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Saturday, November 18, 2006
My Favourite Comic Stories Of All Time *
This is the sort of list you'd think I'd find easy to compose, but in reality I'm sure I'll forget something completely obvious as I try to think of the Top 10, the ones I've loved the most over 35 years of reading comics. And I'm focusing on specific stories here, rather than entire series or runs.
* And because Alan Moore's work would tend to dominate any such list, I'm going to exclude all things Moore from this offering. I may do a Top 10 of Alan's stuff later!
10) The Avengers/Defenders War in Avengers #s 115 - 118 and Defenders #s 8 - 11. The first large-scale crossover event between two titles, this was the ultimate geek-out of its day. The two biggest Marvel teams went head-to-head, and back and forth between titles, for four months, with fan favourite battles like the Hulk vs Thor and (former Invaders teammates) Captain America taking on the Sub-Mariner. Even as a lad of 11 or 12 at the time, I knew greatness when I read it! This is one of the few on this list that I haven't re-read recently, so I'm reluctant to put it any higher than # 10, in case it doesn't stand the test of time.
9) JLA vs the White Martians in JLA (Vol ?) #s 1 - 4. I wrote about this recently in praising Brad Meltzer's current run so nuff said on that.
8) The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. I still remember how this one blew me away in terms of taking a fresh approach to telling a superhero story in comic form. It's always a treat to re-read.
7) The Death of Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man #s 121 & 122. You can keep Mary Jane, I'm a Gwen kinda guy. A little piece of me died at the Goblin's hands too, I think. I was a long time recovering from this tragedy, maybe as long as Peter Parker himself.
6) Daredevil vs Elektra vs Bullseye in Daredevil #s 167 - 181. This storyline weaves through those 15 issues, starting with Elektra's intro in # 167 and culminating in her death in # 181. The best part of the Ben Affleck DD movie was its inclusion of some of this drama, which remains my favourite DD story ever.
5) The Kree/Skrull and Olympian Wars in Avengers # 92 - 100. A bit of a cheat, because it's actually two different stories, but they came bang! bang! in those 9 issues, with artwork by the incomparable Neal Adams and Barry Smith. I think they're the best Avengers tales ever, coming at the end of a phenomenal run that had started a few years earlier.
4) The Death of Supergirl in Crisis on Infinite Earths # 7. Not content that Marvel had killed off my precious Gwen Stacy a decade earlier, DC went ahead and broke my heart a second time by making Supergirl pine for the fjords after saving the universe. At least she died a heroine, unlike the crap they pulled a few years later with Hal "Green Lantern" Jordan.
3) JLA/Avengers crossover in JLA/Avengers #s 1 - 4. If the Avengers/Defenders War was the ultimate wet dream for fans in the 70s, then this miniseries should claim that title over the past decade and a half. Having George Perez provide the artwork made this an historic event in my life, as proven by the three pieces of original artwork from it that are proudly displayed on my living room wall.
2) The Crisis on Earth-1 & Earth-2 in JLA (Vol I) #s 21 & 22. This was the start of an annual tradition of having the Earth-1 JLA and Earth-2 JSA meet up, that I looked foward to for more than a decade (it had started before I even began reading comics). I can only imagine what it must've felt like to have read this story at the time it came out; even reading it years later, it gave me goosebumps for the historic significance and purity.
1) Superman vs the Amazing Spider-Man. The Big One. The Alpha and Omega of my life as a comic fan, sad as that is to say. If you haven't already, read my love letter to this oversized treaure.