Its a homage when they give visible credit to the originator and should also pay a royalty (just like sampling in music)
Otherwise its theft which you can also call swipe
I also consider it an homage when the source is so well known everybody knows it. Mind you, the original artist should still be credited, but if not, it's usually obvious that the current artist expects that everyone will get the reference.
Swipes are harder to find, since they rely on people not realizing there is a source cover being used, so by nature the original covers are less well known.
Whereas this Jim Lee cover from earlier in 2015 is intended as an homage, as on the middle right side of the cover it's noted "after Kane" (the Gil Kane Avengers #145 cover shown in Crimebuster's post). The Superman cover shown in the OP also has an "after Steranko" notation.
EDIT: So, for this cover and the Superman cover, the later-day artists are acknowledging their debt to the inspiration-covers' artists, in case readers don't recognize or are unaware of the source covers.
Post by dupont2005 on Dec 29, 2015 19:34:56 GMT -5
To me it's a homage if it's meant to be noticed. Nobody is "swiping" the cover to Action #1. When you see it you know what it's referencing, like an inside joke.
It's a swipe to me when it's using an interior panel of an obscure page and is being essentially traced without reference. Pretty much if it's on the cover it's okay if it's on the inside it's a swipe.