Robin #1, 1991, 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, the decade of style over substance, and anatomy be damned. Except in the case of a precious few artists who stayed the course, and avoided the outrageous stylistic trends of the decade, artists like Brian Bolland.
Bolland was part of the British “invasion” of the early 1980s, when a wave of talented creators from across the pond started making a huge impact on American comics. Bolland’s style is, in a word, precise. His lines were sure, determined, and sharp, looking as if they have been engraved in metal. Bolland also had a very in-your-face design sense when it came to his cover compositions; each had a very simple, focused, iconic feel. His covers for the new Robin miniseries were no exception.
Tim Drake was the new Robin, a sidekick with an edgy background and attitude that fit the decade. Courtesy of legend Neal Adams, Robin wore a new, darker costume that finally eliminated the garish yellow cape and unprotected, bare legs.
Bolland’s pose for Robin is a humorous, Gothic attempt by the new kid to imitate Batman by holding his dark cape up to his face, accompanied by a wannabe-killer stare (which is itself Batman’s homage to Bela Lugosi’s Dracula).
Batman felt Robin needed more training, and they travelled to Paris for Tim to learn from a master of martial arts and healing. The cover to issue #1 featured a parallel to Gotham moody rooftop gazing, this time in Paris with a magnificent rendering of the Eiffel Tower in the background silhouetted by a blood red sunset sky, along with a clever Robin logo built around his chest symbol...all the makings for a very iconic POP Retro Cover Of The Week.
Next week: A cover from the 2000s!