A tried and true way to tickle the old nostalgia itch is with a good ‘ole cover homage. Fans love ’em, and artists love making them. So without further ado, here’s our list of some of the best comic book homage or swipe covers of all time.
No special criteria here, just cover swipes we found to be particularly clever, unexpected, or well executed.
Modern cover master Adam Hughes pays respect to his predecessor, the incredible Dave Stevens with this classic (and pricy) swipe of Planet Comics (1988) No. 1.
Arguably, it was this variant to Dark Horse Comics’ 2000 Dirty Pair series that elevated the original Dave Stevens cover to “classic” levels instead of the other way around, which is usually the case with homages.
Either way, both covers are among the top of the list for collectors of Hughes and Stevens.
It’s the pose that launched a million copies, from Spawn to Deadpool to Wolverine and beyond, but this hard to find G.I. Joe special by Todd McFarlane copying his original Spider-Man (1992) No. 1 was the very first to kick off the whole thing.
McFarlane himself has gone back to the classic cover well more than a few times, with more than a few covers, but his Spider-Man/Snake-Eyes pose came from an unexpected place back in the 90’s, and is at the top of the list for us.
Also See: McFarlane’s stretch of incredible homage covers between Spawn (1992) No. 220-231. One is further down on this list.
This Greg Land homage to the (at the time) controversial Crime SuspenStories (1950) No. 22 cover gives us all the feels. Something about a horror comic mashed up with Wolverine (and Sabertooth!) just feels right.
Infamously, this was one of the issues that was used as an example of why comics were dangerous to youth back in the Seduction of the Innocent days in the 50’s.
Oh how times have changed.
Recreating the classic The Uncanny X-Men (1978) No. 251 cover with Wolverine crucified on a big ‘X’ was an instant home run when it debuted in November 1989.
Seeing Marc Silvestri’s Sara Pezzini tied up on a giant ‘W’ in 2013 took us right back to the glory days of Marvel’s mutants.
Bonus: There’s a gorgeous virgin sketch variant of this cover as well.
Spider-Man has pretty much been Marvel’s flagship character since his debut in 1962. So it only seems fitting that he would eventually pay homage to the godfather of all super-heroes, DC Comic’s Superman.
Todd McFarlane is at his cover swiping best again (he may be the King of Homage Covers now that we think about it) with this Marvel take on the often imitated Action Comics (1938) No. 1 classic.
Bonus: McFarlane giving Spawn the Action Comics treatment too.
Gabriele Dell’Otto took everyone’s favorite Merc With The Mouth all the way back to the beginning of Marvel (Timely?) Comics with his swipe of Marvel Comics (1939) No. 1.
Deadpool covers have featured their fair share of cover homages over the years, fitting for a character that routinely breaks the fourth wall.
This variant cover by Marco D’Alfonso was limited to just 500 copies, and plays homage to Moon Knight’s first appearance in Werewolf By Night (1972) No. 32.
The gang at Archie Comics have actually done a bunch of comic book cover swipes across their various titles, we just have a soft spot for Moon Knight.
As mentioned above, Todd McFarlane did a whole series of homage covers between Spawn (1992) No. 220-231, each of them masterpieces of this sub-genre in their own right. We picked this Amazing Fantasy (1961) No. 15 cover swipe because we love the meta factor of The Toddfather going back to the character that started it all for him, and mashing it up with the one that he created himself.
Bonus: As was the case with most all of this runs of Spawn homage covers, there was also a black and white version too.
Everyone’s favorite duo from The Guardians Of The Galaxy, Groot and Rocket, were featured in Yidiray Cinar’s homage to Bob Layton’s classic Demon In A Bottle cover, The Invincible Iron Man (1968) No. 128.
Fitting attitudes from both characters in this cover swipe.
Set aside the argument over Wolverine’s first appearance actually being in The Incredible Hulk (1968) No. 180 (we’re Team 181), it’s 181 that gets all the homage love, including this modern update with X-23 and She-Hulk by Ed McGuinness.
Bonus: Feel like this cover could use more Deadpool? You’re in luck, there’s a variant of the homage variant with Wade Wilson tucked in down in the corner, too. And, of course, the obligatory black and white variant as well.
This Disney jam on the classic first issue of Batman (1942) No. 1 was one of several homage covers BOOM! Studios produced for this series.
BONUS: Promethea (1999) No. 27
Inspired by the classic cross-company throw down, Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man (1976), This cover homage from Mick Gray smashed up two of Alan Moore’s characters from the America’s Best Comics (ABC) line at the turn of the millennium, Promethea and science hero Tom Strong.
Bongo Comics’ Comic Book Guy limited series kicked things off with a Matt Groening swipe of Marvel’s first family in The Fantastic Four (1961) No. 1. As with most homages on this list, this is a pretty popular cover to copy, instantly recognizable.
“Best homage, ever.”