This Year’s Finest 2015: The Ten Best Writers

Here we go; what is annually our most debated list both internally and in the comments, here is our ten favorite writers of 2015. Some new faces, some old face’s and some surprising rankings.

Honorable Mentions: Mark Millar, Mark Waid, Mike Mignola, Noelle Stevenson, Rick Remender, Jeff Lemire, Ed Brubaker, Jillian Tamaki

From The Wicked + The Divine #13 by Tula Lotay10. Kieron Gillen of Darth Vader, Star Wars Vader Down #1, Star Wars Annual #1, Angela Asgards Assassin/Angela 1602 Witch Hunter, Siege, The Wicked + The Divine, Phongram: Immaterial Girl, Uber, Mercury Heat & Crossed: Badlands #75-80

Like many of the writers on this list, Gillen spent the year juggling multiple projects. His fascinating The Wicked + The Divine continued drawing readers deeper into the dysfunctional world of The Pantheon. For the Commercial Suicide arc, he scripted a series of one issue tales centering on various members of The Pantheon. These investigated the power and limits of fame, how it can constrict as well as liberate. The stand-out issue told the poignant story of Tara a young woman staggering under the weight of how the world wishes to view her. Also for Image, Gillen launched the third volume of Phonogram, trading the glitz of celebrity for the bitter gripping of aging fans. For Marvel he found a way to say something new about Darth Vader, digging into his disillusionment with the Emperor after Yavin. Despite it being a licensed property, Gillen flavored it with his own sensibility, best evidenced by the twisted personality of 0-0-0. Finally, he wrote the Secret Wars tie-in Siege, an entertaining glimpse of life under trying circumstances. Gillen has stated that Siege will be, excepting Vader, his last non-creator owned book for the foreseeable future. If this is true, the final image of Siege portraying two figures striding out among the surging enemy is a fitting, poignant conclusion to Gillen’s time in the Marvel Universe-Cosmo

Read This Week’s Finest Darth Vader #1Wicked + Divine Truths

From Klaus #1 by Dan Mora9. Grant Morrison of Multiversity, Annihilator, Nameless, Klaus

Grant Morrison continues his legendary comics career in 2015 with some of his craziest work in years. The writer closed out his DC epic Multiversity & angry ode to Hollywood Annihilator while launching the high concept ultra violent space horror series Nameless and then finished off the year by writing Santa Claus year one in the zany Klaus. Morrison’s imagination feels infinite at this point as he continued to take his work to the most unexpected and creative of places. He’s proven to be one of the best and most important comics writers after spending decades in the medium, yet in 2015, he continued to surprise us in all the right ways-Pat

Read This Week’s Finest Nameless #1Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1

Dead Drop 3 Adam Gorham8. Ales Kot of Zero, The Surface, Wolf, Material, Secret Avengers, Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier, Dead Drop

Over the past few years, Kot has steadily been building a reputation for himself as one of the most distinctive new voices in the medium. Kot fulfilled that promise in 2015 with a string of strong projects covering a wide variety of territory. At Marvel he took Bucky Barnes on a cosmic journey while lacing the cloak and dagger exploits of the Secret Avengers with existential humor. Kot applied a similar whimsical touch to his Valiant series Dead Drop, while also maintaining a visceral beat the clock atmosphere. This interest in mixing tones and genres continued with his creator-owned work at Image. Wolf was a compelling mashup of urban horror, social commentary and noir. The Surface also provided cultural critique, though this time soaked in a psychedelic sensibility, which blurred into meta. Arguably the most ambitious of his projects was also the most mundane. Material followed the paths of several seemingly ordinary people as they tried to navigate their daily lives. For this series, Kot stripped away the spandex and supernatural, leaving behind a compelling portrait of contemporary anxieties. Throughout 2015, Kot produced some of the best work of his career to date, leaving fans eager to discover what he has in store for 2016-Cosmo

Read This Week’s Finest The Surface #2Material #3

From Project Superpowers: Blackcross #3 by Coltran Worley7. Warren Ellis of Trees, Supreme: Blue Rose, Injection, Project Superpowers: Blackcross, James Bond, Karnak, Captain Marvel #12-13

After over twenty years in comics, Warren Ellis continues to be one of the most innovative, influential and important writers in the medium. In 2015, Ellis continued the excellent Trees ongoing and launched the fascinating Injection with Image Comics as creator owned books while he wrote some of weirdest and most thought provoking work for hire comics in Supreme: Blue Rose, Project Super Powers: Blackcross, James Bond, Karnak & Captain Marvel. What’s perhaps most impressive about Ellis is how he’s managed to find a radically unique yet instantly familiar style for each of his titles. None of them are like the other but each is written in a voice singular to Ellis, which made for some of the most thought provoking and fascinating comics of the year-Pat

Read Supreme Blue Rose Deep Dive Down The Rabbit HoleWarren Ellis Writes James Bond

From The Sheriff Of Babylon #1 by Mitch Gerads6. Tom King of Grayson, The Omega Men, Robin War #1, Justice League Darkseid War: Green Lantern #1, Teen Titans Annual #1, Vertigo Quarterly CMYK: Black #4, Sheriff Of Babylon, The Vision

Tom King had one of the most impressive debut’s for a new writer in 2015. While we got an idea of his brilliance co-writing Grayson, this year he debuted the fantastic new serie’s The Omega Men, The Vision, Sheriff Of Babylon & made a Darkseid War tie-in so much better then it had any right to be. Tom King is a brilliant story teller who consistently innovates in his plot structure while bringing a deeply insightful yet evenhanded humanism to his writing. More then exploring themes of religon, politics, meta-physics, or economics; King explores how they are all connected as a core element of our humanity. What King did in 2015 was special as he is the best new creator to watch coming out of mainstream comics in 2016 and beyond-Pat

Read Review of Sheriff Of Babylon #1, Review of Justice League The Darkseid War Green Lantern #1

From Ms Marvel #19 by Adrian Alphona & Ian Herring5. G. Willow Wilson of Ms. Marvel, A-Force, X-Men #23-26, Swords Of Sorrow Masquerade Kato Special #1

Ms. Marvel burst onto the comics scene in 2014 and the series brought with it–for most of us–the introduction of a talented new writer. This year, after gathering a large and devoted fan base, Wilson took Kamala to new heights. Bigger challenges and new opportunities as an Avenger have placed Ms. Marvel right at the forefront of Marvel comics which has been a joy to watch. In addition, Ms. Wilson is co-writing A-Force, an all female superhero team book. Wilson does a wonderful job making every character a vital part of the story. Kamala is surrounded by fully realized friends, family and frenemies that serve a purpose in each issue; helping Kamala in her super heroics or just everyday life. Wilson has crafted a superhero book that is equal parts action and productive character work. With A-Force returning post Secret Wars and Ms. Marvel’s status only seeming to rise, the future looks bright for G. Willow Wilson and we here at NBC! are excited to continue following her stellar work.

Read Review of Ms. Marvel #16Review of A-Force #1

From Batman #44 by Jock & Lee Loughridge4. Scott Snyder of Batman, Batman Eternal, Batman & Robin Eternal, American Vampire: Second Cycle, Wytches

Scott Snyder has been on this list for a number of years now. He is still writing one of the hottest comics on the shelf but he isn’t doing it by sticking to a formula, he is doing it by shaking up the status quo and taking risks. Snyder is writing a Batman run to remember and this year he mixed the familiar with the unfamiliar; the crowd pleasing mixed with the riot inducing. Snyder brought back the Joker, but he also put Gordon in a Robo Bat-bunny suit. The phrase “In Snyder we trust” comes from moves like this. He also continued his creator owned horror series Wytches and American Vampire. While American Vampire was not as popular it remained consistent, while Wytches continued to deliver a creepy yet touching story about a father’s drive to keep his family safe. Snyder is a very intelligent comics scribe and this year it really showed-Dean

Read This Week’s Finest Batman #40Wytches #6Batman, Endings and Beginnings

From Southern Bastards #8 by Jason Latour3. Jason Aaron of Thor/Thors/The Mighty Thor, Star Wars, Star Wars Vader Down #1, Weird World, Dr. Strange, Men Of Wrath, Southern Bastards, The Goddamned

Jason Aaron had a huge year in 2015. Marvel produced two major “events” in comics. One being Secret Wars and the other the launch of their Star Wars ongoing. Jason Aaron not only had his hand in both of these events, he was the best part. He wrote the strongest Secret Wars tie in book in Weirdworld and also turned a Thor book into a compelling cop drama. Aaron was also placed on the biggest Star Wars book and found the voice of all our favorite characters, making the series a gigantic success. While all this was going on, he also wrote arguably the best Image book of the year in Southern Bastards and continued his fantastic run of Thor which was known by three different names but always the same level of quality. After all the dust has settled, he still manages to come out of Secret Wars with Dr. Strange, one of the best new Marvel titles. There is no doubt Aaron was one of the most exceptional writers of 2015-Dean

Read This Week’s Finest Southern Bastards #9Weirdworld #5Reviews of Star Wars #1

From Saga #30 by Fiona Staples2. Brian K Vaughan of Saga, We Stand On Guard, Paper Girls, The Private Eye, Barrier

Writing Saga alone is enough to earn a place on most best writer lists, but adding the stellar work on Paper Girls, We Stand On Guard and the Panel Syndicate titles makes 2015 a banner year for Mr. Vaughn. Humor, family drama, speculative sci-fi, interstellar conflict; these are all elements of the kinds of stories he creates, but what Vaughn does so well is craft characters. He builds the worlds too, but it is the language and feelings of the characters he writes that resonate so much with readers. Wild circumstances can propel a narrative, but it is the smaller moments that separates plot driven fiction from character based. Vaughn imbues every person he writes with a level of charisma and complexity, whether you’re rooting for or against them, they inspire a passionate response. As if all that isn’t enough, he manages to write what is perhaps the greatest letters column of all time. Bravo Mr. Vaughn, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year-Tyler

Read This Week’s Finest Paper Girls #1Paper Girls #2Saga Teaches Family First

From Secret Wars #8 by Esad Ribic & Ive Svorcina1. Jonathan Hickman of Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Wars, Secret Wars Too, East Of West, Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond The Stars, The Dying & The Dead, God Is Dead

Jonathan Hickman has always been a somewhat polarizing writer for his complicated narrative structure, big idea’s and decompressed storytelling. But after his banner year of 2015, his excellence became undeniable. In the last twelve months, Hickman concluded his Avengers/New Avengers run with what was probably his strongest writing on the two titles, wrote the fantastic and awe inspiring Secret Wars series which ended up being the best event comic in years, launched The Dying & The Dead, brought back The Manhattan Projects and kept East Of West as one of the most unique and successful ongoing series. Hickman’s writing is detailed and thoughtful while forever expanding the scope of his storytelling. The writer has always been one of the most ambitious creators in comics and in 2015, that ambition was more fully realized then ever before-Pat

Read This Week’s Finest Avengers #40, Secret Wars #2East Of West #22Secret Wars #8

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