Action Comics – Rebirth (2016)

As part of DC Comics’ DC Rebirth relaunch in June 2016, Action Comics reverted to its original numbering beginning with Action Comics #957, with the series shipping twice-monthly. The series, written by Dan Jurgens, serves as a continuation of the comic book series, Superman: Lois and Clark, which featured the pre-Flashpoint Superman alongside his wife, Lois Lane, and their son, Jonathan Kent.

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Spider-Man V1 (1990’s)

Spider-Man ran for 98 issues from 1990 to 1998. The series was re titled Peter Parker: Spider-Man with issue #75, but only on the covers, the series was still under its original Spider-Man title in the comic’s legal indicia, printed on the title page, from #75 to #98; the comic book would not officially be titled Peter Parker: Spider-Man until the volume 2 series relaunch.

The series originally was conceived as a showcase for Todd McFarlane. McFarlane, who until then had only been known as an artist, was hugely popular at the time and the series was created by editor Jim Salicrup so that McFarlane could pencil, ink, and write a Spider-Man title of his own, starting with the “Torment” storyline.

The series was a massive sales success with over 2.5 million copies printed. McFarlane stayed on the title until issue #16 (November 1991) in which the story was printed in a landscape format. He would go on to create the character Spawn and help found Image Comics in 1992. He was succeeded on the title by Erik Larsen, who had succeeded McFarlane on The Amazing Spider-Man two years earlier, and would later join him in the founding of Image. Larsen wrote and drew the six-issue story arc “Revenge of the Sinister Six” (#18–23). Writer Don McGregor and artist Marshall Rogers crafted a two-part story in issues #27–28 dealing with gun violence.

After that came a quick procession of different contributors, including writers Tom DeFalco, Ann Nocenti, David Michelinie, J. M. DeMatteis and Terry Kavanagh, and pencillers Ron Frenz, Klaus Janson and Jae Lee. The creative-team musical chairs settled with Spider-Man #44 (March 1994) when writer Howard Mackie and penciller Tom Lyle began a run on the title – Lyle through #61, and Mackie for over 6 years, through cancellation and into Vol. 2.

Showcase – Silver Age

Showcase has been the title of several comic anthology series published by DC Comics. The general theme of these series has been to feature new and minor characters as a way to gauge reader interest in them, without the difficulty and risk of featuring “untested” characters in their own ongoing titles. The original series ran from March-April 1956 to September 1970 suspending publication with issue #93, and then was revived for eleven issues from August 1977 to September 1978.

The Showcase series featured characters in either one-shot appearances or brief two or three issue runs as a way to determine reader interest, without the financial risk of featuring “untested” characters in their own ongoing titles. The series began in March-April 1956 and saw the first appearance of several major characters including the Silver Age Flash, the Challengers of the Unknown, Space Ranger, Adam Strange, Rip Hunter, the Silver Age Green Lantern, the Sea Devils, the Silver Age Atom, the Metal Men, the Inferior Five, the Creeper, Anthro, the Hawk and Dove,Angel and the Ape, Bat Lash and The Spectre.

Outcast (2014)

Outcast, created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta is a supernatural horror story that chronicles Kyle Barnes, a man whose loved ones have been involved in demonic possession since his childhood. With the help of a clergyman, he tries as an adult to unveil what lies behind the supernatural manifestations and why he seems to carry special peculiarities.

The first issue of the monthly comic was published in 2014 by Image Comics. Before the first release, Kirkman also began to develop a television adaptation with Cinemax which began airing in June 2016.

Legion of Super-Heroes V5 (2005)

Initial issues of this volume reintroduced the characters, and provided new and divergent origins for them. Most characters resemble their previous counterparts in costume and powers, with the most notable exceptions including Chameleon Boy, now called simply Chameleon and depicted as an androgynous creature; Star Boy, who in this version of the Legion is black; Colossal Boy, who is now a giant who shrinks to human size; and Phantom Girl, who exists in two universes at once and has conversations with people in her own dimension while talking to Legionnaires at the same time.

Beginning with issue #16, The Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5) was retitled Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes with Supergirl traveling to the future and joining the Legion. With issue #31, Tony Bedard replaced Waid as writer. The title reverted to The Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #37 and Jim Shooter became the writer. The series ended with issue #50, in which the script was credited to “Justin Thyme”, a pseudonym previously used by uncredited comic book artists.

Thanos (2004)

In 2004 Thanos received an eponymous title that ran for 12 issues. After defeating the Hunger, Thanos went to the frontline and gave himself up to the Omega Corps. After a panicked action from the corps they send him to the Kyln. On his way he killed a Skrull agent to give them a reason to imprisoned him. On Kyln, a priest told him about the prison while Thanos is watching the Crunch. When the Priest left, Death appeared and talked to him, telling him She loves him in her way, and that he hadn’t given her anything that she didn’t already have.

 

Justice League of America V1 (1980’s)

In the early 80’s, George PérezDon Heck, and Rich Buckler would rotate as artist on the title. The double-sized anniversary issue #200 (March 1982) was a “jam” featuring a story written by Conway, a framing sequence drawn by Pérez, and chapters drawn by Pat BroderickJim Aparo, Dick Giordano, Gil KaneCarmine InfantinoBrian Bolland, and Joe Kubert. Bolland’s chapter gave the artist his “first stab at drawing Batman.” Pérez would leave the title with issue #200 to concentrate on The New Teen Titans although he would contribute covers to the JLAthrough issue #220 (November 1983). The 1982 team-up with the Justice Society in issues #207–209 crossed over with All-Star Squadron #14–15. A Justice League story by Gerry Conway and Rich Buckler originally intended for publication as an issue of All-New Collectors’ Edition saw print in Justice League of America #210–212 (January–March 1983).

Seeking to capitalize on the popularity of their other team books, which focused upon heroes in their late teens/early 20s, Gerry Conway and artist Chuck Patton revamped the Justice League series. After most of the original heroes fail to help fend off an invasion of Martians, Aquaman dissolves the League and rewrites its charter to allow only heroes who will devote their full-time to the roster. The new team initially consists of Aquaman, Zatanna, Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, the Vixen, and a trio of teenage heroes GypsySteel, and Vibe. Aquaman leaves the team after a year, due to resolving marital problems, and his role as leader is assumed by the Martian Manhunter.

The final storyline for the original Justice League of America series (#258–261), by writer J. M. DeMatteis and artist Luke McDonnell, concludes with the murders of Vibe and Steel at the hands of robots created by long-time League nemesis Professor Ivo, and the resignations of Vixen, Gypsy, and the Elongated Man during the events of DC’s Legends miniseries, which sees the team disband.

Secret Avengers V1 (2012)

Secret Avengers, published by Marvel Comics features a fictional black ops superhero team of the same name. The series started with Ed Brubaker on writing duties, depicting a black-ops sect of Marvel’s premiere super hero team, the Avengers, which operates under the guidance and leadership of Captain Steve Rogers (the former Captain America). The series is part of the Avengers-line relaunch as part of the “Heroic Age“.

Secret Avengers V1 #23 2nd print NM $39
Secret Avengers V1 #23 2nd print NM $39

Sword of Azrael (1992)

Azrael first appeared in the 1992 series Batman: Sword of Azrael as Jean-Paul Valley.

He then became a supporting character in the monthly Batman titles, eventually taking over the role of Batman through the “Knightfall,” “Knightquest,” and “KnightsEnd” story arcs. One of the creators, Denny O’Neil, admitted to having difficulties with Azrael’s transition from villain to hero: “If I’d known he was to become a monthly character, I might have set him up differently … The problem is that I had to turn a bad guy into a real hero, not just an anti-hero or lead. It’s possible to do that, but it’s difficult to retain the original characterization. You almost have to change his personality.”

Amazing Spider-Man V1 (1980’s)

During his two years on the title, Roger Stern augmented the backgrounds of long-established Spider-Man villains, and with Romita Jr. created the mysterious supervillain the Hobgoblin in #238-239 (March–April 1983) Fans engaged with the mystery of the Hobgoblin’s secret identity, which continued throughout #244-245 and 249-251 (Sept.-Oct. 1983 and Feb.-April 1984). One lasting change was the reintroduction of Mary Jane Watson as a more serious, mature woman who becomes Peter’s confidante after she reveals that she knows his secret identity. Stern wrote “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” in The Amazing Spider-Man #248 (January 1984), a story which ranks among his most popular.

David Michelinie took over as writer in #290 (July 1987) that led to the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. The “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline by writer J.M. DeMatteis and artists Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod crossed over into The Amazing Spider-Man #293 and 294. Issue #298 (March 1988) was the first Spider-Man comic to be drawn by future industry star Todd McFarlane, the first regular artist on The Amazing Spider-Man since Frenz’s departure. McFarlane revolutionized Spider-Man’s look. His depiction – large-eyed, with wiry, contorted limbs, and messy, knotted, convoluted webbing – influenced the way virtually all subsequent artists would draw the character. McFarlane’s other significant contribution to the Spider-Man canon was the design for what would become one of Spider-Man’s most wildly popular antagonists, the supervillain Venom. Issue #299 (April 1988) featured Venom’s first appearance (a last-page cameo) before his first full appearance in #300 (May 1988). The latter issue featured Spider-Man reverting to his original red-and-blue costume.

Other notable issues of the Michelinie-McFarlane era include #312 (Feb. 1989), featuring the Green Goblin vs. the Hobgoblin; and #315-317 (May–July 1989), with the return of Venom. In July 2012, Todd McFarlane’s original cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328 sold for a bid of $657,250, making it the most expensive American comic book art ever sold at auction.