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  1. #1
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    Default Comics writers of the 70s and their signature works

    After reading another great Comics 101 piece by Scott Tipton over at moviepoopshoot.com - in which he said his image of the JLA was formed as much by Gerry Conway as Gardner Fox - I got to thinking of how a lot of the 70s writers I was weaned on went by in a blur of anonymity as I focused on art credits.

    Without getting into voluminous detail, I was hoping the assembly gathered here could cite one or two works most associated with these writers :

    Gerry Conway
    Len Wein
    Roy Thomas
    Elliott Maggin
    E. Nelson Bridwell
    Cary Bates
    Paul Levitz
    Marty Pasko
    Denny O'Neil
    Steve Engelhart
    Steve Gerber

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated...


    - FE
    Wickliffe OH

  2. #2
    Senior Member MDG's Avatar
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    I'll bite, but I expect to be shot down on some of these.

    Gerry Conway--JLA
    Len Wein--Swamp Thing
    Roy Thomas--Conan, All-Star Squadron
    Elliott Maggin--Superman titles (no particular issues or runs really stand out)
    E. Nelson Bridwell--Capt Marvel/Shazam (Best: 8 pagers in World's Finast w/ Newton art)
    Cary Bates--Flash (?)
    Paul Levitz--Revived All Star
    Marty Pasko--Superman, Action (no particular issues or runs really stand out)
    Denny O'Neil--Batman and Green Lantern/Greeen Arrow (w/ Adams)
    Steve Engelhart--Detective (w/ Marshall Rogers), and probably something at Marvel
    Steve Gerber--Howard the Duck

    MDG

  3. #3
    Big Hairy Member JeffreyWKramer's Avatar
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    Gerry Conway - JLA, Spider-Man, Superman vs. Spider-Man
    Len Wein - Swamp Thing
    Roy Thomas - Invaders, All-Star Squadron, Conan
    Elliott Maggin - Superman
    E. Nelson Bridwell - Shazam!
    Cary Bates - Flash
    Paul Levitz - All-Star/JSA, Huntress, Legion
    Marty Pasko - Uhm... Plastic Man? Not a big Pasko fan here
    Denny O'Neil - Batman. Created Ra's al-Ghul, the last truly great Bat-foe. GL/GA
    Steve Engelhart - JLA, Avengers, Detective (w/ Marshall Rogers)
    Steve Gerber - Howard the Duck, Defenders
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  4. #4
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    E. Nelson Bridwell--Capt Marvel/Shazam (Best: 8 pagers in World's Finast w/ Newton art)
    In the 'seventies, surely the Super-Friends? Though I've heard the view that this resembles the clasic (Schwartz/Fox/Sekowsky) 'sixties JLA more than the '70s JLA, so perhaps thisis an Honourary Silver Age Comic...

    Cary Bates--Flash (?)
    I'd think of Superman first. The material from the late 'seventies to early 'eighties is my favourite Superman and favourite Bates.

    Paul Levitz--Revived All Star
    Me too, but I believe many favour his LSH work

    Steve Engelhart--Detective (w/ Marshall Rogers), and probably something at Marvel
    The Avengers primarilly. He also had a long run on Captain Marvel post-Starlin, and again many would cite Dr. Strange (Marvel Premiere and his own title).

    Steve Gerber--Howard the Duck
    And Man-Thing, The Defenders and Omega. The first seven or eight issues of Marvel Two-in-One are overlooked examples of good Gerber scripts.

  5. #5
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Gerry Conway - Spider-Man, JLA
    Len Wein - Swamp Thing
    Roy Thomas - Conan (his DC work was 1980's)
    Elliott Maggin - Superman
    E. Nelson Bridwell - Shazam!
    Cary Bates - Flash
    Paul Levitz - All-Star/JSA, Legion?
    Marty Pasko - I mostly remember him doing shortish Superman stories.
    Denny O'Neil - Batman
    Steve Engelhart - Detective, Avengers, Captain America
    Steve Gerber - Howard the Duck, Defenders
    Last edited by Slam_Bradley; 03-14-2005 at 03:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Oxygen Promotes Rust! Mike Kuypers's Avatar
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    I think the series Paul Levitz is most identified with is the Legion of Super-Heroes, esp. "The Great Darkness Saga," with Keith Giffen. But that was 1982.

    He also did the short-lived Stalker with Steve Ditko.
    Mike Kuypers

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  7. #7
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kuypers
    He also did the short-lived Stalker with Steve Ditko.
    the gcd appears to be down at the moment, & it's been more than 25 years since i've seen an issue, but didn't wally wood ink ditko on these? if anything, i seem to recall wood overwhelming the pencils ...

  8. #8
    Longstanding Member MWGallaher's Avatar
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    Some notable alternatives that come to my mind when I think of some of these writers:

    Gerry Conway: Firestorm
    Len Wein: Phantom Stranger
    Denny O'Neil: Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter
    Steve Gerber: Tales of the Zombie

    And now for a few writers not mentioned in FE's initial post:

    Doug Moench: Planet of the Apes
    Don MacGregor: Black Panther
    Tony Isabella: Black Lightning
    Marv Wolfman: Tomb of Dracula

  9. #9
    Senior Member InfoBroker's Avatar
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    Gerry Conway
    He became the writer that killed Gwen Stacy, he had a decent run on Spidey and FF, but Gerry's work never really appealed to me on those two titles. I did like his early work on DD from 1971-72, issues 82-92 or there abouts.

    Len Wein
    Solid writer, never broke the core standards of a character or the concepts that were central to what made a comic work. He understood that it was easy to tear up the tracks, but the mess left behind wasn't nice.

    Swamp Thing is the standout comic of his from the early 70s. He also had a hand in maintaining solid sales on several mainstream characters at both DC and Marvel. This would include the return of the X-men comic with Dave Cockrum in the late 70s.

    Roy Thomas
    Conan was his diamond. but I also enjoyed his final moments on Avengers (Kree-Skrull War), and the overall tone of most of the Marvel comics that came out under his tenure as editor-in-cheif. This would include the definitive work of Steve Gerber, Steve Englehart, Marv Wolfman that I will mention below.

    I also enjoyed almost anything that Roy did in tandem with Gil Kane. That would include but not be limited to:
    Captain Marvel 17-21
    Conan 17,18
    Giant Size Conan 1-4 (Hour of the Dragon adaptation),
    Amazing Spider-man 101 & 102
    Warlock in Marvel Premere 1 & 2
    Gullivar Jones, Wariror of Mars from Creatures on the Loose 16,17,18


    Denny O'Neil
    Early 70s work with Neal Adams on Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow. However, the GL?GA material doesn't hold up very well over time.

    Steve Engelhart
    SE's earlist work at Marvel was the Beast series in Amazing Adventures. His early scripts show great promise. He had a keen awaereness of inner workings of the characters he worked on, and strong dialog that was true to the characters, yet fresh and original. My favorite work of his was not Avengers, and especially not the Celestial Modanna series. I consider his earlier Avengers material superior, and his Dr. Strange work with Brunner and especially Gene Colan to be outstanding. When he shifted to DC, his JLA run was good, but his Batman run with Marshall Rogers was the motar and bricks that Frank Millar would stand upon to do the Dark Knight material.

    Steve Gerber
    Loved Howard, but I still think his Man-Thing stories are more interesting and opens the door for the material that Peter David would explore with Hulk, and even lends direction to themes that Alan Moore and Neil Gaimen would use in the 80s and early 90s with Swamp Thing and Sandman.

    adding Marv Wolfman to your list...
    Marv is the standards bearer for one series in the 70s and one in the early 80s Noone could follow or match him on them either. Ariche Goodwin and Gerry Conway had a brief stint on Tomb of Dracula, but it was Marv Wolfman that define the characters, established the scope and range of how to tell tales of vampires, horror and suspense in an ongoing series. Steve Bissette called it the best graphic horror novel ever done. Many aspects of what Marv did here are the guidelines for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    His early 80s series is the work he did with George Perz on the New Teen Titans. Strong characters, solid plotting. Dick Giordano mentioned somewhere that this title was the framework for DCs super-hero franchise in the 80s. A lot of their other titles built on the material and the styles that Marv Wolfman/Geroge Perez established here.


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  10. #10
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWGallaher
    And now for a few writers not mentioned in FE's initial post:

    Doug Moench: Planet of the Apes
    Don MacGregor: Black Panther
    Tony Isabella: Black Lightning
    Marv Wolfman: Tomb of Dracula
    for moench, i'd add werewolf by night & master of kung fu. for macgregor, war of the worlds/killraven.

  11. #11
    CotM Member Rob Allen's Avatar
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    Not mentioned so far:

    Steve Englehart's Captain America
    Len Wein's Hulk and Spider-Man

    And I agree with InfoBroker about the Thomas/Kane team - I loved their revamps of Mar-Vell and Warlock, which were both in turn revamped again by Jim Starlin.
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  12. #12
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey
    the gcd appears to be down at the moment, & it's been more than 25 years since i've seen an issue, but didn't wally wood ink ditko on these? if anything, i seem to recall wood overwhelming the pencils ...
    He did ink the series, but even if his inks are powerful the result was a fine blend of Ditko and Wood.

    I really liked Stalker!

  13. #13
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    Default The genius of this board is revealed to all...

    Thanks! I had meant to include Wolfman in my intitial post.

    Surprised to see non-Legion mentions for Levitz, and that All-Star Squadron wasn't mentioned more for Thomas...

    And what about Bob Rozakis?


    - FE
    Wickliffe OH

  14. #14
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gentlesatirist
    Thanks! I had meant to include Wolfman in my intitial post.

    Surprised to see non-Legion mentions for Levitz, and that All-Star Squadron wasn't mentioned more for Thomas...

    And what about Bob Rozakis?
    I didn't mention All-Star Squadron because Roy didn't move to DC until the 80's. And I really couldn't remember when Levitz started writing Legion.

  15. #15
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    Default Another 70s notable...

    ...for his Spectre/Jonah Hex work would have to be Michael Fleischer, although I don't think he wrote much beyond that.

    Out of curiosity, when Did Stan Lee relinquish most of his writing chores at Marvel?

    On Cary Bates : I always think of him primarily as a Superman writer, rather than Flash.

    And I guess we'd have to include Robert Kanigher on some of the war titles. And the immortal Bob Haney on B&B.


    - FE

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