Top 16 Team-up Runs: #13-11
Here’s the next three. Introduction and “What the heck is all THIS then explanation” over here.
Worth Noting: While I know what the top runs are, the ORDER of the top five or six isn’t set in stone yet. If you have a favorite team-up run, lemme know in the comments and it might effect the outcome.
13) Nick Cardy(Artist and Inker) on Brave and the Bold (1970-1971)
Issues: 91-92, 94-96 and inker on # 97 over Bob Brown(6 Issues) Bob Haney writer.
Team-Ups: Batman with the Black Canary, the Teen Titans, Sgt. Rock, Wildcat, a Mystery Guest, and the Bat Squad – a Haney creation that had never appeared before. Or since.
Reasons Why This Run Rocks:
1) Nick “Sex legs” Cardy.
2) Nick “No! NO! NOOOOOO!” Cardy
3) Nick “VROOOOO KRAAAAAaaaaCCCKKKK!” Cardy
(All panels from Brave and the Bold # 91)
Sometimes, there are no words. Also…
(From Brave and the Bold # 96)
4) In the very specific area of writing dialog spoken by people who are really, REALLY angry Bob Haney is the best writer comics have ever seen.
On the Other-Hand: In general, Haney’s writing tends to improve as he’s writing for an older audience. His worst Brave and the Bold team-up writing is his earliest – semi-traditional Silver Age stories aimed at young children. His best is later on in the mid-to-late ’70s, aimed at teenagers and college kids. The Cardy issues… Well, he didn’t seem to know WHO his audience was, and there’s a little bit of tonal floundering. Also, while Cardy’s always SOME kinda great, his work definitely gets progressively less good (more rushed?) as his short run commences… Hence all the panels from his first issue.
12) Tom Defalco(Writer) on Marvel Two-In-One(1981-1982)
Issues: 75-87, 91-93, 96 and Annual 7 (18 issues) David Michelinie co-writer on 76 and 78. Jerry Bingham, Alan Kupperberg, and (mostly) Ron Wilson artists.
Team-Ups: Oh boy. The Thing meets Iceman, the Man-Thing AND Nicky Fury and his Howling Commandos, Wonder Man, the Blue Diamond, Ghost Rider, Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Sasquatch solo, Sasquatch with Alpha Flight, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Sandman, Ant-Man, Batma… I mean the Spynx, Jocasta, Machine Man, and ALL of the Avengers… Which, surprisingly, isn’t the most guest-star cluttered issue of Defalco’s run….
Reasons why this Run Rocks
1) Tom Deflaco is the best Marvel Two-In-One writer the book’s ever seen, and he’s regularly doin’ stuff on a technical/literary level I’ve never seen from any other team-up book writer. (And I’ve read a lot.) Why? Actual, honest-to Buddah character development. Defalco doesn’t Not just introduce the character and their milleu to the audience, but allows for actual change and growth. Spider-villain the Sandman decides to retire from evil-doing over a beer with Ben Grimm. Machine Man finds, and loses, true love. The Bill Foster version of Giant Man confronts and conquers his fear of death over a multi-issue sub-plot. The Blue Diamond overcomes his feelings of inferiority, finds true love, and ascends to psedo God-hood. (You GO boy!) It may not be especially, y’know, subtle character development… But it’s more than you’re gettin’ from any of Defalco’s peers.
(From MTIO # 79. Ron Wilson artist. Chic Stone inker.
2) If Defalco’s stuck with a character firmly under the control of another writer and CAN’T do progressive characterization… At least he has everyone fight MODOK.
(From Marvel Two-In-One # 81. Ron Wilson Penciler. Chic Stone inker.)
3) There’s quite a range of emotional textures to the individual comics, from the Epic space opera of the Avengers team-up to the initmate “Two guys talking in a bar” Sandman story. Then there’s the just plain goofy Wonder-Man story (Wherin this guy…
uses a children’s television show based on the Thing to try to conquer the world) to…
(From MTIO # 82. Ron Wilson artist. Chic Stone inker.)
stories that seem to be intended to exist ONLY to invoke suicidal depression in their audience. Defalco’s not just paying a lot of attention to establishing a specific mood and tone for his stories, he’s really working to present a variety of ‘em.
4) And, of course, this run contains the Greatest Comic of All Time (scroll down.)
On the Other hand: There’s a goodly number of clunkers here, like Ant-man’s guest spot in # 78 and the unispired Iceman team-up in # 76. More troubling, while artist-for-16-of-these-18 issues Ron Wilson is my favorite COVER artist for MTIO – even ahead of George Perez, John Byrne, and “King” Kirby- his interior pencils are somtimes a tad chunky and stiff… And the whole effect is further devalued by the “A crowd scene? Just color it all yellow!” approach to production values that held sway at Jim Shooter’s Marvel.
11) Mark Waid(Writer) and George Perez (Artist) on Brave and the Bold – Second Ongoing Series(2007-2008)
Issues: 1-10 (10 issues)
Team-Ups: There’s no “set” hero that appears in every issue, as Superman did in DC Comics Presents. It went: Batman and Green Lantern, Green Lantern and Supergirl, Batman and Blue Beetle, Supergirl and Lobo, Batman vs. the Legion of Superheroes, Batman and Green Lantern again, Wonder Woman and Power Girl, the Flash and the Doom Patrol, The Boy Commandos AND the Blackhawks AND the Atom AND Hawkman AND Dial “H” for Hero AND the Metal Men, and finally Superman AND the Silent Knight AND Aquaman AND the Teen Titans – With Metamorpho, Adam Strange, the Challengers of the Unknown and freaking Destiny of the Endless (and probably a half-dozen dudes I forgot to mention) running around in supporting roles. Sheesh.
Reasons Why this Run Rocked:
1) George Perez and his insane page design skills. Yes, that is an entire Superman/Silent Knight team-up adventure, shrunk down and reflected in the Knight’s helmet. Even if you don’t share my PERFECTY RATIONAL love for the Silent Knight (who showed up in Brave and the Bold even before it was a team-up book) or my excitement at seeing him again, it’s still an indisputably great page.
(From Brave and the Bold # 10. Bob Wiacek inker.)
You guys twisted my arm. Here’s 0ne more Perez full pager. Supergirl and Green Lantern in other-space Las Vegas.
(From Brave and the Bold # 2. Bob Wiacek inker.)
2) Mark Waid has the time of his life making and exposing the subtle connections in the DC Universe. The Challengers of the Unknown escaped Death, and aren’t in Destiny’s book. The H-E-R-O dial turns Tin of the Metal Men into an overconfident jerk. Wally “Flash” West’s kids amalgamate with the Doom Patrol….
(From Brave and the Bold # 8. Bob Wiacek inker.)
3) And, for the love of God don’t tell anyone, but Waid and Perez made me kind of like Lobo. Just a little bit.
(From Brave and the Bold # 4. Wiacek inker, again. Tom Smith does the fine coloring on all of these, BTW.)
On the Other Hand: Perez work, do to it’s extreme detail, can get ever-so-slightly cluttered and hard to follow, and his figures sometimes come off a little.. TOO realistic and slightly plasicine looking. And the intense love for the DC Universe is fine, I mean I like Metamorpho too, but there comes a point where you’re making connections instead of telling as tory and it does get a little bit… what I’m trying to say is… y’know… All this….. this… continuity…
THAT’S NOT WHAT BOB HANEY WOULD DO HOT-DAMMIT!
Just doesn’t feel right.
Bonus Link! Here’s the Comic Treadmill in excruciating deal on issues 1-6. I was going to link to Joe Rice complaining about this series (for a nice change of pace from all the praise, praise, praise) but, man, something messed a bunch of old CSBG posts up, so I won’t. Just take my word that it was funny.
So, that’s it for THIS go-round. Next time, when I get around to it (probably a couple of days) we’ll start out the top ten with two famous and popular runs, and a couple days after THAT we’ll have numbers eight and seven, one obscure-but-great run you guys’ll probably never guess, and one that you’ll definitely never guess.