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Replicagate
Robby exposes REPLICA-GATE!

The cover of All-Star #16 (April 1942, pictured below, right) featured members of the fabled Justice Society Replicagateof America posing yearbook-style with members of America's armed forces. A spotlight shines on the JSA members, while the rest of the group is slightly shaded.

In 1971, DC published 100-Page Super Spectacular #6, featuring the "World's Greatest Super-Heroes." The cover of this reprint collection, penciled by Neal Adams and inked by Dick Giordano, was a tribute to the All-Star cover, updated with members of the JSA and JSA posing with other heroes. As in the original, A spotlight shines on the main heroes, while the rest of the group is slightly shaded.


Then, in 2004, DC published a "replica" of the Super Spec. The replica edition was identical to the original... or was it?!?!
Here are the covers again, with the original on the LEFT, the replica on the RIGHT:
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At first glance, the only real difference between the two seems to be that on the replica edition, the words "World's Greatest Super-Heroes" are outlined in black, and the original's 50-cent price has been omitted entirely. But if you look CLOSELY at the side-by-side comparisons below, you'll see that the art on the replica cover is definately NOT identical to the original!
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As you can see, the replica version makes Green Arrow look younger, Doc Mid-Nite look thinner, and Martian Manhunter look weird and alien, even for a weird alien! What's going on here? Let's take a look at the Supes figure...
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As the comparison above shows, the original Superman figure has been signifigantly altered on the replica edition cover. It almost looks as if it's been re-inked entirely! Overall, the original looks more Neal Adams-ish, and the replica looks far more Dick Giordano-ish. Aha! Have we found the identity of the mystery restorer? Indeed we have, and if you read the replica's indicia, you'll see it's not much of a mystery at all:
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Obviously, DC is not trying to hide the fact that the cover has been "reconstructed," and at least the reconstructor was one of the cover's original artists -- but the fact remains that the replica cover is NOT identical to the original. The differences range from tiny to signifigant. For example, Wonder Woman...
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One of the biggest differences on the replica cover is the face of Wonder Woman. The original is characterized by differing line weights and some form of printing error that smudged WW's left eye to the point where it looks like she was beat up just moments before posing for this shot. The replica WW's face is markedly wider than the original. "Does this replica make me look fat?"

Diana may look like she's put on a few pounds in the replica, but poor Black Canary made out much wore. She looks hypnotized, or possessed, or something. I'd say she looks like a typical dumb blonde, which as we all know, Canary is not. The differences between the two drawings are small and subtle, but very noticable.
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Hey, it's not ALL bad news! Ray and Carter made out pretty well in the replica, with the only noticable difference being that the lower portion of Hawkman's chest has been pushed off the replica cover.
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THE BACK COVER
What about the BACK covers? Below are the two versions of the back covers side-by-side, with the original on the left and the replicaon the right. Again, at first glance, from far away, they look the same (except for the UPC code on the replica).
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Now, a closer look. Red Tornado, Batman, and GL made out pretty well on the replica cover, and Batman somehow managed to open his cape wider, revealing more of his iconic bat-symbol. Mr. Terrific didn't fare as well. On the original, his mouth looks odd and smooshed to one side -- on the replica, his face looks equally odd but smooshed to the OTHER side. His chin is also strangely malformed, and his eyes looks weird in both versions. Hey, that is NOT "fair play!"
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The original Fastest Man Alive looks more youthful in the replica, but Mr. Garrick's formerly shining pearly whites seem to have taken on a bizarre blue coloring.
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Finally, we close our expose of Replicagate with Diana Prince, Wonder Woman. The character with the American Flag bathing suit on the front cover of this collection is the original WW, of the Golden Age. The white-jumpsuited Diana Rigg knock-off seen on the book's BACK COVER was the WW of the 1970s, who had lost her Amazon powers and uniform.

On the original cover, she look alert, attractive, and all-American. On the replica cover, she seems somewhat stunned and vaguely Asian. And for some reason, the whites of her eyes, her white teeth, and her trademark white jumpsuit have all become solid blue! Great Hera! Moral of the story: If you want the original art, in many cases you must buy the original comic book! Replicas are NOT necessarily exact!
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THE END!
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