Straight Shooter

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When I say, “name a Marvel editor-in-chief,” certain people may immediately come to mind. Stan Lee, no doubt. Joe Quesada. Roy Thomas.

And of course, Jim Shooter. One of the most famous and controversial editors Marvel has had. Some of the company’s most successful comic book runs occurred during his tenure, including Walt Simonson’s Thor, Claremont’s X-Men, Frank Miller’s Daredevil and John Byrne’s Fantastic Four (huh, interesting how three out of four of those guys wrote AND pencilled their own comics). He created the New Universe (still fondly remembered by many and “remixed” in Warren Ellis’ “newuniversal”) and the Epic imprint for creator-owned work. He also wrote Marvel’s most famous crossover of all, Secret Wars. And let’s not forget about his early days at DC, where he created several famous Legion of Superheroes and Superman characters… including Duo Damsel and the Parasite!

Anyway, now you can read about Jim’s career– both the good and the bad– at his blog. Did you know that an artist error made Hank Pym a wife beater? Or that Jim wrote and sold his first comic script during his summer vacation at age 13? It would explain why he based certain Legionnaires off of his classmates.

There’s all sorts of interesting facts in Jim’s posts. The best part of all, however, is that it gives us a more personal look at Jim’s life in comics, like when he first met Stan Lee. While most of Jim’s entries have been about his time at Marvel and early DC career so far, I have little doubt we’ll be hearing about Valiant Comics and his most recent Legion of Superheroes run soon. So definitely keep your eyes peeled.

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2 Responses to “Straight Shooter”

  1. davidry214 Says:

    Great find, Goki.

    Shooter is a fascinating guy. I’m covering this in much more detail in my Project on Chris Claremont’s original X-Men run, but he actually was behind Jean dying at the end of Dark Phoenix. I’ll save the specifics for that post in the future, but it’s an interesting snapshot of Jim’s tenure as EIC. He had a certain vision for how Marvel stories should be told, and that didn’t always gel with creators’ original plans (even such classic creators as Claremont and Byrne; for the record, my research didn’t uncover any reference to those two being particularly upset about having to change their plans).

    This is a fascinating blog. I’ve read a couple entries, and could probably spend all day on it. In fact, I probably will, some future day. So rare to get these behind-the-scenes insights as to what was happening to produce famous stories we’ve all read and loved.

  2. Gokitalo Says:

    Yeah, Claremont I know for sure was fine with the changed ending and wasn’t too thrilled when Jean was brought back in X-Factor years later. John Byrne, on the other hand, was okay with both, and even argued that making the Jean in the Dark Phoenix Saga a copy made the story stronger. It’s a pretty interesting rationale:
    http://www.byrnerobotics.com/FAQ/listing.asp?ID=2&T1=Questions+about+Comic+Book+Projects#48

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