Action Comics #434, April 1974

Here’s a cover that pretty much says it all: Superman goes to the dentist! It’s a striking image to be sure, but isn’t there something just a little twee about the setup? After all, this was a Superman who had recently been seen pulling planets around on a chain, and now here he is howling at having a tooth removed. Sigh! Mind you, I’d like to see what kind of super-plaque was super enough to burrow through Kal-El’s molars! Can a kryptonite toothpaste regime be far behind?

Still, it’s all good fun, and wonderfully drawn by Nick Cardy. It’s actually part of a long string of great Action Comics covers by Cardy from this time, who was on the verge of leaving comics behind for a career in commercial art. He did a lot of film posters for the remainder of the ’70s and into the ’80s.

Anyway, a cover from a more innocent time: can you imagine the same cover appearing today with, say, Wolverine getting the Marathon Man treatment?

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