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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #38

Here’s #38! Click here for the master list!


Detective Comics #38

While there may be a real challenger that I am overlooking, I am pretty sure that this is one of the clearer decisions on the list, as the first appearance of Robin in Detective Comics #38 is not only extremely important, comic history-wise, but the cover of the comic is also a total classic.

There had been kid sidekicks before in fiction, of course, but this was the first kid sidekick to a superhero, and soon, basically EVERY hero had to have one (with Superman and Wonder Woman being the notable exceptions – and I guess Namor didn’t have one, either).

Not only is it an important issue, it is also a good one – Bill Finger presents a strong debut for Robin (after Jerry Robinson gave him a strong foundation to work on with the idea of a colorful young sidekick to Batman, inspired by the colorful Robin Hood of picturebooks), with a striking origin that gets across the point of the character so well that there have been relatively few changes to Finger’s original story over the years.

Probably the biggest challenger to #38 would be Steve Ditko’s last issue of Amazing Spider-Man, #38, but it is not much of a contest, really.


Legion of Super Heroes v.3 #38 – Death of Superboy and (for a Legion fan, at least) one of the most memorable covers ever. An official end of an era from which the Legion has never truly recovered.

In fact #38 is rather notorious for Legion fans. LSH v.4 #38 saw the earth blow up, and Legion #38 was the last issue of the Reboot Legion.

Can I save that that guy from the other days the trouble and throw Quasar #38 and whatever happened in that issue out there, just to get that over with?

Have a good day.
John Cage

Excellent point, KRose, during my first go-around, I considered both Superboy’s death AND the destruction of the Earth until I realized they were both #38. I should definitely have mentioned them in the honorable mentions!

i woulda gone for ditko’s last spidey – end of an era. otherwise this list is gonna be the debut top 50. and robin ruins batman.

“Robin ruins Batman” only holds true if you’re talking about the Schumacker movies.

Much as I love Legion of Super Heroes v.3 #38, and that era of the Legion, this was a great choice. The sidekick led to many characters introduced who, while no longer sidekicks, are still around today mainly in the DCU. Robin/Nightwing, Flash/Wally West, Aqualad/Tempest, Troia/Wonder Girl (yes, she didn’t start out as a side-kick), Speedy/Arsenal…and those are just the Titans! Never mind all the other 3rd generation DC characters.

Didn’t Namor have Subby? or am I imagining that?

Namor had Namora as a kind of sidekick. They were cousins, I think.

Superman kinda had Jimmy Olsen as a side-kick.

Didn’t Superman have a dog as a sidekick at some point?

Quasar #38 retroactively explained both what the hell the Secret Wars Dimension of Manifestation was AND where Magus was getting all his superheor dopplegangers in Infinite War: a cosmic entity called Anthropomorpho who gives abstract entities physical bodies. Evil clones of everyone was a pretty dumb idea (mostly to give all comics an easy-as-pie crossover opporttunity: fight your evil twin) but give Mark Gruenwald credit for trying to stitch together a halfway-decent explanation.

Robin, as the first sidekick, became the reader’s first real connection to the superhero.

I can’t argue with Robin’s first appearance, but I do think there is a brilliant contender (much better than you’re giving credit Brian) in New Teen Titans #38 – Who Is Donna Troy is probably my all-time favourite New Teen Titans story even though it’s been trampled upon continuity-wise nine ways to Sunday. Curiously, it also highlights Dick Grayson but as an adult, using the skills he found from the Batman to help someone albeit not in a superheroic way.

If anyone leaving a comment actually thinks there is a contender for this issue; I will be forced to take away your Merry Marvel Marching Society membership. ‘Nuff said!

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