Top 10 Carmine Infantino CoversA column article, Top Ten by: Jason Sacks
The comics world is saddened by the loss of the great Carmine Infantino. Infantino was one of the finest cartoonists of his era, deservedly acclaimed for his dynamic and lyrical comics art. Of all his skills, the one for which Infantino was perhaps most acclaimed was his ability to create dynamic and exciting cover images. So what better way to remember the legacy of this master artist than by displaying the ten greatest and most iconic covers of Carmine Infantino's long career?
One thing you'll notice about this list is that most of the covers come from a period of about ten years when Infantino was drawing most every cover in the DC line, and when his powers of creation were at their highest. This is not to slight the work that Infantino did at other points in his career. Just the opposite: Infantino was a fine cartoonist from the first page he drew in the 1940s to the sketches he drew in the 2010s. But we're here to celebrate the most iconic work that the master artist created, and much of his most famous work was created during his time at DC Comics.
10. Star Wars #14
I have warm memories of Infantino's run on Marvel's Star Wars comic, when he drew several dozen issues featuring Luke, Han, Vader, and assorted aliens (including a notorious giant green bunny rabbit). This cover image is one of the most iconic from Infantino's tenure: an all-out action scene with some of our favorite heroes.
9. Flash Comics #92
Echoing the classic introduction of Robin in Detective Comics #38 by Jerry Robinson, Infantino draws this charming Golden Age cover that gives one of the final and most popular heroes of the Golden Age a grand entrance. This is a completely wonderful cover that pops off the printed page.
8. Mystery in Space #82
One of Infantino's greatest runs was on the "Adam Strange" series in Mystery in Space. That series was an amazing science fiction thrill ride about a space traveling action hero with a foot in two worlds. This wonderful cover literally symbolizes that fact with an unbelievably dynamic scene that practically demands that the reader pick up the issue and find out how Adam will get out of his latest bizarre predicament.
7. Danger Trail #3
Early in his career, Infantino was deeply influenced by the art of the great Milton Caniff, the acclaimed artist of Terry and the Pirates. This two-fisted cover, from the short-lived espionage comic Danger Trail, combined the power of Caniff's chiaroscuro style with Infantino's grace and energy.
6. Flash #174
Yeah, the Flash is going to show up a few times in this list, but Infantino is most closely identified with the Fastest Man Alive. During his influential tenure as artist on Barry Allen's adventures, Carmine Infantino helped to create one of the most thrilling and fun rogues' galleries that any super-hero has ever had. While he created many memorable covers for that series, and (spoiler alert) more Flash covers are ahead, one of the most fun covers of Carmine's run on the Scarlet Speedster was this one, created for the final issue of The Flash that Infantino would draw for over twenty years.
5. Batman #194
While we're looking at covers that do cool things with their design, I have to mention this spectacular and inventive one that Infantino drew during his run drawing Batman's adventures. Look how spectacularly this cover leaps off the page and how dynamic and graceful the design looks. If you ever wanted a reason why Carmine Infantino was considered one of the finest artists to draw covers at DC Comics, here's very good proof.
4. DC Special #1
They just don't make covers like this anymore. How can any fan resist this charming self-portrait of the cartoonist at work, surrounded by images of his favorite characters? What better way of showing the power of imagination than by presenting a man with his ideas literally floating all around him?
3. Detective Comics #365
Isn't this kind of mind-blowing? Doesn't it make you want to pick up this comic immediately in an attempt to figure out just what in the world is going on, how the Joker's face turned into a brick building and how in the world this is a threat against Batman and Robin? This is one of the coolest symbolic covers of the 1960s.
2. Flash #123
Truly one of the most iconic comic book covers of all time, the cover of Flash #123, the classic "Flash of Two Worlds" has been copied and pastiched more than perhaps any other comic in comics history. And why not? In its gorgeous simplicity and powerful design, this cool and exciting piece of comic art immediately sucks the reader in and fills him or her with dozens of questions that demand answers.
1. Showcase #4
The classic introduction of the Flash has to take the #1 slot in Comics Bulletin's list of Top 10 Infantino Covers because it helped to start a whole new era of comics and signaled the return of costumed heroes after a long time away from comics. Infantino creates a spectacular cover with a design that is still thoroughly unique and intriguing even though it was created nearly sixty years ago. The idea of having the Flash running on film is incredibly clever, and Infantino's cover is joyful and fun and playful as can be.