Writer Spotlight: Donny Cates

Earlier, I did an article showcasing some of the remarkable work that Jonathan Hickman has done in recent years. It received some really good feedback from many viewers mainly since it helped struggling “social distancers” to find other outlets for fantastic reads during this quarantined time period. If you’re in that same boat OR are interested in Jonathan Hickman’s titles, feel free to click HERE to view that article. However, I also received some negative feedback due to the fact that there were a few titles left out of my list as well as an enormous amount of titles bursting the seams throughout the article. Could there be so many glorious titles from one writer? Simply put $&@$ yeah! And sure, I left a few titles out… but honestly, I left them out because I’ve never read them and I didn’t feel like it was my place to talk about them or reference them. So, this has caused me to perform a rewrite of future related article titles. Instead of “Greatest Hits”, moving forward I will call them “Writer Spotlights”. Hopefully, the renaming of the title will appease the negative responses while still attracting the positive reactions received from the prior article.

Nevertheless, I’m not here to talk about the previous article, I’m here to throw that spotlight on another dominant Marvel writer who has quickly climbed up the charts at the company. Myself, being a Type 2 reader (referencing the last article), finds that I’m more attracted to good writing and outstanding storytelling than the actual characters themselves. So, if you couldn’t tell by the name of this article, the writer I’m showcasing today is none other than Donny Cates, who has recently cut a swathe through the Marvel Universe. Now, like Jenny, he’s been around the block writing comics for such companies as Dark Horse, Heavy Metal, and Image. But, in my professional/ unprofessional opinion, he blew up the joint when given the opportunity to write his story called “THANOS WINS” at Marvel.

Currently, before everyone jumps down my throat, I’m not saying his prior work was bad. Many would even argue that his work on DOCTOR STRANGE was what really put him on the map. That very well may be true. But, I’m simply saying that, in my opinion, that ”THANOS WINS” is when Cates “knocked our socks off”, “tore the roof of the sucker”, “tore open the shutters and threw up the sash”, or dare I say “smashed our faces against the car windshield and then took our mom (Dorothy Mantooth) out to a nice seafood dinner and never called her again.” In Layman’s terms, ”THANOS WINS” is when Donny Cates burst into the Marvel Scene and took it over by force. Spinning out of that title, came COSMIC GHOST RIDER, VENOM, ABSOLUTE CARNAGE, and so many more. And yes, there were a ton of other titles at Marvel that Cates was working on but again, ”THANOS WINS” is what really put in on the map at the company and brought him the attention he so deserved. And honestly, if you haven’t read “THANOS WINS” yet, you’re a dang fool. Click HERE to get yourself a copy of that bad boy on Amazon.

For those new to Donny Cates and are reading this article merely showing interest in this fine, upstanding comic book writer, here is a quick snapshot of his style. Most of the stories that I’ve read from Mr. Cates are darker and have more of an edge to them. They’re more serious and gritty in nature while the main character goes through some sort of twisted backstory finding himself on the other side before the narrative concludes. Often times, lines of right and wrong are blurred in his dynamically distinct style and the artists he chooses for his stories really complement his style of writing. In a quick snapshot, solely look at THOR 2020 happening right now at Marvel. Furthermore, Cates’ stories are also more violent in nature and border the frightening, more eerie, tones in the comic landscape reminiscent of a different era myself, as well as Cates, grew up surrounded by. If comics from the mid-80s’ to 90s’ were where you grew up, Cates’ style may be right in your wheelhouse, which is ultimately what has made him perfect for VENOM and ultimately why I’m loving him on THOR right now.

Now that we’ve talked a bit about Donny Cates and his style, I’ll leave you all with a list of some of his works to track down and wet your whistle during these sequestering times. Links are attached to get your hands on these trades/ graphic novels/ kindle digital comics through Amazon. Pick some of these up and let me know what you think. I love talking comics and can be found on most social media outlets. And if one, Donny Cates, happens across the article, I’d love the opportunity for a solid interview!

Buzzkill

Writer: Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek

Mainly issue 3 and 4

Art: Geoff Shaw

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Released: September 18, 2013

Excerpt:

Ruben is not your average alcoholic; he’s an unstoppable superhero who derives his powers from imbibing MASSIVE amounts of alcohol. After all the disasters it’s caused in his personal life, he’s ready to get clean . . . and the city’s supervillains couldn’t be happier!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

The Ghost Fleet

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Release Date: November 5, 2014

Excerpt:

For the world’s most valuable, dangerous, or secretive cargo, you don’t call just any trucking service . . . You call THE GHOST FLEET. When one of the world’s most elite combat-trained truckers takes a forbidden peek at his payload, he uncovers a conspiracy that will change his life forever! A new series of badass action on the open road begins here!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Interceptor

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Dylan Burnett

Publisher: Heavy Metal

Released: December 30, 2015

Excerpt:

Interceptor tells the tale of Poli and Weep, two freedom fighters on a planet populated exclusively by blood-sucking vampires. A planet called Earth. What?!? So, Poli (the titular Interceptor herself) and Weep (badass rebel kid) find themselves at the mercy of Sherriff Arden Reeve and the blood-drunk Baroness of the North, Matilda. Trapped in a vampire prison, surrounded on all sides and dangerously pissed off, Poli and Weep fight for survival as the fates of two worlds hang in the balance!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

The Paybacks

Writer: Donny Cates and Eliot Rabaul

Artist: Geoff Shaw

Publisher: Heavy Metal

Release Date: July 13, 2016

Excerpt:

The secret identities of the world’s superhero community have been leaked to the press, and the blame has fallen on our team of super indebted losers! It’s The Paybacks versus the whole dang world. So…what else is new? Well, plenty! Check it out in this brand new series (with variant covers by Ryan Lee and Art Baltazar!)

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Thanos

Writer: Donny Cates and Jeff Lemire

Mainly issue 13-18, Thanos Legacy, and the Annual

Art: Mike Deodato, German Peralta, and Geoff Shaw

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: November 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Thanos, possibly the most evil individual in the Marvel Universe, is back…and he’s out for vengeance on all who would oppose him. Unfortunately for the Mad Titan, he’s also heading for an unexpected reckoning…with his family. Take an ongoing walk on the dark side of the galaxy, following the deadly trail of destruction left in the wake of…THANOS!

However, Donny Cates’ story kicks off with

THANOS WINS Part 1

Ask the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe how they fear the universe will end, and in their most honest moment, they will answer with two words… Thanos Wins, SIDE NOTE: THIS IS THE STORY THAT HOOKED ME ON CATES!!!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

God Country

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Jason Wordie and John J. Hill

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: January 11, 2017

Excerpt:

Emmet Quinlan, an old widower rattled by dementia, isn’t just a problem for his children-his violent outbursts are more than the local cops can handle. When a tornado levels his home-as well as the surrounding West Texas town-a restored Quinlan rises from the wreckage. The enchanted sword at the eye of the storm gives him more than a sound mind and body, however, he’s now the only man who can face the otherworldly creatures the sword has drawn down to the Lone Star State…

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Redneck

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Lisandro Estherren

Publisher: Image Comics

Released: April 19, 2017

Excerpt:

The Bowmans are Vampires who have quietly run the local barbecue joint in their small town for years, living off cow’s blood. Their peaceful coexistence ends as generations of hate, fear, and bad blood bubble to the surface–making it impossible to separate man from monster! Death and destruction have come to Sulphur Springs! With the murder of one of their own, the vampiric Bowmans are ready to wage war on anyone in their path. But will Bartlett be able to get to the bottom of things before the whole town explodes?

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Babyteeth

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Garry Brown

Publisher: Aftershock Comics

Released: June 7, 2017

Excerpt:

Sadie Ritter is sixteen years old, nine months pregnant, and scared out of her sweet nerdy mind. Having a baby that young is tough, but with the support of her loving family behind her, everything should be okay. OH Yeah, and also her baby is the antichrist and it’s going to break open the barriers between the earthly and demonic planes and unleash eternal suffering to all of humankind. Other than that, though…should be fine. From the writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Redneck and the break-out hit God Country comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Doctor Strange

Issues #381-390

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Niko Henrichon

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: November 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Evil is everywhere and the world needs the Sorcerer Supreme more than ever. But is the world ready for Loki: Sorcerer Supreme?  He has the cloak, the spells – he’s even got Zelma Stanton as his assistant (and possibly more?) – but is this the chance he needed to become a hero, or is the god of lies dangerously close to unlimited power? And what happened to Stephen Strange?

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon! If Doctor Strange is your fav, click HERE for the ongoing title by Mark Waid on Amazon.

Reactor

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Dylan Burnett

Publisher: Vault Comics

Released: November 22, 2017

Excerpt:

There’s Weep, your average machine-gun-wielding teenager raised on an Earth overrun with vampires. There’s Poli, who landed on Earth with the mission to kill every damn vampire there. And then there’s King Luc’s heavily fortified blood farm. You do the math. From Donny Cates (God Country, Redneck) and Dylan Burnett (Weavers) comes Reactor, a whole new entry into the world of vampire warfare, overpowered mechsuits, and 10-year-old presidents that Interceptor kicked-off.

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Doctor Strange Damnation

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Rod Reis and Szymon Kudranski

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: February 21, 2018

Excerpt:

The city of sin gets its biggest sinner yet. When Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during SECRET EMPIRE, he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, Mephisto! The devilish villain takes the city for himself and sets his sights on the rest of the world. It’s going to take heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat him, but there’s nothing simple about fighting the lord of Hell.

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Venom

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Ryan Stegman, Iban Coello, and Mark Bagley

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: May 9, 2018

Excerpt:

In the wake of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s collapse, an ancient and primordial evil has been awakened beneath the streets of New York, and with it, something equally evil has awakened in that most Wicked of Webslingers – VENOM! Still a Lethal Protector of the innocents in New York, this never-before-seen threat could force Venom to relinquish everything it holds dear – including Eddie Brock! Join two of the hottest creators in comics today, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, for a VENOM adventure a thousand years in the making! SIDE NOTE: STILL ONGOING!!! SOLID TITLE!!!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Cosmic Ghost Rider

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Dylan Burnett

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: July 4, 2018

Excerpt:

Frank Castle was the Punisher. A deal with the devil made him Ghost Rider. A deal with Galactus made him cosmic. A deal with Thanos made him…DEAD?!? Not to worry, he’s coming back, and he’s got a plan to make the universe a better place that’s going to lead him into an even crazier adventure than he’s ever been in!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon! If Cosmic Ghost Rider is your jam, click HERE for related titles on Amazon.

Death of the Inhumans

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Ariel Olivetti

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: July 4, 2018

Excerpt:

The Kree have gone murdering, leaving behind a message: Join or die. Thousands of Inhumans have already made their choice – the evidence floats bleeding in space. Black Bolt and his family are next. Rising star Donny Cates and PUNISHER: WAR JOURNAL artist Ariel Olivetti bring their brutal talents to the Inhumans!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Marvel Knights

Writer: Donny Cates and Vita Ayala

Art: Travel Foreman, Niko Henrichon, Damian Couceiro, Joshua Cassara, and Kim Jacinto

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: November 7, 2018

Excerpt:

In celebration of the legendary imprint founded by Marvel’s CCO Joe Quesada, a new crop of talent stands poised to tell a groundbreaking story across the Marvel Universe! In the cemetery, the blind man does not know who he is, or why he has come to this particular grave at this moment. He doesn’t know the burly police officer with the wild story who has approached him. Or the strangely intense man who sits in the rear seat of the patrol car, his eyes flashing green.

But all of that is about to change. Because Matt Murdock is beginning to remember… In a colorless world without heroes, the spark of light…must come from the dark…

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Guardians of the Galaxy

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Geoff Shaw and Cory Smith

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: January 23, 2019

Excerpt:

The universe is on fire. Hundreds of worlds are at war. Never has there been such hatred and division across the cosmos. And in spite of all this, Thanos of Titan is still dead…or is he? Now, more than ever, the cosmos need the Guardians of the Galaxy…but in the aftermath of the Infinity Wars, who is left to answer the call? Featuring every cosmic superhero in the known universe by the THANOS WINS creative team of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon! If you’re interested in the current ongoing of Guardians of the Galaxy by Al Ewing, click HERE for the Amazon link!

Silver Surfer Black

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Tradd Moore

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: June 12, 2019

Excerpt:

Spinning out of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1, almost the entire galaxy’s defenders have been blown through a black hole, including the Silver Surfer! But the story doesn’t end there… In order to fight back the oblivion, Surfer will have to fight to save his own soul and not lose himself to the void. Follow the Sentinel of the Spaceways on a journey that will change him forever!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Absolute Carnage

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Ryan Stegman

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: August 7, 2019

Excerpt:

After turning Venom’s world upside down a year ago, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman are about to put the Sinister Symbiote through hell again, only this time Carnage has come calling, and everyone who’s ever worn a symbiote is dead in his sights! He’s skirted the periphery of the Marvel Universe for months, but Cletus Kasady at last stands poised to make his grand return to New York.

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon!

Thor

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Nic Klein

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Released: January 1, 2020

Excerpt:

The prince is now a king. All Asgard lies before Thor, the God of Thunder. And after many months of war, the Ten Realms are finally at peace. But the skies above the Realm Eternal are never clear for long. The Black Winter is coming. And the God of the Storm will be powerless before it. SIDE NOTE: ONGOING RIGHT NOW!!! EXTREMELY CREATIVE!!

Interested in this amazing Donny Cates hit? Click HERE for a link to the Trade/ Graphic Novel/ Kindle digital option on Amazon! And if Thor is God of choice, click HERE for links to Jason Aaron’s past run that’s out of this world!

Well, I hope you learned a little something about Donny Cates AND I hope you were able to find something new and interesting to read during this COVID-19 Pandemic that’s swept across the world. Remember, one of the best ways to help is to stay home and stay away. So, if you MUST stay home, why not pick up one of these outstanding trades or graphic novels by Donny Cates? And, if you’re searching for even more titles, check out my Jonathan Hickman article HERE or my X-MEN article HERE where I lay out so many more great comics and trades to really sink your teeth into during your Coronacation. So, whether you choose to pick one of these series up now or not, I hope your interest was at least sparked to grab a new issue of THOR or VENOM once Marvel begins to release new issues again. Thank you so much for the read and please remember to stay safe and healthy during this time. Peace out!

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