Book Review: Superman – Cover To Cover
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. You know the spiel. He is known the world over and his logo is arguably the most iconic symbol of the 20th century. He’s Superman. Rocketed to our planet as a child from a dying world and launched into the collective consciousness through the powerful imagery of comic book artwork. The visual representation of Superman is the focus of this book that I snagged from the Hutchinson Public Library earlier this fall. It was a quick read (more visually stimulating than informative) but quite enjoyable.
This book represents a diverse collection of cover art from Superman’s 70+ years of publication. They were chosen by an array of renowned writers, artists, and editors that have helped shape the storied career of the Man of Steel. Often times these covers are accompanied by personal recollections from those creators on why that particular cover gripped them as a reader or what the inspiration behind that cover was (if they drew it). I found it interesting to note that probably more covers came from Golden and Silver Age eras than any other time period in Superman’s publishing history, a time full of whimsical stories accompanied by oftentimes silly cover art.
The fascinating aspect of this book is witnessing the progression of comic book artwork since its inception, from the simplistic lines of the ’30’s and ’40’s to the realistic detail of the Modern Age. And in the process, this book reads as a Who’s Who of artistic talent, with the likes of Curt Swan, Neal Adams, George Perez, John Byrne, Alex Ross and Jim Lee featured in these pages (if you are not familiar with any of those names, I recommend that you rectify this woeful oversight immediately). Whether you are a Superman super-fan or merely have a passing interest in the Man of Tomorrow, I would recommend perusing page after page of phenomenal art. I will bid you adieu today with some of my favorite covers from the Superman gallery.
A Little Off the Top One of the sillier covers; for the barber’s sake, I hope Superman is a good tipper.
Play Nice You Two This issue marks the first team-up between this villainous pair.
Schizophrenic Superman Looks like Clark Kent is having a mental breakdown here.
The Power of Kryptonite Superman’s greatest weakness has entered the everyday English lexicon.
The Iconic Pose I think this cover speaks for itself concerning its awesomeness.
Bulletproof This cover sums it up best: nothing can stop the Man of Steel.