Blah Blah Blog – Ten Stinkers

A post from my Marvel blog of long ago in which I followed up on an activity where we tried to compile a list of classic Marvel stories.

Ten Stinkers

April 28, 2007 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Boy, I don’t know about you, but I’m finding these “audience participation” threads fascinating! So let’s do another one!

But first, an update on “Ten Classics.” After over 100 posts, at the moment I’m writing this there’s a list of seven uncontested classics. That’s a pretty good outcome, all things considered. For the record, the seven classic stories are:

1. Walt Simonson’s THOR(#337-382)
2. X-MEN: GOD LOVES, MAN KILLS graphic novel
3. FANTASTIC FOUR #51 “This Man, This Monster”
4. AVENGERS #4 “Captain America Joins The Avengers”
5. DAREDEVIL: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR limited series
6. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121-122 “The Night Gwen Stacy Died”
7. IRON MAN #128 “Demon In A Bottle”

You know, that’s a pretty good list, and one I wouldn’t mind showing to people. (There were assorted times during the thread when somebody would nominate a story or a sequence that i thought was just utter rubbish, and I’d despair a bit, and hope for somebody else to come along and knock it down. But it all shows that everybody’s tastes are just a little bit different, and even the crummiest comic books appeal to somebody.)

Speaking of the crummiest comic books, that’s what we’re here to decide on next. Same basic rules, but what I want to end up with is a list of the ten worst Marvel comics or stories of all time.

To recap: each poster can nominate two stories at any given time. Anybody can veto any selection for any reason–so if you like something that’s being trashed, all you have to do is speak up. And when one of your choices has been knocked down, you can nominate something else to replace it.

And yes, that means that if you’re the guy who genuinely enjoyed MARVILLE, or Rob Liefeld’s CAPTAIN AMERICA or whatever, it’s your sworn duty to say so, and get it taken off the list.

I’ll be very interested to see whether we get more or fewer vetos this time out.

And let’s try not to insult any individual creator too much (says the guy who called out Rob Liefeld’s CAP…)

All right–begin!

More later.

Tom B

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10 thoughts on “Blah Blah Blog – Ten Stinkers

  1. I missed that this was a ‘repeat’ and was all set to nominate the Defenders issues that ‘tied up’ loose ends from Omega The Unknown…

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    1. Yeah, I’d have nominated that AVENGERS or WEST COAST AVENGERS ANNUAL by Steve Englehart in which they all drink poison so they can enter the land of death. Mass suicide, in other words.

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      1. That West Coast Annual story was the first one that popped to my mind as well! What I loved about it was that it was the Collector’s suggestion that they drink the poison. Who knew that the key to destroying your oldest enemies was as simple as telling them to kill themselves?

        I’d also mention Hulk #286 which featured a time traveller coming from the future. It was the same story as “Soldier”, the Harlan Ellison story that was to be more famously used as the basis of the “Terminator” movie. Jim Shooter wrote about the damage control for the legal fall-out between Ellison and Marvel. But even just on a story level, I recall all the characters arriving from and returning to their original time periods amounting to lightning literally striking twice. I’ve loved a lot of Bill Mantlo comics over the years but when he phoned it in it could be pretty bad.

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  2. Not Miller & Mazzucchelli’s “Daredevil: Born Again”?

    X-Men’s “The Phoenix Saga”? “Days of Future Past”?

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  3. From 1965 into 1966, Fantastic Four may have had THE most impressive year any title has ever had. In FFs #44-55, Stan and Jack introduced the Inhumans, Galactus, the Silver Surfer, the Black Panther, and Quasimodo, and capped the year by revealing the fate of the original Human Torch in Annual #4. The aforementioned FF #51 also appeared during that year. I defy any title to match that list of memorable stories.

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    1. I grew up on Claremont’s X-Men, so it is with no small bias that I am putting forward X-Men #125-143 as a powerhouse list of memorable stories, with the back-to-back Mutant X and Dark Phoenix storylines, plus Days of Future Past almost immediately afterwards, and capping off with a classic baptism of fire Kitty Pryde story. Of course you can’t really compete with the intros of Galactus, Black Panther, Silver Surfer and the Inhumans, but introducing Kitty Pryde, Dazzler, Emma Frost, the Hellfire Club and Mystique’s 2nd Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was about as good as it got post-Silver Age. Truly Claremont and Byrne were a duo that went out at the height of their combined powers!

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  4. Folks, he’s asking for entries for a “worst stories” list in the comments. He’s not asking for more nominees for “best’. I’ll avoid the obvious “worst answers” like the Clone Saga or Heroes Reborn and instead nominate “Sins Past” where we learn that Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborne did the nasty and she’d had twins. Just a terrible idea that should have never seen print.

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  5. “Worst Stories”, got it. But I’m amazed at Walt’s 45 issues of Thor (with some fill-in’s included) all ranking so high. That WAS a great run. And pretty impressive. Then again, Walt’s 24 or 26 issues of his “Orion” series were all good, too.

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  6. It’s July and no one has nominated another Worst Story? Though my mind races to half the Ant-Giant-Man stories from Astonish, they usually had good plots that went wonky.

    My two nominees are, first, to second the nomination of the Gwen/Norman swapping DNA story, which needs everlasting erasing from my memory.

    My other nomination for Writers-Gone-Wrong is “Hank Pym: Cap-buster & Wife Beater.” If ever a character was ill-treated by Marvel, it was Hank Pym.

    *jeep!

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  7. In terms of awfulness Sins Past stands head and shoulders over anything I’ve read of Marvel’s output and I started reading in 1975.

    There’s been other stuff that’s been atrocious like Englehart’s run on West Coast Avengers and everything under the Heroes Reborn banner, but even they look good by comparison.

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