Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sex sells. Then it rolls over and goes to sleep.

Take a look at these covers from the Golden Age series of the legacy character the Blue Beetle.

Bark like a dog!
Assault the image for cover gallery via the GCD

You might notice that there is a clearly defined time in the run when the publisher suddenly realizes that SEX SELLS COMIC BOOKS.

Using one issue as a way of easing into the transistion, the book transforms from the pow! zap! of traditional kiddie fare to the Va-Va-Voom! style of lurid art that undoubtedly made the Werthams of the world squirm uncomfortably in their seats. Much like when the Golden Age Green Lantern was pushed off his own cover for a dog for marketing reasons, the title character of Blue Beetle was moved from foreground to background to favor dames in distress and greedy molls before he was exiled to a Silver Age JLA-style roll call profile. The Beetle even vanished entirely from the cover for several issues as the hard boiled crime-influenced direction of the art had little use for costumed super heroes in the changing markets of the late 1940's.

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