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CSBG Archive

Top 125 Comic Book Writers: #100-96

Here are the next five writers on the countdown, based on your votes for your favorite comic book writers of all-time! Here is the archive of all the writers featured so far!

I’ll give you two sample pages for each writer.

100 Tom DeFalco – 95 points (1 first place vote)

99 Otto Binder – 97 points

98 John Wagner – 99 points (3 first place votes)

97 Christos Gage – 101 points

96 Christopher Priest – 102 points (1 first place vote)


LOOOOOVE Quantum and Woody. I believe that there are many unpublished issues written and at least parts are drawn. I have a few panels from the missing section before eclipse part 3. Bet the rest will never see the light of day. (Also have a script to the fist unpublished issue somewhere.

How in earth is Christopher Priest only number 96? Okay, probably because he hasn’t written anything in years. Fair enough. Where is that guy?

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I’m hoping that he’s in seclusion, writing up a storm, catching up on all the Q & W missing issues to give to M.D. Bright to drawn.

Hey, I can dream, can’t I? ;-)

I’m not COMPLAINING or anything – Although I’m not quite sure who Christos Gage is, must be new – But except for Priest none of these guys are who I’d have expected on a top 100 writers list. You guys really voted for Otto Binder? That’s awesome.

No, wait, I’m pretty sure he wrote the Junior Avengers thing with Stegron in it. Any Marvel writer who uses Stegron is basically my best friend.

This is what it is like to be an old comic book fan.

One guy on the list I’ve never heard of. One guy I can’t believe anyone remembers.

Otto rules!

Chistos Gage is kinda like this generation’s Tom Defalco. He doesn’t write bad comics, but they’ll never be the comics that anybody except the people that grew up with them think of fondly.

This is something I looked up a while ago.

Top Five Superheroines Created By Otto Binder:

5. Miss America (Marvel version)
4. Merry, Girl of 1000 Gimmicks
3. Saturn Girl
2. Mary Marvel
1. Supergirl

That’s a pretty good resume all by itself.

Otto Binder was my “#11,” and that was pretty much solely based on his small amount of work at EC.

Sucks that Priest is low on the list. He’s done great work, both comedic and serious. Nice pages from Q&W , Brian. Note to anybody who never read the series: the goat (HAEDUS: Heavily Armed Espionage Deadly Uber-Sheep) became a supporting character, and even had his own one-shot. Good times.

Seriously, where is Priest these days? Chilling with Elvis and Dave Chapelle?

I strongly disagree with Joe H.

DeFalco is the definition of mediocrity and lack of imagination. His work on FF killed any interest I have in ever reading anything by him again.

Gage is very talented and has the potential to write some truly great stuff. His work on Avengers Initiative was better than anything I have ever read by DeFalco..

MarkAndrew. I highly recommend Gage’s work and he should be higher on the list.

Really not a fan of Priest’s work.

The obvious giant here is John Wagner! I can accept his placing though just because he hasn’t done much American work.

Yeah John Wagner was my number one. Happy to see him chart as clearly they’ll be an American bias here (which is all good) but the UK’s greatest writer at least gets an appearance.

Pete Woodhouse

April 14, 2011 at 4:33 am

Wagner rocks on Dredd. That is all.

Wagner also rocks on Strontium Dog, RoboHunter, Button Man, Batman, Ace Trucking Co, Banzai Batallion, Darkie’s Mob, The Bogie Man, A History of Violence…

(Although I’m sure you knew that Pete!)

Alex F, fighting the corner for UK comics on US websites (and knowing he’ll lose)

While I’m here, I might as well ‘fess up that I’m a guy whose first big exposure to superhero comics was Tom De Falco on FF and Thor. I’d never put him in a list of top 20 best writers, but at the time those sure were some compelling comics – he had a knack for making me deasperately want to read the next issue month after month. I enjoyed his manic, cigar-wielding persona from the 90s Bullpen pages, too.

Alex F

Colonel Deklin Iceland

April 14, 2011 at 6:05 am

I put Priest top 10 just for his Black Panther run.

Tom DeFalco?



Not a huge Defalco fan, but I have to say he’s had some good moments. His Thor run with Ron Frenz was very good, and he was strong at times on Spiderman. A lot of people hate his FF work, but I’ve seen worse on that title. I never considered him for my top 10, but I don’t think it’s crazy that he’s in the top 100 for sure.

Tom DeFalco outranked Alan Grant, Dwayne McDuffie, Larry Hama, and David Michelinie? I hate to sound like a troll, but is this a late April Fool’s joke? The guy’s not bad, and I don’t want to be misconstrued as saying he is, but there’s no way he’s better than these other fine fellows. One of the weakest Grant issues of Detective is better than DeFalco (or just about anyone else) at his absolute best, and to say “Silent Interlude” or “Panic at the North Pole” alone didn’t catapult Hama well in front of DeFalco makes me sad.

Tom DeFalco outranked Alan Grant, Dwayne McDuffie, Larry Hama, and David Michelinie?

I can see the outrage over outranking maybe Alan Grant, Dwayne McDuffie and Larry Hama, but David Michilinie? That guy is arguably the same quality of work as DeFalco at best. Personally, I think Michilinie is much worse. Trying to read his stuff has always been very painful to me. And DeFalco has had more great stories than Michilinie, and I’m even including Michilinie’s incredibly overrated Iron Man stuff when I say that.

For Christos Gage, read his Stormwatch PHD stuff, it was quite good.

I’ll concede a bit on comparing Gage to Defalco. I’ve only ever read his some of his Marvel work, he did have ONE story that moved me more than anything Defalco ever wrote (the Butterball issue of Avengers: the Initiative), and his career is fairly short so far. But other than that one issue of A:tI and I think he did an Iron Man: Director of SHIELD that I really liked, he’s been decent on average so far.

I never read his FF run so I have nothing against DeFalco, but I’d agree that his stuff is about as run-of-the-mill as they come.

I really feel like the people who voted for DeFalco need to come out and defend themselves. If everyone were voting for their top 50 comic writers, I could see him getting a fair number of votes simply because people might struggle to come up with 50 writers that they’ve enjoyed. But the votes were only for people’s TEN favorite writers, which means a substantial number of people think Tom DeFalco’s stuff is among the best they’ve read. I fully realize these votes are for favorites, as opposed to importance, quality, influence, or whatever else, but the notion of ANYONE ranking DeFalco as one of their ten favorite writers is incredibly confusing. I think of him, Bob Harras, and Terry Kavanagh as synonymous with each other, and back in the 90s when I was very actively buying a lot of Marvel titles, I’d skip an issue anytime one of their names was on it.

People really don’t have to “defend” liking a guy.

Besides, lots of people were quite devoted to DeFalco’s Spider-Girl. They saved it from cancellation repeatedly!

I really feel like the people who voted for DeFalco need to come out and defend themselves.

Who are you that we need to justify ourselves to you?


First of all, your previous comments sound like you didn’t vote for DeFalco, so you don’t need to justify anything. Secondly, and more importantly, I didn’t ask for anyone to justify themselves to ME. There are 28 comments on this post and seven of them are people knocking DeFalco. Clearly a large number of people think it’s a bizarre pick. So why did these anonymous people make that pick? Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think these comment threads exist so people can simply chime in with “Hey, I like that guy!” The best comments are the ones that promote discourse, alternate opinions, exposure to new things, etc. I’ve always thought DeFalco was mediocre on his best day, and other comments suggest I’m in the majority opinion on that… so is it weird to want to hear from the people who voted for him? When Identity Crisis turned up on the Top 100 Storylines and people freaked out, I wrote a long post defending it as one of the people who had voted for it. I think it would be more interesting if other people who vote for things which turn out to be controversial in these polls attempted to explain what quality they found in them.

I should say that while I’m not crazy about his writing and couldn’t get into Spider-Girl at all, Tom DeFalco was the first comics pro I ever met as a kid, and he was super nice. So there’s that.

I think that DeFalco’s quality is largely defined by who preceded him on the title. I loved his Spider-Girl work. HIs Thor was, on the other hand, meh. And, I think that is mostly because he came directly after Simonson. I liked his 80s run on Spider-Man, which was when I started reading Spider-Man regularly rather than an issue here or there. I didn’t like his 90s run and thought the quality had gone down hill. I think his strengths lie in new titles (like Thunderstrike which I thought was much better than his Thor work, and New Warriors) and What If.

I don’t know if he just had bad luck in following great runs with so-so ones. Or, if maybe he gets insecure playing in someone else’s sandbox.


I enjoyed DeFalco’s Thor run a lot. He had a great combination of plot wavelengths all running at once and was consistently able to produce surprising twists.

And apart from Priest’s awesome Black Panther (best version of the character ever?), he wrote what certainly must be the best half-length Dr Doom story ever and a strong contender for the best with the character at any length, in an (straining to remember the title) Avengers Double Shot(?)

I also must admit I quite enjoy Avengers Academy, so kudos to Gage for escaping falling in the common trap these days of making teen characters far too annoying to read.

And Otto Binder deserves to be on the list! No point bemoaning “how low” some classic creator appears on a list like this; rather, celebrate that the quality of their work is still being praised and appreciated after all these years! :) Think of how many thousand people have written comics over the decades; to appear anywhere in the top 150 is a big compliment.

Spidergirl fans are diehards!! that alone should count for much of the Defalco vote IMHO.

Personally I thought his FF run to be quite entertaining with some great exciting moments around the Nobody Gets Out Alive arc and compelling art by Paul Ryan. Standard superhero fare done well.

I’m with Butler–DeFalco was one of the first guys I met at a con, and a genuinely nice and outgoing person who took a few extra minutes to shoot the breeze. He did a few issues of Wolverine that I enjoyed–right after Claremont’s 125-128–with some great art from Yu that I found myself re-reading years later and still finding just awesome. I’m happy throwing my two cents in for the guy.

Nobody writes Judge Dredd better than John Wagner. I was introduced to the character though the Anthrax song (“I Am the Law”, off of the Among the Living Album) and checked out the comic.Somehow i found a place that carried some of the 2000 A.D. comics and the Fleeway (?) Judge Dredd title. The intensity just blew me away. DC comics tried a mainstream version of the the character in the early 90’s and it was just terrible. It did not have any of the feel that the UK issues did.

I never really cared for DeFalco’s work… at all. Of course, I grew up an Iron Man fan, and DeFalco seemed to take great pride in portraying him as a slimy bastard at every opportunity, while Thor and Captain America were always portrayed as completely perfect and upright in every word and action. His editorial decisions weren’t much better. Aside from the 30 mutant books and 20 Spidey books, how many Thunderstrike and Spider-Girl stories did we really need?

Really… after suffering through the absolute worst era in comics history, I welcomed the whole Avengers Disassembled event.

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