Here’s #4! Click here for the master list!
In this issue, writer Mark Gruenwald tried to tie up a plot-line from a storyline he co-wrote with Ralph Macchio in Marvel Two-in-One a decade earlier, by giving us more background on a character he and Macchio had adopted from a 1973 Steve Gerber story. In this issue, we learn that Aquarian (the Sensational Character Find of 1979) is an alien from the planet Dakkam, the same as the Quasar villain, Quantum.
This is major stuff here, people!!
Easy call, right?
Oh, okay, okay, so who shall it be?
Showcase #4, the first appearance of Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash (and the issue generally recognized as the beginning of the Silver Age?) or Avengers #4, the return of Captain America?
The work of Julie Schwartz, Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher and John Broome or the work of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby?
This is by far the toughest call, not so much because it is a tough decision (there have been closer calls, I think) but because both issues are HUGE parts of comic book history – we really haven’t had that with that many earlier issues, except for all the other #1s out there, and in those instances, Action Comics #1 was such an obvious choice that none of the other issues really had much reason to complain, ya know?
So before I reveal the choice, let me note some of the many other great choices for #4…
Fantastic Four #4 was ALSO the return of a great Golden Age hero, as the Human Torch crazily brought back the Sub-Mariner, causing Namor to become a long-time cast member of the Fantastic Four (most of the time as a villain).
X-Men #4 was the introduction of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which included two notable future Avengers, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (as well as the villainous Toad and Mastermind).
One of the most notable superhero fights of all time took place in The Dark Knight Returns #4, as Batman and Superman go at it.
Spider-Man 3 villain, The Sandman, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #4.
Buttler and Ajit mentioned an issue I totally meant to mention but forgot, Green Arrow joining the Justice League in Justice League of America #4.
Also, Buttler made a great call with the beginning of the great Zatanna storyline (that began with her first appearance) in Hawkman #4. Big Barda’s first appearance is not bad, either, in Mister Miracle #4.
Do feel free to send me more notable #4s, people!
Okay, as to the choice, I think it basically comes down to the fact that while both issues are extremely well known, and I honestly think Avengers #4 is slightly MORE well known than Showcase #4, in the end, the cultural and historical importance of the beginning of the Silver Age outweighs the slight recognizability factor of Avengers #4 (and, again, if it is there at all, it is only slight).
So that makes the pick…
The first appearance of Barry Allen, a pretty good first story, an iconic cover and the beginning of the Silver Age.
That is one notable issue.
Okay, that’s the countdown!
Hope you folks had fun!!