Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Quarter Bin: The Legacy $1 Challenge

Martinex1: Well it is that time of year when we look back to reminisce and we look forward with hope!  For this $1 Challenge let's look at comics and characters that wouldn't have existed without the trailblazers that came before.  Below are an assortment of legacy comics and legacy characters to choose from; pick four you would like to read and share your reasoning. 

I venture outside of the Bronze Age for cover samples this go around, but I recognize that our era was one cornerstone of ongoing comic creativity. 

So whether you like title stretches like Fantastic Force or future generations like A Next -  state your opinion here.  Could the Thing have gone solo without The Fantastic Four or Marvel Two-In-One?  Was the Blue Beetle better after the Golden Age or after Charlton?  Could there be a Little Archie without Archie? (Don't even get me started on Little Sad Sack!) Could there be a Captain Pureheart without Archie or Little Archie?   Is Wonder Man really named Hollywood in Galactic Guardians?  So many questions to ponder and so little time.

Dive into today's potpourri of spinoffs, namesakes, and title-taking!  Tell us what you think about these books and let us know if you felt any of the followers were better than the leaders!  And please don't be shy about declaring the good, the bad, and the ugly (because there is a lot of ugly out there folks!)


Unknown said...

Ugh, these are the reason I stopped reading comics! I got back into some of the stuff in 2014, but really Image and Valiant are the most enjoyable. I think Marvel and DC are kinda tapped out of ideas and stories. The newest "big thing" seems to be female versions or teen versions. Barf! I've been bag/board my Bronze collection. Its taking longer than expected because of all the reading going on.

Edo Bosnar said...

Man, that Richie Rich! Wasn't enough that he normally had about a dozen of his own titles coming out in any given month, he also had to muscle in on poor Little Sad Sack's cover!

Anyway, I followed New Mutants and She Hulk when they started coming out; I liked New Mutants for a while, but was actually turned away from the series when Sienkiewicz started doing the art (which, I think, is the opposite effect that change had on most fans). Didn't stick with the first She Hulk series too long after that first issue. It was pretty lackluster. Byrne's take on the character in the late '80s was much more engaging.
I missed the start of X-factor as I was on one of my hiatuses from comics-reading at the time, but read it on and off for a while when Louise Simsonson was doing the writing, and husband Walt was doing most of the art; those actually weren't bad stories, even though I didn't really like the whole concept of having the original X-men gather into a new team, which then necessitated the ill-advised resurrection of Jean Grey.
The post-Crisis Justice League and Englehart's run on West Coast Avengers are both something I'd like to get around to reading sometime (I read most of Byrne's run on West Coast Avengers, and have mixed feelings about it...)

My choices:
Captain Pureheart #4
Supergirl #7
(Those first two mainly because they such old issues.)
Justice League Europe #5
Spidergirl #3 (A few years ago I stumbled onto a cheap used copy of a digest featuring two Spidergirl spin-off series, Buzz and Dark Devil, which I found surprisingly enjoyable; I've heard quite a few good things about Spidergirl and wouldn't mind reading more of the series.)

david_b said...

Edo, I'd keep one eye closed on the Englehart run of WCA. As much as I liked most of the team players and the original 'lighter stance' of concept, the Milgrom art was horrendous. I lasted the first dozen issues out of loyalty, but stopped there. The Byrne tenure was alright, 'cept for Shooter's Vision dismantlement.

Tread carefully. I bought that Supergirl issue, loving those early Bronze iconic covers, Marvel or DC. I especially enjoy the Adams Superboy covers from that era, awesome Adams covers at very-low prices.

Redartz said...

Hmmmm... much unfamiliar territory here. But I'm open minded, and it's just a buck! So:

Blue Beetle- always found him amusing, but haven't read any of the solo stories.
Justice League Europe- love the "Bwa-ha-haa" JLA, so I'll try it.
Spidergirl- my son collected that title, and if he liked it...
Little Archie- Bob Bolling did some charming work on those. A definite pickup.

Edo- one wonders if Little Sad Sack might have considered a lawsuit against Richie for his driving...;)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, there's some terrible-looking stuff in there, but some that I really like. The X-Men spinoffs had their problems, but there are some great stories too. (Yes, I was an X-Force fan, Liefeld art notwithstanding; Liefeld's tenure didn't actually last that long, and I liked the way Fabian Nicieza wrote the characters.)

I liked West Coast Avengers too, though there were some bad stories there too. I generally liked U.S. Agent's addition to the WCA (though I haven't read his solo comic); I think his acting like a jackass was a nice contrast from the goody-two-shoes attitudes so prevalent at the time ... kinda like Guy Gardner on the Justice League, except I find Guy way more annoying for some reason.

Speaking of the League, I loved Justice League Europe, especially when Ron Randall was doing the art. The characters were a nice mix of goofy (Ralph Dibny, Metamorpho) and serious (Power Girl, Dr. Light).

As for the rest, I always preferred Byrne's She-Hulk to Kraft's and I haven't read any of those old Supergirl issues, but I've been meaning to check out Peter David's Supergirl run, since I generally like his writing.

So, for my 4 picks I'll go with: Justice League Europe, New Mutants, WCA, and maybe that Cassandra Cain Batgirl issue, because I've always been curious about that character.

Mike Wilson

Humanbelly said...

Gosh, I have at least 8 of the books pictured. . . and the ones that are good are solidly enjoyable reads. Personally, I was groovin' on the M2 Universe (A-Next, Spidergirl, J2, etc), but I have no doubt that it was simply too overtly derivative (if that's the word I mean?) to draw in enough new readership to sustain it.

And I don't have A-Next #4, so I do get to choose that issue!
Avengers Academy- 'cause I was liking that book before I dropped comics completely.
Batgirl-- isn't that the one introduced in No Man's Land? The young woman who didn't speak?
Blue Beetle-- Ha! Purely 'cause THE COVER'S MAKIN' ME BUY THIS BOOK!

Say, you know what would fit in nicely with this heading? The late 90's/early 00's re-launch of JSA/Justice Society of America. Since the Legacy angle is/was the primary theme of that title. Still one of my favorites. . .


Martinex1 said...

HB, I like two of your choices. Avengers Academy was really quite good, and I liked how they incorporated Hank Pym and Tigra into the title. The book was really traditional in a lot of ways with teens full of angst and some classic villains. I found it pretty appealing (until like you I dropped comics pretty much entirely).

And yes JSA was a classic legacy title - another good modern book.

Justice League Europe probably came at a time when the more humorous books were waning. But the JLE was entertaining for all the reasons mentioned above - I enjoy the teams that put some of the second-rate characters front and center. The creators seem to have more freedom but also make them their own. Take characters like Metamorpho and Elongated Man and give them some good writing and everything comes together.

I found the early issues of WCA to be mediocre. Such a great "cast" but here I did not feel Englehart was at his best. Roger Stern wrote the mini-series, and I would have really liked to see him take on the long term project as initially intended. No offense to Milgrom, but the art was not his best and that didn't help.

The X-Factor plot in the early going with the team as "mutant hunters" really needed a lot of gymnastics to make plausible, but there were some good stories thrown in.

And Edo, I am with you on the New Mutants. I also backed off when the art changed so drastically. It was too quirky for my tastes.

Little Archie was great - much better than you might expect as they seemed to perfect some of the "little kid" humor while keeping the characteristics of the gang.

And did anybody really follow the Thing solo series? The few issues I read seemed really clunky despite some good talent on the book.

Martinex1 said...

Oh, and that US AGENT book was written by Mark Gruenwald with pencils by MC Wyman. Really not bat at all for a 90s book.

ColinBray said...

The Spider-Girl comic is a must, a really excellent series. It has a kid-friendly-Bronze-soap-opera vibe that's very rare in modern comics. And I've never read #1 so even more motivation to grab that one.

After that it gets increasingly tough.

The Avengers Academy series read fresh at the time of release and had some wider continuity impact so that's comic #2.

I don't really know Batgirl as a character so time to get educated with that one.

And every ying needs a yang, so picking the Supergirl comic to sit alongside the Batgirl. Besides what a prime Bronze cover that one has!

Unknown said...

I WISH I could get a quarter each for most comics from the late 70s onwards! Terrible, terrible stuff in general.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Little Archie's pretty entertaining, actually. I found a few for like 10 cents each few years ago and got them for my kids. And Little Sad Sack with Richie Rich looks really full of potential laughs! I'm heading to eBay... Cheers!

Unknown said...

Sad Sack had just as many titles every month as Richie Rich and Casper did... but this is the first I've heard of LITTLE Sad Sack!!

Someone needs to publish omnnibus reprints of every Harvey comic. The completist in me cannot rest until this is done!

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