By Molly Jane Kremer, Scott Southard, Arpad Okay, and Jarrod Jones. They are the storytellers, the gatekeepers of myth. They relate epic stories of heroism, of bravery, of generally being awesome. They are the stewards of legends, and they’re pretty cool people from our reckoning. DoomRocket is thrilled that we get to share with you our choices for the Best Writers of 2015.


Tom King. (The Sheriff of Babylon, The Vision, The Omega Men, Grayson) *holds hands in the air* I know. This time last year I dragged Tom King’s Grayson: Future’s End #1 through the mud, slapping a 2/10 score on the sucker, dubbing it “The Worst Single Issue Of The Year”. (It’s that shame I’ve held onto for so long that I ditched the “Worst Of” category for Hey, Kids! Comics! altogether.) Times have changed. I’ve changed. And in the time that’s passed Tom King has only gotten better. In fact, he’s my favorite writer of 2015.

King’s shown a remarkable knack for ubiquity, proving his great worth as a storyteller in DC Comics’ Grayson with co-writer Tim Seeley, making us learn to love an android for the first time since The Next Generation with The Vision, and plunging us into the murky gray depths of battle with Vertigo’s The Sheriff of Babylon. Never mind that The Omega Men has covertly become one of DC’s critical darlings through King’s diligence, that’s just par for the man who has become the comics industry’s MVP. — JJ


Jason Aaron. (Star Wars, The Mighty Thor, Southern Bastards, Doctor Strange, The Goddamned, Men of Wrath, Weirdworld, Thors) I’m not sure if it’s that my tastes in comics are just terrifyingly consistent, or if this fella’s work simply never drops below the “flawless” mark, but my pick for best comic writer of 2015 was also my pick for last year: Mr. Jason Aaron. He proves once again, when it comes to the many genres of comic books, that being a master of all trades is indeed possible. He wrote—let’s start the list—a miniseries that tossed countless multiversal Thors into a police procedural, made us sympathize with a sociopathic crimeboss football coach, and flew us across the galaxy with a lightsaber-wielding farmboy. (And that doesn’t even describe half of Aaron’s 2015 output.)

His Star Wars ongoing comic sold nearly a million copies (the highest selling comic in twenty years) and each character in it has a voice uncannily accurate to the original trilogy. His Thor, and the newly relaunched The Mighty Thor, saw the titular thunder god replaced by a goddess, garnering critical praise and increased sales despite the rantings of MRAs everywhere. His harrowing and intense (and intensely readable) Image comic Southern Bastards (a co-creation with Jason Latour) is full of riveting drama, BBQ, and football, and was deservedly optioned by the cable network FX as a possible television series. I remain delightfully convinced there’s nothing this greatly-bearded wonder of a writer can’t do. — MJ


Matt Fraction. (ODY-C, Sex Criminals, Hawkeye, Casanova: Acedia) Out of all the categories this year, Best Writer was the most knee-jerkingly simple to nail down. Fraction’s been unstoppable this year, flooding the market with some of the most inventive, deeply human writing I’ve ever seen. He takes on deep concepts while remaining relevant and accessible. What’s more impressive is his proven ability to take old, deeply rooted (and kinda sorta boring) properties and turn them into must-reads. His run on Hawkeye was stupendous, forever changing the way we viewed the unsung Avenger, and changing the way I personally view the Avengers in general.

But more importantly than his Marvel work, Fraction’s own properties were where he truly blew up the scene.

It’s funny, because he was the shoe-in for this category last year as well (with a stack of Eisners to prove it), but he’s kept the momentum going and turned the majority of his work into something even bigger, better and more progressive than it was when it started. The charming cult of personality around him (have you seen the adorable Twitter conversations he has with Kelly Sue Deconnick? Couple of The Year, no doubt) hitched to the amazing quantity of work he’s continued to put out makes it pretty impossible to work through this category without acknowledging the creator behind so much wonderful content. — SS


Noelle Stevenson. (Nimona, Lumberjanes, Secret Wars: Runaways) Noelle Stevenson is a genius. Her ideas, her execution, I am smitten by each and every page of Nimona. Bittersweet and silly, yet I spent the last chapters with my heart in my throat. The rivalry between Lord Blackheart and his nemesis Sir Goldenloin may be the focus of the story as it begins, but both of their positions, villain and hero, are rendered moot when the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics set into motion their bloodless quest to trap and destroy a powerful young girl, Blackheart’s sidekick, Nimona. Stevenson throws out all the genre conventions and then gets in close with her characters, intensely personal instead of just smashy smashy (though there’s plenty of that, too). The plot is enough to flip a wig, but what’s happening seems almost incidental to being able to spend time with Nimona, Blackheart and everyone else. And I am just as happy watching them watch movies together as I am watching them fight soldiers or steal plans. I have a crush on the lot of them. I feel like I did when I finished His Dark Materials: give me more. Give me a thousand more volumes, please. — AOK

(Where we made room to love all over a few more.)


Mark Russell. (Prez) DC Comics covertly snuck three Vertigo titles into their #DCYou initiative and for the most part, no one noticed. Those books — Doctor Fate, the longer-running Gotham By Midnight, and Prez — were easily three of the finest books the publisher stuck on shelves, but the book that burned the brightest was undisputably Prez, Mark Russell’s thoughtful examination of the United States of America’s standing with the larger world around it. Russell’s brand of acerbic wit — and don’t forget his beating heart — is on full display with each successive issue, effectively making Beth Ross (The Corndog Girl!) one of the most lovable, relatable, and yes, iconic characters in the annals of DC Comics. Vote for Prez in 2016. — JJ

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Greg Rucka. (Lazarus, Black Magick, Convergence: The Question, Star Wars: Shattered Empire) Greg Rucka is one of the most dependably great writers in comics, and he manages to do so without being showy or bombastic: just always unerringly great. Though he’s been working in the industry for over a decade, and has written every superhero from Batman to Cyclops to Elektra, he focuses more on his creator-owned work these days. His series Lazarus (with Michael Lark) is riveting, and his habit of meticulous research and intricate world-building has made all of its twenty-one issues both unsettling and thrilling at the same time.

His new Image Comics series Black Magick (co-created with the phenomenal Nicola Scott) is one of the best debuts of the year: a police procedural starring a practicing-witch detective. His Star Wars tie-in—the only one to be released so far to have The Force Awakens in the title—was excellent, explaining occurrences directly after Return of the Jedi, and introducing a (very young) Poe Dameron. And, somehow, Rucka and Cully Hamner’s Convergence: The Question miniseries—a glorious return to the character Renee Montoya—was one of the two miniseries within DC’s massively dreadful event that was not only readable, but excellent. — MJ

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Kieron Gillen. (The Wicked + The Divine, Über, Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl, Darth Vader, Mercury Heat, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin) Let’s be honest; This whole Best Of roundup could have been a series of paragraphs cataloging the year’s WicDiv issues. We could have found ways to orchestrate a clean sweep, and I don’t think anyone would have argued (okay, they would and could have argued, but really). The series is becoming an institution on the scene, and it’s absolutely deserved.

Not to mention (the aforementioned) redux of Phonogram, which has come back stronger than ever, battering us with a handmade quilt of pop music references and another layer of covenly phonomancer mystique.

One of Gillen’s major strengths is his ability to bring magical realism to comics and to introduce the fantastical elements to the audience by simply dropping them into the action. You spend a large portion of Gillen’s work just trying to play catchup, but the writing is so damn compelling that you comb through the details, trying to figure out how these worlds function. These are worlds you can believe in, because they’re real and engaging. More than anything, I’m stoked for the next year’s output from this heavyweight of industry. — SS

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Philippe Thirault. (Balkans Arena) Philippe Thirault took my breath away with Balkans Arena. So much evil is being wrought in the real world, I frequently find myself drawn to dark works of fiction to help clarify my ideas on right and wrong. Balkans Arena is the story of a Bosnian expat’s son who is kidnapped upon their return to the old country and forced to participate in an adolescent pit fighting ring. Who I did and did not feel compassion towards messed with my head. The bloody path back to society turns father and son both into animals, but I was shocked by some of the clearly evil characters I felt compassion for. Thirault can write so that you are free to like or dislike whoever you want, so that you decide what happens after the book ends, you decide how far back the chain of events goes. Then I put the book down, and think about my world, who I like and dislike, modern atrocities and how far back the chain of events goes. — AOK

Who was YOUR favorite writer of 2015? Let us know in the comments section below!