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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’09 – Week 2 Results!

Each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November. Here is the master list of all questions asked so far!

And here are the second week’s worth of poll results!

Enjoy!

I’ll be giving the rounded percentage numbers (like 37% instead of 36.8%), except to break a tie! Because of rounded numbers, some percentages may seem to add up to more than 100%.

Out of 1,798 replies to the question:

Who has the coolest first appearance cover?

You decided that your top choice was:

24.47% Captain America

23.97% Spider-Man

20% Superman

15% Fantastic Four

6% Flash (Barry Allen)

5% Incredible Hulk

4% Batman

2% Robin
____________________________________________________________

Out of 1,364 replies to the question:

What’s the Best Miller/Mazzucchelli Comic Book Work?

You decided that your pick was:

56% Batman Year One

44% Born Again
____________________________________________________________

Out of 1,668 replies to the question:

Who is the Definitive Spider-Man Artist?

You decided that it was:

34% John Romita

23% Steve Ditko

18% John Romita Jr.

8% Mark Bagley

7% Todd McFarlane

3% Ross Andru

1.86% Marcos Martin

1.68% Sal Buscema

1.62% Gil Kane

1.14% Erik Larsen

0.84% Ron Frenz

0.18% Alex Saviuk
____________________________________________________________

Out of 1,038 replies to the question:

Who Has Been the Best Writer of Amazing Spider-Man Since Brand New Day Began?

You decided that your choice was:

33% Dan Slott

24% Joe Kelly

19% Mark Waid

12% Fred Van Lente

4.14% Zeb Wells

3.76% Roger Stern

3.56% Marc Guggenheim

1% Bob Gale

1% Brian Reed (no tie-breaker since they both got the same amount of votes)
____________________________________________________________

Out of 1,744 replies to the question:

Which was the Better Justice League?

You decided that the answer was:

Morrison’s JLA 55%

Giffen and DeMatteis’ Justice League International 45%
____________________________________________________________

Out of 1,054 replies to the question:

Who is Aquaman’s arch-nemesis?

You decided that the choice was:

Black Manta 77%

Ocean Master 23%
____________________________________________________________

Out of 1,471 replies to the question:

Who is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe?

You decided that the pick was:

79% Reed Richards

11% Victor Von Doom

3% Tony Stark

2.45% Hank McCoy

1.77% Bruce Banner

1.7% Hank Pym

1% The Mad Thinker
____________________________________________________________

Check back next Tuesday for the latest results, and check back every day to vote on the You Decide ’09 question of the day!

51 Comments

RICHARDS!!!

DAMN YOU, RICHARDS! THIS INFAMY WILL NOT STAND!! SO SWEARS DOOM! RIIICHAAAARDS!!!

Blech. JRJR in third place. Blech.

I love Romita’s work, but I’m a little sad he beat Ditko as definite Spider-Man artist. Ditko’s art was so unique for a unique character. Romita’s version never seemed as “spidery” to me.

Batman Year One > Born Again? I don’t think so CBR.

Everything else I voted for, or I can see how they won(like Romita).

Wow, I feel like the loyal opposition. Make mine Born Again, Giffen/DeMatteis, and Action Comics #1!

I agreed with the rest except Brand New Day, which I didn’t vote on because I’m not reading it until Pete wakes up.

Huh. I thought for sure this would be “W” for the Blue & Gold (bwah-ha-ha). I like Morrison’s League, but don’t think it’s his best work. And it doesn’t have as many memorable moments for me as the Giffen/DeMatteis’ League.

Oh well. Other than that, I either came out on the winning side (Year One, Black Manta!) or didn’t have too strong an opinion (voted for JRJR and Amazing Fantasy #15, but am okay with the outcome of both polls).

And I have an argument for why pulling supermodels, inventing technology that enables you to be a superhero and has real-world, money-making applications and rocking a pornstache while being an alcoholic makes you the smartest person in the world, but I’ll save it for another day…

I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing Marcos Martin, because I really like his work. But it’s ridiculous that he finished ahead of Gil Kane or Sal Buscema.

I do prefer Ditko’s Spidery world more than Romita’s white-washed romance art, but I must admit that Romita was “the definitive” artist, as the question asked. Romita defined who Spider-Man was for generations that followed. It doesn’t mean Romita’s art was better than Ditko’s, any more than a billion-selling Big Mac is better than filet mignon.

Just imagine if fate had took a different turn — if Ditko had stayed on and continued directing Spider-Man’s darker, seedier, creepier world! The mind boggles at the road not taken.

As much as I’m a Morrison guy, I voted for the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League. It has more great scenes, and Maguire trumps Porter every time.

I’m not bothered that Romita, Sr and Ditko beat everyone else. That was to be expected. But how did Ross Andru end up with just 3%???? When I read the first several comments on the poll, it looked like he was winning. I guess those early votes were all he got.
But how could he come in so far behind Mark Bagley? I’ve only read a couple of Bagley Spider-Man stories, but I’ve seen several of his New Warriors and some Thunderbolts issues. And all his stuff was stiff and bland, like Al Milgrom with less consistency in the faces. The only thing I can see that could possibly make his Spider-Man stuff worthy of praise is if he’s one of those artists who lets the inker do all the work. (And then he’d only be good when he had a good inker.)
And I still don’t see how Marcos Martin could be on the list at all.
As for Romita the younger, his ’80s stuff was good enough (he was the first one to put some texture in Peter’s hair, so it no longer looked like a solid mass of vinyl or something), but all the later stuff I’ve seen has been pretty awful. I hate that kind of sketchy art.
I wish Ron Frenz had scored higher. He’s really underrated, and his Spider-Man work is the best of his stuff that I’ve seen.

“Blech. JRJR in third place. Blech.”

I know. That chump shouldn’t have even placed.

Frenz? blech.
DFTBA

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 13, 2009 at 6:43 pm

“DAMN YOU, RICHARDS! THIS INFAMY WILL NOT STAND!! SO SWEARS DOOM! RIIICHAAAARDS!!!”

And so begins: DOOMWAR!!! in 2010.

I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing Marcos Martin, because I really like his work. But it’s ridiculous that he finished ahead of Gil Kane or Sal Buscema.

Apparently, 31 CSBG readers started following Spidey three years ago.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 13, 2009 at 7:08 pm

As much as I’m a Morrison guy, I voted for the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League. It has more great scenes, and Maguire trumps Porter every time.

The Giffen Justice League was not only a totally new and different take – as was Morrisons – but it defined those characters so well that it’s affected the view of those characters ever since, both positively, and negatively.
Positively in that it gave B-characters stand out personalities, and negatively in that some creators can’t seem to handle that these characters were in a less than serious book, and so now they just treat these characters as jokes.

As for Romita over Dikto…. sigh.
Romita made Spider-Man look like every other hero out there – his art is great, but not unique to the character.
I was shocked when I got the Dikto Essentials at how unique Spider-Man looked – and that’s compared to today, so back then it must’ve been totally out there compared to everything else.

Black Manta?? You shall pay, my accursed brother. Oh, how you shall pay. At least, as soon as you come back from the dead…

Hangman Jury said:

“Blech. JRJR in third place. Blech.”

Yeah, I agree. McFarlane, Andru, and Frenz are all better than JRJR

I got it right with Romita Sr. (even if I STILL don’t know how to say his name! ; ) ) the Morrison JLA and Richards. What surprised me is that it was so close in most cases (except with Richards, who won by a true landslide.)

Good to see that even today punching Hitler means something!

Yay!! Both Year One and Morrison’s JLA won. I was really rooting for those.

@Scavenger: lol:)

Called all of these except for the first appearance. That debut cover of Superman is one of the all time classics, as far as I’m concerned, and trumps all the others. The Spider-Man one would by my number two.

I’m with Mary on this. How on earth did Bagley get forth spot? My only guess would be that he was the artist when the voter started reading the strip and so they identify with his version. Am I right? Would anybody like to justify their vote for Bagley?

I went with Ditko, but still love both Romita’s and Andru. I also really liked Ron Frenz’s version. I think it was a shame that his run co-incided with the black costume because he drew a great Spidey in his red and blues (or should that be red and black with blue highlights?).

As for Marcos Martin, good stuff, but I don’t really think he’s done enough material to be included as one of the candidates. Still interesting that he’s impressed enough to get a significant vote.

Ugh, Morrison is so overrated. JLI was the book that brought me back into the fold of comics, after leaving it for puberty, and picking it up on a snowy day at the news stand. Bwa ha ha ha! Great stuff! Am loving the hardcover reprints. Thanks DC!

I imagine some of the stalwarts placed lower on the poll because people who would agree they are definitive Spider-man artists would have been more likely to vote Romita or Ditko as a first choice. I imagine if it was a “pick 5″ or “rank in order” kind of thing, the results would be markedly different.

Wow, I feel like the loyal opposition. Make mine Born Again, Giffen/DeMatteis, and Action Comics #1!

I agreed with the rest except Brand New Day, which I didn’t vote on because I’m not reading it until Pete wakes up.
I agree completely.

“I do prefer Ditko’s Spidery world more than Romita’s white-washed romance art, but I must admit that Romita was ‘the definitive’ artist, as the question asked. Romita defined who Spider-Man was for generations that followed. It doesn’t mean Romita’s art was better than Ditko’s, any more than a billion-selling Big Mac is better than filet mignon.”

Good to see at least one person understands the concept of “definitive.”

I’m with Mary on this. How on earth did Bagley get forth spot? My only guess would be that he was the artist when the voter started reading the strip and so they identify with his version. Am I right? Would anybody like to justify their vote for Bagley?

I voted for Bagley and I’m not really a fan of his work. The thing is, his is the version I picture in my head when I think of Spider-Man.

Wow, I’m surprised that Black Manta blew Ocean Master away so handily. I would’ve thought that time-tested trope of sibling-rivalry-turned-deadly would’ve made Orm more competitive.

Quick! Think of a Spider-Man pose!

Was he in a pose that a normal person could do, or was he in a near impossible position? If the Spider-Man in your head is in a twisted, unique position, I think that comes more from Ditko, than Romita. Even the legs-spread-too-far-apart-going-over his-head pose that McFarland started came from his memory of Ditko’s Spider-Man (I believe I’ve read).

I’m not disputing the results, majority wins. I’m a big fan of Romita’s work, but to me Ditko defined the character. I could give it to Romita in “rendering style”, but not in underlining approach.

Either way, not a big deal. I’m just a big Ditko fan. :)

I am a bit disappointed that it wasn’t Ditko either. Even putting aside the look of Spider-Man, he gave us the look of the classic villains like Mysterio, the Green Goblin, Molten Man, and Norman Osborn’s hair!

Also, the Accursed Richards landslide was surprising… I thought it would be close between him and Doom. And the rest, it’s like only their mothers voted for them.

I can’t decide what is more unsettling: that so much of the vote went to Mark Bagley or that anyone at all voted for Alex Saviuk.

Quick! Think of a Spider-Man pose!

Was he in a pose that a normal person could do, or was he in a near impossible position? If the Spider-Man in your head is in a twisted, unique position, I think that comes more from Ditko, than Romita. Even the legs-spread-too-far-apart-going-over his-head pose that McFarland started came from his memory of Ditko’s Spider-Man (I believe I’ve read).

Okay, I am a huge Ditko fan and wanted him to win over JR SR, but I can’t agree with the above. Ditko’s poses were defining poses and set the tone for how his movement would be depicted for decades, but they were not significantly more impossible than the poses Romita depicted. Romita’s Spider-Man poses were basically more polished-looking “cleaner” renderings of Ditko poses. And I especially dispute that McFarlane’s poses were more like Ditko than Romita’s.

I’m pleasantly surprised that Romita actually beat Ditko. I assumed Ditko would win due to how often comics fans equate first with best.As good as Ditko was, I’ve always preferred Romita’s cleaner art. His romance background fit with the often soap operalike subject matter of Spider-Man. He also made Peter look better. He had outgrown the gangly nerd appearance, but still had the awkwardness. That’s the Spider-Man I relate to.

I’m pleasantly surprised that Romita actually beat Ditko. I assumed Ditko would win due to how often comics fans equate first with best.As good as Ditko was, I’ve always preferred Romita’s cleaner art. His romance background fit with the often soap operalike subject matter of Spider-Man. He also made Peter look better. He had outgrown the gangly nerd appearance, but still had the awkwardness. That’s the Spider-Man I relate to.

Ditko WAS the best, not because he was first but because he designed the costume, the look, ALL the timeless villains, the very way Spider-Man poses and moves, helped establish the overall tone and pacing of the typical Spider-Man story, etc. The way Romita draws Spider-Man moving is basically the same way Ditko originated, just prettier and cleaner looking. And you’re wrong about Romita’s romance background fitting Spider-Man’s subject matter, it’s the other way around: Spider-Man’s subject matter changed to fit Romita’s romance-oriented art. Both Lee and Romita both say as much in interviews.

I’m not downing Romita, I LOVE his art and am a huge fan, but try to think of four or more Romita created villains that are anywhere near as notable as the Ditko creations and can stand the test of time. And he was involved with the character significantly longer to boot! You have the Kingpin, Shocker and…that’s basically it.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 14, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Good to see at least one person understands the concept of “definitive.”

Except that Romita was and everyone else, have all been in the shadow of Steve Dikto – not having a strong personal style for the character and their world, freeing everyone to draw it generically, is not definitive.

Romita only gets above Dikto because he was on the book for longer, and the book became a lot more mainstream when he was on it.

With the steak/burger metaphor in play, giving Romita definitive is like saying ‘Burgers are the definitive Man’s meal as they sell so much and people make more of them, when really, we all know Steak (Dikto) is the definitive Man’s meal – it’s what everyone prefers, it just costs more and is a bit trickier to prepare.
(I shoulda just left that metaphor alone).

RE: The Ditko vs. Romita Sr. debate . . . Look at the other names on the list (as well as many of the prominent SM artists who aren’t on it). How many of them took their cue from Romita and drew Spider-Man as a more iconic, larger than life hero and how many took their cue from Ditko and drew him in a contorted, loose-limbed , free-flowing style? The answer to that question is probably what defines “definitive.” And I think Ditko wins that one in a walk. Hell, you could even make a case that John Romita Jr.’s current approach to Spider-Man has more in common with Ditko than it does his father.

Now, if you’re talking about the definitive version of Peter Parker, then it’s Romita, all the way. His Peter has been pretty much the standard. But for in costume portrayals, more artists have followed Ditko’s path.

Am I the only one who’s not buying the premise of Ditko’s Spider-Man being a significantly more contorted depiction than Romita’s?

One thing I can say for sure is that Gil Kane, Ross Andru and Keith Pollard all took their cues as to how to draw Spider-Man from Romita, Sr. and that takes you from about Amazing #39 to Amazing #200, for whatever that’s worth.

One thing I can say for sure is that Gil Kane, Ross Andru and Keith Pollard all took their cues as to how to draw Spider-Man from Romita, Sr. and that takes you from about Amazing #39 to Amazing #200, for whatever that’s worth.

How can you say that for sure?

Besides subjective visual cues…

Romita was the Art Director for Marvel when each guy was working on the book, drew the covers for each of them when they were on the books (at least initially) and inked most of them at first, to make the transition easier.

So I think it’s pretty safe to say that each of those three guys were following Romita fairly closely.

I’m surprised at the low amount of love for Ron Frenz. He certainly wasn’t the “definitive” Spidey artist, but he’s probably number 3 in my book.

Since I sorta brought it up, I’ll comment on whether Ditko’s version is significantly more contorted than Romita’s…

No, it’s not significantly more, only slightly. BUT, Ditko’s overall style was quirkier and he often drew hands or fingers or limbs at odd angles. I’m certain that I once read a McFarland interview (many years ago) where he stated that he drew Spider-Man in a similar way that he thought Ditko drew him… but when he later looked at Ditko’s art, it wasn’t as distorted as he’d remembered. It’s an example of how Ditko’s overall quirkiness added to Spider-man’s character.

I think Kalorama hit it on the head, “Now, if you’re talking about the definitive version of Peter Parker, then it’s Romita, all the way. His Peter has been pretty much the standard. But for in costume portrayals, more artists have followed Ditko’s path.”

Overall, not an important debate. It’s just fun to mull it over…

“So I think it’s pretty safe to say that each of those three guys were following Romita fairly closely.”

Not really. I quite distinctly remember how Pollard’s style evolved over his ASM run. While it’s true that his overall drawing style had more in common with Romita’s perfect heroic proportions than Ditko’s more idiosyncratic approach, his approach to the character himself, particular in action sequences, owed much more to Ditko. As his run went on he drew the Spider-Man action in a much looser style a la Ditko, as opposed to the more staid approach of Romita. The same is certainly true of Andru, whose work never really trafficked in the kind of perfectly proportion figures and model beautiful faces that Romita favored. To use Kerry Callen’s description of Ditko, Andru’s style was very “quirky,” a term you can’t really apply to Romita Sr. As for Kane . . . he didn’t take cues from anybody. His style was pretty much carved in stone well-before he got to Spider-Man.

Ditko’s Spider-Man was in constant motion (as seen in those wonderful panels in which Ditko drew multiple Spider-Man images a reader could use to track his movement). His Spider-Man had more dramatic body language, odder positioning (as when he crawled along a wall), and occasional situations that would call for more distorted movements (e.g. when Kraven got the magnetic bracelets on him, when he sprained his arm). Ditko’s Spider-Man had a spookier quality, which made him less human-appearing. Spider-Man’s body language, power usage, appearance, cast & villains, and tone all came from Ditko.

Romita softened it up, perhaps making Spider-Man more accessible. He was more imitated, definitely, but it’s far easier to emulate Romita than Ditko. Underneath Romita’s sheen, and the other artists’ work, you can see what Ditko laid down.

Romita was the Art Director for Marvel when each guy was working on the book, drew the covers for each of them when they were on the books (at least initially) and inked most of them at first, to make the transition easier.

So I think it’s pretty safe to say that each of those three guys were following Romita fairly closely.

I agree with you to an extent, especially when it came to superficial elements like Peter Parker’s face and the line pattern on Spider-Man’s mask. They followed Romita’s character model more than Ditkos.

But when it comes to the ESSENCE of the strip, things like the movement of Spider-Man, the half-Spidey/half-Peter face, the squiggly lines that indicate the Spider-Sense is tingling, those action panels where the artists draws multiple figures of Spider-Man jumping around to indicate a complete acrobatic sequence? The unique rollicking acrobatic fighting style Spider-Man employs in his fight sequences, especially against groups of thugs? That’s all Ditko. Its so engrained in the character we don’t even think of it as a separate contribution by Ditko, much in the way people don’t mention oxygen when describing their surroundings because we’re so constantly immersed in it we just take it for granted and cease noticing it. Spider-Man is the same way, the book from its inception is so immersed in Ditko that we cease to notice just how pervasive his influence is. Just like breathing air is so engrained into every minute of our everyday life, Ditko’s influence and innovations are to Spider-Man storytelling.

So yeah, I do think the artists you mentioned followed Romita on a superficial level so far as how they drew the characters faces, the model they followed for Spider-Man’s web pattern, etc, but on a more substantive level, especially on all the many Spider-Man storytelling conventions we take for granted, they were still following Ditko’s blueprint, even if what they were consciously doing was aping Romita following Ditko’s blueprint.

Kerry – now that you clarify what you mean, yeah I agree with you. I also concur with kalorama and Loughlin. It’s definitely not as cut-and-dried to say those guys were simply following Romita and not Ditko. I don’t think it’s even possible to draw a traditional Spider-Man story without invoking Ditko’s influence to some degree.

The only winners I really take exception to are the Year One and Morrison JLA ones.

The rest are pretty solid. (There are disagreements WITHIN the lists – like Marcos Martin – but not with the winners).

The JL/JLI/JLA Geffin/DeMates version is so much better and more understandable than the Morrison version. What are 55% of you smoking?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 18, 2009 at 9:38 pm

What are 55% of you smoking?

The good shit.

The Super-Cosmic Weed of the Infinities.

The return of the magnificent seven is what makes Morrison’s run so good, loved the JLI, but it was a case of making a purse out of a sows ear, they even took Captain Marvel away from them. McFarlane, to me is the man on spidey, just loved his work on those books, my second would be Pollard. Year One is Miller’s best work on Batman, bar none, and Mazzuchelli’s best super-hero work period. I picked Amazing Fantasy, but how can you argue with punching Hitler? I voted for Reed, but I really like s1rude’s argument for Tony. BTW, best run ever on JLA just got reprinted, Conway and Perez baby, followed by Englhardt and Dillin, check your back issue bins kids.

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