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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #49

Here’s #49! Click here for the master list!


Fantastic Four #49

Here’s a rare one, much like Amazing Spider-Man #33, where nothing in the ways of a first appearance or the beginning of a famous run or anything like that took place in this issue, but it is still a famous enough issue that it stands out as the most notable #49 out of the bunch.

This is the SECOND appearance of both the Silver Surfer and Galactus, and it is the middle part of the classic storyline where the Fantastic Four drive off Galactus from eating Earth, and also resulting in the Silver Surfer becoming a member of the Marvel Universe proper.

This issue, which opens with one of the most iconic Fantastic Four covers ever (outside of the cover for #1, IS there a more iconic Jack Kirby Fantastic Four cover than this one? Maybe 10, perhaps 29 – Kirby even homaged 29, maybe 45 or 51? I still pick 49 as my choice).

Anyhow, this issue works as the epitome of the epic cosmic adventures Stan Lee and Jack Kirby sent the Fantastic Four on often, with wild technology and astonishing stakes (the fate of the entire planet) but at the same time, real human elements, like the Surfer’s literal fall to Earth.

You could argue that this comic had it all – great story, great art, cosmic problems, earthly problems, action – it was the complete package, and it is an issue that stands out today among all the other #49s.

As for other notable ones…anyone? First Polaris in X-Men #49?


Another iconic FF cover would have to be 48, its a piece of comic book cover history.

Bone #49 sticks in my mind. It’s the beginning of the end.

The Galactus trilogy (issues 48, 49 and 50) might also be the first 3 part story in comics. Kirby and Lee were pushing the envelope at this time. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Could you extend your list to 51 so it can include FF 51 “This Man, This Monster” ?

Random Stranger

July 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm

I actually think #51 is a more iconic cover but that can’t fit into your countdown.

Galactus is awesome and all, but Brave and the Bold #49 features a baseball-playing gorilla.

I think FF #51 is, for lack of a better phrase, just the pure essence of Kirby so my vote would go towards that.

ja-x I would think the galactus trilogy wasn’t the first three part story. I remember something about how rare the “Monster Society of Evil” 25 parter in Captain Marvel was back in the 40s but I would think that 20 years later somebody had done a 3 part story.

The first thing I thought of for #49 was Hal Jordan wasting a bunch of Green Lanterns on his way to Oa during Emerald Twilight. Not as significant as the events of the next issue (killing Kilowog, destroying the power battery, and Kyle getting his ring), but memorable enough for me.

Patrick Joseph

July 12, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Swamp Thing #49 was the penultimate chapter of American Gothic. Lots of extremely disturbing concepts and imagery in that one.

The invunche, Judith’s body falling off and her head turning into a crow, Abby arrested for bestiality, an ancient tribe wearing the skins of their enemies as kilts.. Pretty intense for something I bought off the newsstand in 1986.

Love and Rockets, Cerebus, Nexus, American Flagg!, Shade The Changing Man, and Starman all spring to mind as series that had strong penultimate chapters in their 49th issues.

However, FF was there first. Excellent choice.

Sandman 49 was the conclusion of Brief Lives and the spilling of family blood, I’d pick it for second place. Although that Invunche story in Swamp Thing was seriously nasty.

And why are people so concerned about the Galactus trilogy running three issues, when the Inhumans story that led into it ran for 4 1/2? I basically consider FF#36 – 67 as being one long continuing story.

Well, Marvel Mystery Comics #49 introduced Miss America. But I make a policy of never arguing with Galactus.

That said, if #49 is FF/Galactus, does that mean #48 is . . . the thunderous debut of the Porcupine in Tales to Astonish? Stay tuned!

Then again, everything from #45-49 could be FF for all I know, although that would mean snubbing the Melter.

Oh, some other 49s:

Hank Pym figures out that he can grow as well as shrink and becomes Giant-Man in Tales to Astonish.

The first appearance of the X-Men outside of X-Men when Iron Man met the Angel in Tales of Suspense.

First appearances of Mesmero in X-Men, the Puzzler in Action., and the Mad Hatter and Vicki Vale in Batman.

I reckon the #3 cover (the first one with costumes) is probably slightly more famous than this one. Although #49 is a better cover.

I consider #49 to be a big deal because this was the middle of a transformation in comic book storytelling.

Not only is it an iconic cover, and an incredible story, and the introduction of Galactus and Silver Surfer, but it was the middle of the first epic story in comics (where it starts, issue 36 or 40 or wherever, I’m open on that).

So thanks for choosing it.

And if the countdown were extended to 52, it could include both the great moral dilemma of FF #51 and the introduction of the Black Panther in FF #52.

Random Stranger

July 13, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Running the countdown out to one hundred would be interesting since after #50 “easy picks” get harder and harder. I’d be inclined to say “both!” to FF 51 and 52 but after that it becomes harder to justify.

Actually the tough number I’m waiting to come up next is #4. There’s a lot of competition for that.

Quasar #49 featured a … it was…okay, it was a pretty bad issue. Something about her, the female Adam Warlock, fighting Quasar’s girlfriend. And at the end a supporting cast member revealed herself to be…some minor-league villain from a Thor annual the rest of humanity had forgotten about. With art by the guy who made Ravage 2099. (Well, who drew the issues after the original artist left.)

Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

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