Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New team: Manapul, Livesay, and.... Shooter?

Thanks to some good detective work by my commenters, there's an interesting chain of "evidence" which strongly (though not conclusively) suggests that Jim Shooter will indeed be returing to the Legion in time for its 50th anniversary.

1. Francis Manapul is announced as the new Legion artist starting with issue 38 37. His blog is over here, and the 8/13 entry is the pencil art to the double-cover for issue 37 or 38 we saw at Newsarama and Wizard (though curiously, CBR still hasn't said anything about it). His official home page (which was last updated in late May) is at, surprisingly, francismanapul.com.

The articles don't say who the writer or inker are, but the news of the writer is apparently a Really Big Deal.

2. On the ComicBloc forums, Manapul says:
I'm so stoked to finally have this announced! I'm really excited about this project, although I'm still very new to the Legion universe, I have much respect for its legacy. I tried my best to combine some of the old elements of the characters with the new, and hopefully it will start to grow on you guys! It's quite obvious that the costumes are an homage to Dave Cockrum and his inspiring run on the book, during my research into the characters his was what struck me the most so I decided to try and see if I can tweak it a bit to "modernize" it. Again I'm focusing on simplifying rather than making them look too overly complicated. Anyways I hope you all join us during our run next year!

A few posts later, inker John Livesay adds:
I'll be on the book as well, hope everyone likes it!!

To which Manapul replies:
thanks guys! also Livesays doing some amazing inks over my stuff!
if anyone is interested in checking out the pencils to the cover, I just put it up on my blog. thanks again!

3. In something I wish I could take credit for finding, Livesay's listing for the June 2007 Toronto Comicon contains this as the last sentence in his bio:
Currently, he’s involved with several top secret Superman projects at DC and inking a new project with collaborator and legend Jim Shooter

Now, it's not clear that this new project with Shooter is at DC. It's also not clear (to me) whether Livesay is exclusive to DC or not, and I'm not familiar enough with him to know how many books per month he regularly does. But let's suppose for the sake of argument that Livesay does one book per month. If that's true, then if he's inking Manapul on the Legion, that means that Shooter's there too. Quod erat demonstratum, ex post facto, cogito ergo sum, habeus corpus, i.e., e.g., Ibid., there you go.

Of course, if Livesay is doing more than one book and he's not exclusive to DC, then please disregard the above. "Jim" could be Salicrup, Krueger, Robinson, Lee, Ottaviani, Valentino, Starlin, Hudnall, or even Steranko.


Anonymous said...

That was fast!

One correction. Manupal said he's starting with issue #37 not #38.

"My run begins with issue #37 which is planned to be released I believe, right around the anniversary of the Legion." -- Newsarama, 08/10/07, http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=124788

The pencil art at his blog has the descriptive filename "small_losh37_double_cover.jpg"


Garth Ranzz said...

Over at Legion World, Manupal has said he isn't sure if the cover is #37 or #38. If he starts with #37 we should see the solicits for it in about five weeks time.

Michael said...

Thanks for the corrections. I thought it was 38 based on the file name for the Newsarama and Wizard images but missed the actual number in the text.

Jim Drew said...

Given his recent projects at DC, and the claim that Mike Carlin had a sh*tfit and rebelled when Levitz tried to bring Shooter on a few months back, I'm saying it's Starlin. (Whose has worked on the Legion before, you'll recall.)

Michael said...

I'm not saying it's not Starlin - I think he'd be buzzworthy - but here's what he said at Chicago (via Newsarama):
What else is coming from the writer? "I'm talking to Dan [Didio] about maybe doing another science fiction thing like Captain Comet. But that's not solid yet -- so that's just speculation. And I'll probably start on another Kid Kosmos after I get done with New Gods," he said.

Bryan-Mitchell said...

where did the "first name is Jim" thing come from? I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere but here.

Michael said...

A couple of posts down, on 8/12 I posted that a friend told me that he recently spoke with someone high up in the DC food chain, and this DC person mentioned in passing that "Jim" would be writing the Legion. It was not a "tee hee, oops, did I say that out loud?" thing like at the conventions, just two people talking and one of them not realizing that a bit of information was just released prematurely.

I trust my source and I know who the DC staffer is, and neither have any incentive to lie, prevaricate, dissemble, stretch the truth, or make something up.

Of course, if it turns out not to be "Jim", I'll totally disavow what I wrote that my friend told me as the rantings of a deranged lunatic.

Anonymous said...

jim drew wrote:
"Given his recent projects at DC, and the claim that Mike Carlin had a sh*tfit and rebelled when Levitz tried to bring Shooter on a few months back, I'm saying it's Starlin."

The Carlin sh*fit incident goes back years. Shooter spoke of it without naming names as long ago as the late 1990's (Michael may have a link somewhere). Assuming it was Carlin who rebelled, you have to remember MC was Executive Editor then and had a great deal more clout than he wields today.

The more recent Shooter exit rumor a few months ago claimed JS voluntarily bowed out of the Legion to pursue a "Kabbalah" comic book project. The project in question is real although still unpubished, but when asked in June about returning to LSH, all Shooter had to say was "I can neither confirm nor deny.” That was the last of it until Michael's "Jim" article.

Didn't Starlin have a Legion sh*fit once as "Steve Apollo"? I confess I'm ignorant about his recent works.


Michael said...

Starlin co-wrote and drew the story that ended up in S/LSH 250-251, the Brainiac 5/Omega story. It was supposed to have gone in a single giant-size issue, but after the art was complete, someone up the food chain decided it would fit better as two issues (maybe they cancelled the special giant issue or something). Starlin wasn't happy with the result, they had to cut and rearrange the art in order to make it fit right. So because he didn't like the final result, he asked for his name to be removed, and it was replaced with "Steve Apollo".

As for Shooter/Carlin, I found this long interview from 2000 with Shooter at CBR, where he gives his side of the story. At the top is some cool stuff about his first writing stint doing the Legion. Later, while at Marvel:

MDT: What was it at DC that engenders so much animosity that you couldn't sell the Legion story? Was it Marvel people who defected?

JS: It was the fact that there were people there that I booted out..

Sometime near the end of my tenure, I fired Denny O'Neill.

I also fired Mike Carlin, which they richly deserved.

I had begged with Denny to not do what he was doing. And he persisted. The publisher said, "Get rid of this asshole." I said, "Mike, you're right. He's gone." So we fired him and he went over and got a job at DC. Maybe he cleaned up his act and they seem to be happy with him. And he seemed to have went on.

I had a similar problem with Mike Carlin not doing his job and ultimately had to let him go. He caught on there and became part of the power structure -- a lot of things are done by committee there -- and if my name is ever mentioned there are people who would actively throw a fit I did anything for DC.

[snip Denny O'Neil stuff]

And the Carlin thing... I tried to promote from within. He was sort of the senior assistant editor. I thought he was very bright and seemed talented. Every editor always touted their guy. So they would lobby for whatever assistant they had. Carlin was the only guy whose editor ever came to me and said don't hire this guy. He's a loser. The only time any editor -- it was Mark Gruenwald -- who said he's no good, he can't do it. He seemed so bright.

Denny is immensely talented. And one of the all-time greats. And when he wants to, he can do a hell of a job. Why he didn't want to around me? I don¹t know.

Maybe it's my fault. Same with Carlin. I think he is very bright. If he's motivated he does a fine job and probably has done much better at DC than he did with me. Again, maybe the way I did things didn't suit him. They're there, they don't like me. I'll live.

Tyler Endicott said...

I heard in chicago there will be an announcement for the writer at baltimore con..perhaps the guest list on that show would be more "telling"

Anonymous said...

Yep, Shooter is on the Baltimore guest list.


Anonymous said...

... and Jim Starlin, too.

Tyler Endicott said...

Totally left field but what about Jimmy Palmiotti? He's been doing a lot of writing for DC as of late.

Matthew E said...

I'm somewhat taken with the idea of its being Steranko. It would certainly be news.

Or what about someone from outside comics? Someone like--(casts around for someone famous named Jim)--James Cameron?

Michael said...

On the Baltimore Con site, there's also Jim Calafiore, Jimmy Gownley, James Jean, and Jimmy Palmiotti, (in addition to Jims Lee, Starlin, and Shooter).

Garth Ranzz said...

So, did you send a note to Rich Johnston or does he actually read The Omnicom?

Michael said...

I sent a note to Rich last week and asked if he had heard anything. He replied that no, he had not heard anything new about it. I recommended it be an "amber".

MaGnUs said...

Starlin or Shooter? Cool.

Anonymous said...

And, of course, Shooter was meant to be doing a Korvac sequel for Marvel (where he would have killed off Nova...) - which didn't happen, reportedly because a significant number of people threatened to quit if he found gainful employment there.

Michael said...

I don't know who else is on staff or freelancing at DC who would have had first-hand experience with Shooter at Marvel in the 80s. Remember, that was 20 years ago.

A couple comments up, I reposted part of an interview that Shooter did that would explain why Mike Carlin and Denny O'Neil would be mad. Denny's not there anymore, and Carlin isn't in the position he used to be (which if I recall correctly, was pretty much what DiDio is now).

Shooter was rumored to be doing a Legion book this summer, according to "Lying in the Gutters" last November, though back in April Rich reported that Shooter took himself off of the job before he got a chance to do anything. Maybe he reconsidered?

Carlin is rumored to have killed Shooter's "Last Legion Story" a few years ago, despite Levitz's interest, but now that Levitz is President (not just publisher) and Carlin isn't as in charge as much, maybe the atmosphere has cleared a bit?

Michael said...

Oh, and inker John Livesay has clarified that the book he did with Shooter was "The Seven", which is what Rich says that Shooter left the Legion book for in April.

If that's the only project they have worked on together, well, then it's probably not Shooter on the Legion. Of course, he might be planting a red herring, too.

I'm still prepared to eat my words if "Jim" isn't there after Bedard.