def

Superheroes Month - Most Iconic Comic Covers

27 posts in this topic

As part of Superheroes month, I'm introducing this temporary topic. Normally, this would go in the Culture & Multimedia section, and maybe it'll be shuffled there after the fact, but for now, let's all consider the best in comic covers, and maybe inspire some of the less comic literate members of the forum with the best in the industry.

For me, what is an iconic cover? The most obvious example is those covers that are burned into our memory, either through their power, or the reverberations they send through the comics world. Many of the great covers get homaged over and over again, cementing their status. It's very hard for new comics to be iconic, partly because it takes a generation to recognize that something's become "iconic", moving it beyond a classification of "very good."

The two biggest categories of iconic covers are "introductory" ones, which made such a splash because of characters introduced, and "event" covers, which portrayed milestone stories. I tend to like the latter more, but everyone has their own tastes :classic:

Introductory covers

The grand-daddy of them all, Action Comics 1, first appearance of Superman

action-comics1.jpg

(Here's an example of an homage to it)

AmazingSpider-Man306.jpg

One of my favorite covers, Giant Size X-Men 1, which introduced the all new, all different X-Men, which are still top sellers to this day, over 35 years later.

Giantsize1.jpg

Fantastic Four 1 is among the most homaged covers ever, probably because it's still so fresh and fun.

Fantastic-Four-1.gif

The introduction of Spider-Man has become quite iconic too:

AmazingFantasy15.jpg

While DC didn't do so great at introducing iconic books in the 60's and 70's, they did a lot better in the 80's, like with the beautiful Justice League 1.

jl1.jpg

As well as re-introducing Batman with The Dark Knight Returns 1,

1-1.jpg

Event Covers

These are the covers which shook the comic-reading world. These are somewhat rarer, since it takes a great combination of story and art to pull it off.

A great cover on so many levels, and one of the weirdest superhero stories ever: Green Lantern 85:

Green_lantern_85.jpg

Another heavily homaged comic, the introduction of the multiverse in Flash 123:

Flash123.jpg

I'd actually say that Amazing Spider-man has had more iconic covers than most comics, partly because of how fresh it was, and how great the runs of John Romita Sr and Gil Kane was on that book (I love the original artist, Steve Ditko, but his covers were a little old fashioned). Here is the first time Spider-man quit:

AmazingSpider-Man050.jpg

One of the later additions to the cover pantheon, was this Hulk cover which pretty much cemented the career of a young up and coming artist named Todd McFarlane, who shortly after was moved to the very high-profile position drawing Amazing Spider-man (Hulk is a marketable character, but his comics tend to be not so high-profile, until the last 10 years or so).

COMIC%20incredible%20hulk%20340.jpg

Well, that's a start. What do you think are the iconic comic covers? Which do you think would look great in LEGO?

From this list, a clever MOC'er could do the Dark Knight Returns justice, and a heavy-hitting MOC'er could blow the rest of us out of the park with a Fantastic Four 1 cover.

Feel free to add your opinions and the covers which are iconic for you!

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Very nice topic, def. It's indeed very fitting (and useful) for Superhero Month. And I agree, a Fantastic Four #1 cover in Lego would be awesome.

As for other iconic covers, I think the A Death in the Family one is pretty iconic. It features the first death of Robin and gets homaged quite often as well. It's very simple, but that's what makes it so powerful. It might be hard to do it justice with minifigs, but I'm sure some of the expert Lego photographers out there could do it.

Batman_Death_In_The_Family_TPB_cover.jpg

Another such cover is The Killing Joke. Released shortly before A Death in the Family, this comic marks the end of Batgirl and gives the Joker a sympathetic backstory. It has had a lot of influence on the DC Universe and other Batman-related media.

Killingjoke.JPG

Both of these issues show the Joker at his worst and make Batman's conflict with him more personal.

There's also this comic where Lex Luthor gets elected president of the US (which incidentally has already been recreated in Lego by yours truly). It's one of the most iconic images of the character and this event is referenced relatively often.

Lex2000.jpg

Also, if you're going to mention the introduction of the DC Multiverse, you might as well mention its destruction:

Crisis1.jpg

I don't know much about comics, but these are the ones I could think of. Would be great to see any of these legofied for the contest.

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The "hero carrying the body of another hero" is a particularly iconic image. Similar to Death in the Family:

220px-Uncanny136.jpg

Crisis7.jpg

Edited by Rumble Strike

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The "hero carrying the body of another hero" is a particularly iconic image. Similar to Death in the Family:

I actually had Crisis 7 on the short list of covers to show :thumbup: , but I left it off (that and Batman 404, the first of the Batman Year One). It's very iconic, but in many ways an homage itself, of Michaelangelo's Pieta.

300px-Michelangelo%27s_Pieta_5450_cropncleaned_edit.jpg

If you're going to steal, steal from the best :wink:

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Great idea for a topic Def!

Anywho, some great selections there, and though that Justice League cover is indeed great, I don't think Justice League #1 should be discounted

Brave_bold_28.jpg

Its so iconic, it recently was referenced in the movie 'Crisis on two earths' and even has a costume devoted to it, hehe.

CIMG7214-500x490.jpg

On the subject of Super Teams, I think this also gets a vote because it was the first time kids actually got more Superheroes for their money and realised that all their favourites could actually meet each other!

AS3.jpg

Notice the absence of both Superman and Batman though, as they were too busy in their own titles :tongue:

I know, I know. Both, first appearances but hey, they are what they are! :grin:

Edited by Catanas

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Actually I love that All-Star Comics one. That's a classic in so many ways. I love the image of heroes just hanging out in costume, around a big table :thumbup:

A few of the Amazing Spider-Man covers I love:

Spidey almost defeated:

33-1.jpg

Unmasked by the Green Goblin! (One of the best comics, both covers and interiors!)

39-2.jpg

In the eyes of Doc Ock!

55-6.jpg

The Death of Captain Stacy!

90-2.jpg

Morbius beating a six-armed Spider-man!

101-1.jpg

Someone will die!

121-1.jpg

The Goblin's Last Stand!

122-1.jpg

Introducing the Punisher!

129-1.jpg

Gotta stop! I could be here all night! Amazing Spider-Man, just on the covers alone, justifies his incredible popularity in the 60's and 70's. Remarkable pile of images there.

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You already hit most of my favorites! Great topic, I will do some digging and see what I can add to the conversation :thumbup:

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So many great covers. Here's few of my favourites.

<Removed to satisfy popular opinion>

Edited by pe668

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I think you're confusing the word "iconic" with "insensitive", pe668. Let's not make that mistake again.

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I think you're confusing the word "iconic" with "insensitive", pe668. Let's not make that mistake again.

Agreed. "Favorite" is also very different from "iconic". Just because you like something doesn't make it iconic, so let's try keeping it to truly iconic covers.

Speaking of which, I agree with def that Batman #404 is indeed quite iconic, perhaps even one of the most iconic, so here it is:

Batman_404.jpg

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Just because you like something doesn't make it iconic, so let's try keeping it to truly iconic covers.

Seems to me that it can be somewhat subjective. I'll leave you Admins to police your own beliefs then.

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I think a pretty iconic one for Daredevil is issue #181

19787-2190-22077-1-daredevil_super.jpg

I also am quite fond of Avengers #4

Avengers_Vol_1_4.jpg

I think my absolute favorite is The Brightest Day, Issue #0. :wub:

brightestday0.jpg

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Agreed. "Favorite" is also very different from "iconic". Just because you like something doesn't make it iconic, so let's try keeping it to truly iconic covers.

Yup... there are lots of humorous/embarrassing comic covers, especially from the early Silver Age, but rarely do they make it to iconic status. But I get the feeling that wasn't pe668's intent anyway :sceptic:

Moving on,

X-Men 1 is famous for being X-Men 1 (And I will always love snowy Iceman and his black booties)

1-3.jpg

I'll always prefer its new X-Men homage though, X-Men 104

104-1.jpg

Any of the Neal Adams covers could be called iconic, but the last stand of Cyclops against the sentinals is the one that stands out most to me.

59-13.jpg

The second battle between the new X-Men and Magneto, Magneto just killing them. Amazing action here.

112-1.jpg

One of Wolverine's first starring comics:

133-1.jpg

My all time favorite comic, and one that cemented X-Men as Marvel's biggest franchise, the original death of Phoenix. This was the cover I wanted to MOC, but I really don't have any appropriate mini-figs. It's doable though.

137-2.jpg

More classic Wolverine... He was still only in one comic at this point, if you can believe it! Comics starring Wolverine were a rarity! (Wolverine now stars in approximately 7,000 new comics a month :look: )

205-2.jpg

Getting into the over-written time of Wolverine, he still had some iconic tales and covers. We have the Cap, the Wolvie, and the Black Widow for this....

268-1.jpg

I'd say X-Men has been able to keep pumping out iconic covers into a later era, mainly because Marvel has consistently thrown its most expensive talent at them.

X-Men 1 became the biggest selling comic of all time (mainly because people bought five copies each), but it's a powerful cover nonetheless.

Pics to big, it was a triple gatefold: http://sphotos-a.xx....911057303_o.jpg

Arguably, the New X-Men Grant Morrisson run had some iconic covers, but I'll just choose as a last one of the Joss "wrote and directed the Avengers" Whedon's amazing Astonishing X-Men run from a few years back, which was a rarity, an instant classic.

That's her phasing through her boyfriend, if you take the time to look... Impossible to moc though :cry_sad:

6-6.jpg

There were a lot of covers I had to not post, since there have been so many great runs on the X-Books. I think the ones I posted are the most memorable though.

Seems to me that it can be somewhat subjective. I'll leave you Admins to police your own beliefs then.

If you honestly think so, why not explain why they're iconic? It's subjective to be sure, but the two you posted don't qualify under any definition of the term.

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<edited>

If I upset anyone, sorry, not my intent

Edited by pe668

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Doesn't qualify to YOUR definition. I'm not trying to be a trouble maker was trying to help. Superman for example depicted in a position where it was not clear if he was saving or trying to destroy the earth was classic (imo).

Yeah, Superman "iconically" possibly destroying the Earth during WWII, or Batgirl's iconic stocking runs :hmpf: Honestly, the mature response would be, "Yeah, sorry." (imo).

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I've never seen that first one, Green Lantern #1, but Animal Man 5 is one of the all-time great covers for me. Bolland did beautiful (and often psychedelic) covers through that first run, but that was the one that caught the eye most. So so good on many levels, and even better if you read the issue, then better still if you read the whole run. A rarity. :cry_happy:

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Pretty much all the X-men covers from about 100 to 143 could be argued to be iconic, it was such a strong run of comics that changed the industry. I had to pick and choose a few favorites. But that's a great one too!

(How the X-men changed the industry: they became the top selling comic for 20 years, without any mass-media assistance. Around 1980, people knew Hulk, Spider-man, Batman, Superman, etc through cartoons, underoos, movies and that. The X-men had been on the verge of cancelation for years, and were virtually unknown outside of comics. That run of X-men turned that around and made it #1, and by 1990 there were three spin-off titles and a mini-series or two going, and most were top ten books. The X-men wouldn't become household names until the cartoons in the 90's, and then the movies in the 00's. I can't stress how rare this is, for a comic to be a best-seller on its own merits, and not on character recognition, and X-men did this for well over a decade, under one writer. So, X-men, from 94 to 143 became some of the most read and reprinted comics around.)

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I've never seen that first one, Green Lantern #1, but Animal Man 5 is one of the all-time great covers for me. Bolland did beautiful (and often psychedelic) covers through that first run, but that was the one that caught the eye most. So so good on many levels, and even better if you read the issue, then better still if you read the whole run. A rarity. :cry_happy:

Well, I am a big GL fan and the first cover has always been a favourite of mine, I have more than one trinket related to it (The best being a notebook clad in copper that has been marked with the cover in relief) as for Animal Man? When I was a teeny I got into comics and the collected edition of that run was in the local Library. Loved it and that cover always struck me as the best.

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That Dark Knight Returns cover sure is cool, I don't read comics myself, so unless I see a cooler one, DKR will probably be my entry. Any other Batman ones you guys like?

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I honestly just don't love a lot of Batman artists compared to some other characters' artists. The great artists who worked on him were Neal Adams, Frank Miller, and David Mazzuchelli (IMO), and they've been shown here. Brian Bolland, the Killing Joke artist, has done some of my favorite Joker images, but they'd be really hard to MOC. His take on the classic laughing fish story:

Greatest_Joker_Stories_Ever_Told.jpg

And then a variation on that, with a laughing cat:

Batman_Legends_of_the_Dark_Knight_Vol_1_50.jpg

I've read a pile of Batman comics, but he's had two to three series a month for 50 years, and maybe five series a month for the last decade, so there's a lot I don't know. Maybe the Penguin's ears will perk up and he'll post some of his picks. :sweet:

Just thinking about it though, one of the later images which has been used and reused that I can remember, is the somewhat legendary one of Bane doing his thing:

Batman_497.jpg

There are lots more to discover though :thumbup:

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Yeah, actually I think I found one I like more than some of the ones here. We'll see if I can MOC it...

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That Dark Knight Returns cover sure is cool, I don't read comics myself, so unless I see a cooler one, DKR will probably be my entry. Any other Batman ones you guys like?

Well, there's one more that comes to my mind: Mad Love. There have been two covers for it and I don't know if they can be considered iconic, but I love them both, not to mention the story itself, and it would be awesome to see at least one of them recreated! :wub: The second one is probably hard to do without photoshopping unless you build a large brick-built Harley Quin (which would be amazing!) but the first one should be easy enough.

19055_400x600.jpgMad_Love_cover.jpg

By the way, there is a nice article about iconic covers and homages here, most of which have already been posted in this topic (I'm suspecting def already knew about it :grin: ). There are two covers from that article that I'd like to repost here. One of them is Superman with an eagle in front of the American flag. Very iconic.

1176750-superman14_super.jpg

The other is the first depiction of the classic shirt-ripping image on a comic cover. Doesn't get more iconic than that, although anything Superman does is iconic in a way. Probably impossible to pull off in Lego though.

1179179-man_of_steel_the_1super_super.jpg

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