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The Top 50 Most Memorable Covers of the Marvel Age, Day 12

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!









I dunno if I agree with Amazing Spider-Man #243 — I’d rather give the props to the original it’s homaging. Amazing Fantasy #15 was the true classic.


Unfamiliar with the modern Iron Man and the Conan ones, but I love all the others! Especially the Byrne and Spider-Man covers (I was hoping that Galactus one would show up!).

Man, the X-Men C-list is getting a lot of love this week, between Havok and Polaris. Maybe a Mimic cover next?

I can’t argue with the FF, Dark Phoenix or Spidey covers. There are certainly better-known Sonja covers than that Conan one (Marvel Feature #1, either of her Marvel #1s), but it’s a significant issue anyway.

I’ve never seen that Iron Man cover before. Is it a significant issue, or do people just find it cool-looking?

Iron Man movie poster…

Trip down the memory lane…that X-Men cover was on the first X-Men comic book I read (it was used in Finnish edition) and the FF cover on the first FF comic book I read (likewise Finnish edition). (I had seen both groups before either as guests or second series in what little Spidey and Hulk I had read).
So yeah, those two are for me among the most memorable ones Marvel has ever made but that’s personal history.

The two Spidey covers are good, Polaris cover I don’t care for (the earlier Havok one was actually pretty cool) and for Conan and Iron Man covers I have no opinion, not having read either book that much…

Great batch of cover, though the FF cover is a notch below for me. The others are all either locks for my list or serious contenders.

These are all great, but my favorites are Spidey emerging from the grave and X-Men 50.

I just read FF243 yesterday.

Man, take a look at Red Sonja’s first appearance ever. Superb artwork yes, but I mean the wardrobe! The actually protective chainmail shirt and the confortable shorts! You mean there are outfits more appropriate for battle than a bikini made of coins?

The sad thing is, if Red Sonja kept wearing that outfit she probably would never have gotten her own series. (and 13-year-old me might not have been as interested in Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja run, which would’ve been sad).

And the best of this batch are the powerful Web of Spider-Man #32 and the senses-shattering X-Men #50.

It’s interesting to note that of all the good covers in this batch, Steranko’s classic X-Men #50 was the only one that needed absolutely no blurbs to aid the art, it’s all there. Any extra text would have ruined the cover’s mood.

Has anybody been keeping track of how many of these are homages to DC covers like X-Men 136. This came after both the Batman and Crisis on Infinite Earths covers, right?

X-Men #136 predated Crisis on Infinite Earths. Also, they’re ALL Pieta homages, after all.

Sure, get all Christmasy on me. I had to go and look up Batman 156 from 1963 to be sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Hah, something I hadn’t really noted before on that X-Men #136 cover, the cracks on the logo after Phoenix crushed it in the previous issue…and which I noted were repaired in the next one.

I don’t think of the Iron Man or Conan ones as memorable. (The Conan was important rather than memorable and a poster using a pretty standard pose doesn’t make the cover a big deal, imo). The others, though, are excellent.

Red Sonja actually appeared in issue #23, but that’s her first cover appearance up there, and is a far more memorable cover than the preceding one.

I figured X-Men #126 was a shoe-in, but #50 is a huge and pleasant surprise. It, along with #4 are my favorite covers from the entire series. In fact, I bought extra copies of both so I could hang them on my wall as well as store them in the collection.

I love Cap trying to chip away at Galactus’s foot on the FF 243 cover. It’s like the superhero equivalent of smacking your TV when you can’t get a picture.

“Stupid villain! Just lose already! Gah!”

***Extreme Nerd Alert***

He looks like a 4e Dungeons & Dragons character who’s used all his encounter and daily powers and the monster isn’t even bloodied yet, and he’s realizing he has to wear down more than half of a solo monster with nothing but at-wills.

Oh yeah, and looking where Thor is standing, I’m assuming that some ancient code of Norse honor and an act of extreme willpower are the only things keeping him from throwing his hammer straight up.

Ed (A Different One)

December 19, 2011 at 7:58 am

I too was going to ask which came first – the X-Men death of phoenix cover or the Death of Super Girl cover. Either way, two great covers by two great artists giving props to one another.

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