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50 Greatest Spider-Man Covers of All-Time: 1-3

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Spider-Man, culminating with the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film in July. Future installments will deal with Spider-Man creators, Spider-Man characters and Spider-Man stories, but this month will be about Spider-Man covers.

You all voted, now here are the results! Here is a master list of all the covers.


3. Amazing Fantasy #15

Pencils by Jack Kirby. Inks by Steve Ditko.

2. Amazing Spider-Man #39

Art by John Romita Sr.

1. Amazing Spider-Man #50

Pencils by John Romita Sr. Inks by Mike Esposito.


Hmm. #1 is a good choice but I am not so sure about #2 and #3. Those are landmark issues of course but as covers I’d pick almost any other cover from positions 4-20.

Blasphemy, I know, but I really do not like the cover to Amazing Fantasy 15. It’s very Kirby, and not so much Spider-Man. ASM #39 is dope, but didn’t crack my top 10. “Spider-Man: No More,” is one of those that I recognize as great in analysis, but never seems to do it for me on the gut level. I get a lot more out of Romita’s fight covers, like #39 above, or someone mentioned #43, Spidey against the Rhino, which I find super kinetic and exciting.

Thanks for compiling this list…it’s been a lot of fun!

I guess it’s inevitable that this type of vote ends up a mix of covers for art’s sake, and covers for iconic issues. When I think “all-time covers,” I think of the art, action, style, etc., not necessarily whether it was an important issue inside or marked a key turning point for the character. I guess that’s why the list was predominantly silver or bronze age issues.

When it comes down to “spider-man fighting bad guy” covers, I’d have to think that more recent issues could hold their own with the classics. But I understand that “greatest cover” is in the eye of the beholder, and that’s what makes fan votes interesting.

Looking forward to more Spider-Man features!

Subtitle for this list could be: John Romita is pretty damn good.

On my list AF #15 was no. 10, ASM #39 no. 5 and ASM #50 no. 1.

All in all, five of my favorite covers made it to the Top 50.

I think #1 is a worthy winner, I know I chose it.

Daniel O' Dreams

March 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Hard to argue with these. ASM #39 is awesome, #50 is both eye catching and significant (I believe i was the first time Peter quit being Spider-man correct?) AF #15’s historical significance alone makes it worthy to be on this list and it’s call back to the cover of Detective #27 seems almost prescient in hindsight. As if they knew this would be Marvel’s most popular character.

Who are those random people always standing on rooftops in Marvel’s early Silver Age covers? There must be a story in that somewhere, Get Bendis on it in a six issue miniseries at once!

Actually I must say that ASM #39 cover has always bugged me, Peter’s pose is just so unnatural in that. No way can someone tied and dragged be in a position like that. It’s all very nice to rip Liefeld on the violence he did to human anatomy but Romita shouldn’t get a free pass on that either.

Oh, man. The Kraven/Gravestone cover and the final Chapter cover are great. The #2 cover here is one of my favorite of all time, but possibly my #1 Spider-Man cover didn’t make the list at all: http://i.imgur.com/fUOm8.jpg


The first time Peter ‘quit’ being Spidey was ASM #18 but #50 is the first time I think he quit for longer than one issue.

I’m surprised that Ditko’s original cover for AF#15 didn’t make this list. It’s similar to the final Kirby version but from a different (and IMO more dynamic) angle. It’s been officially printed enough times that I consider it a legitimate cover.

The first time Peter ‘quit’ being Spidey was ASM #18 but #50 is the first time I think he quit for longer than one issue.

Nah, he quits for all of like ten pages in #50 before redonning the red and blues. I remember being surprised at the quick turnaround, since the issue is remembered as a milestone in Spider-Man history, but probably it’s landmark status derives from (1) the cover, (2) the famous splash with Spidey’s costume in the garbage, (3) the debut of the Kingpin, and generally Romita defining his signature style as opposed to Ditko’s.

I judged my favourite covers from a combination of liking the art and from how intriguing the cover is from a first-time reader perspective.

I liked #39 (it was my #2 also) because of both factors: love Romita’s art, and the image of Green Goblin capturing an unmasked Peter Parker is quite a dramatic bombshell. Was this the first time an arch-enemy learned the hero’s secret identity? Pretty big deal for the superheroes genre!

This has been a very fun exercise. I’d love to vote on favourite covers from other classic comics: Hulk, Cap, Daredevil, Thor, Iron Man, FF, Avengers, X-Men…guess they’ve all got anniversaries around the corner! (can we do a retroactive FF and Hulk poll)?

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