One of the ways DC is celebrating the company's 75th anniversary is by releasing special 75th Anniversary Variant covers. These covers seem to be homages to prior iconic DC covers, re-imaginations by some of the more famous artists in the business. A recent Mike Mignola Batman variant was teased earlier (here is the link). The most recent release was this Eduardo Risso variant which will be on Superman #700.
Of course, the Risso cover hearkens back to the fantastic Neal Adams' Superman #233 cover, the opening chapter of the 'Kryptonite Nevermore' storyline.
Risso's cover is an interesting take. His Superman is thick, the face more akin to the Fleisher Studios Superman than Adams' version. It isn't supposed to be Neal Adams; it's supposed to be Risso's take on this cover. I actually like it a lot. And that says something ... I love Superman #233.
Based on the two variants that have been released, the original cover doesn't have to be a prior anniversary issue or a number one issue. It has to be something iconic ... something relatively recognizable (I don't think the casual fan would list Detective Comics #168 as a 'famous' Batman cover) ... and something dynamic. Here are the Batman covers side by side.
Now the plan is for there to be a special 75th Anniversary Supergirl cover as well. We have talked about iconic Supergirl covers in the past here. But which cover should be the homage cover on which the variant cover is based? I have come up with a couple of ideas ... but to be honest, I have no idea. The Detective Comics #168 is sort of obscure (at least to me and I like to think I am pretty well-read as a comics fan). So it doesn't have to be something extremely well known. And I hope it isn't based on Crisis on Infinite Earths #7. That has been copied so many times I don't think it would feel special enough.
So here are some guesses out of the blue.
Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 - With the 'Who is Supergirl?' storyline coming up, my guess is Kara does some introspection and comes out with a stronger sense of self. This smiling confident Supergirl (rendered by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano) would be a nice template for the current title.
Adventure Comics #381 - It's the 'first' Supergirl only issue with a nice Neal Adams cover. It is the first time she wasn't a second feature in Action Comics. For that reason alone, it is an important Supergirl issue and certainly worthy of an homage variant. My only problem with this cover is that Supergirl is such a small part of the composition.
Supergirl #13 (from the Daring New Volume) - It is a classic heroic pose and was the first sighting of the 1980s 'headband costume' (although the headband isn't there in this Ed Hannigan/Dick Giordano cover). While it would be a nice iconic cover to emulate, it lacks the energy of the Batman and Superman covers.
Adventure Comics #406 - so maybe not as famous as the prior 2 covers, I have always liked this Mike Sekowsky cover's composition. That's Nasty Luthor looming in the background, a split Linda/Supergirl image in front. With 'Who is Supergirl?' hopefully re-establishing the Linda Lang secret identity, this might be a cool cover to base the variant on.
Adventure Comics #383 - I do think it would be slick to base the Supergirl cover on a Neal Adams cover like the Superman one is, linking the cousins. While I have no idea how they could work this cover's theme of Supergirl being present at her own funeral into the actual story, I always thought this cover had a lot of dynamism. If an 'action' feel is what DC is going for, this one is pretty good. You can feel Supergirl's shock here. Adams is a master.
There are plenty of older Supergirl covers where she is lamenting her existence or being treated poorly. Here on Supergirl #3 she is sad she can't get a date. There are other covers of her being yelled at by Superman, being bombarded by soda cups at a football game, etc. I hope we don't see one of these covers. I want it to be a strong representation of Supergirl.
I am hoping for Adventure Comics #406 ... but I know that is a pipe dream. Any suggestions out there?
And we haven't even talked artists! I know it might be controversial to some, but I'd love to see another Renato Guedes Supergirl cover.