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Your Top Creative Runs part 15

Let's wrap up the day with two kings and a family book, well at least a book about families created by a family.

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123. 30 points - Black Panther (Priest)
blackpanther-priest
In 1998 Marvel relaunched Black Panther with a new solo series by Christopher Priest. He went on to write the first 56 issues, take a couple off, then wrap up his run with #59-62. During this run, Priest tries to connect Black Panther to a world of spies, political intrigue, and a new supporting cast, along with the return of Eric Killmonger, an old school villain that actually defeats T'Challa in one on one combat and takes the title of Black Panther from him, though when trying to eat the herb that gives the royal bloodline their powers he slips into a coma and T'Challa saves his life.

This isn't the last time the mantle is passed on to someone else in this title, as the book also features T'Challa becoming unable to be Black Panther and passing on his role to NYPD detective Kasper Cole, who ends up adopting the title of White Tiger by the end of the series. Hopefully having Black Panther in NYC again in his new series means we'll be seeing Cole again soon as well.


122. 31 points - Conan the Barbarian (Thomas/Buscema)
conan1I like Conan, and his comics and movies are the only things I've ever seen him in, as I've never read a story or book about the character. I should probably do that some day. I'd bet that every single person reading this knows exactly who Conan is, even if like me you have never read a single story by Howard. And you can probably thank Thomas and Buscema for that, along with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Conan the Barbarian was created by Robert E. Howard in the 1930's, and has gone on to be one of the most famous characters created in the 20th century, appearing in movies, books, and of course about a million comics. Marvel created their comic, Conan The Barbarian, in 1970 and it had a short run, lasting 275 issues and ending in 1993. Roy Thomas wrote the title from issue #1 through issue #115, doing the first 24 with Barry Windsor-Smith, and then the rest of his run with John Buscema (for the most part). Buscema would go on to stay on the book until issue #190, usually doing about 10 of the 12 issues each year.

The success of the book led to them doing a second series, with Thomas writing the majority of the stories and Buscema doing some of the art, called Savage Sword of Conan that began in 1974 and featured more adult stories as it was classified as a magazine and therefore didn't have to follow the Comics Code, with more adaptations of specific stories than you saw in the main series. And the main series was also adapted into newspaper comic strips as well with, you guessed it, Thomas and Buscema. Yeah, Buscema probably drew more loincloths and swords than any other person ever. Some of the issues were based on specific Conan short stories, but the majority were original stories by Thomas.

Conan even popped up in various modern era stories fighting Wolverine or fighting alongside Thor, and at times old/immortal villains (such as the first vampire, Varnae) would fight Conan in his series and then show up to trouble someone like Dr. Strange in the present day. The team of Thomas and Buscema basically told every story you could possibly tell, in every way you could possibly do it in a comic, with every possible villain that could make sense (or even that didn't make sense), in every tone possible. Thanks in large part to their work on the character, Conan has become one of the most popular comic characters of all time.

I can't decide if the new movie looks terrible or cool. I'll probably watch it though, if not at the theater on DVD.


121. 32 points - Love and Rockets (Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez) -1 first place voteloverockets

Love and Rockets is a black and white comic by brothers Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, that debuted in 1981 and featured short stories, one off stories, and two ongoing narratives. Jaime's signature story was Hoppers 13 or Locas, and focused on the lives of a group of people originally involved in the punk scene in California, and Gilbert's story, Palomar, focused on a fictional South American village. While Gilbert's story featured some sci-fi, mystical, and otherwise fantastic elements, Jaime's story was more grounded in reality.

Both stories followed a somewhat normal passage of time, with the 20+ years the books have been published being reflected both in the looks of the characters and their attitudes. For example one of Jaime's main characters, Maggie, started out as a young aspiring musician and has since become the manager of an apartment complex. Both stories, despite being different in many ways, focus on relationships, character, and treat the people in the stories as real people first and foremost, and for this reason it's become one of the more popular truly independent books of the last 30 years.
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