Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Here are the next ten
137 (tie). Grant Morrison’s Zenith – 57 points
2000 AD #535-550, 558-559, 589-606, 626-634, 650-662, 667-670, plus some Annuals, plus an additional run from #791-806 that is probably a bit too far away to count as one run
I just featured this run on the comic book alphabet of cool. It was a fun, postmodern superhero tale of a superhero in a time when doing music videos was the most superheroes had to do – so what does he do once he actually has to be a superhero? We shall see! Brendan McCarthy and Steve Yeowell were the main artists (the former doing the design work and the latter most of the actual pencilling).
137 (tie). Fabian Nicieza’s Thunderbolts – 57 points (1 first place vote)
Nicieza took over a book that seemed like it was completely Kurt Busiek’s title, but by the time Nicieza left, his personal stamp was all over the work. He did a fine job bringing them back a few years after this run, as well. Mark Bagley helped transition the run from Busiek to Nicieza, then Patrick Zircher did some fine work on the book.
136. Steve Gerber’s Defenders – 58 points (1 first place vote)
The Defenders #20-29, 31-41
Steve Gerber’s run on the Defenders is most notable in how off-beat it was, especially for the time period. A highlight of this run is the work Gerber did with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
134 (tie). Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman – 62 points
Catwoman #1-10, 12 -37
Brubaker completely revamped Catwoman, turning her into a sort of Robin Hood of Gotham’s East Side. Darwyn Cooke was there at first to help design things, then Cam Stewart did a marvelous job on the title keeping up with Cooke’s style. Gritty, character-based drama.
134 (tie). Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers – 62 points (1 first place vote)
Avengers #500-503, New Avengers #1-current (#40), plus some Annuals and I guess Mighty Avengers #1-current (#13)
Bendis finished one run on the Avengers and then revamped them as Marvel’s premiere superhero franchise, taking a book that was doing average sales and making it Marvel’s most popular title (then launching a spin-off that somehow managed to do almost as well!).
133. Roy Thomas’ All Star Squadron – 63 points
All-Star Squadron #1-67, plus some Annuals
Roy Thomas was given the keys to the kingdom when he was allowed to do this series that filled in the blanks in DC’s Golden Age. It was detailed, but it was also humanistic, and some of Thomas’ finest comic book work of the decade.
132. Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s Swamp Thing – 64 points (2 first place votes)
House of Secrets #92, Swamp Thing #1-10
This run, which introduced Swamp Thing to world has nice stories by Len Wein, but it is Bernie Wrightson’s stunning gothic-esque artwork that defines this run. Amazing artwork.
130 (tie). Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead – 65 points
Walking Dead #1-current (#49)
This tale of what happens to zombie survivors when they try to live the rest of their lives is an engaging look at how “real” people would react to the situations given to them. Tony Moore began the book, but Charles Adlard has been doing it for years. Great work.
130 (tie). Peter Bagge’s Hate – 65 points
This could easily count other books, but let’s just say Hate #1-30, plus a bunch of annuals.
Bagge’s Hate is a stunning piece of political and social commentary, highlighted by Bagge’s stinging sense of humor and his exaggerated style of artwork. Buddy Bradley is more or less an “everyman” trying to deal with the modern world as responsibly as he can, while all the while noting how bad the world can be (humorously, of course!).
129. William Messner-Loeb’s Flash – 66 points (1 first place vote)
Flash #15-28, 30-61
While Mark Waid’s run is the more famous, a lot of Waid’s cues were from Bill Loebs’ run on the title, as it was Loebs who began to humanize Wally West, and it was Loebs who introduced Linda Park, and the interesting chemistry between Linda and Wally. Loebs stories were centered around humanity, but they also had action and, most importantly, they often had FUN.
Loebs also outed the Pied Piper in a brilliant piece of writing. If only Northstar could have been outed as well as Loebs handled the Piper.
That’s it for today! Ten more tomorrow!
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