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You Decide ’09 – Who has the coolest first appearance cover?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November.



Cap punching Hitler…no contest


Superman as it was to me the most ground breaking because he was the first!

For straight up coolest looking cover, it’s gotta be the Hulk.

The Hulk – the cover defines the character.

I have to agree with the first comment, Cap is punching Hitler in the face. How can you top that?

The Spidey one stands the test of time best, IMO. Though, I’d have voted for Iron Man, had the option been given… that’s been homaged a dozen times… (though the Spidey one’s probably been homaged a hundred times…)

Spidey. The cover hypes the heck out of the guy. And he lived up to it.

Where’s the option for “Fleeing Guy with Red Tie”?

I was just reading in “The Ten Cent Plague” by David Hajdu how you don’t really know what Superman is about by that cover. All the guys running away and the wanton destruction makes him sort of look like a menace. I think people forget what it must have looked like to a kid seeing it on a newsstand for the first time.

I think the fact that it’s the only cover here that doesn’t have a single caption should vault it to the top.

“Though the world may mock Peter Parker, the timid teenager…it will soon marvel at the awesome might of… Spider-Man!”

It doesn’t get any better than that.

The cap cover is so good it almost seems like somthing new made to look old. Captain america is badass.

Also, why is robin here but not iron man?

The Crazed Spruce

October 4, 2009 at 5:51 am

As frikkin’ sweet as a guy dressed like an American flag beating the crap outta Hitler is, I went with Superman. Damn close call, though.

Ground-breaking and great hype aren’t the same as cool. I vote for Cap punching Hitler also.

But I don’t think these are the eight coolest first appearances ever–far from it. The drawings are a little too old-fashioned and static to be cool. If you really want the coolest first appearance among all DC and Marvel characters, you’d have to consider comics such as SILVER SURFER #1, GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1, the Punisher in SPIDER-MAN #129, TOMB OF DRACULA #1, CONAN #1, NEW GODS #1, MISTER MIRACLE #1, KAMANDI #1, etc.

These newer covers blow the older covers out of the water in terms of coolness. I’d vote for any of them over any of the eight choices above.

If you need another contest, Brian, how about the coolest first appearance cover from the 1970s (i.e., the Bronze Age)?

P.S. Those of you asking for Iron Man…were you thinking of IRON MAN #1? I’d say that’s cooler than any of these covers…but it wasn’t Iron Man’s first appearance on a cover. I think Brian meant what he said in this posting: coolest first APPEARANCE cover, not coolest first ISSUE cover.

If you were thinking of TALES OF SUSPENSE #39…oops, never mind. That cover is about as cool as some of these, but no cooler.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 4, 2009 at 6:22 am

What? No FF#1 fans? ;-)

Slight correction: SILVER SURFER #1 wouldn’t count as a cool first appearance cover. But it would count as a cool first issue cover. My overall point about the coolness of newer covers stands.

If you want a substitute for the Surfer cover, I’m sure there are many good possibilities. Perhaps OMAC #1, FOREVER PEOPLE #1, or DEMON #1. Or the first Deadman appearance on the cover of STRANGE ADVENTURES #205.

I went with Superman but it was close. Cap punching Hitler, as mentioned above, is pure awesome. Batman choking that poor bastard is way cool. The Flash moving faster than a movie? Who could deny the Sensational Character Find of 1940? And why is Spider-Man shouting his secret identity?

Naw, it’s Superman. Captain Marvel could’ve been in this, too.

I could watch a superhero punching Hitler all day. They could just make a series called “Punching Hitler” where every issue builds to a different hero getting to punch him out. They could even have an issue where Forbush Man takes that pot off his head and slams Hitler with it.

BUT, context is part of this to and in a world long before the world had gotten used to this kind of stuff seeing the cover of a guy in a costume lifting a car above his head as thugs ran freaked out was so wild an event it started this whole superhero thing. Even Batman might no be here without this character and this issue.

My vote has gotta go to the man, the myth, the legend. Superman.

I go for The Flash. That was always a highly visually-oriented series (even the text boxes were eye-catching!) and the cover of the first story lets you know that from the start. Not that the other covers here are bad, mind you, but they were all more of the traditional sort (except maybe Robin jumping through hoops for Batman, but that’s not as impressive. )

At first I thought… oh, Showcase Flash, no Detective #27, nah, Amazing Fantasy…. then my eyes, one second later, spotted Cap 3 clocking Hitler… and NO CONTEST. Cap got my vote.

Hitler-punching for the win. That book was published before the U.S. entered WW2, right?


Punching Hitler in the face For The Win.

What a mission statement.

Not sure that Cap punching Hitler is cool. Every super hero in existence is currently fist bumping Obama on the cover, and just because he is a real life figure who is (generally) liked, it doesn’t make it a cool cover. The same vicarious thrill should come from punching Hitler, and now it just seems like a cheap ploy in light of the flood of Obama covers.

I’m surprised it took 25 whole comments before Hitler got compared to Obama.

Anyway, I voted for the Hitler-punching. Maybe Action and Detective are more iconic, but nothing is cooler than decking der fuhrer.

Well, I’m a diehard FF fan, but even I’ll admit that it’s not the best cover out there.

I went with the Hitler punching. Other Superheroes might have fought Nazis on the cover, but only Cap had the guts to take things straight to the top.

I don’t like Captain America at all, but how can you vote for anything other than punching Hitler in the face? It’s coolest cover, not coolest character, and Cap wins hands down.

This is tough, because Cap and Flash are my two favorite characters, with to my mind, the two best covers here. They both do a really great job of encapsulating their “mission statement.” As much as it hurts to not go with the Infantino Flash cover, Cap has to win here for making the biggest “statement” on his cover.

Spidey. Visually, the “punchiest” (sorry, Cap).

Superman. It’s the most iconic cover of all time, and in my opinion, one of the coolest.

Wow, all great covers. I went with the FF, probably because I’ve been looking at the first omnibus a lot recently, and have had Kirby on the brain. The curve of the Human Torch that leads your eye from the logo down into the picture is what sealed it. Of course, the Cap cover is great Kirby, too, but I think the layout of FF#1 is prettier, better balanced (I find the background of Cap overly busy) and just so clean in its dynamics. I also love the image of Mr. Fantastic escaping those ropes.

I’m also surprised there’s not more support expressed here for the Batman covers– maybe we’re all Dark Knight exhausted after last year’s endless stream of publicity?

all very good choices but have to go with superman for it shows him showing what the super heroes can do not to mention superman is the first super hero on the market

It pains me to say, since I don’t like them all that much, but if I was a kid the cover that would make me go “wow cool!” the most would probably be the fantastic four. I really wanted to vote for Spiderman or Superman but as far as what would attract my eye as a child it had to be between Captain America and FF. FF wins since it has 4 superheroes on it (each with different abilities and one of whom is a monster) fighting a huge monster bursting up through a city street. Tough to beat a comic with that on the cover.

It’s been stated before that the cover for Amazing Fantasy #15 with its drab browns and greys makes it look like another monster anthology title (and it’s a Kirby cover as well). At the time it sure didn’t jump out on the stands because of its cover, but once people read it and the word got out…wow. I wonder if the unused Ditko AF15 cover would have been colored differently if it had actually been used (every ‘reconstruction’ I’ve seen of it is pretty bright and sunny).

This will be a tossup between Action #1 and Cap #1, and IMO the scales tip to Cap just for the sheer eye catching image of Hitler being punched.

I voted for Cap for having the best concept, but I think the Hulk one is the best piece of visual art.

Random Stranger

October 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm

That’s a beautiful set of covers that makes it had to decide. As much as I love all them my decision came down to Superman for capturing the excitement of that first appearance in one image and Cap because of that Hitler punch. And I had to go with Cap just because I think the image is structured a bit better. But really all of those are winners.

FF 1 caught my eye first. It has the right combination of good composition, action, eye-catching colors, text, and negative space. I like the Cap cover, but I can’t get past Bucky looking like a ventriloquist’s dummy. The Flash cover is another great one, but he doesn’t look like he’s in much of a hurry. Hell, all the covers are excellent, I just like the FF cover best.

Not sure that Cap punching Hitler is cool.

In what way is a comic/cartoon figure puching Hitler not cool?

From Daffy Duck to Cap A, it’s hilarious every time!

Every super hero in existence is currently fist bumping Obama on the cover, and just because he is a real life figure who is (generally) liked, it doesn’t make it a cool cover.

I can think of two….Spiderman, and Savage Dragon.

The same vicarious thrill should come from punching Hitler, and now it just seems like a cheap ploy in light of the flood of Obama covers.

What are you talking about?
Obama covers are as exciting as Superman covers with JFK on them – not very.


Cap punching hitler, ’nuff said

Out of these choices, I’ve always dug the Hulk cover the most.

Gotta love those old school covers… :)

I think I like the Cap cover the most… Not because he’s punching Adolf but because I feel it’s finished better… It’s not soem guy with a yellow/red background, the cover is filled with other characters and action.

Looks like Cap is the only one not really posing. (Yeah, I know Batman and Spidey are swinging in, but his is more….action-y?)

Superman – No contest

The Spidey, batman and Superman covers are timeless, iconic and a whole bunch of superlatives that don’t even begin to describe the massive effect they all had on the artform. Each of them is well composed and captures the imagination in their own unique way and launched the three most well known characters of all time.

With all that said, this isn’t a poll about most iconic first appearence, this is for coolest and Cap is punching Hitler. You don’t get much cooler than that.


I don’t even like Captain America, but Hitler-punching trumps EVERYTHING!

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Superman, with Spider-Man, a close 2nd. The Hitler-punching is great, but the rest of it is kind of busy, plus it has Bucky, a minus in my book.

The Ugly American

October 5, 2009 at 6:58 am

Robin Cover == Least Coolest

Captain America – Action packed, well drawn (espcially for the time period), strong introduction for the character.

Its hard to judge these books as covers alone, devoid of any context. We’ve seen them all many times, we know the stories and characters, and we know what each cover “means”.


October 5, 2009 at 10:16 am

Hard to choose… I initially wanted to go with either Cap or the FF – they are my favorites, but looking at them all together, I ended up voting for Spider-Man, not even my favorite character, but a damn cool cover.

But for the most part they are all really cool (even Robin’s).

But to echo the majority sentiment – Punching Hitler (esp. before we entered the war) = very cool.

Superman – – it’s the cover which all others are compared. Practically defines iconic.

Spidey. Not only is it the coolest looking pose, but it’s arguably the best drawn out of all of them.

Captain America. Come on, nothing beats punching Hitler! Especially because he was doing it before it was cool.

Love Hulk and FF, but went with Spidey. It stands the test of time, plus I think if you put yourself in the head of a 1962 kid, that costume would have just been the coolest thing in comics up to that point (although I suppose with that argument a lot of 1938 kids were probably freaked out by a man tossing a car).

Still, went with Spidey.

Oops. I voted before reading the comments.

I voted for the cover that I thought stood the test of time and was still as cool to me at 37 as it was at 7. But, now, I wish I’d have voted for the one that I thought was coolest when I actually was 7.

Ah well. You really can’t go wrong with any of these. :-)


If you don’t vote for either Superman or Captain America, you’re just not being honest with yourself.

Even completely devoid of any context, “Action” is an image of a dude taking a car over his head and slamming it into a mountain while people flee in abject terror; “Captain America” is an image of a dude PUNCHING HITLER IN THE FACE while being shot at by other leaders of the Third Reich. That’s just COOL.

In comparison, “Detective” and “Amazing” have dudes swinging over a city holding generic thugs – fairly cool. Flash and Robin are basically running through paper with goofy grins on their faces – um, kinda cool? And then Hulk and FF are basically people standing in interesting ways – but brownie points for monsters!

Still, the choice seems clear.

Spider-man, by far the most iconic imho.

The Spider-man cover is the best! Even when it’s small you can still see it clearly.

I voted Robin. I don’t think the art is great on the Batman cover. The concept of the Flash cover is confusing and marvel’s covers are dynamic but too cluttered to be iconic. The spider man and superman ones are on the same level but Superman doesn’t capture his characterand spider man is too expressionless. I voted robin because right away you see his personality and how he will contrast with Batman. You see that smile on Batman’s face, something of a rarity in modern comics I have to say. Also, the big grandstand announcement fits perfectly with dick’s origins.

With Cap, I think this is an instance where his first cover is actually his BEST. After punching Hitler in the face, its all downhill from there.

this was extremely tough for me…….each of these being very iconic,extremely creative in each of their own right, and easy to respect……but then i think about the late 30’s…early 40’s…i try to think of myself at a comics newstand seeing a patriotically clad man givin hitler a solid right hook…. i try to think how much of a stir this caused and how many germans this really aggrivated….suddenly, the vote is easy for me.

Barbara Gordon.

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