Top ten writers of 2013? Oh I see you guys left room for the true number one. Cool. What list would be complete without the undisputed big idea frontrunner in all of comicdom? People say that comics, particularly mainstream American superhero comics, have run out of new, innovative ideas. The thrill is gone, they say. Those people haven’t picked up a Jonathan Hickman book in, well ever. 2013 saw Hickman do several things in the Avengers universe that many people thought would be impossible.
Expanding on the concept of and mission of the Illuminati in New Avengers, while laying the groundwork for both a global and universe-wide Avengers force in the main title, Hickman mixed the theoretical with the impossible in ways that reminded us all why we love big, bombastic cape comics in the first place. He introduced the Gardeners and origin bombs which led to the seeding of sites around the world where evolutionary marvels (forgive the pun) took hold in accelerated, fantastic Kirby-like fashion. He elevated the Starbrand from New Universe castaway to relevant piece of the Marvel U, returned Hyperion to full on bad-ass heavy hitter status, and gave us one of the coolest one issue origin stories in issue 5 with the new Smasher. He capped the year with the return of Thanos and Infinity. The payoffs and lead in to Inhumanity and the expansion of the Avengers world in 2014, helped erase the stink of the dud that was Age of Ultron.
As important as Snyder at DC, Hickman proved to be one of those rare creators at the Big Two: Someone capable of steering the direction of an entire line through a deep, weighty story with editorial following his lead instead of the other way around.
But it wasn’t all about Hickman’s Marvelous adventures expanding the House of Ideas in 2013. On the indie comics scene, Hickman continued to break exciting ground mixing hard science with fantasy, intrigue, and mystery on the big idea, world-building books East of West, Secret, and Manhattan Projects from Image. The latter book continues to take what you thought you knew about the fathers of atomic age science and, with a healthy dose of mad humor, aliens, conspiracy, and violence, blows it all up. God is Dead (But he still hates geeks) also debuted from Avatar. With his indie fare, Hickman seems intent on blurring the lines between genres. East of West is part sci-fi, part western, and takes place in a pre-apocalyptic world that casts the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as the leads. This mashup of ideas and concepts made him one of the most experimental writers in comics this past year. It also made us very damn lucky to be reading those same funny books in 2013.
– Guy Copes / GodHatesGeeks