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Top 50 Comic Book Writers #20-16

by  in Comic News Comment

Here are the next five writers that you voted as your favorites of all-time based on over one thousand ballots cast! Click here to see the artists #20-16 on the countdown. Click here to see a master list of all writers listed so far.

NOTE: I’m fill in the five notable works per creator later on Thursday, I figure you folks have waited long enough for the results. I’ll give you one cover each writer, though, just so it’s not totally blank.

20 Roy Thomas – 540 points (8 first place votes)

After a very short stint at DC Comics, Roy Thomas went to work at Marvel in the mid-60s. He would soon become the first writer after Stan Lee to have a significant impact on the Marvel line of comic book titles.

One of his first prominent assignments (and one he is well-remembered for) was writing the Avengers after Lee…


Thomas soon began writing a number of series for Marvel, including a very well-received stint on X-Men with artist Neal Adams…


Thomas brought Robert E. Howard’s Conan character to Marvel, in a hit series (which soon became a bit of a cottage industry for Marvel) starring the barbarian. Thomas also basically created the character of Red Sonja for the series…


Thomas later brought Marvel the Star Wars license, as well! Thomas adapted the film for what became a major hit comic series for Marvel.

Thomas eventually followed Lee as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, but his time was short-lived and pretty soon he was freelancing again. After years at Marvel, Thomas left the company for DC Comics in 1980.

His first major project for DC was a return to the Golden Age characters that Thomas especially loved, in the series All-Star Squadron…


Thomas’ work with the Earth-2 characters (the Golden Age DC characters) also eventually led to Infinity, Inc…


Thomas returned to Marvel in the late 1980s through the mid-1990s.

Nowadays, Thomas continues to work in comics on top of his work with the brilliant comic book history magazine, Alter Ego (named after the fanzine Thomas worked for and eventually edited in the early 1960s, before he ever began to write comics).

19 Matt Fraction – 699 points (9 first place votes)

Matt Fraction began working on a variety of small-studio comics during the mid-2000s, including a fairly prominent stint writing a 30 Days of Night tie-in mini-series.

His breakout work, though, was 2006’s Casanova, for Image Comics…


Soon afterwards (heck, while Casanova was still running), Fraction began writing for Marvel Comics, where he soon became a star writer.

His first notable work was the Immortal Iron Fist, co-written with Ed Brubaker…


Next, Fraction wrote a brand-new Iron Man series, Invincible Iron Man (now the flagship Iron Man title for Marvel)…


He also began co-writing Uncanny X-Men with Brubaker before taking over the title solo soon after….


Recently, he began writing Thor’s ongoing title, giving him 2 of Marvel’s “Big Three” (Ed Brubaker has the third, Captain America).


18 Greg Rucka – 808 points (16 first place votes)

Noted crime/thriller novelist Greg Rucka’s first comic work came in the late 1990s for Oni Press, the suspenseful Whiteout (drawn by the brilliant Steve Lieber), which recently was adapted into a film…


Rucka followed up Whiteout with another Oni series, this time spotlighting British spies in Queen and Country…


In 1999, Rucka was one of many different writers who was involved in DC’s year-long Batman storyline, “No Man’s Land.” Once it was finished, Rucka was one of the writers asked to stay on regularly. He took over Detective Comics…


During his run on Detective, Rucka spotlighted the Gotham Police Department a lot, so it made sense that he and fellow Bat-scribe, Ed Brubaker, would launch a comic devoted to the Gotham PD. It was called Gotham Central…


and it was highly acclaimed. Rucka had a particular affinity for Detective Renee Montoya.

During Infinite Crisis, Rucka worked on a tie-in to the crossover, where he brought back a character from his Detective run, Sasha Bordeaux. After Infinite Crisis ended, he debuted a new spy comic starring Bordeaux…


Rucka was also one of the four writers of 52, the year-long story following Infinite Crisis. It was during this time that he had Montoya become the new Question.

Recently, Rucka did a critically-acclaimed return to Detective Comics, this time starring the new character Batwoman (with a Question back-up!). Now no longer a DC Comics exclusive, Rucka is working on a number of different projects.

17 Mark Millar – 822 points (11 first place votes)

After doing a number of stories for 2000 A.D., Millar took over Vertigo’s flagship title, Swamp Thing, in 1994 – first with co-writer Grant Morrison and then as a solo gig.


Millar did a bunch of different comics throughout the rest of the 1990s, including acclaimed work on 2000 AD and the Superman Adventures (the comic book adaptation of the Superman animated series).

Millar’s career got a big boost when he followed Warren Ellis on The Authority…


After the Authority, Millar came to Marvel where he was one of the creators of the Ultimate universe, writing Ultimate X-Men and his hugely successful Ultimates series…


Eventually, Millar brought his skills to the regular Marvel universe, with the tremendously popular crossover Civil War…


More recently, while working on Fantastic Four and more Ultimate work, Millar has been doing creator-owned work for Marvel’s Icon imprint, including the popular series Kick-Ass, which was adapted into a movie in 2010…


16 Kurt Busiek – 834 points (11 first place votes)

Kurt Busiek first began writing professional comics in the 1980s. Besides a stint on Power Man and Iron Fist, though, most of his work for Marvel and DC were not regular gigs. He had a short-lived series at Eclipse called Liberty Project. Busiek worked for Marvel in other capacities, though, including writing the solicitation text for Marvel.

His fortunes began to change in 1994, when he wrote Marvels with artist Alex Ross…


The series was a smash success, and Busiek soon got another regular gig for Marvel writing Night Thrasher. He also wrote a new Shadowhawk series for Image Comics, around the same time that he launched his creator-owned series, Astro City…


Soon after Astro City debuted, Busiek began work on the acclaimed Marvel series, Untold Tales of Spider-Man…


During the time when Marvel “lost” four of their major superhero titles (Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Iron Man) to outside studios, Busiek gave the Marvel Universe a shot in the arm with his Thunderbols series with artist Mark Bagley…


When the superheroes returned to Marvel, Busiek was given two of the books, Iron Man and Avengers…


His run on Avengers with artist George Perez (and then later Alan Davis and Kieron Dwyer) was very successful.

Busiek wrote the hugely-popular Marvel/DC crossover series, JLA/Avengers.

He soon took over JLA for DC.

He has written a LOT of comics since then – Conan for Dark Horse, Arrowsmith for Wildstorm, Power Company and Superman for DC. He wrote the year-long series Trinity for DC.

Currently, he continues to write Astro City, recently finished a mini-series for Boom! and he soon will be doing a major project for Dynamite Comics based on the works of Jack Kirby