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CSBG Archive

The Top 75 Most Iconic Covers in DC History – Day 3

Okay, in case you didn’t see the introduction, the concept is that each day up to and including the 23rd of November, I’ll be posting four iconic covers from DC Comics’ 75-year history. On the 23rd, you folks will get a chance to pick your Top 10 out of the 90 choices. I’ll tabulate the votes and I’ll debut the Top 75 Most Iconic Covers in DC Comics History on November 30th. In the meantime, feel free to e-mail me (bcronin@comicbookresources.com) with suggestions for covers for me to use!

Here’s the next four covers! And click here for the master list of all the covers posted so far!


1 and 2, yes. 3 and 4, I’m not familiar with. And thanks to Art Baltazar, I have a completely different notion of what a “Battle of the Tiny Titans” should look like.

I’ve never seen the Teen Titans cover before, but I wasn’t a Titan’s fan in all fairness. I wasn’t familiar with the Showcase cover but guessed it was probably the first Atom appearance… and looked it up to confirm my guess. So, what is the significance of the Titans cover? Or do I have to google that also?

Up to this point, the selections have all been excellent. I don’t see #3 or #4 belonging in this list though.

JoeMac and Adam:

The Titans cover shows Dick Grayson and Wally West giving up their identities as Robin and Kid Flash. They would return post-Crisis as Nightwing and Flash. It was a big deal at the time,as they had been in sidekick roles for nearly 45 and 30 years respectively.

I am so glad to see NTT 39 on the list. That cover ranks up there with “Flash of Two Worlds” as establishing DC as having Legacy Characters, and characters that grow and change.

Superman and Batman may forever be Clark and Bruce, and Diana will always be Wonder Woman. But, the sidekics got a chance to grow up and become heroes in their own right. The DCU became a place where Kid Flash could become Flash, and Robin could indeed get tired of being the second half of “Batman and” and become Nightwing.


(waiting for the legion of Dick Grayson fans to correct my timeline about when he took on the Nightwing identity relative to Crisis.)

I like the captions on the Action Comics cover.

The way it’s phrased, it almost seems that Superman is more surprised to see a girl not in a kitchen, than another person flying :-)

What are the homages for 3?

Well, Matt, Spider-Man totally copied it. *cough*

Homages aren’t the end-all be-all here, I don’t think. (Watchmen #2, for example, had a lot more homages than this one (because it’s probably the most easy-to-riff-on of all of the Watchmen covers), but this one is still probably a better choice for the list. (if there can only be one, of course)

That said, I’m unimpressed with the Atom cover. Maybe if there has to be a cover to represent the character; Atom covers in general are weak, and usually feature him in peril rather than being heroic at that…

That Atom cover totally belongs among the most iconic DC covers. I’m surprised more people don’t recognize it/aren’t into it.

I would definitely say that the Watchmen and the New Teen Titans covers were iconic.

The Atom and Action Comics wouldn’t have appealed to me at all.

The Atom cover’s also a spectacular drawing by Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. It always pops up in histories of DC since it’s the Atom’s first appearance. If you don’t know it, that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome.

The Teen Titans cover, the same thing. Great drawing, important issue. I’m happy Brian’s pulling these sleepers out.

I never was a fan of the Atom, and it’s the first time I’ve seen the cover.

For a minute I got that New Teen Titans cover mixed up with the equally iconic New Teen Titans Keebler anti-drug PSA issue cover, even though they don’t really look alike.

The drawing is beautiful enough, but it’s hard for me to see what the fuss is about a midget trapping another midget inside a bottle…

Maybe it’s just me.

The Titans cover’s been homaged a couple of times.


These are all pretty significant covers.

Great choices on all of them. Man, Anderson just inked the hell out of that cover didn’t he? Great job.

All historic covers (the Titans one possibly the least so, and that should only give you an idea of the strength of the other three) and all featuring great artist (not necerssarily a given with these).

Kane, Kane, Kane, Kane and also Kane.

Thank you

I’ve seen this Atom cover a number of times. It’s a great image. Wasn’t he the first shrinking character in superhero comics?* That’s a pretty nifty — and inventive — superpower, which the artists showcase very well by giving enough context in the cover to demonstrate that this is, truly, a whole-new Atom. This guy’s not just short, like Al Pratt: He can shrink down to mere inches! So, yeah, a pretty significant comic book cover.

* Ant-Man and Wasp came soon afterwards.

Nah, Rebis. Doll Man did it in 1939.

Doll Man was the first shrinking superhero, created in 1944 by Will Eisner.

Yes, 1939. Sorry!

The first three I’m fine with, but I’ve never seen that Atom cover before. Not to say it isn’t an excellent drawing, but I don’t see it as having “most iconic” status…

Just wondering… I read somewhere that the Teen Titans #39 cover was inspired by Amazing Spider-Man #50. Is that true?

“Doll Man did it in 1939.”

D’oh! That’s more than two decades earlier. Is this the Doll Man of the Freedom Fighters? He was an Eisner creation?

Yep, like all of the original Freedom Fighters, Doll Man was a Golden Age Quality Comics hero. Among that team, Eisner had also created the superhero version of Uncle Sam and co-created Black Condor. Blackhawk was another one of Eisner’s Quality creations that went on to a long life at DC.

Sounds likely, Joe.

It could also be a Superman #29..8? (or 299?) reference.

Or an X-Men #138 reference.

Hey, I was going to suggest the Titans cover, but there it is!

And I totally forgot about Watchmen, but that’s a great choice, too!

Are Vertigo titles counting? Seems like Preacher no. 1 should be popping up if that’s the case.

speaking of “homages” and TT# 39 the first part of this book was copied pretty much panel for panel in X-Force #1

Are Vertigo titles counting?

Vertigo titles count, yes.

speaking of “homages” and TT# 39 the first part of this book was copied pretty much panel for panel in X-Force #1

Yeah, that was a fairly random homage, wasn’t it?

Columns like this just make me wish DC would put out some more of those Cover to Cover books they did with Batman and Superman. I’d love to see Flash, Green Lantern etc. Heck, even if they only did a Silver Age or Modern Age collection I’d be all for it.

I’m not familiar with the middle two, but recognizable or no they’re all pretty rad.

You should have a “Most Rad Comic Covers Ever” countdown! That’s my contribution.

Citizen Scribbler

November 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm

I just thought of a suggestion. I’d like to see Justice League of America #34 from the JLI days. The Kooey Kooey Kooey issue with Fire on the cover serving drinks to Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. It’s a very funny cover and the one which seems to be the most often posted to convey the occassional light-hearted nature of the series.

-Citizen Scribbler

Waiting for Flash 123, JLA (original) 21, Justice League (Giffen) 1, and the man in a gorilla’s body holding a sign in the zoo cage (can’t remember where that’s from).

hard to pick but i went with titans 39 for it showed dick and wally finaly moving on from being side kicks and to becoming full fledged heroes of their own. legacy contiuing though liked the watchman cover

can we see Teen Titans #26 (1960s series)? That’s a pretty remarkable shot of heroes giving up their costumes.

My favourite cover of the action 252 is the 3rd print of Supergirl #1 (2005) by Ed McGuiness (I think). Very cool!

This is going to be a great series of covers. Sandman 20, anyone?



Why is Kory the only one naked on the (linked above) cover of Titans #13? And, why have I never noticed it before now?

Seriously, even gold-Cyborg has the appearance of civies.


One thing of note with that Titans cover. Dick was indeed moving on to establish his own hero identity. Wally was quitting due to health issues.

the 3rd print of supergirl#1 was by Churchill and was an Action 252 homage with Batman in Superman’s place and the entire scene underwater. I love it too. There are loads of Supergirl covers I love though. Daring new adventures #1 and Daring new adventures #13 (I think, the one where she’s on an alien planet with the US flag behind her)

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