Today, we'll be looking at the nemesis of the Manhunter from Mars. There is no shortage of impressive images of Despero the Destroyer. However, because he's often the big bad in a big reveal during a story, the covers often do not reflect the magnitude of his presence. In fact, I'll cop to the latter five as being almost completely arbitrary choices, because I'd say only the top five are truly great representations of this menace.
Official Justice League Of America Index #8 (1987)
10) Supergirl #17 (January, 1998)
The Destroyer drawn by Gary Frank. It's just so pretty.
9) Superman/Batman #33 (March, 2007)
Literally chewing up a host of alien heroes in his jagged maw
8) Justice League Task Force #31 (January, 1996)
Just a striking image of Despero in bondage-- no small accomplishment.
7) Justice League Task Force #27 (September, 1995)
The finest cover example of Despero's gun-toting, anti-heroic, "the Savage Dragon stole my bit" period.
6) Justice League of America #133 (August, 1976)
Flanked by the world's greatest heroes, Despero kills Superman and ask who wants next.
5) Justice League of America #251 (June, 1986)
The first clear cover image of Despero reborn as a finhawked badass of massive scale.
4) Justice League of America #178 (May, 1980)
A great riff on Despero's debut, beautifully rendered by Jim Starlin, and the first indication of personal animosity toward the Martian Manhunter.
3) R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 (March, 2010)
Nothing says "we're in trouble" like someone holding Despero's severed head, while nothing quite says "our way out is almost as frightening as how deep we're in" like Vril Dox grinning.
2) Justice League America #39 (June, 1990)
I almost threw in the issue where Despero crash lands in the JLI's midst, but he's just a funky colored blob in an intentionally obscured image. Here, you can clearly see the result of his onslaught, and the beginning of his fan favorite villain status.
1) Justice League of America #1 (November, 1960)
The original. The classic. One of the most inspirational and imitated covers of all time.
Check out more spotlight countdowns of great art from the past 75 years of DC Comics Covers at DC75: Top Character Covers of the Dodranscentennial