Saturday, November 26, 2011

What is Your Favorite Two-Part Story?

Doug: Over the past month we've run posts soliciting your opinions on favorite done-in-one stories, as well as wonderful multi-parters. Friend William suggested we do a post with today's question, and since it sounded like a great idea for a weekend full of conversation -- here you are! Hopefully we generate as many nominees and banter as the previous two posts did. Have fun!


Rip Jagger said...

Once again, it's a hard choice, but if I have to pick I go with Judomaster #93 (Meet the Tiger!) and #94 (Tiger Hunt!). This stands out because it was a rare two-parter for Charlton who almost never did that sort of thing. These two comics are perhaps the high point of Judomaster's run and introduced Tiger as a partner for the Scarlet Smasher.

Now these are solidly Silver Age stories, but since they were reprinted under the Modern Comics logo in the mid 70's, that makes them Bronze Age gems as well.

Rip Off

david_b said...

The Spidey/Mar-Vell/Thing 2-parter here was very cool, just discovered it last year, thanks to this blog.

My Bronze favs will have to be some of my first comics, probably more appropriately categorized now as 'guilty pleasures' based on the silliness of the concepts, but still WAY fun.

These are FF# 138-139 with the Miracle Man (great Buscema art) and 140-141(Annihilus). Two totally separate two parters, but very fun. Obviously the ending of 141 was significant with Reed zapping Franklin, resulting in a more serious 'end of the Fantastic Four' tagline, but very moving.

Come to think of it, the FF had a lot of two-parters back in the early 70s, so it's very hard to choose.

dbutler16 said...

I have no idea, as I'd really have to look back through my comics to try and pull out just two-parters. However, "Days of Future Past" is an obvious choice.

Inkstained Wretch said...

The one that immediately comes to mind is Captain America #253-4. It is the one where the 1980 Cap returns to England to reunite with one his buddies from his Invaders days, Union Jack, and together they defeat, once and for all, the Nazi vampire Baron Blood.

It was written by Roger Stern and drawn by John Byrne and was dedicated to Frank Robbins. It has got great art, great story-telling, plenty of action and a nicely nostalgic look at the Golden Age.

In a similar vein, All-Star Squadron #48-49, was also a favorite. It's not a story that will end up on many greatest-of lists, but it is a great, straight-up unpretentious adventure story.

Dougie said...

Five, off the top of my head:

The Equinox/Yellowjacket/Wasp story in MTU. Big superhero drama with the tiniest Avengers.

The Moses Magnum/Japan story in X-Men.A widescreen techno-espionage thriller. (Just beats the Alpha Flight debut because I didn't see the second half of that 'til the mid-80s)

The Magneto/Alpha story in Defenders.I was fascinated by Lorelei and Nighthawk got his best costume. Very Star Trek/Twilight Zone in its theme.

Speaking of Len Wein, the glorious JLA/JSA/ Earth-X team-up in the very early Bronze Age.

Redartz said...

Loads to choose from! It seemed two-parters were a staple in the Bronze Age. Among my favorites are Conan the Barbarian 43 - 44, featuring Red Sonja. Plenty of good banter between the protagonists, vampiric villains, and fine art as well.

The Joker's Laughing Fish, from Detective Comics 475-476. Classic in all aspects.

Amazing Spiderman 66-67 , simply because I like Mysterio (silver age, but reprinted in Marvel Tales).

Hope everyone had a fine Thanksgiving!

Doug said...

As an aside, who thinks they're big and bad enough to name the artists on the Avengers roll call on the left side of the mag pictured? And if you're a real stud (or studette), can you even name the issue from which the image was culled?

Happy weekend!


Anthony said...

I've always loved Amazing Spider-Man 103-104 with Kraven the Hunter, Ka-zar and Gog the Gigantic. Just give me a good story set in the Savage Land and I'm happy. Roy Thomas' homage to King Kong is one of my favorites and I loved the Gil Kane art.
It wasn't until Erik Larsen's run on Spider-man when Gog became one of the Sinister Six that I realized that he had survived the quicksand. I later purchased his 2nd appearance which was in Ka-Zar's run in Astonishing Tales.

Lemnoc said...

FF243-344. Really advances the Galactus cosmology. Thing gets to kayo the Big Guy. Plus it has plenty of good Byrnes Avengers action.

J.A. Morris said...

I'd have to say Days of Future Past. Second runner-up would be Amazing Spider-Man #165-166. I'm a sucker for Christmas stories, plus it's a good Spider-Man/Stegron/Lizard story.

Edo Bosnar said...

Well, Doug, I'm neither big nor bad enough, nor a stud and/or studette, because I'm just not up to your challenge. I will say, however, that I question using that M2in1 Annual #2 as an example of a two-parter, since both it and the Avengers annual that preceded it actually finish off the much larger original Warlock saga.
Otherwise, several of the 2-parters that immediately popped into my head have already been mentioned above, i.e., the X-men suggestions as well as the excellent Baron Blood story in the equally peerless Stern/Byrne/Rubenstein run on Capt. America. Other really good ones that come to mind are Iron Man #149-150 - IM and Dr. Doom go back in time to Camelot. What's not to love? Also, JLA #192-193, featuring the only Red Tornado story I ever liked, with lovely Perez art. And New Teen Titans #26-27 with that sort of PSA-like runaways story - a bit preachy at places, but still quite memorable. As soon as I post this, I'll probably think of a half dozen more and do a major "d'oh!"

david_b said...


Amen and Amen.. I love the Bronze Spidey two-parters, faves include Amazing Spiderman 121-122 (talk about era-changin' two-parters.., both Gwen and the Goblin say goodbye), followed by the Man-Wolf two-parter (124-125), soon followed by the Aunt May marrying Doc Ock two-parter (130-131).

Ok, I'll throw in the Stegron/Kazar/Panther MTU (19-20).

There, I feel better...

Vintage Bob said...

My favorite would have to be the Celestial Madonna epic from Avengers #129 and Giant Sized Avengers #2. Great art, great story, great ending!

William said...

Wow! I feel like I'm late to my own party. Thanks Doug for using my suggestion. It seems like every time I'm thinking about one of my all-time favorite stories, it's almost always a two-parter. I can't pick just one, but here are my top 5:

1. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #229-230 "Nothing Can Stop The Juggernaut!".
The best story from one of my favorite creator runs ever on ASM. It's Spider-perfection. I won't even talk about it. Just get it and read it.

2. AVENGERS #161-162 "The Bride of Ultron".
This has always been my favorite Avengers story. From the pitch-perfect cliffhanger ending of Part 1, to the dramatic battle in part 2, this one pretty much nailed it on every count for me.

For many years Marvel 2-in-1 Ann. #2 was my favorite comic. I probably read it five times in the first year I owned it. I didn't even have Avengers Ann. #7 and I still loved M2in1 Ann. #2. I finally got to read part 1 as a reprint in the Warlock Saga series of books. And believe it or not, I actually prefer part 2 more without reading part 1 first. I just love the way the story is recapped by Moondragon to Peter Parker. It really draws you in and makes you feel like you are learning what's going on as Spider-Man does. Great, great stuff.

4. IRON FIST #11-12
First we have Iron Fist vs. the Wrecking Crew, and then Iron Fist vs. Captain America, and then he teams up with Captain America and fights the Wrecking Crew again. And if that's not enough, it was all done by the super star creative team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne… Now how much would you pay?

5. MARVEL PREMIERE #47-48. (The origin and first appearance of Scott Lang as Ant-Man).
For some reason I've always really liked Ant-Man (I think it was his costume). He was even the subject of an art project I did in middle school. And this is my all-time favorite Ant-Man story and my favorite version of the character. Plus is was penciled by John Byrne. Nuff said.

Wow! I can't believe how many great stories were 2-parters. I could just go on and on with this. I didn't even mention Peter Parker The Spec. Spider-Man #9-10, Fantastic Four #249-250, Avengers #183-184 and #190-191, Captain America #251-252 and #253-254, Uncanny X-Men #120-121 and #139-140, and don't even get me started on the Byrne/Claremont issues of Marvel Team-Up. Almost every one of those was a 2-parter and love them one and all. In fact it would be very hard for me choose a favorite there.

Edo Bosnar said...

And yes, I did do a major "d'oh" - and almost a head-desk after reading William's post; can't believe I forgot the debut of White Tiger in Spectacular Spider-man, and the debut of Scott Lang as Ant-man in Marvel Premiere. I absolutely loved those stories. Speaking of the wonderful Marvel Premiere, I just thought of two more: MP #33-34, with the Solomon Kane story by Thomas and Chaykin (right on the heels of Chaykin's one-hit wonder Monark Starstalker in issue #32) and the Man-Wolf story drawn by Perez in #45-46 (and yes, I know my complaint about Avengers Annual #7/M2in1 Annual #2 not being a two-parter applies here, but at the time and for a really, really long time afterward I had no clue that there was an entire Man-Wolf in run Creatures on the Loose. Which leads me to one of my perennial complaints about all the stuff that should be collected in a nice - color - reprint edition...)

Redartz said...

David b and William recalled several great Spiderman stories. I too got a kick out of Aunt May's near wedding to Dr. Octopus. Some great Bronze age fun!

As John Byrne has gotten numerous references in this topic, here's another: Fantastic Four 261-262, the Trial of Reed Richards. A great story in a remarkable run; I'm currently working on completing the Byrne FF stint.

Finally, there are many who post here far more capable, nonetheless I'll take a stab at Doug's artist challenge:

Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin
Thor by Don Heck
Captain America by John Romita Sr.
Moondragon by George Perez
Vision by John Buscema
Beast by Jim Starlin
Scarlet Witch by John Buscema
Iron Man by Gil Kane/John Romita Sr.

dbutler16 said...

Someone else mentioned a JLA/JSA teamup, and there are several of those I could add to the list, including the one with the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Mike said...

Without a doubt, AVENGERS ANNUAL #7 and MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE ANNUAL #2. Great art, great storyline. I recall being near tears the first time I read this. I was a teenager, bought the final book at a drug store, and came home to read it. I sat in my basement and almost cried. It was a very touching story, and I never got over Pip's death. Man, comics were great back then.

Doug said...

I don't know if I'd qualify these as overall favorites, but Fantastic Four #'s 164-165 (re-intro. Marvel Boy as the Crusader) and #'s 166-167 (Thing/Hulk team-up then battle) were well done. Nice George Perez artwork! I re-read these stories multiple times when they were new.


Anonymous said...

I'd say Werewolf By Night 13-14, with the introduction of Topaz and Taboo, and with Pollog at the top of his game. Awesome stuff.

Anonymous said...

Edo’s right - I think calling Avengers Ann #7 and MTIO Ann 2 a two-partner is a bit of stretch, Doug.

No one picked Avengers #57 and #58? Really? Actually, come to that #59 and #60 (intro of YJ, Wedding etc) are a pretty good 2 parter as well.

Xmen 12 & 13 – the origin of Professor X is told while the team prepare the mansion defences and are then assaulted by the Juggernaut. Beautifully layered early storytelling by the Man.

Doc Strange #15/16 – Doc vs Satan. Very ambitious and quite nasty. Colan/Palmer.

Avengers 110/111 (Magneto) and # 215/216 (Surfer/Molecule Man). I think I remember the latter over-fondly because it was a good story with excellent & interesting the middle of 50 issues of utter shite.

Similarly Defenders 62 and 63 (everyone vs everyone) are a rose among thorns.

I also remember the Man Wolf 2 parter in Premiere as being superb, though I’ve never been back to re-read it. I recently completed Premiere, so it’s on my list.

For personal reasons, I have to put in MTU #36 (Frankie) and #37 (Man Wolf). I was very young, MTU#36 ended on a big cliff hanger and the month I waited for #37 lasted about 12 years.

Redartz – good on you for taking Doug on. I agree on Mar-Vell, Cap, Moondragon & Wanda. The Beast, I actually thought was the most obvious one (Perez). Hmmmm.

Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin (but who inked it? Not Starlin, not Leihola, not Sinnott, maybe Milgrom?)
Thor by John Romita Sr
Captain America by John Romita Sr.
Moondragon by George Perez
Vision by either Sal or John Buscema. Probably John from the aspect.
Beast by Perez (look at the’s from Perez run on Avengers).
Scarlet Witch by John Buscema
Iron Man by John Romita Sr.


Ric said...

So many of the 2-parters mentioned above rocked my world when I was younger! Let's see if I can add a few...

How about Savage Sword of Conan 26 and 27, Beyond the Black River. Very cool adaptaion from Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tony DeZuniga!

Detective Comics 481-482... Dollar Comics with a really cool Jim Starlin 2-part Batman lead.

Green Lantern/Green Arrow 94-95, Mike Grell!

The Defenders 13 and 14... The Defenders against the Squadron Sinister.. Awesome Kane cover on #13.

I'll stop there for now...Like I said, these are simply an addition to many of those already mentioned!


Karen said...

I just want to chime in here and say that I think MTIO Annual 2 and Avengers Annual 7 qualifies. Sure, the story wrapped up the Warlock series, but all of the books have some sort of continuity behind them to some degree. But this story, focusing on the fight with Thanos and his defeat, is contained within these two books.

Edo Bosnar said...

You make a good point, Karen, but I still find it hard to think of those two annuals as a classic 2-parter; maybe it's because I only read the entire Warlock saga later in reprints, rather than as all of the original stories were coming out.
Oh yeah, I just remembered another oustanding two-parter that I can't believe I forgot: Man-Thing #9-10 - the genuinely moving 'Dawg' story.

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