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25 Greatest Daredevil Covers of All-Time

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This is the start of a new feature. I’ve done a few polls for the greatest covers for major characters like Batman and Spider-Man, but for the slightly lesser characters (which is pretty much every other character there is), I will just occasionally do one by myself. When I say “greatest,” I don’t just mean the best drawn covers. I mean covers that ARE particularly well drawn but also have gained historical significance. This is different than “iconic,” as covers can be iconic while not being all that good. The original Daredevil #1 cover is not a great cover (it was a quickly thrown together cover using cropped artwork from various artists), but that cover is iconic BECAUSE it the first Daredevil comic cover. Therefore, in this countdown, I’m balancing really cool covers against historical significance. The covers have to excel at both to be on this countdown.

Anyhow, that was way too long of a preamble. On to the countdown!

25. Daredevil #500

ddcover25

Marko Djurdjevic exploded on to the scene with this Daredevil covers, taking everyone by storm with not just his photo-realistic painted work, but by how dynamic his painted covers were. Soon, Marvel had him drawing ALL sorts of posters. His stint on Daredvil wasn’t all that long, all things considered, but I still think it was long enough and distinct enough to merit having one of his covers on the list, and I went with his triple-gatefold cover for Daredevil #500 (he also did a hell of a cover for Daredevil #100, which, oddly enough, came out only a dozen or so issues before they returned to their original numbering with #500).

24. Daredevil #181

This Frank Miller/Klaus Janson is more famous than it is awesome, but it is still a very strong cover (and it is SO famous that I figured I should find a spot for it).

23. Daredevil Vol.2 #50

One of the most striking aspects of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s run was how Daredevil basically named himself the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen during a period where he was suffering from a nervous breakdown. Alex Maleev beautifully captured just how shocking such a role was for Matt.

22. Daredevil #168

While the historic nature of the cover got it on to the list, it is still a stunning cover by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson for the cover of Miller’s first issue as the writer on Daredevil (which also happened to include the debut of a certain red-garbed ninja).

“We don’t need to spell her name correctly on the cover. It’s not like we’ll ever see her again!”

21. Daredevil Vol. #16

This JohN Romita/Frank Giacoia is the first time Romita drew Spider-Man. This was a notable cover in the early days of Daredevil fandom. It was reprinted on the cover of a Daredevil Annual.

20. Daredevil Vol.3 #25

I had to pay tribute to Chris Samnee’s epic run on Daredevil, so I figured it made the most sense to go with this beautifully designed cover introducing Ikari, a bad guy who was ALSO exposed to the same chemicals that gave Daredevil his Radar Sense.

19. Daredevil Vol.1 #8

I had to get a Wallace Wood cover on to the list, and this introduction of Stilt-Man was very clever by the great Wood.

18. Daredevil #319

This Scott McDaniel cover to kick off “Fall from Grace” was a big deal at the time, with the issue receiving a second printing. Taking negative space to a whole other level!

17. Daredevil #220

This stunning Mazzucchelli cover was later used as the cover of an early collection of Daredevil stories from this era.

16. Daredevil #175

Miller and Janson sure had some dynamic covers.

Go to the next page for #15-6!

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25 Comments

Nice.

I’m surprised moe wanted to graduate from no such thing too.

?!

My personal favorite Samnee covers (besides the Ikari one you mentioned) were the “I Beat Daredevil” cover, and the Silver Surfer issue. I have a great deal of affection for those two.

Quesada and Mack did some pretty cool ones during their run. I think #13 vol 2 is pretty cool.

There are some great covers in there, but there are some that are “famous” covers famous for the interior story, and not necessarily the “best” DD covers.
The same thing happens all the time with X-Men and Spidey.

A lot of great covers on this list. I never noticed that the newspaper headline on the Wood covers was a recurring motif until now.

I am partial to cover #7 with the Sub-mariner by Wood, #43 with Captain America by Kirby, and #47 by Colan.

I had first seen the cover to #168 as a thumbnail in Wizard. With Daredevil holding a guy with a green shirt and the eye shadows being coloured purple, I was SURE that Elektra first showed up when DD was fighting the Mole Man.

I think that Quesada cover is so ridiculous it borders on parody.

The Mazzuchelli DD 232 cover is my favorite of all time. That guy is fantastic. Such a powerful draftsman. And his interiors were just as excellent.

I probably would have put DD #141 on there as well (with Bullseye firing DD from a giant corssbow) drawn by Dave Cockrum. But that was one of the first issues of DD I had as a kid, so it just really stands out to me.

Were covers of TPB eligible for this list? Because the Born Again trade cover is both the most iconic and best drawn Daredevil image of all time:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a8/Daredevil_Born_Again.jpg

Darren, great choice and I would never argue against it, but this is the best Daredevil image imo( also Mazzuchelli)
http://www.previewsworld.com/catalogimages/STK_IMAGES/STK460001-480000/STK463350.jpg

Man, by the time I got to like 7 or 8, I was getting pretty pissed that #189 was going to be left off the list. But then I saw it at #2, and got pretty excited. I’m surprised you had it that high, because I sort of thought I was the only one that loved it that much. It’s a strong contender for my favorite cover of all-time, along with Moon Knight #23.

Personally, I like the DD/Kingpin cover from #171 better than #170, but I understand the impact that !70 had as being the first Kingpin appearance in the title.

A few other DD covers I would’ve liked to have seen: #276 (Holding Ultron’s head), #325 (Elektra’s sai), #5 (DD holding Karen Paige’s body), #18 (David Mack gorgeousness), and #4 (cityscape as guns)

I’m also partial to the DD #7 cover by Wally Wood, which I consider one of the best single issue stories Marvel ever did.

I’m also fond of the Kirby cover for FF #39, “A Blind Man Shall Lead Them!”

http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Fantastic_Four_Vol_1_39?file=Fantastic_Four_Vol_1_39.jpg

Great list. Id say181 is a striking face off cover with DD as an observer in its own right. And there needs to be another Born Agsin cover. Though which one (and which one it replaces) I can’t say. I was always partial to the Santa Claus cover. Darren is right, if it was eligible that trade cover could have been #1.

And I don’t get what Moe refers to either.

Man, by the time I got to like 7 or 8, I was getting pretty pissed that #189 was going to be left off the list. But then I saw it at #2, and got pretty excited. I’m surprised you had it that high, because I sort of thought I was the only one that loved it that much.

It’s a very acclaimed cover. Douglas Wolk did a great feature on it in his book Reading Comics.

I’m also partial to the DD #7 cover by Wally Wood, which I consider one of the best single issue stories Marvel ever did.

The interiors were amazing, but I don’t think the cover is as amazing.

I’m also fond of the Kirby cover for FF #39, “A Blind Man Shall Lead Them!”

Literally the last cover cut from the list.

Not a massive Miller fan like…… Can’t believe there are no Rich Buckler covers from the middle 70’s ….

Gil Kane’s #114 …. Beautiful….. not a mention…. Strange that like …..

Agree with all those covers from issues 168 thru Born Again. Great stuff.

DD #16 looks like it inspired the Superman vs. Spider-Man cover in the 70s. I think the follow-up issue #17 cover is pretty iconic too.

Daredevil #156
Daredevil #180
Daredevil #188
Daredevil #209
Daredevil #216
Daredevil #228
Daredevil #230
Daredevil #241
Daredevil #299

[…] Brian Cronin | March 19, 2016 @ 2:55 AM | 20 Comments | [embedded content] Tweet 1 2 3 Next […]

#194 is the greatest Janson cover and is missing on this list.
http://comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/166/7128_20070210071117_large.jpg

I realize you can’t had a list of only Miller/Janson covers, but 186 is my favorite from that run:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rql_6JKG1z4/T5vl84O46uI/AAAAAAAAAXg/F6czzvd–hU/s1600/Daredevil_186_00.jpg

There are a lot of great Miller/Janson covers that definitely suffer in comparison of the OTHER great Miller/Janson covers.

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