How Not To Gracefully Exit Your Job

Illustration for article titled How Not To Gracefully Exit Your Job

We lamented the cancellation of DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes series at the end of the franchise's 50th anniversary, but obviously we made a mistake in choosing to look at the future of the characters. After all, as writer of the cancelled series Jim Shooter explains, the reason DC ended the title was entirely a personal attack on him. We've got some of his self-centered delusions below, but remember: File Under Self-Involved.Talking to website Comic Book Resources about the reasons for the series' cancellation, Shooter knew exactly who to blame:

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... 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.


(To put things in some context: Legion, under Shooter's reign, is currently DC's third-lowest selling superhero book, and one of the two series selling less was cancelled prior to the announcement of Legion's death.)

Illustration for article titled How Not To Gracefully Exit Your Job

If you're wondering what kind of complaints Shooter may have had, he happily rattled off some of them:

I must add that [Shooter's artist] Francis Manapul is going to be great someday – maybe one of the best of all time... 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... 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.

(Don't worry; not only did he later clarify that he wasn't blaming Manapul for the book's cancellation, he also included himself in the blame game:

[L]et’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.


There's nothing like a sports metaphor to confuse a moment of humility.) Amusingly, Shooter ends the interview by saying "I have several offers [for future work] – none from DC." Somehow, that last part doesn't surprise me - and I can't help but wonder whether the previous offers will dry up as soon as future employers see how eager he can be to share blame when things don't go as well as planned. Shooter Dishes On Legion Demise [Comic Book Resources]

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The Legion started to suck hard as soon as Shooter was writing it. I remember steamrolling through a bunch of issues without realizing they had changed writers and I started to be like— WTF is this? And then I realized Mark Waid wasn't writing it anymore. And screw the blaming it on a missing Supergirl, Legion of Superheros rocked quite a few TPBs before her appearance, which never contributed much. Sigh. Now I'll never know what's going on with the Dream Girl / Brainiac thing.