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You Decide – Who Is Your Favorite Fantastic Four Writer?

With James Robinson taking over Fantastic Four, we thought it’d be interesting to see which of the past ongoing Fantastic Four writers was your favorite.

Read on for the choices!

NOTE: I screwed up and omitted Dwayne McDuffie. My apologies. For whatever reason, I thought Millar directly followed JMS. My bad. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is also not an option, but that’s only because I’m only counting writers who wrote the “main” Fantastic Four title. Archie Goodwin was omitted because he wrote less fill-in issues than Karl Kesel and we only had room for one of the two (although in retrospect, obviously Kesel should have been eliminated in favor of McDuffie).


Tough choice. It’s between 2 writers for me.

Brandon Choi/Jim Lee are missing as well, if we’re just counting writers on the “main” title.

I would have personally just combined both Carlos Pacheco entries into one. Pacheco/Marin without a third writer only lasted 3 issues, v3 #35-37. Loeb was the third man on #38-49 (and the 2001 Annual), while Kesel was the third man on #51-54. #50 was the “Nuff Said” issue, with the lead story being Pacheco’s only solo outing.

To me there are only two choices. Stan Lee/Jack Kirby or John Byrne. I have occasionaly liked other writers, like Walt Simonson and Mark Waid, but they never really did click for me. I suppose I just have a very specific idea of what a Fantastic Four story should be like. I did read the first year of Jonathan Hickman and didn’t like it all that much.

Walt Simonson being below Matt Fraction is a crime. His Disney Sentinels/President Dan Quayle, non-linear time traveling Doom/Reed, and New FF arcs are CLASSIC and on par with anything ever done with the team.

Brandon Choi/Jim Lee are missing as well, if we’re just counting writers on the “main” title.

Heroes Reborn didn’t happen. ;)

I was all psyched to vote for McDuffie!!! :(

That was an awesome year of stories that he wrote.

I keep thinking of all the classic characters that John Byrne created for the FF.

And then I wonder how anyone could vote for him.

Like Rennarciso , I did like some runs ont FF, but aside from the Classic Lee-Kirby’s and Byrne’s
– IMHO Lee-Kirbys 39-100 can be read over and over again without losing taste – As is Byrnes First year on the title (its been some time i havent reread ByrnesFF past 245)

I do like Simonson, I do like Wolfman-Pollard, Moench-Sienkiewicz, Waid-Wieringo (Waid with others wasnt as good)
But they dont taste as sweet.

I had hopes on the Millar-Hitch’s but..there is something missing.

There are some great FF runs here that I’d love to give props to, but Lee/Kirby FF truly was The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine.

Hoosier X –

That is the point. To me, all the characters the FF really needs were already created by Lee/Kirby. Whenever someone tries to insert completely new characters we end up with She-Thing or Fasaud or something equally awful and lame. The Lee/Kirby FF is already a perfect creation. Byrne was great because he understood that and played with the classic toys masterfully.

The FF are not the Avengers or the X-Men that thrive with new characters (and I wonder if that isn’t because Lee/Kirby didn’t stay for as long with them). That has been the mistake of many creators. Though occasionally a new wrinkle actually works out pretty good, like Valeria as a second child to Reed and Sue, that is most times an exception.

But that is all my personal opinion.

I think the bottom of this list is the most interesting. There are three people out there who think Moench was the best FF scribe ever?

(And yeah, why no McDuffie?)

Which one wrote the black Johnny Storm, the 17 year old Reed Richards, and the scrawny Ben Grimm (with the female Dr. Doom)?

Which one wrote the black Johnny Storm, the 17 year old Reed Richards, and the scrawny Ben Grimm (with the female Dr. Doom)?

Is this a joke? Please tell me you are just funnin’.

(I seriously can’t tell anymore.)


John Byrne wasn’t bad. He might even in the top three for writing FF.

But he’s just not in the same league as Lee and Kirby.

I liked the Byrne FF when it was brand new. But I really hadn’t read that much early FF yet.

Now that I have read all the Lee/Kirby FF, Byrne isn’t nearly as impressive, especially at the end. Especially when he thought he was being clever when he wrote the romance/marriage of Johnny and Alicia.

Can we vote for our least favorite? Mine would be DeFalco. Ugh.

Hoosier X –

I agree with you that some of Byrne’s decisions felt off, and controversial just for controversy’s sake. Back at the time I was not as tired of shock value stuff in traditional superhero comics as I am now, so Byrne managed to sell it to me. Now I see that it messes with the dynamics of the team too much.

Danjack –

It’s a tough decision. I think DeFalco, Englehart and Moench were all horrible FF writers.

Once Waid shows up, is there any reason to read other Fantastic Four issues? I’ve tried to keep up with the reviews post Waid and done seem that exciting.

I held out until JMS’ run.

I mean, of course buy the essentials that collect the original 104 with Lee and Kirby but if I’m going to sit and read some FF, I’m going Waid / Ringo.

I did enjoy Hickman’s two issues that I bought, FF 11 and Fantastic Four 600.

I also bought the title Post Heroes Return with Lobdell but I really enjoyed the Claremont era and wished he was able to use Kitty when he wanted too, would have gave her something to do during that time she wasn’t appearing anywhere.

Oh dang it! Now that I’m thinking of my history with the FF, how could I forget the story that even got me to buy my first issues of FF, Simsonson’s New Fantastic Four, a story that I will still to this day, if those four characters are in an issue, I will buy it no matter what! I’m looking at you MegaMorphs! Shout out to Sean McKeever (who will never see this!)

Also, I’ve only read the first Byrne visionaries, and I liked it but I didn’t come back for more. Though how fantastic is issue 236!?! Also 265.

I voted for Byrne because I figured that Lee/Kirby had it locked up. Now that I’ve seen the results, I feel dumb for not voting for Simonson.

@Hoosier X —

No one’s arguing that John Byrne was a better FF creator. He was an excellent writer though.

@John Klein III —

Hickman’s run isn’t bad. It’s a little different from classic FF, but it’s ok, especially if you’re looking for something a little more typically “modern”.

@P. Boz —

No worries, man. Simonson’s at least above Fraction now so it’s all cool.

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I’m gonna follow that brilliant post with an.equally amazing assertion: DeFalco all the way (as a write-in entry, I guess). Occulus, Johnny accidentally almost burns down ESU, Wolverine scars Ben’s face (which then starts to sort of melt), Reed and Doom die! Need I go on?

Seriously though, it’s a testament to how great these characters are when I stuck with the book for a long time after that as my first exposure to them. In comic books at least, I had seen the old cartoon before that, in spanish, mind you (instead of “Flame on!” Johnny used to say “Llamas a mi!”)

I enjoyed Gerry Conway’s run but preferred Roy Thomas

I voted Waid/Wieringo myself.

And I like Simonson more than Byrne, so I’m just controversial on FF runs I guess

Jeremy, it’s my impression that Simonson’s run is very well-liked, so that isn’t as controversial as all that.

I liked Waid, but there is something about him… often, I don’t like his stories as much as everyone else seems to. It’s not one thing, it’s several small things. Johnny Storm being flanderized into a total immature idiot, Reed being depicted as too manipulative by far, Doctor Doom becoming totally evil (writers that come over from DC Comics usually make Doom, Magneto and villains like that totally evil, and that is not the Marvel way, IMO), and the FF travelling to Heaven (now, I’m a Spiritualist and I like such themes in theory, but the FF is one of the most materialistic of Marvel heroes, it felt strange they travelling to Heaven).

I voted for Byrne but pickign Lee/Kirby would have worked as well.

The fact that Hickman is ahead of Lee/Kirby is kind of a joke, but flavour of the month votes always tilt these things somewhat. Do this poll again in five years and he will have dropped half way down the list.

Eric L. Sofer, the Bad Clown

March 10, 2014 at 9:07 am

I appreciate the choices, but having both Stan and Stan ‘n’ Jack is splitting the vote. You won’t get a legitimate result, I think. I guess you have to, since that’s how the books went… but it surely seems as if it’s going to skew your results.

Scott Lobdell’s near the bottom of the poll, but I want to give him some props. Those first three issues of volume 3 were full of promise, and I’d have liked to see him continue with the book.

@Hoosier X

Oh how I so, so wish it was a joke…..

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