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2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #60-56

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #60-56

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!

60. “Green Lantern: Rebirth” by Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver and Prentis Rollins (Green Lantern: Rebirth #1-6) 174 points (4 first place votes)

In the world of “bringing characters back to their most famous versions,” there is probably no one who has more experience doing so than Geoff Johns, who somehow managed to get a powerful narrative going in Green Lantern: Rebirth, while still achieving his main goal, which was to resolve the direction of the Green Lantern mythos to more closely resemble the Green Lantern comic books of the past.

As part of doing so, Johns had to come up with a way to bring Hal Jordan back as a superhero, and he came up with the idea of Parallax. Parallax was, in effect, a fear monster that had resided in the Green Lantern Central Battery and it represented the yellow impurity in the Green Lantern rings. However, it escaped and ended up possessing Hal Jordan and turning him into a villain. Now, even though Hal had since become the Spectre, Parallax was still within him.

At the same time, the forces of evil attacked the other major Green Lanterns – Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kilowog and saw them each be transformed back to their most recognizable forms (with Guy losing his alien transforming abilities and Kilowog becoming fully alive again). At the same time, we learned that Sinestro’s death had been faked by Parallax.

So now, Hal had to fight his way past his possession and reclaim his past as a Green Lantern to save his friends (and the world).

Ethan Van Sciver and Prentiss Rollins were the artists for this sequence, written by Johns, where Hal finally manages to take back control of his life…

This was the beginning of a long run on Green Lantern by Johns where he re-defined the series while also making it one of DC Comics’ most popular series. Rarely does a “reset button” read as well as this miniseries!

59. “Annihilation” by Keith Giffen, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Simon Furman, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Scott Kolins, Kev Walker, Renato Arlem, Jorge Lucas, Greg Titus, Andrea DiVito and more (Annihilation: Prologue, Annihilation: Nova #1-4, Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1-4, Annihilation: Ronan #1-4, Annihilation: Super Skrull #1-4, Annihilation #1-6) – 178 points

Annihilation is about the forces of the Negative Zone, led by Annihilus, who decide to invade our universe. They do so with the so-called “Annihilation Wave,” a large wave-like formation of powerful battleships.

The whole endeavor is powered by Galactus, who Annihilus has managed to capture and use as a power source.

In the first wave of the war, the entire Nova Corps was wiped out…well, not the ENTIRE Nova Corps. Richard Rider, of Earth, manged to survive and, once he merged with the Worldmind (the computer that ran the Nova Corps), Richard became the most powerful Nova around.

With Nova working as a sort of overall general, the remaining free planets (mostly the Kree) banded together against Annihlilus’ forces.

The series was told in an interesting fashion that was later re-used for the sequel mini-series, Annihilation: Conquest.

There was a prologue issue, where the situation began.

Then there were four separate mini-series starring four characters tied into the mess – Nova, Ronan (of the Kree), the Super Skrull and the Silver Surfer.

The most notable aspect of the initial mini-series was the way that Nova was transformed into not only a super-powerful being but also truly grew into himself as a warrior. Take this moment from Nova #3…

Once the four mini-series ended, we got the Annihilation series, written by Giffen and drawn by Andrea DiVito.

There is lots of action and a significant amount of casualties, including an Avenger!

The series basically worked to revitalize Marvel’s pretty much ignored “Cosmic Universe” of heroes. There is pretty much a through line between the success of Annihilation and the creation of the Guardians of the Galaxy roster that ended up being the inspiration for the two massively successful films by Marvel Studios. That’s how big Annihilation is in comic book history.

58. “Darkseid War” by Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson and a whole pile of other writers and artists on the one-shots in the middle of it all (Justice League #40-50, Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: Superman #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: The Flash #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: Green Lantern #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: Shazam! #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: Lex Luthor #1 and Justice League: Darkseid War Special #1) – 178 points (1 first place votes)

The New 52 was kickstarted by Geoff Johns’ Justice League #1, so it makes sense that, in many ways, the New 52 came to a close with the conclusion of Geoff Johns’ Justice League run with Justice League #50, where Johns was joined by the art team on the later third of his run, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson. The League had taken on a new look leading up to the Darkseid War. After helping to save the world during “Forever Evil,” Lex Luthor was allowed to join the Justice League. Also joining following “Forever Evil” was Power Ring, a young woman who was powered by, in effect, an evil Green Lantern ring (coming from Earth-3). When the previous bearer of the ring had been killed, Jessica Cruz had been chosen as the new bearer of the ring – not because she was fearless like Hal Jordan or John Stewart, but for the very opposite. She was chosen due to her ability to feel great fear. She was one of the most frightened people on Earth.

In any event, the Darkseid War was dramatic battle between Mobius (better known as the Anti-Monitor) and Darkseid. They were being manipulated into fighting each other by a new character on the scene known as Grail. Grail was the daughter of Darkseid and an Amazon warrior. Grail had been born on the same day that Wonder Woman was born. Grail’s mother took her away from Paradise Island and trained her to destroy Darkseid – by any means necessary.

In this context, it meant putting the very universe at risk by pitting the Anti-Monitor against Darkseid. Eventually, the Anti-Monitor succeeded in killing Darkseid, but that was only the beginning of Grail’s mad plan.

Along the way, the various members of the Justice League were transformed and became New Gods themselves. Batman took over Metron’s Mobius Chair and became essentially the God of Knowledge, but was blinded by just how much knowledge that he now had. The Flash was merged with the Black Racer to become the new God of Death. Shazam found the gods that he drew upon dramatically changed, as he became a sort of God of Gods. Superman was imbued with a bunch of negative energy, while Green Lantern ultimately had to become the God of Light. After Darkseid was killed, his Omega Sanction needed a host and Lex Luthor got the nod and he became the God of Apokolips.

Cyborg and Jessica were both trapped within her own ring by Volthoom (Cyborg had lost his consciousness entirely when he was reverted to the Grid, which had happened to him during “Forever Evil,” but after she was trapped, Jessica was able to at least get Cyborg’s consciousness into the ring with her), as the evil god who controlled her ring teamed up with Grail.

The Crime Syndicate played a major role, as well, as Superwoman’s baby was set to be used by Grail for the next step in her plan, where she would bring Darkseid back, but under her control now.

In an epic sequence, the Flash managed to split from the Black Racer, but only in time to become his next target. Jessica, though, one of the most frightened people in the world, managed to make a move to save the life of her friend…

Amazing sequence by Johns, Fabok and Anderson.

Naturally, the League managed to get over their personality changes and came back to save the day, just in time for the DC Universe to undergo a rebirth of its own. A number of plots in this storyline, however, have played major roles in the DC Universe since, especially Grail and the revelation that when Wonder Woman was born, she had a twin brother born with her!

Go to the next page for #57-56!

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