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Here are my picks for the top five most iconic covers featuring Lois Lane (with iconic being determined by what covers are most established and most recognized when it comes to Lois Lane, with a preference towards covers that are homaged a lot). This is not a BEST cover list and due to the very nature of icons, very few (if any) recent covers will be on the list. A notable exception to the rules is that I don’t count covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in), as those tend to be automatically iconic so they’re boring. Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.
Just so you can’t say that I never did anything for you folks, I’m going to extremely bend the rules and just make #5 a tie.
5 (Tie). Artist: Kurt Schaffenberger
Schaffenberger drew more stories starring Lois Lane than any other artist around, so I had to have a Schaffenberger cover, which is a bit of a pain, because he was never seen as a big enough draw, cover-wise, so there are relatively few notable Schaffenberger covers. Luckily, he contributed this classic 80 Page Giant cover, which also includes two bits that I think have to be included on any piece on iconic Lois Lane, which is her relationship with Lana Lang (the driving force behind a ton of Lois Lane comics) and also Lois gaining superpowers (the concept itself is quite iconic, but you’d be surprised by how few iconic COVERS with “Super Lois” that there are).
5 (Tie). Artists: Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson
The infamous “Lois Lane turns into a black woman” issue of Lois Lane.
4. Artists: Kerry Gammill and Brett Breeding
3. Artists: Curt Swan and Stan Kaye
This striking cover goes with one of the most notable Lois Lane stories of her entire series. It’s one of the more famous Lois Lane covers, as well.
2. Artists: Curt Swan and Neal Adams
This is THE most famous Lois Lane cover, though. However, while it is the most famous cover from Lois Lane’s own comic…
1. Artists: José García-López and Dick Giordano
This one still takes the cake for Lois Lane covers, period.
I was worried at first that Win Mortimer’s brilliant “Superman marries Lois Lane” cover from Action Comics #206 would be too much of a direct inspiration for this cover, but examining the two, it’s really just the idea that is the same (Superman flying away with Lois after they marry), and really, as cool of an idea as that is – it’s not exactly some unique concept. Otherwise, there are barely any similarities between the two covers, and most importantly, García-López highlights Lois Lane in particular on his cover, giving us perhaps THE most iconic image of Lois Lane we have. There’s a reason this guy is the man behind DC’s licensing style guide.
COVERS THAT ALMOST MADE THE LIST INCLUDE: A neat Neal Adams cover with Lois holding a Kryptonite boulder over Superman’s head, John Byrne’s intro of Lois Lane in Man of Steel, Byrne’s homage, of sorts, to the classic Lois/Lana fights of old, a tribute to the armed services from the 1940s with Lois walking arm in arm with servicemen (that’s a real favorite of mine, but I just don’t think it was famous enough for this list) and an early issue of Superman with Lois as Superwoman.
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