Jim Shooter will be writing the LSH stories again!
Shooter's new run on the Legion title will start with issue #37 or so, and will be at least a 16-issue run of the comic.
However, why do I not feel as elated as everyone else about this?
Jim Shooter's first Legion of Super-Heroes comic was Adventure Comics #346, written and published in 1966 when Jim Shooter was just 13 years old. That story was a two-parter that introduced new Legionnaires Karate Kid, Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra, the traitor Nemesis Kid, and the alien race known as the Khunds. Other characters and foes that Shooter introduced back then were Shadow Lass, Universo, Mordru, the Fatal Five, and the "Adult Legion.' He left the Legion in the late 1960's and returned to the series in the mid-1970's (through the influence of several big-time LSH fans), introducing other new, memorable favourites such as Pulsar Stargrave, Grimbor the Chainsman, and Charma.
As the interview noted above points out, Shooter is enthusiastic and quite looking forward to writing Legion stories again, but the truth of the matter is that he wrote the Legion tales some 42 (!!) years ago (considering that his first story was 1966!).
While, personally, I think the Paul Levitz period of Legion history is among the most enjoyable books of my youth (if I can still call it that), Shooter's Legion exploded with creativity. Many of the characters and groups that Shooter introduced in the Legion stories he wrote have been used in some form or another since that time in the various incarnations of the Legion. While some of the current Waid-Kitson LSH stuff appealed to me, I really hope that Shooter gets back to concentrating on the Legion and what made it great. I hope he gets rid of the Waid "Eat it grandpa" crap, which annoyed the heck out of me. I want to read about a Legion of Super-Heroes who actually act like heroes and a Legion from the past, not about characters who act as spoiled children with a badass attitude towards the adults. In short, I want to see a *real* Legion of Super-Heroes!
In the latest interview, Back to the Future: Shooter Talks Legion of Super-Heroes, Shooter speaks about some of what he plans for the Legion comic, and the kinds of stories that he wants to write. I am somewhat disappointed to hear that he refused to re-boot the Legion again (but suspect this is partially due to the DC higher-ups having a lot invested in the current Legion, with their current influence in the 20th Century), but that said...
The question is one of whether Jim Shooter can recapture the magic of what he has done before with a group of Legionnaires who have changed and altered to suit the current mood and climate of the times in which we live. When it comes down to it, Jim Shooter hasn't written a Legion story in 31+ years, and he proved back in the run during the 1970's that he could also write some terrible LSH tales as well, not just memorable stories that hallmarked everything the Legion was about.
That said, however, I think that if anyone can take the Legion comic and make it special for the 50th Anniversary of the Legion of Super-Heroes, it's Jim Shooter.
We just shouldn't go in expecting miracles, that's all. :)
Oh, and just to whet the appetite a bit, here's something else:
Solicit for #37:
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #37
Written by Jim Shooter
Art and covers by Francis Manapul & John Livesay
Celebrate a bold new era for the Legion of Super-Heroes with the return of writer Jim Shooter and the debut of new series art team Francis Manapul (Witchblade, Tomb Raider) & John Livesay (THE FLASH)! Several Legionnaires find themselves in mortal peril as the universe is faced with a frightening and mysterious alien threat. Plus, in the absence of longtime team captain Cosmic Boy, the Legion seek new leadership, only to find themselves under the the shaky and uncertain control of...Lightning Lad?
Sounds pretty good, don't it? :)