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The Top 75 Most Iconic Covers in DC Comics History!

Okay, so this is what we’re going to do for the month of November.

When I was doing the Top 70 Most Iconic Panels in Marvel Comics History, someone noted that this could easily be termed DC Comics’ 75th Anniversary, what with National Allied Publications starting up in 1934 and all. I think that point makes sense, and since that anniversary doesn’t seem to be celebrated anywhere else, I suppose we’ll have to do the celebrating here, both this month and next!

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting four iconic DC covers a day until November 23rd.

At that point, you folks will have about a week to pick your Top 10 covers out of the 90 options (I figured I’d give you a few more possible options, make it even more of a mystery as to who makes the list where). I’ll tabulate the votes, and on November 30th, I’ll begin posting the Top 75 Most Iconic Covers in DC Comics History, to celebrate DC’s 75th Anniversary.

In the meantime, feel free to send in suggestions (to bcronin@comicbookresources.com) for what covers I should pick as the ninety choices that folks can choose from.

Here are the first two covers…

Here is a master list of all covers posted so far.


Can’t argue with either of these

Those are both great. It’s interesting that “52” issue 1 is a tribute to the death of superman.
“Iconic” is probably best indicated by being “most-imitated” or most the subject of tribute. Superman 1 and Action Comics 1 are unequivocally up there.

Somewhat down the line, Superman with a flag and eagle; and Watchmen’s smiley face with blood.

I don’t know if we really ought to count any covers that cite Michelangelo’s Pieta. That just seems *wrong* to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietà_(Michelangelo) . They are all tributes to Michelangelo, Jesus and Mary, not Superman and Supergirl.

Are you including DC imprints Brian?





The Crazed Spruce

November 2, 2009 at 8:23 am

If the JLI looking up at the “camera” from Justice League #1 doesn’t show up on this list, I’m gonna be seriously disappointed in you, Cronin!

(I’m also hoping for Crisis #7, the last chapter of the LoSH’s “Great Darkness Saga”, Kirby’s first issue of Jimmy Olsen, the Speedy “junkie” cover, and the issue of Action Comics where Superman reveals his identity to Lois. The reveal itself seemed kinda forced, but it was a hell of a cover.)

Here’s a wuick list I came up with:

-LSH #294
-Action Comics #1
-Watchmen #1
-JL(I) #1
-Kingdom Come #4
-Batman #497 (awful artwork, but iconic nonetheless)
-Dark Knight Returns #2
-Flash #123
-Superman vs Muhammad Ali
-COIE #12
-COIE #7
-Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85

Er, quick.

The question for me is, are you including covers from separate companies whose characters would later be acquired by DC, like Fawcett, Quality and Charlton? I would guess not — that is to say, I wouldn’t include them, aside from All-American Comics.

I wouldn’t include Batman 497, given the cover is ugly (the iconic panel is much better than the cover.)

Showcase 4, Showcase 22, GL v. 3 49, Batman 404, and GL/GA 5 are more examples of the so obvious they shouldn’t need to be mentioned covers.

The cover to Countdown to Infinite Crisis probably should be listed, as it’s clearly iconic even if you dislike the comic.

How about TPB covers, like the Killing Joke? Is that a go or no-go on this list?

Is there any doubt that ACTION#1 will be the eventual winner?

All-Star Comics #3. Brave and Bold #28. Justice League of America #100 (Volume 1). Showcase #4, #22. Flash #123. Action #1, of course.

“How about TPB covers, like the Killing Joke”

I believe that was originally released as a single prestige format issue – so I reckon it counts as a comic.

The question for me is, are you including covers from separate companies whose characters would later be acquired by DC, like Fawcett, Quality and Charlton? I would guess not — that is to say, I wouldn’t include them, aside from All-American Comics.

Agreed (as far as not featuring them, aside from All-American Comics).

Thank you for including more than 75; I think it gives us a say in what think is not iconic as well as what it.


Comic companies pick whatever anniversary they think will sell issues. Marvel celebrated 25 in the 1980’s (25 Years since FF #1) and now decides it’s 70 (Marvel Comics # 1).

For DC, it’s been a little more consistent, but they tend to exclude the company’s first year when they just sold reprints of newspaper strips. They tend to go with New Fun #1 in 1935, where they first published original material as the start date. New Fun was retitled More Fun with issue #7 and ran until 1947.

I was just re-reading a bunch of Swamp Thing, so maybe that’s why he’s so prevalent on my mind at the moment, but a few of his covers stood out for consideration:

House Of Secrets #92
Saga Of The Swamp Thing #21
Saga Of The Swamp Thing #34

A few others I could see making the list…

New Teen Titans (1980) #1, 30
Justice League Of America (1960) #1, 100
Justice League (1987) #1
Brave And The Bold #28, 111
Detective Comics #38, 475, 476
Flash #105, 123, 137
Showcase #4, 22
Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76, 85
Action Comics #1, 252
Superman #1, 199
Lois Lane #106
Wonder Woman #178
Jimmy Olsen #53, 141 (“Don’t Ask! Just Buy It!”)
All-Star Comics #3
All-Star Squadron #1

plenty of others I’m sure I’m forgetting too…

First two covers of the Dark Knight, JLA #1 (take your pick from which series; they’re all pretty iconic).

Can’t argue with these first two selections. I would definitely put several over the death of Superman cover though. but it is still meaningful.

I really hope this list doesn’t turn into ‘The Superman/Batman Show’ which it quite possibly could :(

Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. But just imagine if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the greatest in its niche. Fantastic blog!

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