As a life-long fan and collector of Superman comics, I've seen my share of great (and not so great) covers featuring the Man of Steel. As memorable as so many of them are, I don't think any of them can quite surpass a special cover that, in many ways, remains my favorite.
Why is that? Well, quite simply, Superman #187 (1966) was the very first comic book I can remember reading.
My grandparents had a modest stack of comics for us grandkids to read when we visited. Although most of them were Gold Key Disney and Looney Tunes comics, there was one comic book that wasn't at all like the others. There was this "Superman" guy, hefting a huge golden key to unlock the ultimate secret clubhouse. A "Fortress of Solitude"? What's this? A city in a bottle? An Interplanetary Zoo? An undersea Fortress in addition to the ice Fortress? Even the phrase "80-page Giant" seemed cool beyond belief!
Obviously, I was in "Kid Heaven" with concepts like these...and can you think of any better crash-course introduction to superhero comic books?
I can't tell you how many times I read and re-read this comic book when I visited my grandparents. A few years later, I started collecting comics and eventually bought my own copy of Superman #187. Needless to say, it's still one of the highlights of my collection. Not only for its status as "my first comic book", but also for its association with my grandparents (now long gone). In a way, it almost feels like a "souvenier" from a happy childhood.
So, it might not win the "Most Awesomely Mind-Blowing Cover Design of All Time" award, but to me, it's Simply the Best.