In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).
Today, we look at an interesting practice in comic books where a comic book story takes place between the panels of another comic book story.
The first example was set in the middle of the fight in Avengers #3 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman), where the Hulk teamed up with Namor to take on his former comrades in the Avengers (an issue after they were all very quick to believe that the Hulk had turned on them when the Space Phantom took his place). They have a right old donneybrook….
Well, a year after this, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby decided to do one of the most meta-fictional Thor issues of all-time, as Lee obviously kept seeing fans writing into Marvel Comics, wondering who was stronger, Thor or Hulk, so in Journey Into Mystery #112 (by Lee, Kirby and Chic Stone), Lee decided to kind of sort of determine who was the strongest. How they decided to figure this out was a very odd little story that was set between the panels of Avengers #3…
I just love that story so much. “Oh, did you know that right in the middle of the fight, we took off and had this big ol’ brawl where my hammer was briefly removed of the 60 second limitation?” That’s just so nuts. I love it.
Okay, this is an odd little one. In John Byrne’s Superman #20, there is a crossover between Doom Patrol and Superman, but I guess Byrne didn’t want to give up the opening of his issue to another book, so the opening of the issue dealt with various subplots and then we get the whole, “Oh, yeah, there was an earlier part of this story, check it out in Doom Patrol!”
So, in Doom Patrol #10 (by Paul Kupperberg, Erik Larsen and Gary Martin), we see Doom Patrol get their butts whupped by Metallo, and then that takes us to Superman’s role in the story (as he is in the area visiting his family in Smallville)…
Next up is Final Crisis #3, by Grant Morrison and JG Jones, where Clark Kent is by the bedside of Lois Lane, who was severely injured in the previous issue….
That mysterious woman comes in and stops time in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1 (by Grant Morrison, Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Rodney Ramos, Tom Nguyen and Walden Wong)…
So the entire story (which is really awesome) takes place in just that one panel. Then he returns and Lois Lane is healed! You could argue that there is also kind of sort of this same thing with the Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds story, but I don’t think that that was explicitly set between any panels or anything like that. I could be wrong. There are probably some other Final Crisis examples, as when I did a timeline for that series, I believe that there were a lot of insert issues there.
The final two on the next page!
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