10 Comic Book Readers pick the best DC comics storylines of all time.
The lockdown giveth and the lockdown taketh away!
With tons of time on our hands and the chance to revisit our favourite stories, we asked our readers to name their most fav DC Comics storyline. After receiving over 100 different entries, we compiled a list of the Top 10!
The Dark Knight Returns
Undoubtedly the number one pick from comic book readers all around the world; The Dark Returns, even 30 years after having being written evokes the same excitement and adrenaline. As a four-issue story Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley wrote the Batman and the best DC comic story of all time. The Dark Knight Returns ushered a new age in the industry of comic books and changed everything. The impact it had on the entire scenario can be seen till now and the way it changed The Dark Knight as a character would forever be the way Batman is known now.
The Dark Knight Returns tells the story in an alternate universe where Bruce Wayne is a silver-haired, grizzled old man whose bones are aching and who hasn’t been on the streets as Batman for years. And how when America and Russia are about to go for a nuclear war with each other, Batman and Superman the two icons of the DC universe face one another head to head for the difference between their political ideologies.
Apart from just the two most beloved superheroes fighting against each other, The Dark Knight Returns also deals with how the news has become entertainment in the modern world, how the media effects the minds of the youth.
Batman Year One
Batman Year One is not only the best DC Comic Stories of all time or the best Batman stories of all time, but it is also one of the best comic books written ever. When in 1987 DC Comics gave the lead to writer Frank Miller to retell the origins of the most popular superhero ever. He took the story of an orphaned boy who became the world’s greatest detective and completely overhauled it with corrupt cops, supporting characters who were pimps and hookers.
The result was a story that depicted the first year of Commissioner Gordon in Gotham and Bruce Wayne’s return after his exile. Miller introduced Gordon as an honest cop who watches his personal life getting spiraled out of control after getting introduced to the dark and dirty underbelly of Gotham; whereas, on the other side of the city, Wayne has just returned to Gotham City after years of training to combat the corruption and violence that has overtaken his city. Together; both Bruce Wayne and Gordon form the strongest bonds in comic book history.
Jack Kirby’s New Gods (1971)
Jack Kirby stepped into the world of DC Comics in 1971 after leaving Marvel due to his differences with Stan Lee. And it was the year that Jack Kirby forever changed the way of storytelling in the comic book industry with The New Gods story. The New Gods is regarded as one of the best and the deepest mythologies ever written in American Literature.
It is sprawling space-opera that Kirby had on his mind during his days at Marvel. He was the one who introduced the world to huge characters like Darkseid, Highfather, and Orion. The New Gods is a beautifully dynamic story with tons of action and a complicated character.
No wonder Jack Kirby is considered as the father of the Comic Books Industry, he was the one who took care of his characters as if they were not just merely fictional characters. Jack Kirby was the man who made these characters universal and therefore appealing to not just everyone around the world at that time but also to the generations who have come a long way from the time when he first envisioned them.
Crisis on Infinite Earth
Everyone knows how convoluted and how inconsistent the DC universe’s continuity has been for years. And in Crisis of Infinite Earth, Anti- Monitor; probably the most powerful villain of the DC comics came down as a threat to the existence of the entire multiverse. It was then that all the superheroes of the different universes and even the multiverses from across the DC Comics came together to fight against the threat.
The Crisis on Infinite Earth lead to the deaths of major characters like Barry Allen and Supergirl and it was then that the ever-expanding and convoluted history of The DC Comics universe were finally given a rest by streamlining the continuity into one.
Just even the thought of juggling so many characters from DC Comics would always be an unnerving and humongous task for any writer, which is what Marv Wolfman and George Perez did and hit the ball out of the park in a single issue. This resulted in an epic story which even 30 years later, has stood the test of time.
Sinestro Corps War
The Green Lantern Corps have always been defending the universes and galaxy with the use of the most powerful weapon in the cosmos — their emerald power rings. Written by Geoff Johns and Dave Gibbons, the story expanded the mythos of The Green Lantern Corps and in a literal sense “took them to places”. Sinestro Corps War is regarded as the most important event in the Green Lantern Corps lore because it introduced the fear-mongering Sinestro Corps. The event turned around the Green Lanterns as the story featured DC supervillains like Parallax, Cyborg Superman, Superboy-Prime, and even the Anti-Monitor.
Sinestro Corps War featured some of the most pivotal moments in the history of DC Comics like when John Stewart traded interstellar sniper fire with the hermit crab-like creature known as Bedovian, or when the Guardians revoked their eons-old edict against killing. Another big reason why the story is regarded as one of the best DC Comics stories ever written is that the arc had some of the most epic battles and personal redemptions.
The Return of Barry Allen
The Return of Barry Allen is considered as a benchmark for modern comic books and the best DC Comic Stories ever because of the kind of narrative and storytelling technique used. After Crisis On Infinite Earths, Wally West becomes the new Flash, he got promoted from a sidekick to superhero following the death of Barry Allen. According to most of the comic book readers, Mark Waid gave Wally West the depth that his predecessor had always lacked. The point where Wally is confronted with the return of the deceased Barry Allen is the moment where Mark Waid managed to solidify him as the one true Flash.
Running over six issues the story has been written in a conversational manner which feels like a conversation between the writer and readers.
The Judas Contract
The Judas Contract is a story that focuses on Dick Grayson and Deathstroke as the two warriors maneuvering their allies to manipulate the other’s forces. One of the greatest things about the story is that to even the readers who had never been huge fans or followers of The Teen Titans, the Judas Contract showed the first introduction of Nightwing. It also showed how messed up Deathstroke is. The New Teen Titans were among the hottest titles of the 80s. And The Judas Contract was a story that was created both in response to, and to successfully compete with Chris Claremont’s X-Men.
It has one of the best comic book moments of all time, the moment is equally powerful and emotional, as a popular opinion for most of the fans, after all these years it still amazes them how so many comics despite having outdated dialogue still hold up very well. The way Dick becomes Nightwing and continues his story and his relationship with Bruce, Kori Barbara, and Jason or Tim has been most masterfully done.
The Great Darkness Saga
One of the oldest stories in The DC Comics, the Great darkness Saga is a classic example of what DC stories have always been able to accomplish with their classic characters and the most creative of their ideas. The Great Darkness Saga is the story of Darkseid, who walks into the 31st century. Then there are numerous other villains of the DC Comics lore in the story which gives the true testament of Paul Levitz and Keith’s talents. It is one of the greatest stories of the modern DC Universe and one of the major reasons why the fans continue to read classic comics.
Kingdom Come is considered as a classic in every sense and most engaging story that DC has written by the readers. The biggest reason for this is because fans feel that Waid’s understanding of the personalities of the superheroes, the way he handles them, his presentation which makes them feel human rather than Gods is unmatched. And to top, it all is Alex Ross’s painted visuals. Kingdom Come is the story of facing obsolescence in a world that is protected by a younger and more vicious generation of superheroes. For most of the fans and the readers, they come back, again and again, reading this story is because of Mark Waid’s extensive knowledge of DC Universe’s superheroes and how he has handled them.
JLA: Tower of Babel
JLA: Tower of Babel written by Mark Waid, goes deep into the damaged psyche of the Caped Crusader, and then goes on to show how prepared Batman has always been for any kind of eventuality, even if that leads him to betray his team’s trust to save the world. The Tower of Babel is considered by the fans as one of the most extensive studies of Batman’s personality.
The story reveals how and why Batman has a collection of files with him with details on how to defeat every member of the Justice League. When these files get compromised by Ra’s Al Ghul, and he begins taking down the Earth’s most powerful heroes one-by-one, all hell breaks loose for our heroes.
These were the top 10 DC stories according to our readers. What is your favourite DC story of all time? Let us know in the comments below!
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