I'd like to focus more on the masterful, independent works of Jim Starlin.
Jim Starlin is a legend in comics. He established his talent on Captain Marvel: The Original Mar-Vell, and his work on Adam Warlock, Thanos & (creator owned) Dreadstar, Batman and others.
Starlin created an expansive story titled "the Metamorphosis Odyssey", which introduced the character of Vanth Dreadstar in Epic Illustrated #3. From its beginning in Epic Illustrated, the initial story was painted in monochromatic grays, eventually added to with other tones, and finally becoming full color. The storyline was further developed in The Price and Marvel Graphic Novel #3 and eventually the long-running Dreadstar comic book, published first by Epic Comics and then by First Comics.
Starlin was given the opportunity to produce a one-shot story in which to kill off a main character. The Death of Captain Marvel became the first graphic novel published by Marvel itself.
Among the fantastic work for DC and Marvel, Jim also worked at Warren, Star*Reach, Pacific, Devil's Due, First and Image Comics. In the Ninties, he came out with a few novels, Among Madmen (illustrated throughout), Lady El and Thinning the Predators (titled Predators in paperback) about a serial killer hunting serial killers. All were co-written by his wife Diana Graziunas.
He is known for his contributions to Cosmic books as well as being the "Grim Reaper" of comics. To me, he's been a comic book genius for a long, long time.