Prince, 1991, Piranha Music/DC Comics, Cover by Brian Bolland.
The POP Retro Cover Of The Week continues its examination and celebration of iconic comic covers from the 1970s through the 2000s, this week returning to the Nineties, a decade when a certain Prince became a comic book hero to help promote his upcoming album “Diamonds and Pearls.”
DC Comics, under its Piranha Music imprint, along with Black creators Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan, created a three-issue miniseries featuring a re-envisioning of the Prince origin story in the 1984 movie Purple Rain, with a supervillain twist added in.
Cover artist Brian Bolland’s composition is simple, a waist-high portrait of Prince snapping his fingers, perhaps triggering the atomic blast in the background, and holding his famous Purple Rain guitar, although inexplicably colored yellow here instead of white.
Bolland’s style is legendary, as clean and sharp as it gets in comics. His art looks like it was engraved in metal, rather than applied with pen and brush. His likeness of Prince is spot-on, and the coloring is true-to-life. The level of detail is impressive: in the guitar, the leather edging, fringe, and studs.
The spare, gritty logo masthead features a mix of symbols built around a cross to replace the “I” in PRINCE.
This isn’t the first time Bolland’s work has been chosen as the POP Retro Cover Of The Week, and it won’t be the last, but it certainly will be the only cover to feature a rock superstar/superhero!
Next week: A cover from the 2000s!