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CSBG Archive

Top 100 Comic Book Storylines #10-6

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.

10. “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale” by Art Spiegelman (For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say Maus: Book 1 and Book 2) – 723 points (17 first place votes)

The genius of Art Spiegelman’s masterpiece, Maus, is that it is not just a brilliant re-telling of one man’s tale of survival during World War II and the Holocaust.

If it were just that, then it would still belong on this list, but it isn’t. It’s also the tale of a man dealing with his father. It’s also the tale of how stories are told. And perhaps most fascinating to me is that it also eventually becomes about a man dealing with the fact that his personal story about his father’s survival of the Holocaust has become a commercial and critical success. How does one reconcile oneself with something like that? Spiegelman addresses it beautifully in this story.

But at the heart of the comic, Spiegelman is telling us how his father, Vladek Spiegelman, survived the war.

And Vladek’s tale is absolutely fascinating, made even more so by Art’s deft storytelling skills, as he prevents the book from ever getting monotonous, while at the same time being quite detailed in the history of the tale. It reminds me a lot of the work Eddie Campbell did on From Hell.

It took Spiegelman years to get this story finished, but it was well worth the wait, as it was an exceptional piece of work.

9. “Kingdom Come” by Mark Waid and Alex Ross (Kingdom Come #1-4) – 740 points (19 first place votes)

Kingdom Come is an interesting reflection on the superhero trends of the 1990s.

It is set in the future, a world where “grim and gritty” superheroes have basically taken control of the DC Universe, leading to vast amounts of chaos.

Superman is pulled out of retirement by a tragedy which left it quite clear that something “had” to be done about the superhero problem. However, unbenown to Superman, other forces were coming together to deal with heroes THEIR way.

Superman’s return led to a resurgence of “traditional” superheroics, and Superman gathers his old friends in a revamped Justice League. Superman gains a number of converts to his way of thinking, but just as many “heroes” turn away from Superman’s view of the world, leading to a number of conflicts and Superman effectively imposing his will on these people, something that turns Batman from Superman’s crusade.

As the powder keg Superman has been building explodes, it’s hero versus hero versus villain while a worried government wonders if they should just try to rid themselves of superheroes once and for all.

It’s a tense script by Mark waid, and Alex Ross’ realistic painted artwork brings across the humanity of the story being told. In addition, Ross clearly has a blast revamping the looks for the older heroes and designing costumes for the new characters.

To this day DC is mining this story for ideas!

8. “Season of Mists” by Neil Gaiman, Kelley Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt, and P. Craig Russell (Sandman #21-28) – 752 points (18 first place votes)

Season of Mists was a landmark arc during Neil Gaiman’s Sandman tenure, as this was the story that introduced the Endless (Dream and Death’s other siblings) as well as created the set-up for Mike Carey’s Lucifer series.

In the story, Dream is shamed into attempting to rescue his former love, who he, in a fit of rage, banished to hell thousands of years ago. He steels himself for a battle with Lucifer, who is Dream knows is not pleased with him. Dream could not expect, however, how Lucifer decided to deal with him – when Dream shows up to fight with Lucifer he learns that Lucifer has closed Hell and he gives Dream the key to hell.

What follows next is an entertaining exploration of what the universe would be like without Hell, along with a brilliant piece of mythology work as Gaiman shows all the various other deities (like the Norse Gods and the Egyptian Gods, etc.) showing up to bargain with Dream for the rights to such prime interdimensional real estate.

Story continues below

Gaiman has had great success over the years working with various mythologies and their deities, and that fascination really began here.

The artwork is strong, with Kelley Jones really doing a wonderful job with the moodiness of the tale.

7. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Jerry Ordway (Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-12, plus a bunch of tie-ins) – 782 points (24 first place votes)

Crisis on Infinite Earths was both a love letter to the past of DC Universe while also the formation of a “new” DC Universe.

Marv Wolfman and George Perez put the DC Universe into a position where worlds were dying and realities were shattering. This allowed the pair to use a cast of literally thousands as they explored the vast realms of DC’s comic history in a sprawling epic with more than one “Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil.”

The devices pushing this plot forward are the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor, one a benevolent being who was studying the DC Universe – the other a madman who wants to destroy the Multiverse, the backbone of DC’s multiple Earths set-up (which allowed DC to separate their Golden Age creation from their Silver Age counterparts, but also allowed them to integrate comics they bought from other publishers without having to splice them together with their existing heroes).

In a battle this epic, deaths were bound to happen, and this story was SO big that two very big names saw their end – Superman’s cousin, Supergirl and Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash.

Initially, other titles were hesitant to tie into Crisis, but by the time the series ended, it was such a big hit that books were falling over themselves to tie into the event!

Wolfman and Perez ended the series with more than one magnificently diverse epic slugfests, until the dust settled and the DC Universe was never the same.

What a way to spend a Golden Anniversary!!

6. “All Star Superman” by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (All Star Superman #1-12) – 930 points (34 first place votes)

All Star Superman is both a reimagination of Superman as well as a bit of a farewell to the character. The story is basically about the death of Superman, as his death is foretold in the first issue and the comic depicts the last year in the life of Superman.

That year allows Morrison and Quitely to come up with brilliant new approaches to classic Superman plots.

Their “Silver Age ideas with modern sensibilities” approach works extremely well, particularly with Quitely’s ability to make pretty much anything dynamic.

Possibly one of the coolest aspects of All Star Superman is that it is not, in the least bit, cynical. It’s quite a feat to see a re-envisioning of Superman that does NOT involve some sort of post-ironic cynical approach to the character.

In addition, the story was told with a series of (mostly) one-off issues, so each issue was like its own little epic, they just combine to tell one long story of Superman’s last year of life.

Morrison’s take on Superman and his supporting cast is innovative while completely familiar, and Quitely, well, Quitely just goes out of his mind with some of the layouts and dynamism in this series. Really top notch stuff.

It’s a blast to read, and I can only imagine how well it reads collected in trades!


Solid choices, as many predicted. Didn’t vote for Maus (not read enough of it), but am pleasantly surprised it charted this high. For any UK cult TV fans out there, doesn’t Quitely’s Supes look like Charlie Brooker?


The Crazed Spruce

December 15, 2009 at 4:10 am

I’ve read Kingdom Come, Crisis, and the first half of Maus, and as much as I enjoyed them, I left them out of my top 10. I think I had Crisis on my short list, though.

Haven’t read All-Star Superman or “Seasons of Mist”, so I can’t really judge them. From what I hear, though, they definitely deserve slots in the top 10.

Greatness!!! All Star Superman I feel is the single best thing to happen to comics in decades and I do place it above Watchmen and Return of the Dark Knight! This makes me very happy that it is #6, clearly the Top 5 are a little less of a surprise. I look for writers to step up to the challenge to make such a masterpiece!

Also Maus, I was a bit worried this wouldn’t be on the countdown, but here it is!

Crisis doesn’t surprise me, Sandman clearly doesn’t, but Kingdom, although fantastic to look at and the story isn’t too shabby isn’t Top Ten, maybe Top 20. But really, I’m on an All Star Superman high right now so I really don’t care at the moment!

“The Dark Knight Returns” I meant.

Phenomenal. For a second there I almost thought Maus would be forgotten (it was my first place vote). Also, I love Sandman, I love All-Star Superman, and Kingdom Come and Crisis both deserve such high rankings. All in all, this list has reaffirmed my good taste in comics. Almost all of my favorite storylines ever have been represented, and it’s incredible that so many others recognize great comics like Astro City: Confession and we3 and Mutant Massacre and Church and State and Blood of Palomar and Y: The Last Man, none of which I voted for, but I love all of them. Comics are great. All of the hallmarks of my comics reading are here, from Lee/Kirby, Moore, Miller, Claremont’s X-Men, Maus, Morrison, Gaiman and Vertigo, indie comics like Bone and Love and Rockets, and if not Carl Barks, who only did self-contained stories, then at least his apprentice Don Rosa, and so many other excellent storytellers.

Great lists, everyone. Good job. Go team venture.

Kind of crazy that Miller has three of the top 5 slots. Also, I’m really surprised that ASS made it, despite thinking it’s the greatest thing since God.

I think it’s about to be Miller Time…

“I think it’s about to be Miller Time…”

My thoughts exactly.

I’m relieved that (barring some cruel cosmic joke) “Infinite Crisis” won’t rank, although it’s funny that “House of M” made the list over it.

Great to see Marv Wolfman in the top 10, as DC extends its dominance over Marvel.

I can’t believe neither of Roger Stern’s classic Spidey storylines (Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut and Hobgoblin saga) made the top 100… I’d have thought at least one or the other would be top 30 for sure.

All Star Superman and Maus are two books that should be recommended to anyone who wants to give comics a chance or just needs something good to read. Either of these could’ve made Top 5, or even #1. If you haven’t read these please search them out and do! And if you do I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Now, I have a strange comment…

Ok, I know of three stories that will be on here, but there is a certain “event” we haven’t see yet. I don’t want Brian Cronin upset with me so I won’t name it, but if it’s in the Top 5 (because it shouldn’t be) or NOT in the Top 100 (because there were a lot worse storylines…one in particular that was debated about at who confusing it was) then I think we might have a real surprise on our hands!!!

Very nice list today. Yay for Maus, glad to see that those who were worried for it well, um, no longer have to worry because it made top ten and rightfully so.
Bleh, Kingdom Come? Over rated! That’s right, I said it. I don’t dislike KC by any means, but it sticks out on todays list.
SANDMAN SEASON OF MISTS!! YES YES! FREAKIN’ YES!! Top ten material, no argument!! By the way, I love the Thor from Sandman! Also, the sexual tension between Bast and Dream is a pleasure to read, very akward stuff!
I’m actualy thinking about buying that today. Hm, top ten, it’s a classic… maybe I should?
I just read All Star Superman vol.1 yesterday for a third time! Let me make something clear, I DO NOT LIKE SUPERMAN. Somehow, Morrison and Quitely’s potrayal, BRILLIANT!! Love it! This book makes me want to go out and by all the Superman comics I can get my hands on! The only problem with this, i’d be wasting a lot of money because none of it even compares to this.
It just occured to be Geoff Johns was only on the list once (if i’m not mistaken). niiiiiiiiiiiice, his stories, although enjoyable, aren’t masterworks.
Miller time ahead indeed.

I didn’t vote for Maus because I didn’t think it was a storyline. It’s amazing and one of my favorite comic books ever, tho, and I’m happy to see it here.

Kingdom Come was cool. It was probably the last time I was interested in Alex Ross.

Seasons of Mist was the point where Gaiman had pretty much completely shaken free of his Moore trappings.

Oh, Crisis. Such big fun. But, I think, largely to blame for the retcon culture that permeates comics now.

All Star Superman didn’t interest me much when it was coming out. But read all at once it is a wonderful story.

ALL of these storylines have bee read by me.
ALL are worthy of the TOP 10.

Just finished reading Kingdom Come last night. Truly awesome story. I can’t say enough good things about it.

Wasn’t impressed by Crisis, thought it was kind of boring. Haven’t read the others listed here.

Season of Mists isn’t my favourite Sandman story, but it’s still pretty damn good. It’s also the only time I’ve not disliked Kelly Jones’s art, which I think is a combination of his early art style suiting the story, and his early art style being a whole lot less self indulgent.

Last night, after meaning to read it for about 15 years I finally got round to getting Maus from the library, it’s the biggest gap in my comics knowledge, so I’m looking forward to reading it.

“9. “Kingdom Come” by Mark Waid and Alex Ross (After beginning serialization in Warrior, V for Vendetta #1-10) – 740 points (19 first place votes) ”

Er, what?

3 of 5 (was on a bit of a roll until I came to the last two), 41 of 95 (43%).

Watchmen needs to rack up about 1000 points to put Alan Moore in the lead over Morrison; conceivable, though perhaps not especially likely.

I found the meta-fictional/commentary aspects of Maus more interesting than the basic story, which, while certainly a very powerful personal story, I didn’t find especially notable.

“Kingdom Come” – an extremely entertaining story.

“Season of Mists” was my favourite large Sandman story, I think. The dilemma of what to do with Hell made for compelling reading.

Never read the original Crisis, or AS-Superman; not a big Quitely fan.

“Watchmen needs to rack up about 1000 points to put Alan Moore in the lead over Morrison; conceivable, though perhaps not especially likely.”

ASS got 930, so I wouldn’t be surprised if everything in the top 5 got over 1000 points. It also means Frank Miller could win this thing.

Hey can someone tell me how to do quote text? Do you use tags?

“Watchmen needs to rack up about 1000 points to put Alan Moore in the lead over Morrison; conceivable, though perhaps not especially likely.”

Based on Jeremy’s last totals I make it 1147 points (or more) needed – and I would suggest it’s VERY likely.

Actually, you’re right; I didn’t check All-Star’s total, just the #10 entry; ASS has 930, so is basically guaranteed first place.

Actually, looking at it now, what’s especially impressive is that Frank Miller has only one entry in the first 95, less than 200 points, but with three pretty much guaranteed top ten entries, he’s actually now going to be in second place, ahead of Morrison, when all is said and done.

That should be, “Moore is basically guaranteed first place”.

It’s actually conceivable that Miller could be first in points, depending on what the spread between his highest-ranking one and ‘Watchmen’ is. The first two 1000+ entries will put him slightly ahead of Moore.

If Watchmen has more than 1300 points, Alan Moore will win the points race against Grant Morrison.

So at this point I assume the top 5 are Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One, Born Again, and The Dark Phoenix Saga. Where does this leave Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Were two issues just not enough for most people to vote it as a storyline, or are my assumptions faulty?

Also as a diehard Marvel fan, I still would have voted for Infinite Crisis over House of Magneto and Civil War, for what I believe are obvious reasons, but none of that nonsense would have cracked my top 100.

Great to see Maus here, I love to see that the DC/Marvel domination can’t stop the great Maus from appearing in the top 10.

Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow is already on the list, it was 25th.

Wow, yeah, if “WHthMoT” isn’t here, that surprises me. But I can more easily see it not making the list than any of Miller’s big three or “Dark Phoenix”.

“If Watchmen has more than 1300 points, Alan Moore will win the points race against Grant Morrison.”

Morrison isn’t the problem anymore, actually, I think; Miller is the dark horse candidate for first place.

Morrison is in first, with 2931 points.

Moore in second, with 1785. He needs 1147 to beat Morrison, and it’s extremely likely he’ll get it. His problem is Miller.

Miller currently has 162 points, but with three entries to go, that’s roughly 3000 points, minimum. If the gap between “Watchmen” and “The Dark Knight Returns” (the likely #2) is within a few hundred, I think Miller wins.

Oops, forgot about it being #25.

@Ben – Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow was #25

@GavinBell – you use to open and to close – without the spaces

Oh bollocks – I mean blockquote and /blockquote surrounded by angle brackets

Can’t believe people are crunching numbers to see who is Storyline King…Does the creator who snags that honor get to put that in his blurbs?

All-Star Superman may be a mouthful, but I’m not sure you should abbreviate it to ASS. I think the reasoning behind that should be obvious.

That being said, this list has been pretty informative for me. I’ll be making some inquiries in to these books when I get the chance…

“All-Star Superman may be a mouthful, but I’m not sure you should abbreviate it to ASS. I think the reasoning behind that should be obvious.”

That’s been a fandom joke for years now.

The 80s have a pretty crushing hold on the top 10; there’s only KC and ASS from other decades (Maus finished in 1991, so I suppose that partially counts as well).

The only one of these 5 I haven’t read is Maus…

Shameful, I know, but it was SO hyped-up in all forms of media, that I was actually put off it…

I will remedy that in 2010…

I’ve read all of these taking me to 74 out of 95.

Despite only having had two of my votes so far turn up, nothing in today’s five was even in my shortlist…

Maus – Book one was very good. Book two got a bit boring for me. Overall I’m glad I read it for the historical importance of it, but I can never see it as being half as good as most people claim.

Kingdom Come was a lot of fun, but not quite a special as it feels.

Is season of mists the one where Lucifer resigns? If so I remember that having a fantastic first issue and then meanering around for a bit before limping home.

Crisis on Infinite Earths – Nothing can take away how much I loved this book when I was about 15 or 16, and the three or four times I read it after that. The last time I read it though I found it a rea chore. It doesn’t date too well. Still the standard by which other epic crossovers are judged though.

All Star Superman – Incredible art and some awesome moments. I really couldn’t tell you why I don’t love it more than I do. I’ll have to go back and reread it…

I’m feeling sad (and in some cases surprised) that Swamp Thing 51-52 (the gotham City arc), Elektra Assassin, Flex Mentallo and Superman: Red Son look like they won’t make it.

So we suppose that the 5 that will most probably be on top are (not in that order):

Dark Knight Returns.
Batman Year One.
Born Again.
The Phoenix Saga (because it hasn’t shown before).

I don’t think that Ronin will make it… but it would be curious that having only appeared one time in the list (to my tastes, his first run on DD deserves a better ranking), Miller could monopolize the top of the list (they’re not favorites of mine, but it’s odd that nor 300 nor Sin City have appeared).

Also Byrne’s Superman or FF are nowhere to be seen. Nor Stern’s Spiderman, Roy Thomas’ Conan, Moench’s Shang Chi.
Some names that have not appeared: Steranko, Gerber, Englehart, Goodwin, Matt Wagner (writing), Clowes, Bagge, …, and Kirby only one time!

Well, one thing it’s pretty clear, this list (nor any other list or award) doesn´t reflect THE BEST storylines (that’s totally subjective), but shows pretty well the tastes of the people that visit this page (or at least of the ones who took the time to vote).

The only thing that really annoys me from these lists is that the newspaper strips are never considered.

There are still 5 spots. Two are for Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns for sure. Another one probably is for Batman: Year One. Born Again (hail to DD!) has enormous chance to get other. What about the fitfh spot? Sin City hasn´t shown yet… It´s definitely Miller Time!



Atari Force
Adventures of Luther Arkwright
Scarlet Traces
Something from Frank Miller (the name escapes me)
Some movie adaptation by Alan Moore

Sounds good to me!


Oh yeah… One spot is for The Phoenix Saga. Thats for sure!

“What about the fitfh spot?”

Dark Phoenix Saga. Mortal lock.

Ah, I see; no whining that the neigh-incomprehensible Crisis on Infinite Earths.

That´s it! Top five are Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One, Born Again, Watchmen and The Phoenix Saga, not exactly in this order. I´ll put ALL my money on that. The eighties rule in comics!

right now I’ve read 71 out of the 95 given. not too shabby. on track for a 76% overall.

“Ah, I see; no whining that the neigh-incomprehensible Crisis on Infinite Earths”.

If you ask me Crisis on Infinite Earths is still the best mega-event in comics ever. Much better than any of the other “Crisis” that followed.

I don’t get that ASS made it so high. I never liked the Superman acting like a God even if he is imbued with the powers of one. It’s the flavour of the month/year I guess. I want to see how it endures like the others. That will be its true test. Whether in 15- 20 years time it will be truly be seen as a story worth its salt.

So Infinite Crisis doesn’t crack the Top 100 and Final Crisis does. Man, that’s crazy considering! I find it funny, now reflecting, that DC really owns this Top 10 list. Marvel might want to think about that, IMHO.

I agree with a lot of fans, CBR should do lists for other comic mediums. Comic Stripes like Krazy Kat, Pogo, Peanuts, and Calvin and Hobbes are American Folklore and deserve their own “list moment.”

Manga, something CBR doesn’t talk about, is HUGE in the rest of the world (and it’s not all Dragonball and Naruto), maybe you guys can bring in an expert of something.

European, there is a whole load of stuff that is in there. Surely if you read comics you’ve heard the legend of a little book called 2000AD, also one of the greatest comic book characters every, Tin Tin!!!

I have already established that I am apparently the only person on the planet that thought that All-Star Superman was boring.

The rest are brilliant, though.

Crisis may not be the best story, but it was historically important, and a huge deal at the time. Excitement over the event plus some standout moments plus Perez art = a lot of fans.

When Kingdom Come came out, it was the most exciting super-hero comic of the summer. I’ve soured on Alex Ross in recent years, but I loved his art in the mid-’90s. I think it’s overrated, but still pretty good.

For years, Maus was the only non-super-hero comic that penetrated public consciousness. It was the first non-genre comic I’d read. It’s an amazing work.

“John”: Well, we all have our opinions, and I respect yours, but I really feel that All Star Superman will still be in the Top 10 twenty years from now.

To paraphrase what someone else said at a different post. I always come back to one fact, that one thing I would constantly hear all the years I’ve been reading comics whether at a comic book store, or comic convention, or even online people would say how Superman was done. A character that had been around a long time and had gotten so powerful it was hard to find a proper story for him to be in, even Kingdom Come “was” an Elseworld story. Grant, who worked on All Star for 6-7 years when he Waid and a few others were going to do “Superman 2000″ find tuned this story to the point where you get pretty much an epic in 12 issues. Frank art has never been better, and while I did like his Batman and Robin run, it will be a while before he can top this feat (and doing an issue every 3 months probably helped). The BEST part is Grant never compromises the characters. Superman or Lex are still the same characters we all grew up with. I think that more then anything makes a great story, and a reason why I hated Marvel’s Civil War, there was no “change of heart” or “wake up call” that other stories seem to depend on. The characters stayed organic. Again, for every reason someone might not like All Star Supes I have a reason to love it. Yea, 20 years from now I will still be cheering this storyline on!

Still, to (again) “paraphrase film critic Roger Ebert, if you have 100 critics in and ask them what is the “Greatest” movie of all time, then pretty much they all are going to say Citizen Kane, but if you ask those same 100 critics what their “Favorite” movie of all time is, then you are probably going to get around 100 different answers.

Rusty Priske opined:
I have already established that I am apparently the only person on the planet that thought that All-Star Superman was boring.

You aren’t entirely alone, but I haven’t read the second trade yet. The first trade plust the hype is enough to get me to get the second, though, so I don’t know if that puts me ahead of or behind you in this particular heresy. Maybe not boring, but certainly not incredible.

I think I am one of two people in the world who doesn’t like Frank Quitely’s art, with his chubby superheroes made out of what appears to be bread dough. Glad that I married the other one!

I think I’m going to be very very sad tomorrow.

“Marvel might want to think about that, IMHO.”

ASS is the only thing on this list that isn’t 15-25 years old, so what it says about current output is negligible. And Marvel came out ahead in the “top 100 runs” poll we did last year.

Kingdom Come (aka Alan Moore’s Twilight) as #9? Please. The story was poorly plotted, laughably dialogged and only Alex Ross’ artwork made it above average.

In anticipation of tomorrow, let’s fight:

Dark Knight Returns is the most overrated comic book on this list. Fact.

My last vote to show up, and my first place vote, All-Star Superman. Its my favorite comic ever, and cemented Morrison/Quitely as the greatest creative team in comic book history. Lee/Kirby, Lee/Ditko, Claremont/Bryne, Moore/Gibbons, Ennis/Dillion, Miller/Mazzucchelli, whoever. I’m not gonna fill up this whole page with orgasmic compliments to the title, but there it is. I’m glad to be one of the 34 guys who voted it first.

I’ve of course heard of Maus and its brilliance, but I’m so burnt out on WW2/Holocaust stories, that have ZERO interest in reading it in comic form, even if the Jews are mice.

I mentioned earlier that I’m not a fan of Alex Ross, so that takes away from this story, but its still really good, and Mark Waid’s masterpiece.

COIE! The event to out-do them all! Its…not really that good, being read today, but again huge childhood favorite, ZOMG George Perez/Where’s Waldo artwork, super iconic Superman holding dead Supergirl cover, whatever.

Seasons of Mist is when I really thought “This might just be the greatest longform comic ever…” And it is. Glad to see it has more entries on this list than any other on-going.

NEW TOTALS in a minute…

Oh bollocks – I mean blockquote and /blockquote surrounded by angle brackets


I guess the only thing up for speculation now is just in which order those three classic Miller stories are going to place. Here’s my prediction:

3. The Dark Knight Strikes Again
2. Spawn/Batman
1. All Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder

Genuinely surprised to see Maus show up, not because I didn’t like it, but I just figured most people would think of it as a GN and not a serialized storyline. I didn’t vote for it, but I’m glad it placed. Hopefully it’ll lead some people to read it that wouldn’t have otherwise.

Kingdom Come, as expected. Kinda odd that it placed SO much higher than Marvels. For me, the two are more or less intertwined (I think of them as Alex Ross’s big 90s era painted Marvel and DC stories) and if I had to pick, I’d say I prefer Marvels over KC (but that’s just because deep in my bones, I’ll always be a Marvel guy first and DC second). I voted for neither, but I have no quibbles with KC’s placement on the list. It definitely has its merits and I enjoy the hell out of it.

More Sandman, shocking…

Crisis and ASS as expected, no surprise there. ASS was too new for me to vote for (personally, I need to stew on things and re-read them a lot before I call them a favorite. In a few years time, perhaps, but not yet).

@Gary: my brother, who teaches art, also can’t stand Quietly’s art. I quite like it, myself (pun intended) but you’re not the only one out there who thinks his characters look like chubby dough people, fwiw.

nice to see Maus on the list though thought it would make the top five. and also been waiting for kingdom come to show up here too. plus crisis on infitie earths which showed that some times heroes will pay the ulitmate price. and the grand daddy of crossovers of a comic universe


Interesting notes – Morrison looks to finish with eleven entries, making him the only creator to enter double digits. Frank Miller and Alan Moore wait patiently for their collective masterpieces to be posted and overtake him.

-35 are Marvel stories

-48 are DC stories(29 are DC, 16 are Veritgo, 3 are Wildstorm)

-71 are superhero stories
-24 are non-superhero stories

-1990s(34 entries, 8066 points)
-2000s(34 entries, 7172 points)
-1980s(21 entries, 6698 points)
-1970s(4 entries, 763 points)
-1960s(2 entries, 558 points)

-Morrison (11 entries, 2931 points)
-Moore (7 entries, 1785 points)
-Gaiman (5 entries, 1591 points)
-Waid (3 entries, 1490 points)
-Wolfman (2 entries, 1274 points)
-Millar (3 entries, 958 points)
-Stern (4 entries, 881 points)
-Ennis (4 entries, 748 points)
-Spiegelman (1 entry, 723 points)
-Levitz (1 entry, 704 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)
-Lobdell (1 entry, 511 points)
-Nicieza (1 entry, 511 points)
-Loeb (2 entries, 474 points)
-DeMatteis (1 entry, 473 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)
-Conway (1 entry, 250 points)
-Sim (2 entries, 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)
-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)

“ASS is the only thing on this list that isn’t 15-25 years old, so what it says about current output is negligible. And Marvel came out ahead in the “top 100 runs” poll we did last year.”

You’re right. I guess my feeling is whenever Marvel, or DC, announces a “big event” it just feels so cookie cutter now. “War of the Supermen” and “Seige” might be awesome when they come out, but right now it just feels like a bunch of guys sitting in a room like they work in an advertising firm trying to come up with a new product. All Star and Kingdom Come feel like a they were written and drawn from joy for the characters and not to just make a few bucks.

I feel silly saying I’m “relieved” that Maus is on the list, but I am. I guess all of the discussion/predictions convinced me that it would be left off, which would have been inconceivable.

Well, I doubt Denny O’Neil’s GL/GA or Usagi Yojimbo: Grasscutter will make it. I thought they might place between 100 and 75. Oh well. The only locks for the top 5 in my opinion are Born Again, Watchmen and DKR. Batman Year One is pretty close to a lock though. Hopefully something by Bob Burden sneaks in as a dark horse.

Blakjak, I’m curious, did you vote for the whole run of Atari Force or a specific arc? I’ve been going through my collection recently, and pulling out books from way back when I was a little kid. Over Thanksgiving I reread the entire run of Power Pack, and I think you’ve inspired me to reread Atari Force over Christmas. José Luis García-López. Hm, maybe it should have made the list…

By the way, Power did NOT hold up during the second half of the run. With the exception of Stan Drake inking the Inferno stories (no wonder I found the demon-infested New York so creepy as a kid) and Jon Bogdanove’s homage to Windsor McCay towards the end of the run, the last 30 issues or so were pretty mediocre.

I’ll support you, Rusty and Gary. I like Morrison and I like Superman, but I thought All-Star Superman was unreadable. Moore’s Supreme had already covered the exact same ground in a far more lively fashion. And the fact that Quitely only knows how to draw bloated corpses didn’t help.

Geez, I feel like I’ve been way too negative towards this list. It has been fun to read! I’ll work on my grumpiness issues.

Re: Crisis

“Initially, other titles were hesitant to tie into Crisis, but by the time the series ended, it was such a big hit that books were falling over themselves to tie into the event!”

Hmmm – is that even an option with today’s crossovers? To “choose” not to tie in?

Bernard the Poet

December 15, 2009 at 8:28 am

Whenever I think about Maus, I’m reminded of that line about dancing bears. To paraphrase: You don’t go to see bears dance because they are good dancers, but just simply because they can dance at all.

I feel that about Maus, I suspect people are so impressed that a comic book would tackle such a big subject that they don’t judge it harshly as deserves. I mean it is moving, but how could 296 pages about the Holocaust not be moving?

I’m particularly uncomfortable with Spiegelman depicting different ethnic groups/nationalities as different species. Jews as mice, Cats as Germans, Dogs as Americans, etc, etc. I know he is deliberately echoing on Hitler’s own analogies, but he is also brings to mind numerous folk tales, which have wise mice and vicious cats.

The Holocaust was perpetrated on people by people. By making the Nazis cats, Spiegelman is portraying them as a monstrous other – the reader can despise them, safe in the knowledge that they would never behave in such a way themselves. But tens of thousands of people were directly involved in the death camps and tens of millions more quietly turned a blind eye to what was going on. They weren’t monsters – they slept, ate, loved, went to the cinema, worried about the bills and wondered what to wear. They thought of themselves as good people – just like we do – but then they went to work and committed unimaginable atrocities.

Of course, we’d all like to imagine that, had we’d been citizens of the Third Reich, then we’d have behaved as bravely as Oskar Schindler, but statistically it is far more likely that we would have tolerated – maybe even embraced – Hitler’s ideology.

Spiegelman’s use of animal imagery shields us from that terrifying speculation.

@bill: While part of me loves the idea of a comic strips countdown, the other part of me fears that Dilbert would end up beating Krazy Kat. I don’t know if I have it in me to deal with that.

Whenever I think about Maus, I’m reminded of that line about dancing bears. To paraphrase: You don’t go to see bears dance because they are good dancers, but just simply because they can dance at all.

I feel that about Maus, I suspect people are so impressed that a comic book would tackle such a big subject that they don’t judge it harshly as deserves. I mean it is moving, but how could 296 pages about the Holocaust not be moving?

Nicely put.

Dark Knight Returns is the most overrated comic book on this list. Fact.

Nope – If it comes anywhere lower than #1 then it’s under-rated. If (as predicted by just about everyone) The Dark Phoenix Saga comes in the top five then that is definitely the most overrated book in the list.

As for this list. I’m pretty happy with it. I expected Maus to be higher, but I’m just happy to see and indie in the top 10 even if it is the overplayed choice.

All Star Superman was great. I can understand why some folks don’t like it in light of just how talked up it got, but the spandex set rarely gets comics this good these days (Batman and Robin (sans Tan) and Detective Comics being the only two welcome exceptions I can think of presently).

I’m not too big a fan of Seasons of Mists, but Sandman was a stepping stone into more vast oceans for me so I can’t knock it too hard.

Crisis on Infinite Earths: now that was an event!

The fact that Frank Miller has three storylines that are so notable and popular has probably disadvantaged him. His original Daredevil run, which (not many people know) is actually better than Born Again, placed surprisingly low because many will have voted for Born Again instead. Give Me Liberty, Ronin, and his Wolverine miniseries all haven’t shown up. So although three in the top five is very impressive indeed he probably deserves more in the other 95.

Despite a solid and fairly predictable top ten (given the number of Morrison fans voting it’s not too shocking that All Star Superman figures so highly, especially when nonsense like Batman RIP and Final Crisis has already made the list) this list has mostly been lower in quality than the previous top 100 runs list. Which isn’t too surprising: a writer or writer/artist team achieveing a substantial, long-lasting and memorable run on one title is a sign that good work is being produced. If it’s not, the readers will lose interest, or the writer or artist will, and editors will start shifting them on to other titles. So asking people to name their favorite runs on a title is already limiting the selection to stuff that was above average when it was orginally coming out. Long, sustained runs aren’t the norm in comic books.

With single storylines writers, artists and editors don’t have to build a readership and sustain interest and it’s a lot easier for what’s noisy and flashy to gain attention. Look at Civil War and Death of Superman on this list. Dan Jurgens’ Superman wasn’t in the 100 runs list at all, as has been pointed out, and Millar, who has several memorable storylines but is weak on runs was much less prominent.

Also, 100 storylines is inherently biased towards recent stuff. Sure, the top five is all great stuff from the 1980s, but the ’60s and ’70s have figured much less in this list because then comics were about the single issues. Many great runs don’t have one key storyline, as has been said. It’s only fairly recently that comics have been so focused around storylines that can be collected in paperback, and that’s what people voted for, which is why the list is dominated by the 1990s and 2000s.


I remember the creators behind Infinite Crisis made a big deal about how they were giving people a lot of different options for tie-ins, including choosing not to play. The issue is, from a business perspective, it’s almost always in everyone’s best interest to tie in. It’s a garunteed sales bump, and if your book is the only one in Month X that doesn’t show improvement, there’s a good chance you won’t have that book for long. That’s not really new. As has been noted, creators had already figured this out by the end of the first Crisis, one of the earliest megaevents.

Two more of mine — Kingdom Come and COIE. Kingdom Come is my #1.

I’ve been following, but yet to comment. I also just realized that I’ve only actually read about half the list (maybe a little more than half after tomorrow’s five).
– I only read Maus completely for the first time when using it in a class I was teaching, and even with the hype and reputation it has, I thought it was very powerful.
– I bought the trade of Kingdome Come a long time ago, and have enjoyed it whenever I happen to read it since. Don’t know if it would be in my top ten, but still like it.
– While most of my favorite Sandman stories are the done-in-ones like the Midsummer Night’s Dream issue, the introduction of Hob, or those in the (I think) 6th collection, this is probably my favorite of the arcs that are collected. The different mythological characters interacting alone gives me some lit-geek high.
– Never read COIE until I had gotten deeper into DC stuff, simply because everything I read about was “post-crisis” and I thought I should. I’m sure it was more fun at the time, being the first mega-blockbuster story deal, and I do enjoy it, but I’m still more of a Marvel guy at heart. Who can’t read those two deaths and at least be a little affected, though?
– My one issue with today. After hearing how great the series was, and having the money to blow for once, I bought volumes one and two and read them a month or two back. Fun, and glad to have it in my collection. That was about it for me. Maybe it’s a personal problem with Quitely’s artwork (throw me in with the people who said they’re all always doughy), lack of a deep connection to the character, or a general not-always-in-awe of Morrison attitude, I really don’t know. I get what he was doing, and he does a good job of it. Just doesn’t quite blow me away as it did so many others. Give me ASBAR any day! (Just kidding, I’m not that far out of my mind)

Yes, Mr. Woodhouse, I hadn’t thought about it but Quitely’s Supes does look like Charlie Brooker!!!

I think these five were all pretty good showings, although I can see arguments that all of them except MAUS do not belong in the Top 10. Not that I necessarily agree, but I can see the arguments. I would find it surprising for someone to argue against MAUS, on the other hand.

I didn’t realise Maus was eligible. I would have voted for it otherwise.

All in all, it’s a good day today. KC doesn’t deserve to be this high, and Crisis definitely doesn’t deserve to be this high, but oh well.


I voted for Atari Force as a single storyline, because it really is… just like Watchmen…

Though the Atari Force Special only really counts as an Epilogue…

Strangely, Atari Force may be even harder to get hold of these days than Miracleman, what with all the licensing issues… ;-)

Only the most superficial reading of Maus would conclude that Spiegelman is using ethnic caricatures or stereotypes unironically. Bernard has picked up on one thing, though: men and women aren’t mice and cats. By cartooning them as such, Spiegelman’s doing several things: yes, commenting on Nazi propaganda, but also portraying how the Nazis dehumanized Jews and even themselves in the Holocaust. The persecuted races become prey, reduced to hiding, running away, even just trying to stay alive, in other words, like mice.

It’s a very successful graphic way of illustrating the gulf between races when being a Jew or a Pole could mean death as opposed to being an “Aryan” German. For that to happen, people had to blind themselves to the fact that Jews were human, just like Spiegelman ironically does in his art. But don’t you think he’s constantly showing up the absurdity of such racism? Like when the mice put on pig masks to pretend to be Polish? Or when Art’s dad is shocked that they let a black dog in the car? Spiegelman’s implicitly showing that the difference between a white man and a black man is as meaningless as between a white and black dog, not the reverse.

Though he portrays people as animals in his art, at no point does the story even approach the kind of stereotyping Bernard suggests. What about the German guard who’s friendly with the mice until he learns what kind of work the concentration camps are really doing? Spiegelman treats his characters as totally human (to the extent to which he’s illustrating what his father actually told him rather than constructing fiction). The cartooning is an almost subconscious reminder that ignoring humanity, or classifying certain groups as sub-human, is self-evidentially absurd, because, as Bernard the Poet noticed, people very plainly aren’t cats and mice.

Oops, guess I’m wrong. I read through the comments (about half of them hide on my screen until I post for some reason) and see Bernard the Poet and DanCJ have arguments against MAUS (and fairly good ones, too). I guess no matter what is up here, someone will find something (usually) valid against it.

And yeah, JLGL’s art… wow…

Dart was one of my first childhood crushes…

Well I haven’t read Maus yet, only minor parts of it. One friend loaned it to me with a bunch of other stuff and I never got around to reading it yet, but I definitely need to do it soon.

I enjoyed Kingdom Come when reading it as a teenager. It was the first time I saw Alex Ross art and it amazed me, and I loved all the new designs and playing guess with all the characters. I remember enjoying the Superman, Captain Marvel showdown very much (or at least that frame of Captain Marvel standing in the sky with a smile). Since then, Ross art has somewhat bored me a bit, although I still enjoy some of his art very much, and I haven’t reread KC in a long time, so I don’t know how it would hold up for me.

Season of Mists was one of my picks, and it’s my personal favourite storyline from Sandman. I read Sandman while also a teenager, and the idea of Lucifer just packing up and leaving hell (giving the key to Morpheus) struck me as something just short of brilliance. I still enjoy it very much when I read it today, with all the gods biddings for it and Thor’s jokes. I’m very glad it made the top 10.

As with a lot of the people here, COIE blew my mind as a young teenager, with the beautiful art by Perez and the incredible array of characters. It’s been a long time since I first read it, but I remember really liking this one character I didn’t know, called Kole or something (the girl that materialized crystal that was a Teen Titan or something) and it died only moments later, along with many others. I was very young to make the distinction between A list characters, B list, C, D, E, so I didn’t notice that a lot of C or D list characters where the ones dying, to me it was all just so serious and important. Plus, I have no idea today why I thought it was so cool for a girl character to have the power to materialize shiny crystal. Anyway, the few times since I rearead it it bored me a bit, and it didn’t live up to my initial excitement, but that’s understandable. I’m still somewhat moved by Barry’s death every time I read it.

I think these five were all pretty good showings, although I can see arguments that all of them except MAUS do not belong in the Top 10. Not that I necessarily agree, but I can see the arguments. I would find it surprising for someone to argue against MAUS, on the other hand.

It wasn’t in MY top ten – and probably wouldn’t be in my top 100.

It is good, but I do feel that people treat is as better than it really is because of the subject matter.

Brian, I was going back through the list, and I didn’t seem summaries for:

50. Final Crisis
49. Marvels
47. Death of Captain America
47. Rock of Ages
46. Seven Soldiers of Victory
39. Secret Wars
39. Hush
38. Dangerous Habits
37. Green Lantern: Rebirth
36. The Painting that Ate Paris
35. Return of Barry Allen
34. The Death of Gwen Stacy
33. The Long Halloween
32. Deus ex Machina
31. Doll’s House
30. Infinity Gauntlet
29. Brief Lives
28. Ultimates 2
20. E is for Extinction
19. The Galactus Trilogy
18. Civil War
17. Under Siege
16. The Sinestro Corps War
15. V for Vendetta
14. Kraven’s Last Hunt
13. The Judas Contract
12. The Age of Apocalypse
11. The Great Darkness Saga

Is there something going on with my browser, or have you just not gotten to these yet and are skipping around a bit? Is it because you secretly hate some of these (Civil War, Hush, etc) and can’t think of anything positive to say? You can tell us, it’s okay.

who voted all star superman over COIE? Shame on you!


So we’re looking at the same top five that a poll taken twenty years ago would have given us.

The message that the medium peaked a generation ago is not, to say the least, heartening.

Part of the appeal of “greatest” is the time that the product comes out. If you didn’t know Citizen Kane was the best movie ever and just sat down to watch it, you’d prob be bored and think the movie is hackneyed and hodge podge. However, if you were around in 1945, or are a film afficionado, you’d revere it for the amazing piece of work that it is. The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck is often cited as one of the greatest comic stories of the past 20 years which I read and was like “This sucks!” until I read a very insightful review of the book and now can see it for the amazing piece of sequential art that it is.

That dynamic will always be part of the equation when considering “greatest” or Top Whatever no matter what. You may not think it should but it does. Standards change, expectations change, tastes change, but often the first time we are introduced and amazed with a new Whatever it sticks with us and often changes our standards/expectations/tastes going forward.

So there’s three solo Superman storylines here, and they all revolve around his death? That says a lot about the difficulty of writing good stories with him. Moderately surprised we didn’t see Byrne’s Man of Steel, I was prepared to be outraged since Waid’s Birthright was a better origin story.

Well, assuming the top five are as everyone has predicted, only two of my choices failed to make the top 100. I’m really not surprised that Target:2006 didn’t make it. I still love the story, and pick it up and enjoy reading it from time to time, but a lot of that is probably because it was my personal gateway into comics. I’m shocked though, that Elektra: Assassin hasn’t even garnered enough love to make it into the top 100. It’s like Jule’s wallet in Pulp Fiction; it’s got “Badass Mofo” written all over it!

“Crisis on Infinite Earths – Nothing can take away how much I loved this book when I was about 15 or 16,

Crisis may not be the best story, but it was historically important, and a huge deal at the time.

COIE! The event to out-do them all! Its…not really that good, being read today, but again huge childhood favorite,

Crisis on Infinite Earths: now that was an event!

As with a lot of the people here, COIE blew my mind as a young teenager”

Okay, when you all ask how sub-par stories like Civil War and House Of M made the list, I think you’ve already answered your own questions.

Okay, when you all ask how sub-par stories like Civil War and House Of M made the list, I think you’ve already answered your own questions.

Well, yeah, but how many 15 year-olds that were blown away by Civil War frequent this site and voted?

I guess I always assumed the majority of CSBG’s readers were, I dunno, twenties and up.

Sure, I can see how neophyte comic reading teenagers could be completely blown away by something like Civil War (heck, I’d have loved it if it came out when I was fifteen) just like COIE rocked the worlds of comic reading teenagers back in the 80s; I just figured not enough of the current teens would show up to vote.

So in the end, I suppose my surprise at the placement of Civil War, House of M, etc. was that it showed that a lot more younger people hang out here (and/or voted) than I always assumed did.

“Well, yeah, but how many 15 year-olds that were blown away by Civil War frequent this site and voted?

I guess I always assumed the majority of CSBG’s readers were, I dunno, twenties and up.”

Wasn’t the poll promoted on the main Comic Book Resources site?

Wasn’t the poll promoted on the main Comic Book Resources site?

I frankly don’t know, but it must have been. I’ll freely admit I didn’t initially consider that drawing in numerous non-regular readers to vote when I was first surprised at how relatively current the list was skewing.

Now, it makes perfect sense.

I am new to this site, and quote enjoy the lists. I haven’t bought comics regularly in 15 years (thank you Clone saga), so its interesting to see how some of the classics of my “era’ hold up.

I’m with Dave on this. There are very few timeless classics. Same can be said for music, movies. I’m on a mission to read all of the top 100. I tried to read Judas Contract yesterday having never read any Titans before. Frankly, it was lost on me…silly dialogue, over the top costume reveals, Deathstroke’s predictable origin story… it put me to sleep half way through. Without the context of prior issues (some of the characters are barely even referenced by name) or the 1983 comics world such as the Terra / Kitty contrast mentioned in another thread, it seemed like a typical good comic story, but dated and not very memorable. Perez’s art is incomparable of course. Now I only recenlty went and read Dark Phoenix and Days of Future Past era X-Men, and that seemed to hold up better. Not to bash DC or Titans, etc, just an example.

I am collecting the books in the Top 100 runs list because it seeme dlike such a good way to pick up some great comics.

I won’t be doing that with this list. There are far too many clunkers that make me unable to have faith in it.

(I still hold out hope that this project will be done with miniseries and OGNs, since they aren’t included in the runs list, but this go through has hurt my faith in the results.)

Finally, my number one pick, All-Star Superman, makes its appearance!

Something has been bugging me for a while now, since the beginning of the top 50 posts. A lot of people are predicting The Dark Phoenix to show up. Ok, I can see that happening. But not now. There are only five entries left and do you really think its top five material? REALLY?
I will be very impressed/shocked/confused if it does indeed make the top five.

again your moore totals are wrong. he has 8 entries (2 swamp thing, league, top 10, from hell, miracleman, vendetta, and superman whatever happened). not sure if the points are right or not.

like many others, i never knew maus was serialized, and therefore i thought it was ineligible. out of curiosity, what was it serialized in?

it’s disappointing to know that, officially, the wolverine miniseries, squadron supreme, iron man: demon in a bottle, green arrow: quiver, and supreme: story of the year did not make the list. i liked weapon x, but thought the original wolverine mini was much better. squadron supreme… have people just not read it? get on it people! i’ve never been a huge fan of the iron man character, but i know he has a lot of fans… did none of them vote? how could he not get a single story onto the list? i’m not too surprised supreme didn’t make it, as i know moore suffered a bit from moore fans not wanting their list dominated by him. but to anyone that fawns over all star supes, if you haven’t read supreme: story of the year, you should. i’m not saying all star is an outright rip off or anything, but to say the least, it’s influenced by moore’s work on supreme.

now here’s an interesting question…. how many first place votes does watchmen get?

brian said that about 850 people voted, meaning there are 850 first place votes. in the 95 entries so far, only 454 first place votes have shown up. that means we have roughly 400 first place votes unaccounted for, and only 5 entries left. granted, i’m sure a good amount of first place votes went to storylines that didn’t appear on the list at all. so let’s say that 100 first place votes won’t factor into the countdown. that still means we have 300 first place votes to spread across 5 entries. i think it’s possible watchmen gets over 100 first place votes.

Satch brought up a funny fact. The the four Superman stories that made this list all revolve around his death. If that doesn’t say anything about how hard it is to write good Supes stories, I don’t know what will.

All-Star Superman was the only one of these five on my list. I wasn’t around when COIE first came out (well, I was, but I was only six), and it reads as dated and boring to me, which is not the case with some of the other 80s stories still to appear. Kingdom Come is good, but not great for me. Maus, I’m not sure I realized it was eligible, otherwise it might’ve made my list. I ended up not putting any Sandman on; I had the same problem with Y and Preacher that I just couldn’t separate out a particular story that loved more than another.

Very happy Born Again will be in the top 5; it’s my number one by a substantial margain, so much so that I considered leaving 2 and 3 blank. Then I thought of about twenty stories I wanted in my top 10 and scrapped that idea.

I’m still holding out hope that “Nothing can stop the Juggernaut” sneaks in somehow.

Why is V For Vendetta described in Kingdom Come’s header?

The point total for Moore is right, but it is true he has 8 entries. I really thought he would hit double digits, with Supreme, Promethea, maybe some Tom Strong(I liked it, damnit!). They were my short list anyway.

General consensus seems to have decided what the top 5 will be, I can’t say I’m surprised at them, but I am surprised by some of what this list will have left out – no 300, no LOEG vol2, no Filth, amongst more mainstream Marvel and DC stuff.

Chris McAree – I’m also disappointed that Target 2006 didn’t make it, it was my #1 and likely will be for many years yet.

I think the only real question left ot be answered is: exactly how many points and 1st place votes will Watchmen get?


Sorry, I know you’ve done the list on your own urging, but I think you might have to go back through the list and re-do it…

Keith Giffen has gone “walkies” ever since the “Great Darkness Saga” hit the lists… It should have taken him up to ~700 points…

Great to see that Maus actually made the list, given how widely praised it is by critics and fans. I was thinking this would be a basically superhero top ten, but not the case, it seems.

I think everyone knows what the top five will be, and they are definitely good choices. But just one question:


Civil War? Final Crisis? Hush? House of M? Over Wolverine? This is tragic! Despite all this 80s dominance, I think fans have a short memory when it comes to a lot of comics.

And I never read the Spidey Juggernaut story, but given how widely acclaimed it is, I don’t see how it couldn’t have made this list, either…

So much for people hating crossovers. Look how many made this list!

Now I’m no comic newbie. I’ve read quite a bit on the list, and my personal list slanted toware the top thirty. I am pretty close to completely done with supes comics, and it takes something really different to grab my interest as far as they go.

Can someone tell me why Civil War was so bad???

Growing up as an X-fan, I’m not intamitely familiar with Iron Man and Cap, but the story was intriguing, it reflected a real and current connudrum (safety vs. freedom, not that it’s not been done before, but…), and it put the characters in an interesting situation, and, frankly, it’s never f**king been done before.

Plus it had ACTUAL LASTING CHANGES on the whole line (something that hasn’t been seen since the first Crisis). Plus it had masterful art.

At this point I don’t expect much from Super hero comics (one of the reasons I’m so happy All-Star made it). What is sooo wrong with CW? Is it just a bunch of soap-opera-addicts getting their panties in a bunch cause “their universe” got shifted around a little? I’d really like to know.

addendum: The recent crisis’, Secret Invasion (skrulls invade…”let’s make it an event”), and Seige have not gained my interest, but Civil War actually piqued my interest in super hero comics again.


I´m with you and the others that stand up for Civil War. I´m an old reader (35, about to turn 36) and read a lot of stuff, and I think that the concept behind Civil war is very innovative and was well developed. We had seen heroes against the government before (The Incredibles, above them all), but never like that, with a legitimate and regularly approved law dividing them in two sides, one against the other. Civil War definitely brought me back to superheroes comics, even though I agree that the aftermath wasn´t so well explored.


The Wolverine mini really should be on the top 20, at least.

“Season of Mists was a landmark arc during Neil Gaiman’s Sandman tenure, as this was the story that introduced the Endless (Dream and Death’s other siblings)”

Actually, that’s not even close to being correct. Obviously Dream appears in the first issue, but of the remaining characters, Death’s landmark introduction is in #8, Desire and Despair both are introduced in #10 (and are critical to “The Doll’s House,” and aren’t just a cameo), and Destiny already existed but first showed up in Sandman during the initial storyline. (My recollection is that he’s first in #7, but quite possibly even sooner.)

Only Delirium is introduced in “A Season of Mists,” in the infamous family dinner scene of #21.

@Gaetano: I’m not sure what the lasting changes of CW were. Steve Rogers is alive, no one (for the most part) knows Peter Parker is Spidey – what changes are still intact? Is Iron Man still a quasi-fascist? (I’m not sure – I don’t read Iron Man)

Iron Man wasn’t a-

Oh, never mind. Don’t want to derail the thread.

Since the list started being published, this is by far my favorite group of 5. I’ve read all 5 comics and they are all magnificent reading experiences in their own ways. Anxious to see what the final 5 turns out to be…

rhod – I’m delight to hear that I wasn’t alone in voting for Target:2006. The Ironhide issue in particular still stands out as one of my all time favourite comics that can be read as a single story. I really hope that after the top five are revealed, that Brian does what he has on previous occasions and lists the votes for the next hundred or so entries.

E. Wilson,

I know, I know,

But it was FUN. What should supes comics be about more than fun? I think serious literature, but then you’re arguing against yourself, because super heroes, in continuity, can NEVER be that.

If you take continuity and “your character” seriously, you need to get out more.

And I’m not talking about all the tie-ins, just CW itself.

I’m not trying to get off-track, just arguing the merits of a well-deserved, but often slighted storyline on this list.

And as far as follow-up: I don’t care. I didn’t read it. But the vote was for CIVIL WAR. My GIRLFRIEND liked it, and she knew next to nothing about comics. THAT’S a good story!

@JoeMac: You’re right all the major changes Marvel assured us would last have been reversed. However, I think the reason this story resonated with so many, moreover a lot of the older generation still reading, is this is a concept that got you thinking: why wasn’t this touched on before…Sure we’ve seen similar concepts (i.e. The Authority, The Watchmen, etc), but this wasn’t done to this level in the mainstream comic books. To take a character so generally loved like Captain America and give him such an opinionated stand point that fans reading could actually debate about became one of the focal points for that story. The Sentinel of Liberty actually had a point of view that a lot of people did not agree on. Again it’s been done, but certainly not to this extent. The changes resonate from the story being told and not so much the tangibles within the story.

Excellent group. I am sad that Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut, Eternity from Strange Tales, and nothing from Nexus made it, but the top five seem pretty inevitable. Personally, I hope that Born Again upsets Watchmen, but I know it won’t (judging from the recent CSBG poll that put Year One ahead of Born Again … outrageous, I say!). When you think about it, all of the top five storylines spawned thousands of superhero story tropes: the hero’s humble origins and his learning curve, his alternate future coming out of retirement, good guy goes horribly bad, good guy loses everything and comes back, and “real people” superheroes are slowly killed off and are forced to put on the tights again.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Am I the only person who doesn’t think of Maus as a “storyline” at all, anymore than one would call Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man or, say, Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird a “storyline.”

I get that it fit the definition we were using in our votes, but a little part of my head can’t quite refer to a nonfiction work, or for that matter a self-contained novelistic work, as a “storyline.” To me, a storyline is a discrete plotline in a larger serial.

Thats aid, it’s good to see Maus on this list, and deservedly high on it.

Gaetano: Sorry, but that “you need to get out more” strawman does not work at all, especially when talking about comic books. To take a character like Iron Man and Reed Richards, and so drastically go out of character with them…thats just flat out bad writing. And it didn’t help the story from being amazingly one-sided in execution. And to be honest, my girlfriend wouldn’t know the difference in quality between the Ultimates 1/2 and the Ultimates 3, so it really can’t use the opinion of non-comic reading people to justify a book being “good”.


I don’t see Maus as a storyline either. It’s a wonderful story told in an interesting way, but it isn’t a “storyline”.

Yeah, I didn’t really think of it that way (I excluded miniseries entirely from my list on similar grounds); but if “Watchmen” counts, it should too.

“Something has been bugging me for a while now, since the beginning of the top 50 posts. A lot of people are predicting The Dark Phoenix to show up. Ok, I can see that happening. But not now. There are only five entries left and do you really think its top five material? REALLY?
I will be very impressed/shocked/confused if it does indeed make the top five.”

It’s one of the (possibly the) most acclaimed Marvel stories in history, and was a landmark event for what is arguably comics’ biggest franchise. There’s no way it doesn’t shown up.

As to whether it is top five material, I didn’t include it, just because by the time I actually started reading comics it had passed into history and is a lot harder to count a “favourite” because of changes in style. But if I was asked to vote for significant storylines, it would definitely be on my list.

Does anyone remember, back in the day, Bill Sienkiewizc getting into a public spat with Spiegelman (I think in the Journal letter pages) over the whole “Poles as pigs” thing? Anyone? Am I just old?

Seconded on the overratedness of Dark Knight Returns, and I’ll raise that to saying that it is definitely more to blame for the excesses of “grim n’ gritty” than Watchmen could ever be.


Well, there’s the fact that it’s not that great, and is a major step on the route to making Wolverine the over-powered, superstar pain in the ass he soon became. Then again, if “not that great” could keep something off this list, then what is [fill in your pick here] doing on it?

Never mind the Wolverine mini (great as it is), where’re Howard the Duck, Tomb of Dracula, Suicide Squad Spectre, Jon Sable, American Flagg!, Kabuki, Journey, Hawkworld, Defenders, Dr. Strange, Stray Bullets, Hitman, Conan, PAD Hulk, Casanova, Flaming Carrot, etc.? I’m not complaining, I’ve been enjoying the countdown, but it would have been nice to see some more comics I love get attention.

Yeah, I’m surprised so many people expected the Wolverine mini to still show up on the list when it didn’t make the bottom 20-30 or so. I thought it was a mediocre story, and I was a huge Wolverine fan at the time I read it. But based on how many people seemed to have liked it, I am a little surprised it wasn’t towards the bottom of the list. Apparently the only people that voted for it are the ones wondering about it in the comments section.

Mike Loughlin:
“where’re Howard the Duck, Tomb of Dracula, Suicide Squad Spectre, Jon Sable, American Flagg!, Kabuki, Journey, Hawkworld, Defenders, Dr. Strange, Stray Bullets, Hitman, Conan, PAD Hulk, Casanova, Flaming Carrot, etc.?”

Well, just to take a shot at it, Howard had stuff that carried over from issue to issue, but that stuff was generally too rambling to be called a “storyline” and usually the book was more concerned with skewering an issue per, er, issue. American Flagg was more of a long story for the whole run of the book, as far as I can remember.
Defenders definitely had some great storylines, and Headmen/Nebulon/Bozos would definitely have been near the top of my list if I’d made it in on time (I saw the “last chance” post a day too late).
Some of the others have definite “storylines” as defined for the purposes of the list, but (as much as I love it) Flaming Carrot??!! I’m sure there may have been the occasional “to be continued” but my memory of the book is a blur of non-sequitur wackiness.
Are you sure you’re not confusing “storylines” with “runs” (which was already done as a separate poll)? Or just “favourite books” period?

Maus is absolutely a storyline under the given rules. I’m not even seeing where the arguments are coming from – Nonfiction works are somehow not storylines because…. uh…. magic?

And, shooting back at BtP

Spiegelman’s use of animal imagery shields us from that terrifying speculation.

Absolutely. That’s because it’s not really a holocaust story, and the use of funny animals provides enough distance between the reader and the events portrayed that we can focus on what the story is ACTUALLY ABOUT – The subtle, insidious effects of history on individual human lives.

No Grudwald’s Squadron Supreme, bummer. Really, a lot of readers today would find it a bit dull and/or a bit wordy, but that was the first storyline that began the big change to grow up with it’s readers.

Wolverine, THAT IS A HUGE SHOCK. The Clairmont/Miller story was great! But, again, I don’t think a lot of younger readers know about it today. I hardly see the trade, if at all, at comic book stores.

Overall, I’m ok with this. I think it would be fun to poll us by age groups or when when we started reading comics just to see the differences.


I don’t remember that particular argument in the Comics Journal letters page. But boy those letters they ran used to make for good entertainment all on their own. The amount of vitriol spewed forth in those letters was amazing, it was like a little tiny glimpse of what the Internet would become.

All that said, yes, you probably are just “old”.

And yes, the Phoenix deserves to be high on the list, even when I started collecting comics in the mid 8o’s that was all anybody seemed to want to talk about, it was a huge deal. So I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be in the top 5. And I’m not even much of an X-fan.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm

The Wolverine mini is a strange thing to blame for “overpowering” Logan, since that’s the one where an old man with a sword injured him so badly he’s laid up for days on end.

Also, Civil War is a terrible story; few of the arument sdefending it seem to claim merits for it by actually deciphering the story, and rely instead on anecdotal reactions and brief mentions of plot points from it as if they were self-evidently awesome. They aren’t. It sucks.

I don’t think Civil War is here so much for the quality of the narrative (or the art? Anyone want to defend the art?) as it is for it’s impact on the Marvel Universe – Which is, I think, a perfectly valid criteria for inclusion.


You prove my point. I am not talking about the continuity-bound reed richards and I’m not talking about your continuity-bound girl-friend. For an outsider, Reed Richards is a logically motivated hero, and considering the situation, and the fact that he is a HUMAN, maybe he’d have made the decision to be on the side of the registration.

But, again, this is just a side-track from the actual arguement.

OK, Jeremy, tell me 10 personality traits that have been universal with Reed throughout the last 50 years? You can’t. CAUSE he’s been interpreted by different people!

I understand his archetype. Smart guy. Loves his family. Wants to do the world good. Stretches. What more can you say than that?

My point was (and maybe I was a little aggressive with the ‘panties in a twist’ thing) that maybe too many people get so identified with their interpretation of a character that it bogs that architypical charachter down to being just one thing. Just let it fly. Continuity really will not change your life.

I loved FF1234 but I’m sure you didn’t like it.

Daniel O' Dreams

December 15, 2009 at 3:57 pm

In defense of Crisis, it’s not just that it blew me away as a kid (it did) but it also made me appreciate the complexity of the DC Universe, even as it was “simplifying” it. Before Crisis I read mostly Marvel comics and the occasional Teen Titans, Batman or All Star Squadron (odd choice I know but I liked the retro setting) after Crisis I read Blue Devil, Blue Beetle, Firestorm, Flash, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing. How many new readers did Civil War bring Marvel? Or Secret Wars for that matter? Hell did Final Crisis bring any new readers to DC? I doubt it.

Season Of Mists was the first Sandman story I read, definitely made me want to read more (look at my tag) glad to see it place so high.

sorry, not-continuity-bound-girlfriend. I meant that as no insult, just a peek at outside readers. I’m truly sorry if I offended.

COIE – Great Perez art, I mean GREAT. Horrible story. I shouldn’t say bad story. The idea is very cool. Bad writing/scripting/dialoging

Kingdom Come- Detest it with the power of 1,000,000 exploding suns.

Maus- never read it, no interest to read it

Dark Phoenix Saga – Great story, art, like much of that era’s Uncanny, holds up well, to me anyway. One of the first comics to feature a female superhero as a major player.

All-Star Superman- Fantastic exploration of the Superman Mythos, with amazing art, inks and colors. Waiting for the Hardcover collection. Does DC hate money? More people that already own the singles would buy that collection than any other recent run.

Ugh– the fact that Kingdom Come and Identity Crisis are both on this list and Squadron Supreme, barring a miracle, isn’t going to make it is a crime, given that both used major plots that previously appeared in Squadron Supreme (granted, KC also had plot elements reminiscent of Twilight of the Superheroes.)

“(or the art? Anyone want to defend the art?) ”

What’s wrong with the art? McNiven’s fabulous.


You’re right. CW and IC were for the fans, and many (including me) loved it. It’s things like Sandman or preacher or transmet (thank god for Vertigo) that have brought people into the MEDIUM.

But what do they have when they arrive there? Certainly not what’s on you LCS’s shelves. That stuff caters to old men who want their pasts back.

That’s why the current paradigm is killing itself.

What’s wrong with the art? McNiven’s fabulous.

Stiff, overly posed, and doesn’t change in the slightest to mirror the tone of the story. I’m not seeing “fabulous’ so much.

COIE is THE classic superhero battle, yet it was pretty uneven. #12, for example, was pretty anti-climactic after the much more dramatic battle in #10. That battle, though, may have been one of the worst examples of comics ignoring science ever. The dawn of time is just empty whiteness? Huh? Apparently the big bang theory doesn’t apply in the DC Universe. Also, what are the heroes standing on? What are they breathing? Why aren’t they decompressing and freezing in the vacuum of open space? As dramatic as that scene is, seeing Batman and Robin and the other non-powered heroes just standing there on nothing really can take you out of the story in its sheer absurdity. Granted the sci fi/ science fantasy, not hard SF, but there are limits.

OOOOH, Jeremy,

I just read your last line. Yes, we can defiinately benefit from the opinions of the outside world, or else we’re a sinking ship, brother.

Comics should resonate with everyone including your grandma to your neice’s cousin (an Ellis paraphrase). If it’s just you and me here, buddy, how do you expect this stuff to survive? Manybe they’ll raise the prices of issues from 2.99 to 299? Look at the bigger picture.

Agree with MarkAndrew about McNivens CW art.

Someone mentioned Elektra: Assassin will not make the countdown. My favorite of Millers DD work. Both his regular run and Born Again are vastly over-rated.

Ronin was awesome too. Also, dare I say it ….I love DKSA more than DKR (runs away from the internets).

Do no be shocked if a Batman story is number one. Over the last 2-3 years there has been some backlash to Watchmen, esp by new readers.

Now if only they figured out how to properly cast their votes in the first place. People can’t be bothered to read sometimes.

AND ANOTHER THING (RE: The art in Civil War)

There’s very little sense of PAGE design – I’m finding some nicely composed panels, but they don’t work together to form a coherent whole –

Mostly. Here’s a nice Emma Frost Iron Man page. And a good Captain America fights SHIELD for the seven-millionth-time page. But that’s only two examples out of hundreds of pages.

Man, I can’t believe no Elektra: Assassin and no Squadron Supreme. Both are pretty damn great, and given the average age and eighties/nineties centricity of the votes I woulda bet a large wad of cash they both made it. No Demon Bear, either. (And no Stray Toasters, my favorite of Bill. S.’s works. Sad how everyone forgot about Epic.)

Loved Crisis on Infinite Earths. It makes my fourth story to appear (New Frontier, Return of Barry Allen, Great Darkness Saga), and most likely my last. (I thought Golden Age might have had a shot, but not in the Top 5). I loved Crisis as a teenager and I still love it now. The artwork is good, the stakes are grand, the scope is huge, and when I read it today, it still makes sense as a coherent storyline where all the key parts take place in the actual 12 issues. My friend who only recently got into DC- and isn’t familiar with a lot of the goings-on of DC back in the day– makes the same comment. This is as opposed to the more recent crises which I find difficult to read a second time. The death of Supergirl is still the most emotional death I’ve ever read in a comic, I think.

I join my voices with many others who cheer that Infinite Crisis did not make the list, and I think it’s sort of funny that it seems to be the only one of the recent “major events” which sell well but are despised by many on the internet not to chart.

I love All-Star Superman as well, but have only read the first trade so far, so I didn’t think to vote for it. I’m kicking myself lightly for reading spoilers about the rest of the story in these comments.

I’ve never really heard of Maus. Sounds like something to take a look at.

Backlashes aren’t going to be a factor…if they were, then the one against this decade’s Miller output would have done more than keep Sin City: The Hard Goodbye out of the top 100…

Recent Crossover-wise, Secret Invasion didn’t chart either, and not one weekly book made the charts.

Jack Norris,

I voted for the HtD presidential run/ mental breakdown story (issues 6 or so to 14). While you’re right about the story structure being loose, issue 14 is a definite endpoint before the Dr. Bong story.

Flaming Carrot- maybe you’re right, and there aren’t continued stories. I have the trades, so I should check if there were. Even lightly connected non-sequiturs are stories as long as there is some sort of beginning, middle, & end. For all the absurdity, most Flaming Carrot stories had recognizable beginnings and endings.

Every other title I listed had multi-issue storylines (I’d call American Flagg! 1-12 or so a complete story).

I was just noting that there are plenty of quality stories in comics that did not make the list, and the Wolverine mini’s exclusion was only one miss of many.

I feel guilty for not voting for Elektra Assassin. I just plain forgot about it when picking the stories. Dagnabbit.

I haven’t read Maus, COIE, or All-Star Superman (Well, past the 4th issue).

Kingdom Come was, um… I found it hard to really sympathize with anyone in that story. It felt like the build up to issue #200 of some long running series where everything matters and I missed the first 196 issues.

Season Of Mists was interesting but not my favorite.

So does this make The Sandman series the king of storylines? Or has another character/series had more appearances?


If to appeal to every demographic like your girlfriend and your grandma comes at the cost of dumbing down stories and basically turning Iron man into a mustache-twirling Snidely Whiplash, then quite frankly I don’t want it. Theres a difference between getting down the to basics of the character and making it accessible for people(All-Star Superman), and poorly executed, uncharacteristic mess that doesn’t even fit the basic requirements for adequate genre work(Civil War).

Oh, and I agree that McNiven artwork is pretty, but much like Jim Lee, a sequential artist he aint.

i would say batman has to be the king of this list. he’s been featured at least three times already (knightfall, no man’s land, first tale of the demon… am i forgetting any?), two more are coming in dark knight returns and year one, plus he’s the arguable star of a few stories that aren’t specifically about him, such as final crisis and jla: new world order.

Some great reads heading into the top 10.

While it would never make my personal top 10 (or even top 50 for that matter), I can completely understand why fandom is in love with Kingdom Come. It’s a solid piece of superhero storytelling, better than the genre is normally equipped to produce.

On the other hand, Crisis might’ve been “important” in the continuity sense, but, just my opinion, the story itself was a mess. Granted, it was the equivalent of DC Universe janitorial work, but as a tale unto itself, I found it more headache-inducing. I mean come on, it introduced “Pariah”, a character whose super-special ability is crying an awful lot.

Season of Mists: great choice. Sandman-wise, The Kindly Ones was my particular poison, but Mists would rank a close second. Sandman deserved a spot in the final 10 and this is a worthy representation.

Also very happy to see Maus sneak into the top 10, as it was in mine too. Can’t help but wince a bit that friggin’ Crisis on Infinite Earths is viewed as better literature, but hey, that’s one man’s opinion for you.

And hooray for Grant Morrison, who deserves a seat in the top 10 too.

Anyhow, since the final 5 is bound to be a Miller-fest (my prediction:

5 – DD: Born Again
4 – Dark Phoenix
3 – Batman Year One
2 – DKR
1 – Watchmen )

I can’t help but lament that two of Miller’s strongest efforts, namely Ronin and 300, are destined to be left out. I hope I’m wrong and either of them sneak in ahead of Born Again or Dark Phoenix, but it’s probably a pipe dream.

And anyway, my personal #1 was Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan, so what the hell do I know?

While the posts are focusing on the writers, I find it interesting that David Mazzuchelli is expected to be the only artist with two of the top five. Take that Byrne and Perez!

Anyway, I think Watchmen and DKR 1 and 2, but Dark Phoenix 3, Born Again 4 and Year One 5. But maybe that’s based on Year One being the only one of those I didn’t vote for (not that it would be out of place).

It is weird to see something as unestablished as All-Star Superman in such a spot as number 6.

It is good comics, but no way no way no way does it deserve the top 10.

I remember being very excited about the Miller Wolverine mini, having loved his DD and Logan in the X-men. But I found the Wolvie series to be a real let-down, boring and somehow empty despite some pretty pictures. I also didn’t like Ronin much for similar reasons. Then Dark Knight came and changed my view of Miller back again.

By the way, is there really just one Kirby and one Ditko in the top 100? You kids, you kids.

I think Maus is overrated.

“Season of Mists” was one of my favourite storylines, but I reread it recently and I think it doesn’t stand very well.

I’ll read All-Star Superman when DC releases the Absolute version.

“Kingdom Come” and “Crisis on the Infinite Earths” are pretty decent superhero stories. With so many crap storylines in the list, I don’t believe Superman: Secret Identity don’t make the top 100.

LOVED the Wolverine mini, and cannot understand why it didn’t make the top 100, when I can easily point out those I would have taken out if this were a best of and not a favorites list. But, as I also said about how low the Daredevil/Elektra story placed, you can’t go back and recapture the thrill of seeing something happening for the first time, particularly after it’s been revisited and revisited so many times in other creators’ work. I remember feeling at the time, for the first time, that this was a character of emotional weight and interest, which is also what Miller brought to DD. Amazing how many writers have been making a living off of that foundation.

@Ronin21–GREAT call on Superman: Secret Identity. It’s actually my favorite Superman story (runs for cover away from brickbats and pitchforks,) and I really love All Star Superman. There’s just something perfect about those stories, and it looks fantastic. Simply stunning.

I didn’t rate it because A) unlike everyone else here seemed to, I avoided mini-series thinking this was more about great stories in ongoing comics, and B) I spent about 20 minutes on the list, and immediately had way too many to choose from so I narrowed the list down and sent it in.

Assuming I know what the top five will consist of, the biggest surprises on this list for me are:

-so much love for Spider-Man, yet no “Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut”
-so much love for the Avengers, yet no “Ultron Unlimited” (which I would have assumed would beat “Avengers Forever”)
-so many high-rankers from the 100 Best Runs are not represented at all: Peter David’s Hulk, Michelinie’s Iron Man, ESPECIALLY Byrne’s Fantastic Four! There are logical explanations for this, mainly that no one story sprung ahead in people’s minds, or that their votes got split (lucky Walt Simonson’s Thor squeaked by with one story) but still…Byrne as writer getting shut out is pretty surprising considering the volume of (popular) stuff he did
-there’s no Infinite Crisis despite crossover events doing surprisingly well on this list
-Ennis got more Punisher entries than he did Preacher entries
-modern comics really whupped “classic” story’s butts. Looking at comments on this blog makes one assume the love for 60’s, 70’s and 80’s was dominant, but those decades did poorly (except for the 80’s, but that seems buoyed up by a few surefire favorites). By contrast, everyone loves to hate the 90’s, but that decade is very well-represented.

Probably other stuff surprised me, but those are the big examples that pop to mind.

First of all CoIE made me want to punch myself in the face. HARD! My brain hurt after reading it.
Second, I can not see what all the hype is over ASS. After reading all the comments on it, I felt I was an idiot for having not read it yet. In the past, when I hear something this talked about and I finally pick it up, it blows me away. Preacher was like that, and Sandman, and Dark Knight Returns, and Watchmen. So when I picked this up I was expecting a true masterpiece. What I got was a bunch of stories about a chubby Superman. Not that it was bad. But it wasn’t mind blowing. It definitely wasn’t number 6 on the top one hundred story-lines of all time. I honestly had to force myself through the first issue. Also, I don’t see it as really a storyline, just a bunch of stories with a common theme.

Dear MarkAndrew: never change.
Dear Jeremy Bear: Corrigan was my #1 as well (I think, I’m not sure if I actually ended up voting?). Solidarity! Let us go and be bitter and morose together.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 15, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Elektra: Assassin suffers in popularity because it took so long to get a decent collection of it, by which time it had long been overshadowed by the Daredevil issues featuring the character. Even at the time of publication, it was from Marvel’s direct-market-only Epic line, which never really caught on or sold brilliantly. The sheer number of people who’ve just never read it for all; those reasons would be enough to shut it out, I think.

Marvels barely making the top 50 was biggest surprise for me. The omission of Byrne’s Man of Steel was more surprising to me than the omission of his FF stuff (which didn’t have a stand-out storyline… maybe the Galactus stories). But then again, would many people rate Man of Steel as one of their 10 favourites (it seems not)?

” All Star Superman I feel is the single best thing to happen to comics in decades”.
I can’t think of a duller maxiseries than this one.

“It just occured to be Geoff Johns was only on the list once (if i’m not mistaken). niiiiiiiiiiiice, his stories, although enjoyable, aren’t masterworks”
Have you read anything by this writer?

once again “david” has ridiculed others’ opinions without really offering any of his own or even attempting to explain/defend his views. maybe because he can’t?

@Teeboree: I was 16 when CW came out. It was my entry into Marvel comics. I still thought the second half was terrible.


Something has been bugging me for a while now, since the beginning of the top 50 posts. A lot of people are predicting The Dark Phoenix to show up. Ok, I can see that happening. But not now. There are only five entries left and do you really think its top five material? REALLY?

No it’s a mediocre story. But people seem to love it for some reason so I think a top five place is pretty much guaranteed.

Niko Bekris:


Probably because it’s fairly boring.

Actually, many of us do think it is Top 5 material. I voted for it as my # 1 pick.


Something has been bugging me for a while now, since the beginning of the top 50 posts. A lot of people are predicting The Dark Phoenix to show up. Ok, I can see that happening. But not now. There are only five entries left and do you really think its top five material? REALLY?

No it’s a mediocre story. But people seem to love it for some reason so I think a top five place is pretty much guaranteed.

I think it’s top 5 material, and I read the run fairly recently (and wasn’t that much of an X-fan beforehand). It’s a classic, it stands up well today, it’s been ripped off a hundred times since (and not just in comics).

And one other thing: it’ll be the only pure storyline in the top 5. Watchmen and DKR are stories, not storylines. Year One and Born Again are so self-contained that they barely count as ‘storylines’, although they both had a big impact on their respective ongoing title, so I don’t mind them placing highly so much as the two miniseries.


I was 16 when CW came out. It was my entry into Marvel comics. I still thought the second half was terrible.

Ha! Good to know. :)

I can’t believe I just realized this, but having them right next to each other did it…

“All-Star Supes” really is better than “DKR”, although “DKR” is far more important to its icon’s enrichment…

So much for Eastman & Laird’s original run on “TMNT” making the countdown…

Can “daniel” please:
A – find another board to moan on & B – stop putting my name in quotes.

Really, “Season of Mists”? I’ve always considered that the weakest Sandman arc, certainly dramatically. The problem is that the plot only concerns Dream, first to save Nada, and then in a 180, to get rid of Hell. Dream isn’t an affecting enough character at this point to carry it off.

I’d really choose any of the main story arcs over “Mists.” “Doll’s House” is classic, probably the first thing I think of when I think Sandman. “Brief Lives” is IMHO the one the time where Gaiman manages to combine protagonists (Death and Delirium), plot, and thematic material into a compelling whole. I’d say it’s the best of the lot – it just gets less notice because it lacks audacious set-pieces like the two Hell issues or the cereal convention.

“A Game of You” is also near-perfect, albeit self-contained. And “Kindly Ones” has the best writing even if it is ultimately unsuccessful.

[…] 8. “Season of Mists” by Neil Gaiman, Kelley Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, … […]

with the hardcover of Absolute A S S out now i bet it goes up a few rankings the next time around as more people read it

# 1 Season of Mists # 2 Born Again # 3 The Dark Knight Returns

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