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17. “The Coming of Galactus” by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott (Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #48-50) – 444 points (5 first place votes)
This storyline works as the epitome of the epic cosmic adventures Stan Lee and Jack Kirby sent the Fantastic Four on often, with wild technology and astonishing stakes (the fate of the entire planet) but at the same time, real human elements, like Reed Richards’ reaction to having to try to save the Earth from doomsday (he doesn’t deal super well with the enormous pressure, grows a beard and even snaps at Sue)…
or the Silver Surfer’s literal fall to Earth….
And one of the most interesting aspects (and also part of what made the Kirby/Lee FF so great) of the story is how #48 contains the ending of the previous arc and #50 has a story AFTER the Galactus story wraps up (and sets up a story for #51!). At the time, Kirby and Lee were coming up with so many ideas that something as cool as the Galactus trilogy, where basically “God” showed up to destroy the Earth, was not even the SOLE story for the three parts of the trilogy!!!
The 50th issue has some stretches of the imagination, but it also has two extremely iconic moments – Reed Richards threatening Galactus with the Ultimate Nullifier…
and Galactus stripping his former herald, the Silver Surfer, of his abilities to roam the galaxy, as punishment for helping to fight for the people of Earth…
And note that these moments were handled as just one of many panels!!
You could argue that this comic had it all – great story, great art, cosmic problems, earthly problems, action – it was the complete package, and it still stands out today, forty-plus years later!
16. “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore and David Lloyd (After beginning serialization in Warrior, V for Vendetta #1-10) – 446 points (7 first place votes)
At the heart of V for Vendetta is an engaging and difficult dilemma – if you HAD to choose, what would you prefer? Fascism or anarchy?
In the former, yeah, you’d be ruled by essentially dictators, but odds are that you personally wouldn’t be directly affected.
In the latter, yeah, you’d be free, but there would be no protection from chaos.
It’s a beautiful dilemma, and Alan Moore milks it for all that it is worth in this alternate reality where a “terrorist” named V (who wears a Guy Fawkes mask) tries to bring down the government, hopefully with the help of a young woman named Evie.
Moore and his brilliant artistic counterpart, David Lloyd, create a lush, dark and vibrant world that is too scary to want to live there, but too interesting not to want to read more about.
Here is one of V’s notorious attacks on a government agent, introduced first with a discussion between V and Evey…
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