32. 299 points - Deadpool (Kelly) - 16 first place votes
#1 - #33
Sixteen people thought this was the best book ever written!
In 1997, Joe Kelly was given the job of giving Deadpool his first solo series. Kelly saw the book as something no one expected to last very long, so he figured he'd just try whatever he wanted to. As a result the series often had wild ideas and crazy adventures. The book became a parody of action movies, comics, pop culture, and pretty much anything else Kelly felt a desire to make fun of. At first the art was handled by Ed McGuinness, working on one of his earliest titles. Later Pete Woods would do most of the rest of the issues of the series.
The series would flesh out most of Deadpool's supporting cast like Weasel and Blind Al, as well as established characters like Siryn. Weasel was Deadpool's tech guy, building or repairing all of his weapons and whatnot. Blind Al was a old blind woman that Deadpool once saved and who he kind of keeps prisoner, though she's kind of there of her own free will and sees herself as having a chance to guide him into being an actual hero. Siryn had a love-hate on again-off again relationship with Deadpool, typified by her appearance early in the series where she's willing to help battle the Hulk to get some of his blood so Deadpool can try to cure himself. The book also saw Deadpool move further away from his role as a villain and into a more morally ambiguous role as a guy who occasionally did the right thing, though was willing to do fairly evil things for money as well.
One of the most famous issues is the one up top, which actually got nominated for some year end awards the year it came out. The issue, titled "With Great Power Comes Great Coincidence", saw Deadpool get transported back in time to the events of Amazing Spider-Man #47, the issue that saw Kraven the Hunter looking to settle a score with Norman Osborn. Deadpool accidentally knocks Aunt May unconscious. As a result Deadpool sends Spidey on a pointless mission and disguises himself as Spider-Man and makes Blind Al look like Aunt May. The book then repurposes actual panels from Amazing Spider-Man #47 with redubbed dialogue and whatnot, making fun of the tropes of the era, as Deadpool tries to find the younger Weasel, a schoolmate of Peter Parker. While doing this, Deadpool finds out that Norman Osborn was considering Weasel for being his protégé instead of Peter Parker, so Deadpool tells Norman that he was a drug user, which leads to Pete getting the job instead, and as a result Weasel becomes an alcoholic and eventually falls into a life of crime, leading to him joining with Deadpool years later. Overall the story is filled with lots of great jokes and jabs at older comics, important moments for the main characters, and some great action scenes.
Other issues saw gratuitous guest spots for Wolverine (like in the issue he was on the cover and only in one panel), villains like Dr. Bong (it's a bell reference you drug addicts!), the beginnings of his friendship with Cable, incredibly silly titles (like issue #26 titled "Our second most confusing story yet after issue #6 (we would have said #9, but that was just bad, not confusing), or: Mouthful of Malice, Head Full of Cheese"), and other even weirder stuff. Overall the series defined who Deadpool is and has been for the last 14 years, told a lot of fun stories, constantly broke the fourth wall, had lots of jokes and wild situations, Kelly would leave the book in favor of moving on to DC where he would have a long run on Action Comics, and eventually work on JLA as seen earlier on this list. Deadpool would be taken over by Christopher Priest, and then later others. The book lasted until issue #69.and then relaunch as Agent X and eventually Cable and Deadpool.
31. 301 points - Excalibur (Clarmont) - 11 first place votes
#1 - #34
Eleven people thought this was the best book ever written! While I wouldn't agree with that, I did love this book and it's a big part of why Nightcrawler is one of my favorite characters of all time.
In 1987, Claremont did a special called Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn with artist Alan Davis. The story spun out of both the ongoing X-Men series and the Captain Britain comics by Claremont and Alan Moore. The team consisted of Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Lockheed, Rachel Summers, Captain Britain, and Meggan.
Following the events of the Mutant Massacre storyline, Nightcrawler is injured and can't join the team during the battle that leads to them apparently dying and moving to the Outback. Believing their teammates are dead Shadowcat and Nightcrawler joined the others in a mission to help Captain Britain save the multiverse from alternate dimensions, the nexus of which was a lighthouse. The series saw the team jumping from reality to reality, battling various enemies to the nature of existence and saving not just the people of this world but the people of other realities as well. Alan Davis would leave the book with issue #24, but would return with issue #42 to both write and draw the series.
The most famous storyline is probably the 12 issue Cross Time Caper, which sees the team find the robot Widget that can transport them through time and space. Unfortunately the robot is broken and sends them on a series of adventures through various alternate realities, The stories would feature alternate versions of the heroes, some well known locations from famous stories, marriages, deaths, battles, evil superheroes, good versions of villains, various different versions of Captain Britain, and many other things that were just lots of fun to read.
Later on the series would take on a slightly darker tone for a bit, but then Alan Davis came back and it became as fun as ever, if not more fun than the original run.
30. 333 points Legion of Super-Heroes - (Giffen/Levitz) - 11 first place votes
#285 - #313 Annual #1 - #3
Eleven people think this is the best run of all time! Now that DC finally reprinted their most famous work, I think I should check it out.
Both Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen have had many, many connections to all versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Their paths have converged more than once, but their most famous run is the one that saw them tell one of the most famous stories in comics history. While the run also saw the pair try to deal with other issues for the Legion during their various issues together, their run is most well known because of The Great Darkness Saga.
Someone is stealing various powerful magical artifacts from Earth as well as other planets. The Legion is sent to investigate, but are defeated by powerful being who teleport away and mention a powerful Master. Eventually one of them is captured, It's revealed that this captured being is a clone of one of Shadow Lass's ancestors, the first hero to come from her planet. Meanwhile the other servants release Mordru, probably the most powerful Legion villain the team had faced to that point, who then is defeated like a jobber by the Master and his powers taken. The same fate befalls the Time Trapper, who is found drained of his abilities.
After Dream Girl has a premonition that the servants will try to capture her sister, the White Witch, the Legion heads to her home planet to save her before she can be attacked. During this rescue mission, Invisible Kid sneaks into the teleportation device used by the servants and finds himself on the home world of the Master. Upon arriving the Master is amused by this kid that thinks he can fight him by himself, Invisible Kid's hair gains a white stripe out of shock and he's blasted by a beam that transports him back to the planet the rest of the team was on.
Next after an election that sees Dream Girl made leader of the team, they travel to the Sorcerer's World to battle the Master and his servants and stop them from taking the power of the many powerful magic users that live there. During this battle Mon-El, one of the most powerful Legion members, recognizes the Master and then gets his ass beat just as easily as Mordru and Time Trapper. The Master and the Servants take off, and meanwhile the Legion figures out that the servants were clones of Superman and one of the Guardians of the Universe.
The Legion then finds the Master's home world, defeats the Superman clone when Element Lad creates some Gold Kryptonite (which permanently removes the powers of a Kryptonian) and Timber Wolf kills him, and Wildfire defeats the cloned Guardian. Brainiac 5 realizes where they are, but the Master has left and switches Daxam with his home world, giving the Daxamites the powers of being under a yellow sun, and keeping them under his control. They then reshape Daxam to resemble their Master, the ancient god known as Darkseid.
The Sorcerers of the Sorcerer's World try to make a spell to defeat Darkseid, but instead it just makes a baby magically appear and start aging quickly. The Legion calls all their reserve and active members into the battle, and then call in all their various friends such as the Substitute heroes, the last surviving Kryptonian Dev-Em, and others. These heroes help the Legion battle the army of Daxamites all throughout the United Planets territory. Eventually the baby ages all the way into adulthood and is shown to be Highfather, resurrected and brought into this time line by the spells of the sorcerers. Highfather brings Superboy and Supergirl into the battle. They join the Legionaries attacking Darkseid and Highfather turns the fourth servant into Orion. Orion is killed by Darkseid, Superboy is sent back to the 20th century, but while battling Supergirl and the Legion, Darkseid loses control of the Daxamites who stop attacking innocents and instead go after Darkseid. Realizing he has no hope of beating 3 billion Daxamites, Darkseid admits defeat, curses the Legion to be destroyed from within by a "Great Darkness", and then leaves along with New Apokolips along with him.
The fall out of this event would lead to some major changes to the Legion and the effects would be felt throughout the various Legion titles until they were undone by the Zero Hour event that wiped the previous Legion continuity from existence. Levitz would continue on the book for a few more years, although there was an eventual renumbering, until the Five Year Gap Legion seen earlier on the list. Giffen would return to help with some random issues during that run, and both creators would continue to have connections with the Legion throughout their careers, recently re-teaming for the current Legion series.