Jim Steranko's cover to Hulk King-Size Annual #1 (in 1968) is one of the most famous covers in Marvel Comics history.
I was blown away the first time I saw this image. The Hulk, carrying a crumbling logo on his back, like Atlas with the weight of the world. I had never seen a comic-book logo used as a prop on the cover. Was this the first time it had ever been done? Whatever the answer is, it doesn't matter, for me as a kid, this was my first time seeing such a mind blowing concept. Steranko's depiction of the Hulk is also out of this world. There's a unique quality to the Hulk's face that Steranko captured, something that no other artist has ever matched.
This cover is the favorite of many Marvel maniacs, and inspired a number of recreations...
Kaare Andrews created this cover for Bruce Jones' Return of the Monster arc (Hulk #34, vol 3). In this interview at Comicon.com, Andrews said: "One of the first comic creators I became aware of on an individual level was Jim Steranko. When I started shopping in real life comicbook stores (what a find when you're a kid!) I picked up a reprint book of some of his Nick Fury stuff. I was really intrigued. This was a guy that didn't look like everyone else. This was a guy that stood out. This was a guy that was freakin' cool."
Towards the end of World War Hulk, we were teased with the cover of what should have been Incredible Hulk 112 (vol 3). The crumbling logo does say Hulk, and this issue would have followed immediately after the conclusion of World War Hulk. It gave the reader the impression that the Hulk would be roaming around the Marvel Universe with Amadeus Cho.
Not so fast, true believers! In World War Hulk #6, the full cover was revealed. Incredible Hulk was now re-titled the Incredible Herc, with Hercules taking over the starring role. Art Adams did a beautiful job on this cover, and I am sure it induced many fans to give Hercules a chance.
Now there's a funny coincidence here: Steranko did another take on his own classic cover for Hercules #2 from Radical Comics! You can read an interview with Steranko about his over at CBR. I really dig Steranko's design for this version of Hercules.
If you are going to replace the Hulk in a cover recreation, which character could be better than the Thing? Ron Wilson did this piece, which I noticed in a recent Back Issue magazine. You can visit Ron Wilson at Comicbook-art and get a commission like this one!
Last but not least, I believe Steranko has recreated this cover for private commissions. This full color recreation is certainly different than the original. I can't remember where I found this one...
I found this one on Albert Moy's collection on Comic Art Gallery. Is it a recreation or was this a version of the original cover that was redone/retouched later? The Hulk's face is different, and several of the rocks don't match the published cover.
Steranko is a titan in the world of comics. Let me know if I missed any recreations! Nuff said.