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Geoff Johns

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Geoff Johns (born January 25, 1973) is an American comic book writer, screenwriter and film and television producer. He served as the President and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) of DC Entertainment from 2016 to 2018, after his initial appointment as CCO in 2010. Some of his most notable work has used the DC Comics characters Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash, and Superman.

Geoff Johns
8.31.11GeoffJohnsNew52ByLuigiNovi1.jpg
Johns in August 2011
Born Geoffrey Johns
(1973-01-25) January 25, 1973 (age 45)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater Michigan State University
Occupation
  • Comic book writer
  • screenwriter
  • film and television producer
Years active 1997–present
Employer DC Entertainment (2010–2018)
Notable work 52
Action Comics
Blackest Night
The Flash
Green Lantern
Infinite Crisis
JSA
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.
Teen Titans
Relatives Courtney Johns (sister)
Website www.madghostproductions.com

In 2018, he stepped down from his executive role at DC Entertainment to open a production company, Mad Ghost Productions, to focus on writing and producing film, television and comic book titles based on DC properties. Some of his work in television includes the series Blade, Smallville, Arrow and The Flash. He was a co-producer on the film Green Lantern (2011) and a producer on Justice League (2017). He co-wrote the story for Aquaman (2018) and the screenplay for Wonder Woman 1984 (2019).

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Geoff Johns was born January 25, 1973,[1] in Detroit, Michigan,[2][3] the son of Barbara and Fred Johns.[4] He is of half Lebanese ancestry,[5] and grew up in the suburbs of Grosse Pointe and Clarkston.[2][6] As a child, Johns and his brother first discovered comics through an old box of comics they found in their grandmother's attic, which included copies of The Flash, Superman, Green Lantern, and Batman from the 1960s and 1970s. Johns eventually began to patronize a comics shop in Traverse City, recalling that the first new comics he bought were Crisis on Infinite Earths #3 or 4 and The Flash #348 or 349, as the latter was his favorite character. As Johns continued collecting comics, he gravitated toward DC Comics and later Vertigo, and drew comics.[2] After graduating from Clarkston High School in 1991,[4] he studied media arts, screenwriting, film production and film theory at Michigan State University.[3] He graduated from Michigan State in 1995,[7] and then moved to Los Angeles, California.[2][4]

CareerEdit

Early careerEdit

In Los Angeles, Johns cold-called the office of director Richard Donner looking for an internship, and while Johns was being transferred to various people, Donner picked up the phone by accident, leading to a conversation and the internship. Johns started off copying scripts, and after about two months, was hired as a production assistant for Donner, whom Johns regards as his mentor.[2][8]

While working on production of Donner's 1997 film Conspiracy Theory, Johns visited New York City, where he met DC Comics personnel such as Eddie Berganza, reigniting his childhood interest in comics.[2]

Berganza invited Johns to tour the DC Comics offices, and offered Johns the opportunity to suggest ideas, which led to Johns pitching Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., a series based on the second Star-Spangled Kid and her stepfather,[9] to editor Chuck Kim a year later. Johns expected to write comics "on the side", until he met David Goyer and James Robinson, who were working on JSA. After looking at Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., Robinson offered Johns co-writing duties on JSA in 2000,[10] and Johns credits both him and Mike Carlin with shepherding him into the comics industry.[2] That same year, Johns became the regular writer on The Flash ongoing series with issue 164. John's work on The Flash represents one example of his modeling of various elements in his stories after aspects of his birth town, explaining, "When I wrote The Flash, I turned Keystone City into Detroit, made it a car town. I make a lot of my characters from Detroit. I think self-made, blue-collar heroes represent Detroit. Wally West's Flash was like that. I took the inspiration of the city and the people there and used it in the books."[6] John's Flash run concluded with #225.

He co-wrote a Beast Boy limited series with Ben Raab in 2000[11] and crafted the "Return to Krypton" story arc in the Superman titles with Pasqual Ferry in 2002.[12] After writing The Avengers vol. 3 #57–76 (Oct. 2002-Feb. 2004) and Avengers Icons: The Vision #1–4 (Oct. 2002-Jan. 2003) for Marvel Comics,[13] Johns oversaw the re-launch of Hawkman and Teen Titans.[14]

Johns was responsible for the return of Hal Jordan in 2005 as the writer of the Green Lantern: Rebirth mini-series[15] and subsequent Green Lantern ongoing title.[16] Johns was the writer of the Infinite Crisis crossover limited series (Dec. 2005– June 2006), a sequel to 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths.[17] Following this, Johns was one of four writers, with Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, and Greg Rucka, on the 2006–2007 weekly series 52.[18]

 
Johns holding up a Funko vinyl figure of Aquaman, one of the titles he wrote as part of The New 52

In 2006, Johns and Kurt Busiek co-wrote the "Up, Up and Away!" story arc in Superman and Action Comics. He then reunited with Richard Donner on the "Last Son" storyline in Action Comics with Donner co-plotting the series with his former assistant.[13] The Justice Society of America series by Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham began in February 2007[19] and six months later, he and Jeff Katz launched the new Booster Gold series. That same year, Johns helmed the critically acclaimed[20][21][22][23][24] "Sinestro Corps War" storyline in the Green Lantern titles.[25] He wrote the "Final Crisis" one-shot Rage of the Red Lanterns with artist Shane Davis[26] and collaborated with Gary Frank on Action Comics.[27] Johns and Frank produced the "Brainiac" storyline in which Superman's adopted father Jonathan Kent was killed[28] and retold Superman's origin story in 2009's Superman: Secret Origin.[29]

Also in 2009, Johns teamed with artist Ethan Van Sciver on The Flash: Rebirth miniseries, which centered on the return of Barry Allen as the Flash[30][31] and wrote the Blackest Night limited series.[32] Commenting on Johns' creation of such concepts as the Blue Lantern Corps, the Red Lantern Corps, and the Indigo Tribe, DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz noted in 2010 that "One of Johns' sharpest additions to DC mythology is the notion that the Green Lanterns are but one color within a rainbow spectrum, and that the other hues have their own champions. Folding in old concepts and inventing new ones, Johns has established limitless story possibilities."[33]

President & CCO of DC EntertainmentEdit

On February 18, 2010, Johns was named the Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment, which was established to expand the DC Comics brand across other media platforms.[34][35] Johns stated that the position would not affect his writing.[36] He then co-wrote the Brightest Day series with Peter Tomasi.[37] He and Marv Wolfman were the principal writers of DC Universe Online, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game released in 2011.[38][39]

In September 2011, following the conclusion of Johns' mini series, Flashpoint, and the crossover storyline of the same name, DC Comics instituted a program called The New 52, in which the publisher cancelled all of its superhero titles and relaunched 52 new series with #1 issues, wiping out most of the then-current continuity. Johns and artist Jim Lee, DC Comics' Co-Publisher, launched the line with a new Justice League series, written and illustrated by Johns and Lee, respectively. The series' first story arc was a new origin of the Justice League, which depicted the return of DC's primary superheroes to the team.[40] Johns' contributions to The New 52 includes an ongoing Shazam! (Captain Marvel) backup feature in Justice League that began with issue #7, as well as the relaunched Aquaman and Green Lantern monthly titles.[41][42][43]

Johns and Gary Frank collaborated on the Batman: Earth One graphic novel, an out of continuity story, released in mid-2012,[44][45] which served as the first in a series of graphic novels intended to redefine Batman.[46] In 2013, after writing Green Lantern for nine years, Johns ended his run with issue 20 of the New 52 series,[47] which was released May 22, 2013.[48] DC Comics' All Access webcast announced on February 4, 2014 that Johns would be writing the Superman series which would be drawn by John Romita Jr.[49][50] The Johns/Romita Jr. team was joined by inker Klaus Janson.[51] In May 2016, Johns was promoted to President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and reported to Diane Nelson, the President of DC Entertainment.[52][53]

As of 2017, Johns and Gary Frank are collaborating on Doomsday Clock, a limited series featuring Superman and Doctor Manhattan.[54][55] Johns and Richard Donner co-wrote "The Car" chapter in Action Comics #1000 (June 2018) which was drawn by Olivier Coipel.[56]

In June 2018, Johns stepped down from his executive role at DC Entertainment and entered into a writer and producer deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. He opened Mad Ghost Productions, a production company that works on film, television and comic books based on DC Comics properties.[57]

FilmEdit

 
Johns speaking at the 2017 WonderCon to promote DC Comics film projects

Johns served as a co-producer and creative consultant for the 2011 Green Lantern film directed by Martin Campbell and starring Ryan Reynolds.[58]

Johns was an executive producer on the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[59] Following negative critical reception to the film, Johns and Jon Berg were named to jointly run the DC Extended Universe and a newly established Warner Bros. division, DC Films, in May 2016.[60] They served as producers on the 2017 film Justice League.[61] Johns also co-wrote the story for Aquaman with James Wan and Will Beall, co-wrote the story for Green Lantern Corps with David S. Goyer and co-wrote Wonder Woman 1984 with Patty Jenkins and David Callaham.[62][63][64] In January 2018, after Justice League underperformed at the box office, Johns and Berg were replaced by Walter Hamada as the head of DC Films, with Johns still working "closely" with Hamada on future productions.[65][66]

TelevisionEdit

"Recruit", a 2005 episode of the Superman prequel series Smallville, on which Johns' studio mate Jeph Loeb was a writer-producer, featured a villain by the name of Geoff Johns. In 2008, Johns wrote "Legion", the eleventh episode of the eighth season, in which he introduced the three core members of the Legion of Super-Heroes.[67] At the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, he announced that he was writing another Smallville episode, titled "Society," based on the Justice Society of America. The success of his first episode and the ambitious nature of his follow-up episode enabled the producers to transform it into a two-part story, which subsequently aired as a feature-length episode titled "Absolute Justice".[68]

In 2006, Johns co-wrote the story for the Justice League Unlimited episode "Ancient History", which starred Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Vixen, Shadow Thief and the Green Lantern John Stewart.

Johns and David S. Goyer co-wrote the pilot for the Spike TV drama Blade, which premiered in June 2006. Johns served as one of the writing staff on the television show. Later that year, Johns teamed up with Matthew Senreich of Robot Chicken fame to write the screenplay for a holiday family-friendly movie titled Naughty or Nice for Dimension Films. Johns and Senreich are billed as directors of the movie, with actor/producer Seth Green set to provide a lead voice as well as serving as voice director on the film. This association led to Johns contributing material to the fourth season of Robot Chicken.[69]

In 2012, Johns joined The CW's Green Arrow origin series Arrow, as a writer. He first contributed to the first-season episode "Muse of Fire," which served as the introduction of The Huntress, the teleplay for which he co-wrote with executive producer Marc Guggenheim from a story by co-creator Andrew Kreisberg. Later in the season, Johns wrote the sixteenth episode, "Dead to Rights". The episode was directed by frequent Johns' collaborator Glen Winter.[70]

On July 30, 2013, it was announced at the summer TCA tour that Johns and Arrow co-creators Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti would be introducing Barry Allen in the second season of the show, with the potential of a spin-off for the character with the 20th episode acting as a backdoor pilot.[71] CW executives were so pleased with the handling of the character that they forewent the backdoor pilot, in favor of a full-fledged version.[72] In May 2014, The Flash was picked up to series, to premiere later that year.[73] Johns serves as co-developer and executive producer. He co-wrote, with Kai Yu Wu, the episodes "Going Rogue", which introduces the villain Leonard Snart/Captain Cold to the series, and "Revenge of the Rogues", which brought the rogue Heat Wave to the series fully after being introduced off screen in "Going Rogue".

As of July 2015, Johns is collaborating with Reginald Hudlin and Denys Cowan on a live-action digital Static Shock series from DC and Warner Bros. Blue Ribbon division.[74]

In July 2018, Johns announced that he will be writing and executive-producing a television series about Courtney Whitmore, a character he created, titled Stargirl which is set to premiere in 2019 with an order of thirteen episodes for the DC Universe.[75]

Personal lifeEdit

His younger sister, Courtney, was a victim of the TWA Flight 800 crash. The DC Comics character Courtney Whitmore, whom Johns created, is based on her.[76]

In a 2010 interview, Johns named Steve McNiven as an artist he would like to collaborate with, J. Michael Straczynski's run on Thor as his then-favorite ongoing comic book, and The Flash as his favorite of all time, stating that he owns every issue of it. He credits reading James Robinson's The Golden Age as the book responsible for his love of the characters featured in the book, and for his decision to accept writing duties on JSA.[2] He is also a comic book retailer[77] who co-owns Earth-2 Comics in Northridge, California, with Carr D'Angelo and Jud Meyers.[2]

BibliographyEdit

DC ComicsEdit

Marvel ComicsEdit

Other publishersEdit

FilmographyEdit

FilmsEdit

Year Title Credited as Notes
Writer Producer
1997 Conspiracy Theory No No Assistant to Richard Donner, as Geoffrey Johns
Double Tap No No Assistant to Mills Goodloe and Alex Collet
1998 Lethal Weapon 4 No No Assistant to Richard Donner, uncredited producer
2011 Green Lantern: Emerald Knights Yes No 2 segments
Green Lantern No Yes
2013 Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox No Executive
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice No Executive
Suicide Squad No Executive
2017 Wonder Woman No Executive Uncredited script work with Patty Jenkins
Justice League No Yes
2018 Aquaman Yes Executive Post-production
Wrote story with James Wan and Will Beall
2019 Wonder Woman 1984 Yes Executive Filming
Wrote screenplay with Patty Jenkins and Dave Callaham, story with Patty Jenkins

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Credited as Notes
Writer Producer
2005–2006 Justice League: Unlimited Yes No 1 episode
2006 Blade: The Series Yes Consulting Writer (4 episodes), consulting producer (12 episodes)
2008–2009 Robot Chicken Yes No 5 episodes
2009 Titan Maximum Story Yes Story by (8 episodes), co-producer (9 episodes)
2009–2011 Smallville Yes No Writer (3 episodes), actor (1 episode)
2010 Robot Chicken: Star Wars III Yes No
2012 Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special Yes Executive
Metal Hurlant Chronicles Yes No 1 episode
2012–2014 Arrow Yes No 5 episodes
2014 Robot Chicken DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise Yes Executive
2014–2018 The Flash Yes No Developed with Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg
Writer (4 episodes)
2015 Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 3: Magical Friendship Yes No
2018 Titans Yes Executive Created with Akiva Goldsman and Greg Berlanti
Writer (2 episodes), executive producer (3 episodes)
2019 Doom Patrol No Executive Filming

Awards and recognitionEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Geoff Johns Conquers the Universe". Comic-Con Magazine. Winter 2010. pp. 7–11, 19. Archived from the original on March 7, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Johns, Geoff (2012), Justice League Vol. 1: Origin (1st ed.), DC Comics, p. Inside back flap, ISBN 1401234615
  4. ^ a b c Reardon, Wendi (June 15, 2011). "Clarkston grad sees green". Clarkston News. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.
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External linksEdit

Preceded by
James Robinson and David S. Goyer
Justice Society of America writer
1999–2009
Succeeded by
Bill Willingham
Preceded by
Mark Waid
The Flash writer
2000–2005
Succeeded by
Stuart Immonen
Preceded by
Kurt Busiek
The Avengers writer
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Chuck Austen
Preceded by
Tom Peyer
Teen Titans writer
2003–2007
Succeeded by
Adam Beechen
Preceded by
Ron Marz
Green Lantern writer
2004–2013
Succeeded by
Robert Venditti
Preceded by
Kurt Busiek
Action Comics writer
(with Richard Donner)

2006–2009
Succeeded by
Greg Rucka
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n/a
Booster Gold vol. 2 writer
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Dan Jurgens
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n/a
Adventure Comics writer
2009–2010
Succeeded by
James Robinson, Sterling Gates, and Eric Trautmann
Preceded by
Alan Burnett
The Flash vol. 3 writer
2009 (Rebirth)–2011
Succeeded by
Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Preceded by
n/a
Aquaman vol. 7 writer
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Jeff Parker
Preceded by
n/a
Justice League writer
2011–2016
Succeeded by
Bryan Hitch