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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #23

Here’s #23! Click here for the master list!


Action Comics #23

This issue actually contains (I believe) three notable firsts!

It is the first issue of Action Comics (heck, maybe even all DC Comics, period!) to feature the DC bullet on the cover!

I BELIEVE that it is the first comic book appearance of the Daily Planet (not positive on that).

It also happens to be the first appearance of one of the three most famous supervillains in all of comic book history, Lex Luthor!!

In the first story, Luthor appears with red hair! He is a fairly traditional pulp villain, although Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster continue their vaguely activist approach for Superman, as here, the main villainy of Luthor is war profiteering!!

Luthor has manipulated the countries of Galonia and Toran into warring with each other, so that he can sell munitions to both countries. Lois and Clark are over there investigating the war, and Lois is subsequently captured.

Superman saves her from Luthor AND stops the war!

Superman sure is awesome, no?

This issue also features the standard Action Comics back-ups, like Clip Carson, Tex Thomson and, of course, Zatara!

Other notable #23 issues include some particularly strong issues of Grant Morrison’s Animal Man, Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four, Ditko/Lee Amazing Spider-Man and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.


Interesting. So the Post-Crisis Luthor wasn’t so much a retcon as a return to his roots.

Yeah, definitely in the whole “profiteering” way, but I think the original Luthor was a lot more shady than Post-Crisis Luthor (in terms of public appearances).

I mean the dude worked out of a dirigible! :) Doesn’t that just scream pulp villain?

Who’s the third most famous villain? Magneto? Or was that a joke?

“Who’s the third most famous villain? Magneto? Or was that a joke?”

Doom I would guess.

For your consideration:

I don’t know if you have a “24” already, but Flash #24 ( the Wally series ) it’s one of my favorite single issues ever.
After the love for the Messner Loebs run here on the forums the last time, maybe it’s to consider this character study into Wally, his supporting cast, and his powers, before the Speed Force nonsense.
It’s also a non-superheroics of powers issue of a superhero comic, and yet, more super than whole series for other characters.

Quasar #23: Eon, the Ganthet-like cosmic entity that gave Quasar his quantum bands, is ont he verge of being taken over by Maelstrom, and begs Quasar to ptu two in his medulla (or whatever it is that a cosmic entity that looks like Swamp Thing’s dump has instead of a brain). Quasar sadly obliges, killing his own mentor.

I have no idea who Brian meant as the “three most famous supervillains”. But I’d say Lex and several of the Batman villains who featured on the Adam West TV show – Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, maybe Mr. Freeze – are more famous with the general public than any others.

If you walk up to the average Joe on the street, he’ll probably recognize The Penguin before Dr. Doom.

Green Goblin was my first thought but Doom makes sense.


Y’all are all wet. The 1 & 2 spots go to Luthor & Joker, but the #3 can be none other than Cockroach. Dude lived in harmony with big roaches. If that ain’t enough for ya, then take a look at his superfly pimp suit and 6-barreled shotgun.

My snarky thanks to the GCD for these images. :)

Joker has to be in the top three.

The new superhero movie landscape changes everything, so either Magneto or Green Goblin is probably the third.

Of course, this assumes that Brian put some scientific research into his statement.

I feel like I’m on FAMILY FEUD. “Good answer! Good answer!” “Show… me…. MAGNETO!”

Superman sure got it done back in the day. Also, we need more evil dirigible headquarters in comics today, if you ask me.

Luthor, Joker…and Catwoman? Would most people think of her as a villain? Luthor and Joker are such gimmes, it’s hard to come up with a definitive third. Green Goblin and Magneto because of the movies. Doom because he’s awesome. Assorted Batman rogues, because of the TV show. It’s tough to say.

I bet “three” was casually tossed out just to toy with us…

Having an evil dirigible when facing someone who employs heat vision as his main weapon seems… I don’t know, a bit short-sighted?

(no pun intended on that last bit)

Doom’s probably #3 (as Brian specifically said “comic book”), but I’d point out that Zod’s practically made the same pop-culture jump that Joker and Luthor has at this point. People may not be able to pick Doom out of a lineup, but will chuckle if you use “Kneel Before Zod” in practically any context. :)

If we’re going by pop-culture influence, Bizarro is probably ahead of Zod, thanks to Seinfeld.

Pre-Crisis, they’d occasionally bring this early version back as the Earth-2 Alexei Luthor, most notably in the DC Comics Presents Annual that had the Luthors of Earths 1, 2 and 3 meet.

“Bizarro is probably ahead of Zod, thanks to Seinfeld.”

I think a lot of people use the term Bizzaro to mean reverse without knowing its origin.

I bet “three” was casually tossed out just to toy with us…

(whistles innocently)


June 26, 2008 at 5:46 pm

What’s important about Swampthing #23 and Sandman #23?

I think that he intends to mention the awesomeness of every issue of those four series for every number that has no notable runners up.

I mean five.

“I think a lot of people use the term Bizzaro to mean reverse without knowing its origin.”

That’s been my experience, too. I named my car “Bizarro”, because it’s a chalky white color, and my friend had the same model for a couple years before I got mine. When I tell people, they understand the reasoning of it being a doppelganger to my friend’s car, but are surprised to hear about the Superman character.

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about. That’s one of the best ones yet. A little unseen history.

I missed this alternate when this was originally posted, but Suicide Squad #23 was the first “appearance” of Oracle. (It would be a few more issues before anyone found out who she was, but that was when the squad started getting intel from that source…)

it doesn’t beat luthor, but moon knight 23 has possibly my favorite comic cover ever.

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