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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #3

Here’s #3! Click here for the master list!


All Star Comics #3

This is a tough break for poor Otto Octavius, as he made his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #3, and he is a pretty darn important comic book character, but all said and done, I think it is pretty clear that when you think the number three (which is a magic number, don’t you know), you think of All Star Comics #3, the creation of the first comic book “all star” superhero team, the Justice Society of America!

Are they the first superhero team PERIOD? I forget.

Anyhow, in this issue, Gardner Fox turned a bunch of solo adventures (All Star Comics was an anthology featuring stories from National Comics as well as All-American Comics) into the debut of a new superhero TEAM, all through the use of a clever framing device!!

So this definitely stands out at the definitive #3.

But there have been plenty of notable #3s over the years!

Here are some (I am sure you all will have more to share)!!

X-Men #3 debuted the Blob!

X-Men #3 (1991) was the last issue of Chris Claremont’s SEVENTEEN YEAR run on the X-Men!

Fantastic Four #3 was the first appearance of the Fantastic Four’s costumes (and their Fantasticar!).

We3 #3 was the last issue of that awesome mini-series, and it was AMAZING! “No de-com-mish We3.”

Quasar #3 pitted Quasar and the Human Torch against the dreaded ANGLER!!!

Marvel Premiere #3 was the beginning of Doctor Strange’s second shot at a series (which soon became Englehart and Brunner’s classic run)!

That’s alls I gots!

Feel free to name some more!!


Tom Fitzpatrick

July 31, 2008 at 3:32 am

? R. Comics Gud?

Should have put WE 3 up instead.

I’ve never read All Star Comics # 3 (I wasn’t even born yet).

Ah, but who sent the Angler in Quasar #3? it’s none other than the Chief Examiner, last seen in Questprobe! (Which you’d be forgiven for thinking wasn’t in canon, or even remembered.) Quasar: a monthly addendum to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe, but with a story. And a mullet.

I wanted to put my vote in for number 30: Doom Patrol. This was the issue where Cliff goes into Crazy Jane’s multiple personality mind – the “Underground” – and rescues her from throwing one of her personalities into the Well. An incredible issue.

Sleeze Brothers #3 was the brilliant “The Bugger!”

Honestly, All-Star Comics #3 is a lot of fun even aside from being the first JSA story (and, yes, they were the first ever super-team). You have your 8 heroes sitting around telling stories, not to mention a cameo from Ma Hunkel. I’m not going to claim it’s the best JSA story ever, or even the best of the first two JSA stories, but it’s a good time.


July 31, 2008 at 7:07 am

Just so long as # 4 is…
Doctor Strange ; Master of the Mystic Arts # 4.

In it, he emerges from the realm of unreality within the Orb of Agamotto, fights DEATH (because he’ s bleeding out from a fatal stab wound by SILVER DAGGER) and after a valiant battle… he overcomes any apprehension or fear of death and allows himself to DIE.

He is then granted a form of IMMORTALITY by the ANCIENT ONE, who reveals to him, that this was the first major test of his gaining the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, and he would now no longer age or die (of natural causes). The only way for him to perish would be in battle.

Otherwise, he could live for many hundreds of years (as did the Ancient One), if not longer.

With a story by Steve Englehart & art by Frank Brunner, it is one of the best Doc stories ever put to paper.
With an AWESOME cover.
Check it!


In MY mind, whenever someone mentions # 4 of anything, I think of that issue…
AND… (an almost tie with)…
Man-Thing v2 # 4.
But that’s for personal reasons.
It’s not all that great a story.


Hey, what about the introduction of the Ringmaster in Hulk, Scarecrow in World’s Finest, Kanjar Ro in Justice League and Sersi in The Eternals? Or Captain America Comics #3, which maybe contained the first published comic book work by Stan Lee (a text filler story)?

In other words, I got nothin’. The first all-star super-team clearly takes the cake.

Good luck with those #4s P-Tor. I don’t think they stand a chance against the most obvious #4, but hey…

As an issue itself, All-Star 3 is kind of uneven. There’s great Bernard Baily art on the Hourman and Spectre stories (and they’re really entertaining) and a fun Hawkman story with art by Sheldon Moldoff in his best Alex Raymond-swiping mode. But the Dr. Fate story is…odd (as so many of them were). The Flash story isn’t brilliant and the Green Lantern story has terrible art. The Sandman story has mediocre art but a great story. But the JSA framing device is great fun, and the Red Tornado cameo is cute.

Omega Men #3 was the first appearance of Lobo, which ought to be worth at least an honorable mention.

Legion of Super=Heroes Annual #3 (v2 series) was ‘The Curse’, the epilogue to the Great Darkness Saga that revealed Validus’s origins.

And Ambush Bug #3 was probably the most memorable issue of his original series, being the one where the Bug investigates the fates of the characters intentionally left out of ‘who’s who’…

#4 is a battle royale between SHOWCASE #4 and Cap’s return in AVENGERS #4. I’d plump for Barry Allen’s first appearance myself, but the Avengers comic is a great issue. It’s amazing how much plot Lee and Kirby can get into 22 pages without it feeling cramped. Should be interesting to see what Brian chooses.

Hmm, birth of the entire Silver Age vs. the return of one of Marvel’s most iconic characters? You’re right, Sam, it’s a surprisingly tough call.


July 31, 2008 at 10:24 am


Hey, man.
You can’t fault a guy for TRYING!




July 31, 2008 at 10:28 am

OK, how about if the list went as high as # 169… then THIS would HAVE to win:


Doctor Strange # 169.
His FIRST solo issue of his own title (essentially Doc # 1).

AND my all-time favorite comic book COVER – EVER.

But, Noooo… this puny list ends at # 50.


I kid. I kid.
It’s been a great article/column all the way through.


Don’t give up faith, PTOR. This Top 50 Countdown goes to 169!


July 31, 2008 at 11:15 am





If we’re drafting Brian to extend this thing, it needs to go all the way out to #247, at least. (But seriously, I’d rather see Judging books by their Covers catch up the DC books and return to regularity than even going through 51-100…)

Batman #3 featured Cat-Woman’s 2nd appearance but her first in a mask.

Random Stranger

July 31, 2008 at 3:45 pm

“#4 is a battle royale between SHOWCASE #4 and Cap’s return in AVENGERS #4. I’d plump for Barry Allen’s first appearance myself, but the Avengers comic is a great issue. It’s amazing how much plot Lee and Kirby can get into 22 pages without it feeling cramped. Should be interesting to see what Brian chooses.”

Fantastic Four #4 puts in a good showing on that too. Besides being the return of Namor it’s the moment when I think Lee and Kirby hit their first groove that lasts until around issue #20. I suspect Avengers or Showcase will walk with it but FF isn’t an unreasonable choice either.


July 31, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Sea Guy #3!
Sea Guy bucks the system, without the system realising!
It was better than We3 and we all know it.


New Gods #3!!

Introducing the one and only dreaded Black Racer, the uh living embodiment of new godly death, racing through the cosmos on (cough) cosmic skis, navigating with cosmic ski um poles and oh um well, OK, the JSA, fine.

Love & Rockets #3: Beto’s first story set in Palomar (first half of “Heartbreak Soup).

With all due respect to We3 and grant Morrison…All Star Comics #3 is the better choice. The JSA simply are more well known. Maybe if they make a movie about We3 like with Wanted, that could change, but ASC #3 is easily the best known issue. Doc Ock may be a more well known character, especially after the second Spiderman movie, but how many people remember the actual issue number? I always thought he debuted in #5 or #6…

#4 is Avengers #4. Don’t act the fool.

I’m just going to throw this out as a great issue, though obviously not important in the same way.

Impulse #3 is remembered as the best issue of a great run by Mark Wade and Humberto Ramos, though mostly remembered for its terrificly humourous story. I still remembered the total glee I felt reading that issue and the excitement I felt. I’m not normally one for re-reading a comic but I did read that one again after I finished. It was amazingly good!

Props on the list, btw. It’s interesting to see all of the choices!

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