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Top Five Avengers Covers

Top Five Month continues (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) with a look at the top five Avengers covers, with importance and overall coolness measured about as equally as I can manage!

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Not at all an important cover, but man do I love this Jae Lee cover.

This Sal Buscema cover is a notable one in Avengers history, and looks pretty darn awesome, to boot!

5.

This Byrne cover is a classic – perhaps the first in a long line of “Wanda is evil” covers!

4.

A great Kirby cover showing the first time I can recall a “lineup shuffle” being a cover theme!

3.

Probably the most famous cover Ed Hannigan has ever done. The issue was a fill-in, but WOW, what a cover!! Janson’s inks are impeccable.

2.

One of the most famous Avengers covers of all-time, and a real beauty by John Buscema.

1.

THE most famous Avengers cover, and a sharp one at that by Jack Kirby.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

33 Comments

Love that Byrne cover. In fact that may even be my all time favorite Avengers issue – got a B&W Marvel UK reprint of it in London. The sooner Essentials gets there the better.

I’ve always had quite a soft spot for the “Who will the new Avengers be?” cover of 220.

I’d switch #2 with #1 and take out #5 and replace it with the Sadowski cover and I wouldn’t have anything to complain about.

My bad, I meant Jae Lee, not Sadowski.

#3 looks clunky and the characters appear awkward in it. I don’t like it on any level.

Add Avengers Annual #2. http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=22165&zoom=4 More John Buscema goodness.

I love that Antman/Hawkeye cover, super choices as usual Brian.
I was enamoured with that cover. I always liked the covers to Avengers 230 and 233 too.

#3 is one of my favorite Avengers issues and covers ever. I have a page of original art from that issue, even.

#3 is a fine cover, but does not belong on this list (nice try with the ‘overall coolness’ distinction. But still!)

#181 was a doozie — “Seven of you will remain as Avengers, the rest of you are OUT!” — but if you’re only going to have one Byrne, #187 is probably better,and certainly more important now because of Bendis.

#162: Bride of Ultron!

#152 was also pretty cool, return of Wonder Man (though I believe he was in 151?).

And I will always have a soft spot for #145, “…and the assassin never fails”.

Re: #181 — Garbut, that wasn’t Byrne, it was Perez http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=33205&zoom=2 . Which reminds me — why no Perez on the list? Either #181 or, for a Hawkeye cover, #172, which I’d rank way higher than the Hannigan http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=32323&zoom=4

Item #2, “Behold the Vision” is one of the dullest, most boring covers of anything anywhere. And it has terrible coloring. Why in the wide wide world of sports would you include it?

I would almost want to give an honorary mention to 93, 94 or 96. They’re not particularly outstanding covers in terms of design (and the Marvel trade dress of that era which constrained the cover image in a squarish box doesn’t help) but I love it for the same reason I love Neal Adams’ work on The Avengers in general: it adds a sense of DC slickness to a quintessentially Marvel book and looks gorgeous as a result.

I love that Avengers 92 cover. Mostly because of how ashamed Goliath looks. Something about it reminded me of illustrated bible stories.

NO. Best cover – 171.

Wanda was possessed, not evil. Don’t know it that counts.

What about the “lineup shuffle” issue (the exact number escapes me) with the “Who Will Be the Next Avenger?” tag-line that had a bunch of random characters in boxes, like Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Dazzler, and the Invisible Woman (but a blank box where her picture would be!)?

Or any of the JLA/Avengers covers.

It’s not really in the running, of course, but the cover of New Avengers #7 got me to buy a superhero comic for the first time in my adult life. Not just because of the layout, the all-star lineup, and the presence of a new superhero that the comic promised to (somewhat) explain, but because Spider-Woman was front and center.

My entire knowledge of Spider-Woman came from a short piece I read as kid about how Marvel supposedly created her to lock up rights before someone tried to rip off Spider-Man. Whatever the motives for putting her in front of not only her male counterpart but Cap, Iron Man, and Wolverine, her sudden prominence intrigued me enough to start reading New Avengers, then more Marvel, and finally DC for the first time. And, y’know, as far as explaining her starring role, Bendis didn’t disappoint.

An all-time best Avengers cover list that does not have a cover by George Perez?

I would have put #161 in there somewhere.

While #16 is an important issue, I would have used #19 or #23 for the second Kirby cover.

Avengers #96 with the Vision beating some guy senseless is a great cover, as is Avengers #92 with Cap, Thor, & Iron Man telling the others ‘You gots to go!’.
Avengers #217 where Yellowjacket is in the headlights of the quinjet with the Cap, Thor, Iron Man, and the Wasp advancing on him is a great cover communicating how screwed up his situation was that his closest friends and his wife were going to take him down. Speaking of Pym, ‘Yellowjacket No More’ was a great dramatic cover that really made me want to pick up the book.
Also, from when Busiek/Perez were doing the book, Avengers #19 with the image of Ultron was really good.

“Item #2, “Behold the Vision” is one of the dullest, most boring covers of anything anywhere. And it has terrible coloring.”

However, it is one of the most homaged covers in superhero comic book history.

The cover to #223 is somewhat cool, but it should definitely have been replaced by a Perez cover, probably #181.

Really not a fan of #3. I generally detest white backgrounds, especially in or on 80s Marvel comics.
I’d nominate 59, 66, 71, 74, 181 and any classic 70s cover with floating heads looking in shock at a scene that is highly deceptive about the issue’s contents.

Another thing that I always disliked about that era is the fact that in the logo they took the “the” out of the arrow in the “A” and moved it into that little oval. What the hell was the point of that? It looked about ten times cooler the other way, is there honestly anyone who prefers it? Why was this done, who decided it was necessary and what the hell were they thinking? Did some twit actually think that the “the” in the “A” was somehow “confusing” to readers or some such ridiculous idea?

The Letterman cover didn’t make the cut?

The funny thing is, that Vision cover is itself an homage to the splash page of the first appearance of the Golden Age Vision in Marvel Mystery Comics #13 (1940).

I’d put the Letterman cover as an honorable mention. Lettermen, surrounded by a bunch of B-listers? Classic. And I do enjoy # 3…so wacky, it’s memorable.

And I also loved Annual # 10…love those type of covers (“See Captain American Defeated! Witness the Return of an Old Friend! All This, and a Cameo Appearence by the X-men! etc”).

I agree with Evan: http://www.littlestuffedbull.com/images/comics/fnf/avengers239.jpg
The Letterman cover!

I mean 223 and 187 I’ve never even seen before.

““Item #2, “Behold the Vision” is one of the dullest, most boring covers of anything anywhere. And it has terrible coloring.”

However, it is one of the most homaged covers in superhero comic book history.”

I can’t think of a single time I’ve seen an homage to that cover, and I’ve been reading comics for 25 years.
Can someone point me at some examples?

I don’t know if West Coast Avengers is the best example…when the Vision was re-introduced in his all white version, the cover Byrne did was an homage. Forgot which issue #, tho.

Re: Avengers #57 homages: Besides the WCA one that wwk5d mentioned (WCA #45) and the recent New Avengers Secret Invasion cover, the only other one I could find was this obscure one: Cyberspace 3000 #6 by Currie and Riggs http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=272513&zoom=4 .

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

July 27, 2008 at 7:23 am

I’ve always had a soft spot for the cover to Avengers #122.

I agree that Perez needs some representation and ish 181 would get my vote. The first of many “cram lots of characters on the cover” covers for Perez, but still a great one that you can stare at for a good long while. Certainly grabbed my eye and lured me to the comics rack when I was a kid.

> Avengers #96 with the Vision beating some guy senseless is a great cover,
> as is Avengers #92 with Cap, Thor, & Iron Man telling the others ‘You gots to go!’.

I’d give those a thumbs-up, but my nominations would include the one before the Vision cover, “Death Be Not Proud!” (#56) http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=22166&zoom=4 , and from the Marvel 25th anniversary series of portrait covers, # 273.
http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=42056&zoom=4

Avengers 100, 150, 200 Also 49, where Magneto is pulling puppet strings on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

All right. Any list with anything from Jae Lee on it is suspect. It looks like Cap is recreating the stereo scene from “Say Anything” and everyone else is getting ready to puke from his BO.

“In your eyes…”

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