gl50_cvr1 BLACKEST NIGHT and GREEN LANTERN writer extraordinaire Geoff Johns kicked off 2010 in a nice way, with THE NEW YORK TIMES naming him to their "Nifty 50," a list that spotlights America's up-and-coming people, who are -- according to the TIMES -- the perfect people to invite to a cocktail party. It's easy to say that 2009 and 2010 have been and will be banner years for Geoff, but it's also easy to overlook the fact that these achievements have come as a byproduct of years of hard work and creative energy. I have a vivid memory of walking into my Miami comic shop in 2000 to pick up the latest issue of FLASH -- one of my must-buys as a reader -- only to discover there was a new writer on the series. Believe it or not, there was a time when "Geoff Johns" was an unknown commodity in comics. Weird, right? I picked up the issue, and to this day, I'm glad I did. Even then, you could see the elements that would help revitalize the Flash and Hal Jordan and catapult Geoff from relatively unknown newbie to the bestselling author he is today: the deft characterization, the ability to skillfully weave continuity to serve the greater story without being constricted by it and -- some would argue, most importantly -- the care and resonance given to these characters that have become a part of our daily pop culture mythology. When you read a Geoff Johns comic, you're not just getting a fun yarn to chew on for 20 minutes -- you're getting something that's written with care and by someone who's just as much of a fan as you are. Someone who knows how invested you, as a reader, are in these colorful heroes and the world they reside in. That's a very special bond that's not only hard to put into words, but to replicate. And it's part of what makes reading a Geoff Johns comic unique. This is only the beginning. If the above GREEN LANTERN #50 variant by Jim Lee doesn't get you jazzed, I'm not sure what will. But let it serve as a signal that there is much more Geoff Johns goodness coming your way in the DCU, and we're all the better for it. So, congrats, Geoff. Here's to more years of amazing stories.