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Old December 27th, 2006   Director of Everything is offline   #1
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Question Jim Shooter: the Comics that never were.

JIM SHOOTER: THE ICON THAT COULD HAVE BEEN


In August of 2003 I was contacted by Platinum Studios’ President Scott Mitchell Rosenberg on getting the news out about a new comic project to be launched by himself and Adam Post. It also seemed that Post and Rosenberg had done the impossible by being able to bring legendary Jim Shooter back into the comic book world to help create what would have been the Icon One line of comics.

With a projected release of Summer 2004, I started talking to Rosenberg, Post, and Shooter himself about the upcoming comic universe. A small setback would hit the project when Marvel announced their own line of comics called ICON sending Post back to the drawing board on a name for the projects. As months and months went on and on, the emails and phone calls quickly came to a sudden halt. Three years after the first contact there has never been any information released about the ICON ONE comic project.

Shooter, whose presence in the comic book world has been a sliver since Acclaim’s unfinished Unity 2000 mini-series released back in 2000, seemed generally excited to return to comics in some capacity, with Rosenberg and Post both psyched to have the living legend coming aboard to help broaden the ICON ONE universe. I talked with Rosenberg and Post about ICON in late August/ early September 2003, conducted an interview with Shooter in September of 2003 and started to prep and article titled ‘Jim Shooter: Return Of An Icon’. However, this article and the interview with Shooter would remain unseen by anyone in the industry right up until this point and the ICON comics line has never seen the light of day.

For the very first time Shooter fans can finally read about the project that they never knew existed, starting first with the beginning of the article and going into the first (and only) interview with Shooter about the ICON project.
ddf
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I miss Shooter and wish he were working in comics today. I think this boarding school of an industry could use a new Dean, as it were.

I was always a big fan of Shooter, even though I did not become aware of him until I saw my first issue of Previews with a cover featuring Magnus Robot Fight on it in the early 90's. That first year of comics from valiant STILL holds up, to me, as some of the strongest stuff this entire industry has ever put out. Infinite Crisis, Civil War... these can't even hold a candle to the majestic verisimilitude that was UNITY.

Reading many interviews with him over the years, I've always enjoyed his points of view and have endlessly found myself agreeing with him on many things. I can undertsand how and why he may not be liked by many creators, but that, to me, has always been akin to the troubled teen hating their father for grounding them when they want to play.

Maybe I'm being oversimplitic. Regardles, no matter who he is personally, he wrote some ****ing great comics. Todays' creators could learn a thing or two from Jim Shooter.

Remember, this interview is from 2004, but this was one of my favorite parts.
I think that the comics industry now is a shadow of what it once was, and in some ways, in a rut. It’s not for lack of talent—there’s plenty of that. There are some great comics out there, but not enough, and too many lame ones. There are also too many books these days full of great art, clever bits, glib dialogue—and that’s all. Regarding the artists of these books, to quote the late, great Gil Kane, “They can draw, but they’re not picture-makers.” To that, regarding the writers, I add, they can sling words and trump up incidents, but they’re not storytellers. Too many talented comics creators lack training, direction and a guiding vision.

What the industry desperately needs is innovation and even revolution—but not so much in the form of marketing ploys and doohickeys. What is needed is bold creative vision, excellent stories, and brilliant storytelling—in a word, entertainment.
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Old December 27th, 2006   Joshua Pantalleresco is offline   #2
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JIM SHOOTER: THE ICON THAT COULD HAVE BEENI miss Shooter and wish he were working in comics today. I think this boarding school of an industry could use a new Dean, as it were.

I was always a big fan of Shooter, even though I did not become aware of him until I saw my first issue of Previews with a cover featuring Magnus Robot Fight on it in the early 90's. That first year of comics from valiant STILL holds up, to me, as some of the strongest stuff this entire industry has ever put out. Infinite Crisis, Civil War... these can't even hold a candle to the majestic verisimilitude that was UNITY.

Reading many interviews with him over the years, I've always enjoyed his points of view and have endlessly found myself agreeing with him on many things. I can undertsand how and why he may not be liked by many creators, but that, to me, has always been akin to the troubled teen hating their father for grounding them when they want to play.

Maybe I'm being oversimplitic. Regardles, no matter who he is personally, he wrote some ****ing great comics. Todays' creators could learn a thing or two from Jim Shooter.

Remember, this interview is from 2004, but this was one of my favorite parts.

DoE
ddf
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I completely agree with you. The early Valiant stuff is some of the best stories I've ever read in comics. Unity is the best example of what a crossover should be every time. If valiant was still around, I probably wouldn't be touching half I do at DC right now. I miss those days and wish Jim Shooter was still doing something. It's a shame his project never got off the ground.

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Old December 27th, 2006   Bill Walko is offline   #3
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I think that the comics industry now is a shadow of what it once was, and in some ways, in a rut. It’s not for lack of talent—there’s plenty of that. There are some great comics out there, but not enough, and too many lame ones. There are also too many books these days full of great art, clever bits, glib dialogue—and that’s all. [..] Too many talented comics creators lack training, direction and a guiding vision.
ddf
That's very, very, very true. Too many writers have 'cool moments' and 'killer scenes'.... or homages to the comics of their youth. And that's it! There's a soap-opera "make it up as we go along" thinking to too many comics.

What the industry desperately needs is innovation and even revolution—but not so much in the form of marketing ploys and doohickeys. What is needed is bold creative vision, excellent stories, and brilliant storytelling—in a word, entertainment.
ddf
Again, true. Shooter did push the industry. We need more of that.
 
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Old December 27th, 2006   BrianT is offline   #4
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If he wants to write, I say let him write.
 
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Old December 28th, 2006   Director of Everything is offline   #5
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Or at least show people HOW to do it.
 
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Old December 29th, 2006   holo2 is offline   #6
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His personality seems to do in any potential work he does in the big 2. People just don't seem to like the guy, the people being his colleagues. He is a talent. His post Valient work was not too good, but I still think I would love to see him do a LSH issue or mini esries.
 
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Old December 31st, 2006   Marvelman is offline   #7
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Personally, I was not fond of Shooter's ego. I thought the editorial style in Marvel Age was especially condescending to the readers. They always talked to us like we were a bunch of idiots. I also didn't like it when he put himself on the cover. Still, he always tried to do something good wherever he went, and his editorial reign was a heckuva lot better than what came after him.
 
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Old December 31st, 2006   Gremlin is offline   #8
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He's scary looking...

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Old December 31st, 2006   Director of Everything is offline   #9
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A worthy addition to any conversation as always Grem.


I still say the first... mmm, 16 issues of Magnus and the first... oh, 12 issues of Solar are some of the best comics ever produced. The whole first year and a half of Valiant was one strong machineand had been only GROWING. If tptb at Valiant hadn't cut off their own nuts and fired Shooter, there would be THREE major powerhouse comic companies today. IMO.

We sure as **** wouldn't have seen books like Rai & the ****in Future Force, that's for sure. Armorines? And I would've loved to have seen what HARD Corps was supposed to be like. Oh, and Rising Sun vs. "Bloodshot".

Yeah, Valiant pretty much decimated the 90's. And they can't blame their demise on Jim. His ideas are larger than life.

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Old December 31st, 2006   jafabian is offline   #10
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Jim was very much a "I'm-not-here-to-make-friends-I'm-here-to-do-a-job" kind of guy, and that may have contributed to him not getting many offers right now. That being said, you can't deny his contributions to the field. I know I would have loved to have seen his take on Legion of Super-Heroes if they wanted to revamp the series.

I've always wondered if Jim was still EIC at Marvel, would have have allowed Jean Grey to return, since he was the one who ordered Claremont and Byrne to kill her off?
 
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Old December 31st, 2006   married guy is offline   #11
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It's funny, I JUST read a read a great 2 part interview with Jim Shooter on comicbookresources.

It's great reading, and he makes note that he's now persona non grata with both DC and Marvel with both companies unwilling to hire him due to the bad blood that STILL exists.

If he's take on the situation is true, it makes the whole field sound remarkably petty and immature.

Personal likes/dislikes shouldn't enter a business equation. The guy has PROVEN he's got the talent to create great stories why on Earth not let him do it??

He talks about a Legion project he was approached about, was gung ho to do it, and was told later it wouldn't happen as there were too many people still pissed at him.

Now, I run a small office with half a dozen people under my charge. I don't get along with all of them, but we still work together and do a bloody job too. Why is it difficult for a HUGE company like DC/Warner??
 
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Old December 31st, 2006   Marvelman is offline   #12
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Jim was very much a "I'm-not-here-to-make-friends-I'm-here-to-do-a-job" kind of guy, and that may have contributed to him not getting many offers right now. That being said, you can't deny his contributions to the field. I know I would have loved to have seen his take on Legion of Super-Heroes if they wanted to revamp the series.

I've always wondered if Jim was still EIC at Marvel, would have have allowed Jean Grey to return, since he was the one who ordered Claremont and Byrne to kill her off?
ddf
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Shooter was actually key to engineering Jean's return which I thought was a mistake and still do. Shooter wanted the original X-Men back together in X-Factor. John Byrne had an idea about how to revive Jean Grey in the pages of Fantastic Four. The rest as they say is history.
 
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Old December 31st, 2006   Director of Everything is offline   #13
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It's funny, I JUST read a read a great 2 part interview with Jim Shooter on comicbookresources.

It's great reading, and he makes note that he's now persona non grata with both DC and Marvel with both companies unwilling to hire him due to the bad blood that STILL exists.

If he's take on the situation is true, it makes the whole field sound remarkably petty and immature.

Personal likes/dislikes shouldn't enter a business equation. The guy has PROVEN he's got the talent to create great stories why on Earth not let him do it??

He talks about a Legion project he was approached about, was gung ho to do it, and was told later it wouldn't happen as there were too many people still pissed at him.

Now, I run a small office with half a dozen people under my charge. I don't get along with all of them, but we still work together and do a bloody job too. Why is it difficult for a HUGE company like DC/Warner??
ddf
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Very cool. Can you provide the links? I'd like to read 'em.
 
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Old December 31st, 2006   KevinTBrown is offline   #14
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He's scary looking...

Grem-
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And he's also something like 6'6" too. A very intimidating person in how he looks. However, he's an incredibly nice guy, based on the couple of times I met him at cons about a decade ago. Hopefully 2007 will see something from Jim Shooter in terms of writing.
 
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KTB is right...
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Old December 31st, 2006   Bill Walko is offline   #15
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What's interesting is that Jim Shooter always seems 6-10 years ahead of the curve. And it's also amazing to note that he was writing LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES at the age of 13! [It's really an interesting story how Jim started writing via mail, and DC didnt know how yound he was until after he had done a few printed scripts!]

Anyways, Jim's LEGION paved the way for the Levitz/Giffen LEGION, in my opinion. The characterization, riskier stories, continuing arcs and surprising twists.

Look at Jim's NEW UNIVERSE line, and it's more realistic approach. It was before its time, and not executed quite right-- but an amazing idea. I still wish it worked, onlt to see how writers would handle the 'real time' nature of the book [yes, way before 52 folks].

Jim got the NEW UNIVERSE right when he did VALIANT... many ways, it had NU parallels. DP7/Harbingers. Starbrand/Solar. Nightmask/that New Orleans Dark Hero guy. Etc...

If you loo at Valiant... and then look at writers like Bendis, Brubaker, etc... and the current character-driven stuff....

I'm not saying Shooter INVENTED the stuff, but he certainly has a vision.

I've heard that he's difficuly [the stories are legend]. I met him at a con once, and he was nice as can be. Still, working for someone is different....
 
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Old December 31st, 2006   Astroape2000 is offline   #16
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X-O

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Solar...Man, I miss Valiant!
 
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