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.
I admit I only know Hickman by reputation, seeing as the only Marvel Book I was getting before I got sent to a land without comic book stores was Wood's X-men. But I happen to think that Synder is a pretty good writer myself. He captures detective elements of the Dark Knight pretty well from what I saw in the pre Damian death issues and the Gates of Gotham series, and he seems to be capturing Superman and his reporter style well. So, that's why I argued he could do Green Lantern or Flash well due to how they are police, though I think he could probably do a decent Spiderman as well now that I think about it.
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.
Lets hope everyone remembers that Marvel Now has misses next time one complains about the New 52 having bad writers. And perhaps this just means that Gilleon is best when he gets to play with mythology. Perhaps he would do a decent Hercules or Wonder Woman, while tech based heroes like Batman and Iron Man are not compatible
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.
It helps at least, that a lot of Bendis's series he writes have characters who do quip like a young Spiderman: older Spiderman for one, and younger X-Men like young Iceman who is a comical character
And it almost seems that everyone seems to hate whoever is writing Avengers pretty hugely. Heck, it seems to get worse as the Johns hate on his Justice League run tempered down after Throne of Atlantis.
Hey, who knows: perhaps people give Ultimate Spiderman a pass because Bendis created him and defined the story perfectly, or as close to it as possible. Same with Hickman and the FF and Johns on Green Lantern; if a writer stays on a title long enough, few fans are willing to diss it.
But that becomes a curse: people will always expect that Johns will always do a Green Lantern to the characters he 'revamps'. His Teen Titans run is generally agreed to be the second best (Behind the immortal Perez/Wolfman one), but people diss it for not being as good as his GL run. Perhaps Bendis and Hickman, as well as Remender and every other good writer, has that problem.
But even then: perhaps its easier for a generalist writer like Johns to adapt to other types of characters: being able to go from writing young heroes like the Teen Titans to writing old hip people like he did with JSA to his current Aquaman run.
How well can Bendis, Hickman and Remender write when out of their comfort zones: be it Ultimate Spiderman and his quips, the Fantastic Four and their great sci fi feel and Remender and the gritty Uncanny X-Force.