Sunday, October 24, 2010
Amanda Conner Variant
I usually don't post on Sunday but things are a little hectic here between reviews coming up, news that has been announced, and some back issue trips I am planning. Plus, I think it's time we had another poll on this blog ... but that's all coming up.
Anyways, I think that Amanda Conner's Supergirl #58 variant, one of the DC 75th anniversary covers deserved it's own post. It was announced on the DC Source blog and here is that link: http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2010/10/22/amanda-conner%e2%80%99s-variant-cover-to-supergirl-58/
I have not hidden the fact that I love Conner's art. But I think there definitely needs to be a marriage of the material and her art to work best.
Her style clearly worked for Supergirl in Wednesday Comics or Power Girl where a little more lighthearted tone is evident.
Here it works nicely as an homage to Action Comics #252, Supergirl's first appearance. The happy-go-lucky feel is certainly retro and appropriate for the source material. I also like that it is part of the current storyline as this is Supergirl returning from Bizarro World. How I wish I got a commission from Conner at Baltimore. This is really a beautiful piece.
I figured this cover has seen it's share of renditions so why not review the covers of Action #252.
Here is the original Action Comics #252, as drawn by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye.
That cover, in and of itself, has been reprinted in other formats. My favorite is the 'Millenium Edition' reprinted in 2000. It comes with such a fancy shiny emblem making it seem important. A number of 'essential' comics were done in this format. This was also reprinted as a 'Silver Age Classic' in 1992 and as the cover of the Supergirl Showcase Volume 1.
And now onto some homage covers.
Rob Haynes did this version for Supergirl #75, the first part of the Many Happy Returns storyline. Here Linda Danvers is in Superman's place as the Earth-1 Kara Zor-El leaps from her rocket. It is very stylized but feels too rough.
It is dramatically improved by this Ed Benes version for the Many Happy Returns trade paperback.
And then finally this take on the famous cover. For the third printing of Supergirl #1 of the current series, Ian Churchill, then artist on the series, did this version. This one is interesting with Batman in the Superman role, and it being underwater and all. It's almost silly. I can't imagine Batman saying the 'Great guns ..' line. Also, the Supergirl in the series at that point was about as far away as you can get from the sweet innocent girl from Action Comics #252. Still, I am sort of fond of this one just for those idiosyncracies.
The bottom line is I am glad DC recognized Supergirl with a 75th anniversary cover and that it is as wonderful as Amanda Conner made it. I don't think every title had a 75th variant.