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CSBG Archive

31 Days of Comics – Your Favorite Comic

Our pal Seth Hahne, of GoodOKBad fame, came up with this 31 Days of Comics challenge, one of those things where each day of the month you’re given a different category that you then make a choice of a comic to fill that category. I thought it was a lot of fun and was going to do it back in November, but, well, November has 30 days. December was kind of crowded with Christmas stuff, so here we are! Click here to see each of the categories so far!

We begin with Day 1, which is Your Favorite Comic.

Read on for my pick and then you can share yours!

While it is not that I do not think that their run on Justice League International was not excellent, as I do, but if I were to pick the BEST run out there, I doubt that I would go with Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ Justice League. But for whatever reason (nostalgia, perhaps?), it’s probably still my FAVORITE run. And to choose one specific issue, I’d go with 1990’s “A Date With Density, Part Two: Hell on Ice!” from Justice League America #45 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Adam Hughes, Russ Braun and three inkers, John Beatty, Jose Marzan, Jr. and Malcolm Jones III.

The concept of the issue is that Oberon is considering leaving the Justice League to go be with Mister Miracle and Big Barda. Meanwhile, Ice is trying to get Guy Gardner to take her on a REAL date, as their first date was to a porno theater and their second date was to a cock fight. So she manages to convince him to take her to the Ice Capists.

Unluckily for Guy, Blue Beetle and Killowog find out about their date from Ice’s best friend, Fire, and they have certain plans in place for Guy…

Hilarious stuff, and great art from Russ Braun, who did amazing work in the last couple of years as the other main artist with Darick Robertson on Garth Ennis’ awesome series, The Boys.

Guy and Ice return to the embassy and Guy, naturally, is fuming. He tries to calm down, for Ice’s sake, but then he enters his room…

What follows is stand-out work from J.M. DeMatteis, as he handles most of the rest of the humor in the issue off-panel (by the by, Lightray and Orion had recently joined the Justice League to replace Mister Miracle)…

This issue spotlighted a lot of the things that I loved about Justice League America. Interesting characters who had been around each other so long that they played off each other so well, disparate personalities that clashed well with each other and an excellent sense of comedy from Giffen and DeMatteis. Giffen would come up with these situations and DeMatteis would just excel with hilarious dialogue to match them. Plus the general sense of FUN in these issues still makes me enjoy them when I take them out to read for the umpteenth time.

I’d go with their run on Justice League America as my favorite comic and this issue as my favorite single issue from their run.


Mine is not a “best” either: What If…? (Vol. 2) #10, “What if the Punisher’s family hadn’t been killed?” I just love how things turn in this alternate timeline, a great showcase (IMHO) of the “What if?” vehicle.

My favorite comic is Scott McCloud’s “Zot!”. The first ten color issues set everything up in a delightful, complex and fun adventure story and then the twenty-six black-and-white issues expand the world and deliver some amazing, moving and smart stories that stand the test of time.

As a favorite issue or story… the temptation is to pick the much-praised story that ties up a major plot thread “Ghost in the Machine” (#23-25), but I have to go for #33, in which one of the main characters confronts her issues around her sexuality and the world’s reactions to that. It’s an excellent issue that spoke volumes to me and should seem very familiar to anyone who’s struggled with being different. It’s aged well and despite a few “typical” high-school story beats, it remains a relevant story. Scott McCloud also does something clever with the medium that adds to the experience.

“Justice League International” would definitely make my top ten though!

I undertook this challenge in December 2010. If I recall correctly, Seth was very supportive and offered more than 30 possible categories, so I didn’t do this one then.

That being said, sitting here on this cold sub-zero morning, I’m racking my brain for my single favorite comic. So many possibilities…the ones I reread every summer as a teen? The ones that blew me away? The quiet ones? The over the top, summer action film-esque ones?

How about Fantastic Four 250? I read it off the stands at 12 and reread it constantly growing up. A mystery. Lots of action. Byrne art.

And I’m sure I’ll think of 50 others on the way to work this morning…if the car starts.

Really? Huh, I only noticed it on his site back in September. I didn’t know Seth did it three years ago, as well. Luckily, it’s a challenge that works as well today as it would have three years ago!

Heh. You picked one of my favorites as well. I love this issue. Guy is trying SO hard, and Beetle is being just SO nefarious.

This really was one of the best runs on one of the best books by DC. They actually did go out and fight some really heavy hitters, but for me, the best part was the characterizations and interactions of this particular group of heroes. The stories were fun, the art was great, and stuff happened, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom all of the time.


Hard to come up with one among the many thousands I’ve read, and even harder to avoid the most obvious choices that show up in these lists (ie. FF 232, DD 181, X-Men 137). But here’s three, hopefully non-obvious contenders that I read dozens of times as a kid:

G.I. Joe 21 (Silent Interlude): Issue without dialogue or word captions, featuring the mute Snake Eyes (naturally) and that introduced (I think) Storm Shadow. Just defined coolness for me as a kid.

Daredevil 208 (The Deadliest Night of My Life): Written by Harlan Ellison and Arthur Covey, DD is lured into a deathtrap and spends almost the entire issues escaping one peril after another. Gripping and fun.

X-Men 175: One of the first X-Men I ever read, the story hangs on Mastermind convincing the X-men that Dark Phoenix is back. I didn’t know who Jean Gray, Phoenix or Dark Phoenix was, but I didn’t care. I was blown away by Paul Smith’s crisp art and the great action sequence of Cyclops vs. the the rest of the X-Men.

These might all be from the same year, 1983 or 84, when I first got hooked by comics. They’re not the most literary or sophisticated, but they’re among the most fun comics I’ve read.

The Crazed Spruce

January 2, 2014 at 5:22 am

The Giffen/DeMatteis JLA is one of my favourite runs, too, and I did enjoy that issue, but I preferred “Moving Day”, or the JLE’s French class. (For that matter, the issue where Beetle went nuts and attacked Max Lord was pretty good, too. It was one of the series’ first dramatic departures, and a pretty damn effective one. A pretty ironic one, too, as it would turn out….) I’d have to say that my favourite story, however, was from an issue of Justice League Quarterly, where eight members of the two Justice League teams go to a secluded laboratory to capture a mad scientist, and are exposed to a gas that turns one in eight people into a homicidal maniac. It’s a fun little pot-boiler loaded with tension straight through the climax. (I lost the comic in a fire over a decade ago, though, so I can’t exactly look up the story title or issue right now. Sorry.)

(@Tomer Soiker: I like that issue, too, but I referred the later issue where Punisher killed Spider-Man. It had a great narrative, a unique way of working around Peter’s spider-sense, and pretty much the perfect ending.)

Hmmm… this year it would be Fables #134 (I think that is the number), but ever?

My favourite comic over all was Watchmen but single issue… hmmm…

The Incredible Hulk issue where the suicidal fellow with AIDS calls the hotline?


No… I’m going to go with the Death of Speedy issue of Love & Rockets.

You felt the inevitability but wow, was it ever well done.

Why have I stopped buying Love & Rockets?… hmmm… I miss it….

If I have to pick one single issue it has to be Uncanny X-Men #196. Usually remembered as “That time Kitty said the N-Word”, this issue is the distillation of all the themes that made Claremont’s run so great. Not only does it fully contextualize the “mutants as persecuted minority” element, but the climax where Magneto tries to talk Rachel out of killing the men who attacked Xavier is a huge turning point for both characters and Wolverine.

I’d definitely put DD #181 as my favourite comic, as it excels in style, story, characterization, emotion, significance, and is just plain cool. Best Bullseye ever.

The second one that pops to mind is “Men of Good Fortune” in Sandman #13. A nice, quiet, simple story that I keep going back to, rife with broad themes, interesting historical tidbits plus some good comic booky elements to keep fans on their toes…like a good ol’ Constantine ancestor cameo. Overall it’s just a really nice story.

Others that pop to mind are Hellblazer #11, the Newcastle story, an episode that had been built up in imaginations for years and lived up to the hype by being genuinely horrific. I also like “Bogeymen” in Swamp Thing #44, and Watchmen #4 is just a fascinating read, a story truly tailor-made for the comic book medium.

Recently I’ve really loved Fell #4 and All-Star Superman #10, too!

Is it embarrassing to say my favorite comic is Firestar #1 from 2010? Yeah, stumbling across that issue was kind of by accident. I bought a huge lot of comics on eBay and as I scrolled through each book, that one just grasped my attention. I’ve always been a fan of strong character development and this one had an entire issue devoted to the character. I’ve always said the best way to convey character development is through tragedy and seeing how they react to it. Her motivations and approach to life are very realistic and refreshing compared to how most superheroes treat their real life problems. Despite all the tragities she’s been through she still tries to approach things rationally and optimistically. The art is great too. It’s fluent and easy to follow. It’s the kind of story I’ve always wanted to read and enjoyed tremendously when I did.

Bloody hell, why not just ask a mother frog if she has a favorite child?

If pressed, though, I’m probably going to have to go with Astro City 1/2, “The Nearness of You.” A brilliant idea for a story (which apparently came from an offhand comment by Nat Gertler), executed just beautifully.

I am torn between “Uncanny X-Men” #138 and Justice League of America #200. I bought them each off the stands (and by stands I mean the local pharmacy’s spinner rack) at the time.

UXM 138 was my first introduction to the X-Men as a team, and what a way to dive in – Cyclops leaving the team, and his accompanying walk down memory lane. Lots of wordy Claremont history and amazing John Byrne art. This would be the perfect gateway book for anyone new to Marvel’s (not so) Merry (anymore) Mutants, back before time travelers, alternate-future children, “No More Mutants”, or parallel world iterations churned up the waters to their current unnecessary sludgy consistency.

JLA 200 showcased the best things about the team in that era: splitting up into pairs/trios to tackle smaller parts of an overarching adventure, interesting guest stars, and finally, meeting up later to pile on. Add in all of the amazing artists who handled each team-up, and the first time I actually got to see ‘founder J’onn J’onzz” in action (he’d been gone from the team for many years at that time), and the HUGE size of the issue (with a George Perez wraparound cover!), and you had a comic for the ages.

There have been many great comics since then, but these two always bubble up to the top of my brain when asked which are my all-time favorites.

I always struggle with these choices between choices that I know are acknowledged classics and those that are favourites for various other reasons. I’d love to choose an issue of Mike Grell’s Warlord run but they don’t always resonate with me emotionally. Instead, I’ll choose West Coast Avengers #100, the death (as permanent as a comic book death ever is in comics) of Mockingbird. Throughout the WCA run, the characters if Hawkeye and Mockingbird had grown apart and back together, while their individual characterization shad become more nuanced. Hawkeye’s development into someone more than just a ‘wise-acre’ is fully demonstrated in two panels, the first when he screams Mockingbird’s name and when he holds her lifeless body. Still hits me in the gut to this day when I think of it; maybe not the ‘best’ comic I have, but the most powerful.

I love JLA 200 (especially the great Perez cover) but I think X-Men 138 would have been a very frustrating place to jump into the series. It would be like getting to a fireworks show just as everyone is headed back to their cars.

It’s definitely hard to pick my one favorite comic, so I’ll go with the comic that is my favorite comic from a personal significance pov. In 1988 I was in college when my best friend called to tell me there were some Sherlock Holmes (my favorite fictional character) comics at his lcs. I had read scant few comics as a kid and hadn’t thought of them since, nor could I tell you what they were.

That first visit to the comic shop in 1988 introduced me to BATMAN #418. That Mike Zeck cover and the Jim Aparo interiors totally drew me in to the whole “comics is my passion” thing. That issue was Part 2 of the “10 Nights of the Beast” story-arc. Yeah, I know it’s not one of the best Batman stories, but it was my gateway book. I have a special fondness for it. I collected all 4 parts of that arc, in addition to becoming a regular weekly comics junky from then on. I have always liked the idea of trying to figure out whether Batman “killed” the KGBeast, or not. We really don’t know, do we?

BATMAN #418 is my favorite comic b/c without it, I may never have discovered all the great stories I’ve read since: Sandman, Hellblazer, Daredevil, Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Fables, Hellboy, Wolverine, etc.

Incredible Hulk 372: my gateway comic. Action, drama, humor, romance, & great art. The total package.

Palomar: Gilbert Hernandez’s multi- generational magical realism saga is the best comic I’ve ever read. His characters and the town they inhabit are vibrant and memorable.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. I first saw it in an over-sized reprint in the mid-1970s and it’s been my favorite comic book ever since.

Brian’s right. I didn’t ever think of doing a 31 Days of Comics until September 2013. I did it when a friend prompted me to adapt the 31 Days of Movies trend that all our film-loving friends were doing on Facebook. Also, I started Good Ok Bad in Spring 2011 and really didn’t doing any comics writing before that point, so MOCK! probably is thinking of someone else. Though I *was* very supportive—that was totally me!

My own choice was Duncan the Wonder Dog. Duncan’s kind of just out there doing it’s own amazing thing. It’s such a large, lovely, *dense* book. Each page is thoroughly designed, with text rolling and bubbling under and over its surface. It’s ambitious as anything I’ve seen.

I hadn’t even thought of doing a single issue, though I should have considered it. Thinking back, I’d maybe go with Yotsuba&!, chapter 68 (“Yotsuba & Lies”) for how well it establishes the nature of kids and lying while remaining thoroughly Yotsuba. Runners-up for me would include Uncanny X-Men 205, the Barry Windsor-Smith issue with Logan and Katie Power in a chance encounter trying to survive an assault in a heavy snow storm. Also, maybe New Mutants 18, the first ep of the “Demon bear Saga.”

If you’re talking comic, then I think you’ve picked my favorite. The JL-I-E era. Though Maguire played a big part in that too. Though ISSUE is almost impossible. From that comic, maybe the “one punch” issue or “bwah-ha-ha” would stick out more.

Other one issues that might vie for the title….best issue from maybe the best run, the aforementioned DD #181. Best issue from”best” comic, Dark Knight Returns #2. Favorite issues of favorite character….Fantastic Four #258 “Interlude”….#278…or Secret Wars #10….

It’s really Sophie’s choice of comics.

A mention of “fav” that will never get mentioned, I really loved the “original new” Vigilante run that went 50 issues. Really good art with great covers, real life storytelling, characters they could do anything with, and one of the all time underrated costume designs. They keep trying to bring him/her back in some new version, and failing.

Captain America #210 blew my little mind. I bought it for the cover, a bizarre Kirby konfection featuring a sort of cross between the Red Skull’s head and an octopus, its tentacles ensnaring Cap, Falcon, etc. Truth be told, it’s a slightly misleading cover as the Falcon appears in exactly 6 panels, and he’s “thousands of miles away” from the rest of the action. The Red Skull is hardly in it, either.

The main villain is the ever-freaky, just introduced Arnim Zola, the dude with his face in his torso. Hats off to Kirby, though…Zola’s not even the weirdest baddie in the ish! Nor is the goofy half bird/half yeti with Andy Rooney eyebrows! Nor is the living, mindless blob known as Doughboy! Rather, the oddest menace must be the creatures Zola forms to hunt down Captain America: a hopping froglike creature, and (most especially) a completely surreal 3-eyed surveillance monster. This last creature has two giant ears where its arms should be, and a huge eyeball where its mouth should be. Even in an issue stuffed with strangeness, it stands out. And, if you’re like me, this thing will populate your nightmares for years to come!

Now, this stuff might not be Kirby at his best. As Fabio P. Barbieri pointed out in the comments to an old Legends Revealed, “Captain America, in particular, was FANTASTICALLY badly plotted. By the time we get to the Arnim Zola story, there is practically no continuity from issue to issue – Zola acts on instructions that the Skull never gave him, Cap and Donna Maria recognize two monsters they have never seen before; and a good bit of space is wasted on a pointless jaunt by the Falcon, which is eventually settled off-panel.” Who cares? It has a ton of weird, genetically manipulated flesh monsters and a guy with a stomach face controlling them! AND it’s got a Hostess ad starring the Hulk!

Addendum: I was absolutely flabbergasted to see good ol’ Zola in an episode of the Avengers cartoon. Here I thought he was a one-shot WTF bit of Kirby kray-kray from the forgotten 70’s. I looked him up on Wikipedia and couldn’t believe what a huge role he has been playing in the Marvel Universe!

My personal favorite comic is WHAT IF? (vol. 1) #19, “What If Spider-Man Had Stopped the Burglar Who Killed His Uncle?”

I was a DC kid, but I loved the digests that re-printed to Silver Age Marvels. As a result, that first run of WHAT IF? was pretty close to my heart. However, the story that Peter Gillis and Pat Broderick told was uniquely awesome. It established a whole new status quo for Spidey that was utterly plausible and entertaining. It sent my brain running a half dozen directions. That was really the comic that took from being a comic reader to a comic fan.

For me I’d have to go with that Amazing Spider-Man Ditko issue where Spider-Man lifts the huge hulking machinery off him in the Master Planner’s lair.

I should also mention Thor 380 as a runner-up single issue. That battle was jaw-dropping when I was a kid. Christine Scheele’s colouring is just phenomenal.

There is no way I could pick a favorite comic, whether series or single issue. I could probably sit here for the rest of the day just picking out comics that meant something to me as a kid, then come back tomorrow and do it for those that meant something as an adult. There’s a reason I always say I want to vote in the “Best Of…” lists, but never actually can.

To go all the way back to the first comment, by Tomer: I noticed that that “What If..?” issue is only two before one that was hugely meaningful to me, “What If the X-Men Had Stayed in Asgard?” I think I talked about it on the “Best X-Men List” when we got to the Asgard saga, so no need to reiterate. And the next issue was another favorite (though not as near-and-dear), “What If Professor X Had Become the Juggernaut?”

God, they were really on a roll at that time. They were doing exactly what “alternate universe” stories are supposed to do: Come in with a strong, interesting concept, give you a couple of fun scenes, then leave you with an emotional gutpunch.

Seconding Daredevil 181. It’s just too perfect.

@mrclam it’ll blow your mind further when you realize he was in Captain America: The First Avenger on the big screen too….

I was going to go lame and say Uncanny X-Men 129, but then I was tempted to go with Uncanny X-Men 175, Paul Smith at his finest.

Though the comic I reread the most? That would be Wolverine and the X-Men 17, that’s right, the Doop issue. There is just something about it that I just find super entertaining and fun. Sort of wish there was an animated version of it. And I wouldn’t even say I was a huge fan of Doop prior to the issue, or a giant follower of Allred’s work. It just clicked for me.


January 2, 2014 at 1:11 pm

@ M-Wolverine – that’s funny I was thinking of BOTH Fantastic Four 258 & 278 as well.
#278 was my first FF comic, so it’s always a sentimental favorite, that concise Dr. Doom origin is perfect.
#258 is such a good comic as well, love the whole “a day in the life of Doom” aspect of it. 258-260 is just about perfect.

I guess my favorite comic would probably be FF #241 – Nothing earth shatteringly important happens in it, it has a weak (for a Byrne FF ) cover and the villain, a lame alien, is never seen again. It’s a one and done story that guest stars both Shield and the Black Panther, has a fun Indiana Jones /Pulp vibe to it and features some pretty fine artwork by Byrne. It seems to get a lot of story into a single issue and feels a bit like early Silver-Age Marvel.
On the whole it’s probably one of the more disposable issues from Byrne’s phenomenal run, but dang it, it has a special place in my heart.

AND it probably wouldn’t have made the list unless I voted for it!

Might as well go with a nostalgic choice – Amazing Spider-Man #252

The first appearance of the black costume, and an awesome Ron Frenz cover in homage to Amazing Fantasy #15.

But mainly I just really like this issue as it shows Pete having a great day for once – he’s just back from the Secret Wars and is happy to be back in NYC and indulging in all his home comforts. Really cool, optimistic story with an upbeat ending.

Of course, it was just a brief respite before he discovered his black costume was alive and trying to steal his body, but that’s the old Parker luck for you.

Willie Everstop

January 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm

What If? (vol. 1) #32 – “What If The Avengers Had Become Pawns of Korvac?” It’s a large-scale cosmic story that made me a lifetime fan of both the Avengers and the original Guardians of the Galaxy.

Next would probably be the Junkman issue of Astro City. “Show ‘Em All”

My favorite is Uncanny X-men Annual 9 where the team travels to Asgard to rescue Storm and the New Mutants from the machinations of Loki. To this day I’m astounded at how well Chris Claremont managed to mix his mutant characters with the gods of Asgard and tie everything into the plot lines Walt Simonson had going in the monthly Thor book. This issue also features jaw-droppingly beautiful pencils by Art Adams, who was never better than he was here IMO.

Honorable mention to Justice League of America 200 (the original 7 vs the remaining satellite-era members)

Thirding Daredevil #181.

Miss Annoy – I loved that X-Men annual and the New Mutants special edition that started it off. That was probably the first time my jaw was dropped over comicbook artwork. (I *was* in junior high so make of that what you will.)

Willie Everstop

January 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm

That New Mutants Special Edition is fantastic.

Doom Patrol #63. The only thing that comes close is Hitman #60.

There are so many good issues to pick from. If I have to go with the one that instantly jumped to mind, it would be Incredible Hulk 369 by Peter David and Dale Keown. Very humerous, well paced and drawn fantastically. I also tend to enjoy when heroes fight against villains who are not in their usual rogues gallery. It offers more opportunities for development and interaction. This issue also stars the Grey Hulk which is almost always better than the green hulk.

My favorite comic is a pretty clear standout for me, a single story from an anthology comic. I consider it both my favorite and a strong contender for the best comic story ever. It’s not an original or unique choice as it’s a famous and beloved issue, but it’s mine, along with thousands of others. It springboards my favorite run of comics in a follow-up series, and at the same time helps close out another favorite, though very different, run from the same creative team. And I got to love it first through reading a thousand retellings of it.

“Spider-Man” from Amazing Fantasy #15.

Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 I bought this back in the days when I had to save up my lawn mowing money to get my weekly comic fix. I could usually only get one a week so Crisis was a favorite since if you could only one comic a week why not go for one that stared the entire DC Universe? Plus it ended with Superman punching the bad guy into the sun, the FREAKIN’ SUN!!

“Guy Gardner on Ice”

I get. Heh heh heh.

I’m going to go with The Tick #1 (original series). I’d read superhero comics all my life, but I remember being blown away by the weird, absurd humor when I discovered this in 6th grade. I actually took it in to school and persuaded a few of my friends to read it, and my brothers and I used to read it aloud to each other and crack up while playing video games. I’m sure there’s an element of nostalgia involved, but I still think Ben Edlund’s a genius.

I can still recite large swaths of Tick #1 off the top of my head. Even though it’s really the ninja arc that’s my favorite.

“Destiny is a funny thing. Once I thought I was destined to be emperor of Greenland, sole monarch over its 500,000 inhabitants. Then I thought I was destined to build a Polynesian longship in my garage. I was wrong then, but I’ve got it now.”

This was a no-brainer for me, though I have truly loved many comics over the decades. My all-time favorite is Hitman by Garth Ennis and John McCrea. Tommy Monaghan is a real person to me. More real than any other character I’ve ever encountered. With virtually every other comic book character, he’s going to be the same guy in issue 100 that he was in issue 1. Tommy grew and changed and you felt every blow that made those changes happen. This comic could be laugh out loud funny in one issue, heart breaking in the next, then the next month they would throw you a curveball Willie Mays couldn’t hit.

Natt the Hatt is also the greatest sidekick in comics history. Tommy and Natt rank with Holmes and Watson, Spenser and Hawk, and peanut butter and jelly.

Heart and soul and tragedy and tears and murder and laughs and ultra-violence and politics and war and family and dinosaurs and vampires and even superheroes. All in the same comic. John McCrea’s art beautifully blended the realism and cartoonishness these stories required.

And the favorite single issue was also a no-brainer: Hitman #34 “Of Thee I Sing.” My favorite Superman story ever, and I’ve been reading Superman comics since the early 60s.

Runners up:
Joe Kubert’s Tarzan
Enemy Ace
Herbie Popnecker
Moore’s Swamp Thing
Carl Barks’ Scrooge McDuck

Wait, was the question favorite comic book or favorite single issue of a comic book? I wanna change my answer.

Star-Spangled War Stories #129 “My Brothers with Wings.” I read it hot off the rack when I was nine and nothing since has topped it.

Though, “He stood alone at Gjallerbru” came close.

Brian and Seth,
I was thinking of the version Seb and James did at Alternate Cover…somehow Seb & James became Seth Hahne in my head! Either way, the concept is one worth revisiting every few years! Many issues mentioned here today will end up in many other categories for me!

I think it can be either or. My answer would probably be JLI still, but asked to pick one single issue, Justice League America #45 would be my pick.

It’s funny. Of the eight comic books I’ve mentioned here, only one could be called a straight-up Superhero Comic. Yet I’m sure that 90% of the comics I’ve ever purchased in my life were Superhero Comics.

This means something. I’m just not sure what.

He stood alone at Gjallerbru is easily probably The comicbook moment that stuck with me for the 25 years since I first read it.

Having given it some thought, I still don’t think I can pinpoint a single-issue, but I think my favorite series ever might be “Excalibur”. Claremont and Davis were just pumping on all cylinders, and then Davis on his own did something different, but still great.

Like most of the people here, a big part of this is probably nostalgia. It was one of the first comics I truly loved, and one of first groups of characters I really cared about. To this day, I will read anything with Rachel, Nightcrawler, Captain Britain, Kitty, or Meggan (though she never shows up in anything any more).

Yes on Gjallerbru as a great moment.
My favorite single comic run is probably the original Doom Patrol. Snappy dialogue, frequently bizarre foes and behavior I rarely saw anywhere else (like Robotman smashing a machine that will restore his team-mates to humanity because he’s terrified to be the only one). And Beast Boy mouthing off. Plus everyone dying at the end.

Lone Wolf and Cub

got all 28 volumes off ebay, devoured all 8000 pages in about 3 weeks

Best ending to a story.

Detective Comics #439. Might be a bit of a cop-out to name an anthology book, but “Night of the Stalker” alone is one of the best Batman stories, right up there with No Hope in Crime Alley and Death Strikes at Midnight & Three. Add to that a chapter of the seminal Goodwin/Simonson Manhunter series and reprints of Joe Kubert Hawkman, Gil Kane Atom (the time pool story with Edgar Allen Poe no less), Infantino Elongated Man featuring one of the first appearances of Zatanna and some other fun Golden Age stories.

The Legion of Super-Heroes, with LSH #300 probably being my standout issue. Amazing honoring of the series’ past while opening up the future.

When I try to think of a single favorite issue, I always come back to the very first comic I ever had: GI Joe: A Real American Hero #109. You know, the one in which a bunch of Joes die at the mercy of a renegade SAW Viper. It was certainly an odd place to dive into a new series — hell, to dive into comics entirely — but man, that just blew me away. At the time I was just a kid who liked the GI Joe toys and I found that comic in a box of toys at a junk store (which was weird since I later found out the issue was only about a year old). I only got it because Snake-Eyes was on the cover (but surprisingly enough, he never appeared in the issue).

That was my springboard into comics. I quickly scooped every GI Joe book I could find, and now I own all 155 issues of Hama’s original series. But for me it wasn’t (and still isn’t) just merely a collection — I bought them to read and I have read the series over and over again through the years. Those first dozen issues are worth money in pristine condition of course — but mine are all worn and tattered and I’m proud of it!

I have a hard time reading single issues over and over again because most of my comics are bagged and boarded and if I’m going to reread a comic I’d like to read the whole story arc and that’s just a pain to get all of those comics out, but I do find myself reading trades over and over again. I specifically think of Flash trades that I have read and probably my favorite would be Flash: Blitz and Flash: The Return of Barry Allen. I collected Bendis’ run on Daredevil almost entirely by trade but really loved vol. 5 when he got outed as Daredevil.

However, if I had to go with a single issue, I’d probably say Flash vol. 2 #225.


January 3, 2014 at 8:44 am

Sounds like a good reason to not bag and board your comics.

@LouReedRichards- after this and the Watcher Christmas picture post, I like the cut of your jib. ;-) And Byrne gets a lot of fairly deserved junk thrown at him, but he got the FF and their universe, in a way most people didn’t for a lonnnggg time after he left the title. It was his stories (along with Secret Wars) that made me fall for Dr. Doom as my favorite character. Mr. Fantastic got to be all stretchy as well as really smart. Doom just had his brain. So he turned himself into Reed Richards, Tony Stark, AND Stephen Strange. And the Black Panther for that matter, but he didn’t get it by birthright. Reed was never smarter. He just had his friends. It remind me of a couple of quotes… Dr. No saying the criminal mind is always superior…it has to be. And the exchange between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter where Graham admits he’s not smarter than Dr. Lecter, he only catches him because he has the advantage of not being insane. Dr. Doom’s insanity defeats himself more often than not, from day 1 with the accident.

And there’s nothing wrong with FF #241…as I recall there was a lot of Sue without clothes in it….

@danno- I wonder for how many of that era that GI Joe was a gateway into comics or back into comics. I obviously had some comics as a little kid, but they were mostly of the loose and random variety (and sometimes the 70’s stuff seemed a bit adult), as well as all those pocket books collecting early issues of Spiderman, FF, the Hulk, Cap, and the Avengers and such, and wore those down. With lots of cartoon exposure too. But those ads for the GI Joe comic on the cartoons got me to do my first subscription. I think GI Joe 39 was the first that came. Which was SO much cooler than the cartoon, like “real” military. Which got me doing Mile High Comics back issues, and subscribing to other Marvel titles, then eventually a comic shop looking for back issues…and so forth, expanding…

There’s really nothing like that for kids now. When Ulitmate Spider-Man or Avengers Assemble or Beware the Batman air, there aren’t really any ads to say “hey, have you checked out their comic books?” And even if it did, there wouldn’t be much for them to read. Because while things seemed adult back then, I’m not sure New 52 is what I want to refer the Beware audience towards. (And yes, there’s the kiddie adaptation…but even back then you could tell when there was the “Electric Company” Spiderman stuff that was dumbed down in a STAR comics like way that was fit for preschoolers and that’s it). Not sure what gets anyone to have a favorite first nowadays.

Guy Plunkett III

January 3, 2014 at 11:08 am

Probably revealing my age, but if I had to pick a single issue, it would be either “Flash of Two Worlds!” (The Flash #123) or “Dark Moon Rise, Hell Hound Kill” (Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3). The Flash story really stuck in my eight-year-old head — parallel worlds, the metafictional relationship between the comic characters I was beginning to enjoy and the previous generation that I had never heard of … And the Steranko art on that particular issue of Nick Fury was the first comic that I remember loving for the art, as opposed to the characters or the story.

I thought about seminal issues that have had great influence on me over the years– comics like the first issue of James Robinson’s Starman, Detective Comics #664, the first Sin City story– but in the end, I have to go with the one that started it all, my very first comic: He-Man and the Power Sword. This was a minicomic– though it’s arranged more like a traditional illustrated storybook, it’s close enough to a comic and was the first in the long-running line of comics that accompanied these toys that I think it counts– included with the first few Masters of the Universe toys that went on sale in the early ’80s. I was 3 when I got my first He-Man figure, and my earliest memory is flipping through this book in the car on the way home, the awesome Alfredo Alcala art blowing my little toddler mind. The two images I specifically remember marveling at are the scene in which the green-skinned Sorceress presents He-Man with his weapons so he can combat the rising tide of evil, and Skeletor, sitting on Grayskull’s throne, zapping He-Man with a hidden weapon. These images were etched indelibly in my brain for years, until I was able to replace my long-lost copy. As I began to accumulate more of these minicomics, the desire to read them whenever I wanted grew, as people were rarely willing to read them to me when I asked, so I was learning to read on my own by the time I was 4 just so I could read my MOTU comics myself(though my dinosaur books also played their part in this). My lifelong love of reading and comics can both be traced to the day I go He-Man and the Power Sword, so it feels very right to name it my favorite comic.

Cliche choice though it may be, Swamp Thing #21, The Anatomy Lesson, probably has to be my pick.

It’s interesting, I first became interested in Alan Moore’s work after his story in Spawn #8, and I asked my LCS guy about more of his stuff. He pointed me to the usual suspects, and as luck would have it, his back issue bin had every single issue of Moore’s Swamp Thing run EXCEPT #21. So I started buying the back issues with #22, and over the course of several months got them all and read the whole run and loved it, without ever having read #21 (this was in the early-mid 90’s, before trades were readily available and before you could easily get back issues online). So Moore’s Swamp Thing basically became my favorite run BEFORE I had ever even read the Anatomy Lesson, and I spent years searching for the issue at an affordable price, but couldn’t ever find it. And I’d been hearing and reading the whole time that it was one of the greatest issues ever, and it just kept getting more and more built up in my mind to the extent that it would inevitably be a let down. Finally Vertigo announced they were reprinting the run in black and white under the Essential Vertigo banner, so that was finally my chance to read this issue. And I bought it, and I went home to read it, eager to see if there was any way it could possibly live up to years worth of hype and expectation… and it blew my fucking mind. I would have been disappointed if it was anything less than the greatest comic I’d ever read, and it was, in fact, the greatest comic I’d ever read. And to this day, when I visually think about that issue, I still see the art in black and white (even though I’ve since gotten a copy of the original and I also own the run in hardcover).

A few other issues that come to mind as comics that I’ve read countless times and have always loved are Daredevil 181 (nice to see it get so much love here), Superman Annual 11 (the classic For the Man Who Has Everything), UXM 268 (the Wolverine/Cap/Black Widow issue), and UXM Annual 10 (the Mojo/Longshot/X-Babies issue with Art Adams). And in general, the 1980’s outputs of Alan Moore and Chris Claremont are definitely the most near and dear to me, because they have that rare ability to recall my childlike wonder at seeing them for the first time, while also still amazing my now-adult mind at how well they’re crafted.

My personal favorite is “Who is Donna Troy?” from The New Teen Titans #38 by Wolfman, Perez, and Tanghal. A tightly done origin story in the form of a mystery that is as much about Dick Grayson as it is about Donna Troy.

It’s funny, I just read Wolfman’s post-Crisis “Who Is Wonder Girl?” story arc, which was a straight-up mess. But yeah, the one in NTT #38 was quite good.


January 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm

A few of choices for me:

The Flash volume 2, issue 91. Wally uses the Speed Formula to be faster in service to others. Instead, he ends up in a frozen limbo, and can only snap out of it by accepting he can’t save everyone.

Wonder Woman volume 2, issue 210. She fights Medusa and sacrifices her sight to protect humanity. Classic Diana.

Superman For All Seasons issue 4. Superman comes into his own, as narrated by Lana Lang. Wonderful voice, wonderful art.


January 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

@ M-Wolverine

What can I say? Great minds think alike! The funny thing is I almost put a Secret Wars comic up there too.

Issue 6 was the first superhero comic I ever bought. People can gripe all they want about merchandise and how crappy Secret Wars was, but those toys (and G.I. Joe before that) led me directly into comics.

We seem to be in agreement about both Dr. Doom and Bryne. Those FF issues and Secret Wars 10 really mapped out how I thought Doom should always be portrayed. He and Reed are my two favorite character, largely thanks to Bryne.

Your absolutely right too about Byrne getting the FF like few have after him (or really before him too). My first great heartbreak in comics was when Byrne left the FF. The issues right after his departure were dreadful…

He may be a jerk, but my God, that man could do the FF like no one else

One specific issue?
Amazing Spider-Man V2 #32, by JMS and JRjr. “The Long, Dark Pizza of the Soul.”

I remember reading this story in a Barnes and Noble. And it. exploded. my mind. I had been a fan of Spider-Man all my life, enjoying all his various appearances across TV, video games, etc. But with the story, I became a fan of the Spider-Man comic. And comic book fan in general.

It’s funny that I got so into this issue as a kid, because for a superhero comic, it’s actually very surprising. There is no big superhero fight. No villain challenge the hero. It’s just two guys talking over pizza.

@LouReedRichards I don’t think it helped that a LOT of the classic runs of that era were followed up immediately by some pretty poor comics. Not comics that just weren’t great, but pretty bad. FF, Thor post Walt, Miller’s 2nd DD run (1st actually had some halfway decent stories up to 200), Cap post 300 before Gruenwald took over and got his footing, Iron Man after O’Neil left and before Armor Wars, etc.

And I’ll fight anyone who says Secret Wars was crap. Sure, it was created on the basest of motivations, and everything doesn’t always ring true (and sometimes Zeck is rushed in his art) but that’s what major crossovers should be. New character interaction, mind-blowing threats, and in some cases actual character development. There are more cool moments in that than all the event comics Bendis and his minions have produced in the last decade. Way better art. Like Byrne, I don’t know that I’d want Shooter for a friend, but he took a money grab and make it a story. The fact that all the stuff that came after it* undercut how great the first one was doesn’t subtract from it’s greatness anymore than The Dark Knight Strikes Back hurts Returns

*Secret Wars II..the real money grab, and an editorial mess; and the far worse “Secret Wars III” in those aforementioned horrible FF issues that turns the Beyonder from a bad ass to a guy who was tricked by the universal powers who were just “pretending” to be weaker than him and he was always just a cosmic cube all along. Ugh. If I ever had a second life as a big time comic writer my Marvel pitch would be how to fix all that came after the end of issue #12. (And then maybe at DC how they’ve trashed every cool bad guy they’ve come up with for Batman after Ra’s Al Ghul……and how to make Wolverine cool again by being Wolverine and not the caricature of himself he’s become).

My favourite comic is Avengers Annual #10; which is the first appearance of Rogue.

Wow, really tough nailing it down to just one, but I’m gonna go with The Incredible Hulk #244: Waiting For The U-Foes.

Hulk’s despair in the beginning, wanting the stars to answer his torment.
Landing -literally- upon the creation of the always severely underrated and criminally misused U-Foes!
The neat plot twist where Hulk survives when the U-Foes’s own newly acquired powers backfire and wins him the fight by default, leaving him alone with his sorrows…

Part of one of my favorite runs in comics ever, brilliant stuff by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.

One of my favorites is ROM #56-57. Heart wrenching stuff as Rom and Alpha Flight try to rescue a town from a breaking dam and the invading hordes….But all is for naught as the dam breaks and devastates the community…..The last panel of the story, when one of the residents plead to AF and ROM, “Why didn’t you do anything to stop it?!” Rom surveys the damage and reflects on all that they tried to do to stop the carnage, with a disbelieving/anguished:

“Gods of Galador, we did” ………..

Astro City #10. I’ve read better comics and comics that I have been more affected by emotionally, but this one really opened the doors in my mind of what comics could be. It was fun, had a main character who I was really interested in and spoke to my love of villains. In this case, it’s the tale of a Vulture-like villain named the Junkman who wants to “show ‘em all” and finds that there is a difference between pulling a job and showing them all. My favourite episodes of Batman: the Animated Series were the episodes that explored the villains and showed a lot of sympathy towards them (which I don’t see enough of in Batman comics anymore). This tickled my fancy and inspired me to start on comics that weren’t just Marvel super-heroes and by extension introduced me to the idea that comics weren’t just a series of fights between cool looking characters, but something were we can be emotionally involved in their stories.

You have to excuse me, I’m going through all these challenges today.

If it would have to be just one, a single issue and not like, a one-shot or graphic novel or something, I think All-Star Superman #5, the Lex Luthor in Prison issue. First time I read it, I thought it was perfect. Every subsequent read has only reconfirmed this thought.

JLA #14 – The Black Racer casts his shadow across Darkseid’s domain as Green Arrow and The Atom take on the man himself. The mystery of the narrator and the scale of what was involved was just brilliantly handled. I literally closed this issue feeling like I had been hit with something.

Ultimate Spider-Man #13. Yeah, I know the conversation issue is nothing new and that nothing particularly revolutionary happens in this issue, but Ultimate was some of my first exposure to Spider-Man and this issue just sums up everything I love about the character. If Bendis’ goal in the first year of USM was to prove the power of decompression/showcase a superhero title without the superheroics, this is the moment he succeeded. I could just read it over and over and even though Peter and MJ don’t have any really memorable lines, the conversation as a whole is just great and it’s perfectly capped off by Peter’s smiling face right at the end (if you read Ultimate Spider-Man by the trade, that’s one of the few volumes that doesn’t end with an image of Peter sulking).

Does it have to be a comic BOOK? It says “favorite COMIC”, so that could also mean comic STRIP. Picking a favorite single issue is downright impossible, as my favorite comic book changes daily. However, my favorite comic strip, hands down, is the Allen Saunders and William Overgard run on “Steve Roper & Mike Nomad.”
Overgard had drawn comic books for Dell and Lev Gleason, but in 1954, he started drawing the “Steve Roper” newspaper strip and Mike Nomad debuted two years later, eventually eclipsing Steve as the lead character. In the 1960s and 70s, this was a top of the line crime drama/adventure strip, with its “ripped from the headlines” plots, written by Toledo Ohio crime reporter and journalist Allen Saunders. My biggest dream is that a publisher like Fantagraphics or IDW would reprint these strips…in glorious hardcover!

I’m gonna go with a few choices from way back in the early 90s when I first got into comics.

First up, Amazing Spiderman #365: A great oneshot issue with a Spidey/Lizard slugfest with Mark Bagley art and an excellent backup of MJ remembering Gwen Stacy with John Romita Sr. art…still one of my fav single issue Spiderman stories.

Next, GI Joe #103 with Snake Eyes hypnotized by Storm Shadow into becoming an allout killing machine so he could take his mind off the seemingly dying Scarlet.

X-Factor #87 is, by far, the best anyone has ever written Quicksilver, before or since.

And I’ll second Avengers West #100…that and GI Joe were my favorite series at the time and that was essentially the end of the book.

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