Star Variant: Doomsday Clock #10

Good cover art does not always have to be flashy and dynamic. Sometimes a cover is appealing because it is interesting and clever. A story within an image.

Who is this kid reading All Star Comics #3 which he appears to have grabbed from a newstand on the way home from school? That mailbox is there in the background for a reason, or two.

For any newbies reading this, All Star Comics #3 (Dec 1940, Fox and Hibbard) is an extremely scarce real world Golden Age key issue. The first appearance of the Justice Society of America, precursor to the Justice League of America. They were DC’s first superhero team and possibly inspired by the concept of the League of Nations formed during WWI.

As All Star Comics #3 is such a huge key, you can consider it a ‘classic cover’ too. (I think almost all GA comics are classic covers to me, tho’). However, it has probably been homaged/swiped much fewer times than most classic covers. The only example I can recall is Alex Ross’ cover to Justice Society of America #1 (Series 3, Feb 2007). If you look at that painting it seems that Ross deliberately incorporated the slightly odd perspective and lack of shadow on the table as well as the off-centre engraving of the team name. Homages are fun!

Here on Gary Frank’s cover we have a real world key issue for the DCU appearing inside the DCU and with one very important figure added. The mystery at the heart of this reworking of the DC Universe is coalescing.