romita_jr_spidermanA couple of years ago I compiled a list of my favorite Spidey authors but as time has progressed I’ve had to shake up the list.

Let’s see how it currently stacks up:

10. Joseph Michael Straczynski – JMS wrote Spider-Man from 2001-2007 and he did a lot of very good things. He also did some truly awful things. But the early issues were pretty good. I quite enjoyed the Morlun storyline and there was a really good Doctor Octopus story in there. Yes, the later stuff (Sins Past and One More Day) were things that are almost unforgivable but I still include him here for the strength of the stories he wrote in the beginning.

9. Tom DeFalco – The 1980s was really “my” Spider-Man and DeFalco did some amazing stuff when paired up with Ron Frenz. I really enjoyed most of his stuff and continued to enjoy his contributions via Spider-Girl later on. An underrated Spidey writer in my opinion.

8. Kurt Busiek – This is mainly on the strength of the wonderful Untold Tales of Spider-Man series. Busiek did a pitch-perfect series that danced in and out of established continuity. Some of the new characters he introduced in there are some of my favorites in Spidey history. Loved it.

7. David Michelinie – Most of his run is remembered for two things: the artists he was paired with (McFarlane, Larsen, Bagley) and the Venom/Carnage stuff. But it was a lot of fun overall and you never knew where things were going — towards the end, this was because neither the writer nor editor knew either.

6. Dan Slott – Slott wrote the book for over ten years and there were some amazing highs (the Superior Spider-Man period in particular) but I did have some issues with a few of his storylines and the way he portrayed Peter, which wasn’t always consistent with my own personal view of the character. One day I’ll do a re-read of the entire run but for now it sticks out in my memory as some great stuff and a whole lot of “What are you thinking, Dan?”

5. Gerry Conway – I felt that the Stan Lee era had really become boring by the end and Conway injected a lot of life back into the character. His version of Spidey was actually the first I read as a kid and I still enjoy reading them today. Some of the stories are bad, sure, but some are wonderful and hold up very well. His return on Web of Spider-Man was pretty good but I wish it had featured better artwork.

4. J.M Dematteis – Yes, sometimes you run into the trademarked psychological mumbo-jumbo that Dematteis always does but he also wrote the amazing Amazing Spider-Man # 400, Kraven’s Last Hunt and the death of Harry Osborn. When he’s on, he’s very good.

3. Nick Spencer – Spencer is the book’s current writer and I’ve loved what he’s done – he’s really gotten Peter back on-track after some of the later Slott decisions that kind of took the character out of the sweet spot he usually occupies. Spencer has done wonders with Mary Jane, Fred (Boomerang), and Jameson. Plus, the Kindred mystery has been the most fun storyline of its kind since the Hobgoblin days.

2. Stan Lee – The early issues with Ditko are brilliant! I’ve always found the Romita issues to be bland and boring (though pretty to look at) so I’m ranking him so highly based upon his role as the character’s defining voice and the fact that the first 30+ issues are some of the greatest superhero comics of all time.

1. Roger Stern – My Spidey writer! Stern did some amazing stories and his Hobgoblin storyline remains one of my all-time favorites. I enjoyed it when he came back and revealed the true identity of the iconic villain, too. So many great stories and Stern was the best at handling the supporting cast. Hell, he even made Lance Bannon interesting!

What say you, Spidey fans?

1 Comment

  1. #10. Didn’t care for Morlun or the whole spider-totem concept. I can’t blame him for One More Day as that was Queseda’s pet project and not optional.
    #9. Prefer him on Spider-Girl, but his middle-aged Peter in that series is very good
    #5. Conway had some great moments. I think his biggest weakness was long-term story arcs, like the one where Aunt May winds up inheriting a nuclear reactor.
    #2. While it wasn’t where I started, Lee/Ditko will always be the definitive Spider-Man. The Romita years weren’t as strong, though I can see why Romita’s art put the book into the #1 slot in sales.
    #4. Psychological mumbo-jumbo sums up a lot of DeMatteis’ work. I honestly don’t remember much of his Spider-Man run, though I’ve loved him (and occasionally hated him) on other stuff.

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