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A Month of Writing Stars – Tom Peyer

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 great offbeat comic book writer!

Enjoy!

Tom Peyer was a cartoonist for a number of years before he was “discovered” by Roger Stern, who gave him co-writing gigs on a few of Stern’s DC assignments of the late 80s, most notably a stint as co-writer on Power of the Atom.

Peyer went on staff at DC, and was actually the editor of Doom Patrol at the tail end of Grant Morrison’s run.

Peyer’s “big” break was when he was given the writing gig on L.E.G.I.O.N.

That soon led into the L.E.G.I.O.N. follow-up, R.E.B.E.L.S., which I thought was a total blast. Vril Dox is such a good character and Peyer wrote him well. Here, Peyer did a good job on characterizations but what I liked most was how he was willing to take rather odd directions with the book – he zigged when you figured he would zag. It was extremely effective.

Soon, Peyer began working on probably his most successful work, co-writing the two Legion books with Tom McGraw (with a little Mark Waid and Roger Stern mixed in, as well).

I enjoyed this era in Legion history. Not as much as the pre-Zero Hour stuff, but the books were still quite well-written.

Peyer did an interesting revamp of Magnus Robot Fighter for Acclaim…

And he did a good job on the box office poison that was a Quicksilver ongoing series.

It was here that Peyer really began to develop his offbeat edge that would soon be somewhat synonymous with his solo efforts (he still occasionally does co-writing work, like with Mark Waid on a few projects). Quicksilver was definitely an offbeat book – Quicksilver becoming the head of a bunch of anthropomorphic animal knights.

But it was Hourman that got him his most critical praise.

The project was a spin-off from Morrison’s JLA,and Peyer turned the book into an odd little book starring a majorly powerful robot from the future and the very human problems he encounters in today. It co-stars Snapper Carr of all people!

More recent, Peyer has been doing a lot of funny work for Bongo! comics, as well as the Tek Janson comic (based on the Stephen Colbert character).

Also, His blog is a LOT of fun to read normally. Check it out here.

26 Comments

When oh when oh when will I be able to get an hourman omnibus?
I hear only gold about it.

Weren’t Tom Peyer, Waid, Millar, and God all supposed to work on Superman together? That would’ve been some REALLY notable work, essentially like getting a co-author credit on All-Star Superman.

Peyer was supposed to have a nice, lengthy Flash run. He did six issues (that were all marvellous), set up ongoing plot points, brought in new supporting characters, gave an extra focus to Jay Garrick, gave Wally a job, used the kids in a way that wasn’t really annoying and then DC pulled the rug out and brought back Barry.

I’d love to have known what he had planned, when you start with Grodd, how the hell do you get better?

Have to agree on the comments about his Flash ‘run’. Not sure about what happened or how long he was expecting to be on the title but for all the bad mouthing Flash has had since Infinite Crisis there has actually been some really good stuff. Guggenhiem end to Bart’s series was great, the last four issues by Bennett (name?) were pretty good too (last issue wasn’t great but hey) BUT the jewel in the crown was Peyer’s 6 issues. Really great fun and a crying shame he wasn’t allowed to get a head of steam on the book I think he’d have turned in one of the great runs.

One thing I’ve always been intrigued by- howcome he was credited as Tennesee Peyer for a while? Back around R.E.B.E.L.S I think.

I loved Tom Peyer’s Hourman. It was a great series with a lot of humor and a lot of heart.

Good call. I’ve always liked Tom Peyer’s writing (except on the strangely abysmal Totems one-shot for Vertigo).

But damn you for pointing out loads of his stuff that I haven’t got. Now I’m going to have to get the last year or two of L.E.G.I.O.N that I’m missing and all of R.E.B.E.L.S!

He also wrote an arc of The Authority. The ‘Replacement Authority’ was a lot of fun.

Abysmal? Come on. Totems was fun.

Today we look at a neat all-ages writer for Marvel Comics!

You might want to change that, Brian.

Anyway…

Poor Peyer, man. He’s had a terrible stream of luck at the big two lately. Seems like his runs are constantly being cut short, the books are cancelled outright, or he’s stuck on thankless fill-ins and supplemental projects.

Remember when he swapped arcs with Ennis on The Punisher? Yeah, me either.

Hope he has better luck at Bongo and Oni.

.”He did six issues (that were all marvellous), set up ongoing plot points,”

Really? That “Fast Money” Flash arc with everyone in Keystone hating Flash and that ridiculous “media” villain was abysmally bad.

.”He did six issues (that were all marvellous), set up ongoing plot points,”

Really? That “Fast Money” Flash arc with everyone in Keystone hating Flash and that ridiculous “media” villain was abysmally bad. I chalked it up to the book being dumped anyway, so half-assed material is what you were gonna get, served hot.

Stephane Savoie

January 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I enjoyed Fast Money, but hated his work on LEGION and REBELS. I was baffled that the man who had produced that drek could go on to write the genius of Hourman.
Different strokes, I guess.

Peyer is great; love his Hourman and a lot of that Post-ZH Legion stuff, Godd choice Brian, underappreciated and well worth a second look. Could I be so bold as to suggest Peter B. Gillis for a future installment? His Gammarauders made reading RPG spin-off comics bearable. Also Tom Joyner, co-writer on the amazing Hammerlocke.
As ever, keep up the good work…

I loved Peyer’s Legion work…especially when he brought part of the team in the 20th Century during the Final Night crossover. Some of the best writing of Legion in years.
Another good writer chosen.

Well hey, Hourman and his LSH work are both great, right? And then there was Starfire wearing a tin foil hat.

I really liked his Acclaim work though!

do Len KAMINSKI!!!!

Didn’t Tom Peyer write the first Atom Special, the one that Steve Dillon did the art on? That is one of my favorite one shots ever, with Chronos and all. Great book.

Of course, my face is red if someone else wrote it…

That Atom special was by Tom Peyer so you’re safe

Abysmal? Come on. Totems was fun.

Really it was one of the worst comics I’ve ever read – which was shocking considering Tom Peyer wrote it.

It was a superhero team-up without being a superhero team-up, and it was all about conspiracy theory and millenial angst. What’s not to like?

Is this the same Tom Peyer who wrote the fantastic editorial spiel for Grant Morrison’s Doom Force?

Yep, that’s the one.

It’s Bongo, not Bingo.

Ooh, excellent choice. I love Peyer. Absolutely love him. Among things that weren’t mentioned -

DC 2000 is one of the craziest and most fun things ever written involving the JSA (how can you not love 1940s-era Spectre seeing a computer for the first time and dubbing it an “Informatio-Scope”?)

Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold (which he co-wrote with Mark Waid) features Wally West becoming “Teen Lantern”, among a couple dozen other delightful moments.

He’s one of the good ones.

Oh, he co-wrote the Flash/GL B&B series? I was thinking that was just Waid. That was great too.

[...] Should Be Good is running a Year of Writing stars. Monday’s installment: Tom Peyer, who wrote last year’s six-part Flash arc, “Fast [...]

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