Johns & Frank Aim for 'Surprising and New' in Latest "Batman: Earth One" Volume
The countdown begins….NOW!
First off, over 1000 votes cast! That’s awesome, people!! Nearly two hundred more votes than last time. Thanks so much for the turnout! The more people who vote, the better the results are!!
Okay, as usual, the votes are more bundled together at the bottom of the list and things open up as we go along. The results will be five a day, except today, when you get TEN (also they’ll be in smaller groups as we get to the very end)! Note, there may be some spoilers ahead! You are forewarned! Here is the master list of all storylines featured so far.
So, without further ado, here are your top 100 favorite comic book storylines!!
NOTE: All of these storyline posts will be image intensive, so I’ll be spreading them over multiple pages.
100. “The Death of Speedy” by Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets #21-23) – 98 points (1 first place vote)
For a story that is actually CALLED “The Death of Speedy,” you would figure that by the time it came around, the actual death would not have as much impact.
You would be wrong.
In one of Jaime Hernandez’s strongest story arcs in his long and accomplished tenure on Love and Rockets, the Death of Speedy focuses on a small group of young men and women in the barrio, as Hernandez brilliantly lays their limited life options out plain to see, and it is depressing while still being quite moving.
Even as you sit there and think, “How foolish can these kids be?’ when you marvel at the problems their machismo gets them into (and the girls, with their own form of machismo – what IS the female equivalent of machismo?), you still get that this is not really much of an overstatement of the reality of the situation.
Here is an example…
Hernandez seems to truly give us a glimpse into the lives of real people here, and perhaps the most brutal aspect of the whole thing is that as they fight over ridiculous notions like “this is OUR turf” or “he’s MY man,” their lives continue to prominently revolve around LOVE.
Maggie, the story’s protagonist, particularly seems to view love as a motivating factor.
But even ideas based in love can end up in heartbreak and pain, and that’s what happens in the Death of Speedy.
That the whole thing is handled in Hernandez’s Dan Decarlo-esque artwork, allowing the pathos to almost sneak up on you, like a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing.
99. “First Tale of the Demon” by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Bob Brown, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano (Batman #232, 235, 240, 242-244 and Detective Comics #411) – 101 points (2 first place votes)
The storyline does not really HAVE a name, although I guess you might call it “Daughter of the Demon,” but since it is collected in Tales of the Demon with another Ra’s al Ghul story, I figure “The First Tale” is an appropriate enough name!
It begins in Detective Comics with a Bob Brown penciled issue, then the story continues to Batman, where Irv Novick and Neal Adams draw three issues apiece (although Adams draws more total story pages, as two of Adams’ issues are full-length stories while none of Novick’s are).
An interesting aspect of the first stories involving Ra’s Al Ghul by Denny O’Neil and friends is the fact that the Batman within these stories is barely recognizable to the super-competent Batman of today. The Batman of the first Ra’s story really needs the help of other practically ordinary people to help bring down Ra’s.
Ra’s and Talia had been around for a little while before the famous first duel between Batman and Ra’s took place.
Batman fakes Bruce Wayne’s death and takes on the identity of Matches Malone for the first time (Malone is introduced and is killed in these issues, leaving the identity available for Batman to use). He teams up with a scientist who had worked with Ra’s (not of his own volition) and they race to stop Ra’s and Talia from unleashing a deadly plague. Through the story, Batman gets aid from some unlikely sources, like a famous skier!!
Ultimately, Batman tracks them down only to discover Ra’s dead. He takes Talia into custody but is then confronted by Ra’s – this is the first time we see the use of the Lazarus Pit. Batman is quickly subdued and Ra’s and his daughter take off.
This is probably the first “wow, Batman is tough” scene, as Batman manages to catch up with them and confront them again in the desert. Ra’s is suitably impressed.
We then see one of the most amazing four-page sequences in superhero comic book history…
Absolutely stunning work by Adams. This absolutely DEFINED Batman comics of this era. Heck, this pretty much defined Batman for the entirety of the 1970s!
98. “The Korvac Saga” by Jim Shooter, Roger Stern, David Michelinie, George Pérez, Sal Buscema, David Wenzel and Pablo Marcos (Avengers #167-169, 170-171, 173-177) – 103 points
Michael Korvac was born in the future but eventually, after becoming powerful through various events, traveled to the present and discovers the base of Galactus. While there, Korvac gains great cosmic power, and recreates himself as a man named…Michael. The Guardians travel back through time to capture Korvac. In the meantime, the Collector (brother to the Grandmaster) realizes that Korvac is a threat, so the Collector transforms his daughter, Carina, into a being powerful enough to combat Korvac. However, his daughter instead falls in love with Korvac/Michael, and the two go to Earth and begin living a quiet live in Queens, New York.
The Collector then tries to capture the Avengers (and the Guardians) in an attempt to protect them from Korvac, but when Korvac finds out about his plot, he kills the Collector.
Jim Shooter plays the whole thing like a slow burn, as the Avengers deal with the fact that they’re dealing with someone who might be able to wipe them from existence as easily as he would flick a bug off of his shoulder (at this point they do not even know of Korvac’s change into the normal-looking Michael).
So the Avengers eventually travel to Queens where they discover Michael and Carina living quietly. They investigate their home as they are looking for something there to tie into the powerful being who killed the Collector. Shooter plays with the notion of whether the Avengers are, in effect, provoking a fight with Korvac…
The next issue is a tremendous battle that does not end as well as you might expect for a battle of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes against one guy.
Jim Shooter (working with first Roger Stern and then David Michelinie) uses the whole universe at his hands here to create a sprawling epic with tons of guest stars.
The artwork for the storyline was done mostly by David Wenzel, filling in for George Perez.
Go to the next page for #97-94…
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