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CSBG Archive

Most Iconic Covers Master List

Here are the characters who have had a “Top Five Most Iconic Covers” list done for them. It’s in chronological order.

1. The Joker

2. Iron Man

3. Supergirl

4. Nick Fury

5. Adam Strange

6. Kitty Pryde

7. Jimmy Olsen

8. Magneto

9. Lois Lane

10. Hercules

11. Lobo

12. Hawkeye

13. Martian Manhunter

14. Black Canary

15. Green Goblin

16. The Question

17. Red Skull

18. Punisher

19. Swamp Thing

20. The Thing

21. Hal Jordan

22. Wolverine

23. Batgirl

24. Black Panther

25. Sinestro

26. Rogue

27. Darkseid

28. Thanos

29. Barry Allen

30. Captain America

31. Daredevil


yeah, again, I don’t think that a lot of people really understand what ‘iconic’ is supposed to mean, particularly as comic book cover art goes.

While I’m looking forward to see what Flash covers make the list, after reading through some of the “Best Battles” articles, I’m wondering if you could do a list for the Reverse-Flash (Zoom I and II) as well.

Where’s the Daredevil iconic covers?

These top 5 iconic covers is one of the first things i look forward to whenever i go to CBR. Keep ‘em coming, Brian!

As has been said, does no one putting these articles together have any idea what “iconic” actually means in terms of an image? Because near none of these even approach being iconic.

Just too add (as I messed up the posting), being a nice looking cover, being a memorable cover, being a cover for an important story does not make the image “iconic”.

Not really, just pointing out that while most of these coveres are well drawn and nice to look at, that doesnt mean they are an iconic image.

mean they are an iconic image.

“Most iconic” not “Iconic,” so if a character was on five covers, those would be his/her five “most iconic” covers. Now when a character has been on hundreds of covers, it’s a bit more interesting determining which ones are the “most iconic.”

How about Moon Knight?

#8, #35 2nd series, #3 Fist of Khonshu, #2 Current Series, Alex Ross Variant #1 for upcoming series


how can spidey not have 5 covers????? come on!!!!!!!

Supes? Bats? heck even Teen Tians should have 5!!!

[…] el número de variables es casi infinita. Sin embargo, Comic Book Resources nos ofrece esta vez una lista de listas. Efectivamente, se trata de una lista de las cinco portadas más icónicas por personaje, pero […]

sean, he’s not done yet. Personally I want his opinion on Legion’s 5 most iconic. I know I have a few in mind

it would be interesting to do a “most iconic” list for creators as well; like jack kirby, ditko, steranko, romita, john buscema, gil kane,neal adams, joe kubert, jim aparo etc and even modern artists like chris bachalo, jim lee, james jean, marcos martin (maybe he hasn’t done enough, but his are certainly iconic from an aestheic if not historical perspective), frank quietly…add on.

i think the if you’re going to do “most iconic” lists for major heroes that have starred in thousands of comics, you should do it on title-by-title or decade-by-decade format. Because Batman, Spider-Man, Superman…they’re going to have to many awesome covers to do it any justice lol..,

oh i forgot to add that i love this column, it’s one of my favorite on cbr and i hope it never ends lol

I’d love to see ones for Wonder Woman and Catwoman.

Magneto’s gotta have one from the Testament book on there!

It seems like you’ve been delving into the slightly more obscure, so any chance of an Unknown Soldier top 5?

I’ve been going slightly obscure only because I figured I’d do another month, and the REALLY big names will be sprinkled throughout that month.

So Monday will have one more slightly obscure choice, then two BIG NAME choices for Tuesday and Wednesday, and when we come back at some later date, it’ll be a mix of BIG NAMES, slightly obscure names and teams.

Then at some OTHER later date, perhaps most iconic themes (most iconic floating head cover, etc.).

Let me second the Top 5 Iconic Cover for creators. What a great idea!

Kitty Pryde? Seriously. What, Quasar was busy that day? Nova was unavailable for comment? And no Al Milgrom covers for Kitty Pryde, because, no, they’re not iconic. Or more iconic. Or whatever.

Why is it you and Chris Claremont have a hard-on for Kitty Fucking Pryde? And that stupid dragon. God, I hate Kitty Pryde. Biggest Mary-Sue ever.

It disturbs me when people try to use words they don’t understand. I’d prefer if this series was just called “Best Covers” instead of continuously misusing the word “iconic”. The series is a great idea, but a lot of fine covers are in no way “iconic”.

Is the word “iconic” the new “decimated”? (a word that lots of people use but very few use correctly — I wish that on 9/11/01 the Twin Towers had ONLY been decimated — one/tenth destroyed — instead of totally annihilated. Decimated. As in “decimal”. One-tenth. Because the Romans decimated their enemies… by killing every TENTH soldier.

The dumming down of a culture begins with its language. My redneck neighbors talk about getting “butt” naked — (the correct term is “buck” naked). But if you have a rusted old car jacked up on cinder blocks in your front yard, I guess you may as well call every pretty cover you like “iconic”.

Pink Lantern – I agree with your sentiment regarding ‘iconic’, but I don’t think I took it as seriously as you may have. But up until now, I thought the term was ‘dumbing down’, not ‘dumming down’.

I learn something new even when be entertained in the world of comic books.

I think Brian has interpreted “iconic” reasonably well. I don’t think he confused it with most important or artistic.

P.S. The meaning of “decimate” evolved more than a century ago. Language changes…deal with it.


–verb (used with object), -mat?ed, -mat?ing.

1. to destroy a great number or proportion of: The population was decimated by a plague.
2. to select by lot and kill every tenth person of.

Usage note:

The earliest English sense of decimate is “to select by lot and execute every tenth soldier of (a unit).” The extended sense “destroy a great number or proportion of” developed in the 19th century: Cholera decimated the urban population.

Oh, and the term IS “dumbing down,” not “dumming down.”


I would love to see a creator top 10 as a change of pace. Maybe Top 10 Byrne covers, or Top 10 most iconic Quietly covers.

I’d like to see some type of “Homage” list.

I was hoping for the 5 most iconic Nightcrawler covers but I wasn’t exactly holding my breath. (He actually does have a few iconic covers, but when you go looking for them, it’s amazing how infrequently he appeared in a non-peripheral role on the covers of his team books).

Something I think is worth pointing out when people argue the meaning of the word “iconic” is the meaning of the word “most.” Which is to say, if you take every cover a character’s ever appeared on and rank them from 1 to 100 on a scale of “Iconicity” and the highest any of their covers get is a 5, that 5-on-a-100-point-scale cover IS their “most iconic” cover, even if it isn’t very iconic.

Which is to say, if you take every cover a character’s ever appeared on and rank them from 1 to 100 on a scale of “Iconicity” and the highest any of their covers get is a 5, that 5-on-a-100-point-scale cover IS their “most iconic” cover, even if it isn’t very iconic.

Yep, that’s it exactly.

Brian –
You’re by far my favorite columnist here at CBR. I enjoy most all of your blogs. This has been one of the best. I wish it went on longer. Thanks for bringing these covers to us, many of which brought back very fond memories.

[…] it says. « Monday TV 10 favorite X-Men covers October 1, 2009 The folks at Comics Should Be Good have been running a month-long look at iconic covers for characters ranging from Sinestro to Jimmy […]


What do you think of a GL-centric week that focuses on iconic covers for the other Lanterns. You could do a different Lantern each day.

Kyle Rayner
John Stewart
Guy Gardner
Random Corps Members

That’d be cool to see.


[…] comics, feminism, feminist rants, rants, rogue Brian Cronin over at CBR has been doing a Top Five Most Iconic Covers for individual characters, and it’s a really great idea (read: I wish I’d thought of it […]

[…] has compiled a gigantic list of the Most Iconic Comic Covers and organized them by […]

[…] forma que estaría presentando una “lista de lista”. Y tras de treinta días, se tiene ya completa, y realmente encontramos varias de ellas muy interesantes. Sin embargo, llama la atención que los […]

Gabriel Valadares

September 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Where’s HULK’s??

No spidey. No credibility. FAIL

You should make one of those for Storm imo.

If I ever do more of these lists, Storm would certainly be in the running. There was no particular rhyme or reason to the heroes chosen (except I intentionally avoided most of the BIG BIG BIG heroes like Superman, Batman and Spider-Man).

how about Thor?
so many to choose from, from artists like Kirby, Buscema, Simonson

how about Thor?

Maybe around the release of his film!

I love this list I think the Wolverine with Hulk reflected in the claws will always be my favorite. I thought I would check online a few weeks ago to see how much some of my favorite McFarlane art pieces would cost me. Yikes.

Well, Avengers 4 (Cap’s “awakening post-WWII and his formal induction to the Avengers); Captain America 25 (Brubaker and Epting’s run, both the first and second prints; and obviously, Cap’s “assassination/death); Captain America 1 (Simon and Kirby, punching Adolf Hitler is still fun to view); Civil War 1 (Michael Turner variant cover, Cap’s shield stained with blood really grabbed (and even now) my attention); and Captain America 34 (Brubaker’s run; Alex Ross variant cover–Bucky was the new Cap) suit me.

[…] once in a while, the folks at CSBG post a new entry in “The Top Five Most Iconic Covers” collection, in which they list the five most iconic covers of a particular superhero (or […]

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