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Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – S

Today, we feature a favorite writer of mine (and it goes well with the last letter)!!

Roger Stern

Awhile ago, Wizard did a bit where they picked what they felt were the best stories for a variety of Marvel characters.

Whether you agree with the editorial selections of Wizard magazine, one thing that really jumped out at me was some of the selections.

So many of them were written by Roger Stern!

They gave their top picks, plus five or so honorable mentions.

Stern made the list TWICE for Spider-Man (including the top spot), once for Avengers, once for Captain America, once for Hulk and once for Dr. Strange. In addition, he was the editor for Uncanny X-Men for a good deal of their entries (and he was an involved editor).

I really appreciate Roger Stern’s contributions to comics.

He also created one of my favorite comic book characters, Monica Rambeau.

When you look back at it, the success of Monica Rambeau (the second person at Marvel to be named Captain Marvel), it is so impressive. Here was a NEW character, who was FEMALE, AND black, and within a few years, she was involved in most of Marvel’s marketing. That was how good of a character Roger Stern created.

In addition, he gave us a wonderful run on Captain America with John Byrne, a memorable Avengers run with John Buscema (and Al Milgrom), a memorable Spider-Man run with John Romita Jr. (my R choice! :)), a memorable Hulk run with Sal Buscema and a notable tenure as John Byrne’s Superman successor.

Roger Stern’s contributions to modern comics are impressive.

I wish I could see some more comcis from him!

17 Comments

Yeah, it’s nice to see Wizard doing features like that, covering the history of comics from the present day alllll the way back to when they were first invented. In 1982. Apparently.

(i’m just saying: Citing Wizard might not be the absolute strongest way to make what is a perfectly valid argument for Stern’s strength as a writer.)

Roger Stern kind of symbolizes eighties Marvel for me. Most of his work wasn’t incredibly original or jaw-droppingly spectacular, but he had a really strong, intuitive understanding of all the characters he worked on and was solidly and consistently good, for a long time, on a wide variety of titles.

And rumor has it that Marvel’s tapped him to do a SPider-man project in the near-future.

(Which blows, because I’m trying to drop all the Marvel books. :))

Bernard the Poet

April 12, 2008 at 5:15 am

I’ve just written a comment in your Top 100 Comic Book Runs post about why I feel Roger Stern shouldn’t be on the list, so I should probably let it drop now, but you mentioned Captain Marvel and I feel she rather proves my point. In the countless issues that Stern used her, I don’t think she ever said interesting or original line, nor displayed any personality traits beyond those of the generic superhero. She was given virtually no private life, and she never revealed any likes or dislikes. She was just there.

I actually quite like Roger Stern’s work, he was a hack in the best sense of the word, but lets not get carried away.

Cool! I love Roger Stern. His runs on Doctor Strange, Amazing Spider-Man,and Captain America were top shelf and Incredible Hulk annual # 6 with John Byrne is still one of my favorite all time books…ever !!!!

Also had very good runs on Avengers and Ghost Rider.

Stern’s Spider-Man stuff was insanely good, and memorable in its quality. Spidey vs Juggernaut, the Hobgoblin mystery (that Marvel editorial screwed up), the Rose, the development of Pete’s supporing cast, all of that was good, solid stuff that didn’t go over the top to shock you or insult your intelligence.

As good as ASM and Avengers were, Stern’s Doctor Strange is his Masterpiece. As surprised and delighted as I was to see the other two show up so high on the list of Top 100 runs, I realized simultaneously that his DS would almost certainly not show up, which is a shame. Still, I’ll admit, it was only a runner-up for me– All of Stern’s wonderful books cancelled each other out for my vote, and 80s Marvel was already over-represented.

I wish Stern had taken over The All-New Atom. His fill-in issue did a much better job of capturing the tone Gail Simone had set for the series than Rick Remender’s two issues so far have done.

Yeah. He’s cool.

Here was a NEW character, who was FEMALE, AND black, and within a few years, she was involved in most of Marvel’s marketing.
Not to be snarky, but mightn’t the fact that she’s female and black be part of the reason she was involved in most of Marvel’s marketing? She’s the minority jackpot! Kind of like Storm, except Monica actually looked like a black woman, not like a white woman colored brown.

Not that I dislike the character, or think that she didn’t actual deserve a place of prominence, but there may have been more going on than just her innate qualities…

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

April 12, 2008 at 5:54 pm

I’m the only one who voted for Stern’s Dr. Strange in best comic runs?!?!? Really?!?!?!?

I wish Stern had taken over The All-New Atom. His fill-in issue did a much better job of capturing the tone Gail Simone had set for the series than Rick Remender’s two issues so far have done.

Yeah. He’s cool.

I liked his all old Atom run (circa ’87 or so) too.

I voted for Stern’s run on Doc. Strange….and his Amazing Spider-Man…and his Captain America….I love the guy.

What, no love for the Stern/Moy LEGIONNAIRES post-ZH? That was one of the three books that got me back into comics after X-burnout chased me away in 93 or so, AND got me into DC for the first time, in 1996. (Waid’s FLASH and Morrison/Millar’s AZTEK were the others)

Adrian Seltzer

April 13, 2008 at 2:51 pm

to stealthwise:
I believe the Rose was Tom DeFalco’s creation as he first appears in DeFalco’s first issue of Amazing. Other than that, you’re spot on with your assessment of Stern’s Spider-Man. Spidey vs. Juggernaut is one of the best Spider-Man stories ever. Also his Death and Life of Superman novel is great, much better than the actual Death of Superman comics.

People are mostly talking about Stern’s Marvel stuff which I haven’t read, but his stuff I’ve read for DC (mostly Superman) is some of the blandest stuff I’ve ever read.

Roger Stern and Tom Lyle’s Starman is one of my favourite comics, ever. I know most fans prefer Jack Knight but for me Starman will always be Will Payton in the purple and gold costume. I loved the ordinary-guy-becomes-strange-creature premise that other writers would have made ultra-horrific and others just plain bland (like Stern’s successor on the title). Stern made the idea work with great warmth, a superb supporting cast, and good old fashioned superheroics with the spin of it happening to a wide eyed newbie. It was a favourite comic within my college dorm back in 1988-89, too.

Fuuny, if this Roger Stern is such a good writer, how come he never penned any of the 12 canonical issues of NFL SuperPro?

I like Monica Rambue, and would have to disagree with Bernard. She was given some personal life, there were scenes where she’d visit her family, there was a potential love interest (forgot his name, tho), and she was shown as a capable professional who didn’t whine about the burden of suddenly having these new amazing powers and responsabilities. If anything, she was grateful for them, as she was able to see and do things a normal person couldn’t, and could help people in ways she wouldn’t have been able to as a normal person. Quite refreshing from how many newly created characters react to gaining their powers.

Too bad Marvel decided to piss all over the character, forcing Stern to leave the title (and her). The character never really recovered, hitting a low point in the mid-90s where they had her fighting Captain Marvel’s bastard son for the name…and going even lower by having her get nekkid to try and distract him!

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