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Your Top Creative Runs part 26

Written by rdrsfn82 on Friday, January 28 2011 and posted in Features
Let's see if we can put the distaste of the last entry behind us with a mutant run, one of the best Spidey artists ever, and a superhero noir. Yay for books that actually belong on the list!
89. 76 points - Amazing Spider-man (JRJR )
Most of #208 - #250, and various issues and short stints since then
Starting in 1980, John Romita Jr. began his work on the character he'd come to be most associated with, Spider-Man. Working with various writers over the years, JRJr would draw just about every important era in Spider-Man history from the debut of the Hobgoblin to Peter's proposal to Mary Jane to the death of Ben Reilly and return of Peter Parker in a return to the character in the 90's. During his initial run, most of the stories were written by Roger Stern, who had previously written The Spectacular Spider-Man for a while. The series focused on introducing new villains like the Hobgoblin (though not revealing his identity) and delving into the history of his older villains. The run also included the return of Mary Jane Watson as a more mature and fully formed character who over the course of the 80's became Peter's main love interest. Romita left the book just before the introduction of the new black costume in issue #252.

Romita would return to the book for two issues in the late 80's, including issue #290 where Spider-Man proposed to Mary Jane Watson. She of course said that she would as long as she could make a deal with the devil to undo all of this years later. Peter was left confused by this statement, but chose to focus on the "yes" part.

Later still Romita would help wrap up the Clone Saga with the return of Peter Parker in the title Peter Parker: Spider-Man. And even later still he'd have another run on Amazing Spider-Man with writer J. Michael Straczynski during the 00's. Later still he would return as one of the regular artists on the now three times a month Amazing Spider-Man in 2008. There were also various miniseries and whatnot that he was involved with as well.

88. 78 points - New Mutants (L. Simonson)
#55 - #97 and Annuals #4 - #6
Louise Simonson, the wife of comic legend Walt Simonson, was an editor at Marvel Comics until 1983 when she quit to become a writer at Marvel. She created Power Pack, a kid centric comic about a group of sibling that gain superpowers. This was followed with a run on the original X-Factor series, among other books, that began her connection to the Marvel mutants. This led to her taking over New Mutants in 1987, a book she was editor of when it debuted back in the beginning of the 80's by Chris Claremont (something we'll see in a bit).

She started off her run off in controversial fashion writing popular character Magma out of the book and killing off Cypher (the character with a fairly useless power for fighting, but the power that would be among the most useful in the real world). She then brought in some new characters, including some from her run on X-Factor like Rictor and Boom-Boom. Eventually there was a storyline that saw the team head off to Asgard and another popular character, Dani Moonstar, left the team to become a new Valkyrie. Sales started falling, and a shakeup was needed.

That shakeup came in the form of then popular artist Rob Liefeld coming onto the book as artist and co-writer. Along with him came the addition of Cable, who would prove to be a very popular character. After a while Simonson left the book and with issue #100 it was canceled and replaced by X-Force as seen earlier on this list.

87. 79 points - Sleeper (Brubaker) - 2 first place votes
Sleeper Season 1: #1 - 12 and Season 2: #1 - #12
I just read the first half of this series a couple months ago and plan on ordering Season 2 in the next couple of months. So I'm not going to go into detail on the plot for the second half of the series. If that irritates you, too bad. Go look it up for yourself.

Sleeper is a series written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips. The pair would go on to do many other works together such as Incognito and Criminal at Marvel. Published between 2003 and 2005, the book was set in the Wildstorm universe and connected with series like Gen 13 and WildCATS. and actually spun out of a mini series Point Blank that was focused on members of both of those teams.

The series followed a deep cover agent attempting to stop a terrorist group led by a man named Tao that was created during Alan Moore's run on WildCATS. The agent, Holden Carver, is set up to look like an actual defector and only his handler, John Lynch who is attacked and falls into a coma, knows he is undercover.

As part of his cover, Carver is forced to do worse and worse things, and finds himself liking some of the villains and hating some of the "good guys", while also starting a relationship with one of Tao's top advisers, Miss Misery. As the series goes on, Carver's trust of his fellow agents and his loyalties become a constant question. At the end of Season 1, Tao reveals that he knows Carver is a spy and the government continues to hunt him as well. As a result, Carver goes on the run unable to trust anyone on either side.

And as far as I'm considered, that's where this entry will end.

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