Best Comic Writers 22-19



The countdown continues with the next five writers you voted as your all-time favorites (out of approximately 1,023 ballots, with 10 points for first-place votes, 9 points for second-place votes, etc.).

22. JM, DeMatteis – 524 points (5 votes for first place)

Few comic book writers are as dedicated to the inner workings of the human mind as JM DeMatteis. His works consistently explored the inner depths of the human condition, often in ways that didn’t exactly scream as obvious at the time. For example, his most famous work probably deals with the depression and then the manic depression of an old Spider-Man villain, Kraven the Hunter, which had almost become a joke by the time DeMatteis wrote Kraven’s Last Hunt. In it, Spider-Man underestimates Kraven and is nearly killed. Instead, he is buried alive as Kraven takes over as Spider-Man, revealing himself to be (in his mind) a superior Spider-man.

Spider-Man’s eventual escape was another trip through someone’s mind, this time Peter Parker…

Similarly, DeMatteis penned a series of classic stories highlighting Harry Osborn’s slow descent into madness beginning with the Child Within storyline in Spectacular Spider-Manwhere we see how emotionally abused Harry was by his father Norman (a few years later DeMatteis would revisit this idea in a Annual Spider-Man Spectacular where Spider-Man relives Harry and Norman’s childhood). Meanwhile, the fact that Harry knew Peter’s secret identity was used by Harry to torment his best friend… now his enemy.

Things seemed to come to a head in #189…

Likewise, DeMatteis penned a classic Joker story seemingly dealing with killing Batman and then, well, “Going Sane.”

DeMatteis isn’t just concerned with madness, of course. In The shadow of the moon, we are witnessing a wonderful coming-of-age tale. Or in “The Gift” (aka the death of Aunt May), we were treated to one of the best manipulations of death in a superhero comic book you’ll ever see.

That’s not even touching on his wonderful work on Keith Giffen’s quirky superhero stories in Justice League International, where DeMatteis’ dialogue brought characters like Blue Beetle and Booster Gold and Maxwell Lord to life. DeMatteis recently launched a brand new LINE of comics, jokingly called the DeMultiverse!

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21. Denny O’Neil – 608 points (2 votes for first place)

After breaking into Marvel with the help of Roy Thomas (where he got the chance to script the final issues of Steve Ditko’s epic Doctor Strange), Denny O’Neil found himself at DC Comics at the late 1960s and quickly made a real name for himself on Justice League of America, Green Lantern/Green Arrow (where he took the two heroes on a road trip across America to find each other) and, above all, the Batman titles in the early 1970s. While editor Julie Schwartz was already heading for a darker Batman in the late 1960s (including reaching an agreement that Batman was no longer to be drawn by Bob Kane’s studio) , O’Neil really brought it to the fore, especially as he revamped two of Batman’s greatest villains, the Joker…

and Double-sided…

O’Neil also featured Talia and Ra’s Al Ghul in one of the most famous Batman stories of the 1970s (including Batman confronting Ra’s Al Ghul in the desert with his shirt on, seemingly dying after being bitten by a poisonous scorpion , curing the poison and then returning to capture Ra’s and kiss with Talia). O’Neil was Batman’s main writer throughout the 1970s, working with artists like Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Irv Novick, and Bob Brown. O’Neil also introduced another major new character, Doctor Leslie Thompkins.

After a stint at Marvel in the 1980s (including a run on amazing spider man and a prolonged run on Iron Man where he used his own experience with drug addiction to provide a more realistic view of Tony Stark’s alcoholism), O’Neil returned to the Bat-books in the mid-1980s to take over as editor in charge of the comics line. He brought in Frank Miller for the freshman year. O’Neil then guided the Bat universe for approximately the next fifteen years. O’Neil will also still write from time to time. He invented Azrael in a miniseries with Joe Quesada, all part of Knightfall, which was based on O’Neil’s view that they should show people what a real “Grim and gritty” Batman would look like. , and show why that would be a really bad idea. However, after this story was completed, O’Neil decided to try to redeem Azrael, and he did so by writing Azrael’s ongoing series for the entire 100-issue series.

O’Neil retired at the turn of the 21st century, leaving behind a slew of awesome Batman stories and possibly the biggest influence on the character in the last 40 years. He sadly passed away in 2020.

20. Marv Wolfman – 655 points (8 votes for first place)

I think what has always made Marv Wolfman such a compelling writer is the way he lets his characters run his show. His most famous work at Marvel is probably his long run on Tomb of Dracula, and there he was able to write such effective horror stories because he was so good at developing the characters on the show that when bad things happened to them, it would have more of an impact on them. Plus, he’s always been adept at introducing characters quickly and getting you to take care of them – Blade was a cool character from the start, and Hannibal King has one of the best intro issues ever. His work on The Fantastic Four and amazing spider man were a bit more plot driven, but it came down to probably his most famous work, The New Teen Titans, and there it was all about the characters – and what characters! Wolfman and George Perez created such interesting characters in Raven, Cyborg, Starfire (as well as brand new versions of Changeling and Wonder Girl) that decades later they were easily adapted into a hit cartoon series. As much as we read the New Teen Titans to see superhero adventures, we read it to check on our “friends” and see how they were progressing in their lives. That’s what made times like New Teen Titans #39 resonates so much, where Dick Grayson gives up on being Robin…

See how every character has a chance to shine in very little space – it’s Wolfman to a tee. It’s no surprise that the Titans he created have become such popular icons in the teen titans go cartoon, as Wolfman was a master at creating great characters (he even guest-starred on the show with Perez before Perez’s tragic passing)

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19. Roy Thomas – 694 points (3 votes for first place)

While Stan Lee certainly introduced the idea of ​​the Marvel Universe as a shared universe, Roy Thomas honed the idea as he began to take on more and more of Lee’s writing duties before to become editor of Marvel Comics, the first full-length album. -time editor other than Lee for over thirty years at the time. During his time as editor, Thomas played a major role in the creation of Wolverine (Thomas credited character creation details to writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita, but Thomas got the idea from a Canadian mutant named Wolverine). Thomas then helped develop the groundwork for the all-new, all-different X-Men before stepping down as editor.

Few comic book writers are as thoughtful as Thomas, who was (and is) a great student of comic book and pulp history, which led him to seek out the Conan license for Marvel. Once he has managed to acquire the Conan license, Thomas wrote the character for years, including introducing Red Sonja in the title.

Thomas was smart enough to know he wouldn’t own the characters he created for Marvel, so he often used his comic book knowledge to UPDATE old characters rather than creating new ones himself. same. And even WITH that in mind, he STILL created one of the greatest Avengers villains of all time, Ultron (plus the Vision, but the Vision was sort of based on the age-old Marvel hero). gold of the same name). The two-part debut installment of Vision has two of the greatest endings in superhero comic book history. In the first issue, #57, Ultron is defeated and we have a great epilogue page…

While #58, now that Vision has proven himself to be a worthy Avengers addition, we’ll see his reaction to the news…

After stepping down from his role as editor, Thomas continued to work at Marvel throughout the 1970s, even helping to keep the company afloat with his idea to also acquire the star wars license before the film’s release. In 1980, Thomas left Marvel for DC (he was one of the Marvel writers who balked at the “no writer/editors” rule, along with Marv Wolfman) and carved out his own little slice of heaven with the heroes of Earth 2. He eventually introduced Infinity Inc., the next generation of heroes of Earth 2. His knowledge of history was rare when writing the heroes of Earth 2, as he was able to write many stories set during WWII (he also excelled at Marvel on the Invaders, also a WWII series). Thomas also had an acclaimed run on wonder womanas well as with Gene Colan.

Thomas returned to Marvel in the early 1990s, writing strange doctor and Avengers West Coast. He also returned to writing Conan, becoming Marvel’s lead screenwriter. Conan stories roughly until Marvel lost the license in the late 1990s. Nowadays, while he’s still working on the comic (he recently launched the latest volume of Marvel’s X-Men Legends), he also continues his excellent comic book history magazine, alter ego.

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