Welcome to Cover Story! An ongoing series of blogs–where we focus on great, weird, and strange cover art. Without a doubt, one of the reasons I enjoy comics is the cover art. Cover art is amazing, impactful, and can make a comic a key issue simply from the cover. For a little fun, let’s start with Weirdsville, Gotham, USA. Let’s take a look together at some very, very strange Batman covers.
We’re going to count my Top Ten Weird Batman covers down starting with #10 and eventually finishing with the #1 weirdest cover. Our first destination? The Silver Age–when super-heroes reemerged after a time of controversy, accusing comics of being a bad influence on the youth of our society. But also, the Silver Age was the bastion of WITW strange covers and stranger plots.
#10: It’s Batwoman…no it’s Catwoman! (Detective #318)
So, here’s Catman, a villain who likes to do nefarious, horrific things like steal cat statues and cat-eye jewels,(get the theme? Why does he rob on a theme? Because he’s…Catman) who is controlling Batwoman.
This cover is pretty confusing since there is already a Catwoman who has a costume that is fashion-different from Batwoman…I mean “Catwoman’s” color scheme. So, I’m pretty sure the real Catwoman is going to end up being ticked off.
And Catman is working that button on his throne that makes Batwoman’s costume change to “Catwoman” and vice-versa.
This issue has no established FMV but the last sale for a 7.5 CGC graded copy was $180 with a whopping 105% increase. Great Scott, Batman!
#9: Abbey Road? (Batman #222)
On this cover, you’ve got the Beatles…I mean the British pop group the Oliver Twists walking across Abbey Road…I mean a road by a random cemetery. Looks like they are leaving a freshly dug grave with a headstone that only says: R.I.P. What could this mean?!?!
Luckily, Robin brought an album cover with him (thanks, utility belt) to help solve the mystery of Which one of the alive and walking and breathing musicians is dead? And look! The Beatles…I mean the Oliver Twists brought their instruments to the cemetery just in case a concert broke out among the gravestones.
This riff on the Beatles’ “Paul is dead” myth/conspiracy that began with the release of the cover of the Abbey Road LP in September 1969 was highlighted soon after on this Neal Adams cover published June 1970. This issue has an FMV of $350 for a graded 8.5 and a 25% trend upwards.
#8: The Bat-Auction–Bat-Bargains Galore! (Batman #191)
What a devastating cover! Batman is having the clearance sale of all clearance sales. And this is not like when those mattress companies have multiple going-out-of-business sales. This looks like the real deal.
Robin is off somewhere uniform-less. (But I have a question: How much did the Batmobile go for? And could I make a side deal for it?) Items like Batman’s utility belt, the Batarang, the Batphone, Batrope, all those items–sold! The horror of it all!
Two of the participants at the Bat-Auction have obviously broken down emotionally, while those three other people are definitely greedy, uncaring slugs (one of them probably snagged the Batmobile).
Batman is so into the auction he’s about to disrobe from his uniform on the spot and sell it! People of Gotham City, stop this auction madness! (But seriously, can I make a deal for the Batmobile?)
This issue hits the auction block at $325 FMV for a 9.4 graded copy with a +3%
Cover Story: Part Two coming soon!