Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Gil Kane´s covers for SUPERMAN BATMAN

While doing the video section for my last post I realized that Today would have been Gil Kane´s 90th birthday and while I still haven´t gotten around to read the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN hardcover that collects his issues I just had to pay a little homage to one of the great comic book artists.

Because this caught me a bit unprepared I thought about what might be interesting and since this is the stuff I´m familiar with I thought why not post the german covers since everybody knows the original covers.

Because they look quite different from the american version and sin some instance they were switched around - for which reason I don´t know - like is this one above where we have Superman fly in the opposite direction. Thank god Animal Man only had a big A on his chest instead of an AM which would have led to quite some confusion with readers on this one.

The german covers were cluttered with a lot of promotion and while I always loved that they put so much extra stuff in it I bet Lex doesn´t like being shoved to the side to promote SUPERMAN III - The Steel Lightning.

But they didn´t only promote movies with DC superheroes - since there were very little of them back then - and one of the reasons to buy the comic was that they included a lot of movie posters. Which before the invention of videotapes was how you could relieve the movie experience.

Some people say that Superman´s rogues gallery has always been lacking but that´s because it´s not easy to come up with somebody to challenge him when you don´t understand what he´s all about. Most writers who have problems with that go back to ye olde kryptonite, magic or alien tech schtick which brings us to one of the greatest Superman villains - in both the best and worst way - Terra Man. Nobody ever called this cool space cowboy Maurice and what´s even better than one Terra Man ?

But sometimes you didn´t even need a villain and I bet the one who wrote this story with Superman´s brother ( who only appeared in this story ) had one of those pesky brothers that can ruin your whole life himself.

Of course Superman´s go - to villain par excellence was Lex Luthor who was still wearing his green and purple power suit before John Byrne transformed him into the personification of the evil corporate America.

And speaking about personifications of evil it does not get much more meta than Satanis who - as always - had another great name in Germany : Super - Satanis. Or was that because in the story Satanis looks a lot like Superman ? I don´t know since I still have to read this story but I´m a bit miffed that DC did not include the first part of this storyline in the Gil Kane ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN hardcover. I get that it was not drawn by Gil Kane but for the money they charge for this they could have thrown in a few freebies like a few extra issues and maybe also an introduction.

Besides his work on ACTION COMICS and SUPERMAN Gil Kane also did an annual for DC COMICS PRESENTS and two issues of the SUPERMAN SPECIAL which were published as the SUPERMAN ALBUMs in Germany.

I know that Gil Kane did a lot of series like GREEN LANTERN and ATOM but I will always fondly remember when he came onto the Superman books and brought a fresh wind after decades of Curt Swan dominated art. 

So there you have it, two for the price of one which I don´t really do that often but I just felt I could not add this to the last post. Which would have been too long with all this stuff anyway. Now the downside to this is that I have to come up with a second video section Today but thankfully there are enough Superman related videos between my bookmarks for that.

We´re starting with something else however as Gil Kane also worked for Marvel where he did the art for AMAZING SPIDER - MAN ( among others ) and his issues with Morbius or the Stacys are classics. Since I want to hold on to The Death of Gwen Stacy for that particular entry in my DEATH IN COMIC series here is issue 122 titled The Green Goblin´s Last Stand ! 

Since I couldn´t find interviews with Gil Kane here is a video that showcases the comic books he has worked on during his illustrious career.

I take any excuse to put more Filmation on the blog so here is the first part of a featurette about the first Lou Scheimer Superman cartoon.

I mentioned kryptonite in the post but do you know it´s real origin ?

What does it say about the respective quality that I´m more excited about the tv shows of DC super heroes than their current movies ? You can draw your own conclusions to that while I wanted to post a clip from the long anticipated ( I had to watch the entire first 17 episodes of Supergirl only to see it ) crossover episode between SUPERGIRL and THE FLASH.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

1 comment:

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

How can anyone not like a Gil Kane cover? His art style in comics was great but the covers were something I could never ignore -its why I bought the two part Superman and the Forgotten Heroes story.
Another great posting and I'll need to check those covers out again!