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75 Greatest Batman Covers of All-Time Master List

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100. Batman #677

Art by Alex Ross (2008)

99. Detective Comics #472

Art by Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin (1977)

98. Batman #451

Art by Norm Breyfogle (1990)

97. Batman #31

Art by Dick Sprang (1945)

96. Detective Comics #699

Art by Graham Nolan (1998)

95. Batman #10

Art by Fred Ray and Jerry Robinson (1942)

94. Batman: The Dark Knight #3 (Hunt the Dark Knight)

Art by Frank Miller (1986)

93. Batman #122

Art by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye (1958)

92. Batman #668

Art by J.H. Williams III (2007)

91. Batman #619

batcover91

Art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams (2003)

90. Batman #123

Art by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye (1958)

89. Detective Comics #570

Art by Alan Davis and Paul Neary (1986)

Go to the next page for #88-76!

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70 Comments

I want to know more about Pow-Wow Smith, Indian Lawman.

Some great, great covers there. Also reminds you of how rich and diverse the comics medium can be. Lots of imaginative stuff that makes you want to look inside and read the issue.

Batman #242 is the first comic I ever bought. Great stuff.

Awesome list so far. I was hoping for a few more modern covers, like Jim Lee’s work on Hush, but I’m liking it. The Dark Knight Returns will probably be number 1, right?

Can you look at the cover prices on those !!! Such great works of art for a great price back in “the day”…

really tec 359, only got 58? 38 had better be number 1

Used: wiki’s the obvious (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pow_Wow_Smith) but there was a great story of a bunch of detective characters that had series in DETECTIVE COMICS, back in Detective Comics #500.

Pow-Wow Smith, Roy Raymond (my fave), Mysto, Jason Bard, Captain Compass, the list goes on. Great story. There’s also an old DC Digest with solo stories of these guys.

The cover Arkham Asylum’s wicked! Can’t wait for my other entries!

This is going to be interesting. I didn’t vote but my number one would have probably been Batman #1.I wouldn’t have considered the Swamp Thing cover since Bats is kind of off in the background. Same with the Batgirl issue.

Detective Comics #29, #33 and #35 are original, iconic and dramatic visions that many of the best future Batman renditions sprang from.

I’d have ruled out the Batgirl cover just for not being very good.

The Swamp Thing one is great though.

Glad to see some Gold and Silver here. Good stuff.

Who’s Irv Novick? Love his cover.

Irv Novick was one of the most unheralded superstar artists in comic book history. He was one of the top artists of the Golden Age and he continued on through the Silver and Bronze Ages. He was a fast artist and thus during Neal Adams’ heyday, Novick was really more the face of Batman comics.

Thanks for running these Batman polls, Brian. Hope to take part in them all. None of my Batman covers have shown yet.

I’ve only got the McFarlane one. I’m such a freak for his artwork, I had to look for it.

The second printing to Batman 608 (first Jim Lee issue) deserves to be on the list. There are a plethora of Neal Adams and Jim Aparo covers that should be here. (Great example is Detective 519, a great piece of art hiding a mediocre story.) I could see Batman 251 (The Joker’s Five Way Revenge) being in the top spot, even ahead of Tec 27. Bernie Wrightson did an awesome cover to Tec 425. Just about any Aparo Brave & Bold cover between 1978-1983 or several other Tec covers during the same period.
I’m trying to think of other covers to suggest but the mind just boggles at the sheer number of great pieces over seventy-five years. BTW, that cover to Untold Legend of Batman 3 should have been in the top ten.

Brian, I just read your comment about Irv Novick and I don’t know why I bypassed his body of work. Novick drew the very first Batman comic I ever read, issue 247, where Batman and Robin try to prevent nerve gas from being released in Gotham at midnight on New Years. I absolutely love this issue and love his whole run throughout the 70s and early 80s. He definitely held his own during the period that everyone just regards as the Neal Adams era. What’s sad is that he never had much regard for his own work and didn’t understand fan adulation about it. To him it was just another job but to us it was a hell of a lot more. (And don’t forget his Flash run too!)

[…] il suo 75 compleanno ripercorriamo la storia di Batman attraverso 75 iconiche copertine, secondo comicbookresources.com, aspettando la sua nuova incarnazione cinematografica affidata alle doti di Ben Affleck e il nuovo […]

Mcfarlane blew my away with some of his interior pages in Batman Year Two. I didn’t think the cover above is up to the same standard though.

Seven more entries of mine are yet to be ranked (if they made the cut). Great list and highly interesting!

Brian-
Really good list. I can only speak for myself but the issues I voted for were the ones I collected from ages 10-14. The first issues I ever bought were ‘tec 478 & Batman 302 ,August ’78. That began a lifetime love affair with Batman. I would scour used book stores, flea markets, and even trade comics with friends. I ended up voting for mostly Bronze Age covers, so I was just wondering if everybody who voted tended to lean towards the books they were exposed to when the first began collecting?

Really good list. I can only speak for myself but the issues I voted for were the ones I collected from ages 10-14. The first issues I ever bought were ‘tec 478 & Batman 302 ,August ’78. That began a lifetime love affair with Batman. I would scour used book stores, flea markets, and even trade comics with friends. I ended up voting for mostly Bronze Age covers, so I was just wondering if everybody who voted tended to lean towards the books they were exposed to when the first began collecting?

Hmmm…I dunno, really. I think Batman is somewhat unique in that his history is a bit more well known than others, so while yes, there is representation of the 1990s and 2000s, and perhaps some of those covers might be higher than they would normally be because that’s when our general audience got into reading comics, I think that it appears as though people voted for all different eras.

Even though I started reading Batman comics as a little kid in the mid-1970s, most of my list is made up of comics published before I was born.

Another great crop of covers.

Although it didn’t make my top ten list, I’d like to share my vote for the FUNNIEST Batman cover- Jerry Lewis #97.
If you’ve never seen it, search it out!

It’s good seeing such a strong showing of Neal Adams.

I hope you’ll post a tally of which artists appeared the most on this list. I’m expecting Infantino and Adams to top the list.

Wow – 55 covers down and only one of mine has made the list so far (#32 Detective 69). Still, a lot of fun seeing what other people voted for.

Don’t feel too bad. None of mine have made it so far. Though learning about Pow Wow Smith makes it a bit worthwhile.

In order to vote I reviewed Batman covers and put the ones I considered most worthy in a shortlist which ended up with 35 comics – and from those 35 I shortened it down to a top ten.

With only 20 to go I still haven’t seen any of the 35

10 to go and still none from my top 35….
(although a few that almost made my shortlist are there like Batman 241 and 423)

while it is too early to list the 10 I did vote for my 25 runners-up were:-
Batman 272, 382, 417, 418, 615
Batman (new 52) issue 2-variant cover
Batman Adventures 9
Batman Confidential 49
Brave and the Bold 200
Detective comics 381, 445, 587
Gotham after Midnight 9
Gotham Knights 31
Legends of the Dark Knight 11, 20, 39, 40, 84, 120
Batman: the Monster Men 1
Batman: the return of Bruce Wayne 6
Shadow of the Bat 35
Son of the Demon – both covers

as I’m not allowed to post from work -it’ll be 6-days before my next post here so may as well list my top ten now
(If I could post tomorrow I would wait until then)
,,,Given my lack of entries in the 75 so far I don’t think my votes will give away the results
(will any of my 35 make the list at all?)

1. Batman: Outlaws 2 (October 2000) Artist: Paul Gulacy
2. The Batman Chronicles 9…where evil lurks (June 1997) Artist: Hugh Flemming
3. Legends of the Dark Knight 13 Prey Part 3 ( December 1990) Artist: Paul Gulacy
4. Detective Comics 514 the Haven (May 1982) Artist: Dick Giordano
5. Batman 566 The Visitor (June 1999) Artist: Jon Bogdanove
6. Batman 438 Year 3 part 3 (September 1989) Artist: George Perez
7. Detective Comics 704 1 of 1 (December 1996) Artist: Graham Nolan
8. Legends of the Dark Knight 15 Prey part 5 (February 1991) Artist Paul Gulacy
9. Detective Comics 828 (April 2007) Artist: Simone Bianchi
10. Detective Comics 745 (June 2000) Artist: Dave Johnson

My top pick finished at #12 – Detective 476 – “The Sign of the Joker.” I am pleasantly surprised to see it finished as high as it did.

#194 and #227 this high? Really??

I’m glad there aren’t too many Kelley Jones ones on here.

Only five more! I have a gut feeling what’s the top 1, but I reserve that one for myself.

Brian Ingermann

March 30, 2014 at 11:17 am

Where in the world is the top five… and please tell me that Batman #251 is number one! The Joker and Batman’s best cover ever! Don’t let me down guys!

Fab list. I wonder if there’s room for a wild card, Klaus Janson’s Detective #567 cover …

Grant Morrison is a Joke

March 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm

This list should be filled with Alex Ross covers.

First 4 from my list just showed up and they’re all between #6 and #11. I think I’ve picked a couple that might make the top 5 but I’m not expecting to see “Batman: Robot” from Detective 281 (my first Batman comic) or the Gorilla Bomb from Tec 339.

Like others have mentioned, I hope you will include a list of how many appearances different artists made on the list.

At this point (with only five left to go), it’s pretty clear to me that “The Rainbow Batman” will be the only one from my list to appear on the overall list, but who knows? Maybe there’s a stunning upset victory in the cards.

And top 5?

#10-6 was Sunday, so #5-1 will be Monday.

Well 4 of the remaining covers seem easy to predict. But it also means either Hunt the Dark Night or War on Crime surprising did not make the list.

[…] interesting news stories about this auspicious event, one of the more fun ones I looked through was Comic Book Resources’ 75 Greatest Batman Covers, as voted on by their readers. The Neal Adams gatefold featured above came in at #43 on the […]

Well 4 of the remaining covers seem easy to predict. But it also means either Hunt the Dark Night or War on Crime surprising did not make the list.

Try neither. ;)

Stephen Harper

March 31, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Wonder if the Bolland Joker (Ha ha ha ha) cover is going to be #1

Great list. The one missing is perhaps too new … The infinite Batman from the Morrison finale,

I’m not a big Alex Ross fan generally, but I’d put Batman #684 well above #676 as far as Bat covers go. It’s one of the best pieces of work he’s ever done and noteworthy, in part, because it works so well despite the fact that Batman isn’t really on it.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/assets/images/preview/1777/prv1777_cov.jpg

Now it can be revealed! My Top 10 Batman covers, only one of which made the above list:

1.Batman vs. the Incredible Hulk
2.World’s Finest #3 (Batman at bat)
3.Justice League of America #87 (Batman–King of the World)
4.Detective Comics #241 (The Rainbow Batman)
5.Batman #15 (Batman with a machine gun)
6.World’s Finest #21 (Supes & Bats, playing basketball)
7.Batman #239 (Silent Night, Deadly Night)
8.Batman #147 (Batman Becomes Bat-Baby)
9.Batman #162 (The Batman Creature)
10.Batman #246 (How Many Ways Can a Robin Die?)

[…] CBR tem uma lista das 75 melhores capas de Batman enquanto que Vulture tem um slideshow das 25 capas mais estranhas, duas iniciativas para festejar o […]

Breakdown of results part 1 – Artists

Note – to keep it simple, where 2 artists are credited I am only counting the first – I apologise to any artist offended by this
I also apologise if I mis-spell anyone’s name

12 covers – Neal Adams
8 Covers – Carmine Infantino
6 covers – Bob Kane
4 Covers – David Mazzucchelli
3 covers -Frank Miller, Fred Ray, Jim Aparo, Marshall Rogers, Mike Mignola
2 covers- Andy Kubert, Brian Bolland, Dick Giordano, Jim Lee, Jock, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Kelley Jones, Sheldon Moldoff, Todd McFarlane
1 cover -Alan Davis, Alex Ross, Bernie Wrightson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave McKean, Frank Quietly, Irv Novick, Jerry Robinson, Lew Schwartz, Michael Kaluta, Norm Breyfogle, Walter Simonson

breakdown of results part 2 -title

Batman – 39 covers
Detective Comics – 22 covers
Batman -The Dark Knight – 3 covers
The Brave and the Bold – 2 covers
Legends of the Dark Knight – only 1 cover
Batman and Robin – 1 cover
Untold Legend of Batman – 1 cover
Batman Elseworlds – 1 cover
The Killing Joke – 1 cover
Arkham Asylum – 1 cover
Swamp Thing – 1 cover
Batman Chronicles – 0 covers
Batman Confidential – 0 covers
Shadow of the Bat – 0 covers
Gotham Knights – 0 covers
Worlds Finest – 0 covers
Batman Adventures – 0 covers
Batman ’66 – 0 covers
Batman and the Outsiders – 0 covers
Justice League (of America) – 0 Covers

+ 2 collected volumes

breakdown part 3 – by year
1939 – 3 covers 1940 – 2 covers 1941 – 2 covers 1942 – 2 covers
1948 – 1 cover 1950 – 1 cover 1956 – 1 cover
1963 – 1 cover 1965 – 2 covers 1966 – 3 covers 1967 – 3 covers 1968 – 1 cover 1969 – 3 covers
1970 – 2 covers 1971 – 3 covers 1972 – 3 covers 1973 -2 covers
1975 – 2 covers 1977 – 4 covers 1978 – 2 covers 1979 – 1 cover 1980 – 1 cover
1983 – 1 cover 1986 – 6 covers 1987 -4 covers 1988 – 5 covers 1989 – 1 cover
1990 – 1 cover 1993 – 1 cover
2002 – 1 cover 2003 – 1 cover 2004 – 1 cover
2007 – 1 cover 2008 – 1 cover 2009 – 2 covers 2010 – 1 cover 2011 – 1 cover

most successful year 1986 – 6 covers, 88 is second best with 5, 87 and 77 are equal for 3rd with 4 each
Most successful decade is the 70s with 19 covers just beating the 80s with 18, the 60s did well with 13

least successful decade is the 50s with only 2 covers (less than for the ’30s) – the Batman covers of that decade were probably a bit too goofy for most voters
longest gap 1994-2001 8 years with none in the top 75 despite many great covers (half of my votes fell into that abyss) – I’m guessing there were too many great covers and voters were too undecided between them to agree on any

My all time favorite cover and one of the first comics I ever read (Batman #291) made the list! I can’t believe it, I had no idea it has held in such high regard!

My all time favorite cover and one of the first comics I ever read (Batman #291) made the list! I can’t believe it, I had no idea it has held in such high regard!

That storyline was a rarity from that era in that it actually got collected into a trade paperback, so it’s a pretty notable story!

Matt Shipperley

April 6, 2014 at 6:14 am

Detective Comics 587 is probably at the top of my list
http://www.comicvine.com/detective-comics-587-night-people/4000-113055/

Outa the the 5 to 8 batman comics Todd did 2 of them were up there and I think there should be every one and a few of lee,s covers to idk who picked them

I am really surprised that Detective #70 did not make the list.

[…] La lista completa de las 75 cubiertas de Batman votadas por los lectores de Comic Book Resources se puede consultar aquí. […]

[…] has an “s” on the spine, Alex Ross’s Marvels and if it still holds up, and a rundown of CBR’s recent list of the top 10 (of 75) Greatest Batman Covers of all time and where you can find these stories in collected edition […]

100 revealed and still none from my top 35…
maybe I was selecting on different criteria to other voters
I was looking at series which starred Batman and picked aesthetically-appealing covers which prominently displayed Bruce Wayne in the Batman costume – trying to avoid images of him defeated -in order to get truly Great Batman Covers

If I had tried to vote for the best Joker covers I would have had more picks on the list

My votes (again but with more detail)
10 – a stylised image of Batman gliding over Gotham (Detective Comics 745 – Dave Johnson)
9 – a brooding Bruce in the Batcave (in black and white) (Detective comics 828 -Simone Bianchi)
8 – Batman confronts the badguy (Legend of the Dark Knight 15 – Paul Gulacy)
7 Batman on a balcony, his face in shadow, a column of bats behind (Detective comics 704-Graham Nolan)
6 Batman and Robin swing in to attack gunmen (Batman 438 George Perez)
5 Superman flies over Gotham but Batman flies higher (Batman 566 – Jon Bogdanove)
4 angry batman in smow confronting gunmen “looking for me..Punks!!” (Detective comics 514 Dick Giordano)
3 a mosaic of story images (Legend of the Dark Knight 13 Paul Gulacy)
2 fake movie poster of Batman, Batgirl tangling with poison Ivy (Batman Chronicles 9 Hugh Flemming)
1 Batman holding wounded Gordon, Batsquad around him (Batman Outlaws 2 Paul Gulacy)

breakdown -part 4 (update for 76-100)

by series- Batman – 52 Detective comics – 28 The Dark Knight -4 Brave and the Bold – 2 Swamp Thing -2
so the number of Swamp Thing covers are more than the combined totals for Legend of the Dark Knight, Shadow of the Bat, Batman Confidential, Batman Chronices and Gotham knights

By artist – the artists with more covers in 76-100 include Neal Adams up to 15 covers
artists increased to 4 covers are Alex Ross, Frank Miller, Fred Ray,Jim Aparo, Jim Lee, Marshall Rogers and Mike Mignola
up to 3 covers -Dick Giordano, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez
up to 2- Alan Davis, Curt Swan, Norm Breyfogle
and new in with 1 cover – Alex Toth, Dick Sprang, Graham Nolan, J H Williams III, Steve Bissette and Tim Sale

Revised breakdown by year
1939-3 1940-2 1941-2 1942-3 1945-1 1948-1 1950-1 1956-1 1958-2
1963-1 1965-2 1966-3 1967-3 1968-1 1969-3 1970-3 1971-3 1972-5 1973-2
1975-3 1977-5 1978-2 1979-1 1980-2 1981-1 1983-1
1986-9 1987-5 1988-5 1989-1 1990-2 1993-3 1996-2 1998-1 1999-1
2002-2 2003-2 2004-1 2007-2 2008-2 2009-3 2010-1 2011-1

#50 (Detective Comics #241) should have been #1. I want a tee shirt made of that!

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