We’re willing to forgive the comic book industry’s occasional foibles given the stressful stream of work on deadline. However, there are writers out there with such a consistently terrible batting average that it leads us to wonder how they’re even still working. Many of these scribes have one magnum opus to their credit, but one good deed hardly absolves someone from a lifetime of sin. Here are our list of writers we can’t believe that still get paid in this business and what they did.
We know, we know. Why don’t we push Stan Lee down the stairs while we’re at it? Frank Miller was responsible for a lot of seminal moments in comicdom like The Dark Knight Returns and Daredevil to name a few. The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman and Robin were so bad, however, that we hardly recall the better Frank of old. There were even prospects of him writing an Al Qaeda vs. Batman series before his better angels tugged the reins of his conscience and he decided against it. All in all, he’s standing testament to the risks of letting someone take full creative control over a beloved character.
We’ll give him some slight leeway on some of his decisions and presume that the industry’s editors weres responsible for some of the crud he produced. That still doesn’t excuse him from some of the more controversial disasters in the past like making Nightcrawler a literal demon, having She-Hulk sleep with the Juggernaut, and rendering Havok into a Mary-Stu character to name a few. Austen may have taken a bow from the industry, but his touch lives on the world of television according to his blog.
We liked Loeb’s run on Batman: Hush, even though some of it’s twists were unconvincingly convoluted in certain parts. What boggles our minds is that he expresses so much creative freedom as a result of his seniority. Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum were both disasters which resembled snuff films more than actual graphic novels. The slow pacing of the long standing Red Hulk story arc was almost as equally as agonizing and almost shut us off from the Marvel U altogether.. In spite of this, Joe Quesada still grants him a free hold over the Ultimate Universe.
Plently of writers share the burden for the notorious Clone Saga of the 90s. DeFalco shoulders most of the blame given that he was Editor-in-Chief at the time and is responsible for the final say in most of the closing decisions on the matter. After disgracefully stepping down from his position after feuding with upper-management, he continued to work on the character, albeit in the guise of Spider-Girl. We’re all about forgiveness, but we say that a writer should lose a tip of their finger like in Yakuza everytime they drop the ball in a franchise.
Responsible for the Post-Onslaught Heroes Reborn crap in the early 90s, Liefeld is more well known for his anatomically disproportionate artwork more than anything else. Many of his drawings look like some of the worst steroid cases we’ve seen in reality. What people rarely realize is that comic writing is also listed under his resume. Despite his contravercial artwork and faulty storytelling, he still manages to switch between the payroll of Image and Marvel Comics from time to time.