Every year, Bleeding Cool runs its Top 100 Power List of members of the comics industry. And every year we get told how wrong we are. Somehow, it’s always for completely different reasons and from completely different directions. Why was X in when Y was not? Why is Z is high when W is so low? And neither U or T should be on this list after that incident involving V…
But that’s part of the fun. This attempt to list the most powerful people working in the English-speaking comic book marketplace is, of course, flawed. It is judged by all manner of attributes, the ability to influence what comics exist and sell, but also the willingness to use that power in the industry to affect things, and the ability to retain said power if a job is taken away. Which is why you will see a number of people on a higher spot than their bosses.
The Power List rewards those who combine roles, creator, publisher, distributor, retailers, those who are double and triple threats, and also where power is concentrated in one person rather than being spread out among many. Some powerful organisations or groups, where power is diffused amongst many individuals, drop down or drop out altogether.
It does not measure talent or likeability, and it does not intend to represent diversity. All it does is note power, used for betterment — or detriment — in comics.
The list was created in consultation with a number of senior figures in the comics industry, and I thank them for their help. Although because they all disagree, they’ll all think the final list is wrong, too.
Watch for new batches every day.
16. Jim Lee – C0-publisher of DC, heading up the DC Masterclass, the Immortal Men for 2018 with other projects such as the Milestone line coming through, and bringing the sales big time whenever he gets time and space to draw.
17. Tom King – The golden boy of DC Comics, critical acclaim and sales for Batman — but also for Mister Miracle as well, which was never meant to happen. The closest thing to 1980s Alan Moore that DC is every likely to get. Also he knows how to kill you seven ways from where you are standing.
18. Brian Michael Bendis – The move from Marvel to DC has increased the palpable excitement about this creator. In a position of power at Marvel, what he has been handed at DC Comics is still unknown, but it must have been comparable. Superman — and more — beckons.
19. Diane Nelson – President of DC, her role is removed from the day to day of the superhero books, but she brought Bendis over from Marvel, she pushed for the DC Super Hero Girls line and she held Eddie Berganza’s fate in her hands…
20. Brian Cunningham – the new Superman group editor at DC Comics at a time when that position is more important than ever. After two decades of poor performance, the Superman books are on the rise.