Welcome back to another Weird Science Top 5 Friday! Now that we got all the Batman v Superman Top 5 lists out of our systems, we can go back to normal. Recently I've been thinking about all the stories I've read in both new and old continuities, like the bland Darkseid War or the boring Flashpoint. What happened to the good stories? Well, today I'll be counting down the Top 5 stories of all time! As per usual these are my choices so if you don't see one of yours, I apologize. Now with that in mind and no restraint on SPOILERS, let's begin!
5: Darkseid War: Superman
Man, I love this issue as much as Superman loves pie! I thought Darkseid War was very run of the mill and boring, but then the Justice Gods one-shots were released. Despite the lazy Batman and uninspired Green Lantern, the Superman issue shines through by showing the most important quality of Superman: his sense of strength! When Superman returns to earth after falling into a fire pit on Apokolips he's more powerful than ever, with a personality to match. He's a god, not just now, but he always has been. As such he shouldn't need to worry about flying to aid Jimmy Olsen just because he clicked his watch. Maybe he wants to sit and enjoy his pie, which is just HILARIOUS! It's a story that can be considered quintessential in Superman lore.
4: Superman: Truth/ Savage Dawn
While we're talking about Superman, I thought the idea of a powerless Superman was the most stupid idea ever. Superman is defined by his powers! He's SUPERman, not REGULARman. That being said when Truth came out... It really turned me around. I saw the world that needed Superman badly as Superman tried to not only regain his powers in fantastic ways but also still find time to join a mythological fight ring. We have such excellent villains as Wraith, Ukar, but most importantly, the amazing, and near unbeatable Hodr_Root. Clearly if a man can't beat the god of strength, a machine has to put up the best chance. If that wasn't awesome enough, when Savage Dawn kicks up, we have Vandal Savage, shedding the lame Hannibal Lecter-like personality that we've seen in Demon Knights for the brutal dictator he should have been. The Superman teams took a dumb concept and made it into a defining chapter in Superman's life.
3: Batman Europa
Batman teaming up with the Joker.... Do I need to explain how amazing the very concept is? We have 2 halves of the same coin traveling across Europe trying to cure a disease that plagues them. It's one part adventure, one part mystery, and surprisingly one part vacation. See rather than jump right into the one-sided partnership that is Batman and Joker, the first few pages in Europe goes through important landmarks and the history of the city they are at. That's exactly what you want in a Batman comic, as well as the Dark Knight pulling all the physical weight while Joker makes witty remarks to their situation. To top it all off, the mystery is so complicated with such a brilliant villain that the writers expect you to figure it out with ease with no clues. What can I say? This story is Magnifique!
2: Earth 2: World's End
You know what people loved about Volumes 3-5 of Earth 2? No, not reimagined Justice Society characters. No, not character development of characters like Val-Zod and Jay Garrick... They loved the WAR! So when Daniel H. Wilson kicked it up to 11 when he brought Apokolips to Earth 2's doorstep. In 26 issues, the world of Earth 2 was dragged through the mud of battle. It created new villains such as the furies, new heroes like Obsidian and Jonni Thunder, then killed them as well as heroes that have been around since the first volume like Commander Khan, Al Pratt, and Superman for the third time. Earth 2 doesn't even win the war! Despite destroying the Parademon factories in the fire pits, despite defeating the furies, despite punching Darkseid out, Apokolips swallows the planet. Why? Because this wasn't a superhero book, this was a war book, and there can't be any hope left during a war.
1: The Dark Knight Strikes Again
Let's look back 30 years ago. Frank Miller created a legendary version of Batman, perfect for a darkening world that would accept his brutal way of fighting crime. It was a masterpiece that balanced real world politics with superhero escapism. Jump ahead nearly 20 years later, Miller brings us back to that world, which has grown darker, both in art and tone. Batman has become even more brutal, going as far as killing those standing in his way. Superman is made even more of a puppet in this chapter, under Lex Luthor's thumb, and now has Shazam and Wonder Woman(now his lover) as his allies. This leads to a confrontation years in the making, something that puts Batman vs. Superman to shame: Dick Grayson vs. Batman. That's right! The symbol of hope in the Bat Family has been twisted into what he should have been all along. Don't even get me started on the references to the political climate because they make the whole story uncanny with how close it looks like to real life. It's the ultimate Batman story and the best story I've ever read.
Oh, there is one last thing...
Did you really think the Dark Knight Strikes Again was gonna be on the top of a best stories list?!
Seriously folks, there are some good things on this list, like the art in Europa or some of the adventures in Truth, but in reality, these are the Top 5 Stories that I was disappointed with.
Seeya next week with a real Top 5!