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The 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History!

DC Comics is celebrating 2010 as their 75th Anniversary, so I figure we might as well celebrate their history a little here, too!

So each day for the rest of this month I will be posting the most memorable moments from the history of DC Comics. When all is said and done, there will be 100 moments (posted in no particular order). Once I’ve finished posting them on July 31st, you folks will have a week to pick your Top 10 moments out of the 100 options and then on August 7th I’ll begin posting your choices for the Top 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History!

For each moment, I’ll give a quick explanation of the moment and why it is so memorable. Remember, we’re not just talking about COOL moments, just the kinds of moments that are still talked about decades after they occurred, and WILL be remembered for decades to come. To wit, people don’t really remember the plot of Action Comics #1, but they will always remember the opening of the issue (with the rocket being launched from a dying planet). Those are the kinds of things we’re talking about here.

Note: There will almost certainly be spoilers of past comics as the days go by! Any comic published by DC is eligible, so long as the moment occurred WHEN DC was publishing it (so, for instance, no Captain Marvel stories are eligible that came out before DC began publishing Captain Marvel).

I’ll start us off with four moments today, and starting tomorrow, it’ll be six a day! Here is a link to the master list of all moments featured so far!


1. Baby Superman speeds away from his dying home planet in a rocket ship (Action Comics #1)

One of the most iconic visuals in comic book history, courtesy of Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

2. Green Lantern learns a difficult lesson (Green Lantern Vol. 2 #76)

In Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ first issue of Green Lantern (where Green Lantern began teaming up with Green Arrow), Hal Jordan is shown how out of touch he is with the plight of typical Americans at the beginning of the 1970s – this helps spur Jordan to travel across the country with Green Arrow re-discovering America.

3. Batman shoots a vampire (Detective Comics #32)

Matt Wagner basically built an entire mini-series around this issue. The sight of Batman using a gun (for the first time ever) is still one that sticks in people’s minds (hence Neal Adams using it for the cover of Batman Odyssey). Bob Kane, Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff were the creative team on this issue.

4. Darkseid revealed as the “big bad” of the Great Darkness Saga (Legion of Super-Heroes #293)

(Click on either page to enlarge)

After a number of issues teasing who the mastermind was behind the Great Darkness Saga, Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen’s reveal that it is Darkseid, alive in the future, was inspired.

Check back tomorrow for the next six moments! Feel free to recommend moments you think should be featured on the list by e-mailing me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com or dropping me a line on our Twitter page (twitter.com/csbg) or on our Facebook page (facebook.com/comicsshouldbegood).


Nice post. Can’t see the number 2 picture, though. Wait for the other moments.

Oops, it’s up there now! Thanks, Fabio!

Hope you plan to include the death of Arthur Jr., Aquaman’s son. One of the most significant and lasting deaths in comics.

Anyway… Melting a statue made of SILVER with a candle? Give it up to Batman and McGyver! Imagine what he wouldn’t do to those poor little plastic soldiers…


You’re fast! I think you could beat Batman.

Nice GL moment, by the way.

Hell yeah!

There are lots of moments that I suspect will get posted. I’m not sure it’s worth mentioning them.

Also, I think moments works better than panels. Good decision, Brian.

Three of these are obvious inclusions, and one is Batman shooting a vampire. It probably belongs in the top 200 or so memorable moments, but I’m not sure it’s in the top 100.

And not to detract from #2 but the big question is why Hal Didn’t bring up all the times he’s saved ALL people regardless of color. Oh you crazy guilt-ridden “real” 1960’s.

Hey Brian,

Remember when you did DC’s 75 most iconic covers?* Toward the end, you let CSBG readers vote for one or two entries among a short list of otherwise-also-rans. Please consider doing something like that this time around. Maybe post 97 moments that you come up with take 10 additional suggestions from readers and let us vote on the top three. Or don’t worry about having a nice round number for the final voting pool (so what if it’s 100 or 103 or whatever), as long as the final list reflects the big anniversary number of 75.

*Btw, that Cassaday cover to Superman #701 (showing the faces of regular people seen through the giant red S) could be a modern-day contender, if you plan on revisiting the topic in say, 5 years.

Way to miss the point joecab.

I just read Brian’s writting: “Hal Jordan is shown how out of touch he is with the plight of typical Americans at the beginning of the 1970’s” . Man, isn’t it funny how you could use the same line to describe JMS’s run on Superman, at least these first issues? Clark Kent is shown how out of touch he is with the plight of typical Americans at the beginning of the 2000’s” That’s the Hard Travelling Man of Steel!

Man, isn’t it funny how you could use the same line to describe JMS’s run on Superman, at least these first issues?

If by funny you mean “JMS has said that he’s deliberately trying to invoke the same sensibilities as Hard Traveling Heroes”, then yes.

There’s a reason why the GL moment is here.

As long as I can vote for Ted Kord taking a bullet to the brain, then we’re cool.

Batman + a gun = FRIGGIIN’ AWESOME!!!

I second the Arthur Jr. nomination. An undeniable moment. Unhyped and unpromoted despite its significance.

Not sure the GL scene merits a #2 …but we will vote on that later :)

“If by funny you mean “JMS has said that he’s deliberately trying to invoke the same sensibilities as Hard Traveling Heroes”, then yes.”

Well, what else would he do? Deny it?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like JMS’s work. That’s why I expected something else, something better… Anyway, let’s wait and see.

I love Batman with guns sometimes. My personal favourite is the one with him in the plane.

These type of posts are always among my favorites on the site. Looking forward to seeing what the next 96 picks are.


Since you are defining memorable so literally (it’s memorable because we remember it), I suppose that I can go along with its inclusion, despite the fact that it is virtually without aesthetic merit, barring Neil Adams excellent art, of course.

Bad writing:

“I been readin’ about you…, how you work for the blue skins…and how on a planet someplace you helped out the orange skins… and you done considerable for the purple skins! Only there’s skins you never bothered with…! The Black skins! I won’t to know…how come?! Answer me that, MR. Green Lantern!” Ah yes, Denny O’Neil, master of dialect. I don’t think that I’ve come across such a choice piece of writing since GONE WITH THE WIND.

Cliched ideas: The downtrodden Black man imparting the special wisdom that every hack writer reserves for the unfortunate.

Failure to understand genre: As many others have noted, GL actually has the perfect rejoinder to this question: “I guess every time that I saved the world from the Weaponers of Qward, or Hector Hammond, or Sinestro, I wasn’t also saving people with black skins. My mistake.”

Good Art: Denny O’Neil should get down on his knees every day of his life and thank god that he had access to an artist of Adams’ calibre. No one remember this if, say, Don Heck had illustrated it.

That final line should read: No would remember this if, say, Don Heck had illustrated it.

Hey… how about some SPOILER warnings, like for #4?

Also… After you are done running the Top 100, allow a week for people to suggest other moments. Boil that list down to something manageable, and then let people vote for their favorite five.

It’s not much of a story, I don’t think anyone has really talked about it, but the panel of a crucified Kal-El in Batman: Holy Terror is quite shocking. The whole scene where Batman discovers the other heroes is actually quite good.

He mentions there will be spoilers right in the intro to the post.

joecab, syon –

Please, don’t be cute.

It’s patently obvious that, by claiming GL never helped out the black skins, the old man wasn’t refering to typical saving-us-from-supervillains kind of helping out, but asking the equivalent of “I want to know why you spend all the time doing cosmic stuff and not using your great abilities to help human society achieve racial equality?”

Of course, it’s perfectly okay to believe Denny O’Neil is a fool, and that superheroic adventure comics shouldn’t be bothered with social problems. Just say so. But to try to attack it by inserting a cute (and fallacious) comeback in Hal’s mouth is not the way to go.

GL/GA #76 was groundbreaking at the time and is unquestionably worthy of inclusion on this list. “Virtually without aesthetic merit?” Give me a break.

Rene:” It’s patently obvious …..that the old man wasn’t refering to typical save-us-from-supervillians-….”: Yes, Rene, I understand what O’Neil’s intent was (a retarded five year old with severe glaucoma could discern O’Neil’s hamfisted message); my response, however, was predicated on the fact that that kind of statement simply fails to really work in a superhero context. One might as well accuse Jonas Salk of wasting his time inventing a cure for polio and not going out and picketing JIM CROW.

Scott Harris: Yes, without artistic merit. O’Neil’s scripting is truly terrible, far below his usual standard. The art, however, is outstanding.

Couldn’t have said it better myself Syon, that GL comic always makes me cringe with how badly it was written and how O’Neil truly had no clue who Hal was and what made his character work. The worst thing is that it actually led to people believing that was the character and tried to recreate the mess that was HTH in the next few decades nearly destroying the character in the process.

I am the happiest Mutt in the world!

Brian, these are the kind of columns that got me hooked on this site in the first place.

Thank you, you Golden God!

Syon you are so full of it it’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so obnoxious.

The wise old man in the Green Lantern entry (which totally deserves to be on the list – like it or not, it’s memorable, and at the time it was groundbreaking) kind of reminds me of the popel who complained that the United States shouldn’t have been spending time and money pulling people out from under rubble in Haiti when there’s, like, unemployment and stuff in America.

I mean, he can’t really accuse Hal of being a racist, because he’s freely admitted that the guy spends lots of time and effort helping people who aren’t even remotely human, much less Caucasian (unless in the wise old man’s mind “not black” = “white”). And he can’t really complain that Hal’s priorities are screwed up, because when Hal’s out there helping the orange skins and purple skins he’s generally stopping planet-killer meteors and supernovas and genocidal aliens, and I can’t imagine anyone not agreeing that “total annihilation of an entire race” trumps “social injustice” on the “how space cops should budget their time” scale. And arguing that orange skins and purple skins are less deserving of Hal’s help than black skins would seem to fly in the face of the very wisdom the wise old man is imparting.

So basically his argument is either “if you don’t have the time and energy to help every single person in the universe, you should be ashamed of yourself.” Or maybe he’s saying “I only care about people who are like myself, so stop helping people who are different than me, you big green jerk.”

Maybe I’m being too hard on the wise old man, but I’d love to see Hal say “I’ll be right back” and then fly off and come back with a couple of orange skins and purple skins and maybe some potato skins and politely ask the wise old man to explain to them why Hal should have let their civilizations die so he’d have more time to spend improving the wise old man’s quality of living.

Regarding the whole Green Lantern racial thing: I understand what O’Neal was aiming at- showing how a person who *doesn’t* understand why someone with the power that GL has doesn’t use it to fight for social justice (among many other good deeds) besides fighting bad guys would feel, and it is a valid point; the problem is that the way it is written it doesn’t make much sense to a reader who isn’t looking at it that way. It doesn’t help that Jordan doesn’t even try to explain himself but just takes it. Also, O’Neal was obviously SO determined to write his socially-aware stories that he used whatever title he had at hand, never mind how inappropriate they might be to it. Let’s not forget that years later the reverse happened- Hal was banished from Earth *for a year* by his masters for focusing WAY too much on one world. So- nice point, bad writing.

As for the other moments in the list- Superman’s origin is definitely iconic; Batman killing vampires, not so much, but nice. Darkseid’s reveal never impressed me much, but that was probably because I guessed who he was from the start. (The flying harness used the clone of his son Orion was a dead giveaway.) Still, probably merits being in here too.

Keep in mind that at the time Denny O’Neil wrote these stories that they were ground-breaking in that nothing like this had ever been done before. We’ve gotten so used to comics that explore everything around and inside us that we’ve forgotten, or never knew, what it was like before these types of stories came out.
It’s like talking about the Beatles without fully understanding the impact they made on everything else besides just ground-breaking music.

you must include super girls death in crisis seven. where super man holds her body. and cries plus death int he family where batman is holding jason todds corpse. and of course the moment Green Arrow finds out Speedy is a junkie.

Batman shooting a vampire in the Golden Age…huh.

So what’s this miniseries that they came up with?

@zzz – It’s less “if you don’t have the time and energy to help every single person in the universe…” and more “a horrific injustice on a societal scale is being perpetuated and encouraged on a daily basis under your nose and you don’t seem to care.”

True, Hal has a perfectly valid response on hand, namely that he’s a space cop and protector of an entire segment of the universe, but it’s still a valid complaint. If he saw street crime it’s not like GL would ignore it because it’s beneath him. He’s capable of switching gears like that.

Still, the writing is pretty piss poor.

I think it’s a matter of the venue being completely wrong for the message. If Hal were shown seeing some blatant and illegal injustice and not stepping in, or some blatant but legal injustice and not speaking out against it, the guy whould have a good point, but the “in your own backyard” argument only works if you assume human problems take precedent over alien problems, even when the aliens’ problems are much more pressing, and that’s a pretty racist position to take. It would be a much better angle to take with a character like Batman or even Wonder Woman of the Flash – anyone who doesn’t spend most of their time off planet and interact with members of hundreds of different species every day (I think for me it all comes back to the way it seems to be implying that your interactions with different races within your own species say more about your open-mindedness than your interactions with completely different species – it’s a tremendously important issue in the real world that falls apart in a comic book once you introduce sentient alien species).

On the other hand, maybe the old guy isn’t advocating Hal dropping all his other responsibilities in order to “take it to the (human) man” so much as he’s saying that Hal could at least make a public statement against racism or something. Which is a valid point, although I find it interesting that there was a time when people though celebrities should be MORE active in politics.

man the “great darkness saga” was some trite, boring comics.

who comes up with those classic recommendations?

Batman shooting a vampire??? Well, guess it’s cleaner (but far less dramatic) than chopping his head with a red, white and blue shield…

Darkseid revealing is awsome (a planet-size bust eclipsin a sun!!!, whow!!)

PS: I guess50% of the most memorable moments are gonna be character deaths (Barry, Kara, Arthur Jr, Clark, Kord, Lord, Terra…no-price for the first one who list at least 30!!!)

I have a few votes for memorable moments:

– Tenzil Kem biting off Mekt Ranzz’s finger in Tony Bedard’s run on the threeboot Legion
– Laurel Gand’s speech to the Dominator leader as they were sending him home in issue, what, 35, 36, something like that, of the 5YL Legion
– The destruction of the universe in Atari Force #12
– The end of Blue Beetle #25 (“We never had a chance!”)

The MOST Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History!

Josh wins ‘best editor’ award!

Josh wins ‘best editor’ award!

Isn’t it amazing it lasted that long without anyone noticing? Thanks, Josh!

“I don’t know who you are, but you saved my life and I shall be forever grateful!”

I love how Batman is returning the woman’s embrace. It makes me wonder what happened before his flying away scene…

These columns are great. Thank you, Brian.

I’m trying to think of memoriable DC Moments off the top of my head.

Some of the ones that come to mind are now obscure, like the death of Earth-2 Batman in Adventure Comics, which always stuck in my head for some reason,

Others are more obvious, like the bat flying through the window of Wayne Manor and inspiring Bruce to dress up as Batman.

JoeMac’s comment brings up something I’m curious about. Batman’s origin – two moments (the murder of his parents as one and the bat through the window as the other) or one (just calling the whole origin a single moment)?

I lean towards two. What do you folks think?

I think it would be two seperate moments since one occurs when Bruce is a kid, the other when he is already a man.

It’s fairly obviously two, given that they don’t take place at the same time.

I think it has to be two moments too. Although I’m surprised some well-intentioned but ill-advised writer somewhere along the way hasn’t tried to “simplify” his origin by having the bat fly overhead as he looks up from his murdered parents’ bodies or something. Like the way movie adaptations often try to fold the main villain’s origin in with the hero’s origin.

The most memorable DC moment ever, though, has to be “One Punch!”

This is what happens when adult overanalysis is applied to stories written for preteens four decades ago.

Get it right, comb & razor. Batman’s origin was written seven decades ago, not four.

Just saw this. First memorable moment that comes to mind is Swamp Thing and his Anatomy Lesson. How I loved that way back then. Great Darkness Saga was not trite and boring ! Though I haven’t read it since the 80s,I’ll admit. The Death of Jonah Hex is another great moment.

Green Lantern: Dated writing to be sure, and certainly contentious validity to the argument, but still absolutely gripped me when I first read it, when DC reprinted the O’Neil / Adams run in the 80’s sometime. Really, it’s hard to compare one person’s pain and hurt to another. I mean, you can, but when your the one who experienced it, it’s just pain, and the fact that someone else has hurt more or has greater need doesn’t change it. It’s basically, exactly the same argument (with the same strengths and flaws) from the latest Superman arc. So sure, as an outsider, it’s easy to poke holes at the complaints of the wise old man or at the bereaved wife/mother, but those logic-based replied probably won’t impact them because Hal / Superman still weren’t there to help – which is something that clearly means something to our heroes. And this scene does come at the end of a story where Hal realizes that justice is shaded by socio-economic realities – so perhaps the depth to which he is impacted is justified.

I know many feel that this was the beginning of serious character derailment for Hal Jordan, but I liked him before this (which I have only discovered really since then through Showcases) and I liked him after this as well. I also liked him during Gerard Jones’ underrated (in my opinion – am I the only one?) run, which contains what I think is the perfect reply to this scene (maybe something for your “Meta-Messaged” column, Brian?) In it, at the end of an adventure, an alien ship lands in front of Hal, a particularly hued alien comes out (I don’t recall which one, let’s pretend it’s silver for this example) and gives a Hal a dressing down along the lines of “You work for the Blue skins, you helped the Orange skins, you help the Black and the White skins, but there’s one skin you never pay attention to…the SILVER skins! I want to know how come! Answer me that, Mr. Green Lantern!” To which Hal smiles at the reader and says something like, “What can you do?” and flies away, I think.

Jones also had Hal explain his self-doubt in O’Neil’s story as the result of some encounter with some will-sapping alien in a story just previous (although Oliver argued against that conclusion). I think this was just before Jones left the book and his run was studiously forgotten by just about every Green Lantern writer since.

2. Batman – I didn’t even know this had ever happened.

3. Superman – Obvious choice – which brings up a question for Brian. A lot of these moments – such as the rocket speeding away from Krypton, or Harvey Dent getting acid in his face, or young Bruce Wayne seeing his parents shot, etc. have been told numerous times. For many, Frank Miller’s “Year One” version is the classic Batman origin, but it obviously wasn’t the first. Will you be choosing only “original appearances” of moments, or are the “remakes” possibilities as well?

4. Legion of Super-Heroes – There are many who talk down this story now (some seem to be just talking down comics from the 80’s as being too wordy, etc.) but I think it deserves it’s classic status. One of the best Legion stories ever – not because it’s the best character story necessarily, but just because the sense of stakes involved was very strong, the final extended battle extremely intense, and the ultimate method for defeating Darkseid innovative and believable, and set up in the story.

It will be interesting to see the breakdown between eras.

I’ll give a shout out to a recent memorable moment: Darkseid giving the BIG THUMBS DOWN in Final Crisis. The art really made it tremendous.

I recall reading somewhere how Denny O’Neil was looking forward to seeing how wonderful Gil Kane’s art was going to look in the GL/GA 76 scene. Yeah, right. I agree with everyone that Neil Adams’ art made the series, but for those of you picking on Don Heck, he had a fill in issue of X-Men (64?) during the Thomas/Adams run that blended in quite well although I expect the layouts and Tom Palmer’s inks had a lot to do with that.

The photo-realistic art made the “relevance” of the run.

Wow….great column Brian. Thanks.
I hope I can contribute an idea or two! ^_~ I love the DC Multiverse stories.

my faves….
The Wolfman/Perez NEW TEEN TITANS “Bedroom Reveal” of Terra in kahootz with Slade.
More recent and a little underrated but Phil Jimenez on INFINITE CRISIS #4, the page when Superboy-Prime crosses the line & kills Pantha. When he looks at the blood on his and and his eyes are welled with tears…that was a very memorable moment.
Frank Miller’s issue #2 THE DARK KNIGHT TRIUMPHANT; that full page, grinning Batman jumping out of the Batmobile (before getting his @$$ kicked by the leader of the Mutants). Before all this accumulation of the new, dark Batman…this image leaps to mind as it leaped off the shelf & into my then-11-year old hands. It all at once was dangerous & free-wheeling fun…all in that smile. Honorable mention in the same issue about dragging 220 lbs of sociopath to the tallest point of the city and the scream alone being worth it.
Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN. I can’t choose a moment between the imprisoned muse who was Morphius’ ex-girlfriend, the Doctor Destiny Diner Scene (whose events resonated the entire run), Astarte as a stripper, or sister Delirium’s roadtrip (and how he never explained how she changed from Delight what a marvelous Mcguffin). How can we choose a SANDMAN moment? Maybe just issue #1 where it started is the moment…
Grant Morrison’s Animal Man…the single issues were the way to go with all those delicious Brian Bolland covers but the moment would be the issue #26 when Buddy Baker Meets His Maker. Fabulous issue.
COSMIC ODYSSEY #3 (was it #3?)…John Stewart’s Big “Whoops” on Xanshi. All that gorgeous Mike Mignola art too…
Two memorable crossovers though NEW TEEN TITANS/UNCANNY X-MEN by Claremont & Walt Simonson and also JLA/AVENGERS by Busiak & Perez. When Tony Start Meets Mother Box…that gave me fanboy joy.

Thanks! Looking forward to whats coming next!

I want the moment of death of the Superman and the end of R.I. P. Good list!

Hard to understand the animosity shown on this board toward the character of the old black man who confronts the Green Lantern in that early 70’s comic. Or Writer Denny O’Neil.

Context! Compare GL/GA with the wholesale cancellation of the Andy Griffith Show and/or Beverly Hillbillies “type” CBS shows at the time in favor of the edgy and topical “All In the Family” and “Maude.”

Forgive me for boring anyone with a little early 70’s historical recap: busing, segregation/integration battles in schools, bad days in Vietnam, Watergate, inflation.

I think O’Neil quite rightly put plain-speaking words into the old man (who is not necessarily “wise, ” by the way) and GL’s reply is apt , too. Hal was a bit dumbstruck: how could he explain to this man?

Hal is not Spider-man, by the way. Not a smart-ass; in fact, especially in those days, he seemed very aware of the distance between his super-powered status and people like the old man. He’s too polite, too “honorable” in the old Julie Schwartz superhero way to antagonize the old man, any old man for that matter. His awareness of that distance impels him toward his “Easy Rider” trips with Ollie and Dinah.

Not “bad writing” at all. It is straightforward and to the point.

I guess I like my escapism leavened with a little relevancy.

Why do I picture a bunch of white people doing all the complaining about the Green Lantern issue?

I like your interpretation of the GL/GA scene and Hal’s response, B9000. It’s similar to what I was trying to say in my rambling post up above – he knew there was no way to explain things to this old man in a way that would make any difference to him, and chose not to just snap back at him.

When I said the writing was dated, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. It seems to me that most comic writing dates eventually.


July 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I think there is a danger of missing the context in which some of these stories existed. Remember that Hal, at this point in time, was Green Lantern while people were being told they could not eat at lunch counters, use bathrooms, water fountains, or even vote unobstructed.

The point wasn’t that Hal should have been given up being a super hero or even spending all of his time on Civil Rights. He was doing important work. Its not even that he should have been making tons of political statements. The point is that he never, as of this point in time, made any public statement, as a recognizable super hero and member of the Justice League, about how human beings were failing to allow fellow human beings to be treated with human dignity.

Yes, by the time this comic was published, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts were both already passed, but Hal was around before they were passed . . . he was around when there were race riots and disappearing civil rights workers.

This was all within the recent memory of the country, and something that Hal himself had lived through, and not be a particular part of.

Yes, if you move this scene forward in continuity and try to have it going on in, say, the nineties, with the implication that Hal should have been making statements on affirmative action or quotas or the number of minorities on death row, I can understand not wanting that level of political discourse in comics. But in context, honestly, this was a whole other paradigm that its easy to loose sight of in our modern era.

I was thinking the same thing K.M.B.A.
i actually found this issue at a flea market back in 89 when i was 12

1) One Punch – J.L.I
2) Jason Todd is Hush…or is he?
3) Death Of Karate Kid in the old Legion Of Super-Heroes
4) Joker crippling Batgirl.
5) Wonder Woman kills Maxwell Lord.
6) Maxwell Lord kills Blue Beetle.
7) Ollie and Hal taking their road trip.
8) Ollie reuniting with the boxing glove arrow following his ressurection.
9) Terra betraying the Teen Titans.
10) The debut of Nightwing.
11) The revelation that 52 different earths exist Post-Infinite Crisis.
12) The Return of Barry Allen during Waids run on Flash that revealed it was actually Reverse Flash.
13) The Death of Barry Allen.
14) Barry returning from the speed force to help Bart Allen and the speedsters defeat Superboy Prime.
15) Sobek killing Osiris.
16) The “Death” of Batman during Final Crisis.
17) The Death of Supergirl in the original Crisis.
18) The destruction of Bludhaven.
19) The hate crime during Kyle Rayners GL run.
20) Tim Drakes debut as the third Robin.
21) The Death of Superman.
22) The Death of Pa Kent.
23) New Krypton.
24) Hitler vs The J.S.A. in the Golden Age by Robinson.
25) Dick Grayson and Damian Waynes debut as the new Batman & Robin.
26) Every issue of Morrisons run on JLA
27) Robin Dies At Dawn.
28) The first of many conversations between a living Jack Knight and a dead David Knight.
29) The Return of Hawkman in JSA.
30) The Death of Arthur Curry Jr.
31) Aquaman losing his hand.
32) The Resurrection of Lighting Lad.
33) The debut of Earth 2 in Flash.
34) The first JLA/JSA team up.
35) The end of Crisis On Infinite Earths.
36) Todd Rice coming out of the closet.
37) The Milestone characters debut in the DCU.
38) Static joins the Teen Titans.
39) The Death of Jericho in Teen Titans.
40) Kirby comes to DC.
41) Amanda Waller Vs Batman in the old Suicide Squad.
42) Deadshot killing that one senator to prevent Rick Flagg from committing murder.
43) Just about every death in Suicide Squad.
44) Ra’s Al Ghul Vs Batman sword fight.
45) The very first BWAH HAHAHAHAHA.
46) The death of Tommy Monaghan.
47) Hal Jordan killing Sinestro and members of the GLC.
48) The Final Night death of Hal.
49) The Rebirth of Hal Jordan.
50) The Death of Kathy Kane.
51) Batman Vs Superman in Dark Knight Returns.
52) The final page of Batman: Year One.
53) Wonder Woman being replaced with Artemis.
54) Wonder Woman losing her powers.
55) The Death of the original Mr.Terrific.
56) The first Captain Marvel/Superman fight in J.L.A.
57) The origin of the Superboy/Lex Luthor feud.(lex losing his hair)
58) The death of Vic Sage.
59) The debut of the Sinestro Corps.
60) The outcome of the final battle in Kingdom Come.
61) The return of Superman in Kingdom Come.
62) Catwoman killing Black Mask.
63) The death of Jason Todd.
64) Superman Vs Muhammed Ali.
65) Superman telling Mongul to Burn in For The Man Who Has Everything.
66) The Death Of Superman. Superman #149
67) Superman Red/Superman Blue. Superman #162
68) The Last Scene in Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow.
69) The true fate of Batman in Dark Knight Returns. Dark Knight Returns #4
70) Superman Vs Spider-Man
71) Supergirls debut. Action Comics #252
72) Thomas Wayne in a Batman costume in the old Detective Comics story: The First Batman
73) The Silver Age debut of The Flash. That one particular scene in the diner where the food just hangs in the air.
74) Superman eating a chunk of kryptonite in Kryptonite Nevermore.
75) The Destruction of Xanshi in Cosmic Oddysey.

This was actually a ton of fun to think up on the fly. Though most of the moments i mentioned involved death and destruction, they were moments that i’ll forever remember due to the impression and impact they had on the characters and universe at large. Not to mention myself.

76) Tommy Monaghan using his x-ray vision to look at Wonder Woman. CLASSIC.

or are the “remakes” possibilities as well?

Miller’s might, because he added the pearls breaking, which has become a significant piece of the origin since he first did it. So a newer take COULD be cosnidered, but it would have to add something significant on its own, and not just do the same thing as the original (just better), like Miller’s take on the bat breaking the window scene. Miller’s take was obviously better than the original, but it was a pretty strict remake.

On the Hal Jordan thing. I can honestly relate to Hal in that moment. Having limited ability and realiIng that you can’t help everyone, and sometimes anyone, can be extremely devastating. It is also very hard when faced directly with that kind of scenario. I find his reaction believable, and I know of people from the older generations that do talk that way, black and white people. It happens. And I can understand the man’s sentiment about no help for his people, as it were. In life it always seems that when someone is being helped, others cast a suspicious, a jealous, or a demanding perspective on it. I wish we had more internal reasons for the character to voice himself that way, but we cant always know more than what is said, even in comics. Like everything else in comics, the writers and editorials and whoever else had a direction and needed a catalyst.

The problem with Green Lantern #76 is that Denny O’Neil does not bother to explain HOW Hal Jordan is supposed to battle social injustice. I mean, it’s not like “social injustice” is a supervillain that GL can just punch out with a big green boxing glove. Poverty and racism are complicated problems rooted in deep societal flaws.

If I was Hal, I would have told the old black man about another Green Lantern, one who did just what the old guy wanted. That GL completely eliminated poverty , crime and injustice on his home world, turning it into a totally ordered society. And all it cost was the loss of liberty and free will. That Green Lantern was, of course, Sinestro.

So, yeah, I’m sure Hal could have ended poverty and segregation and racial discrimination and the Vietnam War and political corruption if he really, REALLY wanted to. But to achieve that, well, he would have to basically overthrow the government of the United States and, after that, every other government on Earth. But, hey, at least the trains would run on time.

Not sure how Hal would stop people from thinking bigoted thoughts, though. I guess he could use his ring to lobotomize anyone in the world who ever had a hateful thought. Which would be, well, everyone alive. Yeah, I guess it’s much easier to have a peaceful, orderly society when the entire population has been reduced to mindless zombies.

I would think Flash’s death in Crisis would be up there. Of course many of these ‘deaths’ probably lose their value when the characters come back.

Batman outing the White Martians in JLA 3 (or was it 4?)

Maybe too recent, but the scenes from Blackest Night were Lex, Mera etc. get rings and when the 12 or so characters are brought back.

Huntress’s battle with the Joker in No Man Land.

It just occurred to me….that the Golden Age Batman with Gun versus vampire page above is pretty much probably gonna be the Curse of the Mutants story over on X-Men this summer. Switch Julie with Jubilee and we’re pretty much all set. ^_~
Just kidding.

A memorable Alan Moore SWAMP THING moment (‘cuz there were so many!) would be where Swampy is fighting vampires who live underwater in a flooded town. The solution to the problem was very classic and well-executed. There’s also the Tuber Psychedelic Love Scene, Swampy beating Batman fighting for Abby. Lex Luthor breaking Swampy down into his Chakras & His Electro-Magnetic Wavelength Cosmic Odyssey including getting raped by a sentient organic mothership to Blue Swampy Stranded to Red Swampy on Rann…as Gaiman’s SANDMAN how can we pick a moment.

I agree with KnightErrant.

Some people are looking at the Green Lantern scene too much with eyes of today. Nowadays we have a black President in the US, and anyone complaining about the US being a racist society will probably be labeled a radical leftist extremist. Yes, in today’s context, O’Neil would look like a cheap demagogue. But American society in the early 1970s was quite different.

And raw power isn’t the answer to most social problems, so yeah, we shouldn’t expect Hal Jordan to go the Authority route and reform society by force. But, in the context of the 1970s, we could expect Hal and other superheroes to use their prestige to make a stand against racism.

I am also curious as to why it’s always the conservative readers that dislike politics in comics? It’s the politics they dislike, or the fact that most (all?) of said politics is liberal?


July 18, 2010 at 9:17 am

Well, I’m actually pretty conservative in my beliefs, and a lot of modern treatment of politics tends to be rather heavy handed. Its not so much that I wouldn’t want any discussion of politics, but rather, that when it comes up, its often easy to see where the writer, and not the characters, would come down on the issue, because the world of the comic tends to prove the political point being put forth.

On the other hand, I was saddened but very much agreed with the statement in the Secret Six issue dealing with the prison that torture has come back into the realm of “acceptable.”

I guess for me, at least, its not discussing politics that is an issue, its discussing politics and then loading the deck in the story to weight the issue one way or the other.

I was surprised in a good way with the Decision 2008 book that DC put out, because I thought it actually handled the topic fairly well.

“Why do I picture a bunch of white people doing all the complaining about the Green Lantern issue?”

I don’t know but you might want to look into why you’re bringing race into it in the first place but just in case you’re curious i’m Puerto Rican and i’m number 1 on the the people who can’t stand O’Neil’s writting during GL/GA.

Okay, I’m putting aside my criticisms for Green Lantern #76 to acknowledge that there can be a huge difference between something being “memorable” and being “great.” I will agree that the scene from GL #76 definitely falls under the category of “DC’s most memorable moments,” since after all these years, we are still discussing it. But as far as it being one of “DC’s greatest moments,” well, that’s another thing entirely, and we could probably argue that point endlessly.

I am also curious as to why it’s always the conservative readers that dislike politics in comics? It’s the politics they dislike, or the fact that most (all?) of said politics is liberal?”

It’s because the liberal writers in comics are so damn biased that their politicizing comes across not as natural, organic discussion, but as heavy handed awful exposition that allows the writers to state their own opinions through the characters. If they do it well it’s great, but that almost never happens, because liberals in entertainment (As kelsey grammer has pointed out) have no interest in political diversity and just use the books as soap boxes. It’s ridiculous how poorly written it is. More ridiculous is the fact that liberals who complain about everything in comics are okay with those poorly written sections because they “confirm” their own previous beliefs. Sort of hard to take people seriously when they don’t show any consistency.

Maybe liberals should try including a few alternate political viewpoints in their entertainment, it would make their political dialogues more believable. Unless of course they ONLY believe that they are right or will ever be right, in which case.. that’s a pretty CONSERVATIVE viewpoint.

Kevin Smith’s writing in Dogma is the best example I can think of someone being so opinionated that the characters all start talking like the writer, but that’s how politics in comics tend to come across.

1. The Siegel-Shuster origin has been substantially revised over the years, but it remains a very good piece of comics. So much of what makes Superman awesome is right there on the first page.

2. GREEN LANTERN #76 was a seminal issue. It is a testament to how effective those three panel are that they have sparked this much debate four decades later.

3. Batman is always awesome in a horror setting. BATMAN AND THE MAD MONK was a little disappointing after Wagner’s earlier Year One era work. However, this sequence is fun.

4. The reveal of Darkseid is easily one of the greatest Big Bad reveals of all time. Great work by Levitz and Giffen.

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