Monday, November 27, 2006

What if?

What if...

What if Carmine Infantino agreed to give the two-page spread from "Superboy" 200 back to Dave Cockrum even thought that was against DC policy at the time?

  • Cockrum stays at DC as the artist of the Legion. A character named Nightcrawler appears as a member of the Outsiders. The team appears a number of times in the Legion series. When Jim Shooter takes over from Cary Bates, the book soars to new heights of popularity under the Shooter/Cockrum team. Perhaps Shooter eventually rises through the ranks at DC from writer to editor and into management.
  • Mike Grell finds other work at DC between his gigs doing Aquaman and Green Arrow backups, and his simultaneous work on "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" and "Warlord".
  • Over at Marvel, Len Wein co-creates with another artist a different All-New, All-Different X-Men revival, a team which does not include Nightcrawler, Storm, or Colossus. Without his input and those characters, the title probably does not get the critical acclaim it needed to eventually become a fan-favorite and a cornerstone of Marvel Comics itself.

What if the rumors of Shooter coming back to work on "a" Legion book are actually him doing "The Last Legion Story" rather than on the animated book? In his own words from an interview with CBR in 2000, here's what happened with that.
MDT: When do you think you'll be forgiven for your transgressions: real, imagined or manufactured?

JS: I don't care. I think there will always be assholes. I don't care. I've never really cared. I can't say it hasn't affected me.

My phone never rings. Nobody ever calls me. Am I such a bad writer? Am I the worst writer in comics that no one can use me? In fact, a while back, I was looking for some work.

I called Paul Levitz and I said, "Paul, I got one Legion story left in me. Call it Jim Shooter's last legion story. Do like Watchmen, do it like a series, 8 books, whatever and bind it in a book." Because I know the only thing they're making money on is the trade paperbacks. I said, "Look, it won't interfere with anybody, it'll be set back in the time when I wrote the Legion. Won't interfere with continuity. It'll be Jim Shooter's last legion story, I think I got some good ideas." He said, "I can't wait to read it."

He was in San Francisco. He said, "Look I'll be in the office Friday, I'll call you. Put together a list of the reference you'll need, I know you don't have any comics at your house. And think about what artists you'd like to have. We'll talk Friday and get going on this."

The last thing I said is, "Y'know, Paul, you have some people working for you that don't like me and this will piss them off. Are you sure that's not going to be a problem?" He said, "They'll go to their corners and sulk for a little while, but it'll be fine. I'll take care of it."

Didn't get a call Friday, didn't get a call Monday. Called him Tuesday. "The scars are deeper than I thought. It would be too much hassle. They would make things difficult. You don't need that and I don't need that." I said, "Ok, that's fine."

There's more at Howling Curmudgeons from 2005:
It is widely believed that [former editor Mike] Carlin was responsible for spiking a proposal by Jim Shooter to do a "Last Legion Story" at DC, pitched to and accepted a few years ago by Paul Levitz, who knows a little something about the Legion. Carlin's opposition is widely believed to result from personal animus arising from Carlin's training as an assistant editor at Marvel during Shooter's last, acrimonious days there.

Of course, the rumors might be totally false, in which case this is just a mental exercise.

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