If you’re a Batman fan, how are you not going to buy a comic with this cover?
While I’ve never read the main Zero Hour event, I’ve read many Zero Hour tie-ins. Most are actually quite clever, using the event’s timey-wimey premise to bring future, past, or Elseworlds versions of DC mainstays into the present and have them interact with the genuine articles.
Which brings us to this Superman story, in which Superman teams up with seven different Batmen (three at a time), all drawn near-perfectly in the style of the stories in which they originally appeared. There’s a page late in the issue in which Dark Knight Returns Batman turns into Dick Sprang Batman, and the transformation is quite jarring, because each looks like they were drawn by their original artist.
But we’re here to talk about this issue’s cover, which features no less than 18 Batmen drawn in different styles by master artistic chameleon Jon Bogdanove. I’d attempt to name them all, but I think even I wouldn’t get every one right. Some notables include the clearly Kelley Jones-inspired Batman in the bottom right corner, the animated series Batman located a couple Batmen above, DKR and original-recipe Batman (whose trademark purple gloves are miscolored as hands) standing side-by-side, Carmine Infantino Batman striking his now-classic cape-to-face pose, and movie serial Batman (and yes, I’ve seen those serials).
This comic’s in good enough condition that I’d guess I did not buy it when it was coming out (most of my other Zero Hour tie-ins show the wear you’d expect from being stored poorly for 15+ years). This leads me to believe I found Superman: The Man of Steel 37 at a comic shop or convention later on, and immediately added it to my buy pile on the strength of the cover alone …
(Want to check out more posts in the Cool Comic Covers series? If so, click here.)