Our every four years countdown of your all-time favorite comic book writers and artists continues!
Here are the next five writers that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,008 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).
25. Mark Millar – 488 points (3 first place votes)
Mark Millar's comics career has been marked by his bold ideas. That's what makes most of his greatest works stand out - he comes up with a bold idea and then formulates the story around it, fleshing said idea out. "What if Superman landed in Communist Russia?" "What if superheroes decided to interfere in the politics of the world?" "What if Wolverine was killed and resurrected by the Hand to serve them?" "What if Ocean's Eleven has super powers?" "What if Batman was a super-villain?" It is uncanny how many bold, high concept ideas Millar is able to come up with. A famous example of his fertile imagination came in Superman Adventures #41, which told 22 one-page stories in a single issue.
Before deciding to concentrate on his creator-owned work, Millar first was one of the top-selling writers for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics. For DC, he did The Authority (picking the book up from Warren Ellis) and then at Marvel, he launched a number of comic books for the Ultimate Universe, including the first few years of Ultimate X-Men and then inventing the Ultimates, a new take on the Avengers that greatly influenced the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe...
Millar moved over to Marvel's regular universe, working on a number of short but notable runs on a lot of major characters, like two stints on Wolverine - one of them having Wolverine get killed and resurrected by the Hand and Hydra as an assassin. When he was cured of the brainwashing, he then hunted down and killed all of the members of the Hand and Hydra. Later, Millar introduced the concept of "Old Man ____" by showing Old Man Logan's adventures. He did a year-long stint on Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. His most significant work in the Marvel Universe, though, was one of their most successful crossovers of all-time, Civil War. That, of course, also influenced the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Not only did Millar's work influence the MCU, but his Ultimates work also saw the Marvel Universe adapt in response to the Ultimate Universe.
Many of Millar's creator-owned works have been adapted for hit films, like Wanted, Kick-Ass and The Kingsmen.
Millar currently has his own little comic book empire where he creates a bunch of awesome new comic book series, like his most recent books, Magic Order (with Olivier Coipel) and Prodigy (with Rafael Albuquerque).
24. Steve Englehart – 521 points (5 first place votes)
Steve Englehart started at Marvel Comics when he was a young man, quickly coming up with epic runs on Avengers and Captain America. He married the Vision the Scarlet Witch and in the pages of Captain America, he had the freaking PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES kill himself in front of Captain America as the capper to a long storyline.
He left Marvel in the later half of the 1970s and did a great Justice League of America run as well as a classic Batman run in Detective Comics. Initially working with Walter Simonson but ultimately with Marshall Rogers, Englehart's Batman run was in many ways based on a similar structure to Jeph Loeb's later Hush series, in that Englehart tried to work in as many major Batman villains into his story as he could, including re-introducing two early Batman foes that had fallen into disuse. Both of the villains, Hugo Strange and Deadshot, were rejuvenated by Englehart's useage and later went on to prominent appearances in later stories. Deadshot, in particular, was an extremely minor villain that saw his coolness factor shoot up 736% percent when Marshall Rogers gave him one of the coolest costumes you ever will see (years later, it was that cool costume that piqued John Ostrander's interest and got Deadshot a spot on the Suicide Squad).
Englehart had a good Penguin story, he had a good story involving Robin (he wanted at least one issue to involve Robin) and in the Laughing Fish, he had one of the best Joker stories of all-time (the Joker tries to get a federal trademark on fish that he has altered to have his Joker grin).
Englehart introduced a crime boss named Rupert Thorne who became a notable part of the Bat-mythos, as well as Silver St. Cloud, one of the best love interests Batman has ever had.
In one of the most memorable aspects of the run, Englehart brings the Joker back and has him come up with his most bizarre plan yet - he exposes the fish in Gotham Bay to his Joker Venom and then tries to copyright the "laughing fish" he created!
Englehart later returned to both Marvel and DC during the 1980s for strong runs on Green Lantern Corps for DC and West Coast Avengers for Marvel. He also got the chance to become the first person to write Silver Surfer's ongoing adventures besides Stan Lee. He also sent the Surfer into outer space, finally having him break free from the barrier that Galactus had placed around the Earth to imprison his former herald. Englehart has done a few other short projects in the last few decades, including a reunion Batman series with Marshall Rogers (tragically, Rogers passed away before they could do a sequel). Englehart mostly works in prose nowadays.
23. Jack Kirby – 553 points (12 first place votes)
Jack Kirby had been creating popular comic books for nearly TWO DECADES before he co-created most of the Marvel Universe with Stan Lee. Kirby worked with Joe Simon for years, and the way that they worked then would become quite familiar to Kirby (and the rest of the comic book world) years later at Marvel. You see, Kirby and Simon would produce a great deal of pages (they were almost single-handedly putting together whole lines of comics) and Kirby would end up plotting most of the books and then would also draw most of them. Simon would then script most of the books, as Kirby was faster than Simon (Simon would still draw his own comics, as well, of course, but even there, he often co-plotted those books with Kirby, too).
When Kirby got to Marvel, Lee gladly used the "Marvel Method," where Lee would only plot a story, have the artist draw it and then Lee would add dialogue to the penciled work. Kirby, however, was such a talented storyteller himself that as time went by, Lee gave Kirby more and more freedom in the plotting of their comics together. On the Fantastic Four, Kirby was plotting by himself for the last couple of years on the title (likely the same for his Thor work).
For a variety of reasons, Kirby left Marvel for DC in the early 1970s, where he created a whole pile of new characters, most famously the Fourth World characters, where the good heroes of New Genesis battle the evil villains of Apokolips. In the classic New Gods #7, we see how the two worlds came to a truce years ago (and how Darkseid always planned for it to break).
Kirby returned to Marvel in the late 1970s to write and draw comics for them, including Captain America, Black Panther, Devil Dinosaur and the Eternals. After doing some independent comic creations plus some more work for DC Comics, Kirby mostly retired by the end of the 1980s.