In honor of Marvel’s seventy-fifth anniversary, we’re doing a countdown of the most memorable moments in Marvel Comics history, based on YOUR votes!
Here are the first results of the countdown! Be forewarned, these memorable moments WILL include some spoilers of old famous Marvel stories!
75. “The Death of Guardian” by John Byrne (Alpha Flight #12)
By 1984, death in comics was not exactly a foreign concept, but there still tended to be some familiar rules. For instance, while members of teams might die, there were almost always rogue members – either extraneous characters who could be lost easily or characters who turned bad. John Byrne turned that whole idea on its head with the finale of his first year as the writer/artist on Alpha Flight. James “Mac” Hudson, the heroic leader of Alpha Flight known as the Guardian, had just seemingly won the day by using the power pack on his super suit to overload his enemy (who had taken over the robotic suit of armor known as “Box”). However, by overloading his suit’s power pack, he had only ten seconds to get it off of him before it exploded. He was just about to complete it when his wife (who had been abducted by the bad guys) walks in and distracts him and…
What a shocking ending for the time.
74. “The Death of Captain Stacy” by Stan Lee, Gil Kane and John Romita (Amazing Spider-Man #90)
George Stacy was a retired NYPD Captain whose daughter Gwen was in a sort of “will they or won’t they?” flirtation with Peter Parker. Stacy actually helped to push his daughter to pursue a relationship with Peter. Stacy was a rarity in that he was a big proponent of Spider-Man. He also liked Peter and there were a few hints here and there that he knew that Peter WAS Spider-Man.
His time in the Spider-books was relatively brief, though (less than forty issues), as he ended up sacrificing himself to save a little boy from falling debris courtesy of a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man, naturally, freaks out when he sees his girlfriend’s father crushed by a pile of debris and as he heads his way to see if he can save him, he is in for quite a surprise…
73. “Galactus Falls!” by John Byrne (Fantastic Four #243)
The former herald of Galactus, Terrax, has taken the entire island of Manhattan hostage in an attempt to force the Fantastic Four to destroy his former master for him. The FF helps Galactus defeat Terrax, but the effort weakens Galactus and he decides to feed on Earth. The Fantastic Four try to stop him but luckily for them, since the fight is taken place in Manhattan (after Galactus returns the island to Earth) they have the aided help of Manhattan residents the Avengers and Doctor Strange (plus Spider-Man and Daredevil, but they’re not as helpful when you’re taking on Galactus). Thor and Doctor Strange disoriented Galactus, opening up an opportunity for Mr. Fantastic and the Thing to strike (the Thing at the time had devolved to his earlier mutated form as the result of a failed attempt to return Ben Grimm’s humanity)…
72. “Frog of Thunder!” by Walt Simonson (Thor #365)
Thor’s evil brother Loki is always scheming against Thor and in Thor #363, one of Loki’s plots came to fruition as he casts a spell that results in Thor being transformed into a frog. Loki was hoping to keep Thor from being able to take over from their deceased father, Odin, as the head of Asgard, so Loki figured that a good way to do so was to get Thor out of the picture by turning him into a frog. After nearly two issues of adventures as just a frog (while Loki is trying to weasel his way into power in Asgard without Thor there to stop him), Thor manages to find Mjolnir while in his frog body. As it turns out, though, being a frog doesn’t mean that Thor isn’t still worthy…
Go to the next page for #71-68!
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