Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Top 10 Atom (Ray Palmer) Covers of the 1970s

10) Justice League of America #142 (May, 1977)

It’s a stupid robot and a silly layout , but there just aren’t very many covers from this decade where the Atom figure is prominent and dynamically engaged in the situation at hand.

9) DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6: World's Greatest Super-Heroes! (1971)

It’s the Tiny Titan centrally located in a layout with the spotlight on him while sitting on Hawkman’s shoulder as drawn by Neal Adams. Sure he’s only barely in the light near the bottom of the page, in an homage using a more simplistic art style, but a Mighty Mite takes what he can get. Besides, he looks like he could be eight inches tall!

8) Super-Team Family #14 (January, 1978)

Maybe it’s funky perspective, but a much taller than average Atom is sort of at the forefront of a cover with Wonder Woman playing second fiddle (although she’s first billed.) Again with the generic robots, I know.

7) Action Comics #443 (January, 1975)

Of course Superman opening the book is the first thing you see, but then negative space and the cuteness of the World’s Smallest Super-Hero running off the corner attracts your eye. Maybe. It’s still better than being another jerk in the mob.

6) DC Comics Presents #15 (November, 1979)

The largest square footage (inchage?) for the Atom of all these covers, plus he gets a big second-billing logo. On the other hand, he looks like he just got a major ouchy, and his relative size doesn’t really convey his powers, do they? This cover says “big wimp,” not Tiny Titan.

5) Super-Team Family #13 (November, 1977)

In America, we read left to right, up to down. The Atom is assigned the top left panel, right near his logo. He’s also dynamically posed in his unique environment. That’s all I’ve got.

4) World's Finest Comics #213 (September, 1972)

Speaking of unique, name another hero whose death trap could naturally involve being trapped in a constricting phone line. Not that you’d want to, but still.

3) DC Special Series: 5-Star Super-Hero Spectacular #1 (1977)

Again with the Neal Adams, this time at the peak of his powers! Everyone on this cover comes off great, in their appropriate postures (although Aquaman could be more divey, or something.) Sure the Atom is small, but he’s strategically located with a boss energy field emanating from his body.

2) World's Finest Comics #236 (March, 1976)

One way to make a hero uncool: have them consistently in vulnerable positions on the cover, especially when they have undesirable powers to begin with. Yet, you can’t miss the Atom here, and the situation grabs your attention, regardless of how little it inspires your admiration.

1) The Brave and The Bold #115 (November, 1974)

Truly a classic Atom image, working to the character’s stealth strengths. See, the motherlovin’ Batman is down for the count, but them punk ass gangsters don’t realize the Mighty Mite is on the scene, plotting their downfall. That’s how you sell shrinking as a good thing. Also, there’s an alright full-sized painted version of this in the European market, but one quarter Aparo is worth three quarters of amateur swipe.

More of Today's 1970s-tastic Cover Countdowns!


LissBirds said...

You didn't mention that #5's also got Captain Comet FIGHTING A PIRATE. Are you sure you're feeling okay?

Action Comics #442 is awesome! I love the fun, self-referntial aspect of it.

Worlds Finest #213 actually looks really exciting to me, especially because Superman looks so freaked out. I forgot phone cords were uncoiled back in the day. Coiled phone cords make Ray awfully dizzy nowadays.

Diabolu Frank said...

I'm not feeling Captain Comet versus a pirate. Pirates are the new ninja, after all. However, "dueling the Wind Pirate" has got to be some sort of homosexual euphemism, so maybe there's hope for my queer Adam Blake theory yet!

Not to be pedantic, but Superman is tightening the coiled phone cord. Straight cords were way before my time, and probably my mother's, as well.

LissBirds said...

See, "Dueling the Wind Pirate" does have a nice ring to it, doesn't it? It has shades of Poison Ivy's "I've got to go mist my fern" from the Harley and Ivy book.

Ah, now it makes sense. I was trying to figure out if the wavy parts of the cord meant it was coiled or not. I know I've seen coiled phone cords in movies made in the 50's.