Action Comics #426, August 1973

Action Comics #436, June 1974

Nick Cardy drew a heck of a lot of covers for DC during the early 1970s. A heck of a lot! And most of them were initially laid out by Carmine Infantino — though Cardy often did his own thing, paying scant attention to Infantino’s sketches. It’s therefore not too surprising that similar themes cropped up time and again. Here we see pretty much the same situation depicted on Action Comics covers just one year apart.

The Perry White one is the better composition, and I’d argue, the more enticing to the potential customer. The other one is a bit of an oddity and doesn’t really work. To me it almost looks like a film run ‘backwards’, as if Superman is dropping down and changing into Clark Kent. Weird. Shows what happens if the artist inadvertently leads the eye of the viewer in the wrong direction.

The plummeting airplanes on both are fun. I wonder if either of these was the inspiration for that plane-catching sequence in Superman Returns?

©2009 DC Comics