Dark Horse announced Saturday at Comic-Con International in San Diego that it will be publishing new series based on classic Gold Key characters like Turok, Doctor Solar, and Magnus: Robot Fighter. Jim Shooter, who previously helmed a relaunch of these characters as Editor-in-Chief of Valiant Comics, will be writing at least some of the titles, though details have not been finalized. Shooter will be overseeing all of the new Gold Key titles developed for Dark Horse. CBR News caught up with Shooter for a brief chat about the new initiative.
“The point is that I'm going to write as much as I possibly can,” Shooter told CBR. Though the new series will feature interpretations of these characters different from both the classic and Valiant versions, Shooter's process for reinvention will be similar to what he did in the '90s. “I think in situations like this, you always need to think about the essence of the character and keep that," he said. "So for Superman, you ask a thousand people what they know about Superman and they'll tell you Daily Planet, Kryptonite, Lois Lane. Whatever most of the thousand people say, that's what you keep. If no one mentions the Fortress of Solitude, you don't need it. Half the stuff you can change. It's the same with these characters. I'm going to try to stay true to the original concept of the character, which is what I tried to do the first time through. I'm going to try to bring something new to it. I have a chance to do it again and do it better.”
Of course, one fact that will influence how these new Gold Key series develop along a different path than the 1990s versions of Turok, Solar, and Magnus is simply the passage of time. “The main thing is that a lot has changed, things are a little different. I'm a little different,” Shooter said.
Shooter noted there is a sense of security in working with an established publisher like Dark Horse, as opposed to launching a new comics line and dealing with both the creative and business sides of a new company, as he had in the Valiant days. “Last time I worked on these characters, Valiant was a very fragile start-up, it was way under-capitalized. What that means is you are particularly on a dead run,” Shooter recalled. “But this time I have maybe a little more time to think about it. Not rely on a lucky accident that something works out well, but really sort of take the time to plan better. The nice thing about working with Dark Horse is we already have the publishing operation, where before we had to hire a designer, and an accountant, to keep the house in order. Dark Horse has the apparatus to put the books out more quickly."
As to when readers will start to see new Gold Key titles on the shelves, Shooter said it's a “little too early to talk about that. But I don't think it will take me long.”
Dark Horse Publisher Mike Richardson had been talking to Jim Shooter about reviving the Gold Key characters for years, but the deal ultimately came together very recently. As such, discussions as to the full scope and nature of what's coming have yet to be fully resolved. “I know Mike has some very ambitious ideas on publishing this line,” Shooter said. Whether trade paperbacks or hardcovers of the Valiant Gold Key books alongside its line of classic Gold Key hardcovers are part of those ambitious plans, Shooter said, “As far as I know, it's possible.”
“It's great to have someone you respect and admire,” Shooter said of Richardson. “And it's great to have another chance with these characters and I'm honored to do it."