Monday, January 25, 2016

Justice League The World Over!

This cover for Justice League of America #217 is absolutely one of George Perez's best renderings of the team. They look positively awesome as they rush out of the space background, flanked and also preceded by the infinite logo and UPC box. I especially like how Perez has incorporated the latter by balancing The Atom atop it.

Here's a look at the original in glorious black and white. Perez inked himself on this one and the depth is mesmerizing. This kind of rich lustrous inking is all but unheard of these days.

The cover was apparently so well regarded that it was used as a defacto backdrop for a new cover by Howard Bender and Dick Giordano on the very next issue of Justice League of America. It should be pointed out that at this stage, Perez was only doing some covers for the title, while Chuck Patton had taken on the interior chores.

The artwork was used several more times, such as this 1987 reprint which gives us a cleaner look at the artwork minus the infinity gimmicks, though it does make The Atom look a little bit odd as he seems to be surfing on nothing.

This German version of the cover from 1984 loses the Atom's classic corner and instead moves him above Wonder Woman's head right off Red Tornado's shoulder. He does a look a little less awkward here. In this one Black Canary, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Elongated Man get short shrift as they are cut off at the waist. Poor Canary almost vanishes into the triangular blurb at the bottom.

The artwork is again a bit easier to see in this 1991 Italian version which adds Green Lantern to the mix having him replace the UPC box this time with The Atom coasting atop a inexplicable circle. The white at the top with the logo works against the image a bit.

All of these though offer us fresh looks at a George Perez classic, and a bit of artwork that holds up exceedingly well over thirty years later.

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