web stats

CSBG Archive

Top Five Most Iconic Supergirl Covers

Here are the top five most iconic covers featuring Supergirl (with iconic being determined mostly subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of Supergirl, but with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character). The notable exception is no covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course)! Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.

Enjoy!

Before the list begins, here is the first cover appearance of Supergirl, from her debut issue…

Artists: Curt Swan and Al Plastino

Now on to the list…

5. Artists: Gary Frank and Cam Smith

This is certainly the most iconic cover from the Peter David Supergirl series, and that IS one of the most memorable Supergirl series (it also has the current record for longest-running Supergirl series).

4. Artist: Michael Turner

People might not be a fan of the Jeph Loeb/Michael Turner Supergirl, but their take on Supergirl was pretty much the most popular Supergirl has been in comic books since her very early Silver Age appearances. Here is her first cover appearance officially AS Supergirl.

2. Artists: Curt Swan and George Klein

Supergirl has a flying Super-Horse (who is clearly meant to evoke a unicorn on this cover) – that just about perfectly sizes up Supergirl during the Silver Age, doesn’t it?

This cover was also used a few times (with variations) on other covers – the image of Supergirl on a Super-Horse was a strong one. Swan has a lot of great covers that could be used, with the “Supergirl Game” being probably the closest one to making this list in place of the Gary Frank Supergirl cover. What do you folks think? Which one do you feel is more iconic? The “Supergirl Game” or the Gary Frank Supergirl #1?

2. Artists: Curt Swan and George Klein

After her debut cover, this is the most famous Supergirl cover where she’s actually ALIVE.

1. Artist: George Perez

This is one of the most iconic comic book covers PERIOD.

74 Comments

After seeing all those covers together like that, you start to realise how Supergirl, or a Supergirl, has been there throughout all of DC’s major turning points.

That can’t be a Gary Frank cover – the eyeballs don’t look like a cocaine addict’s.

Oh wait… no eyeballs. Clever… Hiding the artist’s weaknesses. Like a Liefeld cover without feet…

Jeph Loeb's Missing Talent

September 4, 2009 at 4:41 am

Pretty sure the image you’ve posted is Ian Churchill not Michael Turner.

So it is – I’ll find another Turner Supergirl image!

Jeph Loeb's Imaginary Talent

September 4, 2009 at 4:52 am

Fixed. Says something about the gender politics of superhero comics that the most iconic representation there is of probably the second most famous female character ever is of a corpse.

I have never seen number 3 in any reprints.

It’s not really about gender politics — the most iconic Iron Man one is the one where he’s clearly an alcoholic.

I have to agree with Rob Schmidt to some degree. I really like #4, but I think #5 should go in favor of a cover from the 70s or 80s.

I’ll be the one to say it, then: five is my favorite cover on there.

Don’t forget the creepiest Supergirl/Superman story ever!

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=16956&zoom=4

Nice covers, but of course the correct #1 is http://s26.photobucket.com/albums/c129/arktrav/?action=view&current=Action252.jpg. I’ve seen it homaged more than all the others put together (except for the Crisis front, but of course that belongs in a subgenre of its own — Pieta covers.

The Crazed Spruce

September 4, 2009 at 6:00 am

I’m gonna have to take a differing view here. #5 is actually one of the images I first think of when I think of Supergirl. It’s the cover that best represents that particular era of Supergirl stories, and I feel it definitely belongs on the list. Not so sure about #3 and #4, though. However, I completely agree with #1 and #2.

Actually, I liked the third printing variant of Supergirl #1, which was an homage to Action 252. Really cool cover.

Also, I second Rob’s choice of Action 373.

But #1 is definitely #1!!

Cheers,

B

I kinda agree with Rob Schmidt. I think cover #4 should stay, but cover #5 should be replaced by a cover from the 70s or 80s.

Woops. Didn’t mean to post twice. That has been happening to me a lot lately on this site… my comment doesn’t appear… I repost it… then it appear twice. Now I look like a madman or an idiot. Aargh.

Alas, Dan, ACTION #252 is out because of the “no first appearance” rule. Otherwise it would be on the list.

I know in retrospect Final Crisis turned off a lot of people, but I felt JG Jones Supergirl cover should become an iconic image of Supergirl.

Speaking of Supergirl, the Palmiotti/Conner Wednesday Comic is my current favorite.

Jeph Loeb's Nonexistent Professional Ethics

September 4, 2009 at 6:39 am

I wasn’t accusing Zbrian Cronin of sexism. My point was more along the lines of Gail Simone’s women in refrigerators meme, that there are very limited and troubling ways in which comics have represented female heroes and supporting characters. The George Perez art, by the way, is gorgeous and I very much agree that that’s probably the most iconic image of supergirl we have

Jeph Loeb's Nonexistent Professional Ethics

September 4, 2009 at 6:40 am

Also, I loved final crisis.

I’m sure I’ll probably be lynched for criticizing the Silver Age in any way, but I have a hard time getting past how Superman looks… fat… in these two Curt Swan covers. Maybe not fat, but thick around the middle.

Rob –

Duh. I overlooked that. Thanks.

Note to self: Don’t post before waking up (noon or 1 p.m. ought to do it …) sufficiently to get my reading comprehension skills up & running.

I also think 5 definitely deserves its place, at the very least.

I’m not typing this to be a jerk… but I notice this post is mislabeled with “Top 70 Most Iconic Marvel Panels.” Just mentioning it in case someone (like me) likes to group their articles together when reading…

I’ve been enjoying all the “iconic” posts!

If you take away her first appearance and her death in Crisis, the cover that best represents Supergirl’s relationship with her overbearing cousin is: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=15331&zoom=4.

#1 is probably in the top 5 most iconic covers of all time for any character let alone the Supergirl ones.

#2 is pretty iconic too. After that it starts to lose it.

I guess #4 might have to be included just because of it’s notoriety of being a really terrible cover.

I’m not sure if #5 is iconic, but it’s a good cover.

nice to see the cover of crisis where superman is sadly holding her body mourning after she died a hero and the cover of her super horse is hilerious and number five that skateboard looks like it has bad intentions for the girl of steel

To me, those covers look like they perfectly capture the eras in which they were drawn. The Gary Frank cover is classic 90′s with Linda’s flannel shirt, skateboard and Riot Grrl look. Michael Turner’s cover is 2000′s SG all the way while George Perez’s is one of the classic covers of all time as well as classic 80′s. And of course there’s the Swan Silver Age stuff to round everything out. Only think missing is a cover featuring “Hot Pants Supergirl” from the 1970′s.

1 and 2 are classics. 3 seems a little random, and I’d definitely have picked the first issue of her ’80s title over 4.

I do like #5, although honestly the covers I really remember from that series are the ones featuring the return of the Silver Age Supergirl. The ones I’m thinking of are homages to earlier covers, though, so I wouldn’t really argue for them.

I know “iconic” and “Whether I like it or not” are two different things, but that cover to #4 is just awful and shouldn’t be on the list at all. I don’t even think of it as iconic, really. I’d have much preferred the 1982 cover to Daring New Adventures #1 in place of it. That’s one of the first images that always comes to mind for me whenever I think of the character, along with her first appearance and #1 on this list. I like #2, though I’ll admit to never having seen it before.

Brian –

>>Actually, I liked the third printing variant of Supergirl #1, which was an homage to Action 252. Really cool cover.

Yes! I’m 99.9 percent positive that’s the only variant cover I’ve ever been inspired to buy of a comic I already owned.

Supergirl!!!! Your two most popular covers include the one where you’re a flying sex doll and the one where you’re fraggin DEAD.

Enjoy.

I’ll also vouch for number 4 on this list, it was a MOMENT. I saw that and said ‘Hell yes’ the best super-heroine of all time was back and going to kick ass. Michael Turner made her so fierce on that cover. No more ‘yes kal, yes kal, three bags full kal Kara Zor-el’

>>the best super-heroine of all time was back and going to kick ass.

Though of course the laughably absurd emaciated-waif look made it more likely that she was going to be knocked off-balance the next time the wind blew …

5 is without question my favorite of the bunch, and the first cover that sprang to mind when I saw the topic.

you know its not OK to say things like that about skinny girls, they are self conscious too. Its the same as saying a fat girl looks like a gorilla. Just because its the other end of the spectrum its not OK. Michael Turner has a style of doing very thin women in all the books he drew. This was no exception but the same can be said for his wonder woman, witchblade, soulfire, fathom, black canary and PG (who would have broke her super-back with that chest he gave her)

#3, the one with the horse? That’s supposed to be iconic? The ’70s one with her punching a giant metal penis cannon is more iconic than that, if only because it gets trotted out so often online as a joke.

I think “Daring New Adventures Of Supergirl” #13 introduced the costume she wore in “COIE.” Had Supergirl in the new costume standing on the moon. I only think of two covers when I think of Supergirl, that one and #1 above.

The proper response to cover 3 isn’t “Is that cover iconic?” but rather “Comet is the creepiest comic book character ever.”

(There’s actually a fairly interesting debate about whether pre-Crisis Comet or Peter David’s post-Crisis revamp of the character is creepier.)

No way, Thok — Silver Age Comet is wayyyyy creepier.

http://cache.coverbrowser.com/image/adventure-comics/423-12.jpg

This was one I thought would be here for sure.

I’m shocked it wasn’t.

5. I am glad you you included that Gary Frank cover. It really is iconic in that it visually sums up the core Supergirl concept (i.e. a teenage girl with all the powers of Superman).
4. Ahhhh … the “gimme a sandwich” Supergirl. Turner got a lot of flak toward the end of his career, but I always liked his work. The costume design certainly isn’t the worst thing Kara Zor-El has ever worn. The lay-out is deliberate echo of a classic Superman pose. Supergirl is plainly not at an ideal weight, but at least her body is in proportion.
3. I cannot believe no one has done a deconstructed Silver Age Supergirl. Honestly, the number of highly Freudian images involving that version of the character is astounding.
2. I love this cover. The basic dynamic to so many Supergirl stories involves her being either rejected or covered up by Superman. I mean honestly, you don’t have to watch that many episodes of “Mad Men” to raise an eyebrow over a man hiding his relationship with his “cousin” from his girlfriend, do you? So, it is nice that she got a moment in the sun.
1. Probably the most iconic “Death of …” cover.

>>Michael Turner has a style of doing very thin women in all the books he drew. This was no exception but the same can be said for his wonder woman, witchblade, soulfire, fathom, black canary and PG (who would have broke her super-back with that chest he gave her)

In other news, the fact that he’s dead doesn’t mean Turner wasn’t much of an artist.

“I saw that and said ‘Hell yes’ the best super-heroine of all time was back and going to kick ass.”

I don’t think Wonder Woman ever left.

I’d say THE DARING NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #1 should be on the list. It’s iconic for suggesting that Silver Age heroes didn’t have to stay in the same costumes forever.

Brian, you might consider posting the first-appearance covers also. Just so people don’t suggest them, and to give us something else to talk about. But I agree the exercise is more interesting if you pick five OTHER covers, since the first appearance is almost always iconic.

P.S. What’s creepy about a teenage girl riding her man-horse to the heavens? Most young women would love to have a big white stallion like between their legs.

I’d say THE DARING NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #1 should be on the list. It’s iconic for suggesting that Silver Age heroes didn’t have to stay in the same costumes forever.

Can’t it be argued that New Look Batman and Kid Flash and Green Arrow already established that?

The “New Look” Batman had a costume drawn more dynamically, not a new costume. Didn’t he? The only real change to Batman’s costume over the decades has been adding or removing the yellow oval.

I wasn’t saying that other DC heroes didn’t get new costumes first. But Supergirl may have been the first to sport a new costume on the first issue of her own series.

In short, I meant the cover was iconic for contributing to that idea. Not for establishing it singlehandedly.

It’s number #2 by a mile. Yet, while it’s hard to knock Curt Swan, it’s really the Supergirl that appears within that issue, as rendered by Jim Mooney that presents us with perhaps the most awesome looking Supergirl ever (maybe rivaled by Kurt Schaffenberger). As Alex pointed out, Swan’s Supergirl does look a little inanimate on that otherwise gorgeous cover. BTW… I think even JFK shows up in that issue to welcome Supergirl; I have it buried in a long box somewhere.

The number #2 choice deserves to be there, although I really dislike the look of the 80′s headband wearing Supergirl, even if Perez is doing the penciling.

Great stuff… Brian.

Perez is awesome. Love how you pick out almost each and every person on that cover.

Good chooices! I would have put the cover for Action Comics #252 up there too though.

What about the cover to Superman Adventures #21? I always thought that was pretty sharp looking, and it’s shown up as t-shirts and posters since.

Have a good day.
John Cage

I’m curious as to how exactly Comet is evoking a unicorn?
I would agree with a Pegasus…being that Comet flies.

If Comet were shooting a Kryptonite beam from his forehead, then I can understand.
But, he’s not. He’s blocking a shot with his forehead.
So, if that’s where you’re going with this that the drawing looks like a green horn is protruding from his head…well…that’s a bit of a stretch. I get it…but still…a stretch.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

September 6, 2009 at 4:40 pm

The Gary Frank one is pretty iconic – I’ve seen it, but have no idea what the ‘Supergirl game’ cover is.

After all the fanboy grousing about Turner’s depiction of Kara, ie. “Where does she put her internal organs?”, I felt like an idiot this summer when I actually got to know a girl whose body is ACTUALLY shaped like that…and she apparently has ALL her internal organs…
although it was still funny to comment behind her back “where does she keep her internal organs?”…

Also, despite all the grousing about Turner’s Kara being “anorexic”, this girl I met EATS. She can REALLY pack it away. And she STILL looks like that!

So, although it may be rare, Turner DID NOT ACTUALLY create Kara with a body type that is unhealthy or nonexistent!!!!

How about that?

How about that?

One has to imagine that the girl you are talking about isn’t the strongest woman alive.

@Ted

Probably because she isn’t Kryptonian, I would guess…

she has a real talent for photography, though…

(what that matters in this discussion I have absolutely no idea)

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=25911&zoom=4 I always think of this one – so sad…and silly.

But this really sums up how DC treated Supergirl: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=23729&zoom=4
All those powers and she still can’t find a thing to wear!

Oops. I see that Nikii beat me to these two.

@ g:

Romantic melodrama and romantic comedy were both major, major aspects of the entire Superman Family. Fans talk about Spider-Man a great deal in this regard, but the changes that Lee-Romita brought in were more a matter of tone than substance. The big moments for Spidey were highly soap operatic and (slightly) more suggestive of adult sexuality. However, Superman was juggling multiple girlfriends while Stan Lee was still cranking out monster comics.

Naturally, Supergirl was fit into that same mold when she appeared. It seems amazing now that we live in a post-”90210″, post-”The OC” and post-”Gossip Girl” culture, but DC really struggled in dealing with the teenage soap opera. Maybe it was the one-and-done nature of the stories.

I feel like the only reason Supergirl was chosen as a character to compile images for was to have somewhere to put that Crisis cover. Supergirl in iconic aren’t two words I’d ever use in a sentence.

Your No. 1 cover is an homage to a Byrne X-Men cover with Cyclops and Phoenix, in the 130s during the Dark Phoenix saga,

Not according to Perez, and since the cover motif predates Byrne (and Perez cites an old Kirby cover with that motif as his actual influence), I’m willing to believe Perez.

[...] Top Five Most Iconic Supergirl Covers (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) [...]

This is more iconic than possibly all of those

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=247345&zoom=4

And, though a bit more tongue-in-cheek, this one should have made the top 5. It is an unforgettable Supergirl cover

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=61753&zoom=4

This is more iconic than possibly all of those

Ian Churchill riffing on Michael Turner?

I don’t buy that – better to just have the Turner cover that Churchill is riffing on.

Yup, the Crisis on Inf Earths cover had to be number one.

It’s a shame that publishers can now never kill major characters. But I guess the corporate money making machine must roll on!

“Your No. 1 cover is an homage to a Byrne X-Men cover with Cyclops and Phoenix, in the 130s during the Dark Phoenix saga,”

“Not according to Perez, and since the cover motif predates Byrne (and Perez cites an old Kirby cover with that motif as his actual influence), I’m willing to believe Perez.”

The X-Men cover was 1980. The DC cover 1985. The DC cover is a direct copy of the X-Men cover.

Re: the Crisis cover, both Byrne and Perez were doing a riff on Michaelangelo who predates the 1980′s by just a few years.

As for the Supergirl 21 cover, it itself is a riff on a Byrne Superman cover (I want to say issue #20) in his Supergirl Saga trilogy where the Matrix-Supergirl character was in fact introduced.

[...] und kürt wenig später auch die 5 besten Supergirl Cover (Holzauge, sei wachsam ) [...]

check out supergirl#17 from peter davids run. Gary franks artwork is awesome!

Ian Churchill riffing on Michael Turner?

I don’t buy that – better to just have the Turner cover that Churchill is riffing on.

I don’t think it’s riffing on Turner any more than it (and Turner) are riffing on Rich Bucker’s Supergirl #1 cover.
http://www.crazyedscomics.com/files/supergirl1.jpg

That Churchill cover sure is horrible, though.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives