Making a list of your top favorite things in any media is a hard task, it may even be as hard as solving one of Riddler’s famous riddles, or out-singing the Music Meister. But our fearless esteemed Editor Daniel Gehen and I (Jason Jeffords Jr) slipped into our favorite superhero leathers and reached into our utility belts to showcase some of our favorite covers. Straight from our bat-cave to your lovely computer (or phone) screen, here our just a tasting of our favorite comic covers!
As I’m the sap who pitched this I’ll be the first victim!
Brave and The Bold #28 by Mike Sekowsky, Murphy Anderson, Jack Adler
My list is in no order, but if it was Brave and The Bold #28 would be my favorite cover of all time. I love the design and character of starro and the silver age adventures of Justice League. It seems simple compared to other covers, but to me the fight looks damn epic showing off the newly formed League. With this cover so classic and amazing that it’s been paid homage to multiple times, with me wanting to buy them all. Here’s a flash fact, Starro was the start off my DC tattoo sleeve! It’s on my elbow!
Booster Gold #23 by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund
I would count Booster Gold as one of my favorite characters, and yes I have been craving a new ongoing for years, but this isn’t about that! Booster Gold #23 may not seem like such a special cover but it holds a great place in my heart first because as I said I love Booster, but also because I own this T-shirt, and it’s the first shirt I ever bought online. So yeah it’s a big deal! With Blair Butler who at the time was famous from G4’s Attack of The Show on the cover wearing a Booster Gold fan club shirt, it’s not the most “unique” cover, but damn it holds a place in my heart, and my closet. I still have the shirt, but it barely fits, and it’s not really white anymore.
Brightest Day #20 by Gary Frank, Nathan Eyring
I’ve never been a big Aquaman fan, having read a good amount but never saw the draw to the character or his side characters. I also wasn’t a big fan of Brightest Day, even though I loved Blackest Night. When I saw Brightest Day #20 depicting Aquaman cupping his hand that was sliced off by his nemesis Black Manta in the background I knew I needed this issue. Plus it’s done by the ever great Gary Frank who illustrates Aquaman’s pain brilliantly. Everything about this cover screams epic double page spread! So bad ass.
Flash #115 by Carmine Infantino, Joe Giella
Flash is another favorite character of mine, hell I have him and Reverse Flash chasing each other on my arm. I have many different favorite Flash covers because of him being my favorite, and my number one character being Reverse Flash, so any cover with the two of them I love. So you may be asking why Flash #115 is my favorite. I ask in retort, why the hell not? Look at this damn masterpiece! The Flash getting fat!? What a way to make a reader want to pick this up! Plus the story inside is so outrageous and the definition of a fun comic book! If you haven’t read this you absolutely need too. But if you don’t at least enjoy this amazing cover!
New Mutants #19 by Bill Sienkiewicz
I’ll start this off by simply stating Bill Sienkiewicz’s art is fucking magnificent and his New Mutants #19 is no different! Any panel, cover, or anything his hands touches turn out beautiful. I never read the New Mutants title until I saw and fell in love with this cover where we see the team fighting the Spirit Bear. Between the character models, terrifying bear, and gorgeous colors I would absolutely buy this as a poster and hang it everywhere I can!
Thor: God Of Thunder #1, #2 By Esad Ribic
Esad Ribic is another artist like Sienkiewicz, where just about everything he draws is poster worthy, especially Thor: God of Thunder #1, #2 which by themselves are beautiful but together are epic as hel! Ribic’s art fits the Thor universe insanely well giving off a great sense of the colors, designs, and feeling that should be in the hammer wielding gods comic. I’m finally making my way through this series and absolutely love his art and covers with these ones showing greatness from the start!
One Piece Vol. 89 by Eiichiro Oda
While writing this I realised I have been a fan and read One Piece longer than any comic or manga in my life. Having kept up with this series since it’s first release here in America in the Weekly Shonen Jump I have had many favorite characters in the series, but none I ever loved as much as Charlotte Katakuri. Who is seen on One Piece vol 89’s cover fighting Luffy. I love this cover so much that I own this volume in 3 different languages!
Now let’s head over to Daniel Gehen’s list!
The Flash #22 by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Francis Manapul may do most of his work solo these days, but for a long time he was part of a two-headed creative monster with colorist Brian Buccellato. Though the team was known for their Will gEisner-inspired splashes and watercolor aesthetic, this cover is a marvel in simplicity. Part of the “Reverse” arc, Manapul depicts a silhouette of the Scarlet Speedster running, while his shadow actually reveals the villainous Reverse Flash. Buccellato has joked about how this was the easiest cover he’s ever colored, filling the space with bold, flat colors that make this image pop.
(I also Love this cover! – Jason)
Amazing Spider-Man #33 by Steve Ditko
The final chapter of the legendary Master Planner Saga, the cover to Amazing Spider-Man #33 is truly iconic. Buried under heavy machinery and in danger of drowning, things look precarious for Spidey. Of course, Steve Ditko was well versed in creating visual suspense thanks to his early work in horror comics. Little did readers know at the time, but the cover serves as the first in a multi-page sequence that is considered truly legendary.
Witchblade #185 by Stjepan Sejic
Once again, simplicity reigns supreme with this stunning cover from Croatian artist Stjepan Sejic. One of the longest tenured artists on a modern comic, Sejic was the regular artist for Top Cow’s flagship from issue #116 – 150. With the series final issue, readers were given one more taste of Sejic’s Witchblade. A far cry from the metal bikini most think of, Sejic gave the character full battle armor. Looking over her shoulder, Sara Pezzini says a final goodbye to the readers that stuck with her for 20 years.
Batman #251 by Neal Adams
Neal Adams is one of the industry’s all time greats, and I could have easily picked 5 covers of just his. But for my money (literally), nothing comes close to the cover for the classic story “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge.” This story brought the Joker back to his more sinister roots. For decades, he had been the Clown Prince of Crime, with a heavy emphasis on “clown.” He was essentially rendered toothless by the Comics Code Authority. With this issue, the Joker was back to his murderous ways. Neal Adams’ cover, with the Joker looming over Gotham, signals that the villain is an omnipresent danger.
All Star Superman #1 by Frank Quitely
Frank Quitely’s now iconic All Star Superman #1 cover was birthed from a strange interaction that Grant Morrison had with a cosplayer late one night during San Diego Comic Con. Morrison has described the man, dressed as Superman, as extremely laid back and placid, which the writer thought was perfect. Superman wouldn’t be stressed in day-to-day life, because he’s Superman. Frank Quitely conveys that easy-going outlook as the Man of Steel chills on a cloud overlooking the sunrise. Looking over his shoulder to the reader, Superman seems to invite the reader to come alongside him for the journey their about to embark on. That journey is arguably the best Superman story ever told.
The Incredible Hulk #340 by Todd McFarlane
There are so many Todd McFarlane covers I could pick. Amazing Spider-Man #300. Spawn #1. Batman #423. But for my money, this Incredible Hulk cover takes the cake. The rivalry between the Hulk and Wolverine is well documented by this point, especially given the latter’s debut in a Hulk book. But this cover made their rivalry legendary. Wolverine looks absolutely animalistic in his fan-favorite brown costume. The reflection of the Hulk in his claws is stunning. Few readers actually knows what happens in the issue, but that cover has stood the test of time.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird
The image that spawned a multi-million dollar media franchise has humble beginnings. Crafted by co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in their Massachusetts apartment, their two-toned cover features all four Turtles, each with their signature weapon. Like the story itself, it is bold, gritty, and does not apologize for what it is.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 12 #4 by Stephanie Hans
The finale of the original Buffyverse has a beautiful and bittersweet cover. Walking away from the scythe (which she acquired in the television show’s penultimate episode), Hans depicts Buffy as walking away from the life of a slayer. At the same time, she is walking away from the readers – a final goodbye to the loyal fans that stuck with her through the good times and bad.
And with that dear reader we end our list of covers, now as life goes these may change in the years to come. But that’s always welcome because even as we write this I’ve seen some gorgeous covers be announced. As we place our lists back in our utility belts so we can go fight crime tonight remember one thing, there are some rad fucking covers out there!!!