BRONZE AGE BONANZA: Adams! Cardy! Windsor-Smith! David Cassidy! Wait, what?

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 returns to the top, Nick Cardy lands three covers on the list, plus first-rate work by Barry Windsor-Smith, John Romita, Jack Kirby, Jim Aparo and MORE!


13. David Cassidy #8, Charlton. Dreamy!

12. Supergirl #1, DC. Usually, a first issue puts the main character front and center, so perhaps this cover was originally meant for Adventure Comics, where Kara hung her cape up to the previous month. No matter. Bob Oksner brings it — and I still think he’s the best Supergirl artist ever.

Bob Oksner

11. Nightmare Annual #1, Skywald. You’ll see a lot of horror this month, so let’s get things rolling with this bit of lurid insanity.

Fernando Fernandez

10. House of Mystery #208, DC. Is this really scary? It looks really cool, but NO ONE DIES TODAY, right? I guess Death takes a holiday…

Nick Cardy

9. The Demon #3, DC. Just your standard Kirby gigantic monster. And by “standard,” I mean “fabulous.”

Jack Kirby pencils, Mike Royer inks

8. Teen Titans #42, DC. Y’know, Teen Titans really was not a good comic book during this period. The stories were generally tedious with covers that promised far more than the issues delivered. Nevertheless, we are talking covers here and this one is a grabber.


7. Captain America #156, Marvel. A good ol’ fashioned brawl between our hero and a doppelganger (in this case the insane ’50s Cap). And it works in the truncated box, too. Nicely done, Sal and Dave.

Sal Buscema pencils, Dave Cockrum inks

6. The Phantom Stranger #22, DC. When I see art like this by Jim Aparo it makes me want to go to an alternate universe where he was one of the regular artists on Batman or Detective in the early ’70s. Yes, he was the Brave and the Bold mainstay but that book required a somewhat different feel. When I see something this gloomy and gothic, I want to see Batman lurking in the foreground. (Aparo did do some ‘Tec issues starting in 1973, but it was just a handful of issues.)

Jim Aparo

5. Weird War Tales #8, DC. I love discovering covers I’ve never seen before and Neal Adams creates such a compelling image of what might be a golem wiping out a bunch of Nazis. And that’s what you want to see, right?

Neal Adams

4. The Amazing Spider-Man #115, Marvel. I still don’t know whether this was meant to be shocking or funny, but I’ll go with funny. The “Aunt May — Assassin?” puts a button on it.

John Romita

3. Conan the Barbarian #21, Marvel. “Iconic” is an overused word but it’s fair to call this one of the most iconic Barry Windsor-Smith Conan illustrations. Dude got the job done. And so did Conan.

Barry Windsor-Smith

2. Action Comics #418, DC. A third cover for Cardy! This is brilliantly laid out and executed, from the slightly different expressions on the Supermen’s faces to the palpable tension and power of the hand-to-hand grappling. It’s an exciting image and the yellow background amps up the electricity 50-fold. Terrific all the way around.


1. Fear #11, Marvel. This might, just might, be the greatest Man-Thing image ever. And it’s not just the creepy action, it’s the framing and — most important of all — it’s the uplighting effect of the colors. I don’t know who the colorist was but I would confidently wager that Adams at least did the color guides. It just seems like his style. The mossy monolith never looked better.



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

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

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I will go with you that the Man Thing cover is the best. I would give #2 to the Phantom Stranger.

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    • I wonder how many (fictional) children Neal Adams put in danger in his career?

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  2. No cover credit for the Man-Thing? Should I assume it’s Neal Adams since you refer to him doing the coloring?

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  3. Great choices! I think Nick Cardy’s cover work on TT #42 is far superior to his work on Action #418, though. I would also move PS #22 up a few spots. That’s a really nice Aparo cover! Can’t argue with Fear #11 in the top spot!

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  4. I remember most of these! I still have about three of them (from the days when twenty cents was A LOT!) I may have bought the Supergirl issues for the Zatanna backup feature! And I agree with you about the wonderful Jim Aparo. One of the animated Batman tv shows of the past couple of decades gave us a glimpse of a Gotham City tattoo parlor called “Aparo’s Inks.”

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  5. There was a David Cassidy comic?! Was there any comic that Gold Key or Charleton didn’t do?

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