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Top 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History: #65-56

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 is a link to #75-66.

And now, here’s 65-56!

Enjoy!

65. Batman strikes a pose (Batman #251 by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams)

From the pages of one of the most famous Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams issues of Batman, the Joker’s Five-Way Revenge, we get this full page splash of Batman racing across the beach to catch the Joker. This picture was so memorable that it was turned into a cover just a few years later for a Treasury Edition. It’s been used in many other posters, pin-ups and covers over the years (one of DC’s “The Art of Neal Adams” hardcovers uses this as the cover). More recently, John Cassaday homaged it in his Planetary/Batman crossover – it’s THAT recognizable of a shot that just drawing Batman in this pose will make people realize what Adams drawing you’re referring to.

64. Joker’s first victim appears (Batman #1 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson)

Joker’s trademark way of killing people, with their faces stretched into a disgusting grin as they die, is probably the most iconic method of killing people of all supervillains, and it made its debut right here, in the first issue of Batman’s titular series!

63. Batman discovers the Hyperclan’s secret (JLA #3 by Grant Morrison, Howard Porter and John Dell)

(click on the images to enlarge)

This issue was pretty much the introduction of Grant Morrison’s “Bat-God” take on Batman. This JLA run had already gotten off to a great start, but this scene really took it to the next level.

62. Krypto dies (Action Comics #583 by Alan Moore, Curt Swan, Kurt Schaffenberger and an uncredited Murphy Anderson)

(click on images to enlarge)

In one of a number of dramatic sacrifices in the final part of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Krypto kills the Kryptonite Man to protect his master, and the Kryptonite Man dies stunned, as he can’t fathom how anyone, let alone a dog, would be willing to die to save someone else. Swan and Schaffenberger absolutely nail the pathos of the scene (not that Moore’s script was not filled with pathos itself).

61. Batman accepts a new Robin (Batman #442 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo)

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 really says it all.

60. Batman summons the bats (Batman #406 by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli)

(click on images to enlarge)

One of the most famous sequences in Batman: Year One is when Batman is surrounded by Gotham’s SWAT team in a rundown building. Batman takes them down one by one until he needs one last big gambit, and it involved using a device to call a ton of bats to his aid (the scene was later roughly used in Batman Begins).

59. John Constantine outsmarts a trio of demons (Hellblazer #45 by Garth Ennis, Will Simpson and Tom Sutton)

(Click on the images to enlarge)

In what has become pretty much the most famous Hellblazer story of all time, Garth Ennis has John Constantine cheat death itself, as a dying-of-cancer Constantine cons a trio of demons by selling his souls to all three of them separately. So if Constantine dies, the demons would have to wage a terrible war against each other, which does not serve either of their interests at this point. So they cure Constantine of cancer (note that he goes right back to smoking upon being cured) and he gives them the finger. This was loosely adapted into the Constantine film.

58. The very first “Bwah Ha Ha” (Justice League International #8 by Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon)

(click on images to enlarge)

The Justice League became “International” in issue #7, so in #8, they began setting up embassies in different International cities. Blue Beetle, Booster Gold And Black Canary were in charge of the Paris branch. While getting lunch in their civilian identities, Beetle and Booster encounter a striking woman who Booster tries to pick up – when he fails miserably, we soon get the most famous laugh in DC history (only because Joker’s laughs aren’t consistent).

57. Captain Marvel saves the day…kinda (Kingdom Come #4 by Mark Waid and Alex Ross)

(click on images to enlarge)

Captain Marvel had been manipulated by Lex Luthor into becoming basically a lap dog. He uses his magical lightning to hurt Superman repeatedly while Superman’s allies are in a pitched battle with the super-powered beings that Superman and friends have been locking up for some time now. At the same time, however, the United Nations authorizes dropping three nukes on the various super-beings to just be done with them once and for all. Batman and Wonder Woman stop two of the three, but the third passes by untouched. Superman manages to finally break Captain Marvel free of Luthor’s influence (by forcing him to turn into Billy Batson), then lets Billy decide – does he want to let Superman stop the bomb or should he just let it fall? Billy transforms into Captain Marvel and takes matters into his own hands as he flies up to the bomb and detonates it with his magical lightning. He dies (as do a bunch of super-beings), but the bomb’s blast is dulled enough that there are survivors where there normally would be none.

56. Morpheus and a demon have a contest (Sandman #4 by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg)

(click on images to enlarge)

In this early issue of Sandman, Morpheus goes around and re-collects his magical items that he had lost in his years of imprisonment. To regain one of his items, he has a contest with a demon from hell. This exchange was so famous that it was even turned into an online political ad in 2008 (with Obama taking Morpheus’ lines and Hillary Clinton taking the demon’s lines).

Here‘s #55-46.

34 Comments

English teacher

August 10, 2010 at 7:16 am

“Batman’s titular series”? Brian, I’ve come to expect better from you. Please look up the definition of “titular” before you use it again. I believe the word you meant was “eponymous”.

That Joker’s first victim was wonderfully done in TAS as well.

We’re starting to see moments that deserve to be higher when it comes to memorability. Bwahahahahaha deserved a top 25 place.Captain Marvel’s last stand should have been a bit higher too.

Stuff like the Joker’s first victim isn’t memorable for me. The action is memorable because its been done a lot but not the first. I don’t even know why that Batman pose is there, what’s it for? Its an eyecatching picture but not a memorable moment.

tit·u·lar
–adjective

2. from whom or which a title or name is taken: His titular Saint is Michael.
3. of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a title.

Seems to me like “English Teacher” needs a refresher course.

For the Top 75 Moments, I would place that Hyperclan sequence somewhere between #200-300.

Lots of really good moments here pretty far down the list – especially the moment in Kingdom Come, Constantine and “I am Hope” – thought they’d all go higher. But, hey, 75 moments out of all of DC history is pretty good company to be in, now matter how you stack it. It’s fun and it generates a lot of conversation, which is the point I guess.

But, yeah, that’s a perfectly correct use of “titular” by Brian. Not sure what “English teacher” was getting at. Maybe he/she was trying to make a joke?

@ Comics Cube regarding English teacher.
I think English teacher is right.
Batman is the titular character in the eponymous title.

I see what he’s getting at; “titular” would mean Batman got his name because the title of the book is “Batman,” whereas “eponymous” means the title of the book got his name from Batman, but in this day and age it doesn’t really matter anymore, and they’re used interchangeably.

I don’t know if anything I just typed made any sense. Shut up, it’s before noon.

I’m with you Bill. I don’t think it matters much but you can’t call ET wrong.

Perhaps being an English teacher in Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan doesn’t require quite the same qualifications as Oxford…?

surprised to see kryptoes death from what ever happen thought that would rank higher. also love the hellblazer moment with John outfoxing three demons then giving them the bird. sandman nice to see it on the list already for that story is really hard to pick one moment from it.

tit·u·lar
–adjective

2. from whom or which a title or name is taken: His titular Saint is Michael.
3. of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a title.

Seems to me like “English Teacher” needs a refresher course.

Even by that definition titular is used incorrectly and English Teacher is correct. Brian said the Batman comic was the titular series, meaning that Batman the character’s name is taken from the title of Batman the magazine. Batman the magazine however actually takes its title from Batman the character and not vice-versa, making the character titular and not the comic series.

I like these lists…I see a bunch of stuff iI haven’t before, but lately it seems like I keep seeing the same stuff from list to list…

How about “The Top 100 things You’ve Not Seen On Any List Before!!”?

Maybe we just need to expand our gene pool…?…:)

Mr. M-

If Grant Morrison’s entire 41-issue JLA run were turned into a movie, Batman’s “Ready when you are” would absolutely be used in the trailer. And aren’t movie trailers these days just a haphazard collection of memorable moments from the movie?

It could be argued that Morrison’s JLA was both the most popular and most acclaimed DC run of the 1990s, and I think most fans would say the two best moments of that entire run are that Batman quote and Superman wrestling Azmodel.

Good points, third man — I’m in the minority as that run didn’t click for me.

“It could be argued that Morrison’s JLA was both the most popular and most acclaimed DC run of the 1990s, and I think most fans would say the two best moments of that entire run are that Batman quote and Superman wrestling Azmodel.”

I’ve got mixed feelings on the run myself. It’s a lot of big action scenes and “moments” with a lot of rough dialogue (I personally think Morrison’s handling of Kyle Rayner is part of the reason for why the character was maligned for a lot of the 90’s) mixed into some clever plots. Some of it I love, some of it I don’t.

I’ll give you Hyperclan moment. That said, these stand out as much or more (of the Morrison moments):

“He’s only a man.”
Batman dropped by Prometheus.
Key dropped by GA.
“It blinked” (and the Sandman cameo at the end).
GA/Atom vs. Darkseid (probably a top ten)

Waid moments:
Batman disappears during the Julian September arc
Batman’s betrayal
Batman out of the league
Batman back in (league reveals ID’s)
Plastic Man beating on Bruce Wayne

Hmm….that’s a theme I hadn’t considered. Apparently Waid had a better grasp on how to use Batman than I usually think…

My favorite titular comic is She Hulk.

I liked the use of the bat swarm in “Year One,” but for me the far more memorable part was when he confronted that cop and said, “You’re the one who tried to shoot the cat,” then proceeded to put the man in traction. Far worse treatment than any of the other cops received. I remember laughing at that for a few minutes before going on to read the rest of the scene.

Krypto’s death didn’t move me as much as did many of those who post here. Not when I first read it, anyway. Probably because at that point in my life I had never had a dog. Whenever I see that scene in a blog now, however, I think about Molly, the dog I now have, and view that scene in an entirely different light. Good dog, Krypto.

The Mutt beat me to the “titular” joke, but I was going to keep this DC related and mention Batwoman’s upcoming titular title. Glad I’m not the only juvenile one.

And just after I hit “publish”, I realized that Power Girl’s title is even better for the “titular” joke.

Arrggh!

Looking it up, I see titular has a bit of a negative connotation. But I think, if I understand correctly, the comic book Batman is titular (from whom a name is taken). Batman is the eponymous hero of the Batman comic book. Thesaurus-wise, titular is “honorary” or “supposed”, hence the negative connotation.

And Eponymous gave us “It’s the End of the World as We Know it (and I Feel Fine)”, so it’s not all bad :)

But this round, only 3 that I voted on made it. I’m less than 50 % here! I only voted for 7 out of these 20 so far. And I voted for 58 out of the 100, so 13 of 42 that I didn’t vote for made it so far. Ugh. Of course, I don’t know that I would strongly disagree with any. There were only 3 moments that I absolutely wouldn’t have voted for. Of course, the Cosmic Odyssey one was one of them….

And again, I voted for that Joker moment as much for the bit right after this (check out Burgas’s post about comics: the most versatile medium from a few days ago to see what I mean, where the Joker’s sitting with his fingers steepled.)

I hope the choices match mine better higher up. I knew I should have voted more than once….:)

I think Krypto’s death gets kinda diminished because SO MANY characters buy the farm over the course of that story. Also, “THRIDDUNCH”? Seriously?

Overall though, this is a fantastic set of moments…

The strange thing about Morrison’s JLA is that the first two storylines, to me, had some of the best Porter art, and then Porter seemed to get progressively worse at the series proceeded. Porter’s art up through Rock of Ages was great. Then his people seemed to just get puffier and more bloated looking until the end. Mind you I still liked Porter throughout, but I do think he peaked early in the run.

hmmm….Travis, I would add the army firing on Superman and eventually going:

“Hold on. We are freaking firing on SUPERMAN.”

and

the alternate Aztek and Argent’s last moment in Rock of Ages as memorable too… :

“Shh Honey,you are going to love this…”

Yep I certainly did….

Heheh.

You guys said “tit”.

(I am not so proud that I can’t go for the easiest of all jokes)

How is it that Krypto’s death makes the list, but not the original 2 page “Death of Superman” sequence in the 60s where Supes is strapped down and turns green, facing a leering Luthor? THAT was a memorable moment. Far more than his ‘other’ death.

How is it that Krypto’s death makes the list, but not the original 2 page “Death of Superman” sequence in the 60s where Supes is strapped down and turns green, facing a leering Luthor? THAT was a memorable moment. Far more than his ‘other’ death.

That Krypto death … that one still pops into my head and brings a (single, manly) tear to my eye. I’m pretty sure Joss Whedon has spent his entire career trying to catch that moment, whether he realizes it or not.

Travis Pelkie-

“Eponymous” was a best-of collection for R.E.M.’s indie-label years. The album that actually gave us “It’s the End of the World (As We Know It)” is 1987’s “Document,” which also contained the hit single “The One I Love.”

Ok, to follow up on the joke, the titular Batman document is the eponymously titled Batman series.

You happy now, third man? :)

(I was just trying to get the REM joke in there, as that’s probably the most well known use of the word “eponymous”. But I still love ya, third man)

(Actually, I didn’t realize that Eponymous was the best of. I was wondering why all the good REM songs name checked in that Pavement song from No Alternative were ALL on that one CD. I know I have a copy of Eponymous around somewhere, gotta give it a listen I guess)

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

Riyed Hasan Shawon

January 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm

The greatest memorable moment of DC is when Man Of Steel met The Dark Knight.

Commented by :
Riyed Hasan Shawon (a resourceful superhero specialist)

Does the resourceful superhero specialist remember when that was, or what the story was?

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