Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What is Your Favorite Done-In-One...EVER?

Doug: We love 'em! That single-issue tale that is just perfect -- no sub-plots, little background knowledge required, and no baggage to move forward. So let's hear a shout-out today for those stories of yore that have left a lasting impression on you. Toss out the title and issue name, some "here's why you just have to read this" thoughts, and maybe a "this is my 1A", too. As always, thanks in advance for your participation!


J.A. Morris said...

FF #236.

Steven R. Stahl said...

I preferred the issues as installments. AVENGERS #113 was pretty decent.


david_b said...

Sheesh, WHAAAT a question.. Way too hard for this noggin this early in the morning. Typically the 'team-up' issues come to mind since most of the early ones were single ish stories.

The three that immediately come to my mind happen to be among the first comics I ever bought....:

MTU #13, Cap, Spidey and the Grey Gargoyle. Just because it was great Kane art, and great, seamless action between Cap and Spidey, my two FAV heroes of youth. Spectacular cover!!

CAP&FALC #164, Alan Lee Weiss took over on pencils.., TOTALLY different style of art and storytelling on Cap, but I wasn't aware since it was my first Cap&Falc ish I purchased. It was intriguing, yet cool.

Third and finally, Spectacular Spiderman #2 ("The Goblin Lives!"). My first Spiderman comic and what a welcome to the Marvel Universe. And another classic cover..!!

Doug said...

David --

Big ups for Spec. Spidey #2, which we of course reviewed here some time ago! Also, I've said often how much I love Thor Annual #5, which we also reviewed earlier this year.

I have to look up the issue number, but I recall being really moved by the FF story where the Torch is confronted by the knowledge that a youth burned himself trying to be like his hero. Sticks out in my mind that it was around the #280's, maybe #285 (right before the Phoenix revival?)...


Doug said...

J.A. --

Is that you in the Halloween costume for your avatar?


TrevScan said...

Hmmm. Are Annuals allowed for this? For some reason I've always had a love for Hulk Annual #7 with Angel and Iceman guest-starring. Great art and very fun story.
The other that comes immediately to my mind is Uncanny X-men #143, Kitty Pryde taking on the demon at Christmas. Alone in the mansion. Again, great art, fun stand-alone story.

J.A. Morris said...

Yes Doug, my costume from 1982. My best friend went trick or treating with my that year, he was Deathstroke the Terminator.

This was during the "brown costume" era for Wolverine, I always preferred that one because it (sort of) made him look more like a wolverine.

Edo Bosnar said...

"Ever" - yeah, I agree with david_b, it's a doozy of a question. I'll ignore annuals, specials, graphic novels, etc., because then the selection becomes too hard.
Even with that, it's still a tough choice, but I've narrowed it down to:
Marvel Premiere #32 - Chaykin's now legendary introduction of Monark Starstalker.
Marvel 2-in-1 #51 - Thing, Beast, Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man help Nick Fury and SHIELD defend the helicarrier from an inanely bold attempt at air piracy (literally!) by Yellow Claw. It's the definition madcap, fun super-hero comics.
Captain America #255 - the last issue of the awesome Stern/Byrne run, with a wonderful re-telling of Cap's origin & history.

Anonymous said...

TrevScan – you should get extra points there, because Xmen #143 is one-shot sequel to a previous one-shot in #96.

Most of the Surfer’s 18 issues are one-offs. Pretty hard to beat some of those.

Marvel 2in1 # 10 - Ben & Natasha – I seem to remember a crazy amount of plot packed in.

Avengers #14 – the one where they go to find a doctor to help save the wasp and he happens to have been abducted by aliens and they accidently trigger a spontaneous intergalactic war before rescuing the doctor and everyone is home in time for tea. First Avengers story I ever read. Even now I remember thinking ‘what the bloody Hell happened there?’

There’s an issue of Team Up with Nightcrawler. I just remember it was beautifully inked by Joe Rubenstein and a lot happened, including the reveal of who Amanda Sefton really was.

Xmen #64 & 66 – Sunfire and Hulk respectively.

Marvel 2in 1 #75 – it’s a double sized issue but a huge plot involving the Avengers....going into the Negative Zone ??? Help me here. Can’t remember if it’s any good or not. Just remember it was a lot packed into one issue.

Avengers #101 – Harlan Ellison

Avengers #60 – YJ kills Goliath, proposes to Jan, she accepts, the wedding is arranged, the Circus of Crime attacks, the Avengers batter them, YJ is revealed as Hank Pym....ahhhh....Jan knew all the time.

Xmen Annuals 4 and 5 ....Nightcrawler’s Inferno and the Baddoon.

Marvel Team Up #79. No idea if it was any good or not. You KNOW why I remember this one.


p.s. Doug – just for you – Avengers #46 . The Agony and the Anthill.

Inkstained Wretch said...

On the Distinguished Competition side, that would be DC Comics Presents #49. Superman and Captain Marvel team up to stop Black Adam. A neat parallel earth story that shows how useful that concept could be. Roy Thomas wrote it and Rich Buckler penciled it.

Over at Marvel, tough call but I'd throw it behind Avengers #223. Hawkeye and the Ant-Man team up to take on the Taskmaster after he uses Hawkeye's old carnival as a secret lair. Lots of fun in this one, plus an awesome cover. By Dave Michelinie and Greg LaRocque.

Doug said...

Ah, Richard -- you must be a sucker for chain mail bikinis...

Inkstained -- one of the more memorable covers/stories from an era of the Avengers that for the most part flat-out stunk. Great cover image!

BTW, I love comments like this post has generated -- I keep running back and forth from coverbrowser.com to verify my memory or discover those issues that don't right away ring a bell. Keep 'em coming!


Inkstained Wretch said...

MTiO #75. I remember it well, Richard.

The Thing and the Avengers interrupt their weekly card game - and Ben's best hand of the night! - to save the Negative Zone from the alliance of Annihilus and Blastarr. To top it all off Annihilus has control over the Super-Adaptoid too!

(Spoiler) Turns out it was all a trick by Blastarr, who double-crosses Annihilus in the end. We wuz played for suckers, says Ben and he and the Avengers go home.

Written by Tom DeFalco and penciled by Alan Kupperberg. Good story marred by unsatisfactory ending.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Oops, didn't intend for that last post to go up twice. Not sure why it did. Doug, scratch it if you can.

Doug said...

Ahead of you, brother!

Karen and I get emailed all of the comments, so after a careful scrutinizing to see if you had amended the first one, I got rid of it. No worries.

That MTIO #75 is in my "to review" pile -- won a reader copy in that eBay lot I keep talking about. Ah, if only time would allow...

That JSA origin story we reviewed was a good one. Many remarked on it at the time. Trouble brewing in my comic room, however -- I cannot locate my copy of the Superman/Wonder Woman treasury! I fondly recall that story, and have wanted to re-read it. You'd think something that big would be easy to find, but no luck lately.


TrevScan said...

Ah, Marvel Team Up #79 with Red Sonja, a great issue!
And so was Marvel Team-Up #51, with the poker game getting interupted by the Yellow Claw and pirates.
If I'm not mistaken, this issue has some early Frank Miller art.
As far as the Uncanny X-Men annuals mentioned above, I prefer #3, with INCREDIBLE Perez art.
Regarding DC, how about Brave and the Bold #184, with The Huntress visiting her "uncle" Bruce from Earth 2 (I still miss Earth 2)for a nice Christmas story.
Another woult be The New Teen Titans, #8 I think, which was called A Day in the Life, or something like that. Great look into the personal lives of the Titans.
Its amazing how so many of the favorite one-off stories are from the team-up books, and yet we really don't have them any more.

Anonymous said...

Help me!
Many issues!
The one "Daredevil" by Frank Miller and Janson & co with Foggy telling the story.
The one "Spiderman"(?) by Denny O'Neil and Frank Miller plus Janson & co with Punisher and Doctor Octopus.and...and...
/Mr Anonymous

dbutler16 said...

I have no idea, really, but Batman #423 ('You shoulda seen him' comes to mind. Three cops in a coffee shop discuss their experience with Batman the previous night, and each story shows a different side of Batman's character.

Doug said...

dbutler --

There was an episode of Batman: The Animated Series called "Almost Got 'im" that was a similar plot -- 3 or 4 baddies commiserating on almost beating the Dark Knight.

Man, that was a great show...


pete doree said...

NOBODY was gonna just pick one were they? For me: As mentioned,
Definately that great Alan Weiss issue of Cap with Nightshade and the werewolves. Definately Monark Starstalker (how many people wish Howie'd continued that character? Definition of a great single issue)
Oh, and Chaykin & Starlin's Nick Fury in Marvel Spotlight.

But also DD 191, where Matt sits over Bullseye's hospital bed with a gun, and wonders whether to kill him.
And Luke Cage 26, the Kolchak tribute one with the fake vampire. Sure, the denouement is a bit lame, but it's a barrel of '70's fun up to that point. " Sweet Sister! I only 'bout half believe it myself--but I think I got a vampire for a client! "

david_b said...

Wow, y'know Doug, the best (worst..?) part of these excellent questions is now my comic spending goes up..!?! Yes, I know I should invest in the Masterworks editions more, but I love hearing about these gems from everyone.

Another runner-up for me.., Avengers 125. Love the Avengers in space fighting to stop an invasion armada with the Zodiac Star-Destroyer ship and featuring a great Vish/Wanda/Swordy/Mantis team-up to boot.

Oh, what an excellent quartet they would have made, if Steve wasn't so bent on killing off the Swordsman. What a huge loss.

A very clean, nifty add-on chapter to the current Mar-Vell story-line with Thanos and Drax.

Anonymous said...

...and...and the one Batman story by Denny O'Neil and Dick Giordano & co
"...Crime Alley..."something,ending with a sleeping Batman smiling.
/Mr Anonymous

Lemnoc said...

FF #51: "This Man... This Monster."

david_b said...

FF #51..??

Yep, if there was indeed a winner, it would be FF #51.

Well done, Lemnoc, sir.

starfoxxx said...

Avengers Annual #16


Fantastic Four Roast, seriously I read this one over and over and over until the cover fell off.

William said...

If we're talking just regular monthly comics, "Marvel Two-In-One #50", featuring the Thing vs. The Thing, is hands down one of my favorite comic-books of all time. Wherein Ben Grimm uses Doc Doom's "time platform" to travel back into his own past in a vain effort to "cure" himself of being the Thing. This was the comic that made me fall in love with the original "lumpy" version of the Thing. I just thought he looked so freaking cool. Plus this issue features one of the best heavy hitter throw-down's of all time. The real selling point, however, is it is written and drawn by John Byrne. (As far as I know it's the first time J.B. ever wrote an FF story). AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ!

Now, if we're talking Specials and Annuals and the like, my favorite single shot, completely done in one has to be "Avengers 1.5" by Bruce Timm and Roger Stern. First of all, I can't believe they even made this thing. It is just so awesome. Bruce Timm is one of my favorite artists and Stern is one of my favorite writers. Add to the fact that this story actually fits into Avengers continuity, and it can't be beat in my book. To read it, is to love it!

And while were on the subject of Bruce Timm. My favorite DC property that fits this category is definitely the "Batman: Mad Love" graphic novel by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. IMO, "Batman The Animated Series" is still the best thing that was ever on television. I was hooked on that show from the first episode. So, when "Mad Love" (the comic) came out, it just about blew my mind at the time. Definitely my favorite Batman story ever. They even adapted it into an episode of the show. How cool is that?

And since my favorite character is Spider-Man, I can't leave without mentioning "Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1". That book was a super-hero loving kid's wet dream. Spider-Man fighting the Sinister Six. All of his greatest enemies teamed up in one super-sized comic, and they weren't robots or an illusion or anything crappy like that. It was really them. It was like Spider-Man fighting his own personal "Legion of Doom". The best part is that I actually found (and purchased) a very good-fine copy of ASM Annual #1 for $10.00 at a place called "Trader Jacks" sometime around 1989. Best deal I ever made.

Finally, while we're on the subject of "one and done" comic-book stories, has anyone checked this out?


It's a brand new and original "New Teen Titans" graphic novel by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. (This is another book that I can't believe they actually made). It's an all new story featuring the original "New Teen Titans", by the original creative team. And the most mind-blowing part is that it's actually a retro piece that takes place during the glory days of the series. Holy crap!!! I just got my copy this weekend, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. It looks absolutely beautiful though. I can't wait to actually sit down and read it.

Anonymous said...

Power Man #21 - The original Power Man confronts Luke Cage over the use of the Power Man name.

Iron Fist #15 - Iron Fist against the X-Man. Does Wolverine look hideous in that outfit on the Cover

DC Presents #59 - Superman, the Legion of Substitute Heroes & Ambush Bug. Funniest DC Comic of the 80's, if not all-time

Redartz said...

William- you're quite right about Amazing Spiderman annual 1; fantastic issue all around. But as for suggestions other than the annual type:

Uncanny X-Men 153; Kitty Pryde tells a wonderful story about some familiar characters.

Batman/The Spirit: Jeff Loeb and Darwyn Cooke have a blast here. So did I.

Sugar and Spike 57: Valentine issue; a great story by the great Sheldon Mayer.

Fantastic Four Roast; Like Starfoxx, I busted a gut reading it. I still do!

Amazing Spiderman 248: Good choice for an image, Doug! My all-time favorite single issue of Spidey. A true classic.

Great topic, and lots of great suggestions!

Anonymous said...

I think it might have to be Batman 237. The fantastic Grim Reaper cover with probably the best Denny O'Neal/Neal Adams story...Halloween parade, ex-Nazi war criminals...amazing

vancouver mark said...

Wow, lots of great suggestions.

My initial response, almost by rote, was FF# 51, "This Man, this Monster," but then I decided that wasn't really Bronze Age enough for this blog.

So several secondary classics come to mind...

New Gods# 7, "The Pact." One of my favorite issues of any title ever, and a great single-issue encapsulation of Kirby's Fourth World power and grandeur.

Uncanny X-Men# 183,"He'll Never Make Me Cry." Yes, it continued storylines from Secret wars and led into the Selene storyline, but it stands alone beautifully as a character study of Peter, Logan, and Juggernaut, giving a moving little bit of soap opera,and probably the greatest bar fight in comics history.

And, I think my first choice, at this particular moment of mind anyway,

Giant-Sized Man-Thing #4 - "The Kid's Night Out" AND "Frog Death!" Two tremendous done-in-ones in the same issue, and capturing the essential spirit of the Bronze Age as well as anything you could name. The fact that I was a chubby alienated grade-nine at that time only made the lead story more powerful, I'll admit, but it was quite an issue.

No doubt in another five minutes three more much better issues will occur to me, but whatever... Good topic!

Blabby said...

From DC I have a fondness for Batman #237 - Night Of The Reaper. Not the best story, but Neal Adams at the height of his powers.

And from Marvel, Conan #45 - The Last Ballad of Laza-Lanti. One of the best examples of a Roy Thomas original that also contained elements of Howard. And with Neal Adams (mostly)inking John Buscema - great stuff!

Rip Jagger said...

I could choose any of the E-Man stories from Charlton, or perhaps a DC tale like "Flash - Fact or Fiction" from DC, but I think I'll give the nod to Avengers #77's "Heroes for Hire".

This is a beautifully drawn story with some of the best artwork ever by John Buscema and Tom Palmer, and the one-off tale introduces in a manner of speaking Cornelius Van Lundt, a financier and all-around a-hole who ends up giving the Assemblers trouble beyond this issue as a member of Zodiac.

But in this issue there is no hint of that, as he is simply a guy who hires the down-on-their-luck Avengers to do some work for him while peculiar gang of wannabes, the Split-Second Squad do crimes. Lots of zany characters and some really fun stuff indeed.

Here's more on the Split-Second Squad! What a bunch!


That's my pick!

Rip Off

Hoosier X said...


The first Spider-Man Annual.

Edo Bosnar said...

Must... resist... temptation... to... mention... annuals, etc. - or my damn comment will read like a catalog.
Anyway, since a few people brought up DC Comics Presents, it reminded me of a few more favorites (besides the already mentioned #59):
DCCP #3 - Superman and Adam Strange - fun little SF-y story beautifully drawn by Garcia Lopez.
DCCP #61 - Superman and Omac. Much fighting and destruction in Grand Central Station (oh yeah, drawn by Perez).
And I can't believe that initially my inner Marvel fanboy made me forget my absolutely favorite issue of Brave and the Bold - #197, wherein Batman and Catwoman fall in love. Probably one of my favorite Bat stories ever.
By the way, Richard, I think the Amanda Sefton reveal was in X-man Annual #4 and not in Marvel Team-up.
And TrevScan, it's Marvel 2-in-1 not Marvel Team-up #51 (the one I mentioned in my first post) that has the poker game interrupted by Yellow Claw. And yes, it is indeed drawn by Miller, with inks by Bob McLeod, I think.

Steve Does Comics said...

Obviously it's impossible to choose but I've always loved Avengers #61, with our heroes against Surtur and Ymir. It features some of my favourite John Buscema art, and Dr Strange never looked better in his "super-hero" outfit.

Blabby said...

This is my second attempt to post on this topic. My original post appeared and then disappeared, so I must have done something wrong the first time.

Anyway, it's the same two choices, one from DC and one from Marvel, both featuring artists at the peak of their powers --

Batman #237 - Night Of The Reaper, with Neal Adams at his moody best. I was tempted to choose #Batman 241, mainly because of the superb Adams/Wrightson cover, but overall Reaper was better.

Conan #45 - The Last Ballad Of Laza-Lanti, with John Buscema (mostly) inked by Adams. My two favourite artists on my favourite character; I couldn't ask for more.

Doug said...

Those of you hankering for a review of Batman #237 have but mere days to wait for the goods -- I actually wrote it up a few weeks ago in anticipation of our Rutland, VT series on Halloween.

Fantastic comments, everyone -- keep 'em coming!


Ric said...

The first thought that jumps out at me is The Death of Captain Marvel... That story had it all...action, emotion, and great art!

Having read the prior 34 comments, I'm mighty tempted to jump on the Amazing Spider-Man Annual 1 bankwagon. THAT is what a summer annual SHOULD be! You can totally imagine yourself as a kid getting lost for hours in that book in the summertime.


Anonymous said...

Doug – if Red Sonja in a chain mail bikini as drawn by Byrne doesn’t start your corpuscles migrating then you’re getting old, my friend.

David B – my mind went straight to Avengers 125 as well, but as it’s an epilogue to the Thanos saga, which was just about the longest continuous story there’d been up to that point, I wondered if it counted as one off.

Steve – likewise isn’t that Avengers a cross over with Doc Strange? It’s the one that always sticks in my mind because Doc & the Avengers were in the same mag in the UK, so it ceased to be a crossover, but it jumped continuity, so they had to draw Thor over the Vision because reprints of Doc were ahead of the Avengers (I guess because his stories in ST were half length).

Mr. Anonymous – I know squat about DC comics, but I think the Batman story you’re thinking of is called ‘there’s no hope in Crime Alley’ where he goes back to visit a little old lady in the old neighbourhood. Truly superb art.

Edo – yes, you’re absolutely right now I think about it. X men Annual #4 ends with Kurt finding out that his girlfriend is actually his sister and everyone seems mysteriously OK with that. Including their mother. More innocent times!


Garett said...

I'll go with:
Brave and Bold #110- Wildcat teamup. Aparo in his prime, super splash page with racecars, and he designs a cool expressionist sculpture for later in the story. Haney is great writing for second string characters like Wildcat who would be boring elsewhere.

Jon Sable #7- Grell's at his best in this era with art and storytelling. Later art too loose. This story has Sable protecting a witness, and has humour, action, nice character parts with Grell's good dialogue. And of course witness is a beautiful woman!

Justice League of America #113- JLA/JSA teamup, with excellent Dillin/Giordano art. Good story about Sandman in both costumes and sidekick Sandy. Action-packed story involving a secret and a poignant ending. Also the first comic I drew from: the Flash from Earth-2.

Great topic! I'm just getting back into Green Lantern by Neal Adams so at a later date I'd include some of those.

Dougie said...

Two from the extremities of the Bronze Age: the debut of Klarion the Witchboy in Kirby's Demon. That needy,creepy and blackly mischievous Puritan boy made a devilishly delightful re-appearance in the Halloween issue of the Johnny DC Batman Brave and Bold comic. And he predates The Omen by a couple of years!

The other is from the original B&B title: Batman's team-up with the E-2 Robin and Batwoman. Nostalgic and poignant. I also love "The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne" (and the origin of the Huntress!)

Anonymous said...

Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 #36,the 9-11 issue.

Anonymous said...

Third time lucky ...

Fred W. Hill said...

Oh, just for giggles, with so many choices, I'll go with Howard the Duck issue 5, "(The best things in life are free but you can give them to the birds and bees) I Want Moo-o-o-ney!!" Even my mom, who hadn't read comics since she was a small girl in the '50s, enjoyed those early Howards.
Otherwise, I'll also give a hoot for FF #51 -- after all the cosmic pathos of the Inhumans, Silver Surfer and Galactus, a little drama with an unnamed bad guy who finds his humanity in the stolen form of the Thing and redeems himself before he dies.
And to my knowledge no one has screwed up the story by bringing him back as some sort of cosmic god out to destroy the universe (oops, hope I didn't just give the big Q any bad ideas).

IADW said...

Umm 'A vow from the grave' springs to mind from Denny ONeil and Adams run with Batman. It was a great issue where you actually got to deduce the mystery alongside Batman.

Sure it had about as many suspects as your average Scooby Doo crime but still it was the thought that counted!

Ray "!!" Tomczak said...

Doug--The FF issue you mentioned is in fact #285, and the next issue was the one where Jean Gray returns to life. I'm not a big fan of this story. I've gotten more sentimental as I've grown older, and I WILL cry over a comic book story, but Byrne's attempts to tug at the heart strings, including this issue and the Superman annual story "Tears for Titano", generally fail to move me.
As for my favorite single issue, the one that leaps to mind immediately is Brave and the Bold #124, "Small War of the Super Rifles", Batman teams up with Sgt. Rock and writer Bob Haney, artist Jim Aparo, and editor Murray Boltinoff all appear in the story.
Another favorite, though it's a little outside the purview of this blog, is Justice League America #51, "My Dinner with G'Nort", in which Kilowog, J'Onn J'Onnz and G'Nort have an "Aliens Night Out" and run into a super-villain at dinner.
Blue Devil #8 is my favorite issue of that series, and I love the first issue of the first Ambush Bug mini-series and the DC Comics presents issue with Ambush Bug and Superman and the return of Kobra to the DC Universe after a 4 year hiatus.
You might notice that almost every issue I've named, except for B&B #124, is either written or drawn, or both by Keith Giffen.

Teresa said...

"For the Man Who Has Everything"

Superman Annual #11

I've read and reread that issue too many times.

Anonymous said...

1963 issue #2 (No One Escapes the Fury): "When Wakes the War Beast." The best 1960s Marvel comic ever done by a company that wasn't Marvel when it wasn't the 1960s.

I wish all comics were this good!

MOCK! said...

I was keeping this unread in Google Reader to think about and come back to....I love "The Kid Who Collected Spider-man" but that was the back up! I'll stick with one and echo Lassiter with Superman Annual 11.

Though X-Men/Teen Titans hit when I was 14 or so and had just started collecting both their titles...

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