Comic Book Rewind – Top 10 Spider-Man Covers

Comic Book Rewind – Top 10 Spider-Man Covers

Comic Book Rewind, an ongoing series of articles and reviews, looks to the past in order to introduce new readers to older stories. Like remembered friends, it also reminds us old-timers why we just might want to revisit some of the classics. In this installment, we’re going to take a look at the Top Ten Spider-Man covers of all time.

Comic art brings to life the stories we love and no artwork gets as much attention, depth, and detail as cover art. Great comic artists including Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr., Gil Kane, Todd McFarlane and many others have graced the covers of Spider-Man books with some of the most iconic images in comics in the last fifty years. With thousands of Spider-Man books published since 1962, few titles have as many fantastic cover art choices to pick from and I foresee that limiting this list to just ten is going to be a real challenge.

That said, I’ll do my best.

 

Top 10 Covers No. 10

Top 10 Covers No. 10

#10 – Spider-Man #1, by Todd McFarlane 1990

This released right when I started reading and collecting comics as a kid and so I hold this cover perhaps in higher regard than I ought to. Nostalgia is my mistress and so this cover makes my list. Interestingly, Todd did the cover art on this title and also did the interior pencils and inking and wrote the story for fourteen consecutive issues without missing a month. An impressive feat that not many creators are capable of.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 9

Top 10 Covers No. 9

#9 – Spectacular Spider-Man #101, by John Byrne 1985

Best known for his work on the comic titles X-men and Wolverine, with X-Men #141 possibly being my favorite of all his work, John Byrne has made his mark on Spider-Man as well. Spectacular Spider-Man #101 is an easy pick for one of the best Spider-Man covers ever, and Byrne’s best work on the wall crawler.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 8

Top 10 Covers No. 8

#8 – The Amazing Spider-Man #39, by John Romita Sr. 1966

A classic Spider-Man cover by my favorite Spidey artist: John Romita Sr., who took over art duties on the Amazing Spider-Man on this issue after Steve Ditko left the series. Romita’s first Spidey cover was by all accounts a home run and one of the all time greats.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 7

Top 10 Covers No. 7

#7 – The Amazing Spider-Man #252, by Ron Frenz & Klaus Janson 1984

The first appearance of the black costume and a cover swipe of Amazing Fantasy #15, this copper age comic pays homage to Spider-Man’s first ever appearance and becomes an iconic image in its own right.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 6

Top 10 Covers No. 6

#6 – The Amazing Spider-Man #300 & #301, by Todd McFarlane 1988

Another McFarlane cover makes the list, and it’s a twofer. Both covers use the same basic imagery with some variations. Issue #300 has the anniversary background graphics and features a Black Costume Spider-Man while #301 has Spider-Man in the same pose and position but features a white background and the traditional Blue and Red costume. [Todd has so many great covers he could feasibly fill his own top-ten list. In fact, that’s not a bad idea for a future article…]

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 5

Top 10 Covers No. 5

#5 – The Amazing Spider-Man #50, by John Romita Sr. 1967

John Romita Sr. makes his second appearance on the list with ASM #50. A key book in the Amazing Spider-Man comic series, issue #50 features the first appearance of the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk), Peter Parker quitting his heroic adventures as Spider-Man, a retelling of Spider-Man’s origins and of course Peter remembering that with great power there must also come – great responsibility. The cover features a very fitting, very somber image of Peter and Spider-Man walking away from one another and the caption “Spider-Man No More!”

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 4

Top 10 Covers No. 4

#4 – The Amazing Spider-Man #129, by Gil Kane & John Romita Sr. 1974

Dramatic cover art by Gil Kane and John Romita Sr. feature a stark yellow background and the Punisher (in his first appearance in comics) taking aim at Spider-Man, shown caught in the crosshairs. The graphical styling of this cover has been copied, swiped, and recreated by other artists countless times since being published in the mid-1970’s.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 3

Top 10 Covers No. 3

#3 – Web of Spider-Man #1, by Charles Vess 1985

Web of Spider-Man #1’s cover art by Charles Vess is a beautifully rendered dark and gothic image of Peter Parker in the black Spider-Man costume that might call to mind the style of Batman’s the Dark Knight Returns. It captures a shadowed image of the wall crawler that is rarely seen in other artists’ work and I had difficulty not ranking it higher on this list based on that essential artistic divergence from prior issues.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 2

Top 10 Covers No. 2

#2 – Amazing Fantasy #15, by Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko 1962

The origin and first appearance of Spider-Man and one of his more iconic images of Spidey in action. Due to the price, few of us will ever own a copy of this book or even hold it in our hands, but Ditko and Kirby’s cover is regarded by everyone to be one of the best of all time.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Covers No. 1

Top 10 Covers No. 1

#1 – The Amazing Spider-Man #122, by John Romita Sr. 1973

Spider-Man desperately holds on to Gwen Stacy’s limp body as though in hopes she can still be carried to safety, the Green Goblin circles on his rocket-propelled glider and pumpkin bombs explode all around. It’s no suprise that John Romita Sr. drew my #1 Spider-Man cover but he made this one an easy choice. The drama and action John captured in the cover artwork for Amazing Spider-Man #122 is just as the title of the book implies: amazing!

 

 

 


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