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Your Top Creative Runs part 13

Week two begins with the first book to get a first place vote, the creation of one of my favorite characters, and a team that will show up again much much higher on the list.

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129. 24 points - Marvel Team-Up (Claremont/Byrne)marvelteamup-cb


Although not as famous or acclaimed as their seminal run on X-Men (or maybe even their run on Iron Fist), 70s and 80s super-creators Chris Claremont and John Byrne also spent a one-year run together overseeing some of Spider-Man's adventures in Marvel Team—Up, issues #59-70.

In the mighty Marvel manner, while MTU stories normally didn't have much significant impact on Spidey's ongoing stuff, CC and JB did make sure to impact and/or make reference to the continuity of his guest-stars and the greater Marvel U, particularly the characters CC featured that he was also writing elsewhere. As examples, their first two issues featured and tried to elevate a once-used minor villain named Equinox, "killing" Yellowjacket and boosting the Wasp's power levels. They followed this up with a two-parter featuring the Human Torch and newbie hero Ms. Marvel vs. Super-Skrull (which concluded with a subplot item which was continued in Claremont's Ms. Marvel book), and a two-parter with Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon which tidied up the last loose plot threads from CC & JB's just-cancelled Iron Fist book and showed Fist's long-awaited victory over Steel Serpent. The run also included Spidey's teaming up with Tigra to tackle Kraven, with Man-Thing to conquer D'Spayre, and concluded with a two-parter featuring Havok and Thor toppling the Living Monolith.

However, the clear highlight of this run was the duo's introduction of the third greatest villain in Marvel history, Arcade (just behind Dr. Doom and Batroc zee Leapair, obviously). The diabolical master assassin and gaming genius made his first appearance in the middle of this run, taking his first of many shots at the Amazing Spider-Man in his masterpiece of madness, Murderworld. This first attempt at bagging the bug was thwarted however, by Spidey and his guest-star, also making his first appearance in Marvel proper, Captain Some-backward-country-where-everyone-has-bad-teeth-and-spells-color-wrong.

Claremont wrote several more issues before and after this run, and even teamed with Byrne two more times (as plotter on issue #75 and script-monkey to Byrne's plots and pencils on issue #80, where MJ Watson was turned into Red Sonja to fight Kulan Gath...yes it's EXACTLY how it sounds), but these 12 consecutive issues are the primary run. Second in quality only to the later run on this book by J.M. DeMatteis, this span of MTU is highly recommended for anybody who likes late 70s Marvel.


128. 24 points - Harbinger (Jim Shooter) - 1 first place vote
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The first book to get a first place vote was one of the doomed Valiant books, the company Jim Shooter started after leaving Marvel. Shooter wrote the series, while the art was provided by David Lapham, The series was about people with abilities, called Harbingers, that were being sought out by a guy named Toyo Harada in his bid to take over the world and create a utopia.

He finds out that there's another guy that has just as much power as him and attempts to recruit him, a kid named Pete. Pete realizes Harada is fairly evil and willing to do just about anything to reach his goals, so Pete heads out looking to build up an army of powered people capable of stopping Harada. Shooter was forced out of not only the book, but the company, however the book went on to run for quite a while after that, ending at issue #41.


127. 25 points - Booster Gold (Jurgens)
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Dan Jurgens created Booster Gold in 1986 and wrote him for the first 25 issues of his solo series. Booster was a time traveler from the future, a disgraced athlete caught up in a betting scandal, who craved attention and glory, so he stole some stuff from a superhero museum and traveled back in time to the present day along with a robot named Skeets that had historical records of disasters and crimes that Booster could use to be a hero.

His sister followed him, but was killed, leaving Booster in a state of shock. He then creates a company in her memory, but it's run bankrupt by the Manhunters during the Millenium event. Booster signs various movie deals, commercial endorsements, and is usually seen as a fool or worse by his fellow heroes, but despite this he was recruited to join the JLA (that team shows up a bit later on), where he's given a chance to shine.

While most people credit the JLI team for most of Booster's growth and personality, Jurgens set the stage in this series. Jurgens recently had a run on the current Booster Gold, which was also pretty fun.
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