Here are the next three storylines on the countdown, as voted on by you, the readers!! Here is the master list of all storylines featured so far.
Note, there may be some spoilers ahead! You are forewarned!
NOTE: All of these storyline posts will be image intensive, so I’ll be spreading them over multiple pages.
12. “The Judas Contract ” by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Mike DeCarlo (Tales of the New Teen Titans #42-44, Tales of the New Teen Titans Annual #3) – 566 points (14 first place votes)
The Judas Contract was the pay-off on an amazing slow build. In the very first issue of the New Teen Titans, the group faced off against a mercenary named the Ravager. He died fighting the Titans. His father was introduced the next issue, picking up his son’s unfulfilled contract. Deathstroke the Terminator would soon become one of the most acclaimed villains of the 1980s.
Thirty-four issues into the series, we learn that a brand-new member of the Titans, Terra, who had joined a few issues earlier, is secretly working for Deathstroke.
From that point on, the slow burn came to a simmer as readers realized that Terra had to eventually make her move and this storyline was it.
The first issue was an awesome “Day in the Life” issue that doubled as showing us how Terra is monitoring the group and looking for their areas of weakness. She almost breaks cover towards the end, which leads to a really cool transition…
By the way, a quick “yeuch” to the Terra/Deathstroke relationship. I mean, it’s not to say that it isn’t SUPPOSED to be icky, but still.
Anyhow, Deathstroke makes his move the next issue and takes out most of the team, only Dick Grayson (he had recently quit being Robin) avoided capture.
Dick meets up with Deathstroke’s ex-wife and another son of his.
His wife gives Dick the lowdown on how Deathstroke came to be. It’s an amazingly well-told origin and the ending of it is truly outstanding…
How do you beat that origin? What a perfect encapsulation of a character’s personality in a few pages.
Anyhow, Dick of course debuts his new identity in this storyline, with the well-thought reasoning behind the name Nightwing (as a split between his Batman influence and his Superman influence).
Dick and Deathstroke’s family goes to rescue the Titans and it leads to a dramatic conclusion with one Titan not making it out alive (luckily, it is the Titan who betrayed everybody, so it’s all good).
11. “The Long Halloween” by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (The Long Halloween #1-13) – 631 points (12 first place votes)
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale had already produced three great annual specials spotlighting Batman during Halloween. So they decided to do one better by doing this epic year-long mini-series where they had us follow Batman from one Halloween to the next by following Batman trying to hunt down the mysterious villain Holiday, who murders people on holidays, one a month. Here’s an example from Valentine’s Day…
The comic is set in Frank Miller’s Year One timeline, with the backdrop of the murders being the crime war between the Maroni and Falcone crime families. In addition, the comic deals with District Attorney Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face for the first time. This comic was a major influence on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy of films.
An undercurrent throughout the work is that this is the small period in Batman’s life where he thinks that he might actually be able to pull off a war on crime.
Check out this sequence to see what I mean (while also getting a glimpse of how amazing Tim Sale’s art is in this story)…
10. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Jerry Ordway (Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-12, plus a bunch of tie-ins) – 645 points (17 first place votes)
Crisis on Infinite Earths was both a love letter to the past of DC Universe while also the formation of a “new” DC Universe.
Marv Wolfman and George Perez put the DC Universe into a position where worlds were dying and realities were shattering. This allowed the pair to use a cast of literally thousands as they explored the vast realms of DC’s comic history in a sprawling epic with more than one “Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil.”
The devices pushing this plot forward are the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor, one a benevolent being who was studying the DC Universe – the other a madman who wants to destroy the Multiverse, the backbone of DC’s multiple Earths set-up (which allowed DC to separate their Golden Age creation from their Silver Age counterparts, but also allowed them to integrate comics they bought from other publishers without having to splice them together with their existing heroes).
In a battle this epic, deaths were bound to happen, and this story was SO big that two very big names saw their end – Superman’s cousin, Supergirl…
and Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash.
Initially, other titles were hesitant to tie into Crisis, but by the time the series ended, it was such a big hit that books were falling over themselves to tie into the event!
Wolfman and Perez ended the series with more than one magnificently diverse epic slugfests, until the dust settled and the DC Universe was never the same.
What a way to spend a Golden Anniversary!!