A Homage to Homage Covers By Luke S.

September 13, 2022 Articles

Nostalgia is one heck of a drug, especially when it comes to comics. Everyone wants to pay tribute to the classics, and a big way this is done in comics is with homage covers. An homage cover is a comic cover that either copies directly or references another, more iconic, comic cover. Comics are constantly referencing older issues through characters, storylines, and general continuity. These may not always be direct copies of older issues, but if you’ve been reading comics (namely Marvel and DC comics) long enough, you’ll definitely notice some repeats of various things happening within the pages. More common however, is newer comics referencing older issues through their covers. And that’s where homage covers come in.

 

I’m a big fan of variant covers, including homages. I haven’t been around too terribly long, but I can still appreciate some classic comic art being repurposed for a new book. Some people might see homage covers as a cop out, or a lazy way to make more covers, and a lot of the times they’re right. Most of the homage covers at the big 2 publishers are well thought out and coincide with an event or anniversary that also makes sense for the book the cover is being put on. This doesn’t mean every homage cover is good or makes sense, but most win out on the nostalgia factor alone.

In recent years, homage covers have been everywhere. It seems like this is probably because of the trend of anniversary titles being pumped out by the big 2, starting with Action Comics #1000 and the 80th anniversary of Superman. Every major character has to have an anniversary, and with that anniversary comes a multitude of specials and variant covers. Like I said, I’m a huge fan of variants so these homages have been a real treat to see! Seeing Harley Quinn inserted on a bunch of iconic batman covers in the original art styles is the perfect way to do an homage cover in my opinion. Keeping the feel of the original covers while adding a new twist to them should be how homages are done.

Marvel and DC aren’t the only ones that have fun with homage covers. Ablaze, Image, and of course Dynamite have a slew of homage covers both good and bad. One of my favorites out of these has been Ablaze. They have a new homage for every issue and they never make sense but always look fantastic. This just shows that homage covers don’t always have to have a reason to be there, but if they’re done right they can look really nice. I am in no way endorsing companies to just push out as many homage covers as possible, but if done right, homage covers can add a lot to a book. They might get you to pick up something that you normally wouldn’t, or just be an added bonus of a cool cover to a book you’re already picking up. Just remember, homage responsibly.

 

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