The TOP 13 COVERS of MAY 1972 — RANKED

BRONZE AGE BONANZA: Kubert, Kane and Wrightson show us how it’s done. And that’s not all!

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.

An eclectic month this was, with Bernie Wrightson, Gil Kane and Joe Kubert among the many heavyweights. Side note: I think this might be the first BRONZE AGE BONANZA installment without a Neal Adams cover. As it happens, Adams didn’t have a single cover published this month; there would be more to come, obviously, but his career was already heading in different directions. Sigh.

In any event, dig THE TOP 13 COVERS OF MAY 1972 — RANKED:

13. Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp #6, Gold Key. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If there’s a Lancelot Link cover, it makes this list automatically.

12. The Avengers #102, Marvel. A decent cover augmented by FLOATING HEADS! Everything is better with floating heads.

Rich Buckler pencils, Joe Sinnott inks

11. Korak, Son of Tarzan #47, DC. Just a straight up great action scene by Joe Kubert.

Joe Kubert

10. Fear #9, Marvel. A lot of artists make it appear that people move under water the same way they do on land. Not Gil Kane, whose escaped convict is a prime example of the illustrator’s mastery of anatomy, movement and context. By the way, I like how the octopus seems to be saying to the reader: “What’re you looking at, buddy? You’re next!”

Gil Kane pencils, Frank Giacoia inks

9. Detective Comics #425, DC. All things considered, whether it’s covers or interiors, isn’t it kind of amazing that Bernie Wrightson didn’t do more Batman in his career? Unrelated follow-up question: The carriage driver looks like a demented Cat in the Hat, doesn’t he?

8. Wanted #1, DC. As a kid weaned on the Batman TV show, a cover with so many colorful villains is like batnip. By the way, I will defend the Signalman’s costume until the end of time. It’ll never happen but man, he would make a great Mego.

Murphy Anderson

7. Hero for Hire #2, Marvel. The subtle genius of a comics master: The image is pretty standard comic action but John Romita gives it a slight Dutch angle that ramps up your perception of speed, power and danger. Bravo.

John Romita

6. Warlock #1, Marvel. Sure, it’s Warlock’s first solo-series cover — but look at the looming Man-Beast! Oh, that Gil Kane!

Kane pencils, possible Joe Sinnott inks, with Romita alterations

5. Wonder Woman #201, DC. White-clad Wonder Woman and Pirate Catwoman battling with swords while leaping around a fire pit under the watchful, hooded eyes of some kind of diabolical conclave. A very striking Dick Giordano image on its own but the unidentified colorist is the real MVP here.

Dick Giordano

4. Grimm’s Ghost Stories #4, Gold Key. Yet another reminder that George Wilson should be a household name among comics fans. It’s criminal that he isn’t.

George Wilson

3. House of Mystery #204. That’s just disgusting, Bernie. Incredibly compelling but disgusting. Great work!


2. Marvel Spotlight #5, Marvel. Ghost Rider makes his rockin’ debut! I’ve complained before that Marvel’s box-style covers were too restrictive (DC’s too, for that matter). But here’s a case where it actually enhances the action. By having Johnny’s blazing head burst out of the frame, Mike Ploog makes this one hell of an entrance.

1. Our Fighting Forces #138, DC. The novel Jaws came out in 1974 with a Paul Bacon cover that was refined, enhanced and made far more dramatic by Roger Kastel for the paperback and subsequent movie poster — one of the most famous in cinematic history. I think it’s fair to speculate that either gentleman juuuuuuuust might have noticed this Joe Kubert cover on the spinner rack at their local newsstand two years earlier.



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

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. No Neal Adams is one thing, but no Nick Cardy either?! Or Jim Aparo? Some of the great covers you didn’t include: Superman #254, Teen Titans #40, and Phantom Stranger #20.

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    • The covers for Teen Titans #40 and Phantom Stranger #20 are both pretty great.

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