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CSBG Archive

The 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History – Day 7

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!

35. Swamp Thing and Abby get better acquainted (Swamp Thing #34)

(click on image to enlarge)

Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben deliver a breathtaking endeavor when they show how Swamp Thing and his girlfriend, Abby, have sex – or at least Swamp Thing’s version of sex.

There are many brilliant pages, so look at the ones above as more emblematic than anything else.

36. Superman discovers a new use for Kryptonite (Superman #233)

In this first issue of the Julie Schwartz-mandated revamp of Superman, all Kryptonite on Earth has been changed to iron. Denny O’Neil and Curt Swan demonstrate this change through a classic scene.

37. Barry Allen makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the Multiverse (Crisis on Infinite Earths #8)

(click on images to enlarge)

Yeah, the Multiverse ended up getting more or less destroyed ANYways (then later brought back), and yeah, Barry Allen eventually came back to life, but this is still a classic scene from Marv Wolfman and George Perez! The guy is RUNNING HIMSELF TO DEATH TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE! That’s awesome.

38. Hal first recites his oath (Showcase #22)

John Broome and Gil Kane deliver the second-most iconic oath ever (outside of the Pledge of Allegience)* in this second story from the issue that one story earlier gave us the debut of Hal Jordan as Green Lantern.

*It is not actually the second-most iconic oath ever. That was a joke.

39. Ferro Lad sacrifices himself (Adventure Comics #353)

(click on images to enlarge)

Jim Shooter was not even on the title for a year before he killed of his first Legionnaire, in this dramatic story that would be referenced a number of times over the years, with the mid-1990s DC event, Final Night, being the most notable.

40. Superman doubles his pleasure AND doubles his fun (Superman #162)

When you think back upon classic Superman writers, Leo Dorfman might not automatically come to mind, but alongside legendary Superman artist, Curt Swan, Dorfman delivered one of the most memorable “Imaginary Stories” of all-time.

31 Comments

So there was a Red and Blue Superman way before the electric ones?

So there was a Red and Blue Superman way before the electric ones?

Yep, they were an homage to the original.

Captain Flash

July 22, 2010 at 8:12 am

Superman’s face when he eats the kryptonite (specifically the second-to-last panel) never fails to make me laugh.

-Swamp Thing and Abby: YUUCKK!! Still, it IS a pretty famous moment for the character.
-Superman eating Kryptonite- yeah, I remember that, it was funny at the time, but does anybody outside of old comics fans like me even know about it?
-The Flash’s sacrifice: OH YES this definitely counts! What I can’t believe is that it took you so long to get to it- you’d think it would be among the first memorable DC moments most fans would come up with.
- Green Lantern’s Oath is classic, though I’ve always wondered why he came up with it since it’s not a Corps requirement (yes, I know it’s a mental timekeeping device while charging the ring like counting “One Mississippi” but it isn’t like the ring overloads if connected too long to the battery or anything.)
-Ferro Lads sacrifice is probably THE first great noble DC superhero sacrifice (that actually STUCK, he never came back from the dead) preceding Flash’s by decades and definitely counts.
-The Superman Red & Blue thing was more like a joke (How can Superman choose between Lois and Lana? He doesn’t! He split in two! :P ) than a story but it does represent the wackiness of the Silver Age (though I would choose any of Jimmy Olsen’s transformations for that.)

Captain Flash

July 22, 2010 at 8:33 am

Sijo, I’m 20, only read comics for less than three years, and I’ve seen that Superman page, many, many times.

nice to see another moment from crisis for barrys death showed what a hero will be willing to do even die to protect his world. super man eating krypotinite was an interesting take on making super man almost be more god like. and thought there was an early version of super man red and blue. as for swamp thing and abby doing the wild thing that showed that alan and swamp thing were perfect together and swamp thing deserved his place in vertigo. for that pannel is a little creepy.

The interesting thing about the GL oath is that for a short time in the 1970s ( I believe) the oiath was changed from “…in Blackest Night” to “…in Darkest NIght”. Apparently the negative connotation of the color black with anything bad was politically incorrect

Flash and Supergirl in Crisis 2 of the greatest moements right after eachother

Crisis 8 is the best (DC) death ever! The fact that he dies running makes it truly epic…

The first Green Lanter Oath panel is an instant classic (the Archive edition worths every $), but it’s the worst drawn moment posted by now! (looks like Gil Kane had to go to pee and other guy drew the panel in the meantime). Carol Ferris first “I don’t date employees” is another classic moment from that issue…

I totally agree, Superman face eating the Kryptonite is very funny (By the way, for how long lasted the Kryptonite inmunity thing?). Every time I see a Curt-Swanesque Superman’s face , I feel like something is wrong: where’s Christopher Reeve? Who’s that square dude in his forties?

While the original is a great story the reteling of Flash’s death in the Secret Origins special, with Flash racing to catch the tachyon particle that powered the Anti-Monitor’s weapon, was a worthy editing of a powerful story.

I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t that Kryptonite no longer affected Superman, but rather that all of the Kryptonite on earth (by then a truly impressive amount) was turned into, essentially, lead. The stuff still out in space (and possibly the samples in the Fortress of Solitude, although he may have just put on a lead spacesuit and collected new ones) was still just as deadly.

Yeah, you’re right, Jeff, my bad. I’ll fix that.

Crisis # 8 is actually the seven-hundred and fourteenth best DC Death ever.

Flash shows up with no foreshadowing or prior development, dies, and there are no repercussions or – really – any impact on the story.

It’s MEMORABLE sure, and it’s very nicely choreographed page – I just think it’s fairly chintzy and offhanded.

“Crisis # 8 is actually the seven-hundred and fourteenth best DC Death ever.

Flash shows up with no foreshadowing or prior development, dies, and there are no repercussions or – really – any impact on the story.”

Ummm…I have to ask: have you read all of COIE? Flash is kidnapped early on and basically tortured/held by Psycho Pirate throughout the previous 7 issues on and off. His death scene is also foreshadowed early (like when Batman is busting the Joker and he appears nearly dead…that happens from Batman’s perspective earlier in the series). Given that COIE was crossing over with everything either directly or indirectly in bits and pieces, I don’t have a problem that they “rejoined” his story for the large part of issue 8.

It also had the largest impact (still) of anything in crisis because of issue 12: it caused Wally West to pick up the Flash mantle and become the first side kick anywhere to take over for a mentor.

It belongs, no doubt.

It belongs, no doubt.

While the rest of your argument is fine, just noting that he’s not saying that it doesn’t belong on the list, he’s just saying he didn’t like it.

Look at the faces Curt Swan drew in that Kryptonite sequence! Holy hell, he was great.

Sure, Barry did eventually come back, but he sure stayed dead for much, much longer than any major hero I can think of. He only REALLY returned within the past few years, right?

35. Of the Top 10 most memorable sex scenes from mainstream comics, what percentage are written by Alan Moore? Even if you toss in alternative comics, I am not sure that you could get his work much under 50%. In that regard, Moore was a trailblazer that no one followed. Anyway, Bissette and Totleben were amazing. The sixties rock poster style of SWAMP THING has never been duplicated.

36. When I was a kid, the local barber shop had old comics laying around (along with Playboys and Sports Illustrateds). So, I must have read this issue a half dozen times. It was one of my earliest exposures both to comics and Superman. To this day, my favorite Man of Steel moments tend to feature his sardonic sense of humor. Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson were unbeatable as a team.

37. This was a big moment in COIE and the real end of the Silver Age for me. However, the real emotional pay-off to this scene was in SECRET ORIGINS ANNUAL #2. The way Wlliam Messner-Loebs and Carmine Infantino tied the origin and death of Barry Allen together was one of my all-time favorite Flash stories.

38. Gil Kane drew a Green Lantern that floated more than he flew. Joe Stanton sort of followed his lead in that regard, but Kane was much more dynamic. Something about that is so cool and creepy to me.

39. Pardon the pun, but the LoSH really was ahead of its time. The continuity, the deaths and the sprawling casts were harbingers of what comics would become.

40. Superman Red/Superman Blue is a really good story. That is actually true of a healthy percentage of those “Imaginary Stories”. Mort Wesinger and his writers really knew their cast. Freeing them up from consequences enabled them to do great character pieces with great fantasy hooks. The twist resolution to the Lois-Superman/Clark-Lana triangle is fun, true to the characters and just a little subversive. Good stuff.

That issue of Swamp Thing was nominated “Best Single Issue” for the 1985 Jack Kirby Awards, as was issue #32. SWAMP THING Annual #2 was the winner. Find more trivia at the Swamp Thing Annotations
http://www.tinyurl.com/readswampthing

Brian… I always enjoy your work on CBR, and no exception today.

I have a question for you or other Green Lantern fans posting, of which I cannot count myself. It’s not that I dislike GL, rather its that he’s a character I have never really followed, really only embracing him post New Frontier.

Is this GL moment situated here simply because it is the first time Hal Jordan recited that famous oath? That oath was around long before Hal Jordan was it not? And Hal Jordan, by nature of his”job”, is really just one of a long line of Green Lantern protectors. I was just a day ago reading a Golden Age Green Lantern story from 1949 (also written by Broome) and Alan Scott gave the same oath. Wouldn’t the very first time this oath was uttered by the very first Green Lantern to be appear in comics be more significant of a moment? Or maybe you are basing your decision simply on Hal Jordan’s subsequent fame.

@ denday-dot:

The ring, the lantern and an oath were indeed all elements of the Golden Age version. However, Alan Scott used different language: http://www.dcuguide.com/glcorps/greenlanternoath.php

I have a question for you or other Green Lantern fans posting, of which I cannot count myself. It’s not that I dislike GL, rather its that he’s a character I have never really followed, really only embracing him post New Frontier.

Is this GL moment situated here simply because it is the first time Hal Jordan recited that famous oath? That oath was around long before Hal Jordan was it not? And Hal Jordan, by nature of his”job”, is really just one of a long line of Green Lantern protectors. I was just a day ago reading a Golden Age Green Lantern story from 1949 (also written by Broome) and Alan Scott gave the same oath. Wouldn’t the very first time this oath was uttered by the very first Green Lantern to be appear in comics be more significant of a moment? Or maybe you are basing your decision simply on Hal Jordan’s subsequent fame.

By the time Alan used it, his book was almost finished, so it was not particularly well known. It was also wasn’t an oath associated with Scott for most of his run (he used several oaths, after all, and that particular oath did not come about until eight years into his tenure as a character).

When people reference “Brightest Day” and “Blackest Night,” it’s Hal’s oath that they are referring to, so that’s why I went with that one as the memorable one.

Thank you Brian and Dean.

I rechecked that issue I recently encountered the oath in that Alan Scott used. It is indeed identical to the one showing up in Hal Jordan’s Showcase issue. It was a Golden Age backup in Green Lantern #89, from the O’Neil/Adams run of all places (it’s quite a contrast reading right through that issue) and was a reprint from Green Lantern #38 from 1949… the very last issue of the original GL run. Quite right Brian… a run almost finished indeed.

It is interesting that John Broome revived a bit of his own writing from the decade before he was obviously rightly impressed with.

It was actually Alfred Bester who coined the oath (it was likely Schwartz who remembered the oath – he worked on Green Lantern back then).

Thanks again Brain.As an aside, I see the GCD mistakenly attributes the script in GL #38 (which post-dates the Bester issues by about a year) to Robert Kanigher in its entry for GL #38 vol.1, whereras, in the entry for GL #89 vol.2 it lists Broome, in agreement with the editors note in the comic itself. I’d suggest it is Broome, since Schwartz supposedly confirmed these credits.

Yeah, that’s odd of GCD.

I love that three of these six moments are drawn by Curt Swan. Swan just might be responsible for half the good moments of DC history (exaggerating but just a little). When do the Kirby moments start showing up?

“It belongs, no doubt.

While the rest of your argument is fine, just noting that he’s not saying that it doesn’t belong on the list, he’s just saying he didn’t like it.”

Yeah, looking back several hours later, I could have phrased the whole thing better (a little snarkier and more attack than I intended, so apologies to MarkAndrew or anyone else if it got taken that way…limited sleep due to non-sleeping baby last night).

Anyways, I really don’t have a problem with not liking something on the list, including Barry dying in COIE; I have a few I’m not huge on either. I just wanted to make a point that I felt that this (along with Supergirl) are probably the two things I think are obvious for this list out of crisis, though you may have other stuff planned.

"O" the Humanatee!

July 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I third the praise for the “Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt” in Secret Origins Annual #2 – a story that delivers beautifully on what could be just a clever concept. However, it’s not written by William Messner-Loebs but by Robert Loren Fleming. (Nothing against Messner-Loebs, who wrote and drew Journey, one of my very favorite comics series.) Messner-Loebs wrote the first story in the annual, which was about Wally.

#36. Fantastic work by Curt Swan.

[...] Flash moments appear in Comics Should Be Good’s list of 75 Memorable Moments in DC History: Barry Allen’s sacrifice in Crisis on Infinite Earths and the first Superman/Flash [...]

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