So, Jim Shooter has been announced as the new writer on Legion of Super-Heroes, and the comicblogotubes have mostly gone berserk with joy.
My reaction is twofold:
1.) Shooter’s most recent track record – discounting Defiant Comics, which he was producing at a time when he was simultaneously fighting a number of vicious legal battles more or less singlehandedly – as a writer is his collected work at Valiant, and the best way to sum up his stories there would be “excellent concepts and plotting, weak scripting.” With the exception of Archer and Armstrong (which even now remains a very entertaining read), Shooter’s dialogue on the Valiant titles he wrote could, at most, be considered workmanlike – and more realistically, hokey. The ideas behind the comics are uniformly imaginative (you can even say that about the Defiant titles, although those all fell apart rather quickly), which is great – I strongly believe that Legion has to be a comic rooted in Big Ideas.
But it also has to be reliably entertaining, and if I’m distracted by painful 80s-ish dialogue then it’ll have a hard road to run. (Of course, maybe Shooter has upped his game dialoguewise. Also of course, Chris Claremont sure didn’t.)
2.) All the Legion fans demanding that Shooter bring back the “classic” pre-Crisis Legion need to shut the fuck up so goddamned bad. No, seriously. Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up right now. There’s lots you can say about the Waid reboot Legion both good and bad, but the one enormous plus it has going for it, at a time when thanks to the cartoon Legion is better poised then ever to make a return to having a large devoted fanbase again, is that it is new and thusly much more fucking accessible.
And I know whereof I speak: I’ve been a Legion fan since I was seven years old. I literally grew up with the pre-Crisis Legion, and therefore I think I say with some authority that this self-absorbed whiny selfish self-important bullshit is the very worst side of all comics fandom, and please save it for some comic I don’t particularly care about. Go read, I dunno, Manhunter or something, and bitch about how Kate Spencer isn’t the “real” Manhunter.
Your refusal to read new Legion comics because they aren’t the “real” Legion isn’t a point of pride, understand? It’s a kid throwing a fucking tantrum. If you don’t want to read new Legion comics, that’s fine and good, god knows DC makes a shitload of money off you reprinting the Archive hardcovers at X shitload of dollars per pop. But I really, really don’t need to hear about it. If I’m not reading a comic because I think it’s not good, I don’t go around loudly proclaiming “man X-Men used to be so good, back in the day” or whatever.
Seriously. That shit pisses me off something hardcore.