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Top 75 DC Iconic Covers Play-In Game!

Okay, so I’ve revealed 86 of the 90 covers that you’ll be able to vote on starting tomorrow.

The last four will be up tomorrow, but I figured that instead of going with the four I had lined up for tomorrow, I’ll instead let you folks choose the two covers that make up covers 89 and 90.

Here are the twelve covers you can choose from – pick which one you think is the most iconic – the top two vote-getters will be 89 and 90. Click on the cover to see a larger version of the cover!



Animal Man 1 FTW. The Doom Patrol and All Star Squadron covers are also pretty good.

Batman and Animal Man definitely. That Batman was one of the first comics I read. What a way to start.

And did Identity Crisis 1 seriously say “Deadly Secret! Private Hells!”? Wow.

Whay not add all 12 for an even 100?

The tag lines on “Identity Crisis” struck me too. It should’ve read “Deadly Cop-Outs! Plot-Hole Hells!” (It’s an ugly cover in all ways. Although I did enjoy Rags Morales’ interiors.)

I’d vote for “All-Star Squadron” or, maybe, for “Doom Patrol” — if it weren’t for “Animal Man” #5. Here’s the rub: Brian Bolland’s amazing work on that series deserves a slot on this list, but I’m afraid #1 will split his vote. If that happens, it’ll be a shame, because #5 is both a more striking cover — better composed and better colored — and it completely encapsulates both the done-in-one story of that individual issue AND Morrison’s entire run. I can’t think of a better example of iconic than that.

One last comment (for now ;-) … I was hoping to see Black Canary’s first appearance:


although I understand why (I presume) it didn’t ultimately make the cut: The design is an homage/rip-off of the Batman cover featuring Robin’s introduction.

Animal Man 5 and the Deadman one.

As for Swamp Thing covers…I think Swamp Thing (original series) #9 was absolutely iconic.

I’m torn between Animal Man # 5 and Legion of Super-Heroes # 294.

I went with the latter.

So I guess we should try to guess 86 and 87 then. One of those is clearly Action Comics 1. Not sure what the other one is.

That said, Identity Crisis 1? I realize the issue is important, but that’s a really dull cover to everything else we’re allowed to vote on. Of covers to modern event issues, I much prefer Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 or 52 #1 (although the latter has the whole clear homage to the Death of Superman thing likely keeping it off the list.)

What a great bunch of covers! While I wanted to give a nod to Animal Man, my gut made me click on Legion 294. Just skimming the images, that one just kept beckoning to me. Seduced by the Darkseid, I guess.

I’m quite surprised Animal Man 26 hasn’t been mentioned yet. I thought it was iconic, but maybe it’s considered more freaky than anything else.

(nice to see All-Star Squadron there too, by the way, one of the first DC comics I ever got!)

While not the most iconic cover of the 12 posted, I had to vote for Jim Aparo’s Batman and the Outsiders. The cover was the entire reason I continued to give my hard earned cash to the great comic gods month after month since I was 7. In terms of my life experience, you don’t really get much more iconic than that.

If it wasn’t for that, I’d have even harder time deciding between Strange Adventures, Doom Patrol, Legion of Super Heroes, and Animal Man #5.

For my money, any of these four (5 if you count BatO, which I don’t think you will) deserves to win.

I chose Animal Man.

In making my choice, I tried to be as unbiased as possible. Therefore, I looked up the meaning of the word icon. Webster’s dictionary defines icon as a symbol; a sign (as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning. I then thought about which of these covers most its suggest its meaning. Finally, I thought about which cover suggests not only the most meaning to me, but to DC Comics as well (at least from my standpoint as a DC reader). I’m posting this because I’m curious to know how others made their choices.

I’m torn between the Legion cover and Doom Patrol, but Superman’s awesome 5 o’clock shadow in Action Comics alone probably merits cover consideration.

Animal Man #1, no question.

I voted for Animal Man 5. Hopefully Swamp Thing will get the other slot.

For the final two slots… From what I gather, Action Comics 1 and All Star Superman 1 haven’t been done yet so it pretty much has to be those.

ASS 1 might lose it for being too recent though. Have we had Crisis on Infinite Earths 7 and 12 yet?

You left so many good ones until last. I voted for the legion one but I would have put Bolland’s animal man, knightfall and all star squadron in the list

I voted Identity Crisis, though it was a very, very tough fight between that and Animal Man #1 (which, while not as good a cover as #5, is more iconic).

As for the one that isn’t Action #1, I assume it’s my much-insisted upon Zero Hour #4. :)

Scratch that – I just saw ASS #1 on day 21.

Has Justice League #1 been in yet?

Animal Man 5 and the Batman issue with Bane breaking him.

The real thing that crushes me here is that Animal Man desperately deserves to get one on the list, and its vote is going to be split between two covers either of which would be worthy. :(

got to go with animal man five for it was the start of grant breaking down the fourth wall that and the super man cover where he tries to do away with being clark kent is also worthy of the list. and also batman and the outsiders. proving that some time batman was hell with intertanl politics screw it.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

November 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm

All-Star Squadron #1 has been repeatedly homaged, most recently on Meltzer’s Justice League of America #0 cover. But it appears no one but me can recall it’s influence.

I love Morrison’s Animal Man, but the covers aren’t terribly “iconic.” They’re Bolland work, so they look fantastic, and the series is important and memorable, but are the covers themselves actually influential elsewhere or, #5 aside, tremendously well-remembered as relatively conbtext-free images?

That is, if you’re not thinking of Animal Man, but just DC comics covers, do they pop up instantly?

To my mind, the first one is – but then, I think Morrison’s Animal Man run is an iconic DC run. :)

Holy sheepshit! You actually put Superman #296 in there. From reading the comments so far, I may be in the minority but this is hands down one of my favorite DC covers, Swan and Oksner at their best. Thanks for at least entertaining me (you know you didn’t have this one picked ’til I brought it to your attention!)

Citizen Scribbler

November 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Most of these covers are great choices, and I think everybody here has a decent reason for their choices. I love the Doom Patrol, Deadman, LOSH and the Animal Man covers a lot, but I had to go with A-SS #1 for its strong concept and the homages its been given. I love the idea of seeing the cover of a super-group book wondering which heroes are going to be included- and it kinda harkens back to the headshot team-building sequences in the old Mission Impossible show.

That Doom Patrol issue is just so awesome though; but how many times have we seen heroes’ headstones on a comic cover before and since- it just so happened that, in this instance, the hype on the cover was FOR REAL! Amazing. That issue is maybe my favorite heroic death story of all time; sacrificing their lives, not to save the world, but the village of a handful of old fishermen- because it was the cool thing to do (sniff).

-Citizen Scribbler

I too think you should put all the covers up for consideration and make it the top 75 covers from 100 choices.

when i started reading these posts two weeks ago, animal man 5 was the very first cover that came to my mind. it is not only, i feel, one of the most striking covers ever, but it perfectly encapsulates four things: the character (often used as a martyr), the single issue, grant morrison’s entire run, and really the overall direction DC comics was going in at that time, making all of their titles smarter than they ever had been.

and besides all of that, brian bolland is probably the best cover artist of the last 25 years, and this cover is one of his two masterworks (along with the killing joke)

as for my thoughts on covers 87 and 88, clearly action #1 is there, and the other may be one of the following: sandman 1, crisis 1, robin 1 (first miniseries), jla 1 or 4, nightwing 1, new teen titans 44, swamp thing 64, or wonder woman 72. of that group, i’d most enjoy seeing the titans or nightwing, though sandman or wonder woman may be most deserving.

Not my favorite of the covers, that would be Animal Man #5, but Batman 497 is the most iconic.

I just realized while looking at the All-Star cover; why is Dr. Mid-Nite looking at pictures at all? That’s kinda dickish of Hawkman and the Atom to taunt him like that.

The Ugly American

November 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Vote Identity Crisis for the skew!

I gotta go with that Batman cover. I’ve seen the others, but that image of his back being broken symbolized that whole long story arc. Now, I’m not sure I really liked that story, but this image was memorable.

I remember when Bane first appeared on the Animated Series, they teased us with him lifting up Batman, and just seconds away from that cover image, until Bats got the best of him. I wonder how many specific comic scenes — covers especially — have been homaged in animated form. The most recent one I can recall is the Brave and the Bold giving us their version of the Guy Gardner punch.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

November 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I just realized while looking at the All-Star cover; why is Dr. Mid-Nite looking at pictures at all?

Mid-Nite’s whole shtick is that he can see when he’s wearing his goggles, so he can see perfectly well on that cover.

You’re killing me here! BatO #1, ASS #1, Swamp Thing #1 and Legion 294? All four of these are in my tom ten, and you’re telling me at least two of them aren’t making the cut at all? Wowsers.

Animal Man #5 for the win.

If I could choose two, I would’ve voted for Swamp Thing #1 too.

A close vote for me between Animal Man #1 and All-Star Squadron #1, but I went with Bolland’s beautiful AM cover.

I’m shocked Identity Crisis #1 was ever given consideration. That cover is horrendous looking…

I voted for Batman 497, it was the one I thought would be recognized by the largest crosssection of the populace. I also have a strong respect for Animal Mans covers both of them and my other choice was Animal Man 5.

I’ve never seen any of these covers before EVER

I really like Animal Man 5, but I had to go with the “breaking the bat” cover. Maybe it’s just because that’s when I began reading comics (in fact, I’m pretty sure of it) but that Batman cover would certainly be on my personal top 10 iconic cover list.

“I realize the issue is important, but that’s a really dull cover to everything else we’re allowed to vote on.”
Why is the cover to IDC 1 so dull?

Citizen Scribbler

November 22, 2009 at 9:19 pm

@Mark Black- If you’ve never seen any of these covers before, then I am very happy for you, because you have some awesome reading ahead of you if you choose to seek out most of these stories. Almost all hold classic stories.

-Citizen Scribbler

Not long after this whole roll-out began, I wondered: Why is Brian giving us just 90 to choose from? When the end cut is 75, it seems like 100 (or even 125 or 150) makes more sense as a starting pool. So … add my vote to those who think you could just toss ‘em all in the pool, and let us pick from 100!

"O" the Humanatee!

November 22, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this before, but Animal Man’s pose on #1 is very close to a classic Gil Kane pose. Was Bolland homaging Kane, either for some past Animal Man drawing or some other Kane work? The only references I’ve found on-line to Kane Animal Man art are to his cover and interiors on Action #553 (see cover at http://www.comics.org/issue/38388/cover/4/?style=default – the pose there is somewhat similar but far from identical to Bolland’s) and to a Who’s Who in DC Comics preview in DC Sampler #3 (http://www.comics.org/issue/330081/#524606 – there’s no drawing there, but presumably it’s the same drawing used in Who’s Who itself, which is currently inaccessible to me).

Nothing else in that list even comes close to being as Iconic as Batman #497. Although the All-Star Squadron cover has been emulated many times (JLA using 8 x10s to pick members, etc.) and the Superman is at least interesting, if not all that important.

For “iconic” it can only be Batman #497.

I was all set to vote for Animal Man #1… and then I saw Swamp Thing #1 hiding at the end there.

In any event, there are several covers here that belong on the list a lot more than some of the lesser ones we’ve seen…

Do I HAVE to vote for something for my childhood, or can I just go with the most historically important? I voted Strange Tales. But I’m probably a bad comic fan.

Brian, which two of these were you originally going to put in?

That’ll be a mystery for the ages! :)

Seriously, though, I’ll hint that one of the two covers was on my original list.

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