Post #400 is Actually #401: Batman Issue #400 and others

16 Jun

Blogs, comicsI was going to save the 400th post for this spot, but after getting a chance to see a special screening for Man of Steel, I had to go with that one first. Sooooo, this is the 401th post that should have been the 400th.

In celebration, I figured it would be fun to show off the covers for some of the major comic book series that have reached the 400th issue. This isn’t supposed to be a comprehensive list, but it’s a lot of them since having a title run to 400 issues means the series has been in steady publication for over 30 years (if the comic comes out in the normal monthly release format).

Except for funny books like Disney, Archie, Dell, Whitman, etc., the majority of the comic books that have arrived at the illustrious number 400 are from Marvel and DC. There are several ongoing gag books, particularly in Europe that have run the total number of issues into the 1000s but we’re focusing mostly on comics with continuous stories — typically superhero tales.

So, here are covers from comic books that have reached the 400th issue. This is not a comprehensive list since I didn’t do much research. If I’ve missed any big ones, leave me a comment.

1. Batman #400 (1986)

I love this comic. It was one of the first comic books I bought back in college. This anniversary comic that actually had some thought put into it. It has a wicked cool Bill Sienkiewicz (pronounced “Bill Smith”) and a fantastic Doug Moench story. It’s a thick comic that has several contributing artists including some of my favorites: Art Adams, Brian Bolland, Michael Kaluta, Rick Leonardi, Steve Lightle, Steve Rude, and Berni Wrighton plus several more.

Batman #400, Anniversary issue Cover art for Batman 400 by Bill Sienkiewicz

2. Detective #400 (1970)

What’s cool about this anniversary issue is that it’s not only a Neal Adams issue (the cover and the interior), it’s also the origin and first appearance of the Mat-Bat.

Detective Comics #400, Neal Adams, First Man-Bat

3. Dell Four Color #400: Space Cadet (1952)

Gay Comics 1955, #1Painted cover by Alden McWilliams. I like that. I also like the name of the comic.  It’s as unintentionally funny in the modern day context as as Gay Comics (1955). Speaking of gay, here’s a version we modified for a bit of fun. As you gaze upon it hum “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady.

Four Color Comics #400, Tom Corbett, Space Cadet

4. Uncanny X-Men 400 (2001)

The Uncanny X-Men and its derivatives are titles that we cut our teeth on in the 1980s before they become too confusing and commercial for my tastes in the 1990s. By issue 400, I had actually stopped reading X-Men altogether. Still, cool cover by Ashley Wood.

The Uncanny X-Men #400 cover The Uncanny X-Men #400 full cover

5. Sgt. Rock #400 (1985)

War comics are hit or miss with me but it’s worth noting that this particular war hero’s stories had a very long run.  The series actually began as Our Army at War with a title change to Sgt. Rock in issue #302.  Sgt. Rock actually didn’t even enter the series until issue #83. Hmm. Maybe we shouldn’t give this title credit as a 400 issue. Oh, well. Clever cover by Joe Kubert.

Sgt. Rock #400, Joe Kubert cover

6.Amazing Spiderman #400 (1995)

The issue had two different covers, both drawn by Mark Bagley and Larry Mahlstedt. The version shown below is a white embossed special issue of the newsstand version. If you can’t tell, it shows a tombstone with Spider-man swinging in front of it. The storyline is titled Death in the Family and in it, Aunt May or a clone or an actress or an old lady that happens to be Aunt May 269 reveals to Peter Parker or or Ben Reilly or Tom Jones or some sort of doppelgänger or who-knows-what that she has always known he was Spider-man or the Scarlet Spider or Spider-bot or Spider-Balls or something. I can’t keep track of which is who and what is how much.

The Amazing Spider-man #400, Death in the Family, alternative cover

7. Superman #400 (1984)

Painted cover by one of my favorites: Howard Chaykin.

Superman #400: Anniversary issue cover by Howard Chaykin Cover art for Superman #400

8. Fantastic Four #400 (1995)

The cover by Paul Ryan is made from a foil-like substance that refracts colors in a cool way.  Is that Dr. Doom on the cover? Does the Thing have boobs? And what’s the deal with the Watchers dying? And where’s Mister Fantastic (Reid Richards)? You can tell we don’t read FF either.

Fantastic Four #400, prismatic foil cover

9. The Incredible Hulk #400 (1992)

Prismatic cover by British artist Gary Frank.

The Incredible Hulk #400: prism cover

10. Avengers #400 (1996)

Giant Size issue with wraparound cover by Mike Deadato and Tom Palmer.

Avengers #400, Giant Size Avengers #400 wraparound cover

11. The Mighty Thor #400 (1988)

Sort of a big Kirby-esque cover by Ron Frenz and Brett Breeding.

The Mighty Thor #400

12. Action Comics #400 (1971)

Superman sure seems to get a lot of gimmicky covers. Here’s a goofy one by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.

Action Comics #400, Neal Adams cover

13. Adventure Comics #400 (1970)

We’re not big fans of this title, but it’s a 400 issue, so here it is. The story and art were provided by Mike Sekowsky, who was famous for creating the Legion of Superheroes and several of the characters in its membership.

Adventure Comics #400, Supergirl

14. Captain America #400 (1992)

This cover by Rick Levins and Dan Panosian is pretty bland. Therefore my comment about it is too.

Captain America #400

15. Archie Comics #400 (1992)

We weren’t going to do an Archie, but that wouldn’t be fair. Besides, I needed a #16. The Cover is by Rex Lindsey.  As for me, it has always been Veronica.

Archie 400th issue

There you have it. And here’s your bonus. On June 14, 2013, I published my 400th post. Here’s a collector’s item limited edition cover for your viewing pleasure.Comics A-Go-Go! Irresponsible Blogging at its best

3 Responses to “Post #400 is Actually #401: Batman Issue #400 and others”

  1. Jason Smith June 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    A few of those brought back crazy memories. I sold some of those… The incredible hulk Gary Frank run was one of my favorites. I loved his clean style. I had shut the Amazing Spider-Man #400 out of my memory but now I remember it. Same with FF #400, though I don’t think I ever read it. This was the age of all those stupid gimmicky covers, which I remember with a bit of sadness.

    • comicsagogo.com June 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

      Yeah. I don’t get how we kept reading comics during the 1990s. We must have found some gems hidden in the muck. The Liefeld and McFarlane juggernaut of shit so tainted me that by the mid 1990s I no longer read comics regularly. Quality has returned, but I stick mostly to the independent press now.

      • disasternecessities June 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

        I suppose if I look through 400 posts that somewhere I’ll find a list of what you are currently reading… can you point me to that post? I haven’t read in years. Probably 7 years. I still have my last shipment of comics from my now defunct comic supplier, and never even opened the box…. I wonder what is in there. Might be a good topic for a blog post. Or it might not…. :)

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