And every Valentine’s Day for the past decade, I think about doing another one of those lists.

§ August 26th, 2016 § Filed under how the sausage is made, self-promotion § 9 Comments

I’d been on hiatus from the Trouble with Comics crew for a bit, since of late what small amount of blogging time I’ve had I’ve been focusing right here on this site, keeping the content up, patching up some old entries, and otherwise justifying the ol’ Patreon. But, the Trouble with Comics Question Time feature was hitting its 50th installment, and who am I to pass up an anniversary issue?

The Question this time was simply to list 50 Things We Loved About Comics, and you can read our answers in the three installments right here (1 2 3) and my entry is located in Part the Second.

Those of you who’ve been around a while may remember three consecutive Valentine’s Day entries where I listed “100 Things I Love About Comics” in each — they’re right here and I should warn you I haven’t fixed any dead links in those posts yet. As I say in the first post, that was inspired by a couple of Fred Hembeck strips (1 2) and by a post by Chief Troublemaker Alan David Doane (which included my then-relatively new site, which surprised the heck out of me!). Lots of people did lists of their own, but leave it to Tom Spurgeon to have unleashed the 1000 Things He Loves About Comics, and hoo boy that’s hard to beat.

Anyway, for my new Top 50 list I was going to do something similar to my old Top 100 lists…just list a bunch of stuff I like, whether it’s characters or creators or titles or what have you. In fact, my first pass at my entry, I did just that…and it turned out I duplicated quite a bit from my old lists, and I didn’t want to do exactly what I’d done before. So the second time ’round I tried to stick to just listing specific events in comics (though a couple more general entries slipped in there), and I hope you are reminded of some fun things when you read my entry (and everyone else’s entries, too!) or maybe are intrigued by some bit of nonsense you hadn’t heard of before.

When I started my second pass at that list, I figured “oh man, this is going to take forever,” but I’m pleased to say that it took hardly any time at all to fill up all fifty spots. I had plenty more besides, and of course a day or two later I’m thinking of entries that should have been in that list but they simply slipped my mind.

Top of that “shoulda been in dere” list is Hawkman #4 in which we learn at long last the secret identity of Kite Man, who turns out to be a real blockhead. I can’t believe I left it off the list, but one of the wonders of the Comics Internet is that I been able to tell the writer of said issue, the eternally swell Tony Isabella, how much I loved that comic, so hopefully that makes up for my recent forgetfulness.

I also forgot to mention Lex Luthor anywhere in that list, which stuns me because I do loves me some Lex Luthor. It’d be hard for me to narrow it down to just one entry, but I think that one panel in Superman #149 (1961), “The Death of Superman,” where Luthor contemptuously thinks “The puny ants!” as he is on trial for Superman’s murder. Maybe more generally, I always liked those stories where Luthor is shown that, despite his hatred for Superman, he’s not entirely a monster and reveals some soft spot or ‘nother for, like, his sister, or for Einstein, or something like that. That’s an element lost in post-Crisis Luthor, who was just straight up pure evil, 24/7. (Maybe that’s part of the reason why I’m enjoying the Rebirth Superman titles so much, with Luthor’s redemption arc…he’s still an arrogant jerk, but he seems to be doing the right thing.)

And then there’s Dr. Doom, who really should have been in there somewhere, too. Again, it’s hard to pin down one particular moment or story…maybe that one Fantastic Four issue where we follow Doom around during a typical day in his country of Latveria. Or more generally, I just love the fact that Reed Richards and Doom were once (very briefly, like for what, a minute?) college roommates, now mortal enemies which I expect more than a few people can relate to.

And plenty more besides. Nobody needs to tell me what else I forgot…believe me, I know. I did manage to keep the Swamp Thing entries down to just one, but it’s a good’un. There are entries for three different Frank Miller Batman-related things, however. You’re welcome!

9 Responses to “And every Valentine’s Day for the past decade, I think about doing another one of those lists.”

  • Thom Heil says:

    Silver Age Lex Luthor was definitely the best. Wasn’t Superman #149 where he pretended to do good, but actually was just tricking everyone so he could kill Superman while the staff of the Daily Planet looked on in horror? I might be conflating two Superman stories there. Anyway, later in the series when Lex found a planet where *he* was a hero and Superman was a villain — that was so sweet and sad because Superman just wouldn’t leave him alone. Good stuff.

  • philfromgermany says:

    Lot of love for the counterfeit Cerebus in those lists. OK, two mentions may not be “a lot” but I was still a bit surprised.

  • RDaggle says:

    Lex Luthor and Albert Einstein, OTP.

    Lex is obsessed with Al’s fierce mane.

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    “Arcane asking Swamp Thing how many years he’d been in hell, and Swamp Thing replying “Since yesterday.””

    Oh, man, that one is spooky. Even with my upbringing in a fundamentalist church in North Carolina, that’s still the best/scariest depiction of hell I’ve ever encountered. I also like the Demon’s/Alan Moore’s explanation in that issue of why God would allow hell to exist.

  • If you visit my Facebook page or Twitter accounts, I’ve been posting a “Things That Make Me Happy” item almost every day. They help me keep relatively sane.

  • Chris Gumprich says:

    Feel the same about many of your 50, but “Whatever Happened to the Crimson Avenger” will always be one of my all-time favorites. Not only did it introduce me to the whole Golden Age, the idea that a superhero could die was completely new to my young mind.

  • ScienceGiant says:

    Now Mike has me wondering what the heck was the resident assistance for Reed and Doom’s dorm thinking.

  • David Oakes says:

    “Now Mike has me wondering what the heck was the resident assistance for Reed and Doom’s dorm thinking.”

    Hey, they are both eggheads! Safer than rooming them with the Football Hero.

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    23. “KISS YOUR BUTT GOODBYE!” (the splash page to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2)

    With TMNT’s history and status as a gigantic multimedia franchise, it’s easy to forget that those early comics were so, so much freakin’ fun. I have a TPB of the first 15 isues or so and I must have read that thing dozens of times.