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Top 75 Most Iconic DC Covers of All-Time Master List

Here is the master list of all the Top 75 Most Iconic DC Covers of All-Time, as voted on by you, the readers! Check back each weekday to see the next ten covers until the list is complete!

75.

Cover Art by: Sheldon Moldoff

73 (tie).

Cover Art by: Brian Bolland

73 (tie).

Cover Art by: Sheldon Moldoff

72.

Cover Art by: Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson

71.

Cover Art by: Curt Swan and Stan Kaye

67 (tie).

Cover Art by: Ross Andru and Mike Esposito

67 (tie).

Cover Art by: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson

67 (tie).

Cover Art by: Curt Swan and Stan Kaye

67 (tie).

Cover Art by: Win Mortimer

66.

Cover Art by: Tony Harris

64 (tie).

Cover Art by: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Dick Giordano

64 (tie).

Cover Art by: Everett Hibbard and Sheldon Moldoff

61 (tie).

Cover Art by: Curt Swan, George Klein and John Forte

61 (tie).

Cover Art by: Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson

61 (tie).

Cover Art by: Irwin Hasen

58 (tie).

Cover Art by: Neal Adams

58 (tie).

Cover Art by: Bernie Wrightson

58 (tie).

Cover Art by: Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano

56 (tie).

Cover Art by: Ed Hannigan, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson

56 (tie).

Cover Art by: Gil Kane

54 (tie).

Cover Art by: Tom Yeates

54 (tie).

Cover Art by: Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris

53.

Cover Art by: Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella

51 (tie).

Cover Art by: Frank Miller

51 (tie).

Cover Art by: Brian Bolland

49 (tie).

Cover Art by: Dave McKean

49 (tie).

Cover Art by: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson

48.

Cover Art by: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson

47.

Cover Art by: Harry G. Peter

46.

Cover Art by: Neal Adams

44 (tie).

Cover Art by: Glenn Fabry

44 (tie).

Cover Art by: Jack Kirby

42 (tie).

Cover Art by: Murphy Anderson

42 (tie).

Cover Art by: John Totleben

40 (tie).

Cover Art by: Neal Adams

40 (tie).

Cover Art by: Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson

39.

Cover Art by: Neal Adams and Joe Kubert

37 (tie).

Cover Art by: Curt Swan and George Klein

37 (tie).

Cover Art by: Curt Swan and Al Plastino

36.

Cover Art by: George Perez

35.

Cover Art by: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson

34.

Cover Art by: Neal Adams

33.

Cover Art by: George Perez

32.

Cover Art by: Neal Adams

31.

Cover Art by: Kelley Jones

30.

Cover Art by: Bob Kane

28 (tie).

Cover Art by: Brian Bolland

28 (tie).

Cover Art by: George Perez and Dick Giordano

27.

Cover Art by: Alex Ross

26.

Cover Art by: Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson

25.

Cover Art by: Fred Ray

24.

Cover Art by: Frank Quitely

23.

Cover Art by: Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson

22.

Cover Art by: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson

21

Cover Art by: Mike Sekowksy and Murphy Anderson

20.

Cover Art by: Jack Burnley

19.

Cover Art by: John Byrne

18.

Cover Art by: Everett E. Hibbard

17.

Cover Art by: Darryl Banks and Romeo Tanghal

16.

Cover Art by: Joe Shuster

15.

Cover Art by: Carmine Infantino and Joe Kubert

14.

Cover Art by: Curt Swan and Stan Kaye

13.

Cover Art by: Neal Adams

12.

Cover Art by: Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding

11.

Cover Art by: Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson

10.

Cover Art by: Neal Adams

9.

Cover Art by: David Mazzucchelli

8.

Cover Art by: Dave Gibbons

7.

Cover Art by: Bob Kane

6.

Cover Art by: Kevin Maguire and Terry Austin

5.

Cover Art by: Frank Miller

4.

Cover Art by: Brian Bolland

3.

Cover Art by: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson

2.

Cover Art by: George Perez

1.

Cover Art by: Joe Shuster

45 Comments

I’m actually really surprised that enough people voted for that puppet Flash cover for it to get in.

It’s like, “Whoa! I am hell of much a puppet!”

Has anyone here read that Flash issue? I’ve always suspected it was a misfiring attempt at irony, and that we’re supposed to understand that he means that he feels like he’s metaphorically being turned into a puppet (i.e., that someone is manipulating him) while being completely unaware that he is literally being turned into a puppet, but the image is so ludicrous that the intent gets lost (Heck, the way a lot of those Silver Age covers worked, it’s entirely possible that the idea of Barry being turned into an actual puppet never even comes up, and that the cover is just going overboard with symbolism). But for all I know that cover depicts an actual secene from the issue and in context it’s clear that he DOES mean “it feels like I’m being turned into a wooden marionette.”

Yes I read this Fash puppet issue way back when it was new and he was turned into a puppet. I do remember Abra Kadabra being a magician and sometimes illusionist..

At least on the cover of JLA #9 he’s not thinking “I have the strangest feeling I’m turning into a tree!”

Amazing! None of my top 10 have been listed yet!

My only concern with some of these is that what is defining them as “iconic” is not the image, but the issue that they represent. SAGA OF SWAMP THING 21 is a perfect example – that is NOT an iconic image; it’s an iconic BOOK. For the most part, readers have done a good job of defining these, although I would have put the Neal Adams images higher (I’m sure there are more of his to come), as well as the Perez TITANS cover, as well as FLASH 161 (one of the most iconic covers in comics history), but hey, that’s just me.

The Flash puppet cover is probably one of the more forgettable Flash covers from the Silver Age. Not sure why it made it on the list. Nothing iconic about it at all.

I’ve never read that many DC books, but after the last few years I really feel like picking some more of them up. I really think these covers represent what a great company DC is.

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I have several of them, hooray! I even have the Superman v Muhammad Ali in better condition than shown above. I think I had Action 252 – The Supergirl fro Krypton when I was a kid, but my parents “gave it away to sick cousins” or I’d be a lot wealthier now… :)

“The Flash puppet cover is probably one of the more forgettable Flash covers from the Silver Age. Not sure why it made it on the list. Nothing iconic about it at all.”

It’s not a great cover but along with the JLA tree cover it does kind of sum up Silver Age madness neatly.

Just for fun, here are the characters with the most appearances so far (i.e., Covers 75-11)

1) Superman with 18 appearances (Four as Superboy)
2) Batman with 15
3) Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) with 12
4) Flash (Barry Allen) and Wonder Woman with 10 apiece
6) Robin (Dick Grayson) with 9
7) Hawkman with 7
8) Green Lantern (Alan Scott) and Martian Manhunter with 5 apiece
10) Aquaman, Atom (Al Pratt), Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), Lightning Lad, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen all with 4 apiece

It will be fun to see how this looks after the final ten are posted.

Any glaring omissions? I find it surprising that Captain Marvel hasn’t appeared more. So far he’s just in the crowd scene in Action Comics 583. And Al Pratt has more appearances than Ray Palmer!

I’ll update this again when the rest of the covers are up.
Saturn Girl

There was a fantastic Legion of Super-Heroes cover by Ed Hannigan during the Great Darkness Saga (sorry I don’t remember the issue number). Basically it was the Legion logo, carved in rock and pitted by all the Legion blasting into it. That should had bee in the top 45.

Updated list, top 10 characters by cover appearance:

1) Superman x18 (4 as Superboy)
Batman x18 (1 as lil’ Bruce)
3) Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) x13
4) Flash (Barry Allen) x10
Wonder Woman
6) Robin (Dick Grayson) x9
7) Hawkman x7
8) Martian Manhunter x6
9) Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) x5
Green Lantern (Alan Scott)

People always get really happy around number 8 in these lists

A lot of suggestions I made to Brian made the list, it would be interesting to see if they might have been there otherwise, most notably the Jimmy Olsem, Adventure 314 and Batman 156 covers. Great fun, thanks Brian.

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Have to agree with Jay. There are lots of covers that are far more iconic from some of these but on issues that no one particularly remembers. Vertigo covers are also badly underrepresented. As are non-superhero covers from earlier eras.

A lot of wonderful, beautiful, superb covers in this list. About one-fifth of them are even iconic. (You know, symbolic of what makes that character and his milieu unique.)

Kinda feel bad for Aquaman. Not one cover expect for Justice League stuff.

No one minds that the Crisis #7 cover is practically traced from X-Men 136?

I genuinely wonder, what do some of you mean when you say ‘iconic’? How would you define that quality and why do you think it’s so important for covers? And which covers best represent it, taking examples from that list?

This is a great list of some really interesting covers, but very few of them are iconic. Perhaps CBR should re-label these lists as nostalgic covers. For example, I love the cover to ANIMAL MAN #5, but can anyone explain to me why this is an iconic image?

“No one minds that the Crisis #7 cover is practically traced from X-Men 136?”

My understanding is that is a myth propagated by fandom. Perez wasn’t homaging Byrne with that cover, although they both may have been influenced by Michaelangelo’s Pieta statue.

I agree that some of these are definitely not iconic IMO. An icon is a visual symbol of what the essence of that character is.

Flash being turned into a puppet or holding up his hand telling the reader to stop are eye-catching great covers, but not iconic.

“An icon is a visual symbol of what the essence of that character is.”

Give me an example applied to Superman or Batman, because I’m really struggling to understand this concept.

The results are a bot disappointing. Some iconic covers made it into the top 20 but not enough IMO. Kiiling Joke, The Dark Knight, Watchmen are all great covers, but iconic ?

That being said I voted for the ones that placed 1,3, 7 and 10 but I cant understand why Fred Ray’s Superman cover, Batman # 1, Robin’s first appearance, Superman # 1 and Brunley’s Batman cover would’nt be considered more iconic.

My bad, I voted for the top 3

“My understanding is that is a myth propagated by fandom. Perez wasn’t homaging Byrne with that cover, although they both may have been influenced by Michaelangelo’s Pieta statue.”

Homage or not, it’s far too similar to an existing cover to be considered iconic. At least IMO.

The Killing Joke cover being considered iconic is the real joke, nyuk nyuk! I’ve personally never liked that cover, mainly because it is very un-Joker. It seems like he is whispering the word “smile” which is just wrong.

Can’t argue with #1. And I consider Killing Joke to be absolutely iconic. 20 years later and it’s still in the front window of hundreds of shops.

Because it’s Batman written by Alan Moore, not because it’s good.

I have 17 of these issues, I’m pretty happy about that. Sandman #8 I was really excited to see on this list although I’d put that ahead of Preacher #1. The Animal Man issue was a surprise to me, but I can’t really complain about this list.

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I still have that Flash issue around here somewhere. Although not the most original (it’s in Dutch). I also see some Batman and Superman covers that I recognize. Time to clean up the attic I think, time to find those old comics.

Superman: The Man Of Steel #1 by Jon Bogdanove should be here.

Interesting. I honestly believe #20 (Batman issue 9) should be in the top three, given how often that cover has been riffed on. There have been dozens of homages to it, both within the Bat-titles and with other books — some with both characters, some without. It’s really seems to be pretty much THE Batman cover as far as iconic status goes.

While not as imitated as the pietà pose of Crisis #7, I feel this list is incomplete without at least one “finger puppets” cover. I’m not sure of the original, but I suspect it started with Justice League of America #10. This cover was later reimagined when that story was reprinted in JLA #85. The concept reappeared in Legion of Super-Heroes #6 (1980s series) and Super Friends #3 (2000s series). I suspect there are probably others that I’m missing, but as far as I know, no online comic book database includes “finger puppets” as a descriptor.

batman the killing joke is in my opinion the best

yes the killing joke is definitely the best

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