Every once in a while I try my best to introduce one of my friends into my healthy adult love of comic books. The typical response to my introduction is an odd expression adorning someone’s face followed by either a rapid eruption of laughter or the question “You want me to read Aquaman?!”
In a nutshell: HELL YES
Why? Like you, me, and fine wine comics have matured and appreciated with age. The days of adolescent and juvenile stories enforced by the Comics Code Authority are long gone and since that time comic creators have taken the adventures of these surreal characters in wild new directions, and they deal with actual mature themes and issues. Most film buffs will tell you that most movies will only be as good as the script that is written for them and the same adage most certainly applies to comics. The writing has taken a generational leap in advancement that isn’t often appreciated… until someone notices that some of these comic book writers also work on your favorite TV shows and films.
That’s right, some of your favorite films were written by some of the hottest talents in comics and like a developed athlete, these writers take their honed talents to the big leagues and develop some of your favorite films:
Geoff Johns (born 1973) is an American comic book writer, best known for his work for DC Comics, where he has been Chief Creative Officer since February 2010, in particular for characters such as Green Lantern, The Flash and Superman. He is also a television writer, who has written episodes of Smallville, and a comic book retailer who co-owns Earth-2 Comics in Northridge, California with Carr D’Angelo and Jud Meyers. Johns shares a writing studio, The Empath Magic Tree House, with writers Jeph Loeb and Allan Heinberg. – Wikipedia
Geoff Johns is a ballsy writer. Get this: Johns got his break in writing by cold-calling the office of director Richard Donner and basically haggling conflicted receptionists until the director himself picked up the phone and he began spilling his nerd love/adoration of The Goonies and the first two Superman films. His story sounds like an actual fan dream come true and it is, because he received an internship with the director thereafter. The internship led to involvement with a number of projects that involved Donner including The Conspiracy Theory, but Mr. Johns’ impact doesn’t stop there. His credits include franchises like the Spike TV adaptation of Blade, Justice League Unlimited, Robot Chicken, TV’s beloved series Smallville, Arrow, and he also served as co-producer and creative consultant for 2011′s Green Lantern film. His career in comics is the story of legend having modernized and revitalized aged characters such as The Green Lantern, The Flash, and more propelling him into the co-publisher and Chief Creative Officer”s seat of DC comics. Geoff Johns is a highly respected creative force in comics and he appears to have a very bright future with the company. I personally recommend anything Green Lantern with his name on it, especially the his storyline “Blackest Night” and he’s currently working on Aquaman
Recommended Reads: The Flash: Rebirth, Green Lantern: Rebirth, The Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, Flashpoint
Damon Laurence Lindelof (born April 24, 1973) is an American television writer, producer, and film screenwriter, most noted as the co-creator and showrunner of the acclaimed television series Lost (2004–2010). He has written for and produced Crossing Jordan(2001–2004) and wrote for Nash Bridges (2000–2001). Lindelof also co-wrote Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Prometheus (2012), and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). As of December 2012, his next film in development is the science fiction film Tomorrowland (2014). He is also co-writing a TV pilot of The Leftovers for HBO, adapted from the novel by Tom Perrotta. – Wikipedia
Most of you guys already know this name thanks to his contributions to TV’s Lost and his film credits like Prometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens; but not enough of you know about his contributions in comics. Most recently he wrote a short Batman tale, but a lot of comic fans appreciate his work with Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk. Let me show you what he did when given free reign with Marvel’s beloved characters:
Yeah. This happened.
Recommended reads: Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk
David Samuel Goyer (born December 22, 1965) is an American screenwriter, film director, novelist, and comic book writer. A professed comic book fanatic, Goyer has written or co-written several screenplays based on numerous comic book series, among them Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Batman Begins, The Flash, and Blade. Goyer has recently been working with Legendary Pictures on three of their upcoming projects. He co-wrote the scripts for The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Man of Steel (2013). In addition, he did a one-step 4-week rewrite for Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla reboot. – Wikipedia
Another recognized on this list due to his work including The Crow: City of Angels, Wesley Snipe starring Blade trilogy, Ghost Rider: Spirits Vengeance, as well as his work with the Christopher Nolan Batman films. Not only did he help revitalize the comic book film genre, but he also kick started and revitalized the Justice Society of America for DC Comics with a book entitled JSA. He’s currently working on the Justice League film and the announced Man of Steel sequel for Warner Bros.
Recommended reads: Justice Society of America
Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American screenwriter, actor, film producer, and director, as well as a popular comic book writer, author, comedian/raconteur, and podcaster. He came to prominence with the low-budget comedy Clerks (1994), in which he appeared as the character Silent Bob. Smith’s first several films were mostly set in his home state of New Jersey, and while not strictly sequential, they frequently feature crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon described by fans as the “View Askewniverse“, named after his production company View Askew Productions, which he co-founded with Scott Mosier. Smith also directed and produced films such as the buddy cop action comedy Cop Out, as well as the horror film Red State. — Wikipedia
I remember Kevin Smith making the transition from filmmaker to comic book writer right around the peak of his Askewniverse career. I still can’t shake the impression the book that he wrote left with me as it seemed to be the first, truly, mature Marvel comic book printed that I had experienced and it was a book that I least suspected: Daredevil. The ideas and concepts explored include loss of commitment to religion, loss of hope, abandonment issues, mommy issues, and alcoholism… and that was the hero! The book helped generate a lot of buzz and interest in the character culminating in Ben Affleck donning the red leather Daredevil costume in a feature film. The movie flirted with some of the ideas and imagery used in Kevin Smith’s run of the comic, but not to the same success.
Recommended reads: Marvel Knights’ Daredevil, Batman: Cacophony
Mark Millar MBE (born 24 December 1969) is a Scottish comic book writer, known for his work on books such as The Authority, The Ultimates, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Civil War, Wanted, and Kick-Ass, the latter two of which have been adapted into feature films. In August 2007, he won the Stan Lee award at Wizardworld in Chicago. Millar names Alan Moore and Frank Miller as the two biggest influences on his career, characterizing them as “my Mum and Dad.” Other writers he names as influences include Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis. More recent writers that have impressed him include Jason Aaron and Scott Snyder. – Wikipedia
Mark Millar is a more recognized name around here, now, but many of you probably don’t know how much he’s contributed to the comic book world in the last decade. I hadn’t been aware of Millar until a few years back while catching up on comics and I came across this book called “Old Man Logan” that depicted the tale of an Older Wolverine and a now-blind and old Hawkeye adventuring around a post apocalyptic United States. YES, that happened and it was awesome. Did I mention that this is the guy that created Wanted and Kick-Ass along with John Romita Jr.? I read more of his work and good gosh, there’s damn good reason this guy was chosen by Fox to run their comic properties. He’s a Marvel of a talent and I hope you guys find enjoyment in his writing like I did.
Recommended Reads: Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Superman: Red Son, Wanted, Kick Ass
This is the second part of a series of features. Be sure to check back for further installments!