As a reference so you don’t have to google each one and so you are able to browse through, here are some Comic book cover resources:
** Dark Knight Returns:** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_The_Dark_Knight_Returns
Quite possibly the greatest comic book cover of all time. Iconic in its simplicity, it has been both parodied and paid homage to countless of times, moreso than any other cover in history.
** Animal Man #5: **http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/animal-man/5-1.jpg
The perfect cover captures not only your attention at a single glance, but it also captures the mood and the narrative of the book in a single image. Brian Bolland does just that in this cover for Grant Morrison’s Animal man. The classic “Coyote Gospel” revolves around a cartoon messiah at the mercy of his creator’s omnipotent hand armed with a brushstroke, made to live and die in perpetuum (rather viscerally and painfully since he is no longer working with the physics of his “reality”) carrying the sins of his cartoon world. The entire run is chock-full of beautiful covers but this one stands out the most.
** Secret Wars #4 **http://www.incrediblehulk.com/secretwarsstrength.jpg
Before the days of Wizard magazine and the Internet, comic book covers really had to grab your attention and pretty much most of the books sold back then were either already popular characters or because of the strength of its covers. Don’t fucking tell me you wouldn’t pick this up immediately upon gazing on it. Even if you do not know what the Secret Wars was about. THE HULK IS CARRYING A GODDAMN MOUNTAIN! …and Captain America is there, Spider-man, Ironman, the FF too!
**Incredible Hulk #377:**http://www.comiccovers.com/image.php?dir=_covers/Incredible%20Hulk%20[Marvel]%20V1&img=0377.JPG
Classic cover by Dale Keown for the “new” incredible Hulk. Another simple design, but manages to represent the entirety of the story immediately. The “new” Hulk is the result of the merge between Banner, the gray Hulk and the savage Hulk, creating a single Hulk that possesses the traits of all 3.
** Alpha Flight v1 #3 **http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/alpha-flight/3-20.jpg
Not many Alpha Flight covers are good looking; in fact a lot of them look like garbage, except this one. Brilliant cover by John Byrne way way way before he lost his mind. The issue coincidentally deals with the psychological breakdown of Aurora who wakes up in a completely different personality feeling trapped inside a skintight costume she doesn’t know why she is wearing and feeling confused surrounded by people she never met before. Byrne’s use of negative space is brilliant and Aurora’s figure is not lost in the claustrophobic cover. Byrne has said in interviews that this is his favorite cover of all time and that editorial at Marvel screwed him by not giving him an all black and white (save Aurora’s face) cover including the title and the corner logo.
X-book covers: DAMN NEARLY ALL OF THEM! (although I really hate the Asamiya and Joe Mad ones in Uncanny)
I was browsing through the X-men covers section of comiccovers.com and I was just amazed at the nice covers the X-books (includes adjectiveless, New Mutants and Wolverine) got compared to other books, even against the Avengers and the FF. I think that is one of the reasons why it sold so well in the 80s and onward.
Some that standout in Uncanny:
I’ll be here all day if I list them all! See for yourself and post what your favorite ones are (as well as the horrible covers, either because they are hilarious or because they make you vomit)!