Comic book artists know that readers don’t listen to their teachers or their parents, so they realize that the warning “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is rarely heeded. They also know that a comic book cover is the most important marketing tool in the industry. At a single glance, a reader can tell exactly what will happen inside of the book and whether or not he/she wants to buy it. That’s why there's a meticulous approach to a cover's composition that goes well beyond just being a cool-looking picture.

Some artists tease their audience with the bare minimum in order to get the reader’s attention, some spell out the issue's plot with a more complicated image and dialogue samples, and others simply draw an iconic image of the main character without worrying about story details. All are acceptable practices, but only a select few comic illustrators know how to truly pull each one off.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Fantastic Four #1; in order to celebrate the momentous occasion, we’re counting down the Top 15 Fantastic Four Covers Of All Time.

Written by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)