I asked some of Geoff’s fellow creators about him, and here’s what they had to say:
“I love Geoff's work. I once told him I hoped he'd be the Stan Lee of DC-- meaning that his approach to character and storytelling would inform the approach of DC's other writers, giving the books a coherent feel. He's a great writer with a deep love for comics, and also, not incidentally, a great guy.” – Comic Book Legend Gerry Conway
“I think Geoff Johns does not get enough credit. He is a true fan. In fact, I have a letter by him published in the first ever Powers letter column. He loves comics. And it oozes out of him and his work. It will be very interesting to see what the DCU films will be like now that he has a stronger hand in them. I root for him. He am the Bizarro me :)” – Co-Creator of Jessica Jones and Miles Morales Brian Michael Bendis
“I’ve been a fan of Geoff’s forever and his work remains an inspiration. Looking forward to more work from him on paper and screens.” – Deadpool writer Gerry Duggan
“Geoff is one of a kind! No one understands and celebrates the intrinsic value of the DC Universe like he does.” – Midnighter writer Steve Orlando
“Geoff is the strongest superhero writer of his generation, combining a current style with an understanding of continuity that is unmatched by any other writer of the last 15 years.” – Cable and Deadpool writer Fabian Nicieza
“Of all of my favorite comic book writers of all time, the only one I haven't met or worked with is Geoff Johns. And of all of my favorite writers, he's the one I've most tried to emulate. I've admired his work from his early days on the Avengers, which is probably my favorite Avengers run, through his New 52 Justice League and Aquaman reboots, and up to his current stuff. His stories are fun, ambitious, thoughtful, and earnest, and I hope I get the chance to tell him that myself someday.” – Marvel artist Joe Caramanga
“He’s one of the hardest-working, most diligent and passionate creators I know.” – Wonder Woman writer and 52 collaborator Greg Rucka
“No one gets superheroes like Geoff. NO ONE!” – Batman: Earth One artist Gary Frank
“As a writer Geoff may very well be the best overall DCU writer ever. He’s handled a large number of very different projects and they’ve all been in the good to excellent category. No duds.
As an exec, it’s obvious he knows what he’s doing and knows how to get it done. Usually creatives aren’t great at the business end. Geoff is.
As a person, he’s one of the most positive people I’ve known. And he’s helped me many, many times when he didn’t need to.” - New Teen Titans creator Marv Wolfman
“I remember when I first got offered Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge. I have to be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with the Rogues at the time, and didn’t think much of the Rogues in general… but... I took the gig to pay the rent. I figured it was a short series and I could just soldier my way through it.
Then I started getting pages and the script. Holy crap, it was GREAT. I couldn’t believe how Geoff (and Scott Kolins on art) turned these goofball characters into total badasses. I was sold. I never wanted it to end.
Geoff clearly loves the DC universe. He sees how it all works together, cheese and all, and somehow makes it work. He made a total Mirror Master fan out of me, and I sure never saw that coming.” – Master Colourist Dave McCaig
“Geoff Johns is a sterling example of how the power of superhero storytelling can shape a person's life in a tangible, meaningful way from Flash to Avengers to Green Lantern he has shown time and time again that he has the heart of a hero.” – The Only Living Boy writer David Gallaher
“Geoff is perhaps the ideal DC creator. A creative with a distinct love for superhero comics heritage that translates that passion into his output.” – Dynamo 5 co-creator Mahmud Asrar
Legacy is an interesting thing. Some creators are great for a short while, writing a classic story here and there. Others have had long, consistently great careers, never truly getting the recognition they deserve. Some however, change things for the medium, leaving an incredible impact that can never been understated. Geoff Johns is one of those creators, his career forever changing the landscape of the comic book industry. Like Mr Conway said, he has changed the way the DC Universe will be written forever just like Stan Lee did for Marvel in the 1960s. Not only that, Geoff have revived and reignited some of the company’s most popular heroes, and is responsible for some of the greatest stories in DC’s long and at times tumultuous history. But Geoff’s legacy is more than just great stories.
Many creators are known for specific runs on certain characters or teams. Claremont on X-Men, Bendis on Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man, Simone on Birds of Prey and Secret Six, DeConnick on Captain Marvel, Waid on Flash and Daredevil, the list goes on and on. There are a select few creators however whose name becomes linked to one company’s universe so tightly, it’s hard to imagine that universe without them in it somehow. Brian Michael Bendis and Stan Lee are synonymous with Marvel Comics, Stan in the old days when he was the ONLY writer at Marvel, and Brian in the modern age, both gentlemen helping mold that universe into what it is today. DC has never truly had someone like that in their employ, that one person that has changed the course of that company’s history, and making it a much better place than what it was before until Geoff Johns came into the company.
Think about it for a moment. His first project was to revitalize the JSA, and did so with amazing results. He did the same thing with the Teen Titans, making them one of the premier teams in the industry again. He wrote one of the best Flash runs in history, helping redefine the character. He brought back Hal Jordan, and completely reshaped Green Lantern, turning a single book into one of the largest franchises in DC Comics. He brought back Barry Allen, wrote a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths, changed history with Flashpoint, wrote some of the most critically acclaimed Superman books in recent memory, made Aquaman one of the top heroes in DC again, helped redefine the Justice League, and launched a literal Rebirth for the company. That last project as a comic writer (for the foreseeable future) brought legions of fans back to DC by telling the kinds of stories that he had fallen in love with growing up. Geoff Johns is DC’s guy, their biggest fan, and maybe the greatest creator the company has ever had under its employ. As a creator and as an executive, Geoff’s life’s work has been to make DC a better place, and there is no doubt in my mind that he has done that and will continue to do so for as long as they will allow him.
Simply put, Geoff Johns is one of the best creators in comic books today. He has re-written the rulebook for DC Comics, time and time again bringing the company to the forefront of the industry. More than that, he is a comic book fan for life, and never allowed his success to change that. There is no better person to help chart the course for DC’s future than Geoff Johns, because no one loves DC Comics more than Geoff Johns. And that more than anything is his legacy, a love for a medium and for a universe that he grew up with, and his unbending desire to make that medium and that universe a more vibrant, wonderful place than when he first discovered it all those many years ago.
In brightest day and darkest night, Geoff Johns has made comic books a better place, and we should all hope that he will continue to do so for many, many years to come.