The TOP 13 COVERS of SEPTEMBER 1973 — RANKED

BRONZE AGE BONANZA: Romita! Cardy! Kane! Kubert! And 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.

This month is topped by one of comics’ unsung greats!

Dig THE TOP 13 COVERS OF SEPTEMBER 1973 — RANKED:

13. The Unexpected #153, DC. As a kid in the ’70s, if the quicksand didn’t get you, you were convinced army ants would.

Nick Cardy

12. Astonishing Tales #21, Marvel. Everybody talks about Kirby monsters, and rightly so. But give it up for Gil Kane monsters too!

Gil Kane pencils, Mike Esposito inks

11. Ghostly Tales #108, Charlton. Man, with the Comics Code eased, Tom Sutton went all in on his Lucifer here. That’s pretty much the classic version all in your face, and the dessicated hand is a nice (?) bonus.

Tom Sutton

10. Journey Into Mystery #8, Marvel. The best part of this cover, other than the spectacularly frightening giant bee, is its accurate depiction of the writer’s life — sitting in your shorts, shoes but no socks, overflowing trash, empty cans. The only thing wrong is that most of us aren’t as fit as this guy. But why is this monster bee bursting through the window, anyway? Maybe the typewriter gives us a clue. Nice, subtle gag, all things considered.

Kane pencils, Ernie Chan inks

9. Yang #1, Charlton. “Whatchoo mean, ‘Walk the Earth?'” “You know, walk the earth, meet people… get into adventures. Like Yang from Charlton Comics.”

William Sattler

8. The Amazing Spider-Man #127, Marvel. I think of all the superheroes, Spider-Man’s covers lend themselves the best to the vignette treatment. There are significantly better examples than this one, but an artist could always be counted on to use the webbing or the spider shape to show many things going on at once. That and Spidey’s inherent soap-operaish nature; those Silver and Bronze Age comics are jammed with interwoven storylines.

John Romita

7. The Incredible Hulk #171, Marvel. Good, solid cover, though our hero isn’t even the star. This is all about the Abomination; you kinda forget the Rhino is even there, too. Either way, it’s probably one of the best-known Hulk covers of the ’70s, thanks to its use by Power Records.

Herb Trimpe

6. Psycho #15, Skywald. Skywald may have been a schlock publisher, but they did do a great job with covers like this. I keep thinking that when the dude begins to transform, he reminds me of Chris Pine. Maybe Vicente Segrelles based the guy on Chris’ father, Robert Pine. Or maybe that’s a reach. I dunno. I dig it, though.

Vicente Segrelles

5. The Phantom Stranger #28, DC. It takes a lot for a mainstream comic to make me recoil in horror, but damn, Nick Cardy pulled it off here.

Cardy

4. Korak… Son of Tarzan #55, DC. This isn’t just about the Kubert art (I dig the Hal Foster flourishes). This is about the use of framing. Gives the whole package a pulp paperback feel, which is exactly the kind of approach you’d want to try with an Edgar Rice Burroughs comic.

Joe Kubert

3. Limited Collector’s Edition #C-23: House of Mystery, DC. Masterful execution by Cardy on one of the earliest and most memorable treasury-edition covers of the ’70s. It was a strong contender for the top slot but I marked it down because the classic House of Mystery beckoning apparition layout had been used twice already by others. It’s based on a Carmine Infantino design, but Cardy does a top-flight job with it.

Cardy

2. Marvel Double Feature #1, Marvel. What’s important about a cover is the finished product, right? Well this one is a real mishmash, according to the indispensable Grand Comics Database: “Captain America figure taken from cover of Tales of Suspense #59; new Iron-Man figure by Romita. Collage in background taken from various contemporary comics, including art by George Tuska and Sal Buscema. Previous indexer credited Kirby and Romita on reprint collage and Kirby as inker.” Whatever it took, the end result is smashing!

Everyone, it seems

1. The Twilight Zone #53, Gold Key. George Wilson, folks! Soon to be the subject of a major illustrated history! And about damn time, too! I keep saying this: If Wilson, of whom very little is known, worked for Marvel or DC, every comics fan would know his name. Brilliant. (And I think this is the first time he’s topped the BRONZE AGE BONANZA list!)

George Wilson

MORE

— The TOP 13 COVERS of AUGUST 1973 — RANKED. Click here.

— BRONZE AGE BONZANA: The 1973 INDEX. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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4 Comments

    • There are always SO MANY ARCHIES that one has to stand out. Know what I mean? But I love Archie, especially this era.

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  1. “ As a kid in the ’70s, if the quicksand didn’t get you, you were convinced army ants would.”

    Or killer bees.

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  2. Some great covers. Good to see the Charlton covers. I miss the DC Comics spooky titles.

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