- Jeff Parker – Anyone who’s spent even a few minutes here knows that some days are just odes to Jeff Parker, but there’s a good reason for that. More than anyone else, Parker is making comics FUN again. Sure, there’s a time and place for angst and darkness, but comics don’t have to be JUST that.
- Jonathan Hickman – From critically-plauded Secret Warriors to the incredible new S.H.I.E.L.D. series, Hickman knows how to take a Big Idea and infuse it with personality. Even his Dark Reign FF mini-series had heart and personality in what would have otherwise been a typical romp into the Negative Zone. He gets the most credit here for making Franklin and Valeria actually interesting.
Places to Start: Fantastic Four, where Hickman turned the traditionally-boring First Family of Marvel back into the madcap adventurers they are.
- Jason Aaron – I was surprised as anyone else to find out exactly how good Ghost Rider could be when I read his run on the title last year. Aaron focuses on the darker side of the Marvel U and applies a grindhouse sensibility that works remarkably well. His book for Vertigo, Scalped, is supposed to be incredible, and is at the top of my list to check out next.
Places to Start: Ghost Rider or Wolverine: Weapon X. His second arc, with Wolverine in an asylum, was one of the scariest things I’ve ever read.
- Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak – Both of these gentlemen write fantastic books on their own, but their coming together on Incredible Hercules created a two-headed, four-armed monster that writes some of the best (and funniest) action scenes in comics.
Am I missing anyone? Am I an idiot for not mentioning Rick Remender? Or Andy Diggle? Chastise my lack of vision in the comments section…