#1: Superman and Spider-Man (Marvel Treasury #28, 1981, Jim Shooter, John Buscema, and a host of other artists)
Come on, what else could be #1? The two marquee characters teaming up in a rousing adventure against credible threats (Doctor Doom and Parasite) requiring their collaboration, with a side of Wonder Woman and Hulk to make it extra-awesome (and fill some pages). It seems to me that Spider-Man got more character work, but perhaps that’s just treating each character as he should be treated.
That two of us have chosen this on the same day pleases me no end.
1. Superman and Batman, Brothers from World's Finest #172 (1967), by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan
I realize there's a good chance Kurt is going to disqualify this one, but it had to be my number 1 no matter what, so I'll accept ineligibility if necessary. The thing is, this is neither a typical Superman/Batman team-up nor even a part of the decades-long history of team-ups they shared in the pages of World's Finest.
This was one of DC's "Impossible Stories." In fact, I'd argue it was their absolute finest one, in which a young Bruce Wayne, having just witnessed the death of his parents, is adopted by a kind elderly couple by the last name of Kent. They happen to have another adopted son too. What follows is pure fan-boy glee, watching most everyone's two favorite boyhood heroes growing up together and fighting crime together, but then the story takes an unexpected twist when an adventure gone awry results in the death of the Kents. The meaningful transformations we see in both characters, and in their relationship with one another, is too rich, brilliant, and rewarding for a Silver Age DC book. It's probably in my Top 10 favorite individual comic book stories of all time, and (unlike the picks on the bottom of my list this year) the team-up at the center of it all was the primary draw that made it so memorable and enduring.
Last Edit: Dec 24, 2019 13:16:12 GMT -5 by shaxper
Post by beccabear67 on Dec 24, 2019 13:48:49 GMT -5
1. The Sub-Mariner & The Human Torch Marvel Mystery Comics #17 (March 1941, Marvel) Bill Everett & Carl Burgos
They fought in the past, but now facing the threat of the Japanese and the Nazis in the Pacific they are allies! This must've been written about a year before Pearl Harbor... and the same month and year as the first Captain America with it's much celebrated cover of him punching Adolph in the jaw! It doesn't get more historic for comic books I don't think. Why, without the Torch and Subby the axis powers might've established a beachhead in Alaska. Great dialogue at times between the two frenemies here too, they seem to be enjoying themselves as will most any reader... Everett & Burgos definitely taught Stan a thing or two.
also reprinted in Invaders #24 (January 1978, Marvel)
Post by M. W. Gallaher on Dec 24, 2019 13:58:01 GMT -5
1. Batman and Metamorpho in Brave & Bold #101 By Bob Haney and Jim Aparo Apr/May 1972, DC Comics
Issue 101 was not my first issue of Brave and Bold; that would have been issue 100. But 101 was the magic issue that converted me from a burgeoning collector to someone that wouldn't dare miss an issue of B&B for many years to follow, and a full-fledged collector and aficionado of the art form. With that special place in my heart, it had to be my Number One this year.
I didn't know Metamorpho. How could I? I'd only been reading comics for months, and Rex Mason's comic had been cancelled since 1968. But he was visually compelling, especially in the opening scene, where he's revived, drawn from a chemical bath supposedly intended to cure him, a bath he'd been submerged in for year, unchanged and dejected. Wow--this scene was like something out of the monster movies I was crazy about, just the kind of thing I'd delved into comics to find. I was really struck by the idea of a superhero that would spend three years submerged in chemicals, to undo his bizarre transformation!
So just the opening few pages trained this nascent comics fan in some important aspects of this shared superhero universe idea. There were characters from the past, cancelled and forgotten and potentially revivable at any time! There would be explanations for what characters had been up to while they were missing--a continuity, a speculative history that had to comply with the periodic pieces that readers consumed in real time. Metamorpho appealed to the young science geek, teaching about the elements in the human body, and had an awesome, crazy quilt design, and a monster face, unique colors, expansive, inventive power set...but this isn't favorite character CCChristmas, so let's get back to the team-up!
In the initial pages, Bob Haney and Jim Aparo acquaint us with one of Batman’s most dangerous villains, the Bounty Hunter, a one-armed assassin with a hundred disguises, one of the only criminals Batman’s never been able to catch! Little did I realize that this was an entirely new character, rather than some established nemesis that never appeared on the TV show. Another lesson for me: comics could invent plenty of complex history for characters that it hadn’t ever mentioned before!
(I can't believe I kept pace with this year's contest for once! Thanks, Kurt, for a terrific topic that resulted in a lot of fun lists!)
I get a very welcome intro to Metamorpho’s interesting supporting cast, thank you, Mr. Haney, another great sampling of Aparo’s art, with plenty of well-done real-world settings on top of the action fantasy with Metamorpho’s crazy power set, and what may have been Jim’s best rendered pretty girl in Sapphire Stagg, Rex’s hot-pants, go-go-boots-wearing girlfriend and target of the assassin! And a ripping story of murder-for-hire in a spooky mansion with a crypt…
Yep, if this is what comics had to offer, I was on board! And as a brand new Metamorpho fan, I was delighted to see the final caption of the story, telling me Metamorpho was heading for his own solo again, as a back-up in Action Comics. I would definitely be there!
Yes, this was the comic that really sealed the deal for me. Kirby had tempted me into the waters with an irresistible issue of Jimmy Olsen, and the various Superman family titles had been fun, and the previous B&B was a winner, but this, this was an all-around masterpiece to my young eyes.
When I met Aparo, this was the only comic I asked him to sign.
(I can't believe I kept pace with this year's contest for once! Thanks, Kurt, for a terrific topic that resulted in a lot of fun lists!)
Byrne the writer deserves the same respect as Byrne the artist if you ask me. I understand why folk like his art (I'm a fan), but I would like to see his writing being given praise too. I'm glad this has been included by many, and I am glad I put his Darkseid/Galactus tale at no. 2 on my list.
If DC/Marvel were to collaborate again, well it's a pipe dream but I'd like to see Byrne doing it. And how great that Batman/Cap went with the shared Earth approach!
One of the comics I dropped from my list was written by Byrne... Marvel Two-In-One #50. I only dropped it (would've been 3 or 4 on my list) as I wasn't sure about The Thing & The Thing as qualifying as a team-up (they mostly fight). Definitely one of my favorite single issue comics though, with two versions of one of the all-time great characters.
the Black Panther and the Inhumans Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Fantastic Four Annual #5 (Marvel 1967)
This and the issues of the regular FF series from around that time ( #68,69,70) were some of the first FF comics I read and it's this Annual that has always stood out in my memory. Both the Panther and the Inhumans quickly became favourites and even Psycho-Man, not usually ranked amongst the top FF villains, has always seemed to me to be up there with Doom and the others in my imagination.
Post by Slam_Bradley on Dec 24, 2019 15:23:14 GMT -5
Mad #56 "The Mad Comic Opera" (EC 1960). Dick Tracy, Tarzan, Little Orphan Annie and just about any other comic strip character you can come up with.
On the twelfth day of Christmas Jacobs and Woody gave to me...the Funnies.
This is Mad at its anarchic best. Jacobs and Wood (at his absolute best) bring us an opera of comic strip characters singing to the tune of show tunes. The plot is that Tarzan has come to the city looking for a wife and helps Tracy who is trying to rescue Orphan Annie who has been kidnapped by Rex Morgan. But mostly it's an exercise in madness and silliness.
For me this is the ultimate Mad. Jacobs is on point at every turn and I really think this may be the best thing that Woody ever did. I just makes me happy.
1. The Thing and Spider-Man - Marvel Two-In-One #90 (Marvel, 1982)
As soon as this year's contest was announced, this was the only comic that immediately jumped into my mind. Admittedly, this is an utterly nostalgic pick because this was the first proper colour Marvel comic I'd ever seen or indeed bought. Prior to this, my only experience with Marvel or DC was black and white UK reprints. Seeing a comic that was completely in colour at age 9 was a mindblower.
Anyway, irrespective of its sentimental value to me, this is legitimately a great team-up. It's written by Jan Strnad, who I don't believe I've ever read anything by before, and drawn by Alan Kupperberg and inked by Jim Mooney...and the art is very nice and serves the story well. In a nutshell, the story involves a mediocre magician at a New York City renaissance fair who becomes possessed by an evil wizard from another dimension. Luckily, Ben Grimm and Peter Parker happen to be at the renaissance fair too, so the Thing and Spider-Man save the day. It's actually a much better story than it sounds...or maybe it isn't and my nostalgia is just colouring my view of it. Whatever, I like it, so here it is!
Last Edit: Dec 24, 2019 15:47:04 GMT -5 by Confessor
Post by Paste Pot Paul on Dec 24, 2019 16:52:48 GMT -5
1. Flash 123
Flash and Jay Garrick
DC Comics 1961
Fox and Infantino
Im still not sure if this will be eligible, but as Kurt's off to his family and no-one is watching lets throw it out there.
Now Im sure it qualifies as they have never really been team-mates, and Jay isnt a regular in Barrys book. And if semi-regular meetings in Flash or JLA disqualifies him, then doesnt it also disqualify most Batman or Superman team-ups as they would have met everyone multiple times by now.
Ive no idea where I first read this, an Australian reprint no doubt(probably reprinting an American reprint issue), but it has always stuck with me for a number of reasons. At that stage (pre-teen to early teens) Flash especially by Infantino was a great favorite. The stunning layouts, cheeky text boxes with hands, and the clever ways he would find to use his power. Then there was that even awsomer looking Flash from the JSA, and when they met every so often in the JLA/JSA meetings I was in heaven. I also like the alternate earth aspect of the story. Ive talked before of my irrational love for alternate stories. These days there is also the appreciation for the historical aspect of the book. Bringing the Justice Society back from oblivion deserves some love.
Did I mention that Jay Garrick is and always will be the coolest looking Flash...bet your hat(helmet?) on it.
It was the year of fire… the year of destruction… the year we took back what was ours. It was the year of rebirth… the year of great sadness… the year of pain… and the year of joy. It was a new age. It was the end of history. It was the year everything changed.
Post by Icctrombone on Dec 24, 2019 17:20:26 GMT -5
Crossover-Superman/ Spider-man Issue- Marvel Treasury edition # 28 Writer- Jim Shooter/ Marv Wolfman Artist-John Buscema Inker- Joe Sinnott Publisher- Marvel/ DC Year- 1981
I'm going to make it a three-peat on day # 12. I love this book. It has the two flagship characters of the big two publishers and three of my all time creators in Jim Shooter and John Buscema and Joe Sinnott doing the honors. The story is great having Superman banging heads with Premiere villian Dr. Doom. I could just study the artwork for hours and the scenes involving Doom and Superman are awesome. Shooter captures the hero worship and respect that Superman receives and also the distrust and fear that Spider-man is used to being subjected to. He understands the characters and it makes the story much richer for it. Doom’s plan is to render all energy in the world useless and provide a type of energy to make himself absolute ruler. He uses the Hulk to destroy the prison where Superman villian , Parasite, is incarcerated. Parasite is to be Dooms enforcer after he absorbs the Hulk and Wonder Woman’s abilities, whom Doom captures. Well, Superman and Spider-man foil his plans but Doom escapes to his embassy at the end , citing Diplomatic immunity. Great story. Great action and great creators. What else do you need ?
This amazing scene has Superman withstanding thunderous blows from the Hulk. Yeah, I know it’s physically impossible to absorb those blows without moving but , damn Buscema makes it look amazing.
And then The greatest Superhero of all , solves the problem and calms the Hulk down.
Post by coke & comics on Dec 24, 2019 17:34:16 GMT -5
1. Dr. Doom and Magneto "A World for the Winning" from Super-Villain Team-Up #14 (Marvel, 1977)
by Bill Mantlo, Bob Hall, Don Perlin, and Duffy Vohland
Given the heavy role the Avengers play in the story, and that the story concludes in the pages of Champions, I double-checked the eligibility with Kurt. He allowed it grudgingly, but only this part, not the conclusion in Champions. But this was a clear #1 for me.
These are my favorite super-villains. And Dr. Doom has conquered the world. Like, it's over. He's won. His only enemy left is boredom. And out of that boredom, he gives Magneto a chance, a small chance, to free the world.
This story would get reused and reworked for Marvel Graphic Novel #27, "Emperor Doom", also by Bob Hall. And the bare premise of a super-villain in psychic control of an entire world has shown up here and there, since. Most recently in Tom King's Batman.
But this is the one. Doom's finest hour. The best story for Marvel's best villain.
"We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." ~Angel
"For all their indisputable intelligence, men take this farce as something serious, and that is their tragedy." ~Brothers Karamazov
1. Jennifer Mays & Gabe Webb/Ellery Queen, "The English Channeler Mystery: A Problem in Deduction", The Maze Agency #9 (Innovation. 1990)
And now it is time to answer the burning question that has been plaguing the minds of of all the old hand here at 12 Days. Namely, "Will foxley be able to shoehorn The Maze Agency into this year's list?". The answer: You betcha!
But first a word on eligibility. I did check this entry with Cei-U. Although Ellery is first and foremost a literary creation, he was, in his day, a multimedia star, appearing in just about every format: film, radio, television (starring the incomparable Jim Hutton) and, yes, even comics. Ellery had his own feature in Crackajack Funnies from #23 to #42, and two short runs of his own title from Superior (4 issues) and Ziff-Davis (2 issues).
Ellery seems largely forgotten these days, but trends in mysteries are cyclical, I'm sure he'll be back. Given how the excellent TV series featuring Poirot, Miss Marple and Father Brown have revived interest in those characters, perhaps the same could be done with Ellery. A period piece in the 1940s/50s perhaps?
But enough of my televisual musings. On with the funny books!
As with yesterday's entry, I will largely be recycling my words from last year, as my reasons for loving this book have not changed.
Mike Barr is a mystery novelist as well as comics writer. And his favourite detective is Ellery Queen. He even admits that the character of Gabe in The Maze Agency is based in part on Ellery. So with 1989 marking the 60th anniversary of Ellery Queen, Mike got permission from the Queen estate to pen the first new Ellery Queen story in 14 years.
Old hands at 12 Days will know of my love for The Maze Agency. And, to my mind, this is the best issue of the series. Having the opportunity to write for his idol seems to bring out the best in Barr, and he pens an 'impossible crime' worthy of the Maestro himself. Adam Hughes' art has never looked better (that's right, kids. Adam Hughes used to do interior art!) And Rick Magyar's inks bring out the best in Hughes' pencils.
So the best issue of my favourite series featuring one of favourite fictional detectives? Take this one to the bank (and my #01 slot).
And here's AH's EQ (and you have no idea how much fun that was to write):
It's already the 25th here in the land down under, so I will take this opportunity to wish a very merry Christmas to my Classic Comics family, and an especial thanks to Cei-U whose annual challenge gives me something to look forward to at this time of year.