code approved! However, the wedding didn't actually take place in this issue, and I don't have issue 7 (probably because there wasn't one), so we'll never know if he indeed married both women!
The art for this issue (cover, too!) was by Howie Post (who wrote the story) with inks by Wally Wood... and let me tell you, they made a great artistic combination! You can imagine, from the cover alone, how great both Embra and Nima looked inside!
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 "TV Comics," 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 !