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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #17

Here’s #17! Click here for the master list!


Showcase #17

This is one of the odder match-ups that we’ve seen yet, as there is a trio of comics seriously vying for this spot, and two of them include about as different characters as you can get!

Showcase #17 features the first appearance of Adam Strange, DC Super Stars #17 features the first appearance of the Huntress and Miracleman #17 features the debut of Neil Gaiman on the title.

With all due respect to Gaiman and Miracleman, I think that, in this instance, the two first appearances take the cake – so which one to choose?

Huntress, who is certainly the more important character now or Adam Strange?

As you can see, I went with Adam Strange, if only because of I think he was a more important creation than the Huntress. Adam Strange came out of whole cloth, and his science fiction background as a man out of his world, forced to deal with commuting between planets – that was such a brilliant idea by Gardner Fox (the first issue was drawn well by Mike Sekowsky) that I think it stands out much more than the idea of giving Batman a daughter who was also a superhero.

That said, I certainly do not think it is a slam dunk by Adam.

Other notable #17s include the beginning of Dream Country by Neil Gaiman in Sandman #17, a cool Doom fight in Fantastic Four #17, the introduction of the Tornado Tyrant (who would later create Red Tornado) in Justice League #17 and a cool Spider-Man/Human Torch/Green Goblin deal in Amazing Spider-Man #17.

Any others?


“Calliope” in SANDMAN #17 stands out as the most notable to me since it was the first issue of SANDMAN that I read. Still think it’s one of Gaiman’s most effective single issues.

It was definitely a really strong issue, Sam.

“I DO regard myself as a feminist writer”.

Patrick Joseph

July 29, 2008 at 5:18 am

I’ve loved Adam Strange since I first saw his adventures on Nickelodeon’s “Video Comics” show back in 1980. This was a great choice.

I’ve got a huge sentimental spot for Love & Rockets #17. It was my first issue of the series, and the two stand alone stories in the issue were a perfect introduction to the Hernandez Brothers and to the punk rock scene. A massively influential comic on my teenage years.


July 29, 2008 at 6:05 am

ADVENTURE into FEAR # 17 had the first appearance of WUNDARR (later “re-christened” – no pun intended – as AQUARIAN) landing in Man-Thing’s swamp.

Steve Gerber’s great twist on the Superman archetype.


MAN-THING v1 # 17 was a powerful story by Steve Gerber about book burning.


No qualms with this – especially as if the original Huntress was a fanfic character, she’d have been named “Mary Sue.”

Issue 17 is when Luke Cage, Hero for Hire changes his name to Power Man!

Quasar #17, for once, really should be in the running for best #17 issue. Quasar sets up a track from the Earth to the moon for every speedster in the Marvel Unvierse: Makkari, Quicksilver, the Whizzer, etc. It’s neck-and-neck going itno the final stretch when, otu fo nowhere, someone new shows up on the EARTH side, starts running, and beats everyone else who were alreayd seconds from the finish line! He’s a blond-haired guy, disoriented, with a tallered red costume, who thinks his name was something like ‘Buried Alien.” A fantastic Flash comic, a wonderful Crisis tribute, and it’s not even a DC comic!

Oh, what he hey….Dc Comics Presents #17 re-introduced Firestorm, at the time a DC Implosion casualty, and was the beginning of a rebirth of popularity for the character that would lead to another DCCP appearance, Justice League Membership, a backup feature in Flash,and ultimately a new solo book.

The Fury of Firestorm #17 in turn introduced Firehawk.

Ha! I was actually going to mention Quasar too, this time. Leave it to Marvel to bring Barry back from the dead first.

On the other side of the grave, Pep Comics #17 contained probably the first actual, no-lie murder of a superhero in comics when the Comet was killed and the Hangman was introduced. Those Archie comics were hardcore.

Pep Comics #17? I wouldn’t have thought of that, but if you are correct about it being the first comic of that type, then you may have a good argument, buttler.

For me, the general order of precedence, from most influential to least, seems to be:
1.) Introduction of a MAJOR character (and by this I mean, Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern–that “A list” level)
2.) Death of a MAJOR character (although some might bump this above the introduction–I mean which is a more important issue, the introduction of one of the countless Flashes, or the death of one. Then again… they don’t tend to STAY dead and that devalues their death stories).
3.) Major comics “first”, as in your example of the first genuine hero murder in a superhero comic book (as opposed to death in the line of duty, which is a different thing entirely, even if a supervillain was responsible in that case too).
4.) Introduction of a moderately important character
5.) Death of a moderately important character (although this may leap ahead of the introduction if the death is especially shocking).

Heh, I was wondering when Buried Allen would show up on this list. The fact that even someone who’s never read an issue of Quasar in his life knows about that gag should merit it an honourable mention, I think. :)

I’ll take a first appearance of a character over the first issue of a writer/artist. Unless it’s that talents first work ever (see the Carl barks entry).

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