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Comics Should Be Good’s 5th Annual March Madness!!

Welcome to the 2012 DC/Marvel Comic Character Tournament!

We’re mixing things up a bit this year. As the NCAA basketball tournament goes along, so will a series of polls matching various comic book team runs against each other. You’ll have 48 hours (from when the polls go up) to pick whichever team run is your favorite in each match-up (judged by whether they’re more interesting, more appealing, whatever criteria you feel like choosing). The winner will advance to the next round, so on and so forth until we get a champion in the beginning of April!

To seed the teams, I used the 2012 Comic Book runs poll (with a little re-jiggering to fit in notable teams that did not have “runs”). I was initially just going to pit teams against each other, but it seemed to make no sense to judge “X-Men” or “Legion of Super-Heroes” when there have been so many different takes on those groups over the years, so I decided to split them down into their respective creator runs (with Claremont’s post-Byrne stories going by each artist he worked with). They’re seeded the way the actual tournament seeds the teams (like the top #1 seed is in the same region as the worst #2 seed, etc.)

So you’re judging which RUN you liked better (whatever criteria leads you to “like better” is fine. Which one has more nostalgic value for you, which one you think is the higher quality work, whatever floats your boat).

Here are the regions…


1. Claremont and Byrne’s X-Men
2. Giffen and DeMatteis’ JLI
3. Whedon and Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men
4. Morrison’s Invisibles
5. Levitz and Giffens’ Legion of Super-Heroes
6. Johns’ JSA
7. Claremont and Silvestri’s X-Men
8. Claremont’s New Mutants
9. Simone’s Secret Six
10. Simone’s Birds of Prey
11. Johns’ Teen Titans
12. Thomas’ All-Star Squadron
13. Gerber’s Defenders
14. Claremont and Lee’s X-Men
15. Lobdell’s Generation X
16. Cornell’s MI: 13


1. Morrison’s New X-Men
2. Wolfman and Perez’s Teen Titans/New Titans
3. Morrison’s Doom Patrol
4. Vaughan and Alphona’s Runaways
5. Ostrander’s Suicide Squad
6. Bendis’ Avengers
7. Remender’s Uncanny X-Force
8. Giffen and Bierbaums’ Legion of Super-Heroes
9. Moore and O’Neil’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
10. Claremont and Davis’ Excalibur
11. Englehart’s Avengers
12. Hickman’s Secret Warriors
13. Busiek and Bagley’s Thunderbolts
14. Claremont and Cockrum’s 1st X-Men
15. Parker’s Thunderbolts
16. Abnett and Lanning’s Guardians of the Galaxy


1. Kirby and Lee’s Fantastic Four
2. Ellis and Cassaday’s Planetary
3. Byrne’s Fantastic Four
4. Stern’s Avengers
5. Peter David’s current X-Factor
6. Ellis and Hitch’s Authority
7. Claremont and Smith’s X-Men
8. Claremont and Romita Jr.’s X-Men
9. David’s 1st X-Factor
10. Casey’s Wildcats
11. Thomas’ Avengers
12. David’s Young Justice
13. Nicieza’s Thunderbolts
14. Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme
15. Shooter’s Avengers
16. Thomas’ Infinity Inc.


1. Morrison’s JLA
2. Moore’s Watchmen
3. Busiek and Perez’s Avengers
4. Millar and Hitch’s Ultimates
5. Hickman’s Fantastic Four/FF
6. Ellis and Immonen’s Nextwave
7. Milligan’s X-Force/X-Statix
8. Waid and Wieringo’s Fantastic Four
9. Ellis’ Thunderbolts
10. Ellis’ Stormwatch
11. Mignola and Arcudi’s BPRD
12. Abnett and Lanning’s Legion of Super-Heroes
13. Shooter’s Legion of Super-Heroes
14. Millar’s Authority
15. Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men
16. Drake’s Doom Patrol

Here is the tournament bracket – click on it to get the full bracket and feel free to print it out if you’d like (I doubt it fits on one page, though).


Here are the first two regions up for voting!




I just voted.

To clarify Brian, when you’re saying “team” you mean the “team of characters” not which “creator or team of creators.” I might be the only one getting tripped up on this but since so many of these runs are by a pair of people in my mind I started thinking about the creators not the creations.

Oh, I definitely assume we’re talking about which runs are our favorites, not which team of heroes would win in a fight or anything like that. So it would be the creative team, not the characters, unless I’m way off base. That said, I guess what criteria you use are really up to you.

That said, these are all runs on team books, so in that sense “team” is meant to be the team of superheroes–it’s just that the key part here is “run” rather than “team.”

See, I don’t think so Buttler. The first paragraph references “comic book team runs”/”team run” while the second paragraph says “the teams” and that the teams are divided by “their respective creator runs”. So I believe we’re actually looking at the team of characters that appeared in the creator’s/creators’ issues rather than the issues themselves.

Right, the common thread here us is that they’re all runs about comic book teams, but we’re voting on which runs we like, not which teams we like. That’s why the noun is “run” in “matching various comic book team runs against each other” or “pick whichever team run is your favorite.” In that context, “team” is an adjective describing the run, and the run is what we’re voting on.

That’s just my reading as a professional editor, though. It’s Brian who makes the rules.

Yeah, you’re picking your favorite between the X-Men, as written by Chris Claremont and John Byrne versus Captain Britain and MI:13, as written by Paul Cornell.

Your enjoyment of the characters involved likely does play a role in your decision, but the main differentiation is the creative teams. Or else how could you pick between, say, Claremont/Smith X-Men versus Claremont/JRjr X-Men? The characters are the same (unless you’re just a HUGE Rachel Summers fan).

But I’ve clarified it in case it was confusing!

I’m surprised we’ve come this far without saying that the lack of Micronauts invalidates this poll completely. So let me take care of that right now.

Thanks for clarifying Brian. My confusion comes from, as professional editor buttler points out, “run” is the noun in the first paragraph while “team” is the noun in the second paragraph. So I was just trying to get that clarified, but like you said, we can use whatever criteria we’d like. Thanks.

Oh, and despite of my questioning and complaining Brian, I am excited about this. I was wondering earlier today if you would be doing this. So thank you.

Oh, and despite of my questioning and complaining Brian, I am excited about this. I was wondering earlier today if you would be doing this. So thank you.

No problema. I didn’t think that you were complaining, for whatever that’s worth!

So which run of Shooter’s on Legion of Super-Heroes is meant here?

So which run of Shooter’s on Legion of Super-Heroes is meant here?

The first one.

Oh, this is sweet. Nice way of doing it.

Got sick of Batman winning every year, huh? ;)

(I say this without looking to see if Batman did indeed win, so don’t rain fire on my snark.)

The favorite character tourney always comes down to Batman vs. Spidey with Batman winning. This is a cool change-up. I guess the expectation this time is that it comes down to Claremont/Byrne X-men vs Watchmen. But who knows what will happen or who will ultimately win.

[…] Comics Should Be Good, an awesome blog over at Comic Book Resources, has suspended their annual superhero tournament in favor of notable story runs by creators!  Is Simone’s Secret Six better than Claremon’ts New Mutants?   Byrne’s Fantastic Four or Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme?  The Elite Eight (is that a superhero team?) can be voted on here!  (X-Men vs. X-Men!) […]

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