Comic Book Cover thread: your favorites, the best and the worst


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:

Great covers:
** 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: **
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 **
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:**[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 **

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 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)!


heh…this is a good thread…

I need to dig up some of my faves…

Secret Wars #4 is the only book from the series I ever read (so far…I’m still missing 1, 8, and 12, but plan on picking 'em up at the con at the end of the month.)

and yes, the cover is what made me do it.

it’s a great story…someone literally traps all the scientists under a mountain…Reed, Parker, Banner, Stark, etc.

to save their lives, they intentionally piss off, and fuck with the Hulk (He gets stronger, the angrier he gets), until he can toss it off, and allow them to escape.

yes, the cover actually describes something that occurs in the book (not always the case with comics)…it was bad ass…one of my favorite Marvel stories ever…


good thread.

Ive been reading some old spidey comics (mostly amazing/spectacular)

so… here are my amazing spidey favs
If i was a kid in the 60’s , i would go wtf. first john romita sr issue of amazing…
the basis of spiderman 2 film
death of captain stacy
probably the most important comic cover of Marvel 's silver age?
debut of a certain gunt toting vigilante
one of the unintentionally funniest ones
the original clone saga when it was actually yknow a decent story
probably one of the msost stereotypical spidey covers
spidey vs the burglar
best spidey vs juggs story
just in time for the new movie lol
go todd its ur birthday
the cover is better than the actual issue
i always loved mcfarlanes lizard. one of the few along with Luke ross that were scary
the definitve venom nuff said
one of the most controversial spidey stories

didnt mean to spam this thread lol


I remember when this was a big deal Cap using a gun, something he had never done.

I remember walking around my local shop as a young kid, not really knowing much about comics, but this cover caught me eye and I am glad it did :sweat:


Great thread, Shengy.

Yeah, that DKR #1 cover has got to be one of the best of all time. It’s definitely the most iconic.

Animal Man… Geez, all of those covers are amazing. Brian Bolland is one of the best cover artists. But the Coyote Gospel issue was one of the most important of the entire series, so that one is special. All of Bolland’s covers are so nice. I was looking at the covers he did for Gotham Knights- just WOW. The stories inside might’ve sucked, but those covers are great.

That Uncanny #168 is a great cover, too. Paul Smith, babeee! Underrated.

Here’s some covers I really like.

I’ve been reading a lot of old Nexus comics lately, and I’ve been blown away not only by the superb storytelling, but by the art. Steve Rude, aka THE DUDE, has got to be one of the best artists to rise out of the '80s. His interiors are like a combo of Kirby, John Buscema, and Steranko, with an old-school cartoon sensibility. And his covers are amazing paintings. Check these out.

Nexus #22:
I think he did this one with watercolors and pastel chalks. It’s a great image and it reminds me of Drew Struzan.

Nexus #25:
Back in the day, people made covers that actually had something to do with the story inside. This example here shows how to combine emotion, a key plot moment, and an iconic image.

Nexus #27:
They changed out the usual cover layout on this issue, but somehow the design is still eye catching.

Silver Surfer #50:
Quite possibly the greatest gimmick cover of the '90s. Only partially due to nostalgic reasons.

New X-Men #115:[Marvel]%20V1/0115.JPG
This is my favorite Wolverine cover. The detail, the inking, the colors, everything is there. He’s got the right amount of menace but he also looks kind of naughty. I love it.

Inhumans #6:[Marvel]%20Mini%201/0006.JPG
All of the Jae Lee covers are special, but I really like this one. I love how Black Bolt is just staring directly into a tank cannon. Jae Lee did a great job with Black Bolt’s posture, too. This cover needs no words.

Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4:[Marvel]%20V1/0004.jpg
This is another one of those iconic covers that’s been homaged and parodied countless times. But you can’t fade a classic, baby, nope, nuh-uh. Hard to imagine Steranko did that back in the '60s. He really broke ground.

X-Force has had some awesome covers.

This is the one! The classic and quintessential cover of the '90s, the one that encapsulates an entire generation!!! Also one of the most valuable and beloved comics of all time!!11

X-Force #120[Marvel]%20V1/0120.jpg
Probably my second favorite Wolverine cover of all time. Plus, the cover serves as the first panel of the issue. Milligan and Allred knew how to rock it Watchmen style, baby.

X-Force #125[Marvel]%20V1/0125.jpg
Exactly the kind of cover that makes me go, “Oh, shit! Who? WHO? Dammit, I have to read this!!” Which reminds of this great Barry Allen-era Flash cover where Flash looks at the reader and says something like, “Please, I need you to read this comic book! My LIFE depends on it!!” When I saw that one, I had to read it.

I “like” these because they make me laugh. Most of the Glory covers are pretty funny.


Too funny! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


With all due respect to DKR, I think Action Comics #1 is far more iconic, and receives far more attention as far as homages and parodies go. An enduring image from the era when Superman wasn’t so worried about kicking everybody’s ass.


I never noticed it before, but the front bumper looks like a phallic symbol. And the guy on all fours looks like he’s ready for it.


the business!


I never would have noticed that without you pointing it out. You must have an eye for this kind of detail.


Heh, about time we got some DC Covers, yo.

it’s hard being the only man reppin’ the Original Universe.


We’ve seen some of the best. Here’s one of the worst:

Superdickery has tons of them.

Actually, now that I think about it, this might be one of the best comic book covers of all time. Nobody who looks at this can ever again deride Silver Age Supes as a boy scout.


I don’t think I will ever truly be able to express how much you’ve contributed to my love and continuing education in comicbookology. You are a great man, Zephy, worthy of praise.

Weird that I haven’t seen any mention of Amazing Spider-Man #50 yet, which is apparently SRS BIZNSS in terms of all time greatest covers.


Spidey retires and rediscovers his responsibilities as often as…

  • Wolvie gets a random Weapon-X memory fart only to realize it was fake
  • Cap loses his faith in America only to rediscover it in a small town somewhere
  • Batman grows darker and more violent before realizing the value of his family
    (Everybody - jump in!)

Also…Uncanny X-Men #141 - the Days of Future Past cover.

Hands down my favourite comic book cover of all time. There is no way you could resist buying whatever issue this cover was on. All the X-Men slain or apprehended!?! Super pre-Origin badass Wolverine the only one still out there with weird Nick Fury sideburns!?!

No human being could resist that cover.


Click on mine, there’s a superdickery one that’s not even AT Superdickery.

I own the issue, I bought it for the cover alone!

in case you can’t read it, she’s saying:


It’s fucking brilliant.

I was going to post the picture of Superman with a tribal mask on, presiding over a wedding between Jimmy Olsen and a gorilla. But then I came to the one where he disconnects Lois’ air tube in space and that had to be it.

Superman is the greatest superhero of all time, and I can’t decide whether it’s in spite of or partially because of these covers.


heh, I agree.

as for “Not even AT Superdickery” I submitted it, but I kept checking back and they never put it up.

if its up now, the scan is of my copy (which is also featured at the link above)


Shame I couldn’t find a higher quality scan. I bought this for the cover recently.


I just mentioned it in my long ass post of all my favorite amazing spidey post.
Maybe you missed it b.c my link was different lol.


I picked DRK over Action Comics #1 (or Amazing Fantasy even) because of a couple of things.

1.) Let’s face it, Action Comics is only iconic mostly because of the fact that it is Superman’s first appearance in the cover.

3.) Because of its simplicity, the DKR cover is pretty much a logo that’s why it’s transmitability as an icon is more pronounced. It is easily recognizable no matter how many different ways you change it because all you really need is a lightning in the background and a dark figure in the foreground whereas the Action Comics cover’s design isn’t easily simplified. Even though its two main components are an Automobile (or any heavy machinery) and Superman (or substitute any character) lifting it with a 45 angle, this iconic image is dilluted by the fact that Superman lifting things is a common sight anyway.

3.) Even though by the numbers, Action Comics #1 trumps DKR in the reproduction for homage/parody category, most of the homages were made under Superman/DC titles (Infinite Crisis, Kingdom Come, Action Comics #800, etc) so it is basically a self-reference, whereas DKR’s homages mostly weren’t made in-house (Harbinger #12, Mad magazine, Bongo, etc).

It’s like Bison printing Bison dollars in the SF movie, even if he printed trillions, its trumped by the fact that its worth is not recognized by anyone but himself.

4.) Design-wise. Action Comics #1 cover just sucks ass compared to DKR. DKR’s cover will stand the test of time and will never be out of date because none of its design relies inherently from a specific timeline like the car or the clothes or the haircut or the four-color printing of Action Comics #1.

IMO this Cover is much more iconic than Action Comics #1:

1.) It has the classic pose that is known now exclusively as Superman’s.
2.) Its dated but well-designed.
3.) Compared to Action Comics #1 where he is smashing somebody’s car angrily. How are we to know if he is a threat or a friend from that cover? The ones fleeing from terror are dressed in a suit less alien to us so naturally, we assume that he is a villain. This cover however, establishes Superman as a character that can fly, and with the smile on his face we know that he is friendly. His pose suggests vigilance over the city without malice, his well-built body is fully displayed yet it isn’t designed to intimidate. It serves its purpose of showing that Superman is there to watch over the city in a single image.


I won’t lie - you avatar is very distracting in that regard.

And Shengy, did you miss the amazingly-clever-almost-imperceptible-to-the-human-eye subtleness of the iconic Action Comics #1 cover being referenced in the excellent and legendarily EPIC Infinite Crisis blockbuster comic book event of the decade?

It’s hard to catch, I know - because it was so clever and so subtle that only the smartest people in the universe would have made that connection, INFINITE CRISIS IS SO CLEVER

I think it happens right after that part that no one understands or cares about, and right before that other thing that no one understands happens to that guy that know one cares about.

…seriously though, you raise a good point that most of the references and acknowledgments of the cover Action Comics #1 are self-references in the context DC building up their own image. The way they reference/repeat/spoof/vary the image in their own comics and stories is to artificially build up the image - it’s like cheating. (ie. see Infinite Crisis and EPICNESS)

Whereas the cover for DKR doesn’t need that image masturbation stuff to put it up at that level - it’s inherently iconic and people naturally come to that conclusion based on objective qualities. You don’t need to build it up - it sells itself.