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2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #80-71

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #80-71

You voted, and now, after over 1,000 ballots were cast, here are the results of your votes for your favorite comic book storylines of all-time (this is the third time we’ve done this countdown. We’re on an every four year schedule)! The first few days will be ten storylines a day and then it will be five a day until we hit December!

To recap, you all sent in ballots ranking your favorite storylines from #1 (10 points) to #10 (1 point). I added up all of the points and here we are!

80. “Multiversity” by Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and a bunch of other artists (Multiversity #1-2 and a bunch of one-shots) – 134 points (4 first place votes)

After re-establishing the Multiverse (and the 52 different Earths within it) in Final Crisis, Grant Morrison followed up that storyline by this epic series of interconnected one-shot that shows the Multiverse being attacked by a powerful group of magical beings who plan to feast on the minds of the Multiverse. The only way to stop them is through a team-up of a bunch of heroes from different worlds.

One of the big conceits in this series is that, just like Earth-2 when it first came up, the adventures of each of the heroes appear to each other as comic book adventures. So Hero X teams up with Hero Y and they both know each other from their respective existences as fictional characters in the other person’s universe.

This was especially spotlighted in the Guidebook one-shot, which gave a detailed examination of each of the worlds in the Multiverse, while still telling a compelling story of the various heroes within those worlds interacting as part of the invasion…

Even for a creator as creative as Grant Morrison, this was one of his most “out there” projects, but it somehow all still came together in the end (luckily, he was able to work with a ton of fine artists on the project).

79. “Church and State” by Dave Sim and Gerhard (Cerebus #52-111) – 135 points (5 first place votes)

Cerebus began as a parody of Conan, but by the time Church and State began, the book had moved past that and become a slightly more serious satire of a number of topics, including politics and society.

Church and State, which is by far the longest storyline on the Top 100, further moved Cerebus away from its early days with an elaborate allegorical story about religion, politics and, most of all, morality.

The basic gist of the story is that Cerebus in appointed the Pope of the Eastern Church of Tarim. He lets his power get to his head, loses everything, tries to get it back, gets it back, gets even MORE morally corrupt and ultimately meets, in effect, God.

This is the story where Sim lays out the prophecy that the rest of Cerebus was “ruled” by, which hovered over the next 180 plus issues of the book like a scythe.

That’s the plot of the story, but the beauty of it all is the character development, although development almost suggests an advancement, and that’s really not the case for Cerebus through most of the story – as he completely loses his way, morally.

His actions are at times chilling, and the fact that it they are taken by the “protagonist” of the comic were quite bold by Sim.

The artwork by Sim and Gerhard is strong, but it is the writing that is the key to this great epic storyline.

78. “Red Son” by Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, Kilian Plunkett, Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong (Red Son #1-3) – 137 points

One of the all-time great “high concept” comic books was definitely Red Son, which was built around the idea of what if Superman landed not in Smallville but in the Soviet Union, instead. Superman grows up to become the hero of the Communist government, the personal disciple of Stalin. Meanwhile, in the United States, Lex Luthor is a brilliant scientist tasked with finding ways to kill the Soviet Superman, while Lex’s wife, Lois, can’t help but be interested in the Man of Steel.

When Stalin dies, Superman is enlisted into being his successor, but he doesn’t want the job. However, even in this alternate universe, he is still Superman, so he manages to see how he could help change the world for the better…

However, he has a lot of people in his way who want to stop him, including Luthor, who decides to become a rogue villain after his Bizarro Superman failed to stop Superman. He informs his wife of their impending divorce over the phone – the interaction is priceless…

Eventually, Superman can’t help but become a despot himself, and so the Soviet version of Batman is formed to try to take Superman down, leading to one of the best Batman/Superman fights in this or any other reality.

Go to the next page for #77-74!

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