One of the most iconic editors to ever grace the comics industry, Jim Shooter has a lot of impressive credits to his name. Starting out as a comics scribe in his teens, Shooter worked up the ranks to one day head Marvel Comics throughout the 1980s. Under his tenure, the House of Ideas published Walt Simonson’s Thor, Frank Miller’s Daredevil and hired artists like Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Erik Larsen, who would go on to form Image Comics, among many other accomplishments.
Now, the writer-editor has opened up about the current state of his former company, Marvel Comics. Candidly, as he’s known to be, Shooter criticized the publisher’s current slate.
“I think they forgot what business they’re in,” Shooter told Adventures In Poor Taste. “I think there’s some brilliant talent out there–if you just flip through the books, the pictures are incredible. Sometimes they don’t tell the story as well as they should, sometimes they’re actually designing pages to sell in places like this [a comic convention], and not really thinking about the best way to tell a story. The writing, I cannot account for much of the writing. You have brilliant guys like Mark Waid who will do something and it’s great, but so much of the stuff is what they call decompressed storytelling…”
Shooter even took some time to discuss his opinion and the success of Wonder Woman, telling the site that it’s a strong example of keeping the core of a character, while changing certain aspects of their mythos to great success.
“I just saw the Wonder Woman movie–it was good, I liked it,” Shooter said. “And I heard people say, ‘Well. it’s not the original Wonder Woman.’ Here’s the deal. If you go out and ask 1,000 people to tell you everything they know about Superman, you’ll hear the same things–Daily Planet, Lois Lane, Clark Kent, blah blah. You’ll never hear about Mister Mxyzptlk or even the Fortress of Solitude. Anything the 1,000 people say–keep that, don’t mess with that. Anything that 1,000 don’t say, you get a little flexibility. Wonder Woman was created during the war, so she has the red, white and blue with stars, you know? No one cares about that. When you ask people about Wonder Woman, you’re lucky if they come up with Amazons. So they made some graceful changes and it was fine. It doesn’t have to be a red white and blue suit. So to me, people are just caviler about ignoring the intentions of the original creators–ignoring the equity that was built up over the years. It’s, ‘I’m in charge now so I’ll do anything I damn well please,’ and that’s almost always a mistake. When Walt [Simonson] did Thor, he didn’t reboot it or throw away the past. He just made it good.”
You can check out the full interview with Shooter here.
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