Geoff Johns (born January 25, 1973) is a proficient American writer for comic books, and a screenwriter and producer for film and television. Johns is the President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, and has been since 2010. His most notable work in other media has used the DC Comics characters Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash, and Superman. He is known for his work on The WB/The CW's Smallville, Arrow and The Flash.
He is also a comic book retailer who co-owns Earth-2 Comics in Northridge, California with Carr D'Angelo and Jud Meyers. In 2016, Johns was made the co-runner of the DC Extended Universe, and co-chairman of DC Films in order to create a unified vision and overarching story for the franchise.
Johns was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Barbara and Fred Johns, and grew up in the suburbs of Grosse Pointe and Clarkston, and attending Clarkston High School. He is of half Lebanese ancestry. 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. After graduating from Clarkston High School in 1991, he studied media arts, screenwriting, film production and film theory at Michigan State University. He graduated from Michigan State in 1995 and then moved to Los Angeles, California.
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.
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.
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, 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, and Johns credits both him and Mike Carlin with shepherding him into the comics industry. 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." John's Flash run concluded with #225.
He co-wrote a Beast Boy limited series with Ben Raab in 2000 and crafted the "Return to Krypton" story arc in the Superman titles with Pasqual Ferry in 2002. 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, Johns oversaw the re-launch of Hawkman and Teen Titans.
Johns was responsible for the return of Hal Jordan in 2005 as the writer of the Green Lantern: Rebirth mini-series and subsequent Green Lantern ongoing title. Johns was the writer of the Infinite Crisis crossover limited series (Dec. 2005- June 2006), a sequel to 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths. Following this, Johns was one of four writers, with Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, and Greg Rucka, on the 2006-2007 weekly series 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. The Justice Society of America series by Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham began in February 2007 and six months later, he and Jeff Katz launched the new Booster Gold series. That same year, Johns helmed the critically acclaimed "Sinestro Corps War" storyline in the Green Lantern titles. He wrote the "Final Crisis" one-shot Rage of the Red Lanterns with artist Shane Davis and collaborated with Gary Frank on Action Comics. Johns and Frank produced the "Brainiac" storyline in which Superman's adopted father Jonathan Kent was killed and retold Superman's origin story in 2009's Superman: Secret Origin.
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 and wrote the Blackest Night limited series. 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."
Johns is the principal writer of the DC Universe Online massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
President & CCO of DC Comics
Johns was named DC Comics' new Chief Creative Officer on February 18, 2010 by DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson, a position that Johns stated would not affect his writing. He then co-wrote the Brightest Day series with Peter Tomasi.
Johns speaking at the 2017 WonderCon
to promote DC Comics film projects.
In a 2010 interview, Johns named Steve McNiven as an artist he hasn't yet worked with who he'd like to do so, J. Michael Straczynski's run on Thor as his then-favorite ongoing comic book, and The Flash as his favorite of all time, as he owns every issue of it. He credits reading James Robinson's The Golden Age as the book responsible for his love for the characters in that book, and for his decision to accept writing duties on JSA.
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. Johns' contributions to The New 52 includes an ongoing Shazam! backup feature in Justice League that began with issue #7, as well as the relaunched Aquaman and Green Lantern monthly titles.
Johns and Gary Frank collaborated on the Batman: Earth One graphic novel, an out of continuity story, released in mid-2012, which served as the first in a series of graphic novels intended to redefine Batman. In 2013, after writing Green Lantern for nine years, Johns ended his run with issue 20 of the New 52 series, which was released May 22, 2013. 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. The Johns/Romita Jr. team was joined by inker Klaus Janson. In July 2016, Warner Bros. confirmed that Johns was promoted to president of DC Entertainment while still retaining his position as chief creative officer and reporting to Diane Nelson.
As of 2017, Johns and Gary Frank are collaborating on Doomsday Clock, a limited series featuring Superman and Doctor Manhattan.
Johns served as a co-producer and creative consultant for the 2011 Green Lantern film directed by Martin Campbell and starring Ryan Reynolds.
DC Extended Universe
Johns was an executive producer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In May 2016, Johns and Jon Berg were named to jointly run the DC Extended Universe and a newly established Warner Bros. division, DC Films. They will serve as producers on the Justice League movies and as executive producers on future DC movies, following the negative critical reception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Johns co-wrote the story for Aquaman with James Wan, co-wrote the story for Green Lantern Corps with David S. Goyer and co-wrote Wonder Woman 2 with Patty Jenkins and David Callaham.
"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.
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".
Johns and David S. Goyer co-wrote the pilot for the Spike TV drama Blade: The Series, 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.
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.
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. CW executives were so pleased with the handling of the character that they forewent the backdoor pilot, in favor of a full-fledged version. In May 2014, The Flash was picked up to series, to premiere later that year. 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".
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. He also had expressed interest in making an animated adaptation of J.J. Abrams' scrapped Superman: Flyby script for DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
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 lives in Studio City with his wife, Sonia Choi, a colorist and inker for DC Comics. He became a first-time father in 2016.
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.
Awards and recognition
- Star Spangled Comics (one-shot, 1999)
- Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0–14 (1999–2000)
- Day of Judgment #1–5 (1999)
- Day of Judgment Secret Files (1999)
- Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant #1 (1999)
- JSA #5–77, 81 (2000–2006), Annual #1 (2000)
- JSA: Our Worlds at War (one-shot, 2001)
- JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice (graphic novel, 2002)
- JSA: All Stars #1–8 (2003–2004)
- JSA Classified #1–4 (2006)
- Justice Society of America vol. 3, #1–26 (2007–2009), Annual #1 (2008)
- The Titans Annual #1 (2000)
- Sins of Youth: Starwoman and the JSA Jr. (one-shot, 2000)
- Teen Titans vol. 3, #1–26, 29–47, 50 (2003–2007), Annual #1 (2006)
- Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files #1 (2003)
- The Ravager #1/2 (2004)
- Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #2 (1999)
- Titans Secret Files #2 (2000)
- Beast Boy #1–4 (2000)
- Impulse #61 (2000)
- The Flash vol. 2, #164–225 (2000–2005)
- The Flash: Iron Heights (one-shot, 2001)
- The Flash: Our Worlds at War (one-shot, 2001)
- Secret Files #3 (2001)
- DC First: Superman/Flash (one-shot, 2002)
- Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #1–3 (2008)
- Flash: Rebirth #1–6 (2009–10)
- The Flash vol. 3, #1–12 (2010–11)
- Secret Files and Origins #1 (2010)
- Flashpoint #1–5 (2011)
- Silver Age: Showcase (one-shot, 2000)
- 9-11 Volume 2 (graphic novel, 2002)
- Superman: The Man of Steel #121, #133 (2002–2003)
- Superman #179–180, 184–187, 189 (2002–2003)
- Action Comics #837–840, 844–846, 850–851, 855–873, 900 (2006–11), Annual #10–11 (2007–2008)
- Superman: Secret Origin #1–6 (2009–10)
- Adventure Comics #0–3, 5–6 (2009–10)
- Hawkman #1–6, 8–25 (2002–2003)
- Hawkman Secret Files and Origins (2002)
- Batman #606–607 (2002)
- Batman: Gotham Knights #49 (2004)
- DC Comics Presents: Batman (one-shot, 2004)
- Batman: Earth One (graphic novel, 2012)
- Green Lantern: Rebirth #1–6 (2004–2005)
- Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1–5 (2005–2006)
- Green Lantern vol. 4, #1–67 (2005–11)
- Secret Files and Origins #1 (2005)
- Sinestro Corps Special #1
- Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns (one-shot, 2008)
- Blackest Night #0–8 (2009–10)
- Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1–3 (2009)
- Blackest Night: The Atom and Hawkman #46 (2010)
- Blackest Night: Flash #1–3 (2009–10)
- Brightest Day #0–24 (2010–11)
- Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special (2011)
- Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Hal Jordan (one-shot, 2011)
- Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Sinestro (one-shot, 2011)
- Green Lantern vol. 5 #1–20 (2011–13)
- Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 (2005)
- JLA #115–119 (2005)
- Infinite Crisis #1–7 (2005–2006)
- 52 (2006–2007)
- Booster Gold #0–10 (2008–2009)
- DC Universe #0: "Let There Be Lightning" (with Grant Morrison; art by George Perez, Doug Mahnke, Tony Daniel, Ivan Reis, Aaron Lopresti, Ed Benes, Philip Tan, Carlos Pacheco, and J. G. Jones, one-shot, 2008)
- Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1–5 (2008–2009)
- Justice League #1–50 (2011–16)
- Aquaman #0–19, 21–25 (2011–13)
- Justice League of America #1–7 (2013)
- Forever Evil #1–7 (2013–14)
- Superman vol. 3 #32–39 (2014–15)
- DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 (2016)
- Doomsday Clock (2017-2018)
- ^ Geoff Johns #Personal life
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- ^ 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.
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- ^ a b c Reardon, Wendi (June 15, 2011). "Clarkston grad sees green". Clarkston News. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.
- ^ a b Henrickson, Eric (August 30, 2011). "Metro Detroit native Geoff Johns talks DCnU". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014.
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- ^ Sands, Rich (January 12, 2009). "Future Tense". TV Guide: 39.
- ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
Geoff Johns showed his love for the obscure corners of the DCU with his title Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E..
- ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 288: "James Robinson left the title in the capable hands of [David] Goyer's new writing partner, Geoff Johns."
- ^ Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 294: "Beast Boy...found himself in deep trouble during his first miniseries, courtesy of writers Ben Raab and Geoff Johns, with art by Justiniano."
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 306: "Scripted by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Pasqual Ferry, the story delivered an emotional punch as Superman and his father were reunited."
- ^ a b Geoff Johns at the Grand Comics Database
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 310: ""None [of the Teen Titans series] had reached the heights of the Marv Wolfman and George Pérez era until writer Geoff Johns and artist Mike McKone's relaunch."
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- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 320: "After successfully bringing Hal Jordan back as the Green Lantern in Green Lantern: Rebirth, writer Geoff Johns remained at the helm for Hal Jordan's further adventures."
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 323: "A hugely successful, seven-part miniseries, Infinite Crisis was a sequel to 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths. Written by Geoff Johns with art by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Jerry Ordway, Ivan Reis, and Andy Laning, Infinite Crisis was an epic crossover that revamped the DC Universe."
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 325: "The title was masterminded by writers Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid, with Keith Giffen providing art breakdowns."
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 329: "Writer Geoff Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham relaunched the JSA, with Alex Ross providing covers for the series."
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- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 330: "The series proved to be another successful epic in the Green Lantern saga, one of DC's most popular titles since Geoff Johns' revamp of the hero."
- ^ Rogers, Vaneta (October 27, 2008). "Geoff Johns on Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns". Newsarama. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014.
- ^ "Gary Frank Signs Exclusive With DC". Newsarama. May 10, 2007. Archived from the original on December 29, 2013.
- ^ Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 335: "In Action Comics story arc 'Brainiac', writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank added another definitive chapter to one of the most iconic runs in the history of the comic."
- ^ Brady, Matt (November 28, 2008). "Geoff Johns: Telling Superman's Secret Origin". Newsarama. Archived from the original on June 9, 2013.
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 337: "Writer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Van Sciver...joined forces again to relaunch Barry Allen as the Flash."
- ^ Rogers, Vaneta (July 24, 2008). "SDCC '08 - Johns & Van Sciver Talk Flash: Rebirth". Newsarama. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014.
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 339: "Flowing naturally out of writer Geoff Johns' legendary run on Green Lantern, the seeds of Blackest Night had been planted at the start of Green Lantern: Rebirth (December 2004) and it took an eight-issue series of its own to tell."
- ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). "The Modern Age 1998-2010". 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Cologne, Germany: Taschen. p. 698. ISBN 9783836519816.
- ^ "Guests of Honor," New York Comic-Con #4 program booklet (Reed Exhibitions, 2009), p. 10.
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 340: "Publisher Paul Levitz stepped down, and co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, along with DC Entertainment chief creative officer Geoff Johns, teamed up to helm DC Comics."
- ^ Hyde, David (February 18, 2010). "Jim Lee and Dan DiDio Named Co-Publishers DC Comics. Geoff Johns to Serve as Chief Creative Officer. John Rood Named EVP, Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Patrick Caldon Named EVP, Finance and Administration". DC Comics. Archived from the original on February 21, 2010.
The new senior executive team includes Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, who have been named Co-Publishers of DC Comics, and Geoff Johns, who will serve as Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.
- ^ Hyde, David (February 18, 2010). "A note from Geoff Johns". DC Comics. Archived from the original on February 20, 2010.
- ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 341: "Co-written by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi, and illustrated by Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, and Joe Prado, Brightest Day was the start of the next chapter in the history of the DC Universe."
- ^ Truitt, Brian (May 3, 2011). "DC Comics ready for a risky yet relevant publishing change". USA Today. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014.
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- ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "2010s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 328. ISBN 978-1465424563.
The Batman mythos was reimagined in this alternate take on the hero's origin in this hardcover special. It brought together writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank for their first Batman story.
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Johns, artist Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson will chronicle the long-awaited meeting between Superman and Watchmen's Doctor Manhattan in a mini-series entitled Doomsday Clock.
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