Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Steve Does Comics' 100th issue special

Hooray, Steve Does Comics celebrates its 100th postiversary.

That's right, despite often lengthy and unexplained absences, I've somehow managed to rack up 100 missives on this blog. And to celebrate - and avoid me having to do any proper writing - I thought I'd look at how some of my favourite heroes marked their 100th issues. I'm only including tales I've actually read, so I'm afraid the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman don't make the list.

Daredevil marks his 100th appearance with a tale I have no memory of whatsoever, although I'm sure I must have read it in the pages of Mighty World of Marvel. Judging by the cover, it seems to follow the Marvel trend of having a load of old foes show up to mark the occasion. Unfortunately, it probably also highlights the fact that most of his foes were a bit on the so-so side.

Amazing Spider-Man #100

I said there was a trend with these things. Like Daredevil, Spider-Man fights a whole villains' gallery of his deadliest foes - this time in his dreams. It all climaxes with him getting a mystical message from the late Captain Stacy before waking to find he has six arms. Words can't describe how much I loved the six arms when I was eleven.

Avengers #100

This is how to celebrate a 100th issue. Everyone who's ever been an Avenger up to that point - including the Swordsman - goes to war with Olympus. I read this in the pages of Marvel UK's Titans mag. Thanks to the ground-breaking landscape format, the art was shrunk to the size of a postage stamp but Barry Smith's art still shone through.

Fantastic Four #100

Just like Spider-Man and Daredevil, the Fantastic Four get to fight a whole bunch of their greatest foes. I think they were the first of Marvel's Silver Age heroes to make a hundred appearances, so they can at least claim to have been the ones who set the trend. Sadly, the foes in question are only robots, and the not-exactly-awesome villains behind it all are the Thinker and Puppet Master who manage to blow themselves up through their own incompetence.

Thor, Journey Into Mystery #100

Thor celebrates Journey Into Mystery's big ton by tackling Mr Hyde. Mr Hyde might not be one of Marvel's greatest - or best dressed - villains but, like the Gray Gargoyle and the Cobra, I've always had a soft spot for him. Love the smiley Thor pic in the top left corner box.

The Hulk and Sub-Mariner, Tales to Astonish #100

One of Marie Severin's best efforts sees the strongest man on land tackle the strongest man in water, as the Hulk and Sub-Mariner square up to each other. Again the Puppet Master's involved, this time looking like Donald Pleasance. I seem to recall the story's set in Miami, which, when I read this story, as a kid, impressed me greatly, even though I'd never heard of Miami.

X=Men #100

The very new New X-Men grapple with the original X-Men. Again, it's only a bunch of robots they're up against but, happily, despite the appearance of a bald bloke on the cover, it's not the Puppet Master who's behind it. This was the first issue of the new X-Men I ever had and I didn't have a clue what was going on or who any of these people were. But I knew one thing. It grabbed me. The tale was a roller coaster ride of action, tension and human drama, starting with the scrap between new and old X-Men and ending with a battle to escape a solar flare, and the genesis of the whole Phoenix saga. Could they have crammed more into a comic if they'd tried? 

Of the above tales, I have to say the X-Men, Avengers and Hulk/Subby stories are the ones that stand out most in my memory and, like the visiting judge at a prize marrow contest, I think I have to give first prize to the X-Men which really was a classic in every way imaginable. 


cerebus660 said...

Congratulations, Steve! Keep up the great work, mate!!

Steve said...

Thanks, cerebus. Whoever would've thought I'd live to see a hundred?

The Groovy Agent said...

Way to go, Steve! Keep on truckin', baby--love this blog! X-Men #100 and Avengers #100 are, indeed, tops in 100th anniversary issues. Let all other 100th anniversary issues bow before them!

Steve said...

Hi, Groovester. Nice to know you've stuck with me all this time. :)

Anonymous said...

Aw, how could you not remember Daredevil #100? It's the one where he's interviewed by Jann Wenner for Rolling Stone magazine, and introduces Angar the Screamer right at the end.

As 100th issues go, it was certainly different (OK, he didn't grow four extra arms, but....)

B Smith

Steve said...

Thanks, B. I remember Angar the Screamer, though I'm not sure that's a good thing. The interview thing vaguely rings a bell, I think.

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