David, Jason, and Eric share their favorite Thor covers of all time.

Most comic book fans have a pretty good idea what they’re going to buy every week when they visit their local comic shop. With that said, there’s still a lot of fun to be had just glancing at the week’s new releases and taking a chance on a book that looks promising. That’s where covers come in-a fantastic image can make the difference between trying something new or saying, “Nah, not this week.”

In anticipation of Avengers: Infinity War, we’re publishing special editions of Judging by the Cover. We’re focusing on various characters who have left their mark on the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, and who will be featured in the crossover film event this summer. This time, we asked our contributors David Brooke, Jason Segarra, and Eric Cline to share their favorite Thor covers of all time.

David’s Picks:

The Mighty Thor #169
Art by John Romita Sr. (central Thor figure), Jack Kirby, George Klein, & Morrie Kuramoto

I love the composition of this cover! It’s a collage of many great Galactus moments, with Thor (drawn by Romita) jumping through a white silhouette of Galactus. It’s somehow not too busy while juggling so many images. A great homage to other works and a beautiful piece all its own.

The Mighty Thor #705
Art by Artgerm

Can someone frame this on my wall? Good god, the use of light makes Thor look like an angel. The detail in the armor and flowing hair (and cape) all look positively godlike. Amazing stuff.

The Mighty Thor #350
Art by Walt Simonson

Walt Simonson is one of the most important creators when it comes to Thor and his contributions like his work on the Ragnarok story had lasting effects. I adore this cover in part because I love Beta Ray Bill (and think he should be added to the movies already!). The contrasting purple background makes Thor and Beta Ray pop as they storm into battle.

Jason’s Picks:

Silver Surfer Vol. 1 #4
Art by John Buscema 

This might be cheating a bit, but when I think of the Mighty Thor, this is the image that comes to mind. This is such awesome, classic visual storytelling. You get a real sense of the epic confrontation between these two powerhouses of the Marvel Universe and it makes you want to immediately pour through the book to see what happens when the god of thunder squares off with the power cosmic. The issue itself isn’t as awesome as the cover, but really, how could it be?

Ultimates 3 #4
Art by Joe Madureira

I know the penultimate Ultimates series of the Ultimate Universe wasn’t exactly “loved” by critics or fans, but it definitely had one thing going for it – artwork by my favorite penciler of the ’90s, Joe Madureira. I mean, sure, the Thor he drew looked more like the cartoonishly over-muscled 616 Odinson than the leaner, more realistically proportioned Thorlief Golmen depicted most famously by Bryan Hitch, but that was sort of the point. You don’t take a Ferrari to the store to buy milk, and you don’t hire Joe Mad for nuance and feeling. Seeing Thor ready to throw down with Ultimate Magneto (the most evil and badass Magneto has ever been…until they ruined him) makes me want to do a shot, eat a steak, and jump in front of an explosion to the strains of “Rock You Like a Hurricane”!

Journey Into Mystery #125
Art by Jack Kirby

Classic. What more can you say about this cover? It looks like something straight out of “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” and tells a story through the use of simplistic positioning. Thor is ready and raring for battle, clearly startled by what he sees in front of him – and we can guess, based on the shape of the weapon being brandished in the shadow’s hand, just who that mystery opponent could be…I mean we know it’s Hercules, but in the ’60s? Mind blown.

Eric’s Picks:

The Mighty Thor #364
Art by Walt Simonson

This is the be-all end-all of Thor covers for me. Unsurprisingly, my favorite is by Walt Simonson–who else would it be? The Animorphs-esque effect is even better than actual Animorphs, and the frog’s angry face is hilarious. The added touches of the corner boxes add to the delight. I love the plot tease in the bottom right–this really was one of the most unusual (and awesome) Thor stories ever published.

The Mighty Thor #337
Art by Walt Simonson

Iconic. There’s never been a better example of a logo being destroyed on a cover than this one. Walt Simonson came out of the gate swinging on his The Mighty Thor run by introducing one of Thor’s best supporting characters of all time. This is a great debut for Beta Ray Bill–who wouldn’t want to pick this issue up to learn more about him?

The Mighty Thor #366
Art by Walt Simonson

There’s a running theme to my choices, and I’m not just talking about Throg. Walt Simonson covers make up my entire list, and with good reason. Absurdism collides with badassery here and the result is classic. I mean, just look at it!

Do you agree with these picks? Let us know in the comment space below!

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