BRONZE AGE BONANZA: The holiday season brings a number of classics…

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

OK, it’s the final month of the year, so it’s naturally all about December 1970.

But don’t forget — at the end of the year, we’ll be selecting the TOP 13 COVERS of ALL of 1970!

Until then, dig this year’s final monthly installment:

13. Star Trek #9, Gold Key. I love Gold Key’s sometimes gorgeous/sometimes wacky Star Trek photo covers. This falls under the latter category with a Pon Farr-fevered Spock, a black-and-white Kirk — and a promised appearance by George Washington. (Boy, how great was Leonard Nimoy: a simple shift in posture, eyes aflame, lips slightly parted — he’s a picture of deranged sexual overload.)

12. Heart Throbs #130. Good lord, what’s the subtext here? “I’m ruined for any boy! My father saw to that!” And then the old man’s creepy comment about the lovelorn lass. WTAF.

Possibly Tony DeZuniga

11. Horror Tales #11, Eerie. Johnny Bruck’s painted cover is actually a reprint from an earlier German mag, but so what? This isn’t just nightmare fuel. This is nightmare fuel that will set your hair on fire and have you running from the house screaming into the night.

Johnny Bruck

10. The Avengers #85, Marvel. Anything that makes New York look like it did in Planet of the Apes I’m totally down for. Buscema and Everett bring the terror. Great colors by whoever did them. (Marie Severin? Let me know, folks!)

John Buscema pencils, Bill Everett inks

9. The Brave and the Bold #94, DC. Batman and Teen Titans team-ups were among my faves — and they typically showed them at odds. Here, though, it gets really unsettling with the adults-only concentration camp. And boy, Robin is peeved.

Nick Cardy

8. Superman #234, DC. Neal Adams, master of the dramatic camera angle. And look how much of Superman he fit on that cover — a powerful combination of a simplistic image with grand detail and suspense.

Neal Adams

7. Thor #185, Marvel. Nobody has ever done cosmic better than the House of Ideas — and with John Buscema at the helm here, this is classic early ’70s Marvel.

Buscema pencils, John Verpoorten inks

6. Detective Comics #408, DC. Neals Adams once told me he wasn’t a big fan of covers that are a string of story panels. But damn if this isn’t one of his most memorable efforts. Haunting and grisly, I remember really wanting this when it was a wall book at the place I got comics at as a young teen. It was worth every penny once I finally landed it. Love the yellow-and-red logo, too.

5. The Flash #203, DC. More Neal Adams, with Jack Adler behind the camera. Photo/art covers were usually better in the idea than in the execution and this one’s a bit of a busy mess, but I dig it nonetheless. It’s one of the Scarlet Speedster’s most memorable covers of the era.

Neal Adams art, Jack Adler photo.

4. The Forever People #1, DC. Not a big fan of The Forever People but this is a compelling Kirby cover. As you’ll see below, this is when the King really started to make his presence known at the Distinguished Competition.

Jack Kirby pencils, Frank Giacoia inks

3. The Unexpected #123, DC. That dude’s look of unbridled terror makes an otherwise pedestrian idea leap out at you. I’ve said it before: Nick Cardy could do anything.

Nick Cardy

2. The Witching Hour #13, DC. Classic Adams trickery which he would later perfect. I actually think this is the best cover on the list, but the next one wins for sheer historical import.

Neal Adams

1. The New Gods #1, DC. A seismic moment in DC’s history — so how could I not make this tops? And it is a striking cover, to boot.

Jack Kirby pencils. Either Frank Giacoia or Don Heck inks.


— The TOP 13 COVERS of NOVEMBER 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. Kirby’s NEW GODS and FOREVER PEOPLE launch! If only I’d started reading comics four years earlier than I did. Although at 6 years old, I’m not sure how well I was actually reading at that point in my life…

    And how have I never seen that SUPERMAN cover?! Crazy.

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  2. Great selection of covers there, but I have always been more flummoxed by Iris’ outfit in the future than the strange melding of photo and comic art. Why would ANYONE in any period wear THAT?

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