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Cover Stories by Jon B. Knutson
Jon Knutson presents comic book covers with a common theme
and relates any information and comments about them.

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COVER STORIES for 07/17/2005

Welcome to this tenth edition of "Cover Stories," in which I look at a number of comics covers with a common theme!

Today's theme is called "What The--?" and I should probably explain what that's supposed to mean! This will be a recurring theme, and feature covers that are just so eye-catching that you look at them and just HAVE to find out what's going on inside.

Amazing Adventures 38

Here's a good example... I'd imagine most of you are familiar with Killraven and the War of the Worlds stories from Amazing Adventures... Killraven and his band of free humans roam the Earth, trying to repel the Martian invaders. The stories take place in the future.

So... what the heck are demonic versions of Doc Strange, The Thing, Daredevil, Medusa, the Black Panther, Sub-Mariner, Iron Man and Iron Fist doing menacing our hero? Well, you'll have to read it to find out. Somehow, I missed this book on the newsstands when it originally came out, but I'd imagine if I had seen it, I would've been overwhelmed with curiousity!

This issue was the next-to-last of this series of Amazing Adventures, and was a fill-in. The cover was by Keith Pollard and Marie Severin. The story "Death's Dark Dreamer" was by Keith Giffen and Bill Mantlo, with inks by Al Milgrom.

Aquaman 56

What a bizarre cover on this issue, eh? Looks like Aquaman's flying to the scene of the attack on Detroit, plus there's the big muck-monster to contend with!

This cover was by Nick Cardy, who remains in my mind one of the top DC comics cover artists. It's a testament to his ability to render incredible covers that I had to look at this several times before I realized that Arthur was flying over Detroit! Inside, "The Creature that Devoured Detroit" was written by Steve Skeates with art by Jim Aparo. The issue also featured a two-page Aquagirl story by the same team called "The Cave of Death!"

This was the final issue of the original Aquaman title, which sported some of the best covers of any Silver Age comics!

Batman 199

You just know when you see a cover of a Silver Age DC comic where the entire situation is completely out-of-whack, with bizarre stuff happening (such as Batman desperately needing a copy of his own comic) that Julie Schwartz is behind it, eh?

Well, he was the editor of Batman when this issue came out, featuring this very appealing cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson! I can only imagine the production nightmare this cover must've been trying to get cover images of the other DC titles that would be out at the same time, and pasting them in (plus matching the coloring!).

The cover did feature the lead story, "Peril of the Poison Rings" (gotta love those alliterative titles!) which had art by Sheldon Modloff and Joe Giella (there's no writer credit listed anywhere I could find). In this story, Batman captures a criminal comic book artist (which must be a rarity... criminal comic book publishers were certainly more the norm, especially in the Golden Age!).

The same art team did the second story, "Seven Steps to Save Face!" in which a criminal disguises himself as Robin in order to discover Batman's secret identity. Robin does have a solo-story to himself in this issue, "Escape!", which was drawn and inked by Jim Mooney, and is a reprint from Star-Spangled Comics 124.

Blue Circle 3

OK, now this one is just plain weird... a very cartoony octopus with Hitler's head?!?!? Who could've even conceived such an image? Well, the good folks who published this comic, Crydon Publishing. Nope, I hadn't heard of them prior to seeing this cover, either. Unfortunately, there are no creator credits to be had here. The blonde babe with the trident is Maureen Marine, and is apparently a distaff variation on Sub-Mariner. This issue of Blue Circle also featured stories with the Blue Circle himself, the Toreador, Steel Fist, Gail Porter, Slaphappy Grandpappy, and Driftwood Davey.

Yep, not a memorable character in the bunch!

Captain America 131

Bucky lives... or does he? Any long-time Cap fan would've instantly been grabbed by this cover, eh? As we all know, when Captain America was revived back in AVENGERS #4, it was revealed that Bucky died during WWII.

Of course, Cap survived, so it stands to reason Bucky could've survived, too, eh? Well, at last Cap thought so... and in fact, back in one of his TALES OF SUSPENSE issues, he thought Bucky was alive, and went to meet him, only to find that it wasn't really Bucky, but rather an android created by the Red Skull.

I don't suppose I'm giving anything away by saying this time, it's not really Bucky, either? The cover is by Marie Severin and Joe Sinnott, with the interior story, "Bucky Reborn," by Stan Lee, Gene Colan and Dick Ayers.

Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at for other musings and ramblings by me!

Jon B. Knutson

<< 07/10/2005 | 07/17/2005 | 07/24/2005 >>

Discuss this column with me in World Famous Comics' General Forum.

Recent Installments:
NEWESTInstallment 129: 1 - 10 - Cracked! (10/28/2007)
10/21/2007Installment 128: Clichés
10/14/2007Installment 127: Comics Never Made - Drive-In Movie Classics and Fantastic Film Classics
10/07/2007Installment 126: Circus Time
09/30/2007Installment 125: 1-10 - Challengers of the Unknown!
09/23/2007Installment 124: Ch-ch-ch-changes - And it's all Superman family titles!
09/16/2007Installment 123: Comics Never Made - Drive-In Movie Classics and Fantastic Film Classics
09/09/2007Installment 122: Reader Challenge - a reader gave me four comic book covers, and challenged me to come up with the theme!
09/02/2007Installment 121: Cartoon Stuff
08/26/2007Installment 120: Sports
08/19/2007Installment 119: 1-10 - Captain Marvel Adventures!
08/12/2007Installment 118: Comics Never Made - Five comics that never were!
08/05/2007Installment 117: Carnival
07/22/2007Installment 116: A G-g-g-g-g-ghost!
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