The My Marvelous Year reading club has officially terminated the third decade of Marvel Comics, spending the past 10 weeks reading all the essential Marvel Comics from the 1980s.
As we approach our fourth decade of Marvel in the 1990’s, it’s time to tally the voting and determine our winners for hero, villain, series, artist, and writer of the decade. I’ll also be sharing my absolute top 10 favorite Marvel comics from the 80’s.
If you’re interested in the individual ‘Hero of the Year’ winners from each year, you can check out the My Marvelous Year pages for each decade, and click on any individual year for a recap of that year’s reading list.
As a whole, the 1980’s feature more comics I’d eagerly share with modern readers, but it’s darn near impossible to say that I prefer the 80’s as a whole to the 1960’s. Despite my love of many of the comics on display this decade, the 80’s also marked the most burnt out I’ve felt reading every year of Marvel, as the late 80’s crossovers and double shipping piles up.
Nonetheless, in a recent Question of the Week, I recommended newly dedicated Marvel readers start with 1981 as their entry publication year to Marvel Comics, and I stand by that recommendation. From Frank Miller’s Daredevil to John Byrne’s Fantastic Four to Walt Simonson’s Thor, you’re in store for an embarrassment of writer/artist riches, with additional standouts across Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants, Amazing Spider-Man… the list goes on and on.
Here are the absolute top 10 Marvel Comics I’d recommend reading from the 1980’s, in the following order:
- Uncanny X-Men #129 to #137 – The Dark Phoenix Saga
- Frank Miller’s Daredevil #168 to #191 + Daredevil: Born Again
- Amazing Spider-Man #229 to #230 – Nothing Stops the Juggernaut
- X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills
- John Byrne’s Fantastic Four
- Simonson’s run on Thor
- Secret Wars
- New Mutants #18 to #21 – The Demon Bear Saga
- Squadron Supreme
- Kraven’s Last Hunt
And of course, that’s leaving off the likes of Wolverine’s first solo series, the Mutant Massacre, the rise of Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse, and Peter David’s run on Incredible Hulk! You should really just check out the whole 1980’s list for yourself.
VOTING RESULTS FOR 1980’s
Hero of the Decade
Villain of the Decade
Gold: Doctor Doom
Series of the Decade
Bronze: Uncanny X-Men
Writer of the Decade
Gold: Chris Claremont
Silver: Frank Miller
Bronze: John Byrne
Artist of the Decade
Gold: Walt Simonson
Silver: Bill Sienkiewicz
Bronze: Todd McFarlane