Now this one should start some really good arguments in the comments!
- Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek)
- George Lucas (Star Wars)
- Stan Lee (X Men, and really the whole Marvel Comics shebang)
Who Actually Deserves the Credit:
While Stan Lee and Jack Kirby did create the core concept in 1963 -- teenage mutant superheroes living in a mansion helping Professor X fight Magneto -- their vision of the team was so unsuccessful that Marvel stopped creating new X-Men stories in 1969. They ran in reprints for a while, until the book was finally given to unknown writer Chris Claremont, who "transformed a single underachieving comic into the best-selling superhero franchise of its time." He did this with a host of new and reimagined characters, long, complex story lines, a fundamental shift in the book's focus on wish-fulfillment and so, so, so much mutant boning.
And Claremont did that for 17 straight years (Lee, by contrast, wrote X-Men for less than four). Before Claremont left the franchise in 1991, he started a second monthly X-Men series, and #1 of that series holds the Guinness World Record as the top-selling comic book of all time.
- Gary Gygax (Dungeons and Dragons)
- JJ Abrams (Lost)
- Matt Groening (The Simpsons)
To the extent that I know enough about the various franchises to comment, I have to say I pretty well agree with the above evaluations.
Want me to throw one out? Black Sabbath. Ozzy gets way too much credit for their success. It was as much if not more Toni Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward that made the Sabbath sound!
How about you? Who do you think gets too much credit?