Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Who's the Best? You Decide Todays' Topic!

While Karen and Doug are on vacation in January, our readers have been entrusted with carrying on the daily conversations.  Today's "Who's the Best?" is a do-it-yourselfer.  As we've done in the past, the first commenter gets to pick today's topic of conversation.

Generally speaking, "Who's the Best?" is for historical topics.  For example, in the past we've started conversations such as "Who's the Best -- Thor Artist?" and "Who's the Best -- Frankenstein Monster?"  Start a conversation that is broad enough to elicit an ongoing conversation, and that even might lend itself to tangential musings.

Thanks for holding it down for us!


William said...

Well, if nobody else is going to get this started -- How about "Who's The Best Creator and/or Creative Team On…?" (Avengers, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Hulk, Batman, Superman, Justice League, etc.) And discuss why you think so.

This does not have to be limited to one choice. For example on Fantastic Four I'd choose Lee & Kirby and also John Byrne, because IMO they are the only people who ever really got the FF right. I didn't like when Byrne dumped the Thing in favor of She Hulk, but besides that he did some of my favorite FF stories of all time.

Also, you can pick creators that may not be the most obvious or "popular" choice, but who are a personal favorite of yours.

For example, I really liked Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz on Amazing Spider-Man. I, of course, also like Stan Lee & Steve Ditko, Stan Lee & John Romita and Roger Stern and John Romita Jr. on ASM as well, but DeFalco and Frenz are my sentimental favorites.

Bruce said...

Continuing the Amazing Spider-Man theme, my favorite run was the Gerry Conway/Ross Andru (& Gil Kane) era. The death of Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin, the start of the Peter-MJ romance, the original Clone Saga, Harry as the Green Goblin, introduction of the Punisher, Man-Wolf and the Tarantula.

Every issue in the Conway/Andru era is gold, in my book.

Edo Bosnar said...

For most of those characters/teams you mentioned, it's really hard for me to just pick one - for X-men I can say without hesitation that the Claremont/Byrne/Austin team is my absolute favorite, and for Hulk nobody beats Mantlo & Sal Buscema, but for the rest it's a tougher call.
So here's a few that leave me with no dilemmas:
Micheline & Layton on Iron Man: that stretch of roughly 40 issues, but especially up to #150, are perfect. I consider this the definitive version of Iron Man.
Steve Gerber and (mainly) Sal Buscema on Defenders: nobody wrote Defenders like Gerber - he told great stories, did great work on the individual characters, and very subtly and unpretentiously touched upon a number of political and social issues, and also managed to slip in a lot of humorous bits.
Bruce Jones and Brent Anderson on Ka-zar: I loved the way Jones turned Ka-zar into kind of a smart-aleck and the intelligent way he depicted Ka-zar and Shanna's relationship. And Anderson's art was just so perfect for the series.

Anonymous said...

And, all together now, everyone take a deep breath and we’ll do all the obvious ones together:

Englehart / Sal on Cap, Stern/Byrne on Cap, Miller/Janson on DD, Stan/Big John on the Surfer, Wolfman/Colan/Palmer on Drac, Steranko & Steranko on Fury, Starlin, Starlin & Starlin on Captain Marvel & Warlock.

Edo – can only agree about Gerber & Sal on Defenders, but the Englehart / Buscema issues are tremendous as well, and include the Avengers / Defenders war. Also about Iron Man M/JRJR/L was definitive. I’ve got to disagree on Hulk: Lee/Trimpe/Severin for me.

C/B/A on Xmen are hard to argue with, but those T/A/P issues are pretty special too.

Avengers is tough. Thomas / Buscema was superb, T/A/P was pretty unanswerable, esp. give it was THAT story, I love the Thomas / Smith issues, Englehart / Buscema was a superb period, though more for the writing than the art, and then we head into Perez country, then Byrne. It’s easier to pick phases of the Avengers that are NOT favourites.

Doc Strange is equally hard. Ditko is kind of in a class by himself, but the Thomas/Colan/Palmer stuff was great, likewise Englehart & Smith, likewise Englehart & Colan/Palmer.

Thomas / Smith on Conan. I love Smith inked by Sal Buscema.

Mantlo / Byrne on the Champions (oh, the wasted opportunity!)

Moench & Gulacy on Shang Chi is easy, but Iron Fist is tougher (Thomas/Kane or C&B?).


david_b said...

Pretty much agreed on most ideas presented..

CA&F: Perhaps over-rated by some younger folk, but Steve/Sal by far.

FF: Lee/Kirby, but I'm so partial to the late Big John B era due to the time I first starte reading.

Avengers: Thomas/Buscema and Smith, I liked the Bob Brown art (much better than Heck's art..). Perez got better, but it didn't seem like 'Avengers' to me, somehow.

Spidey, agreeing with Bruce on Conway/Andru (and Romita with Gwen/Gobby's death).

Defenders, definitely Gerber and Sal.. Loved Steve E's Avengers-Defenders Clash the best, but came to appreciate Gerber later.

NTT, no comparison, Wolfman/Perez. Always hoped they'd get better after Perez left, but nada.

JLA..? Didn't read much, but Dillin's stint.

William said...

Some good stuff here.

I've got one that many might no think of right away. The Avengers by David Michelinie and John Byrne. They only did around 11 issues or so, but they remain some of my favorite Avengers stories ever. You can find most of their awesome run reprinted in the "Nights of Wundagore" TPB. The two part Absorbing Man story alone is worth the price of the book, IMO.

And while we're on the subject of super teams, another personal favorite run of mine is The Justice League by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire. In fact, I just finished re-reading Vol. 1 of the TPB and I'm about to start Vol. 2. I hold this series up as a shining example of what I miss most about comics today. The sense of fun and adventure minus all the grim and gritty dark overtones. I loved this book when it was originally published and I still love it to this day.

Garett said...

Green Lantern is a character I really like, but who has never had the ideal team working on him. O'Neil/Adams were wrapped up in topical issues, the Kane era didn't have the best stories, the Grell period was ok....

So I would like to see Wolfman/Perez do Green Lantern. Great team on Teen Titans, and they would create solid superhero stories with dynamic art and compelling character development, perhaps adding new supporting characters.

Artist Ivan Reis created some good stories in the last few years for GL--not sure who the writer is--but Wolfman/Perez GL would be my dream team.

Edo Bosnar said...

William, in the case of the Avengers, my personal favorite period on the book is the run of issues from about #181 to 202 (which includes that all-too-brief Michelinie-Byrne run you mentioned), but it's hard to pin down a set team for it: Michelinie did most of the writing, but he missed a few issues, and it's tough to decide which artist was better, Byrne or Perez.

Garett, I agree with you about Wolfman/Perez being a possible dream team on GL. In fact, during Wolfman's run on GL, a whole bunch of the covers were drawn by Perez, so you get this whole "so near yet so far" feel from it (not to say that I didn't enjoy Staton's art - I really enjoyed his tenure on the book throughout the early 1980s).

And a tip of the hat to Richard for mentioning my favorite Cap team ever, Stern & Byrne. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Stern & Byrne would be a dream-team on any title. Heck, they could have made Dazzler a top-notch series...

humanbelly said...

Gosh-- with the Hulk I'd kind of lump the entirety of the era spanning Lee & Thomas' tenure at the writing helm, with Herb Trimpe doing the pencils. The transition from Stan to Roy was surprisingly seamless to a younger reader like me at the time-- especially since it happened mid-cliff-hanger (#119 into #120, I believe). Stan had definitely started instilling some depth and pathos into ol' Greenskin, and Roy took that stick and gleefully ran off with it (in fact, with issue #121-- the first appearance of The Glob). While J.Severin was Herb's best inker, he never had a long stretch of consecutive issues, so it's hard to credit him with a solid "era", as it were. But I think this tag-team at its best lasted from issue #109 until about #145 or 146.

With the FF? Honestly (and I feel like this may not be viewed favorably by many folks), John Byrne's run as writer/artist is definitely my favorite. In second place would be the Lee/Kirby/Sinnott era-- which is particularly surprising considering how unbelievably dysfunctional that working relationship was for, literally, years. (Yep, I'm also working my way through the Geoff Howe book-!)

Spidey-- I'm also in there with the Conway/Andru & Kane run. BUT-- an earlier stretch of Lee/Romita is a strong, strong second. Pretty much the Man-Mountain Marko issue through the horrific demise of Silvermane.

HOWEVER-- I'm gonna toss one into the ring that may be kinda hard to beat: Evanier/Aragones on pretty much the entirety of GROO THE WANDERER. Eh? Eh? Who's with me??


Anonymous said...

My personal favourites -

Amazing Spider-Man - Lee/Ditko and Lee/Romita Sr

FF - Lee/Kirby/Sinnott

Avengers - Thomas/Buscema bros

X-men - Lee/Kirby (original team) and Claremont/Byrne/Austin (new team)

Nuff said!

- Mike 'I got lots more favourites but can't remember them!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Edo Bosnar said...

HB - Groo the Wanderer = all kinds of awesome. And you're right about the creative team: I can't imagine anyone but Aragones doing the art and plotting, and Evanier doing the wordsmithing. In the latter case, I think the only writer who could probably do a decent job is Alan Moore.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike – The original Lee/Kirby Xmen has some of my favourite writing and plotting of that era. Lee establishes the whole racism subtext from the get-go with the Sentinels and public fear of mutants, creates classic villains (Blob, Unus, Mimic) and REALLY classic characters (Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Mastermind, Magneto) and the Juggernaut story alone was a masterpiece to my nine year old eyes. But Lee/Kirby over Thomas/Adams/Palmer. Wow.

Edo/HB – Looks like I will seriously have to check out Groo.


Rip Jagger said...

I make a distinction between "Best" and "Favorite", so here goes.

Best FF team Lee and Kirby.

Best Spidey team Lee and Ditko.

Best Captain Marvel team Binder and Beck.

Best Superman team Siegel and Shuster.

Best Batman team Finger and Kane.

Best Captain America team Simon and Kirby.

Best Sub-Mariner team Everett and Everett.

The common threat in these of course is that all of these are the orignal teams (or very nearly so). I would argue the original team is almost always the "Best" of any successful series as they defined the essentials which made that character or characters work.

As great as guys like Adams and Byrne could be, they were almost always playing variations on themes established long before.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

Roger Stern Avengers, almost doesn't matter who draws it as long at it's
not Neal (which panel
next? where is this character relative to that character?) Adams or Alex (look at my stiff pretty statues) Ross.

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