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A Month of Writing Stars – Scott Beatty

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 fun comic book writer.

Enjoy!

Scott Beatty is perhaps one of the best examples of a writer falling “victim” to his material, as the majority of Beatty’s solo writing work has been on stuff like comic book reference pages (he was a big-time contributor to most of DC’s Secret Files comics).

This matches his outside comic book writing, where he has written a number of books along the lines of “The Ultimate Guide to Batman,” “The Ultimate Guide to Superman,” etc.

However, I think that is greatly underselling Beatty, as his actual comic book work has been quite fun.

His highest profile work has usually been as a co-writer, as he co-wrote a number of good Year One series with Chuck Dixon…

Robin Year One

Batgirl Year One (these Year One mini-series were the introduction in the United States of the amazing Marcos Martin, so if Beatty only had that on his resume, he’d be golden!).

and a run on Nightwing for Nightwing Year One

(where Dixon and Scott McDaniel re-united and promptly raised the sales on Nightwing considerably, only for the book to go in a totally different direction – the book under Dixon and McDaniel was one of DC’s better sellers – they leave, the book goes down in sales – they come back – the book goes up in sales – so DC’s move is to…not bring them back (and they were willing to return!)).

He had a fun, if slight, run on Batman: Gotham Knights (his run was mostly on the idea of the possibility that Bane was Batman’s illegitimate brother and how such news would affect both men)

He had a strong run on Ruse following Mark Waid, who was a tough act to follow on that series (Waid did a really, really good job on that book).

Beatty is big characterization guy, and at the same time, there is a sense of gentleness to his work. By gentleness, I mean that there is a lack of crass and cynicism within his comics – he still deals with some heavy duty stuff, including his recent Wildstorm series that he wrote, the Number of the Beast, which led into the current post-apocalyptic storyline in the Wildstorm universe.

However, he always manages to ground his books with a nice reality based mostly on the characters.

That’s why he so good I imagine at doing fill-in work, because he seems to easily “get” each character and is able to translate that to the readers quickly. He did some awesome Green Arrow fill-ins a few years back.

Currently, he is doing a fun, character-driven book for Wildstorm with his ongoing run on Gen 13 with the great Mike Huddleston on art.

16 Comments

What about Batman : Gotham Adventures ? He did a great run writing some Eisnerian one-shots (Batman as a juror, Batman taking care of a baby)

arrrrgghhh in fact it was Scott PETERSON (Scott Beatty did a fill-in). I mixed up.

Beatty really is a sort of “Unsung Hero of Fill-ins and Characterisation” – I was just looking at the Green Arrow issues there, and realised that they hadn’t really felt like fill-ins, just pauses for breath that didn’t feel out of place with the issues on either side…

He must have done Year One’s for the majority of the Bat Family, what next?

“Alfred – Year One?”

(Now that actually could be FANTASTIC! – His experiences before becoming a butler for the Waynes… just imagine!)
:-)

He also wrote the drastically under-rated “Son of Vulcan” mini-series that was released about three years ago. It was lost amongst the pre-Infinite Crisis hub-bub, which is a shame, because the concept and the character were really fun and interesting. Alas, the character has only appeared once since, in the abysmal Titans East one-shot, where he was nearly killed. I’d love to see Beatty or someone use the character again, espcially since he hunts White Martians and the Titans now have one on their team.

I met him at a con a couple years back. Really really nice guy.

Glad someone else brought up Son Of Vulcan…that was a fun series, and I really hope the character gets picked up somewhere else.

“Alfred – Year One?”

(Now that actually could be FANTASTIC! – His experiences before becoming a butler for the Waynes… just imagine!)

What an obscure thing to be sarcastic about. That was a pretty good story though. I like Beaty’s logic of “If he’s been a spy and a butler, why not have him be a spy butler?”

Son of Vulcan was great. I wish he got more work. I need to go hunt down his Ruse issues now.

Hell yeah!

Excellent choice, Cronin.

Those Year One minis were fantastic, his Green Arrow fill-ins were solid (why wasn’t he tapped to take over after Meltzer?), and Gen13 has been a blast. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s touching, it’s disturbing, it’s everything I want in a comic. And, it actually comes out monthly!

Beatty and Huddleston are the best thing to happen to that series since Adam Warren.

Yes, SON OF VULCAN! I loved that series and bought the Titans East 1-shot for him…then I wanted to kill Winnick. Such a cool and underutilized character.

Great call! I loved Batgirl: Year One and enjoy the various reference guides — it’s nice seeing Scott Beatty getting some love for his underrated work.

Have a good day.
John Cage

Cass, I wasn’t being sarcastic!

I really think it would be great!

Oh you’re serious? Scott Beaty really DID do an Alfred: Year One story as a backup at the end of Detective 806 and Detective 807 called Regnum Defende (and for some reason the story is misspelled on both covers). That’s some sick ESP you got going there Blackjak.

Really???

Cool! Must see if I can find those! Thank you, Cass!

Ian- Scott wasn’t tapped to take over GA from Meltzer because Judd Winnick already had dibs on the title. In the foreword of Archer’s Quest, Winnick essentially says that he had the title, but didn’t want to follow Kevin Smith, so he convinced his editor to hire his old college roommate… who happened to be Brad Meltzer, best-selling novelist.

I just read Robin Year One and it was great; so was Nightwing Year One.

Kudos to Scott and thanks for giving him the spotlight.

Has RUSE ever been collected in TPB format? It’s the one CrossGen book that I missed out on that I really want to get my hands on.

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