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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 02/11/2007

Welcome, faithful readers (and those of you joining us for the first time) to the 92nd installment of Cover Stories, the weekly column in which I, Jon B. Knutson, present a group of covers with a common theme!

This week's theme is "Seeing Double!" And let's begin with possibly the most infamous "seeing double" cover of the 1970s:

Amazing Spider-Man 149

Yes, it's Gil Kane inked by Frank Giacoia on Amazing Spider-Man 149! Inside, "Even if I Live, I Die!" was by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito. Yes, in this issue, the Spider-Man clone dies!

Honest and for true! Reed Richards even told Spidey later on he was the genuine article, not the clone. Heck, the Watcher told us the story of "What If The Spider-Clone Had Lived?" in What If? #30... which means that in order to do a story about if the clone lived, it must've died, right? So no matter what was done later on, the Spider-Clone was dead, dead, dead! (Like I should really gripe... who stays dead in comics any more? Bucky's back from the dead... I expect to hear that Uncle Ben's been in hiding for years underground, not really dead).

Anyway... the story was reprinted in Marvel Tales #126.

How about a different kind of "Seeing Double" cover that won't stress me out?

Batman 177

Now, here's some Silver Age wackiness you won't see today! Three - count 'em, three! - Batmen, one each in a different size! We can thank the Carmine Infantino/Murphy Anderson art team for rendering this cover... and Julius "B.O." (Be Original) Schwartz for the concept, no doubt!

Following the PSA "Builders of the Future" by Jack Schiff and Sheldon Moldoff, we have "Two Batmen Too Many" written by Bill Finger, with art by Moldoff and Joe Giella, and guest-starring the Elongated Man and the Atom! Now, since I've never read this story (either in the original here or in the reprint in Batman #259), so I have no idea what the whole rationale behind this story was (although I would guess that the Elongated Man and the Atom helped Batman pull off the three Batman thing).

Also in this issue, Cap's Hobby Center by Henry Boltinoff, and the Art Gallery of Rogues, by John Broome, Moldoff and Sid Greene!

Let's go back to the Golden Age for our next cover, shall we?

All American 39

Here's an evil twin cover for you... featuring the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, taking on an impersonator! This cover was by Irwin Hasen. The cover story, "Mystery of the Theater of Fear" was written by Bill Finger with art by Hasen.

Also in this issue: Newspaper reprints of Mutt & Jeff by Al Smith (as Bud Fisher), Dr. Mid-Nite by Charles Reizenstein and Stan Aschmeier, Hop Harrigan in "The Boy Miracle on Wings" by Jon L. Blummer, the filer "Vulture Vanguard" by Falcon Mathieu, Sargon the Sorcerer by John Wentworth and Howard Purcell, Scribbly and the Red Tornado by Sheldon Mayer, the text story "Ghost Town Part 2" by Evelyn Gaines, more Mutt and Jeff, Red White and Blue by Wentworth and Purcell, and The Atom by Bill O'Connor, Ben Flinton and Leonard Sansone.

Sounds like a pretty great lineup to me!

OK, you know I couldn't keep going on without putting in a Superman cover, didn't you?

Action Comics 100

Yes, here's Action Comics #100, featuring Clark Kent AND Superman! This cover was by Wayne Boring and Ed Dobrotka, and I'm guessing the cover is entirely symbolic. Inside, we have Superman in "The Sleuth Who Never Failed," by Alvin Schwartz, Ira Yarbrough and Stan Kaye, in which Inspector Hawkins tries to trap Clark Kent into revealing he's Superman; a Hayfoot Henry filler, "The Rhyming Horse," by Al Schwartz and Stan Kaye; Congo Bill in "The Case of the Captive Seals" by Fred Ray; a Sunshine Nelly filler; a Daffy & Doodle filler by Lit-Win; the Vigilante in "The Book That Was Too Real" by Don Cameron, Mort Meskin and George Roussos; and Zatara in "Magic-Past or Present" by Cameron and W.F. White.

Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," in which I'll present another installment of "Comics They Never Made" (and they won't be "Drive-In Movie Classics" issues for a change!), and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at for other musings and ramblings by me, or email me with comments about this column at !

Jon B. Knutson

<< 02/04/2007 | 02/11/2007 | 02/18/2007 >>

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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