I was just looking at the cover for the Atlas Era Marvel Masterworks volume #68, that features the tenth Tales of Suspense collection (#1-10) , and it struck me how very ironic that cover is.

Maybe somebody has already noticed this, and commented years ago.

 

The cover, for those of you who many not know it well (I don't) is a typical mystery/horror/monster scene of the nieve man swinging a pick-ax trying to free a frozen Cyclops laying trapped in the ice. He comments, "It's No Good, He's been frozen too long. We'll never get him free."  But behind him, a blonde recoils in horror as the arm of the Cyclops rises, cracking out of the ice, putting the lie to the man's observation that "He's been frozen too long. We'll NEVER get him out."

 

That's when it dawned on me....this is exactly the same series that features Captain America as the split book feature come issue #59!  And then, about 3 and a half years later, Captain America takes over the whole book and it changes title with issue #100.

 

So what's so ironic about this, you ask?
What's the matter,kid, do I have to spell it out for you?

Alright, call it coincidental then....I think it's ironic!

 

Captain America was found frozen in ice, in Avengers #4 (1963)... and were it not for the intervention of a pissed-off Namor (shown so clearly in flashback in Captain America #100), he'd still be a human popcicle that some Eskimos would be worshiping for decades to come, or until global warming released him to drown.  (Hmmmm...that might make for a good What If, eh?)

 

What other ironic/coincidental covers can we come up with?

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I think you have a looser definition of "irony" than most, Kirk. I'd say it's more evidence of the old comic book philosophy, "Never let a good idea go to waste if you can recycle it oodles and oodles of times."

Over on the late, lamented Mr. Age Forum when it was hosted by CBGxtra, we had a very long-running thread under the title of "Wilbur Deja Vu" where we showed numerous examples of how no good cover idea ever went uncopied.

As you'll see, thread drift seems to be a prerequisite for participating in these here Mr. Age threads.

Yeah, that discussion drifted into aping a cover layout or omage to an earlier cover.

I was looking at the old cover being somewhat ironic that the lead character that takes over the title was also thawed out from ice...

That would make it coïncidental, but not ironic.

 

 

OK, I'll go back and change the premise...

Commander Benson said:

That would make it coïncidental, but not ironic.

 

 

As that Wilbur thread ultimately gets around to discussing at some point, there were a lot of repeated covers back in the day, and they weren't ironic or coincidental. They were just swipes.

You just commented over on that thread, Kirk, so I hope you took the time to ponder the wisdom presented there, such as it was, if you could wade through all the Mr. Ed and Tracey Thompson posts to find it. 

In some cases, stories were repeated, either exactly redrawn or rewritten somewhat and redrawn. Those came up a lot  in the Super-Family stories, as Mort recycled a lot of plots, and sometimes they were on the cover. 

Julie also recycled a lot of cover ideas from his earlier All-Star and SF titles for use as JLA covers. Here are a bunch of examples: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/11/03/scotts-classic-...

The thinking back then was that the comics audience turned over every five years (kids read from about 8 to 13 or so), so anything older than that was new again. Mort often didn't wait that long to recycle, maybe figuring his kids were too young to remember a whole year earlier.

In some cases, I'm sure there are coincidences, as some ideas are probably pretty basic to different genres. But most of the DC ones don't fall into that category.

-- MSA

No, I confess, I only skimmed it quickly. I was at work.  And I got the point, pretty much I think.

 

In some cases, I'm sure there are coincidences, as some ideas are probably pretty basic to different genres. But most of the DC ones don't fall into that category.

 

Like, the creation of Man-Thing and Swamp-Thing simultaneously?

The problem there is the same as in Hollywood, where two movies about asteroids hitting Earth come out at once or two movies about Little Red Riding Hood, etc. It's all one big melting pot, so ideas (and scripts) go around and people know what people are working on or what ideas are hot. 

By the time Swamp Thing and Man-Thing were being created, creators were flowing back and forth between Marvel and DC pretty fast, much more so than earlier (when they even  used pseudonyms, as if we couldn't tell their art styles). So it's hard to say if it was a coincidence or word got around and somebody thought that sounded cool and proposed it for the other company.

People said the same thing about the X-Men and the Doom Patrol, but I think that one was pretty much a coincidence, given how little migration there was back then and what's been said about it.

The Things were both based on The Heap, so whichever came first wasn't all that original anyway.

-- MSA

Some similar happen by chance (X-Men/Doom Patrol, most likely), some things share influence (Man/Swamp Things), and some things result from direct theft (Black Canary from Harvey's Black Cat and, arguably, Black Widow from the Canary).

But then you get cases like:

The Munsters got the green light because the Addams Family were approved for production.

But the Munsters had been pitched earlier, though rejected.

But the Addams Family was based on an existed series of cartoons

But the Munsters were inspired by the Universal Movies....



Mr. Silver Age said:

The problem there is the same as in Hollywood, where two movies about asteroids hitting Earth come out at once or two movies about Little Red Riding Hood, etc. It's all one big melting pot, so ideas (and scripts) go around and people know what people are working on or what ideas are hot. 

By the time Swamp Thing and Man-Thing were being created, creators were flowing back and forth between Marvel and DC pretty fast, much more so than earlier (when they even  used pseudonyms, as if we couldn't tell their art styles). So it's hard to say if it was a coincidence or word got around and somebody thought that sounded cool and proposed it for the other company.

People said the same thing about the X-Men and the Doom Patrol, but I think that one was pretty much a coincidence, given how little migration there was back then and what's been said about it.

The Things were both based on The Heap, so whichever came first wasn't all that original anyway.

-- MSA

I suppose the subject might be reframed as "covers which have amusing or piquant significance in hindsight given what happened later". I can't think of anything that qualifies right now, but here are a few cover observations.

 

Spoiler Warning for a story in Lois Lane #18. Amazing Adventures #4 from Ziff-Davis has a memorable, slightly sleezy cover. (What happens in the story is different.) Jerry Siegel is credited by the GCD with editing the issue. I see a resemblance between the imagery of the cover and elements of "Lois Lane Weds Astounding Man" in Lois Lane #18. (See this post for an explanation, but note that it gives away the story's key plot twists, these are uniquely outrageous and arguably worth waiting to read the story for, and the story is planned for inclusion in the upcoming Showcase Presents: Superman Family #4). The GCD's current note on the story says that Martin O'Hearn has argued it was written by Siegel on textual analysis grounds but Allen Ross "has pointed out an autographed copy by Otto Binder exists". I can reconcile the last point with the reasons for thinking the story is by Siegel by supposing Mort Weisinger had Binder rewrite Siegel's script. However, I've not heard he had scripts rewritten like that. (He reportedly did give ideas writers had pitched to other writers.)

 

The cover idea of Blackhawk #115 was reused on My Greatest Adventure #32. That of Blackhawk #133 was reused on Tomahawk #69, for a story which apparently had a similar "girl" premise.

Other cover pairs with recycled ideas or designs from different titles include House of Secrets #31 and Blackhawk #175, Batman #121 and Blackhawk #160, Blackhawk #123 and Detective Comics #321, and Blackhawk #141 and Detective Comics #325. Also compare My Greatest Adventure #22, Tales of the Unexpected #43 and the earlier Blackhawk #116. Note the involvement of Jack Schiff with all these titles.

 

Scott Shaw pointed out in an Oddball Comics column that the cover design of Tomahawk #104 was recycled from Tomahawk #90. (However, he misses a point when he says it appeared "slightly over one year later". The title was a bimonthly, so it was over two years later.) Likewise the second Miss Liberty cover, on Tomahawk #88, was virtually a reprise of the first, on #81.

 

As I've pointed out before, the cover of Marvel's Journey into Mystery #97, with the Thor story introducting the Lava Man, was clearly based on that of Tales of Suspense #7. Kirby had also done a lava people story and cover for DC's Tales of the Unexpected #22, but the cover design there was different.

 

I posted this comparison recently, but if you didn't see it, check out Marvel's World of Mystery #1 and DC's Rex the Wonder Dog #29. Either the latter cover was based on the former or they share a common source.

As far as I know, the first swamp monster was in the Theodore Sturgeon short story "IT", which was published in 1940. This creature was formed around a human skeleton, as have a lot of its comic book descendants. 

Wikipedia Story



Mr. Silver Age said:

The Things were both based on The Heap, so whichever came first wasn't all that original anyway.

Also compare World's Finest Comics #90, Blackhawk #151, Tales of the Unexpected #56 and World's Finest Comics #117 (note the date-proximity of the last three), although what one finds in these cases is reuse of an idea rather than a design. Also compare Tales of the Unexpected #51 and Batman #158.

From the Wikipedia story:

Gerry Conway and Len Wein, the writers who created Man-Thing and Swamp Thing respectively, were good friends and roommates at the time but did not discuss their work with each other.

 

Oh, I am just sure....

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