Friday, January 08, 2016

Ross Andru, man of Action ( Comics that is )

Well, while I was making the celebrity birthday post about cult siren Linda Kozlowski I was looking for some new SUPERMAN BATMAN covers to add and I couldn´t help but notice how many of those were done by the great Ross Andru. Because I mentioned him in a post recently I thought why not do a post with some of his most iconic covers from my misspent youth ?

Now some people may be groaning because it´s another post about DC comics instead of an independent publisher that could use my help much more. Okay, do you know the title of this blog ? It´s not Tales from the Independent or Tales from the Selfpublished or Tales from Anything Else but DC or Marvel. So, sorry, but you can´t call yourself Tales form the KRYPTONIAN and not write about Superman. Which means you have to write about DC. What do people think ? That I got the title for this blog out of a crackerjack box ? No, Sir, I made it up myself and it´s my way of telling people about my two biggest loves in comics but also a mission statement. So if you come here hoping to avoid DC - not gonna happen.

So, in accordance with this blog´s title, Today´s post is about Ross Andru who provided a lot of covers for ACTION COMICS. Many of these were also used for the SUPERMAN BATMAN series by german publisher Ehapa which I read on a regular basis so I tried to pick the most memorables although there might be a few covers from the SUPERMAN book mixed in here. I distinctively remember the one above because the layout just stuck with me. The story was a three parter and Superman had to transform himself into an alien - well, an alien looking alien. Some kind of a lizard creature.

Speaking about aliens, one of the toughest aliens superman went up against was the Galactic Golem and like Mongul he was created to give Superman an opponent that was on the same level of physical power.

The issue guest stars Supergirl and I have heard that SUPERMAN BATMAN 13 from 1981 is a very sought after collectors item because it reprints the story Strangers at the Heart´s Core ! which shows Supergirl in a nightie.

Back to Ross Andru´s SUPERMAN BATMAN covers there were of course some where Superman was going up against classic villains like Brainiac before Gil Kane got to his - well, I like to call it his Heavy Metal phase.

Another classic villain was Lex Luthor. Hey, I said villain. What the eff ?

So maybe I got it all wrong. Superman and his best pal Lex Luthor ..... okay, maybe they were not friends after all. That Superman is a mack.

Okay, but I´m sure I got this one right. One of Superman´s best pals from the time was Vartox because somebody at DC had obviously seen Sean Connery in the science fiction cult classic ZARDOZ and must´ve thought : " You know, that guy and Superman, they would probably be BFFs. " Which they were when they were not busy fighting each other to the death.

And yes, if you know the original cover this was mirrored by Ehapa.

Yep, there was all kind of weird s - word going down at that time like Superman suddenly breathing fire ( not that different from heat vision )

everything being upside down and time flowing backwards ( I swear this happens to me every day when I´m trying to get up in the morning )

Superman getting some javelin throwing practice - only with sky scrapes instead of a normal javelin and an incoming meteor as the target area

or the obligatory cover of Superman getting beat up by a monkey - or a very ugly alien or both - because you know that those monkey covers sell.

Then there was this incident with Lois .... ups, my bad. This was actually how Lois Lane was portrayed for most of the time. Helpless and clingy. 

And this is another cover that was inverted for the german readers.

Now not many people know this but before he became a martial arts superstar in STREET FIGHTER Blanka tried out for other jobs like the position of butler for the Fortress of Solitude. Things didn´t work out ( electro powers and scrubbing a bottle filled with tiny people don´t mix ).

And I want to end this post with a creation by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru : Metal Men villain Chemo who first appeared in SHOWCASE 39.

There are a lot of Superman related videos at COMIC MISCONCEPTIONS but I think this is the most interesting one. Divine intervention or a case of coming up with a name and finding out later that it has meaning ?

I wanted to post another video by Comicbookgirl19 AND a cosplay video so I thought : why not both ? I can´t believe I haven´t posted this one yet.

Because a lot of readers might not be familiar with the WildC.A.T.S. cartoon - or might have surpressed the memory - here´s episode one.

Either I have already posted the making of Richard Donner´s SUPERMAN movie or I can´t find the bookmark. In any case The Story of Superman goes from the creation of the comic book to the black and white tv show.

Speaking about SUPERMAN tv shows, Today´s music video is Look for the Silver Lining and it is also Superman related. Mysteries over mysteries.

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Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

I SO wanted the CBG19 calendar but at the time -no cash. sigh. I like the covers to the comics and they always bring back good memories. Bought some German comics (1970s) from Ebay last year so cheap I could not believe it and from Ireland of all places (German ebayers won't sell to UK comic fans -What??
Lovely article and supergirl in a night, Helen Slater maybe....!

SUBZERO said...

Helen Slater was soooo hot in the Supergirl movie. Could have been epic ..... sigh