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Top 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History: #75-66

We provided a series of memorable DC moments for you to vote for, we also gave you the chance to nominate other moments (which you then also voted on to get them on to the “ballot”) and then you came out in droves to vote for them all! I think it was our biggest turnout yet (as it turns out, more people will vote if they just have to click buttons to vote). So now, we begin the countdown of the Top 75 most memorable moments in the 75-year history of DC Comics!!! Do note that spoilers will almost certainly be present in these moments, and some of them could have come from comics that were intended for mature audiences only. So be forewarned!

Here’s #75-66!


As a quick aside, someone pointed out to me that I was missing inkers in the credits on most of the nominated moments. That was a stupid mistake on my part. I’ve fixed it for the actual countdown. Sorry about that.

75. Is Batman a man or a fiend from hell? (Batman #244 by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano)

The first Ra’s Al Ghul “saga” was one of the most popular Batman stories of all-time, resulting in numerous reprint collections (including a treasury edition of the story, which did not happen for many storylines) and many sequels.

Ra’s’ reaction to Batman’s seeming return from the grave is one of the most memorable moments from this very memorable storyline.

74. The Doom Patrol is defiant until the end! (Doom Patrol #121 by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani)

(click on images to enlarge)

Comic history is made as Drake and Premiani kill off the lead characters of the strangest superhero team around, the Doom Patrol. When the first series ends with something this unexpected and dramatic, it certainly set a tone for the “anything goes” atmosphere of the later volumes, including the acclaimed Grant Morrison run on the series.

73. Heads roll as Superboy Prime gets mad (Infinite Crisis #4 by Geoff Johns, Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning)

This was a major turning point in the Infinite Crisis series. Up until this point, Superboy Prime could almost be seen as a well-intentioned, if a bit petulant, person. But that went out the window when he over-reacts to the intervention of the Titans with a punch heard round the world. The next page is even gorier, but the shock of the initial attack still stands out the most. Poor Pantha.

72. Swamp Thing and Abby get better acquainted (Swamp Thing #34 by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben)

(click on image to enlarge)

Swamp Thing was already a ground-breaking series BEFORE they delivered this breathtaking endeavor where they showed Swamp Thing and his girlfriend, Abby, becoming intimate. Practically the entire book is filled with moments like I feature above, so I just sort of picked one moment from the issue to stand-in for all of them.

71. Lucifer locks up hell and gives Morpheus the key (Sandman #23 by Neil Gaiman, Kelley Jones and Malcolm Jones III)

(click on images to enlarge)

In this stunning scene from Sandman: Season of Mists, Lucifer quits being in charge of hell, and hands over the empty gates of hell to Morpheus, in what I suppose you would best call “the long con,” as he knows it can bring Morpheus nothing but trouble.

70 Lex Luthor refuses to believe Superman is Clark Kent (Superman #2 by John Byrne and Terry Austin with Keith Williams)

(click on images to enlarge)

This dramatic twist early in John Byrne’s Superman run gave us a very good insight into the mind of Lex Luthor – he cannot fathom someone NOT using their power all the time, so how could Superman be that weakling Clark Kent?!? Clever ending by Byrne, and certainly one of the most memorable moments from his popular Superman run.

69 John Stewart dooms an entire planet (Cosmic Odyssey #2 by Jim Starlin, Mike Mignola and Carlos Garzon)

(click on the images to enlarge)

In the pages right before this, John Stewart was bragging about how his Green Lantern ring could pretty much do anything. In fact, he was so confident that he sent Martian Manhunter away after the pair engaged a defense mechanism involving fire. However, when Stewart arrived, he discovered that the bomb had been made yellow specifically to counteract him. The planet of Xanshi was destroyed because he was overly confident/unprepared. This became pretty much THE defining plot point for John Stewart in the comics ever since.

Story continues below

68 Mogo is revealed (Green Lantern Vol. 2 #188 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

(click on images to enlarge)

In this back-up in Green Lantern #188, a bounty hunter heads off to kill the mysterious Green Lantern Mogo. Well, years into his mission, he cannot find Mogo. Finally, after years of charting the planet and checking out maps, he realizes that those odd bits of scenery are something else entirely…

67 Batman…lives! (Batman: The Dark Knight #4 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson)

(click on images to enlarge)

After the dramatic conclusion to the conflict between Superman and Batman at the end of the series, this was a brilliant little reveal, handled beautifully by Miller and Janson. I particularly love the way that they humanize Superman at the same time they turn the series’ ending from dour to hopeful (although I love the joke one commenter made – “Couldn’t someone have told Alfred that they were all FAKING their deaths?”).

66 Animal Man can see you! (Animal Man #19 by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog and Doug Hazlewood)

(click on images to enlarge)

Grant Morrison got meta when he had Animal Man surprise the reader by revealing that he could see you!!! From this point on in the series, Animal Man was very much a work of metafiction, and one of the more popular and more blatant examples of metafiction in comics.

Okay, that’s the first ten! Tune in tomorrow for the next batch of ten moments!

Here‘s #65-56!


You seem to be missing moment 73 (72 is SBP versus everybody and 74 is the Doom Patrol defiant.)

Yep, it’s fixed now. Thanks!

Er, is #73 missing? Otherwise, I like the way this list is shaping up…

Oops, Asked and answered.

I’m surprised that the DKR and Animal Man moments showed up so early in the list.

The Ugly American

August 9, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Did I miss something, or why are these showing up again in the RSS feeds? Is this a do-over?

surprised the moment from dark knight returns would be on the list already figured it would be higher like near the top twenty or so. other wise a nice start

Did I miss something, or why are these showing up again in the RSS feeds?

Unless you’re seeing #75-66 twice, this is beginning of the actual countdown of the moments based on fan voting (from #75 to #1).

If you ARE seeing #75-66 twice, well, I dunno why that would be.

I would have thought Animal Man would be much further up the list.

Thanks for doing all the work for this, Brian. I’m sure it’s not easy.

One tiny quibble: I don’t think Bolphunga was “halfway” into his mission when he realized the truth about Mogo. As I recall from the story, he ended up spending YEARS on the planet searching for the Green Lantern that was headquartered there. That’s definitely longer than he was planning to spend there.

It’s also neat that Moore leaves the possibility open that this was just a tall tale that Tomar Re was telling to the newbie GL. It’s great having Mogo around as a semiregular character, but it’s too bad that that kills the humorous ambiguity of Moore’s tale.

I’m also confused. We had the 14 days of top 75 DC moments, then there was a vote for the final 18 spots or something, and now we’re getting the top 75 results of that vote? I read most of these captions last month, right?

Good call, John, I’ll make that clearer.

Amazing list Brian. I’m a really big fan of 71. It was the moment I finally went from feeling like Sandman was the Comic equivalent to Homework to something more.

A moment that wasn’t included in the top 100 but probably should have been: Deadshot sitting in Abraham Lincoln’s lap at the Lincoln Memorial in John Ostrander’s SUICIDE SQUAD. I forget the issue, but I’ll never forget the scene or what happened next: Deadshot, under orders to keep Squad commander Rick Flagg from killing a corrupt U.S. senator, does exactly that — by killing the senator before Flagg could do so.

And Marvel ? O=

When they celebrate their 75th Anniversary, we can do one for them. ;)

Between Superboy Prime’s rampage, Black Adam’s genocidal turn, Mary Marvel’s corruption, and Max Lord’s control of Superman, the DCU should really have some protocols in place for “taking down the unstoppable superhuman.”

Rule 1: Do *not* just try to overwhelm the Kryptonian/ Daxamite/ Shazam-powered superhuman with sheer numbers of non-invulnerable heroes.

Rule 2: While we’re at it, don’t send in non-invulnerable heroes at all, unless they have magical powers, telepathic powers, power rings, or something else that could conceivably do some good. What the hell was Pantha going to do against Superboy Prime? (Same goes for most of the characters injured or killed in the Black Adam war.)

Rule 3: Have multiple non-evil heavy-hitters– J’onn, Power Girl, the other Kryptonians and Marvels, Wonder Woman, and everyone with a power ring– *in the same place at the same time.* Sending one of those characters at a time against the offender is a waste of effort.

Am surprised that Neal Adam’s Batman v Ras Al Ghul comes so far down the list

Am surprised that Neal Adam’s Batman v Ras Al Ghul comes so far down the list

There’s still another Batman/Ra’s moment left on the list!

Love the lists!!
Suprised that Batman, DKR, Swamp Thing and Sandman all appeared so early on. Ah well, makes the rest more interesting i guess.
And I really dug Gaiman’s characterisation of Lucifer. But he seemed to have taken on a very different persona when Carey started writing him on Lucifer, which i dug less…

@ Jacob T. Levy

Hey, give Pantha her due; when you’re a low-power hero, jumping on a high-power hero who’s making an ass out of himself is like when your car breaks down and you look under the hood even though you have no mechanical knowledge whatsoever: you know you can’t do any good, but at least you can feel like you tried, and possibly even trick your friends into thinking you’re not as lame as you really are (like, “Oh, man, if the problem had been what I thought it was before I opened the hood, that I totally could’ve fixed. But now that I’ve gotten a good look, well, we’re gonna need a mechanic for this.”) After all, that kind of thing had happened plenty of times in the past without anyone getting their head smacked off.

Now, everyone who piled on AFTER Pantha got her head smacked off – that’s like your car breaking down and not only do you have no mechanical knowledge but you just saw someone else get incinerated by a gout of flame from under the hood, and you decide you should go take a look too.

Is there a reason Mogo is blue and not green? Or is it a color error?

Is there a reason Mogo is blue and not green? Or is it a color error?

The latter, I believe.

Who is that sitting on the giant yellow bomb with the yellow paintbrush and the yellow paint cans littered around him? Is that Mike Mignola? Whoever it is looks awful smug for someone about to blow up!

I would rank that BATMAN #244 moment a lot higher.

@Patrick C. It’s supposed to be a Xanshian but I believe he’s modeled after then DC editor Andrew Helfer.

Joe and Ugly American – What you saw before was the 100 moments we could choose between in no particular order. There was a vote to decide the final 18 odd nominations. Then there was another vote to actually choose the top 75 and put them in order. Now we’re getting the top 75 in order of votes from least to most.

#70 shouldn’t even be in this list, let be anywhere near a nomination.
I never bought the excuse Byrne wrote for Luthor not accepting Clark and Superman are the same guy.
It was poor writing then and it’s poor writing now.

This is what I get for commenting just before bedtime…
What I meant to say was, “#70 shouldn’t even be in this list, let ALONE be anywhere…”.

Okay…bedtime now…

[…] Los 75 momentos más memorables en la historia del universo Dc  goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/08/09/top-75-most-mem…  por Charlie_Kelly hace 2 segundos […]

“Vegetable sex” only made #72? I can’t tell if you guys are really kinky, or not kinky enough…

Mad Monkey,

To each his own, I guess. I thought it was brilliant at the time it came out, still love it now.

Awesome list so far. Any chance you’ll do a Marvel version?

While most of those moments were… moments, I only see one of them as being in the top 75. To each his or her own I guess.

I think that Jacob T. Levy is absolutely correct. When an ultra-powered superbeing goes insane, and after so many examples of this happening in the DCU, there should be protocols that bring together other, reliable, ultra-powered beings to take down the major threat. Admittedly, when Black Adam went on his rampage, two of DC’s heaviest hitters (Superman and Wonder Woman) were either depowered or in retirement (though I still don’t understand why Diana did not come out of retirement to help deal with such an enormous threat). But the principle is a good one. Don’t send people who can be badly hurt into direct physical confrontation with an invulnerable enemy unless they are invulnerable themselves, or have an ability to strike reliably from a safe distance.

BTW, I have to say that I always found the “Lex Luthor can’t understand Superman” moment in the Byrne Superman to be absurd, if not downright stupid. So, Lex can’t imagine that Clark would be Superman? But Lex should have been smart enough to realize the obvious flaw in his own argument which is that he could never understand Superman at all, in any capacity! If Lex had the power of Superman, he would be ruling the world, he would not be going around helping people. The idea that the psychology of Superman was simply beyond his capacity to understand should not have been impossible for Lex to grasp.

Admittedly, I think that later DC writers did a little something with this idea when they introduced the idea that Lex genuinely believed that Superman was some kind of threat who was just pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. Lex really could not help but see the world through his own twisted lens. But at the time, Lex was just an outright evil tycoon who had no ulterior motives beyond his own venality.

Anyway, that moment never worked for me.

Great list so far. I own all of these except the Doom Patrol moment. I have always wanted to see that triumphant ending, and now I have. Thanks! Can’t wait to see the rest.

The Byrne Superman moment is more dumb than noteworthy. I never liked that, from the first time my boyfriend showed it to me. And the Lucifer moment should be higher on the list!

Re: Protocols: DC has it relatively easy. What is really surprising that in Star Trek there’s no “I notice Captain is behaving weirdly because of invisible aliens/space flu/funny radiation, what should I do?” protocol. That would have been useful just about every month.

…anyway, nice pics though I am surprised “I can see you” was so low…but it will be interesting to see if there’s some bias to any direction once we get the whole list…

Well, I kept my list, and only 4 that I voted for are in this batch. So I guess that’s probably good for down the line.

I like ZZZ’s explanation of Pantha’s death. Good stuff.

And Jacob T. Levy’s notion of needing those anti-invulnerable protocols is a good one. But that would make things too easy, wouldn’t it now?

Is that Doom Patrol death one of the first times DC did something where the creators appeared in strip? I gotta look for that old Comics Interview I have with the Arnold Drake interview, see if there’s anything in there. I THINK Stan and Jack would have been in FF by that point, but I may be wrong.

I think that DKR moment is the only one from the original list I DIDN’T vote for. Oh well, probably means the rest WILL show up. Yay me!

And to the people hatin’ on Luthor not believing that Clark is Superman, I think it just goes to show HOW MUCH Luthor thinks his viewpoint is right and how much hubris he has. But given that he DOES know it, why hasn’t he ever looked into it further after that? The evidence would seem to pile up that it’s obvious now, but Luthor still refuses to see it.

Of course, if this Luthor moment is this far down, I’m guessing his offer to the waitress didn’t make it at all. We’ll see.

Boy, did those Sandman and Animal Man pages bring back memories!

If Buddy Baker can see me, how come he can’t tell me how many fingers I’m holding up?

[…] is counting down DC Comics’ 75 most memorable moments. [75-66; 65-56; 55-46; […]

I love the Luthor moment, but am not surprised that it isn’t higher on the list.

For me, it really captures Luthor’s personality. Keep in mind, this was a re-imagining of Luthor early in the post-Crisis reboot.

Read Luthor’s dialogue carefully. It isn’t just that he doesn’t believe that Kent is Superman. It is that he believes that he is never wrong. He fails to see the irony in firing someone who, “can’t see the obvious” when he, himself, is discounting credible evidence just to support his personal opinion.


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