4. Jimmy Olsen #104 (80-Page Giant G-38) "Jimmy's Weirdest Adventures With His Pal, Superman" August 1967 cover date
My 2nd 80-Page Giant, & my introduction to Jimmy's trademark bizarre transformations & for all intents & purposes to the character himself. Trust me -- comics don't get much more transfixing if you're 8 years old & still dipping your toe into the four-color pool.
(Tragically, this issue marked the 80-pager line's shedding of the Go-Go Checks. Luckily, I was too young to suffer any sort of trauma. Even so ... a moment of silence, please.)
Post by Polar Bear on Dec 29, 2014 12:32:10 GMT -5
Superboy #132, "Krypto's Cat-Crook Caper" by Binder/Papp and "The Youth Who Was Braver than Superboy!" by Dorfman/Swan, 1966
It's a nice Superboy story with primo Swan work, but you can get that any issue. No, what this provides is a fantabulous introduction to the Space Canine Patrol Agents (S.C.P.A.), the nuttiest group of super-dogs you've ever met!
Though only appearing in three issues and never being reprinted after 1974, these stories have been referenced as recently as the Krypto animated TV series and the current Super-Pets children's book series by Art Baltazar! "Krypto's Cat-Crook Caper" is truly silly, and it lifts my heart every time I read it, as do the other two S.C.P.A. stories printed in Superboy around the same time. Hey, DC, get on the ball and get a Krypto trade paperback collection out there!
Last Edit: Dec 29, 2014 12:34:36 GMT -5 by Polar Bear
Post by M. W. Gallaher on Dec 29, 2014 13:10:50 GMT -5
#4: Phantom Stranger #18 by Len Wein and Tony deZuniga
Although Phantom Stranger was never better than when Jim Aparo was drawing Len Wein's stories, it's this issue, drawn by fill-in artist Tony deZuniga, that has my heart. It was my first issue, and I'll confess that I didn't really get it. Like its peers The Demon and Swamp Thing, this comic frequently drew upon well-known monsters and supernatural threats from film, literature, and myth. This one was about The Flying Dutchman, a ghost story that I wasn't familiar with. Like many others in DC's mystery line of the early 70's, this has one foot in the gothic romance genre, not one of my particular favorites. So why do I love it so much? It's hard for me to say, but my affection is surely largely founded on this first exposure to what I still think is one of the coolest characters in comics. Its magic has lingered with me, and that cover--one of my favorite Neal Adams covers ever!--brings me back to spring of 1972.
Huh. I just realized that my eighth and ninth day selections both feature supernatural beings, and a legacy of heroism from past decades. So without further ado, here's:
'Captain America' #254 - 'Blood on the Moors' (February, 1981)
From the classic Roger Stern and John Byrne run of Cap, which is among my favourites to this day (it was really hard not to include a story from this one featuring Batroc Ze Leapair!), this one's another grab-bag of super-cool elements. Hammer-style Horror, Both Golden Age AND international superheroics (it's a "two-fer"!), Fearless Vampire Hunters and the debut of the new Union Jack, a character I've always been a massive fan of. Plus, it's Stern and Byrne! What's NOT to like?
Union Jack looks almost like Jack Staff on this cover.
That's because it's the original U.J. who was elderly by this point.
Love this issue (and that whole run) and a very striking cover too!
Uncanny X-Men is my favorite series. I read a bit of it here are there. I decide to start collecting it after reading #248 (which could have easily made my list), which my brother had bought at Pathmark. But my visits to comics shop were somewhat irregular. I wasn't going every week and wasn't attentive to release dates. So I wouldn't pick up every issue. Then, I bought #268, and that was the issue that convinced me I needed to make sure I picked up every issue. Jim Lee was the hot new artist, Claremont was weaving an engrossing story, and this issue had some unexpected guest appearances. Lee drew a great Black Widow. I know many classic comics fans love the Natasha's prior costume, but I loved her costume late 80s/early 90s, popped collar and all. This was before my Wolverine fatigue set in, and the dynamic between Wolverine and Jubilee was fun.
Green Lantern #192 Sept 1985 “First Star I See Tonight”
Steve Englehart Joe Staton Bruce D. Patterson
This was Steve Englehart’s masterpiece. Maybe not in terms of quality (although I’d put it Top 5), but certainly in Degree of Difficulty. It was a difficulty he brought upon himself, and probably would gladly do so again. From the start of his career he was a character-first writer, always decided where he wanted to go with the hero before deciding who they’d fight. (Standard procedure today but unique in the day, except for the occasional “A very special issue.”) That’s why continuity and character history was such a huge component of his work. Here the task wasn’t so much Green Lantern as his love interest, Carol Farris, reconciling her conflicting personalities over the course of the title. Taking over in the middle of Len Wein’s run, his other task was identifying the Predator, a masked, particularly vicious villain. He combined the two to brilliant effect. In fact, the issue before, Green Lantern #191, Pharozonk’s choice yesterday, accomplishes this with one of the most shocking endings/cliffhangers ever.
But it’s the next issue, the explanation, the flashbacks, all laid out like the final scene of a mystery, that stands out to me. If it had it been the work of a single writer, that alone would have been enough for it to be hailed as ingenious. Considering the building blocks were the work of different writers over the course of decades, it becomes an even bigger accomplishment.
But not the greatest accomplishment of the issue. Allow me to introduce Joe Staton, a man whose work over the years has been on occasion labeled as too cartoony (Somewhat unfairly because his pencils varied greatly with each inker.). This was his tour de force. Englehart’s flashbacks allowed Staton to work in the style of previous greats. Already having ghosted Gil Kane--I believe on Spider-Man--he was an excellent mimic and up to the task. He also got to do Mike Grell, Alex Saviuk, and even his earlier self. (And maybe Dave Gibbons, my memory is spotty on that one.) A great script would have lost quite a lot in translation if illustrated by anyone else.
And also of note, Englehart took over the letter column to explain--with justified pride--how this issue came to be. It’s a great compliment to the story.
This issue made my list (on the Sixth Day). You gave a great description of what I like about this story.