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Best Current Writers at the Big 2 (Marvel and DC)


#1

Nick Spencer’s Ant Man was really good but I think it’s lost alot of steam recently. The other Marvel work was good, but Superior Foes was special. It’s was JLI, Guardians level excellent, something that stood out in the same way Hawkeye and Vision have been stand outs. I just don’t think anything else has reached that same high, in ways that other writers like Fraction or Brubaker continued to ascend.

My pyramid of writers has Snyder, Aaron and Millar at the top. Spencer would be getting close to that same level, maybe getting ahead of Brubaker, Bendis, Gillen, Fraction and others, but given how some of his tics are appearing as we see more of his work I don’t know if I’d put him with the top 3.

I’m curious though, who would others put as the best writers in comics right now (based on the last couple of years work). Has Tom King earned it? Has Hickman lost it? Millar, Snyder and Aaron seem to be to be the guys who are the consistent top performers right now who can write anything and make it great.

Gar: I edited Jim’s post slightly at the start just to give context to the thread which grew out of the Marvel one.


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#2

Discounting MM from the equation (it’s his board so I’m sure there are going to be lots of enthusiasts for his work here), I think Snyder is probably up there. I’m also going to be boring and predictable and say that I think Moore is still doing great work (Providence and Crossed +100 show he’s still got it, and it’s nice to see him having fun on projects like LOEG and Cinema Purgatorio). And I’m loving what Brubaker has been doing with his Image stuff (Fatale, Velvet, Fade Out and Criminal have all been top of my pile when they come in).

Morrison is bubbling under (I still really enjoy his stuff but there’s a slight lack of spark at the moment) and I think there are quite a few other people doing good work just under the top tier (Rucka’s Lazarus is pretty consistently great, and pleasingly ambitious).

I need to check out more of King’s work as it hits trade.


#3

It’s quite odd what is going on with Hickman right now, he’s gone from multiple books to almost on hiatus.

I think Rob Williams stature is growing and I still see Moore, Ennis and Morrison as the top writers, but they rarely do stuff that’s widely coveraged these days.
I think Millar ranges from good to very good, and I buy everything he writes, but I felt Huck ran out of steam in the 5th & 6th issues and Empress is yet to grab me.
I’ve gone off Snyder a little bit because his Batman run & American Vampire’s latest issues dipped a little.

I like King, a lot, but it’s still very early days for him in my eyes, he has a small body of work, although most of it is very good (although I’ve been finding Omega Men pretty boring after the first handful of issues and although I always really like Vision after I’ve read it, I’m never in a big rush to read it).

Aaron rarely drops the ball, but I have stopped buying Thor, I just kinda lost interest in the current form after a while, but I’ll caveat that by saying I’ll probably go back to it at some point. Generally speaking though, he’s the most consistent writer out there I think, and both his Marvel & Image work is very strong indeed.

Johns is not a popular choice, at least not on here, but I love what he does and I’ll mourne his drop in productivity.

This is a tough one, id need to give it some more thought.


#4

East of West is coming out regularly, and he has Black Monday Murders starting in August.


#5

I don’t think I’d put Snyder near the top anymore.
Superman Unchained was disappointing, then I read The Wake (making two strikes), and his Batman seems a bit of a let-down at this point.
I haven’t been reading American Vampire though, and I’ve only done the first issue of Wytches. I still think he’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t currently put him at the top.

I’m struggling to think of who has been great recently though.


#6

Snyder’s best work for me was Wytches and his Black Mirror Batman story, but I also enjoyed The Wake and his main Batman run. Superman Unchained was ok but not his best.


#7

I really liked Severed, the first few issues of his Seamp Thing before Rotworld kicked in, Wytches and Black Mirror. Most of that I class as pretty dark or out and out horror. I really enjoyed The Wake as well.

His Batman run has been patchy, with the Owls stuff probably the best part, which is again horror. His Batman run is still better then most runs though.
American Vampire is more a vampire action book than a horror title in my mind, but like Batman, it’s a bit patchy too, the more recent stuff is not as good as the first 4-5 trades.


#8

I’m a bit behind with American Vampire but what I’ve read of it so far is excellent. He’s been great with Batman and I really enjoyed The Wake. Wytches was a fun read, quite creepy.


#9

I’m completely lost on the appeal of Wytches, which honestly I thought was written terribly and further undermined by some pretty murky artwork. The scene where the police officer is yelling what each of the items do was some of the worst expository dialogue I have ever encountered. It’s the only thing I’ve read of Snyder’s and I was completely shocked that people were making a big deal about him afterwards.

At this point, I think King is the writer to watch. Vision is probably one of the best horror comics ever written and the fact that it’s masquerading a superhero comic with familiar characters makes it even more effective.

I’m not sure who’d I’d rate as the top writers at this point. I feel like I kind of outgrew Millar at some point and can’t remember the last comic of his that I was genuinely excited about. Ennis’ Avatar work hasn’t done anything for me. Hickman I never really got into. Maybe I just don’t read enough comics at this point to know who’s at the top these days?


#10

Hahaha! You’re really living up to your title there. :laughing:


#11

I earned my title fair and square and if I don’t protect it I loose it.


#12

To be honest Rory, I don’t think your title does you justice.


#13

Snyder is a great writer but I think he has a somewhat limited range, all his best stuff has a horror element involved. Aaron can do anything, from slapstick comedy to gritty visceral drama. I think only Alan Moore and Bryan K Vaughan can also do that.

King is structurally brilliant for a relative newcomer to comics. I was reading Omega Men and something about it reminded me of Alan Moore that I couldn’t quite grasp, then I read later he had created symmetrical panel layouts in each issue in the same way they did in Watchmen. That’s not his only skill, the unnerving mood in The Vision is something I think can be difficult to do in comics and he nails it. Definitely the most exciting new writer.

Spencer I find a bit like I do Matt Fraction, half the stuff I love and half just doesn’t work for me at all.

Rob Williams is below the radar somewhat but has really come into his own in the last couple of years. His Martian Manhunter is really daring and inventive and I’m looking forward to his Suicide Squad. He’s also Welsh so get’s two extra points for that. :smile:

(I’m leaving out here the guys that work only creator owned nowadays, Millar, Brubaker etc and just looking at the top big 2 writers).


#14

Is it worth splitting this subject off into a dedicated thread of its own? It’s an interesting question and it might get missed tucked in the Marvel thread. I’d be interested to hear more opinions on it.


#15

Yeah that’s a good point Dave, I agree.


#16

I think Snyder would be in my top. I just finished reading the first volume of wytches and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the wake, his batman run, and superman unchained. Brubaker would also be in my top 3. I enjoy his work. And then the other writers would follow after that in no particular order, only the writers of the books I have read so there’s not a lot. How do you classify the best writer in a general sense though? Is it based on sales of their books or the critical acclaim it receives?


#17

For this thread? It’s all personal preference. Whichever ones you want to read the most.


#18

In respect to this thread, it might as well be. :laughing:


#19

A lot of my favourite writers are out of the Marvel/DC merry go round at the moment. Ed Brubaker is doing creator owned work at Image. Likewise with Hickman.

If I was going to pick my favourite current writer at Marvel…well, somewhat predictably it is going to be Dan Slott. He’s just great at writing the small moments as well as the big moments. There is a bit in a recent Amazing Spider-Man which cracked me up, where Zodiac is unmasked and Spider-Man looks upset and says "But I was his Secret Santa . I loved that moment. Funny and poignant all in one.

And his run on Silver Surfer with Michael Allred has been fantastic. As a piece of writing, issue 11 is mindbendingly good. It’s so weird and complex and multi layered. And it’s fun.

I am also a big fan of Mark Waid.

And I have been enjoying what Greg Rucka has been doing for Image and Oni. I am interested to see how his Wonder Woman run pans out.


#20

DC

Greg Rucka - feels great to be able to say that again, doesn’t it? There’s very little Greg writes that I don’t outright love. His action scenes aren’t the greatest, but every page of characterisation is worth it’s weight in gold.

Scott Snyder - I wish he’d just drop some of his more mainstream stuff and focus on American Vampire for a year or three, 'cos that’s far and away his masterpiece.

Pete Tomasi - was a wonderful editor and has written some great stuff in the past, but has been playing second fiddle to bigger names for so long now. I’m hopeful that Superman will be his breakout title.

Marvel

Jason Aaron, for all the obvious reasons.

Dennis Hopeless - reminds me of Jason Aaron actually. Great characterisation mixed with fun, action packed plots. All New X-Men has been so much fun under his reign.

Joe Kelly - is known for his humour, but that actually masks some really dark stories. I like that contrast a lot. It’s good to have him back, even if it’s only for a little while.