Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Enter the Dragon Covers

There aren't many things as cool, or as disorienting, as a hall of mirrors. The final sequence to Enter the Dragon featuring a hall made up of reportedly 1,000 mirrors helped make Bruce Lee an icon. Comic book creators were also keenly aware of the dramatic possibilities afforded by a hall of mirrors. There are plenty of covers, which I've decided to call Enter the Dragon covers (much cooler than Hall of Mirror covers, dontcha think?), with all sorts of different twists on the themes. Here are a handful of the best:

The team of Andru and Esposito created countless classic covers over the years, and this cover to Wonder Woman #134 is no exception. I've heard said that if you are ever looking for a specific comic book cover theme, check out Wonder Woman, as every bit of ground has been covered. Wonder Woman is somewhat taken aback by her hostile reflections, and we can only wonder if the Mirror Master has decided to make a cameo appearance in the Amazon's title. This raises an interesting questions (and fans of Heroes may have some insight) - why is our Mirror-self always nastier than our real life persona?

A few years later, Neal Adams decided to try his hand at an Enter the Dragon cover for Detective Comics #389. The Mirror Batman makes the Mirror Wonder Woman look downright friendly. DC was wise to have Neal Adams do so many covers in the late 60s, but I really feel like they shot themselves in the foot with their giant Detective Comics with Batman and Batgirl logo. On this cover, it almost seems that Batman is hunched over so that he doesn't bang his head on the logo. All in all it makes for a somewhat squished Enter the Dragon cover, which doubles the claustrophobia, I guess.

Around the same time, the folks at Marvel decided to get in on Enter the Dragon with Gene Colan's Daredevil #61 cover. Luckily, for DD's sake, it seems that the 6 Emissaries of Evil has been reduced to a mere threesome, the newly dubbed Trio of Doom (whatever happened to the good old Marvel alliteration?). While it is quite a handsome cover, there are a couple of things that bother me. First, Daredevil's reflection is all wrong - the leg nearest to the mirror should be reflect, but perhaps I'm being a bit anal. Second, and this is the big one, is precisely what effect would a hall of mirrors have on a blind man? Would DD simply focus on hearbeats etc...? It seems like a simple solution to me. I guess I've got to go back an re-read the issue.

I've saved the absolute best for last. It's the best only because I owned it as a child, and things that have nostalgic value to me always win top honours. It's my blog so I can make up whatever rules I want. The late 70s was a great time to be a kid - Twilight Zone episodes were still re-run on a regular basis, and the Gold Key comic remained on spinner racks more than a decade after the show's cancellation. I'm certain that I obtained Twilight Zone #90 as part of a 3-pack on a road trip - probably along with a Little Lulu and Adam-12. This cover is absolutely gorgeous. I assumed that it's by George Wilson, but I can never be sure with Gold Keys. It's a real shame that they didn't provide creator credits and I would love to see the Gold Key titles indexes some day. Don't ask me to do it, because I'm lazy and I'd just put down Frank Bolle for everything.
Folks, that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'd love to hear about some of your favourites.


Anonymous said...

I remember that DD #61 cover, and I am a great believer that the cover should reflect the insides.
Therefore, it follows that a cartoony cover will really spoil a good Gene Colan art job inside.
In fact, the fact that I don't remember the story inside, means that I really started to loose interest in this series after the Deathshead issues of #55-56 but stayed with it almost all the way to 100 or so. But by then, I was in highschool and comics were things to keep hidden in the closet and never admit to.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.