Friday, April 25, 2008

Herculean Homages

Is it a swipe if you're homaging yourself, in a way -and character- someone has already homaged you earlier that year?

Meet mr Jim Steranko. He is an unquestionable talented creator and a comics, famous for his bold compositions, his striking covers and creating a standard that artists have adhered to and often homaged for decades even to this day!

Exhibit A:

King Size Hulk Special #1/v.1 Annual #1 (October 1968, Marvel Comics)

Cover artist: Jim Steranko
. The original cover that set the trend. Hulk dominating the cover from edge to edge, straining to hold the weight of his own name/logo like a monstrous Atlas. The massive feat is accentuated by the cracking of the ground/letters that Hulk is standing on. The title is made of solid rock, crumbling away as Hulk with his enormous strength clasps at it with his arms. A very claustrophobic cover that has stood the test of time, very evident by the amount of homages to it even in the last decade:

Exhibit B:

The Incredible Hulk v.2 #34 (November 2001, Marvel Comics)

Cover Artist: Kaare Andrews. Kicking off the then celebrated run by writer Bruce Jones, Kaare makes a tribute to the Steranko original, keeping the same composition but using a painted/computer illustrated technique.

Exhibit C:

Incredible Hulk Herc(ules) #113 (February 2008, Marvel Comics)

Cover Artist: Arthur Adams. With the closing of World War Hulk, Bruce Banner is in custody, there's a new monthly (adjectiveless) Hulk title launching, and the Incredible Hulk title is passed over to classic Marvel hero Hercules. To commemorate the first issue of the name switch, Arthur Adams cleverly homages Hercules (a Greek demi-god like Atlas himself) bulking under the weight of the Hulk's title which he has now inherited, with his own name sprayed on top of it.

Exhibit D:

Hercules #2 (announced June 2008, Radical Comics)

Cover Artist: Jim Steranko. Coming full circle, Steranko returns to comics and cover artwork with the new ongoing Hercules series from Radical Comics, following the adventures of Hercules - now a warlord leader of a mercenary team- in Ancient Greece after the completion of the Twelve Tasks. Steranko replaces the hulk of his classic cover with the new Radical Hercules.

Any more homages to the original that I've missed? Reply below :)


Anonymous said...

Jim Steranko asked us to go through a similar exercise over at The Drawings of Steranko site. There are a lot more homages to that cover. Google Steranko and follow the the first link.
Regards, Tony

Manolis Vamvounis said...

thanks tony!

there's more homages on Tony's website, along with Steranko commentary! wow

Kyle said...

wasn't there a She-Hulk one as well?

Manolis Vamvounis said...

there's a recent cover with she-hulk shielding herself from a falling rock logo of her book, but it's a different composition entirely. unless you mean something older still?