We’ll start with one of my favourites, She-Hulk. Here, I’ve done her REV set (left to right). The Rookie consists of Power Girl’s torso, Polaris’ head, Circe’s face, The Lizard’s jacket, Hyena’s arms, Beast’s legs, and Ultimate Doctor Octopus’ base. This one is very labour intensive, hollowing out the Lizard body to fit in Power Girl’s and then heating a needle to make the ripped look of the white outfit for She-Hulk. The Polaris head was the best to show her uncontrolled look, while the open-mouthed scream of Circe made it appear as if the transformation was happening for the first time.
Good day, fellow HeroClixers. We all shed a tear when we heard the HeroClix franchise was ending, but now we can collectively cheer as it returns stronger than ever with the Hammer of Thor set. I am very excited. It has renewed my interest in the Custom Clix column so after a long absence let’s get to it.
Let’s start with the re-paints first. To begin, we have Doomsday. This was my first DC re-paint, but not the last as I went on to do the Hawk and Dove duo figure. Can you tell what got changed?
The seed for this article was planted during a conversation I was having during which I made an off-hand comment about the best Batman stories. It began life as the “Top Ten Batman Stories of All Time”, but after Dark Knight Returns and “Year One” I had trouble ranking my other picks in any kind of order. It stuck in my head until I had to write it.
However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized my best of isn’t going to be someone else’s best (and some of my choices are a bit wonky and even wonkier is what DIDN’T make the list). So, I settled for the Batman stories (single issues or multi-issue storylines) that I personally find the most memorable.
With sixty plus years of Batman stories to choose from here is what I whittled it down to:
1. Batman: Dark Knight Returns
Writer: Frank Miller
Art: Frank Miller & Klaus Janson
Date of Publication: June 1986
Best. Batman. Story. Ever.
While I don’t like Frank Miller’s take on Bats in general, this story is my all time favourite. Inside you’ll find warped humour, iconic imagery, and apocalyptic battles. There has been forests of appreciation dedicated to Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, and I don’t think I can add anything to the mountains of words already written. Continue reading Top 10: Batman Stories→
This time around, the Man Without Fear: Daredevil. DD has always been one of my favourite characters, and his stories have always been among my favourite reads. Having said that, I never got into the Ann Nocenti / John Romita Jr. run or that wacky Daredevil in armour period, where he tried to pretend that Matt Murdock was dead and he was someone else. I just didn’t care for Nocenti’s take on the character and dropped it quickly. I DID pick up quite a bit of the “armour” run but STILL found it unreadable. Those two eras spanned roughly #250 to #380– almost thirteen solid years where one of my favourite books was ransacked.
A note on the Frank Miller run. No doubt this was the best era for the character, and while it is represented here with a few issues, the strength of the Miller run is in the totality and not the individual parts. While to me, not a lot of individual issues were good enough to make the list, you put all those issues together and it comprises one of the greatest runs by a creator on a character ever.
And now, this Blind Man Shall Lead…
1. Fantastic Four #39-40 & Daredevil #37-38 This is what I call the “Doctor Doom Saga”. The story began in Fantastic Four #39-40, where Daredevil assists the Fantastic Four in defeating Doom, who had taken over the Baxter Building and turned Reed’s inventions against them.
For his part in the latest defeat, Daredevil was marked by Doom for special attention, and when the right moment came, Daredevil would be used as a weapon to destroy the Fantastic Four. The right moment came in Daredevil #37-38 when, following a taxing battle with the Trapster, DD is handily beaten by Doom and gets to trade bodies with him as a boobie prize. DD turns the tables, gets his body back and has the Fantastic Four on his tail as a reward. With the help of Spider-Man and Thor, the Fantastic Four is held to a standstill. One of my favourite story sequences of all-time.
Good question as it wasn’t MY idea. Dana suggested it and I snorted that I might be able to come up with four. But the seed had been planted and the gears began to turn. It became an intellectual challenge to see if I could come up with ten good Darkseid stories.
The problem is, Darkseid isn’t a particularly interesting character. He’s one dimensional, always attempting to get his hands on the Anti-Life Equation so he can conquer everything he sets his eyes on. He sends his flunkies to do the heavy lifting while he stands around on the battlements of Apokalips with his hands behind his back, delivering monologues, waiting for someone to emerge from a boom-tube so he can blast them with his Omega Eye beams.
What makes a good Darkseid story then if the villain is dull? It comes down to a single criteria: What Darkseid’s actions bring out of his adversaries. It’s their reactions to his schemes and how they defeat Darkseid and his schemes. That’s what most of these stories have in common:
1. “Legacy” parts 1 & 2 from Superman: The Animated Series I always knew this was going to be in my top three and the more I thought about it the more I realised this is probably the best Darkseid story ever. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini “get” Darkseid. Also, Michael Ironside’s baritone is the perfect voice.
Darkseid captures Supes and brainwashes him into believing he crash landed on Apokolips where he was raised by Darkseid, his adopted father. He leads Darkseid’s attack troops on a campaign of conquest, eventually leading to Earth. The people of Earth turn on him, latent xenophobia coming to the fore. Supes is captured by Luthor and the U.S. army, who decide he is too dangerous to be allowed to live. Only the timely intervention of Lois Lane spares his life.
The climactic battle on Apokolips is particularly brutal for a Saturday Morning. Superman covering Darkseid’s eyes, causing the Omega Beams to feedback was brilliant. Superman wins the battle but Darkseid has succeeded in trashing the Man of Steel’s reputation on Earth almost irreparably.