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The 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History #75-1

by  in Comic News Comment
The 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History #75-1

We provided a series of memorable DC moments for you to vote for, we also gave you the chance to nominate other moments (which you then also voted on to get them on to the “ballot”) and then you came out in droves to vote for them all! I think it was our biggest turnout yet (as it turns out, more people will vote if they just have to click buttons to vote). So now, here is the master list of the Top 75 most memorable moments in the first 75 years of DC Comics, as voted on by you, the fans!!! Do note that spoilers will almost certainly be present in these moments, and some of them could have come from comics that were intended for mature audiences only. So be forewarned!

Also, as an additional note. Do note that DC Comics almost specifically went out of its way to AVOID “memorable” moments during their first 40 or so years of existence, choosing instead to go with the idea that since reader turnover was so high, you wanted to make sure that readers didn’t have to, well, remember stuff. It was only in the late 1960s or so that DC has adopted a stricter sense of continuity and really more during the 1980s that things began to change in such a fashion that it is only reasonable that more and more “memorable” events have happened in the last third of DC’s first 75 years than the previous two thirds.


75. Is Batman a man or a fiend from hell? (Batman #244 by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano)

The first Ra’s Al Ghul “saga” was one of the most popular Batman stories of all-time, resulting in numerous reprint collections (including a treasury edition of the story, which did not happen for many storylines) and many sequels.

Ra’s’ reaction to Batman’s seeming return from the grave is one of the most memorable moments from this very memorable storyline.

74. The Doom Patrol is defiant until the end! (Doom Patrol #121 by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani)

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Comic history is made as Drake and Premiani kill off the lead characters of the strangest superhero team around, the Doom Patrol. When the first series ends with something this unexpected and dramatic, it certainly set a tone for the “anything goes” atmosphere of the later volumes, including the acclaimed Grant Morrison run on the series.

73. Heads roll as Superboy Prime gets mad (Infinite Crisis #4 by Geoff Johns, Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning)

This was a major turning point in the Infinite Crisis series. Up until this point, Superboy Prime could almost be seen as a well-intentioned, if a bit petulant, person. But that went out the window when he over-reacts to the intervention of the Titans with a punch heard round the world. The next page is even gorier, but the shock of the initial attack still stands out the most. Poor Pantha.

72. Swamp Thing and Abby get better acquainted (Swamp Thing #34 by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben)

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Swamp Thing was already a ground-breaking series BEFORE they delivered this breathtaking endeavor where they showed Swamp Thing and his girlfriend, Abby, becoming intimate. Practically the entire book is filled with moments like I feature above, so I just sort of picked one moment from the issue to stand-in for all of them.

71. Lucifer locks up hell and gives Morpheus the key (Sandman #23 by Neil Gaiman, Kelley Jones and Malcolm Jones III)

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In this stunning scene from Sandman: Season of Mists, Lucifer quits being in charge of hell, and hands over the empty gates of hell to Morpheus, in what I suppose you would best call “the long con,” as he knows it can bring Morpheus nothing but trouble.

70 Lex Luthor refuses to believe Superman is Clark Kent (Superman #2 by John Byrne and Terry Austin with Keith Williams)

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This dramatic twist early in John Byrne’s Superman run gave us a very good insight into the mind of Lex Luthor – he cannot fathom someone NOT using their power all the time, so how could Superman be that weakling Clark Kent?!? Clever ending by Byrne, and certainly one of the most memorable moments from his popular Superman run.

69 John Stewart dooms an entire planet (Cosmic Odyssey #2 by Jim Starlin, Mike Mignola and Carlos Garzon)

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In the pages right before this, John Stewart was bragging about how his Green Lantern ring could pretty much do anything. In fact, he was so confident that he sent Martian Manhunter away after the pair engaged a defense mechanism involving fire. However, when Stewart arrived, he discovered that the bomb had been made yellow specifically to counteract him. The planet of Xanshi was destroyed because he was overly confident/unprepared. This became pretty much THE defining plot point for John Stewart in the comics ever since.

68 Mogo is revealed (Green Lantern Vol. 2 #188 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

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In this back-up in Green Lantern #188, a bounty hunter heads off to kill the mysterious Green Lantern Mogo. Well, years into his mission, he cannot find Mogo. Finally, after years of charting the planet and checking out maps, he realizes that those odd bits of scenery are something else entirely…

67 Batman…lives! (Batman: The Dark Knight #4 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson)

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After the dramatic conclusion to the conflict between Superman and Batman at the end of the series, this was a brilliant little reveal, handled beautifully by Miller and Janson. I particularly love the way that they humanize Superman at the same time they turn the series’ ending from dour to hopeful (although I love the joke one commenter made – “Couldn’t someone have told Alfred that they were all FAKING their deaths?”).

66 Animal Man can see you! (Animal Man #19 by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog and Doug Hazlewood)

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Grant Morrison got meta when he had Animal Man surprise the reader by revealing that he could see you!!! From this point on in the series, Animal Man was very much a work of metafiction, and one of the more popular and more blatant examples of metafiction in comics.

65. Batman strikes a pose (Batman #251 by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams)

From the pages of one of the most famous Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams issues of Batman, the Joker’s Five-Way Revenge, we get this full page splash of Batman racing across the beach to catch the Joker. This picture was so memorable that it was turned into a cover just a few years later for a Treasury Edition. It’s been used in many other posters, pin-ups and covers over the years (one of DC’s “The Art of Neal Adams” hardcovers uses this as the cover). More recently, John Cassaday homaged it in his Planetary/Batman crossover – it’s THAT recognizable of a shot that just drawing Batman in this pose will make people realize what Adams drawing you’re referring to.

64. Joker’s first victim appears (Batman #1 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson)

Joker’s trademark way of killing people, with their faces stretched into a disgusting grin as they die, is probably the most iconic method of killing people of all supervillains, and it made its debut right here, in the first issue of Batman’s titular series!

63. Batman discovers the Hyperclan’s secret (JLA #3 by Grant Morrison, Howard Porter and John Dell)

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This issue was pretty much the introduction of Grant Morrison’s “Bat-God” take on Batman. This JLA run had already gotten off to a great start, but this scene really took it to the next level.

62. Krypto dies (Action Comics #583 by Alan Moore, Curt Swan, Kurt Schaffenberger and an uncredited Murphy Anderson)

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In one of a number of dramatic sacrifices in the final part of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Krypto kills the Kryptonite Man to protect his master, and the Kryptonite Man dies stunned, as he can’t fathom how anyone, let alone a dog, would be willing to die to save someone else. Swan and Schaffenberger absolutely nail the pathos of the scene (not that Moore’s script was not filled with pathos itself).

61. Batman accepts a new Robin (Batman #442 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo)

Tim Drake made his debut in the Lonely Place of Dying and quickly stood out from the previous Robin, Jason Todd. This Robin, Tim Drake, was clever, intelligent and very respectful to not only Batman, but to Dick Grayson, as well. So when Batman concedes the point that maybe he DOES need a Robin above, Dick’s smile really says it all.

60. Batman summons the bats (Batman #406 by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli)

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One of the most famous sequences in Batman: Year One is when Batman is surrounded by Gotham’s SWAT team in a rundown building. Batman takes them down one by one until he needs one last big gambit, and it involved using a device to call a ton of bats to his aid (the scene was later roughly used in Batman Begins).

59. John Constantine outsmarts a trio of demons (Hellblazer #45 by Garth Ennis, Will Simpson and Tom Sutton)

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In what has become pretty much the most famous Hellblazer story of all time, Garth Ennis has John Constantine cheat death itself, as a dying-of-cancer Constantine cons a trio of demons by selling his souls to all three of them separately. So if Constantine dies, the demons would have to wage a terrible war against each other, which does not serve either of their interests at this point. So they cure Constantine of cancer (note that he goes right back to smoking upon being cured) and he gives them the finger. This was loosely adapted into the Constantine film.

58. The very first “Bwah Ha Ha” (Justice League International #8 by Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon)

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The Justice League became “International” in issue #7, so in #8, they began setting up embassies in different International cities. Blue Beetle, Booster Gold And Black Canary were in charge of the Paris branch. While getting lunch in their civilian identities, Beetle and Booster encounter a striking woman who Booster tries to pick up – when he fails miserably, we soon get the most famous laugh in DC history (only because Joker’s laughs aren’t consistent).

57. Captain Marvel saves the day…kinda (Kingdom Come #4 by Mark Waid and Alex Ross)

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Captain Marvel had been manipulated by Lex Luthor into becoming basically a lap dog. He uses his magical lightning to hurt Superman repeatedly while Superman’s allies are in a pitched battle with the super-powered beings that Superman and friends have been locking up for some time now. At the same time, however, the United Nations authorizes dropping three nukes on the various super-beings to just be done with them once and for all. Batman and Wonder Woman stop two of the three, but the third passes by untouched. Superman manages to finally break Captain Marvel free of Luthor’s influence (by forcing him to turn into Billy Batson), then lets Billy decide – does he want to let Superman stop the bomb or should he just let it fall? Billy transforms into Captain Marvel and takes matters into his own hands as he flies up to the bomb and detonates it with his magical lightning. He dies (as do a bunch of super-beings), but the bomb’s blast is dulled enough that there are survivors where there normally would be none.

56. Morpheus and a demon have a contest (Sandman #4 by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg)

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In this early issue of Sandman, Morpheus goes around and re-collects his magical items that he had lost in his years of imprisonment. To regain one of his items, he has a contest with a demon from hell. This exchange was so famous that it was even turned into an online political ad in 2008 (with Obama taking Morpheus’ lines and Hillary Clinton taking the demon’s lines).

55. The opening page of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow (Superman #423 by Alan Moore, Curt Swan and George Perez)

Alan Moore delivers one of the coolest opening lines to a comic book story ever. The background art by Curt Swan and George Perez was dropped for the collected edition, for some reason, and replaced instead with a plain blue background with Moore’s text written in a larger font. I get that Moore’s words are the key to the beginning, but it still seems like a slightly odd idea to make the change.

54. Sue Dibny is raped (Identity Crisis #2 by Brad Meltzer, Rags Morales and Michael Bair)

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Brad Meltzer and DC editorial felt that they needed to have something awfully bad happen to compel the Justice League to put them into a position where they would actually mess with a supervillain’s mind. What they settled on was having Doctor Light rape Sue Dibny years ago when her husband, the Elongated Man, was a member of the “satellite era” of the Justice League of America.

53. Superman flies into the sun to save it (All Star Superman #12 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely)

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In a lot of ways, the entire 12-issue epic series by Morrison and Quitely was leading up to this moment, where a dying Superman flies into the sun to save it…after having a nice goodbye scene with Lois, of course.

52. The first woman in a refrigerator (Green Lantern v3 #54 by Ron Marz, Darryl Banks and Romeo Tanghal)

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The new Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, had just been introduced a few issues earlier when writer Ron Marz came up with his own sort of “Uncle Ben getting shot” moment for Kyle (who was, in a lot of ways, a 1990s version of Peter Parker as a Green Lantern) when he had the sadistic Major Force viciously murder Kyle’s girlfriend, Alex DeWitt, after Force had been sent to retrieve Kyle’s ring.

51. Swamp Thing makes a discovery (Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben)

The Moore/Bissette/Totleben creative team quickly made a name for themselves in this dramatic reveal that Swamp Thing was not, in fact, a transformed Alec Holland, but a mutated plant creature that THOUGHT it was Alec Holland. One of the most legendary “game-changers” in the history of comics.

Go to the next page for #50-26!

50. Animal Man meets his maker (Animal Man #25 by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog and Mark Farmer)

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Speaking of “game-changing,” in the penultimate issue of Grant Morrison’s critically acclaimed Animal Man run, the star of the book, Animal Man (Buddy Baker) comes face to face with…Grant Morrison!?!?

49. Dick Grayson loses one relationship, gain a new, unhealthy one (Detective Comics #38 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson)

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Just a few months after his brilliant origin for Batman, Bill Finger delivered a similarly great origin (and by “similarly great,” I, of course, mean “the same basic origin”) for Batman’s new sidekick, Dick Grayson – Robin, the Boy Wonder! In case Bruce Wayne happens to be reading, I am sorry if I offended you by making fun of how you turned a young boy who had just experienced a great deal of trauma into a tool to aid you in your war on crime. It’s all in good fun, Bruce!

48. It ends with a wink (Action Comics #583 by Alan Moore, Curt Swan, Kurt Schaffenberger and an uncredited Murphy Anderson)

Throughout Whatever Happened the Man of Tomorrow, the story has been told via Lois Lane recounting the events of the past to a reporter doing a story on the last days of Superman. Her husband Jordan has been home for most of it. Jordan does not seem to be a big fan of Superman. The story ends with Jordan (and Alan Moore and the rest of the creative team) letting us in on who he REALLY is…

47. Wonder Woman wins the contest to go to Man’s World! (All-Star Comics #8 by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter)

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In her first comic book appearance, we get to see one of the most iconic origins of the Golden Age, as “The Contest” has been used numerous times since this first time.

46. Darkseid revealed as the “big bad” of the Great Darkness Saga (Legion of Super-Heroes #293 by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt)

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After a number of issues teasing who the mastermind was behind the Great Darkness Saga, after diabolically turning the entire populace of Daxam into a world of mind-controlled Supermen, the big bad guy is finally revealed – and it is Darkseid!!!!

45 Hal Jordan becomes Parallax (Green Lantern Vol. 3 #50 by Ron Marz, Darryl Banks and Romeo Tanghal)

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Hal Jordan is convinced that he can use the power of the Green Lantern battery to fix the destruction of Coast City. And if he has to kill a few people along the way, it does not really matter, since he’ll just fix THEM later, too. Here, after killing his good friend Killowog and snapping Sinestro’s neck, we see Hal reach the final stage where he destroys the giant central power battery of the Green Lantern Corps and becomes something new…Parallax!

44 Green Lantern learns a difficult lesson (Green Lantern Vol. 2 #76 by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams)

In Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ first issue of Green Lantern (where Green Lantern began teaming up with Green Arrow), Hal Jordan is shown how out of touch he is with the plight of typical Americans at the beginning of the 1970s – this helps spur Jordan to travel across the country with Green Arrow re-discovering America.

43 Darkseid and Batman trade blows (Final Crisis #6 by Grant Morrison and JG Jones)

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Batman begins the downfall of Darkseid by shooting him with the same bullet Darkseid used to kill Orion earlier in Final Crisis, but Darkseid gets off one last blast of his Omega Beams, so Batman’s success is short-lived, as seen in this dramatic sequence by Grant Morrison and JG Jones. Of all the moments, this one seemed to benefit the most from the expanded voting population, as it was the second-to-last vote-getter of the 18 audience nominations, yet it finished ahead of almost all the other the audience nominations.

42 Aquaman’s son is murdered by Black Manta (Adventure Comics #452 by David Michelinie and Jim Aparo)

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There is a good case to be made that this 1977 story by David Michelinie and Jim Aparo was the one that started DC Comics down a path of having the loved ones of superheroes be killed off. In any event, a super villain murdering a superhero’s infant son? That’s a major turning point in DC history.

41 Superman expresses his frustrations at Mongul (Superman Annual #11 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

From Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s brilliant “For the Man Who Has Everything,” Superman was just subjected to some heavy duty psychological torture at the hands of the villain Mongul (and on Superman’s BIRTHDAY, of all days!), and Superman is quite displeased with Mongul. Some commenters have suggested that this might very well be the first time Superman ever used his heat vision to hurt an opponent. Can anyone confirm or debunk that?

40 Superman meets the cousin he didn’t know he had – Supergirl! (Action Comics #252 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino)

Otto Binder and Al Plastino give the world a brand-new superhero, and one of the most popular female superheroes ever! Doesn’t Plastino do a fantastic job on her facial expressions?

39 Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing (Tales of the Teen Titans #44 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Mike DeCarlo)

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No offense to Jericho, but man, it is too bad Dick has to share his big moment with someone else. Anyhow, in this penultimate chapter of the Judas Contract, we see the debut of the new costumed identity for Dick Grayson. This was pretty much the first time a character THIS big got a new identity (other than characters taking up new names for a storyline, like Cap becoming Nomad for a few issues).

38 Gordon and Batman’s alliance begins (Batman #407 by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli)

As awesome as Batman Year One was, only this last scene was actually more or less transcribed from the page to the screen in the film Batman Begins. It’s a beautifully memorable ending by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.

37 The Justice Society of America has their first meeting (All-Star Comics #3 by Gardner Fox and Everett Hibbard)

Gardner Fox and Everett Hibbard deliver the first meeting of the Justice Society of America. The early meetings were just framing sequences to cover up the fact that All-Star Comics basically remained the same anthology it was before. To wit, in the first issue, the meeting just sets up Johnny Thunder asking each member of the team to tell a story, and they do so, with each story naturally being the story that would have appeared in the issue had they not all been on a team. Still, the first meeting of a superhero team was a BIG deal!

36 Coast City is destroyed (Superman Vol. 2 #80 by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding)

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Reign of the Supermen took a major U-turn in this issue by revealing that the Cyborg Superman is actually a VILLAIN working with the alien despot, Mongul! He demonstrates this in dramatic fashion when he and Mongul destroy Hal Jordan’s home of Coast City!

35 Superman holds “Batman’s” corpse (Final Crisis #6 by Grant Morrison, Doug Mahnke and, I believe, Christian Alamy, but it might also have been self-inked)

This image of Superman holding “Batman’s” corpse was so powerful they based the entire Final Crisis hardcover design on it!

34 Sue Dibny is killed (Identity Crisis #1 by Brad Meltzer, Rags Morales and Michael Bair)

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The first issue extremely popular Identity Crisis mini-series was capped off by the dramatic death of the wife of longtime Justice League member, the Elongated Man. Not only was his wife murdered, but Ralph was about to learn that his, Sue, was pregnant! This dramatic moment kicked off what was to be a series filled with tragic twists!

33 Rorschach enjoys prison life (Watchmen #6 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

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The sixth issue of Watchmen spotlights Rorschach’s prison psychiatrist who thinks that he has won the lottery, of sorts, by being assigned such a high profile case, but as time goes by, Rorschach has more of an effect on him than he ever expected. One of the most dramatic parts of the issue also contains one of the most famous lines of the book – “I’m not trapped in here with you, you’re trapped in her with me.”

32 Terra reveals herself (Tales of the Teen Titans #34 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and Romeo Tanghal)

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After a number of months of being slowly absorbed on to the team, Terra finally gains the full trust of the Titans by taking on one of their deadliest enemies, Deathstroke the Terminator, in one on one battle! However, we soon learn that the battle was not as real as it seemed, setting up the series of stories that would ultimately climax in the legendary Judas Contract storyline.

31 Batman duels Ra’s Al Ghul in the desert…bare-chested (Batman #244 by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano)

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This really nails the whole “international man of action” vibe that Denny O’Neil and Neil Adams were going for with their take on Batman in this storyline. Dick Giordano does a great job on inks.

This fight has been homaged frequently.

30 Our introduction to Watchmen (Watchmen #1 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

Our introduction to Watchmen comes from Rorschach’s somewhat chilling narration as we open the book and see right off the bat that the world of the Watchmen is not a very pleasant place…

29 Hot shot District Attorney Harvey Kent gets a face full of acid (Detective Comics #66 by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos)

There’s not many SUPERHEROES who have as famous of an origin as the classic Batman villain, Two-Face. This is so dramatic that it was literally used again for the second Two-Face!!

28 Superman reveals his secret identity to Lois Lane (Action Comics #662 by Roger Stern and Bob McLeod)

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More than fifty years in the making, the first time Superman revealed his secret identity to Lois Lane (in a “real” story) sure was a doozy! Very well handled by Stern and McLeod (especially as it followed a not quite so memorable engagement).

27 The Justice League and the Justice Society meet for the first time! (Justice League of America Volume 1 #21 by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs)

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Gardner Fox helped create both the Justice Society of America and then, roughly twenty years later, the Justice LEAGUE of America. And in this classic issue, the two teams meet for the very first time!

26 Frank Miller adds a little extra to Batman’s origin (Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson)

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This moment from the first issue of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s Batman: The Dark Knight series features Batman being compelled to return to the streets while he watches the news and hears of horrors that remind him of the fateful night that his parents were killed. Miller added the striking visual of Martha Wayne’s pearls being broken during the ruckus that led to the death of Bruce’s parents, and that visual has become a key element of pretty much all future re-tellings of the origin, a rarity for origin re-tellings (to have that much of a permanent effect on the origin).

Go to the next page for #25-1!

25 Superman races the Flash (Superman #199 by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and George Klein)

One thing Jim Shooter was really good at in his early days at DC Comics was coming up with ideas that fans were really interested in seeing (sometimes they would come from his editor, Mort Weisinger, who was also quite known for doing ideas that the readers were interested in) and having Superman race Flash is right up there with “who is stronger, Hulk or Thor?” as things fans like to wonder about, and finally DC obliged them!

24 Joker gets in one last joke (Batman: The Dark Knight #3 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson)

In this dark tale of Batman in the future, Batman has captured the Joker, but the Joker decides to get one last piece of revenge by framing Batman for his murder. Frank Miller and Klaus Janson capture the darkness of this madness beautifully.

23 Wonder Woman does not see eye-to-eye on things with Maxwell Lord (Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #219 by Greg Rucka, Rags Morales and so many inkers I honestly do not know who inked these pages)

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Maxwell Lord turning out to be a bad guy was a major turning point in the DC Universe. And he currently is a major part of the DC Universe once again upon his return during Brightest Day and his role in Justice League Generation Lost. A highlight of Lord in this new prominent role in the DC Universe is this storyline where he takes control of Sueprman’s mind, forcing Wonder Woman to make a difficult decision…

22 The Red Hood takes off the hood (Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland)

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Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, particularly Bolland, deliver one of the most iconic Joker panels ever in this page from the Killing Joke when the hapless loser who is dressed as the Red Hood finds himself become something else entirely…

21 Dr. Manhattan silences Rorschach (Watchmen #12 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

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Ozymandias’ plan to unite the world through a faked alien invasion has apparently succeeded. Rorschach, however, cannot bear to go along with the charade and insists on the truth coming out. Dr. Manhattan has become convinced that Ozymandias’ plan is a sound one, so he goes to stop Rorschach. The only way to stop him, though, is to kill him.

20 Hal first recites his oath (Showcase #22 by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella)

The above oath was actually used by the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott (among many different oaths he used over the years), but that fact is mostly lost to history, while everyone remembers Hal Jordan using it as his oath as a member of the Green Lantern Corps. He busted it out in the very first comic book he appeared in.

19 Superman returns (Kingdom Come #1 by Mark Waid and Alex Ross)

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At the end of the first issue of Kingdom Come, after a long time in self-imposed exile, Superman is lured back to the mainstream world to help curb an infestation of “modern” superheroes. Little does he know that his return is going to set the world down a path that might lead to the annihilation of everyone! So his return has two meanings – as an imposing return of a figure in the present but also as a dark omen about the future.

18 Barry Allen has a little accident (Showcase #4 by Robert Kanigher, Julie Schwartz, Carmine Infantino and Joe Kubert)

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In the introduction of Barry Allen, we get one of the most famous origins of the Silver Age. So famous that John Broome later just re-used it for Kid Flash’s origin!

17 Earth-2 is discovered! (Flash #123 by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella)

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John Broome was the normal Flash writer at the time, but for this important issue, Gardner Fox, creator of the Justice Society, came on to write the introduction of the concept of TWO Earths. This worked in the fact that DC had had previous incarnations of the Flash, Green Lantern, etc. This is the first meeting of heroes from both worlds.

16 Blue Beetle is defiant in the face of death (Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Judd Winick, Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning)

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Countdown to Infinite Crisis was written by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and Judd Winick. It was drawn by a number of artists, with Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning being the ones who drew this final confrontation between Blue Beetle and Maxwell Lord, where Beetle discovers Lord’s plans before anyone else, including Batman. Sadly, Beetle pays for his discover with his life, but at least he went down heroically.

15 Batman and Joker share a laugh (Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland)

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While quite a few folks were put off by Joker shooting Barbara Gordon in the Killing Joke – the end of the book was possibly even MORE divisive! The two men standing in the rain laughing at a silly joke was intentionally provocative, but certainly memorable.

14 Batman takes down Superman (Batman: The Dark Knight #4 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson)

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The beginning of this fight is also quite memorable, where Batman first punches Superman, but the ending is the most memorable part of the fight.

13 Abin Sur finds a replacement (Showcase #22 by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella)

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Here is the iconic origin of Hal Jordan of Earth, the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814!

12 Bruce Wayne loses a window, gains an identity (Detective Comics #33 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff)

Batman’s origin is so awesome that it actually merits TWO moments – his parents getting shot and then later, the idea for naming himself after a bat. Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff deliver the tale.

11 The Waynes take a night stroll (Detective Comics #33 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff)

The parent death that pretty much all parental deaths are measured against. Bill Finger actually only wrote the first two pages of Detective Comics #33 (Gardner Fox wrote the rest) just so he could deliver this origin story. Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff did the artwork. It is fitting that these two moments came back to back (although oddly enough, this one beat the other one by over 40 votes).

10 Bane breaks Batman’s back (Batman #497 by Doug Moench and Jim Aparo)

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Doug Moench and Jim Aparo deliver what is effectively the climax of Knightfall in this tragic tale.

9 “One Punch!” (Justice League #5 by Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon)

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For the first few issues of the Justice League relaunch, Guy Gardner had been giving Batman a hard time. In this famous scene, Gardner finally gets what’s coming to him.

8 Jason Todd is beaten nearly to death by the Joker (Batman #427 by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo)

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This is one depressing moment. Jason Todd is looking for his mother, but she sells him out and he is beaten nearly to death by the Joker. His mother is then betrayed by the Joker and left with the nearly dead Jason. He manages to awake and struggle to get them both to safety, but the bomb goes off before they can make their escape.

7 Green Arrow’s ward is a junkie?!!? (Green Lantern #85 by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams)

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Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams had this story worked out BEFORE the famous Spider-Man drugs issue, but DC was wary about putting it out against the Comics Code. Luckily, the Spidey story led to the Code changing and this issue was released, and it was a much stronger anti-drug storyline than the Spidey one.

6 Ozymandias’ plan goes into effect (Watchmen #11 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

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Forget Watchmen, the “thirty-five minutes ago” line is one of the most famous lines from comics PERIOD.

Beautiful work by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

5. Death of Supergirl (Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Jerry Ordway)

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Superman’s cousin received an extremely heroic, heartfelt send-off in this touching moment from Crisis on Infinite Earths.

4. Baby Superman speeds away from his dying home planet in a rocket ship (Action Comics #1 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster)

One of the most iconic visuals in comic book history, courtesy of Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

3. Barry Allen makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the Multiverse (Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and Jerry Ordway)

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As dramatic as the death of Supergirl was, to kill off the superhero who more or less got the Silver Age started was even more dramatic. And to have him go out by RUNNING HIMSELF TO DEATH TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE!?!?! That’s awesome.

2. Superman dies (Superman Vol. 2 #75 by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding)

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Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding provide one of the most dramatic images of the 1990s in comics in one of the highest-selling comics of all-time (and certainly one that gained some of the largest mainstream attention ever).

1. Joker shoots Barbara Gordon (Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland)

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You don’t get much more shocking than the sight of the former heroine known as Batgirl getting shot in the gut by the Joker in front of her father, Commissioner Gordon. You don’t have to LIKE the scene to appreciate that it has become etched in the memories of fans everywhere.

Okay, that’s the list! I hope you had fun voting Congratulations to DC on a great 75 years filled with memorable moments! Here’s to another great 75 years!!

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