Promethea #12, 2000, America’s Best Comics (Wildstorm/Image Comics), Cover by J.H. Williams III, Mick Gray, and Todd Klein.
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 Aughts, a decade filled with many titles that made an emphasis on producing covers as well-designed and illustrated works of art, including Fables, 100 Bullets, and this month’s particularly experimental title, Promethea.
Created by writer Alan Moore (Watchmen) as a mystical, magical, Wonder Woman-esque figure for Image’s Moore-centric America’s Best Comics imprint, Promethea featured covers by J.H. Williams III with a different theme each issue, and each an homage to a style of pop culture design or art, like romance comics, Alphone Mucha, Egyptian heiroglyphics, or as in the case of this week’s cover, psychedelic music posters.
Inspired by the colorful, fanciful, and fluid 1960s concert posters for The Fillmore by artist Bonnie Maclean, J.H. Williams created a colorful, eye-popping design with Promethea as the star. All of the cover trade dress (comic title, publisher’s logo, issue number, creative credits) flows around her and her signature caduceus staff in an homage to Maclean's often woman-centric, trippy pop art style.
If only Williams didn’t have to accommodate the ugly, and oh-so-out-of-place UPC bar code, this would have been a perfectly frameable piece of art.
Next week: Back to the 1970s!