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CSBG Archive

I Can’t Cover What I Am – 25 Action Comics #1 Cover Homages

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In this feature, I spotlight comic book covers that follow a specific theme. Here is an archive of all the cover themes we’ve spotlighted so far.

Joe Shuster’s cover for Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, is one of the most famous covers in comic book history, and as a result, it has been one of the most homaged covers in comic history. Here are 25 of them!


Amazing Spider-Man #306 by Todd McFarlane

Secret Origins #1 by Jerry Ordway and Wayne Boring

Action Comics #685 by Jackson Guice

Action Comics #800 by Drew Struzan

Action Comics #900 by Alex Ross

Superman (Vol. 3) #19 by Al Jaffee

Doodle Jump #1 by Meredith Gran

Kevin Keller #5 by Dan Parent

Fantastic Four #291 by John Byrne

Multiversity #1 by Chris Burnham

Batman and Robin (Vol.2) #39 by Patrick Gleason

Superman #124 by Ron Frenz and Joe Rubinstein

Superman #136 by Dan Jurgens and Joe Rubinstein

Go to the next page for the next 12…

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so, what happened to the credits and titles?

This particular streak of homages is a favorite of mine. I love that Popeye one. I also like Superman’s “what was I thinking?” expression on the Secret Origins cover.

Is the Popeye one the only time a comic character who predates Superman homaged that cover? (Is “homaged” a word?)

Next question: which covers feature closed-cockpit cars the hero doing the lifting could actually sit in? Fallen Angel for sure, but most of the rest seems way too small. Spidey, for example, would have to sit in the back of the cop car and he’d still reach the pedals.

Probably irrelevant observation: of the 25 covers, three don’t include a stand-in for “Guy Freaking Right the Heck Out” near the front/bottom of the cover. Of the three, two are by Todd McFarlane. (The third is the Fallen Angel cover.) Does Todd just not like Guy Freaking Right the Heck Out?

Goofy also predates Superman, though obviously Super Goof doesn’t.

@ Alaric:
Homaged is a word now.

For me, the ones from different angles are the hardest to ID. I don’t think I ever even recognised the FF homage. Or the Fallen Angel one, but that’s on me, it’s pretty obvious. (I don’t remember about the Supergirl Funeral For a Friend one.)


Funny Books Movie Poster art by Rita Moore

Meredith Gran? From Octopus Pie?


I guess I just find the idea of Popeye, who was probably the most important super strong hero of the comics prior to Superman, homaging that first Superman cover interesting, in an quasi-inverted, quasi-meta sort of way. It’s like doing a version of THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES starring Poe’s Dupin, or homaging the cover of DETECTIVE MAGAZINE #27 with the Shadow (has anyone ever done that?).

A close one is Sensation Comics #51 (March 1946) (missing foreground grimace and background running): http://www.comics.org/issue/4919/cover/4/

There’s also Fuzzy Bunnies from Hell #1: http://www.comicvine.com/fuzzy-bunnies-from-hell-1/4000-457781/ and Justice Society of America #8 variant: http://www.comics.org/issue/354596/cover/4/ and Wacky Squirrel #4: http://www.comics.org/issue/233601/cover/4/ and Jupiter #7: http://www.comics.org/issue/264082/cover/4/ and
Regular Show #1 variant: http://www.comics.org/issue/1111809/cover/4/ (scroll down)

There’s apparently also a Mike Alread Madman cover; I haven’t tracked down the original, but have seen the foreign reprint called Slumberland.

There’s even more listed on this page (in French): http://dejavu.hypotheses.org/2124


Now that you mention it, they have indeed done a Shadow homage to Detective #27, and not too long ago!


I don’t think Secret Origin counts since it’s referencing Action #1 specifically. It’s more like a reproduction. As for the labeling, yeah, what happened? Who’s the girl lifting the train over her head?

Derek Metaltron

January 30, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Nice idea, how about something similar for Uncanny X-Men #141, aka the DOFP cover? Lord knows it feels like that one’s been recreated dozens of times…

Madman Comics #1 had a hilarious parody by Alex Ross. There’s also a Donald Duck cover showing Donald smashing a car while his nephews scatter.

Amazing Spider-Man, Fallen Angels, and Spawn should be marked as “fail” for the homage, as they lack the “person holding head in disbelief in the lower left corner” indicator.

(Fantastic Four still works because the cover is a mirror image of the original.)

I think the only funny thing Wizard ever did in all of its existence was a feature where they put Butch (aka guy who was freaking out at left of cover) and put him on other classic DC covers like the Supergirl death issue of Crisis. Well, I thought it was funny anyway…

The best homage is Whiz Comics No. 1, which has Captain Marvel doing the car bit at a different angle.

Auto insurance premiums are skyrocketing!

It “IS” the most famous cover ever.

Thanks for pointing out the “Person Freaking Out” in the corner of most of these covers. I had not picked up on that detail before, focusing mainly on the hero and the vehicle.

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