I need to grade the twenty five stories that are currently floating around in the great debate for Best Story Ever, and while I recognize that it's going to be completely subjective and entirely MY opinion......I'd still like some input from people on what criteria I might use.
Here are some early/easy ones that I'm leaning towards including:
Originality: I know that themes are rehashed constantly and very little is truly original, but when I look at great stories I find things that make them unique. I think I should include some measuring of how creative and different the story is from all the similar ones that have been done. In my mind a book like Sandman would have had this in spades, as it basically redefined/spawned an entire genre for comics, while a book like Kingdom Come would lack some in this area because many of its key aspects had been done before.
Impact: I'm thinking about its impact as a book, and the influence it had over other writers and other series and most importantly readers. Did it change what we look for in comic books, or was it just another nice story? Batman: The Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen would score very highly for this.
Scope: The mirror of Impact, but this time internally. Did the events in this story change the character, the environment or the universe (books beyond this one) in a real and lasting way. Even in self-contained stories (Kick-Ass) we can extrapolate on this. On big brand characters we have to wonder.....will the changes stick? No way to know for sure, but sometimes the indicators are there. Uncanny X-Men #141-142 would score high in this. The scope of that story continues to influence events at Marvel today.
Fun: Right. I said it. Sometimes books aren't awesome in any particular way, but something about reading them is just.....fun. For me, I find Griffin to be a story very much like this. Nothing about it is incredibly original, and it didn't make any real impact on the industry, but the FUN factor has always been there. I just like to read it, and share it with friends.
Synergy: Did the art sync well and add to the story? Sometimes it distracts, and other times it enhances. Starman might represent this better than any other title. The artwork conveys the story on a level almost equivalent to the prose.
So.....what might I be missing? Do I consider the climax? Do great stories simply have to have a WOW moment? That's one idea I'm batting around. Please share. I'd like to define what I'll use and then start looking at those 25 and figure out where everyone stands so I can move on to explore more stories!