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Comics 411: Weirdest Comic Book Covers

August 18, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Wierdest Comic Covers

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last time we discussed The Silliest Characters in Comic Books. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Mondo Von Wer:  “From the Tick
4-Legged Man
Captain Mucilage (Let’s get sticky!)
Carpeted Man
Gray Squirrel (she can communicate and control squirrels. Her battlecry is “I really like squirrels!
Baby Boomerangatang (a guy dressed in an oranatang costume from the neck down who throws Baby Dolls like boomerangs–his battle cry is “it’s okay to play with dolls!”)
Sewer Urchin
Fish Boy (has to stay near a kiddie pool of water)”

Ken Wood: “Jubilee, Dazzler, and Boom Boom.
I’ll throw in Beak and Glob as well.”

Erick Rowan’s Beard: “One character that springs to mind is one called Razorfist. There’ve been more than one in Marvel but, essentially, Razorfist is a mercenary who’s had his hands surgically removed and replaced with long, sword-like blades. This character appears in the upcoming Shang-Chi movie, he’s even in the trailer if I’m not mistaken. I don’t know if the character has been upgraded to where the blades are cybernetic or has hands that can transform into blames or whatever but, originally, there’s no cybernetic enhancement or anything. The guy’s hands are replaced by swords so it begs the question of how he’s able to do…well anything. How does he dress himself? How does he prepare food? How does he open a door? How does he wipe his @$$ or wash himself? Just a silly concept all around.

Some other characters that struck me as silly were all the various super pets that had Kryptonian powers There was Krypto the Super Dog but it didn’t stop there. If I remember correctly, at one time, there was a horse along with a cat and chimpanzee as well. They came out back in the 60s I think and were even a team, the League of Super Pets or Legion of Super Pets or something along those lines. And yeah, they all wore the Superman capes with the yellow Superman shield on the back.”

Al Lobama: “For one off the beaten path, I’ve got to go with Mister Fish, one of Luke Cage’s earliest villains. He’s not a merman and can’t even breath underwater. He’s just a mutated human who looks like a fish. And he has a GUN~!

His catchphrase was “No ones laughs at Mr. Fish!,” which basically ensures that readers are going to laugh at him. And believe it or not, Mister Fish is a legacy character, as Bill Norris assumed the mantle of Mister Fish when the original Mister Fish (his brother Mortimer) died.

You read that correctly. There were TWO Mister Fishes! Or is it Misters Fish?”

El Atomico: “Matter-Eater Lad and Arm Fall-Off Boy were the first two I thought of. Well done!

I bet there’s emo bands with those names, too!”

kungfool: “seeing as Dogwelder is mentioned your list is fine.”

Dresden: “Bloodfire, the world’s first HIV-Positive super hero. When his blood is exposed to oxygen, it catches fire.

I stood in front of the creators of this character at a comic book convention as they explained their hero and I just said “you do realize that he’s on fire all the time then, since blood is what carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body?” It went about 12 issues, I never found out how (if at all) they answered their lack of this important piece of info.”

Dorath: “Early 80s Marvel gave us Speedball, Howard the Duck, and Dr. Bong.”

Prez Gar: “So many to choose from…

G’nort, the alien anthropomorphic dog Green Lantern, whose greatest enemy was the Cosmic Designer, Mr Nebula. (An obvious Galactus rip-offf, complete with a knock-off Silver Surfer, the Scarlet Skier.)

Captain Ultra, the plumber turned super-hero whose powers were unlocked by an alien psychologist who tried to help him with his fear of fire.

Ambush Bug, who was breaking the fourth wall long before Liefeld ever even thought of Deadpool.

Slapstick, Marvel’s walking cartoon character. (Who ironically, has never been on any Marvel animated series.)

And the two powerless heroes with funny headgear, DC’s ‘Mazing Man and Marvel’s one time mascot, Forbush-Man.”

Some awesome comments last week! Thanks for the input and keep it coming!

This week we discuss…

The Weirdest Comic Book Covers
It’s no secret that comic book covers have a long, strange pedigree. From the start they’ve had some questionable text or pictures that draw both positive and negative attention. I’ll let you be the judge of the ALF cover above. 

Let’s take a look at a small sample of what I’m talking about. 

When it comes to Batman and Superman, the Silver Age wasn’t always so pretty. It was downright weird and makes you wonder if they planned the covers that way. 

DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics #7 in the fall of 1942 and Jack Burnley drew this subtle cover that depicts Superman, Robin, and Batman each straddling the barrel of a battleship’s cannon.

Batman alone could have a Top 100 Weird Cover list. Like this one. You’ll find no gold at the end of this rainbow…

For context, 1957’s Detective Comics #241 starts with Dick Grayson, as himself, saving a girl from getting hit by a car, injuring his arm while doing so. In being a civilian hero, he gets plenty of attention from the press. Meanwhile Batman starts wearing different colored suits, for no reason. At first. We finally get an explanation as he wanted to distract people from noticing Robin’s injured arm and put two-and-two together. Just brilliant. 

What hasn’t aged well at all? That’s easy…

In September 1970 the “I Am Curious (Black)” in Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #106 hit the stands and even without the cover, the story was out there.

Moving to Spider-Man, who is no slouch with questionable covers, we get Amazing Spider-Man #262, which was a fill-in issue by writer/artist Bob Layton. The cover model was Scott Leva, who appeared in other promotional material as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, in an attempt to get buzz for a Spidey movie by Cannon Films in 1985.  
I’m not a fan of photo covers for comics. Too jarring and doesn’t work for the medium for some reason. If you’re wondering, it was Jim Shooter’s idea.

The Rifleman cover. Yes, THAT cover. Call it bad placement, poor planning, or just plain horrible, this cover is the butt of jokes whenever odd comic book covers are discussed.  

I don’t want to delve into the comic book cover variant pool because we’d be here all day but here are a few that are worth a mention. Like this fantastic eyesore that still hurts my eyes…

And this one’s is just as painful…

Hey! What about Rob Liefeld? While I had a nice selection to choose from, I’ll go with this one thanks to the random floating body parts. 

I’ll end on covers that are so weird that they’re bad and so bad they’re just…sad.

OK, let it rip in the comments below! Have fun getting these images out of your head!

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!

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Comics 411, Steve Gustafson