Did I fall asleep? At least for a little while. I’ve forgotten about a bunch of stuff lately, and I’ve got about a dozen half finished posts on my blog here including my Top 40 Comic Runs stuff. I’m back though, here’s another crop of 10 titles (21-30).
Other entries in the recently renamed “Top 50 Comic Runs” are:
- Top 50 Comic Runs 50-41
4050 Comic Runs 40-31
4050 Comic Runs 30-21
- Top 50 Comic Runs 20-11
- Top 50 Comic Runs 10-6
- Top 50 Comic Runs 5-1
This one includes some more modern stuff including Powers, Civil War, and All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, as well as the first appearance of a couple of titles that will make reappearances in the Top 10 when I reveal those later.
30 – Civil War 1-7 (2006)
“And nothing will ever be the same again” is such a comic book cliche, but for the last three years this has (mostly) been the case. This was the catalyst for the death of Captain America, it changed the dynamic of The Avengers, completely rewrote a lot of the rules in the Marvel Universe, saw Spider-Man unmask himself (only to undo that a few months later with a “Deal with the Devil” which rewrote decades of continuity), and has pretty much reshaped the Marvel Universe entirely since 2006.
29 – All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (2005)
People are FINALLY coming around to the kinetic fun of this series. No, this isn’t the classic DC Universe Batman and Robin. Batman’s got a mean streak, and Robin isn’t entirely carefree and free spirited. All of the supporting characters are pretty different too. What this series is though is frigging fun.
28 – Uncanny X-Men 164 – 171 (1983)
This is by far my longest run on a title. I started picking Uncanny X-Men up at variety stores in the 80’s, and was constantly on the lookout for both them, and the Teen Titans (which I eventually got a mail order subscription to direct from DC Comics). This was a great series, and this long run has a ton of great memories for me. From Rogue’s first appearance as an X-Man (“Welcome to the X-Men Rogue, hope you survive the experience”), my introduction to the “Alien-like” Brood, through the Japanese Wolverine storyline that saw Storm go from long hair to mohawk.
27 – Spawn 1-6 (1992)
It was revolutionary for more than one reason. McFarlane became the first multi-million copy selling independent writer/artist with his work on Spawn. The story initially held a lot of promise, and I stuck around for a good 100 issues before finally giving up on the series. By then McFarlane had left the series to work on his toy empire and focus on his quest to become the ultimate baseball fanboy by purchasing the Bonds and McGwire home run record baseballs.
26 – Powers – (2000)
I missed the first 3 issues, but came in for the Warren Ellis issue where he accompanies Walker and Pilgrim on a “ride-along”, and it was spectacular. Powers quickly became my favourite comic every month with its combination of cool animated artwork and gritty realistic writing. Bendis may have made his mark with Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, and his super-hero fare, but he became one of my favourite writers because of his work on Powers.
25 – Wanted 1-6 (2005)
Mark Millar and J.G. Jones reinvented the superhero villain as the ultimate criminal mastermind and introduced us to a world that was the DC Universe just slightly off kilter. It was cinematic, visceral, and full of entirely off-the-wall ideas.
24 – Justice League 1-6 (1987)
The Bwa Ha Ha Ha era. Giffen, Demattis, and McGuire injected something into comics that hadn’t been seen since the era of “grim n gritty” began. A sense of humour. They elevated Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Guy Gardner, and Martian Manhunter to new heights, and in the process created a special book that was a lot of fun to read.
23 – Dark Horse Presents 51-62 (1991)
I forgot how good this series was back in the day. Not only was Matt Wagner’s The Aerialist in here, but there was some Aliens stuff, John Byrne’s Next Men, Art Adams’ Monkeyman and O’brien, and of course Marv and the crew of Sin City. The original story was simply called “Sin City”, but has recently been subtitled “The Big Hurt”. I remember how incredibly evocative the images were, the stark black and white, and the amazing shadow work that Millar did. This was in my mind Frank Miller’s best artistic work, and one of my favourite stories of the 90’s.
22 – Legion of Super-Heroes V4 1-6 (1989)
Five years later…
That’s how this series kicked off. Gone was the totally utopian future of the DC Universe that we had been exposed to all of these years, and in was something that was just a little bit dirty, and just a little bit gritty, but still not too terribly grim. Giffen introduced us to an entire brood of newbies, including Kent Shakespear and Larel Gand. He breathed new life into a concept that was 30 years old and mired in continuity problems post Crisis on Infinite Earths, and made the Legion a ton of fun again. I hope that DC collects these issues with their new DC Classics library.
21 – Starman 12-17 (1996)
Starman is one of the most influential series that I ever read. I connected with Jack Knight because he was just a guy, wearing a not so ridiculous outfit (seriously, a leather jacket, flight goggles, and a staff that allowed him to harness the sun’s energy and fly. That’s pretty cool), trying to live up to his father’s ideal of him. There was something about Tony Harris’ art that really appealed to me as well, and when Harris left the title, I feel like a little piece of it broke. This stuff was mind bending though. Having killed the new Mist’s father in the first story arc, Jack Knight is confronted by the new Mist again, who this time captures him, and basically rapes him so that she can have his child…a child she plans on raising to hate his father so that the child will one day destroy the father. It’s crazyness, ridiculously compelling, and ultimately something that could only be told in a comic book.