Top 25 Female Comic Book Writers #20-16

The countdown continues!

Here are the next five writers that you voted as your favorites of all-time. Click here for the master list of all of the creators listed so far.

20. Jo Duffy

Mary Jo Duffy (most often credited just as Jo Duffy) got her start at Marvel in the late 1970s as an editor. She soon got some freelance writing assignments, including a long stint writing Power Man and Iron Fist. Her 22-issue run on the book was the longest run on the book out of any of the books' many writers over the years. She impressively played up the off-kilter nature of the team-up with some good humor (on top of the good old fashioned superhero adventures, as well, of course).

She then settled in for an even longer run as the main writer for Marvel's Star Wars title, including writing the most bizarre time in the book's history, when Return of the Jedi ended and Duffy had the odd task of continuing the story but without knowing if Lucas planned on doing anything else in the future. She invented some fascinating concepts, including taking a character David Michelinie and Walter SImonson had invented (and killed off) Shira Brie, and brought her back as a bad ass killer cyborg called Lumiya. Lumiya was later dusted off and became a big part of the Star Wars expanded universe novels. Check out this epic battle between Luke and Lumiya by Duffy and artists Cynthia Martin and Bob Wiacek...

Doesn't that make you want to buy one of those omnibi collecting the Marvel issues right now?

Duffy later became the original writer on DC's Catwoman ongoing series in the 1990s and she had a stint writing Rob Liefeld's Glory.

19. Kate Leth

Kate Leth got her start in comics through her hilarious and thoughtful webcomic, Kate or Die. Here is just a quick sample of the sort of thing you could expect to see on her site...

While Leth is a very strong artist, her writing has gotten her even more attention, especially at Boom!, where she became the regular writer on Bravest Warriors last year. Here is a short Bravest Warriors story she did (this one she drew - she doesn't draw the ongoing series) that shows off her off-the-wall sense of humor...

She also wrote a couple of Adventure Time graphic novels, including the best-selling Seeing Red (with artist Zack Sterling), which teamed-up Marceline and Jake in a search for Marceline's missing bass guitar...

Kate also does regular comics for Comics Alliance, which show off her sharp wit and great sense of modern day justice...

Kate will also be doing work for the upcoming romance comic series, Fresh Romance. She has such a wonderful voice, I love that the medium is opening up ways to hear more from her in different genres.

18. Rumiko Takahashi

I already wrote about how amazingly diverse Rumiko Takahashi's comic book career has been when she made the list as an artist. She is one of the most successful comic book creators in the history of the entire MEDIUM, selling well over 100 MILLION copies of her books since she got her start in the late 1970s in Japan.

Last time, I spotlighted her breakout hit, the bizarre romantic comedy, Urusei Yatsura, plus her smash successes of the gender-bending martial arts series, Ranma 1/2 and the fantasy epic, Inuyasha. So today, I will spotlight her horror epic, The Mermaid Saga, specifically The Marmaid's Scar.

This is really what makes Takahashi such a sterling example of comic book excellence. She can write cute, she can write epic, she can write adventure, but she writes something like The Mermaid's Scar and it's like, what? How can this be the same writer?!

The basic concept behind the Mermaid Saga is that mermaid flesh, if eaten, can give people immortality. However, it can kill you instantly or turn you into a monster. Given those chances - would you still give it a try?

The stories follow a 500-year-old name Yuta as he engages with others like him.

In Mermaid's Scar, we meet a really messed up "mother" and "son."

Check out Takahashi's excellent introduction of the mother/son dynamic...


You see, the boy is actually an 800-year-old immortal. He gives mermaid flesh to women to make them pretend to be his mother. He then, naturally, torments them, as shown above.

His current "mother," though, discovers that the flesh is wearing off quicker and she demands more...

The "boy" then decides to find a new woman to replace his mother, whether she's willing or not...

Dark, dark stuff. Takahashi's range as a writer is stunning. And yet she manages to succeed at every genre she tries! It's like she's some sort of magical being herself!

Go to the next page for #17-16!

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