5. Superman #233
In the seventies there was a storyline where all the kryptonite on Earth was rendered inert. The cover of Superman breaking the kryptonite chain was used in many promotional ads by DC Comics. To me, this symbolizes people breaking free from whatever their kryptonite is, be it self doubt, drug addiction, or whatever.
4. Action Comics #1
Imagine its 1938. In a time before most people owned a television, the image of a man in brightly colored clothes lifting a car over his head captured the imagination of kids everywhere. This is the first appearance of Superman. In fact, it is the first appearance of a superhero anywhere.
3. Superman Vs. Muhammed Ali
Ali was in such a class, he had to turn to fiction to find someone with a chance of beating him. You would think if a human fought a superhero he would be pounded to goo, but the story had Superman depowered. Superman fought bravely, but he was beaten to bloody pulp.
2. Heroes Against Hunger
Superman and Batman recruit a reluctant Lex Luthor to use his scientific know how to stop starvation in Africa. When Luthor sees the suffering there, he breaks into tears and asks god how he could let the children suffer. To see a villain show a purely human side was something that I hadn't seen before, and it was very emotional. This is one of the most powerful covers in the history of comics.
1. Crisis on Infinite Earths #7
Superman and a group of other heroes went to the anti-matter universe to stop a villain that wanted to destroy all of creation. Superman was beaten badly, and just as the Anti-Monitor was about to strike the killing blow, Supergirl hit him with everything she had. She did not survive, but she saved Superman's life. On this cover you can see the pain and grief on Superman's face as he carries Supergirl out of the battle zone. This is perhaps the most memorable and the most copied comic book cover ever.
Growth industry - Via. More at the link in the watermark.
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