View Poll Results: Who is the definitive Superman writer?

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  • Jerry Siegal

    5 8.20%
  • Otto Binder

    0 0%
  • Grant Morrison

    22 36.07%
  • Alan Moore

    4 6.56%
  • Mark Waid

    2 3.28%
  • Kurt Busiek

    3 4.92%
  • Eliott S! Maggin

    4 6.56%
  • John Byrne

    4 6.56%
  • Cary Bates

    2 3.28%
  • Mark Millar

    0 0%
  • Dan Jurgens

    7 11.48%
  • Jack Kirby

    1 1.64%
  • Geoff Johns

    2 3.28%
  • Other

    5 8.20%
  • See Results

    0 0%
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  1. #31
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    I voted for Maggin, I think when you look at his comics and novels, he set the path writers like Moore and Morrison would explore. I think Cary Bates deserves a mention for the Immortal Superman and Who Took the Super out of Superman.

    With Alan Moore, I think you have to include Miracle Man and Supreme as well.

    In addition to Mary Pasko, I would add Gerry Conway and Len Wein. Conway for Superman 301 which is the greatest Superman Vs. Grundy match up ever, and the best Hulk vs. Superman comic out there. Len Wein for his Mongul stories and the Man Who Murdered the Earth. The last comic was the earliest mention of string theory that I had ever heard of, and it places Superman as an extra-dimensional being that rivals Dr. Manhattan.

    I think fans of All Star Superman should read the original Superman Red Superman Blue and the Last Days of Superman by Leo Dorfman and Edmond Hamilton. They really take Superman to the extreme as to how he could change the world.

    Speaking of which, Jerry Siegel kind of explores those themes with his Mxyzptlk stories and How Superman would end the War.
    Last edited by Johnny Thunders!; 11-17-2020 at 05:51 PM.

  2. #32
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Lmao what did Schultz do? Superman & Batman vs. Aliens & Predators? Good Lord that was a real thing?
    He was on the monthly Man of Steel book toward the end of that series run. It was relatively good compared to the other two; inoffensive but mostly forgettable.
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  3. #33
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    As usual, I'm going to go with Maggin, he truly made the entire lore feel special.
    No matter how many reboots, new origins, reinterpretations or suit redesigns. In the end, he will always be SUPERMAN

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  4. #34
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I think it's a little unfair to list reboot writers because they get to define the character.

    Cary Bates is maybe the most prolific but didn't focus on the character so much as his stories. Maggin wrote him better, but wrote best while with Bates actually. Dorfman wrote the best oddball hero. Roger Stern wrote the best straight man and more moderate stories concerning him. Schultz wrote the best modern take on him, and Morrison wrote the most definitive stories.

    It's also weird to try ranking Siegel though, because he's essentially right in every way


    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    Wolfman’s Pre-Crisis Action run is sorely underrated.
    Agreed. I think his second run with that freedom to define was more in his wheelhouse than the pre crisis trappings, but working with what he was given made for a really fun scenario.



    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Lmao what did Schultz do? Superman & Batman vs. Aliens & Predators? Good Lord that was a real thing?
    There were a few of those projects, yeah. But the title Man of Steel, from 1991-2003, only had two main writers. Schultz did the last 40 or so issues and was as great as Weezy. I'd easily put him above half the names mentioned because he's a legit sci-fi comic writer outside of the character and did a damned good job bridging the post Crisis gap from the protagonist seeing himself as Clark to Kal El. I may like Austen's run a bit but that says nothing about Schultz in terms of quality imo. Check it out when you can, that guy wrote a solid character despite not coming from a superhero background straight into sharing with three other creative teams

    It's kind of bizarre how he's forgotten because you look at something like Emperor Joker and he holds up way better than Kelly or Loeb
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  5. #35
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Thanks Kuwagaton I’ll add him to the list. Any standalone/one shot Superman stories he did you can recommend? Triangle Era writers can sometimes be hard for me to get a feel on since it was more like a team sport than a solo one.

  6. #36
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    From his run #90, 93, 95, 100, 107, 112 and 123-127 are the best I'd say without the context of the other titles. Steel and Natasha were really big characters with him and #112 is one of my favorites for Krypto
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  7. #37
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    From his run #90, 93, 95, 100, 107, 112 and 123-127 are the best I'd say without the context of the other titles. Steel and Natasha were really big characters with him and #112 is one of my favorites for Krypto
    Wow he was around longer than I remember! Gonna have to revisit some of his work, because I can't recall off the top of my head anything in particular... :-/
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Cary Bates is maybe the most prolific but didn't focus on the character so much as his stories. Maggin wrote him better, but wrote best while with Bates actually.
    The more of Bates that I read, the less I think that's true. It might be just because Cary had such a long career on the Superman comics, but I think he wrote just as many character-defining stories as Elliot.

    I would say that Cary Bates' strength is in plot--he would come up with many clever plot ideas (something encouraged by Julius Schwartz)--and I'm continually surprised by the inventiveness in his stories. I don't think Elliot S! Maggin was all that great at finding new twists and turns to explore and his strength was in character development--having great dialogue. That's why the combo of Bates and Maggin was so compelling, because they combined their strengths, with Cary handling the plot and Elliot handling the script.
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  9. #39
    Spectacular Member Stick Figure's Avatar
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    Bendis for me. I never collected Superman until he was on the books. He really got to me to appreciate and enjoy the character.

    I need to look up the stuff by Straczynski. Hes my 2nd favorite writer after Bendis. I missed out there.

  10. #40
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    The more of Bates that I read, the less I think that's true. It might be just because Cary had such a long career on the Superman comics, but I think he wrote just as many character-defining stories as Elliot.

    I would say that Cary Bates' strength is in plot--he would come up with many clever plot ideas (something encouraged by Julius Schwartz)--and I'm continually surprised by the inventiveness in his stories. I don't think Elliot S! Maggin was all that great at finding new twists and turns to explore and his strength was in character development--having great dialogue. That's why the combo of Bates and Maggin was so compelling, because they combined their strengths, with Cary handling the plot and Elliot handling the script.
    I picked Bates, overall he's my favorite Superman writer and deep down I hope he gets another project. But I don't think, for all his stories, he's had the same focus on character. There are so many people who only seem to give Superman one shot, and if that's the case you can bet the story is "what makes Superman tick?" And other regulars like Jurgens, Maggin, and Morrison explore different parts of his life and how it all impacts him.

    There are some writers I'll end up leaving off because this is for the character vs my favorites in general but my list on what makes up my view of the character is something like:

    Bates
    Stern
    Maggin
    Wolfman
    Dorfman
    Siegel
    Casey
    Schultz
    Schwartz
    Morrison

    Not really in order, it's also sort of the ratio of stories
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  11. #41
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick Figure View Post
    Bendis for me. I never collected Superman until he was on the books. He really got to me to appreciate and enjoy the character.

    I need to look up the stuff by Straczynski. He’s my 2nd favorite writer after Bendis. I missed out there.
    JMS Superman Earth One would probably be right up your alley. It’s 3 volumes that are totally standalone.

  12. #42
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    I am curious as to what story everyone would put up as their "exhibit A" for best Superman writer.
    For example I don't think he has the output to justify the title, but Superman in Supertown would be my nominee for Jack Kirby as best Superman writer. I would have given Kirby the Superman titles when he came to DC.

  13. #43
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Thunders! View Post
    I am curious as to what story everyone would put up as their "exhibit A" for best Superman writer.
    For example I don't think he has the output to justify the title, but Superman in Supertown would be my nominee for Jack Kirby as best Superman writer. I would have given Kirby the Superman titles when he came to DC.
    Kirby was ahead of the curve when it came to Superman characterization and storytelling. He’s got Supes going up against threats that can hurt him on a raw physical level, has Supes wrestle with his worry that he doesn’t belong on Earth and would be happier at Supertown, and delivers the kind of big ideas that Superman books need. Shame his work on Supes has not really been acknowledged.

  14. #44

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    Same answer as in the Batman thread, Grant Morrison.

  15. #45
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    Writers like Alan Moore and Jack Kirby, as much as I like them, don't really pass the first test. To be a top Superman writer, they have to have written a considerable number of Superman stories--and not just stories where Superman was a guest star or stories that were inspired by Superman.

    The obvious top Superman writer is Jerry Siegel. He wrote a considerable number of comic book stories in the 1930s and 1940s. He wrote the early run of the comic strip. He returned to the character in the 1960s, writing not just Superman but every Superman family feature, including the Legion.

    Another top writer is Alvin Schwartz. He wrote a lot of the Superman stories in the comic books and the comic strips in the 1940s and 1950s. And he returned to write about Superman in his novel, AN UNLIKELY PROPHET (1997).

    Of the "new" writers, I usually can think of one series they wrote that I liked. SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS for Jeph Loeb, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN for Grant Morrison, Superman and the Adult Legion (ACTION COMICS) for Geoff Johns. But if I think about the rest of their Superman work, I'm not that impressed and even put off. So I don't know that writing one good series is enough to put that writer into the top category.
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