Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Who's the Best... 100th Issue?

Doug:  Again, forgive the grammar.  You can dip into the Silver Age, or even bring it forward past the 1980's.  What's your favorite 100th issue, any title, any company (by the way -- great minds think alike, as this was already scheduled before some of the comments in last week's #1 post)?  And if you'd like a bit more of an in-depth review to help you make your decision, check out frequent commenter Comicsfan's blog for his take on several Marvel Comics #100s.  Hey, who says this isn't the Age of Bronze Age Blogger Cross-Pollination?


david_b said...

Doug, excellent review at that link you provided. By in large, I haven't been all that impressed with 'one-hundredth' issues, nore have I frankly read all that many.

I still have yet to read the Avengers 100th, but having read CA and Ironman, I'd consider them pretty good as 'climax issues', perhaps some added panel zest, nothing more.

Yes, FF's 100th seemed like a retrend of several plot devices, but with a crazy cover like that, what would you expect..? At least a startling Watcher appearance would have been cool, preferably not the Big G.

From the DC side, I remember having the GL/GA 100th and it didn't seem all that impressive either, just separate stories.

William said...

I have to go with Amazing Spider-Man #100. Why? Because it's Spider-Man... why else?

It wasn't the greatest Spider-Man story of all time. Or even in my personal top 20, but it was still better than any of the other 100's I've read. I don't know why, but the 100th issues of big comics never seem to be all that good. Maybe the creators just try too hard to make it special.

Doug said...

I chose to picture X-Men #100, as I thought it was a good story -- maybe the most exciting cover on a #100? The story actually was the culmination of a 4-issue plot, and that we learned Sentinels could also be human-sized was interesting. Lang was maniacal, and the cliff-hanger ending launched us into the Phoenix storyline.

But you guys are right -- anniversary issues generally don't have much pay-off (how about the bally-hoo on the cover of Avengers #150, and inside we found that 50% of the magazine was a reprint?).


J.A. Morris said...

I'd probably go with ASM. It ends with Peter growing 4 extra arms and it's the beginning of a multi-part story.

On the whole, I'd say "milestone" issues are disappointing.

Edo Bosnar said...

This one's easy: DC's Showcase #100. A fun story which features pretty much every character to appear in the title up to that point, with wonderful art by Joe Staton.
Otherwise, off the top of my head, I can't think of any other #100s that I really like: maybe it's because when I was heavy into comics reading, I was either too late for most of the 100th issues, or too early. Besides the Showcase issue, the only one I remember reading as it came out was Defenders #100, which I think was just all right. Of the ones I read after the fact, I suppose it's a toss between Avengers #100 and X-men #100. ASM #100, which I read in that Treasury Edition reprint, was pretty good, but - as J.A. pointed out - only the beginning of a multi-part story.
And I'll have to respectfully disagree with J.A. about milestone issues being disappointing, though. My experience has been just the opposite. Off the top of my head, I can think of a tons of milestone/anniversary issues that I enjoyed quite a bit: FF #s 200, 236 & 250, ASM #200, Superman #400, Detective Comics #500, Batman #400, LoSH #300, JLA #200, X-men #150...

Doc Savage said...

I can't think of any I have read and thought were anything special. Haven't read #100 of Superman, Batman, Flash, or the other Golden Age greats, though.

Maybe there are some by Gold Key or Dell but their numbering is obscure.

Garett said...

Master of Kung Fu 100 was a cool double-sized issue, with art by both Mike Zeck and Gene Day.

Conan 100 was a big issue, with the death of Belit. I wasn't a big fan of hers in the first place! But the story has a sombre tone, not the usual robust Conan tale--a worthy subject for a landmark issue, but not my favorite.

Captain America is my recent fave, so I'll go with Cap 100 as the best. The story has been building up with Black Panther, Zemo, and Agent 13 over several issues, and this is the big climax. It was interesting in the TPB to see the original cover art for Cap 100. There was a big shadow coming across the heroes, cast by Zemo, that makes the black and white balance make a whole lot more artistic sense. Cap's wide-eyed expression makes more sense too. A few other things have been changed--maybe they didn't want a big menacing shadow on Cap's first new issue...instead a bright display of the heroes? I think the original's better!

Chasing Amazing said...

Agreed with JA on ASM #100, though I'm obviously biased. Still it's also historic as its Stan's last script credit for ASM. Plus it kicks off an arc that introduces Morbius to the world (Silver/Bronze Age Morbius, not whatever it is patrolling the Marvel Now Universe).

humanbelly said...

Tales to Astonish #100 actually delivered nicely. The Hulk and Sub-Mariner features dove-tailed into one big golly-whomper of a battle issue between the two titans. And man, it fueled the "Who's stronger, Hulk or Subby" debate into a roaring flame which was still being hashed out in the letters column more than a year later. . .

Avengers #100 would also be a solid contender if only for that beautiful splash page alone. And I did enjoy that issue very much, as it managed to mesh the ongoing story with a typical anniversary conceit of having every Avenger extant answer the call to arms. Did they save the day a little too easily? Maybe. But I didn't come away feeling disappointed. (Plus there's that great Hulk line later on, remarking on how he'd captured "a pretty girl, hey?")


Doug said...

Chasing Amazing --

Welcome to the BAB. I believe that's your first comment.

I enjoy your musings on Spidey, and lately on fatherhood.

And you're a real trooper for sticking it out in the modern world of comics!



Anonymous said...

I agree with Garett on Master of Kung Fu. The only other #100 that I can remember really liking is JLA #100...it was a JSA crossover (where they rescue the Seven Soldiers of Victory) and led into the next two issues. Pretty good story overall.

Mike W.

david_b said...

Garett, thanks for the hint on Cap 100..

For him being my favorite all-time hero growing up, I always thought his 'premiere issue' was a bit loopy looking, especially his facial expression.

I mean, compared to the majesty of either Subby or Ironman's first issue..??

No comparison.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Honestly, I cannot think of a single one that really meant something special...

Doc Savage said...

I always thought that cover looked odd, now I finally know why!

Doc Savage said...

Same problem I have with this question...all the "anniversary" issues I can think of were mediocre at best.

Ray Tomczak said...

Leaving the Bronze Age for a sec, I have to mention Firestorm #100, which was also the final issue. The triple size issue wraps up John Ostrander's four year story line, ties up all the loose ends, establishes a new status quo for the character (which later writers, unfortunately, ignored), and climaxes with an epic battle between the new Firestorm and Brimstone in the heart of the sun. All this is beautifully illustrated by Tom Mandrake.
In the Bronze Age, my favorite is The Brave and the Bold #100, which teams Batman with "4 Famous Co-Stars", Robin, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Black Canary. Batman is shot right at the outset and spends the entire issue in a wheelchair, directing his co-stars in taking down an infamous drug kingpin.

Comicsfan said...

I always thought this choice for me would be Fantastic Four #100--I suppose because it had every right to be, given its exemplary history. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee carried this title for the entire 100 issues, and we watched the comic evolve alongside their respective styles. And because Kirby had one foot out the door at the time, I thought he and Lee would pull out all the stops and make this issue memorable and one for the books. In a way they probably think they succeeded. But I think it was simply too all-inclusive--maybe too over-the-top, too many villains to be taken seriously. And there were two things overall that soured the taste of this anniversary issue--one was that the FF triumphed over androids, instead of actually battling their old foes (though a moot point where Dragon Man was concerned, granted), and secondly that Crystal did a lot of the heavy lifting when what we fans really wanted to see was the Fantastic Four battling against these kinds of odds.

I agree with Doug that X-Men #100 was a more satisfying 100th issue, with more of a story to go along with its billed match-up of old X-Men vs. new. A 100th issue doesn't need all that much fanfare--maybe all it really needs is to stand out from the pack and give you a sense that you weren't just paying for another issue to bag and board in the series.

William Preston said...

Is that the Batman I had as a kid on the home page, the Captain Action figure? I have a distinct, tactile memory of those gloves.

Doug said...

Bill --

That's the second version of the Mego Batman atop our blog masthead. I don't know if Mego appropriated any of the accessories from the Captain Action line. I have a book that might give the answer if you want me to check it out.


Anonymous said...

Most 100th issues don't seem to live up to the hype. I read ASM #100 (where Spidey grows four extra arms!) and compared to some earlier issues it didn't stand up so well. It was more of a teaser for the Morbius story arc to come later.

X-men #100 was interesting for the match up between the old and the new X-men (even if the old ones were robots!) but still it wasn't the defining moment you'd expect from a landmark #100th issue.

- Mike 'sometimes issue #23 is the best' from Trinidad & Tobago.

William Preston said...


But that's a much smaller figure than the captain, isn't it?

As for the actual thread:

I first bought X-Men with ish 100. I read it recursively even that first time, so utterly confused was I was the story into which I'd jumped. I don't think I fully understood it until I later bought the back issues. Still, that was a great starting point, and I was hooked.

Issue 100 of the Justice League brings fond memories for me, as it was given to me by a friend in middle school (a friend who shared my birthday). I loved the issue and often reread it (and still have it), but I missed the second part of the story, issue 101 . . . until you guys (wasn't it you?) covered it.

William Preston said...

And another look at those gloves makes me realize those aren't the same. The boots, with that thick rubbery plastic, were made from the same thing as the gloes I recall, though I remember the Robin ones more clearly.

Doug said...

Bill --

Yes, we did cover X-Men #101.

The Mego pictured is in the 8" line. I'm not sure if the scale of his hands would preclude the use of the gloves of a 12" figure. So basically, I have no idea!


Rip Jagger said...

I've gotta' go with Justice League of America #100 for the best. At the time the 33 heroes jammed into a regular-sized comic were a big thrill.

For most creative I'd give the nod to Spider-Man. Giving Spidey extra arms was a hoot of an idea.

Rip Off

dbutler16 said...

That link was great.

Three #100's stand out to me - X-Men (the original, of course), Justice League of America, and Marvel Two-in-One.

david_b said...

Oh, yes, that's certainly Mego, no relation to Captain Action in any way..

Ah, I still remember an 'Easter present' from my Mom back in 1972.. Removable Mask (1st Issue) Batman AND Robin.

I had 'em up until the '90s, when I traded them for vintage GI Joe stuff (in my collecting fervor mentioned a few days ago..).

Could STILL kick myself for letting them go.

Bruce said...

I'll go with Amazing Spider-Man. The introduction of Morbius and the Gil Kane art put this over the top for me. To me, the Morbius story in Amazing Spider-Man #100-102 is some of the very best work Kane ever did. The way he drew Morbius was appropriately creepy.

Beyond that, I can't think of any other issue #100s that did much for me.

William Preston said...


Justice League 101, not X-Men.

Doug said...

William P --

Yep, plain as the nose on my face on the re-read. My apologies, as your original comment was quite clear.


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