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Superman theme threads through top DC Comics

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The past year was an adventurous one for DC Comics fans. Here are my picks for the top 10 DC Comics issued in 2001:

1. "The Dark Knight Strikes Again." Set a few years after the 1986 "Dark Knight" series ended, the offering is packed with surprising plots and futuristic twists.

2. Superman No. 167 — "Return to Krypton." Even if Kal-El didn't return to his planet of birth but instead visited a parallel universe, this tale offered a new spin on the most-often told Superman story.

3. Action No. 782 — "The End." This near-finale to the "Worlds at War" crossover series had Superman plunging into the heart of the sun to get enough power to stop Warworld.

4. "Superboy's Legion" No. 2. This "Elseworld" story focused on a full-powered Superboy growing up in the 30th century. It included the Fatal 5 and Lex Luthor as villains.

5. Superman Man of Steel No. 118 — "War Crimes and Punishment." Superman is put on trial in front of Highfather, Shazam, Zeus and others for stopping the Worlds at War.

6. JLA Act of God No. 3. Conclusion to a tale of the Justice Leaguers and all super-heroes and villains losing their powers.

7. JLA vs. Predator — A group of predators finds a way to nearly match the powers of the JLA and fight them, one-on-one.

8. JLA Gatekeeper No. 2 — A three-part story of the Justice League struggling in a magical world where ancient evils sprang forth and are ready to erupt again.

9. Superman 176 — "Beware of Super Dog." Superman's not pleased as Krypto bites the villain Mongul.

10. JLA No. 60 — "Twas the Fight Before Christmas." An off-beat holiday saga with a Santa who has super powers.

Best comics Web site — Want to know what comics are shipping to stores and when? Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. www.diamondcomics.com is the place to go.

Worst DC Comics of the year — The "Haven" series, the "Power Company" series and "Supergirl Wings."

E-MAIL: lynn@desnews.com