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Vote for the 50 Most Memorable Covers of the Marvel Age!

Okay, all the choices have shown up so now it is your time to vote for the 50 Most Memorable Covers of the Marvel Age (essentially covers since Fantastic Four #1 was released)!

Simply look at all the 106 covers below and at the end, choose in the poll every cover that you feel is memorable. Remember, we’re talking “memorable” not necessarily “the best looking” covers. Think covers that get homaged a lot, covers that show up in ads a lot, routinely pop up as part of histories of certain characters, etc.

Read on to see the choices and the poll!

Results will be posted on Thursday and Friday!


I voted for all the good ones.

P.S. You’ve got Amazing Spider-Man #121 twice. The second one should be Amazing Spider-Man #122.

Also, it’s Fantastic Four #112, not #115. And Uncanny X-Men #114, not #111.

Aaron Scott Johnson

December 20, 2011 at 6:22 am

Both Nick Fury:Agent of Shield #4 and Amazing Spider-Man #121 appear on the poll twice.

I Love Silver Surfer.. Nice Collection :)

You’ve got Amazing Spider-Man #121 listed twice. No vote for #122. I checked the second time it was listed because judging from the way the covers are listed out above, the second #121 should be #122.

Well I voted for the 2nd Amazing Spiderman #121 as I’m assuming that will be counted as #122.

What’s really astonishing to me is looking over these covers how many of the most memorable ones I ever saw came from the hands of either John Byrne or Mike Zeck. God I miss these guy’s work. I used to have the cover to Captain America Annual #8 as a poster, and it was probably my favourite comic poster of all time. (Though if they’d been a poster of Web Of Spiderman #32 (Spidey crawling out of Kraven’s Grave for him,) that would have been my favourite. Dear God, did I love that cover!

Man, this poll has certainly brought back the memories. I can remember as a 4 year old kid having a colouring book that had Silver Surfer #4 and Fantastic Four #112, and seeing those definitive epic depictions of Thor vrs the Silver Surfer and The Hulk vrs The Thing, is pretty much what got me reading comics in the first place! Thank You John Buscema!

Some truly memerable and great comics. I own quit a few!

Man, many of these covers take me back. Looking forward to seeing the results.

There is such a high concentration of awesome in this post.

How is Dark Knight Returns not on this list?

Dave M, please tell me you are joking…

so many great stories. Avengers 57 is my fave.

So, of all 106 covers we have:

42 covers of the 80´s
32 of the 60´s
19 of the 70´s
7 of the 90´s
6 of the 00´s

Counting the 70´s decade from January 1st 1970 to December 31st 1979, and so.

Jack Kirby pencilled 17 covers
Mike Zeck pencilled 11 covers
John Byrne pencilled 10 covers
John Romita pencilled 7 covers
Jim Steranko pencilled 6 covers
John Buscema pencilled 6 covers
Frank Miller pencilled 5 covers
Todd MacFarlane, Jim Starlin, Gil Kane and Alex Ross pencilled 3 covers each
Dave Cockrum, John Romita Jr,Bob Layton and Neal Adams pencilled 2 covers each
And there are a lot of artists with just one cover.

Charles H. Bryan

December 20, 2011 at 9:25 am


Steranko Steranko Steranko.


I wonder if anyone will vote for Amazing Spider-Man #252, but not for Amazing Fantasy #15.

Is this where I can put in my write-in vote for the covers of X-Force #1-50? Pure classics, every single one.

Next time, let’s do Splash Pages and/or two page spreads!!!

Great poll! But where’s X-Men #268, with Wolvie, Black Widow and Captain America? How many times has that been copied?

Great poll! But where’s X-Men #268, with Wolvie, Black Widow and Captain America? How many times has that been copied?

It was given a chance to get in, but people didn’t vote enough for it during the Wild Card round. So if it couldn’t win the Wild Card round, it definitely wasn’t making it this round, ya know?

I voted for all the good ones.

P.S. You’ve got Amazing Spider-Man #121 twice. The second one should be Amazing Spider-Man #122.

Thanks, Rob! I hope everyone figured out that the second one of each was intended to be Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #1 and Amazing Spider-Man #122, respectively, right?

Uncanny X-Men #141, Uncanny X-Men #168, and Amazing Spider-man #50 didn’t seem to be on my poll…

Ugh. When I made the edits to the Nick Fury and Amazing Spider-Man numbers, it somehow clipped the last few options (what the heck, Polldaddy?). So freaking weird. Luckily, I had marked down how many votes each of those covers received already, so I’ll just add a second poll to count the votes for those covers from this point forward.

I’m pretty sure I voted for 50 covers. So, you at least have my top 50 on there.

in order of preference:

Avengers #57
Hulk #1
Avengers #4
Xmen #135
Savage She-Hulk #1 ( i luv this list but this didnt make it? I luv byrne’s art & cover of his she-hulk #1 but IMHO it isint better than buscema’s.)
FF #1
FF #3
Amazing Spiderman #50
Silver Surfer #1
Iron Man #128
Marvel Spotlight #5
Journey Into Mystery 89
Xmen #101
Xmen #136
Xmen #137
Xmen #138
Amazing Spiderman #33
The Incredible Hulk Special #1
Silver Surfer #4
Xmen #137
FF #4
Death of Capt Marvel GN
Avengers #223
Sensational She-Hulk #1
Xmen 133
Xmen 168
Capt America #25 (all of the 3 covers)
Avengers Annual #2
Amazing Spiderman Annual #21
DD #181
Xmen #100

PS please disregard my comment of savage she-hulk. i didnt realize there was another round of voting i missed. again, its a gr8 list.


This is an awesome poll.

I can’t help but wonder how different the results would have been if Brian didn’t give us 106 covers to choose from, but instead asked us to email him a list of our top 10 or top 20 most memorable covers. Lot more work, I’m sure, and possibly too wide a range of answers to get a good result… but still curious how different it would have turned out…

Don’t know if Iron Man #421 cover is iconic or not , but I’ve seen that pic or variations of the pose in places that have nothing to do with comic books. I think Thor even did it in his movie.

…and XMEN 141 out of the short list. it sums up much of the marvel and other super hero concepts in a detailed yet iconic manner.

I felt either X-Men 137 OR 141 should be on the list since they pretty much say the same thing on the same storyline. I used 137 mostly because it was always the phrase we used when us RPG (D&D, Marvel Super-Heroes, etc.) geeks were in a bad way and probably not going to make it out alive: “This issue: Everyone dies!”

I’ve finally grown up enough to be proud of my geekdom!

I don’t even know how many covers I voted for. A lot. Probably at least 50.

Some awesome covers in there. Also some I hate, but which are famous enough that I needed to vote for them.

Ended up voting for 33 covers, including several issues I haven’t actually read but which have come to my eyes often enough elsewhere…and I limited myself a bit to get a better selection across the titles, otherwise of course every Byrne X-Men cover had been there and many of the non-Byrne too…
There were couple of wild cards which I’d have picked too but they didn’t get to the real round so I guess people disagreed with me on the memorability of those.

Wow, that was really hard, deciding where to draw the line between memorable and not memorable enough. If every cover I was somewhat familiar with counted, there are probably only 10-15 I wouldn’t have voted for, but then some of them (like in the last batch.. all new all different, Beta Ray Bill, the “slain/apprehended wall”, whoa) really put things in perspective. I ended up voting for just over 30, a mix of obviously ubiquitous and iconic covers, and more personal seeming choices that have nevertheless thoroughly embedded themselves in my mind (and lots of other people’s too, I bet.)

I’ve definitely brought up the Marvels #1 Human Torch cover in conversation with non comics readers, and I think my mind probably drifts to an image of Thor standing on a rainbow bridge about to hammer the Silver Surfer if I sit still for too long.

Just spent about 45 minutes with my 8 year old son looking at each cover and writing down our choices so I could enter them in after.

He has been raised on a steady diet of Tiny Titans comics and the Justice League cartoon. We went to see Captain America in the theater this summer. I even named him after a comic book character.

We had a blast. He made some good choices. A healthy mix from each decade. Some I would not have picked and skipped some I love.

This was a lot of fun….thanks for doing this, Brian.

Uncanny Xmen 350

How good was mike zeck in the 80’s. I didn’t count but it seemed like he had 10 covers. I have always considered him to be the best cover artist and there are so many more than shown.

For the record, there was at least one person, yours truly, who voted for Amazing Spider-Man #252 but not Amazing Fantasy #15.

I wasn’t born when AF came out, but when that black costume cover came out it was very exciting (especially being familiar with the AF cover, which it made it feel like this was the dawn of a new era).

A cover introducing a new superhero in the 60’s did not seem as big a deal as a cover introducing a brand new look to a 22-year-old iconic character in the 80’s. I was young, so I let myself believe this was permanent.

Anywho, that’s my rationale. The 80’s cover will always be the more significant/memorable cover to me. But they’re both great covers.

I voted for 28 of these covers.
A lot of them, no matter how nice a piece of art they may be, I find are not very memorable.

Like for example the very generic Journey Into Mystery 89 instead of 85 (First Appearance of Loki) or let’s say Thor 274 (“Balder The Brave is DEAD!”) or 333 (Sif “at Dracula’s Command!”)? Those would be much more memorable to me.
Of course this is all very subjective.

And really, no Amazing Spider-Man 211 (“Fusion The Twin-Terror!”)? haha

Where are the endsong covers?

Like for example the very generic Journey Into Mystery 89 instead of 85 (First Appearance of Loki) or let’s say Thor 274 (“Balder The Brave is DEAD!”) or 333 (Sif “at Dracula’s Command!”)? Those would be much more memorable to me.

The generic #89 is there because it was SO generic that it became the go-to design for Thor licensed products and posters, etc. for years. #85 had a shot on the wild card round – it did not make it.

Anything by Jack “King” Kirby!

I remember seeing that Miller Wolverine cover in a shop and that was my introduction to Logan I think.

Hulk #340 is one my all time favorites. I still have the Claremont/Buscema Wolverine #1 somewhere that I bought the week it came out. I have so many of these. They’re not THAT old and many aren’t in mint condition. Amazing Spider-man #300 signed by the artist so it’s worthless. :) Silver Surfer #50. Uncanny X-Men #251. Infinity Gauntles. I still haven’t read the whole series. McFarlane’s Spider-man #1. So cool.

Um, I think that Amazing Spiderman 121 and 122 are listed differently on the list than where they were above. I wanted to vote for 121 and not 122, so if there’s a difference….

I voted for several of these just based on how homaged they are (like Thor 126, f’r instance).

I voted for 2 covers of Secret Wars? Huh?

Fury 4 is hympmotyzing. I WILL vote for it…

Xmen 137 I voted for partly because of that “this comic may be worth $2500″ bit. That’s memorable.

And my thought on the Captain America 25 cover is “man, Sharon’s into some REALLY kinky stuff!”

I got hooked on captain marvel back on the 70’s due to that cover alone (starlin was so cool then)
and surfer 4 with thor……awesomeness!

Holy cow, just realized there was no Captain America #193! One of the most iconic Kirby poses he ever drew!

Guess no one remembered it.

Even though I wasn’t an X-fan back in the day, I voted for a whole bunch of X-Men covers — especially from the Claremont/Byrne era. Guess that speaks to how iconic and influential the run was.

This is fun and it is so cool to see these covers all together. Too bad I didn’t catch the first round. I missed out. So many modern comic book covers look like movie posters to me. This is really enjoyable.

I didn’t notice any Bill Sienkewicz covers in this post or in the previous ones and I always thought of him as the definitive 80s cover artist. I guess history hasn’t treated him well.

Sienkiewicz’s “problem” is that while all of his covers were amazing, no one seemed to like any one cover in particular. Like his New Mutants covers – there’s no one “obvious” cover for him like there is for other artists.

I had the same problem with his Dazzler covers when I was trying to think about suggestions, so I didn’t bother to make any.

I voted for 56.

Interesting that there’s only one cover each by Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, and Jim Lee. You’d think they each would have more.

I’m also curious about the career batting average of Jim Steranko. How many covers did that guy draw in his life? 25?30? It can’t be much more than that. 6 are here, which is probably 20-25% of his total output.

The big gap I find in the list is that there isn’t a single cover by 3 of the 6 best cover artists from the 80s- Bill Sienkiewicz, Art Adams, and Barry Windsor-Smith (with Byrne, Zeck, and Miller being the other 3 of the top 6). Yeah, I know that Windsor-Smith has two Conan covers here, but his 80s return to Marvel in the Shooter era is what his career is built on for a lot of people. I’m still shocked that Classic X-Men 1 and Uncanny 212 weren’t even options.

Too bad there’s not a lot of Kirby FF covers when he hit his stride. The early covers like FF #1 and #4 have been given tribute covers quite a few times but there’s some much better ones later in the run when Joe Sinnott. And I wish FF #258 had made the cut on the wild card vote

I think I voted for all the Steranko covers unless I missed one.

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