Sunday, May 30, 2004

Time now for part two of...MY ALL-TIME TOP 20 FAVORITE COMICS SERIES (and certain runs on certain titles)! THIS TIME...THE SEVENTIES!

First, an addition to/omission from my Sixties list, number 20c if you will: THE SILVER SURFER, by Stan Lee and John and Sal Buscema. This was a series I never missed an issue of, with particular favorites being issue 4, in which Surfy fought Thor with of John Buscema's best art jobs (and I've never really been a Buscema fan), and #'8 and 9, in which Stan cleverly revamps the legendary Flying Dutchman, complete with eyepatch that shoots force beams. Don't know why I didn't think to list it before...probably won't be the last time this happens as I continue with this series! OK, let's get to it- DC first this time, since I became more of a DC fan during this decade...

1.BATMAN This will have to be a group listing, since there were so many Batman-related titles I loved during this decade. Some that come immediately to mind are Archie Goodwin's run on Detective 437-444, with art by Alex Toth and Howard Chaykin, plus his superb collaboration with Walt Simonson, Manhunter; another Simonson issue of Detective, #450, which featured some very innovative and clever renditions of the Dark Knight, including depicting him with short ears for the first time in probably five years; many late 70s issues of Batman Family, which featured some excellent art and stories by Mike Golden, Jim Starlin and Marshall Rogers, Rogers (again) and Steve Englehart on their excellent Detective run, a crossover with the Shadow by Dennis O'Neil and Irv Novick with a Kaluta cover, and several Neal Adams art jobs scattered here and there. I also bought Brave and the Bold, featuring Batman teamups with numerous DC characters, most written by Bob Haney and drawn by Jim Aparo, and most of them were better than the notorious Teen Titans issue that so many have made blog hay from. The 70s were a pretty darn good decade for Batman.
2. THE SHADOW by Dennis O'Neil, Mike Kaluta, Frank Robbins and E.R. Cruz
3. WEIRD WORLDS featuring IRONWOLF by O'Neil and Chaykin
4. SWAMP THING by Len Wein, Berni Wrightson, David Michelinie and Nestor Redondo
5. PHANTOM STRANGER by Wein, Aparo, Arnold Drake, Paul Levitz and Gerry Talaoc
6. STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES featuring THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER by Michelinie and Talaoc
7. MISTER MIRACLE by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer
8. SWORD OF SORCERY by O'Neil, Chaykin, Wrightson, Kaluta, and Simonson
9. BEOWULF: DRAGON SLAYER by Michael Uslan and Ricardo Villamonte
10. ADVENTURE COMICS feat. THE SPECTRE by Mike Fleisher, Russell Carley, Aparo, and Frank Thorne

11. AMAZING ADVENTURES featuring WAR OF THE WORLDS featuring KILLRAVEN 19-39 by Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Adams, Chaykin, Don McGregor, Herb Trimpe, P. Craig Russell and others
12. CONAN THE BARBARIAN 1-24 by Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith and Gil Kane
13. TOMB OF DRACULA by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan
14. MARVEL SPOTLIGHT featuring THE SON OF SATAN (including Son of Satan 1-8) by Gary Friedrich, Steve Gerber, Herb Trimpe, Jim Mooney, Sal Buscema, Gil Kane, and a host of others
15. STRANGE TALES featuring WARLOCK 178-181, WARLOCK 1-15 by Starlin
16. DOCTOR STRANGE by Steve Englehart, Frank Brunner and others
17. THE UNCANNY X-MEN by Len Wein, Dave Cockrum, Chris Claremont and John Byrne
18. MASTER OF KUNG FU by Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy, Mike Zeck, Gene Day and others
19. JUNGLE ACTION featuring the BLACK PANTHER by Don McGregor, Billy Graham, Gil Kane and others

20. THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS by Gilbert Shelton and Dave Sheridan
21. ZAP! COMIX by Robert Crumb, S.Clay Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Spain, Rick Griffin and many others

Yeah, I know, I did it again. Listed 21 instead of 20. I remembered two that I absolutely could not leave off, and hated to bump the undergrounds, which I enjoyed immensely, to the honorable mention. So I bumped The Scorpion instead and stretched the list.

Honorable mentions: Howard Chaykin's sole Atlas title, The Scorpion; More Chaykin: Marvel Premiere (Chaykin's Monark: Starstalker, or Thomas & Chaykin's version of Solomon Kane) and Spotlight (an outstanding run of Guardians of the Galaxy by Gerber and Al Milgrom); Chaykin's Dominic Fortune, a one-shot in the back of Marvel Presents magazine, best known as the first Punisher solo appearance; Simonson and Marty Pasko's Metal Men, New Gods by Kirby (of course); Justice League of America by Wein and Dick Dillin, which I bought regularly for several years; Mike Ploog's stint on Werewolf By Night, as well as Man-Thing by Ploog and Steve Gerber; Gerber's sporadically interesting Howard The Duck, Bill Everett's sadly short lived reunion with the Sub-Mariner (sorry, don't have the issue numbers handy, but they were somewhere in the 50s- the issue numbers, not the decade.) Also, random issues of Heavy Metal, another publication I picked up regularly...Warren also published reprints of Will Eisner's Spirit which I lapped right up, and the odd treasure like Toth's Bravo For Adventure in its magazines like The Rook or The Goblin. Marvel Team-Up and Iron Fist, along with, of course, X-Men, represented the very peak of both Chris Claremont and John Byrne's careers (and they've been coasting on their rep ever since, in my opinion). Avengers had a long, interesting run with stories by, at the beginning of the decade, Roy Thomas, Neal Adams and Barry Smith, and at the end of the decade by Jim Shooter, of all people, and Michelinie along with Byrne and George Perez on art.

OK, that's all I can think of. Soon, the Eighties. Now feel free to comment at will!

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