My list was somewhat easy; putting them in order was the difficult part.
1. Marv Wolfman
Three words: New
. He also wrote Crisis on Infinite Earths, THE Crisis Crossover
; accept no Johns or Morrison substitutes!
And of course, in COIE, he co-created the lovely lady to the left, for which I will be forever grateful!
2. Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis
Giffen by himself tends to be too awkwardly goofy to succeed very well at being funny (Heckler, Vext). DeMatteis by himself tends to be too self-importantly esoteric (Dr. Fate, Hal Jordan Spectre). Put 'em together and it's GOLD, Jerry! (JLI, I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League)
3. George Pérez
While all hail his renowned artistic capabilities, his writing is often overlooked. He brilliantly revamped the notoriously "difficult-to-write" Wonder Woman, as well as being the co-conspirator of the New Teen Titans juggernaut and Crisis on Infinite Earths. And of course, in that last one, he co-created the lovely lady to the left, for which I will be forever grateful!
4. Peter David
People nowadays like to claim that Geoff Johns put Aquaman on the map; nope, that was PAD. And he handled the heroes of Young Justice better than Geoff in Teen Titans, too. Just ask Wonder Girl
about it especially.
Oh, and I hear there were well-regarded Hulk and X-Factor runs from this David guy, as well.
5. John Ostrander
Recreated the Suicide Squad as the "supervillains doing espionage" concept that most fans know it as today. Wrote an excellent Martian Manhunter run. Proved that the Spectre CAN hold a series -- a quite compelling one, at that -- and that any writer/fan who points to any character and claims that "This character is TOO POWERFUL to use!!" is just whining pitifully.
6. Mark Waid
Wrote THE definitive Wally West Flash run, and therein gave us Mr. Fun Personified
, Impulse. Also defined the post-Zero-Hour Legion of Super-Heroes, my favorite version of the team, including creating two of my favorite Legionnaires, XS and Gates.
7. Tony Isabella
Created another of my favorite characters, Black Lightning, while simultaneously keeping DC from unleashing the questionable "Black Bomber" concept on the world. Wrote my favorite single issue of any comic, Black Lighting (second series) #5. Thanks, Tony!
8. Mike W. Barr
And, since I clearly haven't mentioned Black Lightning enough yet, Mike W. Barr brought him back to be in one of the most enjoyable DC teams, the Outsiders. I've liked every member of his team lineups. Barr also penned my favorite "Filling up the first-issue letter page because there are no letters yet" editorial, in Batman and the Outsiders #1.
9. Denny O'Neil
10. Chuck Dixon
The best workhorse in the biz. Most writers' quality level drops with the number of books they're writing, but Dixon can write several series every month, and you can count on them all to be great stuff. I'm still impressed that he was writing Robin, Nightwing, and Detective Comics (starring some Bat-guy you may have heard of), three books featuring characters with similar abilities, and yet he nicely differentiated between the characters and their separate milieus. Not all writers can pull that off, either.