Cosmic Madness 2018

Cosmic Madness 2018 Sweet 16 : All Regions!


Welcome to the Sweet 16 round of Cosmic Madness!

The first round of voting saw some absolute demolition from the heavy hitters, with victories by all the favorites, including Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, not surprisingly. Of course, now those two have to face EACH OTHER in the premiere match-up of this round!

There were also some pretty close contests, too: Kill or Be Killed barely eked out a win over Luther Strode, which surprised the heck out of us! (And also busted a few brackets.) We also wanted to give a shout out to Daredevil: Born Again, which saw a groundswell of social media support but was ultimately overcome by Planet Hulk!

Going forward, we have combined all regions onto one page for easier Sweet 16 voting... you're welcome! All you have to do is pick which titles you want to win in each contest. The Sweet 16 round of voting will go from March 18-21, with the Elite 8 round kicking off on March 22. 

All the info you need, including the complete bracket and info about the contest, is available at Cosmic Madness HQ! Now GET TO VOTING!


Written and illustrated by Frank Miller


Ten years after an aging Batman retired, Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness. Now, when his city needs him most, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of glory. Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenaged Robin, Batman takes to the streets to end the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city. And after facing off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face, for the final time, Batman finds himself in mortal combat with his former ally, Superman.

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: I mean. What can you say about the Dark Knight? Everyone should know this one. Originally published as a prestige format four issue mini-series back in 1986. It owns a special place in comic book history. For good or bad, Frank Miller really took Batman to a deeper darker place and the comic book industry has never been the same since. And if we were doing an ACTUAL greatest comic of all time tournament, The Dark Knight Returns might have very well been a #1 seed. 




Written by Alan Moore
Illustrated by Dave Gibbons

It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane or has he in fact uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover will shock them to their very core and change the face of the planet! Following two generations of masked superheroes from the close of World War II to the icy shadow of the Cold War comes this groundbreaking comic story - the story of The Watchmen.

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: Watchmen has to be the early favorite of the tournament. Much like Frank Miller's Dark Knight re-imagined Batman, The Watchmen re-imagined the comic industry as a whole. There is a reason why this is the only book that does not feel the need to even put a title on the cover of their trade paperback and even thirty years later we are still getting a sequel (Doomsday Clock) and that is amazing too.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen?
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
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Written by Jeph Loeb
Illustrated by Jim Lee

In this story of murder, mystery and romance, Batman sets out on a simple mission to discover the identity of the mysterious villain wreaking havoc in his life known as Hush. But Batman ends up facing possibly the most intense case of his life as secrets from his past flood into the present, and the most notorious villains to ever haunt Gotham City's street attack simultaneously!

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: Hush came out in 2002 and was originally published in Batman #608-619. It is one of DC’s all time favorites. They have published in a trade, in a hc, in an absolute edition, in a 15th anniversary edition, in a noir edition, needless to say they like it alot. And so do we. Basically, Batman sets out on a simple mission to discover the identity of the mysterious new villain wreaking havoc in his life known as Hush. And then things get crazy. Featuring some gorgeous art by Jim Lee and virtually every Batman character in it. Catwoman, Poision Ivy. Riddler, and Harley Quinn to name just few. On a side note it does end with a little Catwoman/Batman romance, and 15 years later our wedding invitation is in the mail!




Written by Geoff Johns
Illustrated by Andy Kubert

This is Flash Fact: When Barry Allen wakes at his desk, he discovers the world has changed. Family is alive, loved ones are strangers, and close friends are different, gone or worse. It's a world on the brink of a cataclysmic war - but where are Earth's Greatest Heroes to stop it? 
It's a place where America's last hope is Cyborg, who hopes to gather the forces of The Outsider, The Secret 7, SHAZAM!, Citizen Cold and other new and familiar-yet-altered faces! It's a world that could be running out of time, if The Flash can't find the villain who altered the time line!

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: Flashpoint had to be on the list. Especially if you are reading new DC comics. The entirety of the New 52 can be traced back to the events of Flashpoint and the consequences are still being felt in today's books. The Button dealt with Flashpoint. Doomsday Clock has to address Flashpoint at some time. It’s that important. Published in 2011 right before the new 52 started, it integrated both the Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm universe into the DC proper universe. It’s how you get a Hellblazer book. It’s how you get a Swamp Thing book. Alternate history, Alternate world, until the end, until it matters, then everything matters. And it is just a great story. Aquaman at his best, Wonder Woman is awesome in it. They fight a huge war that decimates western Europe! All while Flash is running around trying to fix the time line.


Batman: Hush or Flashpoint?
Batman: Hush
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Written by Greg Pak
Illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan, Aaron Lopresti

A whole new world of hurt! Betrayed by Earth's heroes and exiled into outer space, the man-monster Hulk has landed on the distant planet Sakaar, ruled by the tyrannical Red King. Sold into slavery, Hulk becomes the Green Scar, the planet's mightiest gladiator - but his new masters get more than they bargained for when he forges a bond of brotherhood with his fellow fighters: crafty insectoid Miek, the horrific Brood, wise rock-man Korg, shadow warrior Hiroim, noble-born rebel Elloe and her loyal guardsman Skee. Together, these gladiators start a revolution that could change their entire world - or destroy it. It's savage sci-fi fantasy by award-winning writer Greg Pak, guest-starring the Silver Surfer!

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: Hey, if your friends shot you into deep space and left you for dead, you’d be mad too! Planet Hulk originally appeared in INCREDIBLE HULK issues #92-105 in 2006. It all started when the Illuminati shot Hulk into space in an attempt to ease their own problems. Of course, The Hulk lands on a savage alien planet, with barbarian tribes, a corrupt emperor and deadly woman warriors! Let the smashing begin! And Hulk smashes his way all the way to the top, hence the name Planet Hulk.




Written by Mark Millar
Illustrated by Steve McNiven

The landscape of the Marvel Universe is changing, and it's time to choose: Whose side are you on? A conflict has been brewing for more than a year, threatening to pit friend against friend, brother against brother - and all it will take is a single misstep to cost thousands their lives and ignite the fuse! As the war claims its first victims, no one is safe as teams, friendships and families begin to fall apart. The crossover that rewrites the rules, CIVIL WAR stars Spider-Man, the New Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the entirety of the Marvel pantheon!

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: Want to know where the modern Marvel universe starts? I say right here. Civil war was a 7 issue mini-series published in 2006 and was really the first big huge annual event that Marvel did. Tons of crossovers. Tons of titles. Tons of characters. It was big and it set the stage for all the Marvel annual events to come. Sides were chosen. Battles where fought. And the Marvel Universe was never the same. Whose side are you on? 


Planet Hulk or Civil War?
Planet Hulk
Civil War
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secret wars.jpg

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Illustrated by Esad Ribic

The Marvel Universe is no more! The interdimensional Incursions have eliminated each and every alternate universe one by one. And now - despite the best efforts of scientists, sages and superhumans - the Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe have collided...and been destroyed! All that exists in the vast empty cosmos is a single, titanic patchwork planet made of the fragmented remains of hundreds of devastated dimensions: Battleworld! And the survivors of this multiversal catastrophe all bend their knee to Battleworld's master: Doctor Doom! What strange creatures inhabit this world? Which familiar faces will return? And what happens when Battleworld's domains go to war? The Marvel Universe is dead - and the victors of the Secret Wars will determine what comes next!

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: If Civil War is the start of the Modern Marvel universe, then Secret Wars is its end. Interdimensional Incursions have eliminated each and every alternate universe one by one. The Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe have collided...and been destroyed! All that remains in the vast empty cosmos is a single, planet made of the fragmented remains of hundreds of devastated dimensions all ruled by Doctor Doom! An absolutely fantastic comic and concept that brought back many old series. Old Man Logan. X-Men Inferno. Siege. Marvel Zombies. In a tournament that aims to combine some of the best stories ever told, how can you not vote for the title that did it all by itself?




Written by Mark Millar
Illustrated by Steve McNiven

Millar. McNiven. Wolverine. It doesn't get any better than this. The only way writer Mark Millar (Wanted, Kick-Ass) could top his all-time classic Wolverine tale "Enemy of the State" was to take it to the future -his Civil War brother in arms, Steve McNiven, handling the art duties! Fusing the dystopian super-hero elements of the X-Men's "Days of Future Past," the wild and wooly futurescapes of Mad Max, and the tragic pathos of Clint Eastwood's archetypal Western heroes, Millar's tale finds Wolverine at a crossroads with who he really wants to be and who he really is.

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: It’s a Mark Millar book. It’s a Steve McNiven book. They also teamed up on Civil war which we already talked about.  It features a Venom Dinosaur! Yes a Venom Dinosaur. Coolest Venom ever. But most importantly it features a Wolverine more badass (if that's even possible) than the Wolverine that Marvel fans had grown to love! 


Secret Wars or Old Man Logan?
Secret Wars
Old Man Logan
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Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrated by Fiona Staples

From New York Times bestselling writer BRIAN K.VAUGHAN (Y: THE LAST MAN, EX MACHINA) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (MYSTERY SOCIETY, NORTH 40), SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds.  When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.  Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults.

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: Well what do we have here? Saga. The poster child of Image comics? The poster child of Indy comics? The comic that every comic retailer in the country will tell you how many zillions of copies they’ve sold? Saga is the comic that every other non marvel non dc book is compared to. Read it and find out why.




Written by Ed Brubaker
Illustrated by Sean Phillips 

The darkly twisted story of a young man forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret as it slowly begins to ruin his life and the lives of his friends and loved ones. Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, KILL OR BE KILLED is unlike anything this award-winning team has done before.

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: We’ve been calling it the best new book of the last year or two. Ed Brubaker and team mate is Sean Phillips are at the tops of their games. We love all their stuff but Kill or be Killed may be their best and we’re not even close to finished yet.


Saga or Kill or Be Killed?
Kill or Be Killed
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Written by Robert Kirkman
Illustrated by Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. Rick Grimes is not prepared for this. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family he must now sort through the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son.

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: What to say about Walking Dead. It's only the most important indy comic of the past decade. It won best book of the week and the month many times. Never forget the night (spoiler from 10 years ago) Carl got shot in the eye. Walking dead just lulls you right along and then really cool stuff happens. Haven't read it? Then what are you waiting for? 




Written by A. J. Lieberman
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo

It started with Dr. Sebastian Ghislain-rogue psychotherapist / covert op / DJ. Tasked with creating a counterintelligence unit, he turned to those long thought useless to society: patients with multiple personality disorder. These agents became known simply as Triplets. Misguided? Yeah. Impractical? Sure. But did it work? Absolutely not! Now someone has located each Triplet and created a band of ridiculously disturbed but highly effective assassins. Our only hope? A Triplet known as Cowboy Ninja Viking. We are so screwed!

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: There is no book like Cowboy Ninja Viking because there is no one crazy enough to try it. Writing three characters in the mind of a fourth while he fights against others with the same syndrome is insane. Yet somehow though they made it work and now it's one of the greatest comics ever. We can't wait to see if they can see if they can pull off the movie. 


The Walking Dead or Cowboy Ninja Viking?
The Walking Dead
Cowboy Ninja Viking
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Written by Alan Moore
Illustrated by Eddie Campbell

From Hell is the story of Jack the Ripper, perhaps the most infamous man in the annals of murder. Detailing the events leading up to the Whitechapel killings and the cover-up that followed, From Hell is a meditation on the mind of a madman whose savagery and violence gave birth to the 20th century. The serialized story, presented in its entirety in this volume, has garnered widespread attention from critics and scholars and has been adapted into a major motion picture. 

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: Another Alan Moore book and perhaps the biggest book in the tournament. Often regarded as one of the most significant graphic novels ever published, From Hell combines meticulous research with educated speculation, resulting in a masterpiece of historical fiction both compelling and terrifying. 




Written by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Sam Kieth & Various

A wizard attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Fearful for his safety, the wizard kept him imprisoned in a glass bottle for decades. After his escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On the way, Morpheus encounters Lucifer and demons from Hell, the Justice League, and John Constantine, the Hellblazer. This book also includes the story "The Sound of Her Wings" which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl, Death. 

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: Neil Gaimans claim to fame. The critically acclaimed series ran for 75 issues and ended in 1996. While there are threads that tie everything together, iit all takes place in the same universe and there are multiple stories involving different characters throughout the series. There 10 trade paperbacks and at least that many different stories. That makes Sandman unique in our tournament. 


From Hell or Sandman?
From Hell
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Written by Mark Millar
Illustrated by John Romita Jr

Have you ever really wanted to be a super hero? No, I mean really wanted to? Dave Lizewski has - and he's not willing to let it stop with simple daydreams. Designing a suit for himself and taking the name "Kick-Ass," Dave decides to make his dreary existence more exciting - and maybe even help some people in the process. But with no special powers and outmatched by New York City's most hardened criminals, Kick-Ass might be in for a little more than he bargained for.

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: One of the best new looks at the Superhero genre and Mark Millar's claim to fame. You've seen the movie and hopefully you're reading the new series that just came out. Realiscally though Kick-Ass should win because it introduced the world to HIT GIRL!




Written by Garth Ennis
Illustrated by Steve Dillon

After merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Texan preacher Jesse Custer has become completely disillusioned with the beliefs to which he had dedicated his entire life. Now possessing the power of "the word," an ability to make people do whatever he utters, Custer begins a violent and riotous journey across the country. Joined by his gun-toting girlfriend Tulip and the hard-drinking Irish vampire Cassidy, Custer loses faith in both God and man as he witnesses dark atrocities and improbable calamities during his exploration of America.

WHY IT SHOULD WIN: You’ve never read anything else quite like Preacher. It spits in the face of what some people might find appropriate but that just might be why it should win. Remember all the best comics showcase something you've never seen before. In fact just about every book in our tournament can make that claim and Preacher goes further than any of them!  


Kick-Ass or Preacher?
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Andy Bridges