Okay, I’m sure by now everyone and their grandmother has seen the teaser trailer for next summer’s Avengers blockbuster feature film. And as bad-ass as the trailer was, it got me all sappy faced and misty eyed as I started reminiscing about some of my personal favorite Avenger’s covers of all time. So grab a cold one, pull up a chair, sit back and put your feet up as I give my personal list of favorite…
TOP 10 CLASSIC AVENGERS COVERS!
10. Avengers Annual #10
They don’t make covers like this anymore, do they? While it could have been easy for cover artist Al Milgrom to simply do a singular group or action shot, he decided to let loose a little and do six distinct images each relating to different story elements that are found within this milestone annual which happens to contain the first appearance of X-Men’s Rogue. While this cover walks a very fine line of being too cluttered, it actually works with a nice balance of shots touting appearances by Spider-Woman, the Uncanny X-Men and the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants among other things. Really, how can you not want to pick this issue up?
Legendary artist George Perez, known mainly for amazing group shots, does a complete 180 here and decides to go for a singular shot introducing one of my personal favorites, the Taskmaster! Yes, the Taskmaster looks a little like something out of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, but you know what? It totally works. And the tag-line, “He’s Looking For Men Who Like To Kill!” is just icing on the cake.
Jarvis, longtime butler of Avengers Mansion, can be pushed only so far when it comes to keeping a tidy home as evident in this awesomely fun cover by George Perez and Terry Austin. This is the cover that made me look at Jarvis in a completely different light. Okay… maybe not, but the snicker on Cap’s face alone makes this Avengers cover one of my personal faves.
Yes, another George Perez cover. You sensing a trend yet? I love anniversary issue covers when they’re done right and they don’t get any better than this. Not only do we have a huge concrete 200 in the center letting you know that this issue is not to be missed, but you get the full Avengers line up. But wait! There’s more! Not only did Perez put every current team member on the cover, but he infused each one with their own distinct personality which they are known and loved for. From the cocky Hawkeye and the no-nonsense Vision, to the fun-loving Beast and the always camera-ready Wonder Man, we are reminded why we love each one of these Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
No Top 10 Avengers Covers list would be complete without a cover by “The King” himself, Jack Kirby. Only Kirby could make unconscious superheroes lying half-dead on the ground still look mighty and heroic. With Captain America, Iron Man and the rest of the team down for the count and a mystery villain standing over our fallen heroes’ bodies, this cover just screams, “Pick me up to see what happens inside!”
An assassin who in this case happens to be named the uh… Assassin, standing in the center of a cover with a huge freaking gun in hand amongst floating images of our fallen heroes trickling down is nothing new. In fact, covers like this in comics are a dime a dozen. But none come better than this amazing image by legendary artist Gil Kane. ‘Nuff said!
“And then there came a day…” Seriously, how could the cover to Avengers #1 not make this list? We get a shot of then mystery villain Loki in the foreground, as a team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes stand strong and ready to “Fight the Villains No Single Hero Can Withstand”. And to top it all off it’s brought to you in the “Mighty Marvel Manner” by the legendary Jack Kirby! Oh yeah, baby!
And here you thought we were all done featuring covers by George Perez. Not by a long shot, bub! THIS right here is what Perez is known for, a single image featuring a plethora (that’s right, I said ‘plethora’) of characters without making the cover feel overcrowded or claustrophobic. But what really grabs me about this cover is what the Avengers’ government liaison Henry Peter Gyrich craps outta his mouth. Seriously dude, didn’t anyone tell you… don’t f@%* with the AVENGERS!
Kirby does it again as this legendary iconic Avengers cover hails the return of the Sentinel of Liberty himself, Captain America! Never before has Cap looked more heroic than in this inspired image ushering in a new era for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Even though it hadn’t been made official yet, you know just by looking at this cover that there is no doubt Captain America will soon lead this team. Oh, yeah and apparently the Sub-Mariner makes an appearance in this issue too.
If this classic Sal Buscema Avengers cover doesn’t jump out and grab you, I don’t know what will. This dynamic image of Captain Marvel sitting in an electric chair as he rides the lighting is simply…shocking. No pun intended. And the Avengers looking on helplessly in horror only adds to the heightened sense of “Holy S#@t!” that this cover masterfully conveys. But if that wasn’t enough we get the eye-catching tagline, “The Only Good Alien… Is A Dead Alien!” A true classic indeed.