Secret Origins was a truly swingin' comic that reprinted classic origins of the greatest DC heroes and villains. Though it only ran seven issues (November, 1972-July, 1974), editor E. Nelson Bridwell supplied us with some of the best origin stories the Golden and Silver Ages had to offer: Batman, Superman, Silver Age Flash, Golden Age Gentleman Ghost, Supergirl, Silver Age Green Lantern, Silver Age Atom, Wonder Woman, Wildcat, Vigilante, Kid Eternity, Spectre, Legion of Super-Heroes, Blackhawks, Robin, and Aquaman! Before the days of Essentials, Showcases, Masterworks, and Archives, Secret Origins was where it was at, baby!
But the thing that kept drawing Li'l Groove back issue after issue was the mind-blowing covers by Nick Cardy. Cardy was the DC cover artist of the early 70s, and he made everything look cool. From horror/mystery covers, to Superman, to the 100 Page Super Spectaculars, to Batman, Cardy's covers jumped out and screamed, "Buy me, Groove!" So I did.
Above are my top three Nick Cardy Secret Origins covers, from issues 1, 3, and 5. I was amazed at how Cardy could lay down just the right scene to summarize the whole origin of a character, then place it just so behind a cool super-hero pose (as he did with numbers 1 and 3). The use of color holds (dropping the black lines) really made those scenes look far-out! My favorite of all faves, though, is the cover of issue 5. The origin of the Spectre summarized in three magnificently rendered panels. That's why they invented the word "awesome"!