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CSBG Archive

The Top 75 Most Iconic DC Covers Master List

Here’s a list of the covers posted so far (posted in no particular order) that you will be able to choose from for your top ten picks for the “Most Iconic DC Covers of All-Time” when the voting starts November 23 (more details here). I’ll be posting four a day until that point. Check back each day for the latest four, or just bookmark this list!



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77 Comments

I didn’t think much of Death of Superman but that is an awesome cover.

have to go with death of super man for the torn cape swinging around symbols a loss of an icon in the dcu. even though the story in places came up short.

Action Comics #1 will win this by far. Maybe they should rename this the 2nd Most Iconic Cover in the DCU!
I’m sure there are plenty over great ones out there, let’s roll them out. They’ll make a nice screen saver when it’s all said and done!

“Action Comics #1 will win this by far.”

I wouldn’t necessarily give Action #1 a lock on first place given people’s choices for most iconic Marvel panels. In fact, Action might fair pretty poor if it comes up for voting somewhere in the middle of the event. In the absence of voting guidelines (or probably even with), everyone comes up with their own definition of iconic.

Exactly, everyone gets to decide what they think is “iconic.”

So I think it’ll be an interesting crap shoot. And even if Action #1 is #1, it is still interesting to see who is #2, #3, etc.

I don’t understand why you made pretty much the same post back to back…I must be missing something.

This is the master list that will house all 90 covers. The other post is just today’s 2 entries.

So far so good, but I’m a bit shocked at the Superman book is shown already, yet no Action Comics #1? Probably the most iconic cover of all?!?!?

GL85 will always get my vote though.

So far so good, but I’m a bit shocked at the Superman book is shown already, yet no Action Comics #1? Probably the most iconic cover of all?!?!?

The list is not in any sort of “importance” order.

Whether Action shows up today, tomorrow or two weeks from now, it’ll be a choice eventually. :)

This will be fun to follow your choices and very difficult to pick a top ten. You will be including Vertigo titles, yes?

I’m hoping people do nominate some War or Western or nonsuperhero covers: the superhero stuff is better remembered, but there ought to be war or western covers that make at least the top 90. (I feel bad for saying this and not making suggestions, but I’m not sure which covers from those genres would be notable.)

You will be including Vertigo titles, yes?

Yes.

I feel bad for saying this and not making suggestions, but I’m not sure which covers from those genres would be notable.

That’s the rub, really.

Maybe we should narrow it down to the “Most Iconic DC Covers Not to Feature Nero Fox, the Jive-Jumping Emperor of Ancient Rome,” just to avoid Leading Comics sweeping the list too badly.

I’m actually surprised that Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 didn’t edge out Superman #75, Green Lantern #85 or Brave and the Bold #28.

There’s no edging out being done yet, Stefan. Bit by bit this page will show, in no particular order, the pool of covers from which the Top 75 will eventually be voted upon.

bad math? I thought 4 covers per day were being posted. In 2 days, there have only been 6 covers.

bad math? I thought 4 covers per day were being posted. In 2 days, there have only been 6 covers.

Day 1 was two covers, everyday after that is four, until they get 90.

Is it just me, or does cover # 9 just scream gay sex?

I hope Detective 27 doesn’t win – Bob Kane ‘homaged’ the crap out of lots of other books to put that cover together…

I expect Action #1, Superman #1, and Detective #38…not necessarily in that order….will make the top ten, if not top 5. All three have been homaged more times than I can count. Heck, Action #1’s cover was homaged on an issue of Spider-Man in the late 80’s-early 90’s.

Detective #26 is one of the most easily recognized covers of all time, but I don’t think it particularly iconic. I can’t think of it ever being homaged and it’s really not that impressive a cover. It looks more like a basic story panel than a cover shot, actually.

I’m not sure I understand if these are in order or not but based on the comments I guess they are. If so, really surprised at the order.

Also, Zor-El, you need look no further than this year’s “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” for the homage to ‘Tec 27. Detective Comics #853.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B0026SEKG4/sr=1-1/qid=1257371479/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=1257371479&sr=1-1

Dwight: I’m not sure which comments you’re reading, but these ones should clear it up:

The list is not in any sort of “importance” order.

Bit by bit this page will show, in no particular order, the pool of covers from which the Top 75 will eventually be voted upon.

So no, these are not in order. The numbers only indicate the order in which the nominees were unveiled, but the actual ranking will come after all 90 nominees have been posted and we actually vote on them.

DWright, I mean. Apologies for my own faulty reading.

I’m not sure I understand if these are in order or not but based on the comments I guess they are. If so, really surprised at the order.

They are not in order.

Some of the covers are not particulary iconic all in themselves, but the story within is very iconic. The Adventure Comics selection, for example. I can’t think of a more iconic Legion story, but the cover does nothing for me.

Who says Action is a sure fire winner? DC did this years ago and Crisis 7 was the winner by a large margin

What? No Action Comics #1 on the list yet? For shame.

The list is not in order of importance or anything like that, Craig.

Therefore, there is no shame in Action #1 not being on the list as of yet.

Here I am just listing four covers a day until we get the 90 possible options for people to pick from. The voters will choose the Top 75 when they vote for their personal top ten beginning November 23rd.

Clegane, Sandor

November 9, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Brian, since so many people keep misunderstanding that this list isn’t ranked yet, perhaps Action Comics # 1 should be one of tomorrow’s entries. It’d save you time having to re-explain why it isn’t there, at least!

Otherwise, great list so far. Any thoughts on Action Comics # 583? (Part 2 of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?)

Brian, since so many people keep misunderstanding that this list isn’t ranked yet, perhaps Action Comics # 1 should be one of tomorrow’s entries. It’d save you time having to re-explain why it isn’t there, at least!

Certainly a reasonable position.

My compromise is that I’ll add in another line of the list at the beginning, to make it super clear!

I still love the “Kryptonite Nevermore” cover. One of Adams’s best, in my opinion

The image of Superman in that pose breaking chains…well, it just doesn’t get anymore iconic than that. Unless there is another cover out there with that same pose but breaking normal chains, “Krytonite Nevermore” might have to top the list!

i know they’re not in order so these covers will probably be showing up, but just a few covers that occurred to me need to be in the list of 90 nominees that haven’t shown up yet:

superman 423 (whatever happened to the man of tomorrow?)
justice league 1 (giffen/dematteis series)
animal man 5 (might be my personal choice for #1)
swamp thing 34 (for the era, a pretty ballsy cover, and just beautiful to look at)
kingdom come 4 (as iconic as it gets)
starman 1 (the most recognizable image of what this site ranked dc’s #1 best superhero series)
legion of superheroes 293 (my favorite of the eisner/spirit inspired covers)
green lantern 49 (hal with all the rings- definitely made you want to read the issue)

hopefully we’ll be seeing all those in the coming weeks!

This is gonna be fun. I can’t wait to see what the top covers are of all time…AFTER Action Comics #1. Because let’s face it, That’s pretty much a no brainer. I would hope GL85 is at least in the top 5. That was a great cover.

would the bagged version of superman 75 also be eligible? the logo with the blood dripping down was one of the ultimate images of comics in the 90’s

Detective 31. Definately.

Anyone notice the huge blooper on Neal Adams’ cover for Batman #244 (Cover 31)?

Ra’s al Ghul is holding what appears to be the Batman’s entire costume including the pants, yet the Batman is still wearing pants as well.

too much superman already

I’ve been waiting an dhoping for a Nick Cardy Aquaman cover or two.I especially love #37, with Aquaman carrying Mera as “the sea dies.” Also the triumphant Black Manta over the jagged logo from #42 is spectacular.

Dereck: It’s just YOU.

I know you’re over half the way through but here are some that I’m willing to bet don’t make the list but could/should.

All-Star Comics= #3, #4, #37
Untold Legend of the Batman= #2
Sgt Rock= #349
Limited Collectors Edition= C-27, C-51
Batman= #3, #9, #241, #401, Death in the Family trade cover
Crisis= #1
Showcase= #56, #74, #79
More Fun Comics= #54
Detective Comics=#408, #457, #626
Challengers of the Unknown= #48, #64
Kamandi= #1
Superman= #296, (1987) = #79
Action= #289, #313, #490
New Gods= #1
Catwoman= #53 (actually Mr. Hughes’ entire Catwoman run, Wonder Woman run) Powergirl= Adam Hughes Cover
James Jean’s FABLES covers

Crisis #7 is just a homage/swipe/rip-off of Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men #136 cover.

Robert Niederklopfer

November 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Action Comics # 1 is definitely one of the most recognizable covers in all of comics, but so is the Death of Superman cover for Superman 75#

does anyone have a link for marvel’s top 70 covers? i’ve googled it but can’t seem to find a list or gallery of all of the covers. stupid marvel’s website only spotlights some of them.

some of those covers are amazing.

some I have never seen before in my entire life, whether it was the actual cover or a homage.

As much as i love Green Lantern and the cover of Green Lantern Green Arrow #76, I don’t get how you can leave out Action Comics #1.

For Most Iconic Has to be:
Dark Knight Returns
Watchmen
The Killing Joke
Detective Comics #7
Crisis #1

But a personal favorite is Swamp Thing #34… Love that cover

some of those covers are amazing.

some I have never seen before in my entire life, whether it was the actual cover or a homage.

Just wanted to point out, the T in the comment above is a different T than me, the usual one. (I just didn’t want my comic knowledge cred ruined by people thinking I didnt’ recognize most of these iconic covers ;))

Also, in response to:

As much as i love Green Lantern and the cover of Green Lantern Green Arrow #76, I don’t get how you can leave out Action Comics #1.

The list isn’t finished yet. I’m pretty sure Action Comics #1 is a given to be included at some point.

[…] Comics Should Be Good is running a vote to see what is DC’s most iconic cover. Nominations are taking place now, but for our money, the one above will be very, very hard to beat. […]

Cover 53.

Cover 42 is wicked cool, but Cover 53 is iconic. Covers 34 & 35 come close.

i dont know much about iconic regarding dc, but the best looking from that lot is:
Detective Comics # 31

I always like Superman 317. Neal Adams art work. Great stuff.

THE COVER OF THE DEATH OF SUPERGIRL IN THE CRISIS

I’m really digging the covers from the Golden Age…something about them

I’ve been collecting comics since 1984, reading since 1974… so if I don’t remember seeing the comic somewhere, it’s not iconic.

Homage also factors into the equation.

The cover should be judged not on the story inside, but on the merits of the cover itself. Sandman #8? Meh. Sandman #50? Yeah.

Best overall design? So good it should be a poster? Catwoman #74.
http://www.comics.org/issue/382084/cover/4/?style=default

I also suggest a separate column (ongoing) of best overall cover design for a series. Catwoman rates a mention, as does Sandman and Preacher. Series over 100 issues can be broken into chunks, since 1990s Detective covers are better than 1950s Detective covers.

Is cheesy iconic? If so, Lois Lane #106.

It’s probably Action Comics #1, though Flash #123 should be considered close. It illustrates the Golden Age meets the Silver Age motif, the multiple worlds, hero legacies, the different versions of the same character. Those are the things that I associate with DC.

Can’t really argue against Action #1 though.

Not to be too snarky (only a little bit snarky…) but is it really necessary to have both Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #1 and Green Lantern #127 on this list? I mean, they’re both awesome covers, but they’re both Briand-Bolland-does-a-heroic-tableau-of-Green-Lanterns; do we need to have two such examples on this list?

(Like I said, I’m being snarky. But especially with both those covers positioned so close together on the list, the redundancy is conspicuous.)

Over on Heidi McDonald’s blog about this, folks mentioned Justice League of America #56, which is another great choice for a list like this: http://www.comics.org/issue/21254/cover/4/

Not to be too snarky (only a little bit snarky…) but is it really necessary to have both Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #1 and Green Lantern #127 on this list?

Yes.

I mean, they’re both awesome covers, but they’re both Brian-Bolland-does-a-heroic-tableau-of-Green-Lanterns; do we need to have two such examples on this list?

Yes.

They both do specific unique things that have since been done many times on other covers.

A bunch of Lanterns thrusting their rings into the sky and depicting an actual CORPS of Lanterns/showing a Lantern with more than one ring had not been done before Bolland did it on those two covers (the latter cover was so notable that Bolland himself basically re-did it less than a year later for the third issue of Tales of the Green Lantern Corps).

Speaking of Heidi’s post, note that the cover that Heidi chose to spotlight was shot down as “not iconic” by most of the commenters the day that cover was posted. I think Heidi is spot on, of course.

I’m amazed how many Neal Adams covers are here. Or maybe I shouldn’ t be.
Glad to see my all-time favorite, Batman #183, on the list, but I’m not sure if it’s an iconic cover.

I really hope B & B # 70, with Hawkman and Batman beating up one another, makes the list. Also loved that one!
Also JLA #55 , with the Earth Two Robin and #56 with the JLA-JSA facing off.

[…] Las 75 portadas más representativas de DC comics  […]

So, where’s Adventure Comics #247?

So, where’s Adventure Comics #247?

The list is not in order of importance (it’s just a list of the 90 choices for people to make their picks from), so Adventure #247 might show up at any point in the list.

[…] Comic Book Resources compiled the 75 most iconic DC Covers of All Time. The covers are posted in no particular order, so don’t get riled up if you think Watchmen deserves to be higher. If you do get riled up, take your cause to the Internet! […]

T. and T?

I’m happy to see the Emerald Twilight cover up there. That was classic and one of the first covers that got me interested in the Green Lantern mythos.
-Vic De Zen

Hi Brian,

I’m e-mailing you with this request and posting here because the covers are almost done.

What about a Nightwing cover?

Tales of the Teen Titans #44
http://www.mycomicshop.com/comicbooks/item?IID=8541291

Nightwing #1
http://www.mycomicshop.com/comicbooks/item?IID=4777211

Thanks,

Mark

[…] love to vote — in polls, on Election Day, for American Idol — so when I stumbled across The Top 75 Most Iconic DC Covers (that’s a mouthful), I was tickled pink — I remember all of these, even the ones before […]

Alot of these remind of the Millenium Editions DC put out in 2000

I hope Batman #497 makes the list.

Knightfall > Death of Superman

So many gimmick covers from the silver age. They’ll push out modern classics like all star Superman #1 and (threeboot) Legion of Super-heroes #1. Far more influential than jimmy becomes a turtle covers. Also, still no Adventure 247!

For me the best covers are the ones from the 52 series…
You could have at least included the first cover…

I cannot believe that there isn’t even one cover from Jim Lee… He is the best artist, in my opinion…

KERWIN JOHNSON

March 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm

What about the cover of Weird Worlds #3. That’s an AWESOME cover that pays homage to a Frazetta Williamson EC cover. I believe it was rendered by Alan Weiss and Dick Giordano or Neal Adams

Too much superman, not enuf Joker, Witching Hour, House of Mystery, etc… some good choices on your list though. I enjoyed the quick perusal..! :)

[…] aqui). A votação vai até o dia 23 de novembro, lá você poderá montar o seu Top 10. Para votar acesse aqui. e não deixe de […]

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