comic-book-titles-display

Comic Book Series That Changed Their Titles (Without Changing Their Titles)

In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Note that these lists are inherently not exhaustive. They are a list of five examples (occasionally I’ll be nice and toss in a sixth). So no instance is “missing” if it is not listed. It’s just not one of the five examples that I chose.

Today, we look at instances where comic book series changed their titles without ACTUALLY changing their titles. What I mean is, of course, there are times when a comic book series actually changes its name, like when Star Spangled Stories became Star Spangled War Stories. Other times, though, a company will want to keep the title’s official name, but not want to actually spotlight that name.

Detective Comics was the comic book that ultimately gave DC its name, and so DC did not touch the title for many years.

However, towards the end of the Batman TV series’ original run, DC was likely thinking, “Huh, Detective Comics is not selling as much as Batman. What can we do?” And so the decision was made to change the title design so that Batman and Robin became the new title, really, just with a little Detective Comics intro…

Over the years, the Detective Comics logo returned…

But just in time for Knightfall, DC went to a shared logo between Batman and Detective Comics, with Detective Comics just getting a little bit there…

Our Army At War, naturally, was about war stories. Eventually, though, Sgt. Rock became the lead feature in the series, as reflected on this cover…

So the next issue, Our Army At War began sharing the title with Rock…

And then, forty issues or so later, Sgt. Rock REALLY took over…

This was a rare example where the series eventually DID just get re-titled Sgt. Rock, but not for many more years.

The funny thing about Adventure Comics is that it maintained its logo even after Supergirl took over as the lead feature…

But then abruptly, over a year in, the logo was changed to spotlight Supergirl…

Action Comics lasted a long time with the logo not dramatically altered in favor of Superman in general…

But then, in 1991, DC launched a FOURTH Superman title to make the Superman titles weekly and Action Comics was altered to make it fall in line with the other three titles…

Towards the end of its original run, G.I. Joe‘s sales had tapered off…

So Marvel tried to infuse some sales life into the book by essentially renaming it Snake Eyes and the Ninja Force…

It returned to its original name a little bit before the series ended its Marvel run. It has almost run as long in its new IDW incarnation as it did in the original Marvel incarnation!

If anyone has a suggestion for a future Drawing Crazy Patterns, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

In their latest look at recurring plot points, CSBG spotlights the surprising amount of times that Batman has actually starred in a motion picture.

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