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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’11 – Best Marvel Comics Run of the 1980s!

Each day this month, I’ll be posting a different poll question – each poll will last five days, and I’ll reveal the results of the finished polls every Tuesday.

This way, for this month, we can see what our readers feel about various comic book questions. For a month, you folks will decide! Click here to see the other questions that you can answer as well as checking out the latest poll results!

Read on for the latest poll question!

197 Comments

That was tough. I went with Miller/Janson Daredevil, as I wore those out with re-reading over the years.

Moon Knight, Simonson’s Thor, Claremont/Sienkiewicz New Mutants, and the Byrne/Claremont X-Men were all close runners up.

This is gonna be some kind of race between Miller’s DD, Claremont and Byrne’s X-Men, and Simonson’s Thor, I figure.

But I totally voted for ROM.

Micronauts and Power Man/Iron Fist were also some of my favorites back then. I was still enjoying the Conan and Red Sonja titles as well. And what, no Crystar? No Dazzler or Team America? For shame, sir.

Damn, that’s a lot of good runs in the 80′s.

Just for you, buttler, I added some of those choices!

I voted for the Nocenti/JR Jr Daredevil run, if only because it meant more to me personally at the time I read it. There’s a ton of great stuff on the list, though. I was about ten years late on Frank Miller’s work, so while it was awesome, it doesn’t fit into that timeframe for me. I’m wondering how many books I read (and loved) back then would still hold up today. New Mutants, Amazing Spider-man, X-Factor, and GI Joe are all favorites of mine from that era. Would re-reading them today still have the same impact?

If Claremont’s X-Men would have been counted as one run, all pencilers included, I would have voted for that hands down. But because it was separated by artist, I went with Miller’s Daredevil, which was a better 24 issues than any particular 24 issue stretch of Claremont X-Men.

Honorable mentions to Moon Knight, Simonson Thor, Byrne FF, and Sienkiewicz New Mutants.

Just out of curiosity, why does Claremont’s X-Men run get broken down by artist, while Hama’s GIJOE is seen as one run? It’s like Hama is somehow getting more credit for not being able to hold onto artists, while Claremont is being penalized because artists tended to stay with him for longer stretches. I understand separating the Byrne era, because Byrne was contributing to the writing. But Cockrum/Smith/Romita Jr/Silvestri were all just penciling Claremont’s scripts, so I don’t see the logic in separating them.

Dude, reading this list there is no doubt in my mind that the 1980s were the best decade of Marvel Comics. No doubt at all.

It’s just too much goodness. I don’t know how to choose. There is just a few there that I dislike, like Simonson’s New Mutants, deFalco’s Spider-Man, and O’Neil’s Daredevil. But even those perhaps are just bad when you consider the extremely high quality level of the decade for Marvel.

I’m never really clear on how we define a decade. Officially, the 80s ran from Jan/81 through Dec/90.
By that reckoning, the Claremont/Byrne X-Men run was entirely in the 70s, as their final issue was the Christmas story at the end of 1980.
I suspect, though, that most voters here are viewing the decade as 1980-1989. Is there an official CSBG guideline to voting by decade?

I went with Claremont/Byrne in X-Men, even though I could have easily voted for a dozen of the other options.

Besides ROM–man, I loved ROM–I strongly considered voting for Master of Kung Fu. I need to dig those issues out of storage soon, because it’s been years since I read MOKF, and I’m really curious how it’ll hold up. I thought that comic was awesome at the time, but I was just reading some Moench Batman stories that I absolutely detested, the dialogue especially, and it makes me wonder if I’m misremembering how good his Shang-Chi run was.

Oh! You know what else was a freaking amazing series in the ’80s? Bruce Jones’s Ka-Zar the Savage. I understand why ROM and MOFK haven’t been collected lately, but where the heck are the reprints of THAT?

GI Joe was all over the place with pencilers, but fair enough, I’ll specify the guy who had the longest stint on the book, Whigham.

Is there an official CSBG guideline to voting by decade?

Yes. _0-_9 is the decade.

Buttler, I think MOKF holds up pretty well, but then again, I have the ability of “filtering” old-style dialogue. It never bothers me at all. Many other readers would disagree with me.

Brian, I know the list already has too many options, but I would second the suggestion for the inclusion of Bruce Jones’s Ka-Zar, and also Peter Gillis’s New Defenders.

I added Ka-Zar!

just to clear up any confusion, the 80s did indeed start january 1980 and end december 1989, ‘officially’ and by any other reckoning.

I was torn between stern’s spider-man, miller’s dd and claremont/byrne x men… My inner 7 year old also wanted to vote transformers

Oh, my. While I like to think I mostly ignored Marvel in the 80′s, I went down the list and was confronted with several that I not only enjoyed, but enjoyed a lot.

I had to vote for Miller and Janson’s Daredevil, because let’s face it, writers and artists are still referencing it to this day, especially in the pages of Daredevil comics.

I picked it by a narrow margin over those wonderfully epic Simonson Thors and the Moench/Day/Zeck Master of Kung Fus, which meant a lot to me back when they were coming out every month.

Also, I gave some thought to voting for the Englehart/Milgrom/Sinnott West Coast Avengers, which were mostly crap, but superbly entertaining crap. I bet I have 25 issues of that run.

Dr. Strange 48-53, Roger Stern, Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin. I know it’s only six-issues, but they’re perfect.

This is, by far, the toughest poll yet, and even though there are many runs listed here that are certainly “better,” I will abstain from voting since there is no option for Secret Wars.

Simonson’s Thor…writers are still trying to recapture the magic from that run.

Wow, truly exhaustive list. I know this site tries to focus on the positive more than the negative, and that’s admirable, but I’d love to see a vote for worst major run from the 80s or something like that, just out of curiosity

I would choose Simonson/Blevins/Austin New Mutants as the worst, easily. I usually like Simonson, but she really destroyed the New Mutants for me.

For me the worst would be Michilinie Spider-Man. It was a stage in my life where I automatically bought anything with a Spider-Man appearance, without thinking. I was that big a fan. Michilinie was the first time Spider-Man was consistently bad enough that I was willing to see a Spider-Man book and not read it or flip inside it or buy it.

I had to go with GI Joe, simply because of Larry Hama. He wrote damn near all of the 155 issues of the series, with just the very rare fill-in issue letting him take a vacation. Nobody else on the list comes even close to that.

And let us not forget U.S. 1, Kickers Inc., Care Bears and Secret Wars II. Oh yeah, or Web of Spider-Man. (shudder)

NEVER FORGET.

Looking over that list is just awe-inspiring as to how much was going on during the (mostly) Shooter years.

I choose the Alan Moore/Alan Davis Capt Britain run. That run totally changed how I saw comic books.

Hell’s bells!! I actually miss the ’80′s, as most of the ’90′s didn’t live up to the previous decade.

I’ve read most of these runs, and was torn between all of the ones I’ve read.

I ended up picking the guy with the dinosaur signature on his Thor run.

Strikeforce Moritori, Micronauts, Byrne – Alpha Flight/Fantastic Four/Uncanny X-men, Claremont – Uncanny X-men/with any artist – New Mutants/Sienkiewicz, Miller/Janson – Daredevil, Nocenti/Romita, Jr. – Daredevil were some of my all-time favorites.

Why no DC decade polls? I’m sure that the ’80′s were the best of times for them.

Wow, that was not an easy choice! Makes me long for those days…

I thought Punisher War Journal was from the ’90s.

I was really disappointed by the lack of Gillis Defenders. There were a few bad issues, but what about the Dragon Of The Moon saga (which I put on my ten greatest all-time list last year)?
You should also have the Gillis Doctor Strange from Strange Tales.

I prefer Buscema New Mutants over Sienkiewicz. True, Nova Roma was a stupid idea, but the Hellions story was great. And Sienkiewicz drew that awful Legion story.

This is going to take a while for me to decide. There’s a lot of great ones to choose from.

Walter Simonson’s Thor run.

It’s not the best by any critical criteria, but I couldn’t resist voting for Furman’s Transformers. In fairness, I just reread his entire TF:UK run and I still enjoyed the heck out of it!

For me,the best decade about Marvel comics is the ’70s,but among those I think Moon Knight by Sienkiewicz is the best

That was really tough. In the end I voted for the Miller/Janson Daredevil but I was torn between that and Master of Kung Fu…

I’d really love to see Master of Kung Fu as an Essentials volume – Gulacy, Zeck and Day all look great in black & white – but I’m guessing there are rights issues…

I went with Stern/Romita Jr.’s Amazing Spider-Man mainly because this was the gateway book for me into the Marvel Universe. I read the vast majority of these runs because of that. Well, that and Mantlo/Milgrom’s Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAA (Simonson’s Thor) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (no, wait, Miller & Mazzuchelli DD) AAAA AAAAAAA (no, no, Nocenti/ JR Jr DD) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (David/ McFarlane Hulk! For real!) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (freakin’ Sienkiewicz, should it be Moon Knight or New Mutants?) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (actually, Stern’s Avengers, Spider-Man, & Dr. Strange are all deserving) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (screw it, I’ll go with Claremont/ Smith) AAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!!

(fine, fine, Simonson’s Thor….but, then again….)

I’m not crazy about how the runs were broken up. I guess Claremont’s X-Men run has to be broken up by artist or it would be too obvious a choice. But it is still all one run. And if you are going to break Uncanny up by artist, why combine artist runs for something like Master of Kung-Fu?

And some of the artist choices were weird, like Micronauts. Not Guice? Not Golden? Really?

For me, my choices would be Claremont’s Uncanny, Miller/Janson’s Daredevil, Hama’s GI Joe, and Simonson’s Thor.

Runners-up would be Stern’s Amazing Spider-Man, Claremont’s New Mutants, Moench and Sienkiewicz’s Moon Knight, and Mantlo’s Micronauts.

Is it “Which was the best at the time?” , or ” Which holds up the best now?” Cause it makes a difference.

The 80s were the True Golden Age of comics, and each one of these runs was stupendous.

My vote, however, went to the run that forever influenced me – Frank Miller/Janson Daredevil. Without it, I’m not sure I’d still be a comics fan today.

My runner-up would have been … well, any of the Claremont runs on X-Men.

I’d really love to see Master of Kung Fu as an Essentials volume – Gulacy, Zeck and Day all look great in black & white – but I’m guessing there are rights issues…

Yeah, unless Marvel regains the franchise rights to all those Sax Rohmer characters I don’t see that happening, which is a shame because it’d be a great one.

Had to be ROM for me. Still love rereading it to this day.

byrne’s FF run was the greatest !

Really, really tough choices here. I went with Claremont/Byrne X-Men, but Simonson Thor was very close.

Hmmm btw J.M Dematteis & Zeck’s’ & Gru& Paul Neary’s (302-350) runs on Captain America, Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers”’s run on Silver Surfer, Ann Nocenti’s run on Dare Devil (very under rated btw), Doug Moench & Bill Sienkiwicz’ run on Moon Knight, & David Michellinie & Bob Layton’s run on Iron Man (Armor Wars I). Plus Dazzler, Strikeforce:Moriturri, and Marvel’s Gi Joe ARAH, and Transformers, I think I just blew my mind, I can’t vote on on particular run I’m sorry. :(

Wow, that was ridiculously difficult. I enjoyed it all except for the Simonson/Blevins New Mutants. That book went from first read with Claremont/Sienkiewicz to opening it up and groaning my way through each page until I couldn’t read the book any more.
In the end my vote had to go with Claremont/Sienkiewicz New Mutants. I enjoyed it sooooo much at the time. It still has some of my favorite pages in comics. Sienkiewicz is a master at page layout and design. Something he doesn’t focus on as much any more but back in the eighties he reigned as the best of the best to me. The two of them together were magic, bringing out something in each other that only happens once in a while. They had passion.

Oops edit there, I know Paul Neary did not do the art work for 332 -350 (that honor goes to Tom Morgan, & Kieron Dwyer), also I’m surprised Mark Gruenwald’s 12 issue Squadron Supreme, or Hawkeye limited series got no honorable mention, oh well.

I’m using the same criteria as our Top 100 Comic Book Runs poll from a few years back (no mini-series or one-shots).

Soooooooo Maaaaannnnnnnyyyyyyyyyy …….Great run…..!!

But this voting is only set to accept only one vote……..I’ve chosen Simonson/Brigman POWER PACK.

egads!! this one is too hard. I would need some bracket type system to be able to narrow this down to one.

I’m using the same criteria as our Top 100 Comic Book Runs poll from a few years back (no mini-series or one-shots).

Ah. In that case, I guess I don’t have to abstain from voting. I still can’t decide…. :(

Tough, tough choices; so many great runs. But, I had to go with Claremont/Byrne/Austin on the Uncanny X-Men. Those comics were the ones that made me into a collector, and avid reader of comicbooks.

Uhmmm I’d vote for Claremont’s X-Men run. Period. (Ok, Byrne gets it, but morally i’m gonna add all the votes for the different pencillers…)

It’s between Claremont, Byrne, Austin Uncanny X-Men and Miller and Janson on Daredevil.

I’m going for Daredevil because I think without that run the Daredevil title would have gone the way of Moon Knight or Master of Chung Fu and gone under cancellation and obscurity. With many attempts over the years to re-boot the series over and over again like Moon Knight with a new volume coming out every so often. Miller and Janson have laid the ground work for which is still relevant in the title today.

They are some great choices but without a doubt the claremont, byrne, austin xmen run wins. This run defines the xmen still today. This run launched a dead book into marvels flagship book and stayed the number one series for 2 decades.

Ronald Kearschner

February 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I wasn’t going to vote since I hadn’t read ALL these runs, but when I saw MASTER OF KUNG FU I had to vote. MOKF is the only series I read in it’s entirety regularly. How long does Sax Rohmer have to be dead before Fu Manchu is in the public domain? Can’t Marvel retcon Yellow Claw as Shang Chi’s father? I long to see MOKF in glorious black and white or the new recoloring.

Oh COME ON!!!!!!!
How the heck can I choose?!?!?
OK. If I must, I must.
And I’ll show my work / thought process.

THESE are ones that I enjoyed, but aren’t top contenders for one reason or other:

Stern/Buscema/Palmer Avengers
DeMatteis/Perlin/Sinnott Defenders
Claremont/Davis/Neary Excalibur
Mantlo/Chaykin/Milgrom/Broderick/Gil Micronauts
Englehart/Milgrom/Sinnott West Coast Avengers
Simonson/Simonson X-Factor

Here are the ones I absolutely LOVE or which are stellar!

Miller/Janson Daredevil
Miller/Mazzucchelli Daredevil
Stern/Austin/various pencilers Doctor Strange
Byrne Fantastic Four
Moench/Zeck/Day Master of Kung Fu
Moench/Sienkiewicz Moon Knight
Mantlo/Buscema ROM
Simonson Thor
Claremont/Byrne/Austin Uncanny X-Men
Claremont/Smith/Wiacek Uncanny X-Men

Of the top tier, I find myself torn between these:

Stern/Austin/various pencilers Doctor Strange
Byrne Fantastic Four
Moench/Sienkiewicz Moon Knight
Mantlo/Buscema ROM
Simonson Thor
Claremont/Byrne/Austin Uncanny X-Men
Claremont/Smith/Wiacek Uncanny X-Men

I can maybe whittle it down to these:

Stern/Austin/various pencilers Doctor Strange
Byrne Fantastic Four
Mantlo/Buscema ROM
Claremont/Byrne/Austin Uncanny X-Men

But here is how I managed to pick ONE:

Stern/Austin/various pencilers Doctor Strange – A fantastic run, with some of the greatest single Doc issues EVER… But not the best Doc run.

Byrne Fantastic Four – So good! The best FF since Lee/Kirby, but Lee/ Kirby was better.

Mantlo/Buscema ROM – So enjoyable in so many ways! I want to say this is the winner, but it does become formulaic at times, and only really hits on all cylinders when Akin and Garvey came to ink the book.

Claremont/Byrne/Austin Uncanny X-Men – Absolutely pitch perfect! BEST X-MEN run EVER. Best comic-run of the decade. Claremont/Byrne X-MEN is what made me a comic COLLECTOR, and not just a reader.
The first time I really took notice to the quality.

Claremont/Byrne/Austin Uncanny X-Men – for the win!

(And my blog is DEDICATED to Doctor Strange and ROM (and Man-Thing too)! I’ll have to turn in my membership card now.)

~P~

I voted for Claremont/Cockrum/Wiacek’s Uncanny X-Men.

Then I thought about it some more.

Should’ve went with Simonson’s run with Thor.

There were some great runs on the Marvel roster in the 80s. I agree with others that Claremont’s run on X-Men was a game-changer that set the pace for everything X-related for the last two decades. However, I voted for Simonson’s Thor. It came out of NOWHERE and blew the doors off EVERYONE right outta the gate. Simonson opened the doors for future creators to take established characters…filter everything that was good about it…trash the rest…shake it all up and have fun telling good stories. Add to that Simonson’s unique art that was PERFECT for the Thor-niverse, and you have Marvel’s pivotal run of the 80s. Stepping down from soapbox now…

I hate hate HATE that you don’t ever put an OTHER choice on these things because I’d vote NEW WARRIORS.

Had to go with Thor.

Love Byrne’s FF, adore Claremont/Byrne’s X-Men, but Simonson took a book that was without a doubt going to be canceled and turned it into a smash hit, and he did it right out of the gate. The sad thing is, had he stayed on longer and done his Gods vs. Frost Giants war, I’m betting that his run would have been solidified even further and made it even more legendary than we know it today.

These runs are the reason so many of us old guys are still reading comics.

Everyone will say the usual suspects, so I’ll vote the one closest to my heart: Amazing Spider-Man by Stern and Romita Jr. Stern is second just to Stan Lee, when it comes to Spider-Man (and maybe Marvel in general), and Romita Jr was getting better and better each issue, with inkers Klaus Janson and Green. Rationally, I should say Miller or Simonson or Byrne… but emotionally, I say Stern and Romita Jr every day!

The legendary Cockrum/Byrne/Austin run on X-men only had one year in the ’80s out of its three year run.

Not sure it should count.

(Although it was a hell of a year.)

I only say that because I think it’s going to win, but if it does should probably have an asterisk by it.

Nice to see Ka-zar on there. Maybe Byrne’s Sensational She-Hulk should be on there too? If runs that mostly take place in other decades count, this one started in 1989 and was beloved.

Sanctum Sanctorum,

I find it odd that you’re eliminating runs from consideration as “best of the ’80s” because they weren’t as good as runs from the ’60s. So the Stern Dr. Strange run wasn’t as good as the Lee/Ditko run, and the Byrne FF wasn’t as good as the Lee/Kirby FF, but neither of those were from the ’80s. I could understand this if the poll was about ’80s runs that defined a title for all time, like the Claremont X-Men did, but that would be a different poll.

So many spectacular choices. I was going to vote for Byrne’s FF or Stern’s long run on THE AVENGERS, but ended up voting for the O’Neil/McDonnell/Mitchell run on IRON MAN– I have a real soft spot for it, it reads better than it did twenty-eight years ago (!), it’s clearly a big influence on what Fraction’s been doing on the current book, and I wasn’t sure if anyone else would vote for it, and it deserves some love.

Poor Claremont really seems like his votes are getting nerfed from the sheer amount of collaborations he did during his tenure on UXM.

Definitely toughest one yet. It’s either between Stern’s Avengers or Hama’s G.I. Joe for me. I haven’t read most of Simonson’s Thor yet, otherwise I can pretty much guarantee that would be a top 3 contender, too. I might have to just flip a coin between the other two.

This was a very easy question for me. I bought more G.I. JOE comics in the 1980s than the rest of Marvel combined, so it gets my vote. I still don’t own a single issue of 38 of these runs and only ROM holds any remote interest. G.I. JOE, Byrne’s FF, Stern’s Spider-Man and Stern/Byrne Captain America are the only four of these runs that would fall in the “like” category for me.

Looking over that list again, I find it pretty surprising that there pretty much isn’t anything on that list I wouldn’t want to read. Sure, there’s some stuff I probably won’t actively track down, but there isn’t any that I flat out wouldn’t read. If a similar list was made of the 90s or 00s, there’d be plenty of stuff I wouldn’t read even if given the opportunity. It was a good decade for comics.

I totally agree about the claremont/byrne/austin that’s like the holy friggin’ grail of X-Books. Plus, I feel like ‘ol Claremont could really use some love after X-Men Forever. I remember thinking when he stepped out of the limelight in the nineties that we really lost out on something special, and that it was too bad such a stellar run would finally have to come to an end. I was really worried about what would even happen to the X-men, and their place in the expanded Marvel U, and then years later we got X-men Forever, and I thought “well, I guess all good things come to an end for a reason”. The guy deserves some love, and his work was so prolific within the X-Men universe that it’s almost better to give him his own poll than it is to split things up within this one. It just kinda seems like his 80s work alone could warrant it’s own “best of” poll.

Many many great runs in there

Many memorable momens,

Many things a rerea a lot..

Difficult choice.. but my vote goes to Strikeforce Morituri , still one of the best constructed run ive read and enjoy rereading

The 80s was the best comics decade not just because of the talent working on it, but the BALANCE in the stories: no longer as silly as the Silver Age, but definitely not as grim as the 90′s. It varied by title of course, but overall, I felt both thrilled yet safe reading nearly every comic that came out.

Oh and variety. Even in comics that you’d think were but side projects -things like Rom, which ostensibly was just a marketing tie-in- you saw real talent giving its best for it. Today you just see versions of the same comic over and over (eg: all X-titles.)

As for my vote, I liked Claremont’s comics best BUT I could not follow X-Men regularly (they were scarce around here, probably sold out before I could even reach a store) so instead I’ll vote for the Michelinie Iron Man, so very well drawn AND written it still stands out in my mind today.

Squashua– I assume you’re not able to vote for New Warriors because it debuted in 1990.

Man, that was the hardest poll I’ve seen ! Many, many great choices. Any of the miller’s Daredevil, any of the Micheline/layton’s Iron Man, David and mcfarlane’s Hulk, any of Claremont’s X-men, Gruenwald’s Captain America, simonsson’s Thor, Byrne’s FF & Alpha flight, stern/ buscema’s Avengers, etc… My vote, in the end, went to the fantástic Stern/ Romitta Jr’s Amazing Spider-man.

Wow. There are many, many books listed here that I just… hated at the time.
With a passion, and I haven’t really changed my mind about them.
There are a few that were “okay” to me at the time, but there are so many runs here that I identify with a period when I was burning out on the book in question (and, no, it’s not just exclusively to do with my age at the time, as I was still buying back issues, and my DC consumption was steadily increasing, at the expense of my once-exclusive Marvel diet).

I voted Claremont/Paul Smith. Smith’s artwork was some of the most beautiful stuff I’ve ever seen, so minimalistic and expressive. And being a huge Cyclops fan, I loved the layers they were adding to his character. 175 is one of my favorite comics EVER.

This was hard though, the 1980′s were friggin’ amazing. I wish things could go back to this. Nobody sticks with a book long enough now to have a “run.” Artists rotate so frequently it’s hard for a book to mantain an identity. Marvel floods the market with so many spinoffs and garbage, also…..

Ok I’m gonna stop complaining now and dig out some back issues.

Wow. The 80s were truly a great time to read comics.

This is why I voted the 80′s on that other poll. The sheer volume of good comics in the decade is mind boggling when you consider it.

@ Ed Buskirk Jr,

Howdy.
I gotta tell you… it was almost impossible to choose ONE of those last 4.
I almost recused myself.

However, my rationale for my elimination methodology had little to do with if “said 80′s run” was better than “said previous run” or not, although that was the final arbiter of if “said 80′s run” of one title was better than “said ’80′s run” of another title.

Sterns Doctor Strange is among my all-time faves.
But, it isn’t the best Dr. Strange run. (I would give that to Englehart/Brunner and/or the mid-run of Lee/Ditko)
Was it a great 1980′s run. Hells yeah. But it wasn’t better than the Byrne X-Men era.

Byrne’s FF was all kinds of awesome.
But it owed a lot to the classic Lee / Kirby run, where it still fell a bit short and still wasn’t as good as Byrne’s work on X-Men from the “same decade”.

Mantlo/Sal Buscema’s ROM is one of my all-time favorite comics.
Of all time.
I’d probably keep them forever even if I ever sold off EVERYTHING else.
That’s how much I love it.
But, that is a love born of emotional attachment. Not quality of the product.
Sadly, ROM’s stories tended to have him wishing to give up his armor to become human far too many times.
Almost always right after he reaffirmed how much the galaxy needed him to BE a Spaceknight.
Sal’s artwork was fantastic for the comic. But the stories or art weren’t near as good as Claremont / Byrne’s X-Men

That short year and a few months of the Claremont / Byrne X-Men is about as perfect a comic book run as I have ever encountered.

Just my thoughts.
I never said i was right.

;-)

~P~

Agree with you, Sijo. The 1980s were a great balance act between idealism and cynicism in comics.

The 1970s came close, but perhaps because they were still too close to Vietnam and Nixon, I found most of the 1970s comics a bit too weird, a bit too escapist, a bit too melancholy, or all of them at the same time. Some great runs in them too, but I think the 1980s were just more consistent in quality.

That is why I always say Jim Shooter is an unsung hero.

This is REALLY difficult. This was the decade I started with. For me personally the two that hold up I can read and re-read over and over today are
1- the Hama GiJoe from issue #1-80 or so (and the oft forgotten Special Missons were great too). Sooooo much epic stuff despite having to work space shuttles and the like into stories.
2- the Nocenti Daredevils. They were almost anti-superhero which really resonated with me. Very underrated, especially the Mephisto storyline

I wonder who else will vote for Portacio Punisher?

Sanctum,
I’m not saying you’re wrong, this is all subjective after all. I just thought it an odd way to narrow down your final choice (by attrition). The Stern/Rogers Dr. Strange was the first thing that popped into my mind, without even seeing Brian’s huge list.

I myself have sold off most of my collection (at one time about 10,000 comics), and 90% of what I have left are non-superhero. That Stern/Rogers run on Dr. Strange (and the Stern/Golden epilogue) is all that remains of my ’80s Marvels.

Disappointed that D.P.7 and other New Universe are not here. That said, this is my era, and this list really represents why.

DC 1980′s best writer’s / artist combos were only 2 books: New Teen Titans with Wolfman / Perez, and Legion of Super-Heroes by Levitz / Giffen, no other teams come close.

Doug,
Really? Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing? Sandman? Morrison’s Animal Man or Doom Patrol? Justice League?

Marvel may have owned the early ’80s, but the late ’80s belonged to DC.

Since Epic doesn’t count (I guess it’s not really “Marvel proper”) I’m voting Miller/Mazzucchelli Daredevil.

If the topic was “best run published by Marvel comics” I’d probably say Coyote.

I’ll just add to the heaps of posters by noting: This is such a great list of runs, and I love the 80′s.

In my mind, the Claremont/Byrne run just barely snuck into the 80′s, so I didn’t go with that one, even though it is great. But most of the 80′s X-men that I loved came from Claremont/Cockrum and Claremont/Smith (yay, Brood saga).

But I ended up going with Miller/Janson. X-men and Daredevil were my two favorite comics in the early 80′s, and with DD that was largely because of Frank Miller. I kept reading after he left, and loved the O’Neil years, and then loved Miller’s comeback with Born Again, and then after that the book was never the same for me. Born Again may have been the best storyline, but for a “best run” nod I’m thinking of quantity and consistent quality of a variety of stories, and for me that’s Miller/Janson. The stories with Elektra, Kingpin, the Hand, Bullseye, and some great one-offs, chock full of humor, action and drama…that defined 80′s Daredevil for me.

One run that I did not read during the 80′s was Simonson Thor. Having read that one in recent years I was amazed at how enjoyable it was. Without being fueled by sentimental memories of how I felt reading it as a kid, it still managed to pull me in and feel like a young 80′s comic fan again. That’s a pretty big achievement, and made me consider giving it the vote.

But returning to sentimental feelings, had to go to DD with big honorable mentions for Cockrum/Smith X-men, Byrne Alpha Flight, Byrne FF, Stern Avengers, plus great runs on Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, New Mutants, Moon Knight…even Layton/Guice X-Factor, which didn’t get mentioned here but which I enjoyed as well.

It was the best of times…

Without a doubt nor with any hesitation, Simonson’s Thor.

As far as nobody sticking around for “runs” anymore what about Savage Dragon, most of Spawn (regardless of debates of it’s overall merit), Peter David’s runs on x-factor, Kirkman’s runs on TWD(loathe as I am to abbreviate), and Invincible just to name a few. Just because you might not care for something doesn’t mean that there aren’t writers still putting out a respectable number of issues on a book before moving on. Hell, those were examples I listed without even touching truly, independent books or the other “giant” DC. I could say that’s because DC “floods the market with so many spin-offs and garbage”, but that’d be such a blatantly biased thing to do I’d just end up coming off as a complete jackass. Not even in the deliberate and intentional way that I am now either, but in the much worse “everything I read is better than everything you read” way that unpublished creative writing majors do. Remaining ever the critic, never the creator. Now, I’m not going to say either of the terrible two do an exceptional job of trimming the fat off of their title lines. It’s just that good ‘ol “hold the line at 2.99″ still puts out as many terrible green arrow relaunches, 52s, and 10 page back stories inside their main books as Marvel does overly done franchise wide CIVILFEAROFGODSIEGEITSELFs. There’s really no such thing as a bad publisher, just bad titles. The same is doubly true for writers and their runs.

Armors Wars vs. Wolverine’s wedding? DAMN YOU FOR MAKING ME CHOOSE!!!!!

Leslie Fontenelle

February 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Some though choices in there! I loved ROM, I have great memories of Byrne’s FF and Stern/Buscema’s Avengers, and I almost voted for Miller/Mazzuchelli’s Daredevil… but the absolute best of all these runs stood out like the sun once my eyes came across it: Walt Simonson’s Thor.

Simonson’s epic run had it all – great new characters (such as Beta Ray Bill, Lorelei, Justice Peace, Malekith the Accursed, Kurse), creative uses of old characters, lots of genuinely surprising twists, lighthearted moments mixed smoothly with high-stakes conflicts, several instant-classic moments (Skurge’s Last Stand, Loki and Thor screaming “FATHER!” together when Odin fell, Thor’s awesome battle against the Midgard Serpent, Beta Ray Bill winning Mjolnir from Thor in single combat, etc), great artwork and an attempt to actually move the character forward. This is as good as it gets, really. I voted for this run over Miller/Mazzuchelli’s brilliant DD run basically because of the depth and wealth of world-building that Simonson brought to Thor; “Born Again” was excellent but Simonson’s Thor was excellent for a considerably longer run.

McFarlane's Green Hulk

February 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm

…………..damn………………….how the hell do you just narrow it down to one?

Anyways, I voted Mantlo/Buscema’s Hulk run.

This crazy !

How the devil do I come up with one favorite out of all these excellent runs ??

Byrne’s Alpha Flight holds a special place in my heart, as does Miller/Janson Daredevi, Miller/Mazzuchelli, Nocenti/JRjr. Then its further complicated by the best thing Byrne ever did (IMO) Fantastic Four.

ARRRRRGGGG !!! – further down the list are Simonson’s Thor, Claremonet/Byrne X-Men, Claremont/Paul Smith, ………………..

If i had to close my eyes and chose one it would have to be John Byrne’s Fantastic Four. I usually would go with Miller/Mazzucehelli’s Born again followed closely by Miller/Janson’s run, but Byrne did FF for years and consistently got better as he went along

Claremont and Byrne’s run on X-Men is more on a 70s thing, starting in 1977, Their run ended mid 1980.

The best of the bunch, and the most important, obviously, is the Claremont/Byrne/Austin X-MEN. Unfortunately, much of that work falls outside the “1980s” time period that’s the focus of this poll. There just wasn’t enough of the run on the right side of the decade cutoff line to justify selecting it purely on the 1980-81 material alone.

Miller’s DAREDEVIL is probably only slightly less important to the medium, but it loses out because the material is broken up over three very distinct periods: Miller/Janson (inks/colors only), Miller/Janson (full art) and Miller/Mazzuchelli. All three are important; none of the three is important enough on its own to merit selection.

That leaves two other runs of towering import and merit. Not to slight ROM (marred by constant rotation of artists; had there been, say, twenty-five straight issues of Ditko pencils, it might well be one of the finalists), Michelinie/Johnny Nepotism/Layton IRON MAN (which suffered as greatly from decade-straddling as X-MEN did) or Jones/Anderson KA-ZAR (a too-brief pairing), but Byrne’s FF and Simonson’s THOR stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Walt rebuilt his franchise from the ground up. He made a god relatable, humanized him while never making him “merely” human. He completely redefined the relationships and interrelationships of his cast. He created an entire lexicon of visual shorthand for the character, a lexicon by which Thor is still most readily identified even now, nearly three decades on.

And it wasn’t the run I voted for.

Byrne’s FF is just as much the definitive version of those characters as Walt’s was on his. But Byrne managed to make his statements without upending everything that came before. he stripped away everything but the core elements of the characters and rooted them to those cores. He put them into all manner of unusual situations (even taking them into other books he wrote to continue his explorations) and tested their relationships in the process, all to make clear how much a family they were, no matter what or where. Even under Stan’s stewardship, you were never quite sure if Ben might just take a serious poke at Johnny, or whether Sue might really head down to the beach and never be, um, seen again; under Byrne’s care, there was no doubt that these people had genuine, deep and abiding love for one another. He also gave an explanation and rationale to Galactus that finally made some sense.

And he did this work with Marvel’s most important characters. Again, not to slight Thor, but Marvel can go and has gone without publishing the character for years at a time. Doing the same with the FF –even if those initials have a different meaning behind them for a time — is literally unthinkable. When you redefine the FF’s core, you redefine =Marvel’s= core. And for pulling of that all-but-impossible feat, Byrne’s FF gets the nod.

I question asking readers to decide what the “best” run was. That’s rather like asking someone to decide what the best prose genre fiction novel published during 19xx was. No matter how well-read he was, he couldn’t possibly compare novels from different genres, written in hundreds of different styles — most of which he hadn’t read anyway.

If good writing was paired with mediocre artwork, would that fare worse than mediocre writing paired with good artwork?

It wouldn’t be impossible to develop a set of criteria that could be applied to all the runs listed, assign a run n points for each criterion, and then rank the runs by their point totals, but a fair comparison would still require having read each run completely.

I’m somewhat sorry to be so negative, but you might as well have asked what the “best” flavor of ice cream is.

SRS

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

February 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Wait, wait, wait, wait… Wait a minute.

Where’s Mark Gruenwald’s D.P. 7?

Byrne FF…i could have easily voted for Simonson Thod or Claremont/Sienkiewicz New Mutants

Simonson’s Thor. No-brainer for me.

Yeah, but which of these runs would win in a fight?

I’m surprised Byrne’s FF frun isn’t getting more love. It had quality and quantity, which is why I went with it. It’s hard to go wrong with anything on here (even the demattis Defenders, which is all but forgotten but still great).

The 80s were great, weren’t they?

Hard choices. I didn’t vote for the Claremont/Byrne X-Men because it is to me a 70s run (as defined as “one published just before I started reading superhero comics”). Of those remaining, there were many EXCELLENT runs, some of them definitive (like the Stern Dr. Strange or any of the Michelinie/Layton Iron Man runs), but the very best were Simonson’s Thor and Byrne’s FF.

I went with the FF, but could as easily go with Thor. The Byrne run won because it was both longer and drawn by Byrne himself, while Simonson’s run was partially drawn by Sal Buscema (who was excellent there, but is no Simonson).

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Miller/Mazzucchelli all the way!

It’s a shame that it might lose justs because of the votes being split between the two Miller Daredevil runs. On the bright side the same might happen to X-Men (though I’ve a feeling the vast majority of voters will go for The Claremont/Byrne run there).

Yes, there was a reason I was buying around two-dozen Marvel titles a month in the ’80s (hey, I had my first job, and disposable income, which was disposed of)…

Moon Knight all the way – that run, for me, redefined what comic boks were capable of.

Simonson’s Thor is the best achievement in the medium’s history!

I laugh when I think of how Tom Brevoort would try to claim that today’s runs are just as good…LMAO He has an embarrassingly bad sense for judging good stories. You could pick anything from the Michelinie/McFarlane Spider-Man, Byrne Fantastic Four or Alpha Flight, Claremont X-Men, Michelinie, Bright, and Layton Iron Man, Simonson and Simonson X-Factor, Stern, Buscema, and Palmer Avengers, Miller and Mazzucchelli Daredevil, PAD/McFarlane Hulk, Stern/Byrne Captain America, Stern/Romita Jr. Spider-Man, Gruenwald/Dwyer Captain America, Defalco/Frenz Spider-Man, etc…, and it would blow away today’s stuff by a wide margin except for rare exceptions, like Brubaker and Eptings first 25 Captain America before the BuckyCap nonsense ruined it.

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

February 28, 2011 at 4:05 am

@Dusty

“Simonson’s Thor is the best achievement in the medium’s history!”

Eh, I suggest that you read more comic books.

I agree, Simonson’s Thor is great. But the greatest among thousands and thousands and thousands of comic books produced over hundred years of the medium’s history? I doubt it.

Unless, of course, you’ve read every comic book ever made?

Holy shit on a stick! comics were awesome in the 80′s

@ Ed Buskirk Jr,

It’s all good.
I know where you’re coming from, and I take no offense.

As much as i loved the Stern run (c’mon… how can you NOT?) I was a subscriber back then and I do remember having issues come in the mail that disappointed a little, where it seemed to be wandering.

That Claremont / Byrne run just kept ratcheting up the tension and drama and it also helped that there was a stable creative team to keep the quality level level.

If that X-run was taken out of the equation (because of the debate on legitimacy of its inclusion within the decade) then with the choices remaining, it would have been the Stern run on Strange.

Now… that said…If the list had Peter Gillis’ Doctor Strange run (end of Master of the Mystic Arts and thru Strange Tales v2) that may have won it for me.

lol
;-)

~P~

I know it’s a bit under the radar compared to the more lauded usual suspects, but my vote went to the Stern/Buscema/Palmer on Avengers. Very few fill-ins (the only one I can think of, a Jarvis solo story written by Bob Harras of all people), influential storylines (I’d say the Masters Of Evil storyline influenced the Avengers line to this day), a great balance of classic Avengers (Cap/Thor/Wasp/Hercules) and more unusual but very effective choices (Namor/Captain Marvel/Dr. Druid) along with some “tweeners” (Black Knight/She-Hulk). Even peripheral characters like Marrina had big moments during this time. And as much as people generally applaud Claremont’s treatment of female X-Men during this time, this was probably the longest run of women chairing the Avengers with Wasp and Captain Marvel.

An amazing of list of candidates, to be sure.

This is close to impossible for me. There’s one run missing there which got a lot of people into comics and it’s the Hama/Vosburg run on G.I. Joe. (The Snake-Eyes/Kwinn/Dr. Venom arc from issues #12-19 and 22.) It’s practically a classic for this era.

I would personally go with the Shooter/Hall run on Avengers which dealt with Hank Pym’s fall and rise. It continues into the beginning of Stern’s era as well.

One heck of a list, and the decade of choice for Marvel readers of my generation.

Just thought of another honourable mention: Jim Owsley’s Conan the Barbarian! And Conan the King was great too. At a time when there wasn’t a lot of non-superhero choice at Marvel, these were highly entertaining books (for me, anyway…)

Again, great choice of runs, and if you factor in all the miniseries and graphic novels introduced during that decade, it really was a boom time for Marvel.

Sadly, after the 25th anniversary, around when Shooter was gone, things were never quite the same, and DC’s boom time lured me away.

But those earlier runs are the stuff of legend…

sooooo…and Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme?

I know it’s been said a bunch of times already – but wow there were so many incredibly strong runs produced in the 80′s. I mean just to illustrate this, take the DeFalco Frenz Spidey run. Easily one of the best runs in Amazing Spidey history, yet it doesn’t even rank near the top of this list, becasue the list just has too many other great runs on it.

What an amazing source of pride the 80′s should be for Marvel.

I nearly voted for Simonson’s Thor but in the end, Born Again is just too damned good.

Miiler/Mazzuchelli FTW.

ROM wins all the way. the complex story telling was ahead of it’s time. i often wonder why marvel never tried a revival of the character and hope that one day they’ll take a stab at it.

Looks like there’s no love for The Nth Man… ><

The correct answer to any comic question is Kirby or Ditko.

When Kirby or Ditko aren’t options, the correct answer is always Byrne.

It was the combined run of Stern/Romita Jr. merging into Defalco/Frenz — the Hobgoblin/Black costume era — that first got me hooked on comics as a kid. They really took a lot of huge creative risks during that run and we’re still talking about those stories today.

I voted for the late Master of Kung Fu run drawn by Mike Zeck and Gene Day. Moench didn’t have a single bum issue from around 81-120ish. I probably like the Stern/Buscema/Palmer Avengers run a little better but I wanted to cast a vote for a series that sadly seems lost to copyright issues.

If you enjoy Mark Buckingham’s pencils on Fables then you really should check out Gene Day’s mindblowing layouts on MoKF 114-118. Sublime.

For me it’s simonsons thor.

I voted for Claremont/Smith/Wiacek Uncanny X-Men. Uncanny 175 was the first comic I ever bought and I quickly went and got all the X-Men prior up until the really expensive Byrne ones. That’s what got me into comics, so there might be better picks on the list, but I shall follow my heart.

The honest answer is that it’s impossible to choose, so I went with the sentimental answer: Mantlo/Buscema Hulk.

Here’s what was so great about Mantlo’s run: it packed the greatest amount of storytelling sophistication it could into the most kid-friendly package possible. I love Miller’s DD and Simonson’s Thor, but they both made me feel a little queasy sometimes as an actual kid– they pushed the envelope of acceptability a little bit, which I really came to appreciate when I re-read them as a teen, but when I was 5-9 year-old as they were coming out I found them both a little upsetting.

Mantlo did the best job of keeping thing strictly all-ages while simultaneously digging VERY deep for serious emotions, painful dilemmas, and meaningful metaphors for the universal struggles of real life. He also stayed on his book longer than those two. He maintained maximum liveliness for the maximum amount of time by never being afraid to shake up the status quo in favor of a leap of imagination.

That said… WHERE THE HELL IS THOMASES/SALMON DAKOTA NORTH??

What I like in this list is seeing the forgotten gems, things like Jones/Anderson’s Ka-Zar or Strikeforce Morituri.
Titles with popular characters like X-Men, DD, FF, Thor are always going to get an advantage simply because many readers won’t have given a chance to a lesser known property. Only in American comics is there this focus on long-standing characters with even a disdain for short-lived series because those don’t “matter” in a shared universe. For instance I remember an 1980s award list ad where Power Pack by Simonson and Brigman was in the top 5 Marvel titles. It doesn’t even appear in this list. I won’t vote, but I’d choose Claremont’s X-Men, with Romita Jr if I had to settle on a penciler. Claremont often recognized great titles and would feature them in X-Men. Rom’s Dire Wraiths, the Asgardians (by Art Adams) and Power Pack appeared in X-Men. But I can’t vote for Claremont and Romita Jr with Dan Green because the guest stints by Barry Windsor Smith, Paul Smith, Art Adams during that period and the inking of Al Williamson are what made the run so stellar.

Hmm, any chance of doing a “Month of Great Mini-series,” Brian?

Hmmm, really difficult questions there!

On the basis of the little dent I’ve managed to make in X-comics the past two years, I’d have to go with Claremont/Austin/Green/Leopardi’s version of the X-Men, though if I got seconds, I’d add Miller’s Daredevil to my list (I mean, come on—Elektra Reborn!)

I had to vote for Claremont’s New Mutants.

As a teenager with (undiagnosed) depression manifesting as extreme anger and rage, I was always drawn (hah!) to Illyana’s dual nature, Bobby’s own temper, and Doug’s feeling useless.

If you’d had Mantilo’s run on the Flight, I’d have voted there. Alpha Flight 49 was the first (non-GI Joe) comic I picked up and it was love at first sight. Madison vs. Lionel made me tear up at the end, and I didn’t even know these characters.

When I got into the back issues, reading Kara’s origin really struck me. Terrified 13 year old in the tub, desperately washing herself trying to get the purple out and be ‘normal’. That really brought home what I’d not gotten from the X-men (or later on, the New Mutants), the shock and horror of suddenly uncontrolably being ‘different’.

Damn I miss Mantilo’s Flight.

Man I really love these debates. Could you also make one of these for the 80`s in DC? And the 2000`s in Marvel and in Dc? these are the debates that we, comics fans, reallu are passionate for.

Byrne had a short run on the Hulk too, which is may be best remembered for the issue that didn’t actually appear at the time: an all-splashpage ish that eventually appeared in Marvel Fanfare. Talk about decompressed storytelling …

No Murray/Golden “The ‘Nam”?

Chaim Mattis Keller

February 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

Tough choice between Simonson’s Thor and Byrne’s FF, but I had to go with FF because I was more of an FF fan at that time, and Byrne rocked that book like no one else has since.

And not that I’m advocating its inclusion in this list, but have a look at the Shooter-Romita Jr New Universe title Star Brand (issues 1-7) if you’ve never seen it. Shooter is not exactly fondly remembered (and not without good reason) but the man could write the hell out of a superhero comic … and not just one with the Legion

You know what would have made this question even more interesting I think? If it was split up into two polls. One with the more top-tier runs like Stern and Romita Jrs Amazing, Simonson’s Thor, Byrne’s FF, Miller’s DD, etc, and another one with the lower-tier 80s runs like Peter David’s Spectacular Spider-Man, Bill Mantlo’s Rom, Mantlo’s Spec Spider-Man, etc. Because if I only have one vote it’s going to be Stern’s Amazing Spidey, but I remember many of those lower tier runs fondly as well and would love to see them compete in a separate contest.

Oh, and why is Groo not a choice?

Bill Reed, I had the same thoughts and did the same thing. ROM all the way!!! LOL

I chose the MOKF run, simply because the Stern/DeMatteis/Budiansky Ghost Rider run, which was the best Ghost Rider EVER wasn’t listed on here. I loved MOKF by Moench and anyone else. It was ruined when Shooter decided to take the original creative team off the book and replaced them with writers and artists who just filled out the remainder of the run and didn’t know a thing about how MOKF was supposed to be written or drawn. Even Mignola’s inks couldn’t save the book…
The Stern/DeMatteis/Budiansky Ghost Rider really was a thoughtful examination of the Spirit of Vengeance and it gave future writers stuff to pull from years later. In fact, everything that is Ghost Rider today can be traced back to those issues, 69-81.
I loved Rom — especially when Akin and Garvey were inking the book. I loved the McDonnell Iron Man stories. I loved stuff that is considered terrible like Team America, US 1, Crystar, Dazzler and others that were really crazy books. I thought Englehart and Milgrom’s West Coast Avengers issues were great and I loved the Englehart/Rogers Silver Surfer. Having only access to comics through newsstand distribution, I didn’t get to buy full runs of comics all the time, but, for some reason, our periodicals distributor always put West Coast Avengers and Silver Surfer on the stands and I bought them each month. Same with Team America and Crystar and Dazzler. Maybe it was because our small town grocery store was the last stop on his run and those were all he had left each week …
I’m a fan of the 1980s and I think that was the most creative decade ever.

And I have to say I think Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme should be listed on here. It’s my favorite limited series of all time (yes, I loved it way more than Watchmen and Dark Knight). This is the original ULTIMATE universe, with realistic situations and heroes doing what real people would do. And, it was a great Marvelized JLA story.
I thought it was very much Marvel storytelling and the art was great. I almost cried when I read Nuke’s death and was appalled at Lady Lark’s brainwashing and then torn at the end when all those heroes died. It was a great series that really was Mark Gruenwald’s most amazing work.

Wow!! Reading this list just adds to the reason that I’m soooo happy that I grew up in the 80′s!! Add great comics to the list with great movies, great cartoons and GREAT music and the 80s was really an amazing decade!

I am a little sad for the lack of comments love for Claremont/Davis/Neary Excalibur.

It was Claremont’s X-Men that acted as my gateway into comics as a kid and Simonson’s New Mutants that brought me into my LCS regularly (Inferno was the 1st thing that really hooked me), but it was Claremont’s Excalibur that really stuck with me and sunk the entire medium’s teeth into me permanently. The Cross-Time Caper might still be the best superhero/mutant story I’ve ever read (maybe its 2nd to Ellis’ The Authority)~

Hmm, any chance of doing a “Month of Great Mini-series,” Brian?

Wow, great idea!

I’m so happy to see Hama’s GI JOE getting so much love! It’s easy to dismiss it today and a cheap tie-in to a popular line of toys but it was so much more than that! There’s a reason why Hama’s run is seen as the definitive version of these characters , as opposed to the cartoon. If you can dig the TPBs Marvel released in the early 2000s of the first 50 issues or so , do it! The Devil’s Due follow up had it’s moments , and I suggest reading World War 3 from America’s Elite just to get an actual ending to 26 years worth of continuity.

YO JOE!

This list reminded me why I don’t feel too bad for sitting out the 80′s…

Still didn’t vote… Too much great choices. For me Marvel in the 80′s was the ultimate super hero experience, Damn I miss those days. ;)

Ed (A Different One)

February 28, 2011 at 11:35 am

Wow, this posts been up for a little over a day and we’re already around 150 comments. I feel like I’m late to the party on this one. If there ever was a poll designed to break whatever record my exist on the number of comments, it would have to be one discussing the greatest Marvel runs of the 1980′s.

Let’s face it, I’d wager that most of us grew up during this era and that this represents the age where most of our comics tastes and preferences developed. Acknowledging that fact and setting it to one side – by God, that is one fine set of comic runs listed at the top of this post!

I always did think of the 80′s as a “golden era” for Marvel. Yes, they weren’t doing the groundbreaking things that DC was doing with their influx of british writers breaking the comics mold beginning with Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, but gosh would you just look at the amount of tecnical competence and enjoyable storytelling that this era of Marvel represented. Maybe there wasn’t much here that “pushed the genre forward” so to speak, but I find myself often wishing that the genre could “take a few steps backwards” if it would result in comics like this again.

Two more comments, then I will step aside and let the avalanche of posts continue:

1. I think there are two ways to look at this poll – critically, and then with your heart. Most of you chose to look at it critically, which I can’t argue with, and in that context I think one of the Claremont X-Men runs (pick one or, heck, all of them) or the Miller/Jansen DD stand at the top of a very competetive heap as being the finest of the decade. That being said, the one I remember the most fondly is the Stern/JRjr ASM run, which happened to be what I voted for. People can hate on me all they want for going with my heart as opposed to my head, but I just know that I’ll feel less personal regrets that way – besides, I know that the Miller/Jansen DD or Claremont UXM are going to win anyway.

2. I know I’m opening myself up to even more criticism by daring even suggest the following, but here goes – I was thinking the other day about the state of Marvel and, as always, compare/contrasted it against that “golden era” I grew up with as represented above. And while there is still a lot of distance between the two eras in terms of both quality and enjoyment, I have to say that I’m more optismistic about where Marvel is and the direction that it’s going in now than I have in one hell of a long time (decades, I would are say). I mean, if you look around, there’s an awful lot to be cautiously hopeful about. You have a Dan Slott run on ASM that’s barely out of its infancy that’s sizing up to be one of the most enjoyable Spidey runs in decades, you have Jonathan Hickman on FF making that book relevent and exciting again. You have a Matt Fraction gaining steam on Invincible Iron Man that has me on the verge of putting that on my pull list for the first time since the Michilinie/Layton/JRjr days. You have Kieron Gillien (sorry if I mauled the spelling) just starting out on Thor and pointing it in a positive direction. You have Brubaker continuing on Cap. And that’s not to mention great writers like Jeff Parker and Fred Van Lente be-bopping around quitely putting out great work on the Hulks and the Hercules’ of the world (that’s always how I pictured Mantlo back in the days – quitely be-bopping around the MU putting out consistently enjoyable comic books). Personally, I think there’s a lot to be excited about in Marvel, and I think that Axel Alonso was a great choice as EIC to pull it all together. Will we have a repeat of the 80′s? Probably not, but I’m just rooting for something to put me in the mind of those days and I think we have a good chance coming up in the near future.

Now, if we can just get a viable direction for the X-books and if the “Fear Itself” story line doesn’t completely fail to deliver (it’ll be nice to see a crossover from Fraction as opposed to Bendis or Millar), we may have something to work with here . . .

Ok, I’ll step aside now. Carry on!

It doesn’t even appear in this list.

Yeah, it does.

I think there are two ways to look at this poll – critically, and then with your heart. Most of you chose to look at it critically, which I can’t argue with, and in that context I think one of the Claremont X-Men runs (pick one or, heck, all of them) or the Miller/Jansen DD stand at the top of a very competetive heap as being the finest of the decade. That being said, the one I remember the most fondly is the Stern/JRjr ASM run, which happened to be what I voted for. People can hate on me all they want for going with my heart as opposed to my head, but I just know that I’ll feel less personal regrets that way – besides, I know that the Miller/Jansen DD or Claremont UXM are going to win anyway.

I disagree with you but for different reasons than you think. I also voted Stern/Romita Jr ASM, but unlike you I didn’t think of it as going with my heart over looking at it critically. Looking at it critically, I think Stern’s ASM is better written and ages better. The more i revisit Miller’s DD, I think a lot of it gets more praise than it deserves because it was trying to be more adult than superhero comics ever were previously. That attempt at being adult made the books seem better than they were IMO. Stern on the other hand seemed to be trying to keep the book all ages yet still try to convey character depth, emotional maturity and modernity, a hard balance to pull off.

By the way Ed, I agree with you that modern Marvel is in the midst of a creative renaissance very reminiscent of the 80s heyday. The caliber of writing at Marvel right now is just miles beyond what DC is doing currently. Although with Dan Didio’s promotion, I’m guessing he’ll have less editorial interference meaning DC’s writing may get better as well.

@T : I understand what you’re saying. That Roger Stern era of Spider-Man means a lot to me, and everything about it (writing, stories, art) absolutely stand the test of time, so critically and heart-wise, if it wasn’t for Simonson’s Thor, it would deserve my vote.

But I don’t think that Miller’s DD is overpraised. In my opinion, that’s a run that deserves the reputation it has. Yes, it tries to be adult, but for the most part, it succeeds.

Ed (A Different One)

February 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

“I disagree with you but for different reasons than you think. I also voted Stern/Romita Jr ASM, but unlike you I didn’t think of it as going with my heart over looking at it critically. Looking at it critically, I think Stern’s ASM is better written and ages better. The more i revisit Miller’s DD, I think a lot of it gets more praise than it deserves because it was trying to be more adult than superhero comics ever were previously. That attempt at being adult made the books seem better than they were IMO. Stern on the other hand seemed to be trying to keep the book all ages yet still try to convey character depth, emotional maturity and modernity, a hard balance to pull off.”\

T – You won’t find any arguments from me on the technical proficieny of Stern on any of the titles he worked on in the 80′s. I think my original posted was more of a nod toward the prevailing sentiments that I see expressed time and time again – that Miller’s DD is often the most critically acclaimed of the Marvel runs from the 80′s. But you raise a good point – I think there’s merit in your observation that Miller benefited from the fact that he was doing overtly “adult” comics in a Marvel world that still primarily catered to younger readers (though their intended audience was naturally much broader than that – but they still kept the kids in mind as a primary consideration). But even that aside, I do think that Miller was a master storyteller during that time period and was no slouch in the technical department himself, subject matter aside.

Otherwise, thanks! I guess my heart is more refined and sophisticated than I gave it credit for!

I voted for Byrne’s FF run, mostly because he was able to go on with it for so long and maintain such consistency and quality. Now, was the quality the BEST, by today’s standards? That could be argued. But he created a look and a style for the book that stayed consistent for just about the entire run, which by today’s standards would be kind of miraculous. Also, I recently went back and read a lot of my favorite comic runs from the 80s – the Sienkiewicz New Mutants was amazing, but I don’t feel it held up as well as Byrne’s FF. Sienkiewicz’s art was alien and groundbreaking in the 80s, but it’s mostly kinda dated and quaint by today’s standards. Still incredible, but not quite timeless.

EXCALIBUR !!!

THIS was hard…didn’t expect such a huge list. In the end I voted Stern/Buscema/Palmer because that was the last time the book felt like the Avengers for a long while unitl Kurt B and George Perez came along 11 years later. As for who else……

2. Byrne FF
3. Simonson Thor
4. Defalco/Stern era Amazing Spider-Man (the ONLY time I ever like reading about Spider-MAn)
5. Nocenti/Romita Jr Daredevil (yep…better then Miller)

5. Should read Gruenwald/whoever Cap

Ed (A Different One)

February 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Oh – and add Rick Remender’s work on Uncanny X-Force to the list of reasons why I’m cautiously optimistic we may see another “Marvel Reinassaince” in the near future. Even though the last issue felt like a little bit of a “dud” (hey, you’re going to have those every once in a while), his work on that coming out of the gate has been balls out awesome.

I would not be surprised to see him more involved in the overall direction of the X-Books before too long . . . .

Ed (A Different One)

February 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Oh . . . and how could I forget Jason Aaron . . .

OK, I’ll stop now.

But I don’t think that Miller’s DD is overpraised. In my opinion, that’s a run that deserves the reputation it has. Yes, it tries to be adult, but for the most part, it succeeds.

I’m not saying it’s not great, an all-time classic for sure, but I still think it’s kind of overrated. For example the Daredevil and Elektra relationship is woefully underdeveloped, emotionally flat and feels somewhat insincere and shallow. I feel that it needed to be developed much deeper and they needed a lot more emotional interaction before her death in order to give it the impact Miller was trying to claim it was having on Matt in the stories. When you read it month to month this flaw isn’t as glaring, but when you read it back to back in a trade you realize how underdeveloped and insincere their relationship was leading up to her death. The meat of their interactions were in an early flashback story.

Channeling my 80′s Childhood Subjectivity and my Post-Graduate Cartoonist Objectivity I came up with the following:
1. Claremont/Davis/Neary Excalibur
2. Claremont/Miller Wolverine (Not Listed)
3. Gruenwald/Ryan D.P. 7 (Not Listed)
4. Nocenti/Adams Longshot (Not Listed)
5. Miller/Siekewitz Elektra Assassin (Not Listed)
6. Miller/Mazzucchelli Daredevil
7. Layton/Guice X-Factor (Not Listed)
8. Claremont/Silvestri/Leonardi/Green/Austin Uncanny X-Men
9. Byrne Senastional She-Hulk (Not Listed)
10. Moore/Davis Captain Britain
11. Claremont/Byrne/Austin Uncanny X-Men
12. Miller/Janson Daredevil
13. Simonson Thor
14. Byrne Alpha Flight
15. Michelinie/McFarlane Amazing Spider-Man
16. Aragonés Groo the Wanderer (Not Listed)
17. Claremont/Sienkiewicz New Mutants
18. Mantlo/Buscema ROM
19. Moench/Zeck/Day Master of Kung Fu
20. Claremont/Romita Jr./Green Uncanny X-Men
21. Claremont/Smith/Wiacek Uncanny X-Men
22. O’Neil/Mazzucchelli Daredevil
23. DeMatteis/Perlin/Sinnott Defenders
24. Moench/Sienkiewicz Moon Knight
25. Stern/Byrne/Rubinstein Captain America
26. Stern/Buscema/Palmer Avengers
27. Claremont/Kitty Pryde and Wolverine (Not Listed)
28. DeFalco/Frenz Amazing Spider-Man
29. Shooter/Hall Avengers
30. Nocenti/Romita Jr./Williamson Daredevil
31. Potts/Lee Punisher War Journal
32. David/McFarlane Incredible Hulk
33. Mantlo/Chaykin/Milgrom/Broderick/Gil Micronauts
34. Claremont/Cockrum/Wiacek Uncanny X-Men
35. Byrne Fantastic Four
36. Budiansky/various pencilers Transformer
37. Hama/Whigham/Mushynsky G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
38. Duffy/Gammill/Villamonte Power Man and Iron Fist
39. Simonson/Blevins/Austin New Mutants
40. Stern/Romita Jr. Amazing Spider-Man
41. Mantlo/Buscema Incredible Hulk
42. Michelinie/Layton/Romita Jr. Iron Man
43. Jones/Anderson/Garzon Ka-Zar the Savage
44. Stern/Austin/various pencilers Doctor Strange
45. David/various pencilers Spectacular Spider-Man
46. Mantlo/Milgrom Spectacular Spider-Man
47. Simonson/Simonson X-Factor
48. Furman/various pencilers Transformers
49. Springer/Fingeroth/Colletta Dazzler
50. Michelinie/Layton/Romita Jr. Iron Man
51. O’Neil/McDonnell/Mitchell Iron Man
52. DeMatteis/Zeck/Beatty Captain America
53. Busiek/Cowan/Chan/various others Power Man and Iron Fist
54. Baron/Portacio/Williams Punisher
55. Simonson/Brigman/Wiacek Power Pack
56. Englehart/Milgrom/Sinnott West Coast Avengers
57. Owsley/Bright/Acerno Power Man and Iron Fist
58. Gruenwald/Neary/Janke Captain America
59. David/Purves/Austin Incredible Hulk
60. Michelinie/Layton/Bright Iron Man
61. Englehart/Rogers/Rubinstein Silver Surfer
62. Gillis/Anderson/Portacio/Williams Strikeforce Morituri

Your childhood subjectivity won out big.

Wow, looks like I’m not the only one who wrestled with choosing Miller/Janson or Claremont/Byrne before saying fuck it and voting for Stern/Romita Jr…

Could there be upset in the offing? Probably not…

Ben Cohen –

I just want you to know that this made my day:
1. Claremont/Davis/Neary Excalibur

Finally some love for Excalibur!! Made my day!

Wow…this was…impossible. LOL…As much as I wanted to go with Claremont/Byrne I thought the majority of that run was in the 70′s. I went with Byrne’s Fantastic Four for sheer consistancy and fun ideas he came up with. The whole Negative Zone arc and the Galactus stories stand out.

@ T: Now that, I do agree. It didn’t seem as much to me when I first read the run because I had previously read the Man Without Fear mini-series that Miller did with Romita Jr, where Elektra was much more developed. But if you only read the Miller/Janson run, the relationship would seem a bit shallow.

Byrne’s FF
Miller’s Daredevil
Simonson’s Thor
Stern/Byrne’s Cap
Stern/Romita Jr. Spidey

are my top 5

The fact that things like Transformers, GI Joe and ROM are so well-remembered speaks volumes about the depth of talent at Marvel in the 80s (and particularly under Shooter).

These were titles that didn’t need to be any good, that would have sold a shitload if they’d had 22 pages of photocopied chinese takeout menus between the covers, and yet the writers and artists knocked themselves out to produce good work.

The quality of the Star Wars, Transformers and GI Joe (or ‘Action Force’ as it was in the UK) books I read as ‘gateway drugs’ is the reason I got into comics.

Holy Haleakala! What a list! See, this is why the decade poll was such a hard one for me – mentally, I have some of these filed away in the previous decade (especially as that’s where, say, the bulk of Claremont/Byrne’s X-Men are, when Miller started Daredevil, etc.) I’m going to have to think a lot about selecting my favorite…

I am never in the majority. Mark this as a special day. Thanks Brian. That was fun.

>> It’s between Claremont, Byrne, Austin Uncanny X-Men and Miller and Janson on Daredevil. <<

Yep.

For those advocating SQUADRON SUPREME and other mini- and maxi-series, one could argue that they aren't "runs." By definition, a run is a subset of a longer series. A limited series from the beginning to the end isn't what I'd call a run.

Simonson’s Thor.

Runners up include Byrne’s FF; Stern/Byrne’s Captain America and the two Miller Daredevil runs.

Stern/Romita Jr Spider-Man! The only thing holding it back was Stern having to leave the book far too soon, but it’s still my favourite Spider-Man run of all-time.

excellent titles on the list miller’s daredevil, was a super-important book for me growing up. but, in retrospect, i think claremont/byrne’s x-men really sort of nailed the whole feel of the 80′s era comic scene, as comics began to really mature and become accepted as a legitimate artform and command respect. claremont, only perhaps 2 steps below the 2 greatest comic book writers ever, miller and the unapproachable alan moore.

Quite a bit of really great material listed here. My favorite is John Byrne’s Fantastic Four. Great characters, great stories, great art. Walt Simonson’s Thor and Roger Stern’s Avengers would be second and third. I really liked Bill Sienkiewicz’s New Mutants work as well.

The Man With No Name

February 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Wow….very tough choice to make….Im pretty disappointed not to see the Claremont/Jackson Guice/Kyle Baker run on New Mutants, not as flashy as Sienkiewicz, but i remember loving the clean art and the great Claremont stories….Also where is Starlin’s Dreadstar? Epic line dont count? And where oh where is Byrnes West Coast Avengers? Murray/Golden’s ‘Nam? Layton’s Hercules? Mantlo/Leonardi/Austin’s Cloak and Dagger?

Ed –

I’m sorry. I can’t feel optimistic about today’s Marvel while Bendis remains in the Avengers books. If they just relocated Bendis to some street-level buddy book like Power Man and Iron Fist, things would be perfect.

It’s cool to read that Marvel may be undergoing a renaissance, and I must say I’ve really been enjoying Hickman’s current Fantastic Four run.

But I think, while the caliber of writers and artists may be high, I don’t think it will never match the magic of the 80′s because (1) individual comics are so expensive and (2) they’re still basically written for the trade. This even holds for Hickman’s FF (even though a lot are technically done-in-one stories, they’re still very breezy, light reads).

I think that in the runs listed above, stuff happened in pretty much every issue that made the issue in itself a very satisfying story, even when there were plot lines to be continues later. It’s very rare to find that satisfaction from a comic in the last decade, unless you have stockpiled a few of them and can read them one after the other.

So while the stories may be going up in quality, it still feels to me less like a new golden age of comics than at best a golden age of graphic novels.

Too bad, ’cause I loved those 80′s Bullpen Bulletins…

one of my all time favorite runs was the end of the original Ghost Rider series –

Stern / DeMatteis / Budiansky Ghost Rider 68-81

Torsten Adair

March 1, 2011 at 8:32 am

It came down to Byrne’s Fantastic Four and Claremont/Davis Excalibur.

The others are great, but both of these are chock full of great art, amazing storytelling, and big ideas that let future creators stand on their shoulders. Most important, there was some serious storytelling, but it was tempered with humor and fun.

Byrne gets the vote because he produced more issues, and did it by himself. It was also the first series I bought after I started collecting Spider-Man. (The issue where Reed returns home and finds a time machine, still switched on.)

Marvel, take the above ballot, and turn it into your Omnibus schedule for the next five years.

Torsten Adair

March 1, 2011 at 8:49 am

No love for Byrne’s She-Hulk run?

Chris Schillig

March 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

I was torn between Miller/Janson on Daredevil, Byrne on FF and Alpha Flight, and Simonson on Thor. Ultimately, I went with DD, but it was close.

Simonson’s Thor, because it brought something new to the table, but still respected what was already there.

Several great runs, though, and many, many good ones. That Shooter guy definitely did something right as Editor in Chief.

No love for Byrne’s She-Hulk run?

If it was listed, I would have voted for it without hesitation. That said, only his #1-8 run falls within the 80s and is neither as long nor as good, IMO, as his #31-50 run. Even so, I still would have voted for that 8 issue run. Combined, his two runs on Sensational are probably my favorite superhero comics ever.

I voted for Nocenti/Romita Jr on Daredevil, a book that I both loved as a kid and can still re-read today. The great thing about these lists is that they bring atttention to the fact that so many great comics were published that remain more or less unsung. I fully expect the winner to be from the Claremount X-Men, Miller DD, Byrne Anything, Simonson Thor group (as well it should) but am grateful to see some light being shed on the other great runs of the 80′s. Now if we can just get some of these reprinted……(tho I do love hunting down the individual issues)…..

Also…any chance we can get the issue #’s added to the list?

I was about to select Simonson’s Thor… but went for Strikeforce Morituri. It was a great concept, and I loved the stand-alone series. But soooooooo hard to choose, so many good runs. (But also many easy for me to dismiss completely.)

Ed (A Different One)

March 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

@stealthwise

“Stern/Romita Jr Spider-Man! The only thing holding it back was Stern having to leave the book far too soon, but it’s still my favourite Spider-Man run of all-time.”

Man oh man oh man oh man. To me, the greatest most unrectifyable tragedy of this era was Stern leaving ASM way, way, way, way too soon. I know that Stern left the title to work on his “dream job” writing the Avengers, but I cry silent tears into my pillow every night thinking of the great issues of ASM that were left unborn as a result.

I know that many people see the DeFalco/Frenz era that followed as another strong run, but to me it was really never the same after Stern/JRjr ended. It’s amazing to think that a flagship character like Spider-Man has really only had two good runs on his main title – Lee/Ditko/Romita and Stern/JRjr (though the Lee/Ditko/Romita era could easily be considered two seperate runs and probably should be).

Now Spectacular has had a few good moments, especially under Mantlo’s pen and, to a slightly lesser extent, PAD’s first run. But other than that, most of the rest of Spidey’s run in comics is a bleak wasteland . . .

The Shooter Avengers are my personal favorite, but Claremont’s X-Men should be the winner here by a large margin.

Different Ed– What about Spectacular under Stern? I prefer to see the Stern period as one long run that just happened to switch titles.

And why isn’t Stern’s Spectacular on this list?

Ed, you bring up a good point re:flagship characters/titles. It always feels like Marvel & DC know that ASM and Batman are gonna sell tons so why bother with a top notch writer? Also all throughout Brand New Day, Spidey has felt weirdly detached from the greater Marvel U. That being said, I REALLY like Slott’s run so far. Easily my favorite ASM in years, maybe ever. I came onto the book with #298, right at the start of Michelene/McFarlane and have had an on again off again relationship with the book for years. Hope Slott can keep up the pace. I think the current Marvel crop of writers is stellar-Bendis, Brubaker, Fraction, Hickman, Aaron, Slott, Remender, Parker, Gillien, and VanLente all turn out good-great work.

Ed, you bring up a good point re:flagship characters/titles. It always feels like Marvel & DC know that ASM and Batman are gonna sell tons so why bother with a top notch writer?

I don’t think the problem is that ASM and other flagships haven’t had top-notch writers. I think there have been quite a few. I think the problem is that with flagship characters, there’s a big “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mindset. You can’t take as many creative risks so the properties stagnate, or when you do people revolt. When a book is not a flagship, a writer can get away with more and take more risks. For example Daredevil used to be written a lot like Spider-Man, lighthearted. Because he was a low seller and under the radar, Miller could come along and turn him into a psychotic version of Batman and no one protested. If he tried that with Spider-Man he’d have been reversed on the decision.

I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode here; seriously, a lot of these are flat-out goddamn terrible.

Yeah, T. thats true, the flagships tend to be so restrictive. I think thats my problem with Brand New Day, where it felt like the writers were forcing this “classic” spidey and not quite getting it right. But I think Slott solo is touching on the classic feel of spidey with a fresh take. Morrison’s Batman feels the same to me. Classic and yet still fresh at the same time. It can be done, but not easily.

Ethan Shuster

March 2, 2011 at 7:54 am

I too, for the sake of my childhood (and adulthood), I’m going with Hama and G.I. Joe. While other stretches of it were great, too, the Whigham art era — maybe the 30s through the 50s — were great stuff and really classic as far as the series goes. Even up through #80 or so. Though as it made it into the 1990s, the quality did start dropping.

Somebody send a stack of TPBs from that time to the current live action movie makers, please!!

Ethan Shuster

March 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

By the way, it should be noted a big chunk of those G.I. Joe covers were by Mike Zeck, and were classic on their own.

Marvel in the 80′s was the last time Marvel really felt great to me. DC keeps pulling ahead and Marvel is a very mixed bag starting in the 90′s.

Like many have said, I’m not including Claremont / Byrne / Austin X-Men as most of that was in the 70′s.

Stern/Byrne/Rubinstein Captain America
Miller/Janson Daredevil
Miller/Mazzucchelli Daredevil
Stern/Austin/various pencilers Doctor Strange
Byrne Fantastic Four
Mantlo/Buscema Incredible Hulk
David/McFarlane Incredible Hulk
Michelinie/Layton/Romita Jr. Iron Man
O’Neil/McDonnell/Mitchell Iron Man
Michelinie/Layton/Bright Iron Man
Jones/Anderson/Garzon Ka-Zar the Savage
Moench/Zeck/Day Master of Kung Fu
Mantlo/Chaykin/Milgrom/Broderick/Gil Micronauts
Moench/Sienkiewicz Moon Knight
Claremont/Sienkiewicz New Mutants
Duffy/Gammill/Villamonte Power Man and Iron Fist
Busiek/Cowan/Chan/various others Power Man and Iron Fist
Owsley/Bright/Acerno Power Man and Iron Fist
Mantlo/Buscema ROM
Simonson Thor
Claremont/Cockrum/Wiacek Uncanny X-Men
Claremont/Smith/Wiacek Uncanny X-Men

Off of the above list, these are the runs that I remember the most.

I voted for Miller / Janson DD. It literally blew me away at the time and stunned me. There was nothing else like it at the time.

Claremont / Cockrum and later Claremont / Smith were outstanding. It dropped off for me when Johnny Romita Jr took over as penciler. Most of his work I’ve liked, but his X-Men just didn’t feel right to me.

Definitely number 3 goes to Byrne’s FF. Blasphemous as it sounds, I think his version is THE version to me.

Simonson’s Thor overhaul is next.

Next comes Bill Mantlo’s tremendously entertaining runs on Hulk, Micronauts and ROM.

Always solid Uncle Rog delivered the goods with Amazing Spider-Man (one of the few times I’ve followed the character), Avengers, Cap and Dr Strange.

Yeah, Marvel really had it going on back then. I think Axel can bring back the magic.

I don’t think it is a blasphemy. I also believe Byrne’s FF is the definitive version.

Stefan Wenger

March 2, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Waitaminute, where’s DeMatteis’s Spider-Man!?!?

Was going to go with Stern on either Avengers or Spider-Man until I saw Mantlo’s Rom.

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