Checking out the best “done in one” comics I’ve ever read. Today we’re still early in the list, looking at #80-71.
Drop me a comment and join the discussion!
80. MOON KNIGHT #11 (2015)
Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood’s story of Marc Spector being held in the equivalent of Guantanemo Bay. Amazing.
I liked this issue so much I did a whole feature on it. Check it out here.
79. SWAMP THING #45 (1986)
This is the story of a haunted house that keeps building itself and extending long after the owners have died. Most of Alan Moore’s legendary Swamp Thing run was a single, extended story–this was like those episodes of X-Files that were self-contained palette cleansers between big, epic moments.
I rated this as one of the best comics of the 1980s–and I stand by that rating. Read more here.
78. SUICIDE SQUAD #23 (1989)
The first appearance of the mysterious Oracle, whose identity as Barbara Gordon was not revealed for nearly two years afterwards. She is probably the most important disabled character in comics, other than Daredevil. And speaking of hornhead…
77. DAREDEVIL #7 (2011)
Paolo Rivera’s first issue with Mark Waid, it’s the one with the now-iconic T-shirt and features a great story about Daredevil in the snow….It also won the 2012 Eisner Award for best single issue.
76. SECRET SIX #24
This is another comic I’m sort of “cooking the books” for. Gail Simone’s story of outlaws trying to be good is one of my favorite series of all time, but it’s another one of those long-form stories that doesn’t have many tales compressed into one issue. But this one kind of is. It reimagines the cast as stars in a Western. It was such a departure, so radically different from every issue in the series, and yet it was terrific. Like every other issue.
And by making it a smaller, self-contained comic, Simone wrote something I can include on this list!
75. HOWARD THE DUCK #16 (1977)
The famous, “Zen and the Art of Art of Comic Book Writing” issue, which was basically one long essay about how Steve Gerber had writers block and hated writing monthly comic books because the deadlines were too hard to meet.
A year later, Gerber was fired from Marvel for, you guessed it, failing to meet deadlines.
74. AVENGERS #223 (1983)
This was the first time I’d read about either Ant-Man or Taskmaster—and the idea of photogenic memory was supercool. It sounded so scientific I actually believed it was a thing. Hey, I was just a kid. Anyway, if there’s just one scene like this in the Ant-Man movie, it’ll be all worth it.
73. FELL #6 (2006)
First off, even though it only ran for nine issues Fell was not a limited series. it was intended to continue, but apparently something destroyed Warren Ellis’ hard drive and he lost all his notes and couldn’t bear to go back and recreate them.
Every issue in the series was done-in-one, with masterful art by Ben Templesmith. It told of Detective Fell, in Snowtown, a city more disgusting and horrible than Gotham on Halloween. And of all of them, issue #6, about child abuse, was the most disturbing.
So it gets on my list.
72.THE BOYS #72 (2012)
The Boys is basically seventy two issues of mayhem and violence, in which the superheroes are bad and the government agents are good. Kind of. But there’s also bad government agents and corporate devils. It’s pure Garth Ennis. And this issue, the final issue, is where it all comes together and actually gets legitimately sentimental.
71. FANTASTIC FOUR #604 (2012)
There were many great issues during Jonathan Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four (and pretty much no bad ones, either), but most of them flow together in a single story so it’s hard to pick a winner. The heartbreaking issue where everyone is dealing with Johnny Storm’s “death” and the joyous one with his return were strong runner-ups, but in the end I had to go with the final chapter. In a run that at times seemed too complicated to follow, all of the threads and themes tie together in a single issue about family, parents, and children. And Galactus being the herald of Franklin Richards. Yeah. That was awesome.