Saturday, February 13, 2016

This Cover Made Me Buy This Comic Book

DC Super-Stars #17 (Nov-Dec 1977)
Cover by Joe Staton and Bob Layton

Doug: Way too many words and the logo is too big! But a giant square-bound DC with these three "secret origins"? Take my money!


Redartz said...

Yep, the cover made my buy that book! I became a big fan of the Huntress; and though at the time I wasn't reading the legion, I soon would be.

Nice cover artistically; Staton and Layton make a solid combination (sounds like a reunion from the old 'CPL Gang'. Doug- yes, there is an excess of type on this cover. And the logo is rather overpowering. Kind of like the Legion of Super Heroes logo used after the split from "Superboy and the Legion". Large, blocky letters at an angle. Not really attractive to these eyes...

dbutler16 said...

Yes, that's a pretty awesoe cover, and I've always liked the Huntress too, probably because of the costume as much as anything, though the Batman connection certainly doesn't hurt. Having a Legionnaire in the background would clinch that sale for me!

Humanbelly said...

Yes. Yes, the square-bound cover, and the assurance of favorable origin stories. THOSE are the critical cover elements that caused youse pulse-poundin' early-teensters (at the time) to buy this book. No question about it. NOT the dangerously alluring, voluptuous Huntress image (indeed, a bit of a masterpiece by Staton/Layton-!). Especially since it seems like the "cover made you buy this book" in spite of the noted flaws in said cover. . . Ha!

Fellas, fellas, fellas. . .

Say, I never picked up many issues of Secret Origins--- what was the idea behind it? Was it an exercise in retcons? Or more a matter of filling in between-the-page moments in known origin stories? Or was it simply a recap/re-telling? Or something else entirely?


Rip Jagger said...

This comic book is a great one! It's from that fertile period (brief though it was) when DC was hitting on all cylinders, making some well crafted books full of energy. I was a big big fan of DC at this time as Marvel seemed overcome by the "Dreaded Deadline Doom" too often for my blood. DC really seemed to have it going on. Joe Staton's artwork is choice in this classic tale which folded in perfectly with the great JSA stories they were kicking out over in the revived All-Star Comics. This was the high point before the infamous "implosion" cleared the field.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

The Secret Origins logo couldn't get too big, Doug.
Because Marvel had better distribution and reprint titles in the UK, the DC universe always seemed unfamiliar and somewhat mysterious by comparison... so the phrase Secret Origins on a cover always had a big appeal (on the rare occasion I actually saw it anywhere).

And HB is right - DC definitely knew which demographic they were aiming for...


B Smith said...

Since nearly forty years have passed since that comic was published, I trust I'm not likely to spoil it for anybody if I ask what her incredible secret was?

J.A. Morris said...

One of the best covers of the Bronze Age. I always knew Staton penciled it, didn't know about Layton's contributions until today.

"I trust I'm not likely to spoil it for anybody if I ask what her incredible secret was?"

B Smith, I haven't read it either, but I'm guessing her secret is that Huntress was (SPOILER ALERT) the daughter of the Earth-2 Batman.

Martinex1 said...

This is actually the first time I've seen this cover. It is nice. I like the facial expressions of those bursting through the door. I like how "literal" the art seems to be, that there are actually secret files (labeled folders and all) hidden away somewhere with the secret origins in them. As little as I read DC, I too liked the Huntress. The amount of words don't bother me. Just seeing it for the first time, the words give me some understanding of what's inside and the over explaining has a nostalgic feel to it.

Garett said...

Yes! Great cover. I remember copying this Huntress drawing when I was a kid. There's a TPB that has this story and others by Joe Staton and Paul Levitz:
Great stuff! My favorite female superhero story.

The Staton/Layton art combo is the best, although Staton inking himself is also great. Steve Mitchell inks some of the later stories, and does a decent job. The TPB has a new cover by Brian Bolland that is based on the Staton cover:
It's an interesting take on it, but I prefer Staton's original.

Anonymous said...

I think Huntress's incredible secret was that she never really least according to Crisis :)

I remember picking this one up (not that many years ago) because I wanted to read "The Legion's First Case"; it was pretty good, as I recall.

Mike Wilson

Edo Bosnar said...

I missed this one; had I see it on the spinner racks, the cover definitely would have made me buy it. And otherwise, yes, I really like the Huntress and I especially like Staton's art.

Doug said...

Happy weekend everyone --

I indeed had this book and read it multiple times. Those of you who've suggested that the Huntress's secret origin was that she was the progeny of Earth-2's Bruce Wayne and -- wait for it -- Selina Kyle Wayne are exactly right! As a major enthusiast of the All-Star Comics revival I thought this was just the cat's pajamas! Loved it.

The stories featuring Green Arrow (O'Neil/Grell/Patterson) and the Legion (Harris/Ortiz/Smith) were also well done and quite enjoyable.

I remarked to one of our Twitter friends that this comic falls into a category many of us have been smitten by -- "now whatever happened to that book?"


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