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CSBG Archive

2012 Top 100 Comic Book Runs #8-7

You voted, now here are the results of your votes for your favorite comic book creator runs of all-time! We’ll be revealing two runs a day for the rest of the month. Here is a master list of all of the runs revealed so far.

Here’s the next two runs…

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

Batman #655-658, 663-683, 700-702, Batman and Robin #1-16, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-6, Batman Inc. (Vol. 1) #1-8, Batman Inc. (Vol. 2) #1-current (#4) plus a few one-shots mixed in there, like Leviathan, Batman: The Return and Batman Inc. #0

If there’s an overarching theme from Grant Morrison’s epic Batman run (which is almost coming to a finish after nearly seven years on the title) it is the concept of “everything happened,” the idea that all of the stories that Batman has gone through over the years have actually happened to him, so how does one deal with such an outrageous backstory?

The first example of this came in Morrison’s first storyline, where the once out-of-continuity Son of the Demon graphic novel (where Talia Al Ghul appears to bear Batman’s child) suddenly became IN continuity, as Morrison introduces their progeny as Damian Wayne, Batman’s son. A child torn between an assassin mother and a superhero father. Damian has clearly become the break out character of Morrison’s run.

Morrison continued the “everything happened” theme in the finale of the first chapter of his run on Batman, Batman R.I.P. where he introduces the theory that if everything that had happened to Batman really happened to somebody, they’d be insane, right? And in Batman R.I.P., Batman indeed appears to go insane, driven there by the evil organization known as the Black Glove. However, that’s the thing about Batman…

Yep, Batman had been preparing for the Black Glove for months, all the way back to when Batman’s life was threatened by the Black Glove’s agents…

Awesome.

This first chapter of Morrison’s run came to an end with Final Crisis, where Batman is captured by Darkseid and is attempted be cloned to form an army of Batmen for Darkseid. Here, though, Morrison explicitly shows us that yes, all of Batman’s life experiences WOULD drive someone insane…unless they actually WERE Batman. That his ability to deal with all of this stuff is basically HIS superpower. After Batman stops Darkseid’s plans, Darkseid gets revenge by blasting Batman back to the Stone Age and using one of the dead clones to trick people into thinking Batman was dead.

With Batman now seemingly dead, we enter the second chapter of Morrison’s run, where he launches a new Batman series called Batman and Robin, where Dick Grayson takes over as Batman and Damian becomes the new Robin. Unlike the original idea of Batman being the dark character and Robin the light one, this new duo has the opposite dynamic. After a nice stint of cool superhero stories, Bruce returns in the Return of Bruce Wayne mini-series (where we learn that Batman is finding a way to return to his own time, but in doing so, he might be doing exactly what Darkseid wants).

His return leads to the final chapter of Morrison’s run, which is ongoing. Batman decides that he needs to basically form an army of Batmen, so he does so, calling the idea Batman Incorporated. This is basically an extended riff over the old Batman concept of the International League of Batmen (something Morrison had used early in his run). Batman saw a glimpse of the future in his return to the present, and he realized he needed an army to stop the evil Leviathan, who turns out to be someone very close to Bruce Wayne.

During Morrison’s run, the artists on his run have mostly been Andy Kubert (who launched the run with him), Tony Daniel (who did Batman R.I.P.), Frank Quitely (who launched Batman and Robin), Yanick Paquette (Who launched Batman Inc.) and Chris Burnham (who finished the first volume of Batman Inc. and launched the current series). He had a bunch of other great artists mixed in for arcs or single issues, though, including J.H. Williams III, Frazer Irving, Cameron Stewart, Chris Sprouse, Ryan Sook, a veritable smorgasbord of good artists (and, okay, there have been some bad ones mixed in, as well. We won’t name names there).

Morrison’s run is due to end in a little under a year. What a ride it has been!

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

Daredevil #158-161, 163-167 (Frank Miller as artist, with Klaus Janson inks), #168-176 (Miller as writer/artist, with Janson as inker), 177-184 (Miller as writer/co-artist with Klaus Janson), #185-190 (Miller as writer, with Janson as artist), #191 (Miller as writer/artist, no Janson as inker)

Frank Miller was already an up and coming artist when he took over the penciling duties on Daredevil, under writer Roger McKenzie, with the book’s inker, Klaus Janson, staying on to give the book some continuity between departing artist, Gene Colan, and Miller. Soon, the book began to get a buzz around it due to Miller and Janson’s impressive artwork, which managed to give a totally different look to the book despite McKenzie’s fairly standard plots (not that McKenzie was bad, just that his style did not necessarily match the style Miller and Janson were going for). The book soon became popular enough that Miller was promoted to the writer of the book, as well.

His first issue dramatically changed Daredevil, especially the introduction of Matt Murdock’s college love, Elektra, who was now an assassin.

Another change in Miller’s run was that Daredevil was now a lot more like a ninja than ever before, including introducing Stick, the man who mentored Murdock in the ways of being a ninja.

Notable during this time was the fact that Miller and Janson were absolutely amazing on the artwork on the book. They were bringing in a Will Eisner/manga look (specifically Lone Wolf and Cub) that was quite striking. Especially on the action sequences. SO gorgeous. Check out this sequence of Daredevil and Elektra in battle over the life of reporter Ben Urich (who became a major supporting character during Miller’s run, as Urich figured out that Matt Murdock is Daredevil)…

The Kingpin became a major Daredevil villain during Miller’s run (soon into Miller’s run, by the way, the book went from bi-monthly to monthly, a sign that the book was becoming popular again). Towards the end of his run, Miller had Bullseye (a character Miller used to great effect during his run) kill off Elektra.

After a few more issues (Janson was totally drawing the book by this time), Miller left with one fairly depressing issue (with inks by Terry Austin).

Marvel has nicely collected Miller’s entire run into three trades, and they smartly split the trades into Vol.1 (only Miller art) and Vols. 2 and 3 (Miller as writer).

69 Comments

I’ve recently read Miller/Janson Daredevil for the first time and liked it very much. I think it holds up very well even today. Obviously, the art couldn’t get old, it’s still very dynamic and stylish, but Miller’s writing here is also fantastic. The comic feels very iconic and superhero-y despite being occasionally rather serious and depressing. I really love the issue where Bullseye has hallucinations!

And then there were six. Very surprised that Daredevil fell out of the top 5, but I’ll be interested to see how the rest shakes out.

I didn’t notice this the first time I read that awesome sequence where Batman crawls out of the coffin, but if he’s benching 600 lbs of loose soil (about 100 lbs per cubic foot), he’s only buried about 6 inches, assuming the coffin is about 2 ft wide by a minimum 6 ft long. From the art, it’s hard to tell. Awesome sequence in any case.

Anyway, that’s the kind of stuff that goes through my head when I read this site while I’m supposed to be working. Back to work.

Both of these runs deserve to be here. Great stuff.

But giving Batman a son old enough to be the fourth Robin makes Batman TOO OLD. I prefer the previous Robin.

“Born Again” was pretty good (havent read the rest) but it cant compete with Morrison’s groundbreaking Batman saga.

Only All Star Superman and the silver-age Superman is in that league.

Again with the derail, but mckraken what do you love about Silver Age Superman? I’ve literally never heard anyone mention those comics. And I don’t see any collections. =/

Silver Age Superman had Jerry Siegel and Edmond Hamilton as the main writers. They had a number of excellent stories. Siegel’s second run on Superman was very good.

Here are two of Siegel’s most notable Silver Age stories…

The Death of Superman

and

Superman’s Sad Return to Krypton

Morrison’s Batman: I’ve bought and read most of it. The run is good, overall, but there are some crappy comics mixed in. My problem is one of expectations; I thought this run would be great and it’s rarely risen to that level. Mostly, it hovers around good. My favorite issues have been the Batman & Robin issues not drawn by Billy Tan and the “Club of Heroes” story.

Miller DD: Groundbreaking, intense, and very entertaining. I can think of only a few creators who cast as long a shadow over a Marvel or DC character. The only ones coming to me are Kirby on FF and Claremont on X-Men.

I was never the biggest fan of Morrison’s Batman stuff (outside of his earlier JLA portrayal, at least). I bailed on it after “RIP” (though I did enjoy Batman & Robin with Dick and Damian), in large part because I couldn’t stand Tony Daniel’s art. The writing was dense and intricate and hard enough to fully understand without the art muddling things further.

That said, I’m not at all surprised to see it on this list, even this high, and I don’t really care that it is, either. To each their own.

Miller’s DD is of course great, character defining stuff, another example of Marvel really hitting it out of the park and injecting new life into their characters in the 80s.

I love the way Daredevil has had so many great runs (4 big runs in this list) and always seems to be at the forefront of groundbreaking superhero storytelling. A terrific character.

Daredevil’s had 4 acclaimed runs on this list, and Born Again’s not even included!

This DD run was my #1 pick. It was a toss-up between that and Moore’s Swamp Thing, but I decided to pick DD as a nicer hybrid of more adult themes with fun, goofy superhero sensibilities. I read most of it as it was coming out when I was about 10 years old, and loved the action and a lot of the humour as well. At the same time, you couldn’t read these comics at that age and not grow up a little bit, due to the grittiness (a lot of blood in these stories), moral ambiguity and stories involving issues like drugs and corruption.

Also it was probably my first exposure to what bars might be like. I’m happy to say that in my real-life experience I’ve yet to witness a tavern-clearing brawl, even though it happened at Josie’s every other issue.

I gathered the Morrison Batman run gradually, reading it in pieces, finding it overall just okay. I’ve been meaning to re-read it all in one shot and see if my opinion changes at all.

I had such high expectations for Morrison’s Batman back when it was originally announced. It was actually the first comic that I bought regularly in single issues. I was extremely disappointed in the mediocrity of the first few issues, but I stuck with it out of faith in Morrison’s power of weaving a satisfying superstructure. But then R.I.P., which was billed as the culmination of his run, was really a letdown. I don’t think I really liked his run until Batman and Robin debuted, when all of a sudden he turned Damian from an annoying character to a truly indispensable member of the saga’s cast. Now, as the end of the run approaches, I have finished a reread of everything that has come before, and I was blown away with how good R.I.P. and “Batman and Son” are now that I can note the parallels they would have with later issues. Morrison’s run is extremely deep, allusive, and utterly epic in scope. I am confident that it will be seen as the defining run on Batman for many, many, more years.

Morrison’s Batman was and Miller’s DD was good but it wouldn’t be nowhere near this high on my top 100 list :/
So what have we got left now? Lee’s and Kirby’s FF, Moore’s Swamp Thing, Gaiman’s the Sandman (most likely #1 like last time) and…?

*Morrison’s Batman run was eh

Great post, @Roman.

I had both on my list and I think I had Miller in the top three, though I really can’t remember. Because I remember it, I can’t underscore what a watershed event Miller’s work in the late 70′s early 80′s on DD, Wolverine, and the Dark Knight were to those who look back on it. Totally changed everything that you expect from a comic. After DK Strikes Back and later Miller, what you might miss is how restrained he is in these early stories…telling a human story that totally made Matt Murdock the character everyone wanted to write. I know Claremont wrote the Wolverine mini…but you can see the sensibilities of Miller, and frankly, we would not have the omnipresent Wolvie if not for that mini and the combination of those two writers working together. Daredevel is a masterpiece of sequential storytelling at a time when people were just figuring out the new possibilities of the form. While I’m sure we’ll see Moore and Gaiman higher; I just think Miller’s influence can’t be understated. Glad to see so many agree.

Morrison’s Batman epic makes at least 5/10 from my list. These are easily the greatest superhro comics from AT LEAST the past decade. All the haters will just have to suck it up and deal with it.
I’ve read the Miller/Janson DD run, enjoyed it, but it was not even on my radar when I made my list. Good comics, just not “top ten” good for me.

Miller’s Daredevil is also an astonishing book. It’s amazing to read #167 and #168 back-to-back and notice the quantum leap in writing even before you get to the credits page of #168. I think it would be rated more highly if Miller hadn’t succumbed to the “Eddie Murphy effect” and become basically a walking, talking parody of the legitimate genius he used to be.

MACC:

Silver Age Superman is for me the purest expression of the genre.
There is no deconstruction, no nostalgia, no sarcasm and no bittersweet self awareness to be found here.

Just wonder, unmatched imagination and a simplicity / logic that permeates every good fairy tale.
because when i read those comics, thats the feeling i get. Having read a four color fairy tale.

Why didnt it show up in the top100? No idea. Maybe because there were more than two regular writers over roughly 5-7 years. Most single issues had two writers and there is no clear consensus where to start or end the run. In my opinion you cant go wrong with collecting SUPERMAN 146-169. (146 has the origin retold and after 169, the BIZZARRO invasion, there is a noticeable drop in quality)

oh and you dont need collections:
the originals still go fairly cheap on ebay. (well the ones around very good condition anyway)

Morrison’s Batman. What a joke.

Somehow he thinks if he references the umbrella stand in panel nine of a Batman comic in 1971, he’s tying together the mythos of the character instead of just being pretentious and egotistical. His dialogue is horrendous. He introduces ideas and then they never pan out.

Batman RIP and Final Crisis were absolute disasters with shitty pacing, where events were just splashed across the page with no natural progression. He took a giant crap on Jack Kirby’s Fourth World material.
And his Batman Inc idea? Batman franchises? That is horrendously wrong-headed and Bruce would never be so arrogant. That is just laughably bad.

He made Son of the Demon canon, introducing a horrible character that only Tomasi has been able to save. Then there’s that Dr. Hurt. Don’t get me started on Batman RIP. “I’m your father!” “I don’t believe you.” “Well… damn.”

It’s insulting that anyone would even vote for that run. Especially when Denny O’Neil’s run is ranked so much lower. O’Neil’s contributions to Batman are far more important than anything Morrison has ever done and Morrison can only dream to be as talented as him.

Fact: Miller’s Daredevil has the best art of any superhero comic. Discuss.

Good to see Daredevil ranked so high. Don’t understand the love for Morrison’s Batman. It’s fairly mediocre for his work.

Miller’s Daredevil I voted for, although I admit I did so partially as a sop for Brian’s outlawing the “Born Again” run, which otherwise would’ve been my number two. There’s not much I can add to its praises beyond that, except to say that # 191 is probably my favorite single issue of all time.

Morrison’s Batman is the weakest of all his mainstream works. I appreciate its ambitions, but in seven years he still hasn’t managed to come up with a characterization for Bruce Wayne beyond “very determined” and the layers and layers of mystical mumbo jumbo have yet to have contributed anything to the story. I loved Batman & Robin, where he allowed himself to write interesting characters, although that arc did end on an anti-climax. I got sick of Batman Inc. pretty quickly, and and course when DC rebooted itself I stopped following it entirely. I don’t think the run’s prospects for four years from now are very good, because, aside from Damian, all of Morrison’s developments have already been boxed away and forgotten by other writers.

dr. hurt.
creepiest villain ever? discuss.

also:
I liked tony daniels on RIP. A lot.

The Batman stuff here reminds me of a Batman comic from the 70′s I used to have. It was coverless, and I have no idea how I got my hands on it, but it starts right off with Batman buried underground in a coffin on page 1! That was quite a shock to my young eyes. The first several pages involve him escaping from that death trap, including the use of some sort of incredible yoga manouver. Unfrotunately, I no longer have it and have no idea which issue of Batman/Detective it is. Anyway, I like Morrison’s Batman, but am not blown away by it.

I’m not a big fan of Miller’s art, but it works will with his Daredevil stories, which were groundbreaking stuff. The scene with Bullseye killing Elektra was so good they even copied it in the movie.

Neither of these were on my list, but I do respect them. (Even if Grant Morrison couldn’t be bothered to actually check on what had or hadn’t been established about the circumstances of Damian’s conception in the graphic novel which had supposedly “inspired” his use of a long-lost child of Batman and Talia in his “Batman and Son” stuff when he was starting his run.)

Six runs left to go, and I figure at least two more picks from my ballot are virtually certain to be among those final 6. (So far, only two of my picks have been mentioned anywhere in the Top 100.)

I’ve got these too, (DD in Omnibus) but I’ve never read born again. I just had it delivered in the Marvel collection. Looking forward to it.

I’m jealous, Michael, that you get to read Born Again for the first time! It’s amazing.

sorry, but no comic with a high # of issues drawn by tony daniel deserves to be on this list–or at least deserves to be this high on it. comics are a mix of writing AND art, and his art is so bad. and i have pretty much enjoyed morrison’s batman run…it’s definitely a head-scratcher.

Newcomer: Morrison’s Batman, #8, 830 points
2008′s #8: Preacher, 857 points

Miller/Janson Daredevil 2012: #7, 838 points
Miller/Janson Daredevil 2008: #4, 988 points
Down 3 places, -150 points

Although Morrison’s Batman run began in 2006, it didn’t place in the 2008 Top 100 voting. Four years and dozens of comics later, Morrison’s Batman has stormed up the chart to debut in the top 10. Many elements of this run are divisive, but the impact it’s made on the character is perhaps impossible to ignore.

Miller/Janson’s Daredevil drifts gently down the chart a few notches, but remains in the top 10. This is perhaps one of the most influential superhero comic runs of all time, and its presence will probably be felt for a long time to come. There’s a lot of Daredevil in the 2012 Top 100, and many runs lower down the list owe a lot to this one.

I love Morrison’s Batman, but it didn’t make my list, and I don’t think it should be the highest of his runs by a long shot. Still, no complaints about it getting into the top 10.

Miller’s Daredevil was my number one. It’s never going to get better than this.

Morrison’s Batman run is the greatest superhero story EVAR!!!

Also, RIP was the best month-to-month experience I’ve ever had reading monthlies, along with the Oberon Sexton reveal in Batman and Robin.

@mckracken

absolutely! Epic and SO intimate at the same time, this run has been, said yoda.

@penguintruth,come on man, lol!

Matthew Simmons

October 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm

So….

Ditko Lee Spider-Man
Lee Kirby FF
Moore Swamp Thing
Clairemont X-Men
Sandman

Which am I missing?

All-Star Superman and Watchmen do not qualify.

Wait…. is the other one Y?

Batman – I’m really amazed to see this so high, not because of quality, but because of high divisive its reception has been. I suppose in hindsight it isn’t shocking at all, as Morrison is everyone’s favorite post-modern writer, and Batman stories automatically get a boost because of Batman. As for my feelings on the run… It was hit-or-miss. Damian grew on me and even though the story in Batman R.I.P. is a tad familiar, Morrison’s writing really does transcend it. Stuff I don’t like is probably the three ghosts of Batman stuff as well as Morrison’s whacky “Super-sanity Joker.” Because everything is so tied together though, it’d be unfair to say that it has its moments. Overall, I’d say the whole run is more interesting than actually good. Morrison’s ideas and twists often times do work, they just don’t make for the most involving story if your patience isn’t the greatest. Plus, I’m personally really sick of this Bat-God characterization of Bruce Wayne, where he’s some sort of insane monster in human form. I prefer a dark, noir tortured soul type of Batman, but then again, that’s just my preference and it shouldn’t affect the quality of the story. I also get way people hate it, but that’s why Grant Morrison has remained so popular for all these years. No one manages to invoke passionate extreme debates and rants from fanboys like that guy. Except maybe Jeph Loeb, but that’s all of one opinion.

Daredevil – I put off reading this for years because it combined two of my least favorite things: Daredevil and Frank Miller. Yeah, Born Again is fantastic, but I consider David Mazzucchelli the real force behind that. Now that I’ve warmed up to ol’ Hornhead and gotten over my incredible hatred Frank Miller’s bad work (you know what I’m talking about), I may have to give it a try. Someday.

“Also, RIP was the best month-to-month experience I’ve ever had reading monthlies”

Seconded. I was on an asia trip back then (india, japan etc.) and couldnt get ahold of #681 try as i might.
Morrison should have killed Batman. That would have made R.I.P. truly legendary.

Love the Morrison Batman run. I just reread RIP, and one thing struck me: is the Bat-Radia some kind of Mother Box? The moment the tech mogul discovers that it’s been retrofitted, Batman bursts out of the grave, the Bat Computer comes online and takes over Arkham, and Nightwing wakes up and starts wrecking dudes. I feel like all that’s missing is a “PING PING”.

I’m guessing this might come off as disconnected, but didn’t care for the Daniel art in the actual RIP story. Now, the missing chapter, bridging RIP to Final Crisis, from a couple years ago? Awesome. He seemed to almost channel Jim Lee channeling Frank Miller on Deathblow, which is my favorite of Lee’s work.

Anyhow, I haven’t loved every issue of Morrison’s Batman. One or two issues of Return of Bruce were total crap. But it’s mostly been incredibly awesome. As I just posted in the main list thread, I really hope someone begins writing Batman, after Morrison leaves, who doesn’t feel the need to write the most grisly and/or shockingly-newly-unearthed-and-very-closely-connected-to-Bruce, personally-and/or-other-Waynes stuff ever. Based on one issue, Layman may already be doing that, actually.

I’m fascinated that Morrison’s Batman run is so high, not because I hated it, because I didn’t. I enjoyed it just fine but didn’t find it exceptional in any way. I read it all but never felt any need to own any of it, and I don’t like it nearly as well as his Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA or All-Star Superman. But then I’m not much interested in his Action Comics either and disliked Final Crisis. Your mileage obviously may vary, and in fact does vary.

James Crankyman

October 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Yep. I’m not going to ask “Did I miss something” regarding Morrison’s BATMAN run because it truly is befuddling to me and if I ask that question, I’m going to receive several responses simply saying “Yes, you did”, and I can’t stand that crap. All I can really say about it is that aside from the JH Williams art from the League of Batmen arc, and the fun way it began with Damian, I just really didn’t dig any of RIP; Zur-En-Arrh is something that grates on me to no end. It was painful to type it just then.

And Mccracken, if Morrison had actually killed Batman, that would have been legendary in how many people would be publicly calling for his eternal ban from writing comics. It would not have been something people would have liked. At all. Superman? Sure. Batman, nuh-uh. Not only would there have been a fan outcry that spewed so much bile that it would have melted DC’s offices to the ground, it would never be something Warner Bros. would allow. There are FOUR Batman-specific comics in the New 52, not including the Bat-Family, and they’re all doing pretty well from a $$ standpoint (and having Snyder/Capullo and Tomasi/Gleason killing it on their respective titles doesn’t hurt either). I stopped reading most of the Batman related titles until Rucka and then Snyder started crushing it on TEC.

Miller’s DD. What can I say? Just look at those pages above. Look at the choreography of the fight scene. It’s just gorgeous. And the run really was one of the turning points of Marvel’s history.

“Overall, I’d say the whole run is more interesting than actually good. Morrison’s ideas and twists often times do work, they just don’t make for the most involving story if your patience isn’t the greatest.”

That pretty much nails it for me. There have been short periods of greatness, I thought the first arc or two or Batman & Robin and Batman Inc were top notch. But like RIP, if I read a synopsis of it, I’d think “wow, that sounds fantastic.” But actually reading the comic felt like a chore.

I’m gonna have to re-read Miller’s DD Vol 2 because when I read it the first time I was far from impressed. I mean, it was good but I felt it didn’t measure up to the hype or to how great Born Again, Man Without Fear and Elektra Lives Again are. Same goes for Elektra Assassin actually, but that’s just a weird book that I shouldn’t have plowed through in one sitting, it probably benefits from taking breaks to absorb the insanity.

As for Morrisson, he has his moments, and I loved his Arkham Asylum, but I’m just not a big enough fan of to read his Batman. I gave a shot to the Quitely drawn first story of Batman & Robin but it didn’t grab me enough to keep going. Plus the whole Batman being dead/lost in the timestream just sounds like garbage no matter how it’s explained it to me. I like my Batman stories a bit more grounded.

Morrison Batman: Worst run on a comic ever?

mckracken: “Silver Age Superman is for me the purest expression of the genre.” … Confirmed for troll.

Macc: Silver Age Superman was garbage when anyone other than Otto Binder was writing it.

Miller Daredevil: Best superhero comic run of the last 40 years? Maybe. Odd to see it out of the top 5. Are those issues no longer in print or something else that could explain their drop? Because as far as “serious” superhero comics go this was so far ahead of anything before or since that there’s no comparison.

@Turd Burglar: As far as I can tell, Miller/Janson Daredevil is one of the few trades Marvel keeps regularly in print. So the loss in points is probably either due to competition with newer books, or the tastes of voters changing over time.

Erg. I missed this! I loved the 2008 list, even though I have probably only got to about half the runs listed in the ensuing time. I would have loved to have voted this time.

My only fault of this project is that in an industry so overwhelmingly associated with superheroes, the non action-adventure works stand little chance of being recognised relative to their actual merits.

How do even compare something like Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern run to Love and Rockets or the ACME Novelty library?

Turd Burgler: “Morrison Batman: Worst run on a comic ever?”….confirmed for troll.

Lynxara: The loss in points is fairly minor. You can expect that type of fluxuation with a different sample group of people voting.

Philip: Except no. If we did a poll of the Top 100 Most Hated Comic Book Runs Of All Time then you can bet your ass Morrison’s Batman would walk away with first place.

@Turd Burglar: I feel like it’s a little bigger than what I’d consider insignificant even this high in the ranking, though hardly disastrous. At this point runs are dealing with such high point totals that even a big loss like Starman’s won’t drop you down very far.

Like I said, mild fluxuation is to be expected with a different sample group of people voting. I don’t think that the older runs are any less or more popular than they were four years ago so much as it is that there’s a lot of people voting this time that didn’t vote last time and a lot of people that did vote last time that didn’t vote this time.

A changed group of voters reflecting different tastes is, I think, significant in and of itself. To me it would be a fair indicator that the fandom is not as stagnant as some make it out to be. Established fans may change their minds about things over time, some fans may burn out and leave the fandom, and newer/younger fans will inevitably re-evaluate the worthiness of various classics. Of course, you also need to factor in newer runs competing with older runs for mindshare, too.

I think Miller and Janson really deserve a higher slot,not below the top 5. These were the defining moments of the title and I think this run is already incomparable. I was a bit disappointed that strong runs didn’t make it on top. Here’s hoping that the Claremont/Byrne/Austin run on the X-Men scores higher……

What I meant was that it’s not like everyone is going to follow the same comics blog for four freaking years. The turnaround is just coming from a difference in who’s following the blog now versus who was following it then. I’d be surprised if more than a very small percentage of the “new” voters this time around were new READERS of comics.

Hmm. I don’t think that’s likely, given that Brian has said that 2012 voting levels are higher than 2008 voting levels, but I suppose we’ll get more information when the countdown finishes.

I think one reason why Miller/Janson may have dropped also is people who fatigued of its influence. I recall after Andy Diggle’s run many people seemed to be tired of the endlessly dark and dour Miller formula. People online kept calling it a relentless bummer and said DD was threatening to become a parody of itself. Waid said similar things in interviews both before and after he took over. The fact that commenters online agreed with him and critics and fans seem to really enjoy the book also indicates how bad Miller fatigue had become.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the rediscovery of how DD is more than just ninjas, the Kingpin and having his whole world destroyed until he hits rock bottom has caused people to be a little less gung ho about the run that started DD’s storytelling rut in the first place.

“And Mccracken, if Morrison had actually killed Batman, that would have been legendary in how many people would be publicly calling for his eternal ban from writing comics. It would not have been something people would have liked. At all. ”

The Villain wins and kills Batman? That’s a legendary conclusion to a run, if you ask me.
Passing the mantle to Dick would have solved tons of continuity problems, besides opening up a new character for exploration. (see Batman and Robin)

Bruce Wayne is getting stale, in my opinion.
And its not like it hasnt been done before: Adventure Comics #462.

While I like Morrison’s Batman run, its had a few ups and downs. Batman and Robin, The return of Bruce Wayne and alot of Batman Inc (wasn’t the first series only 8 issues, not 9?) are highlights, but RIP and Final Crisis were pretty average. At least by my Morrison standards. :-)

I remember the whole RIP seemed to just come out of the blue, and rereading it about 6 months ago, it felt like it even moreso. It just seemed that an arc or 2 were missing right when Daniel started penciling – suddenly Batman was tired and losing it in full swing.

Also – question time! There was a short Morrison story in a DC anthology oneshot – which one was it?? Thanks!!

Miller’s Daredevil is incredible and deserves to be this high (it was my #3).

I’ve only read the first three books of Morrison’s Batman and so far I’d say it’s far too high, but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve read more.

Anonymous Commenter

October 30, 2012 at 8:58 am

Turd Burglar:

You really believe that Morrison’s Batman is one of the worst runs of all time? With all of the terrible Chuck Austen, Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Chris Claremont, and Mark Millar comics out there (many of those folks have written great comics, just a lot of crap, too). That’s a very strange statement to make. Even if you don’t like Morrison, his Batman is far from the worst run on this list (though this is coming from someone who thought Final Crisis was the best summer even of the last 15 years or so, so take that as you will).

Something can be not to your taste and still be good. Indeed, it appears that many people very much like something that you don’t. There are lots of things that I don’t like that have placed on the list. In fact, I’d argue that much of the best work on this list, as in most lists like it, is towards the bottom of the list because people don’t read and vote for what I think is good, they read and vote on what’s mainstream.

My one real problem with RIP is that Dr. Hurt really should have been Hugo Strange. But otherwise I liked it quite a bit; have yet to read any of the rest of Morrison’s Batman run though

@ T:

“I think one reason why Miller/Janson may have dropped also is people who fatigued of its influence.”

I agree, and I’d go further and say Miller’s recent work and statements may have effected its standing as well. Not enough to erase its status as “classic,” but enough to push it a few spots down the list.

@ Turd Burglar:

“If we did a poll of the Top 100 Most Hated Comic Book Runs Of All Time then you can bet your ass Morrison’s Batman would walk away with first place.”

I’d bet one whole dollar that Chuck Austen’s X-Men would land at number 1, with Loeb’s Ultimates to place and JMS’s Spider-Man post-Sins Past to show. Liefeld’s Captain America is a dark horse in the race.

Something knocked Miller’s Daredevil out of the top six. I suspect I will not be happy when I learn what it is. Either a classic run has gotten recognition it didn’t get last time, or some random new comic got overhyped.

James Crankyman

October 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Just because it would have been shocking, it wouldn’t have made it good. Bruce Wayne is hardly getting stale. If he were, BATMAN would not be the #2 selling DC book right now. Don’t get me wrong; I do think that they brought him back too soon because I was really enjoying Dick in the suit, at least when Snyder was writing it.

So it’s a matter of opinion, and respect to the character. In your opinion, Bruce Wayne needs to go. In my opinion, Bruce needs to be Batman. I think that FINAL CRISIS was an epic piece of crap, and even if Morrison had successfully killed Bruce Wayne, that shit would have been retconned within 12 months. And lo and behold, Morrison gave himself an out with the time-travel crap. Ugh.

And while I don’t like it, I certainly don’t believe that it’s the worst thing ever. I guess I should be glad that I never read Austen’s run on X-MEN. But yes, I absolutely believe Loeb’s Ultimate Universe work is amongst the worst things ever. I also think that JMS’ Spidey is some of the most awful terrible things ever as well. Now if only we could vote on “Event” comics.

I’ll also agree with the assessment of fatigue regarding just how dark and depressing DD had gotten by the time Diggle took over. I really enjoyed Bendis’ run on the character and thought Brubaker started off very strong, but by the end of his run, the constant stream of “how miserable can we make Matt?” stories were just tiring and I was gone from the book by about the 3rd or 4th issue of Diggle’s tenure as writer. Just couldn’t do it anymore. I am, however, loving Waid’s take on DD, where he has shown that the seriousness can be kept but that a ray of light or two can still shine through in Matt’s world. It’s been very refreshing so far…

All that said, I am still kicking myself for not picking up the DD and Elektra Omnibi that Marvel put out a few years ago collecting all of Miller’s work on the characters. I would like to see those reprinted at some point…

These placings are both fascinating to me.

I won’t get too much into Morrison’s Batman. I don’t love it, but I think I need to give it another chance, which I will do one of these days. I do think it’s way too high, but that’s what you get with the most internet-respected writer in comics tackling the most popular character in comics in a still-ongoing run. It was bound to be too high.

For what it’s worth, my pick for the worst run of all-time is Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin.

And speaking of Miller, here’s his DD, which was my #4 vote. Great sample pages here Brian, you picked a perfect sequence to capture the visual appeal of the comic. I’m very disappointed this run dropped out of the top 6. I think the top 6 from the ’08 poll, in some order, almost needs to be the top 6, as they are unquestionably the 6 most important American comic book runs of the last 50 years. I’ll elaborate on this idea once the rest of the poll has been revealed, in the interest of not spoiling what the top 6 will be for anyone that doesn’t know. But I was really hoping the top 6 would be the same even if they switched order a bit.

To me, DD is the first modern comic book run, in terms of what we think of as a “run.” The way we now expect new writers to take over major characters with a bang, have a clear plan for a long form series of stories, take the character(s) on the intended journey, and then craft a real ending before letting someone else take over, I think Miller’s DD is the first major example of this (but please anyone correct me if I’m wrong). #168 started with the bang, featured a major retcon and status quo change, then a 22 issue journey commenced that had a real resolution, with an epilogue issue tacked on before Miller left. That’s a run. And it was a perfect run. I think Miller has been virtually unreadable since 300, but god was he good in the 80s. I would also argue that Miller is in a toss-up with Bill Sienkiewicz as the most important/influential American comic artist since Neal Adams. Although it’s possible Jim Lee is in that conversation, for better or worse.

And for anyone that doesn’t know, this is the run that informed all of the ninja elements of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles began as a combo satire of the 3 most popular comics of the era: the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans (teenage), the Claremont X-Men (mutant), and the Miller/Janson Daredevil (ninja). Miller’s DD had the ninja clan The Hand, so TMNT had The Foot. DD’s sensei was Stick, so TMNT’s was Splinter. Etc.

Miller’s DD is one of those cases where people have been living in the shadow of its influence for so long that it’s almost impossible to fully trace. But the visual style of American comics changed forever with this run. Things like the silent issue of G.I.Joe are clear direct descendants of Miller’s DD.

Gmozz Batman was my #3. It’s been a hell of a ride — just the first 6 pages alone were so much awesome, and the whole run has been fun. I’ve had my interest slowed because of the delays with Inc., but it’s still a great run. And Burnham! Oh, man, he might be the best thing to come out of this run!

Another theme has been Multiple Batmen, and the idea that Bruce is still best (which seems to be told more than really shown at some points, I think).

As much as I do love the run, it does have its flaws, though. Poor art in some places, the notion of “because he’s the m-f Batman, that’s why!” in how prepared Bruce was at the end of RIP….I love it, but I can also recognize that it is flawed, which perhaps helps me love it more.

Question: You’ve listed the first volume of Batman Inc. as having 9 issues, but you also list the Leviathan (more properly Leviathan Strikes!) issue. Is that what you were thinking of, or did I miss an issue?

Still haven’t read Miller on DD (other than 158). I have a few, but I haven’t read them yet. What’s cool is that even on my crappy little phone screen, the layouts still looked cool.

@Lynxara: GMozz Bats didn’t place in ’08? Huh. I think the first portion was pretty good, and it was around the time RIP was coming out, wasn’t it? Or was that the year before? Either way, that’s odd that it didn’t make the list.

I’m showing my age, but I’m always amazed at how people today view Daredevil as one of the most consistently good titles. Until Miller, it was consistently one of the worst. I guess that’s why he deserves to be on this list.

Grant Morrison’s Batman was my first place vote so 5/10 runs from my ballot have shown up. Highlight of the run for sure is Batman & Robin #1-16.

The Morrison Batman. Easily the most overrated run ever, two out of ten despite having amazing art.

Well, there’s my #1. No, not Batman.

Will say about Batman, it’s funny that I think Son of the Demon started fully intending to be in-continuity, then was taken out of continuity, probably because “Batman can’t have a bastard child out there”, then put back in. Kinda like the Elektra Graphic Novel was (by Miller) but then not when they wanted to use Bullseye again…..and then Elektra.

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