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.
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.