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Top Five Justice Leaguer Cover Appearances

Top Five Month continues (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) with a look to see which characters appeared on the most covers of Justice League of America (Volume 1). I stopped then because I think it would end up being a bit unfair as the different eras had such different casts, what’s the point in comparing them? The heroes who never got replaced will dominate (Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, etc.) This way, the list is actually sorta surprising!!

Make your bets before we see the top five!!

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

10. Atom

8 (tie). Hawkman

8 (tie). Black Canary

7. Aquaman

6. Green Arrow

5. Wonder Woman

4. Green Lantern

3. Batman

2. Flash

1. Superman

26 Comments

Did I miss the surprise?

This list is filled with non-surprise.

Well flash over batman is kind of a surprise?

Exactly.

Flash over Batman is a shock!

Also, no Martian Manhunter? Sheeeeit.

That JLA #30 cover is cool.

This bugs me: why are the costumes on the last cover all shredded like they’ve been clawed by wild animals?

Also, no Martian Manhunter? Sheeeeit.

Oh yeah, that, too! :)

More Super-dickery.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

July 27, 2008 at 7:08 am

“Also, no Martian Manhunter? Sheeeeit.”

You guys realize that despite all that “heart and soul of the League” nonsense, J’Onn left the team in issue #71 and, except for an occasional cameo and a brief return to the fold in issue #200, didn’t rejoin the team until issue #230, or so.

Kinda hard to place when you were absent for over half the run of the title, no?

Do you think we could get counts of the number of covers the characters appeared on?

Elongated Man’s face on that one is horrifying to behold. But I love that they’re referred to as “Ralph ‘n Sue” rather than code names. Aww.

The high ranking of Batman and Superman is particularly interesting because up until JLA #20 or so, DC avoided putting those two on JLA covers at all because they were afraid that overexposing them would hurt sales.

Dale Gunn didn’t make the list?

Um, who’s Dale Gunn?

The high ranking of Batman and Superman is particularly interesting because up until JLA #20 or so, DC avoided putting those two on JLA covers at all because they were afraid that overexposing them would hurt sales.

Yeah, it’s funny, they went from being on NONE of the covers to suddenly, in the late 60s, being on EVERY cover.

Scott: Dale Gunn was the Justice League’s in-home support staff during the Detroit era. Apparently he was sexy enough that Zatanna and Vixen both had to throw themselves at him.

Man, that cover for #89 brings back some terrible memories. That was the issue where Mike Friedrich tried to be really post-modern and innovative while also glorifying Harlan Ellis. It’s an awful, awful comic book, and even Dick Dillin’s artwork suffers in it (notably the bit where Dinah and Ollie fight a half-man, half-horse creature that the narrator insists on calling a minotaur).

I agree, this list is pretty much filled with non-surprise, but it’s still a fun list to peruse. Thanks Brian!

If I’d've had to pick one upset, it would’ve been Flash outranking Batman and/or Supes — and I’d've made that guess, actually, based on how well the Flash placed in CSBG’s own poll of Top 50 DC Characters. I knew Wonder Woman would be at the bottom of the Big Five because she left the team for a while when she became just plain ol’ Diana Prince. Black Canary’s placement is noteable considering how much later she joined than everyone else. (Although, on second thought, she had a few earlier cover appearances as a JSA member, right? I imagine those counted.)

Of course, J’onn didn’t rank at all because he was absent from the entire Satellite Era. Still, I wouldn’t say that absence makes the notion that he’s the heart and/or soul of the team “nonsense.” He was a founding member who returned for Detroit and stuck around ever since. (And he did made a couple of notable appearances during the Satellite years — his origin story was key to the cool Englehart flashback secret-origin story of the entire JLA (#144?), and of course he was back in #200.) Anyway, go, J’onn!

(Side note: Did anyone else read, and enjoy, “Final Crisis: Requiem”? I did. It fleshed out what happened to him, put some fight into his last moments, and provided some good character moments for the rest of the DCU as they reacted to his death. Essentially, it gave his death the context it deserved, rather than just letting it be a quickie thing. Now I’m wondering: Will he return at the end of “Final Crisis”? Or will we have to wait till next year to see him as a Black Lantern? I’m betting it’s one or the other … )

So, wait: Batman needs a spacesuit, but Green Arrow doesn’t?

Flash appears to be wearing light blue underwear in that last cover. You would of thought he would go for some colour co-ordination.

Can someone please write a Dale Gunn/Terry Long miniseries already? Their game must be so tight, I need to see it in action. It would be the biggest pick-up how-to book ever! Old, poor, ugly dudes everywhere would start rating young supermodel level chicks! It would be revolutionary, change the world.

I wonder how close Flash and Batman were. I bet that if Bats hadn’t left the form the Outsiders he would have been number 2. I think those last twenty or so issues between that and the Detroit team knocked him down to number 3.

Yeah, Batman was kicking the Flash’s ass but then Outsiders happened and Batman disappeared for years while Flash JUST BARELY passed him (they’re effectively tied, by the by).

Any chance you could do cover count for the various Justice Leagues between the Satellite Era and Morrison? That seems like it has the potential to be the most interesting, just because the typical people won’t show up at all.

(Morrison and after seems like it would be fairly similar to this list, but might be worth doing.)

I was actually surprised that Wonder Woman and Black Canary were that high, until I considered the fact that because they were often usually the only women on the team at many points, in any “ensemble” cover, even if several members were missing, the artist would always want to include a little cheesecake (in ye olden days, even if there weren’t Wally Wood inspired cleavage, merely having the feminine presence might have counted towards that). Ergo, lots of WW and BC.

>Yeah, Batman was kicking the Flash’s ass but then Outsiders happened and Batman disappeared for years while Flash JUST BARELY passed him (they’re effectively tied, by the by).<

That’s what I would’ve suspected, but I couldn’t remember the JLA lineups between the end of Outsiders and the end of JLA v1.

Brian, just out of curiosity, who did better, Zatanna or Firestorm?

That is one hell of a riddle.

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