My childhood was, due to my prolonged exposure to comic books, riddled with melodramatic language and punctuation. Stan Lee was almost definitely the king of this, it was a big part of his promotional style that every issue be a big deal with an title and tagline that pulled you in. And why wouldn’t they? These were novel-length adventures that almost always introduced at least one new character still in use today. You don’t premiere the world’s greatest comic magazine with a full stop.
The onlookers are far more concerned by the cloud-words than they are the massive monsters and their menacing master, the maleficent Mole Man!
After a few years Marvel had gotten to the point where they would feature recurring villains rather than debuting a new one every month, but while the exclamation points weren’t necessarily there to announce news to you, they still felt appropriate given the gravity and repercussions of the storylines.
After all, it wasn’t every day the Fantastic Four got their asses handed to them.
I don’t mind the Stan Lee style exclamation points, I find them charming and it was this bombastic style that made comics what they are. But as comics started being taken more seriously, most writers dropped this over the top style of titling their comics. But Chris Claremont isn’t most writers, is he?
Here are some of my favorite over-the-top titles from his Uncanny X-Men run. It should be said that the reason I even took notice of these is because of how deeply I care for these comics. I kid because I love.
I love this title so much, and this one’s not too over-the-top, but I think it would have been slightly better with no punctuation.
Imagine someone shouting the word “scenario” and you’ll see what I mean.
Combining up words like it’s going out of style!
DO YOU HEAR ME? This one’s interesting though, because it features that made-up word before Star Wars was released.
I think this title would be more effective if were played as a somber
WELCOME TO DIE!
Unless this was a joke about Shatner’s delivery, I think this could just as well have ended in a period.
I totally agree with this one, I just felt it needed to be included.
HOME AM I, HONEY!
Is he trying to convince us to play an actual carnival game? Tone it down, dude.
I like this one, too. But it’s so flamboyant it warranted mention.
This is an example of a totally reasonable use of the device. I love the way bronze age comics were colored.
When you borrow a phrase (or part of a phrase) from Shakespeare, it’s considered impolite to turn it into an infomercial.
I wish the Twilight Zone episode had been named “A Quality of MERCY!”. I also wish that Dean Stockwell had played a less offensive Japanese character. Wishing is fun.
This was part of the Proteus storyline, not the introduction of a character named the TIGER! or anything. I would imagine it’s alluding to Blake’s “The Tyger” which featured quite a few question marks but not so many exclamation points.
Keep it down guys, Wolerine’s trying to hide.
Too extravagant, the language!
The poignant and poetic title of one of comics’ most fondly remembered stories ends with an exclamation point.
Holy shit, that’s some serious rage!
Another case where the brilliance and maturity of a story that transcended it’s medium is robbed of it’s credibility by ol’ pointy.
If, as the comma suggests, a mutant is being told to cry then I can understand the excitement. But when I look at it I get the feeling it’s intended along the lines of “Cry Havoc!”, which would make the comma totally superfluous. Something doesn’t sit right about this one.
Hardly ominous when it’s being barked by a boisterous ringmaster.
X-MEN MINUS ONE EQUALS THREE! SOLVE FOR X-MEN!
I have no confirmation of this whatsoever, but looking through the issues, it looks like Jim Shooter or someone had them tone down the nonstop exclamation points on the issue titles. But they eventually came back, as seen in this issue featuring the first appearance of Mister Sinister.
One of my least favorite issues of Claremont’s run, a Rob Liefeld-pencilled standalone story. I’ve never been into MEN!
Here Ends the Article!