2012 Top 100 Comic Book Runs #75-71
You voted, now here are the results of your votes for your favorite 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 far.
Here’s the next five runs…
75. Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery – 116 points (4 first place votes)
Journey Into Mystery #622-current (#644)
Journey Into Mystery tells the tale of Loki, who has been reborn as a pre-teen after sacrificing himself during Siege. He now is stuck in a land where everyone knows him (and hates him) for the evil he did as an adult but can not bring themselves to get rid of him as a pre-teen (the fact that his brother, Thor, insists that he stick around certainly helps).
While apparently not evil like his older self was, Loki still has all of the skills he had in his past life, including a strong ability to con people.
Gillen introduced a few notable supporting cast members, including Ikol, a magpie who is the representation of Loki’s former evil life and Leah, a handmaiden of Hela, who was ordered to help Loki.
Gillen’s stories were marked by both clever plots and clever dialogue, not to mention really heartfelt ideas of the very notion of whether someone truly CAN be redeemed. This is exemplified beautifully in an issue drawn by Mitch and Bettie Breitweiser (Gillen has had a lot of artists work with him on this series) where Loki is given a litter of hel-wolves (prodigy of his servent, the Hel-Wolf, who apparently impregnated Garm, guardian of Hel). He is able to find homes for all but one of the wolves, who appears to be just plain evil. Told to get rid of the wolf, the parallels between the wolf and Loki are not hard to see…
Gillen is JUST finishing up his run on the book with a crossover with Thor.
74. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Doctor Strange – 117 points (1 first place vote)
Strange Tales #110-111, 114-146
In Strange Tales #110, Steve Ditko and Stan Lee introduced one of the best characters the two worked on together, Doctor Strange. The initial story introduced the basics of the story really quickly, and what basics they were!
A jerkish surgeon whose recklessness led to his hands damaged, Strange searched for a cure, until he ended up becoming the apprentice to the Ancient One, and his life was totally turned around for the better. No longer a jerk, Strange began to use his newfound mystical powers for the good of the universe.
After a short break, the feature returned to Strange Tales where Ditko and Lee produced a number of classic issues, introducing many new characters that are still used to this day, like Baron Mordo, Dormammu, Eternity, Nightmare and more.
Here, from Ditko’s final issue, is an epic sequence where Eternity (who had been trapped by the Dread Dormammu) is freed…
The comic was a nice counterpoint to Ditko’s more grounded work in Amazing Spider-Man, as this series allowed Ditko to cut loose with bizarre and trippy concepts.
It was a tremendous work, and it gave such a great foundation to future writers (Note – towards the end, Denny O’Neil did some scripting on the book).
73. Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s X-Force/X-Statix – 118 points
X-Force #116-129, X-Statix #1-26 (Allred
X-Force picked up from the short-lived “X-Revolution” revamp that involved Warren Ellis revamping titles and having other writers follow him up on the book. X-Force had Ian Edgington follow Ellis on a Black Ops take on X-Force that ended in #115 with all the team supposedly dying.
On that cheery note, Peter Milligan and Mike Allred entered the scene with #116 with an X-Force that no one had ever seen before, and it was good.
X-Force was now a bunch of publicity-seeking mutant heroes who were looking to cash in on their fame before they inevitably died during battle.
Here is the star of the book, Zeitgeist….
Of course, right after that, Zeitgeist (as well as almost the entire team) is himself killed.
The only two surviving members were Anarchist and U-Go-Girl. Along with incoming team leader, The Orphan (Mister Sensitive), these three members would become the nucleus upon which X-Force would revolve upon, although one of the three would die before the book was relaunched under the new name, X-Statix (that character’s death was a brilliant examination of the very nature of comic book death. Darwyn Cooke did some of the art for this period and it was just an excellent combination of story and art).
X-Statix was a lot more satirical than X-Force (and, heck, most comics, period). The book lasted a strong 26 issues before it, also, came to an end.
72. Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Clapion’s Batman – 119 points (2 first place votes)
Batman (Vol. 2) #1-13
Scott Snyder was already coming off an acclaimed run on Detective Comics with artist Jock when he was given the opportunity to relaunch Batman as part of DC Comics’ New 52. Now in charge of the “main” Batman comic, Snyder’s opening storyline was an epic tale introducing the Court of Owls, a mysterious organization that has ruled Gotham City from the shadows for years.
Batman discovered one of their lairs but got caught in a trap. I think this sequence is notable both for the description of the Court as well as an opportunity to see Greg Capullo (in his return to drawing comics for the “Big Two”) in action…
The whole Court of Owls storyline is one ideally suited for Batman, as Snyder knows that this is exactly the type of story that fits a dark character like Batman. For a guy like Batman, whose past is such a driving force in his life, Snyder uses the past to drive the storyline (along with a few neat mysteries and twists along the way). It is a horror/mystery that uses all the things that make Batman great – detective work, an expansive supporting cast, horror and, of course, outlandish villains.
Snyder recently began a new arc spotlighting the Joker that has already been received extremely well.
71. Mark Waid’s Daredevil – 120 points
Daredevil (Vol. 3) #1-current (#18)
Matt Murdock has dealt with many inner demons over the years, but none so demonic as the ones that haunted him at the end of his previous series. His life has seen so many strange, dark turns that the only way he sees out is to embrace the light, even if it is just himself trying to convince himself that everything is okay.
Waid’s Daredevil is a throwback series, but one that KNOWS that it is a throwback series, a book that is about a man trying to embrace his past life while trying to ignore the darkness inside.
Waid has been joined on this series by a series of astonishing artists, most notably the original art team of Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin (who traded off issues) and the current artist, Chris Samnee.
In an Eisner-Award winning single issue (the book also won for Best Continuing Series and Waid won for Best Writer), Daredevil is taking a group of blind kids on a winter retreat in the Catskills when their bus crashes and the bus driver is killed. Trapped in the wilderness, Matt Murdock must do whatever he can to save the kids (the art is by Rivera, inked by his father, Joe Rivera)…
Waid is always great with character-driven work, and as you can tell from the above scene, that is very much what his Daredevil is, while also having over-the-top superhero adventures, as well. There is also an impressive over-arching plot about a special hard drive containing the information of all the major crime empires (A.I.M., Hydra, etc.).