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CSBG Archive

The 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History – Day 14

Okay, in case you didn’t see the introduction, the concept is that up until the 31st of July, I’ll post a list of 100 of the most memorable moments in DC history (in no particular order). 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)!

I’m mixing things up a bit. Just five today and I’ll let you know soon what I’ll be doing for the last X moments. 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!

77. “One Punch!” (Justice League #5)

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For the first few issues of the Justice League relaunch by Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire, Guy Gardner had been giving Batman a hard time. In this famous scene, Gardner finally gets what’s coming to him.

78. Jason Todd is beaten nearly to death by the Joker (Batman #427)

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This is one depressing moment, courtesy of Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo. Jason Todd is looking for his mother, but she sells him out and he is beaten nearly to death by the Joker. His mother is then betrayed by the Joker and left with the nearly dead Jason. He manages to awake and struggle to get them both to safety, but the bomb goes off before they can make their escape.

79. The Justice League and the Justice Society meet for the first time! (Justice League of America Volume 1 #21)

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In this famous issue, by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, the two famous DC superhero teams meet for the first time!

80. Bane breaks Batman’s back (Batman #497)

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Doug Moench and Jim Aparo deliver what is effectively the climax of Knightfall in this tragic tale.

81. Batman accepts a new Robin (Batman #442)

Tim Drake made his debut in the Lonely Place of Dying and quickly stood out from the previous Robin, Jason Todd. This Robin, Tim Drake, was clever, intelligent and very respectful to not only Batman, but to Dick Grayson, as well. So when Batman concedes the point that maybe he DOES need a Robin above, Dick’s smile says it all.

29 Comments

Only 5 moments today?

Also, you should have thrown in the Death of Superman, so all 4 of my absolute lock picks show up today. :P

Also, you should have thrown in the Death of Superman, so all 4 of my absolute lock picks show up today.

That’s WHY there’s only five. ;)

In that panel showing the two teams meeting & greeting, I love how the Earth-2 half-pint Atom is all bent over to give a one-finger handshake to Earth-1 Atom.

I’ll add that for all of the problems with the Death of Jason Todd, the artist did a good job of capture the absolutely insane glee the Joker feels when smashing Jason with a crowbar. It’s just creepy.

Boy, a big day for Batman and Jim Aparo.

I love all of these. Black Canary totally sells the “One Punch” moment for me. I know the Joker beating Jason Todd with the crowbar is not wildly popular, but Aparo draws such a horrifying sequence. Gardner Fox gives everyone a little moment in the escape attempt, which is nice. Morrison’s BATMAN R.I.P. was superior in every way to KNIGHTFALL except for the shocking impact of the climax (and the clarity of the art). The arrival of Tim Drake is such rare moment of genuine sweetness in the Bat-verse.

Zor-El of Argo

July 29, 2010 at 4:34 pm

The thing that always got me in Jason’s death was the six-panel sequence in which Joker swings the crow bar with his left hand, then both hands, then with his right hand. The overall look gave the panels an artistic symmetry but also illustratd, more than any other cue, that the beating really was just a game to Joker. He wasn’t doing it for revenge, not on Robin or Batman, or even to prevent Robin from calling in back-up. He was doing it because it was fun.

Those six panels plus Joker saying “I should have done this years ago” on the next page are what most stuck with me all these years.

Zor-El of Argo

July 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I have long hoped that someone would novelize Jason Todd’s life and death. Preferrably leaving out the rebirth.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm

This Robin, Tim Drake, was clever, intelligent and very respectful to not only Batman, but to Dick Grayson, as well.

He sure is perfect.

And the worst memorable moment of all time just turned up in 77th place!

“And the worst memorable moment of all time just turned up in 77th place!”

what exactly is your idea of good comics? i didn’t know there was anyone that didn’t like the giffen/dematteis justice league.

man i loved knightfall…..and that issue

-About time “One Punch” showed up. But I insist that Hal Jordan One-Punching Batman be included as well: great symmetry. ;)
-Sigh. I miss the Joker who killed people with laughing gas, pop guns, electric joybuzzers etc. A crowbar? How pathetic. Anyway, Jason Todd’s death (not the way Joker did it) should be included.
-JLA meets JSA: Now THIS feels like a moment worth of being in the top then of this list. Superhero stuff for its own greatness! :)
-Batman getting crippled felt forced (they wanted to simulate the success of the Death of Superman storyline without copying it exactly) but yeah, put it in.
-Tim Drake joining as the new Robin is OK, but not as cool as many other moments. Seriously, this is the FREAKIN’ DC UNIVERSE- the choices should blow our minds!!

Holy crap, would you look at that late 80’s/early 90’s fro hair on Tim Drake?

funkygreenjerusalem

July 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm

And the worst memorable moment of all time just turned up in 77th place!

Even if you hate JLI, One Punch is a very memorable, often talked about, often referenced scene, so probably deserves to be here more than many other moments.

‘I didn’t know there was anyone that didn’t like the Giffen/Dematteis justice league.’
Where did I say I didn’t like the Giffen JLA? Here was my comment on ‘One Punch':
‘ Guy IMHO was silly throwing away his ring two seconds before the above moment.’
Explain how this meant I didn’t like his run?

I’ve seen people commenting that John’s Hal Jordan punching out Batman in Rebirth hearkens back to the Giffen JLI moment here, but I never made that connection before. Do you think it was an intentional reference? Of course their both Batman and a Green Lantern, but Hal doesn’t “one punch” Batman – he just punches Batman once and knocks him over. That’s quite different than knocking him out with one punch.

funkygreenjerusalem

July 30, 2010 at 1:51 am

I’ve seen people commenting that John’s Hal Jordan punching out Batman in Rebirth hearkens back to the Giffen JLI moment here, but I never made that connection before. Do you think it was an intentional reference? Of course their both Batman and a Green Lantern, but Hal doesn’t “one punch” Batman – he just punches Batman once and knocks him over. That’s quite different than knocking him out with one punch.

Guy Gardner starts cheering, saying ‘Did you see that, one punch!’, so it’s hard to not see it as an intentional reference.
There’s no reference to one punch when Batman gets his revenge a few issues later, though.

thanks for sharing all these ~ i really like them~

I forgot about Guy Gardner’s cheering, so yeah, it definitely references that moment. Although it comes across more as just a nice continuity nod rather Green Lantern fans getting their own against Batman fans or anything. Although it did scream out something like “Look how super-cool Hal Jordan is!” And Batman hitting him back also rang out a bit as appeasing fans, or trying to.

Michael Howey

July 30, 2010 at 2:48 am

Yeah, the one punch was 100% intentional but I agree that it didn’t quite work due to the lack of KO.
Not to say that Guy wouldn’t overeact to anything that made “Bats” look bad.

As for the original one punch, the great thing was, this event caused Guy’s personality to change for a year. Now that is being committed to a joke.

‘ Guy IMHO was silly throwing away his ring two seconds before the above moment.’

Of course he was silly. That was the point, he was so arrogant that he thought he could beat Batman without the ring. Good stories about superheroes =/= Stories about good superheroes. As far as I can see it fits Guy’s personality completely.

Man, Aparo is awesome. I was a little surprised to see the scene of Joker beating the hell out of Jason Todd with a crowbar, instead of the moment when Batman holds his dead body, though.

@funky: when you said “He sure is perfect” in response to Brian’s caption about Tim Drake, were you being serious or are you making fun? I couldn’t tell.

Stephane Savoie

July 30, 2010 at 6:35 am

Tim Drake always struck me as boring, but he was a good tonic to the Grayso/Todd years. That said, the story which introduced him was uninteresting. When the scene shown here started, I couldn’t have told you who it was by. And I certainly don’t remember the Two-Face plot at all.

funkygreenjerusalem

July 30, 2010 at 6:49 am

when you said “He sure is perfect” in response to Brian’s caption about Tim Drake, were you being serious or are you making fun? I couldn’t tell.

Light-heartedly making fun.

I like Tim just fine, but by virtue or having his being several bat books, his own title, and Teen Titans, he’s sure done a lot of work – he’s written as being almost as flawless as a A-lister.
He’s taken down every Bat-villain, is the best detective sine Batman – on his way to getting better, Ra’s gave him Batman’s nickname, and even now had Wayne Corp left to him and is running it.
And that’s before you talk to some of his hardcore fans.

As I say, I like him, but sometimes he feels a bit like a mary-sue suit for everyone – he’s the character you can pretend you were Batman’s partner through, and you’d be awesome at it.

@ FGJ:

Here is a trick to make Tim Drake more entertaining. Just mentally insert a panel of him asking for a High 5 after every affirmation that he gets. For example, in the above:
Two-Face: My coin will determine your fate.
(Batman snatches coin from mid-air)
Batman: No, Harvey, it is your mistake …
Batman: Don’t you know, you can’t kill Batman and Nightwing?
Tim Drake: … or Robin?
Batman: … or Robin.
Tim Drake: High Five!

See? Much more fun!

@Third Man –

There are indeed people who dislike the Giffen/deMatteis’s JLI. And they were not rare in the time the stories were published. A lot of people felt it was a disrespect to the proud tradition of the League. Many older fans who thought it sullied the League of their childhood. Sounds familiar, right? ;)

Nowadays, grim and gritty replaced the sitcom humor as the favorite target of complaints by the traditionalists. And the traditionalists like the JLI!

I used to be irked by the JLI fans who thought everyone should like it, or else they’d call you names and say “you can’t take a joke” and “where is your sense of humor.” But I’ve re-read them recently, and I liked the stories well enough, even though some of their fans are still annoying.

Still, I think I still prefer characters like Booster Gold and Guy Gardner to be light-hearted, but still competent, like they are now, and not the total buffoons they were under Giffen/deMatteis.

(And I have to admit, Hal punching Batman is awesome. I just LOVE to see Batman humbled. It’s not that I dislike Batman, but I hate the notion that Batman should be invincible and untouchable and ultra-cool).

nice to see the meeting of the dc two power house teams on the list. and surprised to see tim first appearance of robin on here . though it would get cut. the one punch moment taking out guy classic and showed that even batman can only put up with guy so long. also of all the death in the family moments that could be on the list. surprised its not batman finding jason remains. though the joker using the crow bar from that is worthy of the list.

‘Of course he was silly. That was the point, he was so arrogant that he thought he could beat Batman without the ring. Good stories about superheroes =/= Stories about good superheroes. As far as I can see it fits Guy’s personality completely.’
Did you read the whole sentence or did you stop at the word ‘silly’?

Remember, as nutty as Guy ended up, it was due to brain damage from his prolonged coma after being a Jordan fill-in that went south.

Prior to then, IIRC, wasn’t he something like a High School coach & PE teacher (and those are typically athletes themselves)? As such, Guy’s post-coma warped persona probably was a deep-seated jock mentality gone dominant, and never considered that Batman’s physical abilities went far beyond a penchant for stealth, tech and terror to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. The various (mostly later) explorations of the years between orphan and caped crusader made him probably the most well schooled cross-discipline fighter on the planet – something that Bat’s very secretive nature would only allow to be inferred by working at his side for a long time.

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