What do you call it, a tribute, an homage, a salute, a cover swipe? Whatever the term that you feel most comfortable using homage covers are about acknowledging the past. It’s like a knowing look that is shared between an established, well-known artist looking at the portfolio of a young artist with obvious talent. It’s a nod to an important historic cover with an added element.
For Action Comics #1 tributes, it can be about who is displaying the strength to easily lift a car. The artist is drawing a parallel between the power of Superman and the power of their character. In a glance, you can see that Wonder Woman is as powerful as Superman. For some cover swipes, it is about the shock value, like Robin lifting a car or for Weed Magic #1, that the “car” is a huge joint. The creators of those homage covers are trying to get noticed by copying the most iconic comic book ever made.
Action Comics #1 (1938) – Superman holding the car – Drawn by Joe Shuster
Sensation Comics #51 (March 1946) – Wonder Woman is holding the car
Fantastic Four #291 (June 1986) – She-Hulk is holding the car
Amazing Spider-man #306 (Oct. 1988) – Spider-man is holding the car
Wacky Squirrel #4 (Oct. 1988) – A jack is holding the car
Action Comics #685 (Jan. 1993) – Supergirl is holding the car
Superman #124 (June 1997) – Scorn is holding the car
Superboy/Risk: Double Shot #1 (Feb. 1998) – Superboy is holding the car
Superman #136 (July 1998) – Superman is holding the “car”
Superman: Tales of the Bizarro World #1 (Sept. 2000) – Bizarro is holding the car
Action Comics #800 (April 2003) – Superman is holding the car – Is that Steve Jobs in the corner?
Superman #201 (March 2004) – Mr. Majestic is holding the car
Fallen Angel #15 (April 2007) – Liandra is holding the car
Justice Society of America #8 (Oct. 2007) – Damage is holding the car
Buffy #32 (Feb. 2010) – Buffy is holding the car
Action Comics #900 – Superman is throwing the car
Popeye #1 (April 2012) – Popeye is holding the car
Kevin Keller (Oct. 2012) – Kevin is holding the car
Spawn #228 (Feb. 2013) – Spawn is holding the car
Ugly Doll Comics #1 (May 2013) – An Ugly Doll is holding the car.
Action Comics #27 (March 2014) – Scribblenaut Superman is holding the car
Solar Man of the Atom #1 (April 2014) – Solar is holding the car
The Multiversity #1 (October 2014) – Captain Carrot is holding the car
Batman/Superman: Futures End #1 (Nov. 2014) – Superman is holding the car
Batman and Robin #39 (April 2015) – Robin is holding the car
The Uber #3 (Feb. 2017) – An Uber is holding the car
Underdog #1 (April 2017) – Underdog is holding the car
Aardvark Comics #1 (Sept. 2017) – Cerebus is holding the car
Weed Magic #1 (Nov. 2017) – The “car” is an extremely large joint
Best Car to be hoisted overhead – Batman/Superman: Futures End #1 How can you beat the Batmobile?
Best Cape action under the car – Spawn #228 McFarlane has always been the master of cool cape action
Oldest Tribute to Action Comics #1 – Sensation Comics #51 from 1946
Best New Angle for Destroying a Green Car – Action Comics #800
– Ron C.
If you find any other Action Comics 1 tributes please submit them as a comment.