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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #37

Here’s #37! Click here for the master list!


The Saga of Swamp Thing #37

While, ultimately, I think this issue, which featured the first appearance of John Constantine, is the clear choice, there are a surprisingly diverse bunch of notable #37s out there.

Stormwatch #37 was the first issue written by Warren Ellis in what was to be an awesome run on the book.

Showcase #37 was the first appearance of the Metal Men.

Amazing Spider-Man #37 was the first appearance of Norman Osborn.

Some pretty impressive issues there, eh?

However, the first appearance of John Constantine trumps them all, as he is one of the most impressive comic book creations of the last quarter century, and even had a film based on him!

What’s amazing about his first appearance is that it was a guest-penciler for the issue, Rick Veitch, who drew him first, although regular inker John Totleben was on board for the issue.

Fantastic Four #37, The Sandman #37 and Doom Patrol #37 are all pretty notable issues, as well!

Name me some other notable #37s!


I dunno. Norman Osborn is a pretty big deal. There aren’t that many villains on the level of ol’ Norm. If there’s any weakening of the importance of that issue it might only be because The Green Goblin persona pre-dates it.

And well… Constantine’s movie… kind of stank.

If it was the Green Goblin’s first appearance versus Constantine’s first appearance, then it’d be a close call.

Good choice- it immediately came to my mind before even opening the entry yet I have to admit I don’t necessarily remember it for the introduction of Constantine more for the spectacle of the miniature swamp Thing growing and being watered by Abby.

Not a bad call – I think I might have given it to Stormwatch actually. That started the ball rolling that led to books like The Authority and The Ultimates. I think modern superhero comics owe a lot to Ellis’s Stormwatch run.

Then again, Vertigo comics probably owe a lot to John Constantine – but that debt was kind of covered with Swamp Thing 21…

How about an honourable mention for Showcase #37, the introduction of Robert Kanigher’s greatest creations — the Metal Men?

One more: the Injustice Society made its bow in All-Star Comics #37.

How about an honourable mention for Showcase #37, the introduction of Robert Kanigher’s greatest creations — the Metal Men?

Already in there! :)

#37 was the Petuniacon issue in Cerebus…

In Marvel Star Wars, #37 Luke has face-off with Darth Vader… two issues prior to #39, which was the first part of the Empire Strikes Back…

Invaders #37 was the second appearance of Iron Cross, taking on both the Invaders and the Liberty Legion…

Crap, how did I forget to mention the second appearance of Iron Cross?!?!

First Deadpool #11, now this! The countdown is useless!!!

Heck, as long as you remember that his First appearance was Invaders #35, you’re forgiven… ;-)

Oh, wait! I forgot too! :-P

I can’t believe us! How did we fail comic book history so?!?!

Hmmm…I’d have gone with Stormwatch #37 also. By a nose.

Quasar #37 has Quaze fighting the Anomaly, a seriously freaky-looking entity that looks like a worm/centipede/dragon, and is based on a truly weird-looking fossil called the Hallucigenia. Being the embodiment of all that is unique, nothing Quasar does can defeat him. So Quaze doesn’t even try, and that makes the Anomaly disappear. (Note; when fighitng almost anyone else, lying back and letting them wallop you is normally not a winnable strategy.)


August 7, 2008 at 6:40 am

Doctor Strange v3 (aka: Sorcerer Supreme) # 37


for the WIN!


52 37 is the Supernova reveal, which is a fairly important event in the character development of Booster Gold.

Teen Titans 2 37 is the first appearance of Miss Martian.

Well, old Normie still has a chance to make #14… unless I’m completely forgetting about any other #14’s…

Andrew Collins

August 7, 2008 at 7:43 am

Doom Patrol #37 was notable for me because it was my first issue of the book. I was drawn in by Simon Bisley’s creepy cool cover featuring the Geomancers from the story inside. Thankfully, Morrison had fashioned the issue as a jumping on point for new readers (even doing a first page recap of the DP’s history that was both informative and hilarious. Sadly DC left the recap page out of the trade paperbacks for the series. Boooo DC!) and I was hooked thereafter.

Actually, I do believe that Norman’s first appearance might have been ASM #25. He’s unnamed there, but I believe that was supposed to be him.

David M, that’s a good point. Norm gets TWO shots, unlike most folks.

Really, if you are ranking iconic villains, Normie is on that short list that otherwise pretty much only includes Joker, Luthor, and Doom. He’s the standard bearer for all of the villains for an industry defining hero (although I suppose a younger generation that I’m from may be increasingly ceding that role for Spidey to Venom).

Green Goblin is to Spiderman as Doomsday is to Superman or Bane is to Batman: they are A-list supervillains mostly because they had one high moment of villainy, but have very boring characters. As an actual villain, Green Goblin is incredibly dull. Yes, he’s insane. And he knows who Spiderman is. And he’s insane. Have I mentioned that he’s insane yet?

(The correct answer for Spiderman’s top villain is Dr. Octopus, who has a clear motivation, provides a twisted mirror to Spiderman, and allows for diverse tales like Master Planner or getting engaged to Aunt May.)

Do you know something? I think that John Constantine:Hellblazer is the only book around with a current issue number in the 200s.

Or even more broadly, I can only think of one other book with an issue number more than 100 and less than the high 300s.

Pretty impressive. And even accounting for renumberings, the set of characters created since 1970 or so who have had that kind of staying power is pretty small. (Wolverine and the Punisher each probably land somewhere around that area, adding all of the serieses together. Firestorm just barely made it to 100 in the 90s. Birds of Prey, at 120, is the ‘one other book’ I mentioned.)

Flash is in the 200s, as well.

But yeah, most books from the late 80s have been relaunched (some more than once, like Justice League).

Ah, I forgot about the resumed numbering after Bart’s series ended. Well, for a year or so Hellblazer was unique. And odds are after Final Crisis is over it will be again…

Unless they saw your post and are now changing their relaunch plans!!

Robin’s about 2 years from hitting the 200 mark, assuming that renumbering doesn’t result as a consequence of the Batman: RIP fall out. (Nightwing also has over 100 issues, but has the same potential problems.)

Brian: Shouldn’t that be “Saga”, not “Sage” in the title?

No, Claremont has retconned it so that Sage starred in Swamp Thing’s comic book.


August 7, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Constantine is more memorable than Ellis’ Stormwatch (by virtue of still being around and functional unlike anything at Wildstorm), although Ellis’ first issue number is one I knew, as opposed to John’s first appearance.

Starman #37 had the return of the Red Bee (kind of)!

You say 37, I think Veronica from “Clerks.”

Comicwise, SofST #37 works. Only other thing would be “only 100 issues until Jean Grey is killed the first time.”

Great choice! Swamp Thing #37 was one of Moore’s best. Technically, though, Constantine’s first appearance was in Swamp Thing #25. The first time he was NAMED, however, was a year later, in #37.

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