Hmm, we're sensing a trend here...

Hmm, we’re sensing a trend here… (credit: Kerry Callen)

Update, 1/1/21: It’s New Year’s Day, and Ars staff is still enjoying some necessary downtime to prepare for a new year (and a slew of CES emails, we’re sure). While that happens, we’re resurfacing some vintage Ars stories like this 2014 examination of a classic comic book claim, “The Battle of the Century.” This piece was first published on December 10, 2014, and it appears unchanged below.

Here’s one of those hidden-in-plain-sight industry secrets: headlines sell. Whether it’s cover lines on your favorite magazine, the title of a new novel, or headlines on Ars and elsewhere, good display text should draw readers in and spell out what’s coming.

When it comes to headlines and 20th century comic books, there’s one phrase that keeps popping up. Several books—not, one, not two, not three—boldly claim the title of “The Battle of the Century” on their covers. But since that 100 years is now behind us, we can look back to decide which truly was the Battle of the Century (and possibly call everyone else a liar).

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