Had an interesting question at COMICS 101 HQ this week, from our erstwhile rasslin’ columnist, the Germantown Kid Scott Bowden. While talking AVENGERS, both movies and comics, the question was posed, “Hey, have you ever talked about your favorite AVENGERS covers on the site?”
No. No, I haven’t.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
#10) MIGHTY AVENGERS #1, cover by Frank Cho
Frank Cho is probably my favorite AVENGERS artist of the last decade, and this debut cover for the new series brought several of my favorite Avengers off the reservists’ list, including Ms. Marvel, Wasp and Wonder Man.
#9) WEST COAST AVENGERS #1, cover by Bob Hall
I’m always a sucker for the “Who will join the team” cover, I confess. Factor in the prevalence of Hawkeye, a gorgeous Mockingbird portrait and a rare appearance by Rom the Spaceknight, and this one had to make the list.
#8) WEST COAST AVENGERS #44, cover by John Byrne
When John Byrne took over the writing and art duties on the WEST COAST AVENGERS series, he shook things up almost immediately, breaking up the most long-running and stable Avengers relationship by having the government kidnap the Vision and strip him down to his component parts. When Hank Pym and Iron Man tried to put Vizh back together, it didn’t go as smoothly as planned, as seen on this beautiful Byrne cover.
#7) AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #20, cover by Mark Brooks
Something about this cover really breaks my heart: the fragile Hank Pym and the sad, resigned Janet Van Dyne.
#6) AVENGERS #158, cover by Jack Kirby
Kirby Marvel covers from the 1970s had a very distinctive look; this was one of the first AVENGERS comics I ever bought, and I’m sure it was this cover that caught Li’l Scott’s eye. Plus, Kirby didn’t draw the Vision all that often, which makes this all the cooler.
#5) AVENGERS #181, cover by George Perez
Nothing like a good high-concept cover, and this is one of the best. The overcrowding of the cover gives it a great, claustrophobic feel, and I love all the little character touches, like Cap holding back Iron Man and Wasp and Yellowjacket holding hands.
#4) JLA/AVENGERS #2, cover by George Perez
Okay, maybe it’s a bit of a cheat including a JLA/AVENGERS cover here, but there’s no way I could leave it out. So much going on here, fantastic action, and so many match-ups fans waited literally decades to see. I especially love the Hawkeye/Green Arrow and Scarlet Witch/Zatanna face-offs.
#3) AVENGERS #16, cover by Jack Kirby
This was the first of the many “The Olde Order Changeth” covers for AVENGERS, and probably still the best. Later ones would be slicker or more exciting, but this first one must have had the most impact, just because it was so unexpected.
#2) AVENGERS #157, cover by Jack Kirby
Another great 1970s Jack Kirby offering, this one makes the list just from sheer shock value. Who was that, and what did he do to the Avengers? I had to find out.
#1) AVENGERS #1, cover by Jack Kirby
The original and the still the best. ‘Nuff said.
Scott Tipton still needs to go re-read JLA/AVENGERS. If you have questions about the Avengers or comics in general, send them here.