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CSBG Archive

Top 100 Comic Book Runs #45-41

Here are the next five runs of ongoing comic book series (so no Watchmen), as voted upon by about 700 Comics Should Be Good readers, who picked their top ten favorites, with their votes being weighted depending on where they ranked titles, then I counted them all up and list them here for your reading enjoyment. Enjoy!

45. John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake’s The Spectre – 205 points (5 first place votes)

The Spectre #1-62 (plus a #0 issue)

John Ostrander had just wrapped up work on two of his acclaimed DC runs, Firestorm and Suicide Squad. Along with his Firestorm artist, Tom Mandrake, Ostrander began work on a run of the Spectre that was so definitive that DC allowed Ostrander to essentially end the character with the end of his and Mandrake’s run.

Ostrander’s run was built around the notion that Jim Corrigan had been The Spectre for about fifty years, and yet nothing had changed – HE had not changed. And that doesn’t seem right, does it? You can’t really become the embodiment of God’s Wrath without changing, and Corrigan’s quest for an understanding of good and evil is what drives the bulk of Ostrander’s run, concluding with his final issue, where Corrigan’s quest draws to an end.

Mandrake’s dark, moody artwork fit the mood of the series perfectly, and Ostrander’s ability to work with continuity has always amazed me, as he managed to constantly bring in characters from outside The Spectre, and always have them work well inside the story, particularly Ramban, the Jewish magician that Ostrander had created for his previous Suicide Squad run.

During their Spectre run, Ostrander and Mandrake also introduced the latest Mr. Terrific, who has gone on to become an important member of the JSA under Geoff Johns.

But mostly, as I mentioned before, this comic was Jim Corrigan’s story – how he dealt with the ambiguous situations the Spectre was sometimes faced with, and also how a 1930s cop dealt with the modern world.

It was a brilliant run, and I am quite impressed with how much class DC handled the end of Ostrander’s run.

44. Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum’s Legion – 208 points (4 first place votes)

Legion of Superheroes #1-38, with the Bierbaums taking over until #50

When Keith Giffen rejoined Paul Levitz on Legion of Superheroes in 1988, the book was already in a slightly darker place, but it only got darker. Levitz and Giffen really began to stress that the Legionnaires were getting older. However, nothing prepared readers for what they were about to experience when Levitz left the book at the closing of that volume of Legion.

When Legion of Superheroes re-launched with a brand-new #1, Giffen was now the plotter of the comic as well as the artist, and he brought scripters (and long time Legion fans) Tom and Mary Bierbaum and finisher Al Gordon with him. And the book had moved forward five years into the future.

The world of the Legion was now a grim, desolate place, and the days of young men and women in colorful costumes were long gone. Instead, they were now, well, five years older, and no longer in costume – yet they all remained heroes. The story was an extremely ambitious look at a bunch of grizzled characters somehow coming together to reform some semibalance of the Legion they all once cared so much about.

One of the most notable aspects of the comic was how DENSE each issue was. Giffen used the nine-panel grid to great effect, making each issue filled with so much story that it would have easily twice as much stories as most other comics of the time (and that’s not even counting the pages at the back of the issues, which they used to fill in readers on what was going on in the Legion world).

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this run to me, personally, was how they dealt with having to come up with a brand-new origin for the Legion (one sans Superboy, who was off-limits), without it really being too confusing.

The comics were dark, but they were also filled with humor and great character work.

Eventually, Giffen introduced apparent clones of the original Legion, still in bright and colorful costumes, and his original plan was for them to revealed to be the ACTUAL Legion, and Giffen’s older Legion would get their own spin-off book. That fell through, and Giffen departed the title.

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The Bierbaums stayed on until #50, and tied up a lot of loose threads.

Giffen drew the book at first and was followed by Jason Pearson, who did a wonderful job in his first (and only?) regular penciling assignment for Marvel and DC.

43. Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil – 211 points (3 first place votes)

Daredevil #227-233

Usually, Tom Wolfe is correct, but in the case of Frank Miller in 1986, he COULD go home again, and not just return to Daredevil, the comic book where he became a star a few years earlier, but return with a comic that was just as good, if not BETTER, than his previous run on the title.

When Miller left the title, Denny O’Neil took over as writer, and David Mazzucchelli became the artist. Over time, Mazzucchelli slowly developed from a good artist into a GREAT artist, and it was at this high point in his development that Frank Miller returned to Daredevil for an epic seven-part run in which Daredevil’s whole life comes crashing down around him, only to slowly and painfully regain his balance.

It’s a beautiful storyline.

Here is why Graeme Burk had this run at the top of his list…

In many respects, this run (just seven issues) prefigures the tendency today toward having short runs with a high profile creator. And in the mid-1980s there was none more high profile than Frank Miller, returning to the book which gave him fame no less.

And what a brilliant seven issues they are, too. This is quite simply my all time favourite run on a superhero comic, ever. Admittedly, that’s a contradiction in terms when you consider that the story hardly features Daredevil at all. Miller’s premise here is brilliant. The Kingpin finds out Daredevil’s secret identity and then destroys Matt Murdock: taking away his job, his finances, his home and eventually sending Matt toward a complete breakdown. After the first issue, Matt doesn’t appear in costume as Daredevil until the finale. The story is how Matt Murdock, the man, emerges from the destruction of his life as he knows it. Only that doesn’t do the story justice as Miller uses an ensemble cast of characters (using the multiple voice style of narrative he perfected in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which would be published later in 1986) all with fascinating arcs: Karen Page, Ben Urich, the Kingpin, Foggy Nelson, even Matt’s ex Glori all wind up in very different places than when they started.

David Mazzucchelli’s moody, shadow-filled art is gorgeous: gritty and yet full of remarkable subtlety that creates a real sense of being in a real place. This sense of reality makes the departures into the expressionistic (such as Ben Urich’s descent into terror) have a huge impact on the reader. It’s Mazzucchelli’s art, I would argue, that brings life to this remarkably human-scaled drama (Miller shows a surprising amount of warmth in the writing as well).

It’s a story that one remembers not for the superheroics (though the final battle with Nuke is stunning) but for all the tiny little victories, like a terrified Ben Urich saying Murdock’s name out loud, or Matt recognizing he’s fulfilled slinging hash in a diner in Hell’s Kitchen. Whereupon we come to the central tragedy of this run (and indeed all short runs with high profile creators even today): in successive issues, all the toys have been put back in the proper place. But these seven issues are a harrowing and yet uplifting tale– the best the superhero genre has ever come up with.

Thanks, Graeme!!

41 (tie). Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck – 218 points (1 first place vote)

Adventure into Fear #19, Man-Thing #1, Giant-Size Man-Thing #4-5, Howard the Duck #1-27

When the late, great Steve Gerber introduced Howard the Duck in the Man-Thing series Gerber was doing at the time, he was a total throwaway character. However, something about Howard resonated, so Gerber brought him back to the title, and he was quickly popular enough that Marvel greenlit Howard for his own series.

The book quickly became a cult success, as Gerber slowly took the series from the beginnings, which were more about wacky hijinx, to better and deeper sets of satire and parody. Frank Brunner started on the ongoing series, but Gene Colan did the bulk of the series, and he did an amazing job depicting the odd stories Gerber asked of him.

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Eventually, Gerber became editor of the comic, and then the book got REALLY experimental, including the famous (infamous?) issue that is all about Gerber’s inability to come up with a story for the issue.

This was during the same time as the classic Saturday Night Live introductory cast, and Gerber’s Howard the Duck was filled with the same sense of fresh, edgy humor with a dark irreverance to it.

The book was so popular it even got its own spin-off newspaper strip!!

Sadly, due to differences over his rights as creator of the book, Gerber was taken off the title, and replaced with a succession of writers.

Years later, Gerber returned to Howard for an acclaimed mini-series.

41 (tie). Kurt Busiek’s Avengers – 218 points (1 first place vote)

Avengers Vol. 3 #1-15, 19-56

When Avengers returned to Marvel after the Heroes Reborn storyline ended, putting Kurt Busiek and George Perez on the title was practically screaming, “Everything is back to normal, people! Please come back!”

In the first storyline, more or less every Avenger who ever was participated in the story, with Busiek choosing through all of them to pick his initial “perfect” team lineup, which included Busiek’s attempt to bring Carol Danvers back to prominence, as well as elevate Justice and Firestar to a bigger place in the Marvel Universe.

Busiek’s knowledge of Marvel history helped inform a lot of his stories, but his great attention to characterization was probably his strongest suit, as the book was filled with a lot of interesting character interactions. I especially liked the issue where Beast returned when he heard the news that his old friend, Wonder Man, was back from the dead.

While there was characterization work, there was also a ton of action, and George Perez did a fine job depicting it all, with the most notable storyline likely being the big Ultron storyline, Ultron Unlimited, which contained the classic scene with Thor and a bunch of battered Avengers burst through a wall at an opprtune time to tell Ultron – “Ultron… we would have words with thee.” Probably the acme of Busiek and Perez’ run.

Perez would leave after about three years worth of story, and after a quick run by Alan Davis, Busiek had a series of artists, including Ivan Reis and Kieron Dwyer, for the rest of his run, which mostly involved a big war with Kang.

During his run on Avengers, Busiek also wrote the popular mini-series, Avengers Forever, with Carlos Carlos Pacheco.

That’s it for this time around!


Spectre they made one trade of it. I loved it. I’ve been too slowly trying to get the individual back issues. But I wish they’d just put the whole bloody run in trade.

Busiek’s Avengers and Miller’s Daredevil both almost made my list (to be fair, a lot of Avengers almost made my list; I have 7 favourite Avengers runs) Though I’d have wanted all of Miller’s stuff thrown together (not sure how I feel about the breaking-up; especially as I forgot you’d break them up when I tried to guess my top 5 in the contest)

Howard the Duck I’ve loved what I read and need to sit down and read through.

Legion is something I’d never considered reading, and suspect I never will. Just practically speaking. But if they ever put out trades and somebody wants to sell me on it… Probably will never happen though.

And have the last 30 or so runs really been better than Starlin’s Warlock? Really?

Some yea, some no.

This is of course my opinion, and also why these things are so fun. It’s great to put all our opinions together and tally them up.

I love it.

*Still crossing my fingers for “Austen’s X-men”*


Bernard the Poet

April 16, 2008 at 3:53 am

Finally, one of my picks made the list: Miller and Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil.

I think that it is quite proper that this run is counted separately from Miller’s earlier run as this is the work of an artist at the height of his powers, whereas in his first run, Miller is still learning his trade,and it is a little rough around the edges. Mazzucchelli brings a whole new dimension to it as well.

Agree with almost everything Graeme Burke writes, it is the non-superheroic moments that stand out the best. I loved the scene, which you didn’t mention, when J Jonah Jameson talks about power.

Saying that, this run didn’t quite make my number one spot. I had a couple of quibbles: –

1) Kingpin’s personality has completely changed. Denny O’Neil had been writing him as a Vito Corleone-type character, with his own personal code of honour. In his earlier run, Miller definitely portrays him as a man, Daredevil can do business with. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, the Kingpin becomes evil incarnate, consumed by an uncontrollable rage against our hero. Where did that come from?

2) There are a couple flashes of the sadism, which was to mar Miller’s later work.

Still as I say, these are quibbles. This is still easily the best run of the last twenty five years; and I don’t care what the points tally says.

I voted just for the Busiek/Perez Avengers, but it’s definitely a solid run.

I really need to sit down this week and write down my reason for putting the Lee/Ditko Spidey at the top.

“Five years later” finally did it: I just threw up in my mouth a little. Those weren’t votes, they were cries for help.

Denny O’Neil had been writing him as a Vito Corleone-type character, with his own personal code of honour.

I see what you mean, but I can definitely see Vito Corleone destroy the life of a man that crossed him the wrong way. It’s not that much out of the blue when you consider their years of rivalry and Wilson Fisk then finding out Daredevil’s identity

I think the Five Year Later Legion is excellent for the first half or so(even with Blok dying so early on), but once they introduce the clones/kids again, forget it. What seemed like an impossible task, retaking Earth, is wrapped up in a couple of issues once they get all the extra powers involved.

… and then Earth blows up.

There’s no Frank Miller on my list, for what it’s worth. I don’t even think he’s on my second favorite DD run, though maybe he is (my favorite is easily Karl Kesel’s).

I was excited for Busiek’s Avengers at the time, but i don’t see how half of the stories could have aged that well.

And I love the Spectre but I wasted my “Ostrander vote” on Martian Manhunter.

I think I’ve only bought and read a couple of issues of Ostrander’s Spectre run — and I believe I bought them when they were hot off the presses, so it’s been awhile. What I looked at just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Beyond that, I’m much more familiar with each of the other four runs. In fact: For only the third time, one of my picks has made it into the Top 100. I voted for Miller’s second run on “Daredevil,” the “Born Again” material.

The “Five Years Later” Legion simply didn’t appeal to me. My feelings for the original “Howard the Duck” series and the Busiek Avengers are warmer, but they didn’t get seriously considered for my “Top Ten.” I can understand how others would feel like voting for them, though.

Bernard the Poet — as I recall, the Kingpin’s willingness to offer Daredevil an occasional deal dated back to when he was still very newly returned to the gangster life, and before Daredevil had done much more than just occasionally scuffle with him. Later on, though, Daredevil discovered Kingpin’s beloved wife Vanessa was still alive (after being feared dead for a long while), but wouldn’t even tell Wilson Fisk where she was unless Fisk arranged for his stooge, the newly-elected Mayor of New York City, to publicly confess his many sins and step down from office. Just when Fisk had thought he was really going to have the city government in the palm of his hand!

All things considered, I could believe that if Kingpin later got the opportunity to put the screws on Daredevil’s personal life in turn (after learning his identity), that he wouldn’t hesitate.

(Although it’s been so long since I last read O’Neil’s Daredevil run straight through that I’ admit Im having trouble remembering just what Kingpin’s personality was like in his version, except for one little detail about not tolerating men messing around with other men’s wives, period.)

One minor quibble with the wording on the LSH entry:

“Eventually, Giffen introduced apparent clones of the original Legion, still in bright and colorful costumes, and his original plan was for them to revealed to be the ACTUAL Legion, and Giffen’s older Legion would get their own spin-off book. That fell through, and Giffen departed the title.”

The phrasing here doesn’t make it clear that what fell through was the plan to reveal the duplicates as the real Legion, rather than the spin-off book. While Legionnaires wasn’t necessarily considered part of this run by those voting for it (I certainly didn’t have it in mind when I voted), it’s probably worth a brief mention as a related title. (Unless it placed higher on its own, which would astonish me.)

I haven’t read much of it (yet), but personally I’ve always respected the Five Years Later Legion more for its audacity than the actual content. It takes a lot of cojones to drastically alter an ongoing title like that without some kind of emergency reset button option included (see One More Day, which can very easily be reset if it proves to be a total disaster). I’m not saying that the Five Years Later stories weren’t good – because some of them really were great – but for me the main draw of the line is watching Giffen and the Bierbaums drastically alter long standing characters and settings with wild abandon (Element Lad’s girlfriend is actually a transsexual, Lightning Lad is really Proty I, and blowing up the Earth, to name a few examples).

Finally, I have a second run on the list: Howard the Duck! Although a lot of ’70s comics hve dated badly, with faux-Stan Lee scripting and Kirby-wannabe art, Howard still reads well. The references are mostly dated, but Gerber’s basic points- about politics and humanity- remain salient. I would have loved to see the Colan/ Leiloha art team remain on the book longer, as it took Klaus Janson several issues before he had a handle on inking Colan, but most of the Howard the Duck comics look great.

Extremely minor quibble time! (Sorry, Brian) Gerber’s Hoard stories also included Howard the Duck annual 1 and a Marvel Treasury Edition (I forget the number) that had an original story in which Howard teams up with the Defenders. Oh, and there was at least one Spectre Annual, maybe two.

Speaking of, Ostrander & Mandrake made the Spectre one of DC’s best books, both scary and touching. After buying the one trade, I tracked down all the individual issues for very cheap on an auction site. I think I read them all in three sittings- I just could not stop. Jim Corrigan’s journey, his losses, and the ultimate resolution made for a wonderful, satisfying read.

I’m surprised this run of the Legion made it. I hated it, and wouldn’t recommend it…I preferred the Levitz run that had artists Giffen, Lightle, and Greg LaRouqe. Those were great issues. The Legion was a bit older, true, but not too old. I also felt by then, they had a rich sense of history that never confused or overwhelmed me, or put me off the book. If anything, it made want to learn about the Legions history more! I started reading during the LaRoque years, particularly during the “Who is Sensor Girl?” storyline, and fell in love with the title. I also loved that particular story, tho there are so many more…The Great Darkness Saga, The Universo Story, the war with the Legion of Supervillains, The Future is Forever!, A Cold and Lonely Corner of Hell…

I know it’s not hip or cool to say this, but my favorite DD run was the Nocenti/JRJ run…tho it did go a bit off the rails once the road trip started and the Silver Surfer showed up…I liked it. Some of JRJ’s grittiest artwork…

Bernard the Poet

April 16, 2008 at 6:39 am

“Daredevil discovered Kingpin’s beloved wife Vanessa was still alive (after being feared dead for a long while), but wouldn’t even tell Wilson Fisk where she was unless Fisk arranged for his stooge, the newly-elected Mayor of New York City, to publicly confess his many sins and step down from office. Just when Fisk had thought he was really going to have the city government in the palm of his hand!”

That all happened quite early in Miller’s first Daredevil run, after that Miller had them team up to drive the Hand out of town and Denny O’Neil had them team up to drive Micah Synn out of town. There seemed to be a mutual respect.

There was a Miller/Bill Sienkiewicz graphic novel about Kingpin’s wife (I think it was called Love and War), that could have been to motive for Kingpin’s sudden hatred of DD, but if so, they should have referenced it.

wwk5d – you’re right the Nocenti/Romita run started off brilliantly, but then in mid-story, Daredevil gets up and leaves town. It left me rather frustrated.

That Legion run was what got me into the series. The whole look of the thing drew me in. To boot, it was a different take on the group. Nice stuff, but it didn’t make it onto my list.

I wasn’t reading Daredevil when this particular run hit. I stopped just before, arounf #225. Figures.

Of all the Avengers runs to choose from, this one was what made my list – #5. Buisek was basically given a blank check with the Avengers. After the gawd-offal Liefeld-inspired (insipid) crap, he and Perez gave us all the reason we needed to put that mess in the past. This was the Avengers being all they could be. Add to it that Perez is one of my favorite artists… It was simply amazing.

I read the whole Howard series recently. I bought it about 3 months before he died, and just finished it a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, I thought that the entire thing really went to pot after Howard’s breakdown. Before that, it was a decent social commentary, especially the rants about politics. After that, it really became a chore to read. I have no issues with experimenting with the medium or making a point through your art, I just think the series became increasingly bad the longer it went.

FWIW: Were limited series allowed, Gerber’s Foolkiller would have made my list. Comparing the two as the social commentary they are, Steve seemed to be better in the short term rather than the long haul.

I don’t think I’d consider it my favorite, but I greatly enjoy the Nocenti/JRjr Daredevil run as well (but then, I’m a sucker for JRjr art, and that’s some of his best). Born Again, is of course, fantastic. Despite being a great DD story, the last issue (or second to last? I forget) when the Avengers show up is also actually a pretty good Avengers moment.

Spectre=yet another highly-praised book that I’m slowly trying to read through back issue acquisition due to a lack of proper trades.

Despite my enjoyment of the Legion since the Waid/Kitson reboot, I haven’t really read much of their back catalog, aside from a few of the early, goofy Silver Age stories.

I really need to get around to reading Howard the Duck, don’t I?

I haven’t re-read the Busiek Avengers in a while. I’m curious if it’ll hold up without the sense of “finally, some real Avengers stories again” to inform it. I loved the long Kang arc (despite a few missteps here and there and some inconsistent, not-to-my-taste art), especially Busiek’s commitment to it and the fact that it didn’t wrap up in the usual 4-6 months.

It’s a shame it occurred during Marvel’s even-worse-than-now disregard for continuity amongst their books, so that even though Kang was ruling the country from a devastated Washington, none of Marvel’s other books acknowledged it. Not saying I wanted a big crossover, just some tacit acknowledgment of the events in some other relevant books (remember back in the 80s, when the Cask of Ancient Winters or something like that was opened as part of a big Thor story, and then in random books it would be snowing in totally inappropriate locales? Just a little bit, that if you read Thor, you got, but if you didn’t, was meaningless? That’s the kind of continuity I miss…).

Busiek’s Avengers got one of my votes (specifically the run with Perez). Easily my all-time favorite Marvel comic. Just epic fun.

I should read more of The Spectre. I’ve read all of Ostrander’s Suicide Squad and Martian Manhunter runs, but only a few issues of The Spectre.

Josh Alexander

April 16, 2008 at 7:19 am

Like so many others, Busiek’s run on Avengers made my list. Im now 6 for 10 with Wildcats, Black Panther, Gotham Central, JSA, and Green Lantern. I have yet to read any of the other runs that made 45-41, but my read list just keeps growing and growing.

Stephane Savoie

April 16, 2008 at 7:19 am

“5 Years Later” is my first book to appear!
I can’t deny, it can be rough to get into; if you’re new to the Legion, it’s too intimidating, and obtuse. If you’re an old school fan, it can have gone too far astray. But, taken as its own work, in a rich contextual backdrop, the ways it succeeds outstrips its failures (which are plentiful, make no mistake).,

New Totals.

First time in the list: Frank Miller, Kurt Busiek, John Ostrander, Steve Gerber, and Keith Giffen. Also a first: a Legion book.

We have 62 runs so far (and 8672 pts)

– 24 runs are set in the Marvel Universe (3350 pts)
– 8 runs are X-Titles (1193 pts)
– 14 runs are set in the DC Universe (2239 pts)
– 3 runs are Bat-Titles (452 pts)
– 4 are Vertigo comics (507 pts)
– 18 runs if you get DC plus Vertigo sub-universe plus Plastic Man retcon (2691 pts)
– 4 runs are set in the Wildstorm Universe (501 pts)
– 2 runs have female protagonists (197 pts)
– 53 are superheroes or close enough (7590 pts)
– 9 are non-superhero (1082 pts)

Sorted by decade the first issue in the run was published, we have:

– 1980s (19 runs – 2566 pts)
– 1990s (15 runs – 2245 pts)
– 2000s (15 runs – 2033 pts)
– 1970s (8 runs – 1200 pts)
– 1960s (3 runs – 329 pts)
– 1940s (2 runs – 299 pts)

Sorted by associated creator:

– Chris Claremont (5 runs – 638 pts)
– Geoff Johns (3 runs – 534 pts)
– Alan Moore (3 runs – 455 pts)
– Warren Ellis (3 runs – 374 pts)
– Roger Stern (2 runs – 334 pts)
– Jack Kirby (2 runs – 292 pts)
– John Romita Jr. (2 runs – 276 pts)
– Denny O’Neil (2 runs – 261 pts)
– Peter Milligan (2 runs – 255 pts)
– Ed Brubaker (2 runs – 235 pts)
– Brian Michael Bendis (2 runs – 235 pts)
– Stan Lee (2 runs – 220 pts)
– Steve Gerber (218 pts)
– Kurt Busiek (218 pts)
– Frank Miller (211 pts)
– David Mazzucchelli (211 pts)
– Keith Giffen (208 pts)
– Tom and Mary Bierbaum (208 pts)
– John Ostrander (205 pts)
– Tom Mandrake (205 pts)
– Will Eisner (204 pts)
– Joe Kelly (202 pts)
– Steve Englehart (184 pts)
– Mike Mignola (179 pts)
– Grant Morrison (176 pts)
– Frank Quitely (176 pts)
– Mike Baron (174 pts)
– Steve Rude (174 pts)
– Neal Adams (162 pts)
– Bryan Hitch (159 pts)
– David Michelinie (152 pts)
– Bob Layton (152 pts)
– Mark Waid (150 pts)
– Mike Wieringo (150 pts)
– Brian Azzarello (150 pts)
– Eduardo Risso (150 pts)
– Kevin O’Neill (148 pts)
– Alan Grant (146 pts)
– Norm Breyfogle (146 pts)
– Peter David (140 pts)
– Michael Avon Oeming (134 pts)
– Paul Smith (133 pts)
– Marc Silvestri (133 pts)
– Christopher Priest (130 pts)
– Greg Rucka (122 pts)
– Alan Davis (122 pts)
– Paul Chadwick (120 pts)
– John Byrne (119 pts)
– Joe Casey (117 pts)
– Robert Kirkman (115 pts)
– Mike Carey (114 pts)
– Peter Gross (114 pts)
– Ryan Kelly (114 pts)
– Mike Allred (113 pts)
– Sean Phillips (113 pts)
РSergio Aragon̩s (110 pts)
– Mark Evanier (110 pts)
– Roy Thomas (109 pts)
– Jim Starlin (109 pts)
– Steve Ditko (108 pts)
– Mark Gruenwald (107 pts)
– Mike Grell (104 pts)
– Stuart Immonen (103 pts)
– Garth Ennis (101 pts)
– Michael Gaydos (101 pts)
– Kazuo Koike (100 pts)
– Goseki Kojima (100 pts)
– Denys Cowan (99 pts)
– Matt Wagner (98 pts)
– Stan Sakai (98 pts)
– Terry Moore (96 pts)
– Chris Ware (95 pts)
– Doug Moench (95 pts)
– Jack Cole (95 pts)

– 53 are superheroes or close enough (7590 pts)
– 29 are traditional superheroes (4401 pts)
– 24 are non-traditional superheroes (3179 pts)
– 10 are nonpowered superheroes (1289 pts)
– 6 are comedic superheroes (775 pts)
– 20 are team books (2804 pts)
– 9 are non-superhero (1082 pts)

Surprises abound. I never imagined the Spectre and this particular run of the Legion were so popular. I also would have pegged the Born Again run of Daredevil as much higher. I suppose Miller’s standing has been hurt so much by his current Batman stories that even his old stuff now is seen with suspicion?

What is the Plastic Man retcon, and why is it special?

I intensely hated that Legion run, but I’m not surprised to see it here.

I’m surprised that the Miller/Mazzuchelli Daredevil run isn’t even higher than this in the rankings.

Alex – Plastic Man was originally published by Quality Comics, and the Plastic Man run listed comes from that time period. The character was later bought by DC, so those comics have been “ret-conned” into the DCU.

Alex, while it’s usually easy to determine what is a Marvel Universe book, DC is trickier. When I counted DC Universe books, I didn’t include runs like that Plastic Man one that were only later ret-conned into the DCU, nor did I count Shade, Hellblazer, and Lucifer, even though these Vertigo series have their origins in the DCU, they mostly take place in an universe very conceptually different from the DCU.

So DC had 14 runs that are “pure” DC Universe, and 4 extra runs that you can say are related to it somehow, but not really.

Kurt Busiek’s “Avengers” made my list. It was at its best with George Perez, but the Kieron Dwyer stuff holds together really well, too. I just recently reread the “Kang” stuff in the hardcover. Between Avengers and Cap, Dwyer has done some really good superhero stuff, even though I understand that’s not where his interest lies at all.

I was the one First Place vote for Busiek’s Avengers. The Avengers have always been my favorite comic book, and I think his run was the best the Avengers have ever been. I actually didn’t buy it when it first came out. The whole Onslaught/Liefield Avengers thing, coupled with some real life stuff, drove me away from comics all together for several years. When I started reading comics again, and realized it was the guy who wrote Astro City that was now doing the Avengers, it was Busiek’s second to last issue. Luckily through a couple trades a lot of back issues I was able to get the entire run. I still re-read it about once a year, and love it every time. I think the Ultron stroyline might be the best pure super-hero story I’ve ever read. The run was everything I loved about super heroes, and having George Perez on most of it, followed for a little while by Alan Davis, just elevated it’s status even higher for me. Man, I really like those comics.

Haven’t read any of the others on this list, although Spectre and Howard are on my list of series’ to get. I’m one issue away from having a complete run of Ostrander’s Suicide Squad, and assuming I like the series as much as I expect I will, his Spectre run will be next on my back-issue hunting list.

I imagine that it’s not so much a case of Born Again being tainted by Miller’s output as it is the vote was split between it and his earlier run. I went with the earlier one myself since Born again didn’t ever occur to me as a run. It fits the criteria for voting but I always thought of it as a mini series withing an ongoing (much like Year One) so it didn’t pop up on my radar, though it might have made my list if it was a matter of voting for favourite stories.

Hey, we have a theme! These are almost all reunions of one sort, or another. Ostrander and Mandrake reunited after Firestorm to do “The Spectre”. George Perez teaming with Busiek was his reunion with “The Avengers”.

However, the big two in this regard are the returns of Miller to “Daredevil” and Giffen to “Legion”. Both pick up on the themes of their earlier work and really filter them through a heavy dose of regret. Of the two, the Legion stuff is by far the more challenging to read. Dense is exactly the right word, since it so freighted down with history that it is like a Faulkner novel. I didn’t like it as I read, but it really has stayed with me over the years. I am stunned that it placed this high. It seems like the antithesis of what most folks are looking for in their comics. These characters are neither frozen in time, nor undamaged by their pasts.

On the other hand, Miller and Mazzucelli’s “Born Again” arc was probably the most excited that I was about a title as it was being released. It was so exciting that waiting for the next issue was uncomfortable. Looking back, it seems like that was the beginning of a lot of bad trends in comics. The story kicked off with HUGE. SHOCKING. EVENTS. That was not the appeal at the end of the day, but it was what you talked about. Miller was working fast, so Karen Page working in porn sort of comes out of nowhere. Within the context of that story, it works great. That same freedom was not well used in later years by less talented writers.

“I am stunned that it placed this high. It seems like the antithesis of what most folks are looking for in their comics.”

As discussed in the thread about Catwoman’s cancellation, there is a sort of “Internet consensus” that doesn’t necessarily correspond to the oppinion of most comic book fans. It seems like 99% of people writing about comics in the Internet say they want “fun, optimistic superhero comics that don’t take themselves too seriously nor change the characters from my childhood too much.” But I think a larger public of superhero fans still likes (or at least buys) the comics with darker themes. Ultimates sold well, Supreme Power seemed to sell well. New Avengers too.

And in this poll we had votes not only by regulars who frequently engage in discussion in the site, but I imagine also a lot of people who just visit the site, but never much take part in discussions.

Interesting that everyone is saying that the Born Again run is better than the previous one and yet it’s clear that the other one is going to rank much, much higher on this list…

(Nitpick: isn’t there at least one Annual that ought to be part of the Busiek Avengers run?)

I’d personally put the Ennis Hellblazer run in the DCU, just on the strength of the guest stars in the birthday issue, and leave any other Hellblazer runs that happen to show up here out of it.

At this point, I’m really wishing you had picked a higher minimum length than 6 issues. To me, a ‘run’ should include more than one story, and a definition which allows Nextwave but not Watchmen and allows Born Again but not Batman:Year One feels a bit too complex. Might have been simpler to just go with a pure 13 issue minimum, which would exclued minis and internal minis and works still early in their progress and not sacrifice many ‘real’ runs. (The only one I can think of that would be left out is the Ellis Authority)

Not saying I wanted a big crossover, just some tacit acknowledgment of the events in some other relevant books (remember back in the 80s, when the Cask of Ancient Winters or something like that was opened as part of a big Thor story, and then in random books it would be snowing in totally inappropriate locales? Just a little bit, that if you read Thor, you got, but if you didn’t, was meaningless? That’s the kind of continuity I miss…).

Yes, thank you! You’ve expressed my frustration with current Marvel perfectly. I still read and enjoy a number of titles, but I also miss those small touches you mention– it seems like a strange paradox that the company is so crossover-obsessed now, but feels far less coordinated between titles than they did in the 70s and 80s.

I picked up those Busiek Avengers hardcovers awhile back, since I always loved the book, and really liked Busiek’s Astro City, but I haven’t read them yet. This post makes me think I should.

Well, I’m just thinking that the writers and fans of, say, Daredevil, might not feel it’s appropriate to the series’ style to have the protagonist fight Kang’s time-displaced soldiers, just because of an Avengers’s storyline.

Though in the vastly underrated Nocent/Romita Jr. run we could have Daredevil fighting Ultron or journeying to Mephisto’s hell alonside the Inhumans, and at the same time Nocent somehow kept DD a “noir”, dark superhero even when he was having more outlandish adventures. Nowadays it wouldn’t be done.

I very much share your frustration with the way Marvel can run huge, multi-title crossovers yet ignore simple acknowledgments of events in other titles, because “continuity shouldn’t get in the way of a good story.”

I guess what it boils down to is that a huge crossover theoretically drums up sales for lesser-titles, so its worth the editorial and creative effort, whereas paying attention to and referencing smaller events has no obvious “bottom line” benefit to make it worth the effort.

It is paradoxical and highly frustrating.

Born Again is my second run to make the list!

“Well, I’m just thinking that the writers and fans of, say, Daredevil, might not feel it’s appropriate to the series’ style to have the protagonist fight Kang’s time-displaced soldiers, just because of an Avengers’s storyline.”

That’s an even bigger tie-in than what I’m talking about (what you describe is exactly the kind of mega-crossover tie-in issue would be about).

I’m talking about smaller things; like, for example, during the Kang storyline, having Spider-Man hear about the fall of Washington on the radio or something during the regularly-scheduled events of his book.

Kind of like how back in the day if some big cosmic menace threatened Spider-Man, he’d acknowledge a threat like that was really more the FF’s thing, but they’re off in deep space, so he’ll just have to deal with it. Or during the Dark Phoenix saga, when Phoenix was coming back to earth, the X-Men conferred with the Avengers and the FF before saying “our problem, we’ll take care it.”

It’s those kinds of things I miss, things that don’t warrant a huge, official crossover tie-in, but something that at least recognizes that these stories occur in a shared universe, which, for me at least, is a large part of their appeal.

“I’m talking about smaller things; like, for example, during the Kang storyline, having Spider-Man hear about the fall of Washington on the radio or something during the regularly-scheduled events of his book.”

That would just make people wonder why we weren’t reading about a global war in Spidey’s book, if the events of Avengers are happening simultaneously with whatever Spider-Man was doing at the time.

Well, it’s true. The several titles in the MU seem to belong to separate sub-universes in most modern comics. The only “outside” stuff that is acknowledged is the big crossover event or the stuff happening in a “hot” book (more often than not a Bendis book). The Kang Dinasty wasn’t a big crossover event, so it wasn’t aknowledged.

But it’s interesting to note that such things only seem to be a problem to fans who buy the monthly title when it’s being released, and who buy several titles too. If you’re in the habit of buying trades and reading whole runs in one sitting, this lack of continuity isn’t as noticeable.

I agree with Teebore. That was always part of the appeal of Marvel books to me growing up. I liked when they would reference things from other books, but it didn’t intrude on the story of the book you were reading. More often than not it made me want to go out and give a title a try I wasn’t buying. Same with the editorial footnotes that used to be in comics.

There was an acknowledgment of the Kang War during its early stages in the Fantastic Four, which I believe was a Pachecho/Pachecho book at that point. Something like “The Avengers are busy with that Kang character at the UN,” thrown out in a crowd scene (police station?).

I think part of the problem with crossing over the Kang War was that it had global impact and was over a year long. That’s a lot of commitment to ask from any book.

The Kang War reads very well in aggregate – better than it read in the monthly serial form.

Have a Great Day.

Stephane Savoie

April 16, 2008 at 10:51 am

Comics are written for trade now, though. It’s one thing to refer to the past of a character, it’s bad enough when a crossover happens. (Although a good intro can help, like in Sandman and in AnimalMan). Trying to explain an unrelated connection is just too much for the trade-reader, I suspect.
It IS a shame, though. It’s part of the joy of those 80s Marvel mags; but then again, Jim Shooter was a cruel master, as they say…

I remember seeing people complain about this “lack of universal continuity in simultaneously published issues of titles” re: the terrifying and bloody events of Grant Morrison’s “Planet X.” Magneto (or Xorneto, or whatever we want to call the guy) actually took over some or all of New York City (I forget whether he had all five boroughs under his thumb) and was treating thousands of the non-mutant New Yorkers exactly the same way Adolf Hitler treated millions of the European Jews.

Magneto’s (Xorneto’s) domination of the city appeared to last for a significant period of time (at least a week or two? I can’t remember now), and the subsequent complaints from some fans were to the effect that logically such New York City-based, non-mutant heroes as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four and others should have noticed that their home town had just been taken over by a mass-murdering, raving, drug-addicted “Magneto.” Instead, the various other Marvel titles kept coming out steady as clockwork, with Spider-Man (for instance) doing whatever his writers felt like having him do in those months, without any acknowledgement (then or later) that Spider-Man had been in the city, or had missed the whole thing because he was out of the city, or ever knew anyone whose friends and relatives got butchered by Xorneto, or anything along those lines. “Planet X” just seemed to happen in “New York City as it exists in the New X-Men’s Sealed Bubble of Continuity” without having any impact whatsoever on “New York City as it exists in the Sealed Bubble of Spider-Man Continuity” (or the Sealed Bubble of FF Continuity, or the Sealed Bubble of Daredevil Continuity, or the Sealed Bubble of . . . well, you get the idea).

Things like that sometimes make me think it’s time to junk the whole antiquated and obviously unwieldy notion of “dozens of titles coexisting in one big Marvel Universe” concept entirely . . .

Interesting. DC, meanwhile, has gone in the other direction. If Luthor became president for one issue during the Weisinger era, it would never be referenced in a Batman book. But when Luthor became president recently, it affected almost every book. (Amazons Attack was an exception, a lot of heroes apparently didn’t notice that)

DC in the Countdown to Infinite Crisis was the best possible older style Marvel universe imaginable.

And… then they gave us the last page of Infinite Crisis 1 and pushed most of the threads they had been building for YEARS to the background in order to rehash a story from twenty years ago and a lot of the fans that had come on with the buzz that started in the late 90s/early 00s jumped right back off.

DC, meanwhile, has gone in the other direction. If Luthor became president for one issue during the Weisinger era, it would never be referenced in a Batman book.

The irony is that these opposing trends have made each line less fun. I loved the little touches like the snow at Marvel. It made sense, given that most of their titles were taking place in one city. Moreover, the core Marvel titles were inter-connected from the very beginning. Small nods toward their shared world always gave you the illusion that Marvel Comics were created by a handful of like-minded people who spoke frequently. It was … home-y.

The current Marvel is probably better from a pure quality perspective, but that warm feeling has been gone for a long, long time.

On the other hand, nearly every member of the JLA was in their own little sub-universe. The classical Greeks that gave birth to the Amazon culture in Wonder Woman had NOTHING to do with the classical Greeks that gave birth to the Atlantean culture in Aquaman. Batman routinely spent whole issues resolving problems that could be fixed with one phone call to Metropolis. As a result, writers at DC had a lot more freedom. The All-Star line would not have been necessary in the ’70s. Grant Morrison and Frank Miller could have come in to the regular books, done what they liked and left. Then, the next writer would start his story with as clean a slate as he liked. That was what gave DC the ability to work with folks like Alan Moore. That spirit got spun off into the Vertigo line, which has moved away from superheroes (and even horror) over the years.

5 years later was my #1 choice, and I won’t get into the bizantine debate that has been going on within Legion fandom for the last 18 odd years. I just like it, period.

What I’m happy about ( besides the fact that this is a very nice showing for the run ) is your mention of the book’s density as one of its better points. I completely agree. It’s not just that I don’t go for decompression, since I don’t go for silver age self containment either, but few comic books previously or since packed so much story, detail, characterization, humor, puns, references to the past, foreshadowing of the future in every single issue.

I still re read the first 12 issues periodically and marvel at what they did.

I seem to be in the minority- I don’t care if various books with various crises cross over with each other as long as the stories are entertaining. “Planet X” and “Kang Dynasty” were both entertaining, and I didn’t need to read an issue of, say, Daredevil fighting Kang’s army. In fact, the tone of Daredevil was vastly different from New X-Men or Avengers (I think Bendis & Maleev were working on the title at the time), and the other stories would have felt intrusive.

I loved the 5 years later Legion. It was a really refreshing read and a very interesting take on what life was like after the Legion was shut down. Great underdog story, until it got a bit lost about issue 24 or so. Then, it got less and less good.

Miller/Mazzucchelli’s ‘Born Again’ has some of my favorite moments in comics. Mostly due to the fact that it seems to be about people who, living in a dirty, harsh, destructive world decide to make choices based not on what is easy, but on what is right, for both them and others. Miller, at his best, is about a regular person [powered or not] making choices that influence the world for the better, even at tremendous cost. Also, one of my favorite moments is the scene in the diner with Foggy & Karen. Karen is desperate for Matt both for protection and for attonement, and the best that she can get is Foggy, who is dumpy, clumsy, and virtually powerless. She tells him that he can’t help her, only Matt can. Foggy tells her that no matter what she has done, Karen and he are family ‘Matt’s family’. Then in the midst of the hell of the inner city, they embrace in hope and love. Foggy, with all his limitations, is seen to be a force for good just as Matt is. i have rarely read a piece of literature as powerful.

Glad to see The Spectre in there and at 45 no less. Those glow-in-the-dark covers were way cool (as was the poster) and about the only gimmick covers from back then that were actually tastefully done. My hope for Lapham’s Stray Bullets wanes. :( But I guess his Detective run could still place.

Is there a convenient way to see a list of all the runs that have been named so far? I’d like to see such a thing before I place a contest entry for top 5 if I decide to do so.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the slow demise of the shared universe at Marvel doesn’t stop me from enjoying many of their stories; I greatly enjoyed both the Kang War and Planet X, I just missed those little things that reminded us all these stories took place in the same world.

Ice cream is good. Ice cream with whipped cream on it is even better, but the absence of whipped cream doesn’t mean the ice cream still isn’t good…

I hated the restarted Legion when it came out. It tread on everything that I liked about the Legion. I didn’t come back until well after Zero Hour when the Archie Legion was well established. Funny thing is I have gone back and filled in all those back issues and, well, they are pretty damn good I have to say. Keith’s art never really grew on me but after reading several issues in a row I kinda got used to it. I still can’t reconcile that those stories are about “my” legion cuz they really were new characters after the 5YG…so I just pretend they are an Elseworlds tale and I’m happy.

I actually jumped onboard Avengers for the first time with Heroes Reborn and carried over to Heroes Return and, well, I don’t see what all the fuss was about. The Return stories were serviceable but it was way too continuity heavy with a bunch of blah blah blah. I got bored and bailed after #12. Sure was pretty though.

Yay! I was one of the first place votes for Spectre. Go figure, since I was the only first place vote for him on the top characters list.

Haven’t read any of the other titles here.

In regard to collected editions, it appears that this Legion run remains uncollected. Is that correct? Aside from the Spectre, the others are available. The Howard Omnibus should be out any time now…

The Spectre would be higher on my list. I especially agree with the point about Ostrander’s use of the DCU. He makes great use of it if you’re interested in the bigger DCU picture, but it would still stand up as a great run to a reader unfamiliar with other DC books. The best of both worlds… Which is why it should be near the top of the runs DC should reprint.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

April 16, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I’m a grown man. I have a family. I’m realitvely mature and reasonable. And I still get angry when I think about the whole 5YL Legion travesty.

What the #$%@ is wrong with me? :-)

Yeah, that Legion run, like most between the 12th Archive and the start of the threeboot, is uncollected. That was one of my first-place votes for the Giffen-Bierbaums run, I think. Man, that was a great series. Something that you loved and hated at the same time in every issue; we will never see its like again.

But when Luthor became president recently, it affected almost every book. (Amazons Attack was an exception, a lot of heroes apparently didn’t notice that)

Slight correction: The “President Luthor” meta-arc ended a few years before “Amazons Attack” hit.

Snark: What amazed me was that Luthor was able to do less damage in a fictional world of limitless possibilities than our real president has done in a real world bound by laws of causality and physics.

On topic: I didn’t vote for 5YL, but what I’ve been able to read in back issues has been quite good.

Slight correction: The “President Luthor” meta-arc ended a few years before “Amazons Attack” hit.

Hehe…slight correction of your slight correction. ;)

The quote was saying that Amazons Attack wasn’t reflected in most other DCUniverse books like President Luthor was.

Ah. That makes more sense.

But I’m sure we’ll get a thorough rundown of “Amazons Attack” once we get closer to the top ten. ;)

Yay, Howard made the list! I think I may have even been the one who gave it a first place vote, but could be wrong. Either way, glad that it made it and even gladder that it charted relatively high. Well deserved.

And none of my picks has appeared yet. I suppose that means that I have either a real vanilla taste, because most of my picks will make the top part of the list, or I have very unusual taste. But I think at least 9 out of my 10 choices are very popular ones.

When people are talking about the shared Marvel Universe of old, I don’t think they meant that each big event had to be dealt with over the entire course issue…usually, they were just referenced with a few panels and annotation (ie, “Wondering why it’s snowing in the Sahara? Check out Thor xxx for the answer!” Yeah, it was a marketing gimmick…but you could’ve ignored it if you didn’t care, and if you were interested, you’d check it out).

Now, I’m not saying all the titles should cross over with each other. Mid-90s X-men titles abused this by constantly using the slightest mention to cross-promote each other (ie, a character in X-force would think “Hmm, his powers remind me of Cyclops” then BAM “Wanna know what Cyclops is up to? Check out the latest issue of X-men to find out!” Ugh), sometimes there would be half a dozen references to other titles in 1 issue.

But other titles should at least acknowledge big events going on, like Planet X. Or, they could do what Claremont did, Claremont used a nice trick (I know, blasphemy to suggest Claremont did *something* better than Morrison lol) during the Kulan Gath story, where Kulan Gath took over New York; he had the Avengers, Dr. Strange, and Spider-man guest star. Now, of course, other NY based heroes wouldn’t have belonged in a story like PX like they would have during the KG story, but a panel or 2, either in X-men or other titles, wouldn’t have hurt.

I hated 5YG Legion mainly because I felt like it pissed all over the Legion and it’s past history. The constant reboots also hurt the title, but that you can’t blame the creators for, those were edicts from higher powers. Plus, Giffen may have tried to be more innovative with his artwork, but there were times when it was just too cluttered to understand what was going on, he would routinely obscure people’s faces, no differentiation between characters and the background, etc. A confusing mess.

… It seems like 99% of people writing about comics in the Internet say they want “fun, optimistic superhero comics that don’t take themselves too seriously nor change the characters from my childhood too much.” But I think a larger public of superhero fans still likes (or at least buys) the comics with darker themes. Ultimates sold well, Supreme Power seemed to sell well. New Avengers too.

Rene, I would never pretend to be remotely in touch with the tastes of the majority of comic readers. The only titles that I read that sell remotely well are “All-Star Superman” and “All-Star Batman & Robin”. I am the guy with a couple Vertigo titles, the few creator-owned titles and a Showcase (or Marvel Essentials) volume.

From my vantage point, it seems like the majority of comic fans enjoy what Brian once called “Algebraic Plotting”. Dark stuff certainly happens, but it is done in such a way that characters have ‘light-switch’ personality changes. If Max Lord can go bad out-of-nowhere, then he can be reformed just as easily once the editorial winds blow another direction. None of it has any weight, because none of it is grounded in what has gone before.

Giffen’s “Five Years Later” was, by contrast, deeply respectful of the long history of the Legion. That was part of what made it so damn dense. Moreover, Giffen had a deep history with the title, so it was not some random big-name outsider making these changes. It was a member of the ‘family’. Finally, it turned the entire premise of the Legion inside-out.

If you stop and think about it, the Silver Age idea of the Legion is a little creepy. They are kind of like stalkers, but that is covered by the Utopian cheerfulness. The idea was more or less that everything turned out so awesome in the 30th Century that they wanted to meet Superboy, who was the start of the upward trend. Giffen stood that on its head by jumping five years into the future and showing that things were a lot less awesome just a few short years later.

Given all that, those issues may be the darkest thing to ever come out of the Big Two. It is hard to imagine something that would have a comparable impact.

“ie, “Wondering why it’s snowing in the Sahara? Check out Thor xxx for the answer!” Yeah, it was a marketing gimmick…but you could’ve ignored it if you didn’t care, and if you were interested, you’d check it out).”

I miss that, and I’m really surprised that Marvel doesn’t do it anymore; it’s advertising at little to no cost to them. It takes significantly less time and effort than coordinating a massive crossover, but can lead to the same cumulative effect: drawing new readers to a title

I loved that old Kulan Gath two parter in X-Men. Off the top of my head, easily one of my favorite two part stories of all time.

Been a long dry spell for my picks… only 3 from my list in the bottom 85-100 range.

And that continues here.

While I collected all of Busiek’s run on Avengers, I didn’t get time to read it until Bendis was doing the writing chores. I don’t know if Bendis’ take on the team – which emphasized the ludicrousness of team books in general, in my eyes – or my own antipathy for the team, but I was not as impressed with the run as I’d hoped to be.

You know. I should have spent a long time arguing that either Busiek’s run on Tbolts or Nicieza’s first run on T-bolts (from issue 51-75) were better than Busiek’s run of Avengers.

Ah well, too late now.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

April 17, 2008 at 2:53 pm

5YL was … “deeply respectful of the long history of the Legion”?!?!?

Giffen and the Bierbaum’s certainly had an extensive knowledge of Legion history but “deeply respectful”? There goes my temper again …!

5YL was … “deeply respectful of the long history of the Legion”?!?!?

I think it was. They respected them enough to put them through the wringer and get the best stories out of them that they could. Maddening, and I don’t agree with every single decision, but very, very powerful.



Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the second issue of 5YL, didn’t somebody KILL Blok by punching him really hard and having him collapse in a pile of rocks, then the characters is never mourned or mentioned again?

If that’s respect, what’s your definition of contempt? If that’s powerful, what’s your definition of weak?

I just double-checked on Wikipedia– I quit reading after issue 5, but wikipedia mentions that the villain taunted the heroes with Blok’s “pile of rocks” corpse many issues later, so he was, technically, mentioned again. Nobody seemed to notice at the time, though. Just to clarify.

"O" the Humanatee!

April 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm

All these posts, and not one points out that it was not Tom Wolfe, the still-alive, nattily dressed author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Bonfire of the Vanities, but Thomas Wolfe, the long-dead author of Look Homeward, Angel and, well, You Can’t Go Home Again (I don’t know how well he dressed), who said, “You can’t go home again.” You’re not making things look good for the “Comic readers are illiterates” crowd, folks.

Matt Bird: No, Roxxas used some kind of weapon to kill Blok, and he was mentioned again many times. In particular I recall Sun Boy, Shvaughn and the White Witch mentioning him, but they weren’t the only ones.

I guess it depends on each person’s point of view…others see 5YL as deeply respectful. Others (like me) see it as a pile of feces that crapped all over the Legion. To each their own.

I didn’t need to marry the whole 80s ‘grim n gritty’ attitude to the Legion, that defeated the whole purpose of the Legion as an optimistic future. Which doesn’t mean that it has to be as sunny as the 60’s Legion all the time; pre-5YL, there were some darker, less optimistic stories, and not all had happy endings. I just think pre-5YL, there was a better mix of stories, as opposed to the non-stop shit storm of 5YL.

That Giffen/Bierbaum run of Legion was one of the most god-awful pile of dreck ever. Best forgotten, really.

For the longest time no one gave Keith Giffen his due. The 5 Years Later Legion was groundbreaking for its time and one of my personal favorite comics.

There’s SOOOO many better runs for Avengers than the Busiek period. I love George Perez but John Buscema is the best ever.

IMHO. the Giffen/Bierbaum run on the legion was one of the title’s truly lowest points. Made me stop reading.

What’s up, of course this post is truly nice and I have
learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.

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