Shooter Praises “Outstanding” Work of Manapul

Comic book fans and pundits in forum communities, message boards and across the blogosphere have been heavily active since industry legend Jim Shooter delivered some parting shots on his way out the door at DC Comics as the writer of the cancelled “Legion of Super-Heroes.”

The publisher recently announced the title would end in January 2009 with the release of issue #50, essentially ending DC’s most recent experimental relationship with the flashpoint figure after only 13 months.

Shooter’s from-the-heart comments have been considered everything from emotionally charged and heavy handed to brutally honest and more pointedly, constructive criticism coming from someone who served as Editor-in-Chief at Marvel Comics for more than a decade.

True, Shooter did take aim at everybody on the project, but he clarified his primary target was himself.

While he stands by what he said in his original interview, upon further consideration Shooter told CBR News that his comments about the book’s artist, rising star Francis Manapul, may have come off more “harshly than intended.”

“I am, of course, famous for my lack of ‘people skills,’” Shooter said. “Things I say, apparently, are sometimes taken more harshly than intended. To me, it seems that I say ‘hello’ and people say, ‘What did he mean by that nasty remark?’ But, at this point in my life, I'm willing to believe that I sound upset when I’m not.

“Anyway, upon reading the interview, I wonder now if people will focus on the things I said regarding Francis like he’s ‘going to be great someday, maybe one of the best of all time,’ ‘great designer,’ ‘incapable of drawing a dull picture,’ etc. or just think that I’m blaming him for the book’s demise. Read it again. I blame me.

“My run on ‘Legion’ wasn’t everything that I had hoped for, but I probably got better than I deserved from Francis. Francis is already very, very good — outstanding, in fact — and as editor Mike Marts and I have both observed, he gets better and better as he goes. He will soon hurdle the few remaining barriers in his way and become an all-pro/MVP. Maybe working with someone else, maybe with better scripts to work from, he’ll get there faster.”

“The Legion of Super-Heroes” #47 is on sale now from DC Comics.

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