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Old 02-22-2017, 01:22 PM
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Default Understanding Comics: Talking Time's Top 50 in Visual Storytelling

It's finally time for the...



(image totally stolen off a book cover at Amazon; no hints as to winners contained within.)

Before we get started, here's some exciting statistics:
  • Number of entry lists: 34
  • Number of distinct titles/runs to be ranked: 343 (!!!)
  • Number of those titles receiving more than one vote: 112
  • Total individual votes (to give context to the below): 660
  • Approx # of votes for American superheroes: 185
  • Approx # of votes for manga: 120
  • Approx # of votes for webcomics: 50
  • Approx # of votes for newspaper comics: 46

Now moving on to....
. . . *record scratch*
. . . . . . . *Kirin realizes 30-some entries failed to copy correctly from the calculations tab to the results tab because of spreadsheet weirdness*
. . . . . . . . . . . . *goddammit*
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . *fix fix fix*


Ahem, where was I. Right, anyway, glad I caught that before starting. Now then.

I ended up going with the compromise vote scoring system, where each vote is +5 points in addition to its rank points, i.e. items on your list are worth 30 points at the top down to 6 on the bottom. Honestly, though, for this list the counting system made vary little difference, mostly only shuffling things up or down by a place or two.

Finally, since many of you people love your superheroes but can't seem to agree on which of their arcs or authors are best, I'm going to start off with some honorable mentions for superhero books that didn't make the list but would have if they were all grouped together under their main character. Note that for spoiler-avoiding purposes, having a hero in the honorable mentions does not necessarily mean anything about whether one of their other books made the Top 50... maybe one did and we'll see it later, maybe not.

Onward!

THE LIST
Honorable hero mentions:Runners-up:Top 51:

Last edited by Kirin; 03-30-2017 at 08:06 AM. Reason: (Also [URL="http://talking-time.net/showpost.php?p=2313748&postcount=818"]Pokey the Penguin[/URL])
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Old 02-22-2017, 01:33 PM
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Honorable Superhero Mention: Daredevil



Barely sneaking on to the Honorable Mention list, the Man Without Fear suffers from absolutely zero agreement on which of his writers is best, but honestly would've just barely made the Top 50 even put together. Here's what people liked:
  • Brian Michael Bendis run, 1 mention, 11 points
  • Frank Miller run, 1 mention, 12 points
  • Ed Brubaker run, 1 mention, 17 points
  • Mark Waid run, 1 mention, 29 points
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Old 02-22-2017, 01:53 PM
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Honorable Superhero Mention: The Fantastic Four



A Classic from Stan and Jack, but also some other folks. This one gave me a headache because, as you can see below, two of the votes are a subset of one of the others. Normally I'd combine those three, which would bump up the score considerably, except that both the two arc votes were from one person, and we can't have someone voting for the same final entry twice (and just two of the votes put together wouldn't make the 50). So I'm afraid they'll have to make due here.
  • John Byrne run, 1 mention, 12 points
  • Jonathan Hickman run, 1 mention, 20 points
  • Stan Lee and Jack Kirby run, 1 mention, 29 points
    • Doomsday arc, 1 mention, 19 points
    • The Galactus Trilogy, 1 mention, 21 points

... and since dealing with superhero collection is taking so long, that's all I have time for tonight. See you tomorrow with several more honorable mentions before moving on to the main event.
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Old 02-22-2017, 01:54 PM
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Daredevil is good, you guys
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:03 PM
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I did my best for ya, Stan and Jack.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:07 PM
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:23 PM
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STUPIDheroes are boring
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post
STUPIDheroes are boring
That's why most people prefer superheroes.
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:46 PM
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I forgot to add Understanding Comics to my list! Ohhhhh, blunder!
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:22 PM
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Can't wait to see where Chick Tracts place on the list.

Quote:
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I forgot to add Understanding Comics to my list! Ohhhhh, blunder!
Oh crap, so did I! That's one of my favorites, too. :-(
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
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I did my best for ya, Stan and Jack.
Me too. My #2 is already confirmed not on the list.
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post
STUPIDheroes are boring
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:44 PM
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Not technically a hero.
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:47 PM
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Fantastic Four didn't make my list because I simply haven't read enough of it. I think the only original Stan and Jack FF story I read is "This Man, This Monster", which is... wait, what's the adjective I'm looking for.
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:21 PM
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Not technically a hero.
To Rufferto, he is.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:12 PM
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I can only hope that is a hint of things to come.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:49 PM
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I lied, doing a bit more tonight...

Honorable Superhero Mention: The X-Men



These guys get around. Who the hell's on this team anyway? Is the answer "everyone"? I think it probably is. Anyway, here's a bunch of X-Men story arcs that didn't quite make it:
  • Season One, 1 mention, 13 points
  • The Uncanny X-Men, 1 mention, 27 points
    • Days of Future Past, 1 mention, 9 points
    • Asgardian Wars, 1 mention, 20 points
    • The Dark Phoenix Saga, 2 mentions, 32 points
  • The Astonishing X-Men, 2 mention, 43 points


(As with the FF, lumping the Uncanny/Claremont arcs into one entry would reach the Top 50, but not if I take out votes from the same submission lists.)

Last edited by Kirin; 02-23-2017 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:05 PM
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And one more for tonight...

Honorable Superhero Mention: Spider-Man



Unlike all those X-Men, Spider-Man is one hero... well, except there's kind of a lot of him. So many, they have crossovers and team-ups with each other. There was a little more consensus on these, but several groups still belong here:
  • Spider-Man 2099, 1 mention, 8 points
  • Superior Foes of Spider-Man, 2 mentions, 26 points
  • Ultimate Spider-Man, 3 mentions, 49 points
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (Stan Lee et al), 3 mentions, 57 points

Again, keep in mind I'm not saying anything about what may or may not make it onto the Top 50 with these so don't worry if it looks like I'm missing something (and try not to spoilers too much). Tomorrow we'll finish off superhero mentions and a couple runners-up, then on to the main event.
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Old 02-23-2017, 03:54 AM
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Wow, I am not doing well on this list.
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:00 AM
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Yeah, I put Amazing Spider-Man on my list as a general entry. In fact, it's my only general long-running superhero franchise on my list.

I know that as a full thing it could be as bad, if not worse, than most other superhero comics at their worst, but as a whole thing, I tend to engage with the series general attitude and the fun of both the character himself and his trials and tribulations.

It also has the best supporting cast in superhero comics. I love that Flash Thompson treats Peter like shit (in the early series anyway) but not only LOVES Spider-Man but sees him as a personal hero. I love the tension that Aunt May's anti-Spider-Man stance causes. I love JJJ. So much.

But of course, I love the lead character as well. I feel like a lot of what Spider-Man is had been done before, like an introverted guy with an extrovert alter ego, but Spider-Man did it so well (and again, the nature of the supporting cast and how most of them had unique dynamics with both Peter and Spidey help. I love that he can... well, just be a jerk sometimes. Because sometimes even good people get jerky.

There are so many different superheroes I super-love but for just a series, this is the one that HAD to make my list. And no amount of clone saga or nonsensical deals with the devil or the Green Goblin boning Gwen Stacy (what the fuck, JMS?) can change that for me.
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:43 AM
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Amazing Spider-Man is also the one American super-hero comic that ended up on my list, although I specified the Stan Lee/John Romita Sr. run (which maybe should have just been Stan Lee and friends, but eh).
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
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(which maybe should have just been Stan Lee and friends, but eh).
His AMAZING Friends!
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:53 AM
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Ok, so as this list gets started, I want to say that I know nothing about comics. I have read maybe 3 or 4 comics and all of them were given to me. Most of what I know is all from watching movies and cartoons based on comics. I am very much looking forward to seeing what gets some consensus as good things to read.

So, assuming I want to experience some of this stuff, here's my question: have comics experienced a digital revolution similar to music and books and tv? Is there an "iTunes" of comics? A "netflix" of comics? IE someplace I could go to get not just the most recent thing but even older stuff (as I assume you guys are going to vote for older "proven" stories, not just the latest thing) in a digital format that is enjoyable to use?
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:03 AM
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Comixology is the biggest digital comics storefront I'm aware of. It has pretty much every new American comic, a decent selection of manga and other international stuff, and a good selection of older stuff, which is always expanding. They also offer a subscription service with limited selection but will help you find stuff that interests you. You can read it in a browser or on a tablet or phone.

Marvel Unlimited is Marvel only, but for a reasonable monthly cost you can read pretty much any Marvel comic older than six months or so for free.
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:29 AM
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Spider-Man didn't make my list despite being my favorite superhero when growing up (and maybe still my favorite today?)

Mostly because, while Spider-Man was always good, none of the stories I read were great. And I was able to fill this list with great comics.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:27 AM
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Looking at how many major superheros have been cast aside so far, I think this list may have suffered from being too broad. If we had done "Comic books" or "Manga" or "Webcomics and Newspaper Comics" or "Graphic Novels not about superheros" we might have been able to consolidate more votes. At the same time, we'd put less into the competition and probably have fewer participants in each contest, so you take lumps either way.

That said, I put virtually no superhero comics on my own list, so I'm not crying yet.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:31 AM
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So this shouldn't come as any surprise, but there were a couple superheroes that got more different books nominated than any others...




Honorable Superhero Mention: Batman
Honorable Superhero Mention: Superman

DC's iconic light and dark pair are in one hell of a lot of books. So just to keep things consistent here's some extra books for 'em the didn't break into the 50:
  • Batman: Knightfall, 1 mention, 10 points
  • Batman: Mad Love, 1 mention, 16 points
  • The Dark Knight Returns, 3 mentions, 20 points
  • The Long Halloween, 2 mentions, 38 points
  • Batman: Year One, 3 mentions, 47 points
  • Man of Steel, 1 mention, 13 points
  • Superman: Secret Identity, 1 mention, 15 points
  • Superman For All Seasons, 2 mentions, 20 points
  • Superman: Red Son, 2 mentions, 21 points
  • Superman: Birthright, 1 mention, 23 points
  • For The Man Who Has Everything, 2 mentions, 26 points
  • Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, 2 mentions, 46 points


... and that wraps it up for supers with four or more books in the voting list. I wanted to do this little prologue because if each of these characters had their votes collected into single entries, they would have crushed the top end of the list. I didn't do it that way because it didn't seem fair to lump the work of numerous authors and artists and wildly disparate creative visions together into a single lump. But at the same time I wanted to recognize the enduring popularity of these characters in our voting pool. Meanwhile we'll definitely be seeing a few of them again in the list proper.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:55 AM
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Man, did I get anything on here?
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulgakov View Post
Looking at how many major superheros have been cast aside so far, I think this list may have suffered from being too broad. If we had done "Comic books" or "Manga" or "Webcomics and Newspaper Comics"...
We can do all that in the future. I'd also love to see Top 50 Batman Stories or Top 50 Spider-Man stories that would include stories from all mediums like comics, TV episodes, movies, etc.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:57 AM
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Woooooooahhh I was pegging Dark Knight Returns for a top 5 spot! That's super super surprising.

Anyway, high-five to my Long Halloween buddy, whoever you are.
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