Friday, April 18, 2008

Don't Tread On Me Covers

In my continuing search to find obscure cover themes, I've tripped over a wonderfully fun theme (or was that the Atom?). 'Don't Tread On Me Covers' (as I've christened them) tend to feature a main character moments from becoming intimate with the sole of someone's shoe. It's a great design, and a real attention grabber. Let's take a look at a few.

We expect the likes of Atom and Ant-Man to be in this predicament on a fairly regular basis, so I'm not going to go on and on about those little guys, but I couldn't resist include this one from Marvel Team-Up #102, as it is the cover to one of my favourite comics from childhood. This is the Scott Lang Ant-Man, and he and Spidey have discovered the Taskmaster's secret training facility. Lang is still learning to fill Hank Pym's shoes at this stage in his career, but he should really be more concerned with Taskmaster's shoe at this stage.

Old Greenskin isn't exactly the first guy you'd think of getting caught underfoot, but here he is being threatened by Modok's size 55s on the cover of Incredible Hulk #167. Modok totally looks like the Spider Slayer here - did he hook up with Alistair Smythe? I like the whole juxtaposition of the big bad Hulk suddenly looking tiny. This cover is Herb Trimpes at his Trimpiest. Nice job all around (although taht red background is a bit garish for my tastes). I haven't read too many Hulk stories from this era, but boy did he ever get himself into some strange situations.

John Byrne must have liked the overall effect of Don't Tread On Me Covers, as he designed one for the cover to Superman Annual #1 from 1987. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, as I have difficulty taking Titano seriously at times. It almost seems like he's playing footsie with Supes. Also, the combination of Superman's pose and facial expression makes him look more constipated than threatened. A lesser example of the subgenre, but I wouldn't be earning my salary if I only dug up Atom and Ant-Man covers.

A much better example is Mike Allred's cover to Madman #9. It's got a bit of a Land of the Giants feel to it (I looked through the Gold Key Land of the Giants cover gallery, but sadly no examples), complete with a giant toothbrush. I can't remember how that toy robot fits into the story (except for that its owner is a geek), but it looks pretty cool. I did always find that Easter Island head at the bottom right to be a real distraction - and I won't be mentioning them when I do Easter Island covers. Madman has one of the few books I picked up religiously back in the mid-90s, but the wonky publishing schedule became a pretty big turn off. I wonder whatever happened to old Madman?


Anonymous said...

And don't forget Amzazing Spider-man #329

Murray C

Pj Perez said...

Uh, that's Ron Frenz doing that Superman Annual cover, not Byrne.