Thursday, August 30, 2007

TOP TEN :: Top Ten Single Issues Ever :: #3

Amazing Fantasy #15
by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko

It takes the front half of a cancelled comic to introduce the most important superhero since Superman. While it is said that the first and last stories are the easiest to write, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man is the textbook example of secret origin perfection. Everything you need to know about the character is packed into 11 scant pages, and is so perfect that it has remained virtually unchanged for over 40 years. Compare this to recent attempts to reinvent the character for modern times, which took ten times the page count. Amazing Fantasy #15 is modern day mythology, a model parable about power and responsibility, and has rightfully been declared the superhero classic of its time, if not all time.


Andy Mansell said...

There are five great sciencefiction stories in comics:
the origins of Batman, Superman, Spider-man, the Hulk and Captain Marvel (SHAZOOM!). No matter what followed, these 5 stories have become archetypes. (On the flip side, the Fantastic Four is the WORST origin ever) To this day, all of these origins are still readable and-- in their own way-- AWE inspiring. Best of the group in execution is Spiderman. Not just the spider bite, it was the story with Uncle Ben. An amazing achievement

Phil Southern said...

At the onset of superhero comics, origins were done as an afterthought. think of all od the wealthy playboys, etc. Superman's origin, while it is amongst the best, came a good long time after he debuted. Spider-Man and the Hulk, as you correctrly point out, have the best, most mythological-dealing with hubris and conceit, tradgedy and loss. It has perplexed me why they felt the need to "fix" the Hulk's origin for the movie from a few years ago. I'd love to see a Marvel movie done in the context of the early '60's, ala DC New Frontier. No need for that pesky post-modernism, which is quickly becoming past-modernism.