The countdown starts now!!!
Here are the top four comic book 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.) .
50. Keith Giffen – 201 points (1 vote for first place)
Keith Giffen has worked as a plotter on a number of classic series, since his debut Legion of Super-Heroes with Paul Levitz to his ongoing Legion work (where he and Tom and Mary Bierbaum radically changed the world of the Legion in 1989 Legion of Super-Heroes reorganize). He was thoroughly humorous with Ambush Bug and he did more serious things (like his Magnus: robot fighter series he scripted and plotted). Here is an excerpt from his first Ambush Bug series, poking fun at the changes in DC’s continuity after Crisis on Infinite Earths…
His most famous work, however, is undoubtedly his run on Justice League with screenwriter JM DeMatteis. The concept of the book was that Giffen had to come up with an idea for a Justice League series after most of the best heroes are no longer available to him after Crisis.
Without the major heroes, Giffen instead attempted to develop the personalities of the heroes they WERE given, especially once two of the heroes they were given, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, lost their individual streaks, as this has gave Giffen a free rein in how to write. their. Giffen also shed light on League Liaison Maxwell Lord, who formed the team for some pretty nefarious reasons but quickly turned out to be a good guy. Later, due to a lack of female characters on the team (and a lack of notable female heroes during the available period) when Canary was removed from them, Giffen added two obscure members of the Global Guardians who are quickly become loyal members of the team, Fire and Ice.
The book is best known for the humor of the title, which was a major aspect of the book – it was truly a sitcom.
Here’s the first use of “Bwah Ha Ha” which shows what the book’s comedy sounded like. The League sets up embassies all over the world, and Beetle and Booster are in Paris where they meet an attractive woman, whom Booster is sure he can woo…
When it turns out that the woman who shot Booster is the League’s liaison officer in Paris, the story begins…
Giffen and DeMatteis built this bizarre superhero book into one of DC’s most popular comic books for five years! They recently ran Scooby-Doo Apocalypse, which matched deftly with their use of humor and darkness. He also had a fun stint on lower five with Jeff Lemire.
49. Gerry Conway – 203 points
Thrown into the mix of being the first screenwriter in progress amazing spider man following Stan Lee was a daunting task for young Gerry Conway (only in his early twenties at the time), but Conway answered the call with flair and distinction with a memorable run that still resonates to this day.
In his 40 issues on Amazing Spider-Man (#111-149), Conway did more than you’d see in ONE HUNDRED issues of most other comics. He introduced one of Marvel’s greatest characters, the Punisher, he made Mary Jane Watson one of the best supporting characters in Marvel Comics history, he introduced the world to the idea of ” Clone Saga” and, most importantly, he wrote one of Spider-Man’s most famous storylines, the death of Gwen Stacy, as Peter Parker loses his girlfriend to his nemesis, the Green Goblin.
leading to one of the all-time classic cliffhanger pages…
The original Goblin later dies in battle with Spider-Man and Conway later establishes the second Goblin, Peter’s best friend Harry Osborn!
Conway then found himself at DC Comics, where he worked through the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, doing a number of major projects, including long runs on both. Justice League of America and the Batman titles, where he was the first writer in decades to take over both Batman titles to tell an interconnected story. Conway also created Power Girl, Firestorm, Vixen and Vibe during this stint.
Conway then returned to the Spider-books thirteen years after his first run ended to have a well-received run on Spectacular Spider-Man from #137-174 and Spider-Man web from #47-70 (only plots on some of the stories). In that run, he introduced the villainous Tombstone and did a really solid job with Joe “Robbie” Robertson and Puma. While his original run on Amazing Spider-Man was bold and very flying by the seat of your pants, his Spectacular/Web run was calculated and well crafted, quite the distinction between a young writer and a seasoned veteran.
He then worked in television for several years, becoming an accomplished writer and producer on a number of television series, including Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He’s done more comics in recent years, including a return to some of the more offbeat aspects of his Spider-Man run with a stint on Carnage with Mike Perkins.
48. Greg Rucka – 207 points (2 votes for first place)
One of the hallmarks of Greg Rucka’s work is the sheer intelligence often displayed in his stories. They are often complex works that rely on creating interesting conflicts between the different characters. One of his most famous works in this line is the Wonder Woman graphic novel he made with JG Jones, where a woman murders the men who raped her. She then goes to Wonder Woman and invokes an ancient Amazon custom where she becomes under Wonder Woman’s protection. That’s fine, except the woman committed her murder in Gotham City – so teammates Wonder Woman and Batman find themselves at odds. Perhaps the most famous example is Rucka’s award-winning Gotham Central storyline, Half a Life, where Renee Montoya is exposed in front of her fellow cops while being framed for murder. In a great scene, she is called into the office of her new boss, who happens to be a lesbian herself…
Rucka is also remarkable for its quality with strong female protagonists – Montoya, Carrie Stetko (White veil), Wonder Woman, Batwoman (Detective comics), Forever Carlyle (Lazarus), Rowan Noir (Black magic), Andromache of Scythia or “Andy” (old guardwhich was adapted into a hit Netflix movie) and Tara Chace (queen and country) are just a handful of great female lead characters from Rucka’s pen.
47. Rick Remender – 209 points (7 votes for first place)
Rick Remender has been writing convoluted stories about complex main characters for over two decades now, only now, instead of his projects being small independent works, he’s writing comic books that turn into big-budget TV shows. However, one notable aspect of Remender’s career is that he has moved beyond superhero comics at a faster rate than most other writers.
After an epic race on Strange X Forcewhere we revamped the X-Force concept and kept the over-the-top nature of the stories while managing to ground them in a deep sense of humanity, like an Apocalypse-possessed Archangel allowing his girlfriend, Psylocke, to kill him, but not before she uses her telepathic powers to show him a life they could have had (and through the use of her powers, he doesn’t realize that it WAS NOT their life). .
This led to further work for Marvel, including weird avengers, secret avengers, Captain America, The All-New Captain America and even an entire Marvel crossover, AXISwhere the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe were “reversed”, with villains becoming heroes and vice versa.
However, Remender quickly returned to his comic book beginnings by making independent, creator-owned comics. The difference is that his profile was much bigger now, so those books were always big projects. A few of the most notable for Image Comics have been Down, Ghost of Tokyo, Seven to eternity, death or glory, the asshole, A just taste of revenge, Lethal Class and black sciences.
black sciences followed a scientist and his family and colleagues as they travel through dimensions, powered by a mysterious pillar that was constructed through the use of “dark science”. At some point, everyone has been thrown into different dimensions, and lead scientist Grant must find a way to save everyone, including realizing the power of… imagination?
His artistic partner, Matteo Scalera, has really done an outstanding job on this series…
Lethal Class (which he did with Wes Craig) was a short-lived but acclaimed TV series on SyFy (with Remender as showrunner of its own adaptation). The comic book series will also be coming to an end, soon, after nearly a decade.