8. The Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller
Published by DC Comics
I bet you really expected to see this one even closer to the coveted number one spot, didn't you? Well, I don't blame you. This book certainly changed the face of comics for the foreseeable future. Grim and gritty became the fashion. Anti-hero became the norm. Noble and heroic became willing to get your hands bloody and dirty to get the right thing done, no matter how wrong you have to be to make that happen.
And it put a certain Frank Miller so firmly on the map that not even his current (let's just call them) shortcoming of innate humanity can blemish that bit of the historical record in comics-dom.
I think for me this one would be higher up on this list if it just didn't feel so dated now. The dark and gritty Batman has been the norm for so long that Returns just doesn't pack the same punch anymore. Sadly, instead of becoming the timeless story it should have been, it became the generic model for Batman ever since its publication.