The end is near

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#1 Posted by Nighthunter (29571 posts) - - Show Bio

DC Comics confirmed for Newsarama at Baltimore Comic Con that Legion of Super-Heroes, the ongoing series that relaunched the fan-favorite, teenage team from the future, will be canceled with issue #50 after a four-year run.

"We're going to bring a close to the Legion of Super-Heroes now," said DC Senior VP and Executive Editor Dan DiDio. "There's a lot going on with the characters. I thought that [writer] Jim [Shooter] and [artist] Francis [Manapul] have done a terrific job with the series, and '50' seemed like a really nice number to bring this series to a conclusion."

However, Legion characters aren't going away, DiDio said. "We've got a lot of plans and a lot of thought for the Legion right now, but coming out of the Legion of 3 Worlds, we're going to let the characters rest for a little bit and see where we go from there," he said.

Shooter, the current writer of the Legion of Super-Heroes ongoing comic, told Newsarama in Baltimore that he found out about a month ago that the series was canceled with Issue #50.

"It's a drag, but I get to finish most of my story. It would have finished in Issue #54, but Issue #50 is going to be a 30-page story, and I'm hoping people will be intrigued enough that they'll want to finish the story. So we'll see," Shooter said. "I understand new comics sales are not doing so well right now. Which is weird. Just look at this crowd. Everyone seems so excited about comics. They're buying something."

Shooter said his story will come to a climax in the next few issues as he finishes up the "One Evil" storyline.

"Since the beginning of this run, I've had this growing menace in the background, which are these mysterious Destroyers from who-knows-where who seem to be intent on destroying all life. And the overall series title is 'One Evil.' And I think most people thought that's what the one evil is," Shooter said. "But no, as the story progresses, you find out one of the Legionnaires, Princess Projectra, has kind of lost her mind. Her planet is destroyed, her friends are dead and everything is gone. And she gets treated pretty badly. She finds herself a girl without a planet, and she's just generally in trouble. She wants restitution, not revenge. She wants restitution, which of course is going to lead to conflict. So the 'one evil' is her."

Shooter joined the Legion series with Issue #37 after it had already been struggling to find an audience. Launched in 2004 by writer Mark Waid and his frequent co-collaborator, artist Barry Kitson, the series was one that Waid publicly stated he wanted to be a Top 10 title. While the creative team and DC had high hopes for the ongoing, a new Legion fan base never really latched onto the comic, even when the title temporarily added Supergirl to the roster and masthead in 2006. After Tony Bedard wrote the series after Waid's departure, DC handed the reins over to Shooter, who was already a legend among Legion fans because of his years writing the original team.

Over the last year, Legion fans have gotten quite a few other stories about Legion team members, with an alternate-Earth team showing up in Justice League, Justice Society and Countdown last year, as well as being featured in a well-received story in Action Comics earlier this year by writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank. Currently, all three versions of the Legion -- including this current team -- are involved in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, a five-issue mini-series by Johns and artist George Perez.

Because he's been writing the Legion so much lately, Johns has been asked frequently by fans during DC panels at conventions if he would write the team in an ongoing series. His answer has always been that he'd love to do it. So Newsarama asked DiDio: Is it possible there will be a Johns-penned series featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes in the future?

"You know what? I think we'd love Geoff to write everything right now. But realistically, he's got a pretty full slate with everything that's going on," DiDio said. "He's got Flash, Green Lantern, JSA, Action, and specials coming up because this thing called Blackest Night is looming. But I'm sure that the Legion will stay close to Geoff and near and dear to him as well, and you'll probably see some of them appear through some of his runs down the line. I don't want to give too much away. But there's always plans for the Legion. They're an important part of the DC Universe. And more importantly, I think we've done a great job with the story. I think Jim and Francis have done a great job bringing it to an end. And after Legion of 3 Worlds, there will be more opportunities, so we're going to explore those after that series concludes."

Shooter said his departure from Legion of Super-Heroes does not mean he'll be leaving comics, as he's already been given the opportunity to work elsewhere in the industry.

"I might be doing some stuff for Dark Horse, and I've been talking to the Valiant Entertainment people, who want me to do some things," Shooter said. "So I have no shortage of stuff to do. It's just that I was really enjoying this. I was hoping it would press on.

"I've really enjoyed this run with Francis Manapul. He's still young and learning, but he's going to be great someday. And Livesay is a great inker. I really feel good about a lot of the stuff we did," Shooter said. "And I think if more people had heard about it and more people had seen it, it might have really caught on. But anyway, I really had a great time. I don't regret it at all. Maybe I've laid a foundation for somebody else."

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#2 Posted by Nighthunter (29571 posts) - - Show Bio
Final Issue
Final Issue

Written by Jim Shooter
Art and cover by Francis Manapul & Livesay
It’s the final issue! The climactic conclusion of the Universal Annihilation War is here and every Legionnaire, every reservist and even the United Planets’ Young Heroes battle to save existence. Also featuring the return of Cosmic Boy, the death of a longtime Legionaire and a gorgeous wraparound cover!
FINAL ISSUE • On sale January 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US 
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#3 Posted by shatterstar (5269 posts) - - Show Bio

Things aren't looking too hot for DC these days.

From CBR:

"When industry legend Jim Shooter was named the new writer of “Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes” thirteen months ago, many long-time fans of the 31st century team were thrilled to have someone with such a history with the DC Comics characters guide the Legion through the celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Shooter, who would go on to become Editor-In-Chief at Marvel between 1978 and 1987, made his first big splash in superhero comics as a 14-year-old when he successfully pitched DC four Legion stories in 1966. Beginning with “Adventure Comics” #346, the four books introduced some of the team’s most beloved characters including Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, Ferro Lad, and one of their classic super villains, Universo.

In this exclusive interview, Shooter hypothesizes how the relationship with DC Comics may have soured so quickly, as the publisher recently announced the title would end in January 2009 with the release of “The Legion of Super-Heroes” #50.

Initially, Shooter planned on telling a mammoth 16-issue first arc beginning with #37 and culminating in the Universal Annihilation War, but that was cut short by two issues. Shooter told CBR News his run was actually cut short by four issues, which meant he couldn’t tell the complete story as he envisioned it.

“I had originally planned and written a detailed plot, over 16,400 words, for 16 issues, but we subsequently added an in-continuity, two-issue fill-in to buy time for [artist] Francis Manapul, who’d already needed to have two issues drawn by substitute artists. That brought the total for the arc to 18 issues,” explained Shooter. “The two planned fill-in issues were to be the ‘Dream Wedding’ sub-arc, drawn by Rick Leonardi, in which Brainiac 5 got engaged to Dream Girl’s spirit in Part 1 and got married—in Dreamland—to her spirit in Part 2. The first part got done [in ‘The Legion of Super-Heroes’#47, in stores this week], but the second part was axed.

“No, I didn’t begin to get in ‘everything I wanted.’ What saw print was not anywhere near what I imagined or what was called for in the scripts. Not even close.”

Despite problems getting the book drawn, Shooter still holds his collaborator Manapul in high regard. “I must add that Francis Manapul is going to be great someday – maybe one of the best of all time,” Shooter remarked. “He already shows flashes of brilliance. He works very hard and seems to care a lot – but that and a $1.85 gets you a cup of coffee. As soon as Francis groks what business he’s in – storytelling – as soon as he realizes that conveying the story and information clearly, at a glance, is first priority, he’ll be a contender. It’s not just about making cool shots that vaguely relate to what was asked for in the script. It’s about thinking things through until you can come up with just-as-cool shots that effectively deliver all the content required; about making the visual storytelling ‘read’ effortlessly. Francis is incapable of drawing a dull picture, so if he ever really grasps the importance of the story and science of storytelling, he’s going to be a hall-of-famer.

“That’s not easy, by the way. Even Frank Miller struggled with storytelling for a while – but once he grokked -- wow.”

Shooter says DCU Executive Editor Dan DiDio directed him to introduce a new “Super” to the team, but the would-be Super Lad never made it to the page. “After delivering the first draft of the 16-issue plot, I was ordered by Dan DiDio to rewrite it – for free – to include the introduction of a young, male Super -- note how I’m avoiding using the word ‘Superboy’ -- as a Legionnaire. So, I re-crafted the plot to introduce a new scion of the House of El, Super Lad,” offered Shooter. “Francis and I spent a good deal of unpaid time doing design work. But, ultimately, DiDio and DC decided they didn’t want or need a new Super, and I was told to excise the character.

“I think it had more to do with their being pissed at me for complaining too much and too loudly – to DC people only, not to the media – about various glitches and screw-ups than anything else. DC has incentives for licensing of new characters. Super Lad could, potentially be the new Superxxx, and very licensable. Why reward a pain in the ass like me with extra money? They actually fired me at one point for complaining too enthusiastically about a really aggravating snafu. I groveled enough to get my gig back – I have child support to pay – but they took Super Lad away. Then they canceled the book.”

Shooter believes the decision to cancel “The Legion of Super-Heroes” has more to do with ending his stay at DC, as opposed to the publisher determining the title has run its course. “An unimpeachable source, an old friend in a position to know, tells me that sales of comics are down in general, and that sales of DC comics are down in particular, pretty much across the board,” Shooter explained. “Sales of ‘The Legion of Super-Heroes’ aren’t great, but they’re a lot better than those of some of the titles they’re keeping. I think canceling the book is a graceful way of getting rid of me. I complain too much and too loudly.”

Asked if he felt the influx of Legion appearances in titles ranging from “Justice League of America” and Justice Society of America” to “Action Comics” and “Final Crisis” had anything to do with his book’s demise, Shooter said he doubts the “overdose” made any difference.

And while the veteran writer continues to search for answers as to why the book didn’t work this time around, at the end of the day, he believes he knows who the real culprit was.

“We blew it,” Shooter confessed. “Inker Livesay and letterer Steve Wands did their jobs well, no problems there, but as for the rest of us, if we had done our jobs right, if the story had been good enough, if the story had been told well, if the coloring hadn’t been murky, if the covers hadn’t been weak, if there hadn’t been so many production mistakes, if there had been more promotion, if there had been enough of a buzz, if we’d been allowed to have a character with that Super ‘S,’ maybe we could have succeeded.
January's "Legion of Super-Heroes" #50 concludes the series

“But let’s focus on the real culprit – me. I guess what it really all comes down to is that my work wasn’t good enough to overcome all the small problems further down the line. If you’re out at first base, it doesn’t matter if you slide in at second.”

Shooter enjoyed writing scripts once again for a team he has become synonymous with over the years. “I’ve trained myself to think of [my scripts] as the end product, and I am content that I did the best I could,” said Shooter. “I don’t even look at the printed books anymore. They make my soul hurt. I think what could have happened, did.”

As for his unfinished story, Shooter said “The Legion of Super-Heroes” #50 would provide a resolution to the Universal Annihilation War, the epic battle he had planned for the conclusion of his first arc. “Pretty much everything I did was planned from the beginning,” said the writer.

Shooter thinks he and Manapul “created more, built more and left more” for other creators to explore if when DC wishes to revisit the Legion in the future. “I think we left more than anyone else would or could have,” Shooter remarked. “Francis is a great designer. The series ends with many possibilities for continuation. I hope someone uses the material we made available and presses on.”

But Shooter said that writer wouldn’t be him. “No. Not under the same or similar circumstances, anyway,” he stated.

As to what’s next for the award-winning writer, editor and publisher, Jim Shooter told CBR, “I have several offers – none from DC. We’ll see.”

DC Comics declined to comment on this story."

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#4 Posted by Slinger (5779 posts) - - Show Bio

Sounds like a primadonna to me.

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#5 Posted by Teen Manatee (421 posts) - - Show Bio

Long live the Legion..

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#6 Posted by Nighthunter (29571 posts) - - Show Bio

First Dixon, now Shooter, they almost also lost Robinson

way to go Didio!

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#7 Posted by pixelized (49086 posts) - - Show Bio

so where are they now?

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#8 Edited by Marshal Victory (692 posts) - - Show Bio

hmm timing on some of this is weird with superman character rights an issue maybe dc didnt want to make another super x person but odd it was requested then turned down..shooter now will head an write dark horse gold key valiant line looks Francis Manapul acording to is working on action comics . 
so every one lands on their feet but legion fans (an i used to be one ) .oh well one more series can back issue i guess.shame tho.

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