Jesus Christ Jimmy settle doon!
Kinker Korner back with a vengeance with part 2 of the saddest countdown yet. I hope you enjoyed part one even though you realise I’m a big sap now and any street cred I may have had is oot the window. So without further ado let’s crack on with the countdown.
12. The Girl On The Roof: From-All Star Superman
To me, this moment sums up everything Superman is about…..so take note Zack Snyder! (I’m sure he’ll listen to me when his movies are breaking records all over the joint but nonetheless here we go). Sure he can, fly, shoot beams and has unbreakable skin but talking a young, suicidal girl down from the ledge of a building with the words “You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me” is what makes him the hero we all need.From Scottish superstar creative team Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, this heartwarming moment is one of several in a really good series. I’m not even that big a Superman guy ….although I must be enough of a fan to be annoyed by his current movie interpretation. Grumpy, surly, 90s douche superman is not for me.
11. Silver Surfer Gets His Wish: From-Silver Surfer Requiem
J.Michael Straczynski wrote this 4 issue miniseries that chronicles a terminally ill Silver Surfer. It’s non canon and basically an existential meditation on life and death. It’s also incredibly moving in a way that can relate to every single person reading it. The whole thing really could count as an entry but I’ve gone for the moment at the end when he spreads the power cosmic to give every man, woman and child in the world true peace for 5 minutes. That’s all he had the energy to give and his friend Spider-Man is so impressed he reveals his identity in a show of friendship and solidarity. Esad Ribic delivers stunning painted artwork that adds to the overall emotion. The premise to could really work with any character but the fact the Silver Surfer is considered one of the most invincible and powerful characters in the Marvel universe drives home the frailty and fleeting nature of life. Something we can all relate to.
10. X-23 Touching Darkness: From-X-23
Marjorie Liu’s X-23 solo series was ace and really underrated. It took the killing machine on a journey away from the X-Men to find herself and live on her own for a while. It’s also the best use of Gambit in years as he joins her as mentor and someone who cares deeply about her well being. The “Touching Darkness” arc in particular is all kinds of braw with Wolverine and Jubilee coming to visit X and our favourite Cajun. Jubilee was still in her vampire stage….don’t ask….and so needed to be around Wolvie to feed on his blood and she was brought along in the hope that young female company may help Laura (X-23) find herself. There’s an upsetting scene involving emotionless self harm and another where she slices her neck in an attempt to get Jubilee to feed on her. This is a wee girl we’re talking about and it’s painful to watch. There’s a great discussion between Gambit and Wolvie regarding the best way to go with Laura, Wolverine seeing her as a weapon first and Gambit seeing her as a lost wee lassie first. It helps that the art from Sana Takeda is sublime throughout.Great stuff.
9. Jessica Says yes: From-New Avengers
Finally a happy entry! Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are two characters I have loved for a long time. I’m a big fan of blaxploitation movies and so gravitated towards Luke’s older stuff in my teens. Jessica’s series “Alias” also came around in my teens as the first in the Marvel Max series and I absolutely fell in love with her. She was broken, neurotic, well meaning and real and her up and down relationship (ooh matron) with Luke was an integral part of the series. Later on when they finally gave up being too cool for the sappy stuff and decided to tie the knot my heart melted. Two characters I had a history with and loved finally finding happiness after so much turmoil was just perfect. The best couple in Marvel history…….there I said it, come at me bruh!.
8. Foggy Has Cancer: From-Daredevil
Ahhh Foggy, the heart and soul of the Daredevil series and the glue that keeps Matt Murdock from flying too far away from the reality of daily living. He’s put up with a lot over the years as is the case for those close to superheroes, especially when Matt’s identity as the vigilante became public speculation. So when Mark Waid took over the book and it was clearly a throwback to the fun silver age comics it seemed like the super grim, noir tales were over, or at least put on hold while the likeable writer was penning. That said, just before things were looking too nice and cuddly this happened, maybe not the jolly good time it was cracked up to be then!! More to come from Waid’s Daredevil too!. Matt had managed to keep Foggy safe for the most part but Cancer is something that not even heroes can protect us from at this stage.
7. Donatello Dies: From-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I’m a massive TMNT guy, it’s just something that never left me since childhood. So the fact that the current IDW series is so good is a God send because us TMNT nuts have had to put up with some….questionable quality over the years in all forms of media. The characterisations have been superb and every big event has been impactful. So here, seemingly out of the blue we had death of not only an important character but a bloody TURTLE! They’re in the title dammit!! Among the Turtle fan community (man that makes me sound cool) there was talk that something big was going down but we weren’t sure what. This arc was filled with tension and became very bombastic and action packed so it was clear it was going to end with a bang but we couldn’t predict that our beloved geek of the Turtle family would bite the bullet…..at the hands of Bebop and Rocksteady no less! They are not just comedic foil in this series, they’re the real deal. Interestingly this event gained mainstream attention which is very rare if even heard of at all when it comes to Turtles comic and I had people who grew up watching the show asking me what’s happening in the comic. It was amazing stuff, would have been higher on the list too buuuuuut…..then they blew it by making it so Donnie survived. ……Ahhhh comics.
6. The Sound Of Her Wings: From-Sandman
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is filled with amazing moments and themes (see earlier in the list) but none hit me harder than issue 8 of the series where we learn about main character Morpheus’ sister. The series is based on a bunch of characters called the “Endless” who are basically the physical embodiment of themes such as Desire, Destruction and Dream (Morpheus). Dream’s sister is Death, who in this issue takes him on a journey to watch her work. She’s a pleasant young woman who just does what is needed and gently walks souls safely into the afterlife. We see several instances where she does this but one scene where we see her guide a baby after a cot death while the mother breaks down is brutal. “…Is that all I get?” asks the baby…….ooft. Surprisingly on the whole the issue ends up being upbeat as Death is a constant reminder to love and appreciate life.
5.Klunk passes away: From-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Don’t make me go through this again dammit! I talked about little Klunk the kitty in my top pets edition of Kinker Korner so head on over there for more info. Very early on in the series Mikey is out on a stroll in a festive mood and finds a cold, stray cat so he decides to take it in and look after it. That’s just the kind of character Mikey is, he’s the heart of the family and Klunk helped get that over. Klunk was never a major player and for the most part was just there in the background doing kitty things but when he gets hit by a truck things get rough. Mikey takes Klunk to a skip where he knows a magic man resides…….ok…….and the creepy fella says he can transfer Klunk’s soul into another cat at the expense of it’s life. Mikey runs and grabs a stray and prepares for the ceremony before stopping and questioning why his cat deserves life over another and decides this was fate and that he must let Klunk die. Klunk then passes away in Mikey’s arms. Longtime writer Jim Lawson must have thought things were too rosy in the series so decided to throw this killer issue into the mix. Charmingly though, Mikey takes the other stray and looks after her and it turns out that this kitty ended up having Klunk’s babies! Circle of life and all that, Klunk you player.
4. The Grape Scene: From-Y The Last Man
I’m an animal lover, I’ve grown up with pups in the family for a very long time and the thought of any of them suffering just makes me want to take all the pain for them. So when Ampersand the monkey, Yorick’s best pal and the only male monkey left in the world is in pain it’s difficult to watch. The end of the series is set way in the future when society is back on it’s feet and we get lots of flashbacks to see what happened to characters we know in the decades that have passed,,,,make sense? We see an aging Yorick and a clearly suffering Ampersand with Yorick trying to feed him a poisoned grape to quickly end the suffering. Little Ampersand gently tugging on Y’s scarf like a wee baby is heartbreaking and as he slowly slips away it’s just too much for me to take. It absolutely broke me. I’m hearing there are plans for the series to be made into a movie….if this scene is in it then…..NOPE!.
3. Leah: From-Spider-Man
Writer Peter David and artist Colleen Doran are evil, despicable people for doing this to me. This short, 6 page story literally made me cry, tears, a lot. Not my eyes filling up, tears actually fell it just caught me at a sensitive time and it’s so achingly painful to read. A little homeless girl lives in a cardboard shelter with pics of Spidey all over it. She dreams of going on adventures with him and fantasizes about a life outside of the horrendous one she has. She falls ill with her organs failing and Spidey gets wind of this and comes to visit her. He laments the fact he’s been through her alley hundreds of times and if he had noticed her sooner he could have helped. Even though she is unconscious he tells her to have sweet dreams as she gives a little smirk before presumably passing away…..oh god I’m away again.
2. Pirate Goes Out A Hero: From-We3
“Is gud dog?” “Is home?”Man this comic nearly killed me. Written by Grant Morrison with pencils from frequent collaborator and friend of The Big Glasgow Comic Page Frank Quitely, We3 is a crazy tale of pets who are experimented on by the government in an attempt to create super killing machines. They are given limited speech through neural thingmyjigs and more weapons than a Rob Liefeld character. A sympathetic employee sets them free and after they are marked for termination when better upgrades are made to other animals. The whole thing is basically a chase as our reluctant heroes try to get home. It’s like The Animals Of Farthing Wood on steroids. During a chase the bunny, named Pirate stops and tries to fight off the giant dog in an attempt to let his two friends escape. It does not end well for him and he is mauled which is incredibly sad and even more harrowing. There are many sad moments in the three part miniseries but none more in your face than this. The murderous dog getting his comeuppance is also incredibly cathartic but man, this one destroyed me.
1. Daredevil’s Most Dangerous Enemy: From-Daredevil
Remember earlier in the list when I said the happy go lucky Mark Waid written, silver age-esque series perhaps wasn’t as full of sunshine and unicorns as it first appeared? Well it’s ended up in the number one spot so clearly that’s the case. ” Depression is a living thing. It exists by feeding on your darkest moods. And it’s always hungry” Whenever you have someone talk down about comics and how it’s so low brow etc show them this issue. It’s perfect, it manages to convey perfectly the sinking, hopeless feeling of a deep depression and puts it on a beloved superhero proving that anyone can be affected by mental illness. As someone who has and still does suffer from deep depression it was a harrowing but relatable read but don’t worry I’m not going to go into all my feelings and issues, nobody wants to read that on a fun list.The sight of Daredevil struggling to get out of bed, not because of some super villain beating him up and leaving him bruised and aching but because his depression was crippling him. If Mark Waid hasn’t been through this then I am amazed because it reads exactly like someone getting things off of their chest and it’s painful but incredibly important to get through. Not to mention the fact it is brilliantly written. The art from Chris Samnee is also ace, using Daredevil as a tiny red dot in a sea of black with the “camera” slowly zooming in on him as the description of his disease gets more and more gripping and graphic.
AAAAAND BOOMSHAKALAKA what a lovely, happy list that was eh? Thanks again to Scott Hosie for the recommendation and for depressing us all. I’m going to go lie down and cry for a while now byeeeee……oh let me know your thoughts folks. As always catch me @swing_kinker or @BigGlasgowComic