Great Covers – DETECTIVE COMICS #31

For all of their crudity, there’s something very elegant about the covers to many of the earliest comics. Those big, bold, brash title mastheads, the clean design aesthetic. Moves all copied from the pulp magazines, but adapted and copied with more simplicity, as the artists creating them just weren’t as accomplished.

This cover to DETECTIVE COMICS #31, ostensibly by Bob Kane but likely also worked on by his earliest assistants such as Jerry Robinson and George Roussos, is a good example. The design is so strong and iconic that it’s been homaged a number of times over the years, and it completely succeeds in conveying the eerie mystery of this new Batman character. You could be forgiven for thinking him a villain in the mold of Dracula were it not for the cover copy exalting his appearing to oppose evil forces.

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