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Comic book fans, here are 5 iconic standalone stories found in a single issue 

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — These days, most comic book stories are told in several parts across issues. However, now and then, creators craft a story in a single issue. These tales may be concise, yet they leave an indelible mark thanks to the adept sequential storytelling involved.

These were the stories I’d read repeatedly until they had creases all over:

1. Incredible Hulk #340 (Creators: Peter David and Todd McFarlane)

It’s Round 2 of The Hulk versus Wolverine! Only this time, Hulk is nasty and smart, while Wolvie has suppressed his berserker rage. Todd’s art is a pulse-pounding rush of blood (lots of it, as permitted by the censors because it was green, not red!). To top it off, Peter injects some real character development into the fracas!

Favorite standalone stories found in a single INSERT 1

2. Superman #654 (Creators: Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco)

Ever imagine what a day in the life of Superman would be like? According to Kurt and Carlos, it’s an exciting, non-stop flurry of action that includes saving the day from supervillains and high-tech gangsters while trying to maintain a successful career as Clark Kent and a harmonious marriage with Lois Lane!

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3. Top 10 #8 (Creators: Alan Moore and Gene Ha)

A car collision in a sprawling metropolis can be an ordeal. As portrayed poignantly in this story set in a city completely populated by superheroes, such an ordeal is no less traffic. The superpowered cops must deal with the traumatized victims of the accident while trying to figure out how it happened. The last two pages tearfully depict that there’s no such thing as a mundane tragedy. 

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4. Uncanny X-Men #268 (Creators: Chris Claremont and Jim Lee)

It’s two stories for the price of one! Wolverine teams up with Captain America in World War II, while Logan, Psylocke, and Jubilee join the Black Widow to deal with a threat with ties to the past. Chris and Jim take readers on a non-stop ride that feels like an Indiana Jones movie!

Favorite standalone stories found in a single INSERT 5

5. JLA #5/Avengers #4 (JLA Creators: Grant Morrison and Howard Porter. Avengers Creators: Kurt Busiek and George Perez)

This is a cheat, but these issues have the same theme – they’re both about membership recruitment drives. All the creators involved tell an exciting story about selecting who will be part of the new team while exploring entertaining character dynamics. There’s always something fun about unveiling the new team at the end.

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Favorite standalone stories found in a single INSERT 2

About the author:

JV Tanjuatco, comic book writer/editor/publisher, founded Comic Book Lab, which publishes the comic book titles Mythopolis and War of Whispers (co-created and co-written by him). Comic Book Lab’s most recent project was the graphic novel anthology Stay: 21 Comic Stories, authored by Palanca Award winner Angelo Lacuesta and illustrated by a stellar line-up of artists, including Trese’s Kajo Baldisimo. He has also written articles/reviews for and Ain’t It Cool.

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