How Lee & Kirby's "Fantastic Four" Birthed the Marvel Universe, Part 1
In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman, culminating with the “official” 75th anniversary of Batman at the end of July. The first month was the 75 Greatest Batman Covers. The second month was the 75 Greatest Batman Friends and Foes. Last month was the 75 Greatest Batman Writers and Artists. This month is the 75 Greatest Batman Stories!
Batman has starred in a bunch of a great stories, from one-shot issues to multi-issue stories to, well, sagas. So here you will be casting your vote for who you feel are the greatest Batman stories!
You folks all vote in the comments section here up until 11:59 Pacific time, July 6th. I’ll tabulate all the votes and I’ll begin a countdown of the top 75 beginning July 7th (or thereabouts – it’ll all end on July 23rd).
Okay, here are the guidelines!
1. Vote in the comments section below, making sure to include that classic word “ACBC” somewhere in your comment so your vote will be marked invisible.
2. Vote for your TEN favorite Batman stories (from comic books only).
3. Rank your ten stories from #1 (what you think is the greatest story) to #10 (what you think is the 10th greatest). I’d prefer it if you actually numbered your entry, #1-10. It’s easier for me to count. On that note, please also avoid listing them like this “1) 2) 3) 4),” because 8 with a ) after it transforms into a smiley face in the comments section (this one 8) ). Just plain ol’ “1. 2. 3.” works best. Really, just use this template:
4. Your top choice will be given 10 points, your second choice 9, etc.
5. Only stories where Batman is a lead or a co-lead character count. In other words, no JLA stories, no Catwoman stories, no Robin stories, no Azrael stories, no Nightwing stories, no Birds of Prey stories and no Gotham Central stories (except, of course, for when those titles directly cross over with Batman, like Cataclysm, Contagion, etc.). Batman and the Outsiders can count. Batman/Superman can count. World’s Finest can count. Brave and the Bold obviously counts.
6. Now for the most annoying part of the rules. What is the definition of a particular story? First off, runs are not stories. To wit, you can’t pick, say, Doug Moench and Kelly Jones’ run and call it a story. It is not. It contains a number of different stories.
Author intent is a big factor in whether I’ll count a bunch of non-consecutive issues as a “saga,” like the first Ra’s Al Ghul storyline. It was clearly intended as one story by Denny O’Neil, even though it was non-consecutive in two different titles (with different artists).
No Man’s Land is one big story.
Knightfall, Knightquest and Knightsend, though, are three distinct stories.
Gerry Conway’s run can be split into basically two distinct “sagas.” The Rupert Thorne saga and then the Killer Croc saga.
Black Mirror is one storyline (trade paperback collections are generally a good guideline as to what is considered a story, although obviously not always).
7. Mini-series count as one story. Like Batman vs. Predator. Unless, of course, the mini-series is an anthology, like Batman: Black and White. In the case of anthologies, each story inside the anthology is considered an independent story.
8. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.
9. If you have questions and or requests for clarification, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. I’ll make various decisions as necessary.
Remember, please include the following word: ACBC – on your ballot. It will make it so your ballot appears invisible to other readers, so only I can read it (and count your vote secretly).
Most importantly, have fun!
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