web stats

CSBG Archive

Top 158 Comic Book Runs #148-139

Here are the next ten runs!


146 (tie). Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers -53 points

Seven mini-series bookended by two Seven Soldiers one-shots.

This was a remarkable achievement that spanned over a year’s worth of comics. Some beautiful artwork in the bookends by JH Williams.

146 (tie). Gerry Conway’s Justice League of America – 53 points

Justice League of America #151-155, 157-216, 219, 221-223, 228- 230, 233-239, 241-255

A lot of strong stories and also the introduction of Justice League Detroit.

146 (tie). Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge – 53 points (1 first place vote)

Some one-off stories then Uncle Scrooge #1-69

Barks created one of the greatest, most interesting cohesive universes that I have ever seen. Tremendously rich adventure tales.

144 (tie). Mark Millar’s Authority -54 points

The Authority #13-20, 22, 27-29

Millar decided to go more political than Ellis did on his run, and the results are engaging. Also featured Frank Quitely art AND Art Adams art! That’s quite a pair!

144 (tie). Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum’s X-Men -54 points

X-Men #94-107 (Claremont scripted the early issues, then took over as full writer)

The first comics featuring the All-New, All-Differeny X-Men in their own comic book. Includes the death of Thunderbird plus the introduction of the Starjammers (not to mention the first appearance of Phoenix!).

141 (tie). Joseph Michael Straczynski’s Supreme Power – 55 points

Supreme Power #1-18

Darker interpretations of the Squadron Supreme, set in a more realistic Earth.

141 (tie). Ann Nocenti & John Romita Jr.’s Daredevil -55 points (1 first place vote)

Daredevil #250-282 (Nocenti began writing the book with #238 and stopped with #291 – they both skipped #258, and JRjr also did not draw #264 or #277)

A strong follow-up to Frank Miller’s Born Again, introduced Typhoid Mary!

141 (tie). Mike and Laura Allred’s Madman -55 points

Madman #1-3, Madman Comics #1-20, plus some one-shots

Wonderful off-beat comics. They recently brought Madman back to Image! Such amazing artwork.

139 (tie). Roy Thomas’ Conan – 56 points

Conan the Barbarian #1-94, 95-115 (plus a bunch of other Conan stuff)

As good as Kurt Busiek’s Conan is, this is probably the definitive Conan, comic-book wise. Some of the best work of Thomas’ career. Barry Windsor-Smith and John Buscema were amazing.

139 (tie). Jim Shooter’s Legion of Superheroes – 56 points (1 first place vote)

Adventure Comics #346-349, 352-355, 357-372, 374-380

As was his intention, Shooter brought a bit more of a Marvel feel to the Legion of Superheroes, and with him came death and some new characters, but most of all, strong stories.

Next batch tomorrow!


Graham Vingoe

May 8, 2008 at 12:29 am

really pleased to see that Roy Thomas’s Conan at least cracked the top 150! having looked at the 20 titles in the also-rans so far there are a lot of great choices and only 1 run I actively detest. the Nocenti run on Daredevil has always left me cold despite JrJrs art on the title. whenever I’ve tried to read a few issues from that run back to back I just have to stop as her style does nothing for me

Joe Gualtieri

May 8, 2008 at 1:38 am

So Claremont’s work with Cockcrum was split then? I voted for neither, but I’d definately go for the second one (#145-162, approx.) which has a few classics in it (#150, Kitty’s Fairly Tale) and no Leprechauns haunting Banshee’s castle.

Shooter’s Legion run was only 30 issues? Wow

Brian Cronin

May 8, 2008 at 3:43 am

I don’t even know if the second run received a vote (it very well might have, I just don’t recall if it did).

Andrew Collins

May 8, 2008 at 6:11 am

So, a series of mini-series like Seven Soldiers counts as a run? I thought there was a no mini-series rule?

I’d forgotten about Barks’ Duck tales. Wonderful comics.

Brian Cronin

May 8, 2008 at 6:27 am

There was also a “series of mini-series count” rule. ;)

So strange to see Barks’ Uncle Scrooge, one of the most wonderful runs of all time right next to Millar’s Authority, once of the most wretched and tasteless.

STRACZYNSKI’s first name is Joseph, I would presume, as he goes by ‘Joe’.

Yay to seeing the Nocenti/JRJ DD, Shooter’s Legion, and some Cockrum-era X-men. For better of for worse, it also introduced the Shi’ar empire, and many of the characters that came with it.

Def need to check out Madman, it’s one of those series I’ve always wanted to check out. And Carl Barks is one of the most underrated artists ever.

Brian, who was the artist on DD before JRJ?

I wish I had thought to vote for Barks’ Uncle Scrooge. I am so glad to see it on this list.

Heh…the Leprechauns in Banshee’s castle…forgot about that for a moment. Classic…

Is it weird that I like Ellis’s Authority more than Millar’s, but Quietly’s more than Hitch’s?

I kind of enjoyed Supreme Power (like Rene, I enjoy those examinations of super-heroes in a “real world” setting) but the fact that the thing was paced SO slowly, then stopped and restarted, then seemingly abandoned, it now feels very incomplete, like Straczynksi was going somewhere but took so long to get there even he got bored.

I don’t think I’ve read all of it, but Nocenti/JRjr’s Daredevil is pretty awesome. But I love JRjr’s art, so that helps.

I would love to read more of Conway’s Justice League…think it’ll ever get any trades, or will I have to wait until Showcase catches up to that point?

Brian Cronin

May 8, 2008 at 7:11 am

A few different artists, Walid.

Louis Williams, Rick Leonardi drew a popular issue (featuring Wolverine). Lee Weeks followed JRjr, and he was awesome on the title.

A nice mix of time periods this time, the first 50s comic, with Uncle Scrooge. Not many changes in any of the lists overall.

We have 122 runs (and 30927 pts)

– 44 runs are set in the Marvel Universe (12173 pts)
– 12 runs are X-Titles (3359 pts)
– 2 runs are Ultimate titles (679 pts)
– 46 runs if you get Marvel plus Ultimate Universe plus Supreme Power (12907 pts)

– 31 runs are set in the DC Universe (9721 pts)
– 4 runs are Bat-Titles (504 pts)
– 10 are Vertigo comics (4424 pts)
– 32 runs if you get DC plus Vertigo sub-universe plus Plastic Man retcon (9941 pts)

– 6 runs are set in the Wildstorm Universe (1048 pts)
– 5 runs have female protagonists (960 pts)

– 98 are superheroes or close enough (24690 pts)
– 24 are non-superhero (6237 pts)

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

– 1980s (37 runs – 10062 pts)
– 1990s (30 runs – 7388 pts)
– 2000s (30 runs – 6561 pts)
– 1970s (15 runs – 3953 pts)
– 1960s (7 runs – 2611 pts)
– 1940s (2 runs – 299 pts)
– 1950s (1 run – 53 pts)

Sorted by associated creator:

– Grant Morrison (7 runs – 2807 pts)
– Stan Lee (5 runs – 2446 pts)
– Alan Moore (7 runs – 1902 pts)
– Chris Claremont (7 runs – 1874 pts)
– John Byrne (3 runs – 1809 pts)
– Garth Ennis (4 runs – 1579 pts)
– Warren Ellis (6 runs – 1337 pts)
– Keith Giffen (4 runs – 1328 pts)
– Jack Kirby (3 runs – 1322 pts)
– Neil Gaiman (1318 pts)
– Frank Miller (2 runs – 1199 pts)
– Brian Michael Bendis (4 runs – 1079 pts)
– Steve Ditko (2 runs – 1034 pts)
– James Robinson (921 pts)
– Brian K. Vaughan (2 runs – 854 pts)
– Ed Brubaker (4 runs – 789 pts)
– J. M. de Matteis (742 pts)
– John Cassaday (2 runs – 722 pts)
– Marv Wolfman (643 pts)
– George Perez (643 pts)
– Peter David (2 runs – 624 pts)
– John Ostrander (3 runs – 591 pts)
– Howard Porter (574 pts)
– Pia Guerra (547 pts)
– Kurt Busiek (2 runs – 541 pts)
– Geoff Johns (3 runs – 534 pts)
– Walt Simonson (514 pts)
– Alex Maleev (480 pts)
– Bryan Hitch (2 runs – 474 pts)
– Bill Willimgham (428 pts)
– Darick Robertson (418 pts)
– Mark Waid (2 runs – 378 pts)
– Dave Sim (370 pts)
– Gerhard (370 pts)
– Mark Millar (2 runs – 369 pts)
– Mark Bagley (364 pts)
– Roger Stern (2 runs – 334 pts)
– John Romita Jr. (3 runs – 331 pts)
– Paul Levitz (328 pts)
– Brent Anderson (323 pts)
– Jeff Smith (321 pts)
– Adrian Alphona (307 pts)
– John Romita (270 pts)
– Denny O’Neil (2 runs – 261 pts)
– Peter Milligan (2 runs – 255 pts)
– Brothers Hernandez (236 pts)
– John McCrea (232 pts)
– Joss Whedon (229 pts)
– Steve Gerber (218 pts)
– David Mazzucchelli (211 pts)
– Tom and Mary Bierbaum (208 pts)
– Tom Mandrake (205 pts)
– Will Eisner (204 pts)
– Joe Kelly (202 pts)
– Steve Englehart (184 pts)
– Mike Mignola (179 pts)
– Frank Quitely (176 pts)
– Mike Baron (174 pts)
– Steve Rude (174 pts)
– Alan Davis (2 runs – 173 pts)
– Mike Allred (2 runs – 168 pts)
– Roy Thomas (2 runs – 165 pts)
– Sean Phillips (2 runs – 163 pts)
– Neal Adams (162 pts)
– David Michelinie (152 pts)
– Bob Layton (152 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)
– Michael Avon Oeming (134 pts)
– Paul Smith (133 pts)
– Marc Silvestri (133 pts)
– Christopher Priest (130 pts)
– Greg Rucka (122 pts)
– Paul Chadwick (120 pts)
– Joe Casey (117 pts)
– Robert Kirkman (115 pts)
– Mike Carey (114 pts)
– Peter Gross (114 pts)
– Ryan Kelly (114 pts)
РSergio Aragon̩s (110 pts)
– Mark Evanier (110 pts)
– Jim Starlin (109 pts)
– Mark Gruenwald (107 pts)
– Jim Shooter (2 runs – 106 pts)
– Mike Grell (104 pts)
– Stuart Immonen (103 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)
– JMS (55 pts)
– Ann Nocenti (55 pts)
– Laura Allred (55 pts)
– Dave Cockrum (54 pts)
– Gerry Conway (53 pts)
– Carl Barks (53 pts)
– Ben Templesmith (52 pts)
– Chuck Dixon (52 pts)
– Louise Simonson (51 pts)
– Kevin Smith (50 pts)
– Joe Quesada (50 pts)
– David Lapham (50 pts)
– Robert Loren Fleming (50 pts)

– 98 are superheroes or close enough (24690 pts)
– 56 are traditional superheroes (15840 pts)
– 42 are non-traditional superheroes (8840 pts)
– 13 are nonpowered superheroes (2234 pts)
– 10 are comedic superheroes (1854 pts)
– 43 are team books (11491 pts)
– 24 are non-superhero (6237 pts)

I agree with you Teebore. Yeah, Supreme Power started very strong, then went nowhere. JMS is the world’s most disappointing comic book writer. And I say this as someone who likes his work and thinks he is talented. But it’s weird, how he lost his way with the story, and then seemingly lost interest.

I never liked Gerry Conway’s writing, though I’m forced to recognize his importance in historical terms. Same way I feel about Len Wein and Howard Chaykin. But I read very little of Conway’s DC works, so I can’t comment on his Justice League work.

Jim Shooter is a figure I wish were more recognized in the comic book industry. He is a very talented writer and editor, though controversial as hell. But alas, I also never read his DC work.

The Authority, not one of Millar’s better works. I like Ellis’s version infinitely more.

Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil! Good stuff. A rare case of a Daredevil run that was very much different from Frank Miller’s, but still pretty good, pretty dark. Everyone else just tries to emulate Frank Miller, often even using many of the same characters Miller used. Ann Nocenti, another of comic’s under-apreciated writers.

By the way, a correction: it’s 47 comics when you get Marvel + Ultimate + Supreme Power.

And it’s 36 runs when you get DC + Vertigo + Plas. I’ll correct next time.

Good. Now I know that my vote for Supreme Power wasn’t for nothing.

And just to be clear: My vote was only for the 18 issues MAX series. I think that I mentioned it in my vote and it’s even written in Brian’s description.

I never liked Gerry Conway’s writing, though I’m forced to recognize his importance in historical terms. Same way I feel about Len Wein and Howard Chaykin. But I read very little of Conway’s DC works, so I can’t comment on his Justice League work.
The strange thing about Conway was that he never seemed to like the JLA all that much. He was a Baby Boomer and, as such, cared a little too much about the “hip” vs. “square” question. Conway seemed to place the major players in the JLA firmly in the “square” camp. His energy was always with the comparatively minor players.

The irony is that his JL: Detroit was actually not that bad. Chuck Patton did some nice art for that series for one thing. But more than anything, Conway was invested in his cast. Zatanna and Ralph Dinby were the types of characters he had liked previously. Vixen, Steel, Vibe and Gypsy were decent Marvel-style superhero team roster-fillers. They were all on the “hip” side of the ledger as Conway was concerned.

Based upon what I have seen from this survey, I honestly believe that had Conway and Patton created those four at Marvel and surrounded them with a bottom rung founding Avenger, like Hank Pym, and a couple noteworthy lesser lights that the series would have placed 50 spots higher in the survey. It was almost exactly the same premise as the Claremont-Silvestri run on “X-Men” for example.

I always felt bad for Nocenti – Miller had literally blown up the entire book and left Matt without much of a civilian life to use as plot material. That team did yeoman’s work in keeping things interesting.

And for the ultimate anti-Miller writing, Kesel’s short but excellent DD run takes the cake. He wrote DD as being… happy. And it worked.

I’ve never read Kesel’s DD. A “happy” Daredevil triggers alarms in me, because it seems… wrong somehow, just like a “grim and gritty” Fantastic Four also feels wrong. I think DD works best as a dark hero, even Stan Lee’s later DD’s issues were attempts to move away from the Mike Murdock silliness. Well, I don’t need all my heroes to be dark, but I’m also not one of those fans who’d wish all them were light either.

Still it’s interesting, Kesel’s run came in a time when everybody was starting to react against grim and gritty, if I’m not mistaken.

But I think the genius of Nocenti was to keep DD dark, but still doing something very different from the usual Frank Miller route, that has been more or less followed by Kevin Smith, Brian Bendis, Ed Brubaker…

Is this Scrooge the same as the 12 chapter History of Scrooge series? (Of Duck, Dimes and Destinies through The Richest Duck in the World)

comb & razor

May 8, 2008 at 9:49 am

Dean –

i also rather enjoyed JL: Detroit and was originally a bit befuddled by the unmitigated hatred it receives in the blogosphere.

taking a step back, i can understand why it might have been a bad *JLA* book… but if you forget that fact that it’s supposed to be the Justice! League! of America!, i think it was a perfectly serviceable (and oftentimes quite enjoyable) superhero book.

DISCLAIMER: i haven’t re-read any of it since its original run, so i can’t speak on how it holds up today. from some of the panels i’ve viewed online, i’m a bit alarmed at how sketchy the art was occasionally.

Kesel’s DD sits alongside Waid’s Flash as the heralds of the Heroes Return/JLA era. It was the first breath of fresh air, as it was, and you could really tell at the time.

I probably should have included it on my top ten.

Kesel’s way too fun a writer not to show up even in the top 150.

Yay for Shooter’s Legion! That was the perfect gateway to comics when I was 11. I think that was #10 on my very personal, very subjective list of favorites.

People were used to see the JLA as the big guns in the DC Universe. Instead, the Detroit League seemed to me a misguided attempt to replicate another DC superteam: the Teen Titans. Understandable from a commercial standpoint, since the Titans were all the rage in 1984.

Maybe the Detroit League wasn’t awful, but it still was never as good as the Titans, nor was it faithful to the Justice League tradition, so it’s no surprised it’s loathed and ridiculed by many, since it fails both as what it was supposed to be, and what it actually tried to be.

“Kesel’s DD sits alongside Waid’s Flash as the heralds of the Heroes Return/JLA era. It was the first breath of fresh air, as it was, and you could really tell at the time.”


I think that is Waid’s Flash was such a success (besides being a very competent superhero book).

It started in 1992, when everything was dark, gritty, deconstructed, crossover-intensive. DC not as much as Marvel, but it still was a time of Superman dying and Batman being crippled. The Flash was the opposite of all that.

Nevermind. Apparently I’m thinking of the Don Rosa Scrooge.

You know I honestly though Roy Thomas’ Conan would make the top 20. As far as I’m concerned it was one of the best comics of the seventies and a lot of it still holds up surprisingly well.

Tell me about it. Roy Thomas’s Conan comics were even bigger here in Brazil than in the US.

Are they the most commercially successful non-superhero comics in the 70s and 80s? (Though maybe that would be Archie? I dunno)

But I think these comics just aren’t too fresh in most people’s minds, seeing how the Conan crazy eventually died down. They were huge here in Brazil until 1992 or so, but then they just disappeared.

taking a step back, i can understand why it might have been a bad *JLA* book… but if you forget that fact that it’s supposed to be the Justice! League! of America!, i think it was a perfectly serviceable (and oftentimes quite enjoyable) superhero book.


My perfect JLA run would be two parts Morrison/Porter, two parts Giffen/DeMaties/Maguire and probably part Gerry Conway. I loved the scope of Morrison and the updating of the crazy Silver Age-y ideas. I loved the character development and humor of the “Bwhahaha” league that made the big action stuff matter more. However, Conway had an interest in the tension between the big, bad Justice League and the regular people they were supposed to be helping.

You really saw that in the JL: Detroit. Late in the satellite years, he was always having his proxies (i.e. Green Arrow) yelling at the others about their ineffectiveness in creating social justice. It was boring for the most part, but he had a point. The JL: Detroit was instead filled with characters who were either non-white and/or poor. A lot of them were caricatures, but at least he was making an effort to show instead of lecture. I loved his takes on Zatanna, Vixen and Aquaman.

I voted for Barks’s Uncle Scrooge work. I can’t think of a word to describe it better than “rollicking”. Just big, epic adventure stories, about an elderly, globe-trotting Scottish duck. Amazing. That said, I thought about voting for his Donald Duck stuff, which is a lot simpler, but just as fun. Barks’s Donald is so much better developed than the animated version, and the dynamic between him and his nephews is just crazy and amazing.

I didn’t care much for Conway’s JLA work. which (as Dean points out) feels a lot like a Marvel-style “people mistrust heroes” book. That never made sense to me, or at least I don’t enjoy it, and I couldn’t get into Conway’s work for that reason.

Nothing else here I’ve really read, although I’ve been meaning to read 7 Soldiers.

You know, Brian, sometimes it seems as if you’ve read ALL this stuff! Maybe I’m just falling for your writing ability. Though, admittedly, you HAVE to have read a bunch of superhero comics (and have a really good memory of them) to do a thing like Snark Free every week. So what percentage of these 153 runs have you actually read or sampled issues from? I’m real curious. Though I realize answering may harm your mystique as the font of all comic book knowledge ;)

Never did read Nocenti or Kesel on DD, as I’d ditched the book before the end of Miller’s first run, not to return until, well, Bendis, pretty much. DD was off in Siberia to me for many, many years.

I voted for Claremont/Cockrum 2nd run. I had it ranked 10th on my list, so it got 1 point, anyway.

I’m constantly blown away by how dynamic and cool-looking Cockrum’s art is on his first run, and what a drastic dip in enjoyability it takes on his second.
If the tragic illness that made his later life so difficult was already affecting his work at that time, then I’m sorry I said anything, but nothing I could dig up online seems to indicate that this would be a factor until several years later, so I’ll ask, “what the hell happened?” Was it Shooter’s visual policies that cut down on detail and encouraged blank backgrounds to accommodate the cheaper printing processes being used? What?

So many great books!

I don’t know what more painful, seeing so many mediocre 90s books in the top 15, or seeing so many true classics way down here. I would say 9 of these are better than Morrison’s JLA (tho I enjoyed that book) and I think in most cases Morrison would agree with me!

I like Cockrum’s second X-Men run WAY more than his first run, both story and art. It gets overshadowed by the Byrne and Smith runs that bookended it, but it’s high-adventure storytelling at its best.

In all the talk about the Nocenti run (both here and on the “first Miller run” page), nobody talks about how great her run on the book was once Matt CAME BACK to New York. Yes, it was disappointing that Nocenti didn’t pick up all the abandoned storylines she had left dangling, but instead she did a new stand-alone Bullseye story that was FANTASTIC. That run (beautifully illustrated by Lee Weeks and Kerion Dwyer) is a no-brainer to get its own trade. After all, it’s Nocenti’s only storyline that had a satisfying beginning middle AND end.

It funny that Shooter’s Legion and Thomas’s Conan ended up together– A few months ago, I started a ritual, working my way through the entire early LoSH by reading a few comics every night before bed. When I got to the end of Shooter’s run, I bailed and switched over to reading all of Thomas’s Conan. I’m up to issue number 52. I go to sleep happy. Both of those books are pure pleasure– everything that’s great about comics.

Fred Salvador

May 8, 2008 at 4:52 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading the Best Runs columns and especially the comments from everyone. It’s been a great trip down Memory Lane and it’s really got me excited about reading some of the runs I’ve missed. Thanks to all!

Matt Bird said:
“I like Cockrum’s second X-Men run WAY more than his first run, both story and art.”

Well, in that case, you might as well be from Neptune from my perspective. Seriously, his artwork is barely a shadow of its former self in the second run.
Were you reading as each run came out, or is this from a reprint perspective? The first run is not well served by the recolouring in most reprint versions compared to the originals (the b&w in the Essentials isn’t so bad, though). This is true of a lot of 70s Marvel stuff, though.

I was wondering how much of a comic book nerd I am, so I actually counted how many runs I’ve read, from the 122 listed so far. Turns out I’ve read about half of them.

– 62 runs I’ve read most or all of it
– 14 runs I’ve read partially
– 46 runs I’ve never read or read very little

Jack, I’m equally baffled by your preference for the first run.

During the first run, the faces (esp. Wolverine and Nightcrawler) were inconsistent, the figures stiff, and the anatomy awkward. Characters would frequent stand with their legs so far apart it makes me wince. And the villains keep stretching their arms and fingers out in the air as far as they’ll go.

The second run was, well, utterly masterful. I love the way he drew just about everything:
–half-melted Garokk
–Magneto’s island
–the costumes the X-Men wear on the island
–the fairy tale (c’mon! can you seriously look at the issue and think he’s phoning it in?”)
–the brood (a character-design that gets more popular every year, right? Well, he invented it here)

What a great run. Beautifully and passionately pencilled. SO much better than his first run. Join us here on Neptune! The weather’s fine!

Bernard the Poet

May 9, 2008 at 1:54 am

Wow, all this enthusiasitic banter regarding which of Cockrum’s runs was best. Personally, I thought they were both rubbish. The second run shades it as being worse than the first, because Cockrum persisted in drawing the X-Men as teenagers despite the fact that Byrne had established them as being much older than the original team.

Cockrum did do some good character design – The Brood are uniquely alien – but it took work from Byrne and Smith to really show how good those designs were.

Oh yes, and Kitty’s Fairy Tale is an abomination.

But Bernard, tell us how you really feel about Cockrum’s run lol

I dunno, his Wolverine and Storm never seemed to look like teenagers, and his Nightcrawler didn’t look all that different from Byrne’s. I don’t know if they were older than the originals as much as they were OLDER when they joined the X-men…

Sorry you didn’t like Kitty’s Fairy tale, but I felt it was a nice change of pace from the angst that had preceded it, and the characters really needed a good laugh, at the time. Different strokes, I guess…

One other thing, the Brood were introduced during Cockrum’s 2nd run, long after Byrne had left. I don’ recall Byrne ever using those characters at all during the 1980s.

Bernard the Poet

May 9, 2008 at 2:49 am

No, Byrne has never drawn the Brood, as far as I know. I was thinking of other Cockrum designs that Byrne utilised well, particularly Nightcrawler and Phoenix.

I thought Cockrum drew Wolverine and Storm to be about ten younger than Byrne’s versions.

All I’ve read of these is X-Men and Supreme Power.

X-Men: Loved it, but it’s certainly no Claremont/Byrne

Supreme Power: Loved it. Great story and great art. I assumed it was ineligible. \wasn’t it planned as 18 issues?

[…] of Superheroes (which he began when he was 14 years old) is still an acclaimed run by fans (it was in the Top 150 Comic Book Runs, as voted on by Comics Should be Good readers), but what is especially remarkable is how much his […]

comb & razor

May 9, 2008 at 5:40 am

Rene –

yeah, Conan comics were HUGE in West Africa, too. probably much more than they were in the States.

Such a shame the US has forgotten about Barks’ beautiful universe. In Germany Duck-comics are still quite popular (especially Don Rosa’s the “Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck”, a great comic if I’ve ever seen one)

I wouldn’t go so far as to say Dave Cockrum’s runs were rubbish, but it’s true that John Byrne and Paul Smith were much, much better. Cockrum was a perfectly competent and creative penciller, but the other two are geniuses.

I feel a bit sorry for Cockrum. The guy co-created the new X-Men, but then John Byrne came along and the book took a quantum leap in both quality and popularity. Suddenly, Byrne and Claremont were superstars, while Cockrum was almost forgotten. Then he comes back to the book he co-created, but he was seen as a second-stringer replacing a god. No surprise that in many interviews Dave Cockrum sounded so bitter.

Bernard the Poet

May 9, 2008 at 10:14 am

I think you are being too kind, Rene. Cockrum’s work doesn’t look bad in comparison to Byrne and Smith. It is bad in its own right.

Certainly, he is not helped that Claremont’s work during this period was very patchy: the Magneto story was well written and the McCleod-pencilled Hellfire Club story had its moments, but the Brood saga seemed never-ending and the Dr Doom story was just plain bad. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that Cockrum couldn’t draw more than three facial expressions or imbue his figures with any sense of movement or motion.

Patrick Lemaire

May 9, 2008 at 11:30 am

Quite a few favorites here. Conan by Roy Thomas. The DD run should have included Al Williamson, he was an integral part to th esuccess of the series. He’s the best inker ever of JR Jr (even better than Danny Miki)
Uncle Scrooge :Carl Barks is celebrated as a genius in northern Europe. A few years ago he had more fanzines dedicated to him than Kirby.
Gerry Conway’s JLA is the definitive version, it’s not often cited and I guess not many people he stayed on that for a hundred issues. It’s the only part of the post Crisis that had not been rebooted. Actually the modern DC was built around JLA.
Cockrum was such a good designer of costumes, ranking as high as Kirby and Perez. They had panache.

Yeah, Cockrum was a master at costume-design. (and I agree about Kirby too… but Perez?? I consider costumes to be his greatest weakness! His achilles heel if you will. Jericho? Nightwing’s first costume? I must protest!)

Depth and texture, depth and texture. The panels of Cockrum’s first run have a real 3d feel to them, like they have depth beyond the thickness of the page. The second run stuff, however, is never more than lines on paper to me. Everything looks like a preliminary sketch in the second run, while it looks finished and complete in the first. The stances and other factors you cite barely register with me compared to this. It’s a visual effect I consider very “80s” and associate with an accommodation to the cheap printing of the time, especially compared to what I’ll admit is the “cherished” 70s look of my childhood.

Whoa, I have Gerry Conway’s first issue of Justice League! And I bought out of a 3 for a dollar bin!

Okay, now I can see what you’re saying, Jack. The art did have more solidity to it on that first run, but that’s not very important to me. Different people judge pencils using different metrics.

There are some favorites of mine in this stretch. “Supreme Power” was good while it lasted (Geez, did that go downhill once they put out those minis) and Millar’s “Authority” did for that property what NBC did for the “The Office”, honored it’s previous incarnation while complexifying its world as a whole… Oh, and I’m glad Bark’s “Scrooge” made the list, although don’t underestimate Don Rosa’s run.

I think I have some familiarity with almost all of these runs — although I’m not sure I’ve ever read any reprints of Shooter’s early work on the Legion. (I do own the first “Showcase” volume for the Legion, but I believe that stops short of when Shooter started selling scripts about them.)

On the other hand, I believe I own much — maybe all; I’d have to check — of his work on the Superboy title in the 1970s when he was basically doing a “second run” on the Legion characters (I think it was around that time that the title got changed from just plain “Superboy” to “Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes”. Later on, the Legion simply elbowed Superboy out of his own book and it became “Legion of Super-Heroes.” I swear, a few friends show up at your front door asking if you can give them a place to stay, you say sure . . . and before you know it they’re pretending to own the place!).

It surprises me that Gerry Conway’s entire JLA run got votes — if I had voted for any portion of it, I would have to phrase it in a way that made it clear as crystal that I was not voting for the “Detroit Era” from the last couple of years of that title before it was cancelled.

Incidentally, after I saw people complaining that Carl Barks on Uncle Scrooge had not made the Top 100, I finally (probably for the first time in a long, long while) reread some of the stories I have from his run, as reprints in later issues of “Uncle Scrooge” and the like. I admit he had something going for him! But it had been so long since I really looked at any of his stuff that he didn’t qualify for “Top 10 Favorites” on my ballot, although back around the early 1980s, the younger me really enjoyed those epic adventures of Uncle Scrooge and his younger kinfolk! :)

7 Soldiers is absolutely great, but I did not personally count it as a run. If there’s ever a top 100 mini-series poll, though, I’d think several of the mini series that make it up will do really well.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives