And we’re back once again as we look at Wizard Magazine’s list of the top 100 single-issue comics from a seemingly arbitrary time period.
If you want to check back with comics #100-26 that got us to this point, click HERE.
With that, I’m VERY excited to get into this part of the list because, well, I’ve already had a look at what’s to come, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to drastically alter the top standing ten of my re-rankings at this point!
By Alan Brennert and Norm Breyfogle
We start quietly (for me, as far as writing is concerned) with a book that I reviewed much more in depth at some point! To read my full review of this comic, you can just click HERE.
But I re-read it, just for fun. It’s always fantastic.
By Peter David and Todd McFarlane
Hey, weird! The last section of this list had the problem before this one! The famous Hulk/Wolverine fight with McFarlane’s cover.
Either way, back in the days of Joe Fixit Hulk, Banner, Rick Jones and Clay Quartermain continue their journey across the country and try to stay off SHIELD’s radar as they lay out the plan for the intelligence agency to build a gamma arsenal. Hulk encounters Man-Bull, apparently a VERY OLD enemy of Daredevil, though the beast takes on the name the Hulk gives him, Savage. As the two fight, Jones sees Savage for what he really is…a man turned into a beast and without the wits to deal with it. Just like the Hulk once was. But this being the Fixit Hulk, he only resents Savage for that. So they fight, with Savage no match for the Hulk but refusing to stop fighting. He finally makes a plea to the Hulk: heal him or kill him. Fixit can’t do either, so he lets Savage be, handing him over to the townspeople who intend to kill him before Savage accidentally shows them his intelligence. Hulk leaves the whole scene behind with the population trying to figure out what to do and Savage being denied everything he wanted: release from his curse.
Really awesome, the glitch works as well as because it’s the Fixit Hulk. The old Hulk had met other monsters like him before, but he had never had the same contempt for them as Fixit! He doesn’t want to “cure” Savage because he hates Banner himself. And he doesn’t want to kill him because that makes Savage a coward. So instead of just having to prove he’s stronger, this Hulk has a lot more nuance to his emotions.
Can Peter David come back and write Hulk again, please? That’s all I want.
By Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Brooks
I loved Ultimate Spiderman! I know people are conflicted over Bendis. Hell, I’m conflicted over Bendis. But his Ultimate Spider-Man run is untouchable, and quite possibly my favorite run on Spidey by any writer of all time, which… considering how long he’s been in office, it’s… wow! For me, it’s Bendis’ USM, JM DeMatteis’ Spectacular Spider-Man tenure, Lee/Ditko time (in some order), and everything else for the top of the page.
This is a thoroughly charming and funny story set relatively early in USM lore, but after Peter and Mary Jane have had one of their many breakups. With Peter feeling like a loser and truly discovering how disconnected he is from his classmates, he gets a call from an equally depressed Kitty Pryde of the X-Men asking him out on a date. So the two go to the mall, share their feelings about what’s wrong with their lives, and then go beat The Shocker up for good measure.
The good thing about all of this is how long it lasted. Peter and Kitty dated for a while at USM after that, and she became a regular at his book. She remained a relevant character for the rest of Ultimate Peter’s life. She even dated Kong for a bit after Peter left her to get back together with Mary Jane. It was great to see Bendis create his own little Spider-Man fan-fiction universe for several years, and the arc that grew out of that story was such a strong part of that.
By Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins
SPEAKING ABOUT RUNS I LOVED…
Imagine being a Flash fan in the late 90s/early 2000s. We received a legendary run on the character of Mark Waid that really fleshed out Wally West as a character and made him an integral part of DC. And shortly after Waid left, Geoff Johns arrived and, ho-hum, just had an EVEN BETTER RACE SOME WAY. Waid perfected Wally, so Johns took it upon himself to perfect the world around him, including his villains. Johns took a dumb rogues gallery of guys with wands, heat guns, and mirrors, and he made them real in the flesh. And he didn’t do it any better than in Flash #182.
Don’t get me wrong, the art of Scott Kolins was as important to this run as the stories of Johns. It was a perfect marriage. And here they tell the story of Captain Cold as the thief seeks revenge for the death of his sister. We see their abusive father and their loving grandfather. We see where Cold got his weird glasses! After all of the backstory is over, Cold gets his showdown with Chillblaine. Snart gets a very vicious revenge and returns home to mourn his sister and show emotion for one of the few times in his life.
God what Johns did with the thieves. I need to read this whole race again, man. Captain Cold and Mirror Master and Grodd and Trickster and Zoom…it was one of those races that makes me think “comics will never be this good again”. I don’t want to look like an old man clinging to my past, but, uh… I am.
By Joe Kelly, Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo
Hey, nice little series of three books in a row that I bought in real time when they came out!
(And for a neat, if wickedly biased, look at what this issue meant for The Authority, check out the part of Jabroniville’s Deep Dive Into Image Comics where he covered it HERE)
It’s just one of the Superman books. One of those books that really shows what The Man Of Steel is. Are there fights in this comic? Yes, some absolutely brutal. But the point of the matter is not the fight, it’s the morality. This is one of those “This is who Superman IS” tales where it’s not about his strength, it’s about WHO he is. And the thing is, with his strength, we need him to be SUPERMAN. Do not accept any substitutes.
My wife is always trashing the comics because the heroes don’t solve all their problems. I should show him this book. Or at least the movie. Ha! She would hate it and side with the elite.
What a great stretch this is. Time to repile the list at this point and see what I would put where!
Current #1. Action comic #775
2. Lightning #182
3. Hitman #34
4. Sandman #18
5. Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1
6. Fantastic Four #60 / #489 (old numbering)
7. Animalman #7
8. Incredible Hulk #420
9. What if…? #4
10. Incredible Hulk #341
11. Sandman #17
12. X Factor #87
14. Batman: Holy Terror
15. Amazing Spiderman #248
16. Astro Town #1
17. Captain America #7
18. Tangled Web #4
19. Nightwing #25
20. Birds of Prey #8
21. Incredible Hulk #393
22. HERO #11
23. Green Lantern #188
24. Hitman #22
26. Ghost Rider Annual #2
27. 100 bullets #11
28. Strange X-Men #268
29. New Teen Titans #38
30. Planetary: Night on Earth
31. Iron Man #237
32. Avengers #217
33. Animal Man #16
34. Tremor #1
35. Batman B&W #4
36. Iron Man #128
38. Omega Men #26
39. Preacher Special: Cassidy – Blood and Whiskey
40. G.I. Joe #21
41. Incredible Hulk #340
42. Fables: The Last Castle
43. Legion of Super-Heroes #13
45. Annual Avengers #10
46. Batman B&W #1
47. Gotham Knights #8
48. Spider-Man Web #1
49. Thing #2
50. Preacher #50
51. Secret Origins Special #1
52. Exiles #16
53. Ghost Rider #68
54. Specter #5
55. New Teen Titans #20
56. Adventure Comics #466
57. Justice League Annual #1
58. Legion of Super-Heroes #3
59. Preacher #18
60. Batman Adventures Annual #1
61. Lex Luthor Special
62. Preacher: Big in the Saddle
63. Classic X-Men #25
64. The Adventures of Superman #474
65. Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1
66. Batman: Devil’s Asylum
67. Avengers #189
68. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15
69. Dark Horse Presents #1
70. Conan the Barbarian #100
71. Dr. Strange #56
72. Aliases #3
73. Hellblazer #63
74. Tales of the New Teen Titans: Cyborg
75. Fantastic Four #3 / #432
76. Punisher #10
77. Legion of Super-Heroes #296
78. American Century #9
79. Demo #3
80. Semper Fi #1
SEISMIC makes it to my lists here, because FOUR of those five make it into the top ten, and even the one that doesn’t make the top fifteen. That’s how this list should work!
Will the next batch be as strong as this one? Find out next time…
And until then, take care of yourself!