Saturday, 29 August 2009

Top Ten Writers #10: DnA (Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning)

Okay let's totally pretend that the lack of updates from myself is in no way influenced by me attempting to read all of the second run of Runaways in one sitting (Joss Whedon's stuff is still left to read). In fact let's say that it's because I've started coming up with ideas for comics. That sounds more awesome.

In the second ever post on this blog I laid out I was going to do 4.5 Top Tens in July.

That didn't work out. But 2.5 is great when compared to my video output of 0/4.

This lack of Top Tens is mainly because of how ambitious I decided to make the third one, laying out what I would consider a definitive list of the best writers EVARR.... Excluding a helluva lot of DC writers simply because I don't read much DC (seriously on one hand: Power Girl, Batgirl, Detective Comics, Blackest Night and Batman & Robin. And I've dropped those last two!), so it isn't too accurate. Accurate enough though, especially considering the sheer strength of the Ten (eleven?) writers I'm mentioning over these next ten days of straight updates.

First up we have two writers who in their stint at Marvel have managed to take an entire line of the 616 comics and turn them into a series of epics and classic storylines that will stay in the consciousness of Marvel's Cosmic fans for decades to come:



Andy Lanning

I could go into some deep history here of what the pairing have done and where they've come from and to but that'd be really boring. The short of it is blah blah blah 2000AD blah blah blah Various Things blah blah blah ANNIHILATION! ANNIHILATION CONQUEST! NOVA! GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY! WAR OF KINGS! REALM OF KINGS!.... Or something to that effect.

Dan Abnett

The two of them have successfully ridden the wave from Keith Giffen's Annihilation event and their Nova limited series that tied into it. This reopening of the Cosmic characters led to them doing perhaps their most well received and popular series Nova, which has just hit something like 27 issues. Most writers could be content with just having that, a hit comic that will keep them in the comic reader conscience for a long time. But no, DnA are just too fucking talented for that. So they helmed their own event: ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST!

Annihilation: Conquest #1, their step up to brilliance

This is where I finally put on my fancy-pants critical gaze because Annihilation: Conquest was FUCKING AWESOME. Some credit has to go out to the other writers who handled the three tie-in limited series but what DnA achieved here was nothing short of amazing as writing goes. Where Annihilation had successfully plucked minor characters and made you care about them, Conquest made you never want to see them go. Each character had a distinct voice, personality, purpose and fit into the story without seeming like a nod to fans of the characters. DnA collectively managed to perfect character writing! That's a ridiculous feat that they've managed to keep up over their two ongoing series (Nova was joined by Guardians of the Galaxy after this event) and another massive event that has only just concluded (War of Kings).

War of Kings: the recent ground-shattering event comic

The only thing that keeps them from a higher position in this top ten (and a heftier piece of writing) is the tendency for them to have the occasional balancing issue with character's strengths or the one mistake in Conquest (throwing Nova in at the end from his ongoing tie-in story without as much as an indicator of what the hell he had been doing in the main event book. Sloppy).

DnA belong on this list because of all that and more, but for the most part I have to say this: they represent where the promising up-and-comers could be in a year or two, leading events and having a massive influence in the Marvel U. There's nothing more than that you could hope for in a writer.

And that's the sloppy #10. #9 is due up tomorrow at the same time. Expect me to review one of the 2-3 titles I really wanna talk about this week soon too. Oh and expect these top ten things to get visually and verbally better over the course of the ten days!

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