Each Tuesday, the NBC Staff will comprise a Top Ten list for whatever the topic is for that week.  In the comments section, we can all compare the lists to see if there were any patterns. Also, feel free to post your own top ten lists. Today we tackle the many relaunches and reboots of comic-books.

Top Ten Comic Book Reboots!

10. Captain America

Captain America never connected with me before I read Ed Brubaker’s take on him. Finally, he was a compelling character. Also, Brubaker brought back Bucky, which, in and of itself, is probably one of the biggest ret-cons ever .

9. Justice League International (1987)

Take a long-established team, shake up the rooster, give them a new UN affiliation and, most distinctively, a goofy, humor laced tone. My first League and I miss it still .



Didn’t see this coming did you? Moore couldn’t use the Charltan characters he wanted for the book, so he and Dave Gibbons just gave them new names and costumes. But we still know Blue Beetle and Question when we see them…

7. Daredevil #168

This is the raw pure Miller of the 1980’s filtered through what was a throwaway hero in the Marvel universe. Miller negated any kind of fantasy elements to give a portrait of New York City pre Giuliani’s Disneyfication mixed with his own love for Japanese culture. It is a dark, dirty and haunting portrait of a good man at the center of a city in decay

6. Uncanny X-Men (1975)


Claremont and his many high level artistic collaborators like David Cockrum, John Byrne, Jim Lee and Marc Silvestri took this canceled series and made it the most consistent comic both creatively and sales wise at Marvel for almost two decades by giving the X-Men what evolved into an almost separate universe from the 616 and no matter what kind of fuckery may have been happening behind the scenes at the house of ideas this series almost always delivered 

5. Batman: Year One

Before the Burton movies, the Bruce Timm cartoon series, the Nolan reboots or the pop culture domination Frank Miller and Mazzucchelli’s Year One became the modern framework for Batman that all adaptions of the character would be filtered through going forward for years to come. Year One was a new Batman that was urban, intellectually brilliant and forever in a struggle with his dark past while stalking the seedy Gotham underworld in the hope of saving another child from the burden he was forced to bear after the death of his parents.

4. Grant Morrison’s Animal Man (1988)

 It takes a special kind of talent to take a virtually unknown, run-of-the-mill character and turn him into an absolute fan-favorite. Grant Morrison is absolutely talent enough, and he accomplishes just that. Setting heavy precedence for the eventual Vertigo imprint, Morrison crafts a grand epic that traverses many different genres of fiction. From early adventure romps to twisty sci-fi stories and eventually metaphysical tales that break—nay, shatter the fourth wall, this is a title that is difficult to put down and even harder to forget. 

3. JLA (1997)

Back in the 90’s, the JLA moniker was a joke; Justice League, Justice League of America, Justice League of Europe, Justice League International, Justice League Task Force, and (of course) EXTREME Justice were only a handful of JL branded titles that plagued the grunge-era. It seemed that all was lost… But, wait! Here comes Grant Morrison to the rescue! {Cue John William’s Superman Theme} Morrison and Howard Porter came at the close of the century to resurrect an ailing title and turn it into an over-night bestseller. It is my personal favorite incarnation of the group, and is worth anyone’s time! 

2. Saga of the Swamp Thing

When I was first recommended this series, I wasn’t too sure about it. Sure, I’d read it (It’s MOORE) but I didn’t really see myself falling into it. I sure as hell didn’t see it changing my life the way that it did! So, it’s late at night and I’d just got off of my part-time job. As I lay in bed, I figured I’d give it a look-over. It was 10pm. I had just finished that first trade. I was tired physically and mentally, but I knew that couldn’t stop me from going out and finding the other collections! (I couldn’t, by the way. Everything was closed)“Anatomy Lessons” That is the name of the issue that begins the beautiful, intelligent, and haunting run of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing; an issue that will forever be cemented in my mind, as I’m sure it is for those who read I the first time in 1984. While Swamp Thing was never un-popular, Moore (along with artist collaborators Stephen Bissette and Rick Veitch) made him into a must-read character. Right from the first issue, Moore drops a total mind-fuck for the reader in a way that didn’t feel forced or gimmicky, but very organic (see what I did there?) and may have just as well been planned by the original creator. The series follows a mopey (but lovable) Swamp Thing as he fights his way through old rivals, social horrors, Anti-Monitors, and even the bowels of Hell! Now go start it for yourself… I’ll time you… See how long until you’re hooked.

1. Crisis On Infinite Earths

Throughout the Silver Age of comics, DC experimented with pairing up its multiple earths for some crazy, high-flying adventures. You had Crisis on Two Earths, Crisis on Earth Three, etc… In 1985, however, DC took a bold move and decided to condense its over-bloated universe into just one earth in its first-ever maxi-series. And who better to pen it than the match-made-in-heaven team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez? This stunning work was the first reboot on a grand-scale and is by far the best, in my opinion!


32 thoughts on “TUESDAYS TOP TEN! Comic Book Reboots! [UPDATED]”

      1. Cool. I like the format like this, like Sitara119 said below it was a lot to scroll through before, so this is much better! Also this is a pretty solid top 10 list, think my list would be pretty much the same though the order might change slightly.

  1. I think there might be too many cooks in the kitchen here, fellas. There’s a lot to scroll through and by the time I reach the comments section, I can’t remember who put what where and if I should attempt to debate 1 or all of you(the latter sounds exhausting) and I certainly don’t want to play favorites. 😉
    Perhaps you might consider a daily top ten with one staff member at a time spearheading a single argument.
    Don’t hate me, just constructive criticism from a faithful anonymous. 🙂

    1. Thanks Sitara. You may have a point. I think compiling our Lists into ONE list is the way to go.

      It’s a learning process, hang in there with us dude. We’ll get it together! 😉

  2. Bought up all of Brubaker’s Cap a few weeks ago. Haven’t read any yet but it just got bumped up the reading list. I’m a big X-men fan so I would have Uncanny X-men top five but I can live with it at 6, any lower and I was outta here! Just looking at the year one cover makes me wanna go read it again. I haven’t read any Morrison Animal Man, I know, I know I’m an idiot. I think I actually had all of it in my amazon cart one time but I ended up getting something else. Swamp Thing of course! We not only get a reboot we get a fresh take on the character that still has his own book today because of it. I agree that the “total mind fuck” issue is definitely burned in my memory.
    Anyways in conclusion great list!

    1. Cap’s first 25 issues of that series is probably in my personal top ten for all time greatest comic runs or however you would classify it.

  3. That Brubaker run is legendary now. Great run. Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run is sitting in a box here, I’ll get to it eventually.

    1. ok man, you need to stop reading this comment, turn off your computer, shut the drapes, unplug the phone and start reading Moore’s Swamp Thing run NOW! 😉

      Seriously though, it is must read material

  4. A couple of favourite’s above (Crisis, Animal Man, JLI, X-Men). Sorry to see that Morrison’s Doom Patrol didn’t make the final combined cut though.

    OK. I’ll take the challenge (not that there really was one). Here’s my top ten. I’ll try to be as brief as possible.

    1. Marvel Super-Heroes #377.

    When Marvel UK gave up on Captain Britain’s solo series he spent a couple of years playing second fiddle to Spider-Man and the Black Knight. But with this issue Captain Britain was back. New Art, New Stories, New Costume, and Alan Davis! Then after a few months (and some behind the scenes problems) along came Alan Moore. This was the start of Captain Britain cementing himself as my #1 all time favourite character.

    2. Excalibur #42

    I mourned the loss of Captain Britain’s solo monthly adventures from Marvel UK but at least Excalibur launched with Davis art. But Claremont is no Alan Davis and when Alan departed the book after a couple of years the title instantly sucked. Thankfully with his return (this time on art and script duties) Excalibur shot back up to the top of the heap. Alan Davis is the only creator that gets Captain Britain and understands that it’s not just about Brian Braddock but the secondary characters, situations and tone that make Captain Britain unique.

    3. Giant Size X-Men #1/X-Men #94.

    This needs no explaining…

    4. DC Comics Presents #26/New Teen Titans #1

    And neither does this…

    5. Marvel Premiere #47

    Scott Lang becomes the new Ant-Man thanks to David Michelline, John Bryne and Bob Layton. Sadly it didn’t lead to a regular series but Scott popped up semi-regularly in Iron Man and The Avengers shortly after.

    6. Doctor Strange #48.

    Beginning a new era of greatness! Says the cover blurb, and how right they were. Great scripts from Roger Stern with gorgeous artwork from Marshall Rogers & Terry Austin, Michael Golden and Paul Smith doing the best work of his career. This run is right up there with the best of Ditko’s.

    7. Shazam #35

    Technically the reboot started in the previous issue but #35 is when Don Newton (inked by Kurt Schaffenberger) takes on art duties for Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family’s adventures. Even though this is the final issue of the run Cap jumps into World’s Finest with issue #253. This may seem crude by today’s standards but this is “my” Captain Marvel.

    8. Booster Gold #1 (2007)

    A return (?) to greatness for Booster Gold. Guided by Geoff Johns with art by creator Dan Jurgens this was a great series that even managed to get in appearances by the one true Blue Beetle, Ted Kord!

    9. Avengers #1 (1998)

    After the disaster that was Heroes Reborn Marvel took back The Avengers and brought A List talent to start this new series off right. Kurt Busiek aided by George Perez, followed by Alan Davis. Take note Hickman, this is how The Avengers should be done.

    10. Captain Marvel #0/1 (1999/2000)

    After getting off to a pretty poor start Genis-Vell/Legacy/Captain Marvel got a make over in Avengers Forever but it was this wonderfully fun series from Peter David that really took the ball and ran with it. Great series.

    1. Giant size Xmen #1 was the first “expensive” back issue that I bought sometime in the early 90’s. It’s cover was detachable and it had huge chips missing from the cover and lots of tape, ha. I think it cost me like $30.00 dollars US at the time. I was thrilled, ha.

  5. Yeah, I did read that MI13 book and I know a lot of people really liked it, but it never clicked for me. It always seemed to me that Cornell was more interested in the secondary characters and only included Captain Britain because he had too. And then there was that terrible costume change and having Captain Britain’s powers linked to his confidence nonsense…

    Although far from perfect I think Rick Remender did a lot more for Captain Britain in the short time he was in Secret Avengers and the four part Uncanny X-Force story he guest starred in.

    1. Remenders run on Secret Avengers was one of the most underrated run in comics of the last couple years. Especially when Matteo Scallera hopped on the book after AVX tie in issues.

      1. Yeah, best Avengers team to come along in a good long time. Three of my all time favourites, Captain Britain, Ant-Man and Giant-Man, along with the original Human Torch. It couldn’t last.

        1. You have no idea how sad I was to see that go. Was my favorite Avengers book of the pre marvel now era since Bendis started New Avengers.

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