Geoffrey 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.
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 (2020).
Johns in August 2011
January 25, 1973
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Michigan State University|
|Employer||DC Entertainment (2010–2018)|
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.
|Relatives||Courtney Johns (sister)|
Geoff Johns was born January 25, 1973, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Barbara and Fred Johns. He is of half Lebanese ancestry, and grew up in the suburbs of Grosse Pointe and Clarkston. 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."
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. Johns stated that the position would not affect his writing. He then co-wrote the Brightest Day series with Peter Tomasi. He and Marv Wolfman were the principal writers of DC Universe Online, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game released in 2011.
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! (Captain Marvel) 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 May 2016, Johns was promoted to President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and reported to Diane Nelson, the President of DC Entertainment.
As of 2017, Johns and Gary Frank are collaborating on Doomsday Clock, a limited series featuring Superman and Doctor Manhattan. Johns and Richard Donner co-wrote "The Car" chapter in Action Comics #1000 (June 2018) which was drawn by Olivier Coipel.
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.
Johns was an executive producer on the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. 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. They served as producers on the 2017 film Justice League. 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. In January 2018, after Justice League underperformed at the box office, Jon Berg was replaced by Walter Hamada as the head of DC Films, with Johns still working "closely" with Hamada on future productions.
"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, 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".
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.
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. He is also a comic book retailer who co-owns Earth-2 Comics in Northridge, California, with Carr D'Angelo and Jud Meyers.
|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|
|2013||Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox||No||Executive|
|2016||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||No||Executive|
|2017||Wonder Woman||No||Executive||Uncredited script work with Patty Jenkins|
|2018||Aquaman||Yes||Executive||Wrote story with James Wan and Will Beall|
|2020||Wonder Woman 1984||Yes||Executive||Post-production|
Wrote screenplay with Patty Jenkins and Dave Callaham, story with Patty Jenkins
|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|
|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 (3 episodes)
Geoff Johns showed his love for the obscure corners of the DCU with his title Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E..CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
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.
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.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
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.
Richard Donner joins Geoff Johns and Olivier Coipel in the inspiring 'The Car', finally explaining just what happened after the events shown on the iconic cover of Action Comics #1.
James Robinson and David S. Goyer
| Justice Society of America writer
| The Flash writer
| The Avengers writer
| Teen Titans writer
| Green Lantern writer
| Action Comics writer
(with Richard Donner)
| Booster Gold vol. 2 writer
| Adventure Comics writer
James Robinson, Sterling Gates, and Eric Trautmann
| The Flash vol. 3 writer
Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
| Aquaman vol. 7 writer
| Justice League writer
Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-Humans (or A.R.G.U.S. for short) is the name of a government organization in DC Comics. A.R.G.U.S. first appeared in Justice League Vol. 2 #7 and was created by Geoff Johns and Gene Ha.Blackest Night
Blackest Night is a 2009–2010 American comic book crossover storyline published by DC Comics, consisting of an eponymous, central miniseries written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis, and a number of tie-in books. "Blackest Night" involves Nekron, a personified force of death who reanimates deceased superheroes and seeks to eliminate all life and emotion from the universe. Geoff Johns has identified the series' central theme as emotion. The crossover was published for eight months as a limited series and in both the Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps comic titles. Various other limited series and tie-ins, including an audio drama from Darker Projects, were published.Bombshell (DC Comics)
Bombshell (Amy Allen) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Teen Titans vol. 3, #38, and was created by Geoff Johns and Tony Daniel.Courtney Whitmore
Courtney Elizabeth Whitmore, known as Stargirl (often called "Stars" or "Star"), is a fictional superhero created by Geoff Johns and appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character's name and personality were patterned after Johns' sister Courtney, who died in the explosion of TWA Flight 800 in 1996.
Courtney Whitmore was originally known as the second Star-Spangled Kid, but she began using the name "Stargirl" after she was presented with the Cosmic Staff by Jack Knight.
Stargirl has appeared in numerous cartoon television shows and films. Stargirl appeared in live adaptation as a guest star on the second season of Legends of Tomorrow played by Sarah Grey. Her first live action appearance was in the TV show Smallville played by Britt Irvin. Stargirl will also be played by Brec Bassinger in her own television series for DC Universe.Doomsday Clock (comics)
Doomsday Clock is a 2017-2019 superhero comic book limited series published by DC Comics, being written by Geoff Johns, with art by penciller Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson. It is a spiritual sequel to the graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins; and is the conclusion of the story established in The New 52 and Rebirth.Grail (DC Comics)
Grail is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.Greg Rucka
Gregory Rucka (born November 29, 1969) is an American comic book writer and novelist, known for his work on such comics as Action Comics, Batwoman, Detective Comics, and the miniseries Superman: World of New Krypton for DC Comics, and for novels such as his Atticus Kodiak series.Infinite Crisis
"Infinite Crisis" is a 2005–2006 comic book storyline published by DC Comics, consisting of an eponymous, seven-issue comic book limited series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Ivan Reis, and Jerry Ordway, and a number of tie-in books. The main miniseries debuted in October 2005, and each issue was released with two variant covers: one by Pérez, and one by Jim Lee and Sandra Hope.
The series storyline was a sequel to DC's 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, which "rebooted" much of the DC continuity in an effort to fix 50 years of contradictory character history. It revisited characters and concepts from that earlier Crisis, including the existence of DC's Multiverse. Some of the characters featured were alternate versions of comic icons such as an alternate Superman named Kal-L, who came from a parallel universe called Earth-Two. A major theme was the nature of heroism, contrasting the often dark and conflicted modern-day heroes with memories of "lighter" and ostensibly more noble and collegial heroes of American comic books' earlier days.
Infinite Crisis #1 was ranked first in the top 300 comics for October 2005 with pre-order sales of 249,265. This was almost double the second ranked comic House of M #7 which had pre-order sales of 134,429. Infinite Crisis #2 was also the top seller in top 300 comics for November 2005 with pre-order sales of 207,564.Ivan Reis
Ivan Reis is a Brazilian comics artist. He is known for his work on comic books such as Dark Horse Comics' Ghost, Marvel Comics' Captain Marvel, and DC Comics' Action Comics, Green Lantern and Aquaman series. According to collaborator Geoff Johns, Reis' drawing style resembles a combination of Alan Davis and Neal Adams.Simon Baz
Simon Baz is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in books published by DC Comics, created by writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke. Baz is an officer of the Green Lantern Corps, an extraterrestrial police force. The character made his debut in 2012 following DC's 2011 company-wide relaunch as part of its Green Lantern story arc "Rise of the Third Army", in which he replaces Silver Age hero Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern of Earth's sector.Prior to his debut, the character made an unnamed cameo in The New 52 Free Comic Book Day Special Edition #1. DC later added Baz to its flagship team-up title Justice League of America in 2013. DC Comics confirmed that Simon Baz is a dual national Lebanese-Arab American and Muslim, and currently resides in Dearborn, near Detroit.Sinestro Corps War
"Sinestro Corps War" is an American comic book crossover event published by DC Comics in its Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps titles. Written by Geoff Johns and Dave Gibbons and drawn by Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, and Ethan Van Sciver, the 11-part saga was originally published between June and December 2007. In addition to the main storyline, four supplemental "Tales of the Sinestro Corps" one-shot specials and a Blue Beetle tie-in issue were concurrently released.
The story centers on the Green Lanterns of Earth—Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and Guy Gardner—and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps as they fight an interstellar war against the Sinestro Corps, an army led by the former Green Lantern Sinestro who are armed with yellow power rings and seek a universe ruled through fear. A 1986 Alan Moore "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" story was the thematic basis of the storyline. Many characters were changed, killed off, or re-introduced as a result of the event.
Critical and fan reception to "Sinestro Corps War" was highly positive. Many reviewers ranked it among the top comic books of the year and the storyline's first issue garnered a 2008 Eisner Award nomination for Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team. The storyline was also a financial success, and several issues underwent multiple printings. "Sinestro Corps War" is the second part of a trilogy in the Green Lantern storyline, preceded by the 2005 miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth. The conclusion of "Sinestro Corps War" sets up the third and final part of the trilogy, Blackest Night, which was published in 2009.Sobek (comics)
Sobek is a fictional supervillain published by DC Comics. He first appears in 52 #26 (2006), and was created by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Keith Giffen and Pat Olliffe.Super-Chief
Super-Chief is the name of several fictional characters, including three superheroes and one supervillain, in the DC Comics universe. Created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino, the first Super-Chief debuted in All-Star Western #117 (March 1961). The second (villainous) Super-Chief debuted in Adventures of Superman Annual #9 (1997) in a story by Mike W. Barr (writer) and Dale Eaglesham (artist). The third Super-Chief debuted in 52 Week 22 (October 2006), which was written by the writers' consortium of Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison and Mark Waid, and artist Eddy Barrows. The fourth debuted in Superman #709, (May 2011), and was created by writer Chris Roberson and artist Eddy Barrows.The Lightning Saga
"The Lightning Saga" is a comic book crossover story arc that took place in DC Comics' two flagship team books: Justice League of America and Justice Society of America. It was written by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns, and illustrated by Ed Benes, Dale Eaglesham, and Shane Davis. It is notable for re-introducing the Legion of Super-Heroes in the post-Infinite Crisis era.
This crossover would also be the beginning of DC's three year reinvention of the Legion, with the next part occurring in the Action Comics story "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes," and culminating in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds.Zilius Zox
Zilius Zox is a fictional comic book supervillain appearing in books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Geoff Johns and artist Shane Davis, the character first appeared in Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns #1 (December 2008).
List of publications