Top Five Wonder Woman Covers: Ross Andru

UPDATE: The poll is now closed.  The two semi-final votes begin in new threads on January 25th and February 1st, and then the final vote starts February 8th.

This week, we go all the way back to the Silver Age to admire the work of one of Wonder Woman’s most prolific cover artists, Ross Andru!!

Andru, along with his long-time inker Mike Esposito, took over the cover duties of the series with Wonder Woman #95 in 1958, and did nearly every cover for the next nine years, finally ending with Wonder Woman #171 in 1967.  Andru and Esposito did the interior artwork on Wonder Woman for most of this time as well, creating a definitive look for Robert Kanigher’s second decade on the series.  After Wonder Woman, Andru had several other successful gigs at Marvel and DC, and co-created characters like the Metal Men and the Punisher.  Later in life, Andru became an editor at DC Comics.  You can learn more about Andru in Andru and Esposito: Partners for Life by Mike Esposito and Dan Best.

Onto my picks for Andru’s top five covers, in chronological order:

Wonder Woman #105:  This issue is famous for introducing a new origin story for Wonder Woman, but it should also be famous for its fantastic cover.  Wonder Woman trying to save Steve Trevor from a giant space eagle that has trapped his rocket ship in its beak is just a crazy good time.  If I was a kid in 1959, I would have bought that issue in a heartbeat.

Wonder Woman #113:  It’s a sphinx statue brought to life WITH laser eye beams… you had me at animated sphinx statue.  The layout of this cover is great, with the pouncing sphinx and Wonder Woman diving out of the way of the laser blast.  I also enjoy the look on Wonder Woman’s face… she seems slightly annoyed, like she’s just going to jump out of the way, then spring back up with her lasso ready and totally take down the sphinx.

Wonder Woman #125:  This cover captures the Silver Age in a nutshell: weird creatures and silly love triangles.  Here a merman, a giant amoeba, and Steve Trevor all fight over the affections of Wonder Woman, nearly tearing the poor woman apart in the process.  That, with a few variations, is essentially the plot of every Silver Age Wonder Woman comic.

Wonder Woman #147:  It’s like two covers in one!!  This cover features Wonder Girl, the teenaged version of Wonder Woman.  On the left side, a winged Wonder Girl grapples with a bizarre beast that I believe is a lamassu, an ancient Babylonian mythological being with the head of a man, the body of a lion, and wings.  On the right, a mermaid Wonder Girl battles some kind of giant lobster/sea worm combination.  Both sides are ridiculously fun.

Wonder Woman #165:  I just love the layout of this cover.  The simple green background with the orange explosion is nicely contrasted with busy text printed all over the hilariously shaped body of the fiendish Paper Man.  Wonder Woman’s look of surprise as she punches through Paper Man is fantastic, as is the diabolical grin and evilly raised eyebrow on Paper Man’s face.  I want a poster of this. 

So there are my five picks for Ross Andru’s best Wonder Woman covers… vote for your favourite below, and feel free to disagree with my choices in the comments!!

NOTE: Andru may be back for another edition of “Top Five Wonder Woman Covers” because he, along with inker Dick Giordano, did a lot of great Wonder Woman covers in the 1970s and 1980s.

Published by Tim Hanley

Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Wonder Woman Unbound, Investigating Lois Lane, The Many Lives of Catwoman, and Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale.

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