Friday, September 07, 2007

It's official - Shooter returns to the Legion

Whew! Turns out my source and commenters' speculation was right, it is "Jim".

Newsarama makes it official with an interview with Jim Shooter, new Legion writer. Here's a portion:

Jim Shooter: ... Last fall, Mike Marts got in touch with me and asked me if I might be interested in doing some writing for DC. I'd just finished another long-term, non-comics project and I had time, so, I said yes. At a lunch with Mike, Dan DiDio and Jann Jones, Dan, I think, proposed my taking over the Legion following Mark Waid, whose run was ending. Fine by me.

NRAMA: Had there been attempts or work to bring you back to the series previous to this? Obviously, there was that stretch of time where you were preoccupied with another company or two…

JS: Once, between companies, I proposed writing an "untold story" of the Legion set in the era of my first run on the Legion back in the 60's. Paul Levitz liked the idea, but apparently some people at DC objected to my working there, and ultimately they got their way and kept it from happening.

NRAMA: Fair enough. In coming back, were you offered a virtual blank slate situation, or are you coming into the established Legion and working with the characters as they exist now?

JS: The idea of a reboot was discussed, but Mike, Dan and I agreed that it would be best to stay with the continuity Waid and Kitson established. First of all, I think their stuff was great, a good foundation that offers tremendous possibilities. Second, I personally just don't like it when everything changes every time a new writer or artist comes along. For instance, Francis wants to do new costumes. I suggested that we introduce them organically, within the story, rather than in a reboot way. Mike and Francis agreed, or, at least, are humoring me.

NRAMA: ... Big picture-wise, what are your goals for your time on the series? Shake things up? Recharge? Maintain status quo?

JS: I'm not sure what you mean by "recharge," and I certainly don't want to coast along on the status quo. I'm going to do the best I can. I think we've developed a good first arc. With Francis Manapul's brilliant art, I think there's a chance that this series can generate some real excitement. We've got some amazing things planned, including a event that, I believe, is a worthy centerpiece to the Legion's 50th Anniversary. Top secret. I think Dan might have suggested it, but even he'll be surprised when he sees what Francis, Mike and I are cooking up.

NRAMA: Winding things up then, what can you say in regards to where, when, how your first issue starts?

JS: The principal events of my first issue, #37, take place on Triton, Neptune's largest moon, and in the Legion HQ. The story features new environments, a new enemy, a significant new continuing character and many new incidental characters and items all superbly designed by Francis. A close friend of mine who read the script suggested that DC ought to put a blurb on the cover like the one that appeared on Kirby's first issue of Jimmy Olsen: "Shooter says don't ask, just buy it!" That was his way of telling me he likes it. Hey, Mikey! Seriously, this issue is the beginning, the foundation of the arc that spans the 50th Anniversary year--which we mean to make special enough to deserve that honor. I say just buy it.

NRAMA: How long are you looking to stay on the series?

JS: I'll probably still be sending in scripts a year after they stop paying me. Seriously, Mike Marts is a terrific editor, Francis is brilliant, Dan has been great...I'm having a ball. I see no reason not to stick round for a long time.

NRAMA: Will this be it for you at DC for now, or are you looking to try out some other characters?

JS: So far, the Legion has kept me busy. If there's anything else they want me to do when time permits, I'll consider it. I guess, if I had a choice, writing any of the household name characters would be most appealing--but DC has a lot going on right now, a lot of exciting things in the works that might be interesting to try. We'll see.

To give credit where it's due, Rich Johnston had the original rumor last fall that Shooter would be working on a project for this summer, but then he followed it up with another rumor earlier this year that the deal fell through. Then he reported what you guys came up with - thanks, anonymous posters! - and my traffic went through the roof. In retrospect, maybe DC was trying to get him as the writer immediately following Mark Waid, but the timing didn't work out, so Tony Bedard was hired for the 6 issues in between.

Back later with reaction from the comicsblogosphere.


Terence Chua said...

Huh. Interesting I guess that whoever objected to him working at DC the last time aren't there anymore.

Anonymous said...

Actually Mike Carlin is still there, but his influence is significantly diminished.

Michael K. Willis said...

I have to say that I'm looking forward to this. Shooter is, when all is said and done, a solid writer (Secret Wars and Secret Wars II notwithstanding) with a vivid imagination and that is something that the Legion definitely needs. And even though I'm not as enamored of the current continuity as I have been of previous LSH incarnations, I'm happy that they aren't going the reboot route...try saying that three times fast :-)...there is a lot of potential in this Legion and Jim Shooter may be the guy to keep the series reaching for that potential.

Shooter sounds engaged and that has to be a good thing. We shall keep a good thought. LLL.

Michael said...

Last time, Carlin was where DiDio is now. I'm not sure when, how, or why it happened.

Carlin (along with Denny O'Neil) was a Marvel editor who was fired by Shooter when Shooter was editor-in-chief, sometime in the mid-80's. Carlin ended up on the Superman books and eventually became something like an executive editor, which at the time was basically what DiDio is now.

Jonathan Miller said...

Two words: cautiously optimistic.

SherylR said...

Yeah, I am taking the wait and see approach myself. I liked his Silver Age stories a lot, but then he was a teenager and I was a kid and he wrote stories that I could relate to.

I really like that he is going to work with the Legion he has been given. I like this Legion, despite its faults. It feels modern yet it seems to me to capture the spirit of the original. I never felt that way about the reboot. I'm probably one of the minority, but I don't want the original Legion back. Oh, if they printed a second book featuring the Lightning Saga Legion, I'd plunk down my money and read it. Heck, if they printed a third comic about the reboot Legion, I'd be socking out the dough, too. However, I'd like to move forward with this continuity. I think it's a good foundation for future stories, hopefully years of stories. I've personally had enough reboots now. The original Legion's charm was that it went on for years and years and the characters grew up with us. I'd really like to have that again.

So I am hoping Jim does wonderful things with this threeboot Legion. At least we can't complain that he doesn't understand the characters, although I am sure someone will complain about just that thing. Such is the joy of Legion fandom:)

Anonymous said...

Two words:

Recklessly optimistic!

Anonymous said...

Three words

Cautiously EXTREMELY optomistic.

Assuming Jim has the time to keep working on the book without things going wrong, that is. Shooter has had, to put it mildly, bad luck with his publishers since the Valiant days. But he's turned out some good stuff, as well.

Eric Gimlin

Terence Chua said...

My inner voice keeps muttering, "New Universe" and "Warriors of Plasm". I'm such a cynic.

Bill Meisel said...

Rarely has an announcement made me this excited. The man wrote MORDRU THE MERCILESS can still wow me, I hope.

Michael said...

But Bill, the man who created Mordru was only about 16 at the time. And that was 40 years ago.

I was certainly right about at least one thing - it's buzzworthy, and getting people talking about the Legion.

kiril said...


Anonymous said...

I just want to see the psychedelic gas again!!!!

Bill Meisel said...

michael -- I'm naive enough to believe that the 16 year old is still alive somewhere in Jim Shooter's body...