So Marvel's released its Cover of 2007!
Spoiler: It's Captain America #25, by Steve Epting. It's the infamous "Captain America is assassinated" issue.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING YOU NEVER ASKED FOR: My cold, hard and more-often-than-not-slimy opinion.
I have to admit; it's a very awesome (in the traditional sense) cover, in that a lot of its weight is carried by its content, and the contents themselves are very powerful. It means that it can tell the issue in a single picture, and that's all you ever really want in a good cover.
There are other kinds of good covers, though, and they use some other techniques that Cap #25 might not hit on. For the love of comics -- no: the love of America -- let's check 'em out.
I have to admit that, on the bracket, my favorite was actually Marvel Adventures #13. It works the strongest as a cover.
Face it; that cover forces focus on the arrowheads. Why are the heads of the Avengers there? It's a cover that grabs the curious reader, and that's part of what makes a good cover.
Another example would be the numbers game. Just as a sheer multitude of people can attract the reader, so can a single person.
Like, for example, Scott Summers -- in spaaaaaace.
Sorry, couldn't help myself. Another example of grabbing the reader would be direct confrontation. Look!
Ms. Marvel's looking directly at us and - dare I say it - pointing at us!
Other examples would be homage covers, but I don't think any of them made it in the bracket.
The rest of the covers generally involve doing something bad-ass, like lunging forward, or looking valiantly off-cover, or staring in the center really solemnly (which is a hobby that Spidey is all too fond of!) or a crazy wrap-around cover.
Man, that issue was awesome.
If you want the best in cover art, though, I suggest you turn to Fables cover artist James Jean. If his covers were a ruler, they'd be those stainless steel, super-cool ones with the little rubber on the bottom.
Man, those rock.