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Old 02-01-2019, 04:00 AM   #1
Leo656
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Stories You Love That Most People Never Heard Of

Topic.

I have a bunch of 'em. We all know about the Watchmens, the Dark Knights, the Clone Sagas, and all'a that jazz. Let's talk about some of our favorite "pet" stories; ones that mean a lot to us personally, but aren't part of the larger conversation when people talk about comic books and the "greatest" stories ever told. They can be objectively "great", but they don't have to be, because it's all relative anyway. They can even be ones that most people may not like. As long as it impacted you personally, it counts.

Spoilers will be unavoidable and I'm not gonna bother trying very hard to avoid them anyway, just to let you know. So if you wanna use Spoiler tags, fine, but I wouldn't sweat it. Be as detailed as you want; the more the better, I say.

- Adventures of Superman Annual #1: "The Union" (1987)

This was one of the first comics I owned, and if you know me well you've heard me mention it before. In brief: The President sends Superman to investigate a small town in South Dakota where every living inhabitant seems to have vanished into thin air. Superman encounters a giant, blob-like mass of flesh, and after they do battle he's faced with the alien Word-Bringer, who reveals that he's in fact murdered the entire town (pets too) to "free them" from their flesh-prisons, and has turned them all into a hive-mind which he controls (physically manifesting their remains as the blob creature), giving him great mental powers. The alien flees upon witnessing Superman's rage; the hive-mind reaches out to Superman and tells him that they collectively refuse to exist in that intolerable state, and they beg him to put them out of their misery. When he refuses, they psychically overtake him and, to his horror, force him to shut down the life support systems which sustain their "brain", granting the sweet release of death.

This was my first exposure to the concept of a "Pyrrhic Victory", and frankly, I loved it. My Dad used to read it to me when I was 4-5; I eventually wore out a few copies, then couldn't find it for many years, but thankfully I eventually replaced it. I think it's actually Dan Jurgens's very first published Superman work, so if you're a fan of his, check it out.

Trivia: This story was followed up on two years later during Superman's self-imposed exile in space, following his execution of Zod and subsequent split personality/nervous breakdown event. The issue is Adventures of Superman #452: "Hell Beyond", where he encounters the Word-Bringer again, and is ultimately successful in reaching a compromise whereby, rather than resorting to kidnapping and murder, only those who volunteer would be selected for "The Union". Superman warns him not to f*ck it up and that was the end of that, forever. Kind of a mediocre ending, but the original story has a sincere and definite Creepiness Factor. It's totally unorthodox for a Superman story, right up until the "Did Superman actually just 'kill' an entire town?/"It's okay, they made him do it" ending, which is why it's so great.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:32 AM   #2
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There is a story from my childhood that I learned as a part of my class during my early school years. It is a story that holds a very special place in my heart, but one that I never able to track down on the Interent, even to this day.

A rough summary of the story goes as follows:

There once lived a fisherman on a coastal village, poor but content with his life.

Life was as usual for him, until one day he spotted a beautiful woman walking out from the sea.

He was intrigued and smitten by her in an instant.

Despite many warnings from the villagers not to approach humanoids from the sea, the man defied the local traditions, by approaching the woman to talk to her about how beautiful she was.

She made him on offer, that she could take him to a place where countless other beautiful women like her lived. He would get to stay there for three days, and there, he would live like a king.

He took up the offer, and followed her into the sea, where she used her magical powers to give him the ability to breathe underwater. When he arrived in the mysterious city, it was exactly how she had described it to him.

The next three days were pure bliss for the man, for he would gorge on the most royal of feasts, sleep on the finest of beds, and meet the most beautiful looking women he had ever seen during his stay at the palace.

When it was time for him to go, the woman who brought him in the first place, also bought him to shore safely, taking away his ability to breathe underwater, and giving him a parting gift.

The man asked what was inside the box, to which the woman replied that it was a box that he must never open at any cost, returning back to the sea afterwards.

The man then returned to his village. To his surprise however, no one recognized him. When he told his name to a village elder, she proclaimed that she only remembered his name from legends told to her by her great grandmother. These were the legends of a man who walked into the sea 300 years ago after following a forbidden woman, never to return.

Realizing the situation he was in, the man walked away from the village, feeling depressed as to how he had lost his entire life in the village just for those three days of pleasure which started and finished in the blink of an eye. Having nothing else to do, the man looked at the box which was given to him by the forbidden woman in curiosity.

He opened it at last, releasing a magical spell that transformed him into an old man, who had aged by three hundred years, matching the new time period that he was now living in.

The End.

I've tried searching for the story online using key words and concepts from the story, but to no luck. That may be a blessing however, as it makes the story all the more fantastical, and nostalgic in my eyes.

This is the music I listen to when I think about the story and have come to associate with it, just to capture the magical atmosphere:

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The biggest villains were the censors. What they could do without being held back is my question.

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Shredder and Krang combined had the biggest arsenal of any villains in all of the cartoons.

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Old 02-20-2019, 08:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredWolfLeonardo View Post
There is a story from my childhood that I learned as a part of my class during my early school years. It is a story that holds a very special place in my heart, but one that I never able to track down on the Interent, even to this day.

A rough summary of the story goes as follows:

There once lived a fisherman on a coastal village, poor but content with his life.

Life was as usual for him, until one day he spotted a beautiful woman walking out from the sea.

He was intrigued and smitten by her in an instant.

Despite many warnings from the villagers not to approach humanoids from the sea, the man defied the local traditions, by approaching the woman to talk to her about how beautiful she was.

She made him on offer, that she could take him to a place where countless other beautiful women like her lived. He would get to stay there for three days, and there, he would live like a king.

He took up the offer, and followed her into the sea, where she used her magical powers to give him the ability to breathe underwater. When he arrived in the mysterious city, it was exactly how she had described it to him.

The next three days were pure bliss for the man, for he would gorge on the most royal of feasts, sleep on the finest of beds, and meet the most beautiful looking women he had ever seen during his stay at the palace.

When it was time for him to go, the woman who brought him in the first place, also bought him to shore safely, taking away his ability to breathe underwater, and giving him a parting gift.

The man asked what was inside the box, to which the woman replied that it was a box that he must never open at any cost, returning back to the sea afterwards.

The man then returned to his village. To his surprise however, no one recognized him. When he told his name to a village elder, she proclaimed that she only remembered his name from legends told to her by her great grandmother. These were the legends of a man who walked into the sea 300 years ago after following a forbidden woman, never to return.

Realizing the situation he was in, the man walked away from the village, feeling depressed as to how he had lost his entire life in the village just for those three days of pleasure which started and finished in the blink of an eye. Having nothing else to do, the man looked at the box which was given to him by the forbidden woman in curiosity.

He opened it at last, releasing a magical spell that transformed him into an old man, who had aged by three hundred years, matching the new time period that he was now living in.

The End.

I've tried searching for the story online using key words and concepts from the story, but to no luck. That may be a blessing however, as it makes the story all the more fantastical, and nostalgic in my eyes.

This is the music I listen to when I think about the story and have come to associate with it, just to capture the magical atmosphere:


I believe the story you were referring to is this one:

It involves Ryugu-jo, the palace of the ocean Dragon King Ryujin, and his daughter, Otohime; ‘hime’ means ‘princess’ in Japanese. Otohime appears in the Japanese folk tale “Urashima Taro,” which is accredited as being the oldest story in the world involving time travel. In the story, a man called Taro is invited to visit Ryugu-jo. He stays there for three days, and before returning to land he is given a magical box by Otohime. She tells him not to open it, but of course he does. At the surface, he discovers the real amount of time he spent beneath the sea was 300 years, so he is now in the future and his mother is gone. Grief-stricken, Taro opens the box. Instantly he transforms into an old man, because the box contained his old age.

There is a similar story in Celtic myth of Bran mac Feabhail, who is invited by a woman of the Otherworld to visit Tir na mBan, ("the Isle of Women") and sails there where he and his crew are treated as kings for a year, but warned not to set foot on land when they decide to return home. When they arrive back in Ireland, one man jumps off and runs to shore, only to turn to ash. When Bran calls out to people on the shore, they claim to only know his name from legends, and that three hundred years have passed. There is also a tale of a fisherman who encounters a woman of the seafolk (a selkie or nixie) and falls in love with her. He goes with her to the Sea God's kingdom and stays for a few days, but soon wshes to return home. She gives him a cask, but tells him never to open it, and the rest of the story goes as expected.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:30 PM   #4
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Ok, now for a story of my own. Or several.

One of the most memorable books I've ever readi is The Silver Kiss, by the author of Bloid and Chocolate (which was made into a pretty cool werewolf flick!) It is a story about a girl who meets a vampire who is hunting his own brother (also a vampire) to kill him in revenge for killing their mother, and luring him to the vampire who turned them both. The girl, Zoe, is in the midst of dealing with an imminent move to another city, and a mother who is dying of cancer. They help each other to deal with their respective problems, in spite of their own fears. Its a very emotionally powerful story, and is probably one of the best stories I've ever read.

Second, since we seem to be focusing on comics, is this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Spide.../dp/B000PB3704

This is the historic "Black Cover" issue, the tribute to 9-11 published in Dec. 2001. This is the comic that ignited my love for comics as a medium, and brought me back to the heroes I grew up with in cartoons and the occasional comic book in my high school English class.
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:34 PM   #5
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It was the bi-centennial comics were in a peak period of my interest, despite the fact I had yet to be, but there was a corny one-off published that combined my baseball fandom with my DC fandom. Its a unique set up as far as a narrative and has a pretty good Justice League plus vs Secret Society plus. DIck Grayson, Wally West, and Uncle Sam along with an assortment of villains that did not have to include their opponent as Hal Jordan was absent yet Dr. Polaris and The Tattooed Man were present. Sportsmaster wanted to prove that villains did not always lose,but this before that disgraceful snot Jason Todd, Bane and Doomsday's grand entries. What a way to do it too, and the question is do they lose in this venue too? Check it to find out!
http://www.comictreadmill.com/CTMBlo..._05/000787.php

https://www.sikids.com/si-kids/2016/...seball-numbers
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:41 PM   #6
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Keep 'em coming brother. I've been busy. Real life sucks, what can I say.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:46 AM   #7
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- "The Red Glass Trilogy": Superman #56, Adventures of Superman #479, and Action Comics #666 (1991)


I don't even know where to begin, because this story is just SO COOL. Keep in mind, although the DCU has been a "dark", PG-13/R-rated universe since the mid-80s, it was still rare for the flagship super-hero books like Superman or Batman to delve into straight-up horror-type stories at the time. If you were an unsuspecting kid who just happened to pick these issues up off the spinner rack, like me, this story blew your face off about five pages in and didn't let up until the very end. And it was impossible to put down, because... these things weren't actually HAPPENING, right? These bizarre, horrifying things surely weren't REAL, were they? You had to keep reading, just to see what the hell was going on!

I won't be able to explain it in an adequate fashion, but I'll try. People are suddenly terrified of Superman. Confused, he starts accidentally killing them while trying to save them. He finds himself faced with a museum full of murdered villains, all dead by his own hand, although he has no memory of it... nor of crippling Lois, who he accidentally kills next when confronted. As things escalate, Superman confusedly tries to make sense of what's happening, while accidentally lashing out and killing everyone in his way, starting with the Justice League and eventually wiping out most of the life on Earth. All the while, Superman is horrified, confused, and genuinely afraid as the bodies pile up, despite his constant insistence that he couldn't possibly have done, or be doing, any of this.

THANKFULLY, it's ultimately revealed that it was all an elaborate hallucination. The government had sent Superman to the moon to investigate a strange object that had been causing radio interference or something like that; what he found was a gigantic, red, crystalline alien being (the "Red Glass" from the title) which had become trapped deep in the soil. In telepathically reaching out to Superman for help, their minds became linked, but their lack of a common language led to confusion, and a kind of extreme sensory feedback; Superman was in this state mistakenly led to believe he was living out his greatest nightmare - a complete and total loss of control. Relieved, he finally frees the alien, but is shaken to the core by the experience.

See, we get these kinds of stories all the time nowadays - possibly Too Often - but stories like this were extremely rare in 1991, and furthermore, the execution was more on the cerebral angle of the affair moreso than being graphically violent. There are a lot of disturbing images, but they stop short of being excessive and are entirely befitting the story. But the writing is really where it shines; you completely feel Superman's confusion, fear, pain and sorrow as things just keep getting worse with each passing moment, and his overwhelming relief upon realizing that it wasn't real. And instead of being a throwaway "imaginary story" with no repercussions or actual meaning, it had the benefit of being in-continuity and presenting a rare exploration of Superman's greatest fears and insecurities. Superman's biggest fear isn't Kryptonite, it's losing control, hurting people, betraying himself... this was one of the very first times we were ever shown what the Worst-Case Scenario would look like, and it was deeply affecting. His resolve to never, ever let anything like that actually come to pass is what ultimately makes the story an uplifting one.

Dark? You bet'cha. But it's very, VERY good. Better than any of its modern "copycat" stories, I'd wager. If you're not put off by the idea of Superman starring in a psychological horror story, it's definitely worth a read.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:49 AM   #8
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A book that my mother had when she was a kid (and is in our home library)



It's about a pair of caterpillars trying to search for meaning in life, and has the counterculture stank of being written in 1972. And yet for that description and blast of yellow on most of the pages, it has a somber feeling to me.
This ain't no "Hungry Caterpillar" storybook...especially when it involves the leads breaking away from other caterpillars who are literally climbing over each other to "reach the top", not actually knowing why, and many dying in the effort...yeah, that sounds like 70's counterculture.


It's mildly a hippie book, that's just a little sad, but I love it. One of those books for adult understanding wrapped up as children's literature. Of course it can (and should) be read by children, but it's one of those things that when they become adults, the bolt up in bed in a cold sweat whispering "oh that's what it was about"

(And the way the caterpillars are drawn is so freakin' cute. They look like those magic worms)
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:40 AM   #9
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((Realizes that he mostly had Comic Books in mind when creating the thread, then later realizes that most people probably won't reply with anything comic-related since he forgot to specify it in the thread title))

It's fine, I'unno how I missed that though. Anyways, good response so far, looking forward to more.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:56 AM   #10
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The Dortmunder series, by Donald Westlake. Really, anything by Donald Westlake.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:30 AM   #11
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Brave and the Bold #108

It starts with Batman almost dying trying to save a kidnapped child, and ends up in a crazy hunt for Evil itself.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:40 PM   #12
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Thoughts on my entries? Any entries from you guys? I have another Batman Family entry next. After that an overlooked mini-series. May not get to it tomorrow though. Look forward to comments or other entries.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:12 PM   #13
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All good, I'm just suffering from a bunch of work stuff kicking my ass, can't give this the attention it deserves. I appreciate you though man.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
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All good, I'm just suffering from a bunch of work stuff kicking my ass, can't give this the attention it deserves. I appreciate you though man.
Understandable,I am being loaded down by the job and grad work so I cant do it for a few days. I have three more entries in mind, but no time to give the attention it deserves. I also have another entry ( Mad Hatter) I want to do with DC Villain Files,but I don't know if anyone is reading them.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:01 PM   #15
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I am.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:57 PM   #16
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My next entry is Batman Family#10 which features Killer Moth and Cavalier teaming up to find the Batcave and Robin and Batgirl must put a stop to it. This is Cavalier's return after three Golden Age appearance. From here he becomes a loser villain that pops up on rare occasion, usually as a gang or in groups.
http://babblingsaboutdccomics.blogsp...-moth-and.html

Next I have a mini-series as an entry.Overlooked treasure!
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:42 PM   #17
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My next pick for overlooked greatness is JLA/JSA: Virtue & Vice is a one-shot crossover roughly a year after I picked up comics full-time and introduced me to a few characters particularly of the JSA. It features the 7 Deadly Sins attacking the two teams as they gather for a Thanksgiving meal. This is one of the last few stories with the Magnificent Seven Plus Plastic Man lineup if I am not mistaken. It is by Geoff Johns and David Goyer. Its a great character story as well as attack story. Yes, there is the cop out of possessed heroes,but its excusable and serves the plot.
https://secrethideoutblog.wordpress....rtue-and-vice/
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Old 03-09-2019, 03:41 PM   #18
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Justice League of America#195 saw the return of the original super villain, The Ultra Humanite. He was a body swapping mad scientist. His classic form in an albino ape debuts. He wants revenge on Earth-2's Superman and to eliminate all heroes on Earth-2. He does this in odd fashion as it requires an odd combination of Earth-1 and Earth-2 heroes captured and tied to a device to do it. Signalman as the Bat Rogue of choice? Also, Percillia Rich never got the coverage Challenge of The Superfriends would make you thin.k as her niece is used here. Those two, Floronic Man, and Killer Frost will turn the tide in this crazy adventure once they are betrayed. I do love this cover though to #196.
http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/...f-america.html
A solid mix of fun, action, and weird.
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:55 PM   #19
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Ahh, the Ultra-Humanite. The original "mad scientist" of the DCU before Luthor ascended. That man's brain gets passed around like a bong at a frat party. I always wonder if he just prefers to be a giant albino ape, because he's been transplanted into several other people and things, but he keeps resetting to Albino Ape Default. Why he'd want to do that after being in the body of actress Dolores Winters, I'll never know, because having boobs sounds pretty cool. But then I'm not an evil mad scientist with a giant ape fetish.

There's a longstanding rumor that Lex Luthor is only traditionally bald because an artist on the Superman books once upon a time got him mixed up with the original, human (and bald) version of the Ultra-Humanite. I don't know how true it is but it's a story I've heard often, and it kind of made sense. There's little to no in-story explanation as to why "Lex" suddenly went from having a loose mop of red hair to suddenly being bald sometime around 1941 or so; obviously many years later the editors added the "Earth 1" and "Earth 2" modifiers as a way of explaining those sorts of discrepancies, but that's an obvious retcon. At the time the stories were originally presented, "Lex" just had a totally different look one day and nobody knew why. So I can believe that it was a simple artist's mistake just as easily as anything else.

My favorite story featuring the Ultra-Humanite sadly isn't canon, but it is very good, good enough that it probably should be canon. That would be "The Golden Age", the Prestige format mini-series from the early 1990s. I'm a huge fan of that book.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:18 PM   #20
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Posts: 9,916
I just finished reading the 1994 mini-series, The Golden Age by James Robinson. Yes, it was predictable based on what you told me,but I enjoyed it nonetheless because I like history and comics not to mention a little political intrigue.


Anyone else got any choices? Looking for reading recommendations! Also, I am almost out of selections.
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