Deadpool #27 made headlines yesterday when it was announced that the cover had set the record for the most comic book characters on a single issue cover, as declared officially by Guinness World Records. It also brought a lot of discussion in our comments, as fans asked what the previous record holder was and if, indeed, it truly beat out every other cover out there as depicting the "most comic book characters on a single issue cover."
So I thought maybe we should take a look at some of the candidates folks pointed out ...
It's not surprising that, given he's known for highly detailed drawings of tons of characters, George Perez's name should come up. I don't think this one comes close to matching the 224 "publicly familiar" characters on the Deadpool cover -- Superman and Supergirl blocking a good portion of them certainly doesn't help. But maybe back in the 1980s, when the cover was originally released, it could have been a contender:
Also in the Perez category is the cover to JLA/Avengers #3. Considering how many characters have called themselves Avengers or members of the Justice League, it's no surprise that a cover attempting to feature every member of both teams would feature a buttload of characters. I started to count these myself and kept losing my place around No. 200, but maybe you'll have better luck (I'll stick with my very unofficial "a buttload" for now).
Update: The number is 208, as was confirmed in our comments section below. Thanks guys!
And then there's the cover for the collected edition of Crisis on Infinite Earths, by George Perez and Alex Ross. It features 562 characters:
...which would blow Deadpool #27 out of the water. However, as several folks have noted, Deadpool's award was for single issue, so this collection likely wouldn't have counted. That doesn't mean DC couldn't register their own record for most comic characters on a graphic novel or collection, or something similar.
Finally, there's the cover to G.I. Joe America’s Elite # 25, by Chris Lie:
How many characters does it include? According to the image below, which I believe was included in the comic, that would be 236 -- 12 more than the Deadpool cover -- and that doesn't even include the animals in the front row. Does Junkyard not count? I always liked him better than Mutt anyway.
These are the ones I've seen referenced ... do you know of any others that might come close? Let us know in the comments below!