I think that if you're an editor, and you do what's right, you occasionally have to say 'no' to people. To the good people, the professionals, that's fine. But the people who are 'hacks,' they won't like that.""
As an American comic book writer, editor, and businessman, Jim Shooter (b. 1951) remains among the most important figures in the history of the medium. Starting in 1966 at the age of fourteen, Shooter, as the young protege of verbally abusive DC editor Mort Weisinger, helped introduce themes and character development more commonly associated with DC competitor Marvel Comics. Shooter created several characters for the Legion of Super-Heroes, introduced Superman's villain the Parasite, and jointly devised the first race between the Flash and Superman.
When he later ascended to editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, the company, indeed the medium as a whole, was moribund. Yet by the time Shooter left the company a mere decade later, the industry had again achieved considerable commercial viability, with Marvel dominating the market. Shooter enjoyed many successes during his tenure, such as Chris Claremont and John Byrne's run on the Uncanny X-Men, Byrne's work on the Fantastic Four, Frank Miller's Daredevil stories, Walt Simonson's crafting of Norse mythology in Thor, and Roger Stern's runs on Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as his own successes writing Secret Wars and Secret Wars II. After a rift at Marvel, Shooter then helped lead Valiant Comics into one of the most iconic comic book companies of the 1990s, before moving to start-up companies Defiant and Broadway Comics.
Interviews collected in this book span Shooter's career. Included here is a 1969 interview that shows a restless teenager; the 1973 interview that returned Shooter to comics; a discussion from 1980 during his pinnacle at Marvel; and two conversations from his time at Valiant and Defiant Comics. At the close, an extensive, original interview encompasses Shooter's full career.