Saturday, June 23, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "The trash of the multiverse has gotta end up somewhere."

Your Top Creative Runs part 37

Written by rdrsfn82 on Thursday, February 03 2011 and posted in Features
Another day, another book I can't believe is this high on the list. Two Marvel solo books that deserve a spot, and one book that appears to be way, way, way too high.
56. 144 points - Wolverine (Hama) - 6 first place votes
#31 - #118
Weapon X #1 - #4
Six people thought this was the best run of all time. While I wouldn't go that far by any means, I did love this run as a kid. Between 1990 and 1997 Hama wrote just about every issue of the series and pretty much defined Wolverine. Here's what Royal had to say about the series:

For seven years, Larry Hama shepherded Wolverine through several crossovers and event storylines, but what's really remarkable about his run is how many defining moments occurred under his pen. It was Larry Hama who wrote the death of Wolverine's greatest love, Mariko Yashida, as well as shine the light on his past with the Weapon X program. Another standout moment is Wolverine #75, a tie-in to the "Fatal Attractions" crossover in the X-titles that highlighted Logan's recovery from Magneto ripping the adamantium out of his body in a touching, emotional story.

Thanks Royal.

The series saw many of the biggest events of Wolverine's life take place, from the death of Mariko to the loss of his adamantium skeleton as mentioned by Royal. However, the cover up top, issue #90, takes place later in the run and features one of my favorite moments ever.

Sabertooth had been captured by the X-Men and was kept in a cell. Wolverine returns to the team in time to see him and is assigned the job of making sure he doesn't break out. Sabertooth continues to taunt Wolverine, all the while working his way out of the cell. Eventually he breaks free and one of the best comic fights of all time ensues. this might just be the fact that I was like 12, but to this day it remains one of my favorite fights of all time, with Wolverine holding back a little and trying to get Sabertooth back in his cell, and Sabertooth taunting Wolverine and trying to kill him. Eventually, Sabertooth goes far by threatening to kill every woman that Logan ever cared about. This makes something snap in Wolverine and he goes into another level and takes out Sabertooth, popping his two outer claws on either side of Sabertooth's head as he tells him to stand down and get back in his cage. Sabertooth says that Wolverine doesn't have it in him to pop that middle claw, but Logan does and he impales Sabertooth. The panel where that happens stands in my mind as one of the coolest panels of all time. As Sabertooth falls to the floor, reality breaks and the fallout of this event is delayed in favor of a new series with a new title, the Age of Apocalypse has begun.

Wolverine is retitled Weapon X, the numbering starts over from #1, and the series takes place in the alternate reality that involved Apocalypse ruling the world. This happened to all the X-Men books at this time.

Eventually the world returned to normal, and the series picked up with #91 and continued the story from there. Sabertooth is revealed to have survived thanks to his healing factor, although he comes back as a gentler being and joins the X-Men for a bit. This pisses off Wolverine, so he leaves again. Hama would continue to write the book for another couple of years. The title would go on to issue #189 before ending and getting a new #1 and eventually having that series turn into Dark Wolverine. Hama will show up a bit higher on the list with his most famous work, GI Joe.

55. 154 points – Superman/Batman (Loeb) - 4 first place votes
#1 - #25
Really? Four people think this book is the best thing ever created? I mean, what the hell people?

Like all Loeb books, this book was an excuse for artists to draw whatever they wanted. Ed McGuinness wanted to draw a giant half Superman/half Batman robot, so Loeb made a plot point involving that in the Public Enemies arc. Michael Turner wanted to draw Supergirl, so the series saw the introduction of a new Supergirl. The series was just big fights between the lead characters and various other villains and heroes. One of the big themes, if you could call it that, was the idea of alternate realities and Superman and Batman as outlaws. The first arc featured Lex, who was president at the time, framing them for a crime and putting a big bounty on them. As a result teams of villains worked together to capture them, as did heroes. The second arc saw a new Supergirl arrive and involved plans by Darkseid to kidnap her and try to turn her into the leader of the Female Furies, but instead finds himself imprisoned in the Source Wall. The third arc follows some Legion villains kidnapping and raising Clark and Bruce as kids and turning them into villains. The final arc involved the Joker getting reality warping powers and a team that was an analog for the Ultimates fighting Batman/Superman.

The series would be the basis for two DC animated movies, Public Enemies and the Supergirl story were adapted as direct to DVD movies. The Jeph Loeb's son Sam, who was battling cancer, was given the chance to write issue #26, but unfortunately he passed away before the issue was finished. A group of Jeph's friends from around the comics world from Joss Whedon to Geoff Johns to Jim Lee and beyond would team up to finish the story and Jeph would work with longtime collaborator Tim Sale on a 10 page backup story that featured Superman making friends with a boy named Sam who had cancer. The main story by Sam took place just before the death of Superboy in Infinite Crisis and focused on Robin and Superboy going to Japan to check in on Toyman, but also included new parts by Jeph and the guest creators with Robin giving a eulogy to his dead friend as he recounted the story of their last adventure together. This eulogy served as both a send off to Superboy in the story, and a comment on the passing of Sam.

54. 155 points - Ultimate Spider-Man (Bendis) - 9 first place votes
#1 - #133 Annual #1 - #3
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 - current
In 2000 Marvel had decided that maybe having 40 years of continuity was a stumbling block that made potential new readers weary to try out books. So they created the Ultimate Universe and the first book to come from that was Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley (who had previously drawn Spider-Man many times in the main Marvel U). The first arc, dealing with Spidey's origin, took seven issues, which is slightly longer than the 15 pages his original origin was. Bagley actually was a bit worried that the slow pace might turn off fans, but instead it became one of the biggest selling books at Marvel, outselling the Spidey book in the main Marvel U at times. Bagley would go on to draw the first 110 issues of the series, making it the longest consecutive collaboration on a monthly book in Marvel history, breaking the previous record of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee on the original Fantastic Four.

The series has started and stayed with a teenage Peter, who is still in high school. While the series at times mirrored famous events of the main Marvel U, the Ultimate Universe was a whole new thing and things could unfold in completely different ways. For instance, Peter reveals he is Spider-Man to MJ and begins dating her in issue #13, something that didn't happen in the main Marvel U for decades, while Gwen doesn't find out until much later around issue #60. Another change involved Venom, which wasn't an alien symbiote, but instead was a something that Eddie Brock's parents were working on with Peter's parents as a cure for cancer. Other changes include Kitty Pryde, of the Ultimate X-Men, going to Peter's school and eventually has a relationship with him, Gwen getting attacked by Carnage and eventually turning into Carnage, and many other changes.

The run with Bagley was very well received, but eventually came to an end. The next few artists all stayed for a bit, but not nearly as long as Bagley. Following his apparent death in the Ultimatum crossover, the book was retitled Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. The series will soon see the return of Bagley in the arc titled The Death of Spider-Man. The series is often complimented for it's fun nature, exciting action scenes, and great art. Many consider it the best work Bendis has done at Marvel. The series is the basis for a new cartoon coming from Disney next year, which sucks because the cartoon they canceled to make room for this, The Spectacular Spider-Man, was a great show and the best non-comics version of Spider-Man ever, taking elements from every source, including the Ultimate version. Hopefully the new show can be as good.

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