The 13 Greatest Kelley Jones Batman Covers

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The 13 Greatest Kelley Jones Batman Covers

This image is a detail from the 1995 cover to Batman: Bloodstorm. This is a small image on the full cover, hence it not making the top 13 list. DC Comics

Kelley Jones first came to the world of Batman in the classic graphic novel, Batman: Red Rain, alongside writer Doug Moench in 1991. In 1992, he began drawing some covers for Detective Comics. By the end of the year, he was the regular cover artist on Batman and the semi-regular cover artist on Detective Comics. He drew almost all of the covers for the landmark "Knightfall" storyline. In December 1994's Batman #515, while maintaining his cover duties, he also became the regular interior penciler on Batman, reunited with Moench. Their run lasted 40 issues. After leaving the regular series, Jones and Moench have reunited on a number of Batman projects and Jones has drawn other Batman projects sans Moench, as well. Here, then, are the top thirteen greatest Kelley Jones Batman covers. 

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13. Batman: Haunted Gotham #1

DC Comics

Jones and Moench reunited for a 2000 Elseworlds (DC's line of comics set in alternate realities, like "What if Batman were a vampire?" "What if Batman was a pirate?" that sort of thing) mini-series where Earth has been taken over by demons and Batman must rise to stop them. The way Jones has Batman take up so much of the cover in a spooky image is a powerful image, just right to draw the reader in to the new series. Longtime Jones inker John Beatty inked the cover.

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12. Batman: The Unseen #4

DC Comics

 In this 2010 Moench/Jones reunion mini-series, Jones uses the new effects available to artists in the computer revolution to great use, as he uses a striking effect in his depiction of Batman struggling with the main villain of the series, an invisible man. 

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11. Batman #494

DC Comics

One of the coolest parts of the early chapters of "Knightfall" was watching Batman forced to re-capture all of his old villains, who Bane had broken out of Arkham Asylum. Since he had to catch a bunch all at once, there were often some surprising team-ups. Jones beautifully sets up the surrealistic team-up between the Joker and the Scarecrow here.  

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10. Batman: Gotham After Midnight #9

DC Comics

In this year-long mini-series with writer Steve Niles in 2009, Jones nicely paid homage to the old monster films of yore (apropos of nothing, it reminds me how the movie poster to The Return of the Swamp Thing did sort of the same thing). 

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9. Batman #541

DC Comics

During his run as the interior and the cover artist on Batman, Jones continually came up with striking visuals for his covers. #9 and #8 on the list are actually back-to-back covers! Here, Batman meets the Spectre and Jones shows the sheer power of the Spectre in a clever and offbeat way. 

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8. Batman #542

DC Comics

 In this issue, the villain is a serial killer known as "Faceless," because he slices off the faces of his villains. Jones depicts the oddness of this idea with a clever visualization. 

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7. Detective Comics #653

DC Comics

Even early on in his work on Batman covers, Jones has a real sense for striking cover designs. I love his use of negative space on this cover.  

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6. Batman #492

DC Comics

You can almost feel the energy coming off of this dynamic Jones piece. It is like Batman is punching the henchmen through the very realm of the comic into our own world.  

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5. Detective Comics #664

DC Comics

This Jones' depiction of Bane triumphant over Batman (having finally "broken the bat") is an iconic cover by Jones, as he homaged it a few times in his covers, most famously on the cover of Batman #500 (with the new Batman now in Bane's place and Bane in Batman's place).  

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4. Batman #497

DC Comics

The actual "breaking of the bat" is depicted here, in what is probably Jones' most famous Batman cover. I love the cartoonish absurdity of Bane's physicality on this cover. It really gets across the FEELING of this rather important moment in Batman history. 

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3. Batman: Bloodstorm

DC Comics

Holy horrific! Jones' design for this 1994 cover for Batman: Bloodstorm (one of two sequels to Red Rain) seems like it belongs on the cover to the Necronomicon, not a Batman graphic novel! Such inspired horror.  

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2. Detective Comics #651

DC Comics

Jones' very first cover work for Detective Comics shows why he was so quickly scooped up to do regular cover work, as his inventive cover designs combine with a brilliant appreciation for the darkness of the character.  

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1. Batman #516

DC Comics

This is just the perfect Kelley Jones Batman cover, it is no surprise that this was the cover that DC used when they finally collected Moench, Jones and Beatty's run into a trade paperback. It is well designed and it strikes a perfect mix between mystery and horror - that point (between mystery and horror) is pretty much where Kelley Jones lives.