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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Much Ado About 666

Happy Hump Day!




I don't know of you guys are aware of this or not, but today's post is officially post# 666.

Yep. 
666. Sign of the beast and all that.

Now I'm not sure who else out there in Blogger-Land has reached that ominous number, or whether or not they choose to acknowledge it.

What do Newspapers or Magazines do? Do they just roll with the numbering as well, and quickly move on to the next issue?

Trying to figure just what to talk about today, I decided I'd see what the world of comics did when faced with that particualr issue number.

Now thanks to the recent renumbering fade that's taken over the industry, many of today's comic titles probably don't have to worry about hitting that number.

In fact over the years, very few comic titles have even hit and surpassed that number.
So today, I'm taking a quick look at those very select few comic titles that have reached #666, and what those issues were about, and whether or not the creative teams decided to incorporate the reputation of the triple 6's into their stories.

Thanks to the miracle of Google, I don't have to search that hard to come across those particular comic titles.

And here the are:

-Action Comics#666
-Superman#666
-Detective Comics#666
-Batman#666
-Amazing Spider-Man#666

Not surprisinginly, there's really not that many comics that have successfully reached that number.
Of course I haven't taken into account certain issues that may have reached that number had they not been re-numbered.

Nope. I'm only counting those runs that officially hit issue 666.

So without furhter ado, here's a brief rundown on those titles that did hit 666, and what they were about.

-Action Comics#666 (June '91):



Until the entire DCU got rebooted in favor of the NU52, Action Comics was THE longest running comic at time from any publisher.
That milestone issue was reached in June of 1991, as it was the last part of a 3-part story-line called "Red Glass Trilogy."

Basically Superman comes across red, alien crystals on the moon, and from there, shit goes cray. Very, very cray.

How Cray?
In the previous earlier parts of the story, Supes contact with said red alien crystals make him turn extremely paranoid and he flips out, to the point that he accidently kills Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Booster Gold, and all of Metropolis.

He's then confronted by Guy Gardner and the Martian Manhunter from the JL, but he kills them too.
The United States then declares Superman a criminal threat to humanity( yeah, no shit sherlock) and sends in the big guns after him.

Said big guns are Firestorm and Captain Atom.....






......which does NOT turn out well for them at all.

After that, the Doom Patrol (In a very rare appearence since they belonged to the Vertigoverse at the time) show up only for Superman to scream them to death. No, really, he does.

The WW shows up with a piece of Kryptonite so that Supes can kill himself.(Why WW? Was Batman too busy?)

Right before he does it, he wakes up.
Apparently it had all been a bad dream caused by the alien crystals.
Turns out the alien crystals are alive and were trapped on moon for thousands of years.
Superman just so happened to pick up their telepathic distress signal, which unfortunately caused him to experience his worst fears.

Yeah, cray. I know. 
The other parts of the Red Trilogy can be found in Superman# 56 (Part 1) and Adventures of Superman#579 (Part 2) respectively.

-Superman#666 (Oct 2007):

Then writer Kurt Busiek and legendary writer/artist Walt Simonson team-up to give fans their take on what the 666 version of Superman would look like.


I'm sure deep down inside, Supes has always wanted to do that.

This one is very similar in tone with the Action Comics issue, in that it's basicaly Superman snapping and killing everybody, be they friend or foe as seen in the above panel.



Again, it's merely a dream.....at first. But then Superman wakes up and starts acting as aggressive as he did in the dream. After fighting friend and foe again, he decends into Hell to takeover.
Apparently he's possessed by a demon from Krypton's Hell, a demon named Rakkar. Rakkar seems poised fo ultimate victory....until the Phantom Stranger appears.

Check it out to see how it all ends.

-Detective Comics#666 (Sep '93) :
 

Writer Chuck Dixon didn't chose to exploit the 666 theme, but in a sense did deal with a "devil" in the man called Bane.

Coming out in near the end of the Knightfall storyline, Detective Comics#666 mainly deals with the new replacement Batman, Jean Paul Valley, looking for Bane.

Commissioner's Gorden's men captured Bane's associates Trogg, Zombie, and Bird, but after refusing to give up Bane's whereabouts, taken back to their cells.

They find a note, they think from bane, letting them know they're about to be sprung.
They are, but its because of AzBats, not Bane. He follows them back to Bane, and then shit gets real
The issue ends in a cliffhanger with Bane about to toss Azbats to his death.
We all know he gets better and kicks Bane's ass in Batman#500, but this helped stoke interest in the rematch between the two.

-Batman#666 (July 2007):
I've covered this one before:
But basically it's a stand alone issue where Batman's son Damien becomes Batman.


It's damn cool issue, and it gets followed up on in an issue of Batman Inc.


 -Amazing Spider-Man#666 ( Sept 2011):


Much like Dixon, writer Dan Slott didn't really do anything to tie in with the 666 theme.
Instead, this issue serves as a prelude to the "Biggest event of the decade", Spider-Island.
Not really, but the Spider-Island premise at least sounds interesting.
In case you didn't get an idea of  what Spider-Island's all about from the title, it's about everyone in New York gaining the powers and abilities of Spider-Man. Seriously, EVERYBODY.
So friend and foe alike get to be Spider-Man for awhile, all thanks to long-time foe the Jackal.

I never personally read any of this, but from what I've heard, it didn't really delevier on the promise it sold about being the story of the decade. Few things in life really do. But if nothing else, points go to Slott for applying a potential B-Movie plot from the 50's to Spider-Man.

If that wasn't enough, retailers were also given the option to submit their store to a variant subscriber program.
Basically if your store ordered 500 or more copies of  ASM#666, you got to have your store saved by Spider-Man on a variant cover, as like shown in the variant cover above.

Cute idea right?




















5 comments:

Randomnerd said...

It is a cute idea. Not cute enough to make us all forget the storyline. Or the clone storyline. Or the wiping out the marriage to Mary Jane storyline. Lord, they've really screwed over Spidey.

So, now that you've hit 666 I think that you should ask a magic 8 ball for advice before you do every column. Oh yeah, shit just got wackier.

Dale Bagwell said...

They really have, and yet Secret Wars teases an alternative world on Battleworld, where OMD didn't happen it seems. We'll have to wait and see, but Peter and MJ together as a married couple never bothered me.

That may help with skit ideas, yeah.

It usuall does around here;)
OH YEAH!!!!!!!

Randomnerd said...

OH NO!!!
Bastard.

Dale Bagwell said...

Oh yeah;)

Claudio Elias Do Nascimento said...

Jesus Cristo esta Voltando