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CSBG Archive

Again, the Top 100 Comic Runs Master List

It can be found here for your quick reading pleasure.


One breakdown of the list that I haven’t seen yet is how many runs feature Marvel and DC’s flagship characters (I’m loosely defining “flagship” as the iconic ones that have maintained a presence in the comics since the beginning, or at least since around the silver age).


X-men – 6 runs
Avengers – 3 runs (4 if you count Ultimates)
Fantastic Four – 3 runs
Spider-Man – 3 runs (4 if you count Ultimate Spidey)
Daredevil – 3 runs
Captain America – 2 runs
Thor – 2 runs
Hulk – 1 run
Iron Man – 1 run
Dr. Strange – 1 run
Nick Fury – None
Silver Surfer – None
Sub-mariner – None


Justice League – 2 runs
Legion of Super-Heroes – 2 runs
Justice Society – 1 run
Teen Titans – 1 run
Batman – 2 runs
Flash – 2 runs
Green Lantern – 2 runs
Green Arrow – 2 runs
Superman – 1 run (2 if you count All-Star)
Wonder Woman – None
Aquaman – None
Captain Marvel – None

Don’t know what this proves exactly, besides I can’t get enough of these lists, but it’s kind of a (very) loose gauge of how inspiring the classic characters are for creators to generate memorable storylines.

About 60% of the list is made up of lesser-known, often independent creations. Which may be why the general public don’t respect comics as much, maybe they assume that the above characters represent 100% of the market, when they’re really just a (diminishing) portion of the stuff out there.

Or maybe it’s all meaningless. Still, lists are fun.

I know the rules did not work this way, but if you add up the 4 Claremont X-Men runs, you get 1554, which is more than Sandman got. Plus, I bet a few people voted for the Lee and Cockrum runs, as well.

There is certainly something to be said for that. I mean, Sandman had a large number of artists on it, it was not a fixed “team”. It’s just one of those rules, where you need to draw a line somewhere.

Just thought I would mention it.

True, but you aso have to factor in multiple votes by the same voter. If even five of the almost seven hundred people who voted were fantical x-people (which seems, at least, possible) who voted for five or six different Claremont runs, that would account for the point differential right there. Another scenario, that I think is likely is that forty or fifty of those seven hundred people voted for two Claremont runs, which could result in a similar lead that wouldn’t really exist if “Claremont’s X-men” was counted as a single run. And of course, some combination of these two possibilities, etc, etc.

stephen cade

May 3, 2008 at 2:40 pm

3 of mine didn’t make it–and I’m not surprised they didn’t–but they remain dear to me in the way any of the top 100 are loved by those who voted for them.

One was Cavalieri & Statson’s Huntress series–the one that re-introduced the character as Helena Bertinelli.
Staton’s art was right for the stories & the characters. I haven’t really liked anything done with the Huntress since this series. It just seemed like a different woman. But the series itself borrowed from the Earth 2 Helena Wayne, and yet made her a new character. She seemed like a real person, not some adolescent fantasy woman.

The other two were Roy Thomas works, that were essentially ruined by Crisis. Infinity Inc was fun, nostalgic in a good sense, and seemed logical for Earth2. I enjoyed the updates on earth 2 (Big fan of it actually) and the characters interacted well and developed.

Also Thomas’ All Star Squadron was a lot of fun, and an example of well done retcon that builds, ratehr than tears down. I originally picked it up due to Plastic Man on a cover–he wasn’t a major character, and he was more serious there, but I loved the series.

I don’t know if anybody else picked any of these on their lists–but I did.

I have mixed feelings about this exercise.
Most of the series I voted for ended up on the list, most pretty high.
I was certainly glad to see STARMAN in the top ten.

But, I would be interested to learn the average age of those who answered the survey.

I mean… NO DC title from the Silver Age, not one of them, made the top 100 best runs!!!??
Not one of them!
DC’s Silver Age, mainly edited by Julius Schwartz, saved the superhero genre!
Without them, there would not be no Marvel, no superheroes, and no Top 100 Comic Book Runs.
And they were certainly classic, long runs on FLASH, GREEN LANTERN, BATMAN…
And what about the classic Weisenger Era SUPERMAN? (when most of the Man of Steel’s myhtology was developped).
DC’s great Silver Age names like Gardner Fox and John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Gil Kane, Curt Swan were ignored by the vast majority of the participants.

The X titles and mutant related stuff got more than 10% of the slots…
Claremont and Byrne’s run on the X-Men was fun and enjoyable but was it really the seond best run of comic book history? No way I can be convinced of that.

The Golden Age, Silver Age (aside from a few of Marvel main titles) and even Bronze Age was pretty much dominated by much more recent recent stuff.

Marvel also dominated the poll.
Only two Batman runs but at least 6 X-men runs?
You gotta be kidding me!
When I wrote down my top ten list, I could have limited my choices to Batman related runs and have submitted 10 classic runs right there.
No way a character that has been a best seller for it’s company since 1939 can have had only two hits, when the X-Men (almost every runs pretty recent) get 6!?!

Like I said, it was a fun experience, but I am left thinking about how valid it was…


May 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm

I’m also curious about the average voter age.

Id like to see what didnt make it im sure alot of the Silver Age DC runs are in there.

Quantum and Woody!!!!!

I had trouble with the list because when I started digging through the Silver Age it was hard to find “runs” of creators. One of my favorite runs was Green Lantern from about 115 – 130, yet there were 5 creative teams on the book in the that time. Same for Justice League of America, from 189 – 200 the book was just fantastic (return of Starro, Green Arrow quits, the secret origin of Red Tornado, an awesomely classic Secret Society of Super-villains story and the eponymous #200…but that was 5 creative teams not including the 10 that were on #200. I just couldn’t include those because they weren’t really runs.

Curt Swan is about the only guy I can think of who had a run from the old days that shocked me in not making the list. Marvel sells more than DC so it’s not surprising to me that there are more fans to vote more times for more Marvel titles.

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