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Early life and career
After graduating from Clarkston High School in 1991 and from Michigan State University in 1995, Johns moved to Los Angeles, California. There he became assistant to film director and producer, Richard Donner.
He began writing for DC Comics with Star Spangled Comics #1 (1999) and the related series Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., a book based on the second Star-Spangled Kid and her stepfather, the original version's sidekick, Stripesy. Johns based new Star-Spangled Kid, Courtney Whitmore, on his sister Courtney, who died in the explosion of TWA Flight 800 over Long Island on July 17, 1996.
Johns wrote several comics for Marvel Comics early in his career, including The Avengers.
In 2000, he succeeded James Robinson as David S. Goyer's co-writer on the title JSA. Also that year, Johns became the regular writer on the ongoing series The Flash. In 2003, he re-launched the DC comics title 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, helming its higly successful storyline Sinestro Corps War. Johns was also the writer of the DC Comics crossover event Infinite Crisis beginning in 2005, a sequel to 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths. Following that comic book event, Johns was one of four writers - along with Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, and Greg Rucka - behind the landmark 2006-2007 weekly comic title 52. In 2006, Johns reunited with Richard Donner on the Superman title Action Comics, with Donner co-plotting the series with his former assistant. In August 2007 Johns and cowriter Jeff Katz re-launched the new Booster Gold series. As of 2006, Johns shares a writing studio, The Empath Magic Tree House, with Jeph Loeb and Allan Heinberg.
Television and film
With Goyer, Johns co-wrote the pilot for the Spike TV television series Blade, which originally aired during the summer of 2006. Johns served as one of the writing staff on the television show during its tenure.
In the fall of 2006, 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 also 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.
Johns is currently working on a Metal Men movie with movie producer Lauren Shuler Donner, wife of his former mentor, for Warner Brothers. While Eric Champnella is slated to write the film, Johns is credited with developing the movie's take on the DC Comics characters, and he is serving as executive producer on the project.