DC Releases ACTION #1000’s 1980s Homage Variant

Joshua Middleton meshes pre-Crisis and post-Crisis Superman.

A couple of weeks ago, DC released its main variant covers for Action Comics #1000, which is due 4/18 — the 80th anniversary of Action Comics #1.

Each variant pays tribute to a different decade in the Man of Steel’s development and you can click here to check out the wonderful covers by Mike Allred, Steve Rude, Dave Gibbons and many others. (Believe me, you want to.)

For whatever reason, one was missing — the 1980s homage by Joshua Middleton, which DC just released:

Middleton’s variant highlights both ends of the ’80s. There’s skull-ship Brainiac and battle-suit Luthor. Jimmy Olsen still looks pretty Bronze Age, too.

Lois, however, looks similar to how she was portrayed by John Byrne in 1986’s Man of Steel #2:

Superman? Superman looks like Superman.

It’s a nice image and Middleton is one of the best cover artists in the business right now and a 13th Dimension favorite.

That said, I gotta say I would have preferred if DC had hired an ’80s artist to do an ’80s homage cover.

I know that Byrne is off the table but Jerry Ordway anyone?


— The Gorgeous Variant Covers of ACTION #1000. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. JL Garcia Lopez, or George Perez would’ve been better choices. Or Brian Bolland.

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  2. Great image though, and I think Lois looks pretty Margot Kidder-like there as well…which Byrne was also channelling at first in MoS anyway.


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    • Agreed. The artist is clearly paying homage to “Superman: The Movie.” Even the style is evocative of Bob Peak’s poster art. Nice work!

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      • Nice call! The colors are really similar to that classic poster. And Jimmy looks a bit Marc McClure now that I look a bit closer…

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        • I think there are echoes of the movie in there but I don’t sense that was the whole thrust of the piece: The Planet, Superman’s outfit and a little of Lois all seem movie-ish. The rest, not so much. But the whole thing is a pastiche anyway.

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  3. What is the story behind Byrne? You mention he is “off the table”.

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  4. It’s a nice cover but I don’t think it captures the 80s era that much. They should have gotten an artist who drew Superman back in the 80s.

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