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A Month of Writing Stars – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

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 writer who popped up in this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed!

Enjoy!

As mentioned in this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa got his start as an up and coming playwright, and he still writes new plays today, producing some innovative and acclaimed works.

His plays showed a real appreciation and love for the comic book medium (as well as some severe writing talent), so Marvel Comics hired him to write a Fantastic Four series.

After various shenanigans, Aguirre-Sacasa ended up writing a spin-off called Marvel Knights: 4, with the great artist, Steve McNiven as his co-creator.

I’ll admit that I think Aguirre-Sacasa struggled at first. I feel that folks tremendously underestimate the difficulties in transitioning from one medium to another, even for talented writers, and I feel Aguirre-Sacasa took a little time to assimilate himself to comic book writing.

He soon did, however, and Marvel Knights: 4 became a powerful book, filled with beautiful characterizations and most of all, a wonderfully effective sense of mood and setting.

Soon, Aguirre-Sacasa was teamed with another great artist, Darick Robertson, on the box office poison series, Nightcrawler.

While likely doomed at the start, the 12-issue run was delightful, with a great number of offbeat stories and, once again, a great eye for characterization and mood.

Perhaps his biggest title to date was when he was given the reins to Marvel Knights: Spider-Man, which was re-named Sensational Spider-Man (before they announced the re-naming, it was notable that he was writing BOTH of the Marvel Knights versions of regular Marvel heroes – Marvel Knights: 4 and Marvel Knights: Spider-Man!). Marvel Knights: 4 was also re-named at the same time to simply Four (McNiven was long gone by then, Jim Muniz was the artist now).

Aguirre-Sacasa had the legs taken out from him a bit, the same as Peter David, as very quickly, their run on their respective Spider-Man titles became “tag-alongs” of sorts to the main Spider-Man title as well as the Civil War developments, so while both David and Aguirre-Sacasa tried to do some good things, the format was none too inviting.

Since the cancellation of Sensational Spider-Man, Aguirre-Sacasa has been busy on special projects (comic-wise, that is, as he is extremely busy OUTSIDE of comics, as he is on the staff of writers for the HBO series Big Love on top of his continual writing of plays).

He did a nice Young Avengers one-shot…

And he did a really interesting Angel mini-series (where Adam Pollina matched Aguirre-Sacasa, mood-creation-wise bit for bit!).

Currently, he’s adapting The Stand for Marvel Comics.

5 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

January 31, 2009 at 6:58 am

Before The Stand, I’ve never read any of his works, but was blown away by how good he is adapting the Stand.

Looking forward to the next installment of the series.

I’m glad you decided to showcase him, he’s a great writer.

Mood, mood, mood, mood, mood, mood, mood.

That’s the name of the game with Sacasa, way more than any other writer I’ve ever seen. It leaps off the page and you cannot escape. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a superhero comic with quite the mood of the Puppet Master story in 4.

And his Nightcrawler book was almost like what a Vertigo Nightcrawler book would be.

I think the Marvel Knights 4 book would’ve done better if it weren’t for the horrid clusterfuck behind the scenes. It’s like people wanted to punish it when they were really pissed at the higher ups at Marvel.

I read his two-issue Venom story for Back in Black, and loved it. I also loved his Angel mini.

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