Not every comic series starts out great. Like the heroes they follow, some of them only become great. However, there are #1s in the history of comics that are game-changing works of brilliance, and today we celebrate them.
As always, thanks to the folks at 8th Dimension Comics for their input in this area.
In addition to hosting one of the most iconic covers of all time, Fantastic Four #1 set the tone of the entire Marvel Universe. It's a place where there are real-world issues and the heroes often have deep flaws such as egotism, emotional distance and being Reed Richards.
For better or for worse, Identity Crisis changed the DC world forever by rebooting their universe as a place that is undeniably full of dark secrets, rape and a plethora of hideous things. There's been no going back.
Cap was the first superhero to debut in his own book, as opposed to just appearing in other anthology series like Spider-Man and Superman. Let's face it, when the cover involves punching Hitler, you definitely name the book after that guy.
All right, fine. You guys win. We'll go buy the stupid Starman trades. Happy now? Jeez. According to our friends at 8th Dimension, Starman trumps Sandman in scope and created world, so it ends up on this list even though we haven't read it because we bow to their superior expertise. It had better pay off, though, because we have no problem writing an article called "Top 10 Ways Starman is Overhyped."
Make no mistake, Stan Lee's vision on the X-Men was a total failure that was very unsuccessful. It was only after Len Wein and Dave Cockrum introduced Wolverine, Nightcrawler and a host of new characters, plot lines and ideas in this book that the series really turned around. Chris Claremont took it over and turned it into the massive success it is today.
Of all the Elsewhere worlds that feature parallel versions of the DC Universe, none remain as important as Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come. Set 20 years in the future, it shows a world dominated by the children of superheroes and villains, and the role that our beloved champions have to play in that world. The four-issue miniseries has more or less remained the de facto future over the years, and writers for DC borrow from it constantly.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Believe it or not, the Star Wars comics saved Marvel from total bankruptcy, and pretty much revitalized the entire comic book industry by combining comics and another nerd institution...a tradition that has only grown as everything from Army of Darkness to Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a comic book thee days.
This one goes on here simply because it's the book that brought us back into regular comic buying. It's the best thing going in the shops right now!