Former MARVEL Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter Isn't A Big Fan Of The Current State Of Marvel Comics

Former MARVEL Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter Isn't A Big Fan Of The Current State Of Marvel Comics

Recent creative decisions made by Marvel Comics have left a lot of fans feeling alienated from major titles and characters, and former Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter counts himself among them...

While Marvel might be king of the box office these days, their reputation in comics has taken an unfortunate hit. Readers (both new and old) feel ignored, character-driven stories have taken a back seat to crossovers, and print sales continue to plummet. The company recently tried to lay the blame at the feet of readers who "didn't want any more diversity" in comics, but that was proven to be untrue, as an analysis by CBR detailed.

Former Editor-in-Chief Joe Shooter counts himself among those who are unhappy with Marvel Comics in its current state. During his time as EIC, Shooter oversaw Marvel's first two major (and classic) crossovers, Secret Wars and Contest of Champions, along with being present during a host of successful comic runs such as Frank Miller's Daredevil, Roger Stern's Avengers/Amazing Spider-Man runs, and Walt Simonson's Thor. In a lengthy interview with Adventures in Poor Taste during Rhode Island Comic-Con, Shooter blasted some of the more recent editorial decisions from Marvel, specifically the decision to make Captain America a Nazi in Secret Empire"Captain America a Nazi? Are you kidding me? Jack [Kirby] is rolling in his grave. Joe Simon is going to rise up out of his grave and kill those people. That was so wrong because that was not anything like the original intent of the creators."

"I think they forgot what business they’re in," Shooter said. "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 used the recent DC film release Wonder Woman as an example for how to decide what to keep and what to discard when it comes to modernizing a character.

"I just saw the Wonder Woman movie–it was good, I liked it. 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."

What do you make of Shooter's thoughts? Let us know what you think below.
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