10. Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, and El Diablo - Jonah Hex (vol. 2) #44-49 (DC, 2009)
Today's entry only just makes it in under the 10-year-old rule, being that these six issues of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiott's Jonah Hex appeared between May and October 2009.
The six-part story arc, titled "The Six Gun War", sees bounty hunter Jonah Hex riding into a trap set by his old enemies Quentin Turnbull and the bandit El Papagayo. Hell bent on vengence against Hex, who Turnbull blames for the death of his son, the pair leave the bounty hunter for dead, although naturally Jonah survives. From there, Bat Lash and El Diablo, from the old Bronze Age Weird Western Tales and Jonah Hex comics, join forces with Hex to wreak revenge on Turnbull and El Papagayo. The arrival of Talullah Black -- a tough, no-nonsense female bounty hunter who appeared earlier in the Gray and Palmiotti run, and whose hideously scarred face is more than a match for Jonah's ugly countenance -- is a welcome addition to the story.
To be brutally honest, "The Six Gun War" isn't necessarily the best story from Gray and Palmiott's run; those guys tend to be better with single issue, done-in-one stories, generally speaking. Nevertheless, this is a really enjoyable western romp, full of violent death and vengeance, which the unkempt, "dirty" looking artwork of Cristiano Cucina puts across very well. For me though, it's the fun of seeing Hex, Bat Lash and El Diablo team-up -- in a way that they never did in those old '70s DC western comics -- against the classic Hex villains Quentin Turnbull and El Papagayo that is the main draw.
Last Edit: Dec 15, 2019 19:02:43 GMT -5 by Confessor
Day Three, #10: She-Hulk and US-1 (Sensational She-Hulk #39-48, 1992, John Byrne)
Fads can come and go in the mind of the public before promulgating through all forms of media. Disco was dead, and roller rinks were dying, by the time Marvel introduced their disco-singing, roller-skating heroine Dazzler. Trucker series US-1 (1983) was even further out of date by the time it rolled off the lines long after the heyday of Convoy, Smokey and the Bandit, and B.J. and the Bear. It struggled along for twelve issues before being euthanized.
But John Byrne was never one to pass up a silly idea in his tongue-in-cheek series Sensational She-Hulk. Having already revived monster-mag era creature “Spragg the Living Hill,” Byrne cheerfully brought on board Ulysses S. Archer (now a space trucker!) for nine issues, nearly as many as his own failed series. Some might argue that this crosses the line from “team-up” into “supporting cast,” and I won’t argue the point; US-1 just sort of never went away once the team-up began. Either way, it was goofy fun that went against the grain of the grim early 90s.
Interesting. My favorite multi-part story in MTU, but I never considered it for this, because it's got so many protagonists teaming up. Oh, well. I had enough trouble paring down my choices - if I throw this one in, it'll blow everything up for me...
Post by coke & comics on Dec 15, 2019 14:39:56 GMT -5
10. Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man "The Battle of the Century!" (DC/Marvel, 1976)
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, and Dick Giordano
When the word "crossover" was said, crossovers between DC and Marvel immediately sprung to mind. I do love so many of them. And I know exactly what my favorite is, which was set to be #1 on my list, until I read the fine print of this year's rules and realized I couldn't have a meeting of their two flagship teams.
So I settled with the classic. The first time Superman meets Spider-Man.
You could tell it was an event. A gigantic comic. So big, that it's hard to hold. I feel like I need to lay it across my desk to sit on it. But if I do that, the cats try to sit on it. I could shut the door, but then they get angry. Maybe I can sit on the couch with my knee bent to rest it on my leg... look, you try to read this massive comic with two cats who want to sit on your lap and swat at it.
Andru recognizes it's time for iconic characters to look iconic and draws them as such.
And it's time for iconic villains. Superman's archnemesis is pretty universally recognized as Lex Luthor. There is a little more confusion about who Spider-Man's most iconic villain is. But this comic gets it right: it's Dr. Octopus.
One less-than-iconic detail that sticks out is the line that Superman fights for "truth, justice, and the Terran way". It's an odd phrase. Born out of controversy. The old Superman cartoons had it that Superman fought for "truth and justice". A good phrase they should have stuck with. But then came the 1950s and McCarthy's attempts at fascism that led to an epidemic of public displays of patriotism, and the phrase was altered to "truth, justice and the American way". Out of place for a superhero who should defend all humanity. They seem to be attempting some course-correction here, but they should have just one back to the original. "Truth and justice" was a good phrase.
It's also a bit unfortunate that Morgan Edge was Clark's boss at the time. It would have stood the test of time better if it was Perry White at the bar complaining about his reporters to J. Jonah Jameson. I also wish Peter had met Jimmy, since they're both photographers. Ah well, can't win 'em all.
10. Spider-Man and The Thing from Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 (1977) by Jim Starlin
The final item on my list where the team-up itself truly has nothing to do with what makes this story special. The conclusion (or, rather, epilogue) to Starlin's first Thanos Saga finds Spider-Man feeling vastly under-prepared in a battle for the universe itself. I have practically no memory of Ben Grimm even being in this thing, let alone how he and Spidery interacted. Instead, I recall how staggeringly human Peter Parker was in this story, making the decidedly unheroic (but totally understandable) decision to run away before finally coming to his senses:
This is one of my favorite comics ever, and yet I did not think of it for this countdown. Probably because I do think of it in a chapter of a larger story that involves many heroes. It does seem to be a Hulk/Thing story in name only.
Oddly, I did think of a different Starlin-penned Thing team-up (with Hulk) for my short list, but it didn't make the final cut. And somehow didn't lead my mind to other Starlin-penned Thing stories.
"We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." ~Angel
"For all their indisputable intelligence, men take this farce as something serious, and that is their tragedy." ~Brothers Karamazov