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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #13

Here’s #13! Click here for the master list!


Ultimate Spider-Man #13

There was already a considerable amount of buzz around Ultimate Spider-Man by the time issue #13 came out. Brian Michael Bendis had established himself as a major force at Marvel Comics, and Mark Bagley had his career completely rejuvinated – and yet they both managed to outdo themselves with the critically acclaimed thirteenth issue, in which Peter Parker reveals his secret identity to Mary Jane Watson.

While I mentioned Bagley, this issue was almost completely about the writing (if I recall correctly, a great deal of the panels were photostats) of Bendis, as he explored the reaction of Mary Jane as well as the reaction of Peter to her reaction – all the while, clearly establishing that Ultimate Spider-Man was departing from the style of stories that Amazing Spider-Man was telling dramatically.

The issue, which was almost entirely dialogue, was later revisited by Bendis on the title a few times. In fact, I would say that most of the most notable issues of this popular series were the ones where Bendis is given room to just create a sort of two-person mini-play. The recent issue with the Shocker and Spider-Man (#122?) followed in the footsteps of this issue, with its tense dialogue between two characters.

The first appearance of Mysterio in Amazing Spider-Man #13 is certainly important, but I do not think that issue stands out as much as this issue does – when you think of Amazing Spider-Man issues, #13 would not crack the top twenty. If you think of Ultimate Spider-Man issues, #13 is at or right next to the top of the list, and the book maintains a nice cultural resonance.


I don’t think anything meaningful can be found in the Ultimate universe.

My pick?

FF 13: First Watcher.

Quasar #13 introduced another one of Mark Gruenwald’s pet favorites from another dimention into ours: the Squadron Surpreme, a purposefully obvious JLA stand-in who Gruenwald used to brilliantly explore (in the Squadron Surpeme 12-issue miniseries) what would happen if superheroes actually tried to solve all the world’s problems.

Bonus trivia: when Mark Gruenwald died, his cremated ashes were mixed into the black ink of a Squadron Surpreme trade paperback.

“The issue, which was almost entirely dialogue,”

– Yeah I could have guessed that the moment I saw Bendis wrote it…

FF #13 has to trump this. The first appearance of the Watcher, the Red Ghost and Super Apes (as well as the first time the plot device of replicating the FF’s accident was used), and set up for the Inhumans on the Blue Area of the moon.

It’s also a pretty keen issue.

I’ve read both FF #13 and USM #13. USM #13 was a brilliant character story and the first thing that truly set apart 616 and Ultimate Spidey. FF #13 was classic goofy Silver Age that just happened to introduce some new characters and location, but as a story is quite unremarkable. Oh, and Grapeweasel, you might think nothing significant can be found in the Ultimate universe, but you are completely wrong. There are some great stories there that you never gave a chance simply because they weren’t your classic ones.

FF 13 has super apes. Its no contest really.

Invincible #13 is the Omni-Man fight isn’t it? Doesn’t that rate at all?

I am happy to finally see an entry that’s not Golden or Silver Age. Even though those eras produce more “significant” first appearances, I think it would be nice to see more issues that most people have bought and read first-hand rather than ones we’ve read about or seen referenced in price guides. That’s just my opinion, of course.

My own personal pick for 13 would have been, hands down, Sandman’s “Men of Good Fortune” featuring the introduction of Hob Gadling and his 600-year history with Morpheus. It remains one of my favorite single issues of any comic.


June 30, 2008 at 6:40 pm

I don’t think anything meaningful can be found in the Ultimate universe.


Because you don’t like it?

For once I’m not being facetious when I say that I’d put the origin of Blade in Tomb of Dracula #13 over this.

And hey, Showcase #13 was the first appearance of Mr. Element, Smash Comics #13 introduced Magno, and Action Comics #13 ushered in the Ultra Humanite!

(Oh yeah, and Marvel Super-Heroes #13 brought us someone named Carol Danvers. I wonder whatever became of her. )

But none of these mean a hill of beans next to the guy who first showed up in Tales to Astonish #13: Groot, the Monster from Planet X!


Because you don’t like it?

I just don’t see the need for it.

And the deviations from the old 616 seem to be rather silly.

Is there any need for any comics? Not really, and yet there they are, and everyone here enjoys them.

If anything, the Ultimate books are more needed than the 616 stuff. People new to comics don’t have nearly as much to catch up on with them.

Kyle – I think Invincible 13 does have the fight with Omni-Man, and I would rate it pretty high, since it defines the most popular independent superhero comic around (I don’t have any stats on that “most popular” thing, but it seems to be up there).

If you have a short attention span and no sense of history, then I guess the Ultimate Universe is perfect.

But it adds nothing to the mythology.

Creating is hard. Reinventing is easy.

Sayyyy, you* know who made his first comic book appearance in Superman lucky no. 13? Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen!

* Badhnesian Thunderbolts please note, not “cei-u.”

USM #13.. Meh

This is an absolutely superb issue. I lost interest in USM with the (Stupid and highly unnecessary, IMO) death of Gwen, but I loved USM at its start and this for me has to be the pinnacle of all the issues I read. It really is superbly written, with Bendis playing well to his strengths as a writer and creating one of the most memorable single issue stories I can recall.

Excellent choice.

USM 13 is the reason i read comics, more specifically the issue 7 of the British version, witch incorporated issue 12 as well. The pare together are arguably a perfect comic setup, with the high octain extremely well drawn action sequence of ‘Battle Royal’ coupled with the very personal development that takes place in confections.

And as for the relevance of Universe, as mentioned before, its how i started into comics. I would never in a million years pick up Batman 467, or amazing spidy 388. But issue 7 is something u feel u might still be able to get in to. The whole idea of Ultimate U is that its different to just Another 616 book with the same charters, they can do different things, and be different people.

[I agree with Mr Kane, WTF did they kill Gwen!? the one thing in USM that i’ve not really gotten behind even post the fact]

“The issue, which was almost entirely dialogue,”

– Yeah I could have guessed that the moment I saw Bendis wrote it…


shocked no one has mentioned the conclusion of batman the long halloween, with the introduction of two face, the death of carmine falcone, and the wrap up of a very good series.

also agree that men of good fortune should at least have gotten an honorable mention.

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