Batman #156 Homage Covers

Comics added Sep 18, 2021 | Comic Homages, Homage Covers, Iconic Comic Book Covers

Batman #156 (June 1963) 

“Robin Dies at Dawn”

Writer: Bill Finger
Cover Artist: Sheldon Moldoff
Penciler: Sheldon Moldoff
Inker: Charles Paris

Synopsis: Batman volunteers to participate in a special military experiment to test the long term effects of isolation on the human psyche. During this experience, Batman suffers a hallucination in which he witnesses Robin being killed on an alien world. The hallucinations persist and Batman is so overwrought that he is incapable of continuing his work. He hands the responsiblity of safeguarding Gotham City to Robin.

Modern readers mistakenly credit George Perez’s work on DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (October 1985) as the source for later covers which use the same motif of a fallen hero draped over the arms of a grieving comrade. Although Perez’s work on that cover has become iconic, the motif graces far more covers pre-1985 than one might expect.The first appears to be Catman #31 from June 1946. This motif appears again 17 years later on the cover of Batman #156 (June 1963). Interestingly enough, neither Catman #31 nor Batman #156 inspired Perez’s iconic cover, however. Instead, Perez credits The Mighty Thor #27 (April 1966). Other covers which appeared before Crisis #7 include The Brave & the Bold #84 (July 1969), Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #128 (December 1972), Daredevil #164 (Vol 1) (May 1980), and Uncanny X-Men #136 (August 1980). There are many others (as you can see below). Despite these previous covers, voters in a 2007 poll voted Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 as the “Best DC Cover of All Time.”

A user at Nic Foley’s – Nerdy & Wordy blog, jimskiblog, notes that the pose which appears on these covers has appeared in other works of art for hundreds of years, most notably in the Pieta, a subject in Christian art often found in sculpture which depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus Christ. Michelangelo’s La Pieta (1498-1499) may be the most famous such depiction.

See also our pages for Catman #31 and Crisis on Infinite Earths #7.

Sources: DC Fandom; Nic Foley – Nerdy & Wordy; & Crisis on Earth Prime

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