2017 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines: #100-91

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 top ten will be posted this first day and I'll post more storylines until we hit December!

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

100. "No Normal" by G. Willow Wilson. Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring (Ms. Marvel #1-5) – 98 points (1 first place vote)

After the Inhumans released the Terrigen Mist into the Earth's atmosphere, regular people began turning into Inhumans and in this opening arc of Ms. Marvel, we meet young Kamala Khan, a huge fan of Captain Marvel (she's part of the Carol Corps) who gets exposed to Terrigenesis and gains the ability to shapeshift. She subconsciously turns herself into her idol, back in her Ms. Marvel days, and soon we see Khan's true heroism shine through...

Alphona and Herring deliver some amazingly striking artwork for this series, while Wilson builds up Jersey City beautifully, especially the Kamala's supporting cast of her friends and classmates and her family. It's rare for a new superhero ongoing series to hit the ground running as fast as Ms. Marvel did with its opening arc, which is the reason why it went through roughly a gazillion printings.

99. "Safeword" by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra and Jose Marzan Jr. (Y: The Last Man #18-20) – 100 points (6 first place votes)

In this storyline, Yorick (the titular “last man” on Earth) is tortured by an associate of his bodyguard/traveling companion, Agent 355. The associate, Agent 711, reads 355’s journals of their travels so far and determines that Yorick is suicidal, so she basically does an intervention for him – although to him, it appears to be torture. What is striking about this storyline is that Vaughan really turns the book on its end a bit, by having Yorick almost be re-envisioned. He had always been a wiseass, and that had been seen as part of his charm, but in this story, Vaughan’s strips him of this defense mechanism in a highly abrupt fashion. By tearing down the character, Vaughan allowed him to grow as a character. It’s really quite striking work.

This story also has probably the most memorable moment of the entire Y the Last Man series, the famous scene where Yorick tells of his first sexual encounter with a member of the opposite sex.

Penciler Pia Guerra and inker Jose Marzan Jr. do a bang-up job on the art for the arc.

98.“Love and Death” by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben and Rick Veitch (Saga of the Swamp Thing 28-34 & Annual #2) – 102 points (1 first place vote)

Love and Death is the storyline responsible for Swamp Thing officially moving from a regular Comics Code Approved comic to a “Mature Readers” comic, only in the case of Swamp Thing, it was termed “Sophisticated Suspense” to deter youngsters from reading it.

Alan Moore had already made quite a name for himself on just the first eight issues of his run, but this storyline, which involved Abby Cable’s evil uncle Anton Arcane taking over the body of her husband before killing her (and officially ending her husband’s life) – well, it took the book in a whole different direction of darkness.

After Swamp Thing defeated Anton (killing him once again), he decides to go to Hell to rescue Abby’s soul.

Nowadays, with the proliferation of pretty much every DC Universe character, it is hard to imagine how fresh someone like Moore using Deadman, The Demon and the Phantom Stranger was, but it was – and that’s on top of the fact that he used them all extremely well. Moore’s use of the Demon (who he had used a couple of issues earlier) was extremely influential on later writers of the character, and Deadman, heck, he had not even been USED in YEARS before Moore featured him here.

The storyline concludes with Abby’s return and the famous “sex issue,” where Abby and Swamp Thing make love.

Stephen Bissette and John Totleben are almost shocking at the level of excellence they reach on this storyline – from the darkness of the early story (Bissette’s zombies are gruesome) to the tender euphoria of their love-making (like a kaleidoscope has exploded), they master it all.

Go to the next page for #97-94!

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