Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with a look at the top #300 issues.
Here are the top five…
First off, do note that a lot of major books have had surprisingly poor 300th issues (with some pretty big names behind them, too). To wit, Roger Stern’s super-short run on Fantastic Four after John Byrne resulted in a fairly rushed 300th issue. Roy Thomas’ cool Thor/Eternals storyline was messed over by Thomas leaving Marvel, so replacement writers Ralph Macchio and Mark Gruenwald saw that particular storyline sort of slowly die as 300 hit rather than pulling into it with a head of steam. Similarly, J.M. DeMatteis saw his Captain America #300 dramatically re-written (not for the better). Avengers #300 was an Inferno tie-in (’nuff said). Uncanny X-Men #300 was almost a place-holder for the “real” anniversary issue, #304 (which was good). Iron Man #300 was the end of a storyline and was not that good (the overall run was good, #300, not so much). Uncle Scrooge #300 was all reprints. Detective Comics #300 was just a regular (silly) issue. Wonder Woman #300 was not bad, but it was no great shakes. Flash #300 was almost depressing. 2000 AD Prog. #300 was okay. But the following issues are the ones that really stand out…
Amazing Spider-Man #300
Venom was a pretty cool villain, at least at first.
Our Army at War #300
Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert gave us a very cool subdued anniversary story here with Easy Company taking its “300th Hill.”
One of the rare times making the anniversary issue be the last part of a storyline really worked.
An imaginary story of Batman’s perhaps final case sometime in the future. Great Simonson art, but with such a cool concept, I think David Vern could have done a lot better.
Incredible Hulk #300
One of the coolest “all-out brawl” issues ever, courtesy of Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema and a bunch of inkers.
5. Legion of Super-Heroes #300
The regular creative team of Keith Giffen, Paul Levitz and Larry Mahlstedt is joined by a variety of classic Legion artists to tell stories of alternate Legion realities, and the best thing is that all of the visions SERVE THE STORY (that’s hard to do).
4. Cerebus #300
For what Cerebus once was and what we probably all expected the last issue to be, this final issue by Dave Sim and Gerhard was a bit disappointing, but as a single issue of a comic, it was quite satisfying.
3. Action Comics #300
I don’t know if this was intentional or if it was just a lucky coincidence that such a classic story happened in the 300th issue of Action Comics, but however it went down, Edmond Hamilton and Al Plastino tell a brilliant tale of Superman being stuck in the future. A good deal of future Superman stories were heavily influenced by this issue.
2. Superman #300
Cary Bates, Elliot S! Maggin, Curt Swan and Bob Oksner combine to tell one of the last few great Imaginary Stories, with this acclaimed tale of what would happen if baby Kal-El landed on Earth in the “present” (1976).
1. Adventure Comics #300
Besides being a corker of a tale by Jerry Siegel, John Forte and Al Plastino, this issue was also the first issue that the Legion became a regular Adventure Comics feature! PLUS, it was the introduction of Mon-El into the Legion! When you add in one of DC’s most iconic covers, this is a clear choice for #1!
That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!