John Reviews: DC Comics The 75th Anniversary Poster Book

I feel a bit sheepish about this one, as the only reason that I didn't buy it for myself is that I was offered the review copy before I tracked it down. I actually saw it in London but was being foolishly frugal - for all I know, that particular copy is still pining for me in a gift shop across the sea.

I'll state my only problem with this book right now because it's right there. and because it's not really a problem with the book so much as it is with DC's concept of the Batman-Superman-Wonder Woman trinity. It certainly works sometimes, but it also occasionally forces a bit of straightforward cover design down a road of inadvertant cheesecake. Or maybe it's my problem for not being able to see past the breasts to the giant W in front of them.

Aside from that, though, everything is copacetic. And so easy to explain - it's a poster book in honour of DC Comics' 75th anniversary. One hundred posters, all falling into three categories that I just made up:

Classics - Superman upending the car on the cover of Action Comics No. 1, two Flashes racing to save the same man, Jesse Custer's mug looming over a church. The death of Supergirl. The death of Superman. Junkie Speedy. I won't claim that every iconic DC cover is in this thing, but a pretty decent portion of them are.

Wild and Wacky - "I Am Curious (Black)". Turtle Boy Jimmy Olsen. Ant-headed Superman vs. the world. Invasion of the alien snowmen. Zebra Batman. There is a pretty wide range of Gold and Silver Age zaniness on display, sufficient to delight the most jaded heart. Check these out (note: the book is way too big for my scanner so these are taken from other sources. They look better in the book, plus there are no UPCs):

Lincoln armwrestling Scalphunter. Nazi Gorillas. And there's a great one where Superman and Lex Luthor have a boxing match on a world orbiting a red sun.

Pretty Pictures - Covers from Fables, Sandman and Y the Last Man. 100 Bullets No. 33 and The Killing Joke No. 1. Showcase No. 12, featuring the Challengers of the Unknown rumbling with a Kirby octopus that is one of the greatest things ever drawn. Swamp Thing and Abigail Arcane having a snuggle. House of Mystery No. 174, with that classic creepy beckoning hand. Even if you don't want to hang fascist primates on your wall just 'cause, there is some legitimately beautiful art here.


The only reason that I don't have some of these (read Adventure Comics No. 247) hanging up already is because I'm just st that age where I don't want to Fun-Tac stuff to my wall while still not yet solvent enough to be swinging Casual Picture Frame money. Hell, I just counted my list of possible images to use in this post - these were the especially good ones, the ones that I wanted to point out as extra interesting - and there were fifty. 

And hey, it's not just images. Every poster has a short piece by Robert Schnakenberg on the back that puts the image in context, showcases a few other DC covers that have a similar bent and usually delivers up a few yoks. It's not an overwhelming amount of text per poster in aggregate they form a fairly comprehensive pocket history of subject.

I'll leave you with this: