It's an attempt to list the most powerful people working in the English speaking comic book marketplace. It's judged by all manner of attributes, the ability to influence what comics exist and sell, but also the willingness to use that power and the ability to retain said power if one aspect is taken away – a job, a gig or a prominent role. 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, those who are double and triple threats and also where power is concentrated in one person or perceived identity. But it also notes certain teams who work together, who've built up a joint identity, a gestalt more powerful than the sum of their parts. Some powerful organisations or groups, where power is diffused amongst many, drop down or drop out altogether.
It does not measure talent or likeability and also does not intend to represent diversity. All it does is note power, used for the betterment – or the detriment – of comics.
The list has been created in consultation with a number of senior figures in the comics industry. However, I'm aware the one thing that can be guaranteed is that everyone will think it's wrong and prefer their own take. Including all of those who were consulted.
There has been a new post every day on Bleeding Cool for the last month. We ran the previous ones below as well, but now it's time for the most powerful person in comics today.
1. Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter (UP)
This was the year that Isaac Perlmutter roared. CEO of Marvel Comics, and one of Disney's largest shareholders, he has been taking interest in other parts of the media conglomerate's activities. Such that he went to Lucasfilm and demanded that the Star Wars comics license was ripped from Dark Horse and given to Marvel. With the new film in cinemas, Marvel turned the license into a monster publishing phenomenon that now takes up 10% of the direct comic book market. He is also given credit for spotting the potential of the Spider-Gwen character, and greenlighting the comic just as Sony was looking for a female-centred Spider-Man film. Under his direction, the Fantastic Four comic was cancelled as Marvel clashed with Fox Studios over their use of the license. And both the expanse of Secret Wars and the subsequent All-New All-Different Marvel relaunch follows his demand for performance, with the knowledge that he is ruthless at firing those he believes under performs. On the back of both, Marvel Comics gained almost 50% marketshare of a burgeoning market. There is no one more responsible for he look of Marvel than Perlmutter, and no comic book publisher quite as big, or influential.
However this is also the year that Isaac Perlmutter lost control of Marvel Studios, the film-making division, in a coup that saw Kevin Feige remove him as his superior, in favour of Alan Horn at Disney Studios, the effect of which will be seen on the next Avengers movie. However, that only concentrated Perlmutter's focus on the comics and TV side of things.
He has been the subject of heavy criticism, from acting in a homophobic way towards employees, there were the lawsuits bought by three black female executives at Disney after he dismissed them (though they were all settled), his apparent disdain for the possibility of female lead superhero movies in those leaked Sony e-mails and he has the reputation of penny pinching, at the cost of future profits and success, including firing people in divisions just to see if the company can continue without them. But he also is willing to take incredible risks with the company – and reap the rewards. As executives go, he knows his own limit in the creative fields and prefers to hire people he trusts to make those decisions. And if they then fail – or ask for more money – fire them.
He is also known for being armed at all times. Because you never know when a crazed fan will go at you with a pair of Hulk Hands.
Next year's position depends upon: Whether or not he begins to see Fox Studios as the enemy of his enemy… and if he survives a game being played out on a local tennis court.
#100-#98 – Dennis Barger, Janelle Asselin, Matthew
#97-#95 – Rich Johnston, Marc Silvestri, James Killen
#94-#92 – Jim Demonakos, Tim Buckley, Gahl Buslov
#91-#89 – Rob Liefeld, Peter Dolan, Catlin DiMotta
#88-#86 – Ken Levin, David Alpert, Kate Leth
#85-#83 – Jason Aaron, Stephen Christy, Jon Goldwater
#82-#80 – Stan Lee, Lorelei Bunjes, Marc Toberoff
#79-#77 – Jason Kingsley, Fiona Staples, Neal Adams
#76-#74 – Jim Sokolowski, Robbie Robbins, Corey Murphy
#73-#71 – Greg Capullo, Neil Gaiman, Art Baltazar & Franco
#70-#68 – Nemesis 43, Chris Powell, Mike Armstrong
#67-#65 – Hank Kanalz, Chuck Parker, John Rogers
#64-#62 – Alan Moore, Fred Pierce, John Wurzer
#61-#59 – Kate Beaton, CB Cebulski, Charles Soule
#58-#56 – Jeff Lemire, Matt Gagnon, Gail Simone
#55-#53 – Grant Morrison, Dinesh Shamdasani, Nicola Barrucci
#52-#50 – Skottie Young, William Christensen, Brian Azzarello
#49-#47 – Warren Ellis, Tim Lenaghan, Nicola Landau
#46-#44 – Eddie Berganza, Jonathan Hickman, Ross Richie
#43-#41 – Jonah Weiland, Peter Philips, Mark Waid
#40-#38 – Chris Ryall, Dan Slott, Mark Paniccia
#37-#35 – Nick Lowe, Raini Telgemeier, Sana Amanat
#34-#32 – Mark Doyle, Lance Fensterman, Mark Millar
#31-#29 – Hajime Isayama, Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie, Kevin Tsujihara
#28-#26 – John Cunningham, Dave Marshall, Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmotti
#25-#23 – David Goyer, Loot Crate Merchandising Team, Frank Miller
#22-#20 – Ted Adams, David Steinberger, Kelly Sue DeConnick & Matt Fraction
#19-#17 – Brian Bendis, Brian K Vaughan, Bob Harras
#16-#14 – Kevin Feige, Jim Lee, Tom Brevoort
#13-#11 – Jeph Loeb, David Gabriel, Scott Snyder
#10-#8 – Mike Richardson, Robert Kirkman, Diane Nelson
#7-#5 – Geoff Johns, Eric Stephenson, Axel Alonso
#4-#2 – Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, Dan DiDidio
And catch up on previous years, here:
Bleeding Cool Magazine #19 is out now in all good comic book stores. Bleeding Cool Magazine #20 with the full Top 100 Power List will be out in January.