Thursday, September 2, 2010

June 1979 -- DC Comics Cover Parade

Doug: Well, we're back for another look at comic book covers. The next two installments in our series may be our last; we'll see. Today we're going to look at ten covers (yes, covers) that were on the shelves in June 1979. Instead of the usual cropping for the logos, I looked at our specimens and there just wasn't all that much difference between "now" and what we looked at from 1976. So, we're gonna critique the whole cover! In alphabetical order --

Here's Action Comics #496 with a cover by Ross Andru and Bob Oksner. Seemingly spinning out of one of our favorite websites,, we see the citizens of Kandor chastising Superman for introducing "super germs" to the outside world. What a... And how about that voyeurism from ol' Clark? Sort of creeps me out.

I just love this Simonson/Giordano effort on Batman #312. The coloring that sweeps across the logo is particularly eye-catching. You can definitely tell it's Simonson on the art, although at this time Walter wasn't as wild as he'd be a bit later on in the pages of Thor. Not so sure about the "Calendar Man", but hey -- it's a Bronze Age DC (yeah, yeah -- I hear you DC apologists harping on the Gibbon...).

Only Bob Haney would script a tale that has Flash heading back in time to solve the secret of the Disco of Death. Hey, suspension of disbelief is out the window even on this one, huh? The Jim Aparo art on the cover is nice. The Batman logo on B&B, as we remarked earlier, is a favorite. In fact, don't ask me to choose between this one and the one above -- love 'em both!

This is a nice cover, although I never really care for the mixing of genres in team-up books. I guess that's the best (and only) place it would happen, but it's just a bit off. I also think it's unusual to see Sgt. Rock drawn on a cover by anyone but Joe Kubert -- but Ross Andru is more than serviceable here.

What do you do with the Flash? I think this is why I always liked Batman and not too many other DC characters. They're just too powerful! Seriously -- a guy who can vibrate his molecules right through a wall? How do you contest powers like that? This cover is nice -- I always like the "trail" effect for speedsters -- really casts that sense of dynamic motion.

Green Lantern/Green Arrow #117 featured a cover by Dick Giordano and Joe Staton. I was a regular reader of GL/GA back in these days, but didn't have this one. I preferred Mike Grell on the art, and I'm thinking I may have dropped the title when Staton took over. I do like Joe's art, but you'll have to admit it's a bit of a departure in style from Grell's work. Professor Ojo -- gotta love it!! Where was Crazy Quilt?

I believe Jim Aparo has solved the secret of the Disco of Death for the Flash. No need to go back in time, Barry!

Dick Dillin was good, wasn't he? This is a nice angle here -- like the perspective of being up above. Nice job with the team sort of spread out -- Ollie in the front, etc. Still, I don't know what's inside, but it's just a typically silly premise for a story.

How about you -- did (or do you) get into Jonah Hex? Not me. I truly believe I have never opened a copy of this book. When I saw trailers for the recent film, it was all Greek to me. I'm not totally against the Western genre, but I was never a regular reader of even the Marvel Westerns.

What the heck is going on here? A Nazi mini-sub, in a river, in Africa? Or the Everglades, I guess. Weird War Tales is coming up -- this certainly would have been a candidate for that title!


Andrew Wahl said...

Hey, BBB:

Enjoyed the DC covers but I think I liked it better when you were just using logos for this feature. I focused too much on individual cover art here instead of specifics of the era's trade dress, which is what I found so fascinating about the Marvel installments. Still a great feature, though.


La Belle Esplanade said...

I had forgotten how garish the colors were on covers from this time. No shading, no subtlety. Just ink straight from the tube.

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