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CSBG Archive

The Top 100 Comic Book Runs Master List

Folks have been asking to see all the Top 100 runs (as voted on by about 700 Comics Should Be Good readers, who each ranked their ten favorite runs from an ongoing comic book series from #1-10, with each ranking given a different point total – #1=10 points, #2=9 points, etc., I then counted up all the points and presented them all as a countdown) as one master list, so, well, here ya go!

Enjoy!

100 (tie). Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library – 95 points (2 first place votes)

100 (tie). Doug Moench’s Master of Kung Fu – 95 points

100 (tie). Jack Cole’s Plastic Man – 95 points (1 first place vote)

99. Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise – 96 points (2 first place votes)

97 (tie). Matt Wagner’s Grendel – 98 points (1 first place vote)

97 (tie). Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo – 98 points (2 first place votes)

96. Denny O’Neil and Denys Cowan’s The Question – 99 points (1 first place vote)

95. Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’s Lone Wolf & Cub – 100 points

93 (tie). Garth Ennis’ Hellblazer – 101 points (1 first place vote)

93 (tie). Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos’ Alias – 101 points (1 first place vote)

92. Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s Nextwave – 103 points (2 first place votes)

91. Mike Grell’s Green Arrow – 104 points (3 first place votes)

90. Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr’s X-Men – 106 points (1 first place vote)

89. Mark Gruenwald’s Captain America – 107 points (3 first place votes)

88. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Doctor Strange – 108 points (2 first place votes)

86 (tie). Roy Thomas’ Avengers – 109 points (2 first place votes)

86 (tie). Jim Starlin’s Warlock – 109 points (1 first place vote)

85. Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier’s Groo – 110 points (1 first place vote)

83 (tie). Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Thor/Tales of Asgard – 112 points (1 first place vote)

83 (tie). Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch – 112 points (1 first place vote)

81 (tie). Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s X-Force/X-Statix – 113 points (2 first place votes)

81 (tie). Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Sleeper – 113 points (2 first place votes)

80. Mike Carey, Peter Gross and Ryan Kelly’s Lucifer – 114 points (3 first place votes)

79. Robert Kirkman’s Invincible – 115 points (1 first place vote)

78. Joe Casey’s Wildcats – 117 points (1 first place vote)

77. John Byrne’s Superman – 119 points (1 first place vote)

76. Paul Chadwick’s Concrete – 120 points (4 first place votes)

74 (tie). Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker’s Gotham Central – 122 (1 first place vote)

74 (tie). Chris Claremont and Alan Davis’ Excalibur – 122 (3 first place votes)

73. Christopher Priest’s Black Panther – 130 (4 first place votes)

71 (tie). Chris Claremont and Paul Smith’s Uncanny X-Men – 133 (1 first place vote)

71 (tie). Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri’s Uncanny X-Men – 133 (3 first place votes)

70. Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers – 134 points (1 first place vote)

69. Peter David’s 1st Run on X-Factor – 140 points (2 first place votes)

68. Alan Moore’s Top Ten – 141 points (3 first place votes)

67. Peter Milligan’s Shade, the Changing Man- 142 points (4 first place votes)

66. Chris Claremont’s New Mutants – 144 points (4 first place votes)

65. Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle’s Batman – 146 points (2 first place votes)

64. Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – 148 points (2 first place votes)

62 (tie). Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s Fantastic Four – 150 points (1 first place votes)

62 (tie). Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets – 150 points (3 first place votes)

61. Bob Layton and David Michelinie’s 1st Run on Iron Man – 152 points (2 first place votes)

60. Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s Authority – 159 points (2 first place votes)

59. Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ Green Lantern (co-starring Green Arrow)- 162 points (1 first place votes)

58. Roger Stern’s Avengers – 164 points (3 first place votes)

56 (tie). Alan Moore’s Supreme – 168 points (2 first place votes)

56 (tie). Geoff Johns’ Flash – 168 points (2 first place votes)

55. Roger Stern and John Romita Jr.’s Amazing Spider-Man – 170 points (4 first place votes)

53. Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern – 174 points (1 first place vote)

53. Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus – 174 points (4 first place votes)

52. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All Star Superman- 176 points (3 first place votes)

51. Mike Mignola’s Hellboy – 179 points (2 first place votes)

50. Jack Kirby’s Fourth World – 180 points (2 first place votes)

49. Steve Englehart’s Detective Comics – 184 points (3 first place votes)

48. Geoff Johns’ JSA – 192 points (1 first place votes)

47. Joe Kelly’s Deadpool – 202 points (6 first place votes)

46. Will Eisner’s The Spirit – 204 points (7 first place votes)

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

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

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

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

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

40. Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III’s Promethea – 220 points (4 first place votes)

39. Mark Waid’s 1st Flash Run – 228 points (2 first place votes)

38. Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men – 229 points (2 first place votes)

37. Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s Hitman – 232 points (6 first place votes)

36. Alan Moore’s Marvelman/Miracleman – 234 points (3 first place votes)

35. Los Bros Hernandez’s Love and Rockets – 236 points (5 first place votes)

34. Stan Lee and John Romita’s Spider-Man – 270 points (3 first place votes)

33. Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s Runaways – 307 points (3 first place votes)

32. Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s Ultimates – 315 points (5 first place votes)

31. Jeff Smith’s Bone – 321 points (7 first place votes)

30. Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s Astro City – 323 points (4 first place votes)

29. Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen’s 1st Legion of Superheroes Run – 328 points (10 first place votes)

28. John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad – 336 points (5 first place votes)

27. Grant Morrison’s Invisibles – 349 points (10 first place votes)

26. Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s Ultimate Spider-Man – 364 points (3 first place votes)

25. Dave Sim and Gerhard’s Cerebus – 370 points (8 first place votes)

24. Garth Ennis’ Punisher – 389 points (5 first place votes)

23. Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan – 418 points (11 first place votes)

22. Bill Willingham’s Fables – 428 points (6 first place votes)

21. Grant Morrison’s Animal Man – 430 points (13 first place votes)

20. Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Daredevil – 480 points (9 first place votes)

19. Peter David’s Hulk – 484 points (7 first place votes)

18. Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary – 493 points (7 first place votes)

17. Ed Brubaker’s Captain America – 504 points (4 first place votes)

16. John Byrne’s Fantastic Four – 508 points (7 first place votes)

15. Walt Simonson’s Thor – 514 points (5 first place votes)

14. Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol – 524 points (12 first place votes)

13. Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y the Last Man – 547 points (6 first place votes)

12. Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s JLA – 574 points (7 first place votes)

11. Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s Teen Titans – 643 points (15 first place votes)

10. Grant Morrison’s New X-Men – 701 points (14 first place votes)

9. Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’s Justice League – 742 points (13 first place votes)

8. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher – 857 points (21 first place votes)

7. James Robinson’s Starman – 921 points (35 first place votes)

6. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man – 926 points (19 first place votes)

5. Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing – 942 points (30 first place votes)

4. Frank Miller and Klaus Janson on Daredevil – 988 points (12 first place votes)

3. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four – 1030 points (37 first place votes)

2. Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s X-Men – 1182 points (28 first place votes)

1. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman – 1318 points (42 first place votes)

Thanks for reading!

164 Comments

Aaawwwww. Thanks, Brian!

With 25 spots left, the stuff that I think is guaranteed to make it:

Lee/Ditko Spider-Man
Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four
Byrne’s Fantastic Four
Claremont/Byrne X-Men
Claremont/Cockrum X-Men (both runs merged?)
Claremont/Lee X-Men (probably)
Moore’s Swamp Thing
Gaiman’s Sandman
Robinson’s Starman
Brubaker’s Captain America
Willingham’s Fables

What else?

As earlier mentioned, I’d love to see Perez’s Wonder Woman here, but I think we’ve gone too high up for that to happen.

Oh, also the Bendis/Maleev and 1st Miller runs on Daredevil.

I think we’ll also see Ellis and Cassaday’s Planetary, Ennis and Dillon’s Preacher, Miller’s Sin City, and with any luck, Ellis and Robertson’s Transmetropolitan.

Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans and Giffen’s JLI haven’t shown up yet either.

I’m at this point betting we won’t see Cockrum X-Men. I find Jim Lee X-Men more likely, but uncertain. I’m also uncertain about Bendis’ Daredevil. I find it hard to imagine that beating Ultimate Spider-Man in popularity. I think Brubaker’s Daredevil may be more likely than Bendis’. Otherwise, I think Sean is right.

Will is almost certainly right. I assume Transmetropolitan is a shoe-in too given how well Warren Ellis and Spider Jerusalem placed on the favourite writer/character polls.

And I think Dan is almost certainly right too, though I’m not expert enough on DC to be certain of GLI’s popularity. But seems a good guess.

I’m also expecting Y The Last Man and Walking Dead to show up, but I could be wrong about both those.

And I bet we also see some more Morrison runs: New X-Men, JLA, and maybe Animal Man or Doom Patrol, too.

And Batman’s too popular to just have one run up here. O’Neil & Adams and Englehart & Rogers runs could be up here. Miller’s stuff is probably the most popular, but they don’t qualify as runs.

And Giffen’s Ambush Bug (can’t believe I forgot to vote for that) gets a lot of love, yes?

And Starlin’s Captain Marvel? He started all the Thanos/Infinity Gems stuff…

I wonder if Peter David’s INCREDIBLE HULK is going to show up…

25 runs, based on what was theorized, and the simple proccess of elimination, the 25 remaining runs obviously are:

1 – Lee/Ditko Spider-Man
2 – Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four
3 – Byrne’s Fantastic Four
4 – Claremont/Byrne X-Men
5 – Moore’s Swamp Thing
6 – Gaiman’s Sandman
7 – Robinson’s Starman
8 – Brubaker’s Captain America
9 – Willingham’s Fables
10 – Ellis and Cassaday’s Planetary
11 – Ennis and Dillon’s Preacher
12 – Miller’s Sin City
13 – Ellis and Robertson’s Transmetropolitan
14 – Wolfman and Perez’s Teen Titans
15 – Giffen and deMatteis’s JLI
16 – Miller’s Daredevil (1st run)
17 – Simonson’s Thor
18 – David’s Hulk
19 – Morrison’s New X-Men
20 – Morrison’s Animal Man
21 – Morrison’s JLA
22 – Morrison, Waid, Rucka, Johns’s 52
23 – Rucka’s Criminal
24 – Slott’s She-Hulk
25 – Vaughan’s Y the Last Man

Hmmm… there is Cerebus too. Probably one of the 25 above will have to go.

Claremont and Lee X-Men’ll probably show up as well.

Josh Alexander

April 19, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Rene I hope Cerebus is in there, and I hope Slott’s She Hulk isn;t.

Would “52″ qualify? It was basically a big maxiseries, not an ongoing.

I can’t see Slott’s She-Hulk making it that high.

I don’t think Brubaker’s Criminal gets there either.

I really hope Sin City doesn’t make it, though I suspect it will; just bad comics, in my opinion.

Also note that with one or two exceptions, the remaining 25 are likely to consist mainly of Marvel and Vertigo.

Good list Rene. I doubt Cerebus will make it. I can’t imagine it beating Love & Rockets. Sim you may recall barely made the top 50 writers. I suspect Love & Rockets and Bone were the non big-Two books with the best chance of making it high.

I also would bet against 52, She-Hulk, Criminal getting this high and at this point I find Animal Man unlikely.

sterg makes a good point about Batman, but we’ve already seen Alan Grant and Steve Englehart. O’Neil seems to be the only other likely candidate.

Other things I just considered: JMS. His Spider-Man would probably have been a shoe-in for top 100 before One More Day. Perhaps that affected things, because it seems like it wouldn’t get this high. Rising Stars I’d always thought was popular amongst people, but it also doesn’t seem like it would be this high.

How about Thunderbolts by Busiek? That seems like it should be a strong contender, even for top 25. I could see it being more popular than Avengers.

Also, Spider-Man by Dematteis. Especially if Brian combines people voting for Last Hunt with people voting for his later Spectacular stuff. It’s hard to imagine it beating Stern’s Spider-Man so much, but it’s possible especially as there was discussion of it prior to voting which might have made people think of it. It seems like it wouldn’t be a top 25 book, but I’m surprised at it not making the top 100.

Anybody have a link to CBR’s Top Writers thing? I’ve seen it mentioned a couple of times in these comments, but I can’t find it on the site.

JMS’s run I think has too much against it. Sins Past and One More Day, but even before that, his emphasis on magic was divisive, and even the people who liked it weren’t crazy about it. I think his strength is that he captured Peter’s voice well, and depicted his relationship with Mary Jane and Aunt May beautifully, but I can’t see him in the list.

I voted for Rising Stars myself, but I can’t see it making the list either. Started really, really strong, but lost too much momentum later. More people are disappointed by it than love it.

Batman’s Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, perhaps.

Slott’s She-Hulk, the sort of thing that is praised by the Internet a lot, I still think it will appear. Same with Animal Man.

DeMatteis’s Spider-Man, I just don’t think so. He wrote some good stories, but his name isn’t strongly associated with the character, the association that exists is mixed. As many people hate his stuff as love it.

I love Slott’s She-Hulk, but I just don’t feel like I hear it being more beloved than Astonishing X-Men or Ultimate Spider-Man, both popular takes on A-list characters.

[...] Comics Should Be Good! » The Top 100 Comic Book Runs Master List For my fellow fans, the results of a poll on the 100 best writer/artist runs in comics. (tags: comics comicbooks art artists writing entertainment marvel dccomics) [...]

I’d love to see the Wolfman/Perez run on Titans. They did so much great work on that title, and they captured a great mix of character moments and crazy action sequences. I know it’s not hip to say this, but I also feel Wolfman wrote one of the BEST Dick Grayson’s ever. THIS, imo, is where Dick began to come into himself, become a man, and step out of the Batman’s shadow…even before he adopted the Nightwing identity.

Perez’s WW is also an underrated classic.

Can’t wait for the debate once we see if Morrison’s X-men outranks Claremont’s, or vice versa….:P

Technically, Peter David’s Hulk was disqualified for the same reason “Claremont’s X-Men” was– too long and varied. That means that people would have to pick their favorite artist. That would probably be either McFarlane or Keown (sp?). Could it be that these two choices cancelled each other out and this run won’t make the list AT ALL? That would be shocking, and clearly a glitch due to the phrasing of the rules.

Perhaps both of those runs were hurt by their association with the widely-derided launch of Image? Will the same bias doom Claremont/Lee X-Men? I, too, was certain that would show up, but now I’m beginning to wonder…

It seems like there about 30 runs left that are “certain” to make the list. So that means there will be at least five baffling omissions.

(Oh, and until we got up this high, I had blithely assumed that Starlin’s Dreadstar was still coming up. I guess it didn’t make the list at all, which is insane.)

I doubt that She-Hulk makes it. Ditto for Criminal.

I think JLA, Doom Patrol, New X-Men and Animal Man are all still coming (remember – this is CSBG).

I reckon Bendis’s Daredevil makes the cut.

Straczynski’s Amazing Spidey would be worth voting for as Straczynski/Romita Jr/Amazing Spider-Man, as awful things like Sins Past and One More Day happened after Romita left the book. When both of them were on it, the book was great (though it didn’t make my top ten).

Wouldn’t count on Cerebus showing up, but I’ve never read it myself.

I’d be surprised if Sin City makes it this high, but it’s possible. Ditto for 52 (again, it might get boosted by the Morrison factor).

I also expect (hope) that Ennis’s Punisher will still make it.

Other than that, I think your list covers most of the serious contenders Rene (though I believe it should say Brubaker’s Criminal, not Rucka’s).

Come on Davis/Moore’s Captain Britain!

Another serious contender Rene- David’s recent X-Factor. Recall Madrox’ high placing in the recent character poll. Plus I’d imagine it being more popular than his first run on X-Factor, as it’s newer and (in my humble opinion) better.

Oh and BDaly is right about Ennis’ Punisher. That’s an obvious shoe-in I think.

And I dearly love Moore’s Captain Britain, but I suspect it’s a bit too late to hope for that.

The extreme unavailability of Moore’s Marvel UK stuff would rule it from contention, I think; certainly I’ve never seen it, though I’d love to buy it.

Marvel put out a trade of Moore’s Captain Britain just a few years back. I’d assume it would still be findable, but it seems to be out of print and Amazon has it selling for $60 used at the cheapest. Hmmm… That’s a shame. Good read.

But it’s the same reason I’m yet to read Miracleman.

@Chris 3:59

I think Brian already mentioned in the post for David’s first X-Factor run that the second run was under a hundred. Still good though.

Yeah, there will be a half-dozen runs left out that I just can’t believe are being left out.

In particular, I remember how acclaimed George Perez’s Wonder Woman was when it was coming out. A great many people that had never taken the character seriously, changed their minds because of that series. I don’t know why it didn’t rank higher.

I’m also surprised we haven’t seen Shooter’s Legion on this list at all…

I’m betting at this point we don’t see Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe on the list, which is a real shame. It got me into comic collecting in the first place, and holds up pretty well even today. I really thought it would at least make the top 100, but I can’t imagine it’s in the top 25.

JMS Spiderman
Bendis Daredevil
I actually really liked Bruce Jones Hulk.

“Technically, Peter David’s Hulk was disqualified for the same reason “Claremont’s X-Men” was– too long and varied.”

It was given a specific exemption, actually:

“There are three notable exceptions to this rule (so notable that really, this is only designed to apply to Lee’s Spider-Man and Claremont’s X-Men) – you can say Hama’s GI Joe, Gruenwald’s Captain America and David’s Hulk (and if Ennis has done 100 issues of The Punisher, then you can say Ennis’ Punisher, too).”

Huh? I didn’t see that. That’s bizarre. It seems utterly arbitrary. Is it based on some idea that these writers had a firmer hand or a more unified vision than Claremont and Stan? If so, that’s demonstrably untrue. David’s Hulk would almost always take bizarre right turns when he switched artists. Was it just to help those three get votes?

[...] with it.  (Don’t get me started on being jealous of Cronin’s also currently running “100 Greatest Comic Book Runs of all time” which I have some ideas on how to steal for this blog.) [...]

At this point I’ve given up hope that Gardner Fox’s Justice League of America or Jim Shooter’s LOSH will make the list. I had no hope for Spider-Girl when I included it, but figured I may as well make mine a personal list rather than basing it on what was likely to make the finals.

When’s the next one posted? The wait is killing me.

I was wrong to count out Cerebus and Animal Man, I guess. Good job to those who successfully predicted them!

I stole Rene’s list, deleted what just showed up, along with 52 and She-Hulk, which I’m not seeing show up. And put them in some approximation of a guess at an order.

Fantastic Four by Lee/Kirby
Spider-Man by Lee/Ditko
X-Men by Claremont/Byrne
Sandman by Gaiman
New X-Men by Morrison
Daredevil by Miller
New Teen Titans by Wolfman/Perez
Preacher by Ennis/Dillon
Captain America by Brubaker
Planetary by Ellis/Cassady
Fantastic Four by Byrne
Swamp Thing by Moore
Hulk by David
JLA by Morrison
Thor by Simonson
JLI by Giffen/Dematteis
Y the Last Man by Vaughn
Starman by Robinson
Sin City by Miller.

I find the last two the most uncertain at this point. And that’s only 19. What’ missing? O’Neil’s Batman? Perez’ Wonder Woman? Busiek’s Thunderbolts? Jim Lee’s X-Men? What do people think?

It occurs to me Steranko’s Nick Fury hasn’t shown up yet, but I’m not seeing it get this high. Which is a shame.

Good work, Chris. Those 19 will be there, alright. I still think the elusive one missing is 52, though. Top creators (Morrison and Johns), recent, adored by the Internet… the one thing going against it would be the lack of big characters, but we’ve seen that big name characters doesn’t necessarilty mean much in this list, with Animal Man and JSA scoring so high, and very few Batman books.

I would be a little sad if Busiek’s Thunderbolts didn’t show up. The first 25 issues of that were one of the most seminal comics-reading experiences of my teenage years.

I think Busiek’s Thunderbolts is (unfairly) less popular than his Avengers, and I just can’t see it scoring higher than Astro City. Busiek is Astro City, just like Garth Ennis is Preacher.

Anyone wants to share their guesses for the Top 5?

Mine are:

1) Neil Gaiman’s Sandman
2) Claremont/Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men
3) Miller’s Daredevil (1st run)
4) Lee/Kirby’s Fantastic Four
5) Morrison’s JLA

So far, I’m still in the race.

I guessed Sandman, Claremont/Byrne, Lee/Kirby FF, Moore’s Swamp Thing, Starman. I’m not quite certain that was the correct order, but those were the choices; Sandman was #1.

well chris i think that the one you´re missing is bendis daredevil!!! we love some more bendis here lol!!

top 5
1)lee kirby fantastic four
2)giman sandman
3)moore swamp thing
4)claremont/byrne x-men
5)daredevil miller
that´s mine rene, what do u think of my bendis daredevil prediciton?

one request for brian: would you make the huge list like u did with the top 100 caracters. that way we could see where our favourite runs ended up!!!
thanks so much

and i still want to see a top 100 one-shots an miniseries

Guillermo, now that you’ve mentioned it, Bendis’s Daredevil could well be the missing run from the Top 20. Perhaps even more likely than “52″, since it’s a top creator doing a top character.

So, we three are agreed on Sandman, Lee/Kirby FF, and Claremont/Byrne X-Men in the Top 5.

I agree on those three in the top 5. I assume Ditko’s Spider-Man is there as well. The 5th is questionable. Morrison’s X-Men is my prediction for that 5th slot (at this point at least).

I had bet on Miller’s DD come voting time, but separating his run into two parts has to hurt it, I feel. So I think Morrison something is more likely.

I’d agree Bendis’ DD has a good shot for that 20th spot, but I’d bet against it. Though don’t have a good reason why, so I could be wrong. I certainly loved that run. Though I’m digging Brubaker’s even more.

Heck, for all I know Rene is right about 52. I’m just not seeing it.

I’m surprised we haven’t see Byrne’s run on FF mentioned…there were some really good stories during that run, and the quality of the comic was rather high during that run. But I doubt it’ll be showing up…

Byrne’s FF will definitely be showing up, wwk5d. It is in the predictions’ list me and Chris Nowlin did. I’m betting it’s at least in the Top 15.

My guesses for the Top Five were:

1. Neil Gaiman – Sandman
2. Stan Lee & Jack Kirby – Fantastic Four
3. Chris Claremont & John Byrne – Uncanny X-Men
4. Frank Miller – Daredevil
5. Stan Lee & Steve Ditko – Amazing Spider-man

And Guillermo was right. Bendis’s DD made the list.

Yeah, good job on Daredevil. I was wrong again.

Rene, you were so close on your Byrne FF…#16 is pretty good for someone who online fans seems to dislike.

There were 2 series I really enjoyed but was frustrated by the problems with the scheduling, and in one of the cases, was unresolved. I loved Hepcats and Akiko, and wish they had gained larger audiences so we could’ve seen them on this list.

People have different ideas about what constitutes a “run”, but it seems to me it would only be a run if it takes place on a title that other creators have been involved with either before or after the run. The term always implied that it was one segment of a continuing series where a notable creative team was on the book.

Jeff Smith’s Bone I wouldn’t consider a “run” because it’s a self contained piece of work that he did from start to finish. It’s a stand-alone work by a single creator. It’d be like calling Stephen King’s work on one of his novels a “run”.

For this reason I wouldn’t consider Gaiman’s Sandman or Dave Sim’s Cerebus as a “run” either.

Twelve left as of this writing. It’s all hair-splitting now, but I’ll go with:

1. Lee/Ditko Spiderman — Too primal an experience to deny the top spot
2. Claremont/Byrne X-men — First big hit of the direct distribution era, the well from which all things “X” spring
3. Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four — Charted the Marvel universe from scratch
4. Gaiman’s “Sandman” — Perfectly contained arc yet amazingly expansive, fulfills ambitious literary aspirations
5. Miller’s first “Daredevil” — Modern’s era’s first auteur, revitalized graphic storytelling

Lots of great guesses for remaining runs, but no talk of McFarlane’s Spidey? Looks like a dark horse.

So what’s next? The top 100 Comic Runs of All Time Overlooked by the Top 100 Comic Runs of All Time list?

Seriously, if there’s another go round for this type of thing, I’d suggest disqualifying any runs that are still in production.

–Ed

Doom Patrol hadn’t made the prediction list. So something has to go. My guess is Starman won’t make it. Which is shocking, given the acclaim I’ve always heard for it.

But I’ve never read it, and largely because Book 3, A Wicked Inclination, has been out of print for so long. In particular, it’s been out of print at least since the last trade was released. Perhaps I’m not the only one who’s failed to read the series due to unavailability of trades.

Obviously they’re putting out those Omnibi come June so that will change.

Of course this is just speculation. Starman may still make the final 13. But it’s my guess for the error in Rene’s list.

Chris, I think Starman will make it because it has a triumph that no other comic on this list has: it manages to inspire a sort ot fanatical love both in “snobs” that scoff at superheroes, and in superhero fanboys. It’s also of note JSA, that is a somewhat related title set in the same “corner” of the DC Universe as Starman, that was actually created because Starman had been so succesful, got a lot of love, it’s likely that Starman will get twice as much love.

It’s also a comic that managed to be intellectual and at the same time very sentimental. And that is a powerful combination in that it makes people like it intensely and also not be ashamed of liking it. I do think Starman will definitely be here.

You’re likely right then. What do you think won’t make it? Sin City, perhaps?

ElCoyote's Prophet

April 24, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Alan Davis’s solo run on Excalibur is one of my all time faves. I liked it better than the Claremont written run(not that that sucked, but Davis is just different enough that I found things I really enjoyed, Davis’s run is full of little things that make it better after you read the whole thing, the early appearances of Kylun are entirely different once you know what his power is, it makes the character seem so different, his Ee’rath enemies must have thought he was insane, spouting cartoon catch phrases in different voices. He wasn’t just quoting Porky Pig when he said “That’s all folks!’ he was mimicking him. Must have seemed crazy to the people around him with no connection to the quote.

Think Astro City should be higher, at least it’s higher than anything by Millar.

No love for Busiek and Oliffe’s Untold Tales Of Spider-Man?

Yes, I’m guessing Sin City will be left out, Chris.

I sure hope Preacher is in the top five if not number one.

What about Erik Larsen’s 130+ run WRITING AND DRAWING Savage Dragon!?!?! That would be in my top 10.

Erik Larsen doesn’t get enough respect for his Savage Dragon series. It is one of my favorite comics when it actually comes out. I would’ve put it on my top 10 list if I had done one.

I do not understand why Grant Morrison is so highly regarded…I have been disappointed in his work to the point where I will never buy a thing he writes again.

Grell’s Warlord was better than Grell’s Green Arrow.

UHMMM…what good comic book runs are left for the final 10? I thought for sure that Willingham’s Fables, or Morrison’s JLA, or Waid’s Flash run would have made it to the top 10. Maybe even Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man or Busek’s Astro City, or Byrne’s Fantastic Four.

What’s left for the Top 10 probably: Lee and Ditko’s Spider-man run. Anybody else have any other ideas of what’s left for the top 10?

I think we had a good list going above, COMICBOOKFAN.

Kirby’s FF, Ditko’s Spider-Man, Byrne’s X-Men, Sandman, Miller’s Daredevil, Moore’s Swamp Thing, Preacher, Giffen/Dematteis JLI, Robinson’s Starman.

Grell’s Warlord was better than Grell’s Green Arrow.

As is pretty much every single other comic I’ve read, ever.

(I had to say it. Just once.)

Chris Nowlin, thanks for the response. Read the posts above and have to agree with most of the folks of what’s left for the top 10. Ditko’s Spider-man, Kirby’s FF, Byrne’s X-Men, and Miller’s Daredevil definitely belong there. Not as big of a fan of Giffen’s JLA, Preacher, and Moore’s Swamp Thing, and Gaiman’s Sandman as others….but those books place inevitiably somewhere in the top 10. I’m hard-pressed to believe that all the fans actually voted for those books over some of the others lower down the list that are truly iconic, artistic, character-defining runs. Can we get a revote? LOL….

onetrickmonkey

April 28, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Just a note (and hopefully i didn’t miss someone else pointing this out- apologies if so) – the link to the Morrison Doom Patrol entry goes to Simonson’s Thor.

Scroll down, onetrickmonkey. :)

Most of the links are to GROUPS of entries, so the Morrison Doom Patrol links to three runs, including Simonson’s Thor.

I can’t believe Walking Dead hasn’t been mentioned yet and I highly doubt it will be in the top five. This makes me a sad panda.

This is quite pathetic. There are so very many good comics out there, but apparently, all the voters in this poll are slack-jawed fanboys, drawn not to great (not merely good, but GREAT) storytelling, but instead to nostalgia, escapism, and the random and endless fistfights of 2-dimentional characters in tights.
Where are the innovation?
Where’s American Splendor?
Where’s ZAP! comics?
Where’s Linda Barry?
Where’s Gilbert Hernandez’s Luba?
Where’s 8-ball and RAW?
Where’s Blueberry?
Where’s Tintin?
Where are the great manga comics like Deathnote and Ghost in the Shell?
How the hell did Starman and Daredevil get past all the so-far mentioned works of Alan Moore (don’t mess with me, I’m psychic, and I predict Watchmen will be voted #1 for all the wrong reasons)

Most importantly, when will people like you see that what makes a great story is that IT ENDS. There is absolutely no point anymore to any superhero comics that’s been running for more than 30 years (save the massive amounts of money DC and Marvel are making off you geeks) and I suggest that they’ve completely run out of good ideas, hence the never-ending glut of cross-overs and “events” the big two are constantly churning out.

Granted, there are still a few slots left, but if Crisis on Infinite Earths or Death of Superman shows up anywhere on this list, everyone involved in this debacle will have lost all of my respect (which I reserve for intelligent creatures) forever.

Good stories do indeed end. Which is why this is a list of favorite runs, not series. Most of these picks do indeed have the creators leave with some form of conclusion before the baton gets passed on to others (or in the case of Vertigo selections, the series wraps up for good).

And my list was totally fueled by nostalgia. It’s a list of favorites. Don’t see anything wrong with that.

And Tintin isn’t here ’cause Bone would kick his ass.

Yeah, I also have no problem voting along nostalgic lines. I love the Indies as much as anyone, but if you ask me what comics I hold close to my heart my answer is JLI and Starman, not American Splendor or Eightball. I recognize AS and Eightball as very well-crafted comics that advance the art form (much more than Preacher ever did). But that’s just it — I respect them, but I don’t *love* them.

I think I can live without your respect, Paul. It will be hard, but somehow I think I’ll survive.

Now excuse me, I have to go get that towel I use as a cape (no cape fetishist is complete without one) and return to my re-reading of Quasar.

I agree with Rene and Dasbender. Thank God someone showed up to teach us slack-jawed locals the error of our ways. Because remember, if it’s an independent comic, it’s automatically good and must be worshipped. And if it’s a story with spandex, it can’t possibly ever be a good story.

Animal Man’s high level of #1 votes in contrast to it’s mid-list ranking suggests that it suffers from lack of readers, but that those who have read it think it’s tops. I didn’t vote, but if i had it would have been #1 on my list.

Anthony Coleman

April 30, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Message to Paul:

Stop Trolling

I have to say, I’m also surprised Savage Dragon isn’t on this list. since I doubt it will make the top 2.

No way in hell. Without Lee and Kirby’s FF, there would be no Neil Gaiman. This list is crap. As much as i loved the Byrne/Claremont X-men, Lee and Kirby trounces their run. Over 100 Issues, the creation of most every significant character in the Marvel U. Blahh.

How does Valiant’s Solar 1-10 not make the list . . . those ten issues are one of the greatest and well put together stories.

JohnF- Without Chuck Berry, there would be no Beatles. Does that mean Chuck Berry was better than the Beatles?

Jezzus, get off the soap box. I am so sick of hearing about how when something is first it must be the best in all ways. First does NOT equal favorite (or even greatest for that matter). This is not a list of the most influential comic runs. It’s called “favorites”. It so happens that the FF was incredible so it cannot be dismissed but just because it heralded in a new age of comics does not mean it must be everyone’s favorite.

Guess there’s no accounting for taste. I too would put the Lee-Kirby Fantastic Four at the top spot just for the sheer fun of their stories. It seems that most writers the past few years feel that they have to kill,rape,destroy, deconstruct, etc to tell a good story. Reading Stan Lee and Jack Kirby shows you that doesn’t have to be the case. As imaginative as Gaiman’s Sandman run was, it doesn’t come close.

Huh…I guess all the work Dave Cockrum did on the X-Men is no good? Unless we have a tie? I’d guess Claremont/Byrne X-Men and Gaiman Sandman are the Top 2. Anxious to see what the kids voted for, b/c I can’t imagine that half of the 2000s and 1990s published material is better than Cockrum’s X-Men!

Must be a LOT of Goth/Emo Gaiman Fans.

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stephen steward

May 2, 2008 at 9:56 pm

should be designated the america only list, aside from ‘lone wolf and cub’ and a few others

Bendis have 4 titles and nothig about Perez´s Wonder Woman, Walking Dead, Osamu Tezuka, Jiro Taniguchi, Carlos Gimenez, Moebius…
Bwahahahahahahaha.

Joe Lawler- I had The Dragon number two on my list, and of all the series outside of the top 100 its the one I am most curious on how it ranked.

This list is very limited in scope. It should be called the Top American SUPERHERO Comic Book List.

The author demonstrates a real lack of range. No mention of Tezuka, Hergé, or Moebius?

A visit to these sites might prove instructive:

http://fantagraphics.com/

http://lambiek.net/

Where the hell is Dave Sim and Gerhard on CEREBUS. 300 issues!

I was surprised at the absence of a few comics:

Erik Larsen – Savage Dragon

Walt Simonson – Fantastic Four

Peter Bagge – Hate

No Steranko, Clowes, or anyone form WWfan!’s list.

With a few exceptions, this almost seemed like a popularity contest. Especially with Chris Ware bringing up the rear.

Cerebus is 25th in the list.

“With a few exceptions, this almost seemed like a popularity contest. ”

Um, yeah. Isn’t that the point of doing a “100 Best” list?

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Thanks for this, Brian. It’s been interesting watching this coming together as we’ve eagerly awaited the next installment like some old-style RKO serial. Like any list, as the posters above prove all too well, you can never please all of the people all of the time. Yes, it shows an overwhelming bias towards US superhero comics, but so what? Did people honestly think it was going to be anything else? While there is a far greater range of comics out there, sadly many of them don’t appear on our radars thanks to english translations not being too easily available or LCS not willing to stock them as the tights & fights inclination of their customers means that those non-mainstream books don’t get a chance. Maybe someday this’ll change, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. For now, thanks for the effort in putting this together.

I’m stunned at the absence of Sin City. Stunned.

Damn, it;s sad to see “”The Maxx” not getting its due…

[...] Lunes de Listas, y mientras esperamos el post de Bayushi aprovecho para poner aquí un link al Top 100 de las mejores “temporadas” del mundo del cómic, sacada del sitio [...]

I get the impression that people appreciate the craft of Sin City, but don’t have a lot of affection for it.

I just wanted to say thank you for putting this list together. Regardless of the end rankings I think we can all agree that the list is a great resource for a lot of excellent comic book reading. Kudos!

“I think we can all agree that the list is a great resource for a lot of excellent comic book reading.”

Absolutely! And no doubt it will prove the fruitful source of many more postings yet as people report back with their opinions on works they have sought out and read as a direct result of them being included on this list and/or mentioned in its many comment threads.

I don’t know how many different titles scored votes but didn’t place, so I don’t know what an appropriate depth might be for a subsidiary listing of “runners-up”, but I’m sure a bare listing of at least the nearest of the near misses (if the full listing were to be too arduous) would be greeted with great interest by many readers – including voters, who may thus seek some sign that they were not the only keen appreciator of some forgotten or obscure run, or find out how close some beloved run came to inclusion in the winners’ circle.

(I know from other comments, for instance, that Green Lantern: Mosaic scored multiple votes, but there’s no evidence that I’m not alone in voting for, say, Steven Grant’s Challengers of the Unknown – knowing full well it would not place)

[...] – Top 100 Another tip from Metafilter led me to the Top 100 Comic Book Runs Master List over at Comics Should Be Good. The list starts at 100 and works its way down to the No 1 spot. So I [...]

As a comic-book enthusiast I think this is a great list–though I want to add to it Ed Brubaker’s Criminal, Brian Wood’s DMZ, and Steven Seagul’s American Virgin

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Could someone filter out all the superhero bs and repost so this is relevant to people who have gotten laid this decade

Umm, No mention of DC comics The WatchMen or Frank Miller Dark Knight. Or my all time Favorite the One.

This list seems to be dominated by the silver age.

:(

Mini-series were not allowed, John. That is why there is no Watchmen, Dark Knight, etc.

Matthew Weflen

May 6, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Where is the Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans?

Hey Rick,
i’m sorry that you feel the need to be rude to others who still enjoy superheroes. As this is a list of people’s favorite comic book runs, you may not like the results. Also, congrats on what i’m assuming is a very pleasing sex life. Yay you!

Well, when you compare the box-office of Superhero movies compared to non-Superhero comic movies…I’d say Superhero fans are the ones getting laid :D

fourthworlder

May 6, 2008 at 10:23 pm

I disagree, John, about the list being dominated by the Silver Age. Quckly scanning down it I count less than ten runs from before 1972.

But I totally applaud your choice of Rick Veitch’s “The One” as being, well, the one.
I love those six issues so dearly. When we get to vote on favorite limited series I’m going to have to choose between it and Watchmen. My head would probably have to go with the Watchmen, but my gut will likely overrule it and select The One.

Anyone who hasn’t read it really really should.
I also loved Veitch’s Abraxas and the Earthman.

[...] results of the Comics Should be Good poll on the 100 best comic book runs of all time has turned up the usual candidates, along with some interesting [...]

Frank Miller’s Sin City?! It didn’t make the top 100?? I’m shocked…stunned…wow. It should make the top 10, let alone the top 100…

I wonder what would happen if they tweaked the scoring:

As it stands, a voter’s #10 comic book of all-time gets 1 point. Their #11 comic of all time though, is tied with all eight bazillion (many crappy) other comics ever published with zero points gained. Not much of a difference between the one that just got edged out on your list and Rob Liefeld’s 2nd run (2004) of X-Force.

Maybe if the scoring started at 5 pts (for a #10 ranking) and went through 14 pts (for #1 ranking) we would get a different list.

The comics that most people included on their list would rank higher, while the comics that a few people loved and ranked high (but most did not deem worthy of inclusion) would take hits.

[...] so we had the Top 100 Marvel and DC Characters List. I even went a little further, and showed you the NEXT fifty-six runs on the list. But what about [...]

[...] so we had the Top 100 Comic Book Runs List. I even went a little further, and showed you the NEXT fifty-six runs on the list. But what about [...]

[...] so we had the Top 100 Comic Book Runs List. I even went a little further, and showed you the NEXT fifty-six runs on the list. But what about [...]

Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-11 should be an honorable mention.

Same goes for Miller’s Sin City.

[...] the comic book buffs, here’s a list of the top 100 comic book publishing runs rated by votes.read more | digg [...]

MidSouth Mouth

July 14, 2008 at 7:18 pm

This list is lacking alot such as Allison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For!

[...] in the bedroom, with glass doors on the front. The top shelf holds the collection of single issue comics that a couple of wonderful boys in Arkansas took pains to get for me and either send to China or [...]

Thomas Morrison

July 31, 2008 at 6:25 am

I’m shocked that certain runs didn’t make the list like;

Conan – Thomas / Smith
Nick Fury agent of Sheild – Sternanko
Dead Man – Adams

And things like;
X-Men Claremont / Romita jr.
New Mutants – Clairmont
were on this list.

and where is my martin mystere????

Where is Transmetropolitan???

What BS! I can’t believe the injustice of Transmetropolitan not making it on the lis…oh, right, #23. Oops.

where’s watchmennnn..?

Dicebox is a new favorite.

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Where the fuck is Allan Moore’s Watchmen it should be top ten

@ Justin

Why the fuck couldn’t you read even as far as the second line of the introduction where it clearly says “favorite runs from an ongoing comic book series”, which finite mini-series Watchmen clearly was not?

(Actually I feel neither the aggression nor contempt the above phrasing seems to suggest, but thought perhaps mirroring the question’s vernacular might help the questioner with comprehension of the answer. Fingers crossed)

mateo rodriguez

May 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

I know that that there is no mini-sereis, but I loooove x-men!

What is the Watchmen book? did they make a comic book of the movie? Is is good?
I didn’t see the movie b/c it was rated R and I could nto get in :(
please let know if I should find it, and please where to go.

Rogue is maaad hot, they shouldgive her her own series!!

LLCC—-Mateo

mateo rodriguez

May 15, 2009 at 11:07 am

or even better Rogue/ Deadpool on-going. I would have it in my file TOMRW!!

still LLCC
MAteo

i hate to troll. i hate to do it. it just happens to be that everyone’s favorite books happen to come primarily from marvel and dc. very little from DH, i’m not sure if i saw ANY SLG. i think the title should have been more appropriated to “top 100 comic runs for the masses and not for serious fans of illustrated literary achievements”.

@xjmtx Interesting. Your reluctant post raises several puzzling questions, such as: How can you tell the people who voted in this poll aren’t “serious” fans? (What is a serious fan?) Would you like to see a “top 100 comics as voted only by serious fans of illustrated literary achievements”? If so, would you restrict the eligible candidates (i.e. illustrated literary achievements), or voters, or both? How would you be able to tell which works and/or voters should be eligible to take place? Perhaps you could submit your own personal list of the 100 best works as the ballot, and let people vote to choose an ordering of them? That sounds like an objective and fair solution guaranteed to produce quality results reflecting the opinions of a large group of people, don’t you think?

You talk as if you had precise empirical measurements that mathematically prove that popularity correlates negatively with quality. But… we both know you don’t. Hey, we just shared a moment, am I right?

That was cute.

just gone through the list and read some of the comments i’ve been reading comics for 40 years and agree with neqrly every book on the list.
i have only 3 runs I find should have been included
1 . Chaykin’s American Flagg
2. Starlin’s Captain marvel
3. Starlin’s Dreadstar

how about watchmen

What a great list of books to check out. Thanks to all for the great comments, more things to add to my reading list. I’m surprised Mcgregor’s Jungle Action/Black Panther stuff wasn’t mentioned, but I guess that’s because Jungle action isn’t exactly ongoing. When I think of a comic I wish everyone knew about, I think about that run, and Steranko’s Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D stuff. Thanks again, great stuff!

As a relative neophyte to the comic world, I consider this list a great resource. It has a great range from classic Marvel/DC to image/darkhorse/vertigo/etc.

I was so pleased to see that Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol was so prominently on the list, as well as (early)Cerebus and Bone. I knew I didn’t have to worry about my favorite works by Moore, Miller, and Gaimen.

The only work I am sad to see didn’t make it (though I realize this is all an opinion poll-type affair) is Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot. It is the most unique run of anything I have ever read– a breathe of fresh air. Most of the time it’s manic surrealism at its finest, but there is such a brooding, sometimes legitimately sad, undertone that people tend to overlook. Even Burden’s work on Gumby is legendary, and it’s freakin’ Gumby!

My only other comment is that I wouldn’t have included Jimmy Corrigan to the list, in whatever iteration. There are so many “graphic novels” of a serious nature nowadays (Fun Home, for example, of Blankets or David Boring) that are actually novels. It would be crazy to try to put them in the same list. Jimmy Corrigan reads that way, to me.

this sucks non of my favorates are there

what the heck , dude this sucks . put some more spice in to it. or is it that south africans have the best taste when it comes to comics

Great list. Lots of new stuff to check out.

But no Carl Barks? Not that I read anthropomorphic animal comics frequently or anything, but any comic list seems incomplete without Unca Scrooge. Super influential, if under-appreciated in our time.

sandman should not be 1st

The 100 top comics of ALL TIME??? Hey, “experts”… there’s a lot more to it than superheroes/villains: No mention ANYWHERE of the Great, Great GREAT Carl Barks’ Donald Duck adventures??? Do you people think that history began with your birth???

Wheres Watchmen
Kick-ass should be about 40th

V for Vendetta

Even considering the immense superhero bias present in this list, it is totally insane that Siegel/Shuster’s original Superman run doesn’t appear here, yet John Byrne’s run appears at all, let alone above it.

Amazingly bad list. All you need to figure it out is that a bunch of hipster-doofus comic book insiders think they’re far too cool to put Siegal/Shuster’s Superman at or even near #1.

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It’s a shame no one voted for BWS’ run in Marvel Comics Presents for his exceptional work on Weapon X. To this day, I consider it the optimal marriage of words and art in the medium.

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