Marvel is the comics sales leader, having published many stories that could be counted among the best of all time. Fans just can’t get enough of Marvel, as has been proven by its recent dominance of the live-action superhero market. None of that would have been possible without the comics, though, as Marvel’s amazing stories have proven fertile ground for adaptation.
All of this has been made possible by Marvel’s writers. Some of the greatest voices in the comic medium have worked for the publisher and some of them have become synonymous with certain characters. Some writers spent years crafting specific characters, having long and fruitful runs on books.
10 Grant Morrison Spent Four Years On New X-Men
Grant Morrison was the ultimate DC person until they came to Marvel in 2000. Starting off writing miniseries like Marvel Boy and Fantastic Four :1234 for the Marvel Knights imprint, they would move over to the New X-Men in 2001 and spend four years redefining the team for the 21st century. Morrison’s revolutionary run changed the team forever.
Morrison focused on the school concept and how mutants would affect society as a whole, taking the tried and true X-Men concepts and putting a new spin on them. Leaving Marvel because of differences with the editorial brass, Morrison’s run was the last bright spot for the X-Men for over a decade.
9 Scott Lobdell Wrote More X-Men In The ’90s Than Anyone
There’s a good chance that if a reader started with the X-Men in the ’90s, they started reading it while Lobdell was writing Uncanny X-Men. He started with Uncanny X-Men #286 and wrote the book through #350, a five-year run that saw him writing the top selling book in the comic industry, from 1992 to 1997. Lobdell did more to shape the team in some of their most popular years than any other writer.
Lobdell’s time on the book saw the X-Men go through a lot of changes, taking them through the Gold Team years all the way through Onslaught’s attack on the Marvel Universe. He introduced new concepts to the team and oversaw them through comics’ biggest boom and bust period.
8 Louise Simonson Helmed X-Factor For Half A Decade
Louise Simonson is the often unsung hero of the 1980s X-Men books. Working with Chris Claremont, she would shepherd the line through the period where it asserted its sales dominance. Simonson would begin writing X-Factor with issue six and saw it through issue sixty-nine, spending five years crafting the adventures of the original version of the team.
Simonson’s time on X-Factor brought readers a villain who would become one of Marvel’s best- Apocalypse. For that alone, Simonson deserves plaudits but even beyond that her X-Factor stories were always entertaining and some of the best on the market.
7 Roy Thomas Took Over Avengers From Stan Lee And Stayed There For Six Years
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Avengers but only stayed on the book until issue thirty-four. Lee’s protege Roy Thomas would take over the book with issue thirty-five and stay there for six years, crafting the Avenger into what they would become. Lee and Kirby created the team but everything that fans really love about it was created by Thomas.
Thomas would become one of the most important Avengers writers of all time. He created characters like the Vision and Ultron and his version of the team has one of its best rosters of all time. Without Thomas’s formative work on the title, there’s a good chance it never would have become as popular.
6 John Byrne Wrote And Drew Fantastic Four For Six Years
John Byrne is one of Marvel’s greatest creators of all time. He would prove he was more than just an amazing artist when he was given the reins of Fantastic Four as a writer with issue two-hundred twenty, staying on the book for six years. The run was made all the more impressive by the fact that he was also drawing it and working on other books at the time.
Byrne’s run on Fantastic Four is widely considered one of the best of all time, with some fans preferring it to the Lee/Kirby run of yore. It was one of the last times that Fantastic Four lived up to the appellation “World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” that was emblazoned on every cover.
5 For Eight Years, Brian Michael Bendis Was The Voice Of The Avengers
The Avengers were not in a good place when Brian Michael Bendis came aboard in 2004. After years of killing it on Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man, Bendis was handed the keys to Marvel’s biggest franchise and spent eight years rebuilding it into the biggest book in the Marvel Universe. During this time he wrote multiple Avengers titles, with New Avengers lasting seven years in two volumes.
Bendis made the Avengers a must-read for every Marvel fan, as the company used the book to spearhead multiple events throughout his eight-year run. Bendis brought the Avengers kicking and screaming into the 21st century and made them one of the company’s biggest books again.
4 Stan Lee Wrote Amazing Spider-Man For Over Nine Years
Stan Lee was Marvel’s most prolific Silver Age writer, working with artists/co-plotters Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko to create the icons of the Marvel Universe. During this period he and Ditko created Spider-Man and Lee wrote Amazing Spider-Man for over nine years, working with Ditko until the artist left and was replaced by John Romita Sr.
While Ditko claimed during his time on the book he was doing most of the work, Lee is the credited writer throughout Ditko’s run and beyond, doing his best to curb some of the objectivist leanings of Ditko. Lee’s time on the character would make Spider-Man into an icon.
3 Stan Lee Wrote Fantastic Four For Over Ten Years
Fantastic Four was Marvel’s first superhero book of the Silver Age and Lee would co-pilot and write it for over ten years. For a hundred and eight of the hundred and twenty-five issues he was on the book, he worked with Jack Kirby, with both plotting the book, Kirby drawing it, and then Lee putting in the dialogue. It would be the title that most exemplified Silver Age Marvel.
Disputes over the book and credit sharing drove Kirby away from Marvel but their collaboration was massively successful, catapulting Marvel to the top of the sales charts. The Marvel Universe wouldn’t be the same without Lee and Kirby’s work on the book.
2 Brian Michael Bendis Wrote The Ultimate Universe Spider-Man Books For Fifteen Years
In the year 2000, Marvel took a gamble with the Ultimate Universe. Putting at the time indie darling Brian Michael Bendis on the first Ultimate Universe book, Ultimate Spider-Man #1, would pay dividends for the publisher. Bendis was able to catapult the book to the top of the charts and would put himself on the road to Marvel dominance.
Bendis wrote Ultimate Spider-Man and the books that came after for fifteen years, until the end of the Ultimate Universe. During this run, he introduced Miles Morales, a character who would go on to star in movies, video games, and TV and become an icon as Spider-Man in his own right.
1 Chris Claremont Wrote Uncanny X-Men For Sixteen Years And Transformed It Into Comics’ Most Popular Book
Few creators are as synonymous with a book as Chris Claremont is with Uncanny X-Men. From 1975 to 1991, Chris Claremont wrote the book, taking a concept that had just come back from years of hibernation and turning it into the biggest in the comic world, making icons of its cast and becoming the most important X-Men writer ever.
Claremont’s work on Uncanny X-Men is some of the greatest of all time. He completely changed the X-Men and the comic industry with his work on the title, expertly blending superheroes, sci-fi, fantasy, soap opera-like dramatics, politics, and some of the most poetic prose ever to create one of the greatest comics of all time.
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