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May 14, 2007

favourite comic writers (at least for Marvel)

Filed under: Comics — see @ 8:36 pm

I am collecting comics (again – before that until I was about 10 ;) ) for a few years now. Actually almost only Marvel comics and preferably Silver Age or a few selected series like the Silver Surfer stories.
Having just finished Silver Surfer Volume 3 with issue 146 (which took me more than two years to read with breaks of course) it came to my mind which writers would be my favourite ones. Vol 3 (but also vol 1 and 2 [only 1 issue though]) of Surfer is one of the few series which are good from start to finish with hardly any major breakdown. This is in stark contrast to series like Fantastic Four which had very good (and long) runs but also quite a few issues and short runs which are positively said “meager”, lines like Captain Marvel Volume 1 is almost an entire catastrophe except a few shorter runs (e.g. by one of my favorite writers, see below ;) .

So which are my favorite writers (at least with the stories I know of)?

1. Jim Starlin

Not a big question here, his stories are simply great. Best “villains” (Thanos) but also the whole stories are just great, not just action but with quite a bit of depth (although some people say comics cannot have any depth by definition…). Sometimes the difference in the way he tells stories compared to most other authors is a bit like the difference between films made like theater plays compared to just (action) movies. Well, others are probably better explaining why…
Don’t miss Dreadstar including the introducing Metamorphosis Odyssey storyline which is like most Starlin stuff “epic”. A very positive surprise was also the new (I hardly ever read “modern” stuff (or DC…)) “Mystery in Space” miniseries with the Weird (whose 4 issue miniseries from the 80s is very good as well). And almost the only really good stories with Captain Marvel and also Warlock are his credit.

2. Steve Englehart

His initial run on Silver Surfer Volume 3 which is a massive 31 issue story (which means at the time it came out people had to wait for almost 3 years for an end – and only as the Marvel editor at that time literally throw him out, Google for more infos…) is “marvel”ous. But also other runs in other series like the Celestial Madonna in Avengers is just a good read. Only point which is sometimes a little bit difficult is that his stories sometimes disgress so far or have so many interweaved different storylines in them that they may be a bit hard to follow, but at the same time thats the interesting bit as well…

3. J. M. DeMatteis

I actually only recall having read his storyline of the finishing issues of Surfer Volume 3 (from around 120 I think) but these are actually one of the best storylines (well in comics that is) I have ever read, at least among the very best stories of the Surfer.

EDIT: I noticed that Defenders 92 upto something about 100 are by DeMatteis too. When I read these (must be a year or two ago) I did not notice they were written by DeMatteis but I really did like the stories and how they develop, even though I did not know or even like the characters themselves too much. So I guess it depends mostly how a story is written and not really about which character a story is (I do prefer Surfer stories though, maybe there are not many bad Surfer stories?).

Out of competition lies Stan “the man” Lee of course. Sometimes I think Steve Englehart’s style of writing these intertweened stories is a bit like the later style (end 60s) of Stan Lee. Still among my favorite comics are Volume 1 of the Silver Surfer by Stan Lee.

I hope I have not been unjust ignoring all the other people involved in the great stories I just rambled about, so just to let know I know the writers are not the only people to “praise”. On the other hand even more credit to Jim Starlin who writes and draws most of his stuff as well…


Another writer I became quite fond of is Steve Gerber. I have probably not read his major comics like Howard the Duck but I really like his runs on Marvel Two-in-One and Defenders (all early 70s).

I guess I have to add some more writers which I did not realize have been writing quite a few stories I have already read…

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