COVER HOMAGE: KEVIN MAGUIRE
JUSTICE LEAGUE 1 (May'87)
It's the cover that started it all from wunderkind Kevin Maguire. Not sure why this cover took everyone by storm but it definitely stood out on the racks back in '87 and seemed to suggest a whole new feel to the team in general. And Guy Gardner of all people is taking center stage fresh off his resurgence in Crisis, Green Lantern, Legends, etc. He was the disputed star of the book and little did we know what we were in for behind this cover. This group image would quickly become iconic in itself, referencing back to not only the team book, but to the creative team as well.
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL 24 (Feb'89)
The team blew up its ranks, spread worldwide and created Justice League Europe. This cover is a mock up of the first one but with the addition of the JLE members. Keeping Guy in the front gives it an added storytelling bit. From the cover alone, there are many characters that could go under the "Who?" file such as Fire and Ice and even Animal Man. But who knew that lightning would soon strike twice. By Kevin Maguire again.
JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE 1 (Apr'89)
It's Bart Sears' turn at the iconic cover and he uses it to spoof the original by having Metamorpho hold JL 1 in his hands. Deja Vu indeed. This series, if at all possible, was even more irreverent than JLI but just as funny and just as clever. Oh - see Wonder Woman on that cover? Don't get used to her. She doesn't stay with the series too long.
JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA ANNUAL 4 (1990)
Kevin Maguire returns with a sppof on a spoof. You remember the Great Lake Avengers? They ripped off JL Antarctica. And just to show how crazy this team and issue are, Maguire has them posing backwards with Green Lantern G'Nort being the only one who possibly has a clue with the recurring single word balloon. Brilliant.
JUSTICE LEAGUE QUARTERLY 1 (Winter'90)
It was only a matter of time before yet another Justice League title would hit the stands to capitalize on the success - and you can't launch a JL title in this era without its trademark cover image. Again, Guy Gardner is in the main spot but this time he and his teammates are being pushed aside, stepped in front of or pushed out of frame altogether (although I could never tell if Flash was sleeping or checking out that woman's butt). The best is seeing Batman's face completely hidden by the title logo. Cover art this time goes to Adam Hughes and Chris Sprouse.
JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE 26 (May'91)
Bart Sears homages his first issue cover homage, adding Starro probes to the faces of his team. Notice the issue of JL 1 falling from Metamorpho's hands. And the single word balloon continues but this time with just ellipses.
JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE ANNUAL 2 (1991)
Kevin Maguire returns in this Armageddon 2001 tie-in featuring a whole slew of mix-match characters to help spoof the summer event. In the place of Guy Gardner in the main spot is the Demon but for the first time, no word balloon.
JUSTICE LEAGUE QUARTERLY 3 (Summer'91)
Mike McKone takes a stab at the familiar group image but puts a spin on it for the inside story. Gardner is back with a one word balloon statement of "What are you looking at?". The familiar cast of characters are featured as well.
JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA 57 (Dec'91)
This might be stretching it a bit, but Chris Sprouse presents the Extremists - a group of Marvel villain homages - in the classic group pose. I can't tell, but it looks like Maxwell Lord is putting his arms around the two villains on either side of him which hasn't been a recurring "theme" for the cover. But why nitpick?
JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE 36 (Mar'92)
This is like the moment after the group photo has been taken. Although Maxwell Lord doesn't know it. The group walks out of camera signaling the end of the team, end of the ongoing silliness and end of an era. Kevin Maguire returns to close the book on a great concept.
TITANS SELL-OUT SPECIAL (Nov'92)
He's back! Maguire puts the Titans and Team Titans into the classic pose at a time when the Titans were going through some major controversial changes. Maguire would draw a few issues of Team Titans so it only makes sense to put his magic on the covers as well.
FANBOY 3 (May'99)
Kevin Maguire is joined by Sergio Aragones on this comic that shares the love of comic fandom with its readers. The single word balloon returns with Fanboy reciting Guy Gardner's original question. Only Batman and Martian Manhunter are from the original JL 1 cover. The tone is a bit more serious than normal but that just adds to the humor.
FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE 1 (Sep'03)
Fresh off their JLA Classified storyarc, the creative team of Justice League returns and they haven't lost their touch at all. Maguire bangs out the classic group photo once more with Blue Beetle's comment of "Here we go again". It instantly brings us back to the original series and there's no doubt that the book brings the funny.
HERO SQUARED X-TRA SIZED SPECIAL (Jan'05)
Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis take their particular brand of team dynamics over to a different company (Boom!) with all new characters to do whatever the hell they want! This X-Tra Sized Special had a few covers and this one is by Giffen himself spoofing the original cover that made these writers so popular in the first place.
PLANETARY BRIGADE 1 (Jan'06)
Matt Haley takes a stab at the classic group photo image. It's not quite as dynamic as some of the others (the white background goes a long way on the other shots) but it's definitely an homage with Giffen and DeMatteis once again as writers. I have this in my collection but I have yet to read it. The main character in the "Guy Gardner" spot is the star of the Hero Squared comic. But I forget his name. Captain Valor? Hmmm....
MODERN MASTERS VOL.10: KEVIN MAGUIRE (2006)
You know you've said all you can say with an image when you put yourself in it. Kevin Maguire is front and center surrounded by those characters that made him popular, those character that he loves and a group photo image that put his mark on comics. Perhaps the finest touch to this image is ... of course... Guy Gardner - who looks ultra-miffed for not being in "his" spot. Bravo.
Hope you enjoyed this little visual trip. If you see other comics with this same group photo set-up as an homage, let me know!
Labels: Cover Homage