John Byrne’s Top 10 Comic Book Covers – Part I

This is a list of covers as chosen by John Byrne himself. These are John Byrne's favorite covers and do not include any of his own covers. If you want to read more from the genius of Mr. Byrne, please visit Byrne Robotics, his personal forum. Here are John's favorite covers starting at number 10 and going through number 5. We'll post part II next week, which will contain John Byrne's top 5 covers of all time.

Being a Marvel man, I chose all Marvel covers!  It really is a challenge to pick one's top 10 faves.  I did the first nine based upon favorites from my youth.  I asked myself, "What covers do I have the fondest memories of?"  Also, I left #10 open to a wide variety of obscure choices.  There are so many great covers out there, I wanted to try and pick out a lesser known, and even a more recent one.  The following list are my final choices for my Top 10 Favorite Comic Covers Of All Time! - John Byrne

10. Young Avengers Presents #6: Hawkeye (Kate Bishop)


Heinberg and Cheung's Young Avengers is one of the best comics of the new millennium.  I recently read that Heinberg and Cheung will be returning to YA for Vol. #2 in the near future.  The cover to YA Presents #6 focuses on my favorite team member of YA.  Kate Bishop, aka Hawkeye is the "leader" of the team.  Even though Patriot is the leader, Hawkeye has more street smarts, is a better strategist and has a large income to support the team.  Note: Tom Brevoort mentioned on his blog some time back, that all the YA Presents covers were hand drawn by Cheung.  In other words, the "flashback border pictures" are not cut and pastes, but redrawn with attention to original detail.  And of course Kate is quite the archer!

9. Invaders #1

Invaders #1

The first time I saw this cover as a teenager, I was totally blown away!  How cool is it that Cap, Namor and the Torch are attacking the Blitzkrieg at bombing altitude?  I love the detail and intensity of this cover!  And it's great to see the Nazi's get their glutes kicked by Marvel's super-heroes of WW2.  Okay Axis, Here We Come! IIRC, there is a scene inside this same book in which Cap jumps out of a plane, compresses himself into cannonball form and free falls to catch a damsel in distress.  The sheer bravery and self-sacrifice involved in this act is wonderful!  If I'm not mistaken, the cover artist is John Romita Sr.

8. Kull The Conqueror, Volume #2, Issue #1

Kull the Conqueror

This is gorgeous wrap around cover.  Kull on the front with battle axe and his Tiger totem on the back.  At the time I bought this, I had been buying and reading Conan the Barbarian.  Then one day, I saw this book on the stands at my LCS.  "Who is Kull?"  I thought.  I started flipping through the book and was enamored with both the story and the art.  Since that time, I've always been a bigger fan of Kull than Conan, although I like both.  There's something unique, mysterious and dangerous about a barbarian who is also a philospher-king.  Cover art by John Bolton. ullsize&issue=46501204984%201

7. Astonishing Tales Featuring Deathlok the Demolisher #31

Astonishing Tales Featuring Deathlok the Demolisher #31

What can I say?  This cover is intense!  Deathlok is cornered, but not backing down.  He and 'Puter are gonna take these scum down!  The first time I saw Deathlok was an ad in Marvel's Bullpen Bulletins.  At that moment, I was sold on this new character even though I didn't know a thing about him.  Regarding the cover: the angle of the drawing, and Luther Manning/Deathlok's facial expressions combined with blazing guns and zipping bullets screams to the reader: "Open the cover and start reading right now!"  I can't read the signature on the cover, but the interior artists are Rich Buckler and Keith Pollard.

6. Spider-Man Annual #21B

Spider-Man Annual #21B

I love weddings and happy endings!  I love the dating and married relationship of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson!  This is a fun cover.  Spider-Man is all buff and has his arm around the most gorgeous woman in the Marvel Universe!  Oh, and there appears to be a little conflict at the wedding, too!  The heart shaped Spider-Mask pulls it all into focus.  Great cover by Mr. Romita.  (Can't tell if it is Sr. or Jr., but looks like Sr. to me).

Reprinted from Byrne Robotics.