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CSBG Archive

Top 158 Comic Book Runs #118-109

Here are the next ten runs!

Enjoy!

116 (tie). J. Michael Straczynski’s Amazing Spider-Man – 76 points

Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #30-58, Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #500-545

JMS’ run on Amazing Spider-Man helped to revitalize the Spider-Man line, turning what was a book in sales trouble into one of Marvel’s highest-selling titles. He had a good chemistry with his artists, especially the initial run, with John Romita, Jr. as artist.

116 (tie). Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey – 76 points (1 first place vote)

Birds of Prey #56-90, 92-108

A fine follow-up to Chuck Dixon’s origination of the team. Like most great runs, Simone highlighted characterization, and stressed the development of both Black Canary and Huntress during the series, as well as the closer bond that the three main female leads developed. Also a sizable amount of humor.

116 (tie). Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert’s Sgt. Rock – 76 points (1 first place vote)

A whole pile of Our Army at War and Sgt. Rock comics – too many different issues to list.

Strong, solid war stories with gritty, dynamic artwork by Kubert. Not many multi-issue arcs, so Kanigher had to come up with new stories constantly, which he did with a great amount of ingenious plot ideas (for a series that had such a basic premise, Kanigher got as much out of it as he could).

115. Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg 43 – 77 points

(writer) American Flagg #1-26, #38-32

(penciler) American Flagg #1-12, 15-26

One of the first “modern” superheroes of the 1980s, featured great artwork by Chaykin as well as an engaging story. Perhaps the first time oral sex was shown in a comic book.

114. Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan’s Tomb of Dracula- 78 points

Tomb of Dracula #7-70, plus Annuals

A rousing action epic, with incredibly moody artwork by Colan and his longtime inker, Tom Palmer. What Wolfman did best in this run was introducing new characters and developing both them and the established characters he inherited. Hannibal King, Blade and Frank Drake all become multi-faceted intriguing characters, and Dracula was always there, too, being evil and cool.

113. Scott Lobdell’s Generation X – 79 points

Generation X #1-28, plus the four Age of Apocalypse issues

Lobdell introduced original characters, which was a big deal at the time, and Lobdell and artist Chris Bachalo (who drew most of Lobdell’s run) did a marvelous job coming up with characters that seemed a bit out of place in the typical world of the X-Men. Bachalo did particularly nice work on Skin and Chamber. A lot the development of Emma Frost for Morrison’s run came from this run.

112. Katsuhiro Ôtomo Akira – 80 points

Young Magazine #24 (1982)- #28 (1990), Published in the US in Akira #1-38

Ôtomo’s work on Akira was the bridge he needed from working in manga to working in film and television, and you can see that ability in the majestic work that often appears in Akira – it is widescreen designs and drawings – all with an intriguing plot.

111. Ed Brubaker/Matt Fraction’s Iron Fist – 83 points

The Immortal Iron Fist #1-current (#14)

Massive roller coaster ride of action, with one of the better new characters (the “Golden Age” Iron Fist) to come along in awhile. Very nice art throughout most of the series. This is a dynamic book with a number of good character moments, as well.

110. Grant Morrison/Mark Waid/Greg Rucka/Geoff Johns’ 52 – 85 points

52 #1-52

Yes, it only lasted a year, but if a book is over 50 full issues, I figure I can count it as an ongoing. This series started slow, but soon built up so much momentum that the final half was like a massive avalanche of cool moments, all set up with the deft characterization work each writer did with the fourth-string characters who starred in 52.

109. Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ Batman – 87 points

Detective Comics – #395, 397, 400, 402, 404, 407-408, 410 & Batman #232, 234, 237, 243-245, 251, 255

While spilt up over the early 1970s, O’Neil and Adams still had a bit of a run, where Adams’ conception of Batman became the definitive look for Batman in the 1970s. This run tried to take Batman back to a darker style (after the camp of the TV series), along with stellar artwork by Adams. It was during their run that Ra’s al Ghul was introduced.

That’s it for today! The final six tomorrow!!

66 Comments

77 POINTS!!!!!!!

how the eff does american flagg only get 77 points?
people, if you just have not read this book (only unforgivable as it has been long out of print) go out and grab the new hard cover that will be coming out soon. this work is so good and needs to be seen and read by more eyes.

seriously, chaykin at his best

JMS’s Amazing Spiderman run needs the following disclaimer: On several storylines, JMS ran into heavy editorial interference, and that needs to be taken into account when reading the title. (From what I’ve heard, JMS’s version of OMD, while still being bad, would not be brain damagingly stupid.)

Anybody want to guess the last 6? I think Perez’s Wonder Woman has to be there. I’m not sure what else (maybe Johns/Katz Booster Gold??)

well, I’m glad to see JMS Spider-Man get some love despite the fact that it turned to shit post-JRJ, while Romita was on it the book was incredible…and Tomb Of Dracula is an unexpected surprise, but that book ruled…

Dracula! Rock! Adams Batman! Here’s all those runs that some quixotic people thought would be in the top ten (right alongside some books that, um, don’t exactly belong on the same list). Great to see Akira finally show up! Obviously Akira was hurt because many people (like me) ruled out foreign books on a comparing-apples-to-oranges basis. It it competed fairly, it would be hard to imagine that it wouldn’t be one the top books.

Hmm, Brian clearly hasn’t read his Conan– who had sex that was just as graphic as Flagg’s in his code-approved book, and quite a bit more graphic in “Savage Sword.” Heck, Steranko’s Nick Fury got just as graphic as Flagg.

Oh right, it was ORAL sex that Flagg first had. Always hard to keep track of the random “firsts” in comics.

Past Generation X (geez, I should have voted for Nicieza’s post-Liefeld X-Force; that’s a better run what with the Siryn/Black Tom alchoholism issue and Sam giving Xavier the lecture about how you can protect with the closed fist and what not) and JMS’ Spidey which started out strong but petered out completely after Sins Past, give or take the New Avengers arc which was fun and fresh…

This is the list of comics that I figured would be higher.

Honestly, I didn’t even think of picking 52. It just doesn’t seem “ongoing” to me.

I hope that Michelinie/Layton/Bright’s run on Iron Man is listed next. It was one of Marvel’s strongest titles in the late 80s and deserves mention on this list, imo. In fact, I liked it even better than the first run by Michelinie and Layton. As for JMS’ Spider-Man being in the top 158…well…I’m not sure what to say about that, given the run’s high level of controversy among fans.

I’m not a huge manga fan but Akira stands as a masterpiece of comics art. It’s up there with Moebius and Jodorowski’s “Incal” series as far as an epic comic story that comes round full-circle. Visually and plotwise there isn’t a single hole I can think of. Very surpised it didn’t make the top 100.

Happy to see Gen-X here. This series strikes me as Bachalo’s perfect run. Just the right balance between his current conceptual take on super-heroes and his unassuming yet beautiful work on Shade and Death. Plus his AoA Colossus is kicks ass.

Just some stray first reactions regarding what I know about the items in this installment (which in some cases is nothing!).

I’m amazed JMS on Spidey even made it onto this extended list. Sure, he started off well, but I’d quit buying monthly installments even before “Sins Past.” Once I read the TPB collection of it, I marveled at how his work on Spidey had gone so far downhill in just a few years. (On the plus side, at least the TPB inspired me to enjoy myself by write a scathing parody of its ridiculous plot twists and wildly-out-of-character behavior patterns for Peter and MJ, so my investment in it wasn’t a total loss!)

On the other hand, I figured all along that some of us must have voted for Simone’s “Birds of Prey” run! I can understand that a lot better, even though it wasn’t one of my “Top 10 Favorites.” It might have made a “Top 100 Favorites” though, if I’d been voting on that. It would have been considered for the ballot, at least!

I said before in another thread that I’ve read very little of the old Kubert/Kanigher war stories about Sgt. Rock (and I think all I’ve seen of Enemy Ace is stories by other people which used him briefly, for that matter). Someone pointed out to me that each of those runs has at least one Showcase b&w volume now, and I promised I’d keep my eyes open and buy at least one or the other the next time I’m in a comics shop. War comics have never been one of my main interests, but at least I’ll find out what all the fuss was about!

A long time ago, around the mid-90s, I bought “American Flagg #1″ at a sale and decided I just plain didn’t like it enough to feel any need to collect any more issues.

I do have the whole “Tomb of Dracula” run in the Essential volumes — I like it, by and large, but it doesn’t approach “Top 10 Favorites” status. Although when I got to the bit where Dracula persuaded a bunch of Satan-worshippers that he was the Prince of Darkness they claimed to serve, I began to see how Marv Wolfman had been experimenting with some of the themes he later developed with his cult-leader “Brother Blood” in the Titans stories of the 1980s . . .

I’ve read very little of Generation X. I once had the chance to look through the first “volume” of Akira and just couldn’t get into it — I probably quit after maybe 20 or 30 pages? (Granted, that was years ago, and I might look at it differently now.) I’ve never read any of Brubaker’s Iron Fist, nor any of the “52” series. I think I’ve read enough reprints of various O’Neil/Adams Batman stories to be able to admire how they were moving beyond the ways he’d been handled throughout the Silver Age before they came along, but I can’t say I regard those stories as being “Top 10″ material (although I’m sure they provided inspiration for some of my own favorite runs on Batman from later years — 2 such runs from the 80s did make it onto my ballot!).

SGT & TOMB OF DRACULA… finally, the world is starting to make a certain amount of sense to Unfrozen Caveman Comics Fan.

And yet they still finished behind FIFTY-TWO & the new IRON FIST, which has lasted only 14 ishes (plus a couple of neat one-shots) so far? I’m sorry — the first two are pretty neat comics, but that’s nuts. I can’t speak to the others, though I’ve managed to accrue a full set of AMERICAN FLAGG & its follow-up, as well as all but I believe 9 issues of BIRDS OF PREY*. So many short boxes of unread comics, so little time …

*Which reminds me — I want a Black Alice ongoing. NOW.

SGT *ROCK*, that is. My new keyboard & I have been having … issues.

With the arrival of O’Neill/Adams Batman/’Tec, the (to me) most mysterious remaining absence is at last resolved. I even love reading letters’ pages from around then: when an Adams issue came along, the reaction from the readership was beyond enthusiastic, verging on ecstatic. Several different stories, in turn, were acclaimed by one letter writer or another as the “best single Batman story ever printed” or similar.

Great stuff!

The final six:

Sin City?
Starlin’s Dreadstar?
Perez’s Wonder Woman?
DeMatteis’s Captain America?
Stern and Byrne’s Cap?
Claremont and Lee’s X-Men?
Simonson’s Fantastic Four?
Dixon’s Batman or Robin or BoP or Airboy or SOMETHING?
Grell’s Warlord?
Eightball?
Zot?
Mantlo’s Hulk? (I know, I know, I’m a broken record)

Apologies if I’ve listed anything that’s already appeared.

fourthworlder

May 12, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers?

Anybody?

[crickets chirp]

Gen X wasn’t one of my favorite X-titles, but it was a good read. Granted, the series is tough to read now, what with how they botched the origins of M and Penance, neither of which really ended up the way Lobdell intended. And Bachelo’s first run on that title was far superior in my opinion. During his return, the characters just all looked like 5 year old, and that’s when his work just started to become…weird. It did have good Tom Grummett art as well.

Def need to check out Tomb of Dracula and Sgt. Rock.

Birds of Prey I want to get into, but can’t seem to get past the chessecake art.

As for JMS’s Spider-man, all I can say is ugh. And I would recommend everyone read Lorendiac’s parody of ‘Sins Past’. Easily one of the funniest things I have read in a while.

Man, I liked Simone and Benes on Birds. Not in my top ten, but I’ve got all the trades on my shelf. Equal opportunity cheesecake, great takes on the characters, female bonding that included more butt-kicking than ice cream, and, of course, the intro of Savant and Creote.

Would love to see the Waid/Ramos Impulse crack the list.

Unless I missed it, DeFalco’s Spider-Girl is still up for grabs. Given the large fan love for that series, I think its probably showing up.

Bernard the Poet

May 13, 2008 at 2:28 am

Poor old Sgt Rock. He must have taken part in D-Day at least a dozen times, single-handedly liberated every single village in France and fought in World War Two for nearly fifty years. And look at the thanks he gets, 116th. No justice.

On a serious note, I think it is interesting how much this list is dominated by writers rather artists. Kubert and Adams would be on my list of the greatest ever artists in comics, I’m happy to read anything they are involved in, but clearly I’m in the minority.

I still have two of my votes to come – Steranko’s Captain America and Neal Adam’s X-Men. I don’t think I’m going to see them now.

Isn’t Steranko’s Cap disqualified due to its shortness?

Bernard the Poet

May 13, 2008 at 4:04 am

Brian did an ‘Any Questions?’ page prior to the vote. I asked then, if Steranko’s run could be included and was given the thumbs up.

You’re right of course, Steranko did only work on three issues. So technically he should be disqualified.

Didn’t figure we’d see Generation X on this list. I suppose that’s largely because I’d forgotten that it actually was good at one point. That book came out right when I first started reading superhero comics and I really got into it. I actually planned to make sure I bought every single issue for the book’s entire run. Then Larry Hama happened, and Gen X ended up being the first book I ever dropped because it was just too bad to continue reading. I later found out that I was part of a fairly sizable exodus that left after that Penance/M origin issue.

52 marks the final entry from my list to show up. Great comic book.

Compared to the general crapness of most other 1990s X-Books (hell, most other Marvel 1990s books, period), Generation X looked sorta good. I’d be curious to re-read it now and see how it holds up.

I like the beginning of JMS’s Spider-Man, and even most of the later storylines, but I can’t forget and forgive Sins Past and OMD, and even the “good” stories JMS wrote still had problems. It’s the kind of comic that would have been a much more plesant read if JMS had created an original character called “Arachnid-Man the totemic superhero”, and told his stories. I like the way he dealt with Aunt May (except for OMD).

Tomb of Dracula, cool. Wouldn’t be so far as to say it’s the best comic from the 70s, but it’s a good comic.

Of all the “great” comic book writers, Howayd Chaykin is the one I never really understood the appeal. And no, it’s not all the sex that bothers me (not even in “Black Kiss”). I’m no prude, and I think American pop culture could benefit of more open descriptions of sex and sexual acts (a culture that can show cannibalism to kids, but is afraid to show sex, is a really sick culture in my book).

It’s not that that bothers me, maybe it’s that when guys like Alan Moore do stories to criticize society, they also have very engaging plots. I felt like American Flagg’s main point was to poke fun at media and fascism and stuff, but there was not much else (well, and there was sex too). Maybe I’m just not a big fun of social satire by itself.

Chris Simpson

May 13, 2008 at 6:12 am

I’ve still a few from my 10 ten to appear.

One of them’s Slott’s She Hulk. Considering the love given to recent runs, I can see this making the list.

I’m up to 7 of my 10 having appeared. (5 were in the original Top 102, and 2 more have shown up in these next 50 — although one of my votes was for a much shorter run within Ostrander’s “Grimjack” series which placed as an entire unit). But I strongly doubt any of my other 3 picks will show up; they’re too obscure. Two of them are Batman runs from the early-to-mid 1980s, Pre-COIE, which have never had any significant portions reprinted in TPB, so modern fans are largely unaware of them. If they’ve never so much as seen the material on the shelves at a local store, then they’re hardly likely to vote for it, are they?

Yeah, I figure Steranko’s run was significant enough to warrant an exception, if only because you always hear people speak fondly of his “run.”

That was the main reason the requirements were six issues rather than, say, twelve, because Stern/Byrne on Captain America and Miller/Mazzucchelli on Daredevil are certainly considered runs by everyone, so six issues passed the smell test.

In Steranko’s case, three issues did, too.

Sin City?
Starlin’s Dreadstar?
Perez’s Wonder Woman?
DeMatteis’s Captain America?
Stern and Byrne’s Cap?
Claremont and Lee’s X-Men?
Simonson’s Fantastic Four?
Dixon’s Batman or Robin or BoP or Airboy or SOMETHING?
Grell’s Warlord?
Eightball?
Zot?
Mantlo’s Hulk? (I know, I know, I’m a broken record)

At least two of these will be in the top six.

Somebody — I forget whom — argued, in one of the spirited discussions we had as the Top 100 were being revealed a few at a time, that the next time around it might be nice to set the minimum at “13 consecutive issues” for a “run.” I don’t remember his exact reasoning, but he may have felt that writing a 6-issue miniseries, or a 6-issue story arc in an ongoing title (after which the writer runs away from the long-term consequences of his actions) isn’t quite the same thing as proving you can provide quality entertainment for a year or more of ongoing developments of a character’s life and times, with enough time to let subplots very gradually build up from the first small seeds before they reach their maturity?

But everyone considers Byrne and Stern’s tenure on Captain America a run, right?

It’s ALWAYS been referred to as a run, no?

A run, really, is just consecutive issues by a creator – I made the six issue limit just so we wouldn’t have stuff like, Alan Moore’s “run” on Superman, etc while still managing to include Byrne/Stern and Miller/Mazzucchelli.

>>A run, really, is just consecutive issues by a creator .

Except that Steranko’s THREE issues weren’t even consecutive? I’m not denigrating them — my god, #s 111 & 113 (I believe I missed #110 at the time) absolutely blew my mind when I chanced across them on the spinner racks at age 9, & I rank #111 in particular as one of my 10 favorite single issues EVER, & they were pretty much the first comics I made a point of going back & reacquiring via eBay 8 or so years ago — but I just don’t see any way they fit the category of a “run.”

Say what you will about JMS’s Spidey when it went off the rails (and boy, did it ever) but before that, he did some great work w/May and MJ (to the point that I still have a hard time believing the same writer who wrote MJ back in so well is the same one who wrote her out so poorly) and I really liked the notion of Peter teaching science at his old school; it had the right mix of nostalgia/continuity throwback and forward character momentum.

Simone’s Birds of Prey was a book I enjoyed reading (when I did) but never read it consistently, for no reason I can recall…

Every Halloween I liked to pull out my Tomb of Dracula Essentials and read a few random issues. It’s great fun.

I too would be curious to re-read Lobdell’s Gen X run with the benefit of hindsight. At the time, I just remember how big a deal it was (and I was still enough of a comics novice to buy into the hype). I sometimes think Lobdell gets a bum rap; he was really good at those quiet, post-crossover issues, and a lot of his Gen X characters had some staying power, if they would have managed to avoid becoming canon fodder for whenever a new X-villain needed to establish their rep.

I have a collection of black and white book reprints of Akira; I should really get around to reading those sometime.

Having read most of the O’Neil/Adams Batman in various reprint forms, I never realized just how staccato their run was; they appear to have done very few consecutive issues on either title. What great stuff.

#110 and 111 were consecutive. ;)

But really, the point was a bit of a moot one, just like when I allowed folks to write in Lobdell’s FF. It wasn’t going to affect the voting, so I didn’t mind that much.

How the Stern & JMS Spiderman runs can make this list and the Gerry Conway/Ross Andru run not get a sniff is criminal.

Didn’t the Stern run make this list?

Hey Lorendiac,

Which Batman runs did you vote on? I’m assuming one was the Moench/Newton/Colan run. It never seems to get much love these days, but I thought it was a blast. Denny O’Neil coming back over to DC from Marvel to edit the book and Miller’s stuff pretty muchly mulched it in folk’s memory, but I really loved Newton & Colan’s art on the book, and while it wasn’t the best Moench work ever, there were good stories. And when I think of Harvey Bullock, I think of him as drawn by Gene Colan.

We have 152 runs (and 33054 pts)

– 55 runs are set in the Marvel Universe (12951 pts)
– 14 runs are X-Titles (3510 pts)
– 2 runs are Ultimate titles (679 pts)
– 59 runs if you get Marvel plus Ultimate Universe plus Supreme Power (13685 pts)

– 42 runs are set in the DC Universe (10520 pts)
– 7 runs are Bat-Titles (729 pts)
– 11 are Vertigo comics (4495 pts)
– 47 runs if you get DC plus Vertigo sub-universe plus Plastic Man retcon (10740 pts)

– 6 runs are set in the Wildstorm Universe (1048 pts)
– 7 runs have female protagonists (1098 pts)

– 120 are superheroes or close enough (26240 pts)
– 32 are non-superhero (6814 pts)

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

– 1980s (45 runs – 10609 pts)
– 1990s (35 runs – 7748 pts)
– 2000s (40 runs – 7273 pts)
– 1970s (20 runs – 4311 pts)
– 1960s (8 runs – 2685 pts)
– 1940s (2 runs – 299 pts)
– 1950s (2 runs – 129 pts)

Sorted by associated creator:

– Grant Morrison (9 runs – 2949 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 (5 runs – 1141 pts)
– Steve Ditko (2 runs – 1034 pts)
– Ed Brubaker (6 runs – 934 pts)
– James Robinson (921 pts)
– Brian K. Vaughan (2 runs – 854 pts)
– Peter David (4 runs – 771 pts)
– J. M. de Matteis (742 pts)
– John Cassaday (2 runs – 722 pts)
– Marv Wolfman (2 runs – 721 pts)
– George Perez (643 pts)
– Geoff Johns (4 runs – 619 pts)
– John Ostrander (3 runs – 591 pts)
– Howard Porter (574 pts)
– Pia Guerra (547 pts)
– Kurt Busiek (2 runs – 541 pts)
– Walt Simonson (514 pts)
– Alex Maleev (480 pts)
– Bryan Hitch (2 runs – 474 pts)
– Mark Waid (3 runs – 463 pts)
– Bill Willimgham (428 pts)
– Darick Robertson (418 pts)
– Roger Stern (3 runs – 402 pts)
– Dave Sim (370 pts)
– Gerhard (370 pts)
– Mark Millar (2 runs – 369 pts)
– Mark Bagley (364 pts)
– Denny O’Neil (3 runs – 348 pts)
– John Romita Jr. (3 runs – 331 pts)
– Paul Levitz (328 pts)
– Brent Anderson (323 pts)
– Jeff Smith (321 pts)
– Adrian Alphona (307 pts)
– Steve Gerber (2 runs – 276 pts)
– John Romita (270 pts)
– Peter Milligan (2 runs – 255 pts)
– Steve Englehart (2 runs – 255 pts)
– Brothers Hernandez (236 pts)
– John McCrea (232 pts)
– Joss Whedon (229 pts)
– Roy Thomas (3 runs – 228 pts)
– David Mazzucchelli (211 pts)
– Tom and Mary Bierbaum (208 pts)
– Greg Rucka (2 runs – 207 pts)
– Tom Mandrake (205 pts)
– Will Eisner (204 pts)
– Joe Kelly (202 pts)
– Robert Kirkman (2 runs – 180 pts)
– Mike Mignola (179 pts)
– Frank Quitely (176 pts)
– Mike Baron (174 pts)
– Steve Rude (174 pts)
– Alan Davis (2 runs – 173 pts)
– Mike Grell (2 runs – 172 pts)
– Matt Wagner (2 runs – 169 pts)
– Mike Allred (2 runs – 168 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)
– JMS (2 runs – 131 pts)
– Christopher Priest (130 pts)
– Paul Chadwick (120 pts)
– Joe Casey (117 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)
– Stuart Immonen (103 pts)
– Michael Gaydos (101 pts)
– Kazuo Koike (100 pts)
– Goseki Kojima (100 pts)
– Denys Cowan (99 pts)
– Stan Sakai (98 pts)
– Terry Moore (96 pts)
– Chris Ware (95 pts)
– Doug Moench (95 pts)
– Jack Cole (95 pts)
– Neal Adams (87 pts)
– Matt Fraction (83 pts)
– Katsuhiro Otomo (80 pts)
– Scott Lobdell (79 pts)
– Gene Colan (78 pts)
– Howard Chaykin (77 pts)
– Gail Simone (76 pts)
– Robert Kanigher (76 pts)
– Joe Kubert (76 pts)
– Todd Nauck (75 pts)
– Jim Steranko (74 pts)
– John Rogers (74 pts)
– Steve Seagle (71 pts)
– Sam Kieth (70 pts)
– Larry Hama (68 pts)
– William Messner-Loebs (66 pts)
– Peter Bagge (65 pts)
– Len Wein (64 pts)
– Bernie Wrightson (64 pts)
– Fabian Nicieza (57 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)

– 120 are superheroes or close enough (26240 pts)
– 69 are traditional superheroes (16772 pts)
– 51 are non-traditional superheroes (9458 pts)
– 19 are nonpowered superheroes (2675 pts)
– 11 are comedic superheroes (1929 pts)
– 51 are team books (12033 pts)
– 32 are non-superhero (6814 pts)

“How the Stern & JMS Spiderman runs can make this list and the Gerry Conway/Ross Andru run not get a sniff is criminal.”

I never liked Gerry Conway in anything. Well, okay, maybe in Werewolf-by-Night. He wasn’t that bad in Werewolf-by-Night. But I still think he was the Howard Mackie of the 70s. He even seems to have invented the retconned-behind-the-scenes-manipulator-messing-with-the-hero’s-mind thing in comics with the Gwen Stacy’s clone story (thanks a lot, Gerry).

But maybe his Spidey run deserves to be listed for historical impact alone. It took some guts to kill Gwen Stacy after only 6 issues in the title, and that left a mark in comic book history.

I agree Gerry Conway didnt ammount to a hill of beans on any of his other work but his Spiderman run felt very coherant and he made the characters seem that little bit more realistic. The MJ romance in particular. It was also, for me, the last time that any Spiderman writers had the freedom to do things with the book that might make a differance. After he left and Spidey kicked off in multiple titles it was just loads and loads of the same old meaningless stuff.

M Bloom: “I later found out that I was part of a fairly sizable exodus that left after that Penance/M origin issue.”

Well, I guess I just now found that out. I was wondering where this would rank (and I wonder where it was on my own list, I should have kept a copy).

I would actually tag this as a Lobdell/Bachalo run, since Bachalo helped create the characters (and the series suffered without him). But it did start out really well, and it was the first time that I can remember since The New Mutants that a bunch of new characters had been introduced at once that seemed interesting enough to care about.

Brian Cronin — I don’t claim to magically know what the “perfect number” is to mark the minimum size of a “real run,” or anything along those lines. I was just reminiscing about someone else’s interesting proposal, weeks ago, for raising the bar in a hypothetical future survey that would otherwise be conducted along the same general lines as this one — and as I said, I wasn’t even sure I was remembering his reasoning as he had expressed it at the time. Sure, “at least 6 issues” is an arbitrary number, and “at least 13 issues” would be an equally arbitrary number, but having the arbitrary number be larger would change the results — for better or for worse — by eliminating some of the things that actually scored in the Top 100 this time around. Offhand, I have no idea how many of the current Top 100 would actually be eliminated from the competition if we did a “minimum of 13″ rule the next time around; and frankly, I’m not losing much sleep over it one way or the other! :)

I love Gerry Conway. And I’m not the only one, Conway wrote the early 80s Batman run that Lorendiac was talking about up there (I know because he posted his list elsewhere). Why the Conway hate? Wanna read a great comic? Read “Werewolf Moon” in Detective #505. Beautifully written. (and art by the late great Don Newton.)

In retrospect, I agree that the minimum should have been 13 issues– that way you could follow up with a “top 100 miniseries or limited runs” vote and easily gotten 100 good votes.

Brian Cronin — I don’t claim to magically know what the “perfect number” is to mark the minimum size of a “real run,” or anything along those lines. I was just reminiscing about someone else’s interesting proposal, weeks ago, for raising the bar in a hypothetical future survey that would otherwise be conducted along the same general lines as this one — and as I said, I wasn’t even sure I was remembering his reasoning as he had expressed it at the time. Sure, “at least 6 issues” is an arbitrary number, and “at least 13 issues” would be an equally arbitrary number, but having the arbitrary number be larger would change the results — for better or for worse — by eliminating some of the things that actually scored in the Top 100 this time around. Offhand, I have no idea how many of the current Top 100 would actually be eliminated from the competition if we did a “minimum of 13″ rule the next time around; and frankly, I’m not losing much sleep over it one way or the other! :)

Oh yeah, I understand.

I didn’t think you were saying otherwise. :)

wwk5d — Thanks for the kind words about my old “Sins Past” parody. I think the “Plot-Hammer” concept which I used throughout that parody (I saw you mentioned it in a comment on one of my Lists) was inspired by some dialogue in “Knights of the Dinner Table” (one of my 10 picks on my ballot) in which I learned that when the Dungeon Master or Game Master of a roleplaynig group (DM or GM) blatantly tries to “force” a certain sequence of events upon his players, it’s commonly referred to in the roleplaying community as “plot hammering.”

(As in: “Yes, you’re at a crossroads. You want to go north? No, you can’t do that, because the bridge was washed out and the flooding, raging river is unswimmable. East? No, you can’t go east because . . . um . . . an avalanche has sealed off the mountain pass in that direction. South? No, you can’t go south, because that’s the way you came and . . . uh . . . there’s a hungry mob of monsters coming from that direction and they have you outnumbered 20 to 1. I guess you’ll have to just go [i]west[/i] through the Dark Scary Forest That Nobody In His right Mind Ever Lingers In, and see what happens!”)

Reading “Sins Past,” I kept feeling characters repeatedly were being forced to do incredibly clueless things, without considering other (and vastly better) alternatives, just because JMS and/or his editor wanted them to do those things at those times. The Plot-Hammer metaphor came to mind, and I decided to have a “real” hammer be clobbering characters over the head every time they got too “uppity” (as in, wanting to do something a real person might do in those circumstances, instead of tamely following the Sacred Script for that scene).

In retrospect, I agree that the minimum should have been 13 issues– that way you could follow up with a “top 100 miniseries or limited runs” vote and easily gotten 100 good votes.

Mini-series would still likely get a goodly amount of votes.

Storylines, though, would probably get more, which is why I’ll likely go with that over mini-series.

rlsims — my votes for a pair of runs on Batman-related comics in the 1980s were for the Gerry Conway run on the titles of “Batman” and “Detective Comics” — which I consider a single run because those two series became linked together as a twice-a-month serial during his time as a Batman writer (a precursor to the way Superman had 4 linked titles in the 1990s telling his adventures in weekly installments) — and then I also voted for Moench’s run when he became Conway’s successor on both of those titles; the two series stayed linked for the next three and a half years until Moench’s run ended with “Batman #400.” I didn’t try to narrow it down to particular artists, but it’s certainly true that both writers benefitted from having Gene Colan and Don Newton each working on one of those titles for a long time.

I started buying comics regularly as a lad in 1982, so I came in during Conway’s run and was very impressed then, and am still very impressed now. One of my key questions in deciding which runs belonged on my ballot of “Top 10 Favorites” was: “How often, over the years, have I actually gone back and reread all, or significant portions of, this run?” Many of the things I considered for my ballot were things which I realized I had only read, all the way through, maybe 2 or 3 times since I first collected them, and the last time I took a serious look at them might have been, say, at least 4 or 5 years ago. I decided that while they might be “favorites’ in a broad sense, they weren’t “Top 10 Favorites” material or else they would have lured me back to reexamine them a lot more often than had actually been the case! Conway and Moench on Batman, however, definitely scored high in the “numerous rereadings” area.

Matt Bird –

I didn’t read much of Conway’s DC work, so I won’t comment on it. It may be very good, I don’t know.

His Marvel work I mostly hate. Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Thor, Sub-Mariner, Captain America, it seems like Conway was everywhere in the 70s, and everywhere he touched there were mediocre stories, IMO. Conway’s work has a sort of B-Movie vibe to it that I think really diminishes characters that seemed so grand and epic when Stan Lee and co. were working on them.

His characters seemed to be always confrontational and angry, often for no rational reason, as if he got Stan Lee’s “bickering” thing and amplified it but removing all the humor. I dunno, I just hate it, his Marvel work really get on my nerves.

The one of his 1970s Marvels that I liked was Werewolf-by-Night, it seemed like Conway was more comfortable with the Werewolf’s horror world than with superheroes. His superhero stories felt off to me. The only one I kinda liked was Daredevil, that after a disastrous beginning was kinda interesting, but maybe because DD was also a street-level character.

Bernard the Poet

May 13, 2008 at 9:45 am

“Having read most of the O’Neil/Adams Batman in various reprint forms, I never realized just how staccato their run was; they appear to have done very few consecutive issues on either title. What great stuff.”

Yeah, for example, it is often forgotten that Irv Novick drew the second part of the Ra’s Al Ghul four-parter in Batman 232, 242, 243 & 244. So when DC brought out their super delux ‘Batman illustrated by Neal Adams’ they didn’t print issue 242.

I always wondered how readers who were not familiar with the saga were meant to make head or tail of the story.

My guesses for the top 6:

(in no order)
Waid’s Captain America
Thomas’s Avengers
Miller’s Sin City
Starlin’s Dreadstar
Conway’s Spider-Man
Vaughan’s Ex Machina

Nice one Billy, come on Conways Spiderman.

Thomas’s Avengers has appeared in the Top 100.

Did it? I must have passed it right over then…

I thought it was a little strange not to be in there…

ok, then replace Thomas’s Avengers with Rucka’s Queen and Country

(which really really should be on this list…)

Tomb of Dracula and O’Neil/Adams Batman were two that I would have figured for the top 100. Guess they didn’t miss it by much.

But everyone considers Byrne and Stern’s tenure on Captain America a run, right?

It’s ALWAYS been referred to as a run, no?

A run, really, is just consecutive issues by a creator – I made the six issue limit just so we wouldn’t have stuff like, Alan Moore’s “run” on Superman, etc while still managing to include Byrne/Stern and Miller/Mazzucchelli.

Oooops… My reply didn’t post earlier.

Brian, hindsight is famously 20/20 and you did a great job creating an entertaining list. I had never given a thought to what a comic book “run’ was until these started appearing. I am sure you would have gotten howls of protest if the rules exclude Miller-Mazzucelli on “Daredevil”, Claremont/Smith on “X-Men” and Stern/Byrne on “Captain America”. However, the line between those and, say, “Batman: Year One” is fuzzy at best. The preference for writers over artists, new stuff over old and for widely read are all vexing. However, many of these are not even apples-to-apples comparisons.

So, with the benefit of hindsight, I would define a “run” as:

A series of contiguous, or nearly contiguous, issues on the same title by the same writer and artist lasting a minimum of 13 issues, or one calender year.

However else you feel about Conway’s work, to say that the original Jackal/Gwen/Clone story that he did should actually bear the blame for its later overextension in the dreaded Clone Saga is just plain silly. And I’m talking as someone who stayed away from Spidey’s books for many years, having bailed at the earliest stages of the clone thing, of which I don’t count the Jackal story as really being a part of.
And Ross Andru was my first Spider-Man artist, with all the sentimental attachment to his style on my part that that entails.

Patrick Lemaire

May 13, 2008 at 4:45 pm

I’m familair with most of those. And it’s a pity that some of the moronic Spidey-fans are narrow-minded and can’t properly judge JMS great writing. He demonstrated to me that Amazing Spider-Man could be read after more than 15 years and gave us a run matching Stan Lee and Romita’s.

Patrick Lemaire — let me get this straight. Are you saying that anyone who says he dislikes some of JMS’s long run on Spidey must be “narrow-minded”?

I ask because if that’s what you meant, then it doesn’t exactly display an inspiringly “open-minded” attitude on your part!

Rene said:
I never liked Gerry Conway in anything. Well, okay, maybe in Werewolf-by-Night. He wasn’t that bad in Werewolf-by-Night. But I still think he was the Howard Mackie of the 70s. He even seems to have invented the retconned-behind-the-scenes-manipulator-messing-with-the-hero’s-mind thing in comics with the Gwen Stacy’s clone story (thanks a lot, Gerry).

But maybe his Spidey run deserves to be listed for historical impact alone. It took some guts to kill Gwen Stacy after only 6 issues in the title, and that left a mark in comic book history.

For what it’s worth, here’s the way I think I remember Conway’s version, as related in an essay he wrote for the “Clone Genesis” TPB which collected that material about the “return” of Gwen Stacy (or her clone, as it turned out) from the mid-70s.

Conway swears that Stan was definitely consulted regarding the proposed death of Gwen Stacy as a way to really shake things up in Peter’s life for the first time in years, or words to that effect. And he swears that Stan definitely approved of the idea at the time.

He also says that after the story was published, and the fans realized she was really, really dead, they started screaming bloody murder — sometimes at Stan when he was speaking on college campuses or whatever — and Stan starting backing away from it, because he was a very easygoing guy who didn’t like to make people unhappy, so he started saying something like, “That was Gerry Conway — not me!”

(I gather that Stan’s effort to shy away from accepting any blame apparently triggered an urban legend among fans at the time: “Stan had nothing to do with the murder of dear, sweet Gwen! He never would have let that happen to her! Gerry Conway, that dirty rat, managed to sneak that story into production when Stan was out of town on a long vacation or something!”)

Eventually the hate mail from the fans reached the point that Gerry was ordered to find some excuse for bringing Gwen Stacy back. No matter what it took. At that early point in the Marvel Universe, this was an unusual idea in cases where the story about a character’s death had made it very clear that a recognizable corpse had definitely been available, and it had been positively identified, autopsied, and then buried during a regular funeral. (As opposed to all those deliberately ambiguous stories where someone says at the very end: “The Master Villain must be dead — no one could have survived that terrible explosion! We barely escapedm ourselves, and he didn’t follow us out in time!” — but no identifiable corpse ever turns up at the scene, after the smoke has cleared.)

So he finally used “cloning” as a way to “bring her back” — with all her memories up until a certain point — while simultaneously keeping it in continuity that Gwen’s dead body was really and truly still in that coffin at the cemetery!

In other words, Stan Lee was involved in the decision to kill Gwen, and then someone (I forget whether Stan was part of this decision) laid down the law that Gwen must be brought back, somehow, for awhile, to placate the mutinous fans. Conway, if left to his own devices, would have been perfectly happy to just leave her moldering in the grave forever, with no clones anywhere in sight!

Patrick Hall said: “How the Stern & JMS Spiderman runs can make this list and the Gerry Conway/Ross Andru run not get a sniff is criminal.”

Ross Andru did some amazing artwork that saved the stories.

Patricj Lemair-

JMS spidey run was fine. A fine comic with swell art when Romita Jr was writing. However, I doubt JMS would take offence to any reader not particularly liking some of his run. I would speculate that any author grounded in reality would be less put off by critics then they would be by fans who consider non-appreciaters “narrow-minded and moronic”.

Now I love Spidey. But if I got that high-handed about it, I would rely on a friend to slap some sense back into me.

Yay! BOP! My list is complete.
I didn’t even think of 52. Then again, I didn’t think it was that great (I felt everything was telegraphed way in advance and not much happened each week), but it was an accomplishment

Patrick, please explain to us morons how we can properly judge the great writing of JMS, in the Spider-man titles. Sorry, but I didn’t care for Ezekial, Morlon, Spider-totems (or totems in general), stingers, the Other, Sins Past…sorry, but those were just bad ideas in my opinion. If that makes me a moron, in your view, then ok, I’m a moron. I did like some of what he did with Aunt May and MJ, but he revoked all of that more or less with OMD. And he needs to get over his love for Gwen Stacy.

Chris Simpson

May 14, 2008 at 4:39 am

I voted for Conway and Andru’s Spidey at number 2 just one place above Stern and JR Jrs. Both based on how many times I’ve gone back and re-read them. A sure sign (to me) of what my favourites are.

Consequently I’d love to see it make the list.

It’s more likely to make the list than the DeFalco/Frenz run which was number 8 for me!! Obviously an underrated classic!

I still can’t believe we haven’t seen Luther Arkwright/Heart of Empire…

choirsoftheeye

May 14, 2008 at 7:52 am

Where’s the final six?

-Some demanding git

O’Neil and Adams’ Batman almost made my list. I find Detective 395 especially stellar, but the rest is a little hit or miss.

Gen X was rather cool back in the day. Lobdell created some pretty good characters, though it’s pretty depressing to see how most of them have been misused or abused since…

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