Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Ed Brubaker Stories Ever Told!
I’ll give you the top five stories that DIDN’T make the Top Ten…
15. Criminal “The Dead and the Dying”
Three stand-alone stories combine to give you a rich picture of a crime family in the 1970s. The astonishing Sean Phillips provides the artwork.
14. The Man Who Laughs
The awesome Doug Mahnke teams up with Brubaker for a modern re-telling of the Joker’s first appearance.
13. The Immortal Iron Fist “The Last Iron Fist Story”
Iron Fist discovers that he was not the first Iron Fist, as he meets the PREVIOUS Iron Fist and gets caught up in a world of hijinx. Matt Fraction co-writes and David Aja (and friends) draws.
12. Gotham Central “Unresolved”
11. Gotham Central “Soft Targets”
“Unresolved” is written by Brubaker with art by Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano, “Soft Targets” is co-written by Brubaker and Greg Rucka with art by Michael Lark alone.
These two are weird ones – both storylines (the first involving a sniper and the Joker and the second involving the Mad Hatter and poisoned coffee) were collected into a single trade, Unresolved Targets. So should they be combined as a story? They are not sequential stories and the VAST majority of voters voted for them as separate stories, so I think it’s proper to keep them here as two stories. If we put them together and took out any double-voting (which would be a major pain for me), my guess is that that a combined “Unresolved Targets” story would end up about 7th overall.
If we DID combine them, then the 16th story would move into the top 15. I’m not going to combine them, but I’ll let you have a peek at what WOULD have moved up…
On to the Top Ten!!
10. The Immortal Iron Fist “The Seven Capitol Cities of Heaven”
The hijinx I mentioned earlier get even crazier, as the other “Cities of Heaven” that we have never seen get involved as a madman (and Hydra) try to destroy the heavenly cities. Iron Fist and the “Immortal Weapons” of each city must team-up to prevent a great tragedy – but can these warriors set aside their differences in time?
Again, Matt Fraction co-writes and David Aja (and friends) does the art.
9. Criminal “Bad Night”
A former counterfeiter who everyone presumes killed his wife gets caught up in, well, a “bad night” as he is extorted into involving himself in a criminal scheme that spirals out of control, as criminal schemes are wont to do. The sensational Sean Phillips delivers the artwork.
Brubaker and Sean Phillips team up for a tale of a former super villain who has been in witness protection for years without his powers – a member of the faceless masses. When his habitual drug use results in the return of his powers, he becomes a hero, just so that he can feel SOMEthing. His return to the world of superdom is not well received by the supervillain organization he put under, though…
7. Criminal “Coward”
The first Criminal arc, we meet a man who is the best crime planner in the country, specifically because he is a “coward.” He won’t pull off any crime that isn’t perfectly safe. Well, what happens when such a man is put into a position where he HAS to play it unsafe?
Find out in this taut crime thriller featuring artwork by the spectacular Sean Phillips.
6. Daredevil “Inside and Out/The Devil in Cell Block D” (the story was originally called the latter, but when it was collected it was called the former)
When Brubaker took over Daredevil from Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Murdock was on his way to prison. That’s certainly an interesting way to begin your run on a title, and Brubaker managed to make the most out of it with a brilliant story set inside a prison DESIGNED to be a powder keg (as all of Daredevil’s greatest enemies are put together in one prison). Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano shine on the artwork.
5. Criminal “Lawless”
Lawless introduces us to Tracy Lawless, a former soldier just out of military prison who returns to the States to learn that his brother has been killed. Lawless enters the criminal world to find his brother’s killer but ends up finding a whole lot more. The amazing Sean Phillips accompanies Brubaker on art for the series.
4. Captain America “Winter Soldier”
This is Ed Brubaker’s first major story as the writer of Captain America, and it introduces a dynamic new villain, Aleksander Lukin as well as, of course, revealing that Captain America’s partner Bucky did not die, but was instead saved by the Russians, who brainwashed him and have been using him as an assassin for roughly 60 years (cryogenically freezing him between uses, hence the “Winter Soldier” name). Can Cap save the soul of his former friend?
Steve Epting and Mike Perkins draw the story.
3. Sleeper Season 2
The second “season” of Sleeper, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, takes all the developments over the first season and basically turns the dial up to 11.
We get to see what lengths a man will go to to have a CHANCE at a “happy ending.”
2. Captain America “The Death of Captain America”
The Death of Captain America tells the story of, well, the Death of Captain America, specifically Steve Rogers, as we go from the death of Steve to the point where his former sidekick, Bucky Barnes, becomes the NEW Captain America. It’s a long, epic tale that also involves the Red Skull trying to take over the United States through political shenanigans. The art is mostly by the great Steve Epting, Mike Perkins and Butch Guice, plus an assist from Rob De La Torre and Luke Ross.
1. Sleeper Season 1
The great duo of Brubaker and Sean Phillips first got together during this series, where a government operative finds himself in deep cover, so deep that no one knows he IS undercover, as a super villain.
So how long can you act like a super villain before you BECOME one? This series examines that question.
That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!
And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs here!
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