Below you’ll find our reading selections for the year of 1993, and once we’re finished reading, I’ll post the winners for hero, villain, issue, artist, and writer.
Feel free to discuss the comics and any related thoughts below in the comments!
1993 Comic Reading List
(Check out Patreon for Full List With Notes!)
|1993||Comic Book Title||Issues|
|1||Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man||#200|
|2||Venom: Lethal Protector||#1 to #6|
|4||Deadpool: The Circle Chase||#1 to #4|
|5||Cable||#1 to #5|
|6||Maximum Carnage||Reading Order|
|7||Infinity Crusade||#1 to #6|
|8||Uncanny X-Men, X-Men: Fatal Attractions||#303, Reading Order|
|9||Iron Man||#290, #291, #299, #300|
|10||Daredevil: The Man Without Fear||#1 to #5|
Hero of the Year: Hulk
Villain of the Year: Carnage
Issue of the Year: Spectacular Spider-Man #200
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Writer of the Year: Peter David
Artist of the Year: John Romita Jr.
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I liked the early 90’s X-Men battles with Magneto. I stopped following them around the Phalanx saga. I liked the Maximum Carnage storyline, all the Spiderman cast teaming up to take on Cletus and his crew. I liked Silver Surfer trying to take down Tyrant, with Galactus finally stepping in. I also read a little Iron Man, SleepWalker, Zombie, Hulk. I was around 13 at the time
David Keith Hughes says
I was really surprised at how good PPSSM 200 was. Great story
WOW, I know its somewhat a rehash, but Man Without Fear blew me away, I couldn’t wait to ready each issue
I owned Cable #1, didn’t make since then, doesn’t now either. That foil cover was sweet though
Maximum Carnage was pretty fun. I like how Carnage is just all about chaos and murder…..just because. No difficult backstory or motivations. He just likes doing it, true and scary psycho. They could have left out the mind control aspect, just weighed it down to much. Oh, and Carnage is influenced by Heavy Metal, does it get more 90s than that!
This was definitely a weak year in general, though I’m not as down as others on some of the issues we read. Everything just felt decidedly “meh” with some exceptions in both directions. I also had a weird experience of really enjoying several issues and arcs while reading them, and then completely forgetting most of what happened in them only a couple of days later. Anyhow, let’s go down the list…
– Spider-Man 200 gets my vote for Issue of the Year, though it’s my least enthusiastic Issue of the Year in quite a while. I thought it was solid with an intense and significant ending, and it flowed very well. The artwork was also quite different from the usual.
– Venom is one of those arcs I was talking about above where I legitimately don’t remember anything about it as I’m writing this, but I enjoyed reading it at the time. I remember it running quite long, but I do think Venom is just complicated enough of a character to have his own series.
– X-Factor was weird but kind of cool and a change of pace. I just wish I cared about the characters in X-Factor.
– Unlike Claude above, I had a great time with Deadpool’s first mini-series while I was reading it; I laughed multiple times, which is something. However, I also don’t remember much of what specifically happened during it besides Tolliver, so that’s a strike against it. Again, I have no history with Deadpool, so I have no comparison with later Deadpool issues that I’m sure are much better. Also, I feel like I read this in the best way possible: in a hotel lobby at Disneyland while resting after running a 10K race that morning and with a half-marathon coming up the next day, so that likely made my reading it much more entertaining than it would have been otherwise.
– I mostly enjoyed Cable. I definitely remember next to nothing about it except for Cable’s goatee and the amazing sounding coffee blend. It did make me like Cable more though, so that’s an accomplishment, I guess.
– Maximum Carnage…sucked. There’s no other way to put it. It just kept going on and on and on and on, and repeated themes constantly, and even ended with a deus ex machina with that weird Stark gun, which is a sign that they had no idea how to end it. This could have been four issues and would have been so much better.
– Infinity Crusade was…OK. I’m likely never going to complain much about Starlin and Lim, but this definitely felt less interesting than any of the other Infinity stories. Also, I can’t believe that my offhand comment last week about where Warlock’s “good” went actually became the foundation for this entire arc. This is one where the idea was interesting but the execution was so-so.
– X-Men was a mess and hard to read; it felt like surreal Claremont but without Claremont’s deft handle on the characters. It felt like a lot of flash with not much substance. However, Fatal Attractions definitely seems to have some huge character developments, especially for Colossus and Magneto.
– I find myself liking the new style of Iron Man quite a lot, though I’m not sure if I’m in love with the story. There’s only so many times you can highlight the bromance between Rhodey and Tony without it feeling a little stale. Still, these were a quick and solid read.
– Ah, Man Without Fear. When I first read it, it was in the context of catching up on classic Daredevil before the show aired, and I didn’t have anywhere close to the amount of Daredevil under my belt like I do now. I remember finding it really great and daring when I first read it, and I didn’t understand the controversy all that much. Now that I’ve read much more Daredevil and especially have read all of Miller’s previous Daredevil work, I get why people dislike it, especially the retconning of Elektra and how the Kingpin feels much more plain evil as opposed to wanting to rule the city. I think there’s some real good in here, but also a lot of questionable decisions that simplify characters in unnecessary ways.
– Bonus round time! Hulk was great and a quick read. It’s fun reading an entire year of a comic in one sitting, especially one as well thought out and enjoyable as Hulk. I especially liked the reveal that Agamemnon was really a teenager, and I also thought the Marlo stuff was surprisingly well-paced and had a great ending with Rick’s proposal. 2099 I’m not a big fan of. I find Miguel to be so unlikable that it’s hard to have him as the main focus of much of the comic. I do love the world of 2099 quite a lot, but the characters drag it down big time for me.
1993 is the year that it seems Marvel moved towards allowing for much more violence (especially gun violence) than before, and I think it drags down the creativity quite a bit. Hopefully there aren’t more creative shortcuts next year. Onto 1994!
Wow, what a week.
For the first time in 3 decades there was nothing really outstanding nor anything that was a revelation. I had not read Infinity Crusade before, and now having read it, I realize I never missed anything. It’s like Marvel asked Starlin to just redo the same story three years in a row. Line up the heroes, make them fight, have Warlock pull it off in the end.
I read Cable, Deadpool and Venom. All were really weak.
Iron Man was totally forgettable.
PPSSM 200 was decent, and I seem to recall it being the cumulation of a long story, so I think it suffered from not having read any other issues relate to the story.
Carnage was a complete mess. Maybe that was what they were aiming for? Some kind of meta mess?
The X-men stuff continues to be almost unreadable.
Daredevil was also decent, but it was really just a rehash of what came before, a let down from Mr. Miller.
There is a real dearth of writers in the House of Ideas.
The only oasis in the desert is the Hulk. Again I have to give all my votes to the Hulk. A great book.
The best issue was Spectacular Spider-Man #200. It is both exciting and heartbreaking, and it is one of a few Spider-Man high points for the decade.
The most consequential issues for the year were the Fatal Attractions stories. Some of the art was a bit iffy, but the stories felt big and affected characters for years to come.
Daredevil, Iron Man, X-Factor, and Deadpool are all acceptable in 1993.
I was not happy with the start of either Venom: Lethal Protector or the Maximum Carnage series, so I dropped them. Cable and Infinity Crusade do not seem to be essential reads to me. Jim Starlin has told so many stories with Adam Warlock, Thanos, and the rest of his main characters by this point that it just feels like he has nothing more to say, especially given that he had two big events with them in the last two years. Cable is a good character who is much better served in other years.
No Name says
Man, marvel comics in the 90s are a slog to read through.
A lot of them really are…I have gotten through Venom, it was passable. Indeed, better than I expected. Deadpool was really poor. I’m halfway through Carnage and can’t help but think this could have been done in 3 issues instead of 14. That being said, I read the Hulk issues (bonus books) and those are a quick and fun read.
No Name says
It seems like everyone’s super power is guns. Maybe I’ll move onto David’s Hulk for a change of pace.
I have to admit I enjoyed ppssm 200. It felt like a throwback to the seventies Spider-man books
No Name says
I just started Infinity War #2 and I got to ask:.
WHAT THE @&$ IS SUE STORM WEARING?
Haha Sue’s costume might be the most sadly 90s thing in all marvel.
The thing starts wearing a bucket on his head and it’s honestly less jarring.
Hmm, three characters I have never really been able to understand the hype about: Cable, Deadpool and Venom. Deadpool always seemed to be a little silly, a cheap amalgamation of Spidey and all the 90s style heroes…but the movie has sparked my interest. Cable has always been pretty lame. I’ll give it a try, but anything with Liefelds name on it takes some effort. Venom, to me, was a fairly one dimensional villain, always similar stories with similar fights. Carnage added a new angle, but overall, not one I was really into. If you were going to skip one of these, which would it be?
This is a pretty interesting question. Deadpool’s still finding his footing (I won’t really overtly like Deadpool until 1997). Venom is pretty well established as a Spidey villain, but this mini is allll over the map. Meanwhile, Cable actually begins to build some backstory, but is still very indebted to the halcyon days of Liefield’s X-Force.
I’m fascinated by Cable’s early years since I”ve never really understood his backstory, but for you I’d recommend Deadpool and Venom, and then jump in on the better Cable stories in Cable #6 to #8 in ’94.
Thanks for the insight…1993 was a bit turning point for me. My Marvel purchases were minimal. I look at my physical collection and I have Man Without Fear, Maximum Carnage, FF(don’t ask me why), She-Hulk and Hulk. I’ve got a lot in .cbr form (bought MANY Marvel DVDs) , but I may have to break down and subscribe to Marvel Unlimited.
A couple of years earlier I was buying a dozen different Marvel books, easy. But in ’93 I had moved on to Valiant, Malibu Dark Horse and other independents. Even my DC purchases had been reduced to Superman books. I was still buying a pile of books each month, but the pile was filled out with Bone, Cerebus, A Distant Soil, Strangers in Paradise, Wandering Star and Poison Elves. By the time 1994 rolls around I think I stopped buying regular Marvel books completely, just the odd minis (Marvels…are we gonna read that?).
It will be interesting for me going forward in the decade. I’ve read alot…including the Clone Saga (don’t ask me why) but did not really get back to Marvel until Ultimate Universe started…and only got back to the 616 universe with Avengers Disassembled.