Greatest John Buscema Stories Ever Told!
Every day in April we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest John Buscema Stories Ever Told!
10. “24 Hours” Wolverine #10
In this memorably disturbing tale by Chris Claremont, Buscema and Bill Sienkiewicz, Wolverine celebrates his birthday and recalls a birthday years ago where he first fought Sabretooth after Sabretooth killed Logan’s girlfriend, Silver Fox. In the past, Sabretooth is kicking his ass but Logan ends the fight in dramatic fashion. In the present day, Wolverine (in his “Patch” identity) fights off a bunch of bad guys but after they almost kill him (they set him on fire and he has to throw himself into the water to survive), he discovers their dead bodies with a note. As it turns out, Sabretooth killed them, stating in his note that only HE is allowed to kill Wolverine.
9. “Battle of the Behemoths” Fantastic Four #111-112
Ben Grimm had recently gained the ability to turn back and forth between his human self and his Thing self but as it turns out, this had caused a mental imbalance in Ben that turned him eeeeeeeevil. He goes nuts and Reed calls in the Hulk to take care of Ben. This leads to an issue long battle between the two that ends only when Alicia Masters (Ben’s girlfriend) is accidentally struck by debris from the battle. This distracts Ben long enough for Hulk to knock him out, allowing Reed to cure him of his ailment (not before Ben seemingly dies from the blow, of course). Stan Lee wrote it and Buscema and Joe Sinnott drew it.
8. “The Jewels of Opar” Tarzan #1-6, 8, 10-11
It is hard to fully grasp how much of a major influence Hal Foster was on pretty much every comic book artist of the Golden Age. Foster was basically what Jack Kirby is to modern comic book artists, perhaps even more so. One way to realize the influence is to see the great enthusiasm artists of that generation had for drawing Tarzan. Joe Kubert jumped at the opportunity when DC got the rights to the character and Buscema similarly did so when Marvel got the rights to the character in 1977. Roy Thomas and Buscema used the first eleven issues of the series (less #7 and #9, oddly enough) to adapt the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan novel Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, which has Tarzan trying to discover the lost treasure of Atlantis but suffering amnesia along the way, which keeps him from coming to his wife Jane’s aid when she is kidnapped by some bad guys who are ALSO looking for the treasure. Tony DeZuniga inked the first six issues and a variety of inkers inked the last three parts of the story.
7. “The Power and the Prize” Silver Surfer #3
This issue introduced the demonic Mephisto as we get a chance to see the soul of the Surfer tested. It is a poignant story of pain and resolve. Stan Lee wrote it and Buscema and Joe Sinnott drew it.
6. “Black Colossus” Savage Sword of Conan #2
Roy Thomas, Buscema and Alfredo Alcala adapt this Robert E. Howard Conan tale where Conan lucks into defending a kingdom against an attack by a powerful wizard awoken after three thousand years of sleep. This one was so well-regarded that Marvel later reprinted it in a Treasury Edition in full color.
The top five is on the next page!