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CSBG Archive

Top 100 Comic Book Storylines #3

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

3. “Born Again” by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli (Daredevil #227-233) – 1349 points (29 first place votes)

Born Again drastically re-shaped Daredevil as a character, in Frank Miller’s return to the book that made him famous.

This time, Miller was working with artist David Mazzucchelli, who was already doing very impressive work on the series with writer Denny O’Neil. However, Mazzucchelli was still growing as an artist, and in many ways, Born Again was his “coming out” party, as he at the very least equaled, and more likely SURPASSED the incredible artwork that Miller had done himself when drawing Daredevil years earlier.

The story is about what happens when Matt Murdock’s former secretary (and former love of his life), Karen Page, who had left the book to become an actress, was now a drug-addicted porn star. Desperate for drugs, Page sells Matt’s secret identity. Eventually this information finds its way to Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, who uses it to systematically destroy Matt’s life (getting him disbarred, freezing his assets, etc.).

Then, in one of the best scenes you’ll see, Kingpin also blows up Matt’s brownstone – and then, Matt realizes, all of the terrible things that had been happening to him, they weren’t just bad luck, they were because of the Kingpin!

That realization, however awesome, is not enough to make Matt “born again,” as he still has to fall to the gutters before he can rise above it all.

The scene is filled with so many great scenes that I devoted, like, a month, to cool moments from it.

But here’s a quick sampling…

1. Kingpin thinks he has Matt killed…but “there is no corpse.

“There is no corpse.

2. Kingpin realizes then that Matt may be more dangerous than ever, as after all…”A man without hope…is a man without fear.”

3. Ben Urich knows something is up and is brutalized into cowering away from his responsibilities, so seeing this seemingly meek man grow the courage…it’s brilliant (and Mazzucchelli and Richmond Lewis, who also colored this series, do such an amazing job on Urich’s struggles).

4. Miller introduces an interesting new character called Nuke, and becomes the first writer to extend the whole Super Soldier program into conspiracy theories…

5. This, of course, leads to Captain America getting involved, and he’s handled awesomely…

6. Nuke’s involvement helps bring Daredevil back (after Matt and Karen reunite, as Miller redeems Karen), and his return is, well, amazing – Mazzucchelli and Lewis do SUCH an amazing job on the return of Daredevil. A totally iconic shot of Daredevil in front of flames.

7. Miller, Mazzucchelli and Lewis depict the Avengers in such a way that evokes how Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben handled the Justice League in the pages of Swamp Thing – and it’s the way you’d almost expect superheroes to be depicted in the “real” world.

8. And it all ends with a likely Bob Dylan reference, so how much better can you get?

110 Comments

I liked Chamber more

Unsuprising. But I do like the Chamber one as well… :)

I only read it this year, and it made my list. It’s aged much better than Miller’s original run. Definitely deserves the spot.

Mental – Just mental – that The Dark Phoenix Saga has now beaten TDKR, Year One AND Born Again.

There’s nowt so queer as folk

Born Again=Perfection!

I cant wait to read this! But i’m sorta dissapointed that the Dark Phoenix saga is rated so highly, i found it incredibly long winded with characters thought baloons taking far too much space.
Born again looks top class though. No complaints on this one from me.

There’s going to one heck of an outcry if Dark Phoenix doens’t show up AT ALL!

;-)

This is one of my favorites, but I’m a sucker for Daredevil. My first thought was to comment on just how cool the brownstone bombing scene is, but you covered that pretty well in the synopsis. Awesome story, and I was kind of hoping it would climb a little bit higher. Oh well.

If I remember correctly, Born Again was followed by a Madcap story. Pretty funny, and the cover alone was a crazy contrast to what had been going on in the title.

The third Miller to make the top 5 spot.
Whatta honour!

Who knows, maybe Miller will surprise us again with “300″ and maybe “Elektra Lives Again”?

But realistically, we all know that The Dark Phoenix Saga and The Watchmen will be next. In which order remains to be seen.

Our boys–

DanCJ and Blackjak – Do you REALLY think Dark Phoenix will show up? It absolutely doesn’t belong in the top five, unlike all three millers book in the top five so far, it hasn’t aged well. It’s the same thing for Days of Future Past. Good story, great story even but it hasn’t aged well at all.

What will make the top five instead of it along with Watchmen? I have no idea, but I would rather see the Chamber mini in the top five instead of the Dark Phoenix saga.

What i’d really like to see in the top five though, is Flex Mentallo. Alas that is but a dream because not nearly as many people have had a chance to read that as opposed to the Dark Phoenix. Which is a darn shame because Flex Mentallo is the very best comic that Morrison has written and it belongs in the top five with Moore and Miller’sbest. Claremont is no where near the same caliber.

Mario,

Well, I didn’t vote for it. I agree that of its time, it was great, but hasn’t aged well. There simply seems to be a lot more posters who are CONVINCED that it will be up there.

I kind of hope that it doesn’t show up, to be perfectly honest…

But what could be A) as well read, B) more of a fan-fave?

My boss always raves about it. He hasn’t read many comics in the last decade, and tends to go back to his Byrne X-Men a lot…

I thought it a fine story, but nowhere near my top ten favourites… It didn’t even make my shortlist…

i know i ain’t breaking any new ground here…but:

“A soldier with a voice that could command a god — and does” might be the coolest sentence fragment in comics history.

and IMHO the dark phoenix saga rules.

These last three days were truly ‘Miller Time’.

Imagine the outcry if Dark Phoenix Saga got number 1?

Everyone overlooks the huge role nostalgia plays in comics. I was a teenager during the Claremont-Bryne run on X-Men and I was crazy excited about the book at that time. I couldn’t wait for each new issue to come out and the Dark Phoenix storyline was an ending to three years of storylines. It was a huge, HUGE event at the time. How often to do you get a non-multpiple of 25 double sized issue just to finish a storyline?

Was it in my Top Ten? No, but I certainly will understand why others would have it there. It isn’t as good IMHO as the others on this list, but it was certainly a bigger event than most on this list.

Think of it like Sgt Pepper. Sgt Pepper is regularly noted as the number one rock album of all time, yet it wouldn’t make my Top 50 albums (or even my Top 100). It is there because of its influence. Dark Phoenix is the same.

Mario

DanCJ and Blackjak – Do you REALLY think Dark Phoenix will show up? It absolutely doesn’t belong in the top five, unlike all three millers book in the top five so far, it hasn’t aged well. It’s the same thing for Days of Future Past. Good story, great story even but it hasn’t aged well at all.

Sadly yes. It’s just way too popular to not be in the top 100.

If we turn out to be wrong I will so glad – even if it’s beaten by Rob Leifeld.

What i’d really like to see in the top five though, is Flex Mentallo.

Me too – It was my #9 vote.

Levie,
I think i’d have to go buy myself a copy of Dark Phoenix and re read. Rediscover that it’s just not as good as anything in AT LEAST the top ten on this list. But eventually I think i’d have to resort to violence and walk around with my new copy of Dark Phoenix and smack every comic reader I encounter who says anything remotely similar to “Dark Phoenix is the best!”

It could have shown up anywhere else on the list besides the top ten and I would have been fine with it. What troubles me is that people who are voting for it are doing so because of it’s status as a classic and not because it’s an extremely well executed story. Unfrotunately, being a classic shouldn’t automatically guarantee you a stop in the top five.

(But Mario, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and Born Again are all classics!
Mhm, good point, however, unlike Dark Phoenix, they’re STILL GOOD today! (hell, I don’t even like Daredevil and I have to admit Born Again is damn good (for those who care, I don’t like Daredevil because I just can’t deal with his superpower being a way to reverse his physical handicap. It just seems cheap and it makes me sad because there has been a lot of good Daredevil comics :( )))

Who knows what will snag the # 2 and # 1 spot?

Only Mr. B.C. knows. ;-)

Ha! On my google news page, the cover to Chamber still shows up, but the text for the article is for Born Again.

I don’t know if I’ve read this series or not. Is it collected in Daredevil Visionaries?

It would be a real shame if the Dark Phoenix saga beat out DKR, Year One and Born Again.

I guarantee at least 90% of the people who voted have read the Dark Phoenix Saga. Of those 90%, most probably liked it, at least when they were younger. I’m sure a lot of us didn’t read ANYTHING that surpassed it until we read Moore, Miller, Morrison, Gerber, Gaiman, or a good independent book. It was the best super-hero epic ever, at least until we read a better one. Claremont & Byrne added emotional and psychosexual content that was not a part of most super-hero comics, making the whole thing seem more adult. I put it in my Top 10 because I can’t forget the amazement it brought me as a child, and I still like it as an adult (although I can recognize its flaws).

Born Again might have been on my list (either that or Year One- I go back and forth over which one I like better). I don’t think I can add to the superlatives. The story & art are killer.

I’m surprised Flex Mentallo didn’t make the top 100, especially with the prevalence of Grant Morrison on the list. I personally think he was overrepresented, but I would include Flex in the top 100 stories.

It must be due to the fact that the book has never been reprinted. I guess it never will be. It’s a shame.

I’m glad “Born Again” placed well – very much deserving of its spot. This will probably be the highest-ranked storyline of my own top ten too.

This was my number one, but I’m kinda surprised it was ahead of Year One and DKR. Also kinda surprised it’s going to be behind Dark Phoenix. I’m too young to have read, well, any of these when they originally appeared, so I can’t speak to how monumental they were at the time, etc. All I can say is that when I did read them, Dark Phoenix read as bloated and dated, and that’s not something I’d say about the remainder of the top 5.

Anyway, Born Again is a great storyline and I think B.C. mentioned it best-it just has so many jaw-dropping scenes.

Miller is at his best when he’s illustrating his own stuff. His original DD run is more fun, funny, uses superhero conventions better, has greater variety in tone and more interesting characterization of Matt Murdock (whereas in Born Again he’s something of a blank). Born Again is somewhat stupidly dark and dour for a Marvel comic about a guy in red tights.

It’s the same reason I prefer Dark Knight Returns to Year One. Karen Page as a heroin addict? Selina Kyle as a prostitute dominatrix? Someone should have just told Frank no.

Also, no one seems to have noticed how hokey Born Again’s premise is. After laughing off the idea of Murdock as Daredevil in Miller’s first run, Kingpin decides suddenly to orchestrate a campaign of revenge against him based on one scrap of paper? It works in the confines of the story, but Miller’s first run on DD managed to redefine the series without ignoring previous treatments of Daredevil.

3 Millers in a row! I think this one is my favorite though. If Daredevil ended after that story, it’d be perfectly ok. Super awesome book with beautiful artwork(man, David sure changed from this to Polyp didn’t he?)

NEW TOTALS in a minute…

I’m surprised everything I voted for made the Top 100 list. I guess I’m not as out of touch with the voters as I thought I was when this list first started. Born Again was the last storyline I voted for that hadn’t placed yet.

My votes and how they placed were

10th choice: Crisis on Infinite Earths placed #7 on list
9th choice: Secret Wars placed #39 on list
8th choice: Infinity Gauntlet placed #30 on list
7th choice: Death of Jean DeWolfe placed #53 on list
6th choice: Under Siege placed #17 on list
5th choice: If This Be My Destiny placed #43 on list
4th choice: Galactus Trilogy placed #19 on list
3rd choice: Year One placed #4 on list
2nd choice: Born Again placed #3 on list
1st choice: Death of Gwen Stacy placed #34 on list

Born Again totally deservers its spot here, if not at #1. It’s Miller at his best PLUS Mazzucchelli’s amazing art (what’s he doing today?).

Daredevil is the Rocky Balboa of the superheroes. You can even imagine him saying: “It’s not about how hard you hit! It’s about how hard you can GET HIT AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD!”

And I wont be surprised to see Dark Phoenix as #1…

NEW TOTALS:

Interesting notes – Miller Time is in full force as he takes the lead. Moore is gonna need almost 2000 points to surpass him. Also, THE 80s.

-36 are Marvel stories
-50 are DC stories(31 are DC, 16 are Vertigo, 3 are Wildstorm)

-74 are superhero stories
-24 are non-superhero stories

-1980s(24 entries, 10308 points)
-1990s(34 entries, 8066 points)
-2000s(34 entries, 7172 points)
-1970s(4 entries, 763 points)
-1960s(2 entries, 558 points)

By Writer:

-Miller (4 entries, 3772 points)
-Morrison (11 entries, 2931 points)
-Moore (8 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)
-Giffen (2 entries, 835 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)
-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)
-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)

@Fabio: Mazzucchelli just put out a critically acclained GN called Asterios Polyp. It’s on my (very long) to read list.

Also, I’m calling it now: Dark Phoenix Saga is number one. Its not a very good comic book, but c’mon that wouldn’t be the first time thats happen on this list. The nostalgia factor will be too high.

Fabio,

Mazzucchelli released a graphic novel this year called Asterios Polyp. Broadly, it’s a story about a middle-aged man leaving his life behind and going through changes while exploring his past. Mazzucchelli’s art looks very different than it did in the ’80s (it’s much closer to what you’d find in a New Yorker cartoon, except far better), and he does a lot of interesting things with panel layouts, character design, dialogue, and tone. I thought it was amazing, and I’m sure you can find much better descriptions than mine with a quick search.

Mike Loughlin:

I guarantee at least 90% of the people who voted have read the Dark Phoenix Saga. Of those 90%, most probably liked it, at least when they were younger.

I’m not convinced by either of those stats.

If Dark Phoenix Saga can somehow get to 2,364 points, we’ll get to see a classic internet meltdown.

I know that the next two items will likely top this, but I find it funny that All-Star Superman has had the most first place votes so far, yet fell to sixth.

Wow, a lot of people don’t Like the Dark Phoenix Saga. I voted for it, I know. It is one of my favorite comics of all time. It was fun, and it has strong nostalgia appeal to me too. More than TDKR and Born Again, at least. Should it garner more accolades? Probably not, but Dark Phoenix has and always will have a soft spot in my heart.

@Mike and JoeMac,

Thanks. Just bought it online. Hope I like it.

Moore is not going to catch Miller.

By the by, as far as totals go, I think you have to count Byrne as a co-writer on all his later X-Men work with Claremont, from the introduction of Alpha Flight on, really.

since when did Miller start paying off fan blogs to win “best of” competitions??????

@Joe:

It must be due to the fact that the book has never been reprinted. I guess it never will be. It’s a shame.

I’ve never even seen an issue of Flex Mentallo, let alone read it, aside from pages that have been posted here as part of a column. I’d love to read it sometime, especially considering how awesome everyone here says it is, but alas…

I’m trying to decide which would have destroyed the internet more: Dark Phoenix making #1 or Born Again failing to place in the top 100. Thankfully, the odds of the internet apocalypse occurring have been reduced by half today.

Flex Mentallo is a beautiful book. I picked it up solely because of Quitely’s art. It was my first exposure to it, and a friend of mine who runs a comic shop recommended the book. I was 14 at the time, and in retrospect, I was very lucky to have picked it up. I guess it was also my first exposure to Grant Morrison and the new Doom Patrol stuff, although I grew up reading my Dad’s copies of the Bruno Premiani/Ramona Fredon stuff.

It was only a few years ago that I found out about the Charles Atlas lawsuit and the fact that the book would never again see the light of day.

Mario

Do you REALLY believe the Dark Phoenix story won’t be one of the top two? Peronally, I agree with your assessment, but there is NO WAY that story did not make the top 100.

It’s pretty ridiculous how Miller and Moore will probably beat Morrison in overall points. Especially Miller who has almost a third of the entries. It is worth noting that so far nothing has more first place entries than All-Star Superman so far. It is a loved comic.

I’m sure Watchmen will get more but AS Superman could still beat out Dark Phoenix, in first place votes.

Also, the lack of Howard Chaykin on here is disturbing.

to jmy,

Why do you think i’m being so hard on it? Its because it’s the most likely candidate to be in the top five with Watchmen. I personally can’t think of any other book that would place instead. I’ve got several other comics that it think should be in the top five instead of Dark Phoenix but they’re most likely not going to make it. I agree with Scott MacIver when he talks about the nostalgia factor and I understand what he means about having a soft spot for the book, we’ve all got a soft spot for some stuff.
What blows my mind is that based solely on the nostalgia factor it will most likely be in the top five.
I dont hate the book. I don’t love it either but I understand how impressive the story was when it first came out and I understand why it’s an important book for many many comic book fans today.

A good story for most of the way through; I think it really loses its way near the end when Nuke shows up, and Kingpin goes from a masterful schemer to someone who thinks unleashing a barely-repressed psychopath in Hell’s Kitchen could possibly come to good.

There are still hundreds of first-place votes in play.

@Kevin says:
It’s pretty ridiculous how Miller and Moore will probably beat Morrison in overall points. Especially Miller who has almost a third of the entries.

It’s really hard to understand why some people just can’t accept that Miller’s works during the 80′s were revolutionary.

Morrison has some very good comics (JLA, Animal Man, X-Men etc) and some others that readers aren’t even sure they really understand like Batman RIP and Final Crisis. And dont you say that these readers are stupid because a lot critics and comic book sites say just the same.

What I mean is: doesnt matter what his detractors say Miller is a legend and those stories from the 80′s are strong as they were back then! Let’s see what will be of Morrison’s stories in 20/25 years from now

So, based on my list, my number 9 and 10, American Flagg!: Hard Times and Zot: The Earth Stories, got enough votes to make the top 2? Fantastic!

@Petrick Joseph

Sorry. Ain’t no way either of yours is beating Atari Force!
:-P

And dont you say that these readers are stupid because a lot critics and comic book sites say just the same.

Perhaps the stupid critics and comic book sites.

EDITED TO ADD: I don’t even particularly care about this argument, I just thought it was too funny not to reply when I saw “a lot of critics and comic book sites say just the same” as some sort of pre-emptive argument. “I’m right, darnit, a lot of unnamed people agree with me!”

Nick Marino

since when did Miller start paying off fan blogs to win “best of” competitions??????

Considering Frank Miller’s just been robbed that doesn’t look too likely.

joe

It was only a few years ago that I found out about the Charles Atlas lawsuit and the fact that the book would never again see the light of day.

The thing is DC actually won that lawsuit – which is why they reprinted the Doom Patrol stories with Flex Mentallo in them.

Really I don’t know what’s stopping them producing the TPB

^LOL

I make plenty of complaints about Frank Miller in the past, and some stuff like his earlier Daredevil run haven’t aged well at ALL, but the guy is a legend and a master of the understanding of how comic books work. So props to him…even if he did ruin The Spirit.

For all the Dark Phoenix bashing, I don’t see too many ppl actually saying WHY they don’t like it. It comes off as bandwagon bashing, its cool not to like Dark Phoenix, blah blah woof woof. Come on folks, convince me why Dark Phoenix suck so bad and is so undeserving of being considered a top 5 great storyline.

DC has to pay a percentage of any profit realized by Flex to Charles Atlas’s estate. I don’t know if the fact that the payout would be smaller based on his limited appearances in the Doom Patrol run vs. his own miniseries was the crux of the issue in reprinting DP and not the latter.

DC said that if the DP trades sold well, they would release the mini in trade. It’s always struck me as disingenuous. Like when Disney says they’ll be locking a cartoon away in the “vault” after some particular DVD release, then making a big deal a few years down the road about releasing said cartoon from the “vault.”

With all of the mythos building up around the Flex Mentallo mini, coupled with the successes of the Morrison/Quitely team in other books, we’ll probably get a $100 hardcover limited edition Flex Mentallo at some point.

Not bandwagon bashing (at least in my case). I thought it was rubbish back when I thought everyone else loved it.

The reasons have been stated by me and others in yesterday’s thread:
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/12/16/top-100-comic-book-storylines-4/comment-page-2/#comment-760338

joe

DC has to pay a percentage of any profit realized by Flex to Charles Atlas’s estate.

Are you sure about that? I’d always read that DC won the case outright.

Gotta agree with Bobo. I haven’t seen any real reasons why everyone is bashing Dark Phoenix other than vague statements like “it’s not very good.” About the only actual reason I’ve seen presented is Paddy’s comment that the thought balloons took up too much space, which to me is kind of like saying you think black and white films are bad because they aren’t in color.

I’m not quite sure how any vote on here could be wrong since this is a subjective look at people’s favorite comics. Can’t people just enjoy stories even if they aren’t critically approved choices? I mean, I think I voted for D. P. 7 #1-12. So what. The comments over the past week or so remind me of a quote from High Fidelity:

“Hey, I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I’m certainly not the dumbest. I mean, I’ve read books like “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “Love in the Time of Cholera”, and I think I’ve understood them. They’re about girls, right? Just kidding. But I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash’s autobiography “Cash” by Johnny Cash.”

Hell yes. People voted for Dark Phoenix (assuming they did) because they enjoyed reading it. That doesn’t mean they’re incapable of critical thinking.

No, I’m not certain, but that was my understanding. Again, I only heard about it a few years back, but the guy who told me is pretty knowledgeable. It may have been part of an agreement between DC and Atlas after the fact.

@Mario: As much as I agree that Dark Phoenix is overrated I can’t see it not making the list at all. Had it showed up in the mid20s-30s (IMHO, probably about where it deserves to be.) then it would be a huge upset and we’d be eagerly awaiting what takes the #2 spot, but at this point we all know what the top five will be, just not necessarily the order.

@Bobo: I can’t speak for everyone, but I love Dark Phoenix. I just don’t think it was the crown jewel of Claremont’s run and comics in general like a lot of people do. I can’t describe objectively what makes it not that good, it’s just never really gripped me as much as it’s gripped everyone else. It’s really the whole Claremont/Byrne run that I find to be terribly overrated.

It was really, really good, but I found Claremont did stronger work with subsequent artists. For instance, I’d put Welcome to Genosha, the Adversary Saga, and The Return of the Brood all above Dark Phoenix in overall quality. His storytelling and pacing had evolved a lot by the time he was doing those. And those are just the stories I can clearly identify as stories, since much of his later stuff seamlessly interwove plots and made it very hard to identify clear stories.

The fact that it was so hard to identify storylines actually made me skip Claremont entirely in this poll. His run taken as a whole is one of the greatest runs in comics. But very few stories stand out as particularly great, and I can definitely think of ten greater isolated stories from other runs. His strength was in character development over time and the creation of new characters.

@Jeremy:

Totally agree with you. And The Spirit really hurts Miller career.
e
@Brian:

“Perhaps the stupid critics and comic book sites.”

Well, if you dont like what you call the “I’m right, darnit, and a lot of unnamed people agree with me!” argument, what about your “I’m right, darnit, and the critics and comic book sites that dont agree with me are stupid!” argument?

It’s the citing anonymous people to support your argument that I’m making fun of.

Seriously Bobo, every day we go over why Dark Phoenix Saga sucks ass. Just go to yesterday’s entry and skim through my posts if you want.

Gotta agree with Bobo. I haven’t seen any real reasons why everyone is bashing Dark Phoenix other than vague statements like “it’s not very good.”

See the link I posted above for the reasons.

About the only actual reason I’ve seen presented is Paddy’s comment that the thought balloons took up too much space, which to me is kind of like saying you think black and white films are bad because they aren’t in color.

Black and white films are black and white because colour was either unavailable or too expensive at the time (except the few cases where it’s a style decision). Being black and white doesn’t make the films a chore to watch. Excessive thought balloons in Claremont’s X-Men are because he had a screwed up idea of how to make comics new-reader friendly. There’s no comparison.

I’m not quite sure how any vote on here could be wrong since this is a subjective look at people’s favorite comics.

I don’t think anyone’s saying that it’s wrong. It’s just heartbreaking to see such a crap comic do so well.

@ DanCJ
Oh really? I didn’t know that. Nice! DC WHERE THE HELL IS MY DELUXE HARDCOVER FLEX MENTALLO TRADE WITH TONS OF BONUS MATERIAL?! *Mario freaks out and goes to look at this Flex Mentallo issues*

@ Joe
I’d be down for paying that for a Flex Mentallo trade. Do I care that I it would kill the value in my current Flex Mentallo singles? Hell no. People need to read that. Comic fans need to read Flex to see just how baddly it deserves the spot Dark Phoenix will get in the top five.

Yeah, but the point is DC would be exploiting the series by capitalizing on its rarity, which DC created by locking it up.

For the record I’ve never read Dark Phoenix saga, and have no opinion of where it should rank. I like John Byrne though, and my impression of it is that it should be in the top 100.

Born Again = Grossly Overrated.

Also, Bob Gale should be added to the writers’ list. He did some of the best segments of No Man’s Land.

@Blackjack:

Atari Force is my favorite comic about the far-flung future of 2005.

It’s not all that surprising, but sort of interesting that no manga made the list.

Brian.

You know there are a lot people who thinks like that. For instance, if you go to amazon.com and check the readers reviews you’ll see that a majority (and i wont say their names ) thinks Final Crisis is “Incomprehensible, hopelessly confusing, and totally unnecessary.”, a “Waste of time and money”, a “Absolute nonsense” and that “the only crisis is how much money one loses on this piece of junk”. If they are right or wrong is up for the reader to decide, but, as far as I know, their opinion is as good as any other, including the ones posted here.

Dont get me wrong. I like some of Morrison’s work. Bot I like Waid’s, Brubaker’s, Bendi’s, Lee’s and others more. What I dont understand is how some people dont accept that others like some of Miller’s work more. Talk about intolerance…

Frank Miller once said that you dont have to hate Stan Lee to love Jack Kirby. The same applies here.

Just to add that the same goes to The Dark Phoenix Saga.

Also, Bob Gale should be added to the writers’ list. He did some of the best segments of No Man’s Land.

He wrote the first four issue arc, then wrote one issue the whole rest of the year.

Dark Phoenix may not be the best X-men story (or even the best Claremont X-men story), but it is, without a doubt, the most iconic X-men story out there (and, accordingly, it’s going to chart above any other X-men story, and since we’ve seen some already, that means #2 or #1.) Any voter who looks at their proto-lists and thinks “I should have an X-men story here” is going to pick that one, just like any voter who was going to pick a Titans story picked Judas Contract or any voter who was going to pick a Legion story is going to go with Great Darkness (even if they really know that the Universo Project was far better…)

What’s interesting is Batman. A few years ago, the Dark Knight Returns was the most iconic Batman story, but now, it’s Year One. (I blame, in part, DKSA damaging the brand, but the current movie set has likely done more in the shift.)

@ Patrick Joseph:

Damn… You’re right! Forgot how far away that seemed when I first read the series…

Kind of like how the DJ at our Company Christmas Party played “1999″ by Prince and I realised that it was suddenly retro…

It looks like Claremont might also surpass Morrison. He needs about 2375 points, but I wouldn´t be too surprised if Dark Phoenix Saga reaches that.
I am also interested in who wins the most first place votes. I imagine Watchmen has a good chance to beat All Star Superman, but we´ll see soon. I personally didn´t love All Star Superman, it was fun and interesting but it didn´t blow me away.

brian- how about an urban legends revealed on the legal status of flex mentallo?

on the subject of flex mentallo, i do find it interesting that both moore and morrison each have a “lost masterpiece” that has never been reprinted (miracleman for moore) and yet is considered to be among their best work. and… wait for it… moore’s lost masterpiece made the countdown while morrison’s did not. YAHTZEE!

joemac- if you don’t like dark phoenix, that’s fine, but how can you blast it while simultaneously admitting to voting for crap like infinity gauntlet?

kevin- why is it weird that moore will beat morrison in points? he’s the better writer. morrison is great, maybe the second best ever, but he’s no moore. the only reason moore won’t have more entries than morrison is because much of moore’s best writing was over 20 years ago and a lot of it for independent companies, while much of morrison’s best work has been in the last decade and all for the big two. it’s quite possible that today’s comic audience (the people who picked civil war as 16th best ever) has read three to four times as much morrison as moore, and yet moore still finished with nearly ten percent of the list. 6 of moore’s 9 entries finished over 20 years ago, a 7th entry finished about 15 years ago, and his most recent 2 entries are already a decade old. morrison, by contrast, had 3 out of 11 entries finish 15-18 years ago, 2 more entries finish 12-13 years ago, and 6 entries that are under ten years old. in a list that’s seen the second best writer from the 80s (frank miller) finish with only four entries, moore’s nine entries is quite amazing.

I just got the inside word that #1 is actually “NFL Superpro #1-9!” :)

Just curious, do you guys think Dark Phoniex Saga would be better if Jean Grey just would’ve stay dead instead of bringing her back, and her clone, and then kill her again, etc. etc. etc.

as for born again, i firmly believe daredevil #227 might be the all-time greatest ever first part of a storyline. but while i do like the rest, i think the second half was a let down compared to the beginning.

also everyone keep in mind that well over 300 first place votes are still up in the air. at this point, i would lay down money that watchmen has over 100 first place votes.

Isn’t Superpro a lost masterpiece in its own right? Something about a depiction of Indian shamans being offensive? The artist drew a god of peace attacking Superpro on the cover, and it was pulled from shelves … or something? When will Marvel reprint that in deluxe limited hardcover with cloth bookmarker?

I think the fact that Miller has three landmark works that are each worthy of first place votes kind of hurt each of them, since effectively, they split pieces of the pie, so to speak. In other words, the fact that they are all good prevented any of them from leapfrogging Dark Phoenix Saga or Watchmen.

And I confess, I am a huge Claremont X-Men fan, but I don’t think Dark Phoenix should be this high, necessarily.

My prediction: Dark Phoenix will be #2, Watchmen will be #1 by a landslide.

@daniel

on the subject of flex mentallo, i do find it interesting that both moore and morrison each have a “lost masterpiece” that has never been reprinted (miracleman for moore) and yet is considered to be among their best work. and… wait for it… moore’s lost masterpiece made the countdown while morrison’s did not. YAHTZEE!

Miracleman has actually been reprinted. It was published first in the UK as Marvelman, then reprinted in the US, in the 80′s and, crucially, collected in some trades ’90-92.

The trades have been out of print for nearly two decades, due to rights issues, but a lot more issues were published, over a longer time, and Neil Gaiman’s also involved and had issues he’s been trying to publish for years. I mean, Moore’s a better writer than Morrison, but it’s really not fair to compare a 4 issue mini which hasn’t been reprinted to an 18 issue storyline about a pre-existing character which has been reprinted, and in an ongoing which was subsequently taken over by the second best comic writer ever, and has yet to be completed…

You can always count on comic book fans to lose their minds in the hyperbole.

Being upset that Miller is going to “get more points” than Morrison? So what? Just because Morrison is producing excellent work right now and is widely considered the best writer in the medium right now doesn’t mean he should be “win” the contest, nor does the fact that Miller’s recent work is pretty much crap invalidate the great work he did in the 80′s.

And the push going on in the comment for The Dark Phoenix Saga being “crap” comics is just laughable. some people may not feel it’s aged well, blah blah blah whatevercakes, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of the notable works of its time, was hugely influential, and launched the franchise into the stratosphere. The plotting is terrific, with real pacing. Each smaller story leading up to the climax actually matters and advances the plot, while layering in other things for the future. Byrne’s art is excellent, and honestly most artists working now could take some lessons in how to draw action and lay it out on the page.

But there seems to be this belief that Claremont is a hack, and Byrne is a washed up jackass, and so their work isn’t worthy in the face of the beloved God of All Comics, Grant Morrison. (or is it Alan Moore today?) I hope Dark Phoenix gets #1 just because the haters are so freaked out about it.

My problems with the Dark Phoenix saga, speaking as someone who was in diapers when the book first came out, is that it’s incredibly hard to read. I can’t underscore forcefully enough how tedious Claremont’s repetitive prose stylings are to wade through. It’s frustrating because you have wads of irrelevant text covering up the art, which has aged just fine. This isn’t a universal problem of 80′sness, I don’t think, since there’s other contemporary American material from that period I can read just fine. Hell, I can read 60′s and some 70′s stuff easier than I can read Claremont at his peak.

On a broader level, it’s an X-Men-in-space story. Now, it would be foolish to say “all X-Men in space stories are bad!”, but taking the characters away from Earth and having them battle cosmic gods seems to miss much of their basic appeal to me. It’s true long-running storylines like Dark Phoenix brought the X-Men out of a popularity nadir, but I’ll also point out that despite the explosion of X-Men cartoons and films, I don’t think Dark Phoenix has ever been adapted faithfully. Adaptations almost always try to take the space elements out completely, or downplay them– because they just don’t make any sense.

(I think the closest we got to a faithful adaptation was in the 90′s X-Men cartoon, which I believe still downplayed the space elements despite introducing Lilandra, removed the Death of the Asparagus People, and had Jean recover 100% with no dying.)

amen josh. i don’t hope dark phoenix gets number one because watchmen is definitely more deserving, but i’m completely ok with it being number 2. claremont, while not having the ridiculous gifts of moore, morrison, gaiman, or 80s miller, is still one of the 10 best comic writers ever, and, i’m pretty sure, has the single longest tenure of any writer on a major comic property ever. and byrne, well, you could make a case that he’s the best superhero artist ever. i do agree that byrne is washed up, but that doesn’t diminish everything he did in the 70s and 80s. consider what claremont did… he took a title that had just come off a multi-year cancellation and was being published bi-monthly and, over the course of 15 years, turned it into a ridiculous franchise/sub-universe that comprised of 6 best-selling monthly titles and many more tie-ins. while byrne certainly helped claremont in the early going, the last ten years were basically all claremont. the only other writer that was really working with any of these characters was louise simonson, who was decidedly average, and while claremont worked with many great artists, that’s because they were asking to work with him and marvel viewed x-men as their premier franchise that demanded great artistic talent.

@ Mario (and anyone else wondering at the nostalgia factor and why Dark Phoenix will be top 2): the nostalgia factor is, er, what this poll is about! That’s why it’s come to represent people’s FAVOURITE stuff, not necessarily (and voters are aware of this) THE BEST STUFF.
It’s why I voted for Dark Phoenix. It’s why people voted for Secret Wars. It’s why people voted for Civil War… etc etc – although how you can be nostalgic for something that came out a few years ago, beats me. The nostalgia gap is closing, folks! But that’s another story.

I can’t underscore forcefully enough how tedious Claremont’s repetitive prose stylings are to wade through.

That’s certainly a valid enough criticism; I mean, if you find it tedious, you find it tedious, fair enough, but I find it worth pointing out that it’s not universally tedious.

The prose stylings never bothered me, for one. Maybe because when I first read the story, I didn’t know any better (it wasn’t tedious if you didn’t know the info being presented), and when I read it now, I just subconsciously skim over the stuff I know (oh, Storm is tediously recanting her origin in a thought bubble…I know it, so I’ll just skip ahead to the dialogue).

Maybe it’s because Claremont’s tedious, purple prose creates a sort of rhythm in the story that I find comforting because so much of his X-Men work formed the foundation of my comics reading when I was younger, so that while I now intellectually recognize it as overly done and unnecessary, the rhythm of it generates nostalgia in its own right.

Maybe I’m just better than everyone else because it doesn’t bother me ;)

As for the “X-Men in Space” trope, I’d argue that the majority of the story doesn’t take place in space, just the action that forces the climax and the climax itself. But that’s splitting hairs. Some people don’t like “X-Men in Space” stories; that’s fine. I happen to like them. I realize they’re an odd style for X-Men stories, being so far removed from the civil rights metaphor and “other-ness” themese at the heart of the X-Men’s concept, but at the same time, the X-Men are super heroes, and super heroes often fight aliens in space. I happen to enjoy it when the X-Men do so, and while such stories may not be great X-Men stories, in terms of their central themes, I find they make for great “super heroes fight aliens in space stories”, at the very least.

My point? I dunno; I lost it somewhere in there. I guess maybe I was just trying to point out that while some people find Claremont’s prose tedious and don’t like “X-men in space” stories, some people aren’t bothered by his stylistic ticks and enjoy such stories, and thus, some people like the Dark Phoenix Saga despite it being or because it is an overly written X-Men in space story.

That said, I didn’t vote for it; there’s other Claremont X-Men stories I personally enjoy more, for a variety of reasons. I just won’t mind if Dark Phoenix places #1 or #2.

Well, you didn’t ask for universal criticisms, and I don’t want to be one of those guys who invokes faceless masses to support my arguments! Really, what would a universal criticism even be? Every reader’s viewpoint is at least somewhat subjective; the critic is merely expected to articulate that viewpoint better than most.

All I can do is articulate how the material came off to me, a reader with no nostalgia for the period in which Dark Phoenix was published. Perhaps this is how it comes off to other readers of my generation, judging from how Dark Phoenix’s adaptations are treated– I can’t really say. I just know that I sat down to read Dark Phoenix and just didn’t have much fun with it, and didn’t find it very interesting.

I was disappointed to have this reaction– I wanted to grasp what made the story such a big deal for the people there when it was initially published. I can read, say, Born Again and imagine that. Still, the whole idea of how a story “ages” is how it will approach new generations of readers who can read the story only on its own terms, without the context of its original release.

I think it’s easy to argue that Dark Phoenix hasn’t aged gracefully– taken just as a reprinted story, it loses much of its appeal. It’s not especially well-written or interesting, especially compared to major comics stories created in the decades after it. Perhaps we’re all just creatures of particular places in time.

I’ve read one issue of Born Again, but it may be one of the most important ones. It’s the one that says ‘Born Again’ on the cover, Ben Urich finds his courage, and Matt nearly dies in the mission, but then recovers. I found it at a flea market about a year after it came out. I had no idea the story was even going on when it was being published. I didn’t have access to a comic-book store until about five years later, and by that time the other issues were way out of my price range.
It really is a great story, judging from the one chapter. And unlike most modern stories of this type, there’s plenty of exposition so you know exactly what’s been going on, and it’s written in a way that it doesn’t detract from the narrative at all.
I may be the only one here who doesn’t like the art, though. I’ve never liked sketchy art, not when it’s this extreme. And the mix of high-quality realism, sketchiness, and extreme cartoonishness (when Ben is on the phone) clashes really badly, I think. It’s the same thing I hated about Sienkiewicz on New Mutants, which a lot of people raved about, too.
But the art isn’t that awful. I’ve seen much worse, lots of times. I just don’t think it deserves any praise.

Am I going to be in trouble for talking about Born Again instead of Dark Phoenix, which is apparently what this column is really about?

I’m holding out for the Elf with a Gun Saga for #1. Unless there’s a Skull the Slayer upset, that is.

I think it’s easy to argue that Dark Phoenix hasn’t aged gracefully– taken just as a reprinted story, it loses much of its appeal.

That’s a fair point, I think. Take away nostalgia and any cultural context it has (meaning, without knowing what superhero comics and the X-Men were like before Dark Phoenix and the impact it had on the stories that followed it) and Dark Phoenix doesn’t, dare I say, rise above other works that are considered universally “good” for reasons other than nostalgia and cultural context.

(Personally, I would argue that Dark Phoenix is a great story, regardless of nostalgia and context, if not a particularly well written one by today’s standards. Take away the dated writing and Claremont’s stylistic tics, and I think you’ve got, at its core, a great story about the effects of power, the power of love, the strength of friendship, etc that is wonderfully illustrated. Those are the things I remember about the story, the themes and character beats, rather than the purple prose and voluminous though balloons. But then, we’re back to subjective terms: some people can see past the cluttered writing, some can’t; some people think the story beneath the clutter is great; some don’t. To each their own, in the end).

Of course, it brings us once again to the crux of this particular list; as approximately 1,325 people have said, it’s not a “best of” list, but a favorites list. And while I can certainly agree that critically speaking, Dark Phoenix may not hold up as well as Year One or Born Again (that’s for you, Mary ;)) through the years, it seems like we’re heading towards an outcome where nostalgia and cultural context are enough to overcome the flaws time has etched into the story to make it the favorite of enough people to place highly on this list.

I get why some people don’t like the story, and I agree that it hasn’t stood the test of time as well as other stories from its era; all I’m saying is that there are (seemingly; we’ll see for sure in day) a lot of people who still consider the story a favorite despite its (gigantic and numerous, depending on your opinion) flaws, and that those people aren’t “wrong” for liking the story even though it’s not as nearly-perfect or timeless as other stories.

the flex mentallo mini is a moroccan lamb burger on brioche rounds with lemon yogurt sauce and a side of grilled plantains.

the dark phoenix saga is a cheeseburger with ketchup and fries from your favorite bar.

the moroccan lamb burger is more challenging, more mature, less obvious, more impressive to talk about, more sophisticated, more likely to be favored by critics, and pretty damn enjoyable too.

but…last day on earth, time to eat one more meal, what’s it gonna be? give most folks the cheeseburger, no questions asked.

and that is why i voted dark phoenix number 1.

I was surprised to see this as Miller’s greatest work. Although I don’t think I can disagree.

“Only the fighter lives.” has rung in my head since I first read Born Again.

Yeah, one of the more interesting points of the overall list is seeing how DKR’s stock has apparently gone down with readers, while Year One’s seems to have gone way up. Born Again also seems to have gone up, at least from comparing it to past lists that I can remember.

@daniel: but does Morrison have a great Unifinished work? All of the other Greats have at least one project that will probably never see anything near completion (Moore’s Big Numbers (and also 1963), Gaiman’s Sweeny Todd, Wagner’s The Aerialist, D’arc Tangent…)

You really need one of those to get into the club, for fans to claim that they would have been even better than whatever is widely considered their best work…

Tales of the Boojum

December 18, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I want to add a #9 to Brian’s quick sampling that doesn’t appear in the Born Again TPB; I think it was in one of that year’s Spider-man annuals: Spidey pays a visit to Kingpin at his office and basically says “I’ve seen Daredevil, he’s a wreck and you’re going to pay for what you did to him.” And Kingpin’s all “Bah, you can’t touch me and you know it!” They banter back and forth like this for a few panels and Spidey takes his leave. Kingpin, self-satisfied, sits down at his desk only to realize that he’s sat in webbing and isn’t going anywhere until it dissolves. The bit ends with Fisk calmly calling his secretary and telling her that no one is to enter his office for the next half hour on pain of death.

Loved that bit.

Boojum– That was Amazing #277, and it really is a great story. In addition to the stuff you mention, it is amazing the way Fisk and Spider-Man play off each other, each trying to eliminate the other’s advantages (Spidey webs Fisk’s cane to the desk and blocks access to the intercom so he can’t summon his bodyguards, Fisk verbally goads Spidey but refuses to make a move, knowing that Spider-Man will never attack first), and it’s interesting that they both refer to ‘Daredevil’s’ condition, although ‘Daredevil’s’ condition is unknown– it’s Murdock’s condition they’re refering to, thus they each unintentionally reveal that they know his identity.
I’ve seen a lot of people on the web call Tom DeFalco a lousy writer, but for a couple of years at least, on Amazing Spider-Man, he was absolutely brilliant.

I had been wondering whatever happened to Nuke when I picked up Jeff Parker’s first two issues of Thunderbolts and in the second issue, Scourge’s mask gets knocked off and reveals that familiar flag-tattooed face. I still wasn’t sure until he uttered “Give me a red.” Who knew Nuke would stick around and remain an interesting character…?

I’ll def. keep my eye open for Amazing 277. I really like Spider-man, but missed a lot between Roger Stern and Todd Macfarlane.

And, yay! Born Again!

I’m not a Daredevil fan, but ‘Born Again’ is magnific, totally agree with Brian, the Avengers looked like gods, really heroic, and the shot of Nuke in the desk is iconic.

Peace.

This was at the top of my list when I voted. Glad to see it this high though believe it may deserve even more.

“And it all ends with a likely Bob Dylan reference, so how much better can you get?”

Oh man… Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is my favorite Dylan album. I have never made that connection to Born Again after all these years.

Guess you really do learn something new every day!

“The Dark Phoenix Saga has now beaten TDKR, Year One AND Born Again.”

As it should. As I said before, to all the DP haters, suck it, bitches. Suck it.

“The nostalgia factor will be too high.”

It’s funny how people use this in order to justify why stories they think suck ass places higher over stories they think should have done better. I’d say the nostalgia factor works for most stories published pre-2000.

And Bron Again is still great, but there are certain elements I think haven’t aged well (Nuke and his pills…back then, interesting, but today? Friggin’ annoying).

Brian Croning (about Bob Gale on No Mans Land)

He wrote the first four issue arc, then wrote one issue the whole rest of the year.

Yeah, but it was the best four issues of the story.

Teebore

(it wasn’t tedious if you didn’t know the info being presented),

I didn’t know it and still found it tedious.

wwk5d

“The nostalgia factor will be too high.”

It’s funny how people use this in order to justify why stories they think suck ass places higher over stories they think should have done better. I’d say the nostalgia factor works for most stories published pre-2000.

The thing is people reading Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Born Again and Year One for the first time now are often (admittedly not always) blown away by them.

I don’t think you could say the same for the Dark Phoenix Saga. I suspect on the strength of this poll, a lot of people are going to go and read it and be bitterly disappointed.

Those arguments could go both ways, for just about any title. I wasn’t blown away by Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Born Again or Year One. With time, I’ve come to like and appreciate some of them more than others. If anything, I’ve seen lots of comments by people who read them for the first time recently and wondered what all the hype was about. For the record, out of those 4, I’d pick Year One as my favorite, though I will admit technically, Watchman is a superior work.

For the record, out of those 4, I’d pick Year One as my favorite, though I will admit technically, Watchman is a superior work.

Honestly I’d say Year One is technically superior. It just doesn’t wave its technical excellence in your face the way Watchmen does – which is part of why Year One is technically superior.

Finally picked up my own copy of this on Saturday. (I originally read my brother’s TPB)

My LCS had a “Water-damaged” copy of the Premiere Edition Hardback for £9.99… On closer examination, just the dust jacket is a bit wrinkly, the book is fine…

Now I can re-read it properly. Though, I do feel like I’ve re-read it a couple of times this year already from all the Cool Comic Book Moments that it generated!

Brian, the colorist is not Lewis, it is Christie Scheele – ‘Max’.
Maybe it is a pen name.

Anyway I just read it, it is an amazing storyline. I didn’t like Nuke that much and for me the reunion with Karen Page was already a great ending, but the whole story it is much better than Miller’s earlier run, and I loved Miller’s earlier run. Amazing.

@Fabio I have to laugh at your argument about “just see where Morrison’s stories are 20-25 years from now.”

So, you realize the ages of his DP works and Deus Ex Machina? Still popular and ahead of their times, aren’t they? I’m a perennial comic loaner to my non-comicky friends, and they love the weirdness of Morrison’s stuff. What’s more interesting actually, is how many think the Dark Phoenix Saga is extremely boring and juvenile. They clamor to borrow my Gaiman, my Starman, my Fables, etc. When I tell them how popular the Dark Phoenix Saga is, they just look puzzled. Most of them find the dialogue extremely stitled and stereotypical, and the only character they enjoy is Wolverine.

I tend to agree with them; Claremont’s X-Men haven’t aged well. I think the quality of comic-dialogue has increased exponentially since the 80s. I kind of attribute it to Aaron Sorkin, who developed a much different pacing and style of television dialogue, and that has permeated the comic world. Bendis and Kirkman, for example, have adapted that tone of dialogue: conversationalist with dry humor. There’s a certain amount of surgical precision with dialogue now, while Claremont tended to use a nice ol’ sledgehammer’s worth of though bubbles. Let’s just be honest here: thought bubbles during action scenes tend to weak the artistic impact of said scenes. It’s also a key sign of weak direction in art.

That said, a narrative caption can have a lot of impact. I think entries #3 and #4 sum that up perfectly. Miller knew how to use wield those things like weapons.

Well, aren’t we just blessed and lucky to have you and your non-comicky friends enlighten us.

@wwk5d I’m glad that you went for the ad hom attack rather than engage in an actual discussion.

You are most welcome. You just didn’t seem worth engaging in a discussion with. Just do me a favor, and try not hurt yourself when dismounting off of your high horse.

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