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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #12

Here’s #12! Click here for the master list!


Watchmen #12

In many ways, #12 has become synonymous with the maxi-series, specifically the last issue of maxi-series.

Therefore, what better final issue of a maxi-series to use than the most famous maxi-series of them all, Watchmen?

The finale, as the book’s original editor Len Wein noted at the time, was perhaps the least compelling part of the entire series, but it was still awesome – and certainly noteworthy!

Other notable finales of maxi-series include Camelot 3000 #12, Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, Secret Wars #12, Nextwave #12 (okay, it wasn’t actually a maxi-series, but still, it WAS an awesome finale!), Punisher: Welcome Back Frank #12, Inhumans #12 (the Jenkins/Lee one) and some others.

Originally, I considered Marvel Super-Heroes #12, with the first Captain Marvel, but to be frank:

A. It’s not that famous of an issue


B. He’s not that famous of a superhero

That said, it’s a great cover – it’d look good collected in a book!

Okay, some other notable #12s – Rapey McRaperson, Dr. Light, first showed up in Justice League of America #12. The Hulk met the Fantastic Four in FF #12. Spider-Man was unmasked in Amazing Spider-Man #12 (great issue, by the way). Son of Satan took over Marvel Spotlight with #12. And, as reader Purple Hayes notes, this WAS the number that Guardian died in Alpha Flight, which WAS a big deal, so certainly deserves a notation here. Juggernaut’s first appearance in X-Men #12 was an early candidate, so it definitely deserves an honorable mention!

And…that’s all I can think of, off-hand!

Tell me more!


For some bizarre reason, I couldn’t help but think of Alpha Flight #12, where Guardian was killed. I know he has since come back multiple times, including a teenager clone, but I want to say this was one of the first comic to showcase death so prominently on the cover. It killed off a major character, changed the tone of the book and probably increased sales. After this, whenever a comic needed sales, they would advertise a characters death on the cover (Avengers West Coast #100 being one of the blatant and nonsense one ever).

Random Stranger

August 1, 2008 at 5:20 am

The issue of Watchmen I always think of is #11. Twelve is the conclusion but eleven is the climax.

I would have gone with Fantastic Four on this one mainly because it was the first Marvel cross over (okay, it came out the same month as Amazing Spider-Man #1 but #1 is taken).

“Rapey McRaperson” – Wow.

At what issue did Avengers West Coast cease to matter?

X-Men #12 introduced the Juggernaut and offered the first look into Professor Xavier’s roots.

Quasar #12 features the return of the Kirby-created Eternals villains, the Deviants! Tutniax attacks Quasar, but he makes himself look like Quaze’s dad, so Quasar can’t fight him. To make the father issues terribly worse, his disappropvong fathe ris murdered in this issue, making closure or approval permanently out of reach. Those who dislike Quasar, you have company: his own DAD didn’t like him.

“Rapey McRaperson” – Wow.

I would have gone for X-Men, with the introduction of Juggernaut. He’s kind of a big deal.

Did you guys not get the memo that Dr. Light’s entire personality now is that he is a rapist?

Juggernaut is not as big of a deal as Captain Marvel, and I couldn’t bring myself to give Captain Marvel the top spot! :)

But definitely merits an honorable mention, because my thinking when I was doing the list actually did go:

“Juggernaut – Cap – Watchmen.”

I know what you mean about #12 in maxi-series, but for Crisis on Infinite Earths, it HAS to be #8… Death of the Flash…

Well, if you’re looking for death when #8 comes around, you might be happy, but not for the reason you expect. ;)

ah… of course… “TSOHW”? Nice choice…

Stress MIGHT….it’s a big spot, so it may need an All Star at it.

Sorry.. please delete my last comment (and this one) for SPOILERY reasons…

Nah, I’m just messing around, people have known for awhile that #8 is a bit of a “showdown” number.

Who will win?

That is the question.

It’s hard for me to argue against the importance of Watchmen, so I won’t, but of course Crisis #12 quite literally (re)set the stage for the next 20 years, so it’s right up there.

The rest: Yeah yeah, Mar-Vell, the third Captain Marvel, sure sure. But what about the third Starman, Mikaal Tomas? 1st Issue Special #12, baby.

As for Dr. Rape (and of course you’re right that it’s become the sum of his personality now — what was supposed to make him a serious villain again has just made him a disgusting one-note character and useless for anything else), what about the equally important Gambler in Green Lantern #12 and Thinker in All-Flash Comics #12?

Is Mar-vell really that important? I think Genis is great . I love those Starlin Captain Marvel issues, but really, is Mar-Vell that important?

I’m gonna vote for Alpha Flight #12, as well, if for nothing else, it’s cover is a pretty iconic cover, that has been redone several times.

Matt-D: Mar-Vell is important because we’re constantly told how great he is. No one read his books, but in universe, he was great! Unfortunately, people like Bendis forget that, so Genis gets written off so “Mar-vell” can come back.

Jerry McMullen

August 1, 2008 at 8:49 am

I would think that #4 would be a larger showdown number. So many choices there…

And while the Watchmen is a good choice, I would still have gone with Alpha Flight. At the time, it was quite the shocker that Byrne would kill off the leader of the team and perhaps the most well known character in the book.

Yep, #4 is the biggest showdown of them all.

I wonder which number will be last? :D

Jerry McMullen

August 1, 2008 at 8:55 am

Maybe you could pull a Marvel and offer four variant #4s on your list. If you could get away with Atom and Hawkman, then four #4s is not out of the realm of possibility.

Atom and Hawkman was a one-time deal. I just couldn’t turn that down – the guys shared a book and they debuted in the same issue number of different books?!?!?! That’s way too awesome to not use it!

I’m hoping that I won’t be upset or irked by your pick for #30, myself.

I’d have gone for either Camelot 3000 (the first maxi-series to start) or Secret Wars (the first to finish) here, myself. And I’d have included Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld among the notable mini-series finales.

Why, what particular #30 do you like?

Brian, this is sort of a general question: when you say the most “notable” issue — as in the introduction to the master list — does it mean the ‘best’ or the one that is ‘best known’ (even to, say, non-comics fans)? I was wondering if that might play a part in choosing, say, #8.

1. Best known

If NONE of them are known, then

2. Most notable issue, comic history-wise.

Re #30: What, the hint was too subtle?

Mad #30, the first in a very long line of extremely iconic cover images. (The first appearance of the character was in a small corner of #21, but #30 was the first full-cover to look like all but a tiny handful of the entire series’ history.)

I would have gone with Promethea #12, the tarot issue.

Captain Mar-Vell’s actually listed in the Funk & Wagnall’s Encyclopedia as an example of Science Fiction, right next to a shot from a Flash Gordon strip. Or at least he used to be, not sure if that’s still the case now.

Not that I think he, or that issue, are well known enough to have gotten the slot here, just an odd trivia thing I’d thought I’d throw out there.

Squadron Supreme 12! it had that awesome battle! people died! a lot!
ok, no where near as famous as Watchmen, but still, great ending to a great story.


August 1, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Waitaminnit… I went through all the effort awhile back of detailing MAN-THING v2 # 12 in all it’s glory to you guys, wherein EVERYONE loved it and wanted to have babies with it, and it still gets snubbed?

Fie, I say.

This… Watchmen thing you seem to be doting over is alright. I guess.

But MAN-THING has a movie.
It’s even on DVD.
He even has action figures!

I don’t see any Watchmen movies out.
Or Action Figures!
So, how good could it be?

(Sorry. In a silly mood.)



I couldn’t agree more. Watchmen wrapped up and it was definitely THE maxi-series that changed it all. Crisis on Infinite Earths could have changed DC’s continuity, but Watchmen changed the tone in comics (sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst). That was the first time heroes were real, with believable flaws and lots of psychoses and that was the seeder for lots of depressing stories to come, lol.

I was sure Fantastic Four no. 12 was going to take this, mainly as it was the FIRST CROSSOVER IN MARVEL COMICS, starting Marvel on the road to being the ultimate shared universe experience!

At least I think it was. Did the first Spider-Man beat it, with the FF cameo? Anyway, I thought it was a bigger deal.

Although my heart joins the ranks of the Alpha Flight boosters. That death of Guardian issue was a major event for me when it came out (and the rest of the issue is a good Byrne-style slugfest to boot!).

But Watchmen’s okay too. :)

I dislike how people use unnecessary labels to describe what Dr Light I (Arthur) has done during a flashback sequence in a 7 issue mini!

Daniel O' Dreams

August 1, 2008 at 10:35 pm

I was going to make a snarky remark about a bald guy having “roots,” but I can’t let this one go….
The FIRST Captain Marvel? Really? I don’t think so…
Billy Batson and that silly robot that splits into pieces would beg to differ.

It’s more to do with the fact that every appearance ever since then, it’s all he or anyone else can talk about in the comics themselves, David. It’s defined his character ever since — which is to say, pretty much destroyed it.

“It’s more to do with the fact that every appearance ever since then, it’s all he or anyone else can talk about in the comics themselves. It’s defined his character ever since — which is to say, pretty much destroyed it”.
I’d agree with you if Dr Light (Arthur) did it again in a DC book but he hasn’t!

David, he might not have done it again, but he talks about it CONSTANTLY. It’s like Hulk being the strongest one there is because he says so constantly. It has come to define his character, only not in a good way.

I’d have gone with Squadron Supreme #12, personally. Watchmen might be the more popular story, but it kinda drifted off at the end (IMHO) and switched genres. It went from dark and grim ‘n gritty to sci fi in a really jarring way. The entire tone of Watchmen #12 was different from the tone of Watchmen 1-11.

Squadron Supreme #12 held the inevitable conclusion. All the dominos were set up, and no matter how much you didn’t want to see them fall, you knew they must. And, characters you had come to know and care about died in a conflict that could have been avoided if only the events of the previous 11 issues had gone slightly differently.

For me, Watchmen #12 was an example of “Here is an ending with a swerve you didn’t expect” storytelling and Squadron Supreme #12 was an example of “Here is an ending you expected but hoped would swerve somewhere.” And, I prefer the second style of storytelling.


Pedro Bouça

August 2, 2008 at 6:09 pm

The twelfth Tintin book, Red Rackham’s Treasure marks the first appearance of Professor Calculus, a hard of hearing scientist who would become a major character on the series. On that book, Tintin and his friend Captain Haddock look for a treasure left by Haddock’s ancestor Sir Francis Haddock.

It’s the second volume of a two-part story that is the best-selling Tintin adventure worldwide (which means it must have sold over 10 MILLION copies all over the world) and one of the most famous trasure hunt comics ever done. It was first pulished in 1944 after serialization on the nazi-controlled newspaper Le Soir on the previous year.

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

oh, hey, someone agreed with me!

If you wanted to reserve slot 11 for a non-Moore book, you would have done better simply revealing your pick for 12 as Watchmen than preposterously insist Deadpool is the better known 11 than the Superman annual. Alpha Flight 12 is still better known than Deadpool 11 (comic readership being larger in the Alpha Flight generation than the Deadpool generation), and I simply would have made that your 12, and Watchmen your 11. The big accomplishment of Watchmen 12, as Veidt might say, is that nothing happens. I mean, what more haunting page is there in Watchmen than the 2 Bernie’s being vaporized taking the shape of clock-hands?

You stay classy, San Diego!

while watchmen is my bible, i agree with a previous comment that #11 is the issue i gravitate towards. “i did it 35 minutes ago” has to be the best line in comic book history. as for #12’s, while i have a hard time picking anything over watchmen, and while you come up with many good honorable mentions, my pick actually hasn’t been mentioned yet – magnus #12, the first appearance of turok.

while the particular issue isn’t that great story-wise, and while the first turok isn’t all that notable by itself, this is the issue that sort of became the symbol of the entire valiant craze. while valiant jumped the shark shortly after unity and quickly became almost unreadable, the first year and a half of the company, as guided by jim shooter, was phenomenal, and for a brief moment, it seriously looked like valiant might actually challenge marvel and dc.

the first ten or so issues of both magnus and solar still stand up as some of the best stories of the 90’s, and while magnus 12 doesn’t necessarily fall into that, this is the issue that symbolizes the entire moment where it looked like we had a third comic company that mattered.

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