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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #19

Here’s #19! Click here for the master list!

Enjoy!

Doom Patrol #19

Today was an epic showdown between Doom Patrol #19 and The Sandman #19, the amazing Midsummer’s Night Dream issue.

Ultimately, as strong as the Gaiman issue is (and it is certainly better than Doom Patrol #19), I do not think it has the same notableness of Morrison’s first issue of Doom Patrol. I wasn’t even sure which issue of Sandman HAD the Midsummer’s Night Dream story in it!

While Doom Patrol #19 is a very famous issue, so it gets the nod, although it is a close decision.

Rarely in mainstream comics had a creator change been as dramatic (and as awesome) as the move from Paul Kupperberg to Grant Morrison in this, the first part of Crawling From the Wreckage (remember, Alan Moore’s first issue of Swamp Thing was relatively in keeping with the previous writers).

This is the issue we meet Crazy Jane, the woman who has split personalities – each one having his or her own superpower!!

What is so amazing to me is that while Morrison certainly represented a significant shift from Kupperberg, the book still was not SO different that a regular reader would become lost reading the new creative team – Morrison went slowly (like Moore, except Morrison went even faster than that).

Richard Case did a good job on the artwork.

So yeah, it gets the nod, but Neil Gaiman’s amazing issue of The Sandman deserves serious recognition (which it got – by winning a World Fantasy Award, an occurrence so dramatic that they changed the rules afterwards so that comic books were ineligible!)!!

Otherwise, FF #19 had the FF fight Rama-Tut, and Spidey struck back in Amazing #19!

Any other good #19s?

28 Comments

Random Stranger

July 9, 2008 at 4:17 am

Those two are a tough choice. I’d lean toward Midsummer Night’s Dream mainly due to the World Fantasy Award for short story which is the only time I’m aware of that a comic book has gone head to head with prose in a literary contest and won but I suspect that a poll on this one would be split right down the middle.

Matt Lazorwitz

July 9, 2008 at 4:48 am

Yeah, I would have gone with Midsummer Night, as I was sure it was going to be #19 from the start. This issue of Doom Patrol is good and all, but it’s not the the best of Morrison’s run, and as you said you didn’t know which Sandman was #19, I knew that but had no idea that this Doom Patrol was Morrison’s first.

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 9, 2008 at 5:34 am

A classic.
One of my favourites.

Bad call. This was good and much of a departure from the Doom Patrol comic that it was, but this does not compare to Mid Summer.

Personally I’d say Doom Patrol 19 was the right decision. It was the beginning of a bold new direction for the book and was quite revolutionary.

Sandman 19 on the other hand was just another issue of a comic which some people really liked. (Personally it’s about my least favourite issue of the series).

Quasar #19 introduced the seven-part Cosmos in Collision story, whcih included Quasar’s first death and resurrection, and led into the retcon that saved the world. But it also introduced a realistic side of a superheor with a secret identity: when on a date with his girlfriend, he simply told her he was Quasar. No years of deception, no her thinking he’s cheating on her for years, no idiotic reason to keep it a secret or her becoming the world’s dumbest human vbeing for not figuring it out.

fourthworlder

July 9, 2008 at 7:04 am

As soon as I saw today’s number was 19, I’ll admit my first thought was of Morrison’s Doom Patrol.
In hindsight, though, I agree Midsummer Night’s Dream IS a significantly better and more important single issue. Calling it “just another issue of a comic which some people really liked” like DanCJ is a bit beyond my comprehension.

Vote! Vote! Vote!

I do not think it has the same notableness of Morrison’s first issue of Doom Patrol

Um, Brian, you are aware that they actually changed the rules of the World Fantasy Awards after this issue won to prevent graphic literature to ever be nominated again. At the time its winning (and the changing of the rules around it) was incredibly controversial.

That’s pretty goddamn notable if you ask me!

Other notables are the introduction of the All-Winners Squad, Marvel’s first superteam, in All-Winners Comics 19, and of Howard the Duck in Adventure into Fear 19. Other not quite so notables include Stingray in Sub-Mariner 19 and White Tiger in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu 19, and yeah, Rama-Tut. I love Howard, at least as he was back then, but I have to agree that going from Kupperberg to Morrison was a helluva shift.

Um, Brian, you are aware that they actually changed the rules of the World Fantasy Awards after this issue won to prevent graphic literature to ever be nominated again. At the time its winning (and the changing of the rules around it) was incredibly controversial.

I’d hope so, because it was in the piece. :)

but Neil Gaiman’s amazing issue of The Sandman deserves serious recognition (which it got – by winning a World Fantasy Award, an occurrence so dramatic that they changed the rules afterwards so that comic books were ineligible!)!!

Oh, sure, Brian, you wrote it in the piece, but were you aware of it?

Gotta say I agree a recount needs to be done here.

For: “I wasn’t even sure which issue of Sandman HAD the Midsummer’s Night Dream story in it!”

I think the same could be said if you asked around “What issue did Morrison begin on Doom Patrol”.

Sandman 19 is a major book in comics and out. In the history of Comics, Sandman will be written about…Morrison’s Doom Patrol might not even be a foot note.

Ultimately, as strong as the Gaiman issue is (and it is certainly better than Doom Patrol #19), I do not think it has the same notableness of Morrison’s first issue of Doom Patrol. I wasn’t even sure which issue of Sandman HAD the Midsummer’s Night Dream story in it!

This is kind of what I was getting at before, Brian. If the criterion is the NUMBER itself of the significant/memorable comic, it’s gota be Sandman. If it’s the NUMBER YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER, I doubt you’ll make fifty and there’s going to be quite a few where you’ll have to reach for it. This seems pretty clearly to me to be one of them.

When I began thinking of issue numbers for the whole thing, Doom Patrol #19 was one of the very first issue numbers that came to mind!

But . . . but ROM #19 had Space Phantom, because you demanded it! And Micronauts #19 guest-starred Ant-Man! Because, see, he’s small too! Brilliant!

Not only did Dazzler #19 feature Absorbing Man AND black Bolt, but it was titled– wait for it — “Creel…and inhuman treatment!”

Random Stranger

July 9, 2008 at 12:23 pm

FWIW I knew both issue numbers off the top of my head, but don’t second guess yourself on this. If one was #19 and one was #20 they’d both be very worthy additions to the list but you had to choose.

Sleepwalker #19 was the one with the cut-out cardboard mask on the cover.

Not all issues will have the noteworthiness (see how I make fun of the president there) of X-Men #94, but when someone says, “I’m looking for issue number four to complete my key issues,” do you think of Avengers or of Quasar?

But you’re right one would have to stretch to get those last few, less key issues of a Top Fifty. Still… makes for some interesting discussion on some noteworthy comics.

I assumed this one would win, but Sandman completely slipped my mind and now I’m not so sure it shouldn’t have been the selection. Doom Patrol is a good choice, though.

Alas, no love for Mimic and his debut in X-men 19.

Jeff R:

Sorry, buddy, but as much as I too love Quasar, i think that Ditko beat Gru to the ‘superhero just flat out tells the love interest to avoid a misunderstanding’ with Blue Beetle #2 back in the 60s.

Re: Doom Patrol vs. Sandman, I can’t really vote on this one, as I’ve never read that far into Sandman. DP #19 was the first 19 I thought of, but again, I hadn’t read Sandman past the first TPB. (I’ll get around to it eventually, dammit.)

Too bad we’re not going to #123; that’s one everyone could agree on!

Legion of Superheroes (v4) 19 was the one where Dev-Em blew up the moon. Not ‘good’ exactly, but…

Star Trek #19 (First DC series) featured special stunt guest writer Walter Koenig.

Zach: Eh? I’m not Quasar guy. I’m obscure bronze-age DC (and a few indies) guy.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 9, 2008 at 5:24 pm

I’d say it’s a good call – Midsummer Nights Dream is good and all, but I would have said it was #15.
This might not be as good, but I did know the issue number for it.

In the history of Comics, Sandman will be written about…Morrison’s Doom Patrol might not even be a foot note.

Doom Patrol’s already been written about in books.

And honestly, shouldn’t every issue of this be Sandman if we’re going to talk about which comics ‘will be written about’?

I’d have gone with Sandman…

Andrew Collins

July 10, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Fantastic choice from a fantastic series! If people are DESPERATE to get Sandman on the countdown, they could always go with #8- the first appearance of Death. But this is what I thought of when I thought of a comic issue numbered #19. Great start to a classic run, with the introduction of Crazy Jane to boot.

Andrew Collins

July 10, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Scavenger said:
“Sandman 19 is a major book in comics and out. In the history of Comics, Sandman will be written about…Morrison’s Doom Patrol might not even be a foot note.”

Except like FunkyGreenJersualem pointed out, it already has been written about. Steven Shaviro wrote a whole book about the series and how it relates to postmodernism. The Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Doom-Patrols-Theoretical-Postmodernism-Serpents/dp/1852424303/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215726777&sr=8-1

Tim Callahan’s book about Grant Morrison’s early career also covers the series in detail:

http://www.amazon.com/Grant-Morrison-Early-Timothy-Callahan/dp/0615140874/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215726826&sr=1-1

Ah, #8 . . Death, or Wonder Woman? Isn’t that always the choice.

One that I always remember, which I think deserves an honorable mention though not the countdown spot itself, is X-Force #19. It was the first post-Cable issue, and it was when Sam truly came into his own as a leader. If it hadn’t been for Loeb’s butchery of the character in the mid-90s he’d be thought of as an X-Leader on par with Cyclops and Storm. The “Open Hand/Closed Fist” scene is phenomenal.

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