Four Letter Nerd

Comic Book Writers: Do They Matter?

comic writers

When I read comic books, I love a great story. Personally for me, the art isn’t super important, sure it’s a huge plus to the book, but I think the writer is the one who really carries the story for the readers to continue on. For example, let’s look at Batman N52, I think if Greg Capullo was to leave the story, it would still remain one of DC’s best selling titles. But, what if Scott Snyder left? I think people would drop that book faster then you would imagine. Hell, that happened when Geoff Johns left Green Lantern after 9 years at the helm. I, for one, have really been enjoying the run that Robert Venditti has started. I have pretty high hopes for the future of Green Lantern; I still think he is in good hands.

Aquaman. Yeah, he has been the joke of DC and comic books for years. I’m pretty sure we are all aware of the Robot Chicken DC Comics special and how Aquaman is portrayed and how much of a c–t Superman is. But, when DC did their re-launch in 2011, Johns was taking on the writing of my favorite superhero, Aquaman. After the first issue, Aquaman was no longer the joke of DC but now he was one of the most badass characters and also one of DC’s best selling titles. It was one of the first times since Peter David’s run that I was proud to be an Aquaman fan again. A few months ago, some news immerged that Johns would be stepping down after the Death of a King arc was completed, and Jeff Parker was taking over the series. I was both saddened and extremely happy about that.

robot-chicken-you-cant-fly

Why was I sad you ask? Well, Geoff Johns is great with bringing a character back to life, not literally, but what I mean is that Johns is really good with taking a book that isn’t selling well and making it completely bad ass. I was also worried that Aquaman in someone else’s hands would just end up being a little fish in a big DC pond. That’s why I was saddened.

Why was I happy you ask? Well, first of all. I am ready for a story that won’t start really good and then just be SO MOTHER F—ING BORING in the middle, followed by an anti-climatic ending that either A) leads into the next story arc, or B) requires me to buy a book that’s not on my pull list and might sell out before I get it. As much as I love Geoff Johns, his stories seem to drag on or involve a cross over series. Sure, that’s not his fault. DC thinks cross over sell great but he is a big wig over at DC so I feel like he could be responsible. Another reason I was happy was because Batman ’66 has been a super fun ride. I really hope he can make Aquaman as much fun as Batman ’66. Parker has also worked on Adventures of Superman #1.

Now, I have mentioned a few writers and how much I enjoy their works, but what about writers you are not a fan of? Sure I have a love/hate relationship with Geoff Johns at times, but I would never say I hate him. Now, I will try to write about writers who write things that I don’t like without being to unbiased. One writer that I particularly do not enjoy, and Cameron Clark and I have had some heated arguments about this, is J. Michael Straczynski (or for my sake JMS because I can’t spell normal words correctly). I have read the first 6 issue of his 2008 issues of Thor, I have read his Superman Earth One Vol. 1 and 2, Night Owl/Dr. Manhattan from Before Watchman AND a bit of Silver Surfer Requiem on a really awkward date at a book store when I was younger.

JMS Thor

Everything I have read by JMS, for me, has been so boring and predictable. Out of everything he has written and that I have read that I remember is the time Thor beat the shit out of Iron Man. That may be because I don’t like Iron Man, or maybe because that was cool, but it saddens me that it’s all I can remember. So why would I read so many things by someone I don’t like? Well because I like the stories. I like hiding in a comic book and trying to find solitude in the characters and some writers can do that much better than others. But see, that’s what’s great about writers. Different people are going to like different writers, some people don’t even care about writers they just want a fun story. Sure, I’m going to tell Cameron every time we talk that JMS isn’t a good writer, and he’ll argue with me that JMS’s Thor run is better than Jason Aarons run. That makes no sense to me and I will never understand that, but when everything boils down, its just a $2.99 or $3.99 book that is going to bring joy to the read, and if you don’t like the book, just drop it or don’t buy the next issue.

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Bill Clark

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