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 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!
6. “All Star Superman” by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (All Star Superman #1-12) – 1332 points (35 first place votes)
All Star Superman is both a reimagination of Superman as well as a bit of a farewell to the character. The story is basically about the death of Superman, as his death is foretold in the first issue and the comic depicts the last year in the life of Superman.
During that year, Superman has to complete twelve trials before he dies. As he completes the trials, Morrison and Quitely deliver brilliant new approaches to classic Superman plots.
Their “Silver Age ideas with modern sensibilities” approach works extremely well, particularly with Quitely’s ability to make pretty much anything dynamic.
Look at the detail in this sequence from #1, where we see Quitely’s stunning depiction of how Clark Kent can make himself look differently (while we also see the casual heroics of Clark) and he slowly changes his posture until he is Superman…
Possibly one of the coolest aspects of All Star Superman is that it is not, in the least bit, cynical. It’s quite a feat to see a re-envisioning of Superman that does NOT involve some sort of post-ironic cynical approach to the character.
In addition, the story was told with a series of (mostly) one-off issues, so each issue was like its own little epic, they just combine to tell one long story of Superman’s last year of life.
Morrison’s take on Superman and his supporting cast is innovative while completely familiar, and Quitely, well, Quitely just goes out of his mind with some of the layouts and dynamism in this series. Really top notch stuff.
From issue #3, where Superman gives Lois Lane superpowers for a day…
Or the classic #5, where Clark Kent interviews Lex Luthor during the middle of a prison riot. One of the greatest Luthor spotlight issues in history…
How amazing is seeing Luthor drawing a crooked eyebrow!?!
There are just too many memorable moments to mention.
5. “Year One” by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli (Batman #404-407) – 1359 points (15 first place votes)
Whatever aspects of the Batman character weren’t already re-defined by Frank Miller in his Dark Knight Returns series were done so with this landmark new origin for Batman, courtesy of writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli.
The story tells the tale of Bruce Wayne and James Gordon, and how one man became Batman and the other became the symbol of honest cops in Gotham City (Harvey Dent also plays an important role, but Batman and Gordon’s stories are the main ones in the story).
Originally, Bruce tried to be a vigilante without a costume. It did not go well. He barely gets home alive and that’s when a new idea comes to him - to become a BAT!
That this story was the basis for the blockbuster film, Batman Begins, is of no surprise, since Miller writes the story in a totally cinematic style, and Mazzucchelli’s brilliant artwork certainly has a cinematic style to it, as well.
This is especially evident in the way that Miller uses the passage of time via calendars. Check it out in this legendary sequence from the second issue of the story, as Jim Gordon tries to get extra support to take down Batman but his superiors ignored him…
What a great use of the passage of time.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the comic is just how strong of a character Jim Gordon is in it. He truly works as the co-lead of the story. While writers certainly had done solo Gordon stories before this storyline, never had he gotten the attention Miller gave him, and a result, Gordon HAS had the same attention since.
Richmond Lewis’ colors should get some attention – she does a marvelous job setting the mood. Very evocative washes.
Add it all together and you have an engaging and entertaining new origin for Batman as we see him go from green vigilante to a trusted friend of the Gotham City police (as the police also go from being totally corrupt to only being significantly corrupt – a major step up!).
Go to the next page for #4!