Cover Browser

The Top 20 Coolest Comic Covers

Number 1. Rai was a superhero in the Valiant universe, which took the US comic market by storm in the 1990s (only to disappear almost as quickly). This was the cover to issue #0, showing the silhouette of the hero in front of a simple red circle (a sun, presumably). Some say the cover by Jim Shooter was swiped by a Punisher pin-up Mike Zeck drew -- you decide!

>> Rai #0

Number 2. The second Daredevil series started in 1998, written by Kevin Smith (of Clerks) and drawn by Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. The "Decalogue" series ran from issues 71 to 75 and presented different sins written in bold letters on the covers.

>> Daredevil (1998) #72

Number 3. Alpha Flight was a group of superheroes part of the Marvel universe. The cover is drawn by John Byrne, and shows almost exclusively black and white. It's also one of John Byrne's favorite covers, as he said in the John Byrne forum (where he frequently discusses with fans). John adds, "The bars were a piece of cake. The trick to that cover was positioning Aurora just right, so that the 'negative space' still read as her proper silhouette. (...) Even back in the day [before computer colorizing], I had to compromise my vision of the cover, in order to get most of what I wanted. I asked for no color at all, other than Aurora's face, but what I got was a colored logo and corner symbol."

>> Alpha Flight #3

Number 4. Captain America aka Steve Rogers resigns his old identity because he doesn't want to take orders from the government, taking on the new name "The Captain" with a black costume. The stars and stripes on the cover are made out of blood... this is just a very iconic image from 1987.

>> Captain America #332

Number 5. Drawn by Ron Garney, Spider-Man is back in black – ready for the "black Spider-Man" movie. A while back Peter Parker escaped the black alien costume for good because it turned his body into another creature. (Now, arch-enemy Venom has taken the turn to wear the alien.) Admittedly, the colorizing of this cover is much too dark and as it often happens, the computer blurs are drowning the ink, but a preview artwork Marvel released shows how good this could've been:

>> Amazing Spider-Man #539

Number 6. This is one of the many of the great colorful painted covers by Alex Ross. Some people criticize paintings in comics; legend Alex Toth says "They're trying to be painters and illustrators, but they don't know how to tell a story ... Too many rely on photographs and it's all lifeless – expressing nothing," calling Alex Ross an "idiot savant." (Comic Book Artist #11, 2001)

>> Battle of the Planets #1

Number 7. One of those whacky Sam Kieth covers. The logo has been slashed to pieces and a p***ed Wolverine faces the reader with torn clothes.

>> Marvel Comics Presents #92

Number 8. A classic "desperate artist" cover by Daniel Clowes of Eightball fame (his lines grew softer over time, but this cover still shows a very rough style). Pricing and publisher information have been carefully placed to censor, well, almost everything.

>> Eightball #2

Number 9. The Marvel Zombies mini-series takes place in an alternate universe where all Marvel heroes are basically disintegrating and eating each other's flesh (like all good zombies do). The covers are takes on classic comic book covers from the Marvel universe – this one is based on The Avengers #4 cover by George Roussos.

>> Marvel Zombies #2

Number 10. Comic artist Simon Bisley burst onto the scene with the painted fantasy series Slaine. This is one of the covers from the series.

>> Marvel Zombies #2

Number 11. When DC decided to kill off their most popular superhero (and one of the most famous superheros of all), Superman, mainstream media figured it was final. Comic book buffs knew that no hero is every really dead, and indeed Superman came back... in a couple of variants. This robot variant might have been one of the coolest, as the cover by Dan Jurgens shows.

>> Superman (1987) #79

Number 12. The Batman: Black and White mini series was a showcase of beloved comic artists rendering Batman without any colors. This minimalist cover is by Alex Toth. Other covers in this series were by comic book legends Jim Lee, Frank Miller, and Barry Windsor-Smith.

>> Batman: Black and White #4

Number 13. Brooklyn Dreams was a black-and-white mini-series by J.M. DeMatteis with art by Glenn Barr, published at Paradox Press. Glenn mixes drawn as well as painted artwork. This cover shows the figures of the protagonist's past.

>> Brooklyn Dreams #2

Number 14. Ivan Brunetti is without a doubt the most nihilistic and depressed alternative comic book artist alive today. Part #4 of his series Schizo, published at Fantagraphics, comes in oversized format and shows our, ugh, hero screaming "Hulk Smash."

>> Schizo #4

Number 15. Belgian "ligne claire" ("clear line") artist Hergé puts hero Tintin and his dog through a series of adventures. This cover shows the "black island."

>> Tintin #7

Number 16. Another iconic cover, this one in green by one of the Hulk's most talented artist's, Canadian Dale Keown. It marks the return of the green-colored Hulk replacing the gray version.

>> Hulk #377

Number 17. A beautifully designed and executed Batman cover by Tim Sale from the mini-series Dark Victory.

>> Batman: Dark Victory #13

Number 18. This reddish cover reads "Behold the Vision", and was chosen because John Buscema just knows how to draw! John Byrne later also took a shot at this cover for West Coast Avengers #45, as you can see below:

>> Avengers #57

Number 19. "Robin! What's happening to you?!" A cover which tells the story. By one of the best Batman artists, Neal Adams, from 1971 (yep, it doesn't look this old!).

>> Detective Comics #408

Number 20. Spider-girl is the future daughter of Spider-Man, Peter Parker, and she's presenting her new black costume (courtesy of artist Ron Frenz) in this special 75th issue of her series.

>> Spider-Girl #75

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