This is the first part of a three-parter, and it's got some interesting twists. Earth is in conflict with New Krypton, formerly the Kryptonian colony Argo. Earthgov, represented by Minister Kirt Niedrigh, views the Legion as collaborators with the Kryptonians. There are plenty of hints of the xenophobic "human supremicist" theme in this version.
Booster Gold is there, too, and has a Legion ring just like he's supposed to. Brainiac 5 is caucasian and looks like the actor who played him in the series. Clark and Garth are just plain cute. When the two of them meet once again, there's a definite sexual charge in the air. (Plus there's the fact that for much of the story, Garth is holding onto one of Clark's balls, and no, I'm not making that up.)
All told, it's a refreshing take on the Legion, and a fun little comic. I'm definitely looking forward to the next issue.
As always, check out my new Legion site, and email me if you want an account so you can leave comments and such.
I did not see any Legion content this week.
The new issue of World's Finest has Power Girl and the Huntress fighting Desaad, who at times bears a striking resemblence to the Time Trapper...but I'm sure that's just the tattered purple robe and hood plus general menacing posture.
In other words: No Legion stuff to see here. Move along. Move along.
Sorry, folks, I forgot to post here.
If you haven't had a chance yet, check out my new Legion site at http://donsakers.com/lsh/ I can see a time in the not-too-distant future when I'll move posts over there instead of here.
New Legion comic today, hooray!
This one mainly concentrates on the new Emerald Empress, who is a finalist for the Otto Award for Worst-Hairstyle-on-a-Villain-of-Villainess.
(The Otto Award is a 31st century award that I just made up, named in honor of Otto Binder, the Legion's creator.)
We're still in the Fatal-Five-Stomps-on-the-Legion, things-are-getting-worse portion of the narrative. Mon-El is banged up so bad that everyone fears he might be dead (gee, that's never happened before in a Levitz/Giffen collaboration). Next issue we're promised that things are going to get even worse as Validus steps into the fray.
I hope this doesn't turn into one issue of pounding on the Legion for each of the Fatal Five, followed by Brainy's hidden plan delivering everyone from danger in the last issue.
Actually, if Levitz is true to form -- and if he can resist the Giffen influence -- I'd look for the Legion's salvation to come from either one or more inactive members (think Luornu & Chuck and Garth & Imra showing up in Earthwar), or one of the "weaker" members (think Dream Girl from the Great Darkness). If I had to guess, I'd look toward Mysa and the Sorcerer's World.
I did not see any Legion content in comics this week.
I have been pondering the Legion's popularity. In this post over on Legion Abstract, Matthew worries that the Legion is going to be cancelled, and wonders if "...the audience for the Legion of Super-Heroes may have permanently shrunk to the point where these characters just can't support their own title anymore."
I've also been cataloging the Legion's appearances from their first cancellations, the run in Action Comics and Superboy, which has got me thinking about Superboy.
They kept trying to ditch Superboy. He resigned, then came back. He resigned again, then came back again. He finally left permanently...and came back again. Eventually, he died.
The Earth-247 Legion eventually gained Superboy (Connor this time) as a member. There was Superboy's Legion. With the Earth-Prime Legion, Supergirl took the place of Superboy. The renaissance of the current Legion started with adventures involving Superman.
Why? What is it about Superboy?
I'd like to suggest that casual readers need to have some familiar element as a point of entry to the Legion. Liam and LaDonna Legion-fan, who've read the Legion for years, are happy to buy anything that says Legion on it -- but when Cameron and Cecy Comic-reader pick up a Legion comic, they see nothing that looks familiar to them. So they put it down, thinking "I'll never be able to follow this."
If Matthew is right and there aren't enough Liams and LaDonnas out there to support the title, we need to give the Camerons and Cecys something.
So despite my reluctance to see the Legion tied too strongly to the DC present day, I will state the following as a Law of the Legion: The Legion needs a Superboy.
It doesn't have to be "Superboy" as such. It can be Supergirl, Superman, someone with the S-shield and the cape. A familiar symbol.
And now I have an ingenious way to give the Legion a "Superboy" while still retaining some distance from the current DC universe and allowing the writers maximum creative space. Picture this:
A "Superboy" joins the Legion. He's clearly not Kal-El/Clark Kent. Might as well make a whole "Who is Sensor Girl?" storyline out of "Who is Superboy?"
Turns out, he is...(wait for it)...the son of Superman.
"But wait," I hear you cry, "Superman doesn't have a son, except maybe Chris Kent who might not even exist any more. There's no way DC is going to introduce Superman's son into current continuity just to make Legion fans happy."
You're right. Superman doesn't have a son now. But he will, at some indeterminate point in the future. (We know Superman will have descendants.) We never need to see that part of it. We never need to establish a timeline, or a continuity, or even tell who his mother is. We don't even need to know if the kid is an only child or one of many. All we need is for "Superman's Son" to be involved with the Legion in the 31st century.
Why would Superman's son hang out with the Legion? Picture Superman raising this super-powered teenager. "Son, you need to learn how us use your powers, you need experience, you need a firm grounding in morality. I learned a lot of these things from my time with the Legion -- now I'm sending you to them for a training period."
A brand-new character who can legitimately be called Superboy (although if they want to make it Superlad or Superkid or even Superboi I won't complain.) A character who wears the S-shield and cape, and has a firm connection to the present-day Superman. A character from our near-future, hanging around in a time that's new to him -- a nice character for Cameron and Cecy Comic-reader to identify with.
Just as "Superboy's time" was a permanent 15 years before "Superman's time," the "new Superboy's time" could be a permanent 15 years after Superman's time. That provides a nice buffer against any craziness that DC imposes on the "present." We can further use the whole "this is only one possible future" dodge to make the Powers That Be feel better.
Who knows, "future Superboy" may even get his own title. Which the Legion could then invade, and finally turn it into Future Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes.
someone agreed that Keith Giffen's art is ugly, so they had Scott
Kolins and Tom Derenick do a Keith Giffen impersonation. They tried
their best to make everyone and everything look ugly, but couldn't quite
pull it off. There are an awful lot of gritted teeth and scowls. Ah,
well, at least they varied the grid of panels quite a bit.
tech based on quarks (which seems to be just about everything modern)
has stopped working, all across the United Planets. Brainy, of course,
can get things working with pre-quark technology.
is all the fault of the newly-upgraded Tharok, who seems to be
everywhere. The result is a world in which technology fails, economies
collapse, Legionnaires quarrel amongst themselves and abandon their
teammates, and they call one another by first names rather than
codenames. You can just see them ditching their costumes and going to
utilitarian grey jackets with lots of pockets as the unvierse collapses
and the Legion, wracked by tragedy, becomes irrelevant.
Oh, wait, been-there-done-that.
what does Keith Giffen contribute to these collaborations? Deciding
which Legionnaires to casually kill off? Coming up with new ways to
justify technological and economic collapse? Creating smirking
characters and angry mobs who suddenly turn against the Legion? Gritting
his teeth and scowling a lot?
I still have faith
in Paul Levitz. I'm hoping that the collaboration went this way: Giffen
thought of some really terrible things to do the Legion, then Levitz
figured out how to make it a coherent story (and tell it in less than 25
issues) that comes to a satisfactory ending.
Action Comics 18 (2013/05)
Okay, I have admitted that I'm too stupid to understand what Grant Morrison does. So take this with a grain of salt.
fighting with Mxyzptlk's son(?) through all of space and time (?). He
get the upper hand by having everyone in the universe (?) say their
names backwards, which somehow turns the bad guy into a big stone statue
(?), which Superman then throws into the moon.
Legionnaires, having traveled through time in order to save Superman,
stand around in a hospital with the dying Myxyzptlk (?) until a guy
arrives who is "a damaged edge" of the bad guy (?). They attempt to get
him into their time bubble in order to...do something (?)...but right
about then they all join the crowd saying their names backwards (except
Imra's last name is back to Ardeen instead of Ranzz, so maybe she forgot
she and Garth were married, or maybe they got divorced, or who know
what) and that takes care of everything -- without the Legionnaires having to lift a finger -- so why were they part of this story to begin with?
also a group of weird guys who apparently have (or will have) their own
comic, who decided to come aboard for the publicity, because they
certainly don'thave anything to do with the story either.
the end, presumably, Universo no longer takes over the United Planets
in the 31st cenury...or maybe this whole alternate Legion ceases to
exist...because we never get to see any resolution of that whole thing,
not even an attempt to explain why this Legion looks so different from
the one in Legion of Super-Heroes (Jeckie's a snake named
Sensor, Shady's called Umbra, Chameleon Boy grows up to be just
Chameleon, Gim is alive and called Colossal Boy rather than Leviathan,
Chuck is Bouncing Boy...in general it's a has of classic Legion and the
Legion of Earth-247.)
One would almost think that
this whole story was penned by someone who's so convinced he's a Great
Talent that he sees no reason to respect the creations of others, follow
any kind of continuity, tell a coherent story, or make the slightest
bit of sense.
Nah, that couldn't be. Everyone assures me that Emperor Morrison is wearing a magnificently beautiful suit of clothes.
Now that we're at one Legion title a month, a lot of weekly reports are going to start out that way. We can have seventy-five Batman titles a month, Justice Leagues all over the place, the entire Superman Family including adoptees and third cousins twice removed, and one comic for each one of the 3600 Green Lanterns (not to mention lanterns of red, yellow, blue, indigo, orange, pink, black, white, ecru, puce, vermilion, and the two colors Barsoomians have that we don't) -- but we get one Legion comic.
There's more than enough going on in the Legion universe to support multiple titles. For a start, how about these:
New Wanderers (the Legion formerly of Earth-247)
Heroes of Lallor
Legion of Earth-Prime
Legions of Many Worlds (a different alternate Legion in each issue, either existing ones or new)
Science Police (Power Boy, Gravity Kid, Lamprey, Nightwing, Roon Dvron, Gigi Cusimano, Shvaughn Erin, etc. -- who couldn't make an exciting comic out of that lineup?)
Legion of Substitute Heroes (about time someone portrayed them as heroes rather than fools)
Sorcerer's World (you know Mysa is up to some amazing adventures with all kinds of magic-users - let's see them)
Legion of Super-Villains (focus on individuals or small groups and show what they're up to in between getting together to menace the entire universe)
Legion: Untold Tales (there are lots of untold stories from the early Legion, like the Legion's first encounter with Mordru - let's see these interpreted through the retro/new52 lens the way Levitz did with Legion: Secret Origin)
Legion Espionage Squad (come on, they deserve their own title, don't they?)
That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more possibilities, but for now I could be satisfied with a dozen Legion titles a month.
In the 26th century, three psi-gifted teenagers find themselves on the same flight to Earth. Thrown together by chance, the kids use their remarkable abilities to foil an assassination attempt against Colleen Artveldt, the galaxy's richest person. In response, Artveldt announces that she wants them to be founding members of a new organization, a corps of similarly-talented youths to be called the PsiScouts.
Find out more.