Its pretty clear that Comics has pretty much started attracting more and more attention each year. With guys like Joss Whedon , J. Micheal Straczynski , Kevin Smith and David Goyer. Each person lured has attribnuted some good and some bad to comics.
Kevin Smith is really the 1st big wheel to ever start the chain rolling of Hollywood guys coming in and taking over a major character. So lets look at his impact and how he started things.
Kevin Smith: For those under that rock the last decade , Smith is the director of Clerks and the View Askiew Universe flicks. He's directed Jersey Girl and has appeared on VH1 and other shows as Silent Bob.
Kevin Smith has always had a love of comics and has used them in his movies like Mallrats . So in 1998 , when Bob Harras handed Joe Quesada and his partner the keys to 4 titles to relaunch under his helm. The Marvel Knights situation was that Daredevil was a fucked up title at this point and Quesada handed the writing chores to Kevin Smith .
Smith wrote an 8 issue arc called " Guardian Devil " and the arc attracted him huge attention. Considered as a comics draw who could lure newer fans , Smith revamped Daredevil and gave him the old fashioned Frank Miller treatment that fans had long missed.
DC was attracted to Smith's power and wanted him on Green Arrow after the 8 issue arc in 1998. But Kevin Smith wanted to write the Oliver Queen , Green Arrow and after 2+ years of interruptions , Smith wrote the return of Oliver Queen to huge fandom. The arc " Quiver " ran 12 issues and for awhile Smith teased to stay longer. But after 3 more very late and erratic issues DC decided to get someone else so he could catch up.
Now heres where it gets funny. Smith's issues were starting to get late and Marvel wanted him back to do more Daredevil and other projects. While he produced 2 mini-series , Joe Quesada learned DC was teasing with the idea to give Kevin Smith a new " Brave & the Bold " series.
Now had Quesada simply waited and let the rumor go , he could have saved himself the agravation of what he did next. Trying to one-up DC , he signed Smith to an Exclusive contract locking him down to Marvel awhile and giving him supposedly Amazing Spiderman once JMS stepped away. ( Had JQ realized DC wanted Smith to at least get a story-arc in the can 1st )
But it would never happen. Kevin Smith would never complete : Daredevil: The Target and I believe he still hasn't finished Spiderman/Blackcat. He would never write an issue of Amazing Spiderman and fans weren't happy. Perhaps they wouldn't have reacted so angry had Smith treated the job as something more serious than how he portrayed it all. In interviews he'd make lame jokes about how fans were wanting the comics and didn't understand his schedule. Because cleary , VH1 I Love the 90's Strikes Back was pretty damn important. Or Fletch Returns or the Green Hornet flick that Kevin Smith was supposed to direct.
Of course this behavior wouldn't have been accepted if it was a Chris Claremont or Ron Marz. Or anyone who came from the comics industry for that matter. Instead Joe Quesada was pretty relunctant to even take Smith to task or assign a new writer to finish each mini-series for fans , showing his favoritism sadly. I think at this point many can't help but laugh at the debacle of signing a guy to an exclusive contract ( handing him guarenteed money) and then said guy never does hardly any work.
J. Micheal Straczynski: JMS for short. The main creative force behind Babylon 5 , JMS wrote some of the comics under the DC imprint. In 1999 , JMS's fame really spread when he started the Image series " Rising Stars ". This attracted the attention of Joe Quesada finally.
In 2001 , Marvel needed a jolt for Amazing Spiderman. So they handed him the title and he pretty much gave it a sales jolt. By revamping the series and pushing a new mystical element to the origin of the character , JMS had pretty much did what Harras and others couldn't do post-Clone Crisis. He saved the character by telling a good story.
His work on Amazing Spiderman allowed him to get more work at Marvel on titles like Supreme Power in the Marvel Max-Line. And Fantastic Four. Of course he has battled late problems on Rising Stars which took years to get to issue #21. Then the creator battled Top Cow over the potential movie rights to RS and in March 2005 , the final 3 issues arrived ending the originally planned 24 issue series. He's also suffered a small late issue on Amazing Spiderman but compared to Kevin Smith , JMS is a steam engine running full speed.
David S. Goyer: Goyer himself has wrote numerous screenplays and wrote all 3 Blade movies. Also has wrote the Batman Begins movie too. In 1999 he and Geoff Johns would team to write JSA for close to 50 issues. Goyer really hasn't taken on many comic projects beyond this but stays in his chosen profession writing and directing movies.
You can't knock Goyer because he really never caused a delay and had a co-writer like Geoff Johns to handle the issues if he got too busy. Which was pretty smart thinking by DC Comics.
David Lindelof : David Lindelof is one of men behind the hit TV series " Lost " on TV. He's also gonna Executive Produce , Star Trek XI. Of course Marvel saw his fame and wanted him for a series. In this case its Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk. Seems like Joe Quesada would have learned his lesson by now with the Kevin Smith debacle.
Instead those who keep repeating past blunders , will always repeat them in good fashion. This time Lindelof would write 2 issues of this big fight mini-series and the book hasn't came out for months ( IF at all in 2006). But at least Lindelof wasn't signed to a Marvel Exclusive contract as was Smith.
Reggie Hudlin: Hudlin is the man who controls BET and has directed the House Party movies. In 2005 Marvel was wanting someone to revamp Black Panther and choose Hudlin. The situation irked many long time Christopher Preist fans of that series. Hudlin however has been able to turn in his work on a monthly basis.
Joss Whedon : If Hudlin puts out work on a timely fashion , Whedon is the guy who can barely get 6 issues done a year. Whedon is the man who has done " Buffy " and " Firefly " so his creditionals to comic fans is pretty high.
Whedon however has wrote Astonishing X-Men for 3 years and has only 19 issues out at this point. But fans can rest easy as Whedon at least produces his comics work and doesn't allow movies and TV to pull him away.
So Hollywood people....is it good or bad for comics ? Because for every Kevin Smith we see a JMS who will produce work. For every Lindelof , theres a Joss Whedon who will produce his work.