Detective Comics No. 481 Unpublished Cover by Jim Aparo

July 22, 2021|In General

Books come and books go, and in the latter half of 1978, DC Comics was in the throes of The DC Implosion and nearly half their titles disappeared.

It also nearly killed Detective Comics, but DC PR Rep Mike Gold suggested that the Batman Family content be switched to DC’s namesake comic, and DC Editorial Coordinator Paul Levitz approved it. For more details on this watershed period in DC history, I highly recommend Comic Book Implosion by Keith Dallas and John Wells from TwoMorrows Publishing.

Jim Starlin’s cover for Batman Family No. 21 was relabelled for Detective Comics No. 481 and things moved forward. Unfortunately, the first cover for Tec No. 481 by Jim Aparo went unpublished. Thankfully, we live in an alternate timeline over here and we can do something about that.

Colour and packaging by me.

Detective Comics 481 by DC Comics, cover art by Jim Starlin

As published. While it was set to be the cover of Batman Family No. 21, Jim Starlin’s art became the cover for Detective Comic No. 481 when the former book’s content was folded into the latter to save it from cancellation.

Unpublished Detective Comics 481 cover art by Jim Aparo

The casualty. Jim Aparo’s original cover art for Detective Comics No. 481 went unpublished.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

Colour version.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Along with pieces of re-created trade dress, a new version of the Detective Comics logo has been added as well as some dialogue.