The countdown continues! Here are the next four comic book writers you voted as your all-time favorites (out of approximately 1,023 votes cast, with 10 points for first-place votes, 9 points for second-place votes, etc.).
26. Jim Starlin – 439 points (7 votes for first place)
Jim Starlin had already established himself as a formidable cosmic writer with his work on Captain Marvelbut its run on warlock (spanning FOUR different titles) really cemented that reputation, with its back-to-back classic arcs, The Magus Saga, and then whatever you call the story with Thanos.
Starlin had Adam Warlock face off against an evil religious empire, as well as Magus, his evil future self, not to mention Thanos, who is, as you know, a villain who kinda likes him. Warlock and Thanos have teamed up to fight Magus…
Starlin also featured a few notable supporting characters, with Pip the troll and Gamora, the “deadliest woman in the universe”.
Starlin eventually had to use other comics to complete her story, with the two Annuals ending with everyone dying.
Starlin quit superhero comics to go on a long run on the sci-fi epic Dreadstar. He then made a passage on Batman for DC where he came up with the KGBeast, the Cult miniseries and wrote the story where Jason Todd was killed.
Starlin will later bring all of his Warlock characters to life for new stories at Marvel, including the classic crossover storyline, The Infinity Gauntlet, which would lead to a number of other crossovers over the years. He has retconned his creation Thanos on a series of stories in recent years, including a few graphic novels (working primarily with artist Alan Davis). More recently he returned to Dreadstar for a new graphic novel in 2021.
25. Scott Snyder – 451 points (3 votes for first place)
Scott Snyder is currently working on a number of popular creator-owned series including Dark Spaces: Wildfire #1–5 for IDW, Night of the Ghoul for Dark Horse, and many more along the way.
This came after a series of major writings for DC, including Justice League and, before that, Batman, where he shuffled between a series of action-packed stories (to best use his partner on the book, Greg Capullo) and a review. of Gotham City’s history and an exploration of the idea of Gotham City as almost its own distinct character. It was awesome.
Since I presented a series of Capullo Batman pages in Greg Capullo’s entry, I’ll take a look towards the end of Snyder’s run, with a heartbreaking story where Bruce Wayne eventually outgrew Batman and found love with Julie Madison, but Gotham has still need him, even if it means losing all those memories…
Snyder and Capullo also did two major superhero crossovers with Dark Nights Metal and Dark Nights Death Metal, two of the most impactful crossovers in recent memory.
The first has Batman riding a creepy Joker dragon, people!
However, Scott Snyder is more than just a cool superhero writer. His work for Vertigo and Image has been particularly great (that doesn’t even get into his strong run on Swamp Thing on the New 52!). For Vertigo, he creates american vampirea careful study of the 20th century through the eyes of the vampires (featuring two of comics’ best constructed main characters with Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones) and The alarm.
At Image, he made the delightfully disturbing series Wytchswho take the idea of ”be careful what you wish for” to an absurd degree.
Perhaps most impressive of all, however, is all the good Snyder has done as a mentor to other writers and as a writing teacher. He would have had a major positive impact on comics as a whole over the past decade, even though he never wrote a single page.
24. Tom King – 457 (8 first place votes)
After starting to write Grayson with Tim Seeley, who has spoken extensively about King’s past work with the Central Intelligence Agency, King has been applauded for his work on Omega Men and The Sheriff of Babylon.
King then caught the attention of the entire comic book industry with his stint on Vision with Gabriel Walta and Jordie Bellaire. This series saw the Vision create their own suburban family and we got to explore what it really meant to be alive and the extreme lengths people will go to to protect their families.
King then restarted the running program Batman series as part of DC Rebirth. King spent a lot of time discussing trauma, a subject that is rarely discussed in comics despite the great violence that occurs in comics. King’s Batman is someone still going through a lot of trauma, but he’s willing to try to improve. In a first arc, King revealed that a young Bruce Wayne was so traumatized by the murders of his parents that he almost committed suicide…
As I noted, however, it’s not just about trauma, it’s also about ways to deal with trauma. It’s often expressed in rather heartwarming ways, like the King’s Eisner Award-winning look at Ace the Bat-Hound’s new origin, as Alfred picks up an abused attack dog and slowly leads him to a good place. , while Batman doesn’t even really realize what Alfred is doing and how it relates to Bruce’s own life…
King’s Batman’s Run Recently Ended With A Special Batman/Catwoman run with artist Clay Mann. King has also received much acclaim for his series of miniseries for DC, including Mister Miracle (with Mitch Gerads), Rorschach (with Jorge Furnes), strange adventures (also with Gerads) and the current series, human target (with Greg Smallwood) and Gotham City: Year One (with Phil Hester).
23. Jack Kirby – 506 points (5 votes for first place)
Jack Kirby had been creating popular comics for nearly TWO DECADES before co-creating most of the Marvel Universe with Stan Lee. Kirby worked with Joe Simon for years, and the way they worked then would become quite familiar to Kirby (and the rest of the comics world) years later at Marvel. You see, Kirby and Simon were producing a lot of pages (they almost single-handedly put together entire lines of comics) and Kirby would end up laying out most of the books and then drawing most of them as well. Simon would then script most of the books, as Kirby was faster than Simon (Simon still drew his own comics, of course, but even there he often co-ploted those books with Kirby too).
When Kirby came to Marvel, Lee happily used the “Marvel method”, in which Lee would simply plot a story, have the artist draw it, and then Lee would add dialogue to the pencil work. Kirby, however, was such a talented storyteller himself that over time Lee gave Kirby more and more freedom in the plot of their comics together. On the The Fantastic FourKirby had been plotting the title alone for two years (likely the same for his work on Thor).
For various reasons, Kirby left Marvel for DC in the early 1970s, where he created a whole stack of new characters, most notably the Fourth World characters, where the good heroes of New Genesis battle the evil villains of Apokolips. In the classic new gods #7, we see how the two worlds came to a truce years ago (and how Darkseid always planned his breakup).
Kirby returned to Marvel in the late 1970s to write and draw comic books for them, including Captain America, Black Panther, dinosaur devil and the Eternals. After doing a few independent comic book creations and a bit more work for DC Comics, Kirby mostly retired in the late 1980s.