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CSBG Archive

2012 Top 100 Comic Book Runs #65-61

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…

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

Nextwave #1-12

Nextwave is ostensibly about a group of lesser known superheroes who find out that a Nick Fury knock-off is going around the country collecting Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction that the heroes have to get to before he does.

And hilarity ensues.

Oh, does hilarity ensues.

With amazing artwork by Stuart Immonen and hilarious plots and dialogue by Warren Ellis, Nextwave was like riding a crazy roller coaster that you never want to get off of, although ultimately, you must, because hilarious action comics like Nextwave are rarely commercial successes, and the series ended after just 12 issues.

Ellis structured the series wonderfully, with the twelve issues consisting of six two-issue arcs.

One of the absolute hightlights was the battle in the penultimate issue where the team has to fight through a series of bad guys to get to the head bad guy. The series of bad guys are depicted in a series of double-page spreads where Ellis went insane with crazy ideas and Immonen was right there with him, matching his crazy ideas and actually depicting them beautifully. Here are three of them (My favorite villains are the Elvis MODOKs)…

Perhaps some day we will see Nextwave return!

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

Green Lantern #76-87, 89, Flash #217-219 (as a backup story)

It’s pretty much industry lore by now, about how Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ classic run on Green Lantern/Green Arrow was critically acclaimed, but did not sell that well, but what’s interesting is that, from a historical perspective, that probably helped us readers out a bit, as the relative poor sales resulted in the book remaining bi-monthly, which allowed Adams to hit his deadlines, which allowed Adams to draw the whole run, which likely would have been impossible if the book was popular enough to make the book a monthly title. See? Silver linings, people!! Silver linings!!

Justice League writer Denny O’Neil was inspired by the new costume Neal Adams gave Green Arrow in the pages of the Brave and the Bold, so O’Neil decided to give Green Arrow a new personality to match his new duds, having the archer lose his fortune and become socially conscious.

Figuring they landed on an interesting idea, O’Neil and Adams teamed up to add Green Arrow to the pages of Green Lantern’s title, teaming the social conscious Green Arrow with the more conservative Green Lantern. This began in a dramatic sequence where Green Lantern saves a slumlord and is surprised by the reaction…

Ultimately, O’Neil sends the pair on a trip around America, where O’Neil and Adams were able to come up with a number of topical discussions (or, at least, more topical than a typical comic book of the day).

The comic was unlike anything else attempted at the time, and has been the basis for a number of stories ever since, especially the storyline where Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy is revealed to be using drugs.

As noted before, the book did not sell that well (by the by, an urban legend I’ve never been able to prove one way or the other is that the book DID sell well, but DC didn’t realize it, or something like that – maybe the book’s sales had boomed towards the end, but it was too late as the book had already been canceled? Something like that), and the stories ended up being backups in Flash for a time before ending period.

A few years later, O’Neil picked the series up again, with artist Mike Grell, but this time the stories were standard superhero stuff.

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

The Spirit Newspaper Strips 1940-1942, 1945-1950

The Spirit was an example of the comic strip business trying to cash in on the comic book business, and Will Eisner provided them with their way in, with his Spirit, which was a seven-page comic book that came as part of the comic book funnies section of the paper for over a decade (although Eisner did not work on the strip the whole time).

The Spirit was Denny Colt, a private investigator who was thought murdered, but was actually just in a state of suspended animation. Now thought dead, Colt put on a domino mask and fought crime as The Spirit!

During his run on the Spirit, Eisner developed many techniques that would become commonplace in comics of the future, most notably his stylistic double-page spreads, but also his more adult-themed sense of storytelling. Eventually each issue of the Spirit had Eisner work the title of the comic into the story in some way or fashion, often with amazing results.

The stories in the Spirit were mostly noir crime fiction, but Eisner experimented with all sorts of different stories, from horror to romance to comedy to mysteries.

When Eisner went into the Armed Services during World War II, a number of ghost-artists kept up the series for him. He returned to the strip after the war. In one of his most classic strips, he introduced the love of the Spirit’s life, Sand Saref…

Eisner gave up the strip in 1950. Wally Wood drew the strip for the last year, and he got REALLY adventurous, with the story barely resembling Eisner’s early work.

The Spirit may be the most influential comic book ever, in terms of artistic techniques.

All the Spirit stories have been collected into trades.

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

Man of Steel #1-6, Superman Vol. 2 #1-22, Action Comics #584-600, Adventures of Superman #436-442, 444, The World of Krypton #1-4, The World of Metropolis #1-4, and The World of Smallville #1-4.

In a bold move for the time, DC hired popular comic creator, John Byrne, to reboot Superman in 1986.

Byrne made a number of changes (although, notably, he also did not change a LOT of the comic – there certainly were more similarities to Pre-Byrne Superman comics in Byrne’s Superman than dissimilarities), including reducing Superman’s power level to one closer to the 1940s Superman, making Clark Kent more of an important part of the book (including a revamped origin where Clark was more popular as a teen), eliminating Superman ever operating as Superboy (as Clark gained his powers in his late teens), making Superman the sole survivor of Krypton, making Krypton a cold, heartless planet and basically having all the various Superman villains be reintroduced by Byrne or Marv Wolfman (who began the reboot with Byrne, but soon Byrne took over writing his comic, as well).

Lex Luthor was re-envisioned as a ruthless businessman that the public thought of as a philanthropist (this take on Luthor was used in the Lois and Clark TV series). The Luthor change was one of the most notable aspect of Byrne’s run, including this famous back-up scene from an early Superman issue…

Classic villainy.

The reboot was a smashing sales success, but Byrne presumably took some issue with some things DC apparently promised him, as he felt he was undercut by DC publicly as soon as he began the reboot, as though they were hedging their bets on the reboot publicly, so as to not offend the older fans (for instance, the Pre-Byrne Superman was still the one that DC licensed).

In either event, Byrne left the book after about two years, although he left with incoming writer, Roger Stern (who, along with Jerry Ordway, took over Byrne’s books), a fairly detailed storyline that took the books to about the three year mark.

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

The Immortal Iron Fist #1-16, The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1, Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death

The Immortal Iron Fist was a wild ride by Fraction and Brubaker that turned the Iron Fist concept on its ear and introduced a number of new characters that still impact the Marvel Universe to this day.

Their run on the book split into basically two distinct but connected stories. In the first, Danny Rand meets Orson Randall, the previous Iron Fist, who became Iron Fist around World War I. He has been keeping a journal of sorts ever since and he wants to give the information to Danny. As you might imagine, the bad guys are trying to stop him…

The revelations in the first story, especially that K’un L’un is just one of SEVEN “heavenly cities,” each with their own “Immortal Weapon” (like Iron Fist), lead to the second story, where Danny must compete in a tournament against these other champions.

The art on the series was handled cleverly. David Aja (who was amazing on the series – a wonderful mixture of noir and kung fu) obviously could not draw the whole series, so instead he drew PART of almost every issue, with flashbacks drawn by different artists. Travel Foreman was the most common artist used, but legendary artists like John Severin and Russ Heath also popped up (they fit Randall’s old school style quite well). Orson Randall was so cool that they even did a one-shot just telling some of his old adventures. These old adventures are having an impact upon Fraction’s current Defenders run.

Immortal Iron Fist was a fun, action packed series that never let up on the excitement. It was a roller coaster ride from start to finish and it really put Iron Fist back on the map as a major player in the Marvel Universe.

Matt Hollingsworth’s colors were a major part of the series, as well, by the way.

67 Comments

Man, Luthor’s being a really big jerk to Kitty Pryde.

A couple of really good, amazingly fun runs in this batch (Nextwave and Immortal Iron Fist); glad to see both appear, especially Iron Fist (since Nextwave showing up is more or less a given).

Not that it matters all that much, but I’m surprised the O’Neil/Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow placed higher than their Batman run. I mean, yeah, GL/GA has the whole “cultural relevancy” thing going, but Batman has Batman…

Have the old Spirit stuff been collected in any trades, or just the Archive-esque hardcovers? I’d love to a couple omnibuses or something like that.

Also nice to see Byrne’s Superman stuff, which tends to get overlooked but is really strong. Then again, it’s the Superman I grew up with, so I’m a little biased.

“Should only be taken in 100mg doses and never through the urethra.”

You can’t find advice like that in just any comic — and with this and “Hard Traveling Heroes”, six of my 10 have already shown up — not sure I have much hope for the remaining four…

Death Queen of California wasn’t part of the Braction IIF, it was part of Swierczynski’s run that followed.

IIF is higher on my list, but its nice to see it included here at all.

Duly noted, Don. Thanks!

Nextwave live action TV show would win all the Emmys!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m just glad their Batman made the list Teebore. It was only a runner up last time.

Every time I try to be charitable to the O’Neil-Adams GREEN LANTERN, I run into the brick wall of the inept plotting and terrible dialogue:

“Go chase a mad scientist or something”: That line would be cutting….were it not for the fact that “mad scientists” are an actual threat in the DCU; if superheroes like Green Lantern didn’t stop mad scientists, Green Arrow’s slum-dwelling friends would very swiftly wind up dead.

“Seems I’ve heard that line before…at the Nazi war trials”: Jeez, Denny, likening GL to a Nazi…does the word overkill ring any bells.

And, of course, the famous (infamous?) what have you done for Black people question: I dunno, I guess saving everybody on Earth from the Weaponers of Quard doesn’t count, seeing as how Black people live on a separate planet and all.

On the other hand, the Neal Adams art is really great.
:

Luthor being a good old-fashioned villian…just by being himself.

joe the poor speller

October 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Immortal Iron Fist sure is a great comic. I loved it, and it barely missed my top 10. GL/GA and Nextwave are both on my “to read” list. 1/10 for me (Brubaker’s Daredevil), still.

Regarding that Luthor sequence, Luthor acts like that waitress’s life sucks. I don’t know how things were in the 80s, but I would consider owning your own house at 22 to be really successful. I’m not much older than the waitress but I can’t imagine being married and owning a home at my age.

I get such a kick out of people complaining about how terrible the dialogue in “Hard Traveling Heroes” is, usually because the arguments almost always run like the ones noted here.

“Go chase a mad scientist or something” which is, mostly what Hal has done for the first 75 issues of the book. When he bothers to shop up on the street, he makes snap judgments and pronounces platitudes; even though he says later in the same issue he’s been around “long enough to know that evil isn’t a bug-eyed monster or a mad scientist” he doesn’t act that way. But Ollie gets bashed for calling him on it? Sounds like Ollie isn’t the only one with a political axe to grind.

“I’ve heard that line before — at the Nazi WAR TRIALS!” (gotta give Ollie his proper hyperbole). Hal’s response to being told just how badly he screwed up with his unthinking, self-righteous ring-slinging is to say he’s just a flunky? Really? “I have a job — I do it!” Yeah, he just punches a clock with the most powerful weapon on the planet. Oh, and by the way? The flunkies who had been put on trial for war crimes — and at the time this book was written, that was a real part of the world — pretty much DID say they were just doing their job. But here’s where the writing IS really good — by making Ollie that over-blown, O’Neal is doing something you hadn’t seen in mainstream comics at that time. He’s giving you two heroic leads, but neither of them can be trusted as a reliable observer — Hal’s dense and Ollie is WAY too sure of himself.

And now to the question — I read some of these original issues — found them in a back-issue bin in the mid-80′s — and the letter columns, which even then had a variation on, “I saved the world 75 times — that’s what!” Of course, that’s not what the guy was asking at all. This guy looks to be about, say, 60 or 65? And this is 1970. So, even given that the Golden Agers were all on Earth 2 (20 years behind Earth 1 was the story back then), for the last 15 years or so of his life, our questioner has seen super people running around doing amazing things. He’s also seen lynchings, riots, water cannons, murder, assassinations and just about every kind of brutality — legal and otherwise — you can imagine. And these super people he sees on the news? Didn’t do a darn thing about it. Not once. Not ever. And now one of them is on the roof of his building, telling another one — one he HAS seen around, at least a little — how too busy he is to do anything about this.

Wouldn’t you ask him why not? At least Hal has the sense not to give him an excuse. He DIDN’T do anything about it, even with all his power. And Ollie? Knows enough that when Hal put his mind to something, it WILL get done.

Don’t get me wrong — there’s a lot of writing in this series that is awful by today’s standards — Ulysses Star, anyone? — but this issue? No. Especially for its day, it’s as well-written as anything seen in a comic. That’s why it belongs in a discussion with Eisner’s Spirit or Cole’s Plastic Man or even Marston’s Wonder Woman — you wouldn’t have today’s comics without it.

Poor Marv Wolfman. Everyone forgets to give him the credit for creating businessman Luthor. Granted, the story above is all Byrne (and is awesome), but you spotlight Luthor without mentioning it was Wolfman’s idea.

All good rounds today.

NextWave – If those sample pages don’t tell you why this book is great, you’re not human. Comic book readers need to learn to laugh more.

GL/GA – Somebody kick me. I read this right after I submitted my votes. Therefore, I didn’t vote for anything I hadn’t read. Yes it’s earnest and its political points are obvious. Isn’t that what superheroes are supposed to be? Isn’t the major criticism of escapist fiction is that it does nothing to enrich the real world? That argument is completely wrong, but anyone who thinks that needs to read this. This isn’t some edgy, post-Alan Moore age grim n’ gritty deconstructionist material. This is just two guys who saw a lot wrong with society and wanted to use fantastic heroes to talk about it. And with that legacy behind it, it’s not even top 50? I wanna know how come? Answer me that, CSBG!

Spirit- Same as above.

Superman – Only read Man of Steel. It’s really good, especially in how much it takes from the movie. But I actually think I like Mark Waid’s Birthright a little more.

Immortal Iron Fist – Brubaker? Fraction? Rebooting old characters? Epic Mystical Kung-Fu Noir? Hell yeah! Also a note to all editors on how fill-in artists should be handled.

Another thing is that nowadays people give marvel a ton of flack for turning Norman Osborn into a Lex Luthor ripoff, but forget that Luthor as we currently know him is heavily inspired Marvel’s take on the Kingpin at this time, who was a much more popular villain at the time probably Marvel’s most popular villain. For those reasons I don’t think Wolfman’s idea was as revolutionary as people sometimes make it out to be

BeccaBlast:”“Go chase a mad scientist or something” which is, mostly what Hal has done for the first 75 issues of the book. When he bothers to shop up on the street, he makes snap judgments and pronounces platitudes; even though he says later in the same issue he’s been around “long enough to know that evil isn’t a bug-eyed monster or a mad scientist” he doesn’t act that way. But Ollie gets bashed for calling him on it? Sounds like Ollie isn’t the only one with a political axe to grind.”

Ollie’s statement is meant as ridicule, as though “mad scientists’ were not a major threat in the DCU. In other words, Ollie is implying that GL’s actions (stopping threats like, say, Hector Hammond) are meaningless in the face of urban poverty. That is what makes Ollie’s statements absurd.In the DCU, evil frequently does take the form of a “bug-eyed monster or a mad scientist.”

BeccaBlast:”“I’ve heard that line before — at the Nazi WAR TRIALS!” (gotta give Ollie his proper hyperbole). Hal’s response to being told just how badly he screwed up with his unthinking, self-righteous ring-slinging is to say he’s just a flunky? Really? “I have a job — I do it!” Yeah, he just punches a clock with the most powerful weapon on the planet. Oh, and by the way? The flunkies who had been put on trial for war crimes — and at the time this book was written, that was a real part of the world — pretty much DID say they were just doing their job. But here’s where the writing IS really good — by making Ollie that over-blown, O’Neal is doing something you hadn’t seen in mainstream comics at that time. He’s giving you two heroic leads, but neither of them can be trusted as a reliable observer — Hal’s dense and Ollie is WAY too sure of himself.”

I see no evidence that we are meant to see Ollie’s comment vis-a-vis Nazi war criminals as “overblown.” I think that you are mistaking over the top, ham-fisted dialogue for subtle characterization.

BeccaBlast:”And now to the question — I read some of these original issues — found them in a back-issue bin in the mid-80?s — and the letter columns, which even then had a variation on, “I saved the world 75 times — that’s what!” Of course, that’s not what the guy was asking at all. This guy looks to be about, say, 60 or 65? And this is 1970. So, even given that the Golden Agers were all on Earth 2 (20 years behind Earth 1 was the story back then), for the last 15 years or so of his life, our questioner has seen super people running around doing amazing things. He’s also seen lynchings, riots, water cannons, murder, assassinations and just about every kind of brutality — legal and otherwise — you can imagine. And these super people he sees on the news? Didn’t do a darn thing about it. Not once. Not ever. And now one of them is on the roof of his building, telling another one — one he HAS seen around, at least a little — how too busy he is to do anything about this.”

Again, note the exact wording. The man is not asking “what have you done to integrate public schools in the South, help secure the voting rights act, promote fair housing legislation, etc.” He is literally asking what GL has done to help Black people. This is akin to calling Jonas Salk a failure because he wasted all that time working on a polio vaccine and not working for the NAACP.

BeccaBlast;”Wouldn’t you ask him why not? At least Hal has the sense not to give him an excuse. He DIDN’T do anything about it, even with all his power. And Ollie? Knows enough that when Hal put his mind to something, it WILL get done.”

What, exactly, is GL supposed to do about social issues ?Use his celebrity to draw attention to them? If so, I fail to see how that would make him him any more effective than, say, a Hollywood actor lending his name to a cause. If GL is to truly make a difference in such matters, shouldn’t he simply seize power? Use his power ring to make people do the right thing? For that matter, why confine his actions to the USA?Following the logic that GL should intervene on the behalf of the downtrodden, why doesn’t he overthrow the the repressive regime in China? After all, GL did nothing while millions suffered in the Cultural Revolution.

I’ll never forget reading that Luthor story when it first came out. Gave me chills at how EVIL this guy could really be.

RE: the absurdity of the Adams-O’Neil GREEN LANTERN run,

A key problem with the run is that we are supposed to think that GL is ridiculous, that his actions fighting alien invaders and mad scientists have been a colossal waste of time. Instead of fighting the Weaponers of Quard, he should have been working towards improving inner-city housing. Of course, since aliens and mad scientists are a major threat to all life on Earth in the DCU, this contention presents certain difficulties….

Hence, WATCHMEN presents a much better take on the question.There, superheroes are made to look ridiculous because there are no super-villains, just put upon schlubs like Moloch. Dan Dreiberg even comments about who needs all this hardware to catch muggers. WATCHMEN is the Adams-ONeil GL done right.

The Crazed Spruce

October 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

John Byrne’s “Superman” was #6 on my list. He had one hell of a task ahead of him, rebuilding the single most iconic comic book character from the ground up, but I thought he did a great job.

I’ve only read the first issue of the O’Neil/Adams GL/GA run, so I didn’t feel right voting for it. And I haven’t read any of the other three, so I couldn’t vote for ‘em if I wanted to. (Though I do plan to order the trade of “Nextwave” the next time I make an order from Amazon.)

“Ollie’s statement is meant as ridicule, as though “mad scientists’ were not a major threat in the DCU. In other words, Ollie is implying that GL’s actions (stopping threats like, say, Hector Hammond) are meaningless in the face of urban poverty. That is what makes Ollie’s statements absurd.In the DCU, evil frequently does take the form of a “bug-eyed monster or a mad scientist.””

I think you’re reading something into that because it suits your conclusion more than its actually being there. Ollie did his fair share of mad-scientist chasing, too, after all. Hal’s response to the situation was totally ham-fisted, and it’s not like these two have never met. They’ve even chased mad scientists together before this. Ollie is very familiar with that — and anyone reading this book knows that. Is he ridiculing Hal’s behavior? Yep. Does that mean he thinks there aren’t cosmic threats? The two don’t naturally follow, sorry.

“I see no evidence that we are meant to see Ollie’s comment vis-a-vis Nazi war criminals as “overblown.” I think that you are mistaking over the top, ham-fisted dialogue for subtle characterization.”

Ollie goes for Godwin’s Law and that’s not overblown? That’s almost textbook over-blown. Now, if he had shown evidence of being a hot-headed, over-reacting arrogant jerk in the rest of the series… well, he did. With Ulysses Star, with Isaac, with Speedy, with the ambush in the alley, Ollie was pretty much everything that rankled Hal and Dinah, each of whom had their own faults. I’d be more likely to agree that this was bad if everybody acted like Ollie. But they don’t, and especially for its time, it was ground-breaking to have a hero be as WRONG as Ollie often was. The only one who came off worse sometimes was Hal. The two characters had the ability to see what was wrong with each other — and be pretty much blind to their own failings. For the late Silver Age, that was unprecedented.

“Again, note the exact wording. The man is not asking “what have you done to integrate public schools in the South, help secure the voting rights act, promote fair housing legislation, etc.” He is literally asking what GL has done to help Black people. This is akin to calling Jonas Salk a failure because he wasted all that time working on a polio vaccine and not working for the NAACP.”

I point out that in the strange world of the DCU, there were riots, lynching and murder, and you think that means I’m asking why GL or the League isn’t lobbying for fair housing legislation. The old guy isn’t asking GL why he isn’t marching on Washington; he’s asking him why the super people only seem to be concerned with outer space things. If O’Neal had him say, “Where were you at Selma?” the answer could have been, “I was fighting Kanjar Ro.” But the point is that save GA recently and maybe Batman in Gotham, these people NEVER saw any of the heroes dealing with the everyday menaces or the real violence; real, that is, in their lives. Yet, as the next page shows, he still trusts that Hal will do what’s necessary to help. If you are going to put characters like this in a world that is supposed to be realistic, that question is gonna get asked. As for Jonas Salk, the vaccine he and Sabin developed WAS something that affected this guy’s everyday life – -the two aren’t comparable.

What can a superhero do about social issues? Well, mostly that’s what this run was about — Nazis in Appalachia and harpies in discos aside, the run was about the limits of what even the most powerful characters can do. Putting corrupt slumlords in jail isn’t bad, but deposing governments with nuclear capabilities?

“Premier, the American Green Lantern has just prevented our tanks from entering Tienanmen Square.”

“Give me the launch codes. We told the Americans not to let their crazy people do that.”

Because, you know, preventing a lynching is the same thing as overthrowing a nation. Where’s that eyeroll smiley when it’s needed?

Trey – If Nextwave was a TV show it would be just like Community: Loved by a small but rabid fanbase, critically praised but low rated and overlooked come Emmy time.

Not to take away from how good Byrne’s Luthor story is, because it is really good, but why would there be a “Metropolis 900 Miles” sign anywhere? Aside from maybe Wall Drug, no place has signs even close to 900 miles away announcing how far it is to that location. You don’t see any signs outside Atlanta saying “New York 900 Miles.” Seems like an odd choice on Byrne’s part.

It’s easy to set up a straw man and knock it down — no one asked GL to fix his house. Put the criminal in jail who was extorting and abusing them, yes.

Not to take away from how good Byrne’s Luthor story is, because it is really good, but why would there be a “Metropolis 900 Miles” sign anywhere? Aside from maybe Wall Drug, no place has signs even close to 900 miles away announcing how far it is to that location. You don’t see any signs outside Atlanta saying “New York 900 Miles.” Seems like an odd choice on Byrne’s part.

I imagine that that was the point. Metropolis is SO big that it does, in fact, have a sign noting it being 900 miles away.

Still nothing from my top ten, but I have read most of these. “Iron Fist” is the one I’ve never read, but it’s already on my radar since I’m enjoying Fraction/Aja’s current “Hawkeye” series. I’ve read a sizeable chunk of “The Spirit,” and while I always enjoy Eisner’s art and designs, the stories never do much for me. I much prefer his later work.
Byrne’s “Superman” remains one of my favorite runs, although it didn’t crack my top ten. He did some great work with those characters; my favorites are probably “The Secret Revealed!” and the backup story sampled here.
GL/GA seems pretty ham-fisted today, but they really floored me when I read them as a teen. I can only imagine how revolutionary they were when initially published.
I LOVELOVELOVE “Nextwave!” The final issue is one of my all-time favorites. It’s such a damn shame that it only ran for twelve issues.

Your list of Byrne’s Superman run is missing three issues. 1) Superman: The Earth Stealers, 2) Superman Annual Vol. 2 #1, and 3) Action Comics Annual #1.

Also, did O’Neil’s Green Lantern make the last list? Either way, nice to see it on here. O’Neil/Adams was arguably the greatest writer/illustrator team of all time.

@sandwich eater; that’s ‘a house and a mortgage’. Given the waitress’ age and job, I’m guessing it’s a lot more mortgage than house.

Hell, having enough for the down payment to GET a mortgage at her age is impressive, you know?

Still none of my votes here. This is getting mildly disturbing.

I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed by Nextwave… It’s a great showcase for Immonen’s wonderfully fluid art, sure, and there’s some funny Marvel Universe parody moments and snappy dialogue, but other than that there isn’t that much depth to it. And before you go saying that parody shouldn’t have depth, in my opinion the best parodical comics have both funny and touching moments; a good example is Great Lakes Avengers, which I thought was as funny and a better story than NW. I don’t think Nextwave is bad, it’s very entertaining, but it certainly isn’t the 65th best comic book run of all time.

O’Neil’s Green Lantern:
politically correct superheroes – THE single worst idea in the history of comics. (and a really awful story)

Trajan’s and Becca’s “differences” here made me long for the wasted characters of David Alleyne and Thomas Everett in the X-Universe and John Henry Irons along with Cyborg in the pre52 DC Universe on a side note… Just because as a black man, these characters seemed to be written well as normal black men gifted to be heroes in crazy situations… yet never coming off like the 70′s Luke Cage or insert badly stereotyped character here..

Does O’Neil’s statement there go a lil over the top? Yep… but in an age of idiotic blissness for this hero, it was a splash of cold water to Hal Jordan, as well as members of his readership. Even as it was hamhanded, I would like to think it had an effect on some of the readership for the positive…

I was late to the Nextwave party but when I got on I had fun… even if I was a lil pissed in the beginning about how Monica was portrayed…

I loved the Fraction/Aja Iron Fist run.. Felt like I got onto a rollercoaster ride mid loop w/o any safety belts and had to grip on to the bars…

Ah Lex… always the confident conniver under Byrne’s pen….

Great selections today. I’ve read Nextwave, GL/GA, and Iron Fist in their entirety, I’ve read most of Byrne’s Superman, and highlights of Eisner’s Spirit. Nextwave would be my favorite of the bunch, even though Spirit and GL/GA are obviously infinitely more important, and would both surely rank in the top 20 if the list were purely based on importance.

I have to admit, I don’t love Immortal Iron Fist. I’ve only read if once, but it just didn’t work for me, even though I usually love Brubaker and at least generally enjoy Fraction. I honestly can’t really remember what I didn’t like about the series, beyond that I guess it just felt like every issue was 22 pages of retcons. But I keep thinking I should give it another try.

@ mckracken

What DO you like (besides Born Again)? All I see you do in the comments is trash stuff.

thats because so much highly acclaimed stuff is simply not that good to me.
didnt say anything about “born again”.

my top 3:
Preacher
Superman V1 145-169
Eightball

Sweet batch here. Byrne Superman is good stuff. I think most of the changes he made were good ones. Too bad DC doesn’t seem to agree.

Haven’t yet read any IIF, but heard good things about it. Quite a point jump over Superman.

Hmm, was the book still just titled Green Lantern? Over the years, you hear it as GL/GA, so you just assume…

What was in GL 88?

Lookit Hal and his dickish “no need to thank me” crap. How did that can to the head not knock him out? ;)

The way I’ve heard the low sales conspiracy (which I was going to mention before I saw you did) was something to do with newsstand sales, and returns, or something. I think I read it in Following Cerebus 9, the Adams issue, so I’ll dig that out and see if I can find the details. Considering that as a bimonthly, that was about a 2 year run, you’d think if the sales were that bad, it would have been killed sooner. Was this about the time DC got bought (along with WB), and as someone said on the CBLR recently, they killed some books soon after?

Nextwave — damn good stuff. Didn’t make my list, but I suppose it made my top 20. It wasn’t one I’d read again in awhile, so I didn’t want to vote for that. What I heard about it was that the sales were ok, but that to keep Immonen on the book, it would have made it cost too much to continue at that sales level.

And the second book from my list, the Spirit makes it!!! Yay! It was my number 10. Collection-wise, I think the Archives are the only way to get everything, but DC did do one, maybe a second “best of” collection. The one has a Gaiman intro, and is a pretty good collection. It has “Ten Minutes” in it, and that’s possibly the greatest short story in comics ever. Otherwise you might find some of the Warren or Kitchen Sink Spirit magazines from the ’70s and ’80s. Good stuff, plus Eisner painted covers for it.

Nerdy nitpicking — the Spirit section actually started as a 16 pager, with the Spirit at 8 and back ups including Lady Luck (that Burgas featured this month in “Scratching out the lines”). Later on it went down to 8 pages, with a back page by Jules Feiffer.

The Sand Saref story was actually a reworked “John Law” story, an attempt at Eisner at doing some comic books in the later ’40s.

Joe Kubert told me, when I was lucky enough to meet him last year, that he’d done some Spirit work. Presumably during the war, when Eisner was gone. (Actually, Eisner wrote some stories still while on duty, iirc).

And I’m not sure Eisner used double page spreads in the Spirit much. With only 7-8 pages to work with, I don’t think he’d take the space. I will say he certainly used innovative page layouts, and particularly the title splash pages (“this is not a story for little boys!”), but I’m not sure he did double page spreads too much. I willingly concede that I may be wrong.

Nextwave – Good art, okay story. Not nearly as funny as Ellis thinks it is.

GL/GA – Pales by comparison to O’Neil + Adams’s Batman run. Neither the art or the writing is up to the same standard. I do appreciate its historical importance though.

The Spirit – There’s some great stuff here.

John Byrne’s Superman – I do like this run. Probably a bit more than it deserves – but I was the right age.

Iron Fist – I really hated this. The art was decent, but the story did nothing for me. I’m guessing this book is more Matt Fraction (whose work does nothing for me) and less Ed Brubaker (who I generally love).

Iron Fist – I really hated this. The art was decent, but the story did nothing for me. I’m guessing this book is more Matt Fraction (whose work does nothing for me) and less Ed Brubaker (who I generally love).

I liked Iron Fist a lot, but yes, you’re most likely absolutely correct that the book was more Fraction than it was Brubaker.

Seeing The Spirit this high gives me some hope that Barks’ Duck run might still make it. That was riiiiiiiight outside the top 100 last time so I figured it had a better chance this time what with much of it now being available in TPB form.

Still 1/10.

With so many classic runs still to come, I am getting the impression my favorite runs won’t be making the list. Whomp-Whomp.

@BeccaBlast:

Hell, having enough for the down payment to GET a mortgage at her age is impressive, you know?

For what it’s worth (and I have no idea what it was like in the late 80s) I bought my first house a few years ago without having a down payment. So it’s possible.

“Hell, having enough for the down payment to GET a mortgage at her age is impressive, you know?”

I believe that the most likely scenario, assuming everything Lex says is more or less accurate, is that both parents pitched in as a wedding gift to pay the down payment.

‘The Wire’ uses this sort of thing as a great plotpoint late in the game; essentially, there’s a common practice which is technically illegal where that “gift” is actually treated as a loan, and gradually paid back (when they can afford it); generally, nobody ever goes back and pays the taxes that they owe now that the “gift” has become a loan.

Bernard the Poet

October 17, 2012 at 9:08 am

I’ve always thought that the kudos that Byrne receives for rebooting Superman is really overblown. There is very little in his up-dated origin, which hadn’t already been done eight years earlier in the first Superman film. Which I would imagine 90% of his audience would have previously seen.

Regarding Lex Luthor. As T has already pointed out, following the success of Frank Miller’s take on the Kingpin, it was de rigueur for superheroes to have a businessman arch nemesis: the X-Men had the Hellfire Club, Captain America faced a re-booted Red Skull, Iron Man had Obdiah Stane. So Luthor’s change of status wasn’t that revolutionary either.

Also, did anyone else think that there was a really strange sexual vibe to Byrne’s Superman. The story shown above – taken in isolation – is very powerful, but it was one of many many scenes, in which, Luthor sexually harasses women. Far more than necessary. And lets not forget the infamous issue when Superman and Big Barda make a porn video. I still can’t believe that got past the editor.

There is no doubt in my mind, even considering my statements, yesturday and prior, that these Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ Green Lantern (co-starring Green Arrow) pages are some of the most important in all of comics; and they are really well done too. In fact this instalment again is a paradox in deserving recognition, but not representing the breadth of comics (even under the stated peramiters and with Eisner’s presence).

Ed (A Different One)

October 17, 2012 at 10:03 am

The fact that Giant Elvis MODOK Heads are like only the 17th most awesome thing in the Nextwave series should give you folks out there who haven’t read it an idea of just how massively awesome that series is.

If you haven’t read it yet, drop what you are doing, go get a copy, and read it. No, seriously, stop what you’re doing and go do it. Like, right now. Seriously. I said now GD it! What in the hell are you doing staring at me. Do I have to spell it out for you?

GO

GET

A

COPY

AND

READ

IT

for chrissakes . . .

I’ve never read “Immortal Iron Fist” or “Nextwave.” I’m very familiar with each of the other 3. In fact, this marks the first time this year that one of my picks has finally made it into the Top 100. (I voted for Eisner’s work on The Spirit — I still get a real kick out of going back and rereading a bunch of those stories, every now and then.)

I figure 4 more of my picks are virtual certainties to place somewhere in the remaining slots of the Top 100, but the other 5 are only long shots. (But it won’t break my heart if one of ‘em goes the distance!)

Nextwave – Good art, okay story. Not nearly as funny as Ellis thinks it is.

I couldn’t agree more. It’s not that it’s a bad comic, but it is not as good as everyone seems to insist that it is. I loaned my issues to a friend about a year ago and I’m in no hurry to get them back.

BeccaBlast:”I think you’re reading something into that because it suits your conclusion more than its actually being there. Ollie did his fair share of mad-scientist chasing, too, after all. Hal’s response to the situation was totally ham-fisted, and it’s not like these two have never met. They’ve even chased mad scientists together before this. Ollie is very familiar with that — and anyone reading this book knows that. Is he ridiculing Hal’s behavior? Yep. Does that mean he thinks there aren’t cosmic threats? The two don’t naturally follow, sorry.”

Again, I suggest reading the comic. Fighting mad scientists is treated by GA as an absurdity, the equivalent, in our world, of stopping jaywalkers.

BeccaBlast:”Ollie goes for Godwin’s Law and that’s not overblown? That’s almost textbook over-blown. Now, if he had shown evidence of being a hot-headed, over-reacting arrogant jerk in the rest of the series… well, he did. With Ulysses Star, with Isaac, with Speedy, with the ambush in the alley, Ollie was pretty much everything that rankled Hal and Dinah, each of whom had their own faults. I’d be more likely to agree that this was bad if everybody acted like Ollie. But they don’t, and especially for its time, it was ground-breaking to have a hero be as WRONG as Ollie often was. The only one who came off worse sometimes was Hal. The two characters had the ability to see what was wrong with each other — and be pretty much blind to their own failings. For the late Silver Age, that was unprecedented.”

Yes, it is overblown; the point is that it is not depicted as being overblown. GA, in this issue, is depicted as telling it like it is.

BeccaBlast:”I point out that in the strange world of the DCU, there were riots, lynching and murder, and you think that means I’m asking why GL or the League isn’t lobbying for fair housing legislation. The old guy isn’t asking GL why he isn’t marching on Washington; he’s asking him why the super people only seem to be concerned with outer space things. If O’Neal had him say, “Where were you at Selma?” the answer could have been, “I was fighting Kanjar Ro.” But the point is that save GA recently and maybe Batman in Gotham, these people NEVER saw any of the heroes dealing with the everyday menaces or the real violence; real, that is, in their lives. ”

Mad scientists are “real” threats in the DCU; the story, in contrast, depicts Black Americans as living in some kind of bubble, where threats like Luthor or Sinestro simply do not exist.

BeccaBlast:”Yet, as the next page shows, he still trusts that Hal will do what’s necessary to help. If you are going to put characters like this in a world that is supposed to be realistic, that question is gonna get asked. As for Jonas Salk, the vaccine he and Sabin developed WAS something that affected this guy’s everyday life – -the two aren’t comparable.”

Sinestro conquering the world would have effected that guy’s everyday life.

BeccaBlast:”What can a superhero do about social issues? Well, mostly that’s what this run was about — Nazis in Appalachia and harpies in discos aside, the run was about the limits of what even the most powerful characters can do. Putting corrupt slumlords in jail isn’t bad”

Shutting down one slumlord helps a few dozen people; stopping an invasion from Quard saves billions. Which action is more meaningful?

BeccaBlast:”“Premier, the American Green Lantern has just prevented our tanks from entering Tienanmen Square.”

“Give me the launch codes. We told the Americans not to let their crazy people do that.””

Except that the Silver Age DC heroes had the power to end all injustice overnight.Why is it right for GL to put a slumlord in jail but not topple an oppressive regime?

BeccaBlast:”Because, you know, preventing a lynching is the same thing as overthrowing a nation. Where’s that eyeroll smiley ”

….And Superman stopped a lynching way back in 1938, and helped miners deal with their fat cat bosses, and dealt with corrupt munitions manufacturers and political corruption in Washington….Remind me again how the Adams-O’Neil run was breaking new ground?

Let’s see — what were the plots in this series…

They fought Sinestro, who was trying once again to get revenge on Hal. Ollie didn’t seem to think it was ridiculous to take him on.

They tangled with Black Hand, who was manipulating a small city through Pavlovian conditioning.

They wound up dealing with an alien world where the justice machinery (literally) had been taken over by a robot technician who had gone crazy, which makes him a .. wait for it.. mad scientist!

At no time did GA say anything like, “This is not what we should be doing.” Instead, he took the lead in most of the stories. And, in a lot of the stories, he was portrayed as hot-headed, stubborn, judgmental and WRONG. That’s what happens when you read the books, and just don’t dismiss them out of hand.

You know what else you learn when you actually read the books? How to spell Qwaard. Why didn’t GL overthrow the Chinese? Why didn’t Superman? Why didn’t Wonder Woman? Neither DC or Marvel wanted to open that can of worms.

As the nu52 crowd is fond of telling us, Superman did do things like that back in the 1930′s. Which means he hadn’t done them for 30 years, as first the war then the Comics Code era removed anything that looked remotely like politics, aside from the most simplistic of flag-waving, from the stories. So, yes, bringing back a social perspective to these fantasy stories was a big deal. Which, if you actually read the books, or even the above column, had effects that are still being used in modern comics.

I can’t make you like the run, and I ‘m not going to ruin the thread for everyone else by continuing to argue. But reading the books is exactly where I got the information I’ve been citing. Obviously, you don’t agree, but I hope at least you will acknowledge that it’s possible to read the book and disagree with you.

STOP FIGHTING!!! I love you both! Why can’t we all just live together!!!

Oh, sorry, flashbacks there.

In the Merry Marvel Manner of Mealy Mouthed Middlegrounding, I’ma gonna say you’re both right, to a degree. I think O’Neil probably wanted Ollie to be “right” more, so the blind spots Ollie the character has are the same that O’Neil the writer had. For the Code era books, it was a step forward, but looking back on it, it’s overwrought and looks goofy.

Which is usually the case with trailblazers, though.

@Bernard the Poet: Isn’t that the point, though? Luthor sexually harasses his (all, I believe) female staff because he’s EVILLLLLL.

And if the comics Superman was redone to fall in line with the popular movies (albeit a bit late), isn’t that a smart business move on DC’s part? Otherwise, it’s “who the hell is this Steve Lombard, and why is Clark Kent working at a TV station?” For good or ill, it’s probably the start of corporate synergy in movies and comics, which is a smart business move. If Byrne was going to reboot, of course he should have hewed closely to the movie continuity.

Just finished Fraction’s and Brubaker’s Immortal Iron First. Great stuff. And Nextwave was fun! :D

Except that the Silver Age DC heroes had the power to end all injustice overnight.Why is it right for GL to put a slumlord in jail but not topple an oppressive regime?

Ah, the memories this brings back . . . :)

Several years ago, I wrote a “superhero panel discussion” in which I had various Marvel and DC superheroes offering their different answers to the question of “when are we justified in using our special gifts to overthrow a national government?”

I hadn’t looked at it in a long time, but just now I Googled, it turns out a copy is still available here on CBR — at http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?156130-Superhero-Panel-quot-When-should-we-overthrow-governments-quot

Some of the answers were hilarious — because I carefully selected panelists who have done some really strange and/or self-contradictory things in that department, at one time or another!

One thing I dwelt upon in loving detail was the JSA’s invasion of Kahndaq in the material collected in the “Black Reign” TPB. The logic seemed to be that Black Adam had used brute force to overthrow the previous evil regime, and was setting himself up as the new ruler. The JSA was, of course, outraged at the idea of Black Adam and other metahumans using brute force to bring about a sudden “regime change” — so the JSAers themselves decided to go storming in there, totally uninvited, in order to use brute force of their own to bring about ANOTHER sudden “regime change!” (Now who could possibly think there was anything hypocritical about that?)

Of course, one problem the JSA ran into was that virtually EVERY “ordinary citizen” of Kahndaq thought Black Adam had done the right thing, and they resented this new intrusion by a bunch of arrogant Americans, and started throwing bricks at them, wanting those JSA weirdoes to just go back home and mind their own business!

I had Ollie Queen summarize it this way:

“So you invaded. You got beaten up. You learned that everybody hated you. You whined about how sad it all was, abandoned the mission, and ran home with your tails between your legs, having accomplished nothing except massive property damage and other stupidity. Oh, and a few members of Adam’s team got killed in the process. Help me out here! What was the point of your invasion in the first place?”

@ trajan23:

My interpretation of “Go chase a mad scientist” is: “Hal, you stuck your nose into a situation you don’t understand, leading to you screwing up.”

My interpretation of “what have you done for the black skins:” “You have all this power to help people with problems like living in impoverished conditions, but you don’t. In between fighting Sinestro, you could change *our* world, but you don’t.” The response that Hal has saved the world multiple times is valid, but can be countered by the notion that he could do so much more.

It’s equally valid to say super-heroes shouldn’t interefere w/ “normal” problems, and should stick to outlandish crime. As has been pointed out, super-hero comics may not work as well when they take on the real world, and GL/GA got pretty ungainly, but I’m glad O’Neil & adams tried. The art’s excellent, at least.

Thought some comparisons to the 2008 list would be fun.

Nextwave 2012: #65, 128 points
Nextwave 2008: #92, 103 points
Up 27, +25 points

Green Lantern/Green Arrow 2012: #64, 129 points
Green Lantern/Green Arrow 2008: #59, 162 points
Down 5, -33 points

The Spirit 2012: #63, 131 points
The Spirit 2008: #46, 204 points
Down 17, -72 points

John Byrne Superman 2012: #62, 134 points
John Byrne Superman 2008: #77, 119 points
Up 15, +15 points

Newcomer: Immortal Iron Fist #61, 143 points
#61 2008: Layton/Michelinie 1st Iron Man run, 152 points

Time has not been kind of Eisner’s The Spirit or GA/GL, which both drop down the chart. The debate in the comments makes it clear why GA/GL might do less well, but the drop for The Spirit is unexplained. It may just reflect different tastes among this year’s crop of voters, or an overall smaller voting pool.

It’s not surprised to see Nextwave surge up the chart, as that run’s popularity has only grown since it became available in trade. A surge of John Byrne’s Superman is not quite so predictable. Maybe people are feeling dissatisfied with recent takes on the character, and appreciate what Byrne did a bit more?

Immortal Iron Fist was still being published (I believe) when voting for 2008 was conducted, so it’s not surprise that it missed that top 100 completely. (It may have shown up in the almost-run entries revealed later, but I find it easier to compare the two top 100s directly.) Immortal Iron Fist has clearly become a hugely influential comic, and I expect to see it show up on lists like this for a long time to come.

Nextwave is full of kickin’ awesome, yeah its silly and I love it, but I can understand why some poeple don’t! It’s my #2 pick, and now I’m pretty sure that my #1, Marshal Law, won’t make the list at this point.

Immortal Iron Fist was great, but it kinda lost me during the second half of the Seven Capital Cities story.
Definitelty one of those books I should give another read to.

Lynxara:

The Spirit fell so much at least in part because of its age. There a shelf life on everything and this is a comic from the 40s after all.

Byrne’s Superman climbed so far because most of the, uh… “controversial” retconning that he did has since been done away with, so much of the hate for the run because “Byrne ruined Superman” has worn off by now. These days the run is almost like an Elseworlds or an alternate continuity or something. That makes it a lot easier to read without getting peeved off because you don’t like how Byrne changed such and such or retconned such and such out of existence.

“That’s why it belongs in a discussion with Eisner’s Spirit or Cole’s Plastic Man or even Marston’s Wonder Woman — you wouldn’t have today’s comics without it.”

Agree 100%. It’s an honest attempt to tell superhero stories in a world that is a quantum leap closer to our own than had ever been the standard up to that time. That every last subtle contradiction and implication inherent in depicting characters with the ability to radically change the world living in a world that remains unchanged wasn’t fully explored in the first attempt to cross this threshold doesn’t reduce the significance of the step, nor detract from the creativity displayed not only in executing it but conceiving it. Miller’s Daredevil, Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme and Moore’s Watchmen may have explored this new continent and developed it in subtler and more convincing ways, but it was O’Neill and Adams who landed there first and pointed the way.

Ever seen the 1933 King Kong? The ape’s apparent size changes from scene to scene; the stop-motion effects look obvious and clunky to modern audiences; there is no conceivable reason at all for the tribe on Skull Island, when building a giant fence to keep Kong out of their village, would put a Kong-sized gate in it… but it doesn’t matter. If you know enough about cultural history to watch it with 1930s eyes, none of that matters, and the movie can sweep you away and thrill you like it did hundreds of millions of our ancestors. Without King Kong there’d be no Godzilla, no Jaws, no Jurassic Park.

@Bill K — As a matter of fact, it was just a year or two ago that I saw a used DVD of the original “King Kong” on sale in a shop, and I decided spending a few bucks on it wouldn’t kill me. I took it hope and watched it. I’d never before in my life watched any version of any story about “King Kong” (and I still haven’t watched any of the later versions) . . . but of course I already knew the basic plot (him fighting planes while clinging to the Empire State Building, for instance).

Even so, my general reaction as the film progressed was: “Hey, this is better than I expected!” :)

@Turd Burglar:

Your theory about Byrne’s Superman climbing is interesting, and I think it might hit the nail on the head. While Byrne’s stuff influences current ideas about Superman, a lot of the specific things about that run are long gone from continuity. I could see that vision of Superman being interesting to people who are still just discovering it, or seeming better in hindsight.

There is certainly a trend toward older material sliding down the charts in the 2012 poll, but I’ve had another thought about The Spirit. In 2008, Darwyn Cooke’s run on the Spirit at DC would’ve been really fresh in voters’ memories, and the controversial Frank Miller film about the character hit that year. High-profile modern work about a character usually seems to fuel interest in their vintage adventures. The 2008 voting may have been influenced by a number of people reading Eisner’s Spirit for the first time, or remembering how good it was. Four years is long enough for memories to fade, or for attention to be diverted elsewhere.

You know what else you learn when you actually read the books? How to spell Qwaard.

And how to spell it is, of course, “Qward.”

I love the run myself, but you kinda set yourself up for that one.

@Lorendiac King Kong is still what it was when it came out: a great movie, however far contemporary expectations of production standards and plot plausibility have since moved beyond it. Glad you enjoyed it! :)

Likewise Hard Traveling Heroes, IMO.

The Byrne Superman jump could be attributed in part to more voters — I’m pretty sure that Brian said more people voted this go round. The position jump could also be due to more runs getting on to the list. Or something.

Oh, I think Lynxara partly got the Spirit drop right — Cooke’s version had just been out recently in ’08, so more votes for it then. I think the other part of his comment about the Miller movie coming out that year explains part of the drop as well — that came out Christmas time that year (I guess ’08, I’m trusting Lynxara here), and we all know how well received that was *eyeroll*. It’s a shame if that is the reason the Spirit dropped, because those comics are SO DAMN GOOD!!!

Yeah, the Spirit film got released theatrically in December of ’08, and hit home video later that year. While that film was, uh, controversial at best, I recall it definitely sparked a lot of discussion of the original comics at the time. I think The Spirit was on people’s minds in 2008, and just not so much in 2012 (if not forgotten).

Yeah, I was trying to get at the point that the voting undoubtedly took place before the movie’s release, so it was on people’s minds, but now, 4 years later and the movie has possibly “poisoned the well” for people thinking about the Spirit. I hope not, but it’s possible that’s what happened.

I doubt the movie’s quality would influence voting either way in a situation like this. People understand that movie adaptations and comics are usually two very different beasts. At best, a movie might get people reading comics they otherwise wouldn’t think to pick up.

I think the Spirit hype just passed, as hype inevitably does, and the character might not have been as much on people’s minds when they made their 2012 lists. Perhaps Barks sucked up some of the Spirit voters from the 2008 lists, for instance? They’re comics of roughly the same vintage, as I recall.

Well, from what I understand (still haven’t watched it), the Miller movie probably hastened the passing of the hype on the Spirit.

Plus, there are a LOT of new runs on the list, and I think at least a few still to come.

Shiny things make me forget old things!

There’s all sorts of irony in that, is there not, buttler? Too bad I sold my petard at a yard sale back in May… had to borrow a neighbor’s for the hoisting.

What really bums me about this thread is that my number 2 pick, Nextwave, got ignored in all the fussing about what was barely my number 10. I’d much rather talk about a comic that can make you laugh out loud even in its quiet moments (“Don’t even ask me about the Wasp.”) than get all worked up over 40-year-old politics.

@Jazzbo, you see signs like that in the western US all the time, because cities are really far apart. As an example, Salt Lake City, Utah (no Metropolis that) is the largest city 600 miles in any direction.

If you look at them both, the Batman stories still hold up pretty well….the GL/GA ones do not. While the latter were more groundbreaking (though it could be argued in the comics world, returning Batman to his more gritty roots has had more long standing comic ramifications), the problem with them is that intellectually they’re just setting up straw mans. Heck, this not only is a fair look, it’s not even Hawk and Dove. Did anyone really take Hal as super conservative? Yeah, he’s a member of a police force…but the most diverse one in the universe. When they brought Guy Gardner around later Hal was the liberal, and Guy much more the extreme on the other end of the spectrum Ollie is/was. If there were a few more stories where Hal was seen as being more “right” rather than being educated at the world’s REAL problems it might stand up as something more philosophically groundbreaking, rather than writers just being allowed to do what they want on a title no one cared about.

I have the Iron Fist, but haven’t read them yet. That they even made this list, even controversially makes me glad I have them.

And that’s just a great Luthor short story. Problem is, it might be the highlight of Byrne’s run. The first sign that we weren’t dealing with a guy who was mad about losing his hair. As for the house debate, I imagine a house in what would be the slums of Smallville (or whatever) is probably not the same cost as a condo with a view in Metropolis. Heck, even outside of the big cities, the price of a house of equal size can vary by a hundred thousand dollars just how rural it is, or how good/bad of an area it is, and so on.

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