Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Top 10 Tuesdays - 10 Must Read Creators To Watch Out For

For this week's Top 10 Tuesdays post, I thought I'd spotlight some creators that I feel are set to hit it big in the next few years, if not sooner, whether they are baby faced rookies or veterns just hitting their stride.

To make this easier on myself, as there are dozens of indy creators I love and think are amazing and would like to spotlight (maybe save that for another Top 10 post), I've decided to classify "hitting it big" as breaking out in Marvel or DC and becoming a name that can sell books or that will, hopefully, be attached to big name projects in the future.

Without further ado, hit the jump to see the names of the creators, in no particular order, that I think we'll be seeing a whole lot more of in the near future.



Of all the creators on this list, Matt Fraction is the one closest to the cusp of greatness. With stints on critically acclaimed books, such as Immortal Iron Fist, Cassanova and The Order, along with various one shots along the way, such as the recent Thor: Ages of Thunder and Reign of Blood one-shots, 2008 and beyond looks like it will usher in the era of Fraction as he has already spearheaded the incredibly successful relaunch of Invinicible Iron Man and is set to co-write Uncanny X-Men with Ed Brubaker, starting with the landmark 500th issue.

How much potential do I think Fraction has? I expect him to be headlining many of Marvel's best books and events within a few years, similar to what Bendis has been doing recently with the Avengers titles, House of M and Secret Invasion. It's hard to believe he's only been writing comics for a few years and if you aren't reading books written by Fraction now, you will be soon.

Interested in Matt Fraction? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


Jason Aaron is a name you'll be seeing a lot of in the future. While he kick started his writing career with his creator owned Vergito title, Scalped, DC foolishly let Aaron sign an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics and he has already made his name known with a, as hard as it is to believe, much talked about and critically acclaimed run on Ghost Rider and, more recently, a brief, but excellent, arc on Marvel's cash cow, Wolverine, with the Get Mystique! storyline.

Considering he's only been in the business for two or three years, it's hard to believe how much Aaron has already accomplished and I can't wait to see what he has in store for us in the future.

Interested in Jason Aaron? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


For as long as Gage has been around the comic industry, he has somehow managed to stay just on the outside edge in terms of popularity and renown. He's an incredibly talented writer with a great grasp of most of the characters he writes, but, for whatever reason, he just hasn't been able to put out that one piece of work that puts his name on the map.

However, I believe that is all about to change. Over the past few years, Gage has continually been Marvel's go to guy for fill-ins, one shots and other tie-in or mini-series related projects, including work such as Thunderbolts, Iron Man, House of M: Avengers, World War Hulk: X-Men, Annihilation: Conquest and so on.

Along with his work for Marvel, Gage has managed to make great strides with many of Wildstorm's floundering properties and has had great success with those books. At this point, it's only a matter of time before Marvel rewards Gage with an on-going title of his own and I'd look for him to be the main candidate to take over after Warren Ellis' departure on Thunderbolts as well as a possible candidate for the Iron Man: Director of SHIELD title now that the Knaufs are off that book. If he is to take over such high profile books, it's only a matter of time before this underappreciated talent earns the much deserved recognition he is currently lacking.

Interested in Christos Gage? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


Sure, Stuart Immonen has been around for well over a decade, but, honestly, how many people knew his name or even cared about his work before his work on Nextwave or until after the news that he would be replacing Mark Bagley on Ultimate Spider-Man hit the interweb?

While I'm not sure Immonen's name is big enough to sell a book on its own yet, it's only a matter of time before this speedy and highly talented artist is given the respect he deserves. It's very fitting that he replaced Mark Bagley, another extremely underappreciated artist, as his situation mirrors Bagley's in that he's a fast artist that delivers his work on time and has a unique style that is both clean and expressive.

After a lot of early DC work, such as Final Night or a long run on Legion of Super-Heroes, I suspect that DC will be kicking themselves for letting Immonen slip through their fingers and break out with Marvel.

Interested in Stuart Immonen? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


Rafael who's it now? Yes, that's his real name and, yes, I have to look up how to spell it every single time. Albuquerque is the current penciller on DC's Blue Beetle series. While he does not have the realistic style of a Hitch or look of a Quitely or McNiven, Albuquerque still manages to set himself apart from the rest of the pack with a unique style, something you don't see that often anymore in the post-Image comic industry, is fast, expressive and has an excellent grasp of panel layout and composition.

While I don't think Albuquerque will be selling books on name alone just yet, I suspect he'll be moving on to bigger and better things in the near future, especially with DC throwing him more and more mainstream work, as seen in the recent Robin / Spoiler Special. While I'm not sure if he'll ever reach the mass appeal of a Van Sciver or Cheung, look for Albuquerque to fill that unique Yu, Ramos and Bachelo art niche in the future.

Interested in Rafael Albuquerque? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


Dan Slott is another longtime writer that is just hitting his stride in the industry. While he's been kicking around since the early 90's, I think we can all agree his break out work has to be DC's The Powerpuff Girls #34 back in 2003.


Okay, so maybe his short lived stint on Powerpuff Girls wasn't the highlight of his career, but recent years have been very kind to the vetern writer and his current success can probably be traced back to what should have been a throw away mini-series, Spider-Man / Human Torch, back in 2005. Many, including yours truly, consider this one of the funniest Spider-Man stories ever written and it even features Spider-Man doing donuts with the Spider-Mobile on the side of the Daily Bugle building. If that's not comedy gold, I don't know what is.

After that, it's no surprise Slott is one of the architects of the current Brand New Day thrice monthly Amazing Spider-Man nor is it surprising that his Avengers: The Initiative is the best, page for page, Avengers title on the market.

While it hasn't been all success for Slott over the years, it's not hard to see he'll be a major player in the comic industry over the next few years.

Interested in Dan Slott? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


Many readers probably only know Robert Kirkman from his atrocious run on Ultimate X-Men and that is a shame because the man is incredibly talented and it was clear from the start that his writing style just didn't fit with that title.

For those unaware, Kirkman is the writer of two of the most popular Image titles, Invincible and The Walking Dead, and Invincible has become so associated with the publisher that he is seen sort of as the Superman or Spider-Man of Image Comics, especially with his unique stylized I costume emblem.

However, as good as those two, and most of his other indy books, have been, Kirkman has yet to find that mainstream success to propel him to the top. I suspect if Marvel ever gave him a chance with Spider-Man, a character that Invincible draws very heavily from, that would quickly change, as seen by the enjoyable team-up Kirkman wrote between the two characters several years back.

Interested in Robert Kirkman? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


I know, I know, I'm cheating here by putting two names in one spot, but Abnett and Lanning are like peanut butter and jelly - you can't have one without the other! As such, I'm counting the two of them as one and for good reason.

While the duo has been around since the late 80's and have put out some critically acclaimed titles, such as Legion Lost, Resurrection Man and Ninjak (okay, maybe I'm the only one that liked Ninjak), the writing combo hasn't exactly been a namebrand, let alone a catchy acronymn like DnA, over the last couple of decades.

However, as seems to be the case with a lot of these writers, their return to Marvel in the 00's (how do you even say that? Zeroes? Oh-ohs?) along with carte blanche to resurrect the sagging cosmic line has propelled their names to the forefront of fandom with such hits as Annihilation: Conquest, Nova and the recent Guardians of the Galaxy. They aren't burning up the monthly sales charts, but Abnett and Lanning will forever be known as Marvel's cosmic go to guys and could be this generations Starlin or Shooter.

Interested in Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


Yet another two for one special, Yost and Kyle are like peanut butter and... Oh, I used that analogy already. Um, they're like strawberries and pickles - only they can tell you who is or isn't a Skrull. Okay, I give up on the crappy comparisons. Pretty much anything these two touch turns to gold.

With the highly successful X-Force relaunch, along with an acclaimed run on New X-Men and several enjoyable one-shots together, expect to see these two writers becoming a staple of either the X-Men line or the Marvel Universe, itself, in the near future.

Interested in Chris Yost & Craig Kyle? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!


Can you guess what Peter Tomasi's first comic book work solely as a writer was? Would you believe Black Adam: The Dark Age mini-series? The mini-series many have hailed as one of the best stories to come out of DC in years and the mini-series I gave the award for Best Mini-Series in 2007? It's hard to believe, but it's true.

However, that leaves out the crucial detail that Tomasi has been an editor at DC and emersed in the comic book creative process since 1993, only leaving that position last year to give writing a shot with the Black Adam mini-series.

From there, Tomasi has moved on to be the main writer on both Green Lantern Corps and Nightwing and recently wrote the touching and heartfelt Martian Manhunter tribute, Final Crisis: Requiem, a book I consider to be the best single issue written this year and can't, honestly, see any other comic beating out for that award come year's end.

And this is only Tomasi getting his feet wet as a comic writer! I can't even begin to imagine what we've yet to see from this incredibly talented writer and DC would be foolish not to make sure they lock this guy up to a long term exclusive contract because he's going to be huge in the near future.

Interested in Peter Tomasi? Check out his past work with the following trades and help support the Weekly Crisis!

Related Posts


Eric said...

Fraction: UXM will probably make him a "big name" writer

Aaron: If Marvel would make him the permanent writer for Wolverine it would go a long to giving him a higher profile.

Gage: I remember him saying that he didn't like staying on one title for too long so I can't see him becoming a big name until he gets a run on a book.

Slott: I was happy that he was put on ASM since it would introduce him to more readers and would hopefully lead to him getting some more higher profile work. Too bad I hate BND so much.

Yost and Kyle: I haven't liked anything by them, too much doom and gloom, particularly their first 12 issues of NXM.

Tomasi: Completely agree. Also, Tomasi wrote a mini in '04 published by DC. I haven't read but have heard really good things.

Andrenn said...

Was glad to see Aaron on this list, he's a great writer and I loved Get Mystique, I may get Manifest Destiny: Wolverine for him writing it alone. It's obviously a shameless comic cash-in like all the other billions of Wolverine comics outside of NA, X-men, X-force and the main series.

Ampersand said...

Great list! I love most of the creators you mentioned.

I, like you, loved the Get Mystique arc of Wolverine by Jason Aaron, and i hope Marvel puts him back on the title.

And much love for Stuart Immonem, the guy is great.

Harry said...

Slott's run on She-Hulk is one of my favorites.

The Dangster said...

WOW. Marvel dominates this list. I love Raphael. But he had alot of "guest pencillers" is that a sign of not meeting deadlines?

Kirk Warren said...

@eric - It's hard to say about Fraction. He was pretty much teh driving force behidn Iron Fist after the first arc or so, but everyone seems to call it "Brubaker's Iron Fist" or always leave off Fraction when it comes to the credit. I fear the same thing might happen on UXM. I think Invincible Iron Man has a better chance of making him a star.

@andrenn - It seems like all the Manifest Destiny stuff will be cash-ins, as it's not even a story so much as just a banner to put on the books, much like Divided We Stand was. However, I'm looking forward to more Aaron on Wolverine.

@ampersand - It should be interesting to see if they can get Aaron and Garney back on Wolverine after MIllar and McNiven wrap up their Old Man Logan story. They were excellent together.

@harry - I only read a few issues of his SHe-Hulk, but I enjoyed just about every one of them.

@the dangster - I didn't really pay attnetion to who each writer was from, but I think the fact most are coming from Marvel (or were stolen from DC, like with Aaron or DnA, etc) is a major factor in the whole, "What is DC Doing Wrong?", question I posed to people on teh weekend.

It seems DC is more worried about the established creators and plugging holes than cultivating and hanging onto young talent. Jason Aaron, for instance, should have have been snapped up as soon as they read Scalped and saw how much talent he had. Unless he refused them for some reason, I can't see any reason for letting him go and sign an exclusive with Marvel.

About Rafael, when did he have guest pencillers? He handled all of hte issues up until about issue 21 and 22 when DC stepped in and put a guest team in for the Spectre story and Raf was back for the Reach story right after that. The recent issues had some fill-ins for the guest writers, but he was off doing Robin/Spoiler and some creator owned work at the same time.

I dont think any of it was just him unable to keep up, but I have no proof to back that up either.

Anonymous said...

After that joker asylum: penguin issue I definitely believe Jason Aaron to be huge...I now love the character of the penguin solely from that issue

Bill said...

I've actually been iffy on most of Fraction's solo stuff. Casanova doesn't do it for me (although the art is great, I just can't get into the super confusing story) and I'm not enjoying Invincible Iron Man. But his Iron Fist was amazing, and I'll be reading Uncanny I guess with Bru. I'm just not completely sold on the guy for mainstream comics.

But the missing name here is Jonathan Hickman. His image stuff has been different and accessible, entertaining and challenging, and when he does the art it always looks unusual and cool. I'm not 100% sure it'll translate to big superhero books but we'll find out with his Fury book or whatever it is coming up.

themaimedman said...

I happen to agree on all points here, those are some damn good writers.

Ethereal said...

I can't get enough of Tomasi these days, I think his run on Nightwing has been amazing as it's the first time in a long time I'm actually staying interested in the character. His Requiem one-shot was amazing, and is going to get some major recognition when the end of the year comes around. Hopefully Black Adam and Tomasi cross paths again.

As far as Fraction and Bru are concerned, I loved Iron Fist, and always considered it a book by both writers. It's hard to see where one ends and the other begins, but Fraction definitely added to the book. I haven't read IIM, but I am fairly certain I'll be jumping on to UXM come issue 500.

DnA are definitely our "space guys", as far as telling something that's intriguing. I'd be interested to see how he does out of the space sphere, but have loved everything he's written, and couldn't imagine anyone else doing what he's done.

I'm very interested in the future of Yost and Kyle, and am curious as to where they might put them, or if they split them up. The relaunch of X-force has been fantastic, and to imagine that they could have been writing Deadpool makes me even more anxious for their work (Put them on the deadpool monthly, or maybe the cable one?)

Chris said...

DC was crazy to let Stuart Immonen go.

His work is absolutely amazing.

It's sad to think that his DC legacy will probably be his work on Adventures of Superman. You know the one I'm talking about long-haired Supes.

Anonymous said...

I love all these guys ...hmmmm look most of them are working for marvel. So unless DC steals them the thumping will continue in sales.

kilmoonie said...

Fraction: For sure! Casanova sometimes gets into over rated territory for me but Fraction definitely deserves to be here. His Iron Fist was absolutely amazing. The Thor one-shots have been real good too.

Aaron: AWESOME! Scalped was my favorite title of 07, and everything he has written outside of that has been at the very least, good. I loved his Ripclaw one-shot, and Ghost Rider has become a must-read for me for the first time in 15 years.

Gage: I'm not as enamored by Gage as others have been... I LOVED the first 6 issues or so of Stormwatch: PHD before it went off the rails for me, with a horribly handled Synergy arc and introducing another Bendix (personal reasons, I know). Everything outside of Wildstorm, has been Marvel filler books. He's good for your average super hero book that won't rock the boat right now, but I don't know that he will ever be anything more than that for me. In fact, as many books as I read monthly, both Iron Man and Thunderbolts have been dropped with the departure of the Knaufs and Ellis, respectively.

Immonen: I love that you included him. Already a wonderful artist, once he is done with Ultimate Spider, he is destined to be a super star.

Albuquerque: Nice inclusion, and I agree, he's definitely being primed for a bigger DC Universe title.

Slott: This guy is rock solid. Although his She-Hulk will remain a personal fave, regardless of what he does besides that.

Kirkman: I like both Invincible and Walking Dead, although sometimes his on-the-nose expositiony "old-school" style sometimes wears thin with me. He needs to stick to his own characters though, because his Marvel work has been real bad.

Abnett/Lanning: Bravo to these guys. Although I read nothing from then regularly, whenever I do, its always good comics. The first couple issues of Nova that I read were great.

Yost/Kyle: Not sure about these guys just yet myself. I'm a big X-Nerd, so I'm reading a lot of their stuff, but for every issue I like, the next one is ho-hum. Not sure why. Their New X-Men was a perfect example of that roller coaster: Good, Bad, Good, Bad...

Tomasi: I really enjoyed the Final Crisis: Requiem book, but other than that, I haven't read too much from him. So incomplete for me, but this blog and many others keep praising Black Adam that I might need to track that down.

Fun list.

What about?

Jonathan Hickman: With his critical acclaim (Nightly News) and his crazy ideas coming out one after another (Pax Romana, Transhuman, Red Mass for Mars) and his soon-to-be co-writing with Bendis, he seems a LOCK for must watch.

Paul Cornell: The six-issue Wisdom series was great fun, and full of mad ideas. So far, Captain Britain and MI:13 has been solid as well, if a bit more straight forward. I want more from him, especially his inevitable Vertigo series...

Don said...

You missed Ivan Reis.

scottyquick said...

And Gail Simone.

Daniel Woburn said...

a few months on from this post some of the things people have talked about have come to fruition - Fraction the sole writer on Uncanny (and therefore getting all of the credit), Jason Aaron and Ron Garney permanently (ain't that a tentative word these days) on Wolverine: Weapon X, Yost & Kyle spearheading an X-Crossover, DnA still ripping through the cosmic storylines (I like what you said, Kirk, about them being this decade's Starlin or Shooter).

as for what to call the 00s, I believe we refer to it as "the noughties".

Daniel Woburn said...

a few months on? should've noticed it was nearly a year. I think a follow-up to this post may be in order, Weekly Crisis News Team!

Kirk Warren said...

Good call Daniel. I can't believe it's beent his long since I posted this and how far many of these creators have gone in that short time frame. I'll definitely be reworking this or doing some kind of follow up / where are they now type of post in the future now that you've reminded me of it.

Anonymous said...

Marvel zombies !!!!
it is not the company nor the character or even the writer that will always deliver a good story, please don't be short sighted, please !!

Matt Ampersand said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure why you are calling people short sighted, as this list proved to be pretty accurate. Almost all of the people in the list (which is almost a year old now), are now working in bigger things.

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