OmnipotentBagel wrote: »
Oh man, I forgot about Silver Surfer: Requiem. What a fantastic, beautiful story. Seconded.
Angela deserves #1 because damn that's some sorely needed trans representation in a beautiful and well-written book.
Waid's Daredevil is a fantastic balance between swashbuckling action, humour, and terror, and is a big part of why I fully took on comics as a hobby.
Runaways holds a special place in my heart for the period in which I found it, and is probably the book that actually got me into comics. Sure, I knew and loved the X-Men, Batman, and Spider-man from the Saturday morning cartoons, but this was the first superhero book I really read.
I didn't really have a fifth, so I just went with ALL-BLACK THE NECROSWORD
Silver Surfer Requiem is a short book and that's one of the reasons why it's so great. Not that all good books should be short, but Requiem knew what it was trying to be from the start and didn't waste any time on anything that would distract from that. It's emotional without being exploitative and does a phenomenal job of showing people why a weird silver dude who looks like a relic from the weird early days of Marvel is still relevant and compelling today.
I put Silver Surfer: Requiem in my top spot for a few reasons. For one thing, it features a character who is generally very important in the Marvel Universe, but who is also rarely in the spotlight and even more rarely portrayed to the full extent of his potential. Silver Surfer is a great example of a character who exists in a constant state of existential crisis in most any setting. He has been given a gift that grants him a god-like sense of perspective, not just on a power level but in his connection to existence itself. He's someone who intimately knows the value of life, in all its forms, and has the ability to create as well as destroy. And the cost of that gift was, for a long time, to be tied to an entity of cosmic destruction. Even when he's freed of that role, he still stands out from other heroes in his emotional connection to any conflict that he comes across. The Silver Surfer is one of the only characters in the big two who has arguably reached a level of existence akin to the general idea of Nirvana. He doesn't have great internal conflict, he's an almost perfect being trying to make a difference in a very imperfect universe.
Requiem itself doesn't ask any hard hitting questions about what someone with those powers should do, in lieu of asking what it means for someone like that to die. Requiem takes a beautiful, melancholy look on what a loss like that can be, and the small things that can bring peace to a troubled mind, and the resolution that even the most powerful among us have to bring to their own end. It's beautiful and intelligent and gives the character a quiet dignity that he deserves in the way that he faces the end of his story. You don't need to be a huge fan of the character to enjoy the series, and I would encourage anyone to pick it up. There are few great works in this medium that examine the idea of death/dying without feeling maudlin, cynical or cliche. SS:Requiem puts all of the hope and sadness in the loss of a friend that you might hear at an actual eulogy while not feeling cheap or over emotional. It's also only four issues, and gets more done in those four issues than most arcs do in twelve. It's really great.
Seriously the hardest of any of the polls. Astonishing X-Men has to be at the top. Like, it can't not be.
It has the best iteration of every character that appears in Whedon's run, it's one of the best X-Men runs ever, oh, and happens to be the first collaboration between Whedon and Marvel that would eventually lead to him directing the Avengers, and well, you can't say any more than that.
"I want this thing off my lawn."
I've been reading Ultimate Spider-man since it first became available on Marvel's official free comic downloader in the early 2000s. This book has had quite the run. Starting with the story of a quiet, bullied Highscool boy who, after gaining amazing powers, experiences countless hardships and eventually becomes the ultimate superhero who inspires all around him, even senior superheroes like the Ultimates
Ultimate Spider-Man: The Spider-Man story distilled into one of it's purest forms. 'nuff said.
...it is the single greatest run and take, on the single most known and infuential superhero.
@OmnipotentBagel, we just need one more & we can take it to the ballots!
Secret Six by Gail Simone
Dr. Thirteen: Architecture and Mortality by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang
Blue Beetle the entire run is fantastic, really.
The Incredible Hulk by Greg Pak - everything from Planet Hulk to Incredible Hulks, where he finally found peace
Punisher Max by Garth Ennis
I might have to pull out my Volume 1 Hardcover and reread the rest of the story.
Steam / Origin & Wii U: Heatwave111 / FC: 4227-1965-3206 / Battle.net: Heatwave#11356
39) Batman (3 pts)
38) Green Lantern (5 pts)
37) Blue Beetle (7 pts)
36) Batwoman (9 pts)
One of the running themes of this series of polls has been that Marvel has had a very good decade, and DC has had, shall we say, a rougher time of things. But there have been a number of bright spots, and the five DC titles at the bottom of the list are definitely in that conversation. Green Lantern and GLC both made the Green Lantern books a centerpiece of the DC universe. Snyder’s run on Batman has provided a strong foundation for DC to take chances on things like Gotham Academy. And Blue Beetle and Batwoman placed very high on their respective character polls.
33) Dark Avengers/Thunderbolts (10 pts)
33) Black Widow (10 pts)
33) Guardians of the Galaxy (10 pts)
These three titles represent some of the reasons Marvel is handily winning our best publisher poll. There’s a series about reformed supervillains (or supervillains pretending to do so), a spy series with incredible artwork, and a ramshackle team of cosmic superheroes that finished at the top of our Best Team poll, and inspired a movie that finished in the top five of our Best Movie poll. And we haven’t even hit the top 30 yet.
32) Animal Man (11 pts)
DC’s New 52 was not what you’d call a critical success, but it did have its bright spots. Case in point: Jeff Lemire’s horror tinged take on Animal Man.
30) Angela: Asgard’s Assassin (12 pts)
30) Wonder Woman (12 pts)
And here’s probably the best new comic to come out of the new 52. Brian Azzarello added a heavy dose of Greek mythology to Diana’s story, creating one of the best single runs the character has ever had.
28) Daredevil (14 pts)
Daredevil has had one of the longest sustained series of great comics of any character in comics. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee found great success by taking the darkness that had been at the heart of the most successful Daredevil stories, and turning them on their head. Thank God for Stilt-Man.
28) Wolverine and the X-Men (14 pts)
Like many of the most popular books in these polls, Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men started with a premise that sounded ridiculous: Wolverine as the headmaster of a school? More Wolverine? Seriously? But Aaron drew on X-Men history to create one of the more eclectic and endearing casts in X-Men history.
25) 52 (16 pts)
52 is one of the most ambitious comics on this list: a weekly series set in the direct aftermath of Infinite Crisis, filling in the events of the year the rest of DC Comics skipped, and featuring four of the greatest writers in comics.
25) Captain America (16 pts)
Rick Remender took a page out of Mark Waid’s handbook, taking over an Ed Brubaker comic and going in a wildly different direction, stranding Captain America in a different dimension and putting him through the ringer, and then putting the mantle on Sam Wilson.
25) Superior Foes of Spider-Man (16 pts)
Superior Foes never really became a commercial success, but it did draw the attention of ex-pro wrestler CM Punk. Actually, was he a pro wrestler when he wrote a letter for this? He’s not one, now, though. Hmm.
23) FF (18 pts)
Matt Fraction stepped into the unenviable position of following up an all-time great run on Fantastic Four, and while his take on the actual team struggled, he had a ton of success picking up the threads of Hickman’s Future Foundation with Mike Allred, while bringing in a newly returned Scott Lang.
23) Runaways (18 pts)
I’m very disappointed in everyone that Runaways only received three votes in total, because this is easily one of my favorite comics of all time. If you’ve never read it, they’re still in print, and you really owe it to yourself to check it out. Seriously, it’s got Brian K. Vaughan, who dominated the previous poll, and art by Adrian Alphona, who has since moved on to Ms. Marvel, which I KNOW you guys like. It’s great! Read it!!!
22) Moon Knight (19 pts)
I feel like Marvel has spent the past decade trying to find a way to make Moon Knight happen, and when Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordan Bellaire took over the title last year, it seems like they finally made Moon Knight happen. They only worked on six issues, but man, did they make an impact.
21) Superior Spider-Man (21 pts)
Possibly the most ridiculous premise to actually succeed in this entire poll, Dan Slott revitalized his run on Spider-Man by swapping Peter Parker and Doctor Octopus into each other’s bodies right as Doc Ock was dying of cancer, leaving Doctor Octopus free to prove how much better he was at being a superhero than Peter Parker was, and leaving a pretty good comic in his wake. Seriously, and I’ve said this a lot in these polls: this should not have worked as well as it did.
They launched the Hulk into space and then he became a gladiator with a bunch of aliens. I don’t know if there’s more that really needs to be said about this other than that it somehow surpassed its already awesome premise to become one of the coolest storylines in all of comics.
19) Secret Warriors (24 pts)
I actually don’t know a whole lot about this comic other than that it was one of this forum’s favorite writer of the decade, Jonathan Hickman, had a major hand in it, and everyone wants Agents of SHIELD to turn into an adaptation of it. Which sounds like a pretty good idea to me, to be honest.
17) Nextwave (26 pts)
This had absolutely terrific art from our forum’s favorite artist of the decade, Stuart Immonen. And that’s every positive thing I have to say about this comic book.
17) She-Hulk (26 pts)
Hiring an actual lawyer to write a She-Hulk comic seems like a pretty obvious move, in hindsight, assuming you can find a lawyer that is willing to write like, 900 comic books a month. Or even one comic a month, really. Charles Soule will definitely write like 900 comic books a month though, and is also a lawyer. So there you go.
16) Uncanny X-Force (28 pts)
I think this series probably holds the record for having the most “best versions” of a character. Psylocke, Deadpool, Angel, Fantomex…it’s hard to think of better takes on these characters. And it also introduced one of this forum’s ten favorite new characters of the decade in Genesis, the clone of Apocalypse.
15) Batman & Robin (29 pts)
Grant Morrison’s run on the Bat titles didn’t always work for everyone, but pairing Dick Grayson as Batman with Damian Wayne as Robin provided a great inversion of the usual Batman and Robin dynamic, making Bruce Wayne’s return to the mantle into something of a disappointment, against all odds.
14) Cable & Deadpool (32 pts)
Deadpool was already becoming something of a cult hero on the internet even before this series launched. Cable was…less so. But Fabian Nicieza mined the odd couple dynamics for solid comedy and a surprising amount of depth.
13) Gotham Central (38 pts)
Ed Brubaker used Gotham Central to explore one of my favorite types of stories: the story of ordinary people who are forced to deal with extraordinary events and characters. Focusing on the people of Gotham’s police Force, Brubaker found a new perspective on Batman and Gotham City itself.
12) Captain America (40 pts)
The impact of Brubaker’s run on Captain America can’t really be overstated. For one, it proved that Steve Rogers, as a character, still had plenty of relevance, even sixty plus years after his creation. For another, it brought back Bucky Barnes in a storyline so brilliant that it’s hard to imagine it going any other way. I mean, our number one comic movie of the decade was Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
11) Thor: God of Thunder (41 pts)
This is possibly the most metal comic book that has ever existed or will ever exist. I just…I don’t really know any other way to describe it.
I don’t really have much else to say about this other than for the longest time, it had four votes: all for first. It ended with six.
9) Journey Into Mystery (55 pts)
One of the strongest stories, from start to finish, of any comic on this list. Kieron Gillen manages the trick of telling a story that makes a metatextual statement on a character and on comics itself and makes that very meta nature of the story into an incredible strength, building very real stakes out of it. Building a story about a young Loki fighting to do good against all expectations and odds turned into one of the most poignant comics around.
8) Avengers/New Avengers (68 pts)
Following his widely celebrated run on Fantastic Four was no easy task, but Hickman has somehow found an even larger scale to work on, building a massive and complex narrative and taking a cast of Marvel’s biggest and most famous characters and pushing them to their breaking point, while still putting the spotlight on both established characters like Cannonball, and new characters like Smasher. His run is set to end soon, with Secret Wars,
7) Ms. Marvel (71 pts)
One of the most significant new comics to hit in the past ten years, and starring this forum’s favorite new character in Kamala Khan, G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel is definitely one of the strongest comics on this list. Kamala’s Muslim faith is significant, but is still only one part of a great, still evolving storyline.
6) Fantastic Four/FF (73 pts)
Hickman’s work on Fantastic Four and FF has all the typical hallmarks of a Jonathan Hickman comic: an intricate, long-simmering plot, massive scale…but it also focuses on family, and strong character work. Johnny Storm’s death may not have stuck, but it did lead to one of the single best issues of the decade, as the impact of his death was felt all over the Marvel universe.
This is really the definitive take on Iron Fist. It’s also probably the most stylish comic on this list, bringing a flair to its action scenes that most comics can only dream of, and expanding the Iron Fist mythos in a way that seems perfectly natural, giving the book itself a sense of palpable history and scale. And seriously, it’s just incredibly cool.
4) Astonishing X-Men (87 pts)
In many ways, you can say that Joss Whedon’s whole career was leading up to the moment where he actually got to write a Kitty Pryde story. You could also say that his collaboration with John Cassaday in the pages of Astonishing X-Men is one of the more significant comics on this list. Every character gets a moment to shine, building on both classic and modern X-Men stories. And through it all, Cassaday’s art gives everything a truly cinematic look. It’s one of the best X-Men runs of all time, and I’m not just saying that because it brought Colossus back from the dead.
3) All-Star Superman (89 pts)
I’m not the world’s biggest Grant Morrison fan, but All-Star Superman harkens back to the Superman comics I’d use to find in my grandparents’ basement when I was a kid, and using the inventive and admittedly kind of cheesy nature of those old comics to tell a story about what makes Superman truly great. Frank Quitely’s art is expressive and perfectly suited to the story, and Morrison doesn’t let the high concepts overwhelm the emotional core of the story. It’s really, really good.
2) Hawkeye (147 pts)
I’m going to be honest here: I fully expected Hawkeye to walk away with this poll. And it’d be hard to argue with it doing so: Fraction and Aja’s stylish take on Clint Barton’s (and Kate Bishop’s) life outside of the Avengers is just full of…everything you might want out of a comic. There’s a great set of co-leads. There’s a dog, and he eats pizza. There’s an issue told entirely from that dog’s perspective. It’s responsible for this forum’s favorite character revival, and his co-lead finished in the top five of our best new character poll. And it’s featured great guest art from Annie Wu, Javier Pulido and Francesco Francavilla, and really, it’s just…terrific.
1) Ultimate Spider-Man (163 pts)
Ultimate Spider-Man actually predates Graphic Violence by a full five years, but it’s hard to imagine finding a comic that’s been as good as Ultimate Spider-Man has been for as it has been. We’re honestly approaching a point where USM #1 will be older than Peter Parker is at the start of USM #1. Bendis’s run on this series has already secured him a place among the all-time great comics writers, even if you discount some of his other, stellar comics work. It’s just…there are so many great stories and so many great characters. It’d be impossible to list everything that makes Ultimate Spider-Man so great, but I think any comic that can kill its lead character and come back with a character like Miles Morales and never miss a beat is something incredibly special. Also it had that bit where Peter Parker told a bunch of fat jokes to the Kingpin, sooooooo I don’t know why this didn’t receive the maximum number of first place votes.
It is probably the most emblematic comic of the decade and insanely important and, most importantly, really, really good
Thanks again for running this! Was a lot of fun and i have a huge list of new things to read because of it!