The Grim Reaper stalks Robin on a horrifying Halloween Retro Cover Of The Week, Batman #237 (1971)

Batman #237, 1971, DC Comics, Cover by Neal Adams.

The POP Retro Cover Of The Week continues its celebration and examination of iconic comic covers from the 1970s through the 2000s, this week returning to the Seventies. It was a decade when DC celebrated Halloween all October long, with spooky stories and covers, and not just in their many horror titles.

One of the best Halloween tales, and one of the best Batman tales ever, was Batman #237, featuring a story about a man who can’t let go of his evil past, and goes on a Halloween killing spree.

The cover of this creepy tale is one of my favorite Neal Adams Batman covers ever. Adams’ composition is dominated by a laughing, skull-faced grim reaper, flowing robes, scythe and all, twisting his body in a backswing over a cowering, frightened Robin. Batman approaches on a slim bat-rope in from the background, but will he be in time to save Robin? The background of the cover is simply the solid bright red of the setting sun, which makes all three figures POP.

Granted, there’s too much else going on in this cover besides the illustration, with all the trade dress elements, the story title awkwardly placed over the reaper’s robes, and a too-large banner highlighting a back-up story. But even all those distractions don’t prevent this simple composition and color scheme from being an eye-catching POP Retro Cover Of The Week masterpiece.

Next week: A rad cover from the Bronze ‘80s!

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