Since debuting in DETECTIVE COMICS #27 82 years ago in 1939, there have been thousands of Batman comic book covers. From DETECTIVE to BATMAN to LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT to THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD and many other Bat-titles, there are A LOT to choose from when it comes to the best of the best.
As I sitting in my office, I see framed posters of DETECTIVE COMICS #27 (1939), BATMAN #251, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, BATMAN #1 (1940), and THE LONG HALLOWEEN hanging on the walls.
Looking around, I got to thinking what are the most important Batman comic book covers in all of Batman history?
So I went to the one man who I know could answer that question quickly and arguably definitively: Michael Uslan!
Below you’ll find Mr. U’s “5 Most Important Batman Comic Book Covers.” Enjoy!
DETECTIVE COMICS #31 (1939)
The cover features a vampiric-looking Batman looking down upon a European castle as the villainous Monk — a real-life nosferatu — carries his latest victim. Batman appeared in this issue in the story titled “Batman Versus the Vampire, Part 1.” Says Mr. Uslan, “The cover of DETECTIVE #31 defines The Bat-Man of the early Golden Age of comics.”
Featuring the story “The Origin of Batman,” Mr. Uslan says, “BATMAN #44 defined Batman in the latter Golden Age of Comics.”
BATMAN #156 (1963)
The psychedelic story “Robin Dies at Dawn” (which would later be a big part of Grant Morrison’s run on BATMAN) is featured on the cover of this issue. In addition, DC’s version of Ant-Man showed up in the story “The Secret of the Ant-Man.” Say’s Mr. U, “The best cover of Batman during the 1950s into the 1960s.”
BATMAN #251 (1973)
You just knew that this cover would make Mr. U’s list!
“The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge” in BATMAN #251 is a classic Batman story (by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams) and reintroduced The Joker after a bit of a hiatus. Just as Batman returned to his dark and serious roots starting in 1969, so did his main villain. “[BATMAN #251] defined Batman and The Joker of the 1970s!”
BATMAN #423 (1988)
Says Mr. Uslan of Todd McFarlane’s cover for this issue, “The 1980s and beyond As determined by Todd McFarlane, Norm Breyfogel, and Frank Miller!”
So, what do you all make of this list? What would be in your top, 5, 10, or even 20? There’re are A LOT of Batman comic book cover to date, so feel free to discuss them in the comments section below! – Bill “Jett” Ramey