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The Most Important Comic Books Of All Time ( Part Two )

Updated on December 16, 2015
Bob Kane creator of Batman.
Bob Kane creator of Batman.

Maus

Art Spiegelman's graphic novel telling the story of his parents life in Nazi occupied Europe is to date the only comic to win a Pulitzer prize, a moving and yet touching masterpiece, Maus certainly helped to establish comic books as a serious storytelling medium.

Maus
Maus

Showcase # 4

With the re-introduction of a new more modern looking Flash, Showcase # 4 (1956 ) is often credited with heralding in the Silver Age of Comic Books, an era when the superhero was king and some of the most famous characters in comic books were created.

The rebirth of the Flash
The rebirth of the Flash

Detective Comics # 1 and # 27

The longest continuously published comic in the USA, the first edition's cover featuring a Fu Man Chu type character but by number #27 the most famous character in comic books would make his debut, Batman. Detective Comics # 27 ( May 1939 ) is one of the most important and valuable comics in the world with more than one copy having been sold for over $1 million. Originally published by National Allied Publications the company changed its name to DC reflecting the popularity of this comic.

Detective Comics issue 1
Detective Comics issue 1
A superstar is born.
A superstar is born.

Famous Funnies # 1

Published by Eastern Color in July 1934 Famous Funnies was the first true comic book to be sold on news stands, it proved to be a massive success in depression hit America selling over 90% of its 200,000 print run inspiring many imitators and inventing a new mass media genre.

Famous Funnies # 1
Famous Funnies # 1

All Star Comics # 8

Created by William Moulton Marston the man who invented the Polygraph ( lie detector ) Wonder Woman, the most famous female superhero of them all and feminist icon, made her debut in a back up story in this issue from December 1941.

Wonder Woman takes her bow.
Wonder Woman takes her bow.

Giant Size X-Men #1

Its hard to believe today that in 1975 the X-Men possibly the most well known and beloved superhero group were well down in the popularity stakes among superhero comics. The X-Men had been on a hiatus for 5 years as only reprints of their early stories were being printed. Giant Size X-Men # 1 was designed to relaunch the comic and featured new characters who would become familiar to most people having seen their blockbuster movies. The new team included Wolverine making his first appearance as an X-Man and star Marvel characters Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus.

A new X-men team arrives.
A new X-men team arrives.

Akira # 1

Not the first Manga comic to appear but certainly the most influential, set during a fictional World War 3 and telling the tale of a child psychic, Akira created an interest in Japanese Manga and Anime and helped pave the way for Pokémon and many others.

Amazing Spider-man # 1

The first issue of an incredibly long running series starring Marvels famous web slinger. Although not as valuable as Spider-mans first appearance and origin in Amazing Fantasy # 15, in this comic we begin to see the Spider-man we know and love begin to develop, the teenage superhero with the hangups and problems of any normal teenager. Unique for its time in its portrayal of Peter Parker as just a normal kid who happens to have super powers, Spider-man struck a chord with kids everywhere and his popularity shows no signs of waning.

Spider-man gets his own book and a little help from the Fantastic Four.
Spider-man gets his own book and a little help from the Fantastic Four.

American Flagg! # 1

Released in 1983 by First Comics this book led the way in proving that the smaller independent comic publishers could take DC and Marvel on. Edgier and sexier than much that had come before, American Flagg! opened the doors for more well known works such as Alan Moore's Watchmen and Frank Millers The Dark Knight Returns.

Cerebus the Aardvark # 1

An astounding comic book series that ran for 300 issues. Self published by Canadian artist / writer Dave Sim, Cerebus an (anthropomorphic Aardvark) is very difficult to describe, suffice to say the comics include sword and sorcery, parody and satire, and some issues include references to real people alive and dead, including the author himself. Cerebus paved the way forward for artists/ writers in the comic book genre to self publish, its influence cannot be understated and it is quite unique.

Dave Sims sword wielding Aardvark
Dave Sims sword wielding Aardvark

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    • nuffsaidstan profile image
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      nuffsaidstan 4 years ago

      Hi yes i put Amazing Fantasy # 15 in part one.

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 4 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      Rather than Amazing Spider-man #1, I probably would have chosen Amazing Fantasy #15 - the first actual Spider-man story which gave the market indicator of Spider-man as the beginning of the media juggernaut and billion dollar franchise it is now.

    • nuffsaidstan profile image
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      nuffsaidstan 4 years ago

      Hi, yeah i love those old pulp magazines as well, very hard to find in the UK though.

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      Marion 4 years ago from 7 Canal St. Rochester, NY 14608

      I love hearing about old comics! I esp. love PULP!

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      Jayfort 4 years ago

      Kane was awesome on GL. Loved how he made Hal Jordan fly!

    • nuffsaidstan profile image
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      nuffsaidstan 4 years ago

      Love Gil Kane, those early Green Lanterns were the first comics i collected.

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      Jayfort 4 years ago

      Cockrum had an amazing, fluid style of art. The only other artists with a similar style would be Gil Kane (not as detailed) and Mike Grell. I'm glad that Cockrum worked for both DC and Marvel so fans of each could enjoy his art.

    • nuffsaidstan profile image
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      nuffsaidstan 4 years ago

      Fat FreddysCat, that's awesome, in England we don't get the chance to meet the top comic book artists very often, sorry to hear Dave Cockrum passed away i didn,t know that, Jayfort, great info never knew that.

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      Jayfort 4 years ago

      I remember reading somewhere that Cockrum designed Nightcrawler as a new Legionaire but took the character with him to Marvel when he changed companies and the rest is history.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 4 years ago from The Garden State

      Good stuff, nice to see some fans of Dave Cockrum's stuff. I met him at a signing he did at a New Jersey comic book store about twenty years ago, he was a very cool guy. Of course he's best known for his X-Men work but I also liked the work he did on a war comic for DC in the early 80s called "Blackhawk." When I went up to talk to him I said "Hey Dave, I bet you're tired of talking about the X-Men by now so I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed Blackhawk," and he said "Wow, a Blackhawk fan? You are a rare breed, my friend!" -- he then opened his portfolio of original art pages he was selling and sold me a page from a Blackhawk issue, which he signed to me personally. I have it framed on my wall to this day.

      I was reading a book recently about the history of Marvel Comics and was sorry to read that Mr. Cockrum passed away in 2006.

    • nuffsaidstan profile image
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      nuffsaidstan 4 years ago

      Hi Jayfort thanks for comment yeah Dave Cockrums stuff was awesome. Geekdom funnily enough i also read it for the first time recently as well, like you said it does seem a bit dated now.

    • Geekdom profile image

      Geekdom 4 years ago

      Great classic picks. I recently read Giant Size X-Men for the first time. It is very dated, but it was a fun read from a historical point of view.

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      Jayfort 4 years ago

      Definitely All-Star #8, DC Comics #27, Showcase #4, and Giant Size X-Men #1. I remember when my buddy, Mark, go Giant Size X-men #1. I read it after he finished. I was a fan of Dave Cockrum's run on Legion of Super-Heroes and loved his artwork on X-men. One of the characters was from Camp Verde which was about 20 miles from our hometown! UP and AWESOME!