News out of DC Comics is that Jim Shooter (former editor of Marvel Comics, Valiant Comics and comic-writing genius) is back on board the title that launched his career (at the young age of 14!) . . . Legion of Super-heroes!

With the 50th Anniversary of the Legion on its way in 2008, it is nice to see that DC is making a commitment to the 1000s of Legion fans out there by really pulling out all the stops for the series and the venerable characters. On board with Shooter is artist Francis Manapual (check out his great ensemble piece below) who looks to be bringing back some of the classic look to the Legion that was most recently rebooted by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson.

Legion fans are a rabid bunch and while Waid/Kitson's run was critically acclaimed (and I personally enjoyed the little I have read of it), fan reaction was mixed at best. With the announcement of Shooter taking over the title from fill-in writer Tony Bedard with issue #37 of the current series, a lot of fans seem to be hoping for a return to the "classic" Legion of old. However, in an interview at Newsarama, Shooter says that he not only isn't comfortable with reboots keyed to new creators entering books, he states that he is also a fan of Waid's run and wants to stick with it while bringing in his own enthusiasm and adventure to the title.

This, I think, bodes well for Shooter's return. Readers can look forward to his great writing without the title turning into a retro-fied run down memory lane. Remember, Shooter first started writing the Legion series in the 1960s when he was only a teenager. He went back to Legion again in the 70s, before his historic and controversial editor-in-chief position at Marvel Comics. So nearly 30 years later, comics, the Legion, and the writer himself, have gone through myriad changes.

Shooter has proved that he is a writer that can evolve with the times, his massive contributions to the 90s being clear evidence of that with the Valiant line of comics. He's since struggled to launch a market-succesful new line of comics, but is always on the cutting edge of the industry - introducing new characters, concepts and universes without ever taking a break.

His return to a mainstream book like Legion, is not just a return to his origins in the industry and a "been there, done that" scenario. It is a different man and a differnet Legion that he returns to. This is the type of situation in the comics medium that garners that magical feeling of anything can happen now. Let's just hope that unlike many of those previous occasions that on this one, the lightning will strike twice.

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