I’ve done a few polls for the greatest covers for major characters like Batman and Spider-Man, but for the slightly lesser characters (which is pretty much every other character there is), but in this feature, I will just occasionally do one by myself. When I say “greatest,” I don’t just mean the best drawn covers. I mean covers that ARE particularly well drawn but also have gained historical significance. This is different than “iconic,” as covers can be iconic while not being all that good. The original Daredevil #1 cover is not a great cover (it was a quickly thrown together cover using cropped artwork from various artists), but that cover is iconic BECAUSE it the first Daredevil comic cover. Therefore, in this countdown, I’m balancing really cool covers against historical significance. The covers have to excel at both to be on this countdown.
Anyhow, that was way too long of a preamble. On to the countdown!
EDIT TO ADD: Well darn, I switched the days up on the Punisher/Daredevil covers countdowns. Oh well, my bad! Fixed now.
John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson got together for a historic cover. I love the Joker popping up in the background.
24. Punisher War Zone #23
23. Punisher #86
22. Punisher War Journal #61
Suicide Run as a whole was a bit of a forgettable crossover, but the Michael Golden covers, especially the ones covering the opening arc, were phenomenal – a “cover enhancement” all on their own. So I had to put them all on the list.
21. Punisher Vol.2 #1
This Klaus Janson cover is hurt a bit by the fact that it’s basically just a riff on a higher-ranked cover.
20. Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe
This painted Nick Percival cover marks the first Garth Ennis Punisher story.
19. Punisher Meets Archie
Great John Buscema cover to mark one of the craziest crossovers ever.
18. Punisher MAX #6
Dave Johnson did phenomenal covers for this series. Really standout work.
17. Punisher War Journal #6
Jim Lee’s art made a fairly forgettable two-parter one of the most famous Punisher stories of this era.
16. Punisher MAX #1
What a way to launch a series by Dave Johnson!
John Romita and Bob McLeod did one of the best Punisher team-up covers of all-time.
14. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15
The inside art is even better than the cover, but that’s still an awesome cover.
13. Marvel Preview #2
Gray Morrow delivered the very first solo Punisher cover.
12. Punisher Vol.1 #2
I won’t hide it – all five of the Mike Zeck covers painted by Phil Zimelman are going to be on this countdown.
11. Punisher Vol.4 #1
Tim Bradstreet did a great job as the regular Punisher cover artist. The only problem was that his covers all sort of blended together. But he’s such a historic part of Punisher cover history that I figured I’d put the cover he did for the first Garth Ennis Marvel Knights series here.
10. Marvel Super Action #1
You knew Punisher had arrived when he got a Bob Larkin painted cover!
9. Punisher War Zone #1
John Romita Jr delivers a cover that didn’t even need to be a die-cut cover to stand out.
8. Punisher: Return to Big Nothing
Mike Zeck’s return to the Punisher was far from a “big nothing.” What a great cover.
7. Punisher Vol.1 #5
Zeck/Zimelman at it again.
6. Punisher Vol.1 #4
Since this one came first, this Zeck/Zimelman cover knocked the Janson version of this cover down a peg.
Frank Miller was a hell of a cover artist.
4. Amazing Spider-Man #129
Gil Kane and John Romita designed a really great cover to introduce the Punisher.
3. Daredevil #183
Frank Miller and Klaus Janson deliver an iconic cover.
2. Punisher Vol.1 #3
These Zeck/Zimelman covers towered over the covers of other comics at this time. So much bolder and fresher.
1. Punisher Vol.1 #1
This Zeck/Zimelman cover was one hell of a way to launch a new series!
Okay, that’s the belated top 25! Share your choices in the comments section below!