10 Epic Batman Covers That Spoiled The Ending

All great comic events have at least one cover that foreshadows where the story is going. Whether it be to tragedy or resolution, a cover often offers hints about the book’s ending. Some artists, however, take the foreshadowing a step too far. As a result, audiences are left with a cover that completely spoils the ending.

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Batman comics are particularly guilty of this. Anyone following the exploits of the infamous Bat-Family has seen a cover hint at the story’s resolution. Audiences are familiar with DC’s tendency to foreshadow a little too hard, which means several epic covers completely spoil their comic’s endings.

10/10 Jason Todd’s Death In Batman #428

Jason Todd with his mouth open and blood on his face as a building explodes around him. The text says DEATH IN THE FAMILY: BATMAN WAS TOO LATE.

In Batman #428, written by Jim Starlin, Jason Todd dies. It may be argued that the storyline’s title, “A Death In The Family,” had already given away the ending long before the cover artist, Mike Mignola, ever got there and put pencil to paper.

The image most associated with Jason’s death depicts Batman clutching Robin’s lifeless body in the rubble. This memorable interior art was penciled by Jim Aparo. However, Mignola’s cover focuses on Jason with blood gushing out his mouth and nose. His mouth was open in a silent scream as the building exploded. It is an epic but grim depiction of Jason’s demise that ruined the story’s ending.

9/10 Bruce’s Spinal Injury Is Foreshadowed By Batman #497’s Cover

Bane breaking Batman over his knee.

In the distinct cover of Batman #497 by artist Kelley Jones, Batman is depicted with his back bent over Bane’s knee, with Bane clutching the Dark Knight’s throat and leg. The “Knightfall” storyline, written by Doug Moench, built up to an epic showdown between Batman and Bane, but when the time finally came, Bane made short work of Bruce Wayne and left him permanently injured.

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The image depicted on the cover, and the moment from the pages of Batman #497, are pretty similar. Fans now know Bruce made a miraculous recovery after Bane paralyzed him, but at the time, the cover made it too obvious that Bane was going to severely injure Batman.

8/10 Hints To Bruce And Selina’s Wedding Disaster On Batman #50

Batman and Catwoman kissing while dressed in formal wear. They are surrounded by flowers.

Mikel Janin’s stunning art for Batman #50 showed Bruce and Selina’s wedding and a fairytale depiction of Gotham’s favorite hero and anti-hero kissing at the altar, surrounded by flowers. But eagle-eyed readers will spot clues that spoil the ending. For example, they wear their vigilante masks and Selina’s dress contains black detailing, which is considered bad luck on a wedding day.

In the issue, Bruce and Selina don’t get married. In dialogue written by Tom King, Selina cites, “To save the world, heroes make sacrifices…I wish I could give my life, but I can’t, I have to give more. My sacrifice is my love. It’s you.” She gives him up because he cannot be Batman and be happy with her simultaneously. It’s a noble sacrifice for the well-being of Gotham, but it was obvious from the cover.

7/10 Jason Todd Returns In Batman #638

Batman holding a red helmet. Reflected in the helmet is a dark-haired boy's face.

“No! I-it can’t be! N-not you!” is stamped over the cover of Batman #638, which was drawn by Matt Wagner. Eager readers knew who was under the red hood because the cover confirmed it: the vigilante was the prodigal son, Jason Todd.

While details of Jason’s resurrection were hazy, the cover depicts Bruce as he clutches the Red Hood’s helmet in his hands. In the helmet, a dark-haired man’s face is reflected but with most details obscured. He was last seen brutally beaten by a crowbar. Many fans knew Red Hood’s identity, but this cover cinched it, and Judd Winick’s skillful writing returned a character who was lost.

6/10 Allusion To Stephanie Brown’s Death On The Gotham Knights #58 Cover

A woman's body wrapped in a shroud, being watched over by a weeping statue. Behind her is Batman's cape.

Gotham Knights #58’s cover comes from the “War Games” story arc, written by A.J. Lieberman. While it’s an issue before the tragedy that befalls Gotham, it’s obvious from this cover that it’s coming. The cover, created by Jae Lee and June Chung, depicts Batman standing over a statue in a cemetery. The statue is weeping over the body of a woman in a shroud, which indicates death is coming.

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Only one character loses her life at the end of “War Games.” Stephanie’s death is described in a later comic as a darkness that befell the Wayne household. It impacted Bruce, for letting another child die in his war on crime, and Tim, her then-boyfriend and predecessor as Robin.

5/10 Battle For The Cowl #1 Reveals The Heir Of Batman

Nightwing surrounded by other heroes including Robin and Black Canary.

Most fans know that Bruce Wayne’s successor is his eldest son, Dick Grayson. When fans pulled Tony Daniel and Fabian Nicieza’s Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1 off the shelves for the first time, it was obvious even when they saw the cover. With gorgeous art by Tony S. Daniel and Ian Hannin, the cover depicts Dick surrounded by the cast in the ensuing battle for Batman’s cowl.

However, Dick is front and center and highlighted in a way the other characters aren’t. It’s easy to see from this cover that Dick will be the next Batman, especially as he’s Bruce’s first heir.

4/10 Bruce Wayne On Trial For Murder On The Gotham Knights #25 Cover

Batman's hands bound in handcuffs.

During the “Bruce Wayne: Murderer?” storyline, Bruce finds himself on trial for a murder he didn’t commit. Readers know of Batman’s no-kill rule, but the citizens of Gotham aren’t lucky enough to have that insight. Brian Bolland’s cover of Gotham Knights #25 depicts Batman’s gloved hands bound tight by handcuffs.

It’s clear from the cover that the comic will end with Bruce in Blackgate Penitentiary. That’s exactly what happens in Gotham Knights #25, which was written by Devin Grayson and Mike W. Barr. Even though Barbara Gordon offers her services as a lawyer, Bruce turns her down. The tight handcuffs and the clenched fists all suggest that this will be a time of turmoil for Bruce Wayne.

3/10 Batman And Robin #23 Sees Jason Todd Return As A Villain

A masked figure in a red helmet and white costume brandishing two guns.

In Batman and Robin #23, a new dynamic duo has taken their fathers’ mantles, Batman and Robin. Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne are the Batman and Robin in question. The cover gives away the villain of the upcoming arc with the red helmet, ostentatious outfit, and a firearm in each hand. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that is Jason Todd.

Jason hams up the villainy in this arc and even bests his brothers a few times. The cover, by Spanish artist Guillem March, depicts Jason beating Damian and Dick with ease. These battles become a recurring theme with Jason always being one step ahead, which was a popular occurrence under writer Judd Winick.

2/10 In Legends Of The Dark Knight #125, It’s Clear Bruce Reveals His Identity

Batman pulling back his cowl to reveal he is Bruce Wayne.

During the events of “Cataclysm,” Gotham City turns into a No Man’s Land. The government cut the city off from vital supplies and declared that nobody was to go in or out. This rule left Gotham lawless. Batman teamed up with Jim Gordon in the hopes that they could restore order to Gotham.

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Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #125, with cover art by Jim Aparo and Jesse Delperdang, depicts Bruce removing his cowl with a remorseful expression. It shows that Bruce will attempt to reveal his identity to someone – and the text, “The ultimate trust, or the ultimate betrayal,” gives away the witness immediately. Writer Greg Rucka makes it clear Jim Gordon is one of the few people Bruce trusts. Luckily for Bruce, Jim refuses to let him go through with it. He points out that if he wanted to know who Batman was, he already would.

1/10 Bruce Is Cassandra’s Real Father As Of Batgirl #5

Nightwing grabbing on to Batgirl's arm while Batman watches with a neutral expression.

During the “Batgirl: Redemption” storyline, written by Adam Beechen, Dick and Tim are angered by a perceived betrayal from Cassandra Cain. She’s hunting her father, David Cain, with the intention of killing him, which goes against everything they stand for.

The cover of Batgirl #5, by Andy Clarke, shows this mistrust clearly, but it also depicts an obvious detail some readers may have missed: Bruce Wayne, standing over his children, as their father and mentor. This image preludes the next issue, in which Bruce formally adopts Cassandra, becoming the only father that matters.

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