Top 5 Underrated Jim Lee Covers of All Time

It was Jim Lee's birthday yesterday, and it's hard to believe he's been doing this comic book thing for over 30 years! His comic book art is one of the most iconic in the industry, and his work has been part of some record-breaking milestones in superhero comic books.

Jim Lee has done a lot of comic book covers that are in many people's top 5 lists of all time, but I'd like to shine the spotlight on some of his lesser-known works that I wish more people appreciated. So what are my top 5 underrated Jim Lee covers? I rate them now so you won't have to!

5. Marvel Age #104 (September 1991)

Jim Lee is known for his serious, stoic art, so this cover for Marvel Age caught my eye for just the sheer fun of it. Gambit ogling Psylocke as she poses for Jim Lee (who is shackled to his drawing table for some reason) while Wolverine peers from behind to check his handiwork is pretty wild, and I wish we got more covers like this from him!

4. Transformers #67 (June 1990)

This is one of two covers Lee did for the Transformers comics, the other being of a scantily clad babe holding a Transformer hostage. Which is nice and all, and on-brand for Lee, but seeing as "underrated" is our theme, his second cover makes the list. But make no mistake, this one is no slouch. The image of a gleefully maniacal Galvatron as he stands astride a burning earth proclaiming Decepticon victory is such a great visual. Who knew Jim Lee can draw robots? 

3. Conan the Barbarian #242 (March 1991)

This gorgeous cover showcases one of Jim Lee's strengths and ticks off some of my criteria for a good comic book cover. Action? Check. Buff dudes and beautiful women? Check. Imminent danger? Check, check, check. The way Jim Lee crops the cover so close that Red Sonja could smell Conan's breath (and we probably could too!) sells the perilousness of the situation. Who will lose in this deadly swordfight? This cover would make us want to buy the comic to find out.

2. Justice League (vol. 2) #4 (February 2012)

Jim Lee's Superman and Batman covers have joined the ranks of some of the most iconic images in comicdom, but this cover of Justice League bears noticing. Check out Aquaman holding his trident over Green Lantern as he stares a hole through Superman (whose reflection is hiding all Easter egg-like!) while waves crash and foam behind say it's breathtaking is an understatement! Say what you will about Nu52, but this ultra-detailed cover is criminally slept on. 

1. The Punisher Magazine #14 (September 1990)

Way before Alex Ross painted over Jim Lee's pencils for DC Comics, Lee did his own painting for this gorgeous cover for The Punisher Magazine #14. Channeling his inner Frank Miller, Lee paints a Frank Castle locked and loaded in the pelting rain, a stray lightning bolt illuminating him on his perch in the darkness. The atmosphere on this cover is off the charts, and this being one of the very few painted works of Jim Lee makes this way underrated and one of my favorite pieces of art from him.


Researching this list gave me some newfound appreciation for Jim Lee. He's been a big part of my comic book fandom and his work has already cemented his status as one of the greatest comic book artists of all time. Belated happy birthday, Jim Lee! And thank you for reading!

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