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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #32

Here’s #32! Click here for the master list!


Promethea #32

This was a really tough one, and I think it was one that, had you asked a few years back, would certainly have gone a different way, because Spider-Woman’s profile was not as big as Moon Knight’s, so Moon Knight’s first appearance in Werewolf By Night #32 would have been the pick over Spider-Woman’s first appearance in Marvel Spotlight #32.

But one of them would have been the nod, that is, until Promethea #32 came out – the final issue of Alan Moore’s classic run on Promethea (probably the best of his America’s Best Comics books), the conclusion TO the entire line of comics AND an amazing comic book in its own right.

Promethea #32 was the end of the world, and it was told in comic book form, however, you could also remove all the pages and re-arrange them into a gigantic two-sided poster that would make just as much sense.

It was a stunning work, and a far bit more memorable than the first appearances of some fairly major characters such as Moon Knight and Spider-Woman.

Other notable #32s include the first part of A Game of You in Sandman and the famous “return from cancellation where we would be had we not been canceled” issue of Quantum and Woody. Plus, of course, the middle part of the famous Spider-Man story where Spidey lifts the big piece of metal.

Any other notable #32s out there with a little bit of comic magic in them?


I was thinking Promethea 32 was a no-brainer. It’s definitely the best choice, but it did have to work for it a bit, didn’t it? It’s completely one of a kind, and once again Moore (and Williams) took the opportunity to expand our perceptions about what you could do with a comic book. Here’s hoping Promethea wins the #10 slot too! (I’d also give it #17, but that didn’t necessarily have as big an impact on the comics reading populace, it was just a damn good read).

I know I’ve said it before, but I really hated this issue.

When I found out about this issue it sounded great. I thought we’d have a comic where the individual panels combined to make to bigger pictures when you laid them all out (like the page of Swamp Thing 62 where all of the panels make a close-up of Alec’s face). Instead what we got was an issue where instead of colouring it, they just slapped it on top of a couple paintings that had no relation to the contents of the book. The comic had no narrative, and JH Williams (whose work can be brilliant) was on really bad form for both the line-work and the paintings. For me this fails as posters and fails as a comics.

I don’t think I could even credit this with being a noble failed experiment because it doesn’t seem like they even tried to make any connection between the line-art and the paintings behind it. It’s like Moore had a great idea, but then decided it seemed too much like hard work (which I’m sure it would be) and did something half-hearted instead.

But people still fawn over it so what do I know!

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 14, 2008 at 3:28 am

Promethea # 32 was sometimes hard to get into, which was probably why it was brilliant.

Of course, you had to buy two copies, one to read and keep, and the other to cut up and piece them together to look at.

With the trades, you don’t have to worry about it now. ;-)

Quantum & Woody # 32, was also another brilliant idea, except with the closing of ACCLAIM/VALIANT, ruined the idea.

Quasar #32, part of Operation Galactic Storm, leads into one of the most fun comics I’ve ever read: Wonder Man. the cliffhanger at the end of this issue was that Captain Altas got his hands on Captain Marvel’s power bands, and clanged them together while they were fighting on a moon. All of the suden Altas is on Earth, and poor Rick Jones is stuck in airless space! Atlas smartly uses this as a weapon, clanging back and forth punching Wodner Man again and again while Wonder Man’s too scared to hit back, becuase Atlas could become Rick Jones at any time. Simon eventually detects Atlas’s pattern, holds Rick up and connects with Atlas as soon as Atlas switches. “Duck season,” is the unbeatable quip at the end. (Quasar, for his part, has Rick Jones safely in an air bubble.)

A noble failed experiment sounds about right.

Promethea #32 is certainly a memorable issue. I’ve always thought of it as being a postscript to the series rather than an integral part of it.

Promethea is surely a candidate for the no 12 spot as well.

I’m no fan of Promethea #12 either, but the big difference between #12 and #32 is that #12 did actually deliver what it promised.

Also, 32 is 20 more than 12.

How about the final issues of the various New Universe titles: DP.7, Psi-Force, Justice all ended with #32.

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