Ok, here's an idea for a fun contest. I post a section from a comic cover and you guys try and guess what cover it's from.Whoever guesses correctly, gets to post a portion of a cover themselves, and we all get to guess. It's not good form to post a very tiny part of the cover, as it makes the contest too difficult.
Here's my starter - a clue is that this particular cover (like all of mine) is from the Silver-Age.
The second cut is Smash Comics #14 with Bozo the Robot.
I think our theme is robots/androids. I suspect the 8th cut is Superman and the JLA getting on Red Tornado's case.
Here's another one.
Is the theme "mechanical men" or "artificial beings"?
Yes. I made that cover a "special bonus" because he has an antagonist role in the story, and only appeared once. He's really a good guy, though.
Dave's guess as to the theme is very close, but not quite spot on. Bonus points if you can guess why I didn't include the Vision.
Action Comics #354 was the other one I knew, but I've never read that story, either. That cover and the one for DC Comics Presents #33 (which I thought yesterday was one part of the game) threw me off the theme. I'll guess "robot or android heroes" is the commpnality. And you didn't include the vision because he is a synthezoid? Or because his mind is based on human brain patterns? (That may account for why either of DC's "Robotman" characters were not included as well.)
Here is the fifth cut, Metal Men #38.
The Metal Men fit Jeff's suggestion. They are a form of artificial intelligence whereas Vision and the two Robotmen have human brains or are programmed with human brain waves. Later versions (1990s) of the Metal Men tried to establish that human personalities/intellects were transferred into the robots. I do my best to ignore that version. This late Silver Age version has the Metal Men in human guises but they are still unmistakably robots.
The first cut eludes me at this time, but I assume it is early 1940s and also features a "robot."
The remaining character's writer/artist creator also created two of the other heroes from the set.
The title was a mixed-feature anthology, as most early US comics were. The best hint I can come up with as to what it was is a fan-favourite creator known for SF, horror and comedy drew his first cover for the seventh issue.
The clue was a big help. I figured the creator was Carl Burgos (Human Torch & Captain Marvel) and that led me to White Streak and Target Comics #5 (June 1940). I kept trying to make "Silver Streak" out of the logo piece you provided but that didn't work, so at least I had the "streak" part correct. Over at Four-Color Shadows http://fourcolorshadows.blogspot.com/2011/03/manowar-white-streak-c... I learned that he was actually Manowar--The White Streak. On page 2 of his introductory story he is called a "super robot.."
Correct! The GCD attributes the cover to Bill Everett.
Jeff hit the theme: robot/android heroes. I included every robot hero from the Gold to Bronze Age I could think, of except Electro from Marvel Mystery Comics, as I thought no-one would find him; Adam Link, as he didn't appear on a cover; and the Vision, because I forgot to.
I didn't count Robotman I and Robotman II as they have human brains. Justice League of America #193 established the Red Tornado's form is animated by the Tornado Champion, but I counted him anyway.
This was the first of two issues with a "White Streak" logo. I think the idea was to match Blue Bolt, which started the same month.
It was also the first issue with a "Spacehawk" instalment. Basil Wolverton's first cover was his "Spacehawk" cover for #7.
The White Streak's origin was related in the text stories in Target Comics #5-#6. A thousand years ago there was a super-scientific country in South America called Utopia. It had no defences, and was easily conquered by a warlike people called the Melitas. The Utopian council created a robot army to fight them, but in their hour of defeat the Melitans blew up the dam, destroying the country. The White Streak's body was afterwards recovered by the leader of the council. He arranged for it to be struck by lightning. This gave him independent life and electrical power. Compare Blue Bolt's origin.
It seems to me possible Roy Thomas conceived the Vision as a combination of Golden Age Vision and the White Streak. He was also an artificial man with eyebeams, and they have the same skull-cap look. But Thomas could have got that from Iron Man's armour.
Let's see how this works. From 1942-1960 with the a bonus from the 1980s. The theme kind of disappears during the Silver Age. As long as we don't get too distracted, the bonus should leave little doubt as to the theme -- do remember that by then our definition of what was a comic book may have been a bit broader than in the 1942-1960 period.