Exciting Comics #4, Antarctic Press, Cover by Brian Denham.
Cover art by Brian Denham
Antarctic Press has created a Superverse composed of rebooted, public domain characters like the Black Terror, the Heap, the Crimson Scorpion, and the subject of this week’s POP Cover Of The Week pick, Crimebuster, on the cover of Exciting Comics #4.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Crimebuster was a boy hero dressed in an ice hockey uniform and cape, with a monkey sidekick named Squeeks. Antarctic has rebooted and gender-swapped the role as Crimebuster 76, a woman with a field hockey uniform and stick, but everything else looks the same; even the original Exciting Comics title logo is used.
Besides the vintage cool factor of the cover title logo and trade dress, what makes this cover a POP COTW pick for me is the in-your-face, Silver Age/Bronze Age gimmick of the heroes leaping off the cover and locking eyes with the reader. You just don’t see that done much these days. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that artist Brian Denham’s seems to channeling classic Neal Adams with his illustrative technique.
The bold colors, the playfulness of Squeek's tail curling around Crimebuster's arm, and his very meta interaction with the cover type elements add major bonus points to this dynamic and fun POP Cover Of The Week.
Exciting Comics #4 from Antarctic Press is available January 29, 2020.