Vulture.com does the history of comics -- and not just superheroes -- through a look at the pages. This is its assessment of key pages that influenced artists, writers, and the direction of the medium.

"The 100 Pages That Shaped Comics"

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Some interesting choices there.

Adult content warning.

An excellent overview, but with a lot of detail.

I assumed it would be the most influential pages in terms of art or layout, but instead it was basically "the 100 most important comics books and here's a page from each." Which is OK. But maybe they should re-think the title ...

As Jeff says, there are some interesting choices. I've read most of the books here, and could quibble, but I'm sure everyone's list would vary in this particular or that. Not worth the time. Instead I'll just set aside some time to read all the text -- I liked what I skimmed -- and enjoy immersing myself in my hobby for a bit.

Following up, Vulture has sidebar articles about some of them. Like Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76: "Green Lantern No. 76 Was the Moment Superhero Comics Got Woke"

Also, one page (or, rather, series of pages) that can fairly be said to be most influential in terms of pages or layout -- the sequence in The Dark Knight Returns where the Waynes are shot to death and the pearls break and go spilling to the ground: "How Frank Miller Was Inspired to Build This Amazing Dark Knight Returns Page"

Pretty much just American comics.

Regarding Kingdom Come, I think they glossed over the fact that Superman's retirement and "mourning shield" were a result of the murder of Lois Lane and most of his friends.

Sue at DC Women Kicking Ass made a really good point -- one page that should have been included but wasn't was the page where Kyle Rayner comes home to find his girlfriend Alex killed and stuffed into the refrigerator. That page (and more important, the reaction to it, including Gail Simone's "Women in Refrigerators" page, and the basic concept of "fridging" in general) changed comics, and the culture at large. It should've been there -- which one of the article's authors has already acknowledged on Sue's site. 

The first time I saw a murdered woman in a refrigerator was in the David Cronenberg movie Rabid (1977). In this case it was done by the female quasi-vampire, not by a man. I didn't see that this was any different than the butchering of men and women that is typically seen in horror movies. They weren't recommending such conduct.

Don't get hung up on the fridge itself. The point wasn't that it was recommending that kind of behavior. The point was that it was a glaring example of the killing & otherwise harming female characters simply to motivate male characters, which had long been a pattern in comics. (And lots of other media, too.) The fridge page, and subsequent Women in Refrigerators list, became a flashpoint to examine that lazy storytelling trope that often reduced women to props in male character's stories. 

It's worth it to take a look at the actual Women in Refrigerators site, here: "Women in Refrigerators"

As Wikipedia notes in its entry, Gail Simone coined the term, back before she was a comics professional. The also includes responses from comics creators and fans, some who argue that bad things happen to male characters too. But as the Wikipedia entry notes:

"Women in Refrigerators" 

Discussing the site in his book Dangerous Curves: Action Heroes, Gender, Fetishism and Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University professor Jeffrey A. Brown noted that while male comic book heroes have tended to die heroically and be magically brought back from the dead afterwards, female characters have been likelier to be casually but irreparably wounded or killed, often in a sexualized fashion. To support his claim, he cited the Joker shattering the original Batgirl's spine just for fun, resulting in her being restricted to a wheelchair for over a decade, and the villain Black Mask binding, torturing and killing the first female Robin from DC Universe, Stephanie Brown.

Thanks for finding that site, CK -- I did a brief search and didn't see it. 

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