Creator Spotlight


The fan-favorite writer and TV producer breaks down his classic favorites. Pick up Marc’s X-Men Gold, on sale this April!

Can’t-Miss Comics

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First X-Issue

In Uncanny X-Men (1963) #139

Kitty Pryde’s first issue as a member of the X-Men and my first issue as a reader of the X-Men. Few comics blew me away the way this single issue did. Reading it was like discovering comics all over again.

Miller & Janson’s Daredevil

In Daredevil (1964) #188

So many classics from Frank Miller’s run to choose from, but I’m picking this issue out of sentimental value. I remember reading this issue at sleepaway camp and loving Black Widow’s reintroduction and, for the time, reinvention here. Frank also drops a bomb in this issue that no one has picked up on in lo these many years: Stick telling Matt that his powers didn’t come from the [radiation] he was exposed to. Whoa.

Simonson’s Thor

In Thor (1966) #337

With this list, I’m clearly demonstrating my affection for the seminal runs of the 1980s. No such list would be complete without including Walter Simonson’s debut as writer/artist of Thor and the introduction of Beta Ray Bill, who is not only one of the coolest concepts in the Marvel canon — an alien worthy of lifting Thor’s hammer! — but also boasts one of the coolest character designs in comics ever.

Spider-Man vs. Morlun

In Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #33

What a great single issue. It’s almost one huge fight — though a fight would imply that Spidey gets some licks in — but it does a masterful Stan Lee-esque job of getting inside Spidey’s head and really getting you to believe that maybe, just maybe Spider-Man won’t be walking away from this one. And Avalon Studios’ colors are perfection.

Ultimate Spidey Unmasked

In Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #13

Brian Bendis’ run relaunching Spider-Man and establishing the Ultimate Universe popularized “decompressed” storytelling. To those who think that’s a bad thing, I commend you to read this issue, which focuses on Peter’s decision to out his identity to Mary Jane. Rarely have comics been capable of such nuance and emotion. This issue reminds us that there’s nothing “decompressed” when the storytelling is so riveting.

Fantastic Four’s 20th Anniversary

In Fantastic Four (1961) #236

Anniversary issues have, sadly, become something of a lost art. Here we have a double-sized anniversary issue that functions as a perfect — and emotional — restatement of the Fantastic Four’s origin and mission statement. The anniversary in question was the FF’s twentieth and the issue itself asks us to pause and reflect on the colossal number of groundbreaking characters and concepts that those 20 years brought us.

Daredevil Outed

In Daredevil (1998) #32

Bendis’ entire run on Daredevil was sheer perfection, but it really went full throttle with the “Out” arc that saw Matt’s secret identity exposed to the world. What’s brilliant about Brian’s writing here – in addition to the depth of pathos that the revelation works on Matt – is that he takes the “superhero’s secret identity is threatened” trope and turns it on its head by doing what you least expect: commit to it.

Wolverine’s Solo Debut

In Wolverine (1982) #1

Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. It’s probably no surprise that the collaboration of these two titans broke so much new ground: this issue commences one of Marvel’s very first mini-series. It’s hard to remember a time when there were no X-Men spinoffs or sister books, but this was the very, very, very first. And it’s an instant classic. “Its claws gleam in the half-light. SNIKT. So do mine.” Mic drop.