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CSBG Archive

2012 Top 100 Comic Book Runs Master List

Here is a master list of all of the runs revealed so far in our countdown of your favorite comic book runs of all-time! Click on a run to read more about it!

100. Daniel Clowes’ Eightball – 83 points

99. Jim Steranko’s Nick Fury – 84 points

98. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Thor/Tales of Asgard – 89 points (2 first place votes)

97. Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise – 90 points

96. Jack Cole’s Plastic Man – 91 points

95. Peter David’s 1st Run on X-Factor – 92 points (1 first place vote)

94. Gail Simone’s Secret Six – 94 points (1 first place vote)

93. Chris Claremont’s New Mutants – 95 points

92. Frank Miller’s Sin City – 96 points (2 first place votes)

91. Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty – 97 points (1 first place vote)

90. John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew – 98 (1)

89. Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s Fantastic Four – 99

88. Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke and Key – 100 (3)

87. Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man – 102

86. Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim – 103

85. Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum’s Legion – 104 points (2 first place votes)

84. Alan Moore, Zander Cannon and Gene Ha’s Top 10 – 105 points (1 first place vote)

83. Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima’s Lone Wolf and Cub – 106 points (5 first place votes)

82. Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano’s Daredevil – 107 points (2 first place votes)

81. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal – 108 points

80. Joe Kelly’s Deadpool – 111 points (1 first place vote)

79. Jim Starlin’s Warlock – 112 points

78. Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force – 113 points

77. Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – 114 points (4 first place votes)

76. Denny O’Neil and Denys Cowan’s The Question – 115 points (2 first place votes)

75. Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery – 116 points (4 first place votes)

74. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Doctor Strange – 117 points (1 first place vote)

73. Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s X-Force/X-Statix – 118 points

72. Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Clapion’s Batman – 119 points (2 first place votes)

71. Mark Waid’s Daredevil – 120 points

70. Geoff Johns’ JSA – 121 points (3 first place votes)

69. Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ Batman – 122 points

68. Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary’s Authority – 123 points

67. Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III’s Promethea – 124 points (3 first place votes)

66. David Michelinie and Bob Layton’s Iron Man – 125 points

65. Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s Nextwave –128 points

64. Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ Green Lantern (co-starring Green Arrow) – 129 points

63. Will Eisner’s The Spirit – 131 points (2 first place votes)

62. John Byrne’s Superman – 134 points (3 first place votes)

61. Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Immortal Iron Fist – 143 points

60. Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley’s Invincible – 149 points (5 first place votes)

59. Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers – 152 points (1 first place vote)

58. Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle’s Batman – 154 points (3 first place votes)

57. John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake’s The Spectre – 155 points (3 first place votes)

56. John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad – 158 points (1 first place vote)

55. Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers’ Detective Comics – 161 points (3 first place votes)

54. Carl Barks’ Duck comics – 167 points (1 first place vote)

53. Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s Hitman – 168 points (1 first place vote)

52. Jonathan Hickman’s FF – 171 points (3 first place votes)

51. Jack Kirby’s Fourth World – 176 points (2 first place votes)

50. Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’ Ex Machina – 184 points

49. Peter David’s 2nd Run on X-Factor – 189 points (2 first place votes)

48. Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s Astro City – 198 points (2 first place votes)

47. Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt’s Legion of Super-Heroes – 201 points (5 first place votes)

46. Dave Sim and Gerhard’s Cerebus – 203 points (10 first place votes)

45. Grant Morrison’s Invisibles – 204 points (4 first place votes)

44. Roger Stern and John Romita Jr.’s Amazing Spider-Man – 214 points (1 first place vote)

43. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets -226 points (5 first place votes)

42. Roger Stern’s Avengers – 228 points (4 first place votes)

41. Jeff Smith’s Bone – 230 points (2 first place votes)

40. Los Bros Hernandez’s Love and Rockets – 231 points (8 first place votes)

39. Mike Mignola’s Hellboy – 247 points (6 first place votes)

38. Alan Moore’s Marvelman/Miracleman – 254 points (6 first place votes)

37. Stan Lee and John Romita’s Spider-Man – 262 points (3 first place votes)

36. Mark Waid’s Flash – 263 points (6 first place votes)

35. Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s Ultimates – 265 points (2 first place votes)

34. Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s Runaways – 272 points (6 first place votes)

33. Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera’s Scalped – 289 points (4 first place votes)

32. Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol – 333 points (8 first place votes)

31. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson and Rodney Ramos’ Transmetropolitan – 336 points (6 first place votes)

Story continues below

30. Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker’s Gotham Central – 340 points (8 first place votes)

29. Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s Avengers – 342 points (6 first place votes)

28. Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard’s Walking Dead – 351 points

27. Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha’s Fables – 358 points (4 first place votes)

26. Peter David’s Incredible Hulk – 365 points (7 first place votes)

25. Garth Ennis’ Punisher – 380 points (5 first place votes)

24. John Byrne’s Fantastic Four – 381 points (4 first place votes)

23. Grant Morrison’s Animal Man – 393 points (6 first place votes)

22. Ed Brubaker’s Captain America – 445 points (8 first place votes)

21. Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men – 463 points (8 first place votes)

20. Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ Justice League – 474 points (8 first place votes)

19. Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary – 489 points (8 first place votes)

18. Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern – 498 points (11 first place votes)

17. Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man – 501 points (6 first place votes)

16. Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Daredevil – 514 points (7 first place votes)

15. Chris Claremont’s Solo X-Men – 533 points (14 first place votes)

14. Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans – 560 points (13 first place votes)

13. Grant Morrison’s New X-Men – 584 points (9 first place votes)

12. Grant Morrison’s JLA – 607 points (7 first place votes)

11. James Robinson’s Starman – 637 points (22 first place votes)

10. Walter Simonson’s Thor – 701 points (16 first place votes)

9. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher – 792 points (22 first place votes)

8. Grant Morrison’s Batman – 830 points (27 first place votes)

7. Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s Daredevil – 838 points (17 first place votes)

6. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man – 849 points (24 first place votes)

5. Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra and Jose Marzan’s Y the Last Man – 855 points (23 first place votes)

4. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four – 863 points (29 first place votes)

3. Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing – 1184 points (27 first place votes)

2. Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin’s X-Men – 1233 points (39 first place votes)

1. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman – 1375 points (45 first place votes)


As good as it is, there is absolutely no way in hell Milligan/Allred X-Force/X-Statix is a better run than Chris Claremont’s damn-near-100 issues of New Mutants. What an injustice.

In my opinion not one thing on that list is as good as EIGHTBALL, especially G.I. Joe comics. I hate to be a snob but damn! Come on! Well, to each there own. An interesting list so far.

Have to remember that this website is mostly superhero focused. Cool to see eight ball and lone wolf getting love.

See, I’d argue that Eightball is a basement level quality 90s comic (and I mean “90s comic” in the worst possible way) suffering from forced/artificial “indie” sensibilities and was clearly written by someone who thinks far too highly of themselves. I’d also argue that G.I. Joe is the pinnacle of them medium. I’m also genuinely baffled by your dismissal of it and your need to single out it, and it alone, as a supposedly “inferior” title in comparison to Eightball, as if you have some sort of personal ideological issue with the comic.

But I’m not a snob/hipster/nerd/elitist, so what would I know…

The people who think Snyder and Capullo’s Batman is the best run ever need to be slapped. I hope you’re both 13-year-old boys.

One difference between the last list and this list (so far): No ties yet.

am I the only one that hated Remender’s X-Force? Good to see some Terry Moore love, though. Also, if you haven’t read Criminal or Locke and get, get on it.

Mogo, I loves me the Claremont more than many, more than most, and I have never read X-Statix, but 54 (58 w/specials) is not damn near 100. The original New Mutants only had a 100 issue run.

[…] As usual my ramblings are based on Comics should Be Good and their round up of great comic runs. […]

I don’t hate Remender’s X-Force run but I think it’s overrated and rides the hype train. I’ve read every issue of it and can’t see what’s so great about it.

See, I’d argue that Eightball is a basement level quality 90s comic (and I mean “90s comic” in the worst possible way) suffering from forced/artificial “indie” sensibilities and was clearly written by someone who thinks far too highly of themselves. I’d also argue that G.I. Joe is the pinnacle of them medium. I’m also genuinely baffled by your dismissal of it and your need to single out it, and it alone, as a supposedly “inferior” title in comparison to Eightball, as if you have some sort of personal ideological issue with the comic.

But I’m not a snob/hipster/nerd/elitist, so what would I know…
I don’t hate the G.I. Joe Marvel comic. I enjoyed Hama’s writing on it. He did some interesting things with something that could have easily turned into a cheap toy commercial. I don’t however think it’s the “pinnacle of the medium” or as good as Eightball. When CLowes was doing Eightball there was no “forced/artificial ‘Indie’ sensibility. It was just a guy making a comic. All the folks who rip him off probably suffer from that no doubt. As far as being called names…I would only agree with the nerd term. Your name though seems to be quite fitting.

Loved Uncanny X-Force! Its the book that reignited my love for the Marvel universe, after I didn’t read anything from them for at least four years. I loved the fact that a lot of it is very Morrisonesque, but without being silly.
What I don’t get is the love Mark Waids Daredevil gets. I read it and kinda liked it, but it was at best an ok book, with a nice old school touch. Nothing more, in my eyes. Thats on the hype train, if you ask me.

James Crankyman

October 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Wow. Look how history is forgotten. Yes, comic book storytelling is more sophisticated now, but I can’t believe there are more people out there that think Grant and Breyfogle’s run on TEC (Which is a run I do enjoy) is at all superior to O’Neil and Adams on Batman Or GL/GA.

@Marius, you should also be accusing The Harveys and the Eisners of jumping on that DD hype train too.

If Strangers in Paradise made the top 100, Love & Rockets better be in the top 50.

@James Crankyman: I don’t forget comics history at all. And yet, I might rank Grant/Breyfogle over O’Neil/Adams as well. Here’s why:

Firstly, O’Neil had a huge influence over the entire era Grant was a part of anyway, almost to the point he should be listed as being part of the run. When you read that Alan Grant stuff, you are definitely reading about the character O’Neil wrote about in the ’70s.

And secondly, Adams just didn’t produce that many issues. As much as those early Ra’s stories are among my favorite Batman comics ever, I’d be more likely to vote for Novick from that era over Adams, just for being the more consistent, dependable, timely artist. If you want to talk history and about being under-appreciated and underrated, let’s talk about Novick. When I think of Adams, to be honest, I think of him more as a cover guy than an interior artist when it comes to Batman.

And yeah, O’Neil/Adams GL/GA is a seminal run, but again, look how short it was. Adams couldn’t last and was soon replaced. Whereas Grant & Breyfogle produced a TON of material together.

“Your name though seems to be quite fitting.”

Suck it. (Eightball still blows.)

Davey Boy Smith

October 20, 2012 at 1:10 am

@ stk – Love & Rockets deserves to be in the top 5. 30 years of excellence on a title is a singular achievement.

Uncanny X-Force would be deserving of its spot for the Dark Angel Saga alone. Damn, if there’s ever been a better X-run then let me know, I’d have to read it asap (and I’ve already read the issues by Claremont & Byrne, Morrison & various, and Whedon & Cassaday.)

Isn’t Uncanny X-Force the book with grim and gritty Nightcrawler? I can’t imagine a world where that gross a character departure for one of my all time favorites would result in something I could enjoy reading. So, I just want to know before I drop my $17 on a Dark Angel trade: is that the book?

@Gary Yes. The Nightcrawler from the Age of Apocalypse (where EVERYONE is grim and gritty because of well… the apocalypse) comes to the normal Marvel Universe to help X-Force stop Archangel’s ascension. Believe me, it’s nowhere near as offensive as it sounds. They establish that he is NOT the Nightcrawler we all know and the story is really good.

Gary, as a fellow Nightcrawler fan, I still loved the Dark Angel Saga. Like J-Shap said, it’s the AOA Nightcrawler, so you shouldn’t be offended by any grim and/or grittiness.

“Look at how short the run was. Adams couldn’t last and was soon replaced.”

Uh, no. The book was published every two months, and Neal Adams drew every issue until it was cancelled — and drew to the end of the arc as a back -up in Flash. There’s a legend that the sales were better than DC thought, but the book was cancelled due to low sales, not to any creator difficulties with Neal Adams.

This was also the period when DC tried a number of pricing gimmicks to counter inflation, including giant-size reprint issues — GL/GA had one reprint issue, but as it was the penultimate issue of the book, I don’t think it had anything to do with “Adams couldn’t last” — by that point, the decision had already been made to end the book.

Regardless of the reasons, that classic GL/GA run by O’Neil/Adams is pretty short in terms of number of issues.

And look at Adams’ Batman work. Where was he half the time? You have the classic Ra’s introduction storyline people always associate with him, yet it was 6 issues long (7, if you count the Talia introduction issue) and Adams only drew 3 of the issues. THREE. Where is the praise for Irv Novick? A solid artist who delivered month in and month out? It’s hard to call anything Adams did on the Batman character a “run”, it was so sporadic. He’d do one or maybe two issues, followed by four or five fill-in issues by other artists. How is that a run? If Batman in the #220s-240s is anyone’s run, it’s Novick’s! And on Detective, Adams only once drew two consecutive issues and only 8 issues total. The closest thing he had to a run on Batman (prior to Odyssey, I guess) was 8 consecutive issues of BnB.

Irv Novick was a great artist; it’s amazing how many stories people think of as being Adams are actually Novick. It’s no slur on Novick to say that Adams was the bigger star — but the book would have been totally different without Novick.

If you don’t believe me, look at the handful of Batman stories that Frank Robbins wrote and drew as well — the younger me thought Robbins was a bad artist; it was just such a jarring shift from Adams’ & Novick’s take. There’s a pair of Christmas stories, for example, regarded as semi-classic, that are mistakenly ascribed to Adams often that are really Novick. But art chores were handed out differently back then — Adams was working on Batman, Tec, GL/GA and wherever Deadman happened to be showing up. One issue of JLA, I remember, had Neal drawing the pages only when Deadman or the Sensei appeared (the plot was the League of Assassins taking out a contract on a League member). The rest of the issue was drawn by whomever was handling the JLA at the time. It was pretty bizarre to see how Batman’s cape varied page to page – -maybe that was Adams’ way of saying how stupid he thought it was, but who knows?

I don’t think you can insinuate that Adams couldn’t handle the workload from that.

Just to say, really glad to see Bendis’ Avengers getting some recognition. Single handedly got me into Avengers comics- much kudos for a stellar run.

So it’s a grim and gritty Nightcrawler, but it’s not the 616, “our” Nightcrawler. That I can deal with. I’ll see if I can snag that trade. Thanks, both of you.

I’m really enjoying this list so far, and I find myself not only agreeing with most of the voters so far, but also making notations of things to read in my spare time that I might not normally read. I’ve been avoiding Hellboy for years, but I may just try that now, along with Astro City, Transmetropolitan and Invincible. Also, thanks Brian for commenting back on the few questions I’ve had here and there, it shows you genuinly care about your work and your readers (another reason I keep CSBG bookmarked).

[…] comic book creator runs of all-time! We’ll be revealing five runs a day for most of the month. Here is a master list of all of the runs revealed so […]

I’m really stunned, as always, at some of these choices.

Ex Machina is one of my favorite titles but I never dreamed it’d be in the top half of this list. Wow !

# 36 goes to Mark Waid’s Flash ? No slight to Mark Waid, but I’m very surprised it’s ranked so highly.

Ditto for Sim & Gerhard’s Cerebus.

Titles I haven’t read, but have heard lots of good about off this list, include Remender’s X-Force, Jeff Smith’s Bone, BKV’s Runaways, Astro City, Invincible, Hickman’s FF and Iron Fist. Slowly I’ll be picking these up.

Thanks Brian for these great lists.

I say this every time, but where is Savage Dragon? Nearing 200 issues with one man on art and writing, and it’s damn good stuff.

Also any John Wagner Judge Dredd run, or the Wagner/Grant Judge Dredd run of the 80s, requisite stuff I’d say.

I must admit that I am enjoying all the recognition that Grant and Breyfogle are getting in the comments section. Their run on Detective Comics is among my favorite. Both of them had the uneasy task of keeping Batman relevant in kind of an awkward time for the character. It was right after A Death in the Family, during the height of Burton’s first movie (which everyone that didn’t read comics defined as Batman), and still a couple of years before the Knightfall,Knightsquest, and Knightsend. I would love to see them get back together for another run on Batman.

I’ve read 16 of these so far. Has anyone read all of them?

@Tyler, i haven’t read *all* no but I have read 21 of them. Over-all, its not an appaling list but I’ve never understood the love for X-STATIX (I tried to read it but dropped it after the first arc, I read all the X-FORCE issues before the name change so I gave it 3 or so arcs!)

I *am* glad to see GOTHAM CENTRAL on the list but I want to know where MANHUNTER (Marc Andreyco’s run) and STARMAN are.



I wish I paid more attention so I could’ve my vote to runs I know wouldn’t make the top 100 like both Busiek’s and Stern’s runs on Superman

It will be interesting to see where Starman lands…I’ll be honest I forgot about it because of my anitpathy over James Robinson’s later work. It’s really lowered my opinion of the writer to such an extent that it casts a shadow on what I think is a great run.

I think Warren Ellis’ “Planetary” should crack the top twenty.

So far four of my runs have made the list

John Byrne FF
Mark Waid FF
Jack Kirby New Gods
Roger Stern ASM

Just outside of my top ten was Morrisons New Xmen run. I hope it makes it

Peter David’s X-Factor, either of the runs but especially ‘Investigations.’ Makes me sad it isn’t on the list as it won’t likely hit the top spots.


Oh, Starman will be there. I’m certain that I’ll have read all of the top 10 when they come around. I’m super curious to see where Morrison’s Batman Saga ends up. I’m guessing #3. The new rules for grouping Claremont’s X-Men might make that the new #1.

So far no Black Panther by Priest. I know I gave it 10 points, and I thought there would be a few other posters that would get it on the list, but nope. And I doubt there would be that many votes to get it into the top 20. Probably only got about 60 points worth or so. Oh well. Still hoping for the Marvel Omnibus treatment for that run.

I don’t see anything I voted for yet. I see some stuff that’s really good here, and a few that I find really annoying (eg: Giffen Justice League). I’m guessing we’ll get through this whole list without any Steve Gerber…

[…] has been a while since my last run down of the Comics Should Be Good top runs list. I was out Thursday and doing the gaming thing Friday. The runs are now ahead of […]

I think the people who are getting mad about current runs need to cool down! This is the internet AND this is thing is going to happen every four years. The people who voted Scott Snyder’s Batman as number one did not vote for it because they thought it was the greatest thing ever done in comics, but because it’s the greatest thing THEY’VE EVER READ in comics. It’s a big world, and right now, for young readers, or even people just getting into comics, they best they know of is Scott Snyder’s Batman, Mark Waid’s Daredevil, and Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force. Yeah, they know that there was great stuff like Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing or James Robinson’s Starman, but who the hell wants to vote for a ton of stuff you’ve never even read? These people aren’t ‘ruining the sanctity of the list.’ They’re just fans like you and me, but a little greener.

joe the poor speller

October 29, 2012 at 9:34 am

Some runs I didn’t vote for but I wished to see on the list (and they won’t be):

– Gruenwald’s Cap
– Mantlo’s Hulk
– Michelinie/Layton’s Iron Man
– Michelinie’s Spider-Man
– Jurgens’ Thor
– Busiek’s Thunderbolts
– Pak’s Hulk
– Fraction’s Iron Man
– Ennis’ Hellblazer
– Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan’s Detective Comics
– Grell’s Green Arrow
– Perez’s WW
– Rucka’s WW
– Rucka’s Detective Comics
– Johns’ Flash
– Simone’s Birds of Prey
– Palmiotti/Gray’s Hex
– BQM’s Batgirl

You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks. You’re just proving my point here d00dez

Purchased and read Uncanny X-Force: The Dark Angel saga. That was $34 poorly spent. It started okay to gripping, and I think there was one part I thought was really good, but I can’t say what it was right now, so clearly it wasn’t all that hot. Pretty much all of Book 2 was just fight scenes that I couldn’t be bothered to care about because they were all inconsequential and Archangel surviving/laughing off everything being thrown at him including being shot in the head because that wasn’t how the story was supposed to end.

I did like the illusion Betsy gave Warren while he “died”. That part was nice, but it and the other good part just weren’t enough to redeem the books in my eyes. Oh, and the “let’s hop in the car for a road trip” attitude of getting to the Age of Apocalypse just seemed stupid to me. I looked at that splash page with no thought more prominent than “Are you kidding me? Dude, for SERIOUS?” I think that’s where the thing well and truly lost it for me. Why exactly were they trusting Dark Beast, again?

At any rate, I spent the dough, spent the time, and read the book. I believe that those who recommended it to me recommended it in good faith, and thought they might want to know the results of the experiment.

Everything that @Steve Stokes wrote goes for me too.

More Grant & Breyfogle Bats! Hell, no slight to Alan Grant, but even just more Breyfogle Bats! I think he would work really well for whatever the more multidimensional take on Bats there is after Morrison’s departure.
Come to think of it, I just hope there is someone doing more of a Batman that isn’t strictly the dark business with the grisly biz, the always-being-unearthed Wayne family connections to everything that has ever happened in Gotham, and the dark darkness all the time, following Morrison’s exit.

Breyfogle drawing scripts from … Mark Waid? (who’s not so cool w/ Didio from what I’ve read) That’d be great. Realistically, who could write for Breyfogle? I’d be happy to have Alan Grant back with him, but beside?

I dunno, I really wanna see this. There was something in the link discussion about how the creators’ royalties were extra high at theoriginal time of publication, and that’s why DC’s not reprinting it? That’s pure bull-hooey. Give me some hardcover Grant/Breyfogle Bats! I’ll pay stupid amounts for it. (And don’t forget the late Adrienne Roy, whose colors made at least the first bit of Grant’s and Breyfogle’s run all the better). RIP Ms. Roy

James Crankyman

October 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm


I absolutely agree that Irv Novick was totally screwed over in that era, as was Dick Giordano, but it’s really O’Neil and Adams that brought Batman back from the brink of total camp.

I would say that I enjoy the Grant/Breyfogle TEC stuff a lot, but lest I forget, that run also brought us Anarky, and that was… not so good. At least Breyfogle is doing Batman Beyond Unlimited right now (and it’s awesome).

joe the poor speller

October 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

It’s a shame that the Grant and Breyfogle’s ‘Tec/Batman run is not collected. The spanish publisher Planeta DeAgostini released a 5-volume hardcover collection with all the Grant/Breyfogle run.

It will be a crime if Gruenwald’s run on Captain America isn’t on here.
I’m a bit surprised Byrne’s FF run didn’t make the top 10. It’s always so highly regarded whenever it’s mentioned anywhere.

The preponderance of newer stuff is a bit disappointing but understandable.

Happy to see Morrisons Batman run in the top 10 . Its my fave run of all time. Soooooooo good.

Does the original Squadron Supreme series not qualify?

What about Dean Motter’s Mister X? Matt Wagner’s Mage (or Sandman Mystery Theatre)? Jim Krueger’s Footsoldiers? Phil Hester’s Wretch?

You need a hyperlink to #9 & 8 on this page.

where is Wonder Womans golden age run`?
its must be down to people not having read it…..

SUPER idea:
top comics by AGE.

roughly 25 years?
(top golden, silver, bronze etc…)

I’m not sure, but is there a few more ‘non-tradtional’ comics featuring on the list than last time?

I know that my top 10 was a least half made up of Vertigo stuff.

“I must admit that I am enjoying all the recognition that Grant and Breyfogle are getting in the comments section.”

Though, why isn’t John Wagner as co-writer for the first year of that run getting recognition? Wagner/Grant were unstoppable in the 80s.

If I voted, I would have pushed G Mo’s Batman ahead of FM Daredevile…….

some very quick breakdowns:

# of marvel runs – 41 (+1 icon) = 42

# of dc runs – 26 (+2 wildstorm + 8 vertigo) = 36

# of image runs – 3

# of x-book runs – 9
# of batman runs – 6
# of spiderman runs – 5
# of daredevil runs – 4
# of avengers runs – 4

# of grant morrison runs – 6
# of stan lee runs – 5
# of alan moore runs – 4
# of warren ellis runs – 4

Looking over the full list, I count 56 that I’ve read so I’ve got 44 to potentially check out, although there are some that I tried and gave up on.

What do I know, though. I’ve been picking up a bunch of Marvel’s 1970s westerns reprint books, trying to make sense of the Kids: Rawhide, Ringo, Two-Gun, Colt, Outlaw, Western and Apache. These are about the only Marvels I wasn’t buying off the stands at that time so it’s all new to me.

I find it interesting the number of runs belonging to Marvel and DC “classic” franchises, kind of showing which characters arguably bring out the best in their creative teams?

5 Spider-Man (inc. Ultimate)
4 X-Men
4 Avengers (inc. Ultimates)
4 Fantastic Four
4 Daredevil
2 Thor
1 Hulk
1 Captain America
1 Iron Man
1 Doctor Strange
1 Nick Fury

6 Batman (inc. Gotham Central)
2 Justice League
2 Legion of Super-Heroes
2 Green Lantern (inc. GL/Green Arrow)
1 Teen Titans
1 Justice Society
1 Superman
1 Flash

Also, as a child of the Marvel era under Jim Shooter, I’m glad to see 10 runs make it from that happy time of comic collecting: 2 X-Men runs plus representation from New Mutants, Spider-Man, Avengers, FF, Daredevil, Thor, Iron Man and G.I. Joe.

So how many votes came in anyway? Last time it was around 700, but a lot of those point totals and #1 totals were lower. Did the number of voters go down or was there a lot more variety than last time?

More diversity in votes. There were probably about 10% more voters this time around.

Some additional stats, now that the 2008 and 2012 Top 100 Master Lists can be directly compared. The various Claremont Uncanny X-Men runs that were folded together will not be counted on this list. I’m also not going to count lists that charted in 2008, but do not qualify for the poll under the 2012 voting rules (like All-Star Superman).

MIA: Runs from 2008 that did not return in 2012
#100: Doug Moench’s Master of Kung Fu (95 points)
#97: Matt Wagner’s Grendel (98 points)
#97: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo (98 points)
#93: Garth Ennis’s Hellblazer (101 points)
#93: Bendis/Gaydos’s Alias (101 points)
#91: Mike Grell’s Green Arrow (104 points)
#89: Mark Gruenwald’s Captain America (107 points)
#86: Roy Thomas’s Avengers (109 points)
#85: Aragones/Evanier’s Groo (110 points)
#83: Ellis’s Stormwatch (112 points)
#81: Brubaker/Phillips Sleeper (113 points)
#80: Carey/Gross/Kelly Lucifer (114 points)
#78: Casey’s WildCATS (117 points)
#76: Chadwick’s Concrete (120 points)
#74: Claremont/Davis’s Excalibur (122 points)
#73: Priest’s Black Panther (130 points)
#70: Bendis/Oeming Powers (134 points)
#67: Milligan’s Shade, the Changing Man (142 points)
#64: Moore/O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (148 points)
#56: Alan Moore’s Supreme (168 points)
#56: Johns’s Flash (168 points)
#53: Baron/Rude’s Nexus (174 points)
#41: Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck (218 points)

It’s stunning to me Gruenwald’s Captain America run did not make this list.

Surprised not to see Grendel, any Hellblazer, Priest’s work on Black Panther or John’s Flash run. The list is what it is and I can respect that.

Not a bad list (oh and, @Tyler, I have read only 4 of the top 10, which surprised me) but I am disappointed that STARMAN is not in the top 10 (‘#11 isn’t bad but it deserves a top 10 slot IMHO).

I know very few would of voted for it but I’d of loved to see Andreyko’s MANHUNTER in the list too.


No J. Michael Straczynski anywhere near this list? That’s a shame. His run on Thor was great and the earlier Spiderman stories he told got me interested in comics again. This is to say nothing of Rising stars which, while troubled, was a great book. He does good work.

@Lynxara: Thank you for that. I was actually going to suggest a comparison between the two lists and then saw that you already took care of it! :-)

Wow…this list is almost backwards; in my opinion (we obvious exceptions…well to me they are obvious). Top to Bottom some nice picks, some new “to me,” and few glaring question marks. Lasting impression is the readership needs to diversify and exspand asthetic ideology, but quality wins.

I’ve read 59 of these runs (at least partially) so I guess I’m in good company. I’d put the older stuff nearer the top, I’m more a Bronze Age fan. Some of the runs that still aren’t finished seem to be on here due to their current popularity, will they be there in 10 years? Perhaps a list of only completed runs without stuff that’s still on going should be done. As for my top 10, could be different every day although your X-Men related choices and of course Starlin’s Warlock would be in it.

I agree about STARMAN; it really deserved to remain in the top ten. I think Robinson’s recent work, much of which has been, shall we say, less than wonderful, has dampened enthusiasm for his work in general. Evidently, not even his crown jewel was unaffected. His damaged rep has likely kept a lot of readers who are only familiar with his less-than-stellar projects from picking up the new Starman collections.

Now, a look at the new stuff that charted in 2012 for the first time. I won’t count the Claremont Uncanny ueber-run, since portions of that did chart in 2008.

Newcomers: Runs that charted in 2012 that did not in 2008
#100: Clowes’s Eightball (83 points)
#99: Steranko’s Nick Fury (84 points)
#94: Simone’s Secret Six (94 points)
#92: Miller’s Sin City (96 points)
#90: Layman/Guillory’s Chew (98 points)
#88: Hill Rodriguez’s Locke & Key (100 points)
#87: Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man (102 points)
#86: O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim (103 points)
#82: Brubaker/Lark/Gaudiano’s Daredevil (107 points)
#81: Brubaker/Phillips’s Criminal (108 points)
#78: Remender’s Uncanny X-Force (113 points)
#77: Hama’s GI Joe: A Real American Hero (114 points)
#75: Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery (116 points)
#72: Snyder/Capullo/clapion’s Batman (119 points)
#71: Waid’s Daredevil (120 points)
#69: O’Neil/Adams’s Batman (122 points)
#61: Brubaker/Fraction’s Immortal Iron Fist (152 points)
#59: Bendis’s Avengers (152 points)
#54: Barks’ Duck comics (167 points)
#52: Hickman’s Fantastic Four (171 points)
#50: Ex Machina (184 points)
#49: David’s 2nd Run on X-Factor (189 points)
#33: Scalped (289 points)
#28: Walking Dead (351 points)
#8: Morrison’s Batman (830 points)

I’m going to attempt to do a points-by-creator chart, though we’ll see if I can stick with an undertaking that massive!

Excellent updated countdown.

So, have you ever considered doing a countdown of the worst comics ever made?

Ha! Nah, that is a bit too mean for my tastes.

Lynxara, how many of the new runs did not exist when the previous list was compiled? It might be interesting to see if there are any “true” rookies.

I’m really happy to see Barks make the list.

Disappointed that G-Mo’s Batman is in the top ten but not his Doom Patrol, which is far far superior IMO.

BeccaBlast: Off the top of my head, Snyder’s Batman has only been with us for a year. Other than that I don’t think there are any true newbies.

Wait, Waid’s Daredevil is only about a year and a bit old. I think Hickman’s Fantastic Four started late ’08 so that’s probably within bounds too.

@BeccaBlast: If memory serves, the 2012 runs that did not exist at the time of the 2008 voting are as follows:

Simone’s Secret Six
Slott’s Spider-Man
Remender’s Uncanny X-Force
Gillen’s Journey into Mystery
Snyder/Capullo/Clapion’s Batman
Waid’s Daredevil
Hickman’s Fantastic Four

There’s a few that come close. Locke & Key, for example, would’ve had an issue or two out during the 2008 voting.

Okay, I did a points-by-creator breakdown. I’ll publish the ten highest entries here, and the rest is socked away in this Google doc for the curious: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkOE_VSw1XtFdEpBbjBJcWFoSnhLVkxVZ3Ytd3dDYmc

1. Grant Morrison – 2951 points
2. Stan Lee – 2180 points
3. Chris Claremont – 1861 points
4. John Byrne – 1745 points
5. Alan Moore – 1543 points
6. Neil Gaiman – 1375 points
7. Garth Ennis – 1340 points
8. Brian K. Vaughn – 1311 points
9. Terry Austin – 1233 points
10. Brian Michael Bendis – 1167 points

My methodology was to award full points for the run to each creator credited with the run. So for Byrne/Austin/Claremont’s X-Men, for example, each person who worked on the run got the full 1233 points added to their personal total. I thought about just dividing points up by number of creators, but that seemed like it would arbitrarily make runs with large numbers of collaborators less valuable overall. Ultimately, I feel that if you voted for the specific Claremont/Byrne/Austin combination, then you were in a sense voting for all three creators equally, and any creator-based point comparison should acknowledge that.

Of course, if someone wants to do a points-by-creator comparison with a different methodology, feel free! I think comparing the two could be quite interesting.

Coming from someone who has read about 80% of the runs on this list: I’m a little appalled that Fraction’s Iron Man didn’t make this list. It would have been in at least my top 25.

So, when are the runs from #101-on getting posted?

I’ve read about 1/4 out of these (some completely and some half or more) and dipped in others. Going to read a few series out of this list very soon (Miracleman, the Sandman and Suicide Squad). Have plenty of these in my reading list already but it’s nice to see what else to read :D

7/10 of my list made it. Those would be 100 Bullets, Giffen/Dematte’s’ Justice League, Hitman, The Walking Dead, Hellboy, Scott Pilgrim and Planetary. My runs that didn’t make it were Peter Milligan’s Hellblazer (#2, any other Hellblazer run didn’t make it either :( ), Geoff Johns’ The Flash (#5?, best Flash run from the second volume and this is coming from someone who’s read it entirely) and Eric Powell’s The Goon (#8, comic fans, read this series! Powell’s the next Mignola and it’s Wolverine done right :p ).

Sad to see that some great runs from last time’s list, that Lynxara posted, didn’t make it. But seeing the likes of Chew and Scalped makes them up, ha :D

Thank you, Brian and others for making this list, especially when I didn’t get to vote the first time :D

Are we going to see the rest of the list like last time (ie. anything that scored over 50)?

i’m surprised there’s no love for the 80’s First Comics- Mike Baron & Steve Rude’s Nexus, Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg, Mike Grell’s Jon Sable & John Ostrander’s Grimjack. Also, Matt Wagner’s Mage & Grendel. All classics.

I’ve said before that I’m sure we’d all be more than satisfied with a simple text list in the comments section of all the runs that got votes but didn’t make the top 100.

Lynxara is awesome for doing all that numbercrunching. Thank you!

Every time you kids ask for a list of the other runs, Daddy decides that no one will get ice cream! Sit quietly and wait for it to happen!!!


Thanks for the great work. Surprised that Claremont and Davis’ ‘Excalibur’ dropped off the list.
Hopefully next time there will be some Wonder Woman love.

would anyone be interested in a top comics (not just runs) by AGE? I.e. Golden, Silver, Bronze.
(maybe stop at the 70ies – because modern comics are overexposed enough already!)

This way CAPTAIN MARVEL, PLASTIC MAN, BATTLEFIELD etc. would be sure to get the spotlight they deserve.

[…] The top two: Comics Should Be Good posted the last of the top 100 runs of all time […]

I will be reading many of the comics on this list because I am always on the lookout for quality.

I have read many of the comics on this list and I would like to pimp a few of them for others who are also looking for something to read, I’ll limit this to ones I feel are under-read. Especially things that newer or younger readers might not have had the chance to go back and read yet.

62) John Byrne’s Superman
Superman is perhaps the most difficult comic to make interesting. It is very hard to make a near-omnipotent boyscout compelling. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC decided to relaunch the universe and restart the mythos of a number of their characters. John Byrne’s reimagining of Superman was, in my opinion, the clear best of them by a mile. The rules he set up for that Superman run meant that the stories could go in a new direction. Only green kryptonite, no other survivors of Krypton, etc. (these rules were ignored by later writers by the late 90s) The recreation of Lex Luthor as a power-hungry CEO made him one of the more compelling villains in comics at the time. I don’t want to spoil anything for someone who might actually go back and read it, but Superman 22 had one of those “I cant believe this just happened!” moments that I will never forget. The repercussions of what happened in that issue were felt in the comic for YEARS.

I have a couple more I want to add, but I’ll give it a while and see if there is enough interest to warrant it first.

Okay, I’m using this page as a sort of clearing house for general comments on the list…

First up, my personal top ten:
1. Swamp Thing by Moore/Bissette/Totleben/Veitch/Alcala/Wood
2. Uncanny X-Men by Claremont/Smith/Romita Jr/Silvestri/Lee/Adams/Windsor-Smith
3. Sandman by Gaiman and an army of artists
4. Daredevil by Miller/Janson
5. Ultimate Spider-Man by Bendis/Bagley/Immonen/Lafuente
6. Planetary by Ellis/Casaday
7. Animal Man by Morrison/Troug
8. Preacher by Ennis/Dillon
9. Sleeper by Brubaker/Philips
10. Hellboy by Mignola/Byrne/Fegredo

The last few runs I cut were Starman, Bone, Y, Simonson Thor, Giffen/DeMatteis JLI, Supreme, and Miracleman.

My personal breakdown of what’s here:
*26 runs in the top 100 I have read every single issue
*17 runs in the top 100 I have read most of
*30 runs in the top 100 I have read at least part of
*27 runs in the top 100 I have read none of

My picks for the 20 runs that are most unfortunately absent:
1. Sleeper by Brubaker/Philips
2. Supreme by Moore/Veitch/etc.
3. Powers by Bendis/Oeming
4. Moon Knight by Moench/Sienkiewicz
5. American Flagg by Chaykin
6. Captain Britain by Davis/Moore/Delano
7. Excalibur by Claremont/Davis
8. Defenders by Gerber/Buscema
9. Impulse by Waid/Ramos
10. Avengers by Englehart/Cockrum/Perez/etc.
11. Stray Bullets by Lapham
12. Zot by McCloud
13. Swamp Thing by Veitch/Alcala
14. Captain America by DeMatteis/Zeck
15. Jon Sable by Grell
16. Hellblazer by Delano/Ridgeway/Buckingham/etc.
17. BPRD by Mignola/Davis/Arcudi
18. Cable by LaDronn/Casey/Robinson
19. L.E.G.I.O.N. by Kitson/Grant/Giffen
20. Nightwing by Dixon/McDaniel

My suggestion for a future countdown: What about having people vote for their ten favorite runs that DIDN’T make this top 100? Then we would end up with a Top 100 list of the best runs that are sort of forgotten or under-appreciated, which I think would be incredibly interesting for a lot of voters/readers.

And I’d also, one of these days, love to see polls for the best single issues, the best mini-series, the best first issues to ongoing series, the best Chris Claremont stories (more than just a top ten), and the best Bronze Age stories (since that’s the era that always ends up getting short changed in these major polls).

And, just to toot my own horn for a second, I’d like to point out that I correctly predicted 46 of the top 50 (in my comment on the #55-51 page), with Ex Machina, Runaways, PAD’s 2nd X-Factor run, and Gotham Central being the 4 I missed. I had Nexus, Moore Supreme, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Powers in their place. And I’m still very surprised that Nexus missed the cut, because it got a good number of first place votes in the ’08 poll, and I can’t imagine what would have happened in the last four years to make those people change their mind. Unless just by bizarre happenstance none of those people voted this time around.

As usual Brian, these countdowns are a delight, and a real gift to your readers. Thanks again so much and I look forward to more of them.

And, of course, thanks also to all of the knowledgable CSBG readers with all of their great taste. Without you, this countdown wouldn’t have the general credibility that it does.

And Burgas- I look forward to your overly long analysis and explanation of your picks.

Third Man: HA! I’m working on it. You don’t mention Doom Patrol, which makes me sad, but you make up for it by mentioning Moon Knight and Captain Britain. Well done!

[…] by original Sandman cover artist Dave McKean. Gaiman’s legendary series was recently named the best comic run of all time by Comic Book Resources […]

Hey, Brian… any chance of still continuing with some of the runs outside the Top 100? How much do I have to bribe you to make it happen? Live sacrifice? Anything?

Brian demands ultra-rare Dylan boots!

So anyway, I know you’ve all been clamouring for it, so here’s my list of my top runs, a bunch that didn’t quite make my list, some babbling about the ones on my list not on this list, and so on.

I’ll start with stuff that didn’t make it. My methodology was that for the most part, I wanted runs I’d read most or all of, runs that were decent length, and although it wasn’t in the rules, the implication with this list was that writers AND artists worked together on a run. I broke my own rules for stuff I felt I had to put on my final list, but that’s what disqualified a few things here early on. That and not having read them in ages.

2-3 runs that I went D’OH! after seeing them on the top 100 but not even considering them were Los Bros on Love and Rockets (didn’t think of it as a run, somehow. I’m dumb sometimes.) and Cole on Plastic Man (forgot about it, and I would have been torn over that or the Kyle Baker run, and that didn’t make it due to not having read all of it. But “Shirtless Fighting!” rules!)

My long list:

Morrison/Porter et al JLA
Morrison et al New X-Men
Bob Burden Flaming Carrot (awesome stuff!)
Busiek/Anderson Astro City
EC stuff (um, couldn’t figure out anything specific, so it got dropped off my list quickly)
Baron/Rude Nexus
Terry Moore Strangers in Paradise
Sakai Usagi Yojimbo
Robinson/Harris/Snejbjerg Starman
Allred Madman
McCloud Zot!
Bagge Hate
JF Moore/Guinan/Leialoha Chronos
Milligan/Chiang et al Human Target
Fraction/Ba/Moon Casanova
Waid et al Flash
Barks Disney Ducks
Parker Thunderbolts
Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire et al Justice League
Ron Marz Green Lantern (really dug Kyle when that run started)
Moore/Sprouse/Veitch et al Supreme
Hama et al GI Joe (in reading this in recent years, I’m surprised at how good it is)
Arcudi/Mahnke Major Bummer
Miller Sin City
Moore/O’Neill League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Smith Bone
Mackie/Tex Ghost Rider (one of my first loves. Tex’s inky is so damn gritty!)

I whittled my list down, cutting all of the above titles, either because I hadn’t read enough or I just didn’t quite like the run enough to make my “short” list.

I sent Brian a list of 13, partly because I wasn’t sure he’d count one, and partly because I couldn’t decide and I can’t follow the rules!

But here’s the ones that didn’t make THAT cut:

Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four (just haven’t read quite enough of it — love the run from about 40-70, but before and after I wasn’t sure about)

Moore/Baikie/Gebbie/Nowlan/Veitch/Barta Tomorrow Stories
Moore/Sprouse/etc Tom Strong
Moore/Ha/Cannon Top 10
Moore/JHW3 Promethea
Moore/Bissette/Totleben/Veitch/etc Swamp Thing
(the ABC line I love, but never quite purchased all of it. Tomorrow Stories probably was closest to making the list, but bumped for a vaguely similar run that did, my #6) (also, haven’t read enough Swamp Thing to vote on it for sure)

Evanier/Aragones Groo (love it, but haven’t read quite enough)

Ellis/Immonen Nextwave (love it, but hadn’t read it recently enough to vote for it. 2 other Ellis runs made my 13, though.)

Rozakis/DeStefano ‘Mazing Man (this one was toughest — actually made my list, but I bumped it for my #8 but didn’t knock all the rest down a spot, because I didn’t want to lose my #10. If that makes sense.)

So here’s the final list:

13 – Aaron/Guera Scalped – #33 on the list, but I felt the second half wasn’t quite as strong and therefore it didn’t make my 10.

12 – Ellis/Cassaday Planetary – #19 on the list, I haven’t finished reading the series, so I couldn’t quite top 10 it, but the first 18 issues are so good I can’t see how it could have been muffed at the end.

11 – Gaiman et al Sandman – #1 on the list. I haven’t read all of this, but I’ve read enough to know it’s awesome.

10 – Eisner (et al) Spirit – #63 on the list. Haven’t read all of it, but it’s got such amazing stories and storytelling methods. Also, “Ten Minutes” is one of the best comics stories ever. It’s in the Best of the Spirit SC that DC put out a while ago. If we ever get a “best one shot/single issue/self contained comics story” poll, this one will be high on my list.

9 – Ellis/Deodato Thunderbolts – not on the list. I kind of surprised myself by including this, but due to it being largely self contained, a single writer/artist team, and a great follow up to Civil War, I decided to include it. I particularly like the short one page interludes that show how fucked up the Marvel U got post-Civil War (the action figure commercial with the “screaming Captain America” figure, the one poking fun at Stan Lee’s reality show, and some others). Plus, he made me care about Jack Flag. Jack Flag!!!

8 – Milligan/Allred et al X-Force/X-Statix – #73 on the list. This one I’ve read almost the whole run. Milligan and Allred have fun exploring how mutants would become celebrities and how we treat celebrities, how celebrities view the rest of us, and had a great dark edge. Plus, it had great letters pages (remember those?)

7 – Brubaker/Epting/Perkins/Guice et al Captain America – #22 on the list. It falters some after the end of the “Death of Captain America” story, but for that 42 or so issue run, it’s a great book looking at Steve getting Bucky back just to lose his life, and Bucky dealing with all that he’s done.

6 – Kurtzman/Elder/Wood/Davis/Severin/etc early Mad comics – this one didn’t make the list, and I wasn’t sure if Brian would count it. It’s as much a thematic run as anything else, but Harvey Kurtzman wrote and laid out all the issues, I believe, and used basically just the 4 artists mentioned for the 23 comics issues of Mad. The birthplace of all the satire on pop culture in the 20th century — National Lampoon, the Simpsons, even Monty Python has a (vague) connection to Mad. And the actual issues mostly hold up 60 years later. “Superduperman” is wonderful still (“vas ist SHAZOOM?”), and there are so many other gems in there.

5 – Busiek/Olliffe et al Untold Tales of Spider-Man – didn’t make the list. Possibly a more nostalgic choice, as this was one of the first books I HAD to have, and now I do have all the issues (after YEARS of looking for that later Dr Strange special after the main title ran its course). 99 damn cents an issue! Busiek riding high post-Marvels! Olliffe doing great work that wasn’t aping Ditko but had a period feel! I love that book.

4 – John Stanley/Irving Tripp Little Lulu – didn’t make the list, unsurprisingly, but I have yet to read a Lulu issue that hasn’t delighted me. Stanley and Tripp mined a certain set of tropes (boys club vs Lulu, Lulu’s stories to Alvin, Tubby as the Spider, and so on) and managed to make gold out of them over and over. Dark Horse has collected most (all?) of their run, and it’s so good.

3 – Morrison et al Batman — #8 on the list. From the first 6 or so pages, you’re blasting off on a fun thrill ride, and that’s what Morrison’s run has been for all these years. Bumps along the way, sure, but overall it’s so good. That second issue, with the fight in the pop art museum? Amazing. The start of the Bat run was one of the books, along with Scalped among others, that kept me interested in comics in the middle of the last decade.

2 – Lee/Ditko Amazing Spider-Man – #6 on the list. An amazing (ha!) run that does so much to establish everything great about Spidey. That origin story is 11 damn pages! 11! Ditko brings a ton of angst to the art that is fitting for Peter’s world, and Stan’s patter is great.

1 – Sim/Gerhard Cerebus – #46 on the list. My favorite comic ever. So much is packed into Cerebus’s life in 300 issues, and Sim’s artwork grows so much during the course of the run. Sim’s also one of the top letterers ever, as he tells a lot with that as well. Gerhard’s backgrounds are jawdroppingly beautiful, and he even draws the rice cakes! I ramble even more about Cerebus on the page with 50-46, so if you want more of my babbling… Oddly enough, I haven’t read quite all of this, and I haven’t read any in a number of years (but that’s a whole ‘nother story….)

Thanks again to Brian for having this poll and doing all the hard work with it. Comics rule!

I would also like to see 101-150. Please Brian.


It’s obviously too late now, but I’m just curious, and it might be useful to know for the next one of these polls…

Would you have allowed me to vote for the artist run “Alan Davis on Captain Britain and Meggan,” and have that count everything from the Davis & Alan Moore stuff all the way through Davis’ Excalibur work? It strikes me that, chronologically speaking, there really weren’t any major gaps.

Davis & Moore came to Captain Britain ( I believe) in 1981 and did about two years worth of stories, then Delano took over for Moore and did another two years worth before Davis wrapped up the UK run writing and drawing a few stories himself. That series ended in early 1986. Later that year, Davis teamed with Claremont on New Mutants Annual #2, which brought Captain Britain, Meggan, and Psylocke over to the American mutant verse. Then in 1987, Davis & Claremont again teamed up for Uncanny X-Men Annual #11, which also starred Captain Britain & Meggan. Then early 1988 had Davis & Claremont team Captain Britain & Meggan up with Kitty, Nightcrawler, & Rachel for the first Excalibur Special, which turned into a regular series that fall. Davis & Claremont worked together for the first 24 issues, then Davis took a year off before coming back with #42, and wrote & drew the book for another 25 issues. Between 1981-1993, a calendar year never elapsed without a new Captain Britain & Meggan story drawn by Alan Davis, and most years had several of them. Indeed, Captain Britain & Meggan probably only have a handful of appearances in the 1980’s that WEREN’T drawn by Alan Davis.

While I realize this stretches the definition of a run a little, it does seem that Davis was the major guiding force for this entire 12 years worth of stories, and Alan Moore, Jaime Delano, and Chris Claremont largely acquiesced their writing to Davis’s strengths/plots/characters. I’m sure you know more about any of this than I do, but that’s my impression, at least. And there’s definitely a ton of continuity of story between the three major writers that worked with Davis.

Anyway, like I said, it’s obviously too late to matter, and I’m mostly just curious. But I’d love your take.

And Burgas, feel free to chime in as I know you love you some Davis Captain Britain. Do you think it should all be one run?

I should add that this question arose out of general thinking about when & why it might have been better to vote for a run by an artist instead of a writer. For example, it occurred to me that if people voted for “Howard Porter’s JLA” instead of “Grant Morrison’s JLA,” then they’d get all of the Morrison issues PLUS Tower of Babel, which seems like a better grab, if you will.

Or voting for Sal Buscema’s Spectacular Spider-Man gets you the great DeMatteis run, plus a ton of Conway stuff, plus Peter David’s second Sin Eater story.

I also like Phil Hester’s Green Arrow, which gets you the Kevin Smith issues, the Meltzer issues, and a lot of the Winnick issues.

Anyway, just thinking out loud. It’s funny how long artist stints that traverse several writers aren’t really thought of as “runs” in the same way that long writer stints which traverse several artists are. Long artist stints are certainly less common, but they do happen.

I’m sure Brian would ok it, as your 10 or less points would be all it got, Third Man ;)

Actually, I want a list of all the runs that only got 10 or less points. Be interesting to see what runs one person liked and no one else did. Or else runs that 9 people put at #10 :) I’m guessing my Little Lulu vote was one of those type votes.

Artist runs count, which is how Marshall Rogers’ Detective Comics made it on to the list.

But that run would not have counted, no. If you wanted to go Davis’ Captain Britain, fine. Plenty of folks voted for that. Or Davis’ Excalibur, sure. But not them together.


See, that’s the thing, I bet the run might have made the list under those circumstances. Davis’ Excalibur made the lower reaches of the Top 100 in ’08. It fell off this year, but it has to be assumed that it still got some votes, and probably came in the 101-120 range. Assuming the Moore/Davis Captain Britain ALSO got some votes (we know Burgas voted for it, and all Moore runs are bound to get a little love), then I have to believe if those runs were combined into the uber “Alan Davis on Captain Britain” run, then it might have made the top 100. Especially if more people knew they could vote that way. It probably would have made my list over Hellboy or Sleeper.

Oh well, maybe in ’16


Not trying to be argumentative, simply just curious… but why not count them together, given that there weren’t any real gaps, and considering how much carry over there was in style/plot/characters/stories between the solo Captain Britain stuff and Excalibur?

I trust your judgement, I’m just curious what angle you’re taking with it.

And lastly (and I promise I’ll shut up now), do you know, or have you ever done any sort of Urban Legends piece on the genesis of the Excalibur series? Did it come from Davis, from Claremont, or from both of them and their desire to work together? How early was it planned relative to the end of the Captain Britain solo stuff and the release of the two annuals Davis worked on with Claremont prior to Excalibur?

There was a two-year gap between the end of Captain Britain and the beginning of Excalibur. They are distinct runs, especially when the majority of Excalibur spun out of Uncanny X-Men.

[…] Comic Books Should Be Good is an excellent blog, and Greg Burgas has pretty good taste in comics (except when he disagrees with me).  Twice over the past 8 years, Brian Cronin has done a massive poll for the best 100 runs of all time, and recently completed his 2012 edition.  You can find it here. […]

thank you so much for this list and the previous ones, they’re helping me building my comics knowledge
it’d be wonderful if you could make a list of only comics for mature readers

[…] It came 58th in comicbookresources best comic book runs vote of 2012 and quite deservedly so. 2012 Top 100 Comic Book Runs Master List | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources It is the 2nd highest Batman run behind Grant Morrison's work in cbr's vote. To be honest I think […]

Brian, not to badger you or anything, but I hope we’ll eventually get another 50 or so of the next ranking runs like last time. Maybe you’re saving it for a special week, but I just don’t want this to permanently laid by the wayside. Thanks.

[…] A few month ago, Comic Book Resources did a list of the Top 100 comic book runs, based on submission… You can disagree with it, but these are all titles that plenty of comic book fans passionately love. It’s a good place to start with recommendations for what series to read next. And what to reread. […]

[…] now isn't a big deal. Look at cbr's 100 best comic runs of all time (voted by readers in 2012). 2012 Top 100 Comic Book Runs Master List | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources Iron Man appears once (No 66 out of 100), that is the same number as Iron Fist. Totally […]

[…] is, after all, fantastic – it even managed to make in on Comics Should Be Good’s Top 100 Comic Book Runs, a fan-voted list that is notoriously, extraordinarily superhero centric – […]

It’s mind-boggling to discuss “Greatest Comic runs of all-time” and not include:

1) Action Comics (beginning June, 1938 and still going and well over 900 issues!) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

2) Captain America Comics (running from 1941 thru issue #78 in the 1950s) by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. In fact Stan Lee’s first-ever comic writing was in Captain America #3 in May 1941)

3) Marvel Mystery Comics (the first issue being called Marvel Comics #1 establishing the name that became the trademark of the company and introducing the Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, & Ka-zar)

4) Detective Comics (beginning in 1937), the series that introduced “The Batman” in Issue 27 (May 1939). In fact “DC comics” got it’s name from the initials of Detective Comics!

Just my 2 cents…

I’d recommend acquainting yourself with what this list is measuring.

Are we doing this in 2016?!

Are we doing this in 2016?!

Would seem likely.

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