Every day in November we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Neal Adams Stories Ever Told!
For the sake of fitting as many different comics on to the list as possible, I combined votes for stories within a few of Adams’ longer continuous runs (if someone voted for two stories in the same run, the run got credit for the higher point total and then the other votes on that person’s ballot were just moved up a notch). For those curious, I’ll list which specific story got the most votes when I get to that section).
10. Detective Comics #400, 402, 407 “The Man-Bat Saga”
Working with writer Frank Robbins, Adams created the classic Batman adversary, Man-Bat. The initial story of Man-Bat took place over three spread out issues. Adams was inked by Dick Giordano on all three issues.
9. Batman #237 “Night of the Reaper”
Denny O’Neil wrote this chilling tale of how revenge can warp one’s mind in this Halloween issue that was one of the many comic books that used the real life Halloween celebration in Rutland, VT (along with its organizer, the late Tom Fagan) as its inspiration. Adams was inked by Dick Giordano for this issue.
8. All-New Collectors’ Edition #C-56 “Superman vs. Muhammad Ali”
In this over-sized edition, Adams (who worked with Denny O’Neil on the story) depicts the tale of how Muhammad Ali and Superman first fight and then later fight together to stop an alien invasion of Earth. This event was a spectacle in the best sense of the word. The special was inked by Dick Giordano and his assistants (Terry Austin did a ton of work on it, for instance).
7. The Brave and the Bold #85 “The Senators Has Been Shot!”
In this issue, written by Bob Haney, Adams introduced the famous re-design for Green Arrow that would soon became a major part of the Green Lantern/Green Arrow team-ups. Dick Giordano inked Adams.
6. Strange Adventures #206-216, The Brave and the Bold #86 “The Deadman Saga”
Neal Adams took over the art for Deadman after his first appearance in Strange Adventures #205. Adams then helped mold the character for the rest of the character’s initial story (where assassinated circus acrobat Boston Brand finds himself stuck in a state between life and death as he searches to find out who murdered him). Five of the last six stories were written by Adams as well as drawn by him (he inked himself during the run, as well)! The Brave and the Bold #86, the conclusion of the tale, got the most individual support.
5. Avengers #93-97 “The Kree-Skrull War”
Adams did the art for parts 5-8 of the nine-part epic storyline putting the Avengers in the middle of a conflict through two of Marvel’s most famous alien races. Tom Palmer inked Adams.
4. X-Men #56-63, 65
This run is really two distinct stories, one about the X-Men versus the Sentinels and one with the X-Men in the Savage Land versus Magneto (plus a final issue #65). Written by Roy Thomas, with inks by Tom Palmer, the most popular of the two storylines was the first one, with Cyclops’ last stand getting special support.
3. Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76-87, 89 “Hard Traveling Heroes”
This classic long-running storyline by Adams and writer Denny O’Neil saw Green Lantern and Green Arrow tour the United States looking for “America.” They also went on some outer space adventures, as well. The highest vote-getting story amongst the issues was the two-parter in #85-86 that dealt with Green Arrow’s ward, Speedy, getting addicted to drugs. Adams was inked by a variety of inkers on this run.
2. Batman #243-244 “The Demon Lives Again”
The conclusion of the initial story arc involving Ra’s Al Ghul, Adams, with writer Denny O’Neil and inker Dick Giordano, created a masterfully powerful work here, with imagery that more or less exemplified this era in Batman history (barechested Batman refusing to die, Batman and Talia making out – this Batman is one hell of an action hero).
1. Batman #251 “Joker’s Five-Way Revenge”
O’Neil, Adams and Giordano also teamed up for this famous issue, the story that re-defined the Joker for a new generation of Batman readers. One of the most iconic Batman stories of all-time, it also has one of Adams’ most iconic images (Batman racing down the beach chasing the Joker).
Well, that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!
(For the record, if the stories were not combined, then the order would have been:
1. Batman #251
2. Batman #243-244
3. Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85-86
4. Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76
5. X-Men #56-59
6. Avengers #93-96
7. X-Men #60-63
8. The Brave and the Bold #86
9. The Brave and the Bold #85
10. Strange Adventures #206-216)