The Homage Covers wiki last edited by RazzaTazz on 03/21/14 10:21AM View full history

Note: When possible when adding the homage cover concept to a specific issue, add a description of what it is a homage to in the description box on the issue page.


The cover of a comic book is created to draw attention, and it is usually up to the artist to create a striking image to entice the customer to purchase the comic. Sometimes, the cover art on a particular issue becomes so iconic that other cover artists feel that they must pay tribute by making their own version of the image. This is an introduction to many different poses and styles that have been paid homage to over the years.

Homage Covers

The largest portion of covers that pay homage are usually honouring the work of previous comic book covers. They tend to be direct tributes, although occasionally there are unintentionally alike covers. One should note that there are really only so many interesting poses the human body can make, and it's not out of the question that in some cases what appears to be a tribute may just be a coincidence. Special attention should be drawn to Arthur Suydam, who has produced a large back catalog of homage covers with a bizarre yet humorous twist for the various Marvel Zombies titles.

Uncanny X-Men #136

Uncanny X-Men #136 & Crisis on Infinite Earths #7: The Extreme Mourning While Carrying A Dead Loved One Pose

A really iconic cover and perhaps the most homaged one of all. Neither Uncanny X-Men #136 nor Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 are the first of this kind, there's been countless variations as far back as the 1950's. However, those two issues are listed since they are two of the most recognizable homages. It is probably impossible to determine which was the very first 'carrying a dead loved one' as there's not that many ways to stand with a dead person in your arms. It is debatable that the inspiration is the Pietà (see 'Fine Art' below), although it is arguable since the post isn't as strong or dynamic.

It is alleged that the resemblance between the two and any of the ones before is completely unintentional. But there is a small difference between the two. The Crisis-cover shows a gallery of mourning superheroes in the background, so it is quite easy to tell if a cover is a homage to the X-Men or the Crisis-cover.

Crisis on Infinite Earths 7

It has become a popular pose for many different artists, but it has not stopped artists from repeating their own work. George Perez has used the 'carrying a dead loved one' pose on at least three occasions, one of which ( Mighty Mouse #4) being a direct homage to his own work on Crisis on Infinite Earths #7. In other instances, the pose has been repeated within the same series, with uses in Uncanny X-Men #167 and the X-Men mini series Phoenix: Endsong.

There are other covers that are much more similar which is why it has its own section. Many examples cited pre-date both the Uncanny X-Men and Crisis on Infinite Earths. Recent years have continued to use of this classic pose on comic covers, such as Phoenix: Endsong #4 and Firestorm #21.

Some more examples:

See this gallery for more examples. Giant-Size X-Men #1: New Team Bursts Through The Cover To The Amazement Of The Old Team

Giant-Size X-Men #1

Another very popular cover to reproduce is Giant-Size X-Men #1 by Gil Kane. It featured the all-new all-different X-Men team literally ripping through the cover, with the ripped-portion of the cover featuring the original X-men team looking shocked. This image has became a symbol of change, and has been homaged many times. It is primarily used to introduce a new team, although has on occasion signified a new writer or artist. There have also been several variations of this cover where the characters just jump through a generic cover.

The cover to X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1 features deceased versions of the X-Men, yet it predated Marvel Zombies #1 by one month. Given the short amount of time between titles, it is debatable although seemingly unlikely that it influenced Arthur Suydam in creating his popular zombie homage covers. Also note that although the Deadly Genesis cover reproduces the poses for the characters used in Giant-Sized X-Men, Thunderbird is missing.

As with the 'carrying a dead person' pose, this has been widely used and re-used within the same title. For instance, Uncanny X-Men Annual #10 features the New Mutants as the 'New' X-Men (since the actual X-Men had been turned into babies by Mojo and Spiral), while Uncanny X-Men #254 features the temporary Muir Island X-Men team.

Futurama Comics #8

However, it has not been used exclusively within the X-Men universe of titles. Perhaps because fans demanded it, the cast of Futurama were also posed as the classic all-new all-different X-Men in Futurama Comics #8. It features Leela who is mutant cyclops as a replacement for the mutant team-leader Cyclops, with Bender standing-in for Wolverine. Also of note, Philip J Fry appears in Colossus' place, but appears to be wearing the familiar outfit of the Dark Phoenix. This cover also parodies the comic book grading company, CGC LLC. The comic appears to be encased in plastic with a CIC grading of Minty Fresh 11.5, mimicking the Spinal Tap joke of 11 being above 10 (the maximum grade).

See this gallery for more examples.

Amazing Fantasy #15: Spider-Man Swings Through The Air With Someone Under His Arm

Amazing Fantasy 15

Amazing Fantasy #15 contained the first appearance of Spider-Man, and is perhaps Marvel Publishing's single most important comic book to date. As such it has been replicated many times, because of the iconic character just as much as for the cover itself.

As this was the first appearance of Marvel's flagship character, it has been used and re-used, pairing Spider-Man with other characters, other members of the Spider-Man family, or other popular Marvel characters such as Deadpool. The cover for Marvel Zombies #1 by Arthur Suydam is noteworthy because it was the first of his famous Marvel Zombies homage covers, each of which homages a classic marvel comics cover, only with zombified versions of the characters.

Deadpool #11

See this gallery for more examples.

Action Comics #1: Superman Smashing A Car

If Amazing Fantasy #15 is Marvel's most important comic book to date then Action Comics #1 is DC Comics' and comics in general's most important comic book. History speaking, it is also the introduction of mainstream superheroes into mainstream comics books; featuring the first appearance of Superman, superhero comics' most iconic and recognizable character. It was a dramatic image for the late 1930's, and clearly shows a daring feat of strength that had been previously unseen in any medium.

Action Comics #1

Just as how Marvel have repeatedly used Amazing Fantasy #15 as a template within the Spider-Man family of titles, Action Comics #1 has been used by other members of the Superman family. Action Comics #685 features Supergirl as a symbol of her replacing the role of Superman soon after his death. Action Comics #800 depicts the scene from Action Comics #1 from a different perspective. There is also a recreation of the cover on Superman Returns, of which there is currently no image uploaded.

By no means is the image exclusive to DC Comics. Among others, Marvel made an homage of Action Comics #1 fifty years later in 1988 with Amazing Spider-Man #306.

See this gallery for more examples.

Fantastic Four #1: Attack Of The Underground Monster

Fantastic Four #1

Fantastic Four #1 was another important issue for Marvel since it marked the beginning of the modern marvel universe.

As the first edition of a popular Marvel team, Fantastic Four #1 also has it's own Zombified homage on the variant cover to Ultimate Fantastic Four #30. It was deemed iconic enough for a homage on the first issue of Simpsons Comics with Homer Simpson taking the place of the giant underground monster.

See this gallery for more examples.

Uncanny X-Men #1: Magneto Versus The X-Men

X-Men #1

Originally it was published as The X-Men #1 which is evident from the cover, however the name has since changed to Uncanny X-Men #1.

As with the first appearances of many popular Marvel teams from the 1960's, the cover to this first issue has been re-interpreted to feature the all-new all-different team of X-Men for their first encounter with Magneto (Uncanny X-Men #104), and has also been zombified by Arthur Suydam. The humour of the Marvel Zombies #4 involves Beast's arms falling off, and Iceman throwing an iced skull instead of a snowball. Marvel have parodied the issue with their Marvel Knights incarnation of the Fantastic Four with artist Mike Allred.

See this gallery for more examples.

Superman #1: "Higher Than The Tallest Building"

Superman #1

It says something about the changing face of comic books when the cover proudly boasts, 'All In Full Color', which is something that is now expected and taken for granted.

Ambush Bug is a renown comedic character in the DC Universe, so for the first issue of his series they parodied the first issue of Superman's series; right the way down to the boast about 'Full Color'. The cover for Superman #1 doesn't have the most dramatic composition but it has still been homaged many times. Action Comics #643 features the same pose, but redrawn by George Perez some 50 years after it first appeared in it's sister-title Superman.

Also, Mr Majestic (a character with a similar powerset to Superman) wasn't originally a DC character, but after Wildstorm became an imprint of DC Comics the cover was homaged with Majestic #1.

See this gallery for more examples.

Superman #14

Superman #14

One of the most iconic Superman covers, it shows Superman together with an eagle.

There are several covers, that do not necessarily use the exactly same cover, but sport the same idea, thereby presenting Superman as an American patriot.

Incredible Hulk #1: Growing Into The Hulk/Hulk Behind Banner

Hulk #1

The cover from Incredible Hulk #1 shows the original gray Hulk. From issue #2 and onward he would be the traditionally green colored Hulk. It is another example of a classic Marvel character's first appearance largely being used and re-used within it's own series.

In Incredible Hulk #324 Hulk returns to his grey-skinned self. While Incredible Hulk #474 is the last issue before the series relaunched. Again, there is the now traditional Zombie homage, care of Arthur Suydam.

See this gallery for more examples.

Amazing Spider-Man #50: Spider-Man No More

Spider-Man #50

Amazing Spider-Man #50 is interesting not only because of the cover, but the interior art has also been homaged many times. The cover has a ghostly image of Spider-Man turning his back on a defeated Peter Parker. Meanwhile, the internal image has the dramatic scene in a back alley, where Peter Parker walks away from a trash can with the distinctive red & blue Spider-Man costume hanging over the rim of the bin.

The imagery on the cover is recognized as a fan-favourite that Marvel have re-used it within the Amazing Spider-Man series. In issue #392, there is a great homage that reverses the roles seen in issue #50. The image has been used many times not just by Marvel. Other comic companies used it to signify a dramatic change in a hero's life, and usually a step away from their superhero alter ego.

Justice League America #54

The powerful interior art from Amazing Spider-Man #50 is both dramatic and iconic. It is worth noting that the image being paid homage to was not originally a cover, but the tributes to it were used as covers for other titles. It has received more homages than the cover, and was even recreated in the Spider-Man 2 movie. The variant cover from Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #17 is a notable homage as it replaces Peter Parker with Spider-Man in his black suit.

See this gallery for more examples.

Wonder Woman #240: The "Wanted" Poster

Wonder Woman #240

This is the typical "Wanted" poster. A theme that appeared to be popular with the first Wonder Woman series that it was adapted and used again in the second Wonder Woman volume.

See this gallery for more examples.

Uncanny X-Men #141: 'Days Of Future Past' Caught In Front Of Your Own Wanted Poster

X-Men #141

The theme of the 'Wanted Poster' has been altered again and come to represent the popular Days of Future Past storyline. Uncanny X-Men #141 literally had Wolverine & Kate Pryde caught in a spotlight, while their shadows were cast over a wanted poster that gives status updates of certain team-members. Originally it was attention grabbing, and made the reader wonder if it was true that their favourite characters really were 'deceased'. This theme was also used in the Second Coming event, in which the X-force discovers themselves standing in front of a very similar poster depicting the X-men.

It was so popular that it received it's own homage on the cover of New X-Men #26, where Wolverine & Kate Pryde were substituted by X-23 & Hellion. This was used in a moving storyline which saw a large number of young mutant characters hunted & killed (note: the following issue was also a homage to New Mutants volume 1 #38). In Marvel Zombies Vs Army of Darkness there is another zombified version of all the characters, plus the character of Ash. Also, the characters on the poster are labelled as food, instead of 'deceased', and there is a sly spelling mistake.

Star Wars: Insider, Issue Number Unknown

Meanwhile, the start of the latest New Warriors series features Wondra (the former X-Man, Jubilee) twisting the image as she is caught in the act defacing an ' Initiative Wants You' poster.

There was also an issue of Star Wars: Insider that is worth a notable mention as Obi-Wan's face picture is at the same place as Wolverine's in the original.

See this gallery for more examples.

Justice League #1: Crowded Group Shot

Justice League #1

Many fans are certain that the cover for Justice League #1 wasn't the first with this composition, since it is a generic and simple design. However, the comical way the characters were crowded and seemed to recognize that fact has stuck with fans and therefore spawned many similar covers. Not all of them can be said to be homage covers but similar ones have been included.

It is notable that the majority of the covers that follow this pattern have been within the DC universe, particularly with the various incarnations of the Justice League. Kevin Maguire repeated his success by using the same template on Justice League International #24, Justice League Europe #26 and again 16 years later with Formerly Known As The Justice League #1. In fact, his template has been used repeatedly with variations on the theme; other Justice League covers have included characters walking away to leave Blue Beetle on his own, or facing the wrong direction. There was even a rendition where the Justice League are all dominated by the face-hugging alien Starro.

Pulse #11

That is not to say that Marvel didn't attempt to pay homage to the pose, with X-Factor #146 featuring Jamie Madrox as the Multiple Man filling the entire cover with his duplicates. Marvel's The Pulse #11 included more of their mainstream heroes in a similar style.

See this gallery for more examples.

Avengers #4: Captain America Lives Again

Avengers #4

The Avengers #4 was the issue that Retconned Captain America back into modern comics. The Golden Age hero from the Second World War was re-introduced with Jack Kirby placing the character center-stage and becoming the focus of the Avengers.

As with the other covers for first appearances from Marvel, they have paid homage to the cover when the character has been replaced by USAgent in Captain America #337. Acclaim paid homage with their cover for X-O Manowar #10. There was also the zombie homage in Marvel Zombies #2, and a Marvel monsters edition in Fin Fang Four #1.

Fin Fang Four #1

See this gallery for more examples.

Spider-Man #1: Spider-Man Crouching In His Web

When Todd McFarlane launched a new Spider-Man title, his work there was dark, dynamic and helped to prolong his tenure with Marvel.

Spider-Man #1

Spider-Man #1 supposedly sold 2,500,000 (two and a half million) copies, but it also had several variant covers. This section purely focuses on the main cover.

  • McFarlane obviously admired his own work as he quickly recycled it a year later with the black & white Spider-Man outfit for Spider-Man #13, and again two years later with his own series Spawn. When Marvel published Mighty Mouse, the eponymous star tried to replicate Spider-Man #1, but ended up tangled in the spider-webs. Away from Marvel, Ant reproduced the insect theme and pose. In the same year as Ant #5, Marvel Zombies sold out and the cover was changed to a zombie-homage with tiny heroes trapped in the web.

See this gallery for more examples.

Uncanny X-Men #138: Exit Cyclops

Uncanny X-Men #138

The cover for Uncanny X-Men #138 shows Cyclops leaving the X-Men after the death of the Dark Phoenix. Cyclops dominates the foreground as he sorrowfully walks away from the team. Meanwhile, the X-Men are shadowed and small in the background as they watch him leave.

  • Typically, Marvel has paid homage to their on cover with the family of X-Men titles. Always to emphasize the departure of a long-standing ember of the team. When Sunspot left the New Mutants in #99, the team was about to transform into X-Force. Just four-years later X-Force looked on with sorrow & pride as Cannonball dominated the cover. However, in a twist of events, Cannonball didn't cease to be a hero, but had 'graduated' into the X-Men. Although lacking the team in the background, Ultimate X-Men #80 has Wolverine walking away in the same fashion. And away from the X-Men family of titles, Caitlin Fairchild bids farewell to Gen 13 in Gen 13 #53.

See this gallery for more examples.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns#1: Jumping Silhouette Over A Bolt Of Lightning

Dark Knight Returns

Another ground-breaking & classic story. The cover for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 is a quite simple image with a Batman silhouette in front of a lightning bolt and dark background. The original featured Batman leaping down through the air. However, the later reprint of the trade paperback changed to pose Batman couching on over-head telephone wires, but still with the lightning strike flashing behind him.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 (1986) Cover by Frank Miller

  • Some homage covers so closely resemble the image from The Dark Knight Returns #1 that they even have the same dark blue hue for the sky an the lightning is almost identical. Notably, Harbinger #13
  • #13 places the lightning in the same position and has a female character in a similar pose. It requires a second inspection of each image to begin to spot the differences.

  • However, not all covers are a direct homage. The theme of a lightning strike behind the character has been a recurring motif with many comic covers, although the characters are not always hidden by their silhouette. A good example is Ultimate X-Men #42, where apparently Storm's powers create the dynamic lightning behind her, but she is still visible in front of the lightning bolt.

See this gallery for more examples.

Journey Into Mystery #83: Thor Spins Mjolnir

Journey into Mystery #83

Thor made his Marvel debut in Journey Into Mystery #83. The character was borrowed from Norse mythology, but given a Marvel comics 1960's make-over in the same year that Spider-Man & Hulk were introduced. The Norse thunder god whirls his hammer Mjolnir around him creating an impenetrable whirlwind of power that knocks his enemies down.

Just like with many of Marvel's other debut covers, this stance has been repeated when introducing other characters who are possible Thor replacements. This includes a female version of Thor in What If...? And in Uncanny X-Man Annual #9 Storm has been tricked by Loki as part of his plan to depose Odin, leaving the New Mutants & X-Men stranded in Asgard. There is also Thena, a potential daughter of Thor from Avengers Next.

See this gallery for more examples.

Amazing Spider-Man #39: Dragged Through The Air By The Green Goblin's Glider

Amazing Spider-Man #39

The secret identity of the Green Goblin was revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #39. It was also the moment the Green Goblin learned Spider-Man's secret identity, therefore creating a shocking story that led to years more torment. The cover has the Goblin holding Spider-Man hostage and flying him around the city with the terrifying possibility to drop him at any moment.

The early 1990's saw a homage from Sensational She-Hulk #53, with terrible fashion sense and an exaggerated version of the Green Goblin dragging She-Hulk around by her hair. It was 13 years later by time the 2211 version of Green Goblin caught Spider-Man, only by then Spider-Man was wearing the red & gold outfit that he later removed during the Civil War. And according to tradition, a classic Marvel cover must receive a zombie homage; in this case it was the variant cover for the second printing or Marvel Zombies #4. Note the fork that the Goblin holds in order to devour Spider-Man with.

See this gallery for more examples.

The Man of Steel #1: Ripping Off Civilian Shirt/Revealing Secret Identity

Man of Steel #1

There were two covers for Man of Steel #1, both of which features the classic image of Superman ripping his shirt open and revealing the 'S' logo. The regular cover laced Clark Kent down the right-hand side of the image, whereas the variant cover has an extreme close-up of the chest. This iconic image has often featured inside the comics, but this was the first time on a cover.

The 1992 issue of Miracleman: Apocrypha #2 is a clear homage, as the character pulls open his shirt to reveal the similarly coloured logo underneath. The cover for Supergirl #51 reverses the situation by having Supergirl rip her costume open to reveal the shirt from Supergirl #1. Although Supergirl #1 doesn't actually rip the shirt open, the general pose and focus on the logo underneath the shirt does seem to pay homage to Man of Steel #1. The use of a female character was carried through to Liberty Meadows #27 where Brandy reveals the Liberty Meadows Image logo, indicating the change of publisher as well as showing off her endowment.

See this gallery for more examples.

Justice League of America #1: Heroes As Chess Pieces

Justice League #81

Finally getting their own book, this cover shows the members of the JLA facing off their foe Despero. Flash plays chess against him with his teammates as pieces.

The same pose was used several times, of course with the line-up of members and bad guy changed. Although not specifically the same pose, the chess theme continues into other comics with a variety of heroes being used as pieces in the game. This symbolises characters who are pulling the strings, and orchestrating events over others.

Popular Culture

Movie Posters

X-Force Posing As The Poster For Blade Trinity

Some comics have also been known to pay homage to famous movie posters. It's unclear when this trend began as it has been a trend for many years to parody the movie industry (even within the movie industry itself). It has even become popular to use homage covers through story arcs and even through a whole volume. Such volumes include Shanda the Panda by Antarctic Press, Vision Press & Shanda Fantasy Arts, and Marvel's Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth featuring covers by popular Zombieverse cover painter, Arthur Suydam (yet again).

Some volumes continue to pay tribute to popular movie posers throughout the entire run. For instance, Shanda the Panda has paid homage to many different movies, including (but not exclusive to) Charlie's Angels, Bring It On, Big Daddy & The Clockwork Orange. More Recently, Merc With A Mouth has parodied Jaws, & Scarface. Meanwhile, the second on-going volume of X-Force paid tribute to a variety of vampire movies on the variant covers during the Necrosha cross-over event.

See this gallery for more examples

Music/Album Covers

X-Men Unlimited #30: Abbey Road

Once in a while, it is album cover that serves as inspiration. Although it is rarer than the movie posters, it is worth mentioning.

Other Influences

Covers don't always pay homage to previous covers. There are examples of paying tribute to genuine pieces of traditional art including paintings, sculptures, photography etc. An examination of art reveals that homage drawing were quite popular previous to the era of comic books for instance the L.H.O.O.Q. version of the Mona Lisa.

The "Andy Warhol"

"Marilyn Monroe"

Famed pop-culture artist Andy Warhol's signature screen print style. A style in which the same image is repeated. Each image however has its own set of colors. Some colors becomes very contrasting and some mute compared to the images around them.

Most famously done with Marilyn Monroe. Other main "inspirations" would be Elvis Presley, Troy Donahue, Muhammad Ali and Elizabeth Taylor

Alan Moore's Promethea had a Warhol inspired cover in issue #29, in which artist J.H. Williams III used the Warhol style and laid out images of The painted doll with different colors.

American Gothic

This painting by Grant Wood in the 1930's depicts a farmer standing beside his daughter standing in front of their house. This Painting has been paid homage to in such comics as:

The Pietà

The dying Christ. A Pietà is a painting or sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus in her arms. The most famous example is the sculpture of the Pietà by Italian renaissance artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.

  • The Pietà (1499) Sculpture by Michelangelo

Unlike the 'carrying a dead person' pose, there are clear examples of the Pietà that are quite obviously paying homage to the Pietà sculpture unlike the Uncanny X-Men #136 & Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 covers (see above).

Michelangelo's Pietà

Just a few examples are listed below, yet there are more examples to be found.

The first of Marvel's series of Graphic Novels was the Death of Captain Marvel. Over the previous years Captain Marvel had slowly been dying from a mutated form of cancer which his Nega-Bands could no longer restrain. On the cover to the graphic novel, Captain Marvel is cradled by a skeletal rendition of death while surrounded by Marvel's most recognisable heroes. There is a variant cover for Marvel Zombies Vs Army of Darkness #3 based on this scene, but where all the heroes are zombies. Deadpool #63 has a more simple approach with Deadpool lay dying in place of the Christ in the arms of a more gentle, female representation of death.

See this gallery for more examples.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima

Atop Mount Suribachi

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is one of the most iconic photographs from World War 2. Taken on February 23rd 1945, by Joe Rosenthal, it depicts 5 US Marines and a US Navy corpsman raising the Stars and Stripes atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The Playing Card

In traditional decks of playing cards the face cards (Jack, Queen, King) typically have an inverted scheme where there are two faces of the car portrayed so that it is never really upside down. This same scheme is sometimes used on comic covers as a way to show a polar opposite between certain characters

The Vitruvian Man

Vitruvian Man

One of the most well-known works of Leonardo Da Vinci. The Vitruvian Man features a naked male body outstretches within an over-lapping circle & square, demonstrating the proportion of human limbs and torso.

Detective Comics Homage

In July 1939 Detective Comics #29, there is a picture of Batman swinging into a castle with his bat-rope, knocking over a villain. Ironically, it appeared in Batman: Streets of Gotham #20, with a thought of Dick Grayson looking into the past. With Bruce in his beginning days.

Batman 497

Batman #497 has been homage in:

Azrael #37

Detective Comics #740

Batman: The Dark Knight #6

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