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Comics Should Be Good 2013 March Madness: Winner!

In one of the closest finals we’ve had (although I dunno, a few of these things have been close, right?), Claremont/Byrne’s X-Men took on Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four!

Who won?

Read on to find out!

With 51% to 49%, Claremont and Byrne took the crown!

Here’s the complete bracket…



Wotta revoltin’ development.

Les Fontenelle

April 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm

What Buttler said.

Ditto. The X-Men run was excellent, one of my favorites of all time, but better than the most ground-breaking run in all of comics? Naaaah.

I kind of disagree. Lee/Kirby FF was great but when it was weak it was really weak (particularly during the early years). Claremont/Byrne weren’t always awesome but the soap opera nature of the run meant that even the weaker issues often did a good job telling a continuing story.

Plus I’d put Dark Phoenix above any single arc in the Lee/Kirby FF run for a single legendary storyline (though Galactus is close).

I think people should re-read Kirby and lee’s run on FF and Thor, there are enough reprints / different editions out there.


@SeanGreyson I like the dark phoenix saga, like any other reader in its mid-forties out there , and i really like “the Silver Surfer saga” (FF48-50).. but IMHO FF 51 ( this man ..this monster) “Him” (FF 65-67) and “prisonners of Latveria” (FF 84 -87) did more to comics thant dark phoenix

Claremont/Byrne’s X-Men is infinitely more readable than Stan Lee’s prose in FF.

As far as history and setting the table for everything that came afterwards goes, Lee/Kirby has no equal.

That being said I voted for Claremont/Byrne because those were the comics I read as a kid that made me a fan for life.

When the voting is that close, I’m not going to complain too much (I went for the FF/Lee/Kirby).

Seems like this entire contest broke down to People Voting Anything-but-Claremont X-Men vs. People Voting Nothing-but-Claremont X-Men.

I understand why many people used nostalgia as a criteria, but I actually find FF holds up better on reading nowadays (even though I wasn’t alive back then) because I appreciate the Lee’s stylistic tics, and Kirby’s art was amazing, and one can see an entire universe being put together. It still is genuinely ENTERTAINING in a way Claremont/Byrne never was.

I was however when rereading Claremont/Byrne and when I looked at it again, I find I see nothing of interest to me, The art is blander and less impressive than Kirby’s, Claremont’s inability resolve anything makes reading individual issues far more of a chore, and much of what disenchanted me from most Marvel/DC of the past 20 years (never ending storylines, impenetrable over-convuluted continuity, an inability to tell stories of any mood or genre other than generic superhero), has its roots in the runaway success of Claremont X-Men, so seeing the voting break down to an almost Pavlovian way is irritating.

I know… it’s just comics.


These were both excellent runs! I voted the other way. ‘Sall good.

i am a 47 year old man and the first issue of x-men i bought was 129.
as a teenager i LOVED the claremont/byrne xmen,
loved them!
sadly as a kid i could only afford the paperback FF reprints – this –

thanks to the essential line only recently have i bought and read the whole lee/kirby FF run and i was completely blown away at the depth of creation those comics have – i had no idea lee/kirby had created so so much of what we call the marvel universe.

really, for those who have not read their complete run, do it.
there’s so many great multi-issue stories that are so wonderful.

i few years ago i re-read the claremont/byrne new x-men run and while still wonderful, solid comics they were only playing with the toys that lee/kirby created.

sorry, but there’s really no comparison.

laremont/Byrne wins -just the fact that they made the final four is marvelously significant, this is benchmark for how far the X-Men ‘franchise’ has disposed of what made it work in the first place http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=44388 Chris Claremont:
“For me, the whole idea was that the number was small enough that they could be expunged if the world got determined about it. You know, that it was something that the Avengers, if they wanted, could deal with. That was what gave Magneto so much of his passion and focus. In terms of defending his people, they really were dancing along the edge of extinction and they really did need someone like him. The difference, and the reason that the school was so intent on remaining clandestine, was that if they were exposed, they could be destroyed.
Obviously, in Grant Morrison’s [“New X-Men”] arc, that all changed. Suddenly mutants were a vast quantity in the human environment, even after “House of M” and Wanda saying, “No more mutants.” The company has found itself — [out] of necessity — forced to find a way to repeal that edict.
Now, unfortunately for me as a reader, you have a situation where the X-Men are totally public, where they’re now merging with all the other teams. The series, the concept, has lost its uniqueness. That which made it fundamentally different from the Fantastic Four, from the Avengers, from even the Defenders — it’s now just another group of committed superheroes. Some of them work with the Avengers, some of them work with the Fantastic Four, some of the Fantastic Four work with them. It’s all one big, homogeneous agglomeration, which, for me as a reader, is not that interesting, sadly.”

The remaining three creator teams in the chart are rare oasis’s in consumer land. Today we use this chart to celebrate the beauty of this medium; the eye-catching fusion of drawing and writing that expresses influential thought provoking forms characterization, quality art and cutting edge storytelling. Today – while the price of gasoline rises, and our purchasing power (the value of the dollar) diminishes each year, yet we still spend $4.00+ per issue on stories that are still repetitive predictable plot lines, stereotype characterization, and characters that are still only able to wear primary colors. Today we mainly have a culmination stories written to comply with christian/conservative extremist red scare tactics (the comic book code authority), stories that catered to the speculators bubble in the mid-80’s until early-90’s (quantity of titles over general quality of storytelling, halo-foil covers, mutants for everyone! Look Super-man is dead (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PlwDbSYicM), cloak and dagger suddenly became mutants, and hey look every cover either says ‘first issue!!!’), and decisions based upon a bankrupt management (Marvel in ’95). By the way, the best thing about that bankruptcy was the regime change that brought NuMarvel (~2000 – until Civil War).
Create a this same chart, but for the past 10 years. Comics should be good.

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