BRONZE AGE BONANZA: Adams! Kane! Kaluta! Cardy! Kirby! MORE!

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.

Neal Adams is back in action this month, while Gil Kane makes three appearances and Nick Cardy two. Plus many of your faves, from Bob Oksner to Mike Kaluta.

Right on.

13. Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #125, DC. How is any of this even possible? I mean, I know a flying man is impossible too, but still…

Bob Oksner

12. Daredevil #91, Marvel. Pretty standard hand-to-hand combat situation but I love, love, love seeing the cityscape below. As a city guy, this is always dramatic imagery.

Gil Kane pencils, Joe Sinnott inks

11. Betty and Me #44, Archie. I admire Betty’s healthy, self-possessed attitude.

Unidentified artist

10. Conan the Barbarian #18, Marvel. Jack Kirby gets all the credit for Marvel’s beastly monsters but Gil Kane was no slouch in that department, either.

Kane pencils, John Romita inks

9. Fantastic Four #126, Marvel. Hey, where have I seen this before?

John Buscema pencils, Joe Sinnott inks

8. Amazing Adventures #14, Marvel. Really groovy poster style cover by Gil Kane but what really makes it is that ol’ hoary chestnut, the rubber-mask disguise. As if!

Gil Kane pencils, Jim Mooney inks

7. The Flash #217, DC. Just a bunch of surprisingly obnoxious Flashes standing around and arguing. Looks great though, especially set off by the black background. I dig it.

Nick Cardy

6. The Amazing Spider-Man #112, Marvel. Whattya think? Should we do the TOP 13 TIMES SPIDER-MAN JUST PLAIN GAVE UP? I mean, the guy quits more than anyone, then comes back to the very same conclusion: With great power, there must also come great responsibility. Pete’s a slow learner, huh? Anyway, good thing John Romita could always be counted on to find a new way to show the same ol’, same ol’.

5. Justice League of America #100, DC. Nicely done, Nick Cardy. Fifteen heroes shown in full despite the box-cover format. Plus five floating heads! That’s a winner, folks. By the way, it’s the late Len Wein’s birthday and this story is often cited as one of his best.


4. The Demon #1, DC. Classic Kirby cover introducing one of comics’ great cult-favorite antiheroes. Smashing way to introduce Etrigan to the world.

Jack Kirby pencils, Mike Royer inks.

3. House of Secrets #99, DC. One of DC’s most meta covers of the era. Mike Kaluta not only has an overactive imagination, he’s damn clever, to boot. A personal favorite.

Mike Kaluta

2. Batman #243, DC. The penultimate chapter in the original Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams Ra’s al Ghul saga and the first appearance of the Lazarus Pit. This cover is often overshadowed by the three other central chapters of the story — Batman #232, #242 and #244 — but it’s a damn good fight sequence by Adams. The tension and sense of movement are positively gripping. Compare it to The Flash #217 above and you’ll see two terrific uses of an all-black background.

Neal Adams

1. Vampirella #18, Warren. One of Enrich Torres’ greatest Vampi covers. As immortal as the daughter of Drakulon herself.

Enrich Torres


— The TOP 13 COVERS of MAY 1972 — RANKED. Click here.

— BRONZE AGE BONANZA: The 1972 INDEX. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I remember the day I bought that Flash issue–our area had so much rain that day, school was cancelled in town and our Post Rd (Route 1 in CT) was so flooded that people were using boats to go down it. Towards the end of the day, the rain stopped and the skies were blue, so I walked downtown and both that issue off the newsstand. Good times!

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  2. Great list, but JLA 100 has to be at the top. Though even it can’t compare to the upcoming JLA 102 (then again, not much can).

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    • Gotta agree with you there. The BATMAN and Demon are good but the JLA is Cardy at his best. Good memories.

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  3. Not denying Mike Kaluta’s imagination, but give a little credit to MC Escher for inspiration 🙂

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  4. I remember buying Batman #242 off the rack at random and becoming completely captivated by the story. I was determined to get #243, which I assumed would be the conclusion of the story. Fortunately, my mom found it for me, but the story was still not over. Due to the vagaries of comic distribution back then, I did not find #244 when it came out. About six years later, when I had a comic shop in my neighborhood, I was finally able to read the end of the story.

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  5. I’m suspecting Al Hartley as the artist on the Betty cover. The Veronica above the logo is definitely one of his. The eyes and mouth gave it away.

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