Episode 1661 Talkback - Top Five Childhood Favorite Comics

Oh, for those long-ago days of our youth! The Geeks give themselves over to nostalgia and while away a happy episode reminiscing about fondly-remembered single issues from their respective childhoods in the '70s and '80s. The lists range from the applaudable to the inscrutable, but they are in all cases memorable! (2:00:39)

This way to Memory Lane...
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  • TheOriginalGManTheOriginalGMan Posts: 1,544
    edited July 19
    Great episode! Still have about 30 minutes or so left, but here are mine:

    1) Avengers #139 (Sept. 1975)

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    Part of my 1st ever comic book purchase. I was 10 at the time and had gotten an allowance for the 1st time ever ... $1.00. Went with my dad on a Sunday morning to the corner store so he could buy the paper and I blew the whole enchilada on 4 comic books. This was one of them. I didn't know who many of the characters on the cover were, but thought they looked really, really cool. I do recall thinking the guy in the upper LH corner (Vision) and the floating head in the center (Iron Man) must have some sort of relationship as their masks looked very similar. :-)

    2) Invaders #1 (Aug. 1975)

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    The 1st Invaders comic I bought was actually issue #2, but was fortunate enough to come across issue #1 a short time after. To this day, it remains one of my all-time favorite covers. I loved WWII movies as a kid, so I was an easy mark for this series. Was a bit confused about how the Human Torch was around in the 1940s but eventually figured that part out.

    3) Planet of the Apes Magazine #14 (Nov. 1975)

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    Was a huge Planet of the Apes fan back in the day and was "all in" on Marvel's black and white monthly magazine. Each issue featured a comic adaptation of the original movies, plus a 2nd story called "Terror on the Planet of the Apes" that I loved, loved, loved. In issue #14, the protagonists meet a character named Lightsmith and his gibbon companion, Gilbert. What was so awesome about them was they lived inside an old, abandoned secret government hideout housed inside Abe Lincoln's head on Mt. Rushmore where the President of the US went when the ape apocalypse occurred. It was outfitted with "modern" 1970s stuff that none of the characters could figure out how to use and provided a lot of comic relief.

    Here's a link to the issue online.

    4) Secret Society of Super-Villains #1 (June 1976)

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    Much like Jamie D., I was always a sucker for team books, or team-up books. I was also a sucker for super villians. So, a team made up of DC's greatest super villains? Bada bing! Sign me up! I can only guess this must have been the inspiration for the Legion of Doom.

    5) Super-Villain Team-Up #3 (Dec 1975)

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    Did I mention I was a sucker for team-ups and super villains? I did? Oh, okay. Well, yeah, this one was right up my alley. An awesome series. I remember devouring issues #1 and #2 and waiting very impatiently the next month for #3 to come out. Only it didn't. I had gotten the 1st 2 issues at about the same time and didn't realize it only came out every 2 months. I was frantic trying to track down this issue. I can still remember the day I finally got it and reading it in the car on the way home.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 4,819
    I think I've talked about all of the books on my list in these forums at various times, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

    5) World’s Finest #225
    I don’t really have a clear #5. Really I could pick any from a dozen different books that I liked equally well for different reasons. But this was, I think, by second superhero comic (the first being an issue of JLA). I literally read this book until it fell apart, both because I read it so often, being one of only three or four comics I owned for a while, and because I didn't handle the book with the same care I would as I got a bit older.

    The Superman/Batman team-up was a kind of creepy story I dug, and I loved the reprints of the Golden Age “Vigilante” and “Black Canary” stories. But my favorite story in the book was the reprint of Showcase #20’s “Rip Hunter” feature by Dave Wood and Ruben Moreira.

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    4) Sgt. Rock #352
    “Buy Me Some Time” is still my all time favorite Sgt. Rock story. The storytelling was unlike anything I'd ever read up to that point, and it was one of the first comics that really got me thinking about the mechanics of the medium.

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    3) Marvel Treasury Edition Featuring Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles #1
    I got this on the first day of our family vacation to the mountains in the summer of ’76. There was no TV in our cabin. All I had for entertainment after the day’s activities had come to an end was this big honkin’ comic with the kinda weird art. I read that book at least twice a day, every day of the week we were there. While there were no traditional superheroics to speak of, the story was so wild and wonky I never got bored with it.

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    2) Marvel Two-in-One Annual #7
    I didn’t actually own this comic until much later when I was in college. But my friend had a copy, and I read it while sleeping over at his house, and it was awesome. It didn’t always make sense from a logical standpoint, but it didn’t matter because it was so much fun. And my friend wouldn’t trade it to me, the bastard.

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    1) DC Special #29: The Untold Origin of the Justice Society
    Great cover. Great interior art by Joe Staton. It fueled the fire of my love for the Golden Age heroes. It's the most read comic in my collection.

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  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 954
    edited July 19
    Oooh. Individual issues. I thought titles. Okay then! :) I can't wait to get home and tonight and start grabbing images and posting them!!!
  • TheOriginalGManTheOriginalGMan Posts: 1,544


    Ouch! Even all these years later, that slap-down still hurts! Seriously, it was a blast getting a letter printed...and it would happen only two more times. I have to admit, it does feel kinda cool having made it onto a pre-internet letters page, back when it actually felt like an accomplishment having your opinion out there for all to see. For that matter, it'll be there for all time, printed in the back of an actual comic book...still floating around in collections around the world. It's only a molecule of "immortality", to be sure, but "Fanboy Valhalla" nonetheless.

    Classic!

  • TheOriginalGManTheOriginalGMan Posts: 1,544


    1) DC Special #29: The Untold Origin of the Justice Society
    Great cover. Great interior art by Joe Staton. It fueled the fire of my love for the Golden Age heroes. It's the most read comic in my collection.

    Was on my shortlist. Excellent pick.

  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 519
    After hearing @ShaneKelly say, "One punch!" multiple times on the episode, I'm required by law to post the opening to One Punch Man.

  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,581
    I'm not sure which of these was my first comic book. I remember receiving several reader copies of some of my earliest comic books around ages 5 and 6. Usually of the Harvey Comics variety (Hot Stuff, Richie Rich, Sad Sack). I also remember devouring the original DC Blue Ribbon Digests and Dennis the Menace digests and so on. My first comics I remember acquiring, loving, and re-reading several times were all around the age of 8.

    Conan #71
    February 1977
    Editor: Archie Goodwin
    Cover Artists: Gil Kane & Ernie Chan
    Written by Roy Thomas
    Art by John Buscema

    This was my introduction to the future Cimmerian king. What a creative team! If my mother had known everything that was in this comic, it is doubtful she would've bought it for me. I was hooked! With this issue began my fanboy-ness of Conan and his beloved Bêlit who would be killed 3 years later. Thanks to @wildpigcomics for assisting me in nearly completing my run of Conan comics just this month with a stellar deal on several key issues. Only a handful left.
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    House of Secrets #122
    August 1974

    I had several early issues of Chamber of Chills, Adventure Into Fear and so on in this category. Always scared the daylights out of me. One story in this issue was called "There He Is Again!" It told the tale of theater ushers who are startled to see a young boy who sneaks into the theater fall backwards into the movie screen and become part of the horror movie after they try to surround him. Unsettling stuff with beautiful art from Luis Dominguez & Alfredo Alcala.
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    The Flash #213
    March 1972
    Written: Gardner Fox
    Cover: Carmine Infantino & Dick Giordano
    Interiors: Carmine Infantino
    Editor: Julius Schwartz

    This was another early book I remember, but have no idea where it came from. It featured what was soon to be one of my favorite villains, and it began my fondness of the Scarlet Speedster. This was a reprint featuring the JSA I read several times!
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    Marvel's Greatest Comics #46
    November 1973
    Editor: Roy Thomas
    Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
    Writer: Stan Lee
    Penciler: Jack Kirby
    Inker: Joe Sinnott

    Another reprint on my list, this time of Fantastic Four (Vol 1 #63, June 1967) and featured art by Jack "King" Kirby. This was my introduction Kirby, the "First Family of Marvel," as well as the Inhumans and I've been fond of them all ever since.
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    It had no cover, so it was only recognizable to me by the splash page, which is how I figured out which issue it was when I decided to reacquire it as an adult.
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    Amazing Spider-Man #166
    March 1977
    Editor: Archie Goodwin
    Cover Artist: John Romita Sr
    Writer: Len Wein
    Penciler: Ross Andru

    This was the first comic I remember buying off the spinner rack with my own money. It featured the Lizard as well as Stegron, the Christmas season, and dinosaurs that came back to life. What more would any 9 year old want? Spidey became my go-to hero and Ross Andru and John Romita Sr were MY Spider-Man artists. From the Electric Company to any comic book I could find, the wallcrawler was my favorite superhero ever.
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    My Alternatives:

    Marvel Team Up #59
    July 1977
    Editor: Archie Goodwin
    Cover: Dave Cockrum, Mike Esposito, & Danny Crespi
    Writer: Chris Claremont
    Interiors: John Byrne

    Bought the same year as the Amazing Spider-Man issue above. With a melodramatic Cockrum cover featuring the Wasp and a "dead" Yellowjacket and beautiful interior John Byrne art - how could I keep that money in my pocket? Been working on completing my run of the MTU floppies ever since :)
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    Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #198
    October 1973
    This was another coverless reader-copy that I re-read over and over. No idea where it came from.
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    Amazing Adventures featuring Killraven #32
    September 1975
    Mind-blowing P Craig Russell artwork and a story so far out I had to read it over and over just to make sure I understood it properly. I never quite did, but I eventually collected the whole series.
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    This story also included a great rendition of a virtual reality story featuring a Sherlock Holmes analog (Hodiah Twist) based on the 'Hound of the Baskervilles' tale was also within this story in a social commentary on people wasting their lives on entertainment. Just a fascinating series.
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    Adventure into Fear #10
    October 1972

    This was the Man-Thing's entry into the Marvel universe proper. Had a great single page retelling of Ted Sallis's origin. Gerry Conway stories with Howard Chaykin artwork made a serious impact on me. Picked up at a garage sale when I was 9.
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    Marvel Two-In-One #24
    February 1977
    Written by Bill Mantlo & Jim Shooter
    Interiors: Sal Buscema

    This is another series that Chris Eberle assisted me in completing my run on.

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    And the big one!
    Marvel Special Edition Featuring Star Wars 2
    December 1977

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    Reprinting issues 4, 5, & 6 this was a Christmas present from my parents before I even saw the film. I was awestruck. I wore this oversized book out....! Like Adam, I got my own share of the 3-pack Whitman comics as well. There were several issues of Star Wars in the 3 bag deals so I wound up with quite a substantial amount of these books from the Woolworth's comic aisle.

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    I also had the Return of the Jedi treasury magazine edition Adam mentioned. It was a much better product, beyond the outstanding Al Williamson artwork.

    @Pants , I also had that Batman 292 with The Riddler on the cover holding up this tattered cowl of the dark knight. Awesome image.
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    Once again, thanks guys! These evergreen episodes are some of the best episodes for new and old listeners. For anyone curious, some of the forum faithful tackled a similar topic on an old thread here.


  • aquatroyaquatroy Posts: 323
    1. image

    This comic BLEW MY MIND and challenged the notions I had of what leadership was.

    2. image
    This is the first comic that I bought with my own money.

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    Michael Golden's art blew my mind.

    4. image
    Superman Spider-Man nuff said.

    5. image
    My first independent.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 4,819
    edited July 19
    @Pants, that Batman story arc of #291-294 was the basis for one of the best episodes of Batman: The Animated series, “Almost Got ’Im”.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 4,819
    @wildpigcomics, if you don’t have Gene Day’s stories for Star*Reach, you need to pick those up. Day even wrote some of them himself.
  • jkuzeejkuzee Posts: 6
    This was a really fun episode, guys, and brought back so many fond memories of the comics I loved as a child. For what it's worth, here's my top five, in ascending order.

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    1. Star Spangled War Stories #102 April/May 1962 - I actually got all three of the G.I. and his Robot Buddy issues in one of those "3 for a dime" issues bagged together in plastic, with the top half of the covers torn off. I loved these stories because I loved robots at this time, thanks to Forbidden Planet. I was probably 7 or 8 when I got these. I picked this issue because I fondly remember the Robot Buddy's battle with the giant enemy robot.

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    2. Tales of Suspense #43 July 1963 - This was my introduction to Marvel, and to Iron Man, a character I fell in love with immediately, maybe because he reminded me of a robot. I was too young to be an exclusive Marvel Madman at this point, that would come a couple years after this.

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    3. Fantastic Four #55 October 1966 - Although I had dabbled with Marvel comics for a few months before this issue, this was the one that totally sold me on Marvel almost to the exclusion of all the other companies. This was Marvel and Jack Kirby at the absolute peak of their creative powers and energies. Not remembered as well as "This Man, This Monster", or the Galactus trilogy, this book has a special place in my heart as my intro to the FF.

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    4. Tales to Astonish #82 August 1966 - Another book from the same period, when Marvel was at their peak. Kirby drew the Submariner story quickly when Gene Colan couldn't complete it for whatever reason, and he just knocked it out of the park. I always loved Kirby's Iron Man.

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    5. Batman Annual (80 pg. Giant) #6 November 1963 - This was the book that started my life-long love of comics, and of Batman, still my favorite comic book character. My mother bought me this on Thanksgiving Day, 1963. She was in the drug store looking for the Look and Life magazines which had coverage of JFK's assassination the preceding Friday. We were on our way to TD dinner at my grandmother's house, and I pretty much lived in this book for the rest of the day, in fact all through the next summer. This book literally fell apart from me carrying it with me everywhere. I considered myself fortunate that this was my intro to Batman, when the character was going through what is considered to be his silliest phase in comics. I'm glad my first impression of the character wasn't the Rainbow Batman.

    Thanks for the episode guys, it was a real blast.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 4,819
    Comic Book Creator Pronunciation Guide, Entry #47: Frank gee-ah-KOI-yah
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 519
    Okay, time to get my late 80's and early 90's comics on! @Adam_Murdough should be proud. I have a tie for fifth because I felt like it.

    5) Amazing Spider-Man: Skating on Thin Ice (1990)

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    I didn't realize until years later that this issue was written by the one and only, dearly departed Dwayne McDuffie, with art by veteran Spider-Man artist Alex Saviuk. Pretty sure I grabbed this off a newsstand on East 16th and Kings Highway one day while out shopping with my mom, well before I collected comics regularly. The story involved Electro and the Chameleon, and reminded me not to do the dope, Jeremy.

    5) What If...? Vol 2, #31 (1991)
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    I'm pretty sure that reading random What If...? issues is what led to me being so into Sliders when that came on the air a few years later, as even at a young age the idea of alternate stories and alternate worlds fascinated me. I had no familiarity AT ALL with the original version of this story, but "What If... Spider-Man Had Not Lost His Cosmic Powers?" was written like a good episode of The Twilight Zone. Peter's powers consume him, leaving him unfeeling and disconnected from his fellow man. It takes a fight with Thor for Spidey to come around, and in the battle he loses ALL power, spider powers included. But it's cool, him and MJ have a kid with white cosmic eyes now, so nothing could possibly go wrong, right?

    Again, was completely unfamiliar with any of the original story stuff, but I thought the artwork by Scott McDaniel was cool, and I have never heard of Glenn Herdling, but it was written well enough to convince young me it was cool.

    4) Marvel Holiday Special (1991)

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    Talk about a weird one, especially since I had no experience with most of these characters before picking it up, and it was pretty much a Christmas issue with some paltry Hanukkah thrown in once or twice for this Jew to enjoy. Pretty sure I either got it from a dentist's waiting room, or from that very same newsstand.

    This issue boasted stories featuring quite a wide berth of Marvel's character catalog. The creative roster included Scott Lobdell and Dave Cockrum for the X-Men story, Walt Simonson and Art Adams on Fantastic Four, Steven Grant and Klaus Janson on Punisher, Tom DeFalco and Sal Buscema on Thor, Lem Kaminski and Ron Lim on Captain America, Howard Mackie and John Herbert on Danny Ketch Ghost Rider, Scott Lobdell and Dennis Jenson on Marvel's greatest hero (not really) Captain Ultra as he took on the terrifying (not really) Plant-Man, and finally Danny Fingeroth and Ron Garney on Spider-Man.

    3) Uncanny X-Men #300 (1993)
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    This is the comic that I really consider to be my first comic book, as it launched the obsession. I remember 9-year old me, waiting on line for a movie with my mom at the Cineplex Odeon Kingsway Theatre (which is now a Walgreens), and to kill time I stopped into the comic shop at the storefront right on the corner of the block, AAA Comics and Cards, and wandered around until my eyes were struck by this incredibly SHINY holofoil Uncanny X-Men issue. This, along with watching the X-Men Animated Series that started a year prior, was all I needed to become hooked on mutant comics. The art by John Romita, Jr. and writing by Scott Lobdell helped too.

    2) Superman Vol 2 #82 (1993)

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    I was aware of what was happening with Superman in the comics, because I had a television and it was everywhere for a while because slow news day, and deaths weren't nearly as common in comics at the time. I didn't actually read the full Death of Superman story until a few years later, when I bought the TPB at a Walden Books in Kings Plaza, which I'm pretty sure is the same place I bought my "The Return of Superman" collection, which was my first ever collected edition. Anyway, there was a guy who used to set up a comic book stand right by the Citibank on East 16th and Kings Highway, and he had this issue for $6 or $7. I grabbed it, and was proud of myself for saving about three or four dollars off of what it was going for at AAA. I then got to bask in the glory that is mullet Superman, and started collecting Superman comics pretty regularly from then on out. I'm not anywhere near the world's biggest Superman guy, but this did give me my foot in the door for reading DC Comics.

    1) Spectacular Spider-Man #226 (1995)

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    Wanna blow and 11 year-old kid's mind? Tell him that the Spider-Man he thought was Spider-Man was never actually Spider-Man, but the guy who looks exactly like Spider-Man is the REAL Spider-Man! Crazy, right? I was totally a Clone Saga kid. It had me hook, line and sinker. And this issue was one of my ground floor moments, where I immediately went in 100%. I had been reading an occasional Spider-Man issue before this, and remember owning a Carrion issue or two where Peter proclaims he is, "Peter Parker No More!" but Ben was a lighter soul, and had the fun I wanted out of my Spider-Man. So after this, I bought every single issue I could, loved Ben's time in the suit, and followed through once Peter returned. It was ridiculous, it was insane, but it was still a book preteen me read and reread multiple times.

    Honorable mentions:
    Fantastic Four #381 (Four...No More!)
    Green Lantern Vol 3 #100 (my love of Kyle Rayner started here)
    JLA #1
    X-Men #1 (I still have the fold-out poster up in the my childhood room)
    Random unknown issues of Archie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    Zero Hour #0 (I picked it up thinking it was the first issue)
    Young Justice #18 (the first issue of the series I remember owning)
    The Mighty Thor #438 (The Thor War)
    What If? #37 (What If... Wolverine and His X-Vampires Conquered the World?)
    What If? #42 (What If...Spider-Man Had Kept His Six Arms?)
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 519
    Great, I just spent thirty minutes putting together a post, and the board seems to have ate it. Frissa frassa...
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 519
    I'll re-add descriptions later if I have the time, but here is my Top 5 (okay, top 6, a tie for 5)

    5) image

    5) image

    4) image

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    2) image

    1) image
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 280
    jkuzee said:

    Kirby drew the Submariner story quickly when Gene Colan couldn't complete it for whatever reason, and he just knocked it out of the park.

    My understanding was that Gene Colan became suddenly ill and could not complete penciling the story. Kirby stepped in and the rest is history. You couldn't get two more disparate styles in the same story...but it somehow works. The Iron-Man vs. Namor clash is one of Kirby's all time great knock-down, drag-outs.

  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 280

    Great, I just spent thirty minutes putting together a post, and the board seems to have ate it. Frissa frassa...

    I've also experienced the same thing recently. Several times, actually. This is why I no longer go back into my posts to edit them...that seems to be when my new posts just disappear.
  • aquatroyaquatroy Posts: 323
    edited July 21
    Honorable Mention

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    I love this run.

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    The first X-Men book I bought.

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    Skis of Death illustrated by Cardy and Kane. UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL!

    edit!

    I need to add this
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  • TheOriginalGManTheOriginalGMan Posts: 1,544
    edited July 20
    Ooooo ... I've got that DC Superstars / Teen Titans issue! LOL!
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 4,819
    aquatroy said:

    image
    Skis of Death illustrated by Cardy and Kane. UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL!

    One of my alternates as well. My aunt bought it for me when I spent the week with her and my uncle that summer of ’76.
  • hauberkhauberk Posts: 1,184
    edited July 21
    Gentlemen,

    This is a spectacular topic and really forced a lot of navelgazing on my part to get close to a Top 5. I was pretty fortunate as a child to have had comics passed down to my on both sides (oldest grandchild by a pretty good spread). The end result was that at one point, my paternal grandfather made the decision that he wanted the comics out of the house, so my youngest uncle was given a choice - they either went to me or went to the burn barrel. I ended up going home with two grocery bags full of silver age (mostly Marvel) books. On the other side, I ended up digging around at my grandmother’s house and finding books that had belonged to my uncles and got exposed to a bunch of DC and independent stuff like Weird War Tales, Mars Patrol, Legion of Superheroes and Magnus Robot Fighter. So much of what I was reading blew my mind. As a result I ended up with a pretty firm appreciation for both Marvel and DC from a young age.

    With that said, here goes:

    Magnus Robot Fighter 4,000AD #42 “Fear Unlimited!” November 1976

    One of a few issues of Magnus that I remember reading as a kid. I associate it with my grandmother’s house, but looking at the date, this must have come in one of those bagged bundles. I don’t have this book anymore, but I remember that the painted covers on the Gold Key books were immediately a draw because they were so different from everything else that I was seeing. Beyond that, Magnus and his steel chopping martial arts was just mind blowing. Also, mysterious cloak wearing, robot walker riding villains can only make for a better book, right?

    Superman Annual #4 November 1961

    Another book that I found at my grandmother’s and read over and over again. The actual stories don’t stick out, but this was the first place that I encountered the Legion of Super Heroes. There was a feature near the back of the book on the origins and superpowers. There were so many of them and they got to go into space! Been a lifelong Legion fan ever since.

    Avengers #160 “The Trial!” June, 1977

    I’d already developed a love for the Vision by this point (I blame the disco collar), but this issue sold me on Wonderman as a new favorite. The Grim Reaper (Wonderman’s brother) has infiltrated Avengers Mansion while they are on a mission. Most of the heavy hitters are immediately called elsewhere leaving Black Panther, Beast, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Wonderman. His purpose, to determine whether Vision or Wonderman is truly his brother and execute the other. Lots of flashbacks ensue and ultimately Wonderman breaks free of his bonds and walks into the Reaper’s spinning blade, shattering it. Awesome George Perez art and a great opportunity for Simon Williams to strut his stuff. Also, in a validating note, this later showed up in the Greatest Avengers Stories TPB.
    Micronauts 11 “We Are the Enigma Force!” November 1979

    I was all in with the Micronauts. I mostly got my books at a news agency and, like the CGS crew, I didn’t always get there on a regular basis so my issues were hit and miss with all of my books. Micronauts, when I found it, was almost a religious experience. Golden blew my mind with everything that he was putting on the page. I had to think long and hard about what to pick as an example from this series as there were so many awesome moments. However, this issue sealed the deal when I remembered the Shadow Priests doffing their robes and revealing themselves to be time travelers.

    Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes #251 “The Man Who Destroyed the Universe” May 1979

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    So many choices. This one stands out for me though as it presents this incredible, unstoppable villain in the form of Omega and, standing there before him as a last ditch defense, is Wildfire – a being of pure energy held in humanoid form by his containment suit – He looked so cool and so alone as he stood there like Horatio at the Bridge. And then he did the unthinkable. He popped open his visor and released the full power of his energy form. My mind was blown. By this point, Legionnaires had died and I had no idea if I was about to see a character quickly become a favorite and die. Spectacular!
  • hauberkhauberk Posts: 1,184
    gah! Tried to edit in images and somehow wrecked my post. Will try to reconstitute it tomorrow.
  • hauberkhauberk Posts: 1,184
    Gentlemen,

    This is a spectacular topic and really forced a lot of navelgazing on my part to get close to a Top 5. I was pretty fortunate as a child to have had comics passed down to my on both sides (oldest grandchild by a pretty good spread). The end result was that at one point, my paternal grandfather made the decision that he wanted the comics out of the house, so my youngest uncle was given a choice - they either went to me or went to the burn barrel. I ended up going home with two grocery bags full of silver age (mostly Marvel) books. On the other side, I ended up digging around at my grandmother’s house and finding books that had belonged to my uncles and got exposed to a bunch of DC and independent stuff like Weird War Tales, Mars Patrol, Legion of Superheroes and Magnus Robot Fighter. So much of what I was reading blew my mind. As a result I ended up with a pretty firm appreciation for both Marvel and DC from a young age.

    With that said, here goes:

    Magnus Robot Fighter 4,000AD #42 “Fear Unlimited!” November 1976

    image

    One of a few issues of Magnus that I remember reading as a kid. I associate it with my grandmother’s house, but looking at the year, this must have come in one of those bagged bundles. I don’t have this book anymore, but I remember that the painted covers on the Gold Key books were immediately a draw because they were so different from everything else that I was seeing. Beyond that, Magnus and his steel chopping martial arts was just mind blowing. Also, mysterious cloak wearing, robot walker riding villains can only make for a better book, right?

    Superman Annual #4 November 1961

    image

    Another book that I found at my grandmother’s and read over and over again. The actual stories don’t stick out, but this was the first place that I encountered the Legion of Super Heroes. There was a feature near the back of the book on the origins and superpowers. There were so many of them and they got to go into space! Been a lifelong Legion fan ever since.

    The Avengers #160 “… The Trial!” June, 1977

    image

    I’d already developed a love for the Vision by this point (I blame the disco collar), but this issue sold me on Wonderman as a new favorite. The Grim Reaper (Wonderman’s brother) has infiltrated Avengers Mansion while they are on a mission. Most of the heavy hitters are immediately called elsewhere leaving Black Panther, Beast, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Wonderman. His purpose, to determine whether Vision or Wonderman is truly his brother and execute the other. Lots of flashbacks ensue and ultimately Wonderman breaks free of his bonds and walks into the Reaper’s spinning blade, shattering it. Awesome George Perez art and a great opportunity for Simon Williams to strut his stuff. Also, in a validating note, this later showed up in the Greatest Avengers Stories TPB.

    Micronauts #11 “We Are the Enigma Force!” November 1979

    image

    I was all in with the Micronauts. I mostly got my books at a news agency and, like the CGS crew, I didn’t always get there on a regular basis so my issues were hit and miss with all of my books. Micronauts, when I found it, was almost a religious experience. Golden blew my mind with everything that he was putting on the page. I had to think long and hard about what to pick as an example from this series as there were so many awesome moments. However, this issue sealed the deal when I remembered the Shadow Priests doffing their robes and revealing themselves to be time travelers.


    Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes
    #251 “The Man Who Destroyed the Universe” May 1979

    image

    So many choices. This one stands out for me though as it presents this incredible, unstoppable villain in the form of Omega and, standing there before him as a last ditch defense, is Wildfire – a being of pure energy held in humanoid form by his containment suit – He looked so cool and so alone as he stood there like Horatio at the Bridge. And then he did the unthinkable. He popped open his visor and released the full power of his energy form. My mind was blown. By this point, Legionnaires had died and I had no idea if I was about to see a character quickly become a favorite and die. Spectacular!
  • BionicDaveBionicDave Posts: 204
    edited August 1
    I must give this topic some thought.
  • ChrisBeckettChrisBeckett Posts: 352
    edited August 16
    TOP 5!!!!

    All right, here we go.
    #5 DC Special Series #11 -- Flash Spectacular, 80-page Giant.

    image

    The Flash is my favorite hero, so how could I pass up a comic with this cover. JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ! Drawing all 3 flashes! With Gorilla Grodd! And Johnny Quick! Made for me!
    This is a 4-part special that has each of the three flashes pictured having a solo chapter, before they all come together in the end to defeat Grodd. That's the best I can do, since I haven't read this in a long time. But I remember reading and re-reading this story A LOT when I was a kid. It was awesome. Garcia-Lopez drew the first chapter, with Wally Wood inking, and Irv Novick, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Alex Saviuk provided pencils for the other chapters. I loved this comic, and with 80 pages to read, it was always a special event to sit down and go through the whole thing.

    #4 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4

    image

    This was my introduction to the Marvel Universe. When I first started buying comics, the high numbers of many of the series kept me from picking up many long-running series. Of course, that only lasted a few months, because I needed that fix. This was the issue that prompted me to try out the Marvel superhero universe. And, I mean, come on, how was I supposed to resist this cover. A freakin' mountain is being held up by the Hulk, while most of the other heroes lay injured. How the heck are they going to get out of this? Will anyone survive? Why do some swiss cheeses have holes and other not?
    Like many of those early comics, I read and re-read this issue. It was great!

    #3 The Flash #336

    image

    I mentioned above that the Flash is my favorite hero--from watching the Super Friends cartoon. This was the first Flash comic I found at my local bookstore, after I started buying comics. More drama (like the cover above). This was in the middle of the "Trial of the Flash" storyline, and that story still holds a soft spot for me. I followed it all the way to the end, and as clunky as it is, in retrospect, I still love it today.
    This run of comics is what cemented Carmine Infantino, for me, as the Flash artist. I love how loose his linework is, and the way he delineates super speed. The covers at the time were drawn by him, with inks from Klaus Janson, and there's an added dimension to the images that really appeals to me. It's too bad Janson never did any of the interior inks. But those covers . . . damn. Anyway, this was the beginning of my Flash collection. I've since gotten a complete run back to around 250, with a lot of scattered issues prior to that. And a number of years ago, I got a chance to meet Infantino and had him sign my battered copy of this book.

    #2 G.I. Joe #23

    image

    This is the cornerstone of my collection, as I mentioned in another thread recently. The writing and art still hold up today. and, no, it wasn't "Silent Interlude," but it was "Cobra Commander Captured," and the series, for the next number of years, was just stellar.

    #1 Superman #400

    image

    Possibly my all-time favorite single issue. A collection of "legends" surrounding Superman, all set in the future, from a collection of great creators. This book stands up, even today. If you're not bored with all my writing, thus far, you could check out my deep dive on this issue over at my blog, Warrior27, where I discussed all the stories in the issue for my 400th post. LINK

    Another great episode, gang. Thanks for spurring these memories. And, as a funny aside, I typically post the covers included on my tumblr and then copy the links from there to use here, and, apparently, the collection of these covers was labeled NSFW. I asked for a review. I'll be curious if I get any explanation, or if they will just allow the post, because I have no idea what is inappropriate in these images.

    -chris
  • BionicDaveBionicDave Posts: 204
    I curse you CGS! Having to choose my “Top 5 Childhood Favorite Comics” actually caused me to lose sleep - as if I were choosing which of my many beloved children gets to live and which must die. Am sure I'll start kicking myself as soon as I walk away from here, realizing all of the other comics which may mean even more to me than these below. But my picks here are greatly beloved, nonetheless. They are so very close to my heart - a few are even framed on my wall. So they definitely deserve to be in this conversation (which I am having with myself, on a comic book podcast message board, at 9pm on a Monday night. Lol). As you’ll see, I’m a DC Boy. While I read and loved lots of Marvel superhero titles and plenty of non-Big Two stuff too, I was just so enamored with the DC universe… it’s no surprise it dominates my list here.

    I’ll start with the very first comic book which I bought myself! ACTION COMICS #464 (1976; w: Cary Bates; a: Curt Swan). Superman was my favorite comic book hero from the start. So when I saw him getting splooged by some weirdo calling himself The Purple Pile-Driver, I guess I had to have this? The Purple Pile-Driver has only been used TWICE in all of DC Comics history (the mark of a quality character; they know to use him sparingly). I’m a writer, and if I ever get to contribute a story to any DCU media, you can bet I’m going to bring The Purple Pile-Driver back to glory! Behold his power:

    image

    The above was my first comic, but the comic which I always think about when it comes to picking my flatout favorite would have to be this one: ADVENTURE COMICS #462 (1979; w: Paul Levitz; a: Joe Staton), “featuring… the pulse-pounding-- DEATH OF BATMAN!” (…of Earth-2.) (which I didn’t realize until I raced home and read the f--k out of this, the story which first introduced me to the concept of the DC Multiverse.) (which blew my little 9 year-old mind twice as much as contemplating the death of Batman, my second favorite comic book hero.) I think I’ve read this comic more than any other in my collection. The DC Multiverse, legacy heroes, heroes interacting with other heroes, the ultimate price of being a hero… it was all here in this issue. I am shivering as I write this, this comic book means that much to me. So much artwork from it is burned into my memory, and the writing equally so. “Only legends live forever,” says a tearful Helena Wayne at her father’s funeral “…not the men who make them.”

    image

    I’m a DC Boy of a certain age, which means I’m also a Crisis Kid. Talk about a mind-blowing concept for a young comic book reader! So of course I’d have to put a Crisis issue on my list. Truthfully any of the 12 would do, but I’m going with CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #8 (1985; w: Marv Wolfman; a: George Perez - who apparently had a heart attack four months ago, per Marv Wolfman at this year’s Eisner Awards, so say a prayer for GP’s continued recovery). “The Final Fate of The Flash” was superheroics at its most superheroic. I’d never seen a major character like this sacrifice his life to save the entire universe, if not Multiverse - and then stay dead. This book not only rocked my world when I read it, but I loved seeing how it influenced the stories and tone of DC Comics for years and years to come. There’s only one word for comics like this.
    Epic.

    image

    Speaking of epics? The four-part Superman miniseries THE PHANTOM ZONE (1981-82; w: Steve Gerber; a: Gene Colan) was, for me, Homer’s *The Odyssey* and Dante’s *Inferno* before I’d ever gotten to those classics. This story scared the crap out of me. It may have been the first time I seriously feared for the fate of Superman and the DCU - as a group of truly depraved and psychotic Kryptonians escape from the Zone while managing to trap Superman within it. The havoc these villains wreak on Earth, and the terrifying trials Superman must face in his attempt to escape the inescapable… THIS is what “Superman II” should have been. I’ve revered Gerber and Colan as creators ever since they made this deep, early impression on me.

    image

    Okay, I gotta make mine Marvel for my fifth and final choice: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: THE MARVEL COMICS VERSION (1980; w: Archie Goodwin; a: Al Williamson and Carlos Garzon). This is a book-sized TPB collecting Marvel’s six issue comic adaptation of the film, which was/is not only my favorite “Star Wars” movie, but also one of my Top 5 Films of All-Time - so this printed masterpiece was a Bible to me. Goodwin was a comic book god. His talents at adaptation were so smooth and skillful, he knew exactly when to give you the movie-as-heard / and when to give you slight alterations for the page, which felt so genuine that I can still hear the actors’ voices saying them even though I know they never did. And the art by Williamson and Garzon, so gorgeous and wholly evocative of the film’s cinematography; I stared at those characters and spaceships and landscapes for hours and hours… it made me feel like the movie was in my hands no matter where I was when reading this (often in the back seat of my mom’s station wagon).

    image

    Thank God for comic books. For the medium itself, and for the hard-working artists, writers, editors, and executives who've poured so much of themselves into their work.
    These things made our childhoods so much sweeter and so much richer.
  • ChrisBeckettChrisBeckett Posts: 352

    I curse you CGS! Having to choose my “Top 5 Childhood Favorite Comics” actually caused me to lose sleep - as if I were choosing which of my many beloved children gets to live and which must die. Am sure I'll start kicking myself as soon as I walk away from here, realizing all of the other comics which may mean even more to me than these below. But my picks here are greatly beloved, nonetheless. They are so very close to my heart - a few are even framed on my wall. So they definitely deserve to be in this conversation (which I am having with myself, on a comic book podcast message board, at 9pm on a Monday night. Lol). As you’ll see, I’m a DC Boy. While I read and loved lots of Marvel superhero titles and plenty of non-Big Two stuff too, I was just so enamored with the DC universe… it’s no surprise it dominates my list here.

    I’ll start with the very first comic book which I bought myself! ACTION COMICS #464 (1976; w: Cary Bates; a: Curt Swan). Superman was my favorite comic book hero from the start. So when I saw him getting splooged by some weirdo calling himself The Purple Pile-Driver, I guess I had to have this? The Purple Pile-Driver has only been used TWICE in all of DC Comics history (the mark of a quality character; they know to use him sparingly). I’m a writer, and if I ever get to contribute a story to any DCU media, you can bet I’m going to bring The Purple Pile-Driver back to glory! Behold his power:

    image

    The above was my first comic, but the comic which I always think about when it comes to picking my flatout favorite would have to be this one: ADVENTURE COMICS #462 (1979; w: Paul Levitz; a: Joe Staton), “featuring… the pulse-pounding-- DEATH OF BATMAN!” (…of Earth-2.) (which I didn’t realize until I raced home and read the f--k out of this, the story which first introduced me to the concept of the DC Multiverse.) (which blew my little 9 year-old mind twice as much as contemplating the death of Batman, my second favorite comic book hero.) I think I’ve read this comic more than any other in my collection. The DC Multiverse, legacy heroes, heroes interacting with other heroes, the ultimate price of being a hero… it was all here in this issue. I am shivering as I write this, this comic book means that much to me. So much artwork from it is burned into my memory, and the writing equally so. “Only legends live forever,” says a tearful Helena Wayne at her father’s funeral “…not the men who make them.”

    image

    I’m a DC Boy of a certain age, which means I’m also a Crisis Kid. Talk about a mind-blowing concept for a young comic book reader! So of course I’d have to put a Crisis issue on my list. Truthfully any of the 12 would do, but I’m going with CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #8 (1985; w: Marv Wolfman; a: George Perez - who apparently had a heart attack four months ago, per Marv Wolfman at this year’s Eisner Awards, so say a prayer for GP’s continued recovery). “The Final Fate of The Flash” was superheroics at its most superheroic. I’d never seen a major character like this sacrifice his life to save the entire universe, if not Multiverse - and then stay dead. This book not only rocked my world when I read it, but I loved seeing how it influenced the stories and tone of DC Comics for years and years to come. There’s only one word for comics like this.
    Epic.

    image

    Speaking of epics? The four-part Superman miniseries THE PHANTOM ZONE (1981-82; w: Steve Gerber; a: Gene Colan) was, for me, Homer’s *The Odyssey* and Dante’s *Inferno* before I’d ever gotten to those classics. This story scared the crap out of me. It may have been the first time I seriously feared for the fate of Superman and the DCU - as a group of truly depraved and psychotic Kryptonians escape from the Zone while managing to trap Superman within it. The havoc these villains wreak on Earth, and the terrifying trials Superman must face in his attempt to escape the inescapable… THIS is what “Superman II” should have been. I’ve revered Gerber and Colan as creators ever since they made this deep, early impression on me.

    image

    Okay, I gotta make mine Marvel for my fifth and final choice: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: THE MARVEL COMICS VERSION (1980; w: Archie Goodwin; a: Al Williamson and Carlos Garzon). This is a book-sized TPB collecting Marvel’s six issue comic adaptation of the film, which was/is not only my favorite “Star Wars” movie, but also one of my Top 5 Films of All-Time - so this printed masterpiece was a Bible to me. Goodwin was a comic book god. His talents at adaptation were so smooth and skillful, he knew exactly when to give you the movie-as-heard / and when to give you slight alterations for the page, which felt so genuine that I can still hear the actors’ voices saying them even though I know they never did. And the art by Williamson and Garzon, so gorgeous and wholly evocative of the film’s cinematography; I stared at those characters and spaceships and landscapes for hours and hours… it made me feel like the movie was in my hands no matter where I was when reading this (often in the back seat of my mom’s station wagon).

    image

    Thank God for comic books. For the medium itself, and for the hard-working artists, writers, editors, and executives who've poured so much of themselves into their work.
    These things made our childhoods so much sweeter and so much richer.

    Ha! This is what I was expecting yesterday when I saw you had posted in this thread, @BionicDave. Discovering a single statement, that you had to think on this, was a letdown, from someone who enjoys your "full" posts in other threads (particularly the "What comics have you read and enjoyed lately" one).

    Great picks, sir! I have that Adventure Comics issue too, and it is one of my favorites. I don't remember where I got it (I have a handful of issues surrounding that one, as well, copies that were already well-worn, not sure if they were handed down from somewhere or found at a comic shop; doesn't matter, they're great!).

    And that Crisis issue! That was my introduction to George Perez, and he became my favorite superhero artist very quickly. But I didn't get it for the art --- short story long, here: When I started buying comics, I knew nothing of comic shops and got my books at a local bookstore in Calais, Maine right on the border of Canada. My hometown was surrounded by trees, and the closest cities were an hour and 15 minutes away, in Canada, or two hours into the center of Maine. So, I only got what books were ordered by the bookstore (later, I would subscribe to series that went direct market only -- Nam and Strikeforce: Morituri -- but I still didn't know what direct market meant). And I am certain Crisis was not ordered, because if I had seen that Perez art I definitely would have snagged a copy.

    Anyway . . . soon after I started buying comics I did order back issues through the Mile High ads in the books. With every order came their catalog. I would pore through that thing for what must have been hours. And, as I was scanning through the Crisis entry, there was a note next to issue #8: "Death of the Flash." What?!? My favorite character was dead? I had no idea, but I had to find out. So, I ordered that issue and probably the other available issues of the series. And that story, with that art, is just stellar. I love that comic. And I love Perez's art. And soon after, I added his name to the notes I would look for when perusing the Mile High catalogs.

    Thanks for sharing, sir (as well as the others who have posted and the Geeks who did the episode), and thanks for spurring some great memories.

    -chris
  • BionicDaveBionicDave Posts: 204
    edited August 1
    Thank you so much for your praise, @ChrisBeckett! Your Top 5 list has been just as much fun for me to read (all of these Top 5 lists have) and your dedication to The Flash makes me even more bummed that I did not somehow include onto my Top 5 one of my strong contenders for it - WORLD'S FINEST #199, DC's final Silver Age Flash/Superman race! haha

    I also see that you were pulled into your lifelong Flash love by your love for the old "Super Friends" cartoon, which was my gateway drug into the DCU, as well. And after reading your blog post essay about SUPERMAN #400, and Elliot S! Maggin's role in it, I thought you might want to see this pic I took two weeks ago at San Diego Comic-Con, when I got Maggin to sign my dusty old copies of *Superman, Last Son of Krypton* and *Superman, Miracle Monday* :smiley:

    image
  • ChrisBeckettChrisBeckett Posts: 352

    Thank you so much for your praise, @ChrisBeckett! Your Top 5 list has been just as much fun for me to read (all of these Top 5 lists have) and your dedication to The Flash makes me even more bummed that I did not somehow include onto my Top 5 one of my strong contenders for it - WORLD'S FINEST #199, DC's final Silver Age Flash/Superman race! haha

    I also see that you were pulled into your lifelong Flash love by your love for the old "Super Friends" cartoon, which was my gateway drug into the DCU, as well. And after reading your blog post essay about SUPERMAN #400, and Elliot S! Maggin's role in it, I thought you might want to see this pic I took two weeks ago at San Diego Comic-Con, when I got Maggin to sign my dusty old copies of *Superman, Last Son of Krypton* and *Superman, Miracle Monday* :smiley:

    image

    Thanks for sharing. That's great!
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