Monday, July 09, 2007

The Great Batman Cover Artist Competition

A lot of talented and some not-so-talented artists have taken it upon themselves to draw my Bat-visage. For your chance to win a great prize from the Batcave's comics vault (Action Comics Annual #10 in NM condition see image at the end of this post) have your say on what you think is the best of the following eight covers. I'm not going to just give the prize away however. I will award the prize to the person whose comment shows the most highly refined art appreciation (Ross will love that part) and knowledge of my personal history as the Caped Crusader.



Batman #226 (Nov 1970) by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano



Batman #665 (July 2006) by Andy Kubert



Batman and the Monster Men # 1 (August 2006) by Matt Wagner



Batman #627 (July 2004) by Matt Wagner



Detective Comics #355 (Sept 1966) by Carmine Infantino and Mike Giella



Detective Comics (Oct 1967) by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson



Detective Comics #625 (Jan 1991) by Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo



Detective Comics #825 (Jan 2007) by Simone Bianchi

And to motivate you here is the cover of your great prize which I will post to the winner bagged and boarded and postage free- Action Comics Annual #10 (March 2007) a 48 page Giant!featuring a whole bunch of stories about that other guy over in Metropolis - you know the one with the blue suit. The stories are: The Many Deaths of Superman; Who is Clark Kent's Big Brother?; Mystery Under the Blue Sun; The Criminals of Krypton; The Deadliest Forms of Kryptonite; Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude; Superman's Top 10 Most Wanted and the writers and artists include Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Art Adams, Eric Wright, Joe Kubert, Rags Morales, Mark Farmer, Gary Frank, Jonathan Sibel, Phil Jimenez, Andy Lanning, and Tony Daniel. Get commenting folks - this is the big one!

13 comments:

Ross McPhee said...

Batman # 627 is the best in my opinion. Matt Wagner's rendering of the character seems influenced by Bob Kane's original vision of what Batman was meant to be, but has been subtly modernised. Batman is meant to be dark, mysterious, fearsome, and brooding, and of all the artists, Wagner best encapsulates all of these characteristics. The less said about the covers from the late 1960s the better.

BJ said...

I'm with Ross on the 60's covers(!) but I have to say I'm a sucker for the Bianchi approach. The thing about Batman is he's not really a superhero in the regular sense of the word - he has no superpowers - with Batman its all brains, character and an intensity of willpower and determination that drives his superdeeds. That's what Bianchi captures "emotive, deep willpower and firmness" with his Batman emerging from a background of complete darkness. Works for me. Batman is at his best when he's disturbing. Which is why the Batman movies have been so disappointing - Michael Keaton? Val Kilmer? George Clooney? Beetlejuice, a fighter pilot and an ER doctor? Lets hope Christian Bale can take Batman Begins to the next level in the Dark Knight - it has to be said he has the pedigree with roles in American Pyscho and as Jesus in a little known movie being an excellent preparation for Batman, but I digress...

Glen O'Brien said...

Yes Ross Bob Kane created a dark and menacing Batman. What is often forgotten though (and systematically covered up by Kane himself) is that his artist Bill Finger should really be listed as co-creator of "The Batman" both in concept and stories (Kane was notorious for using ghost writers including Finger) and certainly the actual look of Batman is all Finger's idea. This is one (of many) of the great injustices of comic book history.

Brett, don't you reckon Christian Bale's already proven himself in Batman Begins? I actually liked Keaton's performamce and even Kilmer's Batman is I think underrated. The only one I really have no time for is Clooney. He was just so wooden and passionless.

BJ said...

I do think he is the best Batman so far (apart from Adam West...can't keep a straight face on that one...) I thought Kilmer was too wooden! Keaton wasn't the worst Batman, and I thought it was a pretty brave casting choice back then because he isn't really a heroic character actor. The problem with Clooney is you always get the same character whatever movie it it! Although I hear he was pretty good in Syriana (and the Academy certainly agreed). But it wasn't till Bale that you at least felt you had a Batman who could foot it with the villains who have always been the major point of enjoyment in the recent movies.

I wonder what a younger Micky Rourke would have made of Batman.

anniemareerose said...

hey Glenman. Thats right, Glenman...

For some peculiar reason when i come to this blog, it is always at the tdjakes post, and i think you've been lax and written nothing for ages, which, doesnt make that great amount of sense (note my non use of 'sensicality' ;p), however NOW, all is revealed and this time, its worked, all of your many postings are viewable!

Well, I shall ponder this cover art matter, and be back come friday evening with my amazing critique and/or appraisals....

deary me, =]

tataah then.

Glen O'Brien said...

Annie,
Good to hear from you. Sometimes you need to click "refresh" if your computer keeps reloading an earlier page it's stored somewhere in its memory.

anniemareerose said...

i must agree with Ross, both the Wagner covers do great representations of batman, the monster men (06) cover, batman atop the building/roof etc, wing like cape cropped so the ends are just cut out, perfect, particularly the way it folds over...

The 2nd wagner in the post, the colors are brilliant, they meld perfectly, the gold in the buildings and the belt, just a few colors, but striking nonetheless, excellent use of color. - its tough to choose between this and the other standout red and black cover done by Kubert, however his portrayal is too sinister for my liking, I prefer him composed, with the air of being able to snap into those 'sinister' moments but this wagner has him staunch, so stoic - great. great framing...

however, a strange one, inititally dismissed, however, over the last few days, it has lingered in my mind, this time i differ with ross, lets look at the 1966 cover (#355)Now the graphics aren't particularly detailed, as in, demanding attention, they are abit 'thin' even, yet, theres something special about the manner in which batman dangles there, hes almost 'faking', as if at the crucial moment he will suprise us all and give the hooded hangman all his worth, there's life in his eyes, i like it. I think thats my no.1 tough with the wagner 2 and the 07 cover, but something, just wins me over.

annie's top 4.

#1 (355)
#2 (627)
#3 (665)
#4 (825)


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done! golly, not very tidy grammatically Glen :s Im sure you'll get through it tho =D

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blessings yo!

Jesse said...

I think Detective Comics #625 is my favorite. Maybe because I bought this comic when I was about 10 and it has some nostalgic value. But I really think it captures Batman in a unique way - he looks vulnerable and menacing at the same time. He's cloaked in darkness but he's still reaching out desperately. I think Batman's at his best when he's on the losing end of a brutal battle which is what appears here. However the cover definitely builds the story up too much - what's inside is a kind of disappointing issue.

By the way I think Michael Keaton is still the best Batman. He's charismatic but cold. Christian Bale was great as the Bruce Wayne that Batman Begins portrayed but I don't think he is THE Batman. Michael Keaton will always be my favorite.

Oh, and I love George Clooney and most of the roles he played, but Batman credit cards?? Come on.

Ross McPhee said...

Glen, I see you're also a Superman fan. Have you seen Richard Donner's cut of Superman II?

Glen O'Brien said...

Yeah the Boy Wonder bought me the 13 disc box set of all the Superman movies for Christmas. It includes both the Donner cut and the cinema release of Superman II. It's great to see Donner's vision restored. Both films are good though. As for Superman III and IV well, the less said the better.

anniemareerose said...

whats your opinion of smallville?

Glen O'Brien said...

I watched most of the first season of Smallville on DVD in January while I was on sick leave. I watched a lot of these episodes on TV when our kids were younger. I haven't really kept up with the later seasons, though I have watched a few episodes of the current series and noted that it's a little more cosmic now, more like the comics and that characters like Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane are finally being introduced. The series was a smart reinvention of the characters that made the myth more hip for younger audiences with its teen soap themes. I like the appearances here and there of other DC characters such as Aquaman and Green Arrow. But I must say I miss the costumes. Can't beat a hero in tights!

anniemareerose said...

i love it =D. It oh so cheesy, but its dont rather nicely, and its just so sad knowing lex luthor is so evil :( stupid knowing what happens! ignorance is so bliss, in terms of this hehe...

i just had a season 3 marathon actually. goodness me. so much smallville at once.

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