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Top 11 #111 Issues of All-Time!

What the hell, I still have some time left in 1/11/11, so let’s take a look at the top #111 issues of all-time!

Let’s begin!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Fantastic Four #111, Amazing Spider-Man #111, Superman #111 (Volume 1), Superman #111 (Volume 2), Action Comics #111, Detective Comics #111, Justice League America #111, Defenders #111, Superman: Man of Steel #111, Web of Spider-Man #111, Alpha Flight #111, Police Comics #111, Swamp Thing #111, Wonder Woman #111 (Volume 1), Wonder Woman #111 (Volume 2), World’s Finest Comics #111, Walt Disney Comics and Stories #111, Wolverine #111, Green Lantern #111 (Hal), Green Lantern (Kyle) #111, Sgt. Fury #111, Silver Surfer #111, Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #111 (cool cover), Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #111 (great cover) and Whiz Comics #111 were all fair enough issues (well, most of them, at least), but nothing really to get excited about.

This updated “Hard Travelin’ Heroes” story was good, and oh man, Rodolfo Damaggio is ay-MAY-zing.

Another classic Kanigher/Kubert Sgt. Rock story!

A really good trio of war stories!

This was in the midst of a compelling string of stories by Jim Owsley.

It would be ranked higher if it wasn’t a Secret Wars II tie-in (and co-starring the Puma!), but Peter David did a great job with this issue.

One of the few early Broome/Infantino Flash issues that really wasn’t a classic.

A strong Paul Jenkins/Sean Phillips issue.

11.

This was an impressive ending to the offbeat Mr. Glum saga.

10.

Dead Heat was not one of the best Waid Flash crossovers, but it was still pretty darn good.

9.

The introduction of the Silver Samurai! Strong Gerber-penned issue.

8.

OH MAN!!! JACK FLAGG WAS MADE COOL!!! One of the most amazing feats you’ll ever see, courtesy of Warren Ellis.

7.

Classic Lee/Kirby Thor story (including a classic Tales of Asgard story).

6.

The second Doctor Strange story. Good stuff, but not the classic stories that would come later.

5.

A really strong Joker story by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo.

4.

A Claremont/Byrne/Austin classic.

3.

The introduction of Libra. A legendary Len Wein issue!

2.

The conclusion to Dave Sim’s epic Church and State!

1.

This Jim Steranko issue is one of the most famous issues PERIOD, so it’s a cinch for #1!

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me kn…wait, do I really need to tell you that?

30 Comments

Rockin’! Cerebus was #2! Yay! All is right with the world!

Actually, I was scrolling down at first, wondering “how the hell is he gonna get Cerebus in when he’s already featured, like, 10 covers?” until I realized that you had cover images of some of the honorable mentions, and I noticed the little numbers in the corner.

Thunderbolts is a fave too. Your comment is EXACTLY my thought on that issue. (I had to hunt that issue down, it wasn’t at my LCS, or the other one that’s been around in town for years, and it wasn’t at the grocery store where I got 110, so fortunately there was a 3rd store in my area that had opened around that time that had it.)

What I love most about this post is that you threw it together in a few hours after someone’s comment on your first one, and it’s still an impressive list. You, sir, have an amazing capacity to think up all this stuff on the fly! (and I hope I helped with the Cerebus comment…)

funkygreenjerusalem

January 12, 2011 at 1:11 am

Was Action Comics #111 the first comic to get that high an issue count?

This was in the midst of a compelling string of stories by Jim Owsley.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Jim Owsley changed his name to Christopher Priest, around 1993, and kept on writing comics!

funky, wouldn’t Detective have gotten to 111 before Action? And would any of the Captain Marvel stuff gotten there at all? That might have gotten there around that time.

Is there anywhere that Priest explained the name change? I know I’ve read he HAS a reason, but kept it secretive about why.

I didn’t know Paul Jenkins and Sean Phillips worked on Hellblazer. Might try and find there issues.

I LOVED Waid’s run on Flash from about #90 to just before #120 or so. Thinking about it makes me want to reread them! And he had great artists working with him.

The brave and the Bold issue looks fun too.

Priest (or Owsley) is one of my favorite writers. Its a shame he doesn’t get more work. He really knows how to write characters with depth and personality – The Ray, JL Task Force and Steel were great runs.

Yeah I’d imagine Detective would probably be the first issue to reach 111… Action is only ahead now because it was weekly for a while. Hey, that means Amazing Spider-Man could potentially take the lead in issues published one day!

Thanks for taking my suggestions Brian, and great list. Hard to find any argument, and Captain America CLEARLY had to be #1. Just that cover alone is worth the price of admission.

I had also never seen that Thor cover in color (only in the Marvel Essentials), and it’s quite a beauty as well. It doesn’t appear to be regarded as a classic Kirby cover, but I feel like it should be. Just the composition exudes Kirby wackiness.

Man, I loved that uncanny issue. With 108 being the conclusion of the Cockrum Shi’ar story, 109 being a single issue story, and 110 being a fill-in, I’ve always felt #111 is the true start to the Claremont/Byrne run, and the beginning of a saga that really didn’t end until the death of Dark Phoenix.

I never knew before now that Silver Samurai first appeared in Daredevil… always just figured he was Claremont’s character, and first appeared in that Marvel Team-Up run he was so frequently featured in. Did Gerber ever use him again? Is he ever mentioned as a mutant in that Daredevil issue?

Does anyone know who drew that Powerman/Iron Fist cover? The signature sort of looks like Frank Brunner’s, one of my favorite forgotten artists, but I don’t think it’s him.

And I have to say, I really loved that next generation Hard Traveling Heroes GL/GA crossover.

Brian, as for what will happen on 11/11/11… clearly you’ll have to do the 1,111 best #11 issues. Or, perhaps even… dare I say it… A Month of #11 issues (11 per day)? Almost every series makes it that far, so the pickins will be plentiful. Without really thinking about it, Watchmen would almost definitely be my #1. “I did it 35 minutes ago” is my favorite line in comics history. Ooh, and Superman Annual #11, For the Man Who Has Everything. That was some damn fine comic booking. And Dark Knight #11 was the start of Prey, which is heavily rumored to be the basis of the next Nolan Bat film.

James-

Jenkins/Phillips handled Hellblazer, I’m pretty sure, from issues 89-128. I know the original Ennis run ended with 83, 84 was a Delano single issue, and I think 85-88 was a four-part Eddie Campbell story. Then Ennis came back with a five issue story from 129-133, before Ellis took over with 134. So I’m pretty sure every issue between was Jenkins/Phillips, unless there’s a fill-in somehwre there that I missed. Some good stuff in there. Nothing as classic as the Ennis or Azzarello stuff, but well worth a look.

Tom Fitzpatrick

January 12, 2011 at 4:30 am

I’d have to admit that Cerebus # 111 was a classic.

The ending of that 5 year storyline was nothing I’d ever seen before.

Whatever happened to Rodolfo DaMaggio? I really liked his art on Green Arrow, as well as the 3rd Batman/ Predator series. I thought he would break out, but I can’t remember seeing his art anywhere after his stint on GA.

He broke out past comic book work to become an acclaimed concept artist/storyboard artist for films. He’s done some extremely high profile work, including work on the new Green Lantern film (he also worked on Iron Man, the last Star Wars film and the last Indiana Jones film).

I find Paul Jenkins to be a bad writer when it comes to writing continuing stories such as Hellblazer and Hulk issues.
However, he is very good with new stuff he comes up with himself such as The Sentry which was an excellent mini-series.

You are right, Jack Flagg was made very cool. Cool enough to get him into the Guardians of the Galaxy even.

That Jack Flagg issue was awesome! Ellis proves that with a good writer, and, more importantly, a good concept and execution, there are no lame characters.

Matthew Johnson

January 12, 2011 at 8:44 am

“Tell your mourners”? Isn’t that like asking “Are you awake?”

How can the Human Torch defend himself against the Asbestos Man?

Wait until he dies of cancer?

Wouldn’t Adventure Comics have been the first to #111? It started as New Comics in 1935, changed to New Adventure Comics with #12 and then to Adventure Comics with #32. That means it pre-dated Detective, More Fun and Action Comics.

Spectacular Spider-Man wasn’t Peter David, it was Jim Owsley. (So maybe it’s appropriate that you put it right after the Power Man and Iron Fist.)

Actually I think Famous Funnies would be the first comic to hit issue #111. It hit 111 in October 1943, at which time Detective Comics was only up to 80, and Action Comics at 65.

Aside from the milestone, I don’t think there’s anything remarkable enough about the issue to warrant it being on the top 11 list….

I would put in a very high number in my list Ultimate Spiderman #111. It´s “The talk” between Peter and Aunt Mary (setting the first stone to the status quo that we have today).
Also, isn´t this issue the end to the longer continuous writer/drawer in Marvel´s history?

Well I was going to make a joke, but then I saw Cerebus at #2, and I kind of feel like I should just sit quietly in hushed awe.

What the hell, here goes…

Obviously All American Men of War #111 should take the number one spot. On second glance, you will notice that the “triptych” cover design is actually a cleverly hidden ONE-ONE-ONE, or the number 111 itself! Released in the autumn of 1965, the laboriously designed cover predates the famous Deadman splash page in Strange Adventures 216 (1-69) by almost 5 years!

Although, speaking of Cerebus, I’m pretty sure I read something by Sim that references examples of the same technique from 1950′s newspaper strips.

Spectacular Spidey 111 is not written by PAD but by Jim Owsley.

On seeing number 5 I was going to claim the Batman/Joker team should be in the top 4.

Then I saw the top 4. Surprisingly strong list for a relatively random number.

It’s funny, what really sticks out for me in that Thunderbolt storyline is not so much Jack Flag being made cool as American Eagle being made AWESOME–but I think he didn’t show up until the following issue.

I just knew that Captain America #111 would take the top spot. Forty years later, and those three Cap issues by Steranko continue to be tremendously influential on creators. By the way, the X-Men #111 cover was drawn by Dave Cockrum & Terry Austin, but Byrne did indeed do the interior pencils. Speaking of Byrne, and answering the question of “Who IS he?!” on the cover of Power Man & Iron Fist #111, if I recall correctly, it revealed in the pages of Namor the Sub-Mariner that Captain Hero (the guy with the cape on the cover) was really the Super-Skrull.

Anyway, Brian, great entry! Nowadays, it’s a feat in and of itself to see a title reach issue #111, since so many books get re-started with issue #1.

I couldn’t think of them, but I knew there was one or 2 other comics (like Adventure or Famous Funnies) that would have hit 111 first.

Would that All-American Men of War necessarily have been designed that way for issue 111? Would the editor (Kanigher, I’m guessing) have planned the cover for the issue number like that? If so, way cool. Were other AAMoW covers triptychs like that around that time?

And I think Joe is probably referring to the Neal Adams “hidden head” in a Ben Casey strip from the ’60s. I believe that it is reprinted in Following Cerebus 9, the big Neal Adams issue. Cool stuff. I’m guessing Dave’s Glamourpuss is also featuring some stuff that might highlight neat layouts like that.

funkygreenjerusalem

January 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Yeah I’d imagine Detective would probably be the first issue to reach 111… Action is only ahead now because it was weekly for a while.

Huh.
There you go – never new that, but thinking on it, makes sense, as Batman was only a little while after Superman – not two-three years later.

Hey, that means Amazing Spider-Man could potentially take the lead in issues published one day!

As long as Marvel can resist re-numbering next time quarterly sales are down and they need a boost!

Well, remember, funky, Batman’s first app was ‘Tec 27, which was only about a year after Action 1 (iirc). So ‘Tec had been running about a year or so before Action 1. As someone said, Action went weekly in the late ’80s (601-643), so that’s why Action’s hitting 900 first.

And again, as others pointed out, that you and I couldn’t remember, a few other titles predated Action and Detective.

That Spectacular Spider-Man cover almost made me do a spit take. All that Silver Age style verbiage, followed by, “And then the gods wept.”

Bwah!

I thought that Avengers (first series) #111 would be on here, as it had guest stars Daredevil and Black Widow, and fighting Magneto to boot!

Byrne was great back in the good old days…

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