Comics Should Be Good has completed their list of the Top 75 Most Iconic DC Covers as voted on by the site’s readers, and the Flash has made a solid showing!
#73. Flash Comics #1
1940. The first-ever appearance of the Flash, starring Jay Garrick. Also, the first time the Flash catches a bullet. Homaged by Impulse #84.
(Tied with Green Lantern #73.)
Read on to see 8 more covers.
#67 Tie: Flash v.1 #184 and Flash v.1 #133
1968. The starkness of the “Most Tragic Day” cover made such an impression that it was homaged not just once, but twice in later issues — first in Flash v.1 #340 and again in Flash v.2 #76.
1962. The Puppet-Flash was not Abra Kadabra’s first appearance, but it remains one of the most well-remembered images associated with the villainous magician.
(Also tied: Jimmy Olsen #53, Strange Adventures #8.)
#53. Flash v.1 #163
1966. The “Stop!” cover was one of Julius Schwartz’ famous “concept covers,” where he would have an artist do a cover, then have a writer come up with a story. Reportedly it was his favorite cover of all time, and it was homaged for DC Presents: The Flash, a memorial book in his honor.
#36. New Teen Titans #39
1984. Robin and Kid Flash toss away their costumes, walking away as Dick Grayson and Wally West. Dick would become Nightwing a few issues later, while Wally eventually become the Flash.
I debated on whether to include this on my Flash round-up, since I’m not including all the Justice League and All-Star covers with Barry Allen or Jay Garrick on them, but figured if I was going to include the Superman/Flash race, this should go in too.
#35. Flash v.1 #174
1967. The Rogues crouch atop a giant sculpture of the word “Flash,” the hero apparently dead beneath them. This is another cover that has been homaged several times, including Secret Origins #41 (focusing on the Rogues) and a promotion for Bart Allen’s death in Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #13.
#22. Superman #199
1967. The first of many races between Superman and the Flash. Revisited for Superman/Flash: Race 1990.
#15. Showcase #4
1956. The first appearance of Barry Allen. Later homaged for the collection of The Return of Barry Allen, and in a cover for Flash: Rebirth, featuring…the return of Barry Allen.
#3. Flash v.1 #123 (Flash of Two Worlds)
1961. The story that re-introduced Jay Garrick to a new generation, established Earth-2, and led to the creation of DC’s multiverse. Also the most homaged Flash cover ever, most recently in last month’s Flash: Rebirth #5.
You may have noticed a lot of these covers have been referenced by later artists! I don’t remember whether homages were part of the criteria, but it certainly speaks to the staying power of many of these images.
Glad ‘Flash of Two Worlds’ was as high up as #3. I was starting to think it had a decent shot to hit #1, but Action Comics #1 deserves it. Still, Flash beat out any of Batman’s covers and that’s pretty cool.