1. - Marvel Comics - Civil War
Yes, they did.
In this one storyline, we saw Spider-Man unmasking publicly. We saw the return of the Punisher to the regular Marvel Universe. We saw "Thor" kill Giant Man, only to later be revealed as a clone. We saw Captain America turn on Iron Man, and we were loving every page of it. Though the ending was really a little anticlimactic, the story kept to a steady pace and the outcome paved the way for the Secret Invasion later.
2. - DC - Infinite Crisis
I didn't like how Alexander Luthor and Superboy Prime were turned into bad guys at the end (I feel that was a cheap shot), but I liked this series for the most part.
By the way, find the one huge mistake they made on the poster for this one. It's fairly easy to spot, though the folks at DC never picked up on it for some reason. Did you see it? Explain why Jay Garrick, the golden-age Flash, would be fighting Wally West, the current Flash. It was supposed to be Jay versus Professor Zoom, but apparently the colorist didn't catch the memo.
DC had originally planned to kill Nightwing in this story, but fortunately they rethought that one. That left the character wide open to take part in our next winner...
3. - DC - Battle for the Cowl
Dick Grayson, the natural successor to the cowl, didn't want it (for reasons that became apparent later in the title), while everyone else did. Jason Todd steps in as a Batman you should seriously be afraid of, and in the end Dick Grayon's eventual acceptance of the mantle of Batman made perfect sense. The end result was the same as if you'd just had him take it, but the ride made the moment much more poignant.
4. - DC - Identity Crisis
This series has made three different lists in this blog based on some of the moments in it, so it stands to reason it would find its way here. This wasn't a comic book story...it was a full-fledged mystery that showed how ugly it can be to be a superhero sometimes.
Oh, it went too far in places. Sue Dibny's rape at the hands of Doctor Light was way over the edge and unnecessary, even though it was the catalyst for Elongated Man's determined attack on him. But this was a solid enough story to keep it interesting until the end. I never saw the end coming.
5. - DC - Green Lantern: Rebirth
Some of the explanations were a little strange (like why Hal had gray hair at his temples), but for the most part we saw some incredible stuff from beginning to end.
The thing that set this story apart was how they were able to bring Hal back into the regular DC universe without killing Kyle or anyone else. And in the aftermath of this series we saw him confronting Batman (and decking him).
This will be released in an Absolute Edition early in 2010. If you haven't read it already, get that one on order.
BONUS: DC - Justice
This one didn't make the list because it's on another list I have coming up reviewing the "0*'s", but I had to mention it here.
What's there to like about this? Let's see...Alex Ross does all the interior and exterior work, the Justice League get the biggest smackdown to their abilities ever, Aquaman gets brutally attacked but gets his revenge, and the list goes on and on. This story took an incredibly original look at the Justice League while managing to pay homage to the old "Challenge of the Super Friends" cartoon series by giving us the Legion of Doom (plus some). It looked absolutely hopeless for our heroes until they were finally able to slowly turn the tide.
The "Absolute" edition of this is a must-have. The artwork looks even more amazing in this bigger, more-colorful size. The price may be a little steep, but it's definitely work the investment.
Honorable Mention: Blackest Night
While it technically began in the "oughts", it won't finish until 2010. That means it'll be making our list on December 22, 2019, so be sure and check us out then!
Next week, we continue our look back on the first decade!