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Jun 29

Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus

Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2014 by Al in Uncategorized

You may have seen in some recent interviews with Marvel staffers that they’re putting together an omnibus of Marvel’s greatest issues for the 75th anniversary of the company, to be released later this year. Now, last time they had any kind of vote on the greatest Marvel comics of all time, what actually happened was that people voted for what they perceived (largely) to be the most significant Marvel comics of all time (so we got a list of the 100 greatest issues Marvel have ever published which contained some fairly humdrum things, like the first appearance of Michael Morbius etc). The details of the 75th anniversary omnibus can be found here.

It strikes me that with so many issues to play with, you wouldn’t necessarily need to garner that many votes to put you above some of the more banal choices. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of six issues which deserve (in my opinion, humble or otherwise) to be collected as exemplars of how good Marvel can be from time to time, none of which are likely to make it in without some voting weight behind them.

So! What we’d like you to do is to vote in the comments below, or drop me a note on Twitter (where I’m @housetoastonish), citing which of these six comics you think should be the official House to Astonish nominee for the Marvel 75th anniversary omnibus. In a few days I’ll tally up all the votes, and announce the winner – at that point, it’s time to mobilise our troops and vote (once only each, though – no shenanigans) for that book. It’s democracy in action!

The nominees:

  • Fantastic Four v3 60 (the first issue of Waid & Weiringo’s run; the 9c issue)
  • Spectacular Spider-Man v1 200 (DeMatteis/Buscema; the death of Harry Osborn)
  • Excalibur v1 91 (Warren Ellis’s finest moment on the series; the team go to the pub)
  • Thunderbolts v1 1 (Busiek/Bagley, and comics’ best-kept secret)
  • Damage Control v1 1 (Dwayne McDuffie and Ernie Colon’s terrific sitcomic, somehow never collected before)
  • Generation X Underground (Jim Mahfood’s fun b&w special from the late 90s)

Get voting!

UPDATE: I’m going to give this another 24 hours, then close the polls at 12am UK time (7pm EST) tomorrow.

Bring on the comments

  1. Tim says:

    For me, this is a tough call between Thunderbolts v1 1 and Damage Control. However, I would really like to see the late, great Dwayne McDuffie represented, so I’m casting my vote for Damage Control.

  2. Odessasteps says:

    Thunderbolts was probably the most “revolutionary” of the choices.

    I was just talking about it yesterday in terms of heels becoming babyfaces in comics.

  3. JD says:

    Out of these, I’d go with Thunderbolts.

  4. Sol says:

    Geez, the only one of those I’ve actually read is Generation X Underground. Which was fun but top 100? For any sort of top 100?

  5. Al says:

    @Sol – it’s not a top 100 (I was using that as an example of the kind of bad results that these sort of polls can produce). The Omnibus is just a celebration of 75 years of Marvel rather than a scientific selection of the very finest comics Marvel’s ever produced.

    The Gen X special is on the list as a representation of Marvel doing something fun and a bit different from the norm. In a way it presaged the kinds of indie-friendly books Marvel would do a lot more of a few years later, during the Jemas/Quesada era.

  6. wwk5d says:

    Thunderbolts v1 1 (Busiek/Bagley, and comics’ best-kept secret).

    A good choice for something that is rather iconic but not too banal, which you can’t really say for most of the other choices. I mean, they’re decent but not spectacular. But then, to each their own 😉

  7. Suzene says:

    Excalibur 91. That was just pure fun.

  8. Rhett says:

    Thunderbolts #1! That issue BLEW MY MIND as a kid.

  9. Greg McElhatton says:

    All good choices, but Damage Control, Damage Control, Damage Control.

  10. Niall says:

    Runaways, Runaways, Runaways.

  11. Tdubs says:

    For me it comes down to Damage Control and FF. I’m looking at it as the creators legacies.

    Damage Control was great. Basically a parody book allowed to be inside the borders of the comics it poked fun at. We should honestly try and get a campaign to reprint this book for McDuffie. However when I think about what McDuffie did to me his legacy is in Milestone and DC animated. This to me means I have to pass but really Ido want Damage Control collected. We need a big voice to get that on anyone’s agenda.

    FF was the start of an emotional run in that book. Yes it was hyped as such but it delivered. Reed loses his best friend due to his obsession and then chooses to fight Heaven to get him back. That’s an FF story. Family fighting the impossible. Then Marvel took this book away from us and told us it wasn’t what we wanted. We did what it took and got it back.

    So that’s my choice. FF volume 3 issue 60. Weiringo was a great creator taken from the world too soon. I say we vote and make sure that his work is included in a celebration of Marvel.

  12. CaseyJustice says:

    While my heart says Thunderbolts (an amazing turn that could NEVER be pulled off today), my head says FF, if only because we’re talking about a collection of single issues representing Marvel comics, and that issue is everything great about the First Family in 22 flawless pages. It’s exciting, funny, poignant ends on a hopeful high note, unlike T-Bolts #1 which ends with the Nazi villain cackling while a young girl cries alone in a cell.

  13. Mika says:

    Excalibur 91 is a contender for my favourite single issue of all-time (from one of my favourite comic runs of all-time, natch). So, that. Definitely that.

    (Mind you, I can’t swear I’ve read any of the others. I *must* have read that issue of Spider-Man, but I can’t be entirely sure…)

  14. That Spec Spidey had a holofoil cover and was ace. But Me Favrit is like to be over-represented in this thing anyway.

    Thunderbolts 1 is a pfaht little comic, but Busiek will probably get the first ish of Marvels in there, and Bags will likely get Ultimate Spider-Man 13 – one of the only comics in the whole run to be self-contained.

    As Al said on Twitter, I’d be better off voting with my heart, even though that would basically be 1500 pages of Spider-Man with some pin-ups of Paul Smith’s Flashdance Rogue. But I can’t help but want to ensure that ‘Ringo gets in there. So I’ve already voted FF 60 – even though I’m sure that the Jack Kirby issue will already be in there.

    Some great choices, but.

    Man, what Punishers are gonna be in there? Ennis/Dillon? Can’t see the Max issues getting a look-in. Don’t know what that would mean for Jessica Jones, though.


  15. kag says:

    Damage Control. Maybe just getting a bunch of votes for it will kick Marvel’s collection dept into doing the right thing.

  16. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    Man, it’s a tough one, but I’m gonna have to go for Spidey 200.

  17. Shawn says:

    I’ve got to go with Thunderbolts, if for no other reason than it’s the last big ‘pre-Internet-spoilers’ plot twist that we’re ever likely to see.

  18. Joseph Kerr says:

    All are good choices except the Excalibur issue (somehow I never liked Ellis’ run on it), but my vote would go for Damage Control with the Generation X Underground a close 2nd.

  19. Matt says:

    Thunderbolts ! because: Busiek.

  20. Dasklein83 says:

    Spectacular #200, and it’s bit even close. That book is an absolute classic. Along with Amazing #400, it’s DeMatties at his best.

    In case anyone cares, here are the 75 books I voted for. The numbering is arbitrary, and they are in no particular order. I just numbered them so I could remember how many I listed.

    1) Thunderbolts vol. 1 #1
    2) Spectacular Spider- Man vol. 1 #200
    3) Uncanny X-Men #137
    4) Uncanny X- Men #141
    5) Uncanny X-Men #200
    6) Amazing Spider-Man #400
    7) Avengers Vol. 3. (1998) # 1
    8) Uncanny X- Men #100
    9) X- Factor Vol. 1 #68
    10) Amazing Spider- Man vol. 1 #50
    11) Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 # 39
    12) Amazing Spider- Man vol. 1 # 40
    13) Amazing Spider- Man vol. 1 #33
    14) Amazing Fantasy #15
    15) New X-Men #150
    16) New X-Men #146
    17) Journey Into Mystery #645
    18) Fantastic Four #600
    19) Fantastic Four #604
    20) Fantastic Four #605
    20) FF (Hickman series) #23
    21) Fantastic Four #50
    22) Fantastic Four # 49
    23) Fantastic Four #48
    24) Fantastic Four #51
    25) Avengers vol. 1 Annual #7
    26) Marvel Two in One Annual #2
    27) Amazing Spider-Man #121
    28) Amazing Spider-Man #122
    29) Daredevil #181
    30) Daredevil vol. 2 #1 (Kevin Smith)
    31) X-Men God Loves Man Kills
    32) Marvel Graphic Novel The Death of Captain Marvel
    33) X-Men vol. 2 (1991) # 25
    34) X-Men Omega
    35) X-Men vol. 2 (1991) #30
    36) Earth X #X
    37) Earth X# 12
    38) Universe X: Spidey
    39) Sensational Spider-Man vol. 2 (2006) #40
    40) Sensational Spider-Man vol. 2 (2006) Annual #1
    41) Wolverine Miniseries (Claremont/Miller) #4
    42) Amazing Spider-Man #230
    43) Daredevil #190
    44) Daredevil #191
    45) Peter Parker: Spider-Man #75 (1997 cover date)
    46) X- Statix #26
    47) Avengers vol. 1 #4
    48) Amazing Spider-Man #150
    49) Uncanny X-Men #175
    50) Captain America #175
    51) Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #35 (9/11 issue )
    52) Incredible Hulk #417
    53) Marvels #4
    54) Marvels #2
    55) Iron Man #150
    56) Iron Man # 200
    57) Daredevil vol. 2 #49
    58) Avengers vol. 1 #277
    59) Marvel Knights: Spider-Man vol. 1 #12
    60) Captain America vol. 5 #25 (death of Cap)
    61) Amazing Spider-Man #300
    62) Uncanny X-Men #128
    63) Avengers vol. 1 #97
    64) Avengers vol. 3 #22
    65) Uncanny X-Men #304
    66) Fantastic Four #243
    67) Amazing Spider-Man #248
    68) Uncanny X-Men #142
    69) Avengers vol. 1 #101
    70) What If vol. 2 #105
    71) Dr. Doom & Dr. Strange : Triumph and Torment
    72) The Punisher: The End (one shot)
    73) Hulk: The End (one shot)
    74) Daredevil #300
    75) Daredevil #227

  21. Dasklein83 says:

    * not even close

  22. Brendan says:

    I’ll go for Thunderbolts v1 1. Sure, it’s the only one from the list I’ve read. But that surpise ending blew my mind as a kid.

  23. ChrisKafka says:

    Thunderbolts #1-The launch of one of the best titles of the 1990s.
    Waid’s first issue of FF-The best FF had been since Byrne, and is still waiting to be topped by something after.
    Spectacular Spider Man #200-To see one of my favourite and least appreciated writers get some representation would be nice.
    I haven’t read the Gen X one, and I wasn’t as much of a fan of Damage Control as many.

    My vote:Excalibur

  24. ChrisKafka says:

    Thunderbolts #1-The launch of one of the best titles of the 1990s.
    Waid’s first issue of FF-The best FF had been since Byrne, and is still waiting to be topped by something after.
    Spectacular Spider Man #200-To see one of my favourite and least appreciated writers get some representation would be nice.
    I haven’t read the Gen X one, and I wasn’t as much of a fan of Damage Control as many.

    My vote:Excalibur #91-I loved that story, and that run, and a lot of people don,t seem to know about it. I still rank most of Ellis’ work during his first stint at Marvel as his best, and I am an Ellis fan. So, I’ll go with this one.

  25. Jamie says:

    “Thunderbolts #1-The launch of one of the best titles of the 1990s.”

    No, it wasn’t. It was consistently entertaining, but it was rarely “good.” Before the constant status quo shifts of the 2000s and later, it was perhaps the only book that was dedicated to shifting team membership and living/dead characters every issue or so.

    I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn’t really that good after the first issue. Plot points rarely paid off, were drawn out way too long, and got needlessly confusing. That’s what made reading it fun, but I couldn’t recommend a single issue as an example of a good comic (besides the first, and even that was ho-hum on purpose, to set up the twist ending).

  26. Joseph says:

    Generation X Underground, but tough call.

    One story that sticks out for me, and remains powerful decades later, is “The Gift,” a backup story from Classic X-Men #9 in which Nightcrawler bonds with a young boy while Jean Grey lay in a coma following the shuttle crash that turns her into Phoenix.

  27. wwk5d says:

    Nah, Thunderbolts was good and entertaining.

  28. Jim Kinsey says:

    Thunderbolts! Like someone else said you can’t pull that trick a second time (and I doubt they’d be able to these days even if they hadn’t done it before), and it was done so well.

  29. Jim Kinsey says:

    Has anyone talked Deadpool #11? That’s a fine stand-alone which would fit well in such a collection.

    And I’d like to put something in from Priest’s Black Panther, but my memory is failing me for a good stand-alone issue.

  30. Brendan says:

    I love Deadpool v1 11! Unfortunately it wasn’t an option, otherwise it would have got my vote!

    Then again I’d have voted the first 26 issues of Kelly’s Deadpool into Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus if I could.

  31. Richard Larson says:

    I’ve always loved Damage Control and would be happy to see it included.

    But Thunderbolts was beautifully set-up, was a true surprise and used Marvel U history to set up a different status quo. It deserves it most.

  32. Al says:

    Jim, Brendan, I actually came really close to including Deadpool 11 in the list; I only left it out because I figured there was a chance Marvel were going to put it in anyway.

  33. Justin says:

    Excalibur 91 — a great issue from a fantastic run.

    (never read the FF or Spider-man issues though)

  34. deworde says:

    FF. Got me back into comics.Waid and Weirengo were ACE.

  35. Psycho Andy says:

    Of the six we have to choose from, I’d have to go with Thunderbolts #1 as one of the most important moments in Marvel history, as well as proving that anything is possible with the right execution.

  36. Gareth says:

    I’d go with the Gen X underground. Was like a lightbulb going off in my head.

    Honourable mention for me would be that issue of 90’s X-factor where they all got analysed by Doc Samson.

  37. Jerry Ray says:

    Of that list, I’ve gotta go with Thunderbolts. (I’ve always utterly despised Damage Control…)

  38. Jon says:

    Thunderbolts. That final page was brilliant.

  39. wwk5d says:

    “Honourable mention for me would be that issue of 90′s X-factor where they all got analysed by Doc Samson.’

    Good choice. Thunderbolts #1 would still be my choice, but this would be my second choice (definitely ahead of all the other choices listed here).

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