Sunday, January 25, 2009

5 Favorite Single Issues: The Comics Reporter

I missed answering Tom's Friday Question: "Name Your Five Favorite Marvel or DC Comics Single Issues, Nothing From The Same Series Twice." This is how I would have responded:

Master of Kung Fu #39

Detective Comics #475

Captain Marvel #29

Fantastic Four #49

Avengers #162

This isn't a bad little collection of artists and writers here: Doug Moench Stan Lee, Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart, Jim Starlin, Jack Kirby, Marshall Rogers, George Perez, Paul Gulacy.

Some of them are the beginnings of the story, some the end, some the middle, what matters here is that each of the issues is pitch perfect, from splash page to final panel, and each one presents characters that we grown to love at their peak.

I'm not parting with these fer nuttin'.

Edit: amended two days later, but in a post above, original post not edited for clarity of thought process.


Mike Schau said...

Here is a crime.. I had them all too but after graduate school and a little kids I had to sell 95% of my comic collection. Now worth 20 times as much, oh well.
All good choices there, espcially the FF issue.
Mike in Florida

James Meeley said...

The thing i find interesting, is that almost all of your picks are from the 70's. Usually the most overlooked decade of comics (or anything pop culture related). Everyone reveres the 60's and the 80's. Heck, even the 90's are well-known and lauded (if more in an infamous way). But the 70's, in a lot of ways, has always been treated as "just there."

Personally, there is a lot of great 70's comic stuff, that while corny at times, were vastly more entertaining than almost any of the "sophisticated crapola" they pass off as entertainment today. And yet, the comics of the 70's rarely get the respect due them. That's why i found your list so interesting (and refeshing). Just wanted to note that.

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

james - the reality is that the '70's truly did set up the '80's: The Claremont/Byrne/Austin X-men, Englehart and Roger's Batman, Starlin basically changing the entire game of science fiction in comics with Captain Marvel and, especially, Warlock. (He was a game changer, just had to do it in a superhero context.) You could even throw in Golden's Micronauts and McGregor's Killraven. I'm tempted to throw in Howard the Duck.

How about the next 5:
Uncanny X-men #113,
Watchmen #6,
Sandman #8,
Batman: Year One #3 and
The Thor issue where he faces down the Magog (can anyone help me out here?)

All right James, time to do your 5!

James Meeley said...

All right James, time to do your 5!

Okay, Charles, here's my 5 faves (in no special order):

1) Thor #385: It is, quite simply, what all slugfest issue want to be and what all great superhero coics should aspire to be.

2) Amazing Spider-Man #260: A great example of what Spider-Man is all about. Lots of action, drama, angst and wisecracking one-liners.

3) Incredible Hulk #299: Not only do you have the classic styling of Sal Buscema, who would go on to do a historic run on the book, but Bill Mantlo, who is one of the unsung heroes of Marvel's 70's and 80's output. All of that, wrapped up in a story that ends with a very sad sacrifice.

4) Justice League #5: Four words-- Kevin Maguire & one punch!

5) Adventures of Superman Annual #1: It is simply everything one should expect from a modern Superman story. Period!

So, what do you think of MY picks? :)

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

Hmmm - I can honestly say that I only purchased two of the ones on your list, so i did a little digging on the other three.

The question here is: were these that you picked up in your formative comic reading years? Because I think that has a lot to do with it. Thor vs. Hulk? Fun, Marvel style.

The two that I purchased, the Hulk by Mantlo/Buscema and the Justice League, are strong examples, although I would have picked a different mantlo issue from that run, but yours is a good choice. I sat in the Acclaim offices inking bits and pieces of Maguire's work for Trinity Angels thinking of his run on the book often. Fun stuff.

James Meeley said...


I guess it would depend on how far out you think "formative years" goes. I can say that I hadn't read the Justice League, Hulk or Thor issues I named within my first couple years of collecting, so I don't think I'd put them in my "formative" stage.

The thing about all those issues I listed, is that they all sort of had a message in them (usually a positive one), but they never let it get in the way of story being entertaining first and foremost. The fun of it was always the primary goal.

I think that sense of wonderment and all-out fun is missing in Marvel and DC's output today. Sure, there are still some good books there, but it used to be you'd WANT to try and keep up with all the different titles. Not out of a sense of obligation or compleist mentality, but because you truly enjoyed the experience of watching the adventures unfold. I don't get that feel from them very much anymore. And they certainly don't seem interested in clutivating it, either. Such a shame.

And since you did a "follow up 5," it only seems right I do the same:

6) Iron Man #230
7) Captain America #347
8) Detective Comics #588
9) Action Comics #591
10) Spectacular Spider-Man #164