I love to debate. Nothing gets me going more than a good back and forth debate with another knowledgeable individual or group. And, what strikes up a better debate than a list of the best or worst things in the world. So, ever Tuesday, I am going to post a top 5 list. It may be movies, or shows, or comics. Whatever catches my fancy that day.
This week, I am going to do my Top 5 comic book writers today. These writers are who I feel are the cream of the crop. Whenever they are on a book, no matter the character, I will at least give that book a try. Usually, the results have exceeded my expectations, and of course this leads me to trust these authors even more. There are a ton of awesome authors in comics today. I am going to give my honorable mentions, then get to the meat and potatoes. My honorable mentions are: Dan Slott(Superior Spider-Man), Brian Michael Bendis(Ultimate Comics:Spider-Man, Powers, Uncanny X-Men, All New X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy), Greg Rucka(Lazarus), and Charles Soule(Superman/Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns, Thunderbolts, She-Hulk, Inhumans). Now time for the main course.
5. Geoff Johns(Justice League, Forever Evil)
Geoff Johns is one of the best writers for DC Comics right now. He has done an amazing job on Justice League. For him to blend seven awesome characters who are each strong enough to carry their own book, and give then enough development where you care and understand the group dynamic, is awesome. Doing group books is pretty difficult, and he stays true to who the characters are and how they work together. Geoff Johns has also done great things with a much maligned character, and taken another group and really elevated them to new heights. The maligned character is Aquaman. I know, I know, you think Aquaman is a joke. Well, he isn’t. Aquaman is the King of Atlantis, he is a tremendous hand to hand combatant, has super strength, and can swim super fast. What’s not to like? Johns has really shown how deep, and how great a character Aquaman really is. Don’t judge him from The Super Friends cartoon. Read Johns run on Aquaman, and I guarantee you that you that you will have a greater appreciation for him. The group I was speaking of is the Green Lantern Corps. Johns has really delved into the mythos of the Lantern Corps, and given some of the best events ever in comics. From “Blackest Night” to the “War of the Lanterns”, Johns has given us action packed story after story.
4. Robert Kirkman(The Walking Dead, Invincible, Thief of Thieves)
Robert Kirkman writes one of the best zombie books ever. The things he has done with The Walking Dead continually keep me on the edge of my seat, begging for more. I love his writing style. The way Kirkman develops his characters and makes the story more about the human condition, and not just about survival, is stunning. Each month, he does something unexpected. You never know who will live, and who will die. And you never know how that death my come.
3. Mark Waid(Daredevil, The Indestructible Hulk)
Mark Waid writes two of my favorite books for Marvel Comics, Daredevil and The Indestructible Hulk. Waid has taken these two characters to places that as of yet are unexplored. Daredevil has always been a glass is half empty, the odds are stacked against him kind of character. Waid has Daredevil looking for the bright side, never succumbing to the darkness that he has given himself over to so many times in the past. It’s a really fresh take, and I honestly love it. Daredevil has always been on of my favorite characters, and Waid has elevated him to new heights in my eyes. As for the Hulk, Waid has Bruce Banner actually EMBRACING the Hulk inside of him, and really focusing the Hulk, as well as really focusing his own genius. Banner has spent so much time and energy trying to rid himself of the Hulk, and he has finally accepted his lot in life, and is really accomplishing great things, both as the doctor, and as the beast. It takes a special writer to elevate two iconic characters to new heights like this.
2. Scott Snyder(Batman, Superman Unchained, American Vampire, The Wake)
Scott Snyder is the superstar of DC Comics right now. He has the best book each month for DC, whether is Superman Unchained or Batman. There are no two titles I look forward to more from DC. Snyder has made these two icons fresh. He has added so much to each character. Batman has such a deep and prolific rogues gallery, and Snyder made another great addition by coming up with the Court of the Owls. And what he did with the Joker in “Death of the Family” added a dynamic to Batman/Joker that was unexpected. Superman Unchained is what I was hoping Superman and Action Comics would be. I love Superman, but I never feel like he is written in the right light. Snyder has done it though. Snyder shows how powerful Superman is, and also how alone he is. He really gives Superman the “Beacon of Light” treatment he deserves.
1. Johnathan Hickman(East of West, The Avengers, The New Avengers, Manhattan Projects, Secret, God is Dead)
Johnathan Hickman is hands down the best writer in comics today. Ever month, he puts out six of the best books on the market. They all go in directions that you would never expect. I can’t get enough of any of them. They are simply must reads. Hickman just does everything right. The dialogue, character development, the pacing, the detail. It just all fits together so well. Every little thing means something. No detail is too minuscule. I really gained a new level of respect for Hickman when he was writing the Fantastic Four. I have never liked the Fantastic Four. I found the characters dry, except for Thing. Hickman made me care about all of them. He added new layers to them, especially Reed and Sue Richards, and their kids. Fantastic Four hasn’t been the same since Hickman left. And that’s with another great writer taking over for Hickman. That’s the sign of a truly great writer.
Well, there is my top five writers in comics today. What do you think of my list? Do you agree? Who is in your top five? Leave me a comment, and let me know.