Monday, January 20, 2014

These Are Fifty Of My Favorite Things

Last week, Sally had this nice post where she listed off some of her favorite comics and series of all time. This is not quite my version of that. I already put a lot of my favorite series in the comments of her post - surprise! there's a lot of John Ostrander, Fabian Nicieza, and Abnett/Lanning - but her post did remind me of something I did over six, nearly seven years ago. Jeez.

So it's 50 things I love about comics. I'm going to try and pick 50 different things, within reason. If I only cited a series in general last time, I reserve the right to select specific things from said series this time. Everyone good with that? Lalalalalala, I can't hear you!

In no particular order:

1. Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin's Bandette.

2. John Romita Jr. (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker). Dan Kemp (colorist) as the art team on Amazing Spider-Man. Romita Jr. is usually fine with me, and I think Hanna keeps his lines from getting too heavy, but the coloring in particular was really nice. Lot of interesting hues.

3. Batgirl #18, by Bryan Q. Miller and Dustin Nguyen. Stephanie Brown and Klarion team-up to find Teekl a girlfriend.

4. Kiyohiko Azuma's Yotsuba!

5. Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, Javier Rodriguez, Chris Samnee, and Mark Waid on Daredevil.

6. Ostrander/Mandrake, GrimJack #37, "The Revenge of John Gaunt".

7. The odd heroes Mieville, Santolouco, Lapham, and Ponticelli came up with for Dial H. Cock-a-Hoop, people.

8. That whole subplot in Suicide Squad about the mysterious pie-thrower.

9. Thunderbolts, especially after Hawkeye shows up.

10. Along those lines, Hawkeye. I'm always going to have a soft spot for the guy who took on a guy in essentially a flying tank with trick arrows, and did it for love. And ego, but mostly love.

11. Ennis/Parlov, Punisher #54. 'Memories like that, I try hard to kill. But you might do something with it, if you like.' There's a lot that sticks with me from Ennis' run with Frank Castle, but that line heads the list.

12. Power Girl's big sister/little sister relationship with Terra, as set-up by Conner, Grey, and Palmiotti

13. Atomic Robo's team-up with Carl Sagan to fight an other-dimensional Lovecraftian horror.

14. Sticking with Brian Clevinger, his version of Dr. Doom from Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet. It's a good use of his imperious, scornful nature for comedy's sake.

15. Booster Gold disguising himself as Killer Moth and whupping Batman's behind, from Booster Gold #11, by Dixon and Jurgens.

16. "Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium", by Ennis and McCrea.

17. Kathryn Immonen and David LaFuente's Patsy Walker: Hellcat mini-series. I liked that version of Patsy, sort of flighty and impulsive, but still serious and capable when it was needed.

18. Arcade. Anywhere, anytime, against any hero.

19. Brian Reed and Aaron Lopresti's Ms. Marvel #19. Aaron Stack tries to disguise himself with a giant mustache.

20. Nightcrawler, when he's being cheerful and swashbuckling. So, Alan Davis Nightcrawler, basically. No mopey Kurt Wagner!

21. The design for the sorcerous Dire Wraiths who show up around ROM Spaceknight #47.

22. Spectacular Spider-Man #200. Yeah, it's a sad issue, but DeMatteis and Buscema earn it, and they gave Harry Osborn a little triumph before the end. It still gets me after all these years, so it must have been pretty good.

23. The brief Thanos ongoing. The idea of Thanos as someone who has decided to wander and try to find a new purpose, helping people in his own ruthless manner, had a certain appeal.

24. The Blank, introduced in Roger Stern's West Coast Avengers mini-series. I have a soft spot for villains that just want to make some quick bucks, and aren't caught up in world domination/revenge.

25. Jeff Parker and Leonard Kirk's Agent of Atlas mini-series.

26. Abnett and Lanning bringing Namorita back to life in the pages of Nova.

27. Dr. Doom, when he's portrayed as having some nobility and sense of fair play. Triumph and Torment Doom is a good example.

28. The strange ideas and concepts Doug Tennapel fills his work with, usually around a strong core about family. Creature Tech was a good example.

29. Spider-Man/Batman, Batman tells Spidey to get out of Gotham because it has unique terrors and he doesn't want Spidey being hurt. It's not how it was intended, but the idea that Spidey needs to be afraid of Batsy's enemies always amuses me.

30. Batman as drawn by Norm Breyfogle.

31. Joe Casey's work on WildC.A.T.S. I don't know if he quite got to exploring what incorporating advanced alien technology into readily accessible things like batteries and cars would do to the world at large, but he started in that direction, while exploring how different people use to one way of life adjust to things being completely different.

32. Cowan and O'Neill's work on the Question. How much can one guy do, especially as a vigilante? And what happens to them in the process?

33. Taskmaster's ability to work as a character as a villain or hero, without really changing.

34. Puckett and Daimon Scott's run with Cassandra Cain as Batgirl. The sequence where Cass dodges bullets easily is a favorite.

35. Rocket Raccoon and Groot as best buddies.

36. The "Ultimate Knights" arc in Ultimate Spider-Man. It's the one where I thought Peter finally started to assert himself, reining in Daredevil, and using Fury as a lever against Kingpin, beating Fisk at his own game of influence.

37. Dave Stevens' Rocketeer. He knew what he wanted out of the story - dames and jetpacks.

38. Deadshot. The death wish, the family issues, the whole odd set of rules he seems to live by. There's something cool about characters who, even when they take the actions we'd want, do it in a strange or kind of evil way, or for reasons we don't totally agree with.

39. Along those lines, the Kesel/Dodson Harley Quinn series. Harley does some ugly things in there, but you can see the good intentions she has, and likewise, when she does something good, there are sometimes some really bad reasons.

40. The Identity Crisis storyline in the Spider-Man books. It was a stunt, sure, but the idea of using different identities, that emphasized different aspects of his powers, and different facets of who he is, that was cool.

41. Jen van Meter, Javier Pulido, and Javier Rodriguez' Black Cat mini-series.

42. Christina Z and Mike Deodato's Tigra mini-series. I found and read that series during what was not a particularly good time for the character (meaning, when Bendis thought it would be a good idea for her to scream and cry while getting pistol-whipped by the Hood), and that was a pleasant escape from all the crap.

43. Fat Cobra.

44. When Captain America bounces his shield off a bunch of different people or things and then catches it smoothly.

45. Kanigher and Kubert's Enemy Ace stories. Kanigher really enjoys hammering the point home, but it works, and Kubert's work is fantastic.

46. Nocenti and Romita's Jr.'s work on Daredevil.

47. The Ian Brill/James Silvani Darkwing Duck series from BOOM! It was a little rushed near the end, but it handled the mix of humor and action well.

48. The brief time in the '80s Wolverine ran the X-Men while Storm was busy hunting down Forge. It's not unusual for him to be in charge now, but back then, for me, it was weird to see him try to lead, instead of blowing off orders and doing as he pleased.

49. Deadpool hallucinating Norman Osborn as a 'stinky dummy-dum' version of the giant from Jack & the beanstalk. That was the best Daniel Way's hallucination shtick for Wade worked for me.

50. Damage Control. All three of the McDuffie/Colon mini-series.

Whew. The hardest part of that was getting my mind to settle on one thing long enough for me to put it down. You should all make your own lists, on your sites, or in the comments, or whatever.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Oh Calvin, you have such wonderful taste!

I cannot disagree with any of fact they are all pretty fabulous.

And yes, Zombie Night at Gotham Aquarium remains my single favorite comic book issue title...ever.