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Comic Theme Time Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Comic Theme Time – Retroactive Changes to Published Comics

Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

In this week’s Movie Legends Revealed, I discuss how George Lucas went back and added “Episode IV A NEW HOPE” to re-releases of the original Star Wars film years after it was first released.

This is something that happens in comic books a lot, as well, where changes are made after the fact to published comics when they’re reprinted. Like Batman not having purple gloves in most reprints of Detective Comics #27 (as shown in this old Comic Book Legends Revealed)…

purplegloves

Or Spider-Man not being referred to as Superman…
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Comic Theme Time – Most Surprising Later Addition to a Comic Book Universe

Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today, with Game 1 of the 2013 World Series looming, I wrote about Game 1 of the 1988 and the surprising origin of the term “walk-off,” which is only 25 years old.

This made me think about other additions to the Marvel and DC Universes that came surprisingly late in the game. Like Alfred not being Alfred Pennyworth until the late 1960s or the Warriors Three not being called the Warriors Three until the mid-1970s or the Legion not having flight rings until nearly 100 issues after they debuted (and not having a “No Duplicate Powers” rule until the late 1970s!).

So what other good examples can you think of?

Comic Theme Time – What Superman/Batman Comic Book Story Would You Most Like to See Adapted to the Upcoming Batman/Superman Movie?

batman-superman-logo

Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

With the news about Warner Brothers putting out a new Batman/Superman movie, I was wondering what you folks think would be the best Batman/Superman story for the sake of adapting it into a movie? Public Enemies? Dark Knight Returns? Gibbons and Rude’s World’s Finest?

Comic Theme Time – Best Running Gag In Comics?

onepunch

Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

In last week’s TV Legends Revealed, I spotlighted one of the coolest running gags in television today, Saturday Night Live’s “Lincoln, llama and showgirls” running gag.

That got me to thinking – what are the best running gags in all of comics? Elf with a gun? “One punch”? Batman disappearing on Gordon? John Byrne homaging Fantastic Four #1? Justice League #1 cover homages? What would make up YOUR top five?

Comic Theme Time – Best Tie-In Comic Book Series

Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

I was thinking about this the other week when I was writing about how Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was, in effect, a gigantic tie-in film to sell candy (read more about it here). That made me contemplate a bit the concept of how art and commerce can intersect and sometimes actually result in a good piece of fiction. That though, in turn, made me think about comic books, which have had a long history of tying in with things like TV shows, movies and toy lines.

So here’s the theme – the BEST comic book that tied in with a movie, TV show or toy line. Is it G.I. Joe? Is it Transformers? Star Wars? ROM? What do you think?

Comic Theme Time – Making Comic Book Lemonade Out of Lemons

Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

I was thinking about this when I was writing my most recent TV Legends Revealed, about how the prop designer for the original Star Trek TV series re-used items he procured for one reason for a whole other reason. That got me thinking about how we see that happen in comics all the time. Writers come on to titles and don’t always know what to do with the cast given to him or her. A lot of the time, they’ll just get rid of the characters they’re not interested in (sometimes they just kill the previous cast). But sometimes they’ll try to get a handle on the cast that they’ve inherited and come up with an interesting new take on the cast, which quite often means re-purposing characters. For instance, I don’t think anyone expected what Grant Morrison would end up doing with the cast he inherited on Doom Patrol, but it ended up being quite good.

So today’s theme challenge is to come up with instances where an incoming writer surprised you with what they did with the cast members that they were more or less “stuck” with when they took on the title.

Some examples are Warren Ellis on Stormwatch and the aforementioned Grant Morrison on Doom Patrol.

Comic Theme Time Month – Best Time Travel Storyline

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is a straightforward one – “what is the best comic book time travel storyline?”

Superman’s “Time and Time Again?” The West Coast Avengers traveling through time? Swamp Thing’s journey through time? Iron Man versus Doctor Doom in Camelot? Any of the various Fantastic Four time travel stories? There are tons of choices – what are your picks?

Comic Theme Time Month – Who is the Single Best Superhero Supporting Cast Member?

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is a complicated one.

What I want you to do is to come up with the single best supporting character for various superheroes, like who is the best supporting character for Batman – Gordon or Alfred? Or Catwoman (crimefighting partners don’t count)? Who is the best Spider-Man supporting character? Mary Jane, Aunt May or JJJ? Once you’ve determined who THE best supporting characters are for each of those heroes, then rank your top five supporting characters.

Essentially, this is a way that someone like Foggy Nelson can compete. He is likely never going to be in the top five of a supporting cast list, not with characters like Lois Lane, Alfred, JJJ, Aunt May, Gordon, Jimmy Olsen and Mary Jane to compete with – but if he’s only competing with the top supporting character for each of those other heroes, maybe he IS in the top five!

Comic Theme Time Month – Best Debut Story by a Justice League Member

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “what was the best debut story of a character who later became a Justice League Member?”

For the sake of economy, let’s limit it to just Pre-Crisis Justice League Members.

With that in mind, what was the best debut story by a Justice League member? Detective Comics #27? Action Comics #1? All-Star Comics #8? Showcase #4? Showcase #22? Detective Comics #225? More Fun Comics #73? Showcase #34? Brave and the Bold #34? Hawkman #4? Flash #112? Firestorm #1? Phantom Stranger #1? Justice League of America #64? Flash Comics #86?

What’s your pick?

Comic Theme Time Month – Best Final Issue of a Canceled Ongoing Series

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “what was the best final issue of a canceled ongoing series?”

There are two types of final issues of ongoing series – there’s the ones where the creators finished the book on their own terms (Preacher, Spectre, Sandman, Y the Last Man, etc.) and there are those where the creators have to come up with an ending for a series that has been canceled (whether due to low sales or a shift in the direction of the comic book company that makes the comic). The former has delivered a ton of great stories. The latter? Not so much.

Off the top of my head, I really liked Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s last issue of Captain America before Heroes Reborn and John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake’s final issue of Firestorm (plus Ostrander’s final Suicide Squad plus his final Martian Manhunter), but yeah, the pickings are not exactly great as a whole.

What is your pick for the best final issue of a canceled ongoing series?

Comic Theme Time Month – Best Identity Reveal

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “what was the best identity reveal in comics?”

We all tend to dwell on the bad reveals to comic book identity mysteries, like Jean Loring in Identity Crisis, so what do you think was the BEST reveal to an identity mystery in comics history? Did you like the revelation of who Sensor Girl was? Was Supernova’s reveal a good one? The Red Hulk? The Red She-Hulk? Walter West? The Red Skull being Dell Rusk?

What is your pick?

NOTE: I loved the reveal from Thunderbolts #1 (who didn’t?), but here I’m talking more about things where the identity of a character (typically a villain) is the key to the storyline. The great thing about Thunderbolts was that the identity of the heroes was NOT presented as a mystery, but rather as a tremendous shock.

Comic Theme Time Month – Best Superman/Batman Team-Up

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “what was the best Superman/Batman team-up story?”

Superman and Batman have had not one but TWO ongoing series devoted to their team-ups over the years. They’ve also made numerous appearances in each others’ titles. So what do you think were the best team-up stories that they’ve had over the years?

Comic Theme Time Month – Best Retroactive Insertion Character

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “who is the best retroactive insertion character?”

A retroactive insertion character is when a new character is inserted into continuity as though they have always been part of the continuity of the comic, just never mentioned until this point. One of the most famous examples of this is Matt Murdock’s first major love, the assassin Elektra. Matt just never mentioned the enormous impact this woman had on his life until she showed up again well into his career as Daredevil. Murdock’s teacher, Stick, also fits this pattern.

What’s your pick?

Comic Theme Time Month – Best Ragtag Bunch of Misfits

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “what was the best ragtag bunch of misfits in comics?”

Ragtag groups are a popular device used for the formation of groups. To be a ragtag group, it has to be a disparate group of characters with no real formal relation to each other and no formal structure in the formation of their group. Some groups that don’t count, then, would be the Doom Patrol, as while they were certainly misfits, they were brought together in a quite calculated fashion by Niles Caulder (the same could be said for Professor X and his X-Men). Now when Jean Grey had to put together a team of X-Men during Eve of Destruction, THAT was a ragtag bunch of misfits.

What’s your pick?

Comic Theme Time Month – Best Superhero Crossover

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “was the best company-wide superhero crossover?”

Some examples include…well…you know, there’s one every year!

What’s your pick?

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