My Favorite Comic Book Stories

jla-200Welcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about some of my favorite comic book stories today — some are storylines/epics, others are one-off issues. Most of them come from my younger days because nostalgia rules us all, don’t you know?

Here are a few of my faves:

JLA/Avengers by Kurt Busiek & George Perez – I was gutted when the original was scuttled back in the Eighties but this was a worthy substitute and I still pull it out to re-read on occasion. Great art and a wonderful story.

JLA 200 – This was an all-star extravaganza with a wonderful wraparound cover by George Perez. Basically, the original 7 Leaguers are mind-controlled and forced to fight the newer members of the League, with each chapter drawn by a different superstar artist (like Brian Bolland & Jim Aparo!). This was the gold standard anniversary issue to which I hold all others. Written by Gerry Conway.

The Great Darkness Saga by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen. Amazing artwork, a tense story and the greatest use of Darkseid EVER. I was already a Legion fan but this put me over the top.

New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman & George Perez. The whole damned thing.

Excalibur by Chris Claremont and/or Alan Davis. See New Teen Titans.

Sinestro Corps War by Geoff Johns. Loved it and it flowed smoothly into the later (also excellent) Blackest Night.

The FF/Nova crossover by Marv Wolfman. I really dug this when I was a kid, all the way up to the amazing Galactus/Sphinx battle.

Crisis on Infinite Earths — the greatest “crossover” of all time. When the first issue came out, I was so excited that I asked my mom to run out and buy it as soon as it hit the stands. I bought two issues of every issue — one to save and one to read. My “reader” copies were read so much they fell to pieces.

Action Comics by Marv Wolfman & Gil Kane. I was a huge fan of this run at the time and I was thrilled when it was reprinted in a big glossy hardcover.

The Hobgoblin Saga by Roger Stern. This blew me away as a kid and I still re-read it (and Stern’s return with Hobgoblin Lives!). Great stuff with some awesome JR Jr artwork.

The Generations Saga by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway — As a major fan of the Earth-Two heroes, I was psyched beyond belief to see the JSA and their kids interacting. Classic stuff.

All-Star Comics – The entire 1970s run by Gerry Conway and Paul Levitz. I adore it. I treasure it. It rocks so hard. That first issue with the cover announcing the arrival of the “All-Star Super Squad” is one of the greatest memories I have as a young comics fan.

What are some of your favorites?

Some Of My Favorite Comics Stories

jla-200Welcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

I continue to struggle with finding time to work on the crossover novel. When I do have a free minute, I’m so exhausted that I just don’t have much in the way of enthusiasm for the project. I still hope to finish it in 2014 but there’s virtually no chance it will see print before the end of the year. That’s not to say you won’t see things in my universe, though — Gravedigger Volume Two and Lazarus Gray Volume Five should both see print before we switch from ’14 to ’15 on the calendar.

I do apologize for the delays but they simply can’t be helped.

I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about some of my favorite comic book stories today — some are storylines/epics, others are one-off issues. Most of them come from my younger days because nostalgia rules us all, don’t you know?

Here are a few of my faves:

JLA/Avengers by Kurt Busiek & George Perez – I was gutted when the original was scuttled back in the Eighties but this was a worthy substitute and I still pull it out to re-read on occasion. Great art and a wonderful story.

JLA 200 – This was an all-star extravaganza with a wonderful wraparound cover by George Perez. Basically, the original 7 Leaguers are mind-controlled and forced to fight the newer members of the League, with each chapter drawn by a different superstar artist (like Brian Bolland & Jim Aparo!). This was the gold standard anniversary issue to which I hold all others. Written by Gerry Conway.

The Great Darkness Saga by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen. Amazing artwork, a tense story and the greatest use of Darkseid EVER. I was already a Legion fan but this put me over the top.

New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman & George Perez. The whole damned thing.

Excalibur by Chris Claremont and/or Alan Davis. See New Teen Titans.

Sinestro Corps War by Geoff Johns. Loved it and it flowed smoothly into the later (also excellent) Blackest Night.

The FF/Nova crossover by Marv Wolfman. I really dug this when I was a kid, all the way up to the amazing Galactus/Sphinx battle.

Crisis on Infinite Earths — the greatest “crossover” of all time. When the first issue came out, I was so excited that I asked my mom to run out and buy it as soon as it hit the stands. I bought two issues of every issue — one to save and one to read. My “reader” copies were read so much they fell to pieces.

Action Comics by Marv Wolfman & Gil Kane. I was a huge fan of this run at the time and I was thrilled when it was reprinted in a big glossy hardcover.

The Hobgoblin Saga by Roger Stern. This blew me away as a kid and I still re-read it (and Stern’s return with Hobgoblin Lives!). Great stuff with some awesome JR Jr artwork.

The Generations Saga by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway — As a major fan of the Earth-Two heroes, I was psyched beyond belief to see the JSA and their kids interacting. Classic stuff.

All-Star Comics – The entire 1970s run by Gerry Conway and Paul Levitz. I adore it. I treasure it. It rocks so hard. That first issue with the cover announcing the arrival of the “All-Star Super Squad” is one of the greatest memories I have as a young comics fan.

What are some of your favorites?

Characters I Love # 18: Wildfire

1411029-dawnstar_wildfire_gp_colorEvery Wednesday, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Wildfire, the fiery member of the Legion of Superheroes.

Born as Drake Burroughs, Wildfire was originally an astroengineer. While he was working on a new propulsion system, the unit’s safety valve snapped and discharged a blast of anti-matter energy. Burroughs was engulfed instantly but somehow his consciousness survived and Burroughs found himself transformed into a being of pure anti-energy. Housed within a protective bodysuit that gave him a humanoid form, Burroughs discovered that he had developed vast powers because of his new energy state. Dubbing himself ERG-1 (Energy Release Generator 1), he applied for membership in the Legion but was turned down due to the fact that most of his powers were duplicated by others. Following the Legion on a dangerous mission in hopes of proving himself, he ended up expending all of his energy to save them. Since nothing was left behind but his empty containment suit, the Legion assumed he was dead. In truth, however, he was merely trapped in an invisible energy state. Eventually, he found his way back into suit and, taking the name Wildfire, he became a valued member of the Legion.

Traditionally, Wildfire is considered one of the most powerful Legionnaires (along with Superboy, Mon-El and Ultra Boy). He served time as leader of the team and, despite his brusque manner and cocky attitude, is considered one of the hearts of the team.

Along the way, he fell in love with Dawnstar. It took a long time for her to admit her feelings in return but eventually they became one of the major couples within the team. I think it was this that really made him a favorite of mine. I’ve never really liked the “jerk” heroes (like Green Arrow, Hawkeye, etc.) that so many other fans love… but Wildfire was different because of the tragedy of his physical situation. He can’t touch or feel anything… he’s stuck in a suit. Obviously, this causes problems with Dawnstar since they can never have children or even be truly intimate. As such, she’s broken off their relationship several times, in order to try and find a more suitable match for herself. The most heart-wrenching of these moments came in issue 283, where a group of Legion cadets who think Wildfire is a jerk watch from the sidelines as Dawnstar leaves Wildfire behind, citing their physical incapability. Morose, Wildfire detonates his containment suit, unable to deal with the pain he’s experiencing.

legionofsuperheroes_304_explode

When the real Legion returned a few years ago (I’m referring to the pre-Crisis Legion as the real one), Geoff Johns immediately put an emphasis on the Wildfire/Dawnstar relationship. The two of them were among the heroes trapped in the modern day in the Legion Lost series that ran in the early days of the New 52.

There were other versions of Wildfire in the post-Reboot version of the Legion and so forth but none were as good as the original. Wildfire’s doomed, tragic romance with Dawnstar is currently still ongoing, even though the Legion has lost their title for now.

Our sidebar art today is from the deviantART page of StockmanArt. Go and tell him how cool he is. Obviously, the image in the center is by the amazing Keith Giffen and comes from LSH # 283.