Comic books have given us some truly memorable works of art, but the best of them were shown right on the covers. MyAegean / Via media.giphy.com
Mainly featuring heroes and villains in colorful costumes, comic book covers have succeeded in catching readers' attention, but these covers are truly the best of the best. These are the 15 Greatest Covers in All of Comics.
WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!! 15. Green Lantern #49 (1994)
The '90s saw the Green Lantern turn to the dark side as Hal Jordan suffered the destruction of his home city. He clashes with his fellow Lanterns for trying to undo the damage and eventually steals their Power Rings. The look on Jordan's face as he holds all of their rings in his hands shows just how wicked he's become: a shocking pivot for one of the most beloved superheroes ever.
DC / Via YouTube 14. The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (1967)
Fed up with not getting respect for all the lives he's saved, Peter Parker gave up on being Spider-Man to mark his 50th issue. The sight of him turning his back on his superhero persona on this cover is a somber preview of his short but severe identity crisis.
Marvel Comics 13. Iron Man #128 (1979)
Despite fighting men in armored suits and aliens from other worlds, the greatest enemy that Tony Stark ever fought was alcoholism. It was shocking to see Iron Man look so crushed on this cover, which displays just how troubled and weak he is in the face of his own addiction.
Marvel Comics 12. Batman: The Killing Joke
This cover is one of the most well-known images of the Clown Prince of Crime. The image of the Joker taking a picture with his blood-red smile becomes more haunting when you learn what he's photographing. Not only does it show how much he relishes in causing the misery of others, but this cover makes it look like he enjoys capturing our shocked reactions while reading this horrifying comic.
DC / Via YouTube 11. Captain America #1 (1941)
Captain America made a memorable first impression by punching Hitler in the face right on this infamous cover. There's absolutely no subtlety in this image, and it caused a lot of controversy with Nazi sympathizers in America back when it was released. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby made it perfectly clear that they were against Nazism with this cover, and we knew Steve Rogers wouldn't take any nonsense from them either.
Marvel Comics / Via YouTube 10. Green Lantern #85 (1971)
This was a pivotal moment in comic book history, as it set the stage for the medium tackling more mature social issues. And it all began with the shocking revelation that Green Arrow's sidekick, Speedy, was a heroin addict. There was no build-up. They just put the twist right on the cover.
DC / Via YouTube 9. Batman #608 (2002)
Batman is typically seen looking down on Gotham City from the top of a gargoyle, emphasizing his nature as the people's watchful protector. Arguably the most famous version of this image comes from this glorious cover designed by none other than legendary comic book writer/artist Jim Lee.
DC / Via YouTube 8. The Uncanny X-Men #135 (1980)
In the '80s, we were introduced to the X-Men's most dangerous villain: Jean Grey. Having become the all-powerful Dark Phoenix, she stands over her fallen comrades and gleefully crushes the "X-Men" title with her bare hands, showing just how formidable she is. This cover told audiences that the story of Jean and the Dark Phoenix would flip Marvel Comics on its head, and they would never be the same since.
Marvel Comics 7. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 (1986)
The shot of Batman jumping across the stormy sky marked the character's rebirth in Frank Miller's revolutionary story. Long gone was the campy Crusader we saw in the '60s, and this comic marked his complete transition into the dark and gritty hero we all know and love, starting with this iconic cover.
DC / Via YouTube 6. Superman #75 (1993)
It was a dark day when Superman died, and this image conveyed this terrible tragedy to perfection. The sight of his tattered cape hanging like a flag symbolized the Man of Steel's death, but looking at it, it also feels like the rest of the world died a little with him.
DC / Via YouTube 5. Watchmen #1 (1986)
The Comedian's bloodied smiley button has become one of the most memorable images in comics. The stroke of red across the button's yellow face is a clever symbol for the doomsday clock referenced throughout the story. It also set up the dark, satirical tone of the story that would eventually destroy the innocence of superhero comics.
DC / Via YouTube 4. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 (1984)
In the middle of the epic struggle that was Marvel's
Secret Wars, audiences were introduced to Spider-Man's brand-new black suit. Unbeknownst to readers at the time, this alien costume would become one of Spider-Man's strongest and most lethal adversaries: Venom. Marvel Comics 3. Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (1985)
Though this cover was based on an image from "The Dark Phoenix Saga," it doesn't detract from how shocking it is. The Man of Steel weeping while holding Supergirl's dead body effectively sells the existential threat the Justice League must face in this cosmic story.
DC / Via YouTube 2. Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962)
The cover for Spider-Man's first comic has become one of the most recognizable images to come out of the comics industry. The way it shows him swinging in on his web and snatching up a crook from the street sums up everything the web-slinger is about, and we have loved him since he debuted in 1962.
Marvel Comics 1. Action Comics #1 (1938)
The world was introduced to Superman in this legendary comic cover. After seeing the Man of Steel holding a car over his head, everyone knew that he was no ordinary being. Since this comic's release, Superman became one of the most famous and most revered characters in all of fiction, launching the superhero genre altogether.
DC / Via YouTube Do you agree with this list? Were there any comic book covers that I missed? Please let me know in the comments section below. View comments