9. The Fly & Fly Girl Adventures Of The Fly #14 (September 1961, Archie) Art by John Rosenberger I don't know who wrote this comic, possibly Robert Bernstein, or R. Berns when he worked at Marvel.
In #13 The Fly saves an actress named Kim Brand, in this issue that followed dated two months later a villain thinks he has outwitted The Fly by perpetrating two crimes at once in different locations, but the powerful Turad of the Fly people who bestowed the Fly Ring on The Fly offers Kim Brand the same thing so she can become Fly Girl and assist him, and she does when ever she rubs the Fly Ring and says "Fly Girl". In the story The Fly reacts much like Superman seeing Supergirl appear, and she unmasks for him. It's the old Adam's rib story with costumes and powers really... Bulletman & Bulletgirl, Hawkman & Hawkwoman, The Fly & Fly Girl. I first saw The Fly on the big screen in the '70s movie Car Wash, so a few years later when digging through boxes of old comics in a used bookshop when I saw an issue of The Fly (later Fly Man) I was happy to pay the dollar or two to see if it was any good. It really wasn't, but the ones with John Rosenberger art had some of the best figure drawing I'd seen. Plus the green and yellow costumes with gossamer fly wings and buzz guns just look really cool to me!
I can't believe that this pre-dated Hank Pym as Antman and Jan as the Wasp, as it appears to be so similar.
Post by M. W. Gallaher on Dec 16, 2019 22:17:20 GMT -5
9. Conan and Elric in Giant-Size Conan #5 by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith reprinted in Giant-Size Conan #5, 1975, Marvel Comics originally published in Conan the Barbarian #14-15, 1973
I only occasionally sampled Conan comics when I began collecting. While Conan had plenty of the monsters that had drawn me into the hobby, I was more enamored of super-heroes. I don't think I even cracked open an issue in that first year of collecting, when Smith was still drawing the series. By the time I noticed, John Buscema was drawing it, and I wasn't especially impressed, because Buscema was already all over the place at Marvel. This wasn't my first exposure to Smith's Conan, though, because I had gotten the King-Size reprint issue a while before this, and maybe one or two other reprints, and I realized this Smith guy was astounding. This reprint further cemented my appreciation of Smith's Conan, but had the added bonus of a double length team-up with this Elric character. I'd seen mention of him before, and I think by this point I had a vague appreciation of the novelty of teaming up characters from separate publishing domains, like pulp/comics crossovers, inter-company crossovers, comics and movie or tv characters, or in this case, characters from the same genre but different authorial domains. It was something special, I was sure. I thought I had a good handle on Conan (turns out I didn't--he was a little more complex than the fairly generic barbarian I took him for), but, like I said, Elric was something new. And Elric really appealed to me--he was a sword fighter who wasn't a brutal, capable brawler, but a sickly albino who just happened to wield a mystical weapon that compensated. I identified much more with the intelligent, slender and not-particularly-physically-formidable Elric, and the idea of a black, rune-carved sword that stole the souls of those it killed was just plain awesome. Smith's design for Elric, in a strange green outfit with a weird, cone-shaped hat was so novel and intriguing--this was surely my kind of sword and sorcery hero, even better than Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser over at DC. Why this guy didn't have an ongoing series of his own at Marvel I didn't understand! With this, we got two very different takes on S&S heroes, in a universe-crossing team-up that sucked me in and left me wanting more. It would be a long time before I had a chance to buy new Elric comics, when First Comics got the license, so I had to make do with this. The content? Maybe not that much more special, if any more special, than the other Thomas/Smith Conan issues, but those were all pretty good comics, weren't they? It's just that these were the only ones with Moorcock's fascinating Elric.
9. Swamp Thing and Batman Swamp Thing #7 (DC, 1973)
This was one of the first things I thought of for my list and is actually a better comic than some or perhaps even most of those that made it on there in the end. The only real reason I left it off is my growing dislike for Batman as a character these last several years.
Note: Historians among you may wonder whether Hellcat was already an Avenger, and thus not eligible to "team up" with them. According to the cover of The Avengers #144, she was “The most fearsome new member of all”:
She did go on the subsequent adventure to Earth-2, I mean “Other-Earth,” to fight the Squadron Supreme. But she wasn’t considered for official membership until #151, and reluctantly turned it down at Moondragon’s browbeating:
The two ended up in The Defenders. As far as I know, Hedy was never offered membership in the Avengers. For shame! She could have handled their P.R.
That page from Avengers #151 reminds me that no one drew Moondragon and Hellcat better than the young George Perez - not even the older George Perez!
Last Edit: Dec 16, 2019 23:19:48 GMT -5 by berkley
Batman was a totally different character those days.
Yes, it's a totally irrational feeling on my part but I went with it. Objectively, that Swamp Thing issue is probably one of the very best comics that will appear in the entirety of this year's 12 Days.
9. Medusa and Spider-Man Amazing Spider-Man #62 (1968)
I've never read this comic but it has one of my all-time favourite covers: I think Romita was one of the few artists who captured something of the majesty Kirby put into Medusa in the FF series, an important characteristic that was lost or ignored for the most part, even by such first rate artists as John Buscema, from memory.
9. Spider-Man/Red Sonja, "Sword of the She-Devil!", Marvel Team-Up #79 (Marvel, 1979)
As much as I enjoy team-up books, I do have to acknowledge the complaints made by some of the other posters: the stories are often inconsequential, the characterization is often off, one character is overshadowed, etc. However, despite all of that, I have to admit that I am a sucker for the oddball team-up: ateam-up between two character who shouldn't be teaming up at all, like Batman and Scalphunter (and, yeas, that is an actual team-up from TB&TB). If I see one of these, I just have to check it out, even if only to find out how they justify the crossover.
Often the justifications feel contrived and gimmicky, but it is possible to do this kind of team-up well. And my #9 pick is probably the finest example I've encountered. It shows that you can do this kind of story and have it feel natural (within the confines of comic book reality, of course ).
The story itself is simple enough. The proper confluence of mystic events allows the spirit of ancient sorcerer Kulan Gath to escape from the necklace where it is trapped, and possess a nightwatchman at the museum. Gath starts preparing a magical ritual to regain his full power. Peter Parker and reporter Charley Snow are called away from the Daily Bugle Christmas party to cover the strange goings on at the museum. MJ decides to tag along. At the museum, Peter sneaks inside to change into Spidey and find out what is going on. MJ thinks is trying to get a scoop and follows him inside. Once inside, a corroded sword in a display case reaches out to MJ's mind, compelling her to pick it up. When she does, MJ is transformed into a double of Red Sonja, and believes herself to be Sonja. Sonja and Spidey team-up to battle Kulan Gath, despite not being able to speak a common language (a nice touch). Eventually, Kulan Gath is defeated, and Spidey rips the necklace off his neck, causing his form to revert to that of the guard. With Gath banished, everything reverts to normal, and Sonja turns back to MJ, leaving MJ with no memory of what happened.
The credits list Claremont and Byrne as co-plotters, and Claremont as scripter. I wonder how much input Byrne actually had into the plot, as it feels very Claremont to me. Especially telling is that Claremont would later do a sequel to this story in Uncanny X-Men where Kulan gath returns and transforms Manhattan into a Hyperborean Age city.
The art is John Byrne at his finest, long before he disappeared up his own self-importance. It actually makes me wish he had down more work on Red Sonja, as he does a gorgeous version of the She-Devil with a Sword; seeming to channel Frank Thorne without actually imitating him.
So the odball team-up done right earns my #9 slot.
Post by coke & comics on Dec 17, 2019 2:28:01 GMT -5
9. Daredevil and Spider-Man "Devil's Deliverance" from Daredevil #8 (Marvel, 1998)
by Kevin Smith, Joe Quesada, and Jimmy Palmiotti
This was how I got into Daredevil. I hadn't liked the first couple Daredevil issues I'd picked up as a young child and thus never really collected them. But in 1998, I was interested in Marvel's "Marvel Knights" line, and brought all 4 new titles. Inhumans remains one of the best comics I've ever read. Black Panther was great. And the Punisher series is infamous for turning him into an angel, but I enjoyed it well enough at the time. Probably haven't gone back to it in 20 years, though.
This is also how I got into Kevin Smith. Not long after reading this I'd see Chasing Amy and Mallrats and finally Clerks, which remains one of my favorite comedy films ever. I've since taken every opportunity to see Kevin Smith talk live, probably a couple dozen times by now.
This story is a loving homage to Frank Miller's work on Daredevil, specifically the "Born Again" series, which I had not read at the time, so did not appreciate. I've come to love that series (hint hint) and it's complicated the question of how to appreciate this homage series in my mind. In "Born Again", Kingpin tore at Daredevil's life, trying to take away hope. In this, a MYSTERIOus villain attempts to claw at Daredevil's faith.
The story is mostly wrapped up in 7 issues. The villain stands revealed and dead. But Daredevil is left to deal with the insanity of just how many people, including Karen Page, died for seemingly no reason.
In need of a friend, Spider-Man is there. As Daredevil struggles to make sense of it all, blaming himself and all superheroes for their failings and these mad vendettas they end up entangled with, Spider-Man provides him the needed perspective to restore balance: "You saved that baby girl's life."
This was almost on my list as well since, off the top of my head, it's the only example of an Eternals story written by someone other than Kirby that I think is any good and the first really great Thor epic after several years during which the series had languished, from around #200 or shortly thereafter.
I only wish there were more Eternals - and New Gods - crossovers I could consider favourites, but the sad truth is that both sets of characters have been treated with more or less contempt since their respective original series.