What makes the best comic book covers? It is a great topic for debate. For us, as individuals, there is no wrong answer, of course; it is purely subjective. But, with a little thought it’s possible to explain what it is about a particular image that grabs you. The best images are the ones that make you stop and check out something you weren’t previously planning to purchase – and in some cases, you even end up picking up a title you’ve never even heard of before.

Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson’s Manhunter, which took a classic Joe Simon and Jack Kirby creation and turned it on its ear, was published as a back-up feature in DC’s long-running Detective Comics from July 1973 to August 1974. Manhunter won countless accolades and six awards from the Academy of Comic Book Arts in the ‘70s – including Best Writer (Goodwin) and Best New Talent (Simonson). What’s hard to believe, though, is that Goodwin and Simonson’s strip only lasted seven episodes – the first of which can be found reprinted in the highly collectible Dynamic Classics #1 (September-October 1978).  

Brandishing explosive cover art that features a haunting Batman story as well, this must-have comic found the acclaimed creative team working “Marvel” style so that Goodwin came up with a plot, for which Simonson drew story pages, and Goodwin finally scripting the story from the finished art. It also featured a then-new illustration featuring their heroic hunter.

Both new readers and longtime fans will learn that this highly collectible survivor of the ill-fated “DC Explosion” of the late 1970s embodies the most elusive hunt in the four-color medium – comic book immortality.

And succeeds!

-Scott Braden