10 Greatest Bob Kane Batman Covers

01
of 11

10 Greatest Bob Kane Batman Covers

DC Comics

Batman co-creator Bob Kane is obviously a controversial figure in the history of Batman, as for decades he went out of his way to not just take credit for comic books that he did not draw but also to make sure that Batman co-creator, Bill Finger, was denied his share of the credit for creating Batman. However, even with that in mind, Kane was still a pivotal figure in the history of Batman and while he did not draw a whole lot, he still delivered a number of iconic Batman covers. Here are his ten greatest covers. 

02
of 11

10. Detective Comics #27

DC Comics

 It's not the greatest cover in the world, and, as discovered by Arlen Schumer, the main figure on the cover is a blatant swipe from an Alex Raymond Flash Gordon drawing, but when it comes to the introduction of a character - any character - their first cover plays an important role in drawing in readers to caring about said character, and for the readers of 1939, this first appearance of Batman definitely did stand out among the crowd, and for that, I had to include it in the top ten. 

03
of 11

9. Batman #47

DC Comics

One thing that was plainly evident as the years went by on Bob Kane covers, he typically did not like to put a whole lot of effort into the backgrounds of his covers. Often, this would lead to some overly simplistic looking covers, but sometimes that stark look paid off and I think that is the case in this Batman #47 cover, one of the very last Batman covers Bob Kane ever drew. This was for the first full-length origin of Batman, a comic that for many years Kane was not given proper credit for drawing (he quit drawing the stories inside the comics right right around this time, so people often incorrectly credited his first ghost artist, Lew Schwartz, with this issue). 

04
of 11

8. Batman #5

DC Comics

 Kane uses some bold visual imagery on this early cover for the ongoing Batman series. The use of the iconic scales of justice really makes the cover stand out. 

05
of 11

7. Detective Comics #124

DC Comics

Like Batman #47, this came around the time that Kane returned to Batman comic books for a brief period following the end of World War II and the end of the Batman comic strip (Kane had left the comic book to concentrate on the comic strip). He quickly grew bored with drawing comic books again, but during this period he had a few striking covers, like this interesting mash-up of Batman, Robin, Joker and giant musical notes.  

06
of 11

6. Batman #49

DC Comics

This is basically a riff on Jerry Robinson's most famous Batman cover, but at the same time, it's still an excellent drawing by Kane. Joker was on a lot of covers at the time, so it took a lot to make him stand out still. 

07
of 11

5. Batman #3

DC Comics

 As I mentioned earlier, Kane would often resort to fairly blank backgrounds. In a lot of cases, it seemed like a case of simply avoiding having to draw backgrounds. Sometimes, though, it served to work as strong usage of negative space to make the main figures pop out more. I think in this otherwise very simple cover, the black background makes the Batman and Robin figures "pop." This pose by the Dynamic Duo also reminds me of the opening to the 1960s Batman TV series

08
of 11

4. Detective Comics #73

DC Comic

 There is so much striking detail work on this early appearance by the Batman villain, the Scarecrow (this might be his first cover appearance, actually) that it is almost hard to believe that it was actually drawn by Bob Kane. Jerry Robinson inked it and George Roussos drew the backgrounds (again, Kane wasn't much for backgrounds), but still, the main figure work is still very impressive. 

09
of 11

3. Detective Comics #38

DC Comics

 The first appearance of Batman's sidekick, Robin, has led this cover to be one of the most iconic covers of all-time, being homaged constantly as new characters are introduced in other books. This was being riffed on within a few years (and this was a time when not many cover artists would be doing homages of their peers), as Flash Comics #92 used the cover design for the introduction of Black Canary's solo feature in the magazine. 

10
of 11

2. Batman #1

DC Comics

 Another simple background, but the main figures are so iconic that this has become one of the most famous comic book covers of all-time (it sure doesn't hurt that it also the first issue of Batman's first ongoing solo series). 

11
of 11

1. Detective Comics #31

 This moody, Gothic cover is so detailed and sharp that it is kind of hard to believe that it was drawn by Kane, whose work was rarely as detailed as this piece. It's a stunning piece of work, though. Neal Adams famously homaged the cover in 1970

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Cronin, Brian. "10 Greatest Bob Kane Batman Covers." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2016, thoughtco.com/the-greatest-bob-kane-batman-covers-3954808. Cronin, Brian. (2016, August 25). 10 Greatest Bob Kane Batman Covers. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-greatest-bob-kane-batman-covers-3954808 Cronin, Brian. "10 Greatest Bob Kane Batman Covers." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-greatest-bob-kane-batman-covers-3954808 (accessed November 21, 2017).