The One Hundred Milestone
Well the leap day has struck with a vengeance and both my brain and clock seem to be totally out of whack. Still I promise that I will not mention that it is FF day today! Nosirree, not me.
Today, the Darkness reaches issue one hundred, and though an admirable achievement in today’s market, it can sometimes fill me with a sense of dread regarding the potential lifespan of a comic. Not because I fear new readers will find it impenetrable due to the amount of continuity, because I don’t believe that argument holds water. I know the sales figures of some of the New 52 stand in contradiction to this, but how many new readers to a title are actually new readers to comics? We read reviews, we take recommendations, and we follow our favourite writers and artists. Heck, I started reading Fables with its hundredth issue, and I can’t say I have a clue who is who in the cast beyond the obvious, but I still find it a good read.
No, I feel fear at the sight of the anniversary because I remember the original Firestorm run. One hundred fantastic issues celebrated by the glorious headline emblazoned across the front cover – FINAL ISSUE!!
Now, to be honest, this was not the first Firestorm run, it was the second series, but it was my first, and in more ways than one. Firestorm was the first comic that I fell in love with. I’m sure you know what I mean, the one title that you become completely passionate about. Every month, John Ostrander drew me further into the characters lives, making me aware of their feelings and of the consequences they faced. These weren’t just characters, not even friends. The Raymonds became family.
I thought I had been in love before. I thought that the two years of Marv Wolfman’s and George Perez’ New Titans had taken me as far as I could go, but the Firestorm team surpassed every degree of, well, intimacy that the Titans had ever hinted at.
When I saw those two words, I think my heart broke a little. And it’s true, every time it’s different, but I have never recaptured that Firestorm feeling.
So, if your title reaches that oh-so-momentous anniversary, that is the time to shout about it from the rooftops. Tell your friends, tell the internet! Make sure it survives, as you feed all of your friends to your passion. Fables seems reasonably safe, receiving critical acclaim while fairy tales are particularly en vogue.
Can your favourite title say the same?