BRONZE AGE BONANZA! Boy, Neal Adams had a helluva month…

Welcome to BRONZE AGE BONANZA — our new monthly series that looks at the greatest covers of the Bronze Age — exactly 50 years later. For more info on this feature, click here.

Looking at the selections below, I can only imagine what it was like to be a Neal Adams fan in April 1970.

I mean, come on.

So let’s get right to THE TOP 13 COVERS OF APRIL 1970 — RANKED:

(And don’t forget: These entries are based on sale dates and not official publication dates.)

13. Family Affair #3, Gold Key. Just a reminder that there was once a Family Affair comic book.

12. Marvel Tales #27, Marvel. It’s more or less a re-do of Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man #34 — but it’s a groovy re-do of Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man #34.

Marie Severin pencils. Sam Grainger or Joe Sinnott inks.

11. Marvel Super-Heroes #27, Marvel. One of Jack Kirby’s last Marvel covers before jumping to DC. Not his best work by any stretch, but man there’s a lot going on here.

Jack Kirby pencils, John Verpoorten inks

9. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! #20, Gold Key. I have no idea what this picture is. But I like it.

Artist unknown

9. Drag N’ Wheels #41, Charlton. Man, this is far out. Just imagine those colors leaping out from the spinner rack and grabbing you by the throat.

Artist unknown — though I have my suspicions. Let us know in the comments if you have info!

8. Aquaman #52, DC. There’s no such thing as a bad Nick Cardy Aquaman cover. (Is there such a thing as a bad Nick Cardy anything?) This is weird and psychedelic and you have no concept of what’s going on here — or even whether this is under water or in the air. But it’s memorable nonetheless.

Nick Cardy

7. The Phantom #38, Charlton. It’s a fairly static image but Jim Aparo gives such a great sense of mood. Boy, it looks like the skies are just going to burst open any second now, deep in the thick jungle.

Jim Aparo

6. Wonder Woman #189. OK, so we know they never should have taken her powers away, but holy crap, it’s Wonder Woman with a machine gun standing against enemy aircraft fire. Badass.

Mike Sekowsky pencils, Dick Giordano inks

5. The Amazing Spider-Man #86, Marvel. Actually, Spidey, she’s not a female copy of you. She’s just also named after a spider. It’s always about you, isn’t it, Parker? Get over yourself.

John Romita

4. Star Spangled War Stories #151, DC. I don’t expect that DC will ever collect a book of just Joe Kubert war covers, but man, man, man, they should. Helluva way to introduce the Unknown Soldier.

Joe Kubert

3. Green Lantern #77, DC. Neal Adams gets the top three spots this month. This issue follows up the seismic GL/GA #76 — which took top honors in the February 1970 edition of BRONZE AGE BONANZA! — and remains one of the best-known covers from Denny O’Neil and Adams’ groundbreaking run.

Neal Adams

2. Detective Comics #400, DC. The issue that first gave us Man-Bat — a suitable move for such a landmark entry in Detective Comics lore. Easily one of Adams’ most recognized covers. So why isn’t this Number 1?


1. Batman #222, DC. Because how can you go against Batman and Robin meeting the Beatles? (Ahem, I mean the Oliver Twists…)



— The TOP 13 COVERS of MARCH 1970 — RANKED. Click here.

— BRONZE AGE BONZANA: The 1970 INDEX. Click here.

Sources: Mike’s Amazing World of Comics and the Grand Comics Database.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. The No. 1 cover is ironic, since this was the month that The Beatles had announced their breakup. Also unusual, in that it shows the Fab Four as they were circa 1967. Still, the Neal Adams covers are and remain fantastic!!!

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  2. These books hit the stands my third month of buying comic books, but of these 13, I only picked one off the spinner rack, but it’s a good one…. Detective 400!

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  3. I would put the Man-bat cover as#1 and have no idea how Family Affair got in there, but a good list nonetheless.

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  4. I love the Adams, Aparo and Kubert covers of course. But that Nick Cardy Aquaman is fantastic. It’s a great mixture of colors, textures and shapes.

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  5. As for the artist on that 9. Drag N’ Wheels #41, Charlton. I haven’t been able to find anything. But my best guesses on the style (or the face of Scot in the upper right corner) is possibly Ross Andru, Dick Giordano or possibly Aparo.

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  6. Just read that issue of Aquaman via the DCU app, and it’s got great Jim Aparo interior art. Cool stuff.

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  7. My three personal guesses for the cover art of Drag N’ Wheels #41 would be one of three Charlton mainstays: Either Jack Keller, Sam Glanzman, or Pat Boyette.

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