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CSBG Archive

Top 100 Comic Book Storylines #60-56

Here are the next five storylines on the countdown, as voted on by you, the readers!! Here is the master list of all storylines featured so far.

Our own Mark Andrew volunteered to do some some fill-in descriptions for me! He wrote all but the From Hell description!

60. “Reign of the Supermen” by Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern, Jerry Ordway and Gerard Jones (writers), Dan Jurgens, Tom Grummett, Jon Bogdanove, Jackson Guice, Jerry Ordway and M.D. Bright) (pencilers) and Brett Breeding, Doug Hazlewood, Dennis Janke, Denis Rodier and Romeo Tanghal (inkers) Action Comics #687-691, Adventures of Superman #500-505, Superman #78-82, Superman: The Man of Steel #22-26 and Green Lantern Vol. 3 #46) – 167 points (2 first place votes)

Named after a 1933 short story by Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, Reign of the Supermen is the follow-up to the massively popular Death of Superman and World Without a Superman storylines. It’s designed to answer the obvious question “Now that Superman is dead, when will he come back?”

But, cleverly, instead of having the real Superman turn up in a space coccoon or end with the reformed, white-costumed Superman climbing a symbolic mountain, the creative team presented FOUR options that might-or-might-not be a reborn Man of Steel – A ’90s badass Cyborg, a teenage clone, an alien Last Son of Krypton, and a black guy in a metal suit who vehemently protests that he isn’t the real Superman – and left it to the readers to puzzle out which of these was actually Superman reincarnated. Each of these potentials was then given sole custody of one the four extant Superman books – And all of ‘em had a different tone and a different creative teams.

The four individual storylines ran (mostly) independently for the first few months, but as Reign progressed they became more tightly intertwined. Some of this effect was caused by a move away from individual plot arcs towards the central plot – everyone fight Mongul! – but mainly this was due to potential candidates gettin’ eliminated. Spoilers! The Man or Tomorrow is actually a Kryptonese robot-thing! Spoilers! The Cyborg version is actually an old enemy who blames Superman for ruining his life! Spoilers! The guy who doesn’t have any Superman-style powers and says he isn’t Superman isn’t actually Superman! Oh My God!

So who was Superman? None of the above. About half-way through the storyline a, de-powered, and black-suited Superman popped up, now 100% less dead, and led a crazy mix-up with Superboy, Steel, Supergirl, Green Lantern and the Krypto-robot against Mongul and the Cyborg Superman.

*Whew*

While this story didn’t seem to have much lasting effect on the Superman titles, it did launch the “Hal Jordan goes crazy and omnipotent power and goes nuts” storyline that led to him being replaced as Green Lantern.

To me the most impressive thing about this storyline is the strong character work done by each of the creative teams – strong enough that two of the potentials (Superboy and Steel) were launched into their own (quite good) ongoing series. And on the other side of the aisle the Cyborg Superman was elevated to first-tier villain status, showing up as recently as 2007’s Sinestro Corps. War event.

The gi-normous Reign of the Superman trade is still in print and has become a perennial best seller – It’s the # 63 best selling DC book on Amazon, as of this writing, which means the story ALONE is still connecting with fans, even 16 years and multiple retcons after it was first published.

59. “Whys and Wherefores” by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra and Jose Marzan, Jr. (Y The Last Man #55-59) – 169 points (8 first place votes)

Dang, the individual issue of this arc have some niiiiiice covers. Too bad they’re spluttered by the trade dress in the picture above. Let’s look at two of ‘em.

190418-9419-114244-1-y-the-last-man_super

ylastman59

Mmmm. You can almost reach out and smell the monkey.

Well, we had the first Arc of Y: The Last Man back at # 76, and now we’ve got the very last arc here. Sadly this doesn’t include the sniffle-inducing last issue, which is more of a post-script to the entire series than a part of this specific arc. Gotta play fair.

What immediately stood out for me after reading this is after nine volumes of gun fights and narrow escapes, how casually “Y” swerved into romance territory. This storyline’s emotional center deals with of this poor Yorick finally being reunited with his girlfriend (aw) and dealing with her as person and not a far-off object of desire. Will he choose to stay with Beth? Or leave her for his constant companion, the karate-choppin’ agent 355? It’s like an adult version of Betty and Veronica. With nudity. Huzzah!

Of course, it’s not all filthy Archie. There’s plenty of Y’s trademark political intrigue, some nastly violence – Pia Guerra dishes out several superbly choreographed fight sequences – and one shocking out-of-left field death. ‘Fact, the latter is probably the most effective cliff-hanger in a series that’s known for ‘em.

Unlike (apparently) everyone else in the comments, I think that Y’s first and last arc were the series’ strongest, although this certainly wasn’t the most cheerful storyline. The resolution is anchored in real world “what SHOULD happen” logic, which means that nobody rides off into the sunset at the end. But the ending feels right, and does quite nicely manage to wrap up all the major plot threads and give us at least one Cool Comic Book Moment with each of the major characters that we’ve known for 59 issues/10 volumes.

58. “From Hell” by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell (From Hell #1-11) – 171 points (1 first place vote)

From Hell is Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s brilliantly detailed historical fiction based on the Jack the Ripper murders in London in the late 1880s.

Besides the fictional aspect of the story, where Moore hazards a guess as to who the actual murderer was, the rest of the story is explicitly researched recitation of the true crime story of the Ripper.

For a story that is filled with historical details and footnotes, it is amazing how impressive of a narrative that Moore is able to weave with this story.

The tale is a truly engrossing one, with cameos from all sorts of engaging characters, made all the more interesting because of their basis in reality (like how does Wild Bill Hicock tie-in to the story?).

Campbell is asked to do a TON of detailed, tiny drawings as Moore packs so much information in this story that it’s simply staggering – Campbell must have had carpal tunnel by the time this baby finished! But he does beautiful work.

This is an amazing work in how COMPLETE of a story it is – Moore leaves nothing out but makes it all work. Just remarkable.

57. “Avengers Forever” by Kurt Busiek, Roger Stern Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino (Avengers Forever #1-12) – 172 points (4 first place votes)

Continuity Duct-tape.

Besides attempting to tell a raring good Avengers story Avengers Forever is an attempt to stream-line damn-near forty years of Avengers history into one cohere…. wellll, semi-coherent story.

The plot: Takes seven time-displaced Avengers

* A psychotic Hank Pym as Yellowjacket from the Roy Thomas run. (1968 real time)

* A questioning and doubting Captain America circa. Steve Englhart’s tenure as Cap writer. (1975)

* Hawkeye, circa the Kree Skrull War (1972)

* The current version of the Wasp

* And Giant Man. (Yes, TWO Hank Pyms)

* A future versions of then-and-current Thunderbolt Songbird. (Who hasn’t been an Avenger. Yet.)

* And the first Captain Marvel’s kid, named Captain Marvel. He’s dead in current continuity so we (*snicker*) know he will never come back to life and join the Avengers.

and sends ‘em bouncing through time in order to save Rick Jones and prevent the future from going kaput. Yes, these events are connected. No, I won’t explain. I’ve only got a couple hundred words, that’s why. Avengers Forever acts as a direct sequel-or-sorts to both Thomas, Buscema, and Adam’s Kree Skrull War and Engelhart, Buscema and Heck’s Celestial Madonna, but in the course of twelve dense, dense issues, it manages to address events from every major – and most minor – runs in Avengers history.

Carlos Pacheco’s detailed-yet-slightly-cartoony style fits the tone of the project quite well. Some highlights:

* The backgrounds, when Pacheco can fit ‘em in, are tight and varied enough to “anchor” the characters in various time periods despite the fact there are LOTS of panels to a page.

* Every main character is given their own unique set of character-defining mannerisms.

* Pacheco tosses in visual nods to ‘most every artist who’s work he’s re-drawing or name-checking. It’s a nice Easter Egg for the hardcore Avengers faithful.

Avengers Forever is both the densest and most heavily researched story in Avengers history, and a very nice love letter to the Avengers stories and the creators that worked from Stan ‘n Jack’s original premise.

“The Kindly Ones” by Neil Gaiman, Marc Hempel, Richard Case, D’Israeli, Ted Kristiansen, Glyn Dillon, Dean Ormston and Charles Vess (Sandman #57-69) – 173 points (4 first place votes)

Just by looking at the art in the Kindly , you can figure out that this was gonna be a different kind of Sandman story. While previous Sandman artists had tended towards lush or invitingly cartoony styles, Marc Hempel gives us uncomfortable angles, disorientingly pointy-looking people, and an air of menace floatin’ somewhere behind every panel. Kindly Ones let is know from the beginning of chapter two that SOMETHING nasty is comin’ down the pike.

And indeed it did. The “A” plot of the Kindly Ones deals Morpheus’, the titular Sandman, and his fight to protect his self and domain from “The Kindly Ones” a euphemistic (read: completely incorrect) name for the Furies of Greek Myth, who are out to kill him and destroy everything he loves. With whips. Whips made out of scorpions. Yowtch.

This being Sandman there are also are major “B” and “C” plots, featuring Rose Walker (of the Dolls House) and an insane, costume-less version of former Earth-Two superheroine (Really. SweartoGod.) who provides the catalyst for the Kindly Ones attack. Of course, since this is Sandman, once you count all the diversions and stories-within-a-stories and endings you could probably find a “D” through “Z” plot as well.

(Sidenote: The “G” plot-point where Delerium meets the devil, fanwanky as it is, is my favorite single scene in all of Sandman.

If you don’t let me in, I will turn you into a demon half-face waitress night-club lady with a crush on her boss, and I’ll make it so you’ve been that from the beginning of time to now and you’ll never ever know if you were anything else and it will itch inside your head worse than little bugses.

And sure, it’s long. (13 issues!) It’s slightly convoluted, being a race to end! everything! now! But it swerves at the end, and instead of an apocalyptic bang the actual climax is two siblings – one worried, one very tired – simply talking. And a final “Brother, take my hand.”

Fade to black.

43 Comments

Return of Superman: never read

Whys & Wherefores: The final chapter, especially the last two pages, was a near-perfect ending. Y The Last Man had its flaws, but Vaughan & Guerra ended strong.

From Hell: Almost made my list. I tried to spread my votes out a little, so one or two creators weren’t overrepresented, and Moore was already on the list for Watchmen. From Hell is one of the creepiest and most intelligent comics I’ve ever read. Eddie Campbell’s scratchy art was spot-on.

Avengers Forever: Good fun, although that chapter about the Vision’s origin was tough going.

The Kindly Ones: I remember readers complaining about the story when the individual issues were coming out. I know Marc Hempel isn’t everyone’s favorite artist, and I can imagine the month or more between issues hurt the pacing. I read it in trade, and thought it was a very strong climax to Sandman. Hempel’s art impressed me, too. His Gregory stories were released in ttrade a few years ago, and I can’t reccommend them enough. The first few stories were demented fun, and the last one was heartbreaking.

Reign of Superman was inevitable as soon as I saw Knightfall was on here. Still, this is the “best” out of the “Death of Superman” saga.

Y the Last Man deserves to be here. I wonder if anything else will show up for BKV? Runaways > Y the Last Man?

From Hell is one of the greatest works of fiction ever made. Period. Hell, I’m actually shocked its in the bottom 50. Then again, I didn’t for it(or Watchmen, or any other Moore work. I just thought he didn’t need my help).

Still can’t stand that 1980s dialog Busiek keeps using, but MAN Avengers had some awesome artists. Perez, Romita Jr, Davis, Pacheco.

More Sandman. This whole dang run is gonna on the list is “A Game of You” is on here.

New Totals in a minute

At the time, the Reign of the Supermen was great, but i dont really feels it holds up

From Hell is one of the greatest Alan Moore works, and Avengers Forever was Busiek at his best. And Im disappointed that I didnt put that Whys and Wherefores in my list

Got to get around to reading Sandman though

2 of 5, brings my total now to 18 of 45.

“Reign of the Supermen” – one of the nostalgic big event moments. Haven’t read it (wasn’t reading at the time), did introduce some very important new characters (Steel, Superboy).

Never read “Y: The Last Man” – one of those series with ten volumes of trades that requires a dedicated investment to read. Will probably get around to it someday.

“From Hell” – read it, pretty good stuff, though a lot of the mystic stuff I find rather inscrutable.

“Avengers Forever” – the only part of Busiek’s Avengers run that I haven’t read (which, incidentally, I found it very overrated). Has a bit of the reputation as a well-done story-meets-continuity-plug.

“The Kindly Ones” – read it, probably my least favourite Sandman story, largely because of the art.

Again, read 1/5 with From Hell, which I thought was good, if a bit too long and tedious in certain parts. So I’m at 8/45 now.

Of course, The I hope to read the Kindly Ones soon.

from hell is very deserving.

kindly ones i thought was great but i’m slightly surprised to see it show up as i thought many people were disappointed by it.

whys and wherefores i thought was not quite as good of an ending as the series deserved, although i did love the last issue, which has one of my all-time favorite comic book moments: when yorick looks at ampersand and says “you have been one piece of shit pet.”

haven’t read avengers forever, although i’ve always meant to. i typically enjoy busiek’s work.

reign of the superman is average. i truly truly hate bogdanove’s art, so that ruins a portion of it for me. but overall the story just suffers the same way so many of marvel and dc’s big “event” stories often do. but that being said, i figured it would turn up, so i can’t say i’m surprised.

Return of Superman – okay, but not top 100 material.

Y – Looking forward to reading it when I have the hardcover set completed (only two volumes released so far).

From Hell – superb

Avengers Forever – haven’t read it yet, but will get to it (heard good things)

Kindly Ones – no argument there

21 of 45 — things are looking up with today’s additions!

NEW TOTALS:

Interesting notes: The 90s takes the lead in points, the total number of DC passes Marvel(with Vertigo/Wildstorm combined), and Roger Stern jumps into the top 5. It seems inevitable to see the “Hobogoblin Saga” and “Nobody Stops the Juggernaut” up here too.

-17 of these stories are Marvel-related

-18 of these stories are DC-related(7 for DC, 8 for Vertigo, 3 for Wildstorm)

-20 of these stories are superhero ones
-15 of these stories are non-superhero ones

-1990s(15 entries, 2340 points)
-2000s(18 entries, 2299 points)
-1980s(6 entries, 695 points)
-1970s(4 entries, 513 points)

By Writer:

-Ellis (4 entries, 563 points)
-Moore (4 entries, 495 points)
-Bendis (3 entries, 381 points)
-Brubaker (3 entries, 376 points)
-Stern (2 entries, 339 points)
-Gaiman (2 entries, 312 points)
-Vaughan (2 entries, 295 points)
-Morrison (2 entries, 249 points)
-Willingham (2 entries, 234 points)
-Buckingham (2 entries, 234 points)
-Sim (2 entries, 220 points)
-Ennis (2 entries, 208 points)
-Busiek (1 entry, 172 points)
-Jurgens (1 entry, 167 points)
-Kessel (1 entry, 167 points)
-Jones (1 entry, 167 points)
-Ordway (1 entry, 167 points)
-L. Simonson (1 entry, 167 points)
-Pak(1 entry, 165 points)
-Miller (1 entry, 162 points)
-Rucka(1 entry, 160 points)
-Grayson(1 entry, 160 points)
-Robinson (1 entry, 142 points)
-Dixon (1 entry, 142 points)
-Moenech (1 entry, 142 points)
-Aparo (1 entry, 142 points)
-Shooter (1 entry, 141 points)
-Stern (1 entry, 141 points)
-Michelinie (1 entry, 141 points)
-JMS (1 entry, 140 points)
-Starlin (1 entry, 140 points)
-Javier Grillo-Marxuach (1 entry, 131 points)
-D’n’A (1 entry, 131 points)
-Furman (1 entry, 131 points)
-Keith Grifen (1 entry, 131 points)
-Thomas (1 entry, 127 points)
-Fraction (1 entry, 115 points)
-J. Hernandez (1 entry, 110 points)
-Windsor-Smith (1 entry, 106 points)
-O’Neil (1 entry, 105 points)
-G. Hernandez (1 entry, 102 points)
-Smith (1 entry, 102 points)
-Ware (1 entry, 100 points)
-Rosa (1 entry, 100 points)

Tom Fitzpatrick

December 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I have successfully avoided reading any of the Death of / and Reign of Superman(s) to date.

Have read the rest and enjoyed all despite and considering the topic of From Hell.

Aside from Reign, dear Lord, this is how you make a list.

I’m at 27/45 now and having looked through the master list I’m a little embarrassed to realize that I’ve never read a complete storyline of Love And Rockets, Transmetropolitan or Powers but that I’ve read the entirety of Kinghtfall and the Reign of the Supermen.

Damn those ’90s and their corruption of my childhood!

(Brian, a continued thanks for doing this list)

I neglected to consider Avengers Forever when making my list. Wouldn’t have made it anyway, but damn I loved that story. I wish to go reread it now.

A good day for me stats-wise as I’ve read all 5 of these. Avengers Forever is one of my favorite stories ever and From Hell and the Kindly Ones are both stories I love.

was hoping to see some sandman and y on the list even if it was the last story which was the saddest of yorics tale plus its about time alan moore got some mention other they watchman. or swamp thing

Damn, I had Y as my top choice and here it is already, that’s disappointing. Don’t wanna know what sort of pud will beat it, though I still get the feeling most of the top ten will be deserving, it’s the 40’s and 30’s I worry about. Sure, Days of Future Past, Born Again, DKR, Watchmen, Death of Captain America, Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men, will most likely appear, and that’s cool, but it’ll be the other stuff that’ll annoy me, like Secret Invasion or Final Crisis, but that’s just me (Also, I apologise if anything I’ve mentioned has already appeared. My memory don’t always work so good…:)
I have had a few of my choices appear, though still no Age of Apocalypse, so fingers crossed, it’ll be no one’s number one, but it will get plenty of middle votes, will they add up?

Y’s on there again, nice! Hopefully it’s not the last we see of it…

Also, great to see Avengers Forever up there. Pacheco’s pencils are what really makes the series outstanding rather than just pretty good, IMO.

“Reign of the superman is average. I truly truly hate bogdanove’s art, so that ruins a portion of it for me”
Can the poster who made this comment please find somewhere else to moan? Thanks.

I appreciate Jeremy’s counts showing us how biased this list is to recent memory and younger readers. I hope we start seeing the real classics in the top 50.

And “Reign of the Supermen” brings it up to 13 of these storylines I’ve actually read. My street cred just keeps dropping.

Never read Reign of the Supermen but considering i’m not a Superman man fan that’s not surprising. I’m glad to see it’s not Death of Superman (read that, hoping to get some good Superman gets punched in the face action (I told you I don’t like Superman, ok?)) and that wasn’t that great.

Very nice with the Y, will we see more? I voted for Y but not the opening nor the closing arc, I voted for one which i thought was an important arc for Yorick (by that alone you can guess which one I voted for). Will we see more? I hope so. More stuff by Vaughan besides Y? I hope so. Ex Machina should be making the list (although, if we’ve had two Y arcs so far and nothing else by BKV… maybe not! :S)

I am crurently reading From Hell. so far, very good stuff. From what i’ve read alone it belongs on this list. Impressive. Eddie Campbell’s art suits the style and tone so very well, one of the best art collaborations with Moore.

Never heard of Avengers Forever.

Ah, more Sandman! :D Not surprised its the second arc to be listed, heavy criticism towards it, mostly due to the art and the lengh of the storyline for those who read it in singles. Reads really well in trade though. Oh man, I can’t wait until I get my Absolute Sandman vol. 2 for Christmas (shh, i’m not supposed to know about it!)

Thanks for the list Brian, some great fun and thanks again Jeremy for the stats, impressive how Ellis is still leading, what does that makes, three days now?
25 read out of 45 (I didn’t count From Hell because i’m about halfway)

I wish you’d put the years they first came out on these.

I had no idea Avengers Forever was eligible; for some reason I had it in my mind that miniseries were out, but obviously that was my imagination.

That said, it’s one of the most fun continuity wank-fests ever, even if it’s so much of a continuity wank-fest that I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I like it. The fact that it was part of the stuff I started buying upon returning to comics after a several-year absence and that it did away with Byrne’s dreadful West Coast Avengers Vision retcon helped quite a bit.

OK, so the list turned back (I wouldn’t have chosen all of these, but they’re all at least defensible).

I am a fan of Busiek, but Avengers Forever doesn’t work at all for me. It has loads of good ideas, but I think it is poorly executed. It is so wordy and there is so much exposition. It’s telling, telling, telling, and a little bit of showing (a cardinal sin in comics, in my opinion).

The Crazed Spruce

December 5, 2009 at 5:52 pm

“Reign of the Supemen” was on my shortlist, but I had “Funeal for a Friend” in my top 10. Still waiting for that one….

I only read the first issue of “Avengers Forever”, but I remember liking it.

Haven’t read either of the other three (thanks to that “curse” I mentioned a while back). I definitely plan to eventually, though.

I know I’m in the minority but I was dissatisfied with Y since they never revealed what caused the plague. It was the hook that kept me buying.

^Yeah, but you know whatever it was wouldn’t be worth the hype, unless its like the Saint of Killers killing God or something. Sometimes, I think its just better to leave it to your imagination.

Reign of the Supermen doesn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped, but I loooved that series when it came out – I was so hooked to find out what was going on, loved getting a new issue each week, and seeing the revelations. Also, the deft and sneaky way that Superman actually does return was brilliant, in my opinion. I was waiting for the big moment, and then it turned out it had happened right in front of my eyes without me realizing it. Maybe it was obvious to others at the time, but I was completely taken in.

I haven’t read any of the others but I’ve always wanted to check out Busiek’s Avengers Forever. My friend and neighbor started picking up the Y the Last Man trades so I may read that eventually, but quite frankly I’m put off by the “adult content” (swearing, etc.)

I am 1 out of 5 today, but I have read the first two chapters of From Hell (I stopped because I got bored with the footnotes, next time I try reading it again I’ll leave the footnotes to when I finish the whole book).
My total is 12 out of 45 which is worse than I thought I would have.

To “david”-

What is your problem? Maybe you should try voicing your own opinions instead of just ridiculing others. So far, we’ve seen you defend Reign of the Superman, Knightfall, and Batman: R.I.P. Even if none of those are outright bad, at the very least, your taste is suspect. I’d love to see what you voted for.

“Avengers Forever” was alright. Its main flaw was its tendency to resort to becoming a continuity plug (especially the whole Space Phantom business). Pacheco’s art was fantastic, though.

Is that final “Y the Last Man” trade even a distinct storyline?

to Black Manta.

WHAT?! haha (added the haha so you know i’m not just bitchin’). Y had almost half a dozen explanations why the plague happened. But I guess you’re irritated at the fact the BKV didn’t single one out for you? Either way, I just wanted to make it clear that explanations are offered up (the Cetoket (don’t know how to spell it) ring conspiracy, the genetic monkey science stuff from the Mann family and a few others as well) but none was deemed ‘the one’.

I have to say i’m suprised that was the hook for you. In all these post apocalyptic sort of fiction I never truly care what made it all happened. I’m far more interesting in the drama following it and all that survival stuff. It was much more interesting to see how a world of 99.99999999999999999% women funcitonned like and how they made it work once the men died. Also, will Yorick find Beth?! :O LOVE!! LOVE WAS THE HOOKED!!!

:D

uh…. that is supposed to say HOOK*.

Avengers Forever? Really?

I wonder how many re-read it after digesting it for a few years. First time, I loved. Second time, eh… I couldn’t finish it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I did vote for a Busiek storyline… and almost for an Avengers one.

“So far, we’ve seen you defend Reign of the Superman, Knightfall, and Batman: R.I.P. Even if none of those are outright bad, at the very least, your taste is suspect. I’d love to see what you voted for.”

Okay, this isn’t directed at me, but as someone who defend two out of those three stories, I’d like an explanation on why my taste would be “suspect”.

I found Avengers Forever to be unreadable, one of the most boring comic books I’ve ever seen. And I’m a guy that has read all those old Avengers stories Busiek references, so I’m arguably in the target audience. I also usually likes Busiek, love Astro Cityt, but his Avengers stories… dunno… you’re supposed to love them, according to Internet wisdom, but for me they’re hit and miss.

The Ultron and Kang storylines in the main title were amazing. Most of the other stories (including JLA vs. Avengers) were mediocre to truly boring.

There is this belief that as long as the writer is “one of us” (utterly respects continuity, likes the heroes to be heroic, old school, etc. etc.) everything he does will automatically be amazing, but I don’t think it works like that. Heresy as it may be, in some of the most boring bits of Avengers Forever, I almost wished Brian Bendis would appear and make the story a little “edgier” and “sexier.” Just a little.

I shudder to think what an average non-Avengers fan (or worse, non-superhero fan) would think of Avengers Forever. People say the X-Men are convoluted? Geoff Johns writes continuity-porn? Just imagine Geoff Johns writing a 12-part story “explaining” all the incarnations of Jean Grey and Cable, and it would still be simpler and more accessible than the horror that is Avengers Forever.

Rene, I’m exactly the sort of person you shudder to think of when it comes to Avengers Forever. Not even Pacheco could get me through that convoluted, boring-ass pile of bland.

I too heard great things about Avengers Forever. I read it and it was beyond terrible.

I just got caught up with the series, so I guess I better give my totals.

I have read 34 out of 45 of the story lines to date. I’m counting No Man’s Land as one that I have read because even though I only read sporadic issues throughout it I have read the Greg Rucka novelization.

I am not counting Annihilation even though I did read the 6 issue mini-proper I did not read all those lead-in mini’s and issues that Brian lists as part of the storyline.

So, my list that I have not read is:
Annihilation
Jimmy Corrigan (although I have read the first 3-4 Acme Novelty Library issues in which it was first serialized so I’ve read part of it).
Blood of Palomar and The Death of Speedy (I have only read 2 issues of Love and Rockets in my life and neither of these storylines were represented).
The Slavers (The only Punisher Max I have read was the hardcover collecting the storylines Man of Stone and Widowmaker. I plan to read the rest soon).
March of the Wooden Soldiers and Homelands (I have just begun Fables this year with the first hardcover Deluxe Edition volume so I will get there eventually).
Whys and Wherefores (I have read Unmanned which also made the list because I am also reading Y in the hardcover deluxe editions so, again, I will get there eventually).
Kree/Skrull War, Magus Saga, and Korvac Saga (The only part of any of these I have ever read is the final issue of the Korvac saga. Although after reading comics for years, official Handbooks, and things like Infinity Gauntlet and Avengers Forever I feel like sort of like I have read them).

Crap! I miscounted. I have only read 33 out of the 45 story lines listed. I have not read Planet Hulk either, but I do own the hardcover collection and will get to it one day.

Avengers Forever is definitely not something I’d recommend to people who aren’t already Avengers fans. It would be difficult to appreciate and perhaps confusing. But it’s so beautifully told. One of the best Avengers stories ever.

And JLA/Avengers is essentially nerd-porn, that just happens to be excellent. But clearly intended only for hardcore DC or Marvel nerds.

I’ve read all five of these entries. First time, I think. From Hell almost made my list. And if I had thought about, Avengers Forever would have been close to making my list, too. It is definitely only for Avengers fans, though. As much as I liked it, it doesn’t surprise me at all that other people would find it more or less unreadable.

Woohoo! I’ve read all 5 of these bringing my total to 38 read, 7 not read! And STILL none of my votes have turned up!

Reign of the Superman – This made my shortlist. It’s the only part of the Death and Return saga that I can stand and it’s just big, dumb and fantastic!

Y: The Last Man – I counted this as read as I started this volume this morning and will have read it by this time tomorrow. Overall though, Y is still one of Vaughan’s weaker works for me. Not bad, but nothing special.

From Hell – Yeah can’t argue with that. Probably the only time I haven’t hated Eddie Campbell’s work. His style fits perfectly here.

Avengers Forever – This might be good for those with a PHD iin Avengers history, but I found this tedious and confusing. Rubbish.

The Kindly Ones – Easily my favourite Sandman arc. Good stuff. And one of the very few to maintain a constistent arts style throughout (despite multiple artists) which helps immensely.

I enjoyed Avengers Forever but I have no idea why anyon ewould read it if they weren’t a big Avengers-nut.

It does not stand on its own. It is for Avengers geeks only.

Unfortunately all I knew was that it was an Avengers book by the guy who did Marvels and Astro City.

Needless to say I was bitterly disappointed.

I liked Avengers forever, as confusing as it got sometimes.

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