BRONZE AGE BONANZA: And now for something different. Not completely different. But definitely different. 

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.

If you’re expecting the usual suspects this month, you’d be wrong. For whatever reason, November 1972 didn’t feature any cover that I’d call a bona fide classic. But what the month did provide was a really interesting, eclectic selection of series and styles from a wide variety of artists.


13. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm #10, Charlton. And that, folks, is how Barney and Betty’s son became history’s first vegetarian.

Artist unknown

12. Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp #8, Gold Key. I’ve said for a long time that if there’s a Lancelot Link comic in a particular month, it will automatically make this list. Sadly, however, the end is here. Issue #8 was the last in Gold Key’s series. I think I’ll go drown my sorrows with a banana.

11. Hero For Hire #6, Marvel. Pardon the pun but what I appreciate about Billy Graham’s Luke Cage is how the artist imbued the mercenary hero with such power in his illustrations. I mean, not even the Hulk would wanna tangle with this guy.

Billy Graham

10. Wonder Woman #204, DC. A landmark issue: Wonder Woman gets her powers back after years without them and Nubia makes the scene. Perfect timing: This issue is being released this week as a Facsimile Edition, ads and all.

Don Heck pencils, Dick Giordano inks

9. Crazy! #1, Marvel. Last month we gave you an issue of Marvel’s Spoof, also with a great Marie Severin cover. This time, it’s an attempt to recapture the zeal of Not Brand Ecch, which ended a few years earlier. This title would last three issues before the better-known magazine version was launched in 1973.

Marie Severin

8. Gunhawks #3, Marvel. Gary Friedrich wrote the story and Syd Shores did the cover. I don’t know for certain but I can’t help thinking this was a commentary on the My Lai massacre. This is a brutal scene, especially when you focus on the sheer terror of the child at Reno Jones’ feet.

Syd Shores

7. The Phantom Stranger #23, DC. Painstaking detail by the great Jim Aparo. Instead of counting jellybeans in a jar, try to figure out how many pencil and ink strokes this took to complete. Dunno who the colorist was but they deserve a lot of the credit for making this pop.

Jim Aparo

6. Mister Miracle #12, DC. Do you think Jack Kirby would have ever run out of insanely impossible death traps? I don’t. Hell, even Mister Miracle’s not sure about this one.

Jack Kirby pencils, Mike Royer inks

5. War Is Hell #2, Marvel. A very common trope for war covers is: “Good guys think they’re in the clear while danger lurks right around the corner.” Here, John Severin’s piece flips the script and that vile Nazi scumbag is about to get a face full of Pineapple Surprise. Good.

John Severin

4. The Twilight Zone #47, Gold Key. There were other George Wilson covers I could have picked this month, but this won out for its sheer, unsettling weirdness. Gotta say, though: Those serpent thingies actually look like they might be friendly. Two of them seem to be smiling and they appear more curious than carnivorous. The townies are having none of it, though, and I suppose you can’t blame them.

George Wilson

3. Marvel Tales #41, Marvel. Just a really groovy image of Spidey swinging away from danger. I also love his very everyman response to the situation: “Aw, come ON!”

Gil Kane pencils, Jim Mooney inks

2. Detective Comics #431, DC. The concept has Carmine Infantino written all over it (though I could be wrong). Either way, Mike Kaluta creates a commanding image that turns your head. Big credit too to the unnamed colorist’s bold use of primary colors, which pulls the whole thing together. How artists like Kaluta, Adams, Aparo and others made Batman look so menacing in bright blue is a testament to their prodigious talents.

Mike Kaluta

1. Ghostly Haunts #29, Charlton. Ditko unbound! The eyes! The shadowy faces! The ghostly handshake! The one-time buddies exploring the unknown! The starfield in the distance! The color choices! A bold, eerie and enticing cover. It throws a lot at you and in some respects it’s disjointed but it really works as a whole. Ditko. Ditko, Ditko, Ditko.

Steve Ditko


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

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. That “Gunhawks” cover makes me wish it was actually a movie released in the 1970s!

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  2. Interesting list this month! Love the Jim Aparo cover on Phantom Stranger #23. That is easily my #1 for the month!

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