It’s no secret that I am primarily a Marvel fan. I collect and enjoy other comics as well but the majority of my collection consists of bronze and silver age Marvel comics. Since no one really ever sees my collection(mainly due to not having very many comic geek friends), I thought I would post some of my favorite covers. Now keep in mind these were only chosen from comics that I have in my own personal collection and are ranked by cover art only. Value and content were not a factor in this list. Just the purty pictures. Enjoy!
(Click each comic for a larger version. What? Is this your first time on the internet?)
#20. Contest of Champions #1 (1982)
I love these “pile everyone up” covers. Very vibrant.
Take note of three of my favorite heroes in a row back there. Moon Knight, Vision and Black Bolt. I’m thinking they just got back from band practice. Moon Knight on drums. Vizh on keytar. And Blackagar? Well bass and lead vocals of course. Too bad Scar Witch is totally gonna break up the band.
Cover Artist: John Romita Jr.
#19. Marvel Holiday Special #1(1991)
My dad bought this for me for Christmas 1991. He always got the holiday specials and hid them under my stocking. I loved ‘em. Especially this one. The wrap-around cover reveals Santa running from a pissed off Wolverine. Everyone knows Logan wanted a fresh box of Gurkha Black Dragon cigars. Get it right, bub.
Cover Artist: Arthur Adams
#18. Machine Man #1 (1978)
The first of the Jack Kirby covers. Not much beats Kirby’s style. He’s hand’s down my favorite artist. So team him with the debut of Machine Man in his first solo book and you’ve got a winner!
Something about Kirby’s lines and title lettering just fills my heart (and eyes) with glee. More of his work to come!
Cover Artist: Jack Kirby (haven’t you been paying attention?)
#17. Spider-Woman #1 (1978)
This was a good year for covers and I love everything about this one. The off camera baddies with guns drawn, the flowing title with killer tag line, the old school spiderweb wing thingies, blah, blah, blah. It’s great! She’s like a superhero secret spy that’s also a spider. So…a spyder.
Also, I’m really glad Marvel made the decision to let out Spider-Woman’s blue-black locks instead of the shower cap she used to wear.
Cover Artist: Joe Sinnott
#16. Fantastic Four Annual #12 (1977)
It was really hard to narrow down all my FF covers to just one. I could have easily included 10 more in this list but then it wouldn’t have been as interesting.
This cover has a 60s sci-fi feel to it that I really love. Those pods holding Black Bolt and Quicksilver are pretty much the reason this one came in at #16. I’m slowly learning that I should buy every comic Buscema drew.
Cover Artist: John Buscema!
#15. Marvel Team-Up #132 (1983)
This is a comic I owned as a kid but later lost. When I started hardcore collecting again it was one of the first I tracked down. I love the simplicity about it and I’m always drawn to these white background covers. Mr. Fantastic is the hippest he’s ever been and Spider-Man looks well…amazing. I’m pretty sure that 10 year old me drew or traced this cover a gazillion times.
Cover Artist: Paul Smith
#14. Marvel Premiere #45 (1978)
Man-Wolf! That’s enough reason alone to include this one. I really like the character, and this is his first appearance as Stargod so it also has a cheesy 70s sci-fi thing going on. I mean, it’s a werewolf fighting with a sword in space. It’s #14.
Check out the horsedragoncornasus!
Cover Artist: George Perez
#13. Incredible Hulk #389 (1992)
He may not be as well known as Swampy but Man-Thing ranks in my top 5 of Marvel characters. You feel for him like you would a mangy dog that won’t leave the yard.
I found this issue at the grossest flea market ever. I was getting dizzy and almost vomited but I wasn’t leaving without this comic. Great cover.
Cover Artist: Gary Barker
#12. Ghost Rider #16 (1976)
It’s pretty apparent that Marvel was trying to cash in on the box office success of Jaws with this cover. The issue came out not even a year after the movie.
So how exactly did Johnny Blaze end up underwater with his leg in a shark’s yap? Can GR even use hellfire in the ocean?? And do sharks even technically have souls??? Hey! I said we’re just talking ’bout the cover artwork! And this one’s awesome!
Cover Artist: Bob Brown
#11. What if? #47 (1984)
After the success of Avengers, everyone is in love with Loki. I personally have never been an over the top fan but I AM googoo over this cover!
It’s always cool when a title throws in one of these painted issues. The What If Volume 1 line is pretty terrific but this one stood out well above the other contenders. Very 80s. If comic covers were band videos this one would be the 1984 Queensryche summer smash: Mjolnir’s Moon.
Cover Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz
#10. Marvel Team-Up #68 (1978)
I know what you’re thinking…
“We’ve already had a Marvel Team-Up on the list!” or “Really? Man-Thing? Again?” And the answers to those questions are “Shut up” and “Yes”.
Something about this cover appeals to me. Maybe the title “Dark Swamp, Deep Fear”? Or maybe it’s Man-Thing drippily reaching out? Or maybe the way Spider-Man is tensed in terror? Whatever the reason, it’s #10!
Braggy Fun Fact: my copy is signed by writer Chris Claremont
Cover Artist: John Byrne
#9. Moon Knight #17 (1982)
Another one that was reeeallly hard to narrow down to just one issue. There are so many other badass chalky dark Moon Knight covers that I almost want to show you some right now. But I’ll refrain.
I am one comic away from completing my 38 issue long Moon Knight volume 1 collection and I couldn’t be more excited.
Batman wishes he was Moon Knight. Yeah I said it.
Cover Artist: Denys Cowan
#8. Daredevil #44 (1968)
Dare-Devil or Daredevil? Who knows! All I can say with 100 percent assurance is this cover is breathtaking! I really like color figures on black or two-color backgrounds. It’s so striking. And the yellow blocked off logo is really cool. Spotlights! A dark skyline! The hint of murder! This one’s got it all! You really can’t beat the art in a silver age book.
And Jester looks as menacing as The Joker back there. Not to worry. DD knows no fear!
Cover Artist: Gene Colan
#7. Super-Villain Team-Up #10 (1977)
This line was like the bad guy versions of Marvel Team-Up or Two-In-One and most were centered around Doctor Doom.
I LOVE this cover. First of all they have Namor listed as a villain. Poor guy always walked the line. Secondly, Doctor Doom is throwing a little hissy fit all over Cap’s shield. “Don’t you know that thing is indestructible Vic?”. And third of all, Red Skull is like friggin HUGE! And apparently on FIRE!
Plus the actual art is top notch. Nuummmbbbberrrr seeevvvvveeen!!!
Cover Artist: Gil Kane
#6. Avengers #48 (1968)
My second John Buscema cover. Features the first appearance of Dane Whitman as the Black Knight. All jokes aside this is one beautiful comic cover. Classic late 60s Avengers are where it’s at and I was lucky enough to find a great version of this issue. One of my most prized comics.
The pencils, colors and angles are crazy good. It took me forever to notice that I was actually viewing the scene from on top of the skyline looking straight down. Go ahead, take a look. Those are roofs!
Cover Artist: John F’ing Buscema
#5. Devil Dinosaur #8 (1978)
Another Kirby masterpiece! Another book from ’78! But the first book yet featuring a red demonic dino!!! This whole series is great. Anything Jack Kirby writes and pencils is pretty much gonna be a must-have for me.
It was extremely hard to pick just one cover in this line but eventually I think all the lasso action and Devil’s stance put this one at the top. Just look at those widdy biddy arms!
I want Jack Kirby to draw dinosaurs all over the walls of my house.
Cover Artist: King Kirby
#4. Spectacular Spider-Man #101 (1985)
In another universe this could have easily been #1 on the list. Like if Kirby and other cheesy factors that went into me picking numbers 1 through 3 had never existed then this is our top book. I mean look at it. Spidey’s never looked better. I can’t quite tell if he’s swinging or falling but either way it looks graceful.
I was surprised to find that this was a John Byrne cover because in the big scheme of things I’m not a huge fan. So Mr Byrne… even tho I’m not that keen on most of your art and your Fantastic Four run kind of annoys me and I hear you are sort of a douchebag…I apologize. This cover makes up for all of that.
Cover Artist. John Byrne
#3. Marvel Treasury Special: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Jack Kirby you are my hero. Not only did you single-handedly write and draw an entire 2001: A Space Odyssey ten issue series but you also found time to fit in this huge-ass coffee table book sized comic! It’s unbelievable! In case I didn’t make that clear, the Marvel Treasury books are huge. And awesome.
2001: ASO is my favorite movie so that may have had a hand in the ranking of this issue. Either way, this is my list on my blog and I’ll blab about Jack Kirby and sci-fi movies as much as I want damnit!
I love the giant space station with the launching shuttle and the ginormous 2001 logo. And is that the sun or Hal 9000 in the distance? Maybe Jack left that as a question mark.
I know this is all about covers but you should really see some of the 60s style art on the inside. Borderline Andy Warhol. #3. Bam!
Cover Artist: whatever
#2. Web of Spider-Man #1 and Annual #2 TIE! (1985/86)
Remember all those times I said I couldn’t decide on just one issue from a certain series? Well this time I really couldn’t. So I chose two!!!
I rationalized this by the fact that they are from the same artist. But the hard truth is I honestly could not decide between these two issues. They’re both fantastic. The artist is Charles Vess. I wonder if he would care to know that he just beat out not one, not two, but three Jack Kirby covers on the “Crossover Blog 20 Favorite Marvel Covers 2012 Countdown Extravaganza”???
I mentioned earlier that I really liked the painted looking covers and the “Web of…” stuff is some of the best. Spidey looks darker and meaner than ever. If only they could have achieved this amount of “emo” in Peter Parker in the black suit scenes in Spider-Man 3. Sam Raimi may have still been holding the reins.
Cover Artist: Charles Vess
and now…drumroll please…THE #1 FAVORITE MARVEL COMIC COVER FROM MY COLLECTION IIIIISSSSS…
#1. Super Villain Classics #1: Galactus: The Origin (1983)
Wait…so it’s not my Secret Wars #8 that features the first appearance of the symbiote?
or another classic silver age Avengers book?
NOPE! It’s this super cheesy book with a straight on front shot of a bigass Galactus face! This book is soo weird…how could it not be #1? I mean, it’s called Super Villains Classics #1 and there were never even any more books made in the run.
Just check out that big stupid Galactus face. And that totally awesome 1980s header that could have just as well been plastered on the side of the Super Villain Classics pinball machine.
The fact that I can’t stop looking at this comic in disbelief is the sole reason it ranks at #1. I only thought Jack Kirby was my favorite cover artist. Turns out Bob Layton has trumped them all if only by pure slapstickery.
In my version of life this Galactus face would replace every important face ever depicted on earth. Statue of Liberty. All four Mt. Rushmore heads. Dollar bill. All the other bills.
Super Villains Classics: Galactus: The Origin…you are my number 1 favorite comic cover ever!
Thank you Bob Layton. Thank you.