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CSBG Archive

The 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History – Day 6

Okay, in case you didn’t see the introduction, the concept is that each day up to and including the 31st of July, I’ll be posting six of the most memorable moments from DC Comics’ 75-year history. On the 31st, you folks will get a chance to pick your Top 10 out of the 100 choices. I’ll tabulate the votes and I’ll debut the Top 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History starting on August 8th. In the meantime, feel free to post suggestions for moments you think should be featured either at our Twitter account (twitter.com/csbg), our Facebook page (facebook.com/comicsshouldbegood) or just e-mail me (bcronin@comicbookresources.com)!

Here’s the next six moments! And click here for the master list of all the moments posted so far!

NOTE: Each day of moments will almost certainly contain some spoilers for past comic books, plus each day might include content that originally appeared in “Mature Readers Only” comics, so be forewarned!

29. Abin Sur finds a replacement (Showcase #22)

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John Broome and Gil Kane deliver the iconic origin of Hal Jordan of Earth, the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814!

30. Animal Man meets his maker (Animal Man #25)

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In this cliffhanger at the end of the penultimate issue of Grant Morrison’s Animal Man run, Animal Man comes face to face with Morrison himself! Chas Truog drew the comic.

31. Blue Beetle is defiant in the face of death (Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1)

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Countdown to Infinite Crisis was written by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and Judd Winick. It was drawn by a number of artists, with Phil Jimenez being the one who drew this final confrontation between Blue Beetle and Maxwell Lord, where Beetle discovers Lord’s plans before anyone else, including Batman. Sadly, Beetle pays for his discover with his life, but at least he went down heroically.

32. Lex Luthor reacts poorly to bad news (Adventure Comics #271)

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Jerry Siegel gave the most famous origin to Lex Luthor in this issue, drawn by Al Plastino (isn’t it amazing how good of an expressionist Plastino was?).

33. The first woman in a refrigerator (Green Lantern v3 #54)

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Ron Marz and Darryl Banks had just introduced the new Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, when his girlfriend, Alex DeWitt, was viciously murdered by a villain sent to retrieve Kyle’s ring.

34. Dick Grayson loses one relationship, gain a new, unhealthy one (Detective Comics #38)

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In Detective Comics #38, Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson followed up the origin of Batman a few issues earlier with the origin of Batman’s new partner, Dick Grayson, or Robin, the Boy Wonder!


1. Epic picture fail

2. Who dies in the Luthor origin?

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

July 21, 2010 at 7:35 am

Believe it or not, someone does: Luthor also created protoplasmic life in the experiment that causes the fire. When Superboy puts it out and costs Lex his hair, he also destroys this laboratory-created life. Later Super-writer Elliot S! Maggin has always made that, not the hair thing, the centerpiece of Silver Age Lex’s hatred of Superman.

Cant see the pics?

Tracking: Finally a couple I haven’t actually read the originals on, even if I’m familiar with the material covered. I’ve never read the original Luthor origin or the WIR scene. So 32 I’ve read, 23 have the original.

Not sure if anybody cares about my tracking, but I like it for myself. If the scenes are that memorable people should have seen them.

In that GL one, shouldn’t it be Ron Marz, and not Ron Marx?

“(isn’t it amazing how good of an expressionist Plastino was?). ”

I’ve always felt Plastino is really underrated. I actually prefer his work on Superman over Wayne Boring’s. Boring’s was probably mor “superhero-ey”, but Plastino’s facial expressions are priceless!

Curt Swan, of course, is in a different league.

i remember the origin of luthor from an episode of the super friends cartoon with the legion of doom. the begining of dick as robin have a reprint of. animal man. showed that grant in the dcu is like a roller coaster ride.as for the death of alex it lead to an online list tracking the way woman are treated in comics titled woman in refrigerators . as for blue beetle death it proves that max is one nasty piece of work.

What, no more shirtless Batman?

A couple of these later one I’d classify as memorable for their sheer notoriety, but yeah, that makes them memorable all right.

Interesting how Luthor’s origin ressembles Dr Doom’s origin. I’ve never noticed it.

29. Like every A-list superhero, Green Lantern has a bullet-proof origin. A writer can devise any reason at all for him to be in that trainer and know that the Abin Sur moment is going to pay it off. That makes it a tale that can be infinitely re-told. Why were there so many classic origin stories from 1955 to 1972 and so few in the decades since?

30. Speaking of great origin stories, Grant Morrison gave himself a pretty good one.

31. The death of Blue Beetle is certainly memorable. It is sadly symbolic of the current era of DC Comics. Here are two characters that have been defined by very light action-comedy stories snarling nonsense at one another. Then, one of them murders the other for no apparent reason. At least Phil Jimenez does a nice slow build on the gun.

32. The Silver Age origin of Lex Luthor is a double-sided axe. On the plus side, it does a great job in creating a unique dynamic between Superman and Lex. Lex wants Superman dead, but Superman always holds out hope that he can bring his friend back. On the negative side, the hair thing is really and truly silly.

33. Poor Ron Marz. I am wagering this is the only moment that gets tapped from his long and mostly successful run on Green Lantern. This hardly the first and certainly not the last needless death of a superhero girlfriend. Gail Simone just coined a really memorable (and fun!) phrase. This twist is not any worse than a dozen others.

34. The Finger-Kane-Robinson Batman stories never cease to shock me with how dark they are. The world is so hopelessly corrupt that the only person willing to help poor Dick Grayson is Batman and Batman really only has the one solution, doesn’t he?

In a lot of ways, the Robin scene has two iconic moments; the deaths at the circus, and the swearing of the oath by candlelight.

Good lord, Luthor’s hair is completely ridiculous.

I Honestly Don't Remember

July 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Why did Maxwell Lord go evil again? Was this ever established, or are we just supposed to believe he was just fooling everybody throughoutt the JLI years, even when his thought bubbles say otherwise? I’m 25, and didn’t get DC books when I was much younger, so I just recently read the entire Giffen run last year. I love those books, and the I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Justice League/Formerly Known as the Justice League issues as well. This shit’s just so disappointing.

We have also to point out that the entire DCU community of heroes treated Blue Beetle as an idiot and an a$$ during the entire idiocy called Identity Crisis to justify this entire Maxwell Lord-gone-evil plot (almost the same nonsense as Monarch and Captain Atom). For me, this scene is representative of the worst DC days, and the entire “let’s make DCU as violent-per-se and gory and fanboy-based as possible”. Not only it didn’t work (DC lost market share and readers), but now they are trying to bring back JLI (and it is critically better than Brightest Day).

I meant Infinite Crisis, but Identity Crisis falls into the same category.

DC lost market share and readers

Market Share maybe (but only because Marvel matched them with Civil War), but not readers; the event age continued by Infinite Crisis raised comic book sales.

I think some people don’t realize how bad comic book sales were for DC pre-Identity/Infinite Crisis.

That’s not to say either story is particularly great (the only people in character in Countdown to Infinite Crisis are Beetle and Booster and maybe Oracle.) But they clearly helped sales.


July 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm

The Grant Morrison appearance at the end of his Animal Man run was the series’ most iconic and oft-referenced scene, but in terms of being purely “memorable,” as in something that overwhelms and stays with you forever, I would vote first for the (spoiler!) death of Buddy’s family. It’s hard to remember any scene in any comic that so affected me.
Oh, and the Coyote Gospel ending was also pretty special. What a great comics run.

-Green Lantern:Again, Iconic heroes get the iconic origins.
-Wasn’t the whole “Animal Man meets Grant Morrison” retconned as a dream or something? I sure hope so, because metafiction decreases the sense of greatness of the DC Universe (does it really matter if you save the universe if it was all part of a script?) Anyway, I admit that this is pretty famous.
-Speaking of focusing on the WRONG elements of a superhero universe: Blue Beetle’s death. Senseless and pointless other than to exploit the bloodthirst of modern readers (and set up the “Wonder Woman kills Max” thing that I’m sure will also pop up in this list, even though it eventually went nowhere.)
– The Silver Age Lex Luthor’s origin always was a hoot to me, but I admit it felt silly and unnecessary even back then.
-The Start of the Women in Refrigerators meme needs to be here even if it remains an utterly pathetic way of ending a relationship. What’s next, Deals with the Devil? Oh wait…
-Again, Robin is a major enough character that his origin can be considered iconic.

Zor-El of Argo

July 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm

This might be off-topic, but I’ve been waiting 9 years to see Abin Sur appear on Smallville. With the Green Lantern movie in the works maybe season 10 will be the year.

@IHDR: Are you reding Generation Lost? Giffen has been hinting at finally crafting an explanation that makes sense. If you’re a fan of the old JLI stuff I definitely recommend it. That and Booster Gold. Giffen, Dematteis, and Winnick are doing a fantastic job with the old JLI cast and a few replacements.

Why did Maxwell Lord go evil again? Was this ever established, or are we just supposed to believe he was just fooling everybody throughoutt the JLI years, even when his thought bubbles say otherwise?

Giffen will come up with some new patchwork answer, but yes, we were supposed to believe he was just fooling everybody throughout the JLI years.

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