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CSBG Archive

Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #22

Here’s #22! Click here for the master list!


Showcase #22

For awhile, I was really conflicted here.

First of all, Crime Does Not Pay, one of the most popular comic books of all time, debuted with issue #22 (until then, it was a superhero comic). That’s a pretty darn big deal.

However, the real fight was between Showcase #22, featuring the debut of Hal Jordan and Pep Comics #22, which is the first appearance of Archie Andrews.

In overall comic book history importance, you have to figure that Archie beats out Hal Jordan pretty easily, no?

But as far as debut issues go, I think Showcase #22 is more important. Archie was not even on the COVER of Pep Comics #22. Pep Comics #22 is also not nearly as well known of a single issue as Showcase #22, which has been reprinted and homage up the wazoo.

Pep Comics #22?

I’m sure the first story has been reprinted a lot, but never really the full issue or the cover. How many people even know what the cover of Pep Comics #22 LOOKS like?

Not much, I imagine.

So while Archie is more notable than Hal Jordan, I think Showcase #22 is more notable than Pep Comics #22.

It’s a real tough call, though.

Okay, some more notable #22s…

Justice League of America #22 was part of the first JLA/JSA crossover…

Fantastic Four #22 introduced Sue’s “Hey look everybody, I’m useful!” powers of invisible force fields.

Swamp Thing #22 was the first post-Anatomy Lesson issue.

What other notable #22s are out there? Let me know!


Crime Suspenstories #22 had the severed-head cover which Senator Estes Kefauver used to challenge EC publisher William M. Gaines’ claims that EC only published material that was in good taste. It was front-page news in the New York Times, and one of the final nails in the coffin of EC’s horror and crime comics.


I really should have remembered that!

Thanks, Phil!


August 8, 2008 at 5:03 am

MAN-THING v1 # 22 was the last issue of that run and featured STEVE GERBER, as himself.
The entire story is an illustrated form of a “letter” that Steve wrote to his editor, Len Wein, explaining that the Man-Thing is REAL, and that the stories that he’s been telling in his run were direct retellings of actual events (as sent to his subconscious via Dakihm the Enchanter).

This issue showcases, through a mixture of traditional comic storytelling as well as prose pages (and some interesting layouts by Jim Mooney) a wrap-up of all the loose ends of the series (in a truly bizarre tale) that explains why Steve is quitting the book (because he was directly involved in an “end of the cosmos” adventure with Man-Thing, Dakihm & crew and doesn’t think he can take any more).

“Pop Goes The Cosmos” was Steve’s swan song on the title and character (until he penned some follow up adventures in Marvel Fanfare & Marvel Comics Presents, many years later).

Maybe not as “list worthy” as those discussed above, but it’s a damn good issue.



August 8, 2008 at 5:09 am

Howard the Duck v1 # 22 was the first part of a Star Wars parody.

(Howard = Luke, Man-Thing = Chewie, Korrek the Barbarian = Han, Dakihm = Obi-Wan, Jennifer Kale = Leia)

“Star Waaugh! : May the Farce be With You”.

Yeah… hardly list-worthy either, but it MIGHT have been the first Star Wars riff-comic ever made.


Cerebus #22 – The Death of Elrod – He returns as DeadAlbino!

Invaders #22 is the first “Marvel” appearance of Asbestos Lady (really!) who was originally in the Atlas Captain America issue #63

Sensational She-Hulk #22 was the second part of teh Blonde Phantom story, and featured the “All-Winners Squad” alias the Invaders

Fables #22 is the one where we find out what Cinderella has really been up to… with Ichabod Crane…

New Avengers #22 was the Luke Cage Civil War issue…

Sandman #22 was the first proper issue of Season of Mists…

Alfred began a series of solo adventures in Batman #22. It was a big enough deal that Batman and Robin allowed him to take a bow on the cover.

Quasar #22 has villain Maelstrom attaining victory #45 in a row, killing Quasar so he can get the Quantum bands, and kill Eon, and then with his already-attained cosmic awareness and having distracted the Watchers from figuring out what he was doing, readying plans to tank the multiverse. Rarely in comics has a bad guy’s complicated plans gone so well — or been so complicated without being the impetus for a big crossover. And yet it all stayed in one monthly book.

Pedro Bouça

August 8, 2008 at 6:42 am

The 22th Tintin book, Flight 714, is notable for many reasons. It brings back the series’ archvillian Roberto Rastapopolous, in a sophisticated plan to extort millionaire Lazlo Carreidas. Tintin and the gang get kidnapped alongside the millionaire and have to stop the villian’s plans.

Also, it is noted for being a deconstruction of the series’ villians. Most of the characters had passed through a similar process on Castafiore Emerald, but this time it’s Rastapopolous and Allan that are consistently ridiculed througout the book. Also, it marks a rare appearance of fantastic elements (UFOs) on Tintin’s usually realistic environment. Even though the series was past its prime, it’s still an excellent book.

It was serialized on the Tintin magazine and first published in album form on 1968.

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

What does the cover of Pep Comics #22 look like? It looks freaking awesome, actually. The Hangman rushing across a stylized globe (with longitude lines) to save the Shield from being crushed by a giant spiked Nazi boot, while Rusty looks on Robin-style in the corner. In conclusion, freaking awesome.

For me, though, it’s got to be Showcase. Hal Jordan beats Archie Andrews any day of the week — presumably with a giant green boxing glove, because, well, that’s our Hal.

Jack of Hearts showed up in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #22, but really, screw that guy. The Jester of Smash Comics #22 fame is much cooler. And Gerber’s Man-Thing #22 totally blew my mind.

Granted, many Silver Age covers (especially DC) were usually less than dynamic, but this cover featuring a totally redone Green Lantern has always struck me as, well…. boring.

You would think that we’d at least see the front of the character so you could see the new iconic GL symbol on the cover.

Sandman no. 22 featured the first appearance of Daniel, who would go on to become the new Sandman!

Alpha Flight no. 22 featured the first appearance of Pink Pearl, who would go on to become Byrne’s precursor to Big Bertha in the Great Lakes Avengers!

plus Animal Man avenged his family in a pretty intense issue.

Andrew Collins

August 8, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Doom Patrol #22 was the conclusion to Grant Morrison’s and Richard Case’s first storyline, with the new DP defeating the Scissormen and saving Kansas City…

Archie Andrews may be more important than Hal Jordan in the USA, but here in Brazil, I never had heard of Archie before I started hanging out in the Internet, I’m not sure if the characters were ever published in my country. I’m sure I’ve never seen a comic book of Archie in Portuguese.

So I’d say Green Lantern is lot more well-known than Archie here in Brazil.

I’m curious. Is Archie a purely American phenomenon? Are the comics published and widely read in any other country?

Rene, Archie may not be international, but he’s certainly VERY deeply ingrained into American culture. In his own way, he’s as major a character as Superman, Batman or Spider-Man in terms of impact on the American culture. Archie was often the very first comic title read by several generations of American children–although I get a sense that this may no longer be the case is was certainly true for a LONG time.

While Archie books tended to get abandoned as soon as the kids were/are old enough to read Superhero comics, its a big thing to be a formative influence. The only other comic book to complete with that, historically for American kids, was probably Richie Rich… but Archie was a lot more successful.

Archie comics also had an “in” to female readers long before other types of comics became “cool” for girls to read. Archie spinoff magazines often featured the female cast members from the main magazine in their own solo titles. In fact, I think the biggest part of Archie’s remaining sales may involve young girls. One of those spinoffs you may have heard of is Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, but that’s just one of many.

I can walk to a local bookshop here in India, and pick up an Archie digest. I can, and have, bought Double Digests everywhere from remote railway stations out in the desert to a chain of cooperative shops owned and operated by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Green Lantern? No way!

Actually, superhero comics per se are not terribly popular in India; apart from the DC trinity of Superman-Batman-Wonder Woman and Marvel’s Spider-Man, costumed adventurers simply aren’t familiar names. (OK, maybe Hulk and Iron Man just now because of the films, but then so were the Fantastic Four and X-Men some time ago before they too were forgotten.)

It’s the same in the Middle East, Ajit. Until a Green Lantern movie comes out, Archie is more well known, unless you’re comparing him to top A-list characters (the Trinity, Spiderman, etc), or characters with movies. Hell, in the Middle East, Ghost Rider is more well known than Green Lantern ;)


Archie has never been published here in Brazil. I can’t say if it’s been published in other South American countries, though.

I’m not sure exactly why that is so, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say that here in Brazil the “funny” comics tend to be local productions, as Brazil has a healthy comedy tradition, while the adventure fiction tends to be imported from the USA, because Brazilians usually don’t produce adventure fiction on their own.

Either that, or the sort of slice of American life depicted in the books just don’t resonate with us. But I can’t say for sure, because I’ve never read it. It may be also because there was never a Archie cartoon or movie to pave the way (well, maybe there was?).

I think the only foreign funny comics that have been published in Brazil with any success are Disney comics. They used to be huge here a few years ago, not so much right now.

Marvel and DC and Image heroes are huge here. Teens here grow up reading this stuff. That is why there are so many Brazilian pencillers doing work in American comics I suppose (yeah, we can take the blame for T&A artists like Ed Benez and Ivan Reis). But just like in the USA, the “serious”, mass public remained unaware of many heroes until the X-Men movies started the current trend of movie adaptations.

Pedro Bouça

August 9, 2008 at 8:59 am

Archie is quite mediocre compared to the kid’s comics produced in many other countries. It may sell in India and Middle East (Middle East? Seriously?!?), but on the big comic markets in Europe and Latin America he is an unknown quantity.

Now, Disney comics, in particular the Carl Barks classics, are HUGE! They are decadent on most markets due to the lack of new quality stories (Don Rosa is the exception), but on the past they were the best-selling comics in most of the world’s markets.

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Disney has great brand equity in India, but it’s the cartoons on TV that are popular rather than the comics. The comics that do sell well — and have done so for decades — are the Asterix and Tintin albums, well enough that bookshops are now taking a chance on other English translations of French works, Spirou and Lucky Luke.

I take the point about Carl Barks’ popularity in Europe but the ‘Good Duck Artist’ doesn’t seem to have much of a fan following in the U.S. itself. I had to pre-order the ‘Carl Barks Collection’ from Amazon UK after the American site abruptly pulled the plug on the book.

Pedro, why so shocked? We do have Western comic books and cartoons in the Middle East. Heck, we were watching manga and anime series (translated into Arabic, of course) for over 20 years as well. Grandizer was the first ever series I watched, and while some dismiss it today as just a “Giant Robot Series”, it’s still one of my favorite cartoons from my childhood. And Archie is something parents the world over wouldn’t mind their kids reading. No sex, alcohol, drugs, or violence, and the occasional making out being as racy as it gets…

Sorry, I only saw he reply now.

wwk5d, I thought something as american as Archie would have even less sucess on the Middle East, culturally more distant from the US, than in Europe, which is much closer.

Anyway, I still think the Barks’ ducks story are much better “made in USA” kid’s comics than Archie. I understand they are published in Egypt, but have no idea of how sucessful they are.

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

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