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#1 Edited by krspaceT (1493 posts) - - Show Bio

No, this is not a hate thread. If you want to vent out that Nocenti/Hopeless/Bendis/Lobdell suck or something, go somewhere else

This thread is looking at how writers styles, and the characters, work.

Hear me out

We all know that certain writers have specific niches where they work best

Gail Simone works best in team books, though she can do individual females

Rick Rememder has his best work in dark. militaristic stories

Matt Fraction has a humor based style that works best with titles who aren't meant to be all gritty like the one above me here, but can be very ,very serious as necessary

And Grant Morrison (Knight of the English Empire...no really he was knighted) writes the best when he is given a title where he can write vaguely insane stuff (Why he has never written Deadpool I have no idea, unless that New X-Men thing is still up)

Now, all characters have some degree of flexibility to them, that you see rather frequently.

For example, Jonathan Hickman does Sci-Fi writing. This may seem suitable only for the FF, but he can write this easily enough with the Avengers, who can, have, and will deal with alien threats, and have them just as believable if they were dealing with Red Skull, Loki or other terrestrial enemies.

Brian Azzarello normally writes dark, grittier comic books. He can write Wonder Woman as he does because, of the DC's big heroes, she is the most fitting to that style, being the only Trinity member to kill and be in character

In theory, I could name a lot of other writers who can take on new characters and write them well. Scott Snyder, who mostly writes detective (Or reporter) based stories, in theory could handle Flash or Green Lantern by working with their roles in their police positions, be it Central or Oa

While over at Marvel, and I know I am going to get flamed for this, Brian Michael Bendis could probably do a decent Runaways, due to his good work with young characters (Such as Spiderman and the New X-Men), and the fact that, when it comes to salvaging a franchise, he may just be second to Geoff Johns (Who, as far as I can tell, is a generalist so I can't really place him well here unless we have a place for a Repairman writer)

The question is, are there writers who can't work with a character at all? Bar writers who have....bad status among fans (And I don't need to have a thread of hate smeared), what writers would never be able to write a specific character. Could Bendis, king of the streets write a decent Superman story? Would the sci fi loving Hickman be any good if he tackled the Dark Knight? Is it a likely event that Gail Simone fail at writing Iron Man? Should Greg Pak, whose specialty is writing super strong characters like Hulk, Hercules and Superman, write Spiderman?

What do you guys think?

#2 Posted by lightsout (1831 posts) - - Show Bio

Scott Lobdell is not compatible with any formerly good DC title apparently. I used to think people were being too critical, but Teen Titans is really crap now

#3 Edited by Wolverine08 (43582 posts) - - Show Bio

Good thread. IMO, Brian Michael Bendis is only good when he's working with street levelers.

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#4 Edited by krspaceT (1493 posts) - - Show Bio

Scott Lobdell is not compatible with any formerly good DC title apparently. I used to think people were being too critical, but Teen Titans is really crap now

....Recall my No hate the writer rule? I'm not interesting in hearing that Lobdell/Johns/Whedon whoever is writing comics nowadays sucks, I'm interested in how their writing styles may or may not be able to work with specific characters.

#5 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6417 posts) - - Show Bio

Grant Morrison wasn't knighted, he got an MBE. Still, getting an honour at all seems to be pretty rare for comic book creators.

#6 Edited by lightsout (1831 posts) - - Show Bio

@krspacet: To be perfectly honest I only briefly skimmed the OP, I was going more by the topic-title & thought it would be funny to beat everyone else to ragging on him :D

#7 Posted by krspaceT (1493 posts) - - Show Bio
#8 Posted by lightsout (1831 posts) - - Show Bio

@krspacet: Wow, sorry. I admitted that it was on me for not reading your post thoroughly - and that :D was to show I wasn't being malicious.

#9 Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse (6358 posts) - - Show Bio

Rob Liefeld and anything.

#10 Posted by lightsout (1831 posts) - - Show Bio
#11 Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse (6358 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout: No one in their right mind would disagree with that. :)

#12 Posted by krspaceT (1493 posts) - - Show Bio

Rob Liefeld and anything.

....Does no one read the opening line?

No, this is not a hate thread. If you want to vent out that Nocenti/Hopeless/Bendis/Lobdell suck or something, go somewhere else

....Due me a favor would you? While some writers are worse than others, this isn't about talent, but comics where even the best writers wouldn't work.This is where people discuss why Matt Fraction shouldn't write Batman because he's too into comedy (Though a Batfamily book might be a different story)

Why Gail Simone shouldn't write Captain America because he's too straight laced for her general writing style, ect ect

This.Is.Not.The.Place.To.Rant.About.Writers.Or.Plot.To.Murder.Them.In.Cold.Blood

#13 Posted by lightsout (1831 posts) - - Show Bio

@krspacet said:

....Does no one read the opening line?

I'm not saying this is an excuse, but is it insane for people to have just jumped to answering a topic title? (It seems especially prevalent here on CV. Just today that "biggest threat to the JL" topic - in the OP it said "the animated series", but nearly every response was regarding the comics).

I responded in a very light-hearted manner & admitted my laziness, and you basically jumped down my throat - insulted me & threatened me (uncalled for IMO).

(and just so I don't get bitched at for distracting from the topic, I have an on-topic thought)

Geoff Johns does very well with characters/groups that deal with classical themes of heroism (Flash, JSA, certain Teen Titan & Superman arcs, etc). Perhaps this is why his Justice League wasn't that great -- it was too "modern/edgy" (although it also could be because he's stretched thin, as Aquaman isn't "classical" & has still been good).

#14 Posted by tigerkaya (1262 posts) - - Show Bio

Bendis far better suited at street level heroes and teams. He writes better when the scope is small and involves social element in his writing. Fraction is far better at writing minor characters than well known characters.

#15 Posted by judasnixon (6648 posts) - - Show Bio

@krspacet: Garth Ennis and Tiny Titans....... I don't know? Garth Ennis could surprise us all and write the greatest, most adorable, most light hearted Tiny Titans story ever..... I'm just like everyone else. I Like picking writers that I think would be awesome on a book, but you can never tell in till it comes out. Ed Brubaker is the greatest noir writer in till he writes a noir book that sucks.

#16 Posted by Dabee (2399 posts) - - Show Bio

Alan Moore is only good at writing amazing stuff. He's not very good at writing bad stuff.

#17 Posted by Squares (7455 posts) - - Show Bio

@krspacet: Garth Ennis and Tiny Titans....... I don't know? Garth Ennis could surprise us all and write the greatest, most adorable, most light hearted Tiny Titans story ever..... I'm just like everyone else. I Like picking writers that I think would be awesome on a book, but you can never tell in till it comes out. Ed Brubaker is the greatest noir writer in till he writes a noir book that sucks.

Ennis? Adorable? It's just....not possible.

No, but seriously, Ennis is a....talented man, but his skills are very limited. There are sooo many titles I couldn't see him writing well.

Kieron Gillen probably wouldn't do a very good Punisher story.

@dabee said:

Alan Moore is only good at writing amazing stuff. He's not very good at writing bad stuff.

I imagine Moore isn't very good at writing extremely simple stories. Like, fluff reading, that kind of thing. Though he could surprise me...

#18 Posted by Billy Batson (58143 posts) - - Show Bio

@dabee said:

Alan Moore is only good at writing amazing stuff. He's not very good at writing bad stuff.

Nah, he's done his share of bad stuff.

BB

#19 Posted by Billy Batson (58143 posts) - - Show Bio

@squares said:
@judasnixon said:

@krspacet: Garth Ennis and Tiny Titans....... I don't know? Garth Ennis could surprise us all and write the greatest, most adorable, most light hearted Tiny Titans story ever..... I'm just like everyone else. I Like picking writers that I think would be awesome on a book, but you can never tell in till it comes out. Ed Brubaker is the greatest noir writer in till he writes a noir book that sucks.

Ennis? Adorable? It's just....not possible.

He did a children's book called "Erf".

BB

#20 Edited by frogdog (3274 posts) - - Show Bio

Could Bendis, king of the streets write a decent Superman story?

Considering how bad Bendis is at writing powerful heroes i.e. sentry, his superman would be terrible, also Bendis hasn't be called king of streets, after his terrbile moonknight run.

Would the sci fi loving Hickman be any good if he tackled the Dark Knight?

The Batman book or the dark knight?

Is it a likely event that Gail Simone fail at writing Iron Man?

It's not like she could do a worst job than Kieron Gillen

Should Greg Pak, whose specialty is writing super strong characters like Hulk, Hercules and Superman, write Spiderman?

Pak would be a god send in comparsion to that hack called Dan slott.

#21 Edited by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's less about the characters and more about the sense of style. Some writers do tend to have more versatile styles than others.

#22 Edited by Squares (7455 posts) - - Show Bio
#23 Posted by krspaceT (1493 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's less about the characters and more about the sense of style. Some writers do tend to have more versatile styles than others.

Got any examples of specific writers for that list. I mean, to me that is Johns, but I probably will get flames for that

#24 Posted by krspaceT (1493 posts) - - Show Bio

bump

#25 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

Im pretty sure that pak could probably handle a street level book. He's handling batman pretty well in the batman/superman book. I think that pak is just more interested in writing powerful characters.

#26 Posted by JediXMan (30899 posts) - - Show Bio

Grant Morrison wasn't knighted, he got an MBE. Still, getting an honour at all seems to be pretty rare for comic book creators.

Indeed. There's a significant difference between the two.

But, as you said, it's still an honor, especially for a comic book creator.

Moderator
#27 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (7891 posts) - - Show Bio

I would say so yeah, I have a funny thing along these lines: I love Kieron Gillen's Thor run but couldn't get on with his Iron Man and loved Matt Fractions Iron Man but couldn't get on with his Thor.

#28 Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6417 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman said:
@v_scarlotte_rose said:

Grant Morrison wasn't knighted, he got an MBE. Still, getting an honour at all seems to be pretty rare for comic book creators.

Indeed. There's a significant difference between the two.

But, as you said, it's still an honor, especially for a comic book creator.

I wonder how big a mark you would have to make in the world of comic books to actually get knighted. I imagine someone like Stan Lee could have got it if he was British.

#29 Edited by roboadmiral (546 posts) - - Show Bio

I think there are certain writers with a greater deal of aptitude or experience with certain genres, styles, and/or character archetypes. Those writers may also have certain preferences for the type of things they write, but at the end of the day a story is about people. Either you can write people or you can't. If you know how to write people, it doesn't matter whether they're on a spaceship, a back alley, or a mythical land, you can make them react to that circumstance in an appropriate manner.

That doesn't mean they don't get it wrong sometimes, be it out of a misunderstanding of a character or the setting, an overly fixed idea of how things are supposed to happen, or even a lack of the necessary practice.

#30 Posted by Lvenger (20677 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a really interesting topic that has generated some nice discussion. I do agree with the OP to a large extent on the matter at hand. For instance, though I'm not a huge fan of Snyder's Batman work, I really like what he's doing with Superman Unchained which is a totally different style of comic to what he usually writes. Similarly, Kieron Gilleon's Thor and Journey into Mystery runs were great but his Iron Man series has sucked hard so far. And I just dislike Fraction and Bendis generally. Even with series they're supposedly good at like Hawkeye and Ultimate Spider-Man don't interest me much.

#31 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

Bendis is incompatible with good comics.

The same goes for Remender, Way and Hickman.

#32 Edited by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio

Bendis is incompatible with good comics.

The same goes for Remender, Way and Hickman.

Daredevil and Alias! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

*Flips table*

#33 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@decoyelite said:

@fadetoblackbolt said:

Bendis is incompatible with good comics.

The same goes for Remender, Way and Hickman.

Daredevil and Alias! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

*Flips table*

Your point being, mate?

My statement stands.

#34 Posted by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio

@fadetoblackbolt: You can't even complain about Alias you never read it!

Every author is capable of doing something good! I stand by my strange sense of standards!

#35 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@decoyelite: Jessica Jones on the toilet! Misogynistic ant-rape! GRITTY!

ERIC O'GRADY'S CHILD! NO WAIT, BORED OF THAT! CHILD CONCEIVED BY ANAL SEX WITH LUKE CAGE.

GRITTY!

#36 Edited by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio

@decoyelite: Jessica Jones on the toilet! Misogynistic ant-rape! GRITTY!

ERIC O'GRADY'S CHILD! NO WAIT, BORED OF THAT! CHILD CONCEIVED BY ANAL SEX WITH LUKE CAGE.

GRITTY!

Never said it was perfect it's not nearly as try hard as you say it is. Also the stuff in bold, what?

#37 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio
#38 Posted by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio

@fadetoblackbolt: The crap with Purple Man? You mean the villain being really evil and dark in Marvel Max book? Oh silly me of course how did I not see that fatal flaw. I mean he totally never gets what's coming to him.

Oh wait she beats the s*** out of him and it's awesome.

#39 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@decoyelite: Err, that doesn't change the fact it's misogynistic and stupidly over the top =P

Bendis has no idea what subtlety is. At all. The same reason I think the Boys is a pile of useless.

#40 Edited by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio

@fadetoblackbolt: He's the bad guy and it's a lot of build up and it's not like it's all "he raped woman and s*** all the time" and stuff. Purple Man is a complete nut in this and he basically starts to do whatever he wants once he's not around someone who can counter his powers. It's hedonism, that's why he kills everyone in a restaurant because they're being too loud for him to enjoy his food. Yes it's over the top, but hedonism doesn't work if it's not over the top. Not to mention we don't even see most of this stuff, it's all second hand info and tiny bits from flashbacks. Plus the whole Purple Man thing isn't even the whole book. Sure he's the only real bad guy, but he's the only real supervillain in the darn thing.

Yes it's not the most subtle thing in the world, Bendis isn't the best author by any means, but he can do good darn it!

I'll admit though the book would have been better if it had not been a Max book and had to tone itself down a bit. Although I still think certain levels of grit were needed for the story.

#41 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@decoyelite: Sorry, but Jessica Sue and her overly tragic background that just happens to fit in snugly with continuity and make every character other than the ones Bendis is interested in for that week look bad is not something that should be considered "good".

Guilty pleasure at best.

#42 Posted by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio

@fadetoblackbolt: Fine then at least Bendis can make a good guilty pleasure.

That's a type of good. So I'm gonna pretend like I won this argument.

*Sigh* WELP back to reading House of Mystery so that I don't lose all my quality cred.

#43 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio
#44 Posted by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio
#45 Posted by TDK_1997 (14983 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting thread and I do agree with most things you've said but I disagree with the Snyder and Hickman arguments.For me Hickman was only good when he was writing the Fantastic Four,right now his Avengers is crap for me while SNyder can't do a good Batman comic even if he wants to.

#46 Posted by X35 (5981 posts) - - Show Bio

How anyone can say Alias was anything but horrible is beyond me. How can anyone describe a book that is mostly go nowhere inner-monologues fettered with swear words while an ugly (in every sense of the word) woman is having a crap as good? And that was like how they started almost every issue. And when it's not doing that it's painstakingly inserting Jones into continuity or having her having grotesque sex with things. All the while swearing.

#47 Edited by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

Bendis is only tolerable while writing Ultimate Spider-Man. I feel like tearing my head off when I read his Avengers stuff, Alias, or anything else Marvel-related by that man, even books like Ultimate X-Men. USM is the only time I feel that Bendis is comfortably in his element. The man's writing is just better in small doses. When I think USM, I think of lots of back-and-forth dialogue, teens acting like teens, and just overall fun. Bendis' writing ticks work well in USM because it's all I associate the series with. But bring him over to any other Marvel book and I feel like blowing my brains out.

Though, surprisingly enough, Ultimate Six was actually pretty good. He really toned all the Bendisms down in favor of a more hard-edged almost military type crossover.

Jonathan Hickman and his uber-narrations. The first thing is that the guy really needs to tone down the dramatic captions. To be honest, I love a good number of them. The ending captions for Avengers and New Avengers, the one in the Run epilogue issue of FF, the Ronance issue. Those are great. But sometimes the man just goes overboard. Books like F4 and Ultimate Comics Ultimates are when he uses them sparingly, and they work well. But in Avengers I just find myself going, is it really necessary?

Another thing is that he needs emotion and characters to ground his work. F4 and Ultimates? Solid character work mixed with his high-concept ideas. But try reading SHIELD or Manhattan Projects, and all you're left with is complete apathy for the book and its protagonists. I'm a fan of Hickman's work, but it only works when he's able to mix his penchant for epic science and the evolution of man and great ideas and what-not....with some modicum of characterization.

Mark Millar. Millar. Millar. MILLAR. Man....when this dude actually gives a crap about his writing, he churns out some of the best comics I have ever read. I don't care what his detractors say; but Ultimates/Ultimates 2, Authority, and Ultimate X-Men will always have a special place in my heart. I've also heard good stuff about his Swamp Thing, Old Man Logan, and Adventures of Superman stuff. When he actually cares about his writing, he produces some of the most blockbuster big-scale battles and thoughtful characterization. All those annoying tics (like the over-descriptive dialogue or penchant for over-the-top carnage) trigger emotions instead of feeling like throwaway shock tactics.

But when it comes to rubbish like Kick-Ass, Nemesis, Ultimate Comics Avengers, Super-Crooks. You can tell he's just putting words on pages to earn some money. None of these books feel worth your time, just spectacle and pretty art with zero substance story-wise. And all those annoying tics start giving him his reputation for pointless violence, crassness, and misogyny (that and his comments, though....). Also, the man should never be allowed to write sci-fi comics, because his F4 run was just a chore to read through, and completely devoid of any momentum.

#48 Edited by AngstromLevy (38 posts) - - Show Bio

I definitely think that certain characters and/or titles need certain writers to be any good. Imagine Invincible not written by Kirkman, for example.

#50 Posted by Squares (7455 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark: Bendis can be good, I think he just needs the right characters to work with. Have you read All-New X-men?

I agree 100% with what you said about Hickman. The guy can do high-concept stuff well, but even then his writing tends to fall flat on occasion.

The less said about Millar, the better. It still kills me that the same guy who wrote Old Man Logan wrote Wanted.