Monday, March 25, 2019 • R.I.P. Edition • Memorial to dead childhoods.

Your Top Creative Runs part 17

Written by rdrsfn82 on Wednesday, January 26 2011 and posted in Features
Another run that was too short to make the list, but which is fondly remembered and was able to sneak past Bubba, and a couple of definitive 90's books recreated in new ways.
117. 38 points - Detective Comics (Englehart/Rogers)detective-semr
#469 - #479

This run shouldn't be on the list. It only lasted for about ten issues, with Englehart on seven of those issues and Rogers on eight, with only six issues featuring both guys. So why did so many people vote for it? And why does it deserve a writeup?

Well, because it's one of the most important short runs of all time. People want to give Frank Miller credit for darkening the Batman character in Year One or The Dark Knight Returns, or Alan Moore for his amazing handful of Batman stories such as The Killing Joke that again happened in the late 80's, but that's not even remotely correct. In 1977 and 1978, this run is what turned Batman, and many of his villains, in a much more serious direction.

The story featured the return of Hugo Strange, it returned the Joker to his homicidal roots after a decade spent more closely resembling Cesar Romero's portrayal, the debut of the eternally creepy looking Dr. Phosphorus (who plays a pretty big role in a series we will see much much later), and the first serious sexual love interest for Batman, Silver St. Cloud. Oh and Deadshot and Rupert Thorne play some big roles as well.

The series was done, along with Englehart's other works at DC during this time, in an attempt to revive and update various characters and concepts in an attempt to compete with Marvel. This revamp of Batman has stuck around ever since, with it being the inspiration for the Tim Burton movies, Moore's stories, Miller's stories, and just about everything else. The entire story is collected in Batman: Strange Apparitions, and as both a good story and as an important piece of Batman history, it's strongly recommended.

115. 35 points - TIE WildCATS (Joe Casey) - X-Static/X-Force (Milligan/Alldred)

Another tie, this one featuring two reinventions of two books that were big hits in the 90's.

WildCATS (Casey)
Volume 2 #8 - #28 and volume 3 #1 - #24
Joe Casey, who was previously seen on this list writing Cable, seems to love making 90's characters best known for their over the top looks into credible well rounded characters. Along with Sean Phillips (who we'll see later teaming with Ed Brubaker. While not nearly as commercially successful as many of the runs in the 90's, this team, and later Casey with other artists while Phillips moved on to new books, signaled a change from being a big selling book that critics hated to a lower selling book that critics and fans found to be much better written.

The initial run on volume two featured the new creative team wrapping up some of the previous plot holes, and trying to add some more mature mysteries, such as the story featuring Slaughterhouse, the superhuman serial killer that was the relative of a gangster from the 60's that appeared in WildCATS: Team One. They also dealt with adding new members to the team and seeing older fan favorites return.

In WildCATS 3,0, the series was relaunched as a mature readers title alongside books like Sleeper, and like that book, Spartan trying to get super advanced technology into the hands of regular people in an attempt to better the world. Again, the book was highly praised though not nearly as big a seller as in the 90's. The series also featured art by Dustin Nguyen, at least on most of the issues.

X-Force/X-Statix (Milligan/Alldred)xforce-ma

This write-up is brought to us once again by Royal. Take it away.

Sex, celebrity, superheroes: all in a months work for Peter Milligan and Mike Allred. The two came together to create the most wonderful twist on the old "hated and feared by a world they've sworn to protect" thing.

Basically, considering the media-happy times we live in, the way for mutants to gain acceptance by the world at large is to hire agents and publishers and get famous by filming their superhero adventures for a reality show. X-Force (later renamed X-Statix), was a sharp, subversive, and witty social critique as well as an action adventure comic. Not only that, but the series was put together with a lot of heart and emotional truth that really made this one of the greatest runs in comics.

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