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The Top 75 Most Iconic Covers in DC History – Day 16

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!

49 Comments

wow, whatta sorry lot.

wow, whatta sorry lot.

wow, are you serious? these are all pretty well known!

Robert Niederklopfer

November 17, 2009 at 6:32 am

By who? retards? I’ll quit visiting this site if any of these make the top 75.

I think the first two are probably locks to make the cut.

By who? retards? I’ll quit visiting this site if any of these make the top 75.

I guess we’ll miss your presence in a couple of weeks.

This is the worst thing ever! Boo to you, Brian Cronin! If any of these entrants win, I’m going to KILL MYSELF!

That Flash puppet cover is the single weirdest one I’ve seen on this countdown yet. I didn’t think anything would beat out the Justice League turning into trees.

Man, people are crazy.

They keep complaining that some covers are not iconic. But those 2 GL covers are repeatedly homaged over the years.

What´s more iconic than that?

These 4 are iconic?

I don’t think so.

They all can’t be iconic.

Maybe tomorrow.

“I’ve got the strangest feeling I’m being turned into a puppet!” What does that feel like and how does he already know??

all hard to pick though got to go with the first one for think that is the issue where zoom kills iris

if you didn’t know that 2 & 4 are iconic, you dont know your comic covers.

yeah, the 2nd and the 4th covers are the only ones I’m familiar with, and still I woudn’t call them iconic.

The first one is definitely iconic.

Not feeling that Flash puppet cover. It’s kooky and fun looking, but I can’t think of any homages to it in the intervening years….

These are all pretty famous covers. And I’m now tempted to vote them in my top ten just to make certain people go away.

“I’ve got the strangest feeling I’m being turned into a puppet!”

I’ll have to remember to use that one with my wife. and my cat.

Maybe I’m just not a GL fanboy, but I don’t recognize any of these covers. And isn’t the flash one at the top just a variation on the “STOP!” flash cover?

Seriously, that first Flash cover is super famous, and was homaged during the Wally West years in the middle of the Return of Barry Allen storyline (who turned out to actually be Prof Zoom). And those two GL covers are homaged about 2000 times and are quite famous in and of themselves. The only one that is a little strange is the one with Flash turning into a puppet. It may not be iconic, but it is pretty freakin’ cool and I’m glad it was included if for no other reason that so I can make it a screensaver.

I’m amazed that people are railing against these choices.

The “Battleground: Oa” cover has been one of my all-time favorites since I picked up that issue at a 7-Eleven as a kid. Thanks.

I’m not a Flash or GL fan so I admit I’m not familiar with these (I may have seen the first one somewhere).

So they probably won’t get my votes, but I do like them, especially the first one. Kind of reminds me of the One Must Surely Die cover of Alpha Flight. Sometimes it’s better not to telegraph a major death and make it more shocking, but once in a while it makes for a pretty eye-grabbing cover.

Remind me again why Hal is wearing two power rings on cover # 4?

If memory serves, he was avenging a fallen comrade. I don’t think the rings had that automatic “seek a new bearer” feature at that time.

The 2 Green Lantern covers are very similar and variations of that theme have been done many, many times. The concept of many GLs from the different sectors together with power rings in the air is iconic but those covers are not.

Obviously no one could think up a better caption to put on a picture of the Flash being turned into a puppet. Fortunately, because the way Flash just states exactly what’s happening to him is what makes it an hilarious classic.

“I’ve got the strangest feeling I’m being turned into a puppet!”

That is Looney Tunes-level funny.

1 is the only one out of this lot I had seen before. 3 looks like something out of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol run. 4 is a nice cover but I don’t recall seeing it before.

There are so many iconic Flash covers – the GL ones are from my early days again so have a certain fondness but I don’t thin of them as particularly iconic despite my love of Brian Bolland.

Sure, the Flash cover is dumb, but that’s kind of the point of it being here, isn’t it? An example of some of the crazy silliness in that era of comics? And I do recall it being referenced for the sake of it’s wackiness.

I hate to throw may hat into the “defining iconic” ring like others have, but I don’t think iconic needs to mean a cover is actually good…

Dang… didn’t mean to hit enter. I was going to add that I would argue that there are probably some terrible 90s-era Liefeld and friends covers that are iconic because of their representing the worst of that time.

I’ve never seen #3 but 1,2 and 4 are very iconic. Especially 2.

"O" the Humanatee!

November 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm

I’m older than most of the readers here, and perhaps because of that, I share Ethan Shuster’s opinion: To me, the puppet Flash cover is iconic of a certain era not only of Flash comics (as is the famous, to some of us at least, giant-head Flash cover) but of DC generally – the era in which covers showed bizarre, intriguing situations to entice newsstand buyers, who didn’t usually find equally intriguing stories inside. (I hope we’ll we be seeing Giant Turtle-Man Olsen too!)

The Flash 184 doesn’t mean as much to me, though perhaps it should. And I’m with Luis on the Green Lantern covers – the situation is iconic, but I don’t find the visuals all that compelling. They’re certainly not close to Brian Bolland’s best work; both have a rather boring symmetrical composition.

I am curious about some of the GLs seen in these covers. Aside from Hal, Katma Tui and Tomar Re, I don’t recognize any of them. In particular, I wonder what’s up with the root vegetable who’s wearing an orange wig! Does anybody know?

Maybe #1. Maybe.

The rest? Meh. They don’t do it for me. They look…played out and poor.

none of these would be on my list.

#1 is definitely an eye-catcher. And I’m a sucker for the Lantern Corps, with its funnier shaped members. I love pickle-man and the grasshopper.

The 2 Green Lantern covers are very similar and variations of that theme have been done many, many times.

Both covers HAVE been done many, many times – but they were done for the FIRST time with those two covers, hence their iconic status. 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).

wow, whatta sorry lot.

The Flash “I’m being turned into a puppet” may be THE most memorable cover OF ALL TIME. You children should be ashamed that you do not know your comic book history.

the too GLS are defintely Iconic.
Flash puppet one id never seen before but its awesome.
the other flash one seems kinda gimmicky.

Brian I truly enjoy all your columns legends and countdown.

Could you give us your definition of iconic? I think this is the source of much of the griping here. My understanding of “iconic” is that the image something is quickly and easily recognizable by a very large percentage of the audience as indicative and/or conveying of a certain character or theme. If a large number of respondents greet a certain image with a “huh? I’ve never even seen that before”, that would seem to instantly preclude said image as iconic. The comic book industry is very self referential. Just because something has been homaged, aped or parodied doesn’t make it iconic. I think many of the covers you are calling “iconic” are simply “gimmicky” or “unique” or “great covers”, but not instantly recognizable and indicative of a certian subjkect.

I liken this to the best argument I’ve ever heard for a similar topic – what qualifies a player for the Baseball Hall Of fame. The answer is as soon as you hear the name, you instantly think yes, Hall Of Famer, the list should be limited to the names that roll f your tongue. By definition it seems to me a very few things can be iconic of an entire medium. A list of 75 seems forced and contradictory.

Could you give us your definition of iconic?

Sure.

Iconic being determined partially subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of DC Comics, but first being determined with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of DC Comics.

There, now that you know the definition, I am sure that will stop the griping.

Yep, that oughta put it to rest thanks! ;-)

1 and 3 definitely deserve a high to mid place in the final list. The other two I haven’t seen as much, though I can see number 2 being iconic as well.

There has been a lot of love for GL and Flash. Which I get, especially as they were instrumental in ushering in the Silver Age. But where’s my girl Wonder Woman? I only recall two covers of hers: her first cover appearance and the debut of her 70s look.

For that matter where’s Aquaman? If nothing stands out from the Super Friends era, I at least think an early one from the Peter David era should be considered. I think that these four covers today may be iconic for these characters, but not really for DC as a whole.

When I think of DC, I think of the plethora of heroes, not a million covers depicting every aspect of one hero like Green Lantern or the Flash. I would rather vote for an iconic cover of 10 heroes than vote for 10 iconic covers of one hero (although I do understand Superman and Batman showing up so much). That said, I’d like to see covers spotlighting the likes of Catwoman, Aquaman, and Lex Luthor to name a few.

Reading these comments I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Daniel was right, you children ought to be ashamed.

I don’t particularly recognise any of these except maybe that first Flash cover.

I have to say though, I love that puppet cover!

“That’s Larvox” — thanks Dan!

Gah, if I never saw Green Lantern #127 again, I’d be perfectly happy. Tales #1 is a fantastic cover that pretty much makes the same point, but I can’t get over #127’s extremely awkwardly posed GL.

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