Top Ten List Omissions

Top10SMW“What What WHAT?”

has put out a list of its Top Ten Spider-Man writers. You may recall that back in October the Crawl Space put out its own list of Top Ten Spider-Man Artists after a similar list at Newsarama was found to have some glaring omissions.

CBR’s list
is similar in that it’s got some glaring omissions and other questionable choices. No Straczynski? No Peter David? Should DeFalco be higher?

What say you, Crawl Spacers? Agree? Disagree? Let us hear from ya!

George Berryman!


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(44) Comments

  1. JGC

    @41 - that's pretty much my list as well except sub in Slott for Mantlo for me.I also agree that my list is very 616 dominant and I don't consider Bendis for my list. In terms of top writers for Daredevil, then he gets my vote.

  2. hornacek

    Whether the original list explicitly stated it or not, when I hear "Best writers of Spider-Man stories" I think "stories involving Peter Parker as Spider-Man in our universe, not in any other universe or continuity or time period", and I don't think that's an unfair or uncommon interpretation. It *has* to be the character that Lee/Ditko created, and USM, no matter how well written he was (before he was killed, another key fact to differentiate him from the original Spider-Man) is not the same character. If we lumped them together to make this list then by that logic Roger Stern could be #2 on the list of Best Writers of Ultimate Spider-Man.

  3. Donovan Grant

    Whenever the Crawlspace Podcast panel tackles this list on an episode (AND WE WILL...), my criteria will be the same as on the Top ten Artists list, which I don't think I explicitly explained enough. My list is a favorites list which serves also as a list of who did it best/most successful at it.

  4. Spider-Dad

    The CBR list reminds me of debates back in middle school. Although the synopsis of each writer is nice, the criteria of how the list was created was not mentioned, whether it was this writer's, an online poll or the editor's staff picks. Either way, the list certainly has created debate and gotten me motivated to post my My own personal Top TenMy order is based upon how the writer handled the character, created a positive contribution to the mythos, (e.g. character moments, new villans or creating depth to the back story) and creating key moments that made Amazing Spider-Man the great series it is.1 – Stan Lee 2- Roger Stern 3 – Gerry Conway 4 – Peter David 5 - JMS 6 – Tom DeFalco 7 – JM DeMatteis 8 – David Michelinie 9 – Marv Wolfman 10 – Bill MantloNotable mention…Kurt Busiek

  5. Fisk

    Is it for all Spideys? If yes, then Busiek naturally can be there. Bendis, on the other hand, absolutely does not get 616 spidey. His writing of Spidey in Avengers is an aberration. So he can be here but only for the Ultimate Universe. But then, why is PAD not here??? He wrote not only 616 Spidey in a much better way but also an alternate (2099) Universe SPider-man. And where is JMS? He had some very weak stories as Sins Pasts or the Other but he had the best characterization (ever) of Peter, MJ and Aunt MAy. Jenkins is the same: he had very good stories in PP Spider-man but his whole run of Spectaculars was god awful: that story where Peter gained organic webbing was worse than anything ever JMS has done. So if Jenkins is on the list, JMS shall be., too. Other notable exceptions: Wolfman, Mantlo. But he biggest mystery for me: Michelinie is really good? He made me quit Spidey for the first time. He couldn't write a decent Spidey story for his life. Either he was plain boring or awful...did everyone forget SPider robot parents??

  6. Jack

    HitFix just did a top ten list of Spidey writers, and they left JMS and Peter David off as well. They pegged Slott at 5.

  7. Mike 13

    My own personal Top Ten... IN ORDER OF GREATNESS...1 - Stan Lee 2- Marv Wolfman 3 - Roger Stern 4 - Peter David 5- Gerry Conway 6 - Tom DeFalco 7 - JMDeMatteis 8 - Dan Slott 9 - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa 10 - Kurt BusiekNotable mention... Bill Mantlo

  8. Kevin Cushing

    @34 "This list should be about 616 Spidey writers only."That's your opinion and you're welcome to it, but you really need to understand that it's baseless outside of personal preference and has absolutely nothing to do with the reality of the list in question.

  9. Thomas Mets

    Regarding the Ultimate question, the list didn't make a distinction between versions of Spider-Man, even if there's been an original whose adventures have been depicted for just over fifty years. If someone did a list of the best Batman or Superman writers, they can't limit it to just one continuity. Bendis had to work with a major restriction, so he shouldn't be penalized for overcoming the setback of not being able to depict the real Spider-Man.Plus, with the Spider-Men crossover you could view Ultimate Spider-Man as a very convoluted spinoff/ prologue.

  10. hornacek

    @26 - I knew if I got a response like that from any of the staff for my comment it would be from George. :)@28 - I don't have a problem with Bendis' work, I just haven't read enough of it to have either a pro or con opinion, I think the only series I've read that he writes is the current Uncanny X-Men (and it often feels like I'm hate-reading that because I hate the current incarnation of Cyclops, but it's an enjoyable read). I know I read his story in ASM #601 but can't remember it enough to have an opinion here. Besides, writing one story in an ASM issue, or supporting character appearances in any Avengers comic (I don't read any of those either) is (in my opinion) not enough to have him anywhere on this list. This list should be about 616 Spidey writers only.

  11. Sir Jig-A-Lot

    @Mr Berryman - Agreed on the 'Ultimate Spider-Man Writng' thing. As far as the Top 10 lists go, I too judge Peter David & DeFalco solely on their 616 Spider-Man runs. I've honestly yet to read Tom's Spider-Girl stuff or PAD's 2099 title.

  12. Sir Jig-A-Lot

    Kevin, That's one story out of how many Avengers titles and Avengers-centric events, and for how many years did he script them?. 616 Spider-Man was cannon fodder for Bendis' mostly lame jokes and faux-Mamet banter. I know you're a fan of his (as is BD), and to each their own ultimately, but in my estimation, he's easily crowded out of a top 10 Spider-Man writers list. Just to be clear, yes, I did read all those aforementioned Avengers books and other dross like Secret Invasion, Secret War & The Pulse, as well as the man's Ultimate SM run (at least until his ludicrous ultimate Venom arc began). I even gave his Morales run a shot for the first few issues. It was too slow out of the gate just because he wants to stretch shit out by writing for the trade. Outside of his early Daredevil & Alias runs, Bendis' Marvel work just ain't for me.

  13. George Berryman

    A) I read the first five issues of USM, which told me it was something completely different than Spider-Man.B) Jig-A-Lot was referencing Bendis's Spider-Man in the Avengers, not ASM 601. I wasn't reading the Avengers at that time but I was listening to the Crawl Space podcast which was also telling me how Bendis's Avengers Spidey was usually relegated to a one or two note supporting character with little to do. Me - I'm not saying he does 616 a disservice so much as 616 Peter and Ultimate Peter are completely different characters, to the point that I don't consider USM to be 'Spider-Man' writing. I consider it 'Ultimate Spider-Man' writing.I've got Peter David on my list and not for Spider-Man 2099. I've got DeFalco higher than CBR and not for Spider-Girl. I'm not begrudging anyone having him on their lists if they consider 'Ultimate Spider-Man' to be 'Spider-Man.' In my mind the two aren't the same.

  14. Kevin Cushing

    A) The people who have a problem with Bendis' inclusion seem to be the people that haven't read Bendis' work.B) Reread Bendis' back-up in ASM 601 and tell me again that he does 616 Peter a disservice.

  15. Sir Jig-A-Lot

    Bendis may or may not write a good ultimate Spidey, be it Miles or Peter, but if you look at his Avengers books he does a complete disservice to 616 Pete by writing him as a one-dimensional clown.

  16. hornacek

    @17, 19 - I respectively disagree and don't think it's silly to say Bendis should not be on the this list. I don't read USM and I have no opinion for or against it, but it is not "the" Spider-Man, it is "a" Spider-Man. Just because the character is named Peter Parker and has the same friends and relatives doesn't mean it's the same person. It's a completely different universe and a completely different character. Is Harry Osborn the Green Goblin? He is "a" Green Goblin but not "the" Green Goblin.

  17. Mike 13

    It's shocking to me that no one is mentioning Marv Wolfman... his run, albeit very short, was nothing short of SPECTACULAR!!! Behind Stan Lee, it's right up there with Roger Stern.

  18. RDMacQ

    @22. There doesn't need to be a motive. But with CBR there usually is. They're very pro-Marvel, and tend to give WHATEVER current Marvel or DC title they want to push "4 out of 5" stars.It becomes a little questionable when the site takes a Christmas Every Day approach to the major titles Marvel and DC produce.

  19. Thomas Mets

    @15. Slott's work is popular right now. fans like his work. There doesn't need to be a motive for someone to like the work of a writer who has recently achieved a significant measure of commercial and critical success, even if you don't care for the writer.

  20. Thomas Mets

    I had nothing to do with the creation of the list, although it seems to be a fun conversation starter.Thoughts on the list.1. Complete Agreement. Even on the idea of Lee and Ditko sharing credit. And on not having Stan Lee, and Stan Lee plus Steve Ditko as separate writers in a top ten, because there's not enough room to honor the great Spider-Man writers as is. 2. Complete Agreement. 3. I get that he's important, but he's just not very good, aside from my favorite Spider-Man story. I might have a top ten list without Conway. 4. Great writer. I'd have Dematteis at third. 5. Complete Agreement. 6. I'd have him in 4th place just above Slott. Ultimate Spider-Man may have been the most important Marvel series in the 21st Century. 7. Similar to Conway, I get that his work was important, but I don't think it holds up very well. 8. I'd have him slightly lower. 9. Glad to see him included. 10. I'm conflicted on this. His Spider-Man work is quite good, but I get the sense that he might rate higher as a comic book writer (thanks to Astro City, Avengers and Superman: Secret Identity) than as a Spider-Man writer. I do enjoy rereading him more than Conway or Michelinie, so there is that.As for notable exclusions, I would have booted Michelinie off the list for Peter David in a heartbeat.I'm not bothered by JMS's exclusion. He just didn't write enough of my favorite Spider-Man stories. I think he never lived up to the potential of those first nine issues.

  21. George Berryman - Post author

    I have DeFalco higher on my list and only for the strength of his work on the 616 titles. And I don't have Bendis on my list.

  22. Kevin Cushing

    @17: Exactly. Nobody bats an eye at DeFalco's Spider-Girl work being mentioned, so the idea that Bendis is disqualified because he was writing Ultimate is just silly. Frankly when you consider the length, impact, and (mostly) consistent quality of that run, I think you'd have a hard time justifying leaving Bendis off of any serious top 10 Spider-Man writers list.

  23. CRM

    I'm perfectly fine with JMS not being on this list but I absolutely think Peter David should be on there. I'm fine with Slott being on here but at either #9 or #10, not # 5....the top 4 looks pretty good to me though.

  24. Nick MB

    @16 The list doesn't specify MU Spidey, so I think Bendis should still be eligible for his Ultimate work. Especially since it's one of the longest and most consistently good Spidey runs ever.

  25. hornacek

    Busiek - glad to see him on the list, UToSM was a great series and fit perfectly in the Lee/Ditko stories. But ahead of PD and JMS? Sorry, no.Jenkins - should be higher but that's just personal preference. His non-action stories were often much better than his action stories (Death in the Family being the exception). If you don't get a lump in your throat at the end of the Uncle Ben/baseball story, go see a doctor immediately.DeFalco - should be higher. Nuff said.Michelinie - his issues were like going to see a popcorn movie. You have a good time, but the next day you've forgotten about the movie. Probably on here more for the sheer length of his run. He created Venom and Carnage - should those be pluses or minuses? (BOOM, symbiote-slam!)Bendis - besides the Spider-Men mini has he *ever* written 616 Spidey in a book where he was the main character? That alone should make him ineligible for this list, no matter what you think of him as a writer.Slott - I'm sure most of the reason he made this spot is because he's the current writer. Before SSM his run was average at best. And he killed the character. (cough) He should be no higher than #10, if he makes the list at all.JM Dematteis - Kraven, Harry, Aunt May. Agree.Gerry Conway - I think Death of Gwen Stacey is pulling his average up a bit. Take that away and you've got the original clone saga (pretty good) and stuff like the Doc Ock/Aunt May marriage (corny but not in a good way) and the ghost of Hammerhead (ooh, scary!). I don't think you should be on this list because of just one story.Stern - hells yeah!Lee/Ditko - I assume when they started this list they already had them filled in at #1 and then debated the other slots. Still, hard to argue with this, especially Lee's 100 issues.Plus the article says "Ditko left the series and the character after issue #34, and Lee soldiered on, for a very long time, taking Peter from high school to college" - Ditko left the series after issue #38 - Ditko was still on the book when Peter went to college.Who wrote this article? A Spidey fan would know these things.

  26. Jack

    CBR knows they would have gotten a very cold shoulder from Marvel if they hadn't put Slott high on that list. They are well aware of who butters their professional bread.

  27. Sir Jig-A-Lot

    WTH?! Alongside Stern & DeMatteis, those three at the top should round out the top 5 of all-time Spidey scribes. Stan, Conway, Aguirre-Sacasa (re-read his stuff. it's amazing!), Busiek & Michelinie round out the 10.

  28. Nick MB

    I imagine Slott will probably fall down a few places in future re-evaluations once his run is past, but I think he's probably written enough well-received issues and storylines to be somewhere in top 10 lists for a while. I'd be more tempted to ditch Jenkins and Michelinie in favour of JMS and PAD, to be honest.

  29. WebbedSentry

    I don't agree with Slott being so high on this list, but I can see why he would be. Saying that I honestly think that who ever was writing Spider-Man currently would make this kind of list from CBR.I also disagree with Stan Lee/Ditko, yes they created the whole world and without Ditko and Lee we wouldn't have what we have, but you cant elevate them to being the best writers, otherwise that's like saying 'Hey these 4 stories are phenomenal, but because you didn't create the world and such your just not as good as Lee and Ditko', it elevates them needlessly and forces other writers to be automatically be seen as not as good.Really happy to see Bendis on this list, since because he hasn't written 616 Spidey some people seem to overlook what he has contributed.But no PAD is shocking absolutely absurd. First up his Spec run was totally solid. Then when he came back and did FNS he had some really good heartfelt stories and explored Peters work situation and stuff that was going on at the time. Third, the fact that Bendis makes the list because of Ultimate means other universe Spider-Man is factored in, which means you can't ignore what PAD did with 2099, yes 2099 went down hill, but for a long while after its creation that run was solid.I could list other omissions but I think PAD is the biggest one, with JMS a close 2nd. Hell he redefined Spider-Man after its terrible terrible reboot, and got most of the my generation reading Spidey, regardless of the controversial stories he did, you can't overlook that he got a generation reading Spidey and revived it and made it a good comic again.

  30. Stuart Green

    JMS should have been ranked in the top 10 because he gave us some of the best, most realistic Peter/MJ scenes as a married couple. Paul Jenkins also should've ranked higher, I loved his work on Spider-Man and I was so bummed when he left the book. And Tom DeFalco should've made the top 5, no contest. I can see why Slott was #5, I just don't agree he should've ranked that high, is all.

  31. BD

    Peter David and JMS not being on this list is awful. I'm torn with Slott being on my top 10 list. It's very hard to separate his writing and his online behavior. One factors my enjoyment of the other. I think he'd maybe reach #10 or #11 on my list.

  32. RDMacQ

    Dan Slott should not be on that list. I think this is more about WANTING him to be an important writer than him actually BEING an important writer.Let's just see how many of his contributions last or are remembered in a few years, THEN we can debate if he deserves to be higher than Jenkins or Michinlie.Really, his position should be better served by going to JMS or Defalco.

  33. Donovan Grant

    No Peter David, but Dan Slott ranks at #5.Its' a free country, everyone has a right to their opinion and all that...But that is just ridiculous.

  34. Shaun Martineau

    I think Jenkins should have been higher and JMS should be high up there too... Also, I believe some of the things Slott was credited for was from the BND era with the whole writing team...

  35. George Berryman - Post author

    Oh I know. I've fixed it. Originally meant to write "Should DeFalco be higher" but kept rolling after the "No JMS, No Peter David..." 8)

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