The first page of Brian Michael Bendis's Superman reboot features a splash page that may have struck longtime readers as...somewhat familiar.
That's becuase the pose -- Superman flying at the reader, headfirst with his arms straight at his sides and a very serious expression -- was one of the most frequently-reused images of the 1990s, first appearing on the cover of Superman: The Man of Steel #1 by Louise Simonson, Jon Bogdanove, Dennis Janke, and a variety of guests.
Bogdanove's instantly iconic cover was not only used on house ads and comic store posters, but more importantly in the cover boxes of all four monthly Superman titles then being published. In the corner box, each artist was tasked with creating his own version of the Bogdanove image, which was then used in the top-left cover to make the comics instantly identifiable as Superman books, even if they were fanned out on the newsstand with only a small corner of the comic visible.
Even Bogdanove himself got in on the fun, not just in his cornerbox but also by referencing the cover on Superman: The Man of Steel #78, in which the electric blue Superman took the position, allowing Bogdanoe to reuse the composition but drastically alter the look of the image itself.
Interestingly, a trade paperback titled Superman: Superman Blue, which collects many of those issues for the first time ever, hit comic shops today as well.
You can see an example from each of the four titles below.
It is not clear (although it seems very likely) that artist Ivan Reis intended to homage Bogdanove's cover or not, and if indeed the homage was intentional it is not clear whether Reis was responsible or if it was scripted by Bendis.
Either way, the image is one of the first things you see upon opening the issue -- literally because of its placement at the start of the comic -- and for longtime fans, it is difficult to ignore.
Superman #1 is on sale this week in comic shops and on ComiXology. So is Superman: Superman Blue if you are interested.