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2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #45-41

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #45-41

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)! We started with ten storylines a day, and now we’re down to five storylines a day (until the last week, which will be three storylines a day). You can click on the Top 100 Comic Book Storylines tag either here or at the end of the post to see the other entries, in case you missed one.

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!

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)! We started with ten storylines a day, and now we’re down to five storylines a day (until the last week, which will be three storylines a day). You can click on the Top 100 Comic Book Storylines tag either here or at the end of the post to see the other entries, in case you missed one.

45. “Tower of Babel” by Mark Waid, Howard Porter, Steve Scott, Drew Geraci and Mark Propst (JLA #43-46) – 228 points

How do you follow up Grant Morrison’s epic JLA run? In Mark Waid’s case, it was to take a concept that Morrison had teased since the beginning of his run and bring it into play. From the start of Morrison’s run, Batman had been treated pretty much like Batgod, and the feeling soon was that Batman would be able to defeat ANYone. This idea soon expanded to, “Well, if Batman could beat anyone, could he beat the rest of the JLA then?” Morrison gave an interview where he came up with a possible scenario where it could happen, using the notion that Batman being Batman means that he would likely have plans in place to take out any hero who went rogue. The fans were into the idea and when Waid took over the title, his first arc has Ra’s Al Ghul discovering Batman’s plans and using them on the JLA, all the while distracting Batman from seeing what is going on by distracting him with an audacious plot – stealing the corpses of his parents! Thus, by the time that Batman realized that the theft of his parents’ corpses was a distraction, it was too late to warn his teammates and boy, did they need the warning!!

Al Ghul’s plan involved ridding the world of all language (and failing that, to then start a war in the Middle East to cause unrest in the world) but really, the heart and soul of this storyline is the rest of the League dealing with the fact that Batman had, in his own way, betrayed them all. What a way for Waid to begin his run!

44. “Who is the Fourth Man?” by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday (Planetary #1-12) 232 points (6 first place votes)

Planetary is about a group of (this is what is on the cover of the first issue) “archaeologists of the impossible.”

Essentially, Planetary explores unexplained phenomena and, if there is any practical use to mankind out of said phenomena, they extract it.

The Planetary team consists of the super-strong Jakita Wagner, the “plugged-in” Drummer and the century-old Elijah Snow. The team is funded by the mysterious “Fourth Man.”

The first “season” of Planetary ends with the discovery of just WHO the Fourth Man is and how that revelation changes the game plan of the title for the rest of the series.

Each issue of Planetary explores the concept of “what if all popular culture characters existed, in some form or another, in the Wildstorm Universe?”

So each issue, Ellis and Cassaday examine a different notable pop culture figure, almost always with analogues for the characters who are not yet in the public domain (Doc Brass, for instance, instead of Doc Savage).

As the series goes by, we learn that there is a group out there with an entirely different focus than the Planetary folks – this group, known as The Four (based on the Fantastic Four, naturally), wants all of the “super-science” of the world to themselves – they don’t want the rest of the world to have any access to these wonders.

That, and the identity of the Fourth Man, are the key points of plot development over the first 12 issues of Planetary.

Here we see Elijah Snow in battle with a member of The Four…

Cassaday, for his part, draws in a slightly different style for practically every issue, so as to perfectly meet the needs of the pop culture character being referenced in that issue. It’s quite brilliant work on his part, as is the whole series by Ellis. These first twelve issues were impeccably planned out by Ellis, all rising to the striking revelation of the Fourth Man in the final issue of the “season,” as the Fourth Man makes his presence known in a remarkable fashion.

43. “Wolverine” by Chris Claremont, Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein (Wolverine (1982) #1-4) – 245 points (8 first place votes)

When Marvel decided to expand their publishing approach with the addition of mini-series as a standard publishing tool (rather than a very rare occurrence), there was little doubt that Wolverine would be one of the characters getting one of these new mini-series. However, it likely still took people back at just how GOOD the mini-series was. A lot of these series turned out to be fairly forgettable but when you put the top Marvel writer, Chris Claremont, with the top Marvel artist, Frank Miller, you were bound to get quite a comic book. This series (with finishes by Joe Rubinstein, whose contribution to this series is often overlooked). This series takes Wolverine to Japan for an epic battle between Wolverine and the evil ninja Lord Shingen and the Hand (the evil ninja organization from Miller’s Daredevil).

Miller’s layouts are stunning and indelible, like this amazing two-page splash….

We also meet the free-spirited Yukio, who helps Wolverine in Japan. In the end, Wolverine manages to achieve enough of a position of honor that his Japanese girlfriend, Mariko, can agree to marry him. By the way, the first page of this mini-series debuted the phrase “I’m the best there is at what I do.” So for that alone, this series would be pretty memorable.

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