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The Greatest Jim Lee Stories Ever Told! – Voting

Here’s the latest of the daily voting threads for The Greatest ____ Stories Ever Told!

Our next creator up for voting is Jim Lee.

Jim Lee has been a superstar comic book artist for over twenty years now, both at Marvel Comics, Image Comics and now at DC Comics, where he is also the Co-Publisher of the company.

You have until 11:59 PM Pacific time, April 1st to vote for your top ten favorite comic book stories drawn, written or co-written by Jim Lee! Your choices will be revealed on April 2nd.

You vote by sending your top ten choices to bcronin@comicbookresources.com (make the subject heading clear that it is about The Greatest Jim Lee Stories Ever Told Voting) by that time (you send your votes by e-mail, not in the comments to this piece). If you legitimately don’t think you can think of ten stories, I’ll still allow the ballot if you can think of at least six stories.

Be sure to first click here to read about the rules and guidelines for the voting (so you don’t vote for stuff that is ineligible, like you can’t vote for “Jim Lee’s X-Men run,” you have to pick a specific story or story arc).

I’d prefer you not share your votes in the comments section – please let’s keep it a surprise until the results go up. You can share your votes then if you’d like! In addition, as a general rule for all of these polls, don’t be a jerk about the creator in question in the comments. If you don’t like the creator, fair enough, don’t vote. No snarky comments about the creator. I’ll be deleting comments like that.

Have fun voting and be sure to check back April 2nd to see the results!

20 Comments

I’ll give it a shot. I’m not sure about 10 but 6 I can manage.

Wow, I can’t think of a single thing I actually liked.

Matheus Laneri

March 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm

All Star Batman and Robin

Despite his high profile he doesn’t have a huge body of work. Many stories are either incomplete (All Star Batman & Robin) or were part of a cross-over (Killer Instinct, X-Tinction Agenda).

I’d be very surprised if anyone comes up with a list of 10.

It’s actually not that difficult, Drew. He’s done more than 10 stories. You put them in order from what you think was greatest to what you think was his 10th greatest. You may have a list of not great stories in the grander scheme of things, but with Hush, WildC.A.T.S, Action Comics, X-Men, Punisher, Deathblow and a couple others, I don’t see how you couldn’t cobble together a list of at least 10 books that would encompass Jim Lee’s greatest stories. Plus I don’t see anything that would specifically disbar ASBAR, for what that’s worth.

I must be the only person in the interwebs that thinks the colars are kinda cool. So sue me.

WIth out a doubt the number one spot goes to: Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday

The funny thing is, I don’t dislike Lee’s art. But I think he’s a terrible costume designer, and I just happened to have disliked pretty much everything he’s worked on.

@STEVE B. = LMAO!!!!!! THAT WAS SUCH A FAIL! i LOVE JIM LEE BUT DEF. CAN’T THINK OF 10 GREATEST. HIS ART WORK IS DOPE BUT HASN’T CHANGED UP MUCH. COSTUMES……………….WELL LETS JUST STICK TO HIM DRAWING.

Classic X-men 39′s backup, Brigg’s Revenge, written by Ann Nocenti and Pencilled by Jim Lee. First comic i ever bought…

I’ll try and help people out here since it seems many of you are struggling. I managed to vote for ten without listing any of his DC work, nor any Punisher, Divine Right, or Deathblow.

First off, a few good ones people might be forgetting:
Stormwatch #47, which Warren ellis wrote
WildCATs #50, where Lee had a good short story written by James Robinson
WildCATs/X-Men: The Silver Age, written by Scott Lobdell
WildCATs #31 & 32, written by Alan Moore
WildCATs #10-13, which was the much-ballyhooed reunion of Lee and Claremont

And by my count, Lee has drawn exactly 10 X-Men stories. Here they are in chronological order:
1. The back-up in Classic X-Men #39
2. The first fill-in issue, Uncanny #248, where Longshot left and Storm “died.”
3. The first ninja Psylocke story, Uncanny #256-258
4. Madripoor Nights, the classic Wolverine/Captain America/Black Widow team-up, Uncanny #268
5. X-Tinction Agenda, Uncanny #270-272
6. The simultaneous Savage Land/Shi’ar story, Uncanny #269, 273-277
7. Mutant Genesis, X-Men #1-3
8. The Team-X/Maverick/Omega Red/Shinobi Shaw story, X-Men #4-7
9. The Gambit in New Orleans/Ghost Rider/Brood story, X-Men #8-9 (You could possibly count the Gambit/Bishop fight in #8 as a separate story, but that’s up to Brian)
10. The Longshot/Mojo story, X-Men #10-11

Plus you have Alpha Flight, Punisher, the early WildCATs stuff, Image #0, The Savage Dragon fill-in issue, Divine Right, the Flinch story, Deathblow, Superman: For Tomorrow, Hush, and even the Justice League stuff.

It’s true that Lee hasn’t exactly been the most prolific of artists, but there’s enough stuff to vote for that no one should have to even consider The Worst Comic of All Time (aka: ASBAR)

It would be funny if All Star Batman and Robin somehow made it on to the list due to it rounding out the top ten for a lot of people. I don’t hate it like other people do but I can’t see putting it on a top ten list of anything.

Third Man, if you don’t like ASBAR, well, have some lemonade, chum! (I love that bit!)

Oh, wait, now I remember my favorite Jim Lee story:

The 1963 Annual he drew!

Oh…wait…damn!

Divine Right was nowhere near perfect, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. It was a pretty fun series

The problem for me, is that by and large, (notable exceptions would be his X-men work, particularly the reboot with Clarmeont in ’92) Lee’s contribution has served more as a ‘value add’ elevating stories that normally would not have been as successful; or remembered as fondly without his gorgeous art raising the bar. All Star Batman, Hush, the Superman run with Azzarello, even recently the ’52 Justice League were all probably sales hits ultimately because of him.. I doubt that any of these would have sold as much or even be as well regarded (if you consider those well regarded) without his art. I’m a big fan of Johns in general, from his work on Flash, GL and JSA, but I thought ’52 Justice league would have been panned for outrageous and off putting character beats after the third or fourth issue if we weren’t all waiting around for Lee’s art. And if the story was collaborative with Lee’s involvement, I’d say it ultimately, sals or not, will be considered a misfire for both guys down the road. If for nothing else, for giving Superman armor with a collar.. ;)

The guy isn’t memorable. The best stuff he ever did was Punisher War Journal and that’s probably because Carl Potts did the layouts.
Divine Right is probably when his art reached his maturity, couldn’t care about the story but pretty pictures for sure

Jim Lee is tough.

He is the unquestionable heir to the Neal Adams/John Byrne mainstream superhero artist of his generation mantle. He is also one of smartest business side guys in comics. His art is generally fun to look at and he doesn’t take anything off the table from a story-telling perspective (unlike most of his Image brethren).

His weaknesses are being a terrible costume designer and some over-sexualization. He is by no means a the worst offender in either area.

With that said, I cannot think of a story that he has drawn that is any better than “pretty good”. Most of the scripts that he has drawn are pure hack-work, even when they are from talented writers. Lee might be part of the problem, but I sure as heck cannot figure out how.

I cannot think of a story that he has drawn that is any better than “pretty good”. Most of the scripts that he has drawn are pure hack-work, even when they are from talented writers. Lee might be part of the problem, but I sure as heck cannot figure out how.

He’s a piss poor visual storyteller, plain and simple. As popular as his illustrations are, they’re better suited for covers than interior work.

@Turd Burglar

I really don’t think that’s a fair assessment. If you look at Jim Lee’s original Uncanny run (268-277), the storytelling is generally outstanding. Look specifically at #’s 268, 274, and 275. There’s a huge amount of great panel progression in there, especially the Savage Land scenes with Magneto and Zaladane.

So the question a lot of people ask is why was he good then and why isn;t he now, except that’s the wrong question. Jim Lee’s art and storytelling style (presumably) hasn’t changed since Claremont left the x-books, what’s changed is what writers Lee is working with and how they’re tailoring their scripts to him. Because Lee became so lauded as a splash page guy, writers now only give him scripts like that. And over the last 20 years, he’s pretty much only worked with guys (Loeb, Johns, latter day Frank Miller, Image non-writers) who are tailoring their stories to Lee’s ability to draw splash pages. Is Justice League’s decompression the fault of Lee or Johns? I don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes, but Johns seems like the much more reasonable answer.

If you want to throw jabs at Lee, the best way to do so is in his choosing of projects to draw. He’s choosing books that are so high-selling that there isn’t a realistic opportunity for unique story-telling and copious splash pages are the expectation. But Lee’s history shows that when he works with good writers who aren’t simply falling under the “I’m working with Jim Lee, I need to give him a bunch of cool shit to draw full pages of” spell, he has–at the very least–above average story-telling ability.

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