Dragon and the stories about them are funny things. About the time you think dragons are outdated or passe someone crafts a story that causes your 10-year-old imaginative soul to re-ignite. You don’t want to believe me because you’re a responsible adult but follow along anyway.
2010 – How to Train Your Dragon was a surprisingly charming animated movie about a unique group of Viking kids who find equally unique dragons.
2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has an alabaster dragon with chains around his neck who helps them escape Gringotts. If you go to Universal Studios he’s still curled on top of Gringotts.
2013 – In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug we have a dragon who can speak in deep, resonating tones. Along with Bilbo, we learn that dragons are horribly egotistical and greedy creatures. “Tell me, thief, how do you choose to die?”
2014 – In Game of Thrones, the tiny lizard with wings perched on Khaleesi’s shoulder becomes a leathery winged agent of destruction and terror. In season four she chains them in the basement because they are so wild and wildly powerful.
2019 – Try to make yourself believe that you don’t want to see the White Walker’s dragon when the next season hits.
This list of dates could be much longer if I included older movies like Eragon, (the book was better) Dragonheart, Reign of Fire, Dragonslayer, The NeverEnding Story. Now that we’ve determined that you secretly love dragons you get a top 14 list of best dragon covers. The list was 10 but with submissions it continues to grow!
***If you can find a comic book cover that would be better than the ones I have listed, let me know and I’ll evaluate it. If I add it to this list, I will send you a prize. (free premium membership, free poster or a free comic) All decisions by the judge (me) are final.***
14. Bone #1 Hard Cover (February 2005) – It is all about the suspense for this Jeff Smith cover. With the first issue, you don’t know if this unique red dragon is hungry, noble or curious.
13. A Town Called Dragon #3 (Nov. 2014) – This title has several dynamic dragon covers but this one captures the terror and spit of a dragon. The two poor souls trapped beneath those teeth can clearly see how their days will end. Chomp, chomp
12. The Black Dragon #6 (Oct. 1985) – This John Bolton cover is almost all orange and black but it works. A burning castle with a deviant, sinister looking dragon hovering around to pick up people for his personal bar-b-que.
11. X-men Gold #30D (Aug. 2018) – Variant cover by Tyler Kirkham shows a less playful version of Lockheed vomiting fire. The joy in this cover is the mix of beauty found in Shadowcat and terror seen in Lockheed.
10. Fafnir the Dragon #1A (June 2010) – There is something appealing about this cover’s coloring. The top third is green and greys while the bottom two-thirds is a range of yellow to red.
9. The Hobbit #3 (April 1990) – This shows an unusually colored dragon, pink, but the scene is amazing. The members of the quest are struggling on a rocky ledge while the dragon watches on, almost mockingly.
8. Conan #166 (Jan. 1985) – This is one foul looking beast with vampire teeth, a horned head, and gargoyle-like wings. On the bad size, it looks like this dragon needs to cut down on carbs, the extra girth around his midsection isn’t healthy. May I suggest more fire-grilled foods? 🙂
7. Batman #104 (Dec 1956) – This is easily the oldest book in the list. Sheldon Moldoff created this vicious looking underwater dragon to terrify the Caped Crusader. There are some strange things with this cover, like a dragon breathing fire underwater or Batman and Robin wearing capes while diving. But if you’ve read many comics from the 1950’s you know this is nothing in comparison. Still a great cover! (Submitted by QuinnsPuddinJoker from the CPG forum)
6. Sojourn #10 (May 2002) – Greg Land drew this gorgeous cover. One of the interesting things about this cover is the textural difference. Arwyn has a softness with the puffy sleeves, feminine curves, and flowing blonde hair while the dragon is sharp, pointed and scaled. Both will hurt you, just in different ways. (Submitted by ComFan from the CPG forum)
5. Dungeons and Dragons #0 (Aug 2010) – A knight has scaled to the top of a precarious ledge only to face a massive dragon. This classic pose is tremendous at showing the size of the dragon in comparison to a man.
4. Dungeons and Dragons Legends of Baldur’s Gate #1A (Oct. 2014) – The dragon on this cover has a snake-like underbelly and purple flames. The hero doesn’t always win unless you count being melting into oblivion as winning. The wings of the dragon almost look like an x-ray which is great work by the artist, Raymond Swanland. (this issue was suggested by a Facebook follower, Tavis)
3. Storyteller: The Dragons #1B (2015) – The entire mini-series of 4 regular issues plus variants is incredible. But this variant by David Petersen, of Mouse Guard fame, is the number 3 dragon cover. It’s a cover filled with details. The main subject is dramatic but the coloring is all subdued.
2. Dragon Age Magekiller #2 (Jan. 2016) – This cover captures a Chinese dragon nightmare. The three textured dragons with variegated scales are intertwined around a helpless chap. The coloring is mostly made up of browns and beige tones but it’s still gorgeous, subtle yet powerful.
1. Hawkman #2A vol. 5 (Sept. 2018) – Stjepan Sejic’s absolutely stunning cover for Hawkman is mesmerizing. Hawkman is framed by the expansive body of a dragon who has smoke trailing from his mouth. It’s a mid-air battle full of teeth, wings, and fury. If you haven’t seen this cover, click through, it’s worth your time. AMAZING COVER!
What books did I miss? Send me your suggestions and you might win a prize.
by Ron Cloer