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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #18

Here’s #18! Click here for the master list!


New Mutants #18

This was a difficult choice to make, as the decision came down to this issue and the first appearances of two great, if relatively minor, characters/groups – Mary Marvel in Captain Marvel Adventures #18 and the Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Super-Heroes #18.

Both Mary and the Guardians would be quite reasonable choices if there was not a more prominent book at the number, but I think that, ultimately, the first issue by Bill Sienkiewicz stands out more than either of those two issues (particularly Mary’s introduction – I mean, come on, people – who among you instantly knew where Mary Marvel first appeared?) – as New Mutants #18 is the type of book that I think this countdown is about – important comic book issues that people remember as the issue number. Offhand, people can tell you when Sienkiewicz started on New Mutants – it was a landmark issue.

On Moon Knight, Sienkiewicz had already gone from a Neal Adams knock-off to an extremely innovative artist, but it was in the pages of New Mutants that Sienkiewicz would take that style and expose it to a much larger audience, and therefore establish himself as a comic artist superstar.

Would he go on to do better work than New Mutants?

Of course.

But for a time there, Sienkiewicz was one of the most popular artists in comics while also being one of the most critically acclaimed artists in his comics, for his unique and innovative approaches to storytelling and character design.

Years later, his run on New Mutants would be one of the few runs on the Top Runs list that was clearly dominated by the artist, not the writer (although Chris Claremont’s scripts during their run were well-regarded, as well).

It certainly is not a no-brainer, but I think New Mutants #18 is the most prominent comic book at the number 18.

Fantastic Four #18 featured the debut of the Super Skrull, so you could mention it as a prominent #18, as well!


Hey, don’t forget Captain Marvel Adventures #18 was also the debut of Uncle Marvel.

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 2, 2008 at 4:38 am

An unforgettable classic.

Without question, the Demon Bear arc was the best story in the whole run. Bill’s bizarre art lent itself wonderfully to the otherworldly nature of the story.

Mike Loughlin

July 2, 2008 at 6:50 am

I see the cover, and several images from within the comic flash through my head. Great choice!

Quasar #18 features the rectonned costume change (which will go on to save the world in issue #25). it also features the more-or-less only appearance of Origin and Unbeing, cosmic characters at war with each other who can create or destroy superheroes on a whim. They’re living in a suburb, disguised as (Origin) a enthusiatic teen) and (Unbeing) a bitter old women. A bit of an obvious analogy for comic book creators, who have life and-death powers over their characters. Also I believe it’s the first work of Greg Capullo, who went on to do some X-books and then a long run on Spawn.

New Mutants 18 was an amazing book. I remember finding two copies randomly laying on the shelf at a dollar store, and scooping both up. I’m not sure what I was going to do with them, but I felt like I had found a hidden treasure cache.

Why do you hate the Marvel Family, Cronin?

The New Mutants was truly an awful series before Sienkiewicz came on board. I bought them all and was never impressed, but I didn’t realize how bad they were until i read them all in a row. Even the Sienkiewicz stuff is disappointing today because the paper in the original comics does not support his style of art at all. It’s a murky mess, especially as the paper ages. I sold off my whole collection of New Mutants a few years back. I’m sure they all went for a pittance.

The opening page that merges the bear with Dani’s quilt is just brilliant, though in general I’m not a huge Sienkiewicz fan.

I am also shocked and saddened by your favoritism when it comes to Marvel alternate future. Way to dis Killraven, of Amazing Adventures #18 fame.

But yeah, this issue took New Mutants to a whole new, much less hokey level, at least as far as the art went.

Transmetropolitan #18 is the emotional core of the entire series-the entire run is divided starkly by the events at the end of that issue, with everything before leading up to it and everything after flowing out of it.

Wasteland #18 was another final issue, this one with a strange, even by that book’s standard, single story that drew in plots and concepts from as many different of the already strange stories it anthologized.

Why do you hate the Marvel Family, Cronin?

Yeah, I know! Talk about stupid randomness!

I used a random sequence generator to get the order, and it resulted in back-to-back screwings of the Marvel Family! :)

(by the by, while I used the random sequence generator for 46 out of the 48 numbers, I did specifically choose the last two numbers of the list on my own)

New Mutants was a decent, but ultamately forgetable series up until issue 18. Seriously, a person could start reading with this issue and never have to read the ones that came before. It wasn’t just that the art changed, but it was referenced in character when the others commented that Rhane’s werewolf form looked different.

Starting with this issue, the characters started to grow past the somewhat hokey proto-personalities they had before. The series took on a more serious tone. And, even the supporting cast made the jump from people who fill the page to people the reader cares and worries about.

Fantastic choice.


The New Mutants really started to hit stride with the introduction of Illyana to the team, but Sienkwicz taking on the art took it to a whole new level again.

New Mutants was, is and likely will remain a huge favourite of mine, but The Demon Bear Saga was probably the start of its true greatness.

For my money, the most memorable #18 would be Runaways #18, featuring the death of Gert.

Man of Steel 18 is the first Doomsday, and that does feel like a number people remember.

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