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  1. #16

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    11. Bat Lash #1-7



    I'm not going to talk too long about this pick, mainly because I know other people are going to be picking it, people who no doubt can speak to its pleasure better than I considering I haven't actually read most of it. That's only because I am holding out to read it in the original issues, though. And frankly, it's worthy of inclusion just for the amazing Nick Cardy covers, whether you've actually read the comics or not.

    But the character and the stories are also cool. Bat Lash is a lat-60's western anti-hero type. Unlike most western heroes, he's not really into gunslinging or being a vigilante; he really just wants to woo the ladies and have a little bit of peace. He's basically a bit of a hippie. Yet, he keeps getting dragged into situations, in part due to that habit of wooing ladies he maybe shouldn't be wooing. It's a refreshingly different take on the western genre, with much more humor and style than most westerns, which makes sense considering the great Sergio Aragones was a co-writer (yes, writer, not artist).

    I kind of wonder if this series wasn't better off being canceled, because I'm not sure a series and character like this could have kept up the quality over a long period; after all, eventually the creative team would have changed, and as later appearances by Bat Lash have proven, he's not a character that is easy to do well. But these seven issues (plus his introduction in Showcase #76) definitely stand the test of time.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron King View Post
    11. E-Man 1-10 (October 1973-September 1975)

    I think I've picked this for a different CCC, and I think other people will pick it. I don't know if I have much to say about the series that other people won't say better, so I'll simply stick with this: the characters were as energetic as the art, which is hard to do with Joe Staton on pencils, and everyone in the narrative was surprisingly human for a superhero comic in the '70s. Villains might realize their mistakes. Random guest stars might get their own features. It was refreshingly full of change.
    Another one that I considered for my picks this year...

  3. #18

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    I also had BAT LASH on my long list. I have the SHOWCASE PRESENTS volume of reprints and I've got that issue of no. 2 with the great Cardy cover--but there are a lot of tittles from around this period at DC, any one of which seemed worth talking about. And I was sure someone else would put up BAT LASH.

  4. #19
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    The Kents 1-12.





    It's no secret that I'm a sucker for westerns. It's no secret that John Ostrander is one of my favorite writers of funny books. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of both Tim Truman and Tom Mandrake. Really it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that this book would be a big hit with me.

    The book actually started out as The Daltons (as in Deadshot) but was changed to The Kents to allow a little Superman cross-pollination. But it really doesn't matter. Supes never appears. Jonathan and Clark Kent only appear in small framing pieces and overall it's just a very well done western with lots of cameos of famous folk and a good storyline. Truman pencils the first 8 issues with Mandrake doing full art (as usual) on the last four.

    This is a western set not where we expect a western...and that's all to the good. It's set primarily around Kansas (which really was the west) and revolves around the Civil War. Ostrander, as usual has done his homework. And I'm sure it help that Truman knows the era equally well.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by METAROG View Post
    11. Doomsday +1 1-12 1975

    Early Byrne goodness in a post apocalyptic setting! It has elements from Planet of the Apes, War of the Worlds, Terminator (although that came way after this) and probably a few others. Really a shame that this series only lasted 6 issues plus a few stories in Charlton Bullseye (7-12 are reprints). I can’t seem to find a few of the issues but I remember really enjoying this series at the time.

    This would probably rate higher on my list but I can’t find all the issues to refresh my lackluster memory. Just a fun little Sci-Fi series that should be better regarded IMHO...
    Aaaaaaaarrrrrgh!

    This is a series that I had to cruelly cut from my twelve. Along with twenty others. I am glad that someone managed to spare it and showcase it here. I add my weight to your recommendation.

    Oh, and like you I found it hard to find - and that was at the time. Charlton were not distributed as efficiently as Marvel at the time in the U. K.
    Last edited by T GUy; 12-14-2012 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Added remark; grammar.

  6. #21
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polar Bear View Post
    #11. Cages, by Dave McKean

    An ever-surprising series on creation and creativity by the much-lamented Tundra, my second-favorite dead publisher. Dave McKean has mastered the "beat" of comics, the between-the-panels action, the transition from panel to panel. Not everyone will appreciate his linework, and the lettering is a bit of a barrier, but the series comprises one of the most authentically thought-provoking tales--or, perhaps, collections of tales--I've ever read. A musician, a painter, and a writer interact, philosophize, and tell stories, with occasional multiple embeddings, bringing into question the nature of reality itself. Less self-indulgent than DeMatteis' Moonshadow, more readable than Talbot's Alice in Sunderland, grounded in reality like Clowes' Ghost World, yet open to fantasy like Campbell's Deadface, Cages is truly McKean's crowning achievement.

    And this 496-page story is under $20 right now. Hard to beat that.
    The issue with the dreadlocks and the story of music was very mind melting. high end comics
    "...so Hitler sends Iron Jaw's son to America to get revenge on Crimebuster." S.H.

  7. #22
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    Being a fan of both westerns and the Ostrander/Mandrake team, I definitely need to check out The Kents. I presume it's available as a TPB?

    Cei-U!
    I summon my want list!
    It's hardly a secret that something is badly wrong with me. - Dan B. in the Underworld
    I am ... a condescending prick sometimes. But I usually mean to be. - Paradox
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  8. #23
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    Being a fan of both westerns and the Ostrander/Mandrake team, I definitely need to check out The Kents. I presume it's available as a TPB?

    Cei-U!
    I summon my want list!

    The trade is out of print, but it's pretty cheap on the Amazon marketplace. In fact they have unread "new" ones for $8.99.

  9. #24
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    On the second day of Christmas my LCS owner gave to me...
    Six from Sirius



    Six From Sirius was a mini-series created by Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy and published by Marvel's Epic Comics imprint in 1984, which is an imprint that is very near and dear to my heart. Seriously, nearly half of my choices were Epic comics, but this on in particular is one of my favorites.

    To start with Sirius pairs together Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy, who famously previously worked together on The Master of Kung Fu, and although I best remember Moench for his work on Batman, Master of Kung Fu is a sight to see and it's awesome to see that collaboration revived in this book. Page for page this is one of the best sci-fi comics I've ever read, it's like a mixture of the old Flash Gordon visual aesthetics and the bleak minimalism of the new wave of science fiction that came about in the wake of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's bright and colorful and full of that raw swashbuckling feel and yet at the same time everything feels very functional, practical and real. It's an amazing contradiction but it really works well in creating a book with a truly unique feel.

    Though Moench's dialog is a little heavy handed at times, and some of the speech bubbles move in ways that are less than intuitive the story he weaves is a lot of fun. The plot featured the intergalactic adventures of six agents working for a governmental organization of the Planet Sirius-6. They were tasked with rescuing the arbitrator of a conflict between two worlds and safely getting her to the conference in time to stop an intergalactic war. Along the way they're pursued by robotic bug creatures, duped by synthetic dopplegangers and presented with an otherworldly group conscious after life. So yeah, it's a little kitschy but totally fun.

    The real selling point is the art by Gulacy though, he uses really heavy black inks and then layers the colors over them in such a way that it gives the whole book a truly realistic feel. It's like the movie poster for a seventies sci-fi flick came to life. It's just all so incredibly astounding and rich, and he did it all himself (pencils, inks, and color) which is truly impressive.




    Those are two of my favorite pages and I think they really sell you on just how great this book is. So great in fact that with Chase out of the running due to its #1,000,000 issue that the sequel Six from Sirius II might just make the tail end of my list. We'll see I guess.

  10. #25
    Senior Member MDG's Avatar
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    11. Beware the Creeper #1-6 (DC, 1968)

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    With this list, the question wasn't "Include Ditko?" but "Which Ditko?"

    Hawk and Dove was a strong possibility (the original run was a product of its time that was going to age quickly, but I think holds up better than, for example, "relevant GL/GA), but the Creeper is a really neat concept and still has a unique look. On the surface, a pretty traditional costumed hero with a typically ridiculous origin, but a great jumping off point for Ditko's storytelling.
    "It's just lines on paper, folks!"

  11. #26
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    I see this year's event is going to be especially hard on a certain self-described frugal fanboy's back issue budget.

    Cei-U!
    I pinch my pennies!
    It's hardly a secret that something is badly wrong with me. - Dan B. in the Underworld
    I am ... a condescending prick sometimes. But I usually mean to be. - Paradox
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  12. #27
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    I pinch my pennies!
    So that's what the kids are calling it these days.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    It's not exactly a state secret that I love Golden Age super-hero comics and probably comes as no surprise to many of you that a title featuring Golden Age reprints made my list. I seriously considered the two '70s DC series, Secret Origins and Wanted: The World's Most Dangerous Villains, that met the survey's criteria but finally realized it had to be

    #11. Fantasy Masterpieces #1-11

    Attachment 105709

    ...Later, of course, I would discover the delights of DC's Golden Age comics (not to mention Fawcett's and Quality's) and begin a journey that would eventually lead to my writing professionally about them. But it all began with Joe, Jack, Cap and Fantasy Masterpieces.

    Cei-U!
    I summon the lifechanger!
    Oh, the hilarity, Cei-U!

    Both Fantasy Masterpieces and Secret Origins made my longlist. They were cruelly cut because someone decided that this activity was the twelve days of Christmas rather than the more ideal thirty days of Christmas.

    However, I went another route, following the pioneering work of another member of this community, and proudly present:

    11: Wanted: The World’s Most Dangerous Villains

    Published by DC No. 1 (July-August 1972) to No. 9 (August-September 1973).

    This title was one of the longer-running DC reprint title of 1972-3 which, I presume, were introduced after the return to the all-new 32-page format from the 48-page one (which almost invariably included 15 or so pages of reprints). It presented a mixed bag of DC ( and DC-licensed/owned) superheroes from the Golden and Silver ages.

    The eighth issue was one of the first half-a-dozen or so DC comics I bought. At the time I did not reliase that it was a reprint series; I thought that DC merely featured the Flash in more than one comic, as they did Batman and Superman (with batman, I had no idea what the world would be like forty or so years later with the putatively new 52).

    At any rate, this series represents the vast array of Bronze Age reprints and DC superheroes. Two reasons for it being here.

  14. #29

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    I submit that there were only nine issues of WANTED which were nine good reasons to include it elsewhere on my list. I figured others would pick it--but it's great to see it getting so much love (or maybe those strict rules ruled out some other choice classic reprint titles we would have liked to include).

  15. #30
    Longstanding Member MWGallaher's Avatar
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    11. Foolkiller #1-10 by Steve Gerber, JJ Birch with Tony DeZuniga and Vince Giarrano, 1990-1991

    Foolkiller was one of the first titles to come to mind when I saw this year's topic. I remembered loving it when it was published, but I hadn't revisited it in over 20 years. So I dug it out of the archives and reread it. It still makes the grade.
    I can't imagine just how Steve Gerber got this series greenlit. Maybe it was approved because Marvel thought it would appeal to the Punisher fans, being a saga of a street vigilante. But Steve Gerber's take on vigilantes is a much richer and thoughtful one.
    The series tells the story of an underemployed man in a midlife crisis who becomes penpals with a notorious supervillain, the second of two previous "Foolkillers" that Gerber had written.
    Gerber takes the protagonist, Kurt Gerhardt, down a grim path. What starts out seeming like a pandering to lovers of violent revenge fantasies spirals out of control, as the "fools" Gerhardt targets start turning up everywhere he looks, and he loses perspective on his mission. Gerber's own social targets spread, too: while his lampooning of then-popular agitprop radio host G. Gordon Liddy (in the form of tv host Runyan Moody) leads the reader to expect a liberal-leaning bash against "law & order" types, he turns his aim against the bleeding heart types as well. Gerber always seemed to put a lot of himself in his work, and it's easy to see the parallels between him and his character Gerhardt, as they both find the objects of their respective wraths multiplying with every kill.
    One of the aspects that I really appreciated this time around was the fact that the Foolkiller's only "super-power" is his possession of some kind of laser pistol that instantly incinerates its target. At first thought, that's a pretty measly gimmick in the Marvel Universe, compared with Ultimate Nullifiers and electrified ninja swords and flying, constricting hoops of fire. One the other hand, the pistol, unlike most of the Marvel villains' weapons, is actually lethal: he shoots it, they die. The end. No fancy defenses, no sneaky avoidance maneuvers. He's truly more effective than 95% of the bad guys in the Marvel Universe. But the modesty of the weapon helps to ground the series, making it feel much more like it's happening in the real world (in fact, connections to the greater Marvel Universe here are slim: Spider-Man pops in for one issue, but he just saves a few bystanders, and doesn't confront the Foolkiller). And really, that laser pistol isn't that different from an ordinary pistol in our world: any person with a finger can point one and instantly eliminate a fellow human.
    The art is nothing spectacular, but I suspect that a more flamboyant artistic approach would detract from the drab, mundane world that's depicted in these 10 issues. We're not meant to be dazzled or impressed by the action as much as we're supposed to identify with Gerhardt's life and with his disgust at the state of society around him. A little more flair might have been nice, but the art supports the script well enough.
    You can read this story in back issues. No collection has been published.
    "We're Santa's elves, and we're here to tell you about ourselves!"--Summer and Eve

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