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:
Joseph Hill “Joss” Whedon (born June 23, 1964) is an American screenwriter, film and television producer, director, comic book author, composer, and actor. He is the founder of Mutant Enemy Productions and co-founder of Bellwether Pictures. He is best known as the creator and showrunner of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), Angel (1999–2004), Firefly (2002–2003),Dollhouse (2009–2010), and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013), as well as Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008). Whedon co-wrote Toy Story (1995), wrote and directed Serenity (2005), co-wrote and produced the horror film The Cabin in the Woods (2012), and wrote and directed the film adaptation of Marvel’s The Avengers (2012),the third highest-grossing film of all time. — Wikipedia
Probably one of the more recognized writers on this list is film director Joss Whedon. Joss has been adorned by most of us on the internet for years for his contributions to such beloved shows as Buffy, Angel, and Firefly but did you may not have known that Mr. Whedon is regarded as somewhat of a revolutionist in the X-Men brand of comics with a storyline involving the cure for mutation that served as inspiration for the third X-Men film “The Last Stand”. Joss Whedon even contributed to the continued television storylines of Buffy and Angel in a owned comic book deal with Dark Horse Comics, furthering their development.
Recommended reads: Serenity: Those Left Behind, Astonishing X-Men, Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 8
J. Michael Straczynski
Joseph Michael Straczynski (/strəˈzɪn.ski/; born July 17, 1954), known professionally as J. Michael Straczynski and informally as Joe Straczynski or jms,is an American writer and producer. He works in films, television series, novels, short stories, comic books, radio dramas and other media. Straczynski is a playwright, former journalist, and author of The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. He was the creator and showrunner for the science fiction television series Babylon 5, its spin-off Crusade, as well as Jeremiah, a series loosely based on Hermann Huppen‘s comics. Straczynski wrote 92 out of the 110 Babylon 5 episodes, notably including an unbroken 59-episode run through the third and fourth seasons, and all but one episode of the fifth season. He also wrote the fourBabylon 5 TV movies produced alongside the series. — Wikipedia.
I know this name because he wrote The Amazing Spider-Man comic for like 6 years in a row, you may know this name because he’s contributed to some of the more highly regarded science fiction television series and films in recent memory. Mr. Straczynski has been around since he wrote a spec script fr “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” in 1984 that rights holders Filmation actually bought. Since that time Straczynski has been involved with such franchises such as The Real Ghostbusters, The Twilight Zone, Shelley Duvall’s Nightmare Classics, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, Jake and the Fatman, Murder She Wrote, Walker Texas Ranger, Bablyon 5, Showtime’s Jeremiah, the Bradd Pitt starring World War Z, Angelina Jolie’s starring Changeling, Marvel’s film tratment of Thor, and more. It’s been reported that he wrote the script for the film Ninja Assassin for Joel Silver in just 53 Hours. Having one of the longest resume’s on this list, it’s surprising that he actually finds time to write comics, but he does and he does so well.
Recommended reads: Superman: Earth One, Spider-Man: One More Day, The Twelve
Frank Miller (born January 27, 1957) is an American writer, artist, and film director best known for his dark comic book stories and graphic novels such as Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, and 300. He also directed the film version of The Spirit, shared directing duties with Robert Rodriguez on Sin City and produced the film 300. — Wikipedia
Sin City and 300 are probably some of the first things to pop into someone’s head when mentioning the name Frank Miller but I only think of one thing: Old Man Batman . Old Man Batman is an icon that even some non-comic fans can recognize without realizing that Frank Miller made this happen. Story and Art. His work in comics that materialized in film include Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, 300, and the upcoming 300 sequel; but Miller’s involvement in Hollywood extends even further. Miller’s work in film includes writing credits for Robocop 2 (which was heavily edited due to the studio deeming parts ‘unfilmable’), Robocop 3, a cancelled ‘Batman: Year One’ film with director Darren Aronofsky, and his solo-directing debut ‘The Spirit’.
His catologue of work and mind is still inspiring feature films with upcoming sequels 300: Battle of Artemisia and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
Recommended reads: Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City
Joseph “Jeph” Loeb III is an American film and television writer, producer and award-winning comic book writer. Loeb was a producer/writer on the TV series Smallville and Lost, writer for the films Commando and Teen Wolf and was a writer and Co-Executive Producer on the NBC TV show Heroes from its premiere in 2006 to November 2008.– Wikipedia.
Jeph Loeb is a name that many of you have seen flash across your screen in the opening credits of some of your favorite television shows and films, but what you may not have known is that Mr. Loeb is also an award winning comic book writing veteran of 22 years. Jeph Loeb is no stranger to comic aficionados as he’s written some of the most well-known, respected, and valuable storytelling of the last 20 years including “Batman: The Long Halloween” which served as partial inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films, He was also the writer for both “Superman/Batman” animated films “Public Enemies” and “Apocalypse”.
Recommended reads: Batman: The Long Halloween, Superman/Batman, The Ultimates 3
This is the first part of a series of features. Be sure to check back for further installments!