Best Comic Book Scenarios: 84-81
Today we continue our countdown of your choices for the greatest comic book storylines of all time with # 84-81.
You have voted (more than 1,000 votes cast and one little a little more than the last time we did this countdown) and you all sent out ballots ranking your favorite storylines from # 1 (10 points) to # 10 (1 point). I added up all the points and here we are!
84. “Darkseid War” by Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson and a whole bunch 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) – 136 points (1 vote for first place)
The New 52 was started by Geoff Johns ‘Justice League # 1, so it makes sense that in many ways the New 52 ended with the conclusion of Geoff Johns’ Justice League with Justice League # 50, where Johns was joined by the artistic team in the last third of his run, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson. The League had taken on a new face before Darkseid’s war. After helping save the world during “Forever Evil,” Lex Luthor was cleared to join the Justice League. Power Ring, a young woman who was propelled by, in fact, an evil Green Lantern ring (coming from Earth-3) also joined the sequel to “Forever Evil”. When the former Ring Bearer was killed, Jessica Cruz was chosen as the new Ring Bearer – not because she was fearless like Hal Jordan or John Stewart, but the opposite. She was chosen because of her ability to feel great fear. She was one of the scariest people on Earth.
In any event, the Darkseid War was a 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 stage known as Grail. Grail was the daughter of Darkseid and an Amazonian warrior. Grail was born the same day Wonder Woman was born. Grail’s mother took her from Paradise Island and trained her to destroy Darkseid – by any means necessary.
In this context, it meant putting the universe itself in danger by pitting the Anti-Monitor against Darkseid. Eventually, the Anti-Monitor managed to kill Darkseid, but that was just the start of Grail’s mad plan.
Along the way, the various members of the Justice League have transformed and become new gods themselves. Batman took over the Mobius chair from Metron and essentially became the god of knowledge, but was blinded by just How many knowledge he now possessed. The Flash was merged with the Black Racer to become the new God of Death. Shazam found that the gods he was inspired by had changed dramatically, becoming a kind of god of gods. Superman was imbued with a bunch of negative energy, while Green Lantern was ultimately to become the God of Light. After Darkseid died, 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 in her own ring by Volthoom (Cyborg had completely lost consciousness when he returned to the Grid, which happened to him during “Forever Evil”, but after being trapped, Jessica was able to less bringing Cyborg’s consciousness into the ring with her), as the evil god who controlled her ring teamed up with Grail.
The Crime Syndicate also played a major role, as Superwoman’s baby was to be used by Grail for the next stage of her plan, where she would bring Darkseid back, but under her control now.
In an epic streak, the Flash managed to part ways with the Black Racer, but only in time to become his next target. Jessica, however, one of the scariest people in the world, managed to take a step to save her friend’s life …
And in her sacrifice, she turned out to be a real heroine …
Amazing sequence of Johns, Fabok and Anderson.
Naturally, the League managed to overcome their personality changes and returned to save the day, just in time for the DC Universe to experience its own rebirth. However, a number of intrigues from this storyline have played a major role in the DC Universe since.
83. “New World Order” by Grant Morrison, Howard Porter and John Dell (JLA # 1-4) – 138 points
Grant Morrison’s JLA was perhaps THE most influential superhero book of the 1990s, because it even influenced The Authority (the big screen aspect, at least).
“New World Order” was the first story arc of the “all-new” JLA, which consisted of the original seven members of the Justice League, or at least the seven names of superheroes from the original Justice League, like Green Lantern and The Flash. were both successors to the characters who had formed the Justice League.
In this initial scenario, a group of aliens come to Earth and seemingly render the Justice League obsolete. The League knows there is something wrong with these aliens and soon finds out that, yes, there are sinister motivations behind these guys.
The secret behind aliens is very clever, and it’s especially remarkable how Batman uncovers their secret (and how he exploits it).
This story first established Morrison’s take on Batman as a guy who prepares for anything (or “Bat God” as some call him)…
much to the chagrin of the wicked …
The other heroes in the book also get some notable scenes, especially Flash, which uses some of the knowledge the original Flash gave it to take out a villain.
Howard Porter and John Dell’s art is smooth and apt for the book’s sometimes overblown action.
This series quickly became DC’s most successful title in the late 1990s, which was remarkable as the Justice League line of books had gotten pretty low on the sales charts before this title revitalized the group.
82. “The old man Logan” (Wolverine # 66-72, Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant Size # 1) – 140 points (2 votes for first place)
The main conceit of “Old Man Logan” is that it’s been 50 years since Wolverine died. By “Wolverine”, of course, we mean the superhero known as Wolverine, as the man now known as Logan retired after a horrific tragedy that resulted in the deaths of the X-Men ( the incident is slowly but surely revealed to readers and it is so tragic). “Old Man” Logan is now a farmer and is married with two young children. He rents his farmland to the Banner Gang, the consanguineous grandchildren of Bruce Banner (who married his cousin, She-Hulk).
The United States is now divided into four parts, each ruled by a specific supervillain. Clint Barton, the former Hawkeye (who is now blind), shows up at Logan’s house after the Banner Gang threatened his family because Logan is behind on rent. Clint wants to hire Logan to help him transport illegal goods across the country. Logan is forced to agree to do so and the two former heroes set off on a fantastic journey across America, and as they travel we see the world as it has become in the 50 years since the end of age of heroes (lots of dark stuff, but lots of interesting stuff nonetheless).
They come across a lot of fantastic elements along the way …
like the Ghost Riders …
What do you need me to say about Steve McNiven? The guy is a legend. Millar, McNiven and Vines had just completed the famous Civil war scenario and now that was their follow-up and the boy did they hit him out of the park. The hit movie Logan was based on this scenario. Think about it: Millar and McNiven made two stories together for Marvel and BOTH turned into blockbuster movies! Wow! This is the kind of batting average that would crack Ted Williams!
Either way, as the journey continues, Logan must continue to wonder if he’s really glad he’s no longer a hero. When you’ve been beaten like Logan, can you ever rise up to be a hero again? That’s a tough question to answer and here Millar beautifully shows Logan grappling with these ideas and he finds that a hero’s soul might never be truly broken (the way it’s expressed, however, is a whole another story – like Logan as the hero is very different from Wolverine as the hero, because the world is now a much darker place).
Years later, the Logan in this story was brought into the Marvel Universe following the short-lived death of the regular Wolverine, leading to the popular the old man logan comic series.
81. “Church and State” by Dave Sim and Gerhard (Cerebus # 52-111) – 141 points (5 votes for first place)
Cerebus started as a parody of Conan the Barbarian, but by the time Church and State began, the book had moved beyond that and had become a slightly more serious satire on a number of topics, including politics and society.
Church and State, which is by far the longest story in the Top 100, has moved again Cerebus far from its beginnings with an elaborate allegorical story about religion, politics and, above all, morality.
The gist of the story is that Cerebus appointed the Pope of the Eastern Church of Tarim. He lets his power go to his head, loses everything, tries to get it back, gets it back, becomes even MORE morally corrupt and eventually meets, indeed, God.
This is the story where Sim exposes the prophecy that the rest of Cerebus was “ruled,” which hovered over the next 180 issues of the book like a scythe.
That’s the plot of the story, but the beauty of it all is the character development, although the development almost suggests a breakthrough, and Cerebus really doesn’t for most of it. history – because he goes completely astray, morally.
His actions are creepy at times, and having them taken by the comic book’s “protagonist” was quite daring by Sim.
Sim and Gerhard’s illustrations are strong, but it’s the writing that is the key to this great epic story.
A major ally of Batman decided to kill the Joker
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