Geoff Johns…ever heard of him? If you’re a frequent comic book store visitor, we hope his name at least rings a bell. But if you haven’t discovered the greatness of the Johns effect yet, let us introduce you to the biggest name currently at DC comics — and a writer who has brought many secondary heroes to the forefront of DC’s focus.
Geoff Johns is currently the Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment with a prominent influence in the company’s comics, movies, and television series. The man does it all and he does it well. If his influence reminds you of a certain guy over at Marvel Studios (a guy by the name of Kevin Feige) well, it’s no coincidence. Both men were strongly involved with Richard and Lauren Schuller Donner, the two most prominent figures in the early Superman films. In many ways, they both learned from the best, and used what they learned to take both Marvel and DC Comics into the modern era in a huge way.
Soon after his stint with Donner, Johns took up an opportunity at DC Comics to pitch ideas and concepts to the crew and write comics on the side. He has dabbled in nearly every major comic book series since, even stretching into Marvel Comics territory at points, but his standout comics have been hugely successful for DC’s superhero lineup. Often accused of not showing Batman and Superman (DC’s two biggest properties) enough love, Johns instead focused on the smaller characters, growing and grooming them into more marketable and relatable stories.
Odds are, if you collect comic books, you probably have more than a few Geoff Johns comics. It really isn’t that hard to find his work. However, we went ahead and put together a list of titles that you should really look into buying if you want to really see what kind of affect Geoff Johns has on a character and their story. Take a look at these awesome titles.
JSA: The Return of Hawkman
First off, leave it to Geoff Johns to bring Hawkman back to the forefront and actually make his story believable, let alone cool! Up until this point, Hawkman’s history and origins had never really been explored, and readers had many questions about the infamous winged hero. However, Johns took the reins and gave readers what they were waiting for: the whole story. He took readers to Hawkman’s beginnings, and delved deep into his association with the Justice Society of America. This one is definitely worth a read, and should be on anybody’s wish-list who wants to learn a bit more about Hawkman, especially.
The Flash: Rebirth
Prior to this Johns run on The Flash, readers had been mourning the loss of their beloved speedster Barry Allen after he was killed off and left for dead for many years. Nevertheless, Johns knew that and figured out a brilliant way to bring everyone’s favorite scarlet speedster back to the pages of DC comics. If you’re looking to get into reading The Flash, but don’t quite know where to start, well…look no further.
Aquaman Vol. 1
If you’ve ever picked on Aquaman for not being cool, well, Geoff Johns might have something to say about that. For those of us who always knew there was huge potential for a great Aquaman story, that finally culminated when Johns reintroduced the character in a brand new way, tweaking his origins and letting the orange and green hero finally let loose in more ways than one. Readers finally got to see Aquaman be a badass and has since changed public perspective on Aquaman for the better.
Booster Gold: 52 Pick Up
If you’re looking for a good time-travel story and want to keep within the superhero genre, Geoff Johns is no stranger to the field. His work on The Flash’s time-traveling elements have gained much popularity in recent years, but perhaps Johns’ greatest time-traveling work can be found in Booster Gold: 52 Pick Up. In this storyline, Booster Gold travels throughout time trying to fix a corrupted timeline in which many of the heroes of the Justice League run into trouble in their past. This whizzing whirlwind of action and time-traveling adventure is, in some readers’ opinions, Geoff Johns’ greatest work. Absolutely worth a read.
Green Lantern: Rebirth/Blackest Night
We couldn’t just pick one Green Lantern story to share, so we went with the two Geoff Johns stories with the biggest impact on the current DC status. In Rebirth, Johns brought Hal Jordan back from a nearly 10 year hiatus, to the forefront of Green Lantern comics. With Hal’s return came new adventures, new stories, and new characters, but it really captured that classic Green Lantern feel that readers knew and loved. In the years that followed, Johns took Green Lantern down a dark and deadly path with Blackest Night, a series that cast Green Lantern in the center spotlight of DC’s lineup, and brought the public’s attention to the emerald hero. Johns’ love for Green Lantern (and all of DC’s heroes for that matter) is clearly evident in this piece, which illustriously tells one of the most dramatic and enticing stories in DC’s rich history. If you’re going to only choose one story on this list, this is the one.
No matter what your comic preferences are, you can’t deny Geoff Johns is one of (if not THE) greatest writers in the current world of comic books. His work continues to stretch and grow. His work on the CW’s currently hit shows, Flash and Arrow, as well as his supervision over the upcoming DC movie lineup is certainly proving to be successful. Here’s hoping we continue to get the same high-quality work from Geoff Johns for many years to come.