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  1. #1
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    Default The Eleventh Day of Classic Comics Christmas 2012

    Afraid I have to make today's entry short and sweet as I'm heading out to spend Xmas with the family in just a bit. So, without further ado:

    #2. The Untold Legend of the Batman #1-3

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    The definitive origin of the Silver/Bronze Age Caped Crusader, written by one of the character's best scripters (yes, shax, and editors!) and drawn by my favorite Bat-artist (oh yeah, and that Byrne guy in #1). How could I not love it?

    Cei-U!
    I summon the Bat-Signal!

    PS: Well, unless my schedule changes radically in the next 24, the lovely and talented dan bailey will be posting and hosting tomorrow's thread. The happiest of holidays to all my Classics Board buds and I'll see you, with my #1 pick, in a few days.
    It's hardly a secret that something is badly wrong with me. - Dan B. in the Underworld
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  2. #2
    It's Too Quiet Red Oak Kid's Avatar
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    #11. Scene of the Crime 1-4 Vertigo

    This was the first time I had ever seen the art of Michael Lark.

    Rehab is for Quitters

  3. #3
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    On the eleventh day of Christmas, I give unto thee...

    Legends #1-6 (DC Comics, Nov 1986-April 1987)

    In many ways this is the forgotten DC cross-over, but it my personal cross-over series of all time. This came out as I was just really getting into the DCU after growing up essentially a Marvel Zombie. I had very few DC Comics as a kid, and most of my exposure to the characters came from TV (Superfriends, reruns of Adventures of Superman & 60's Batman, Filmation Batman cartoons, Linda Carter's Wonder Woman) in the 70's. In high school, I started picking up a few random DC books, (New Teen Titans, Detroit era JLA, Trial of Barry Allen Flash, Wein/Gibbons Green Lantern, Sword of the Atom, etc. and then got Crisis because of the Perez art). But the series that really drew me in to the DCU and fostered by love for it was this Legends mini. Plotted by John Ostrander, scripted by Len Wein, and drawn by John Byrne, it was filled with moments that had this high schooler on the edge of my seat and others where I was cheering as I read. I had seen Darkseid before in a random issue of Secret Society of Super-Villains I had as a kid, but this was the first Darkseid epic I had read. Around the time this series came out I picked up Amazing Heroes #100, the Kirby tribute and learned all I could of the Fourth World. Shortly I tracked down all the Fourth World back issues I could and the Hunger Dogs graphic novel.

    In many ways this series defined the Post-Crisis DCU. It was the vehicle to bring Wally as Flash into the spotlight, it introduced the new version of Wonder Woman, introduced the Suicide Squad that Ostrander would do so much with in their own book, was the death knell for the Detroit League and introduced the new Justice League that would go on the acclaim under Giffen and DeMatteis. It examined and defined what it meant to be a hero in the DCU, and some of the cross-vers and tie ins remain some of my favorite DC Comics. It also introduced me to the Phantom Stranger and then to Secret Origins #10 the 4 interpretations of his origins that established him as my favorite DC character, and sent me tracking down back issues of that series as well.

    I was thrilled when the Legends plot made its way to the small screen as it was adapted and used in Smallville during its final seasons. Radically altered for that version of the DCU to be sure, but still thrilled to see it.

    So this series gets the #2 spot not so much for it being a great story (it was for me but others disagree I know), but for what it meant for me as an entry point into a wider world of comics than I had known before.

    Cover to #1

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    -M
    Last edited by MRP; 12-23-2012 at 08:42 AM.
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
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  4. #4
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    2. Secret Wars (12 issue limited series, Marvel 1984)



    Welcome to my 11 year old mind.

    Secret Wars was THE definitive Superhero event for me in that it felt exactly like the epic action figure wars I used to concoct with my friends on long sleepover nights. The action, the extended cast, the distrust sewn amongst ranks, some incredibly fun and memorable moments (Hulk holding up the Earth above the heroes, Galactus slowly and meticulously readying his instruments amongst the chaos, Doctor Doom's most ambitious moment), the fantastic pacing (in which moments of quiet were every bit as charged and intense as moments of action), and most of all the absurdly simple, yet enthralling premise in which an infinitely powerful galactic being whisks heroes and villains alike to a distant battle ground in order to duke it out and see who wins.

    It's not high literature, it's probably not any critical artistic achievement in the comic field, and it certainly opened the doorway for tons of bad things to follow, but this story, in and of itself, holds together well in hindsight as a guilt-free romp back through my 11 year old imagination.
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-23-2012 at 08:44 AM.

  5. #5
    Bronze Age Fan AZBarbarian's Avatar
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    2. Savage Tales (1971) #1-11

    Conan, Man-Thing, Ka-Zar. All great stuff rolled into one easy package.

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  6. #6
    Cute.5 Aaron King's Avatar
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    2. Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser #1-4

    I guess I'm a johnny-come-lately with ranking this series, but I really do like it this much. This was one of the first non-superhero books I read, and it really taught me how to read comics. Chaykin let Mignola's art tell the story a lot of the time, not mentioning important details in his sparse narration; this was a huge change from the Claremont school of X-Comics that I as a reader was coming from, where everything in the pictures was backed up and expanded upon in the captions.

    It was a little difficult and confusing at first, but the comic held a weird pull for me as a nine-year-old and I kept coming back to it, and nowadays I'm a Mignola devotee and, I think, pretty okay at reading comics.
    All-Star Western, Casanova, Criminal, Daredevil, Dark Horse Presents, Funnies, Hellboy/BPRD, King City, Orc Stain, Snarked, Unwritten, Usagi Yojimbo

  7. #7
    Nice Melons DubipR's Avatar
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    2. TARZAN VS. PREDATOR: AT THE EARTH'S CORE
    1-4 (Dark Horse) 1996



    Taking a licensed character making that person relevant can be tough. Taking Burrough's Tarzan and doing that is even tougher. Dark Horse crushed it with this brilliant mini-series written by Walt Simonson and drawn by Lee Weeks. The Predator franchise, comicwise, has had some strong and well written series, but when this came out in 1996, this became the high mark of whoever Predator was pitted against. The galaxy's ultimate hunter comes to Earth, landing in Pellicudar, Tarzan, Jane and the Waziri are called in to investigate why so many animals are slaughtered. Taking elements of the Tarzan myth and using the Predators, the ultimate hunter becomes the ultimate prey against Tarzan. Simonson writes a Tarzan for the modern reader with a twist of new. Weeks at times is channeling Kubert with this Tarzan but makes it his own.

    I have the issues and I have the trade. I've bought the trade twice because I've given it out for people to try which has become damaged from multiple reading.

    Last edited by DubipR; 12-23-2012 at 09:06 AM.
    "If you live among wolves you have to act like a wolf."

  8. #8
    Senior Member JKCarrier's Avatar
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    2. Empire Lanes
    (4 issues, 1986-1987)

    The "black & white boom" of the 1980s produced an awful lot of junk, but also some real gems. One of the best was Peter Gross' Empire Lanes. A group of stock fantasy adventure characters straight out of a Dungeons & Dragons game (the exiled princess, the stoic paladin, the grumpy dwarf, the impish halfling, etc.) are forced to jump through a magical portal, and wind up in modern-day Chicago. They set up shop in an old bowling alley (the "Empire Lanes" of the title) and try to fit into to this strange new world, while trying to figure out how they can safely return home, and staying on guard for the enemies who are still searching for them. The familiar fantasy archetypes turn out to have a surprising amount of depth as we learn more about them. Gross is a fine writer, and his heavily-textured black and white artwork is beautiful. Gross went on to do a lot of work for DC/Vertigo, and he talked a few times about possibly returning to this series, but nothing ever came of it. Maybe someday...!
    -JKC-
    Glorianna - Barbarian adventure! New page every Friday!

  9. #9
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKCarrier View Post


    2. Empire Lanes
    (4 issues, 1986-1987)

    The "black & white boom" of the 1980s produced an awful lot of junk, but also some real gems. One of the best was Peter Gross' Empire Lanes. A group of stock fantasy adventure characters straight out of a Dungeons & Dragons game (the exiled princess, the stoic paladin, the grumpy dwarf, the impish halfling, etc.) are forced to jump through a magical portal, and wind up in modern-day Chicago. They set up shop in an old bowling alley (the "Empire Lanes" of the title) and try to fit into to this strange new world, while trying to figure out how they can safely return home, and staying on guard for the enemies who are still searching for them. The familiar fantasy archetypes turn out to have a surprising amount of depth as we learn more about them. Gross is a fine writer, and his heavily-textured black and white artwork is beautiful. Gross went on to do a lot of work for DC/Vertigo, and he talked a few times about possibly returning to this series, but nothing ever came of it. Maybe someday...!
    Interesting. I had never heard of this. In a curious bit of synchronicity-I had been going through some of my old issues of Dragon Magazine the other day (all the Phil Foglio recommendations in these threads made me nostalgic for some What's New with Phil and Dixie) and I ended up reading through an adventure by D&D co-creator Gary Gygax in issue #100 from late 1985-the premise of which is a group of classic adventurers has t travel through a portal to modern day London to retrieve an artifact that is lost there. I am now curious if that adventure had any influence of Peter Gross when he came up with this idea because of their relative proximity chronologically.

    I will definitely add this to my already too long want list though, as I have enjoyed Gross' work on Books of Magic, Dr. Fate and currently on Unwritten.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  10. #10

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    2. Night Nurse #1-4



    When I started collecting comics in the mid-80's, there were two series that were the butt of every joke: Prez (my pick yesterday) and Night Nurse. Prez, as I mentioned yesterday, is fun, crazy, over-the-top weirdness and it makes great camp reading. But Night Nurse? By god, Night Nurse is actually just really good.

    The premise was pretty straightforward: After graduating from nursing school, Linda Carter, Student Nurse becomes a night shift nurse at a big New York hospital alongside two other new nurses, Georgia and Christine. They also become her roommates. And so they spend their days and nights saving lives, getting involved in big dramas and getting entangled in lots of hopeless romantic situations. Georgia's brother gets involved in a protest movement that goes awry when it is used be crooks to front their dastardly plans. Christine rebels against he rich father's wishes by becoming a nurse, only to have her career reduced to tatters after the surgeon she gets involved with turns out to be criminally negligent. Linda meets the love of her life, but he gives her an ultimatum: Quit nursing and become a housewife or else their relationship is over.

    As youc an see, Night Nurse is basically a soap opera, only in comic form. And that was pretty much its downfall, as it wasn't really an adventure comic, nor war it a true romance, or any other easily quantifiable comic book genre. It was a soap opera and a great one, but Marvel didn't know how to market it (it was hyped in superhero books for some reason, which no doubt is where the jokes later came from; talk about missing your target audience) and so it failed.

    But when it comes to pure soap opera, with romance, action, angst and pathos, there's no comic that can top Night Nurse.

    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  11. #11
    In Moderation Lone Ranger's Avatar
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    2. The Shadow

    One of the happiest days of my comic book reading career was finding this entire run in beautiful condition for $30. That was 10 or so years back, and I revisit these stories of a regular basis. Sure, Kaluta is amazing but Robbins' style meshes perfectly with these pulpy tales.

    Check out my new Movie Podcast! Married With Clickers

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  12. #12
    Cute.5 Aaron King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    Interesting. I had never heard of this. In a curious bit of synchronicity-I had been going through some of my old issues of Dragon Magazine the other day (all the Phil Foglio recommendations in these threads made me nostalgic for some What's New with Phil and Dixie) and I ended up reading through an adventure by D&D co-creator Gary Gygax in issue #100 from late 1985-the premise of which is a group of classic adventurers has t travel through a portal to modern day London to retrieve an artifact that is lost there. I am now curious if that adventure had any influence of Peter Gross when he came up with this idea because of their relative proximity chronologically.
    This series looks great. Peter Gross is a fantastic artist (underrated?). His cousin is a history professor at the college I went to.

    Anyway, I don't know that I'd ascribe the D&D/Empire Lanes thing to much more than synchronicity. Gygax also wrote an adventure where a spaceship landed in Greyhawk. Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser traveled to imperial Rome. I think it's just that pursuit of the "genre clash" that drives stuff like this. Zombie/western! Aliens/cowboys! Etc.
    All-Star Western, Casanova, Criminal, Daredevil, Dark Horse Presents, Funnies, Hellboy/BPRD, King City, Orc Stain, Snarked, Unwritten, Usagi Yojimbo

  13. #13
    Say WHAT?!?!?!? FanboyStranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron King View Post
    This series looks great. Peter Gross is a fantastic artist (underrated?). His cousin is a history professor at the college I went to.

    Anyway, I don't know that I'd ascribe the D&D/Empire Lanes thing to much more than synchronicity. Gygax also wrote an adventure where a spaceship landed in Greyhawk. Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser traveled to imperial Rome. I think it's just that pursuit of the "genre clash" that drives stuff like this. Zombie/western! Aliens/cowboys! Etc.
    Empire Lanes is a lot of fun. There is an older trade from Comico's short lived creator-owned imprint. I picked it up for $3.00 when Mile High had one of their major clearance sales.

    Gross may be the most underrated artist in the business. He really pushes himself in experimenting with different storytelling techniques on The Unwritten, which, for my money, is the best monthly comic being published these days.

  14. #14
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    2. Captain Action #s 1-5 (Nov 1968-July 1969)

    Proving yet again, I suppose, that great minds shrink alike, I find myself echoing Cei-U!'s #6 pick with my second one, & for pretty much the same reason ... namely that a comic based on a toy had no business being so very, very good. I'm not nearly as big a Gil Kane fan as I ought to be (see also, in the same vein: Toth, Alex, among others), but with this series he was firing on all cylinders, not only artistically (aided & abetted in several instances by Wally Wood, who drew the debut issue solo) but also in plotting & writing (in #s 3-5, with Jim Shooter handling the first 2 ishes).

    I bought the last couple of issues off the spinner racks as a kid, but not until maybe 4 years ago did I acquire & read the entire all-too-short run. An excellent series.




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  15. #15
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    Default 2. V for Vendetta

    V for Vendetta (1988) #1-10
    by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

    This is the reprint series, and it, unlike the original, is in color. But that's the only way I've ever read it. I have a couple issues of this series and I have the collection.

    I knew I'd have an Alan Moore entry. From Hell, Watchmen and Top Ten were all considered. But this is by far my favorite of them of all.

    The anarchist vs. the fascists. A motif I always love in stories. And, with apologies to runner up Harlan Ellison (to whom this work owes plenty), this is my favorite of the bunch.

    I like the ideas which echo through these pages. I like the moody art of David Lloyd. I like the revelation of V without this mask. That no revelation would be better than not knowing. "Beneath this mask, there is flesh and blood, but it is not my face." I like what that says about the power of symbols. I like that V is an idea, not a person. And I like that ideas are bulletproof.
    formerly coke & comics

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