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CSBG Archive

A Month of Writing Stars – Will Pfeifer

Every day this month I’m going to feature a current comic book writing “star,” someone who I think is a very good writer.

I’m mostly going to try to keep from the biggest names as much as possible, because, really, do I need to talk more about the awesomeness of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis?

Here is the archive of previously featured writers.

Today we look at a nice offbeat mainstream writer.


While Will Pfeifer produced comics all the way back to the 80s when he was still in college, he first came to my attention when he wrote the excellent mini-series for Vertigo with the great Jill Thompson called Finals.

Finals was a brilliantly dark satire about a group of college seniors who were taking rather…odd approaches to their senior thesis (a Comparative Religions major started her own cult, a Criminal Justice major became an armed robber, etc.).

Great series – it is astonishing to me that it is not collected.

Jill Thompson brought Pfeifer with her when she did a short story in X-Men Unlimited.

It was a neat look at Dazzler, Behind the Music style!

Pfeifer’s next big project was two good series for DC.

One was the original project H.E.R.O. which was a take off on the Dial H for Hero series, only through different characters getting the dial.

One of my favorite Pfeifer projects from early on was his take on Aquaman along with Pat Gleason.

Now, I have no idea whose idea it was, but I really liked the idea of having a large part of San Diego become an underwater city, giving Aquaman, for the first time ever, really, his own city to patrol, like Batman had Gotham and Superman had Metropolis.

Sadly, he did not last long on the title.

Pfeifer’s next project was his longest-lasting, as he became the regular writer on Catwoman for almost three years, working first with the esteemed Pete Woods and later David Lopez (who is also quite good).

He wrote the book until earlier this year when it was canceled.

He also did a Legends of the Dark Knight arc that I liked a lot (Chris Weston on art).

Recently, Pfeifer has collected a bunch of his indie self-published comics from the 80s into a collection, Late Nights at Kinkos.

Click here to purchase the book and take a look at some previews!

What I enjoy most about Pfeifer’s work is likely his work with characterization – in H.E.R.O. for instance, he created intriguing personalities in quick bursts (as it was a sort of anthology). That characterization was of great help in Catwoman, where he was able to work with the book for a much longer period, so he was able to slowly bring things along.

In addition, I like Pfeifer’s off-beat style – his new take on the Film Freak was delightfully morbid (and Finals was totally off-beat).

I can’t wait until I see what he ends up writing next!

In the meantime, we can follow his work on his neat-o blog, X-Ray Spex, which you can find here!


I’m a big fan of Pfeifer’s work. Unfortunately, the poor guy will probably be remembered by the DC/Marvel crowd for Amazons Attack!

I hope the guy is on a book soon.

was his catwoman run really god, than? i’ve only got when in rome and the dark end of the street when it comes to catwoman solo stuff….

Yup! Loved his take on Catwoman and Aquaman!

AND I got his Legends of the Dark Knight arc.. though admittedly that one was because I love Chris Weston’s art, and wanted to see his Batman…

Film Freak in Catwoman was cool and creepy. The Z-solution was a the best thing to come out of Identity Crisis…

I think I’ve even got the X-Men Unlimited issue too!

I’m frankly amazed, Brian! I’ve A) heard of him; and B) got a shedload of his stuff! :-)

I really enjoyed his Catwoman run and was disappointed to see it end. He did a great job on the Batman/Catwoman dynamic. Worth checking out.

Check out his blog, too. Always entertaining. http://xrayspex.blogspot.com/

H.E.R.O. was one of the best comics ever, bar none.

FINALS sounds great. Never heard of it till now. Time to update the ol’ ever-expanding want list.

And in keeping with Jim’s statement above, the first thing I thought of when I saw his name was AMAZONS ATTACK. It’s as it, I dunno, Warren Beatty was known mainly for ISHTAR.

yeah, his run on Catwoman was an absolute joy. Will Pfeifer was in the comic shop last week when I was getting comics but I didn’t want to annoy him. He writes a column about dvds for my local paper too, it’s really informative.

Pfeifer (whose name I cannot spell for the life of me) has a pretty good blog, like Brian said. He’s an excellent writer when it comes to character work and seems the sort of utility guy who can just jump into almost any sitaution when they need a fill in and nail it.

I just hope he DOES have a project or six upcoming because it’s been sort of quiet for him since his Blue Beetle fill-ins ended.

FINALS was brilliant, well worth seeking out. I heard Will say once that every time DC starts to consider collecting it, there’s another school shooting in the news, and they get cold feet again. :(

I’ve been picking up some of the Heroes comics and enjoy them a lot.

Finals sounds really interesting and I’m definitely going to be on the look out for it.

Well, crap — I’m the “Anonymous” above who said FINALS would be going on my want list. (Anyone have any bloody idea whatsoever why Opera, my new browser, refuses to save my name here … though so far ithat bug hasn’t shown up anywhere else I’ve posted?)

Shouldn’t that be “he wrote the book until last year, when it was cancelled”?

I read the first issue of Finals and loved it, but I have not yet been able to find the rest of the series :(

Catwoman was good. Not something I’d have expected from the premise of the series.


January 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm

What happened to HERO?

I got the first trade, it was good, and there seemed to be a lot of buzz about the book, and then… nothing.

What happened to all that buzz? Where’s the second trade?

Also Brian, you’re surprised a mid to late 90’s vertigo mini hasn’t been collected?
They had a lot of strong mini’s around that time, and none of them have been collected – it’s more shocking when one is.
Heck, they’ve got Sandman mini’s that were good, and by name talent, that haven’t been collected.

And that’s jus Vertigo stuff from that period, I’m sure we can all name six DCU books that should be collected from that time.

Will Pfeifer is by far one of my favorite authors. He is the reason why Aquaman has become my favorite DC character. His run was criminally short lived and if there is any justice in the universe Dan Didio would be smart to give him the reigns again should there ever be another Aquaman monthly (and I think there will be sometime later this year or early next year.)

I <3 Will Pfeifer. That Dazzler story made that entire year happen for me.

I even have the tattoo to remember it by. <3

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