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Top 75 Most Iconic DC Covers of All-Time #10-6

Here’s #10-6! Here‘s a master list of all the covers on the countdown so far!

Enjoy!

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

23 Comments

I’m a little surprised that the Detective Comics #27 is behind Justice League #1, only in that I still remember buying Justice League #1 when it came out, so, it doesn’t seem as special to me as the classic Detective. ;) (But, it is a cool cover, don’t get me wrong.) While the order isn’t necessarily the order that I would have placed the issues, I love seeing how my own p.o.v. compares to the overall vote. And it just brings up so many great memories of reading the issues that I have been able to.

All of these covers were high up there on my list. Very good so far…

I agree JL#1 is iconic, but I’d never have guessed being as high as it is.

I too am a mite surprised that it’s ranked this high. Is this the highest placement for a League book? Have we seen the League vs. Society face-off cover? (That couldn’t possibly be Top Five, could it?) I’d swap this Bwah-Ha-Ha Lineup with the Starro vs. League cover.

wow, i’m surprised JL#1 made it this high.

it’s fairly obvious the five covers left are crisis 7, action 1, dark knight 1, flash 123, and the killing joke. if that’s the case, it’s interesting that three of the top 5 most iconic covers in dc history came out from 1985-1988. and if you extend that trend to today’s list, you get 6 of the top 9 most iconic dc covers coming out from 1985-1988. i can’t say that’s really a surprise though, as those years are when dc relaunched almost it’s entire line and truly ushered in the “modern age” of comics with the adult-leaning stories of moore and miller, which then begat gaiman and morrison. other than marvel of the early-to-mid 60s, no company has ever had a creative and commercial hot streak like the one dc was on from the mid-to-late 80s.

I voted for three of these (Batman 404, Detective 27, and JLI 1). 4 others have already shown up (GL 49, GL/GA 76, Superman 75, and Adv. 247). My remaining three are Action 1, COIE 7, and Flash 123.

I think the remaining 5 will go
5. Flash 123
4. Dark Knight 1
3. Killing Joke
2. COIE 7
1. Action Comics 1

(On a side note, I’m surprised by some of the comics that didn’t crack the top 75: the Aquaman one and the Legion one in particular seem stronger than some of the lower comics on the list, and I might have voted for them if I listed 20 rather than 10.)

I think the Justice League placed as high as it did because it’s been referenced so many times in the relatively short time it’s been around. I think it might also be higher than the ‘tec 27 because people wind up trying to decide: Tec 27, Batman 1, or Tec 38. Do I include all of those, if not which one or two do I drop? The Justice League doesn’t really have anything competing with it from that era in the way some of the other covers might.

I tend to agree with four of the five choices people seem to be picking as the top 5 even if they’re not all on my list. But why the heck would Killing Joke be on the list? I’m not denying that it will be, but it doesn’t seem to me to be remotely in the league of what we’ve seen of the top 25 or so. (Other than the Emerald Twilight cover. Which I don’t think is a bad cover at all; but I still think it hit as high as it did because people had plastic rings on the brain this month. I really believe that one will stand out like a sore thumb if we look back at the list next year.) Not that I have any clue as to what else would pop up as a ringer if it isn’t Killing Joke; there are a couple that I think might have a chance but they seem as out of place this high as Killing Joke does.

Yeah that Detective one is important for being the first appearance of Batman, but really as a piece of art it’s pretty poor.

Justice League is a bit higher than I expected, but I admit I voted for it. It’s not nearly as important as many other comics, but they way they drummed it into us with countless homage covers obviously had an effect. I’m disappointed that Batman Year One didn’t make it – and surprised Watchmen 1 wasn’t in the top three.

Damn – I’ve just realised that Animal Man #5 probably won’t make it

danCJ- animal man #5 already did make it, i think at #29.

eric gimlin- i voted for both the killing joke and green lantern 49 because i think they are two of the 5-10 greatest covers of all time, marvel or dc. and blackest night didn’t have anything to do with my vote for gl, as i have not read a single page of it and couldn’t even tell you anything about it. killing joke and gl 49, to me, are two of the most strikingly original, dramatic, and well rendered images i’ve ever seen on a comic book cover. they scream to be picked up and looked at, which is really the whole point of a cover. the killing joke is probably the greatest ever image of the greatest ever villain (rivaled only by an interior panel in the same issue, the part when joker first emerges from the chemical lake with his hands in his hair). it’s an image that is great both in it’s idea and execution. and gl 49, as an “appetite whetter” for a major event, does its job and then some. there is no possible cover that could have worked better for that story.

I voted for 6 and wanted to vote for 9 but decided that the image itself is iconic but not because of that cover

JLI 1 and GL 49 both do a very good job of being a snapshot of a particular important moment in the DCU. If you could only pick one picture to describe what went wrong with Hal in the 90′s, you’d use the cover for GL 49. If you wanted to use one image to describe what was cool about the JLI, you would use the cover of JLI 1 (well either that or one punch, but the fact that they’re close enough to be debatable and the run is justifiably important means that they’re both iconic.)

(Similarly, if you want to talk about the worse the Joker’s done, you’d either use the cover to Killing Joke or a picture of the Joker standing over Jason Todd with a crowbar.)

as those years are when dc relaunched almost it’s entire line and truly ushered in the “modern age” of comics with the adult-leaning stories of moore and miller, which then begat gaiman and morrison. other than marvel of the early-to-mid 60s, no company has ever had a creative and commercial hot streak like the one dc was on from the mid-to-late 80s.

This is a good point, but I think this list also shows (again) that the readers of this blog (and the comic book-internet intelligentsia in general) are 30-45 year old men who were 10-20 year old boys in mid-to-late 80s.

danCJ- animal man #5 already did make it, i think at #29.

You’re right. Yay!

Cheers.

“I agree JL#1 is iconic, but I’d never have guessed being as high as it is.”

I’d have to agree with that, but it’s nice to see Kevin Maguire get some recognition.

been waiting to see how the speedy is a junkie issue of green arrow and green latern ranked plus love seeing keith griffins take on the jl. though thought watchman would be in the top five

Wow, I guess I picked all the top 5 (as many others did apparently). I’m surprised Dark Knight didn’t make this round, but will be top 5 instead. But I am glad Flash 123 will make it high up there, despite Silver Age not seeming to score much in the top ten. I guess it’s true, 80′s are dominating people’s hearts and minds on this list. Oh well, deservedly so, I think.

My only quibble is with Watchmen #1 though it doesn’t surprise me that’s in the top 10. While the smiley with the blood splatter itself is certainly iconic and plastered everywhere always, I’m not sure I could have told you what the cover for issue #1 was before this list. I’d almost argue that the trade cover with the shattered window is more iconic.

Green Lantern is sort of a jerk. Speedy’s right there, and Gl’s like, “Whatev. Ollie doesn’t know! HaHA! In your Face, Ollie!”

Jerk.

Mazzucchelli in the top 10 hooray!

I’m surprised Detective #27 is this far up on the list, I assumed it would be solid second place finish.

I voted for Year One and Watchmen and almost voted for the drug issue. I looked hard at Detective 27, but just wasn’t convinced it was as iconic as the rest of the images, or as it should be for being the first Batman. So I chose two other Batman images, and am surprised people don’t agree with me on the Batman spotlight cover being more recognizable.

“This is a good point, but I think this list also shows (again) that the readers of this blog (and the comic book-internet intelligentsia in general) are 30-45 year old men who were 10-20 year old boys in mid-to-late 80s.”

Or at least they’re 30-45.

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