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50 Greatest Spider-Man Creators: Master List

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Spider-Man, culminating with the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film in July. The last installment will deal with Spider-Man stories, but this month will be about Spider-Man’s writers and artists.

Here is the master list of all the creators featured so far. Click on any creator’s name to see a description of their work on Spider-Man, a page from one of their Spider-Man comics and comments from other readers about that creator.


25. Alex Saviuk

24. Keith Pollard

23. Terry Dodson

22. Steve McNiven

21. Sara Pichelli

20. Mike Deodato

19. Paolo Rivera

18. Mark Buckingham

17. Stuart Immonen

16. Chris Bachalo

15. Humberto Ramos

14. Mike Wieringo

13. Mike Zeck

12. Ron Frenz

11. Erik Larsen

10. John Byrne

9. Sal Buscema

8. Marcos Martin

7. Gil Kane

6. Ross Andru

5. Todd McFarlane

4. Mark Bagley

3. John Romita Jr.

2. Steve Ditko

1. John Romita Sr.


25 Denny O’Neil

24 Fred Van Lente

23 Todd Dezago

22 Howard Mackie

21 Mark Millar

20. Zeb Wells

19. Chris Claremont

18. Joe Kelly

17. Len Wein

16. Paul Jenkins

15. Marv Wolfman

14. Mark Waid

13. Bill Mantlo

12. Kurt Busiek

11. Tom DeFalco

10. David Michelinie

9. J. Michael Straczynski

8. Peter David

7. Brian Michael Bendis

6. Dan Slott

5. Gerry Conway

4. J.M. DeMatteis

3. Roger Stern

2. Stan Lee

1. Steve Ditko and Stan Lee


Nothing against Slott but he’s way too high on this list. I wonder how much of him being the current Spiderman writer had to do with people voting for him.

Not a lot of surprises on here to be honest.

where is todd macfarelane? VENOM

I really loved Larsen’s run on Spider-Man, the crazy poses, the action, the cooky vilains!

Funny how the creator of the poll skewed the results to read “Writer: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko” in an agenda to pull Steve Ditko up while dragging Stan Lee down. Anyone who has read all 100+ Stan Lee written issues of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four (like I have) plus his complete runs on X-Men, Avengers, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Silver Surfer, Daredevil, Sgt. Fury, Dr. Strange, etc. knows that Stan Lee deserves sole unified credit for making all of those titles a success at once. Yes the artists helped tremendously. But the only common denominator in all of these is: STAN LEE. In reading Spider-Man specifically, it is clearly the work of Stan Lee in the scripting. Argue all you want about Ditkos involved credit, and yes he was involved. But having read every issue, I’m telling you the work of Stan Lee in those dialogue balloons and story patterns and plots, it’s easy to tell that it’s all Stan Lee’s style, and it’s tremendous.

Other than that, Joe Quesada deserves to be on the list of best artist. Like his story or not, he draws an incredible Spider-Man story.

I would have hoped to see Ron Frenz higher on the list, and I don’t think Mark Millar deserves to be on there at all.

Meaningless Albert

June 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I love Marcos Martin art, but I don’t think he belongs on the top 10. The same goes for Byrne. Frenz and Larsen should be there, instead. I totally forgot Luke Ross. I liked his Spectacular Spider-Man run. Did he receive any votes, Brian?

Seriouslr?!? Who comes up with these lists?!? I completely disagree.

It’s not my list but there you go.

Frank Miller would have been on mine–and high–for those two annuals alone and Michael Golden deserves to be on that list even though his Spider-Man appearances are few because he was so influential (he was responsible for the fat webbing). Rick Leonardi too, deserves a place on that list.

My top ten?

10. John Romita jr.
9. Joe Madureira
8. Chris Bachalo
7. Humberto Ramos
6. Michael Golden
5. Rick Leonardi
4. Frank Miller
3. Gil Kane
2. John Romita
1. Steve Ditko

Rick Leonardi JUST missed the top 25. He was #26.

Golden and Miller did not fare as well.

I agree with Erik Larsen, Rick Leonardi needs respect and should be on that list too.
It’s almost funny to see the rank that Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz have on the official list! They’re too underestimated and underrated tthough their tenure of the Amazing Spider-Man series truly made our favorite wall-crawler really amazing!

my top ten artistist john romita jrat ten alex saviuk nine john romita eight steve ditko six ron frenz five clayton crain four mike zeck three mark bagley two and todd McFarlane one.

Paul Bonzulac

June 2, 2012 at 9:13 am

I’m disappointed Bendis isn’t higher on the list. I don’t know of a writer who nailed Peter’s (and Spidey’s) voice as well, and his run on Ultimate Spider-Man is the best-written run on the character.

I’m a huge Leonardi fan but his name never even occurred to me. I know he did some fill-ins on the main Spider titles back in the day, but wasn’t the bulk of his SM work on the 2099 title? Was that even eligible for the voting? (I seem to recall that the rules specifically noted which non-solo Parker/Spider titles were eligible (MTU, Ultimate) and which weren’t (Avengers) but I don’t recall 2099 being mentioned either way.

I grew up on Roos Andru and Gerry Conway (42 now) in english reprint and I never felt Andru got the respect he deserved and I feel this goes some way to rectifying this.Also a honourable (proper English spelling my US friends) to Gil Kane who created the style Andru followed so beautifully. Look back young people and learn the roots of Mcfarlane’s style.

*Ross what an idiot lol

I know this may seem like a odd suggestion for artist of spider man but what about Joe Jusko or Alex Ross yes they mostly did quality pin type art but the images the created were Iconic in a way the others havn’t heck I wasn’t even a reader of spider man and I found my self buying a poster by Jusko it was first poster I ever bought . ad look at what the marvels did to make painted art desirable .

I agree with David that it was an unfortunate bias against Stan that voters were forced to consider Lee/Ditko as a separate creator from just Lee. We get it Brian, you hate Stan and want to undercut his contribution, but it doesn’t mean you can manipulate the poll to ensure this outcome. Your “rule” made sure he would never get the top spot since even if people voted for just his sole credit you wouldn’t count it towards the superior Ditko run. If enough people felt the same way they would’ve voted Lee/Ditko without prompting anyway and there’d be nothing to argue with. The fact that you made them make the distinction renders the whole thing kind of useless and just reflected the point you wanted to make. It’s not really a fair sampling at all since you basically controlled how everyone’s vote would look rather than let the results speak for themselves.

Brian Wiggett

June 4, 2012 at 8:26 am

I dunno about that: seems like whatever our mutual namesake wanted, people had to actually vote for Ditko/Lee to make it the most popular choice. “Stan Lee” came in second, so I imagine it’s safe to say that Lee was the most popular choice overall. Unless you want to go all conspiracy about Cronin’s rankings, but I can’t see why he’d go through all this trouble just to mask his need to (very ineptly) tear down Stan Lee.

Exactly, Stan Lee got the top spot AND the number two spot. He just had to share the top spot with Ditko, which is fair since Ditko, you know, co-wrote the issues. Again, for the last year or so of their run (the precise issue is hard to pin down), Ditko did not even speak to Lee. He would deliver the issues fully drawn without any input from Lee whatsoever. Lee would then script these fully drawn pages. Of course, Lee’s dialogue was an important addition to these pages (hence him getting the credit, as well), but the notion that Lee should be termed the sole writer of issues that he had no involvement with until they were fully drawn is, at best, absurd.

I mean, even before it got to that point, Ditko was likely the driving force in the plotting of the series, but that stuff is at least open to interpretation (at worst, he was an equal to Lee in the plotting of the issues. No one, not even Stan, has ever tried to claim that Lee was the driving force of the plotting of the early Ditko/Lee issues. It is just open for discussion how much of the early plotting was joint plotting and how much was Ditko-driven. Either way, at worst Ditko was equal to Lee in the formation of the early Spider-Man plots). The later issues, though (including the Master Planner Arc, only one of the most famous Spider-Man stories ever), are not up for discussion. They were clearly solely plotted by Ditko with Lee adding his script to the stories after they had been fully drawn.

[…] the “Comics Should Be Good” blog’s poll of the best Spider-Man creators of all time.  Well, their results are in and tallied. Was I “right?”  Unsurprisingly, ‘cause I’m so money, I kinda was.  Hit the break to […]

Humberto Ramos! How can anyone like this guy? His drawing is so sketchy looking.

I think he’s horrible.

Todd McFarlane all the way! He really was the only one who did a real unique spin on the Spider-Man John Romita Sr. defined.

Damion Scott?

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