I had a very clear idea of where I “draw the line” concerning the Hulk, which I’ve carried around in my head for many years. I haven’t posted it yet, but it was close to the one I have in mind for Daredevil… which I haven’ posted yet, either. It’s just as well I haven’t posted the Hulk one because, after re-reading that run of issues over the weekend, I’ve changed my mind.
For years I’ve though #319 was a pretty good stopping point: the hero gets the girl and they live happily ever after. But O see now that John Byrne’s run (beginning with #314), wasn’t the beginning of the end, but a whole new beginning of its own. I now “draw the line” at the last issue before it (also written by Byrne), Hulk Annual #14.
NEW MUTANTS: I started reading New Mutants from issue #1. It was good, though unremarkable, super-hero fare for the first 17 issues. Then Bill Seinkeveitz, fresh off Moon Knight (one of my favorite titles at the time) began illustrated with the 18th issue. Frankly, I thought his talent was wasted on such a… I don’t know, “frivolous”?... title, but I was already reading New Mutants and I would have followed Seinkeveitz to any title he chose to illustrate regardless. He stayed on through #31 and I wish that is where I stopped collecting. (The only issue beyond #31 I liked was #75.) Luckily, the two-volume “Epic” collection stops at that point.
Tomorrow sees the release of Marvel Masterworks Uncanny X-Men v12, collecting issues #194-200 (among other things). There were quite a few “iffy” issues leading up to it, but #200 was like flipping a switch for me. It would be years before I read another issue I truly enjoyed.
Up until last month I had been leading a discussion of “Classic X-Men.” It had been my intention to go as far as issue #200. My purpose has since cooled, but I’m only a few issues shy of a natural stopping point. I’ll try to get to that point soon before putting the discussion on official hiatus.
I remember reading this series in 1987 and really liking it, but I hadn’t read it since until last night. It still holds up pretty well. It is an excellent follow-up to the 1985 reprint series, The Immortal Doctor Fate, by Martin Pasko, Walt Simonson, Keith Giffen and others. (I have chosen to ost the cover of the first issue, although technically I suppose I “draw the line” at #4). What I like about it is that it completely redefines the role of Doctor Fate and Nabu going forward.
[SPOILERS] Up until this point, Nabu had used the body of Kent Nelson as his human host, with Nelson’s long-suffering girlfriend Inza hanging on. BUT… everything you know is wrong… because Nabu should have been using both Kent and Inza as sort of “co-hosts” all along. Inza had died sometime prior to the first issue, and Kent’s body was finally burning out. This limited series introduces the new couple who will serve as Doctor Fate, with Kent Nelson as their advisor. [END SPOILERS]
The reason I consider this to be an ending rather than a new beginning is that I didn’t read the 41-issue follow-up series. This status quo held until the 2003 five-issue limited series which redefined Hector Hall as Doctor Fate. That one was really good, too; that one I might consider to be a “new beginning.” Another Doctor Fate series began in 2015, but I have no idea who Doctor Fate is in that one.