153 (tie). Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada’s Daredevil – 50 points (1 first place vote)
Daredevil #1-8, plus a #1/2
This run revitalized the Daredevil comic book, and most likely led to Joe Quesada becoming Marvel Editor-in-Chief. Nice artwork by Quesada.
153 (tie). Jim Shooter’s Avengers – 50 points (1 first place vote)
Avengers #158-177 (also Avengers #211-222, 224, 226, but since no one specified, I presume they all meant the first run)
This run contained the introduction of Graviton, some awesome Byrne and Perez artwork, and, of course, the Korvac Saga. Epic stories at their finest!
153 (tie). John Ostrander’s GrimJack – 50 points (1 first place vote)
Starslayer #10-18, GrimJack #1-81, plus Demon Knight
Tim Truman should be mentioned, as he is listed as the co-creator of GrimJack, but I’ll admit it, I just didn’t feel like picking out all the issues Truman didn’t draw. GrimJack was a tour de force performance by Ostrander, and I would be remiss if I did not point out that ComicMix is currently doing a GrimJack web comic! Check it out here!
153 (tie). David Lapham’s Stray Bullets – 50 points
Stray Bullets #1-ostensibly current (#40), plus two Amy Racecar Color Specials
Do you know what’s depressing? David Lapham began his brilliant Stray Bullets series twelve years ago, when he was only 25 years old! All that training with Jim Shooter must have paid off, because Lapham is a master storyteller, weaving in multiple characters and narratives to tell a bleak, but engaging story.
153 (tie). Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming’s Ambush Bug – 50 points
Ambush Bug #1-4, Son of Ambush Bug #1-5, Ambush Bug Stocking Stuffer (the Nothing Special was too far after the fact)
One of the funniest comic book series I can recall, as Giffen and Fleming savage DC Comics (with love, of course) with their Ambush Bug character. He’s about to return, by Giffen and Fleming!
153 (tie). Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal – 50 points
Criminal #1-10, Criminal 2 #1-current (#2)
Brubaker and Phillips are doing a marvelous job on this crime series, detailing the world of criminals in such a way that you feel like you know these characters like friends, even while noting that you probably wouldn’t want to be friends with most of the characters in this series.
151 (tie). Louise Simonson’s Power Pack – 51 points (1 first place vote)
Power Pack #1-20, 22, 24-33, 35, 37, 39, 40-41
Simonson was ahead of her time with this series of four siblings who gain superpowers. It was a critical darling at the time, mostly due to Simonson’s deft touch for characterization (June Brigman, the original artist, was an AMAZING artist for character work, too). Jon Bognadove joined her on the book after Brigman, and he brought a looser, fun style. He and Simonson worked together for years.
151 (tie). Alan Moore and Alan Davis’s Captain Britain – 51 points
The Daredevils #1-11, The Mighty World of Marvel #7-13
This was an awesomely inventive re-working of the Captain Britain character by Moore, with Alan Davis providing some solid artwork at a young age.
149 (tie). Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith’s Fell - 52 points (1 first place vote)
Fell is Warren Ellis’ Law and Order, where he can take intriguing/disgusting news stories and work them into this crime book, starring Detective Fell, who is an intriguing character in his own right. Ben Templesmith’s art is amazing on this title.
149 (tie). Chuck Dixon’s Nighwing – 52 points
Nightwing #1-70, plus various one-shots, annuals and specials
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when Nightwing was a relatively minor character, which is weird, as he really shouldn’t have been, but plans for his own series took so long that he basically laid to waste in the meantime. That is, until Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel took over his rollicking action adventures, making it one of DC’s highest selling titles. McDaniel was followed by Greg Land, and then Rick Leonardi took over (for the sake of everyone involved, let’s just skip McCarthy). Dixon also established the Nightwing/Barbara Gordon romance, which was nice.
146 (tie). Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers –53 points
Seven mini-series bookended by two Seven Soldiers one-shots.
This was a remarkable achievement that spanned over a year’s worth of comics. Some beautiful artwork in the bookends by JH Williams.
146 (tie). Gerry Conway’s Justice League of America – 53 points
Justice League of America #151-155, 157-216, 219, 221-223, 228- 230, 233-239, 241-255
A lot of strong stories and also the introduction of Justice League Detroit.
146 (tie). Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge – 53 points (1 first place vote)
Some one-off stories then Uncle Scrooge #1-69
Barks created one of the greatest, most interesting cohesive universes that I have ever seen. Tremendously rich adventure tales.
144 (tie). Mark Millar’s Authority –54 points
The Authority #13-20, 22, 27-29
Millar decided to go more political than Ellis did on his run, and the results are engaging. Also featured Frank Quitely art AND Art Adams art! That’s quite a pair!
144 (tie). Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum’s X-Men –54 points
X-Men #94-107 (Claremont scripted the early issues, then took over as full writer)
The first comics featuring the All-New, All-Differeny X-Men in their own comic book. Includes the death of Thunderbird plus the introduction of the Starjammers (not to mention the first appearance of Phoenix!).
141 (tie). Joseph Michael Straczynski’s Supreme Power – 55 points
Supreme Power #1-18
Darker interpretations of the Squadron Supreme, set in a more realistic Earth.
141 (tie). Ann Nocenti & John Romita Jr.’s Daredevil –55 points (1 first place vote)
Daredevil #250-282 (Nocenti began writing the book with #238 and stopped with #291 - they both skipped #258, and JRjr also did not draw #264 or #277)
A strong follow-up to Frank Miller’s Born Again, introduced Typhoid Mary!
141 (tie). Mike and Laura Allred’s Madman –55 points
Madman #1-3, Madman Comics #1-20, plus some one-shots
Wonderful off-beat comics. They recently brought Madman back to Image! Such amazing artwork.
139 (tie). Roy Thomas’ Conan – 56 points
Conan the Barbarian #1-94, 95-115 (plus a bunch of other Conan stuff)
As good as Kurt Busiek’s Conan is, this is probably the definitive Conan, comic-book wise. Some of the best work of Thomas’ career. Barry Windsor-Smith and John Buscema were amazing.
139 (tie). Jim Shooter’s Legion of Superheroes - 56 points (1 first place vote)
Adventure Comics #346-349, 352-355, 357-372, 374-380
As was his intention, Shooter brought a bit more of a Marvel feel to the Legion of Superheroes, and with him came death and some new characters, but most of all, strong stories.
137 (tie). Grant Morrison’s Zenith – 57 points
2000 AD #535-550, 558-559, 589-606, 626-634, 650-662, 667-670, plus some Annuals, plus an additional run from #791-806 that is probably a bit too far away to count as one run
I just featured this run on the comic book alphabet of cool. It was a fun, postmodern superhero tale of a superhero in a time when doing music videos was the most superheroes had to do - so what does he do once he actually has to be a superhero? We shall see! Brendan McCarthy and Steve Yeowell were the main artists (the former doing the design work and the latter most of the actual pencilling).
137 (tie). Fabian Nicieza’s Thunderbolts – 57 points (1 first place vote)
Nicieza took over a book that seemed like it was completely Kurt Busiek’s title, but by the time Nicieza left, his personal stamp was all over the work. He did a fine job bringing them back a few years after this run, as well. Mark Bagley helped transition the run from Busiek to Nicieza, then Patrick Zircher did some fine work on the book.
136. Steve Gerber’s Defenders – 58 points (1 first place vote)
The Defenders #20-29, 31-41
Steve Gerber’s run on the Defenders is most notable in how off-beat it was, especially for the time period. A highlight of this run is the work Gerber did with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
134 (tie). Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman – 62 points
Catwoman #1-10, 12 -37
Brubaker completely revamped Catwoman, turning her into a sort of Robin Hood of Gotham’s East Side. Darwyn Cooke was there at first to help design things, then Cam Stewart did a marvelous job on the title keeping up with Cooke’s style. Gritty, character-based drama.
134 (tie). Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers – 62 points (1 first place vote)
Avengers #500-503, New Avengers #1-current (#40), plus some Annuals and I guess Mighty Avengers #1-current (#13)
Bendis finished one run on the Avengers and then revamped them as Marvel’s premiere superhero franchise, taking a book that was doing average sales and making it Marvel’s most popular title (then launching a spin-off that somehow managed to do almost as well!).
133. Roy Thomas’ All Star Squadron – 63 points
All-Star Squadron #1-67, plus some Annuals
Roy Thomas was given the keys to the kingdom when he was allowed to do this series that filled in the blanks in DC’s Golden Age. It was detailed, but it was also humanistic, and some of Thomas’ finest comic book work of the decade.
132. Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s Swamp Thing – 64 points (2 first place votes)
House of Secrets #92, Swamp Thing #1-10
This run, which introduced Swamp Thing to world has nice stories by Len Wein, but it is Bernie Wrightson’s stunning gothic-esque artwork that defines this run. Amazing artwork.
130 (tie). Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead – 65 points
Walking Dead #1-current (#49)
This tale of what happens to zombie survivors when they try to live the rest of their lives is an engaging look at how “real” people would react to the situations given to them. Tony Moore began the book, but Charles Adlard has been doing it for years. Great work.
130 (tie). Peter Bagge’s Hate – 65 points
This could easily count other books, but let’s just say Hate #1-30, plus a bunch of annuals.
Bagge’s Hate is a stunning piece of political and social commentary, highlighted by Bagge’s stinging sense of humor and his exaggerated style of artwork. Buddy Bradley is more or less an “everyman” trying to deal with the modern world as responsibly as he can, while all the while noting how bad the world can be (humorously, of course!).
129. William Messner-Loeb’s Flash – 66 points (1 first place vote)
Flash #15-28, 30-61
While Mark Waid’s run is the more famous, a lot of Waid’s cues were from Bill Loebs’ run on the title, as it was Loebs who began to humanize Wally West, and it was Loebs who introduced Linda Park, and the interesting chemistry between Linda and Wally. Loebs stories were centered around humanity, but they also had action and, most importantly, they often had FUN.
Loebs also outed the Pied Piper in a brilliant piece of writing. If only Northstar could have been outed as well as Loebs handled the Piper.