Robot 6

Six by 6 | Six creators who could make a big impact with a comeback

Greg Capullo's Batman

Comic creators come and go, but it’s the ones who stick around and become veterans who tend to make the biggest mark on the industry. Some work continuously in comics while others take a hiatus from the business and then return later: Jack Kirby did it, as did James Robinson, Alex Toth, Brian K. Vaughn and others.

One of the most recent big splashes by a returning veteran has been Greg Capullo, who took a hiatus from comics in the 2000s after making a name for himself on Spawn, X-Force and Quasar. In 2009, he limbered up working on Image’s Haunt and sealed the deal when he jumped to DC Comics in 2011 to relaunch Batman with Scott Snyder. That got me thinking: Are there other creators floating around on the outskirts of comics, or outside of comics completely, who could pose a formidable force if they returned to comics — and more importantly, if the comics industry knew how to use them? It’s with that in mind that I compiled this list.

1. Mike Zeck. This Pennsylvania-born artist was an absolute beast in the late ’70s and ’80s, turning in monumental runs on Captain America, G.I. Joe, Deathstroke, The Terminator, Spider-Man and Punisher. He went on to draw one of Marvel’s biggest series of all time in 1984’s Secret Wars, and became a trusted hand in the ’80s and ’90s. After doing the creator-owned book The Damned, Zeck took a step back and began focusing more on licensing work for DC, Marvel and others. He remains prolific to this date (as seen with his postings on his website), but for one reason or another hasn’t been given the ball in terms of big projects at DC or Marvel. Maybe he doesn’t want it, but this fanboy’s idle mind hopes that’s not the case. Imagine Zeck being put to work on one of DC’s Batman titles, or perhaps maybe as one of the Avengers Vs. X-Men artists. To borrow a phrase from Stan Lee and DC, just imagine …

2. Steven T. Seagle. Seagle has drifted in and out of the comics industry on many occasions, but with good reason. With his cohorts in the writing squad Man of Action he’s had unprecedented success writing for animation on things like Ben 10 and Generator Rex. Call me a fool, but Seagle has something special when it comes to comics; whether it be the unique bent on Superman with It’s A Birdto thrilling indie work like Kafka and Soul Kiss. He may not fit into the easy mold of a mainstream writer, but then again he’s writing material for an audience that dwarfs comics with Ben 10. And as a comic fan, I’d love to see him come back.

3. Barry Windsor-Smith. For a lot of comic fans, Barry Windsor-Smith is best known for “Weapon X,” a multi-part story-arc that ran in Marvel Comics Presents and served as a building block for the anti-hero. But Windsor-Smith (or BWS) is much, much more than that. From Conan to Machine Man to Valiant, BWS is an under-appreciated icon in the industry. In the past dozen years, he’s been mostly absent from comics, sporadically contributing covers and pin-ups with hints of new work. He’s spoken in interviews about several unpublished story arcs, like a Superman graphic novel, a Thing graphic novel and even a book for Vertigo called Monsters, but those seem like fever dreams after all this time. At 63, he may not be inclined to resume the grueling daily schedule of a comics artist, but I imagine BWS could assume a great featured-attraction role like John Romita has.

4. Chris Claremont. He may have not created the X-Men, but Chris Claremont is the one who made them who they are today. But now in 2012 he’s on the outs with comics completely; when I interviewed him in January, Claremont said he hadn’t written a comic in more than a year, which would have  been 2010 at that point. Bleeding Cool quoted him earlier this year as saying he’s still under an exclusive contract with Marvel but hasn’t been offered, or invited to pitch, any new work. Rumor is that it’s part of a legacy deal because of his contributions to the X-Men, but surely there’s a place for Claremont at Marvel, or somewhere else in comics. Maybe X-Men Forever isn’t the answer, but it seems as if the comic industry doesn’t know what to do with Claremont — much in the way, unfortunately, it viewed Jack Kirby in the 1980s.

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5. Jamie Hewlett. I spoke earlier this year about my despondence over the lack of major comics work from Tank Girl co-creator Jamie Hewlett, and that sentiment still stands. Trying to speculate what a comic comeback for Hewlett might entail, imagine if he came back full-force with an Image series akin to the way Brian K. Vaughan returned with Saga. Boom!

6. Travis Charest. It must be daunting being so talented, especially if everyone around you knows it. Charest skyrocketed into comics as a protege of Jim Lee and became a modern-day Drew Struzan with his run on Wildcats and the Wildcats/X-Men crossover. But since then, it’s really tough to say. In the past five years he’s been restricted in the U.S. market to producing covers for Dark Horse’s Star Wars line and various pop-in visits to Marvel books like the recent Spider-Men #5 variant, but Charest seems like a guy who needs the right schedule to produce work. Maybe he’s like a Marlon Brando, who in his later life rarely appeared in movies, yet certain directors took chances and organized their schedule to accommodate his needs in return for his talent. But just imagine if Charest were given enough time to do a succinct Captain America run or perhaps a guest issue on Wonder Woman. Or best of all, what if his webcomic Space Girl were given the funding for him to work on it more diligently.



I know some of these guys are still making art, just not for comics — Commercial art for other media, licensed products, etc., pays significantly better than comic page rates, and come with a much less intense schedule.

I have a feeling that unless Claremont overhaul’s his style and learns to drop his pet characters, that he’s not gonna be making a big splash whether he returns or not.

I miss Christopher Priest most of all.

Valiant is planning on digital rereleases of Quantum and Woody, including, purportedly, two previously unpublished issues. I urge everybody to spend money on those things.

If Joe Casey’s Nerdist interview is any indication the Man of Action guys are all pretty sour on mainstream comics so I don’t see him Seagle or Joe Kelly doing big comics projects anytime soon.

I’d also read anything John Ostrander wrote. He’s one of the best and it’s a shame he’s not around much these days.

I second a call for the return of Christopher J. Priest (AKA Jim Owsley). I can’t wait for the digital re-releases of Quantum & Woody later this month.

Also, where is Art Adams?

@ Brendan H
Arthur’s been doing covers for Secret Avengers pretty consistently, plus last year he just finished Ultimate X. The problem with him returning is that he’s just a slow penciller, and as he’s gotten older, he’s gotten slower. The most we can hope for are covers and the occasional 1-shot.

Personally, I’d like to see guys like Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Steve Skroce, and Stephen Platt return to regular work on mainstream books since those books could use their more out-there style of work. I mean, who else thinks Joe Casey would be way more suited to All-New X-Men over Bendis? I’d also like to see more regular work out of guys like Mark Brooks, Howard Porter, and Joe Mad. These are extremely talented dudes who either produce sporadic arcs or do a lot of partial-issues, and I know they’re not anywhere near as slow as Adams.

I’m content with Joe Casey and the others doing their own thing outside of the Big 2. No need to force them on the same characters we’ve seen over and over again.

Claremont hasn’t been gone long enough to make a big splash because his writing was thoroughly unmemorable for years before he stopped getting work, and there’s no indication he could reconnect with audiences based on recent history. Charest frankly is too good to be doing regular comics work; he should be rendering European film posters or somesuch for big bucks.

Zeck, however, on a monthly book would be a monster return, either at DC or Marvel.

@ Joe H
Yeah, I can see that, but Kelly, Seagle and Casey were never really given a fair shake on the X-Books. Nowadays, I’d like to think editorial isn’t AS intrusive or heavy-handed like they were when they were on the X-Books. And these guys had a lot of enthusiasm for the source material and were producing brilliant stuff on those books (at least Kelly and Seagle; Casey was just building up steam when he quit). I think they might actually enjoy the job and spend some lengthy runs on those books producing material they’re happy with if given a chance to work in a more reasonable environment.

It’ll never happen because they’ve been burned too many times, but sometimes I fantasize about a world where Kelly went back to Deadpool, Casey got Bendis’ new job and the new Cable and X-Force, and Seagle took over Astonishing X-Men. Plus, all the Joe Mad!, Art Adams, Bachalo, and Bradshaw art you could ever ask for. There’s also unicorns in this dimension too, and water-fountains that spew cream soda. I don’t want to live in this world anymore….

I’d actually like to see Steven Grant and Vince Giarrano make a return–they created a memorable First character called Whisper. Where they faltered, I have heard many say, was when they did the Chase Lawler Manhunter for DC in 1994.

I’d rather live in a world where Joe Mad, Art Adams, Chris Bachalo, and others could make enough money working with the likes of Casey, Morrison, Aaron, Al Ewing, Gillen, Rucka and others on their own stuff. One where Huddleston didn’t have to pick up work on The Strain at the cost of Butcher Baker to make ends meet, so that Casey never made that comment that pissed Huddleston off.

Also in this world, Jodorowsky’s work is much more popular in America and his work outside of The Incal isn’t all but ignored.

There are unicorns in this world too. They’re abundant enough to be the feed for our pet T-Rex’s which we ride to and from work.

@ Joe H
This world sounds pretty nice too lol

Still, IDK, I’m a huge X-Fan; what upsets me is that all those Man of Action guys who quit the books obviously had some more X-Men stories in them to tell that they never got the chance to, and I kind of feel robbed of good stuff they actually wanted to write because Marvel kept trying to force them to write to the common denominator. I just wish we could have seen more work from them during their mainstream phases.

And after reading the latest installment of Greatest Comic Book runs, I was reminded of another guy who should be doing more work – Norm Breyfogle. I know he’s doing Batman Beyond Unlimited, but this guy should be doing full Batman issues instead of what are essentially something between a back-up and a feature, he’s so good.

Also, what happened to German Garcia? I know Skroce and Platt started doing concept art and storyboards, but this guy just disappeared. Also, Micheal Golden is too good to bot be doing just covers for Spawn (I think that was the last regular gig he had…) So many good artists and writers who should be doing regular work….

Steven T. Seagle’s long-delayed graphic novel ‘Genius’ with Teddy Kristiansen is finally scheduled for release in July, 2013 from First Second.

Promo from 2008 here:
Recent cover design here:

Steve Skroce and Adam Pollina. Those I miss.

@ ArnaudXIII

I remember Pollina, he did X-force during John Francis Moore’s run on the book; very solid work from both guys, highly underrated creators. It’s too bad they tend to get overshadowed by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s run (which is great too). I’d love to see both guys make a comeback (is JFM still in comics? I hope he didn’t pass away, I’d consider that a pretty big loss to comics since the guy was very talented).

Man, I love just about all of these guys and have been wondering where they are. Would love to see any of them step back up to the plate, especially Charest!

You guys don’t even read the site you’re posting on? Pollina’s return has been covered right here 6 days ago:

Regarding Jamie Hewlett:

Huh, I totally missed that (obviously lol). I’m gonna be honest, I’m kinda the fan that indie-fans hate because I pretty much only read the Big 2, although I like to think my standards are pretty high when it comes to that stuff. But good for Pollina, it’s about time someone recognized his worth.

I would like to see both Claremont and Priest return to comics.

Count me in for Ostrander, Denny O’Neill, Denys Cowan, and Seagle on some kind of comic output – miniseries, one-off, series, whatever!

I’m sure Mr. Hewlett has been busy with Gorillaz for the past decade or so, but now that Blur is taking more of a focus (love me some Blur) maybe he’ll move back to comics for something….kinda doubt it though. Seems to be taking more of a director/animator path…

Restore the pre-Flashpoint DCU, launch a new Action Comics written by Mark Waid with art by Travis Charest.

Keep Snyder on Batman, but pair him with Zeck.

Zeck’s art is awesome. I’d like to see him, Claremont and Smith return. I haven’t really read any stuff from the other guys on the list.

What about John Byrne?

I’d really like to see Larry Stroman back in the game.

Not to disrespect CC, but he’s got no big impact comeback in his future. Sorry. Let me explain.

Claremont burned hot and brightly on the X-books for a whopping 16 years or so. He was Bendis before there even was a Bendis. The man was frickin’ brilliant. He literally helped to define and redefine comics for decades. However, his writing style really stopped evolving in the early 90s. Like the late filmmaker John Hughes, the world sort of changed around him while he stayed the same. He’s never been able to recover.

Now, you’re probably asking, “What about Tom DeFalco? He’s about the same age, hasn’t changed much, and still gets a lot of work.” You’re right. Absolutely. However, here’s the difference. While TomD still writes in the brighter so-called “Merry Marvel Style” of the 80s, he remains more consistent and even (occasionally) thought provoking. IMO, his stuff is still entertaining.

Claremont, by contrast, almost seems to have become a parody of himself. Take X-Men Legacy and his most recent Excalibur volumes. Tiny blips of insight, but mostly a bunch of rehashed thoughts. It’s a shame too. The man was a genius of the genre. Now it would seem as if he’s more content with regurgitating old tricks, which were once original when he made them up 30 years ago. When he does try to be hip and original… Ever see your dad try to act young so that he could connect with you? Yeah. It’s like that. Totally cringe worthy.

It’s the tortoise vs the hare. DeFalco has never really burned brightly, but that has (imo) allowed him to burn longer. Claremont, after having made Marvel his b***h throughout the 70s and 80s, seems to have burnt out. Just a few flickers here and there.

Personally, at this point, I lump Claremont in the same category with Stan Lee. Both innovators and great storytellers. Both way ahead of the time. Both no longer relevant. Like Stan, Marvel will dust off Claremont when they want something with a retro… err… CLASSIC feel to it, but that’s it. Neither man will ever be trusted with a core continuity ongoing title again. Their styles seem hopelessly dated to the point of being out of touch.

Claremont put himself on the map. The man’s a legend. Even if a comeback were possible for him, I’m not sure that it’s necessary. That’s like asking, I don’t know, David Bowie to make a comeback. Damnit, man! Didn’t he do enough for the genre already? Let him chill. =)

As for BWS… I’d love to see him make a triumphant return, but I’m not exactly sure where he’d fit these days.

@Tyler Gross: Byrne? Really? I love his contributions to comics. I love his X-Men and She-Hulk work with a passion. However…

1. When it comes to his style… No range. Like Alan Davis, also a fave of mine, he draws maybe only 2 faces per gender and just recycles after that. He’s great with expression, but not so much with physical variation.

2. Any comic fan who’s been on the internet for any amount of time knows that, well, Byrne can be a bit of a curmudgeon at times. I’m reluctant to say “diva” but he does seem to be rather easily provoked and high strung at times. In interviews, he comes off as nothing but professional and good natured. Other times… not so much.

3. Isn’t his relationship also a bit strained with Marvel? Maybe I’m wrong, but I vaguely recall a few pissing contests and sour words over the years. Don’t know if things have been patched up fully, but it was uneasy with them for a while, iirc.

I’d LOVE for Byrne to do something cool and relevant again. Like Claremont, I’m not so sure that he’s up to it anymore. Byrne’s a very lucky man. His legacy extends well beyond X-Men. He’s got a well loved body of She-Hulk, Fantastic Four, Superman work in his library too. For most people, lightning only strikes once. Byrne hit the jackpot over and over. His day in the sun has come and gone though. Kinda like Walt Simonson, he’d be a fish out of water on the racks nowadays.

BTW: I mean X-Men Forever. Force of habit writing “Legacy”. D’oh.

Asher Turnaround

October 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

I know Claremont has had some misses with his work post glory days on X-men, but part of that is the ever-present attempt to have him reinvent that particular wheel. Putting him back on any X-book has been the mistake, those stories for those characters have already been told at such a provoking level that the well is clearly dry. I propose a change of venue: Get Claremont and Zeck on a book that has room to flourish but hasn’t like Deathstroke in the new 52.

I think the combination of old and new there would be an amazing op for both to prove that their best work is ahead of them!

I second the Steve Skroce and Travis Charest love but I would go absolutely wild if there were news of the return to comics of LADRONN. I find his work absolutely amazing and would kill to read an ongoing from him.

@Tyler Gross: Not to thread hog, but you’ve just gotta love this Byrne-isms. >>>
They just about say it all.

Guys like Claremont, Byrne, and Simonson can still put out good stuff today. I enjoy John Byrne’s IDW stuff alot. That said, creators like those guys have a style that today’s comic book fan doesn’t see as important. Today’s fan has creators that have to blow up everything they do and kill a character every time there needs to be a sales boost. They’ve been taught that being professional and meeting your deadlines means you’re a hack and not putting good work in. Claremont was able to do what he did with the X-Men because he had good editors that let him write but reigned him in when needed. Editors at the big two seem to decide what the writer will write. Claremont has been burned by Marvel a few times: basically having to move over for Jim Lee to take control prior to the Image boom, being blamed for low sales during his second stint, not being able to get Kitty Pryde because Joss Whedon wanted her, having X-Men Forever cancelled even though it was basically being published for a particular audience that would never equal great sales…Byrne was the other half of the X-Men that helped build the house that Marvel has recently burned down and he followed that up with probably the second best Fantastic Four run ever and for him to work at Marvel he basically has to kiss the rings of guys like Quesada and Brevoort. Why do that? When these guys were working at Marvel in their heyday, they were selling way more comics than Marvel sells nowadays. Why come back and have a comic that sells in the low thousands and have their critics say “See they can’t sell anymore”.


“And after reading the latest installment of Greatest Comic Book runs, I was reminded of another guy who should be doing more work – Norm Breyfogle. I know he’s doing Batman Beyond Unlimited, but this guy should be doing full Batman issues instead of what are essentially something between a back-up and a feature, he’s so good. ”

I love Breyfogle’s work and wouldn’t mind seeing him do more superhero stories in the future, but \t the moment he’s the regular artist on Life with Archie (aka Archie: The Married Life), arguably the best Archie series ever.


Claremont needs a whole corner of the MU to play. Not a huge corner or a mutant corner, but a small one that still has relevance to the wider MU.

BWS needs to come back in the form of OGN, one-shots, and creator owned miniseries. I suspect we haven’t seen work from him more thanks to the way DC and Marvel currently work than to any other factor. He seems to have kept working at his craft… no reason why he can’t still be productive. The man’s an illustrative genius.

Same with Charest. He needs an OGN, no ands ifs or buts. Any thing release on a monthly schedule would just be a nightmare to produce. Either that, or make him an exclusive cover artist— someone who can give the brand a distinct, epic look.

@Tyler Gross and Rob

John Byrne is very hit and/or miss. I wa 10 years old in 1980 and the X-Men rocked my world. I’ve been an avid collector ever since, with a particular eye for Byrne’s stuff. It’s odd how some of his work comes across as rather forgettable [LabRats, Babe…] while other work of his is pretty nifty [Danger Unlimited, OMAC].

Mixed results with titles like Next Men. When it first debuted in the 90s the story was fresh. Since then you’ve had major blockbusters like Matrix kinda copy some of the themes, and now when you look back at Next Men it seems a bit less than grand. During his recent return to the title it felt like he was kinda rushing through the story, and it sorta suffered for it. It got too busy, and I don’t think it quite lived up to it’s earlier promise.

However, X-Men: The Hidden Years was spot-on brilliant. In it he captured the essence of the established characters and drove them forward in a somewhat predictable yet always amazing fashion. 10 out of 10.
But as noted above, there were rumors that his divatude got in the way of his professionalism, so Marvel canceled the book. {Funny. Their excuse for canceling Byrne’s Hidden Years was that there were too many X-Titles….. and then immediately afterward they went on to launch a string of new X-titles.}

Danger Unlimited was something that could have been spectacular had it been allowed to develop, and it looks as if they may well be re-introduced to the world in his new series: TRIO.

For those who haven’t picked it up — it starts out with the somewhat tired Byrne-ish memes of exposition, straight-line deliveries followed with Byrne-ish existential statements, etc —- but by the time you get to issue #3 it begins to take the look and feel of what folks have always dug John Byrne for in the first place:
super-hero rock’em sock’em action, to which there are very few who can match his level of excellence.

As far is his cookie-cutter faces and stylistic depiction of his characters, I’d have to agree. But I think the same can be said of 90% of all comic artists. You can often tell without even viewing the credits who the artist is — their style is just that : their style.

I think Chris Claremont could be great again but he needs to get away from the X characters.

His run on the Fantastic Four was great and while some X-Characters made there way in, they were always a natural fit to the story.

Put him on a title with the proviso that he can’t use any X-Men characters and I think he’d flourish.

Mike Zeck… Yes he’s great, and his run on Captain America is one of my faves from any time period. But a lot of people seem to forget his inker, John Beatty. Those two guys complemented each other so well. I remember seeing Zeck’s artwork in the last chapter of DC’s “hypertime” storyline, and I couldn’t believe it was the same guy who did the Punisher. But he didn’t have Beatty finishing his pencils, and it showed.


I appreciate your take on the situation. I too have been collecting for practically forever. I was 6 in 1980 and have been collecting for the 32 years since. My collection is well past 15k issues now. I feel ya’.

For me, the issues with Byrne making a “comeback” have less to do with talent and more to do with the man. I think, now more than ever, comics are such a massive collaborative effort. I can’t, for example, see him working on an ongoing at Marvel for any length of time. It’d be a disaster waiting to happen. The split would be of Liefeld proportions. Bigger even.

I’m well aware that the industry tends to reward talent, regardless of ego and delusion, but certain players have become kinda hard to swallow. My hat’s off to anybody who can wrangle some of these guys. I fear that some of that behind the scenes drama would ultimately effect the quality and consistency of the book.

My dream Byrne projects? A 6-issue She-Hulk mini co-written by Byrne & Slott with Byrne on pencils. Or even a FF mini with Hickman on script & Byrne on pencils. That’d be dreamy.

As far as style goes… I’m a digital artist by trade. I know a thing or two about personal style. However, there’s a difference between being guided by it and constrained. It’s the difference between the comedic actor who stretches his legs by doing big budget fantasy or stage stuff VS the comedic actor who churns sequel after sequel of himself doing the same thing in the same sweaty fat woman suit. Artists like Byrne are great “fat suit comedians” who never really extend themselves far beyond their comfort zone. Their style defines them instead of nourishes them.

Really? Man, I must have been a blip on this story. No love for Steven Grant or Vince Giarrano?

I would love for Travis to come back, problem is he’d take forever to produce 1 page!
He would need to scale back in his style and find an inker that would complement his style, thus producing more issues faster and at least on quasi monthly basis.

Mike Zeck? Really? The guy who drew everyone in Secret Wars the same height?

No thanks.

I became a Barry Smith fan with his first Kirby imitating effort,with x -men 53, 44 years ago,Minus 2 months, and was blown away by his daredevil,Iron man, avengers,and conan art through 1969 to 1973, then he walked away from the biz,doing a robin hood story that he walked away from,until the early 1980s.He still had it in the early 1990s, as archer and armstrong proved,and I loved his storyteller books.I had to do a lot of hard on the back yardwork at the time to afford that series,and when an artist can’t get their act togather to finish a series, that one made a great effort to get the then high price of 5 bucks a book for,One quits caring about that artists work.A bud of mine who bought the series felt the same way.It’s some 15 1/2 years later, and his three ST series still sit on the shelf.They will NEVER be finished.At this point, I would only like to see him draw, the REH conan stories that Busema did, even if his conan vs. ruine effort in the early 90s stank.As is, I can live without ever seeing another effort printed of his, as I can live without seeing anything of Steranko’s printed.

I’m not saying he’d make an epic return , but I for one would love to see Golden on a regular book again, espieclly with Terry Austin inking him. LOVE his stuff on Micronauts, ( would love to see that series collected, in a trade especially the first 2 or three years, copyright issues prevent this I’m sure).
And Avengers annual #10 written by Clairmount and guesting the X-men with both teams fighting Mystique’s version of the Brotherhood of Mutants might be one of the best single issues of a superhero comic ever printed.

That would be Michel Golden, not sure why I forgot his first name.

I’d love to see Bill Mantlo make a complete recovery and return to writing comics.

Adam Pollina!!! I can’t understand why he was never a superstar artist. Michael Golden!!! He did naught but short runs in my time… G.I. Joe Yearbook #2, Avengers Annual #10, Savage Tales Magazine, and Bucky O’Hare (Someone needs to reprint Micronauts). And whatever happened to Mike Dringenberg? Bring ‘em back!

100% agree on Charest. Someone find him the right, big two project — big name writer, deep story, something with grand adventure — and let Charest loose. This guy is every bit as good as Alex Ross, Drew Struzan or any other artist/painter you’ve seen work in comics. His detail work is breathtaking and his style is unmatched.

And yes, I want to see Charest do what he wants to do, but a return to comics with the Big 2 would set up his next project so nicely.

Oh, and I still have five copies of that Flash Annual he made his debut in, as well as that Incredible Hulk annual where had a five page thing. I’ve never really bought multiple copies in my life time, but I did when those came out.

And don’t forget STERANKO!

It’s been said before but it needs repeating Christopher Priest. His work on The Ray was one of my first introductions to comics.

Claremont needs to be made the Supreme Editorial Overlord of the X-Men universe. Even if his prose doesn’t fit with contemporary storytelling, the dude could build a cohesive universe like no other, which is something the X-Men corner of the Marvel U has lacked since… well… since Claremont.

I think Chris Claremont could be great again but he needs to get away from the X characters.

His run on the Fantastic Four was great and while some X-Characters made there way in, they were always a natural fit to the story.

Put him on a title with the proviso that he can’t use any X-Men characters and I think he’d flourish.


I agree. CC’s FF run was (IMO) great, and it was also consistently sold in the top 15 throughout his entire run on the book (which is something that the book hasn’t manage to do since his run, even with more “popular” and “critically acclaimed” writers writing the book). I also enjoyed his work on the BIG HERO 6 mini series from 2 years ago and CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS 2 from 12 years ago (CC wrote a damn good Iron Man in that mini series). As for his most recent X-work, I thought that his X-MEN FOREVER series was pretty damn good. Marvel should let him finish that series.

Wow, lots of opinions on Byrne. I mostly meant that I want Byrne’s artwork to make a comeback with the Big Two, not his mouth. But man, the things he says sometimes… I just feel like he deserves a place on this list, but it’s unlikely that any company would stomach his orneriness.

I’m with you on Mike Zeck! His Captain America and Punisher are One of the two best takes on these characters! But I’m amazed that no one has mentioned Paul Smith! His X-men, Dr. Strange and Justice Society were awesome! Michael Golden is another. His Batman is amazing! The artists of today do not have the style or individuality of the artist of the 70’s and 80’s. They all have the same cookie cutter look and angles. Thank god for Dark Horse, Valiant and the other Indy’s. DC and Marvel are so far out of touch with how great this medium used to be that its not funny!

I’d love to see Burlyman return with new issues of Doc Frankenstein and Shaolin Cowboy. It’s been TOO long.

Oy, there’s another writer I thought of just now who could make a decent comeback–Len Strazewski. Earlier this year, I read some of his stint on NOW’s Speed Racer comic, and the Racer X mini that spun out of it. He wrote the JSA in the early 90’s with their 8-issue miniseries and the 10-issue ongoing that followed (which had the art of the late, great Mike Parobeck).

Mike Kaluta on the Shadow would float my boat and I have had a long running fantasy that Steranko returns to comics with his O’Ryan strip. More realistically I guess i will settle for reprinting of the former’s DC Shadow stories and the latter’s ‘Red Tide’ (in both its original and updated forms).

His movies suggest he can’t direct p** into a bucket so maybe Frank Miller should come back to comics but with an editor who can stand up to him.

Why is it always – everytime CBR runs articles like this, on creators they miss, they always hope those creators will come back and work for Marvel or DC?

How limited is that?

Do you think that’s all those people are capable of – work for hire? For the same companies they’ve already worked at years ago? If you want those same people to work on the comics they previously worked on, because you miss their work – well, there’s always back issues.

In any case, if you really want these people to return to their old companies – why don’t you lobby the editors and the publishers? They’re the people overseeing the industry. Moaning in articles like this one won’t do a thing.

Anyway, editors and publishers are only interested in hiring their friends. Look at New 52 or Marvel NOW. Cronyism is killing diversity in comic books.

(By the way, think I read elsewhere that Claremont is still under exclusive contract at Marvel. Seeing as CBR runs the weekly Axel Alonso column, why don’t you ask him about that? Be a so-called comics “journalist” for a change.)

Sounds like a topic for a brilliant feature article, Chris. Instead of speculating, why not do it? Would be interesting to read.

And like @Richard H said – you’ve got Axel Alonso on your doorstep. Why not really ask Marvel the hard questions instead of pandering to their PR?

Bob Mcleod with Brett Breeding.

IF the comics industry knew how to use him, Christopher Priest.

Also…Steve Skroce.

I think Chris Claremont could be great again but he needs to get away from the X characters.

His run on the Fantastic Four was great and while some X-Characters made there way in, they were always a natural fit to the story.

Put him on a title with the proviso that he can’t use any X-Men characters and I think he’d flourish.


I agree. CC’s FF run was (IMO) great, and it was also consistently sold in the top 15 throughout his entire run on the book (which is something that the book hasn’t manage to do since his run, even with more “popular” and “critically acclaimed” writers writing the book). I also enjoyed his work on the BIG HERO 6 mini series from 2 years ago and CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS 2 from 12 years ago (CC wrote a damn good Iron Man in that mini series). As for his most recent X-work, I thought that his X-MEN FOREVER series was pretty damn good. Marvel should let him finish that series.

YES!!!! I would buy an Omnibus of Claremont’s Fantastic Four in a second. I think it’s his greatist comics run since X-Men1-3. He introduced Valeria Richards (as Valeria Von Doom aka Ms. Marvel) and wrote an intensely care-free run that forced you to care about the characters without killing them. At least as good as the Byrne or Hickman Fantastic Four. CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS 2 was incredible as well.

If you ever tried to read his X-Men/Uncanny “Revolution” restart….. the confusion, lack of direction, X-tream boringness (Continued btw with X-Treme X-Men…ugh!) should prove that he needs to Walk Away from the X-men. They are his albatros.

I would love to read more Christopher Priest comics.

And the post-crisis Wonder Woman title has a history of amazing cover artists that includes Brian Bolland, Adam Hughes, and JG Jones. I would LOVE for Travis Charest to be on that list.

And Barry Windsor-Smith’s work is awesome.

Why in heck would you waste any of these creators on Marvel and DC dreck? Those companies are in their deaththrows and are pulling the industry down with their superhero centric drivel.Even their most ardent fans are no longer supporting the majority of titles either company puts out and are retreating to 1 or 2 core titles. Sales figures prove this.Let these creators shine with original material instead.

I second Breyfogle. Seeing his 90’s-esque single shot of Batman last year just reminded me how good that guy was at drawing the Dark Knight. Still one of the best Batman illustrators ever, imo.

I think this list is a bit of a misnomer, as its citing Capullo as the (successful) example. Capullo was steadily producing comics for the last 2 decades. Its not like he’s had massive MIA periods like most of these other guys.

Charest did spend most of the 2000s working on one of the most technically proficient comics ever produced, that most people have never heard of nor care about….
He is currently, supposedly, working on a secret project for Marvel. But Jeff Campbell was supposedly working on a Spiderman story that we’re still waiting on…. a decade later.

I would gladly read a Clarmont X-Men over a lot of what’s been put out in that universe recently.

@ alton

Right…. Cuz original material sells so much better than Big 2 material (and it’s not like Big 2 material can be original either, nope it’s impossible). Yup, they’ll really shine that way, and it’s not like any of these guys would love to work on Big 2 characters, because there’s no way they have any love for those characters. Yup. Totes correct in your assessment.

I agree with the Norm Breyfogle recommendation. I would pick up a Bat-title of his in a heartbeat. I miss David Mazzuchelli.

@ Anonymous In fact original material is growing in sales and while the bigger payoff may be for some of these creators to continue working for the Big Dumb 2 less and less of the BD2’s non original editorial mandated material is selling even to the hard core fans.For every so called success, titles die on the vine within 6-10 issues.Look at the numbers before indulging in unsupported snark.that’s assuming that was your point here.It was hard to tell with all the hillbilly eubonics.Again these creators would be wasted on exclusively BD2 material and neither company even when they try can get the readers to support anything beyond a narrow range of core titles for very long.A run like Robinson’s Shade or Azzarello’s Spaceman isn’t supported in large enough numbers to encourage editors to venture forth with a lot more of the same.Let’s flood the market with 50 million more AVX/Batman crossover event titles and see how long that tactic lasts.

If I remember correctly, MArvel cancelled X-Men: Hidden Years because, as a company, they wanted to look forward. Not be too stuck to continuity.

Great list. But I agree with a few people who posted earlier about Claremont. He’s like Stan Lee.

I’d LOVE to see Byrne return to Marvel as writer/artist. But he needs an inker. The stuff he inks himself in the past 12 yrs or so just doesn’t have that magic.

Others who I’d love see are John Ostrander. Sadly he is or is going blind which makes it hard on him. His work on the Spectre is second only to James Robinson’s Starman as DC’s best book of the 90’s (with apologies to Morrison’s JLA and Waid’s Flash).

Norm Breyfogle…to me is THE Batman artist after Aparo and Adams (though Capullo is making a STRONG case)

Travis Charest…so talented…so slow or disinterested

Art Adams…again so slow. But I love seeing he is getting cover work

Mike Zeck…dude is a Beast and can still draw. Again he is one of those artists who needs a strong inker though

Dale Keown (sp)….he has reappeared doing Marvel covers and is doing a story in A+X. He has NOT lost a step. Would love to see him work on a monthly.

Sal Buscema…man is old…but he is a Buscema and I love them so.

Chuck Austen…..just kidding

Christopher Priest…not sure where he disappeared to. After years of doing fill-ins and small runs on big books, his Black Panther was one of teh best books at NU Marvel

“If you ever tried to read his X-Men/Uncanny “Revolution” restart….. the confusion, lack of direction, X-tream boringness (Continued btw with X-Treme X-Men…ugh!) should prove that he needs to Walk Away from the X-men. They are his albatros”

I’m a believer in that for a few reasons:

No X-Men run will ever touch his original (or at least up to 200 where I feel things started going off the rails). Of course, I’ll never be 8-12 years old ever again.

Marvel has made such a mess of the X-Men that nothing short of a reboot can pull it out of where they’ve taken the title since the last time Claremont wrote it. Better off having people that fit more into what the “Architects” want to do with the franchise.

I’d love Claremont’s X-Men, Byrne’s Fantastic Four, and Simonson’s Thor but those guys already made those original runs classic. You can’t go home again, especially if editors are deciding the direction of the titles.

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