SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
Here are the next five storylines on the countdown, as voted on by you, the readers!! Here is the master list of all storylines featured so far.
(As per usual, results now and details later!)
15. “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore and David Lloyd (After beginning serialization in Warrior, V for Vendetta #1-10) – 455 points (9 first place votes)
At the heart of V for Vendetta is an engaging and difficult dilemma – if you HAD to choose, what would you prefer? Fascism or anarchy?
In the former, yeah, you’d be ruled by essentially dictators, but odds are that you personally wouldn’t be directly affected.
In the latter, yeah, you’d be free, but there would be no protection from chaos.
It’s a beautiful dilemma, and Alan Moore milks it for all that it is worth in this alternate reality where a “terrorist” named V (who wears a Guy Fawkes mask) tries to bring down the government, hopefully with the help of a young woman named Evie.
Moore and his brilliant artistic counterpart, David Lloyd, create a lush, dark and vibrant world that is too scary to want to live there, but too interesting not to want to read more about.
14. “Kraven’s Last Hunt” by J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod (Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132 and Web of Spider-Man #31-32) – 473 points (10 first place votes)
Kraven’s Last Hunt (originally known as “Fearful Symmetry”) takes a novel approach to the Spider-Man villain, Kraven the Hunter. Kraven the Hunter originally debuted under an interesting motive for being a super-villain – he was a famous big game hunter and hunting Spider-Man was a challenge for him. That was about it.
The only thing was that he never really succeeded in BEATING Spider-Man, and over the years, that has depressed him to the point of near-mania.
And that is where we open Fearful Symmetry, with a crazed Kraven the Hunter lamenting his failures and vowing to finally succeed – and he does – he not only defeats Spider-Man, but he buries him in a grave!!!
Taking on Spider-Man’s costume, Kraven goes on to try to show how he is a better Spider-Man than Spider-Man ever was.
Pretty rough stuff, huh?
J. M. DeMatteis crafted a wonderful psychologically taut thriller here, with great art by Mike Zeck and Bob McLoed.
This story, which serialized throughout all three of the Spider-Man books in late 1987, was exceptionally dark for what was a typical Spider-Man (heck, a typical SUPERHERO) story at the time – and it really made it stand out, but even in modern times the story holds up extremely well.
13. “The Judas Contract ” by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Mike DeCarlo (Tales of the New Teen Titans #42-44, Tales of the New Teen Titans Annual #3) – 492 points (6 first place votes)
12. “The Age of Apocalypse” by Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid, Fabian Nicieza, Andy Kubert, Joe Madureira, Steve Epting, Roger Cruz and a pile of other artists and writers (X-Men: Alpha #1, Amazing X-Men #1-4, Astonishing X-Men #1-4, X-Men: Omega #1 plus a bunch of tie-ins) – 511 points (14 first place votes)
11. “The Great Darkness Saga” by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt (Legion of Super-Heroes #290-294) – 704 points (16 first place votes)
Probably the most notable aspect of the Great Darkness Saga is just how well Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen developed the drama of the storyline. It was very much a slow burn as things slowly got progressively worse until, well, all hell broke loose at the end of the story.
Larry Mahlstedt was Giffen’s inker at the time, and the duo produced some strong, dynamic and characterization-filled artwork.
After some small references in the issues before, the storyline began proper in Legion of Super-Heroes #290, as some mysterious powerful “dark” creatures keep popping up around the world capturing items of power, with the Legion trying (to no avail) to stop them at each opportunity.
n the next issue, the situation continues to deteriorate, and the mystery of WHO these “dark warriors” are becomes a bigger issue, as it APPEARS as though the dark creatures are actually powerful beings from the past – beings that have been long dead for years (centuries in some cases).
The Legion are getting their asses handed to them repeatedly, and as #291 ends, things look pretty damn bleak…and that’s before they reveal that Darkseid is the big bad guy!!!
The impact of that reveal was a lot bigger back when Darkseid was not such a popular villain for people to use.
And that, of course, leads into a dramatic last issue that has all the drama and action you would expect from the previous issues. It is impressive to see a story slowly build and have the conclusion be truly worth the slow burn.
Levitz and Giffen both come off as wonderful storytellers in this saga.
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