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The Top 50 Most Memorable Covers of the Marvel Age, Day 7

All the way until December 20th, I will be doings posts featuring seven memorable Marvel covers from the past 50 years (since Fantastic Four #1 came out, the beginning of the “Marvel Age”). I will be posting them in essentially random fashion. It does not matter if a cover shows up today or Day 15, they all have the same chance for your final vote. Once all 105 covers are posted, you all will pick the top 50 most memorable covers in the history of the “Marvel Age” and I’ll reveal your choices to you on December 22nd and 23rd.

E-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com for suggestions for covers that you think should be among the choices for the final vote. Remember, we’re talking “memorable” not necessarily “the best looking” covers. Think covers that get homaged a lot, covers that routinely pop up as part of histories of certain characters, etc.

Read on for the next seven covers!

43.

44.

45.

46.

47.

48.

49.

22 Comments

Was that Surfer cover the first foil cover? I’m too lazy to look it up. Anyway, the only cover I’m kinda blah on is the Iron Man one. Much as I love Hawkeye, it doesn’t really grab me. That backhand by Morbius just reeks of angry pimp, by the way.

who can forget the hologram classic that is silver surfer #50?

As far as I am concerned none of these count as “most memorable”.

Not the strongest batch, I’d agree. The only ones from this group I might vote far are FF #4, Cap #323 and (reluctantly) Hulk #377 and none of those are a lock. The Silver Surfer cover in particular does nothing for me personally at all. Not sure any of these will make my list.

AS, that’s only because you don’t remember them ^_^

“Silent Interlude” is still etched in my memory. It was my first comics (read: my first non Gold Key comics). And probably sits well within my Top 10 most memorables. The Hulk and Cap covers would probably make my Top 100 as I do actually remember them.

I’m with AS. Very weak covers (even though the David run on Hulk and Starlin run on Surfer are memorable and great fun). None of these is a patch on Thor #262, for instance.

When I think of FF covers, #4 isn’t one that pops into my head imediately. And I just really don’t like the Tales of Suspense cover, either. The Silver Surfer cover deserves a spot, if only because it was the first ‘enhanced’ Marvel cover. I don’t much like the Cap or Spider-Man covers, but I have to admit those are some ‘striking’ images. I’ve always liked that Hulk cover, it’s a very simple design but it screams the importance of the story. Pretty much the epitomy of ’nuff said, imo.

We all decry foil-stamped covers as emblematic of 90s comics excess, and rightly so, but you gotta admit, the Silver Surfer and foil-stamped covers just go together.

I’m shocked people don’t think Hulk 377 is a memorable cover. That cover became the single image Marvel used to define and market the Hulk for an entire generation of fans. That cover is iconic in every way. And no one drew a better Hulk than Dale Keown.

Otherwise I agree that this isn’t the strongest batch. That Zeck Cap cover is fantastic, but not particularly notable in Marvel history, and I think the only reason I’ve even seen it before is because there was a best Zeck covers list on this blog a while back. On a 100 Best Marvel covers it would be a contender, but not 100 most memorable (which I suspect is the same thing that will keep Moon Knight 23, Daredevil 189, Daredevil 220, and X-Men Classic 1 from making this list)

I’m surprised to see that Surfer cover here. I don’t think it’s nearly as well-recognized as #34, the issue that started Starlin’s run and first set up the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. And FF #4 is a pretty weak cover by Kirby standards. Not nearly as famous as FF 48 or nearly as good as FF 49. And that Tales of Suspense cover is, I think, pretty blah.

I’ve always wondered, who did that GIJOE cover?

the ff cover is the first appearance of namor. the spider man one moribus.other then the silent issue of the original gijoe comic the covers are really not standing out for me.

Well, those first two definitely make my list, especially the Captain America one. Cap with a gun is a pretty intense image, excellently rendered by Mr. Zeck!

The fact that the majority of these covers are bronze and silver age kind of drives home something I always felt. Marvel really dropped the ball in making memorable covers in the last 10 years.

Apparently Bill Jemas put in the policy of having all the covers be generic pin-ups, which made for some nice covers, but all completely interchangeable and not memorable (I loved the Runaways series, but could not be able to pick out any particular issue by its cover, they all just blurred together).

On the other hand, most of the covers on this list that people remember fondly actually reflect what’s happening in the story inside. Marvel would generally only publish a pin-up cover when a special occasion called for it.

Which may be another reason (out of many) that comics sales have gone downhill. Without a hook to make them want to read the story inside, casual or non-readers will just glance at the cover and move on.

I’ve always wondered, who did that GIJOE cover?

Larry Hama.

Yeah, there are couple there I remember but…the Hulk cover is very good but we are not picking the best covers here, G.I.Joe issue is famous more for the story (though if I had to pick one from this patch, that would be it), and FF cover is of course memorable like all early FF covers are, but definitely not among the bigger ones within that title. Spidey too I remember but it’s not among the top covers of the title either.
Silver Surfer one probably should get recognized for the enhancement but to be honest I’m not sure if I have seen that picture ever before, and I have read very little Iron Man and Captain America and to this non-reader those covers are not recognizable, meaning they haven’t become as iconic as, say, Nick Fury ones (title which I have never read but I still know those covers).

That’s one of the more boring G.I. Joe covers I’ve ever seen. I guess, like a lot of these picks so far, it was chosen for the significance of the story inside, nothing about the cover itself.

@buttler, I agree. You want a great Snake Eyes cover, go with the cover to #46 with Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. I think it’s a Mike Zeck cover. Truly awesome.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen those Hulk, Captain America, GI Joe, or Silver Surfer covers. I’ve seen the others, but only the Spider-Man seems all that memorable to me. I do understand the importance of some of the stories, of course, but a memorable issue is not the same as a memorable cover.

@buttler
HEY! That GI Joe cover is one factor of cementing Snake Eyes’ place in pop culture history. AND the story was new for its time; no one had done a “silent issue” before then that clicked so perfectly.

@Tom Panarese – I’d agree. After “Silent Interlude,” G.I. Joe #46 is one of the few Joe covers to really sit anywhere in my memory.

Zeck’s Captain America really sticks in your mind, it’s not often we see that kind of rage from Cap.

That Captain America cover made a huge impression on me as a kid. Even though I knew in the back of my mind that Cap came out of WWII, I could never picture him shooting a gun. IIRC, he actually kills a member of Ultimatum in that issue. I couldn’t belive Cap would kill anyone, no matter what, and it really bothered me at the time.

Whoops, didn’t mean to post yet.

My point is that foil covers are at least fun, even if they were more expensive. They are only indicative of “90s excess” in the same way every comic from back then is: everyone was convinced that hoarding copies would make them a fortune.

In terms of cover gimmicks, I think the current trend of “hey retailers, but 75 more copies of X than you will ever sell and get this one chase copy with a Kubert cover” is a much uglier trend than making every copy shiny and awesome.

Even if they did run $3.50 and seriously cut into my allowance.

That GIJoe cover was memorable enough to get homaged on an issue of Deadpool.

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