After looking at hundreds of comic book covers, it becomes quickly apparent that not every cover is 100% original. Whether done intentionally or even underhandedly, there’s something about uncovering these “swipes” that adds a new element of fun to reading and collecting comics.

In a twist on the Superman mythos, the title character in Jim Valentino’s normalman (stylized in all lower-case letters) is shipped off into space by his father when he concludes that the planet they inhabit will explode. The child arrives on a planet inhabited completely by super-powered beings – they dub him normalman, because he’s the only one there without powers.

The character debuted in Cerebus the Aardvark #56 and was soon given his own ongoing series. That title served as a vehicle for creator, Jim Valentino, to spoof and parody other comics, a perfect opportunity (if ever there was one) to introduce cover swipes that parody the source material.

Archibald “Archie” Andrews debuted in Pep Comics #22 (published in December 1941). The following year, he got his own solo series which spawned dozens of spin-off titles. One of those spin-offs, Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals, debuted in 1952. Issue #14 of this series was the first time they utilized a multiple panel strip on the cover.

As you can see, this cover is certainly not a swipe but it does pay homage to the cover design.

Archie's Pals 'n' Gals #14
Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals #14
September 1960
normalman #12
normalman #12
December 1985
Jim Valentino

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