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Author Topic: Jim Shooter's last, untold Legion story?  (Read 9977 times)
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2006, 06:59:13 AM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
Funny, in the Ultimate Avengers DVD featurette, all you talk about is how wonderful George Perez is.  Smiley  Smiley  Smiley


darn that Shooter!

He must have gotten to the producers!

Seriously, I praised Tom plenty, too -- they must have just thought the George comments fit their piece better.

Another instance of how well freelancers think of Tom as an editor: Tom was not originally assigned AVENGERS in the Heroes Return thing; he was assigned IRON MAN.  George and I both asked that the books be switched, because we knew Tom would be invaluable to making the book as good as we could make it.

kdb
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2006, 06:24:30 AM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
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.


Well, that kind of changes everything, doesn't it? If this is the case, Jim Shooter should not have said what he said about Brevoort.

Don't get me wrong, not every decision Brevoort has made recently has been a terrible one. The assignment of the awesome Brubaker to CAPTAIN AMERICA, who has done some of the best work that book has gotten since Roger Stern, as has the perpetual writing career of Dan Slott, easily the most talented writer working at Marvel now by an order of magnitude. And there was the Busiek Avengers back in the day, naturally.

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
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.


Understood. What perhaps I should have said was this: Brevoort quite clearly knows who the Avengers are. The fact that he worked on AVENGERS FOREVER (and as you say, was an influential force on the development of the book) proves this. Perhaps my view of the editor's job is off, however, I was under the impression it was the editor's job to say "no" at times and have the final decision over the product he is responsible for producing. Thus, I am extremely dissatisfied with his work in NEW AVENGERS, a book that has little to nothing about what the core concept of the Avengers is about.

Not to mention Brevoort also edited DISASSEMBLED, which features creative choices that were proposed by the writer (Scarlet Witch's relapse into madness, despite her consistent characterization as someone that overcame it to become stronger), as well as nonsense like the pointless death of Hawkeye, who is to the Avengers what the Thing is to the Fantastic Four, and the ridiculous revalation that Chaos Magic isn't real (what does that even MEAN?)

What I'm trying to say is, Brevoort knows who the characters are, and what the Avengers are about, but all this happened anyway. And whatever conclusion can be drawn on does not raise my estimation of his work.

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
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?


I don't think that's fair. While I will grant you that it is entirely possible that Shooter's comments about his experiences may, by the very nature of their source be biased and self-serving (particularly about his experiences with Defiant and Valiant, business deals that sound fishy) nonetheless, some of his career choices have been very wise and I agree with them - particularly in instances where he tells the writers "no."

An example would be the story about where Shooter tells Bill Mantlo "no" to the idea about Spider-Man and the Black Cat having an illegitimate child. Such an element would alter Spider-Man in a very unsavory and permanent way.
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2006, 01:54:16 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Don't get me wrong, not every decision Brevoort has made recently has been a terrible one.


Heck, not every decision you assume he's made, good or bad, is necessarily his decision, either, any more than the editors who worked for Jim Shooter got to make all the decisions themselves.

Quote
Perhaps my view of the editor's job is off, however, I was under the impression it was the editor's job to say "no" at times and have the final decision over the product he is responsible for producing.


Your view is off.  The job of an editor isn't to say no, or to say yes, or to guard continuity, or to flout it, or any other set of things various readers want to see at different times.  All of those things can (and sometimes are) part of the job, but they're not the job.

The job of an editor is to:

1. Make the books sell.

2. Deliver the books his employers want.

3. Deliver the books on time, to the extent that it fits with 1 and 2.

I haven't been reading NEW AVENGERS, but from what I read about it, it seems that Tom is delivering pretty much exactly the book his bosses want, making them sell, and bringing them out on time to the best of his ability and within the constraints of the assignment (i.e., you wait for Bendis, you work around Epting and Grummett, etc.).

Quote
While I will grant you that it is entirely possible that Shooter's comments about his experiences may, by the very nature of their source be biased and self-serving (particularly about his experiences with Defiant and Valiant, business deals that sound fishy) nonetheless, some of his career choices have been very wise and I agree with them - particularly in instances where he tells the writers "no."


Virtually every editor has told a writer "no" at some point in a way you'd agree with.  Not just Jim, but editors you'd overall despise, too.  And there are decisions that you almost undoubtedly wouldn't agree with, like Jim's reported plan to kill off all the Stan Lee versions of the characters and replace them with new versions initiated by him -- a story that Jim denies, but which I've heard about from enough sources to believe is rooted in something.  Or Jim deciding that the Avengers should be Marvel's big guns, and throwing out the Vision, Wanda, Hawkeye, Wonder Man, the Beast and more.  And there's the fact that under Shooter, Marvel lost, forced out or chased off Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Doug Moench, Frank Miller, John Byrne, Gene Colan, George Perez and others, to the point that one DC exec once told me that DC viewed Jim as their greatest asset, and the whole DC boom of the Eighties couldn't have taken place without him.

But I'm not saying Jim's a bad guy, a bad writer or a bad editor -- everyone makes good decisions from time to time; everyone makes bad ones.  How it balances out is up to the individual observer.  Heck, I'd like to see that last Legion story, too -- and I'm the guy who pitched Tom on contacting Jim to do a Korvac follow-up in the first place, so I'd have liked to see that work out.  [And come to think of it, that's another nail in the coffin of the idea that Tom killed Jim's comeback story -- there wouldn't have been a project for Jim to quit if Tom hadn't contacted him and asked him to do it to begin with.]

But Jim has a long, long record of painting himself as a put-upon genius unfairly booted around by the other guy, whoever the other guy was at the time.  If you believe his interviews, you're getting a very, very one-sided picture.

kdb
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2006, 02:52:00 PM »

http://www.newcomicreviews.com/GHM/specials/LifeOfReilly/1.html

gives what seems to be a good idea of where editing fit into one of the darker Spider-Man periods, and mentions Tom "There's no way in hell that I'm going down in history as the man who killed Spider-Man's baby" Brevoort.
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2006, 05:54:32 PM »

I was jazzed about Jim Shooter writing a new Avengers story when I first heard about it. Less enthused when I noticed it was going to be revisiting the Korvac saga, which probably made sense from a sales standpoint, but to me sounded suspiciously like another case of rehashing the glory days of comics' past and adding unnecessary baggage to a classic story that should just be left alone as is. But I was still pretty jazzed.

Since then I had the opportunity to read the script he had proposed, and I admit I was glad it didn't see print after all. There was just too much stuff there that I wasn't comfortable with. <SPOILERS AHOY>

For one thing, a big chunk of the story brought in the character of Nova, who pretty much never had anything to DO with the Avengers... and it brought him in just to KILL him. That doesn't make sense to me creatively, unless Shooter just wanted one last chance to give Marv Wolfman the finger or something. For another, there was some pretty sadistic torture of a couple of female Avengers involved. I'm sure that Shooter would claim that this was all in the name of good characterization, and that this was to give the women a chance to show that they were just as heroic as the men, finding the strength within to overcome unimagineable pain and adversity, etc. But it just left a queasy taste in my mouth reading it. And I can't envision Shooter writing Thor or Captain America being crushed to a pulp and sent, still alive and inside a box, to Avengers Mansion. Why do it to the girls instead?

There are a lot of comics projects I've read about over the years that never made it to print, and I wish many of them had, but that isn't one. Hopefully his proposed "last Legion story" would have been worthier of the classic past.
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DoctorZero
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2006, 09:18:17 PM »

As I have said before, I enjoyed Jim Shooter's silver age work on Superman and the Legion.  His work when he returned to comics didn't strike me as original.  Regardless of his work as a writer, it does appear as if a number of people had issues with him as an editor and editor in chief.  I think his work as an editor in chief and as a writer are really two different issues.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2006, 02:53:37 AM »

People are people, and so it goes...
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2006, 06:49:02 AM »

Speaking of old-school greats making comebacks, here's one that's going on for real:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=8052

Steve Englehart, arguably the greatest writer in superhero comics history, reunites with Marshall Rogers for BLACK RIDER, a cowboy book in the 1880s about a Gil Kane-esque cowboy hero in New York City and Chinatown. It's going to have a Young version of the Ancient One, and MAY, just MAY lead to a series written by Stainless itself! So, everybody, buy a copy so this does well enough to become a series.

And best of all, it's coming out...THIS month!

A new Englehart book...and SNAKES ON A PLANE, within a week of each other? Life don't get much better than this.
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
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