I was going to save the 400th post for this spot, but after getting a chance to see a special screening for Man of Steel, I had to go with that one first. Sooooo, this is the 401th post that should have been the 400th.
In celebration, I figured it would be fun to show off the covers for some of the major comic book series that have reached the 400th issue. This isn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list, but it’s a lot of them since having a title run to 400 issues means the series has been in steady publication for over 30 years (if the comic comes out in the normal monthly release format).
Except for funny books like Disney, Archie, Dell, Whitman, etc., the majority of the comic books that have arrived at the illustrious number 400 are from Marvel and DC. There are several ongoing gag books, particularly in Europe that have run the total number of issues into the 1000s but we’re focusing mostly on comics with continuous stories — typically superhero tales.
So, here are covers from comic books that have reached the 400th issue. This is not a comprehensive list since I didn’t do much research. If I’ve missed any big ones, leave me a comment.
1. Batman #400 (1986)
I love this comic. It was one of the first comic books I bought back in college. This anniversary comic that actually had some thought put into it. It has a wicked cool Bill Sienkiewicz (pronounced “Bill Smith”) and a fantastic Doug Moench story. It’s a thick comic that has several contributing artists including some of my favorites: Art Adams, Brian Bolland, Michael Kaluta, Rick Leonardi, Steve Lightle, Steve Rude, and Berni Wrighton plus several more.
2. Detective #400 (1970)
What’s cool about this anniversary issue is that it’s not only a Neal Adams issue (the cover and the interior), it’s also the origin and first appearance of the Mat-Bat.
3. Dell Four Color #400: Space Cadet (1952)
Painted cover by Alden McWilliams. I like that. I also like the name of the comic. It’s as unintentionally funny in the modern day context as as Gay Comics (1955). Speaking of gay, here’s a version we modified for a bit of fun. As you gaze upon it hum “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady.
4. Uncanny X-Men 400 (2001)
The Uncanny X-Men and its derivatives are titles that we cut our teeth on in the 1980s before they become too confusing and commercial for my tastes in the 1990s. By issue 400, I had actually stopped reading X-Men altogether. Still, cool cover by Ashley Wood.
5. Sgt. Rock #400 (1985)
War comics are hit or miss with me but it’s worth noting that this particular war hero’s stories had a very long run. The series actually began as Our Army at War with a title change to Sgt. Rock in issue #302. Sgt. Rock actually didn’t even enter the series until issue #83. Hmm. Maybe we shouldn’t give this title credit as a 400 issue. Oh, well. Clever cover by Joe Kubert.
6.Amazing Spiderman #400 (1995)
The issue had two different covers, both drawn by Mark Bagley and Larry Mahlstedt. The version shown below is a white embossed special issue of the newsstand version. If you can’t tell, it shows a tombstone with Spider-man swinging in front of it. The storyline is titled Death in the Family and in it, Aunt May or a clone or an actress or an old lady that happens to be Aunt May 269 reveals to Peter Parker or or Ben Reilly or Tom Jones or some sort of doppelgänger or who-knows-what that she has always known he was Spider-man or the Scarlet Spider or Spider-bot or Spider-Balls or something. I can’t keep track of which is who and what is how much.
7. Superman #400 (1984)
Painted cover by one of my favorites: Howard Chaykin.
8. Fantastic Four #400 (1995)
The cover by Paul Ryan is made from a foil-like substance that refracts colors in a cool way. Is that Dr. Doom on the cover? Does the Thing have boobs? And what’s the deal with the Watchers dying? And where’s Mister Fantastic (Reid Richards)? You can tell we don’t read FF either.
9. The Incredible Hulk #400 (1992)
Prismatic cover by British artist Gary Frank.
10. Avengers #400 (1996)
Giant Size issue with wraparound cover by Mike Deadato and Tom Palmer.
11. The Mighty Thor #400 (1988)
Sort of a big Kirby-esque cover by Ron Frenz and Brett Breeding.
12. Action Comics #400 (1971)
Superman sure seems to get a lot of gimmicky covers. Here’s a goofy one by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.
13. Adventure Comics #400 (1970)
We’re not big fans of this title, but it’s a 400 issue, so here it is. The story and art were provided by Mike Sekowsky, who was famous for creating the Legion of Superheroes and several of the characters in its membership.
14. Captain America #400 (1992)
This cover by Rick Levins and Dan Panosian is pretty bland. Therefore my comment about it is too.
15. Archie Comics #400 (1992)
We weren’t going to do an Archie, but that wouldn’t be fair. Besides, I needed a #16. The Cover is by Rex Lindsey. As for me, it has always been Veronica.
There you have it. And here’s your bonus. On June 14, 2013, I published my 400th post. Here’s a collector’s item limited edition cover for your viewing pleasure.