web stats

CSBG Archive

Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #1

Here’s #1! Click here for the master list!


Action Comics #1

This is it, the big bad voodoo daddy of them all, the first appearance of Superman!

As has been detailed a lot during the discussions of the copyright case by Jerry Siegel and DC Comics, this issue ends up adding basically the foundation of the entire Superman character – his basic costume, his identity as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter (we even get to see Clark being mild-mannered!), his awkward relationship with fellow reporter, Lois Lane, his basic super powers and his origin as being the last son of a dying world (Krypton had not yet been given a name as of Action Comics #1).

The issue was meant to be a comic strip – so Siegel and Shuster had to cut and paste the strips in a way so as to form a comic book story.

The comic does not ONLY have Superman – it also includes the first appearance of the magician, Zatara, who would later go on to have a more famous daughter named Zatanna. Zatara was created by Fred Guardineer, who wrote and drew the story in this issue.

Otherwise, the pickings are slim in this issue – Sticky-Mitt Stimson, Scoop Scanlon, Pep Morgan, Chuck Dawson and Tex Thomson!

While this had to be the pick, other notable first issues would be Fantastic Four #1, featuring the debut of the Fantastic Four, X-Men #1 (the introduction of Magneto, Cyclops, Professor X, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel and Iceman), Giant-Size X-Men #1 (the debut of Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus – as well as the formation of the All-New, All-Different X-Men), Incredible Hulk #1 (the debut of the Hulk) and Flash Comics #1 (debut of both the Golden Age Flash AND the Golden Age Hawkman).


Really, what else is it going to be? If it’s the single most important issue EVER, there really is no other choice. Easily, this is your easiest pick on the list. I anticipate you getting some flack for #2, though. There are SOOOOOOO many appropriate choice like Detective 27, FF 1, X-Men 1, Flash 1, etc.

Actually number 2 should be pretty easy, Big Red Cheese anyone??

Ooh. I like this idea. A lot. And while I don’t want to sit around playing a guessing game, I hope #11 is Starman, because that issue completely rules in every possible way.

Hm, we can isolate a few other numbers:

#27 – Well, duh.
#15 – Also.
#4 – I’m assuming Showcase #4, since that was the start of the Silver Age.

Don’t want to speculate beyond the blindingly obvious. I mean, I’d love for #21 to be GI Joe #21 (the silent issue), but I’m not going to get into that particular fight again. :)

This’ll be fun. I think I can probably guess half a dozen entries off the top of my head. I’ll be interested to see the entries for 21 and 41.

“#4 – I’m assuming Showcase #4, since that was the start of the Silver Age.”

Could be Avengers #4.

Marvel Comics #1, the first super anti-hero, Sub-Mariner, the Human Torch, Ka-Zar, and the Angel. The title would also see the first crossover (Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch), and the first title character vs. title character battle between Subby and the Torch. And wasn’t that the first two-issue comic book superhero story as well?

I feel bad for all the Zatara fans who just want to own a copy of their favorite character’s first appearance, but can’t because some dude in a cape prices the book into the stratosphere :)

I love this as well – it’s like coming up with the best athletes to wear a number.

I assume #48 will be FF, intro of Silver Surfer.


#38 Detective Comics (1st Robin)
#28 Brave & the Bold (1st JLA)
#23 Action Comics (1st Lex Luther)
#22 Showcase (1st Silver Age Green Lantern)
#16 All American (1st Golden Age Green Lantern)
#15 Amazing Fantasy (1st Spiderman)
#14 Amazing Spiderman (1st Green Goblin)
#7 Action Comics (2nd Superman Cover)
#6 Showcase (first Challengers of the Unknown)
#5 Fantastic Four (1st Doctor Doom)
#4 Showcase (1st Silver Age Flash)
#3 All Star Comics (1st JSA)
#2 Whiz (1st Captain Marvel)

avengers63, I think you have misinterpreted this list.

I thought FF no. 49 would be a candidate for 49, just ’cause it’s a cool Galactus issue, but no. 48 makes much more sense for Galactus/Silver Surfer value.

So I’m pretty stumped as to what 49 will be. I guess there aren’t any momentous first appearances, so maybe it’ll just be a cool, significant moment sort of thing:

God biting Jesse’s eye in Preacher?
Morpheus killing Orpheus in Sandman?
Daredevil carving Bullseye up in Daredevil vol. 2? (actually I hope not, didn’t like that arc so much)

The mind boggles!

Although I hope to see a couple of Alan Moore Swamp Things in the mix (21 and 37 pop to mind).

I love this idea, can already see the arguments kicking off already:
#4: Flash or Captain America?
#48: Silver Surfer or Power Man and Iron Fist?
#2: Captain Marvel or Judge Dredd?

Whichever one you pick for any of these I can guarantee you will still be wrong. :)

More contenders to fill out the list:

41. Ennis’s first Hellblazer (and American debut)
39. First Romita Spidey or first Iron Man in Tales of Suspense
34. Hitman guest-starring Superman?
19. Morrison’s first Doom Patrol
16. Avengers Kooky Quartet debut
15. Violent-est Miracleman ever
11. I personally would love to see Hellblazer’s “Newcastle” story or “The Strange Death of Adam Warlock” (besides the cool story, it’s possibly my favorite cover ever) although I suspect Watchmen may be a contender for its shock value
8. Secret Wars? (black costume) no, wait, Death’s debut in Sandman

I must go eat food before I get carried away any further.

I had 8 pegged as the corresponding issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths, personally, although that’s coming as a Flash fan. #7 might be a better Crisis choice, as one of the most iconic cover images in comics history (even if it’s something of a swipe / homage).

CRAIG: You’re right. I missed it. DOH! And what’s all this egg doing on my face?

“41. Ennis’s first Hellblazer”

Personally, I would go for Alan Moore’s first issue of Supreme, but I suppose Ennis’ debut is the more notable.

What else comes to mind…

#25- FF (Hulk vs. Thing)
#33- Spider-Man (the famous trapped under a machine sequence)
#35 – Tales to Astonish (first Ant-Man in costume)
#40- Spider-Man (the origin of the Green Goblin)
#44- Fantastic Four ( Joe Sinnott starts inking the title)

#21-Swamp Thing (Alan Moore’s “Anatomy Lesson” story)

#7 – what about Daredevil #7 for the new red costume by Wally Wood and the improbable battle against the Submariner?

I’m just glad that I already have the list in place, or else some of these arguments might sway me one way or the other. ;)

Either #23 or #38 ought to go to Suicide Squad (First Oracle reference and the reveal that Oracle was Barbara Gordon, respectively.)

I’d pick #34 for Swamp Thing (Rite of Spring rather than The Anatomy Lesson)

#8 is clearly Sandman (First appearance of Death).

For #12, it’s a toss-up between Camelot 3000 and Secret Wars, for inventing the Maxi-series. Do you give it to the first to start, or the first to finish by a country mile, though?

And if #32 isn’t Quantum and Woody, I’ll be very sad…

13 could be Ultimate Spider-Man, when he reveals himself to Mary Jane.

#94 – X-Men, first regular issue with the new team.

That’s about all I can think of. :\


June 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm

#0 – Starman.

#4 – X-men… first Omega Red.


June 23, 2008 at 10:01 pm

13 could be Ultimate Spider-Man, when he reveals himself to Mary Jane.

Am I the only person who snickered when they read that?

16 – All-American First Alan Scott Green Lantern, THE standard by which Green Lanterns should be measured

21 – JLA First JLA/JSA team-up

Hey man, don’t dis Sticky-Mitt Stimson.

FunkyGreen – you propose the first appearance of Omega Red, and then mock someone for their Ultimate Spidey pick? I hope you were being sarcastic.

The silent issue of G.I. Joe would be a pretty kick ass pick for #21.
Grendel could be #20 or #24. #20 since that was when Wagner first ran with the idea of Grendel being more than just the next person to wear the mask, and #24 since it was the first appearance of my favorite Grendel after Hunter Rose, Eppy Thatcher.


June 24, 2008 at 12:47 am

FunkyGreen – you propose the first appearance of Omega Red, and then mock someone for their Ultimate Spidey pick? I hope you were being sarcastic.


Actually, I wasn’t mocking the pick, just the phrasing of it. ‘Reveals himself’ made me snicker – not the choice of issue, if anything, that was the issue that made me, and I’m assuming a lot of others, suddenly start paying a bit more attention to the Ultimate line – it was the one that made me decide to start picking up the trades, I’d read the first arc on Marvel.com and thought it was alright, but then I read that one online and realised that the book would be going in it’s own direction (whether it stuck to that though is a matter of debate).

8 could be All-Star Comics, with the first appearance of Wonder Woman. Granted, there are probably too many All Star comics on this list if you simply put all issues that had the first appearance of an important DC character.

11 could be Superman Annual (For the man who has everything)

The higher numbers seem like they’d be more interesting, simply because you move past the origin stories.

For #38, an earlier suggestion has the first appearance of Robin in Detective Comics. Hard to argue with that, but how about:

Legion of Super-Heroes v3 #38 — death of Superboy.

I wondered about ANNUALS. That opens up quite a few possibilities:

20. Spidey/MJ wedding (a good choice except for the fact that it never happened, of course)
11. Superman Moore/Gibbons
10. Avengers Annual, first Rogue and pretty cool story to boot
3. Reed/Sue Wedding

Other good contenders for other issues:

44. Teen Titans, first Nightwing
36. Spidey World Trade Center issue?
27. Neil Gaiman Hellblazer issue
26. First Bendis Daredevil
18. Sienciewicz’s first New Mutants
12. X-men, first Juggernaut, although I’m personally quite fond of the death of Guardian in Alpha Flight, quite the drama in my 11-year old eyes…

I think the top ten are pretty tough to call because so many characters were introduced in those numbers, it’s quite subjective which ones are the most significant. For issue three, one fan’s Doc Ock debut may be trumped by another fan’s Blob.

C’mon. I think we all know #11 has got to be Deadpool. I should have mentioned this issue in this week’s Snark Free Corner.

Why 1 to 50? Why not a #0 too?

here are some recomendations:

#11 or #12 Watchmen – 11 for the reveal or 12 for being the finale to the best comic series of all time
#5 FF – first Dr Doom!
#33 Walking Dead – Crazy Torture Issue!
#48 Walking Dead – Crazier Issue!
#15 Amazing Fantasy or Marvel Man
#21 GiJoe – its responsible for that horrible nuff said month!
#10 Preacher – that ending had my jaw dropped. I dont know, some issue of Preacher should make the list!
then skip from #50 to #60: Y The Last Man!!

or instead:

#1 Youngblood
#2 Daredevil Target
#3 Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk
#4 Hulk – first Red vs green hulk! OMG!
#5 Ultimates 3
#6 Ultimate Adventures
#7 Marville – we can become Marvel comic creators, this is going to work out great!
#8-#12 Wolverine Origins
#13 Byrne’s Lost Generation – the numbering is backwards!
#14-26 Wolverine Origins
#27-49 Countdown
#50 Tarot – boobies = stories

Starman would be helped by broadening of scope… it would easilz take both #0 and #1,000,000!

Some of my picks for the first 50-

#32 Promethea – one of the most intricately and innovatively constructed single issues of all-time, as well as the end of the world.
#8 Sandman – introduction of Death.
#11 has to be Deadpool, man. I know it’s already been said, but c’mon… the whole series is so nicely encapsulated in that issue.
#25 Captain America. See “Death of…”
#18 Marvel Super-Heroes, first Guardians of the Galaxy
21 Saga of the Swamp Thing, obviously

I would’ve had much more 10 years ago, but a lot of issue numbers have escaped my memory…

Every single issue of All-Star Superman should be on this list.

Quasar #1 introduced the idea that an aline villain would destroy the world, starting Quaze on his cataloging quest of every single earthbound alien in the 616 universe.

Brian, why are you randomly counting if you already know the actual picks? Are you making a comment on Countdown’s lack of direction?
I agree with the guy who suggested you add in a #0 for Starman.

This comic is more important than just introducing Superman: it almost single-handedly started the super-hero genre. A pretty good feat in a time of western comics and funnies.

For Comics I own. The list would be as follows.

#1 Crisis of the Infinite Earths: 1st appearance Blue Beetle in DCU? I read it noted somewhere but I’m not sure.

#2 X-Force Annual 2: I believe this was the debut of X-Treme. At one point in time he was really popular. I liked his ability.

#3 Alpha Flight (1st series) The Debut of the master of the world.

#4 X-Force (1st series) A crossover event with Spider-Man were they fought Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives