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Best Creators 2020

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Cable
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Best Creators 2020

Post by Cable » 21 Dec 2020, 21:30

2020 was a year in which we definitely needed quality entertainment so lets celebrate those writers and artists who brought us the best in comics.

For those who pay any attention to signatures, you may have noticed in mine I kept track every week of the best X-Men and non-X-Men comic. Using this I figured out which creators appeared the most times in the pages of the finest issues. It is a bit unconventional measure in some ways (comics are only considered relative to those coming out the same week) but I still feel it provides a good idea of who is week in and week out consistently giving us quality books to read.

Note that in comics it isn't always clear how much of effective storytelling is due to author or due to artist. Therefore I did not consider writers and artists separately; if a story was the best, both the writer and artist received credit for that story. Thus the artists aren't necessarily who I would pick as my stylistic favorites, but they are the ones who were often involved in the best issues of the year.

So to my list, and in response I would love to see your own opinions about who did the best work in 2020.

X-Men Comics

Writers

1. Jonathan Hickman
Anyone who knows my opinion of the Hickman era of X-Men Comics overall might be surprised by this (hint: it makes me nostalgic for Chuck Austen), but the reality is whatever my thoughts are in general, most of the best individual issues of this era are being written or co-written by Hickman himself. The ambition of his ideas is impressive and while he has introduced grand concepts both good and bad, it has always generated discussion of interest among us fans. It cannot be denied that Hickman has been the person most responsible for breathing new life into the franchise.
Highlight Issues this year: New Mutants #5, X-Men #6 and #8 and #10-11 and #15, Empyre X-Men #1 and #4, Giant-Size X-Men Storm #1, X of Swords Stasis #1

2. Gerry Duggan
From some of the cast choices to the concept to even the title of the book, Marauders was met with a heavy dose of skepticism by many when it was announced. Fast forward and I don't think any other run in the X-books this year met such consistent praise as Duggan's has. Hickman might have built the new X-world, but Duggan has made it fun to live in.
Highlight Issues this year: Marauders #5-6 and #8-12 and #14-15

3. Benjamin Percy
Asking whether you can handle the truth of what it takes to protect a nation, Percy has written provocative issues about the lengths X-Force will go to in defense of Krakoa. And while it doesn't reinvent the wheel, he has made another fine entry into the long tradition of Wolverine solo runs. Further cementing his third place, Percy gave us some lemonade out of lemons by writing some of the better issues of what turned out to be a pretty bad crossover in X of Swords.
Highlight Issues this year: X-Force #10, Wolverine #6, Marauders #14-15

Honorable Mentions:
Ed Brisson
Chip Zdarsky
Tini Howard

Artists

1. Stefano Casselli
As I previously mentioned, Duggan's Marauders run has often gotten high marks on the forums. Two artists were largely responsible for bringing the series to life and if one has to be placed on top I think it is Casselli. From the emotional aftermath of Kate's death in Marauders #8 (that Storm and Emma embrace ❤️) to her triumphant rebirth in #11, many of the best moments of the run were put to paper by Casselli.
Highlight Issues this year: Marauders #8 and #10-11 and #14-15

2. Matteo Lolli
And yet the other artist on Marauders did great work as well. Lolli has a good eye for action scenes and this can be viewed in the issue where Kate is killed and in that unforgettable Yellowjacket sequence in Marauders #9.
Highlight Issues this year: Marauders #5-6 and #9 and #12

3. Mahmud Asrar
Go look at his images of a massive Brood swarm devouring an Acanti and you will see the undeniable talent of Mahmud Asrar. It is no wonder he was chosen to do the climactic issue of X of Swords, featuring both a character-heavy moment of Cyclops and Jean reinstating the X-Men before the Council as well as an emotional action scene of Apocalypse battling his own wife to the death.
Highlight Issues this year: X-Men #8 and #15, X of Swords Stasis #1

Honorable Mentions:
Terry Dodson
Rod Reis
Matteo Bufagni


Non-X Comics

Writers

1. Al Ewing
In the beginning of the year Ewing is telling fantastic tales of Jane Foster's new identity as a mystical shepherd of the dead in Valkyrie and by the end of the year he is weaving murder mysteries into the science fiction of Guardians of the Galaxy and re-inventing the character of Star-Lord. Throughout all of this he is continuing a run on Immortal Hulk that will surely go down in Marvel comics history as one of the greats. Oh and did I mention he co-wrote the biggest event of the year in Empyre? And found time to write quality one-shots like Empyre Aftermath Avengers and Immortal She-Hulk? Also to debut a new series in the X-Men franchise with SWORD? Al Ewing should receive a literal knighthood for the work he has done in comic books.

2. Frank Tieri
This is probably a big surprise to some since Tieri did not write any ongoing comics at Marvel this year. However, and while I think much of the fanfare over it was unfortunately lost when it became disrupted by the pandemic, Tieri crafted a fun and creepy new corner of the universe centered around Ravencroft. Through the miniseries of that name as well Ruins of Ravencroft one-shots featuring the likes of Carnage and Sabretooth, he weaved a tale of horror that brought new revelations connected to Marvel history.

3. Nick Spencer
Amazing Spider-Man has been blessed with a history of talented creators and current writer Nick Spencer is no different. This year he put a fresh spin on classic characters from the tearjerker tale of Gog to the horrifying revelations in the long-simmering subplot of Kindred's identity and his unleashing of the resurrected Sin Eater.

Honorable Mentions
Saladin Ahmed
Donny Cates
Jed Mackay

Artists

1. Joe Bennett
As I stated above, Al Ewing's Hulk run will be long-remembered as a definitive chapter of the character's story. And Joe Bennett's artwork is inseparable from that. He has done the large majority of the issues of the run and along the way drawn images of unspeakable horror that have to be seen to be believed.

2. Valerio Schiti
Valerio Schiti was a key talent in this year's big Empyre event and it is not surprising that he was paired with Ewing again for the new SWORD series. He has a knack for great scenes of sci-fi and X-fans should consider themselves lucky they will get to enjoy his art in their titles in 2021.

3. Ario Anindito
Marvel has been pushing a slate of diverse new Asian heroes the past couple of years and Ario Anindito is an Indonesian artist who was one of the ones chosen to bring these characters to life and did so admirably through his work on the Atlantis Attacks series this year. Hopefully we see more both of them and him in the new year.

Honorable Mentions
Nic Klein
Ryan Ottley
Dike Ruan
Best Comics of Week 29

X-titles: X-Men Legends #5 by Peter David (1) and Todd Nauck (1)
Non-X titles: Extreme Carnage--Phage by Steve Orlando (2) and Gerardo Sandoval (1)

In parentheses number of times creator has had best comic this year

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Blackcyclops
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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by Blackcyclops » 23 Dec 2020, 14:02

Number 3-

X-Writer: Tini Howard
Non-X-Writer: Nick Spencer

Everyone here knows much I loved Slott’s monumental Spidey run and how much I appreciated what Spencer did with Cap during his short tenure but even I was apprehensive about Spencer taking over after such a stellar series of stories. And after a kind of weird start I really came to not just appreciate Spencer’s work here but thoroughly enjoy it every month. He’s done such a great job of interweaving one-offs with a larger narrative and keeping everything a nice balance of light and heavy. And his current story arc does look to be further pushing Petey to the brink and I always love a good Spider-man overcoming the odds story.

Idc how other people feel Tini Howard is working her ass off with Excalibur. She’s being bold, she’s being fun and she’s always being very attentive and respectful to the characters she’s writing. She took an oddball mashup of characters and concepts and made it very fun for me every month. I haven’t fully enjoyed an Exaclibur run like this since Alan Davis lol...
Morrison Era 2001-2005, Decimation Era from 2005-2012, Bendis Era 2012-2016, M-Pox era 2016-2017, and Resurrxion 2017-2019, Hickman Era 2019-?

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Blackcyclops
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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by Blackcyclops » 23 Dec 2020, 14:23

Number 2-
X-Writer: Leah Williams
Non X-Writer: Donny Cates

Look man, not only did he manage to give me an engaging and entertaining version of Thor after imo the best Thor run of all time BUT he’s someone reinventing the entire Venom mythos and making it equally terrifying and exciting. Cates is just firing on cylinders right now and I love it all. He’s taken Thor in a much more scifi direction which makes sense because 1)it’s always been apart of the mythos and 2)it’s a nice departure from Aaron’s run, so it allows Cates to write something distinctly his own.

And his Venom run? Well he’s redefined the character for a generation and done so by keeping it all grounded in a very human Eddie Brock. Kudos.

Look, Leah Williams is telling the slickest X-story in years...and by slickest I mean it’s equal part smart, funny and timely. Her diversity feels like a foundation of her book instead of an afterthought. Add that to whip smart dialogue and great pacing and I think she’s on her way to bringing us something we’ll be looking back and being like “damn, how did I underestimate this run so much?”
Morrison Era 2001-2005, Decimation Era from 2005-2012, Bendis Era 2012-2016, M-Pox era 2016-2017, and Resurrxion 2017-2019, Hickman Era 2019-?

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Blackcyclops
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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by Blackcyclops » 23 Dec 2020, 14:28

Number 1-
x-Writer: Gerry Duggan
Non-X-Writer: Al Ewing

Let’s just get this out the way, I think Al Ewing is one of the great Marvel writers of all time already. He’s redefined the GotG in a short time to be a book I once again rush to read. His first issue of SWORD already makes it a contender for best X-book. But it is his run on the Immortal Hulk that I contend is up there with CC’s X-Men, PAD’s Hulk, Bendis’s Ultimate Spidey, Aaron’s Thor and Waid’s DD...it’s such a great book that I really can’t fully describe it and just want everyone to read it. This guy is the top right now, there is no denying that.

Gerry Duggan is a guy who first caught attention with my definitive Deadpool run and now is giving me the x-book I most look forward to every month. He writes a thrilling and heartfelt book that I can’t put down.
Morrison Era 2001-2005, Decimation Era from 2005-2012, Bendis Era 2012-2016, M-Pox era 2016-2017, and Resurrxion 2017-2019, Hickman Era 2019-?

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BardicOne
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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by BardicOne » 31 Dec 2020, 16:50

Was gonna come in here and nominate Ewing for Hulk but BC has said everything I was going to.
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Oldmanlogan79
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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by Oldmanlogan79 » 01 Jan 2021, 14:23

X-MEN COMICS

Writters
GOLD - JONATHAN HICKMAN
SILVER - BENJAMIN PERCY
BRONZE - ED BRISSON

Artists
GOLD - JOSHUA CASSARA (issues 9 and 10 of X-FORCE are the best of the year for me)
SILVER - LEINIL FRANCIS YU
BRONZE - PEPE LARRAZ

I could not give awards to any other Marvel series, because apart from the DoX titles I do not follow any. But it has been another spectacular year, in my opinion, for DC's Green Lantern, and all thanks to a duo that only knows how to give good pages ... so my honorable mention goes to GRANT MORRISON and LIAM SHARP without a doubt.
Lee-Claremont-Morrison-Bendis-Hickman

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Cable
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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by Cable » 02 Jan 2021, 03:03

Oldmanlogan79 wrote:
01 Jan 2021, 14:23
X-MEN COMICS

Artists
GOLD - JOSHUA CASSARA (issues 9 and 10 of X-FORCE are the best of the year for me)
SILVER - LEINIL FRANCIS YU
BRONZE - PEPE LARRAZ
Agree with you that Yu deserves a mention. Cover art was not something I gave credit to but if I was Yu would have made the list for sure. His interiors in the X-Men issue that tied into Empyre were great as well.
Best Comics of Week 29

X-titles: X-Men Legends #5 by Peter David (1) and Todd Nauck (1)
Non-X titles: Extreme Carnage--Phage by Steve Orlando (2) and Gerardo Sandoval (1)

In parentheses number of times creator has had best comic this year

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Magik84
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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by Magik84 » 02 Jan 2021, 21:00

X-Writers (top 3 in no particular order)
Leah Williams - it seems not matter what incarnation of X-Factor it is, I always like it, William's doing great job here
Gerry Dugan - Marauders I thought got off to a bit of a rocky start, but is now the book I consistently enjoy
Jonathon Hickman - X-Men book has been inconsistent but he has still pulled out some good stories coupled with good Giant Size X-Men and New Mutants stories.

X-Artists (again no particular order)
Russell Dauterman - Giant Size Jean and Emma is the best particularly that cover.
Rod Reis - the New Mutants space arc was great.
Stefano Casselli - Agree with Cable he has done great work on Marauders


I haven't really been reading other Marvel titles but still love Rainbow Rowell's Runaways.
X-Editorial Draft: Prodigy, Vange Whedon, lil' Iceman, Wallflower, Cecelia Reyes, Mimic, U-Go Girl, Doc Samson, Nature Girl

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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by Leo » 18 Jan 2021, 03:52

The X=writers really delivered in 2020. Leah Williams is doing a fantastic job in X-Factor, and Zeb Wells gives us guilty pleasure drama and hilarity in Hellions. But I have to give the title to HIckman. The Davos and Children of the Vault issues of X-Men are some of the best comics I've read last year. And the Crucible issue is probably my single favourite comic book issue of 2020.
Avengers Draft: Hyperion, Invisible Woman, Manifold, Blue Marvel, Smasher, Starbrand, Abyss, Scarlet Spider

X-Draft: Cyclops, Psylocke, Colossus, Northstar, Nate Grey, Shatterstar, Cypher, Abigail Brand, Firestar, Madison Jeffries, Slipstream, Darkstar

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das_boot
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Re: Best Creators 2020

Post by das_boot » 31 Jan 2021, 09:22

3– Leah Williams.

I just feel like this is her taking the best ideas of previous incarnations of X-Factor (oddball/fan favourite cast, investigative team, a team sanctioned by a government of sorts) and giving it her own voice. The art style really works here too, and she’s building several mysteries into the plot. Every single issue feels so dense and like we’ve had at least an issue and a half’s worth of plot/story, and I really appreciate that.

2- Hickman.

Look. I’m not the biggest fan of his characterisations. I think that for the most part they’re really flat and lifeless— but you CANNOT fault the man for his concepts and world building. Even something like Crucible which I HATE as a concept, it creates a strong responses from readers. No one read that issue and just thought “meh”. It was either loved or hated. Again, I don’t think his character work is as solid as it should be for someone who is the architect of the X-Line, but his plotting and overall structuring of the titles is tight and focused.

1- Tini Howard

If Hickman is the architect, Howard is the interior designer. She’s the one who’s clearly his number 2 on the line and all you have to do is look at how kooky XoS got to see her hand here. Her character beats are strong, her nods to OLD storylines are fantastic and it really feels like Excalibur is a Labour of love for her.
X-Centric podcast: coming soon!

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