164. 4 points Manhunter (Ostrander/Yale)
Following the Millennium event, John Ostrander and Kim Yale were given the book Manhunter, following the adventures of Mark Shaw, a disgraced hero that had been tricked into working for villains many times since his initial introduction. Working as a bounty hunter, he took down costumed criminals on Earth claiming to only be about the money, despite consistently doing the right thing anyways, much like Luke Cage in his Hero for Hire days. Ostrander stayed on the book for about two years, though the second year featured many issues where he left the writing to his co-writer K Yale, including the final issue which featured the cover posted here and was totally original and not a rip-off of anything well known.
162. 7 points - TIE All New Atom (Simone) - Groo (Aragones)
Another tie, this time featuring two unorthodox books that otherwise don't really have much in common.
All New Atom
In 2006, with Ray Palmer in a self imposed exile, DC wanted to debut a new Atom. Grant Morrison debuted the character in the Brave New World one shot, and then Gail Simone took the character into a self titled book. The character of Ryan Choi is presented as a long time protégé of Palmer's and a fellow professor at Ivy University. Following some clues left by Palmer, he discovers the costume and takes on the role of his mentor. Simone played up the weird in this book, stating the theory that Ivy Town had become a magnet for weird things and as a result the book featured lots of very wild ideas and a relationship with the size changing Wonder Woman villain Giganta. The book struggled to find a readership and was canceled early, and worse yet for fans of the character, Ryan was killed off recently in a misguided choice by DC in the awful Titans book that is currently on the shelves.
"I am shocked (and appalled) that Groo has not been made into the world of Animation yet. C'mon people!!"
Groo the Wanderer is a Conan styled warrior created by Sergio Aragones, best known for his work on Mad Magazine. Created in the late 70's, Aragones didn't want to lose the rights to the character and therefore he didn't appear in a book until the early 80's when he could get a book out that let him continue to own the rights to the character and his stories, the book was one of the earliest creator owned books to be successful and was lettered early on by a guy named Stan Sakai who went on to create the very popular Usagi Yojimbo series. Groo loves battles and often jumps in without paying attention to which side he is fighting for. Despite usually having good intentions, he causes mayhem wherever he goes and is usually seen as a force of destruction by the villagers that see him coming. As the book is mostly played for laughs, nothing is off limits and random things seem to happen all the time as Groo finds himself in odd situations and lives in a version of the medieval Europe that also has dragons and other fantastical creatures, though his adventures have taken him all over the world and even into various time traveling adventures. The character has been with many different publishers. It has been most recently seen in a series of minis from Dark Horse.
161. 7 Points - Superman (Busiek)
Kurt Busiek took over Superman during the OYL relaunch, starting out with a crossover with Geoff Johns' Action Comics on the story Up Up and Away that showed Superman getting his powers back and reestablished his role in the DCU following a year where he was powerless that was chronicled in the year long series 52. This story was followed up with Superman taking on some mostly new threats, and featured a team up with a bunch of lesser known heroes (including a character from his previous book Power Company seen earlier on the list), a battle with a villain powered by faith, a possible future in which Superman died, and dealing with Clark and Lois' adopted son Christopher Kent (the son of Zod and Ursa) from Johns book. It was a really well done set of stories in the style of classic old school Superman, but with a look to the future as well. However, due to his commitment to the 52 issue weekly series Trinity, Busiek dropped the book and passed it off to James Robinson after just 2 years.