www.cbr.com

2018 Top 50 Comic Book Writers #35-31

31 (tie). Dan Slott – 345 points (4 first place votes)

Despite writing comics since the early 1990s (with great work on licensed humor titles like Ren and Stimpy and Beavis and Butthead), Dan Slott has become a lot more famous in the world of comics since taking over writing duties on Amazing Spider-Man in 2008 (first as one of the Spider-Man team of writers who launched Brand New Day in Amzing Spider-Man #546 and later the sole writer of Spider-Man with Amazing Spider-Man #648. He continued on the series until Amazing Spider-Man #801, giving him one of the longest runs on any series in Marvel history.

Slott pulled off quite a feat during his run when he had Peter Parker be replaced as Spider-Man for over a year by Doctor Octopus and have the resulting storyline, Superior Spider-Man, work out really really well.

Slott's best traits on Amazing Spider-Man were always the way that he followed in the strong suit of past Spider-Man writers of mixing action-packed adventures with character-driven stories in a blend that feels like a natural extenuation of whatever is going on in the book at that time. So a big event where everyone on Manhattan gets Spider-powers is personalized by the fact that Peter Parker's girlfriend has the powers, too, and it leads her to figure out that Peter has been lying to her about his secret identity. Or, in one of the strongest one-shot issues of Slott's run, Amazing Spider-Man #665, we see the trade-off for Spider-Man and Peter Parker both becoming so successful (Spider-Man being on two Avengers teams and the Future Foundation and Peter now becoming a successful designer at a think tank reverse-engineering the gadgets he creates as Spider-Man into useful technology for everyday life), which is that he is too busy for people like his closest friends. So when Betty Brant is assaulted after Peter stands her up for a standing movie date, Peter vows revenge (naturally) but what does that look like to his friends and family? Peter is out finding Betty's assailant, but to everyone else, he is not there for Betty when she needs it the most. Aunt May calls him and reads him the riot act and brings up something shocking to Peter, that the way SHE recalls the night of Ben Parker's death, she just remembers Peter running away when she needed him the most.

Daaaaang. See? Now that's some character-driven twist right there. And that's the sort of approach Slott takes to his whole Amazing Spider-Man run, you never know exactly how he will zig or zag on any given plot point/character interaction. It makes reading Amazing Spider-Man a true roller coaster ride of never knowing where he will be headed. And when he slows down for the character-heavy stuff, he nails it, like Peter's reaction to the death of J. Jonah Jameson's wife, which was essentially "one death too many" for Peter. Peter vows that he will not let anyone die. And naturally, that cannot work out long term, so seeing him deal with it when it DOESN'T is powerful.

In his last issue, he showed the power of Spider-Man by noting that, while Spidey generally acts in small terms, those acts add up...

And, of course, Slott knows how to bring the funny. Slott's first major Spider-Man work was a Spider-Man/Human Torch mini-series with Ty Templeton that was excellent. Here are some pages from that series that show prime Slott and how well he uses humor to drive his stories...

Now that his Spider-Man run is over, Slott has moved over to Iron Man and the Fantastic Four.

31 (tie). Scott Snyder – 345 points (5 first place votes)

Scott Snyder is currently writing Justice League, one of DC Comics' best-selling comic books out there. This followed a long run on a similarly popular series, Batman, where he deftly mixed between an action-packed series of stories (to best utilize his partner om the book, Greg Capullo) and an examination of the history of Gotham City and an exploration of the idea of Gotham City as almost its own separate character. It was a blast.

Since I featured a series of Capullo Batman pages in Greg Capullo's entry, I'll take a look towards the end of Snyder's run, with a heartwrenching story where Bruce Wayne has finally moved past being Batman and has found love with Julie Madison, but Gotham needs him again, even if it means him losing all of those memories....

More recently, Snyder and Capullo got together for one of the most amazingly over the top superhero crossovers ever with Dark Nights Metal, one of the most impactful crossovers in recent memory.

It has Batman riding a freaking Joker dragon, people!

However, Scott Snyder is a heck of a lot more than just one cool superhero writer. His work for Vertigo and Image has been especially terrific (this isn't even getting into his strong run on Swamp Thing out of the New 52!). For Vertigo, he created American Vampire, a careful study of the 20th century through the eyes of vampires (with two of the best constructed lead characters in comics with Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones) and The Wake.

Over at Image, he did the delightfully disturbing series Wytches, which take the idea of "be careful what you wish for" to an absurd degree.

Perhaps most impressive of all, though, is how much good Snyder has done as a mentor to other writers and as a teacher of writing. He would have had a major positive impact on comics as a whole over the past decade even if he never wrote a single page.

Wonder Woman 1984 Trailer May Show the Invisible Jet

More in CBR Exclusives