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The Top 50 Most Memorable Covers of the Marvel Age, Day 10

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!

64.

65.

66.

67.

68.

69.

70.

25 Comments

Huh, I can’t really see what’s so memorable about those Spidey and X-Men covers, though certainly the Neal Adams one is cool-looking. The others I certainly remember, so I guess they pass that test.

Is the X-Men 58 cover done by Steranko or Neal Adams? I believe Adams was doing art by isse 58.

Whoops, I meant X-Men #58 and Spider-Man #40 don’t seem so memorable to me. X-Men #142 is a classic.

You know it’s a strong batch when arguably the least memorable cover is by Neal Adams. Strong design to be sure, but all the others are catchier.

The Spider-Man #40 cover may seem underwhelming to younger readers, but keep in mind that the Spidey-Goblin conflict had been going for a while at the time, and the Goblin was still a relatively fresh villain that had beaten Spidey more than once. So that cover, with triumphant Spidey standing tall, was a double order of “hell yes” – you just HAD to buy it to see how the long-anticipated beatdown went.

And looking at that cover for the classic X-Men #142, I was struck by a detail that doesn’t usually stand out in remakes of this cover, a detail that makes the image even creepier: how limp Storm looks in the Sentinel’s hand, like a broken doll. Powerful cover.

X-men 142 is definitely a classic.
I recognized that cover for twenty years before I ever got around to reading the actual issue

The Daredevil cover is stunning. I love covers where the hero has his mask off.

X-Men 58 is a much better cover than 142.
Havok makes for fantastic visuals and has one of the absolute best designs in comics.

Besides, the issue 141 is the truly iconic Days of Future Past cover.
It has a great layout, it tells a story with one image, and it has tons of stuff going on while remaining perfectly simple. Also, it is just straight up better drawn than 142.

142 is pure shock value with little in terms of design or storytelling.

EVERYBODY DIES!

Classic. I have to find a reprint of that.

I am always amazed at the covers Byrne did for X-Men in that stretch of ’80-’81. #133, #135, #136, #137, #138, #141, #142… all of them arguably some of the most iconic Marvel covers ever, and all published within a year and within a single title.

ASM #40 is – although it wouldn’t get my vote for most iconic – still one of my favorite covers ever. It’s killer on its own, but when viewed in concert with #39, it is glorious. ASM #39 has such a feeling of helplessness and despair, a very clear assertion that Gobby is triumphant, and then #40 turns the tables and reminds you that Spidey doesn’t fold that easily. It is such a “F@#% Yeah!” moment (much like Hulk holding up the moment on Secret Wars #4, actually).

*mountain, not “moment.” Sorry.

(Why would Hulk be holding up a moment?)

One hundred and fifty BILLION tons?
Really?

These are all good covers, but again, I think there are some inconsistencies and ambiguities with the selections. MArvels 4, for example, is a great cover, but is no better or more memorable than Marvels 2 and/or 3. If all four covers end up on the list, then great. But if we don’t end up seeing the other two, then why is #4 here? It just seems random, as though the list started with the top 500 Marvel covers, and then 105 were chosen from that list with no rhyme or reason. Likewise, that Secret Wars cover is nice, but if it’s here at the expense of some of those Byrne X-Men covers that ookerdookers mentioned, then that’s just ridiculous.

One hundred and fifty BILLION tons?
Really?

Yup. And he’s not happy!

By the way, Brian, what’s up with the final answers to the “Name That Artist” contests?

J.

“These are all good covers, but again, I think there are some inconsistencies and ambiguities with the selections. MArvels 4, for example, is a great cover, but is no better or more memorable than Marvels 2 and/or 3. If all four covers end up on the list, then great. But if we don’t end up seeing the other two, then why is #4 here? It just seems random, as though the list started with the top 500 Marvel covers, and then 105 were chosen from that list with no rhyme or reason. Likewise, that Secret Wars cover is nice, but if it’s here at the expense of some of those Byrne X-Men covers that ookerdookers mentioned, then that’s just ridiculous.”

I used to say the same thing with regards to when MTV (remember when they played music?!) would have the top video countdowns and have a video from Nirvana’s unplugged at like number 9 and then at number 39. It was the same live acoustic concert. Are you voting for the video? Or the SONG that’s IN the video?

That said, some of these covers seem nice, but I don’t know if I personally see them as memorable or iconic, but, hey, that’s just me! lol I think Brian’s doing a great job, and he’s got his views, I’ve got mine.

Also, Brian, thanks for doing stuff like this. It’s a nice, relaxing distraction from the hell I deal with regularly. lol

I remember every one of these covers (save for the Secret Wars). I especially love the X-Men covers. They remind me of a time when I gave a crap about them.

Yeah, I’ll have to add to the chorus saying Spider-Man #40 was a big damn deal. I suppose it’s probably a bit dilluted now given that the Green Goblin shows up every other month, but this was the climax of an arc that had been simmering for a couple of dozen issues.

And also Romita’s second issue.

#39 is more iconic, more remembered, and more homaged. But #40 is up there.

I wasn’t expecting that Secret Wars cover, but I like it! (can’t believe 25% of that series has been represented, and we haven’t even reached the legendary Doom cover yet!).

Likewise, I’d forgotten that Daredevil one, but it’s a good one. I hope more Frank Miller is on the way!

I read that John Byrne did NOT do that Sentinels cover, that it was entirely Terry Austin. Can anyone confirm that? Amazing cover in any case.

I read that John Byrne did NOT do that Sentinels cover, that it was entirely Terry Austin. Can anyone confirm that?

Yes, that’s solely an Austin drawing. Note that it only has Austin’s signature on it.

For some reason The Secret Wars cover is one of my all time favorites

One hundred and fifty BILLION tons?
Really?

I was curious, so I looked up the density of granite. According to wikipedia, it is around 2.7 grams per cubic centimeter.

Using that as a base, and assuming gravity was the same on the battleplanet as on Earth, one hundred and fifty billion tons (or 300 trillion lbs) would work out to a mountain range of around 50 million cubic meters, or about 1.78 billion cubic feet. That would translate to a mountain range made of granite about a half mile long, a quarter mile wide and 500 feet high.

So, the fact that the mountain range that the Hulk is holding up is around 150 billion tons is actually a pretty good guestimate.

Now, whether or not the Hulk could actually lift that kind of weight is another matter entirely.

I believe that the canon is that the more pissed off the Hulk gets, the stronger he becomes – and he was very, VERY pissed off at the time.

Yeah, he was very pissed, particularly because Reed kept insulting his intelligence on purpose to get him angrier and angrier (Hulk had Banner’s brain during Secret Wars)

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