Best known as the creator of Hellboy, Mike Mignola got his start as an inker at Marvel Comics. Soon he was creating memorable covers for numerous titles (many you’ll see below!) before his first real break-out hit, Cosmic Odyssey from DC Comics in 1988.
Here are (in my opinion) his 10 best comic book covers. As always I’ve included images of the original art when I could.
#10 – Inked by the incomparable Kevin Nowlan this bad boy grabbed EVERYONE’S attention back in 1988.
#9 – Conan #31 (Variant) Back in 2006 Mike Mignola wrote a three issue story for the Dark Horse Conan series. As a special treat (and a way to sell some extra copies) they had Mike also draw variant covers for the run. This was the best of the lot.
#8 – Solomon Kane Vol. 2: Death’s Black Riders. I know absolutely nothing about this comic, yet the cover is so dang good I want to read it. THAT is what a cover is supposed to do.
#7 – Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #8. I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve read very little Hellboy. Preparing for this Top 10 list I looked at just about every Hellboy cover Mike drew. They all have a bit of “sameness” to them. Luckily for him (and us) that sameness is pretty darn nice. That said, this cover stood out to me. I love the texture of the background and subdued colors.
#6 – Dr. Strange #75. Going way back to 1986 we find this treasure. Mike’s covers at marvel during this time period are all simply amazing. The one drawback to having someone as talented as Mike draw you a cover? The interior art almost always disappoints. Sal Buscema is OK, but how could he hope to equal this cover?
#5 – Hellboy: Bride of Hell. Another Hellboy cover that stood out from the pack. I’ve seen two versions of this cover. Both have the same image of Hellboy carrying the bride, but have different backgrounds. Both are equally good.
#4 – The Incredible Hulk #309. 1985, just two years after starting at Marvel Comics he was putting out classics like this.
#3 – The New Defenders #139. Released earlier in the year as our #4 spot. Mike was firing on all cylinders in 1985.
#2 – Batman #428. A legendary issue. The death of Robin (Jason Todd). Mike captures the moment perfectly.
#1 – Cosmic Odyssey #1. I’m sure 90% of the people who read this top 10 list are going to get to my pick #1 and think I’ve lost my mind. So be it. It’s my list. I was a “Marvel Zombie” growing up. Other than Batman, I couldn’t have really cared less about the DC Universe. Then this gorgeous mini-series came out. Mike’s covers for the entire series are stunning – as is all his work inside. He made me care about the DC Universe (at least for four months). [side note: I had the original art for this cover in my hands at a convention in Boston soon after the series had been published. Mike wanted $150 for it. Too rich for my blood. I had to pass. Arrrrgggg!!!]
Hate my picks? Send me your “Top 10 Covers” list. We’re always looking for more!