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CSBG Archive

Top 100 Comic Book Storylines #20-16

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.

(As per usual, results now and details later!)

20 (tie). “E is for Extinction” by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and Tim Townsend (New X-Men #114-116) – 350 points (6 first place votes)

19. “The Galactus Trilogy” by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott (Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #48-50) – 352 points (6 first place votes)

18. “Civil War” by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven and Dexter Vines (Civil War #1-7) – 360 points (2 first place votes)

17. “Under Siege” by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer (Avengers #270-277) – 361 points (5 first place votes)

16. “The Sinestro Corps War” by Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, Peter Tomasi, Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Patrick Gleason plus a whole lot of other pencilers and inkers (Green Lantern Sinestro Corps Special #1, Green Lantern Vol. 4 #21-25, Green Lantern Corps #14-19) – 452 points (9 first place votes)

156 Comments

If I had gotten round to voting, “E for Extinction” would’ve probably made my ballot.

That, or “Riot at Xavier’s”.

I’m happy Under Siege made it, but I can’t believe Civil War proved all the naysayers right and cracked the top 20. Sinestro Corps War as well. Both are entertaining for they are, (Sinestro Corps much more so IMO), but without sounding like a pretentious ass, I can’t believe people who actually put thought into their lists would have those stories on there. Picking the recent big events as your favorite storylines of ALL TIME really does show a lack of familiarity with the comic medium.

The Crazed Spruce

December 13, 2009 at 5:00 am

Quick thoughts before my relief at work gets here:

“E is fo Extinction” was on my short list. Great story.

The Galactus trilogy and (assuming it’s the stoy I think it is) “Under Seige” are classics, and definitely deserve spots in the top 20. (Especially Galactus.)

Haven’t read all of either Civil War or The Sinestro Corps War, but I did like them both, to varying degrees. I’m not surprised they made the top 100, but quite frankly, I would’ve figured they’d place a bit lower on the list. Around #50, maybe. Kinda makes you wonder how this list would skew in about ten years or so.

And I’m still 1 for 10. Either I’ll hit three or four of them tomorrow, or some seriously generic choices were left off of the list….

9 first place votes is a lot for a two year old story, which arguably hasn’t even been finished yet. I remember writing up my list and thinking with frustration that this story would probably end up representing Green Lantern on the top 100. As the numbers got higher I thought maybe I was wrong and that it would be left off. At the same time, however, the content of the list indicated that it would probably be showing up. It’s a fine story, but no one can argue that it is the best GL story ever, or the 16th best story of all time.

Also, I’m getting bored with all of the Grant Morrison. (unless maybe Flex Mentallo shows up, but I wouldn’t put it in the top 15)

Civil War was a wonderful idea with poor execution, mostly because most writers at Marvel were unable to present Iron Man’s side with any sympathy. I am liberal, but I have to say it, most liberals are simply unable to portray “conservatives” without making them into evil caricatures.

But I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised that Under Siege made it! :) Marvel 80s rule!

I guess a lot of you were right, it;s all about what’s been popular the last few years. In 10 years Civil War will probably not be in the Top 20 but something eles that “change a superhero universe” will.

The Coming of Galactus makes me very happy it was in the Top 20! Good for everyone who voted for it!

Still to come…

Watchmen
All Star Superman
Dark Phoniex Saga
Return of the Dark Knight
Death of Elektra
Sandman (one maybe two storylines)
Death of Gwen Stacy
and a Crisis or two.

Not surprised by Civil War or Sinestro Corps War… BUT TOP TWENTY?! TOP TWENTY?!
House of M doesn’t seem so bad now, doesn’t it? :P

Wow, is Maus even going to make it? I realize this site is pretty focused on men in tights, but it’d be pretty shocking if Maus didn’t even make the top 100

@Rene Yeah, I remember thinking at the beginning of Civil War how they had a real chance to do an interesting philosophical debate with two legitimate points of view. It seemed kind of lofty for an event, and I was excited. Then they stacked the deck. Of the heroes that had solo series of over a hundred issues, Hulk and Thor were sitting it out, while Captain America, Daredevil, Wolverine, the Punisher, even Power Man and Iron Fist were all on one side. The other side had Iron Man and Spider-Man, and it was pretty obvious that Spider-Man was going to jump ship halfway through. By the end it was every popular, marketable hero v. Iron Man. And Iron Man was doing things like desecrating corpses.

The irony, of course, is that in the real world, a bunch of completely unlicensed vigilantes beating the shit out of anyone they deem a criminal without regard for due process or civil rights would make Iron Man’s position bipartisan, possibly even more liberal than conservative. It’s only in the grossly morally simplistic world of the Marvel U., where almost everyone caught really is a crook and 99% of untrained costumed “good guys” are competely accurate and extremely discriminating in their targets that the debate can be so easily colored.

@Jon:
Death of Gwen Stacy already came out. The Elektra Saga already came out (which includes her death). Three storylines for Sandman already came out (although at least one more is expected).

hooray! the Galactus trilogy is the first (and, if trends continue, the only) story from my list to show!

@Dave:

Yeah, Iron Man’s position can’t be considered simply “conservative,” since it’s a bit similar to gun control and police accountability in the real world. But liberal writers are too much in love with heroic, underdog rebels, and so the portrayal was VERY one-sided. Whatever the merits of their position, they had Iron Man and Reed Richards acting like total dicks, while Cap’s side almost never had to make tough calls and face moral dilemmas, so they came out smelling like roses, despite the writers telling us that the ordinary citizens didn’t support them.

It’s very strange. Marvel had the opportunity to do something truly morally gray, but they blew it.

@Ian:

I think a lot of people first read Maus as a paperback, and don’t know that it was originally serialized. I bet it will be in the top 15 somewhere, I put it at #1 on my list and almost everything I voted for has made it.

Anyone want to make some predictions? I’d say:

1. Watchmen
2. Dark Knight Returns
3. The Dark Phoenix Saga
4. All-Star Superman
5. Crisis on Infinite Earths
6. The Great Darkness Saga
7. Born Again
8. Batman: Year One
9. V For Vendetta
10. Kingdom Come
11. Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
12. The Judas Contract
13. Season of Mists
14. Infinite Crisis
15. Kraven’s Last Hunt

*cries*

I notice a lot of anger towards the prominence of more recent storylines. The general accusation seems to be that it shows fanboys are fickle or have goldfish memories, and this may be true in some cases. But I think it could also be that the 2000s was a genuinely great decade for comics. Because it’s still a relatively new medium, comics are still growing and maturing, the standards of writing getting higher, to the point where you could argue there are just more great writers and therefore great storylines now than there was in the past.

I mean, slam people voting for 2000s stories, sure. But let’s look back. The 90s was relatively slim pickings, outside of Vertigo books like “Preacher” and the odd quality story in the mainstream like “The Long Halloween” or “Knightfall” (both represented on the list). The 80s was a landmark decade where the quality of writing really stepped up, and I think that decade has been well represented thus far, with the big ones likely still to come in the top 15. With the 70s, you have some examples of great storylines (some of which I think might have shown up), but the writing was largely not up to the standard it would reach in later decades, and certainly when I’ve read acclaimed 70s work like “Demon in a Bottle”, “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” or “Wratrh of the Spectre”, while entertaining, it certainly feels dated. The 60s were of course a glorious period of dazzling invention and revolution for the comic industry, but that far back we’re talking a focus more on standalone adventures than long-form storylines. The very nature of a “Best Comic Storylines” list seems to inherently favor more recent work.

That said, I definitely wouldn’t have rated “Civil War” among my top picks. Someone else said it best when they remarked that it was a great concept with incredibly flawed execution.

I have read all but the Avengers and Green Lantern. Those two I can’t comment on, but the rest sure does belong on this list.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 7:44 am

Thing is, it’s fairly hard to do a compelling superhero story without accepting the underlying genre conceit s Civil War threw out. Had CW given readers not merely a plot mechanic but an actual genre shift to replace this — say, going from superhero story to procedural — it might have worked lot better.

I think the fundamental mistake of CW was not that Iron Man was unsympathetic or Millar was unsubtle, but more basically that the story mistakes a genre convention that gets the metaphorics of superheroes going for some sort of literal political claim or structure.

Does anyone really think, say, the Lee/Ditko Spider-Man is actual advocating vigilantism? Or do we understand without needing to be told that the spandex punchy stuff is just a metaphorics for adolescent angst and so forth? Civil War’s premise requyires readers to lose a valuable reading skill — the ability to spot the figures and tropes by which the story is NOT a direct political allegory or a miniature “real world.”

It’s a superhero story by and for people who don’t understand how superhero stories work in the first place, the equivalent of complaining that Saint George may have severely impacted the ecosystem by killing an apex predator like that dragon.

The second you’re more worried about the imaginary bystanders in the Marvel New York that don’t have any real narrative impact, that you have to actually strain to include in your headspace, you’re the one who’s fucking up, not the genre.

Another one of my votes with “E for Extinction”. Its a three issue arc tht says everything Morrison wanted to say about the X-men. Its was such a huge breath of fresh air; everybody gets new outfits/mutations, the dialog was full of verve and wit, the artwork was incredible, no more giant narration boxes or thought bubbles, and by the end of it, the X-men universe could never be the same. I’ve re-read it more than probably any other story arc, and I still love it. If Frank Quitely had drawn this entire run, it would still be coming out today, but its the best thing ever. As it is, its still really good though :) I also like how it tied with “Days of Future Past”, first time I think theres a tie between two stories from the same series.

The inevitable Stan/Jack FF story! Whee!

Civil War was gonna be that one Marvel event I knew would be on here if House of M showed up, but I didn’t see it coming in the top 20! LOL this list gets funnier and funnier.

I never even heard of this “Under Siege” business.

When Green Lantern Rebirth showed up, “Sinestro Corps War” was also inevitable. Luckily, this is much better than Civil War and one of the handful of events I like.

NEW TOTALS in a minute…

Enrique:

Really? I must’ve missed it! But we still might see another Sandman. Did we see the Clairmont/Miller Wolverine mini-series?

Ben: I do know we have “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” on the list already at #25.

Part of the problem for Civil War is that there was no way to make someone with a secret ID pro-registration. To do so would mean changing that character’s status-quo, something DC and Marvel are loath to do. Once a secret ID cat is out of the bag, it’s especially hard to get back in (see Spider-Man’s satanic divorce and Iron Man mind control satellites), and being at the fringes of the law is too central to the character’s concept.
So, all we and up with is a bunch of characters who were already government approved fighting everyone else.
Which is a shame, because, as it’s been mentioned, there was potential for some real inner struggle, as some characters struggled with acting on behalf of the greater good outside their self-interest.

Nice strawman, JokerSoze, but my problem isn’t that people are picking recent storylines, it’s that they’re picking shitty recent storylines.

Point total on Civil War is messed up. I assume you meant 360?

Civil War? Really? On a list of greatest comic stories ever?

Jeremy, of course you haven’t heard of Under Siege. It’s more than 5 years old. (just teasing ya)… It was pretty much the coolest Avengers story to come out in the 80s. Baron Zemo gets together a new Masters of Evil and they infilitrate the mansion and stomp the hell out of everyone. Pretty bad ass back in the day. That said, I’m surprised it made it. I pleasantly surprised that people still remember it, and remember it fondly like I do.

That one and the Galactus Trilogy were in my top ten. I think I’m six for ten now. I guess I’m not as hopelessly out of touch as I thought.

I think it is funny that Civil War and the Sinestro Corps War are in the Top 20. I’m not surprised, I just find it amusing. At least people generally liked the pretty fun and cool Sinestro Corps War more than mishmashed and disappointing Civil War.

LOL @ the huge point gap between the Avengers story and Sinestro Corps War. I believe as we get higher, theres gonna be more points and put various writers right up into the top spot(Miller’s got at least 3, Claremont’s got another one, Moore’s got at least two, one being a number one contender).

NEW TOTALS:

Interesting notes – Millar jumps into the top 3, and 2000s own all, but I think the 80s are gonna come back in a HUGE way very soon.

-32 are Marvel stories

-36 are DC stories(20 from DC, 13 from Verigo, 3 from Wildstorm)

-60 are superhero stories
-20 are non-superhero stories(I’m missing five, I’ll have to look for that later >_>)

-2000s(33 entries, 6242 points)
-1990s(31 entries, 4386 points)
-1980s(15 entries, 3069 points)
-1970s(4 entries, 513 points)
-1960s(2 entries, 558 points)

By Writer:

-Morrison (9 entries, 1753 points)
-Moore (6 entries, 1330 points)
-Millar (3 entries, 958 points)
-Stern (4 entries, 881 points)
-Gaiman (4 entries, 839 points)
-Ennis (4 entries, 748 points)
-Johns (2 entries, 683 points)
-Claremont (2 entries, 568 points)
-L. Simonson (3 entries, 566 points)
-Brubaker (4 entries, 564 points)
-Ellis (4 entries, 563 points)
-Lee (2 entries, 558 points)
-Busiek (3 entries, 537 points)
-Tomasi (1 entry, 452 points)
-W. Simonson (2 entries, 429 points)
-Bendis (3 entries, 381 points)
-Shooter (2 entries, 361 points)
-Jurgens (2 entries, 348 points)
-Ordway (2 entries, 348 points)
-Cooke (1 entry, 314 points)
-Meltzer (1 entry, 304 points)
-Vaughan (2 entries, 295 points)
-Willingham (2 entries, 234 points)
-Buckingham (2 entries, 234 points)
-Sim (2 entries, 220 points)
-Loeb (1 entry, 220 points)
-Whedon (1 entry, 195 points)
-David (1 entry, 179 points)
-Kessel (1 entry, 167 points)
-Jones (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)
-Stern (1 entry, 141 points)
-Michelinie (1 entry, 141 points)
-JMS (1 entry, 140 points)
-Starlin (2 entries, 408 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)

Dude, seriously, you couldn’t find a Kirby image for the Galactus Trilogy? That trade cover is ass-tastic.

As for the list…..

Loved E for Extinction, but Here Comes Tomorrow was my favorite Morrison X-arc.

Coming of Galactus- I have a new found born-again zeal for Kirby at the moment. So, yay!

Civil War- Meh. Definitely not to my taste.

Under Siege- The Stern/Buscema/Palmer Avengers is the only Avengers run I read regularly. Alas, I lost the issues in a move. FML.

Sinestro Corps War- Way longer than it needed to be. But okay. And some of the art was quite nice.

I wouldn’t call it a strawman, Michael P. And the issue of people picking recent storylines is a different one (though perhaps overlapping) to people picking “shitty” storylines.

Of these 5, I think “E is For Extinction” and “Sinestro Corps War” are both very good stories. Morrison’s first arc on New X-Men did a lot to bring the characters forward and take them in a different direction from the 1990s Claremont tribute act they’d become. And as as trendy as it seems to bein 2009 for fanboys to hate on Geoff Johns and say “Oh, I never liked him or any of his work”, back in 2007 “Sinestro Corps War” was near universally-acclaimed, and rightly so, telling a story that felt more like an event than the “real” events Marvel and DC had been running in the years leading up to it. “Civil War” was a letdown, sure, but these two were great storylines of this decade, and deserving of a top 100 spot (though maybe not quite this high).

Like I said above, the prominence of “shitty” storylines might be a fair grievance to voice, but it’s not necessarily connected to the prominence of recent storylines and people complaining about fickle bandwagon-jumpers. I think some of the REAL stinkers on the list are actually older storylines that have found their way onto the list through status built around them after the fact – it reminds me of the line from Chinatown, “Whores, politicians and ugly buildings get respectable with age.” You could certainly argue there colud be something of an overabundance of the mainstream Big Two output in the superhero genre – both old and new – but that’s just the nature of the beast, as of course more people will have read those.

The Crazed Spruce

December 13, 2009 at 8:20 am

Okay, my guesses for Top 15 (in countdown format):

15: Man of Steel.
14: Infinite Crisis
13: Kingdom Come
12: Seasons of Mist
11: Kraven’s Last Hunt
10: Ultron Unlimited
9: V for Vendetta
8: The Judas Contract
7: Born Again
6: The Great Darkness Saga
5: Crisis on Earth One/Crisis on Earth 2
4: Batman: Year One
3: Crisis on Infinite Eaths
2: The Dark Knight Returns
1: Watchmen

“Born Again” is my highest-ranking story from my list yet to show up. Though I generally didn’t like my list – too rushed to make deadline, with not enough thought put in, I missed some obvious choices I’d have included if I’d been thinking.

Your list seems pretty on the ball, Crazed Spruce. But I’d be pleasantly surprised to see something unexpected like “The Walking Dead” or “Scalped” shockingly place within the top 15. I won’t hold my breath though…

The comment about the 90s being creatively barren compared to the 2000s is illustrative of the goldfish memory phenomenon. Kingdom Come, Marvels, JLA, Doom Patrol, Peter David’s Hulk, Starman, any Vertigo title really, Valiant stuff like Magnus and Dr. Solar. . . There were a lot of great books, even if you limit it to “superheroes”.

If you include the rest of the field you find stuff like Bone, Madman, Thieves and Kings, Ragmop, and Hellboy.

These titles are just off the top of my head, and I’m sure that everyone could add to the list. That was what I was really looking forward to with the publication of the Top 100: seeing titles that I either wasn’t familiar with, or titles where I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed them. It plays out like that about half the time. It’s an ok list, just not what I was expecting.

Anyway, Infinite Crisis may be better than Zero Hour, and Civil War may be better than Heroes Reborn, but it certainly doesn’t follow that the current decade was therefore more creative than the last.

2 out of 5, for 36 out of 85.

“Civil War” is massively flawed, but it has a lot of really enjoyable scenes. Given how many people read it, it isn’t surprising it has enough vote support to place this high.

“Sinestro Corps War” was pretty excellent, for the most part.

Haven’t read the others.

When talking about the slim pickings of the 90s, I did mention that Vertigo output that was strong, and that there were some strong offerings from the mainstream – that had been given their due on the list already. I mentioned “Long Halloween” and “Knightfall”, but this also includes “Doom Patrol” (included twice), “Marvels”, and I believe “Starman” and one of Morrison’s “Justice League” arcs (Rock of Ages?). It’s easy to say about some of the 2000s inclusions “Oh 10 years from now they wouldn’t be on a top 100 list.” But to look at the flipside of that, 10 years ago I’d imagine you’d have longtime fans turning up their noses at the inclusion of 90s titles we now see as undisputed classics, sniffily saying “I’d like to see where THAT would be on this list 10 years from now.”

I think that its a testament to the greatness of this thread that before 11 o’clock Eastern there are 25+ responses.

Surprised E for Extinction is that low, and got beat by Civil War. it’s a No Contest in my book which is better.

*VERY* Surprised to see Under Siege pop up, but in a good way as it’s top, top stuff. There’s a goldmine of Stern Avengers waiting to be read by people.

I still think Knightfall doesn’t belong on a top 100 list considering it was a desperate attempt to lift DC’s sales by dressing Batman like an X-Man.

My point was simply that by saying the decade offered slim pickings creatively, you were bolstering the short-memory argument that you were trying to refute, regardless of whether 90s titles had shown up on the list or not.

It’s inevitable that when we dash off a list of 10 titles, we’ll remember to include a few truly landmark stories from the past, and everything from the last few years that made an impression on us, ESPECIALLY those that were backed by the marketing hype of Civil War or Sinestro War. It seems to me that people went with the first thing that came to mind, which is a shame. It’s even money for me as to whether Blackest Night will show up.

Seems to me the “Best” storylines are the ones that concentrate on one hero or one group of heroes and not an entire universe. I keep falling back on All Star Superman because for YEARS people would talk about how you can’t do a decent story with Superman anymore, or you can’t touch what Alan Moore and John Byrne did with their respective runs because tbey were perfect…and then came Grant and Frank.

Point is, with the expection of “Crisis”, it seems the storylines that people will talk about 10, 20, 50 years from now will be the ones about people and not events!

@Omar I think you’re selling the genre short. Superhero stories can function in a myriad of ways, from high level metaphors on growing up to the cheapest thrills that come from watching two dudes beat the crap out of each other, to yes, the ethics of government oversight and vigilantism. Watchmen actually did this to some good effect.

Furthermore, a criticism that’s been leveled at comics since their inception is that they often depict violence without consequences. It has some merit. Showing the Hulk punching down an entire city block and then going on his merry way without having hurt anyone does seem to show a certain indifference to violence, regardless of what it’s metaphorically trying to say. You can argue that you’re supposed to interpret the Hulk’s punching Iron Man’s head of as a metaphor for the anger in all of us and not literal violence, but I think that’s sometimes giving too much credit to stories that are often just one long fight scene.

Still, even if we grant the point, there’s no reason that those bystanders can’t be made narratively relevant, and a genre so packed with violence and vigilantism, dare I say it, SHOULD comment on the consequences of such things, if not always, then at least from time to time. But Civil War’s not a great example, for the above reasons.

I’d prefer it if we not use the comments for predictions, at least not with still so many stories left – it takes away from the surprise factor.

Brian: Until we learn #1 is Marvel Tails presents Spider Ham: Origin of Hulk Bunny. ;)

Ugh day. Down the line things that, if they deserve to be on the list at all, don’t deserve to be this high. With the exception of the Galactus Trilogy, which probably deserves top 10. But, frankly, any day in the top 20 that is all superheroes is a day of fail. And I say this loving superheroes, but look, they’re 80% of what comes out in the medium and at best 50% of what is best in the medium.

Shocked Sinestro Corps War got nine first place votes, although to my mind it does belong on a top 100 list. Smugly satisfied Civil War only got two.

Well we know a lot of these are inevitable. The question really is what order they’re gonna come in. Besides Watchmen at the top, everything else seems like a toss-up.

Gonzalo Garcia Callegari

December 13, 2009 at 9:28 am

My two cents for Top 15 (in no particular order):
Watchmen, Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Judas Contract, V for Vendetta, The Dark Night Returns, Batman: Year One, The Great Darkness Saga, Kingdom Come, a Sandman arc.

Looking back at the lower-placing stories I am glad to have seen Fables, Cerebus, Y: The Last Man, Scrooge McDuck and Bone. Disappointed not to see any representative story for Strangers in Paradise.
When it’s all done, please give us at least a partial list of titles that received votes but didn’t place.

E is for Extinction is certainly not the New X-Men storyline I would have put on my list, but it was great, like the rest of that run.

The Galactus Trilogy obviously belongs here.

I’m fine with Civil War and the Initiative, the events being on here. So many of the crossovers and spinoffs were excellent and did what the miniseries should have done. The miniseries itself, however, was bad, and nothing actually happened in it. Marvel could have easily have had Stamford and the passing of the bill occur in a single one-shot, had the Avengers break up in New Avengers, have Cap fight/turn himself in/die in Captain America, have Spider-Man do all that crazy stuff he did in Spider-Man, have Iron Man take over SHIELD in Iron Man, and they’d have accomplished the same thing in less time and gotten right to the good Initiative stories.

Haven’t read Under Siege or the Sinestro Corps War. Of the two, I plan on reading Under Siege.

It seems to me that this whole list has been a toss-up. Everyone seems to be surprised. I think a lot of people voted for their personal favorites and not voting for the obvious choices because they figured everyone would vote for those. So, the outcome seems to be that this allowed for some odd choices getting on the list and some very high on the list. I think this is really funny. I expected something completely different out of this list, as did everyone else I guess. This has to be the most exciting list so far! I can’t wait to see the top choices. I think everyone will be shocked at how this all ends.

Jeremy, doesn’t Morrison have 10 entries?

Well, this was not a good day for me at least, but because I haven’t read many of the entries.

I enjoyed E for Extinction, believe it or not, it was the first X-Men comic I actually read and followed (I had read one single issue from Age of Apocalypse when I was a teenager, I thought that was the regular series, I didn’t understand a thing, and that’s why I never bought another one). Having liked the Movies and having played some nice X-Men games, I was interested in the franchise, and when Morrison took over I knew I had to read it. I didn’t consider voting E for Extinction or Riot at Xavier’s (my favourite 2 storylines from that run), but I did enjoy them very much, and Quitely’s art didn’t hurt a bit.

I haven’t read the Galactus Trilogy yet, my classical Stan Lee reading is limited to Uncanny X-Men and some Amazing Spider-Man, I’ll eventually get to this, even if it’s just for the sake of completism and because I suppose any reader that wants to say that it’s experienced on the field needs to read those.

Haven’t read Under Siege, although I’ve noted it for a future purchase when I want to read some classical superhero story, it seems like a good work, based on the majority of opinions I read here.

I haven’t read Civil War or the Sinestro Corps war, but I have no rush to read those, although people seem to say the Corps War is at least entertaining. I’ll get to it sometime.

We are now approaching the Final Countdown, I hope that we see mostly good works that can’t be controversial due to its overall quality, but who knows! People if of the people, and some people have terrible tastes in my opininon. But well, regardless of what appears, I won’t bitch about it, although I reserve the right to bitch about Infinite Crisis if it shows.

@Omar,

I second what Dave said, but I also would like to add one more thing. Politics are in the DNA of the Marvel Universe, big way. Stan Lee loaded the early Marvel with Cold War elements. Not Spider-man, but the Hulk and Iron Man in particular are very blatant Cold War metaphors.

E is for Extinction and Sinestro Corps War make baby Jesus cry.

Still loving the diversity on this list: 60’s, 80’s, and 2000’s this time around!

The Lee/Kirby trilogy was kind of a let-down for me when I finally read it last year, but it certainly belongs on this list as a significant storyline in comics. At the time it was published, weren’t most Marvel comics done-in-one? So in a way, this trilogy may mark the first “storyline” (at least for Marvel). Certainly the most epic at the time.

But that Ron Lim cover seems like a misleading bit of marketing (too 90’s for an extremely 60’s story).

I’m surprised Under Siege made it this high, but it’s certainly a cool story. I mostly liked the first two issues (a gaggle of powerhouses attacking dead-on was just so brilliant in its simplicity), but I thought it lagged in the middle (wasn’t a fan of Ant-Man and Wasp fighting Absorbing Man and Titania) but then it ended quite powerfully.

Have heard great things about Sinestro Corps, but don’t think I’m a big enough GL fan to appreciate it (although Geoff Johns won me over with Rebirth so I could be wrong).

Don’t plan on reading Civil War.

E for Extinction is cool, and brought me back to the X-men with the same enthusiasm Morrison brought me to JLA. Cool that this tied Days of Future Past. Similar themes executed (think there’s a pun in there) very differently.

Don’t want to sully these comments with predictions except to say I don’t think Secret Wars II is going to pull off that upset 11th hour appearance.

Gotta say, it makes me sad that there are comic book fans that never even heard of “Under Siege.”

I always thought Internet fandom and critical community was too biased towards certain periods and publishers and creators. We have this obsession with the Silver Age (particularly DC Silver Age) on one end, and in the other end people who loves the more modern stuff. But the 1970s and 1980s have so many gems that are overlooked. Sometimes it seems that only the biggest names are an exception to this, Frank Miller and Chris Claremont and maybe Byrne and Simonson too.

I want more blogs and articles and pages about Roger Stern’s Avengers and Doctor Strange, and deMatteis’s Captain America, and Bill Mantlo’s Hulk and Spider-Man, and Louise Simonson’s Power Pack, and Michelinie’s Iron Man, and Nocenti’s Daredevil, and Valentino’s Guardians of Galaxy, and Nicieza’s New Warriors, and the Kesels’s Hawk and Dove, and Bates’s Captain Atom, and Ostrander’s Hawkworld, and Messner-Loebs’s Flash, and Stern’s Starman.

Superhero comics are a lot more than just DC’s Silver Age and the latest kewl crossover.

Under Siege was awesome. It’s a great writer that can make a tragedy out of a small moment. Captain America contemplating the ruined remains of his personal effects after the mansion was trashed, like the few pictures he had of his parents, that was damned awesome. And the brutal beating Jarvis took from Mr. Hyde makes your blood curl (and no, I don’t think Roger Stern hates butlers just because he depicts violence against butlers. Is he butlergynistic? :p ).

But it’s 17 in the list. Enough people remember and enjoyed the story. Why aren’t they blogging about it and similar stuff from this time period?

Well I read part of Michelinie’s Iron Man thanks to the movie, I read the Messner-Loebs Flash while growing up and loved it, I also loved Kesel’s Hawk and Dove (the only time I deemed Liefeld as a good artist with a nice career future, too bad it later proved me very very wrong) and I read Cary Bates Captain Atom because most was reprinted by a Spanish DC Licensed company, and I also liked it, but I don’t consider it a highlight of the medium.

The rest I haven’t read, but, as with many things, I heard about them enough for me to want to buy and read them eventually.

The ultra popularity of CW is due to a great part on McNiven’s art. For some reason, a lot of readers gush over his art like its the best ever. I personally don’t see it at all.

More and more, commenters are missing the point of this countdown.

I want more blogs and articles and pages about Roger Stern’s Avengers and Doctor Strange, and deMatteis’s Captain America, and Bill Mantlo’s Hulk and Spider-Man, and Louise Simonson’s Power Pack, and Michelinie’s Iron Man, and Nocenti’s Daredevil, and Valentino’s Guardians of Galaxy, and Nicieza’s New Warriors, and the Kesels’s Hawk and Dove, and Bates’s Captain Atom, and Ostrander’s Hawkworld, and Messner-Loebs’s Flash, and Stern’s Starman.

^
And I cosign everything he said. Im also gonna get chewed out for this but to me DC’s Silver age is just weird. Like there are great stories of course but there are also some ridiculous plots that are looked back upon with all this love and reverence. I dunno even when I looked at the top 75 DC covers a lot of them are just so campy to me that I can’t get with it. Ive never been a huge DC fan though so that may influence me a lot.
My main point is show more love for the 80s.

More and more, commenters are missing the point of this countdown.
^
so what is the point?

I’m pleasantly surprised to see “Under Seige” rank this high. (I voted for it on my list) The Stern/Buscema/Palmer Avengers are a real high point in the series and this is probably my favorite. (I also really enjoyed the follow up in Olympus!) That time period at Marvel was a real creative high point overall as well. Claremont was doing terrific stuff on X-Men, Simonson was on Thor, Byrne on FF, etc.

So in a way, this trilogy may mark the first “storyline” (at least for Marvel).

There had already been multi-part storylines at Marvel (and the FF, in particular) before the Galactus one. In fact, it directly followed a multi-issue storyline introducing the Inhumans.

Can you imagine that? Following a multi-part story where you introduce the Inhumans with a multi-part story where you introduce Silver Surfer and Galactus? Then follow THAT with one of the best one-off issues ever, and then follow THAT with a two-parter introducing the Black Panther!

YIKES!

I thought the point of this countdown was to get fanboys to bicker with eachother over “poor taste” choices and “overrated” writers?

V for Vendetta will not make the list. It may be good. But its nobodies top 10.

“E is for Extinction and Sinestro Corps War make baby Jesus cry.”

I can understand the frustration with “Sinestro Corps War” but not with “E is for Extinction”. For me, Morrison’s run on the X-men was one of the best things that happened in the 90s and was the best thing that happened to the X-Men while I was reading. If I had voted it would have definitely been in my top 5.

@Benhameen

This was a list of people’s favorite comics. A lot of commenters are taking it to be a list of the “best”. The two are certainly not mutually exclusive, but they’re far from the same thing.

I for one am hoping for some surprises in the next couple of rounds (maybe “Nextwave” will show up after all…).

@Trey

It made my top 10. Does that make me nobody?

I want more blogs and articles and pages about Roger Stern’s Avengers and Doctor Strange, and deMatteis’s Captain America, and Bill Mantlo’s Hulk and Spider-Man, and Louise Simonson’s Power Pack, and Michelinie’s Iron Man, and Nocenti’s Daredevil, and Valentino’s Guardians of Galaxy, and Nicieza’s New Warriors, and the Kesels’s Hawk and Dove, and Bates’s Captain Atom, and Ostrander’s Hawkworld, and Messner-Loebs’s Flash, and Stern’s Starman.

Blogspot is free.

I guess I’ll have to read E is for Extinction, if it’s as good as everyone says it is. Quitely’s faces just look uncomfortably “uncanny valley” to me though.

Heh heh. The Uncanny Valley X-Men.

Wow. There are actually two stories I’ve read here (bringing my total up to seven– I miscounted yesterday), and one from my list (bringing me up to two)!

I read Civil War last Summer. It’s one of the few books available at the local library. It’s not a horrible story when judged solely on its own merits, but the ending is weak and too many important events occur in other books, which makes it feel incomplete. Civil War was about halfway complete when I started buying comics again, which made it hard to jump into many of my favourite series after so long. Everything felt so different. I really hated what they did with Spider-Man’s identity. That’s probably one of the worst mistakes at Marvel in the past decade. They’ve fixed the problem since then, but they had to resort to drastic means to do so, and it makes his history needlessly complex.
I also hate that Civil War continued the trend of making everyone at Marvel a proffessional super-hero with a public identity. I don’t understand why they’ve been doing that. It worked much better when there was a more balanced mix of different types of heroes.
But there is a lot of good stuff in the story, and there is some justification for including it here, although it should’ve ranked much lower.

Under Siege was on my list! Wow. I really am thrilled to see it here. I was starting to feel WAYYYY outside the mainstream in my preferences. I had thought it had a pretty good chance of making it, since some people had mentioned it back when they were casting votes, but I had given up hope a few days ago. I didn’t think it had a chance of scoring this high. (There are still two more on my list that I thought had a chance, the Trial of Hank Pym and the Armor War, but it doesn’t seem likely now that they could show.)

bill, unfortunately, Marvel Tails starring Spider-Ham was a single issue, so it’s disqualified. Otherwise, I think it would be a shoo-in.

I’m a terrible Cassandra. I was expecting neither Under Siege nor the Sinestro Corps War. Having not read it, I have trouble telling one random big DC event from the next. I know people kept predicting it but I didn’t imagine it being in the top 20.

Under Siege is a story I love a lot and its inclusion gladdens me, but I was not honestly expecting it. Yay for Stern, Buscema, and the Avengers!!!

I know this will get me stoned for saying this here, but I hated Morrison’s X-Men. I read about half the run and paid attention to what was going on in the rest. It reeked of a condescending attitude toward the characters in my mind, and I found most of his ideas rather absurd. It is subjective and not entirely consistent what pseudo-science I accept as internally consistent in a crazy superhero universe, I admit. But something about secondary mutations and the extinction gene pushed past my limit of disbelief suspension in a way that a radioactive spider-bite endowing superpowers does not.

Civil War convinced me I was done with superhero comics. To illustrate why:
Thor accidentally teleporting Spider-Man to Asgard where they together ward off an invasion by trolls: silly and stupid in a fun way
Civil War: stupid in a mindnumbingly irritating way. High among the worst stories I’ve ever read.

Daniel O' Dreams

December 13, 2009 at 1:49 pm

@ Santiago: I always wondered if Morrison’s New X-Men was as good to the new/casual X-men reader as to us old timers, now I know thanks!

Under Siege was the shiznit when I was a kid. Most memorable Avengers Storyline since all that cosmic stuff with the Kree/Skrull war and Korvac, which I had yet to read at the time. It’s ability to stand the test of time lessened only by boring art and emphasis on forgettable 80’s villains (Moonstone and the female Yellowjacket in particular). Glad to see it place so high.

V For Vendetta has recently been given a push in popularity by a certain movie and by that I mean Watchmen. ;-)

Roman – You’re right, Morrison has ten entries on this list, making him the first writer to enter double digits.

Thanks for all the corrections guys, I want it to be as accurate as possible, but its actually harder than it looks :)

jeremy-

alan moore has 7 entries, not 6 (from hell, league of extraordinary gents, top 10, swampy love and death, swampy amer. gothic, supes man of tomorrow, and miracleman olympus). the points may be wrong too, but i didn’t check that.

interesting stuff today.

under siege is deserving, although i’m also surprised how high it placed.

galactus trilogy is deserving and probably placed just about right.

e is for extinction is deserving, and while i think it is placed too high in terms of quality, i thought it was a lock for the top ten due to the hard on people seem to have for morrison on this blog.

civil war… well, we knew it was coming. at least it didn’t make top 15.

sinestro corps war- i haven’t read this yet, although it’s been on my list. interesting that it’s among the highest first place vote getters we’ve seen. people must really really love it. by the same token, civil war had less first place votes than anything we’ve seen in a while, so at least that should make some people happy.

i won’t bother with another prediction for the top 15, as my prediction for the top 25 that i made in the comments of the identity crisis day is all still in play. however, we’re getting to the point where we have some idea of what we won’t be seeing. of the 15 spots left, we know what 12 of them are for sure. so that means five of the following eight stories won’t be appearing on the list at all!

age of apocalypse
spiderman nothing stops the juggernaut
wolverine minseries
wolverine origin
squadron supreme
iron man alcoholism
preacher alamo
kraven’s last hunt

while all of the above might not necessarily be top 15 material, it’s extremely difficult to imagine any of them not making the top 100. out of those eight stories, the three i think we will still be seeing are age of apocalypse, squadron supreme, and wolvie miniseries. although i would not at all be surprised if origin knocked one of them out.

Thanks again daniel. And its 64 superhero and 21 non-superhero stories. Its getting more and more accurate!

I was getting worried Under Siege wasn’t going to make the list at all. I’m glad to see so many other people love it.

I;ve read 4 out of 5 today. I’m a little ashamed to admit I’ve never read the Galactus Trilogy. I really should do something about that.

And as great as I think Under Siege is (it made my top 5), I always think that it’s a bit of a shame that it so completely overshadows the follow-up story where the Avengers go to war with the Greek Gods. That was an amazingly good story as well, and the only reason it didn’t make my list was because I already had 2 Avengers stories and wanted to spread my list out a bit. It’s probably the #11 spot for me, though.

The Galactus Triology is wrong, it’s only two issues because 48 was the end of the Inhuman’s saga… actually looking at the Korvac Saga you could include the Inhumans issues which started about 4 issues earlier or the power cosmic stuff that was a few issues later.

I want more blogs and articles and pages about Roger Stern’s Avengers and Doctor Strange, and deMatteis’s Captain America, and Bill Mantlo’s Hulk and Spider-Man, and Louise Simonson’s Power Pack, and Michelinie’s Iron Man, and Nocenti’s Daredevil, and Valentino’s Guardians of Galaxy, and Nicieza’s New Warriors, and the Kesels’s Hawk and Dove, and Bates’s Captain Atom, and Ostrander’s Hawkworld, and Messner-Loebs’s Flash, and Stern’s Starman.

Blogspot is free.

Joe Rice for the win!

Just a brief thought on Marvel’s Civil War and the realism in comics in terms of “putting the people back in the buildings”.

I’ve always looked at super-hero comics as straight fantasy in a contemporary setting. This fantasy only works, however, if you ignore real world rules and don’t try to explain or justify what is patently ridiculous. It takes you out of the story every time a twenty-story building falls and someone says “Miraculously, the building was empty”. Its especially ridiculous to hear explanations about costumes (any kind).

The problem with Civil War is that it comes across as insincere after years of cities being half destroyed (See Morrison’s Planet X arc) without any consequences.

The more realistic you try to make super-hero comics the more ridiculous they become (as beautifully illustrated in Watchmen).

Oh yeah, and for those that think people have no taste who voted:

At least we haven’t seen Spider-Man: Torment, Youngblood, Lady Death, Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose or any of the various Venom series. :-D

I agree with Rene. The most important work comes from the decade that contained MY CHILDHOOD.

Works from before the decade that contained MY CHILDHOOD utilize a storytelling style that I’m not comfortable with, and because I haven’t done even basic research on the stuff that came before MY CHILDHOOD it seems to me that OTHER PEOPLE”S CHILDHOODS are overly represented compared to mine…

Despite the fact that this isn’t the case at all. But MY CHILDHOOD is the most important time ever, and I must defend MY CHILDHOOD and prove that it was superior to YOUR CHILDHOOD. Seriously.

And if to do this I have to somehow turn every post into a complaint about a comic period I know nothing about (and sound clueless in the process) I’m COMPLETELY read to do this. MY CHILDHOOD! MY CHILDHOOD! MY CHILDHOOD!

I agree that Civil War felt forced, with the Stamford disaster coming out from nowhere after decades of glossing over collateral damage in Marvel Comics (with a few exceptions like Mike Baron’s “Blockbuster”, nice story about the lives of a half dozen bystanders affected by a Fantastic Four battle).

But I don’t agree with all this anti-realism sentiment. We would not have the Marvel Universe in the first place if Stan Lee hadn’t decided to experiment with more realism in superheroes. The Marvel Universe is the appropriate place for such experimentation, since it was born from it. Stan Lee decided to base his heroes in New York City, not Metropolis or Gotham.

Civil War was a failure, but I don’t think there is nothing wrong with their intent.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm

@Omar I think you’re selling the genre short. Superhero stories can function in a myriad of ways, from high level metaphors on growing up to the cheapest thrills that come from watching two dudes beat the crap out of each other, to yes, the ethics of government oversight and vigilantism. Watchmen actually did this to some good effect.

I think you managed to get the exact opposite meaning out of my comments than the one I tried to communicate with them. Much of my comment was devoted to the idea of superhero stories as a flexible metaphorics in which the “practical” nuts and bolts of how superheroing would “really” work are not merely beside the point, but stranglingly limited.

My whole point was that Civil War, to me, is so obsessed with superheroes as some sort of literal or “realistic” phenomenon that it actually LOSES this metaphorical fluidity in its quest to impress h most jaded, crashingly literal segment of the readership.

And yes, if the bystanders are unnamed and sometime sundrawn characters — important qualifiers in my earlier comment — then a reader who wastes a load of mental effort trying to worry about what’s not in the story is a poor reader. In your example, that’s not the case, so the matter is different.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm

sometime sundrawn” = “sometimes undrawn”. Though now I wonder what ‘sundrawn” characters would look like…

@Daniel O’Dreams, well as I said before, I definitely was not an old timer in regards to the X-Men, but reading and enjoying New-Xmen by Morrison a lot made me go back and read the complete Stan Lee Uncanny Xmen run, and the complete All New All Different X-Men run by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, and then John Byrne, and then I read a couple years more of stories and got bored (Also read most of Claremont’s New Mutants).

Even though I got bored, I will definitely, eventually, continue reading everything when I get the money and time, so I believe that even old timers that didn’t enjoy New X-Men by Morrison will appreciate the effect that it can have on some newcomers like me.

“I’ve always looked at super-hero comics as straight fantasy in a contemporary setting. This fantasy only works, however, if you ignore real world rules and don’t try to explain or justify what is patently ridiculous. It takes you out of the story every time a twenty-story building falls and someone says “Miraculously, the building was empty”. Its especially ridiculous to hear explanations about costumes (any kind).

The problem with Civil War is that it comes across as insincere after years of cities being half destroyed (See Morrison’s Planet X arc) without any consequences. ”

This to the nth degree. Even had it been done without such obvious bias and hyping, Civil War still would have been a monumentally bad idea from a storytelling perspective because it fundamentally damages some of the basic conceits of the super-hero genre. It could have been an all-right AU story///

markandrew-

while i agree that many voters probably feel and voted the way you say, not all of us did. i would like to believe that some people simply vote for quality regardless of when it came out. of my ten votes, 4 came out long before i started reading comics, 4 came out during the eight years i actively read comics, and 2 came out after i had given up comics (and they were the 2 that brought me back in after a five year absence). i would call the 80s the best decade of comics even though i was born at the end of 1981 and didn’t get my first comic until 1992. my number 1 vote went to a comic that came out when i was five, and which i didn’t read until i was 13 or 14. six of my top ten favorite runs (moore swamp thing, miller daredevil, morrison animal man, claremont x-men, moore mircleman, and giffen/dematteis jli) were completely over before i read my first comic book. even of the four stories i voted for that came out during my childhood, three of them (marvels, morrison jla, moore supreme) haven’t lost an ounce of greatness over time and/or my aging. the age of apocalypse was the only thing i gave a vote to that could be considered for “nostalgic” reasons. i guess my point is that, just because many people cannot see beyond their irrational love for the things that made them happy when they were 12, don’t assume that of all of us. some of us simply see greatness where it is, not where we thought it was before we hit puberty.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 3:44 pm

But I don’t agree with all this anti-realism sentiment. We would not have the Marvel Universe in the first place if Stan Lee hadn’t decided to experiment with more realism in superheroes.

If that’s what Stan Lee had done, you’d have a point; it isn’t. What Stan did was introduce a degree of melodramatic characterization and a somewhat more sophisticated implementation of the genre’s rules. But Stan Lee superhero comics do not particularly resemble reality, neither psychologically or politically. What he did was expand the metaphnorical language of superheroes so that it could encompass a greater range of still-indirect allegories for reality without ever functioning internally much like that reality. At some level, this is how all genre fiction works.

Stan tended to write in more modern archetypes, true, but at a fundamental level real people do not behave like superheroes and supervillains. Archetypes are still not “real people,” not merely because they are “less multidimensional” — archetypes are often quite complex in their inernal logic — but because archetypes just work differently. We do not don costumes and go out on our own, even if we’re a bit faster or stronger than the guy next to us. There’s a genuinely different set of very stylized actions that superhero and villain characters have to undertake that forever walls them from the sort of “reality” Civil War aimed at, and this is in large part why it fails as a worthwhile story.

The first thing to learn about literature is that characters are basically functions of a completely artificial narrative, and that one cannot argue from fictional premises to real ones or vice versa. Even realist novels are at some basic level to divorced from reality to be treated as plain mirrors of it; fiction reflects at best an author’s unfalsifiable theory about how reality works, a theory that has the great benefit of being played out in a situation where every element is completely controlled and shaped and thus unlike our accident-prone, probabilistic real existence. Unsurprisingly no author (or individual in any field has figured out reality to the extent necessary to make the claims made for stories like Civil War as “what would really happen with superheroes.”

” Furthermore, a criticism that’s been leveled at comics since their inception is that they often depict violence without consequences. It has some merit. Showing the Hulk punching down an entire city block and then going on his merry way without having hurt anyone does seem to show a certain indifference to violence, regardless of what it’s metaphorically trying to say. You can argue that you’re supposed to interpret the Hulk’s punching Iron Man’s head of as a metaphor for the anger in all of us and not literal violence, but I think that’s sometimes giving too much credit to stories that are often just one long fight scene. ”

@dave; This, ironically, is WHY I think Civil War failed, because I would rather no bystanders get hurt than have a massive tragedy represented by a one-dimensional morality pet like Miriam Sharpe. Aside from invoking Cindy Sheehan ( who lost a son in a real-world scenario about as different from incompetent rookie superheros messing up as a house cat is from a pegasus ), Miriam had no personality traits other than to evoke sympathy from the readers and attempt to justify Tony’s actions.

By the way, since the whole character justification for Tony being pro-registration is him making himself the authoritarian bad guy so the other superhumans wouldn’t have to be persecuted by outright immoral government forces, isn’t it somewhat ridiculous that he cares more than the slightest bit about how one ill-informed grieving mother sees him?

I like the Silver Age well enough, Mark. In fact, I have read almost all of Marvel’s output from the 1960s. Great stuff, most of it. I haven’t read DC’s Silver Age yet, but I mean to.

My childhood was more in the 1970s actually, and you can set that further back because I’m Brazilian and the comics came here late. So no, the 1980s were NOT my childhood, nor the comics I’ve read in my childhood. You could say that the comics that I’ve read in my late teens are the ones I’m supposed to be fixated on though.

They’re not the comics that make much of my collection either, though. When I moved last time, I carried with me only a few, and there is a lot from the 1990s and 2000s in this. Astro City. James Robinson’s Starman. Ultimates. Planetary. Alan Moore’s ABC titles. Powers.

But I do honestly believe the 1980s are under-represented in the Internet. The web had its boom in the late-1990s, and there is much material about the newer stuff, understandably, and the reaction to the more modern stuff, that is often the Silver Age nostalgia.

My point is that it is fantasy. If Marvel were a real world its hard to imagine that the same architecture principals would be applied when rebuilding after a Hulk rampage. That any kind of the problems we have would still exist or even seem relevant in a world where a single man can move mountains. I have no problem with a real world approach if they follow it through completely. Let’s see how the world would be if Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Forge did exist. How many of these people would actually wear spandex or even bother fighting when they could be coming up with world altering science. How many of these heroes would actually behave heroically when there could be no consequences because no one could stop you? Actually, that would be kind of cool.

I’m holding out for the Great Darkness Saga, wake me up when it gets here. Its funny, even people who say they hate legion think great darkness is awesome.

Omar,

It’s hard to talk about levels of realism, but I think Stan took some steps in the direction of more realistic representations of superhumans, while still being wildly “unrealistic.” Does that make any sense? It is still not in any way like real life, but when Spider-Man was advertised like the “superhero that could be you,” it’s supposed to imply he was more realistic than the way Superman or Batman were portrayed at the time.

But otherwise, I think I see your point about Civil War being more worried about the literal way comic book superheroes. I’m not sure what Civil War is supposed to be a metaphor of. Writers in other Marvel Comics seem to have made Iron Man into some stand-in for George Bush or something, but Millar himself doesn’t do that.

the literal way superheroes would work, I meant.

Glad to see the Galactus Trilogy here, though, that cover… yikes. You can really tell when that trade was collected, can’t you? They couldn’t have re-purposed part of one of the original covers, or one of Jack’s interior panels?

Glad to see E for Extinction, if only just for Morrison’s run luring me back to a book I thought I’d never touch again after so many years.

I have a lot of respect for Stern, but I’ve never really felt the love so many others have for his Avengers run, which has always been a real low point in my memory, both for the book and for him (just the very presence of Gilgamesh at any point earns it a massive demerit). I feel the same way about John Buscema and this run too: his art back in the Roy Thomas days just kicks the ass of the stuff from this run in so many ways.

Civil War… oh well. I’m not going to rail against it as the greatest abomination ever or anything like that, but rating it as one’s favourite ever is kind of sad.

Sinestro Corps… I’d almost forgotten, and so soon, that this even WAS a storyline. Every time I look back on a big Johns storyline I notice what a rambling unstructured mess it was, even if I remember enjoying the occasional individual moment or idea here and there. The bigger a canvas Johns is given, the more reading the result is like being locked in a room with a rambling, yammering coke-head who can’t get things out in a coherent order.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm

The thing aout Stern is that he’s probably as good at standard superhero tropes and narratives as any writer who ever worked in comics. The kind of readers who want genre conventions stretched and busted and turned to avat-garde styles and “deeper” literary techniques are going to (somewhat accurately by those lights) call him a mere journeyman writer and demand nothing but Grant Morrison comics.

But the majority of readers are going to get what they want and like from Stern and get an incredibly well-executed version of it. It should neither surprise nor offend that a guy like Stern sows up on a list like this; for straight-ahead genre superhero storytelling, it’s quite hard to beat his Avengers and Spider-Man work. The problem is that some people want this list to be storylines that achieve “high art” sorts of effects, but the bulk of the readership for comics — the bulk of the consumers of anything in creative media, really — neither want nor read “high art.”

A story like Civil War, that pretends to be high art while failing even at being satisfying genre material, bothers me infinitely more than a good Roger Stern comic that does something comparatively unambitious but does it extremely well.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Oh, and Jack…Stern’s run contained no Gilgamesh. Thatw as the subsequent Simonson run that many people feel derailed the book due to its editorially-mandated content…including Gilgamesh.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Rene, that’s kind of the problem: there’s no literal way superheroes WOULD work, unless we assume that people (and by extension, cultural and political systems) in superhero universes are deeply, fundamentally different to allow the basic character behavior that animates the genre.

“I’d prefer it if we not use the comments for predictions, at least not with still so many stories left – it takes away from the surprise factor.”
We already know what thw top 15 will be, so I’m happy with prediction lists.

Okay then, but it was definitely the Stern run that had made my picking up the book sporadic enough that I didn’t know of the change. I think I just noticed Gilgamesh by skimming a copy on the stands in a “let’s see if this has improved since I dropped it” (having dropped it during Stern) kind of way, and I guess I’ve lumped that all into one era.
As I said, I have respect for Stern, and I agree with your points about his strengths (and don’t insist that every comic exclusively be “high art”), but his Avengers just did nothing for me.
He wrote Spider-Man? When was that? As much as I like the character, my regular reading of his titles has some pretty huge gaps in the 80s and 90s.

Under Seige (and the awesome follow up) was the story that convinced me to go hunting back issues, which is what enabled me to read Korvac. I’m very glad to see both of them on here.

My personal top ten had (as I recall): Reign of the Supermen, Secret Wars II, Armor Wars, Demon Bear, Lonely Place of Dying, Death of Jean DeWolf, Korvac Saga, Under Seige, Kraven’s Last Hunt, and Inferno. My original list had X-Men vs Dracula on it, but I began to wonder if that was a single issue or a multi-issue storyline, and I think I switched it out for Armor Wars, but I’m not 100%.

Of those, we’ve seen 4, and I honestly don’t expect to see LPoD, Secret Wars II, or Demon Bear. I am hoping that Armor Wars, Kraven and Inferno all make the top 10.

Theno

I find it sad that Brian explicitly asked people (more than once) to stop listing predictions, and yet, so many people keep doing it.

To Jack Norris– Stern wrote Spider-Man in the early to mid-80s, first Spectacular, then Amazing, overlapping in time a little bit with his Avengers run. He stopped right when Spidey returned from the Secret Wars with his new black suit. It was Stern who wrote all the early Hobgoblin stuff, before the character slid way downhill and became a big joke. I’d actually say that Stern’s Hobgoblin was the best goblin ever, far better than the overrated Norman Osbourn version.

Did somebody refer to Moonstone as a forgettable ’80s villain? She’s been a far more prominent character in the past decade than she ever was in the ’80s, being a major part of the Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers. Or maybe you meant that back in the ’80s, she was forgettable. It is true that back then I only saw her in some Stern Avengers stories (and a Captain Marvel one-shot at the very end of the decade), but in Under Siege at least, she was very memorable. She became one of my favourite bad guys based on that story alone.

Seeing the coming of Galactus by Lee & Kirby represented by a Ron Lim cover is so sad,

Lee/Kirby are probably pretty pleased with the #19 showing. Their most famous work is only beaten by true gems like Civil War. And of course everything else Kirby did is forgettable when compared with things like House of M and Identity Crisis, which will have much more enduring popularity.

Is Great Darkness available in a single trade? If not, I think its chances of appearing at this point in the list are pretty low. Trade readers are clearly heavily swaying the vote at this point.

@ Rene:

I want more blogs and articles and pages about Roger Stern’s Avengers and Doctor Strange, and deMatteis’s Captain America, and Bill Mantlo’s Hulk and Spider-Man, and Louise Simonson’s Power Pack, and Michelinie’s Iron Man, and Nocenti’s Daredevil, and Valentino’s Guardians of Galaxy, and Nicieza’s New Warriors, and the Kesels’s Hawk and Dove, and Bates’s Captain Atom, and Ostrander’s Hawkworld, and Messner-Loebs’s Flash, and Stern’s Starman.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but I read most of those comics and found them profoundly average. It is hard to write about stuff that is both average and old. It is easier to write about stuff that is really good, really bad or really odd. The DC Silver Age stuff is often two of the three. It is also more recently available than the really good Lee-Kirby and Lee-Ditko Marvels, since Marvel had (until relatively recently) done a much better job keeping their classics in print.

The exceptions would be the Messner-Loebs & LaRouche run on THE FLASH and Stern and Bushema on THE AVENGERS. Given how highly Stern’s Avengers has placed in both this poll and the best runs poll, I think it is a little silly to argue that it is under-rated.

“Lee/Kirby are probably pretty pleased with the #19 showing. Their most famous work is only beaten by true gems like Civil War. And of course everything else Kirby did is forgettable when compared with things like House of M and Identity Crisis, which will have much more enduring popularity.”

Dear Gawd, I hope this is sarcasm.

;)

@Trey:
“V for Vendetta will not make the list. It may be good. But its nobodies top 10.”

You’re right, it’s 7th on my list. How did you know?

sometime sundrawn” = “sometimes undrawn”. Though now I wonder what ‘sundrawn” characters would look like…

Ha ha. Reading that comment before this correction, I thought to myself ” ‘Sundrawn,’ wow, what a lovely turn of phrase. Where does he get all these wonderful sayings?” Now, I know: you make them up!

@ Chris Nowlin: It was later revealed at the end of Morrison’s run that Beast lied about the extinction gene. But yeah, secondary mutations were very much “means to an end”.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 7:21 pm

@Jack Norris: I wasn’t accusing you on the “high art” thing, just pointing out why Stern made the list here. Also, Stern’s

@Lynxara: The Great Darkness Saga was a trade a few years back, but I think it’s now out-of-print.

@Cass: My secret’s out! I must flee!

@ AJ: No, Beast didn’t lie about the extinction gene; he miraculously found a cure for it in X-Men #150. He lied about being gay, though.

Is Great Darkness available in a single trade? If not, I think its chances of appearing at this point in the list are pretty low. Trade readers are clearly heavily swaying the vote at this point.

The fact that Great Darkness covers did relatively poorly in the cover poll also suggests it might not make it (Legion 293 didn’t make the top 75, Legion 294 finished at best third in the write in poll for the last two.)

Last comment was me.

@Omar Karindu: Flipped through “Here Comes Tomorrow” again. Actually, we’re both mistaken. Beast lied about finding a cure for it, which he reveals when Sublime’s influence is removed from him.

Civil War making the list this high up is like “Dude, Where’s My Car?” getting nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture…

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 13, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Ah, I was going by “Planet X, not “Here Comes Tomorrow.”

@ Andrew Collins: I dunno if that serves as the best example. I’d rather watch Dude, Where’s My Car than sit through The English Patient.

anyone that thinks legion great darkness saga won’t make it is underestimating an important element in its favor… it’s really the only story legion fans have to vote for. big fans of the avengers, the x-men, the justice league, etc. have dozens of great storylines to choose from when voting, which is why it’s inevitable that many are getting left out. fans of legion have great darkness saga and… thinking… thinking… nothing else. i’m not suggesting its the only good legion story, but it’s definitely the only one that’s well known, probably the only one anyone has ever read in trade, and maybe the only one that really has a name, as opposed to someone voting for the story where such and such happens to so and so. it’s the same reason that the judas contract is also an absolute lock to still appear… what the hell else will titans vote for?

I usually read all the comments before I post, and I think I’m usually not negative but I just wanted to point out that I thought Civil War #1 was horrible. (I never read the other issues.) I was all geared up to try and like it, but nothing doing.

Ugh. Seeing people talking about Civil War and Sinestro Corps being true gems to beat Kirby and Lee is depressing. Every time I see people talk about how the quality of comics has so greatly improved over the years I want to slap them over the head with a Sunday Press edition of Little Nemo or Gasoline Alley. I know it’s kind of hard for Sunday strips to qualify for the category of this list, but seriously: Krazy Kat is more innovative and better written than just about 95% of most people’s examples of the marked increase of quality in the past decade. Also like Joe said, saying the ’90s were barren or using the House of Ideas’ history of comics as if they were stone tablets does not speak well for the breadth of your reading.

Wait, was Chris Nowlin’s post sarcasm? I really really hope it was.

“Every time I see people talk about how the quality of comics has so greatly improved over the years I want to slap them over the head with a Sunday Press edition of Little Nemo or Gasoline Alley.”

I would say that it has, by quite a bit. Most comics of today aren’t high art, but I’ll take Brubaker Cap over anything written with him in the 60s for story depth and characterization. Not to mention art.

Jesus Christ almighty… I like the SInestro Corps War as much as the next guy, but really?

Considering the fact that Morrison’s X-Men run came in at number 20, not only does SCW belong this high it should be higher i’m not even going to go into the garbage that was CW. Man this list really has gotten worse by the day, I almost feel like doing my own list of how many comics on here I consider not only to be badly written. But how many storylines on this list I find to be just complete garbage of the top of my head at least a good dozen of them would go in that column for me.

I actually bought six issues of Civil War, and tried to like it, or at least to find it interesting, but ultimately could not bring myself to actually buy the concluding issue after glancing through it in the store.

To see it now ranking one spot ahead of Kirby, and Lee, and Galactus, and the freaking Silver Surfer….

I still own those six Civil War issues.
I think I shall go now and do something creative with them…

@Sean: On your point about high art.

“Krazy Kat, the daily comic strip of George Herriman is, to me, the most amusing and fantastic and satisfactory work of art produced in America today. With people who hold that a comic strip cannot be a work of art I shall not traffic.”
–Gilbert Seldes, 1924

Krazy Kat was also read and acclaimed by the likes of Pablo Picasso, E.E. Cummings, H.L. Mencken, and Jack Kerouac who credited it as one of the progenitors of the Beat movement.

Meanwhile Federico Felini upon meeting Stan Lee in the ’60s was quoted as first saying “I like very much your comics” and Alain Resnais was so taken with them that he asked Stan Lee to collaborate with him on a screenplay.

Kinda seems like a drop in quality that the best you can say about an admittedly good comic run is “it may not be high art but…”

As to your statement about art. Are you seriously going to tell me that your average celebrity traces, overly photoshopped comic today can compare to the likes of a Kirby, Steranko, Ditko, or Colan? And that’s just Marvel widen the scope and you’ve got Eisner, Orlando, Herriman, McCay, King, McManus, Kurtzman, Infantino, Elder, Frazetta… the list could go on. Not that there isn’t good art produced today, but most of it isn’t in the mainstream and those that are don’t enjoy nearly as wide an exposure as their predecessors did.

I’ve not yet read Under Siege but I’ve heard good things. It probably deserves top 20.
The Galactus Trilogy was obviously going to be there, but I disagree with it. It’s a cool story and should be in the top 100, but it’s not top 20 material. It’s such a shame that at this point it will probably be the only Kirby material on the list. Though if this was top 100 single issues then “This Man, This Monster” would definitely be in my top ten, and the one where Doom took the Surfer’s power might be there, too.
Sinestro Corp is another wonderful story that seems a bit too high.
E is for Extinction is right about where it should be. It’s not my favorite arc in Morrison’s X-Men, but it is fantastic.
Civil War? Really? I could see an argument for it if you counted all of it as one story, and even then it would be near the bottom of the list. But the mini itself? This is the first time I’ve felt facepalmy. I understand that there are new readers who were brought in by CW. I was one of them. But if someone is into comics enough to read a comics blog then they should have read ten stories better than the CW mini. Even if they haven’t bought any trades of pre-CW material and only read mainstream, high selling, Avengers and CW related Marvel I can think of ten stories.
In no particular order: JMS’ Thor (two arcs completed by the voting time), Dark Avengers Assembled, Thunderbolts by Ellis (only counted as one in this), every arc on Captain America, and every arc on Iron Man. There. Even if someone was only reading that limited a range then they should be able to get a list of ten good stories. Hell, I would rate every New Avengers story aside from The Collective above this.
Even if they only read Millar titles they could have voted for Old Man Logan, The Ultimates, Ultimates 2, six arcs of Ultimate X-Men, and two arcs of Fantastic Four that they might have read.
And assuming that most people who read CW then went back and read major event books why isn’t CW in the mid 60s and HoM this high on the list? HoM is at least an enjoyable read throughout. Or Secret Invasion? Not a great story by any stretch, but at the very least it’s better than CW. Both those things tell a story. CW started off great but then became a disjointed mess in the middle. You end up with all these quick snapshots of stuff that is happening in full in tie-ins.

I see a lot of people comparing unfairably today’s comics with the old classics. But it needs to be pointed out that there was a lot of garbage back then as well, it’s simply been forgotten. The great Lee-Kirby Ditko books were competing against a lot of low-grade assembly-line work from Gold Key and similar publishers, most of which is unknown today. Or looking back further, people keep mentioning Krazy Kat or Little Nemo, but how many of the other dozens, if not hundreds, of strips being published at the same time can anyone name? I’m sure there is a reason most of the others have been forgotten.

Oh, certainly. And it should be noted that Krazy Kat was one of the least syndicated strips in its time. The best media of any era will remain in the annals of history long after the majority of its peers have been forgotten. My point is not so much that comics today have dropped in quality so much as it is that the claim that comics today are qualitatively better or more artistically legitimate than their predecessors is a load of bullshit.

That said? Other strips published in the first half of the twentieth century that are artisitcally worthwhile in my opinion:

Gasoline Alley
Bringing Up Father
Hogan’s Alley
Terry and the Pirates
Prince Valiant
Frittzy Ritz/Nancy
Buster Brown
Wee Willie Winkie’s World
The Kin-der-Kids
Thimble Theater
The Spirit
The Phantom
Hejji
Dick Tracy

There’s a dozen plus two for you from what little I’ve read.

Actually, in my mind I was being more specific with time– the second decade of the Century to be exactly contemporaneous with Krazy Kat and Little Nemo. That would include Katzenjammer Kids, Buster Brown, maybe Hogan’s Alley/ Yellow Kid if he was still around that late, and maybe Mutt and Jeff had already begun. I don’t think I’ve heard of any others. Most of the ones you mentioned began in the thirties and forties. I was thinking in decades because most of the comments on here have compared one recent decade with another. If you lump the entire first half of the 20th Century together then almost the entire Silver Age would be considered contemporary with the brand-new books today. Fair is fair, we’ve got to use equivalent time spans, right?
But to look at your list, I do have to admit that there are a lot of strips from the ’30s and ’40s that are considered classics. Perhaps that period really was better. Or maybe the larger number of newspapers played a role.

But I guess we weren’t exactly disagreeing here anyway. We were just arguing slightly different points.

I do think selective memory does cloud a lot of people’s judgement about art in the past. They know about the best, but rarely are aware of the worst. Conversely, those who dismiss the past are usually ignorant about it, as you pointed out, or are too fixated on current fads of style.

By the way, I’m quite ignorant myself about old comic strips (and modern comic books, too, by the standards of most of the people here), so I’m not really qualified to argue in any detail. I hope that doesn’t wreck the value of my points here. I think they’re general enough.

I’ve only read two of these whcih I think makes it my worst week – and brings my total to 66 out of 85 read.

E is for Extinction – Decent stuff, but surely if this has appeared, then the far superior Riot at Xaviour’s is still to come

Galactus Trilogy – I haven’t read this.

Civil War – This book was a lot of fun. I know people moan, and a lot of the moans were fair. The book didn’t come close to potraying Tony as anything other than the villain, but it was a nice big brainless mash-up and I enjoyed it. It completely didn’t deserve to be this high though.

Under Seige – How the hell did a book I’ve never even heard of make it this high? I would be tempted to try it, but Roger Stern’s work bores me silly.

Sinestro Corps War – I’m waiting for the trades to get cheap on eBay before I get this one.

Woohoo! One of the storylines I nominated made it! (Galactus trilogy).

Probably the only one.

Roger Stern could make a surprise top 5 placing if he gets another couple of places for his Spider-Man work…

Interesting how many of the top 10 are Brits, too.

Okay. I’m calm now.

I am absolutely certain that “The Adventures of Luther Arkwright”, “Scarlet Traces” and “Atari Force” are going to be in the Top Five.

Maybe “Watchmen” and “Ultimatum” rounding it out for balance.

:-)

Interesting how many of the top 10 are Brits, too.

The theory I’ve heard is that because American Comics weren’t nearly as widely read in Britain, the writers from here have more experience of reading novels rather than comics – which came in very handy when comics were growing up massively in the late 80s.

Blackjak- If “The Adventures of Luther Arkwight” made it, my faith in the collective tastes of comic-book reading humanity will be restored.

“Under Siege” is my favorite Avengers story. If you like straight-up super-hero comics executed well, you ought to enjoy it.

I knew “Sinestro Corps War” would place based on the buzz that surrounded the story upon its release. I read it in trade, and didn’t care for it, but I can see why people would like it. If nothing else, it was one of the better-done events in memory. (I don’t like most event comics)

Mike Loughlin: It was my No.1 vote…

After all, it influenced Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis… Heck, even Grant Morrison sent in a fan sketch of Luther to Bryan Talbot!!

That, to me anyway, marks it out as a landmark piece.

However, I voted for it as my “Favourite Storyline” because I have read it pretty much once a year since I first picked it up, and have tracked down the Valkyrie Press issues. Still trying to get the original oversized books and the original Dark Horse print run…

I would love to see a Dark Horse Library Edition of Adventures and Legacy (AKA “Heart of Empire”)…

As for it actually making the list? Well, you’ve got to have faith, right?

:-)

Regarding the MY CHILDHOOD formula:

I agree it’s a big influence in my decisions. Out of my top ten most were read in my teens (in the 80’s) one as a real little kid (Korvac) and Dark Phoenix landed in between. Sandman, Astro City and Fables were the only ones that were read after age 20. I’ve enjoyed a lot of great stories besides my top ten, obviously, and find most of the modern stuff has better dialogue and some richer subject matter, but these were the ten that popped in my mind when I thought of my favorites.

And since it is a “favorites” list, I don’t think too much time should be spent criticizing what other people voted for. There should be no wrong answers here. No matter how wrong some may seem (yeah, I’ve scratched my head a couple of times, but what the heck…)

@Josh:

I also really enjoyed the follow up in Olympus!

Under Siege made my list, but the Olympus follow up almost did, too. I’ve always enjoyed that one, too, and am a sucker for Greek mythology.

Sweet! Three of my picks made the top 20 list here (E for Extinct, Under Siege and Civil War). Good to seen Sinestro Corp war so high on the list as well.

Blackjak,

I read Luther Arkwright after reading One Bad Rat and looking for more Bryan Talbot. I had no idea how old the story was, it read like one of those late-’80s classics. It was mindblowing, even as an adult reader. I can only imagine how revolutionary it was in the late ’70s/ early ’80s. Heart of Empire was very good, too. As much as I liked One Bad Rat and Talbot’s Sandman art, the Arkwright stories have put him on my “buy everything he does” list. As soon as I get my Christmas gift certificate, I’m ordering the Alice book and his newest work (the full names of which escape me at the moment).

Mike Loughlin,

“Alice in Sunderland” and “Grandville”

Finally some of my picks make the list! 20, 17 and 16.

Daniel O' Dreams

December 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm

“Did somebody refer to Moonstone as a forgettable ’80s villain? She’s been a far more prominent character in the past decade than she ever was in the ’80s, being a major part of the Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers. Or maybe you meant that back in the ’80s, she was forgettable. It is true that back then I only saw her in some Stern Avengers stories (and a Captain Marvel one-shot at the very end of the decade), but in Under Siege at least, she was very memorable. She became one of my favourite bad guys based on that story alone.”

Yeah I meant in the ’80s but seeing as how I forgot she was in Thunderbolts (and haven’t read any Dark Avengers) maybe she still is forgettable? Is she the Dark Ms Marvel?

@ Mary: Gasoline Alley was 1918, Kin-der-Kids and Wee Willie Winkie’s World were 1906, and Thimble Theater was 1919. I forgot to mention Polly and her Pals but that’s another good one published starting in 1912.

But again, looking at old microfilms of The New York World from the turn of the century revealed comic strips I had never heard of by cartoonists whose names I’d never seen in any of the histories I’ve read. Some of them were actually really worthwhile in their own right, but a lot of them were incredibly forgettable.

I haven’t read Dark Avengers either, but I’ve been reading New Avengers. She is the Ms Marvel.
I’ve only read a few Thunderbolts, but along with Songbird she’s the most interesting character in the issues I have read. But I tend to pay more attention to female characters.

Moonstone was a pretty major character during the original Busiek Thunderbolts run. She was also prominent throughout the Nicieza era of the book and during the Ellis relaunch. Dark Ms. Marvel is actually not one of the most memorable things done with her by a longshot!

I had no idea Gasoling Alley was that old. And it’s still around last I heard! (And I know it’s famous for following real time, so I’m guessing the original characters are all gone now, huh?) And I did consider that Thimble Theatre might be that old, but I wasn’t sure. I knew Popeye began in the ’20s, but I had no idea how long the strip was around before he showed up. I’ve never heard of the others you mention.

As great as some of the classics mentioned above were in their time, aren’t newspaper strips kind of irrelevant to this discussion?

Newspaper strips gave way to the birth of the comic book, so I think it’s permissible to discuss them in context of people who say “Newer comics are almost always better than older comics.”

The newspaper strips of the Krazy Kat era certainly bear more resemblance to modern comics like Beanworld than they do modern newspaper comic strips.

does anyone know which issue of sinestro corps war has the moment where superboy prime faces off with robin and Krytpo comes in all crazy. i bought both the trades and its not in either of them.

Bernard the Poet

December 14, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Under Seige is the 17th best comic story in history? Really?

It does have a pretty good story hook – Baron Zemo gets together a dozen supervillains and they jump the Avengers one at a time. So at the end of the second issue, Hercules is dead, Captain Marvel is trapped in another dimension and the Black Knight and Captain America are captured. Unfortunately, the story idea seems to big for Stern to cope with. So, rather than slit Cap and the Black Knight’s throats and hide out in the Amazon Rainforest until the dust settles – the Masters of Evil just sit there, and wait for the Avengers to get all their friends together and beat them up. It was very very predictable.

Even on a technical level it was poorly done – Tiger Shark just disappears between issues 2 and 3. Did Stern forget he was in the team?

Not one of the stories I voted for has appeared on the list so far – I feel like Billy No-Mates.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 14, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Tiger Shgark doesn’t disappear; he leaves because the guy he wanted to kill, the Sub-Mariner, isn’t around, and then he turns up in a tie-in story in West Coast Avengers with fellow remote Master of Evil Whirlwind.

Bernard the Poet

December 15, 2009 at 8:41 am

Tiger Shark was in the vanguard for the first two issues of the Under Seige story, then he is not seen again, There is a single thought bubble from Baron Zemo that tries to explain Tiger Shark’s sudden disappearance, but it is a very weak excuse and smacks of an afterthought.

Anyway you slice it, his sudden departure is an example of bad writing.

It’s a speech bubble, not a thought bubble – and in response to a radio announcement.

Tiger Shark appears later assisting Whirlwind in a plot that distracts the West Coast Avengers at around this time – see WCA #16. Whirlwind’s credited as beind part of this Masters of Evil so you can assume that Zemo planned that too….

So it was a speech bubble. Tiger Shark still disappeared mid-story and his capture had to be depicted in an entirely different comic by an entirely different writer.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Bernard, you seem to think that not getting several pages about Tiger Shark leaving is a horrible writing failure, and that the existence of two speech bubbles “proves” they’re an afterthought.

Seriously, that’s some weak complaining.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 15, 2009 at 1:48 pm

To put this a bit more objectively, we get exactly one mention of Whirlwind in the arc, too, because the relevant tie-in is in Captain America’s book. Tiger Shark is there to set up the QWCA #16 tie-in; he’s not forgotten, he’s shipped out to pre-planned crossover story just as Whirlwind was.

Now, you can argue that the story shouldn’t have had tie-ins, but claims that Steve Engelhart whipped up an issue of his comic to cover Roger Stern’s ass is not merely unlikely, but simply wrong given that various solicitations and ad text set up the same thing well in advance. For chrissakes, Engelhart’s issue was pretty tied-in to the WCA plotlines, since the whole Whirlwind/Tiger Shark magilla catalyzes Hank Pym’s suicide crisis, a plot that’d been building in WCA for over a year.

Tiger Shark leaving Avengers to appear in WCA as part of the same plotline bespeaks advance planning, not forgetfulness.

I sure hope Riot at Xavier’s shows up in the number 2 spot. It was the true climax of Morrison’s X-run.

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