(in no particular order)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man
Vol 2, Issue #35 (Nov 2001)
“Heroes Don’t Cry”
Peter Parker: Spider-Man – A young kid believe Spider-Man visits him, his imaginary friend if you will. It’s the comic version of an after school special. The young boy uses his Spidey-Friend as an escape from his abusive house hold where his father hits his mom.
I am not really one for the softer-side of comic stories but this one really touches your heart. As the young boy tells Spidey he can’t be friends because it is time to grow up and move with his aunt after a terrible incident at home Spider-Man removes his mask. I have never fully understood the implication to be that Spider-Man is in us all or that Spider-Man is black (like the boy) because that this is how the boy imagines him. One of the best “un-Superhero” stories I have read. It was also released right after September 11th so a story like that in a time when the whole world felt horrible was a real change of pace.
Vol 2 (1987), Issue #166 (March 2001)
“Return to Krypton” storyline
Dr. Hamilton creates a gateway into the Phantom Zone through which Superman can see Krypton for the first time and see how the parents he always imagined were more normal than first thought. Shedding the very scientific and sterile world created eons ago, Loeb and McGuinnes re-imagine Krypton. There was a time when I thought Ed Mac’s art style was amazing, now I find it a bit too comicy and muscular, I prefer a more conservative-lifelike style these days. Loeb, like always proves his writing is one of the best in the business time and time again. This also kicks off the arc that send Superman back to his homeworld, a great 5-part cross title mini.
Detective Comics (part 2) & Superman (part 1)
Vol 1, Issue #756 (May 2001) & Vol 2, Issue #168 (May 2001)
“Lord of the Ring” & “With this Ring”
If Loeb is great, what is Loeb and Rucka? Amazing.
In my opinion 2 of the 3 best writers covering one story, the 3rd being Chuck Dixon who was not invited to the party.
Batman and Lois break into the White House of President Luthor’s reign and attempt to steal the kryptonite ring hidden amongst the most guarded residence in the World. Ducking security and pursued by Superman, the friend and wife try to help Superman who is sworn to protect Truth, Justice and the American Way… even if that will kill him someday.
Superman catches Batman and Lois just as they recover the ring. Pleading with him to turn his head the other way for his own good Superman will not betray his boyscout ways. Under Luthor’s order Superman and forces them to hand the treasure over to the President in shame.
Back on the rooftops Superman and Batman fill Lois in on their rouse and reveal that she was in possession of the ring all along while Luthor took the fake in error. Through a technicality Luthor enabled Superman to be a boyscout and remove the President of his ever so dangerous weapon.
With the Sttory concluding Wayne’s girlfriend Sasha stumbles upon his travel bag and batarang stash…
Vol 1, Issue #21 (March 1982)
Snake-Eyes. No words. Pure action.
Snake-Eyes breaks into the Cobra fortress to rescue Scarlett under the cover of darkness. Using stealth and shadows only one man stands in his way, STORM SHADOW!
In his first appearance the cobra ninja gives not only a true foe to Snake-Eyes, but also gives the comic a new direction in the blossoming days of ninja-mania. In the coming issues we would learn Tommy is not just his greatest adversary but also his clan brother and most trusted friend, but this is where it all started.
Issue #26 has a great origins story for the two warriors and gives the most information you will find on Snake-Eyes history.
The Brave and the Bold
Vol 3, Issue #33
Anyone who knows the Gotham Universe should read this story, they always enjoy it. Set in a historic Gotham Zatanna and Dianna (Wonder Woman) take a break from crime fighting, and take Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) out for a girls’ night on the town for partying and dancing for a change of pace.
A bit of an Elseworldesque story, but very well done and very well executed.
…TO BE CONTINUED