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Author Topic: Jim Shooter's last, untold Legion story?  (Read 7598 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: July 30, 2006, 11:36:28 AM »

Here's an interview by Jim Shooter, where he talks about the possibility of a last Legion story.

http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/conceptual/108986036075481.htm

And Part 2:

http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/conceptual/109043972713107.htm

Highlights of the interview include Jimmy Shooter saying that a major reason that SECRET WARS was written by Shooter was that occasionally, brawls erupted in the Bullpen about character use, and because of Jimmy's size, nobody sane would take a swing at him!

Here's Jimmy talking about Legion of Super-Heroes and how he got his job:

Quote from: "Jim Shooter"
JS: I had the crazy idea that if I could learn to write like Stan Lee, I could sell comics scripts to DC since their comics, I thought, weren't nearly as good as the Marvels of the time. So, I spent a year literally studying comics trying to suss out what I liked, what I didn't, and why. Then, when I thought I was ready, at age 13, I wrote a Legion of Super-Heroes script with rough layouts (because I had no idea what the proper format for a comics script was) and sent it to DC Comics. Editor Mort Weisinger wrote back and asked me to send him another story. I sent a two-parter. The he called, bought all three, and gave me an assignment to write a Supergirl story. I never lacked for work from DC for the next five years. I worked my way though high school.


He also, in this interview confirms that Ferro Lad was intended to be black, but that isn't a new idea.

On a possible last Legion story, Jim writes:

Quote from: "Jim Shooter"

TH: What about the "last Legion story" you were rumoured to do?

JS: I proposed writing one last Legion of Super-Heroes story, a ten or twelve parter that would make nice trade book, to Paul Levitz. Paul agreed to do it. Then we talked a few days later and he told me that there were people at DC who hated me, and were up in arms at the thought of my doing any work there. Paul said it would be "more grief than either of us needed," and that was the end of that.


Boy, what I wouldn't give to see that!

If I could add one more thing: Jim Shooter, being the gentleman that he is, doesn't name names, however, if I was to make a wild guess where the opposition is coming from, it would be from Mike Carlin, who according to legend has an incredible undying loathing for Shooter since his training at Marvel as an assistant editor. Some people have even wondered if now that Mike Carlin isn't going to be back, that perhaps this Shooter series will happen after all.

Quote from: "Tom Brevoort"
I found Brevoort to be a pain. Didn't get along with him, mostly because he kept insisting on lecturing me about introducing characters not doing "paper cut-out" characters in the action scenes and such…before I'd even started! I asked him if he lectured John Buscema about making sure to draw with proper perspective and correct anatomy, which only got him up onto a higher horse. I surmised that this wasn't going to be fun and I had plenty of other work, so I bailed.


Having had limited contact with Brevoort, I have to echo Jim Shooter's statements that former Avengers editor Brevoort is a condescending jerk.

Ordinarily this wouldn't matter to me. I rate creators by their work, not by their personal behavior.

However, with Brevoort, his problem is that his personal problems coincide with his professional problems. Brevoort's patronization of comics fans (what he calls "the direct sales market") and the people who buy his product, for instance, is known which means that there are situations where he okays things that show a real lack of understanding of characters, particularly as fans see them, such as his arbitrary and deliberately obtuse decision to place Bendis on MIGHTY AVENGERS, which is supposed to be anti-Bendis "counterprogramming" for classic Avengers fans. A guy can say whatever he wants about angry guys on the internet, as long as they write like professionals should, but if you let DISASSEMBLED happen...well...

For Godsakes, AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED happened on his watch! Talk about falling asleep at the wheel! Mark Waid, with his usual panache, said that you have three responsibilities as a creator: 1) to tell good stories, 2) to entertain your audience, and 3) to not kill Hawkeye. Making it zero for three, Tom?

True, Brevoort also was editor of AVENGERS FOREVER, one of the greatest Avengers stories. However, this is typical of a growing problem, one that is not new: the irrelevance of the editor position. The stories are good and respect history when the writer is good and respect history. They're bad when the writer does neither. Making sure writers respect history that they may not know is the EDITOR'S job. When nonsense like JMS's THE OTHER happens, it is the editor's fault for letting it happen. The job of the editor is to say "no."

Speaking of people and their work and personal behavior, of all the writers and creators working in comics, the person I have the most respect and admiration for, as an ethical professional and as a human being, is Jimmy Shooter.

For one thing, Shooter has refused to sue DC, even though his case is airtight, over characters like Princess Projectra and Karate Kid, which he created when he was a minor. As he was a minor, his "work for hire" contract is null and void and Shooter can claim ownership of these characters. But Shooter refuses to do so, and his restraint is shown as being all the more extraordinary by the fact that, at least in the 1980s, there was a lot of money involved. As I understand, a lot of hush-money was paid to DC by the KARATE KID movie, which became the biggest blockbuster of that year (the credits say that "Karate Kid is property of DC Comics" at the end of the film). True, the fact that Shooter brought this story up during a time Marvel was having labor disputes was extremely self-serving, but still.

Also, every single time some writer complains about a Shooter edict that forced them to do something or told them not to do something, my reaction is, most of the time, "Good call on Shooter's part, because I think you were completely wrong and that what you wanted to do would have been a big mistake."

A lot of people are annoyed at Jimmy's so-called edicts: for instance, that Wolverine should never kill, which was not only disastrously unrealistic, but also meant that the X-Men had to fight robots or cyborgs if Wolverine was in a story. I for one, agree with Shooter; in a superhero world with superhero rules, killing is immoral and makes you "broken goods." Wolverine's ability to act as a hero needed to be preserved, long-term.

Another was the idea that there were to be no explicitly gay superheroes at Marvel. I personally agree with this. Sexuality, apart from fun-spirited cheesecake, should not play a role in superhero stories. If you're a good writer, sex can be implied. Steve Englehart, for instance, in his AVENGERS, had the Mantis be, quite clearly, a Vietnamese b-girl, but this was never explicitly stated. Read it, and you see how you get the picture, without Englehart ever really saying anything. Englehart also implied very strongly the very real passion the Scarlet Witch and Vision had, but never showed us any scenes of Bionic Boning (is this what they mean by "love machine?"). Those two had so much heat there's no way anyone could ever think it wasn't physical.

Overall, sex in superhero comics should never be addressed, because the reader's filthy imaginations fill in the blanks just fine. Look at all the bright blue Comet and Supergirl gags.
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2006, 03:08:27 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Having had limited contact with Brevoort, I have to echo Jim Shooter's statements that former Avengers editor Brevoort is a condescending jerk.


Having worked with Tom for years, I can tell you that Jim's completely off-base and Tom's one of the best -- if not the best -- editors I've ever worked with.  And I can tell you that the kind of editorial notes Jim objected to are exactly the kind of notes Jim himself used to give to experienced writers when he was an editor.

Plus, when he decided he didn't like Tom, Tom offered to hand the book to another editor, to get it done without any contact between Jim and Tom.  So if Jim had really wanted to do the book, he could have done it with someone else; he chose not to.

Quote
True, Brevoort also was editor of AVENGERS FOREVER, one of the greatest Avengers stories. However, this is typical of a growing problem, one that is not new: the irrelevance of the editor position.


Tom was anything but irrelevant to AVENGERS FOREVER.  He was very involved, all  the way, making the project better at every turn.  Not only would the book not have existed if not for him, but even if it somehow had, it wouldn't have been anywhere near the same.

Quote
Speaking of people and their work and personal behavior, of all the writers and creators working in comics, the person I have the most respect and admiration for, as an ethical professional and as a human being, is Jimmy Shooter.


Because Jim keeps giving interviews where he tells you how smart and noble he is, and how everything that's ever gone wrong in his career is someone else's fault?

kdb
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TELLE
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2006, 10:51:03 PM »

Jim Shooter wrote some good Legion stories as a teenager but everything he did as an adult seems to have upset large groups of people.

I enjoyed his testimonygiven at the Comics Journal/Harlan Ellison/Michael Fleischer libel case.  Classic Shooter!
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Michel Weisnor
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006, 11:23:56 PM »

I started reading comics way after Shooter's years. From what I've read, he seems temperamental to work with but produces smatterings of good work. Could someone reply with a reading list of Legion or Superman related titles written by Shooter? Thanks.
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 11:28:29 PM »

I liked Shooter's first couple of years of Legion stories, later, I lost interest in the Legion as it got a little less goofy and less like a sci fi scout troop...but as usual with any personalities, I take their opinions on others with a grain of salt...
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 11:34:42 PM »

Shooter's run on Legion started in July 1966 and went through '69, he did some Action Superman as well, including Eterno the Immortal...
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DoctorZero
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2006, 10:28:03 PM »

I enjoyed Shooter's original work.  After he returned, it never seemed as good.
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2006, 05:08:24 PM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Having worked with Tom for years, I can tell you that Jim's completely off-base and Tom's one of the best -- if not the best -- editors I've ever worked with.  And I can tell you that the kind of editorial notes Jim objected to are exactly the kind of notes Jim himself used to give to experienced writers when he was an editor.

Funny, in the Ultimate Avengers DVD featurette, all you talk about is how wonderful George Perez is.  Smiley  Smiley  Smiley

Quote
Tom was anything but irrelevant to AVENGERS FOREVER.  He was very involved, all  the way, making the project better at every turn.  Not only would the book not have existed if not for him, but even if it somehow had, it wouldn't have been anywhere near the same.

Seriously, you get to see plenty of Tom in the featurette too...  seems to be worth watching to get a feel for the best of the Avengers creative teams over the years (which was a nice surprise).
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