Thursday, February 26, 2009

Week of 25 February 2009

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)

SUEPRMAN #685 (4/09)
"The Long Goodbye"
ROLL CALL (Retro Legion): Mon-El, Superman, Tellus

Mon-El, fresh out of the self-destructed Phanom Zone, is dying of lead poisoning. Superman panics, especially when his Legion flight ring won't take him to the future. He races around the Fortress like a chicken with its legs cut off, until he finds a phallic bottle bearing a Legion tag ("Mon-El, Drink me"). Despite the fact that the bottle is very clearly addressed to Mon-El, the Man of Steel shows no compunctions about opening it himself.

Against all first-aid advice, Superman pours an unknown liquid down the throat of an unconscious patient. (I'm not going to make crude comments about Supes, a phallic object, and squirting stuff into Mon-El's mouth.) Luckily, the serum works and Mon regains his invulnerability before he can choke to death.

Deeply concerned for his friend, Superman takes his wife and runs off to Metropolis, leaving Mon alone at the Fortress to watch 3D TV. (Is it any wonder that General Zod decided Superman was a bad father and took Chris away from him?)

Meanwhile, the Guardian wakes from a wet dream about Tellus (you think I'm kidding? The scene ends with the Guardian saying, "Okay, buddy -- I'm coming." [emphasis in the original])

Superman decides to leave Earth and go to New Krypton, leaving Earth in the hands of Steel, the Guardian, Oracle, Jimmy Olsen (!), and Mon-El. Apparently a night of TV at the Fortress is adequate preparation for the job of taking over for Superman. Superman and Lois kiss, then he flies off into the night while his tearful wife whispers, "And please come back to me." Gee...I wonder if he'll be back?

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: Now Superman thinks of going to the future to bring back a cure for Mon's lead poisoning. Couldn't have had that idea, oh, fifteen years ago when you put him in the Phantom Zone, could you, Kal?

Superman is quite distressed (deservedly so) by his flight ring's inability to take him into the future. First he says, "Something's wrong -- with tomorrow!" and then later he somewhat incoherently tells Lois, "The 31st century -- which when I tried to go to, I couldn't -- like it wasn't there any more. What's going on in the future, Lois? And why leave me the means to save Mon so mysteriously? Why didn't Brainiac 5 appear and simply say 'here'?"

Mark my words, this has something to do with the end of Legion of 3 Worlds. The future is closed because it's under construction, or something.

I just can't figure out the significance of Superman's sudden inability to speak a coherent English sentence....

"Origins and Omens"

Mon-El flies to Smallville, looking cuter than ever, and has a heart-to-heart talk with Ma Kent -- who is the planet's leading expert in training teenage superheroes. Krypto really likes Mon, which shows remarkable good taste on Krypto's part. But Krypto'd better be careful...Tasmia will kill him if he tries anything.

Mon-El, still speaking without contractions, tells Ma that he's going to adopt a secret identity as Clark's cousin ("To help me be around Lois without too many questions" -- uh huh, yeah, that won't raise anyone's suspicions -- anyway, if Lois tries anything Tasmia will kill her.) Because of his stiff way of speaking (no contractions, remember?) Mon will claim he's from London. Oracle has set him up with falsified immigration papers and a bank account full of untraceable cash -- uh, remind me again, Oracle's one of the good guys, right? -- but Mon needs a name, and "Bob Cobb" just ain't gonna cut it this time around.

So Ma Kent says, "Hey, you need a name...I have a dead husband who doesn't need his name any more...I've got a great idea."

Next page, Mon is outside the door of his new apartment. He must be feeling better, because he has regained the ability to use contractions. He meets his nosy neighbor Sandra, and introduces himself as...wait for it!...Jonathan Kent. (Didn't see that one coming, did you?) Sandra makes goo-goo eyes at him. If she tries anything, Tasmia will kill her.

Then we see a montage of scenes from, presumably, Mon's next few months on Earth. He gets punched out by that god guy whom Krypto chased away last year, flies with the Guardian and a police officer, gets strangled by Sodam Yat (Tasmia will kill him if he tries anything...), gets leered at by Luthor (Tasmia will kill him...), and kisses someone in dreds and obviously not-blue skin (oooh, Tasmia's gonna kill whomever that is...)

The story ends with the promise: "Follow Mon'El's adventures in Superman starting next month." Yeah, I'll bet Mon-El is going to have some adventures "in Superman." Nudge nudge wink wink.

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: Okay, we know that Supes has this adorable little spit-curl that forms an "S" on his forehead. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in at least three panels, doesn't it look like Mon-El's hair forms a stylized "M" on his forehead?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week of 18 February 2009

I did not see any Legion content in DC comics this week.

Unless it turns out that the mysterious Superwoman is really Princess Projectra....


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week of 11 February 2009

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comics.)

ACTION #874 (4/09)

Mon-El is released from the Phantom Zone bare moments before the Zone is consumed by a white void. Lar collapses in Superman's arms -- some would say it's because of lead poisoning, but I believe that Lar is just overcome by the appallingly-ugly art.

Mon-El's story continues in Superman 685.


3. "Uh, Kal, why is there a statue of me among the Legion statues in your Fortress?"

2. "Uh, Brainy, why can't Kal take some of your anti-lead serum back to the 21st century and let me out of the Phantom Zone then?"

1. "Uh, Brainy, why can't you take some anti-lead serum back to the 21st century, get me out of the Phantom Zone, and then take me to the 31st century with you?"

ACTION #874 (4/09)
"Origins & Omens"
ROLL CALL: Sensor Girl [Wilcox], Tellus (cameo)

This story is mainly about the Guardian but it includes a cameo shot of Tellus. The Giuardian's story, and presumably that of Tellus, continues in Superman #686.

"Emerald Eclipse Part One"

No specific Legion appearances in this issue, but part of the story takes place on Daxam (which is conquered by Mongul), and Sodam Yat's parents feature in the tale as well.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #1 (4/09)
"The Future is Now"
ROLL CALL: Brainiac 5, Hakk (a Khund?), Skwaul (maybe a Hykrain?), Supergirl, Tribulus, Un-named alien, Vril Dox (here called Brainiac 2)

Good art, and a competent story. Vril Dox, being chased by a bloodthirsty group of aliens, lands on Earth and seeks help from Supergirl. Turns out that Brainiac 5 programmed Kara with a hypnotic message for Vril.

It will be interesting to see where this goes in the future.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Week of 4 February 2009

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comics.)

"The Legion of Super-Heroes" (reprint from ADVENTURE #247 [4/1958])
ROLL CALL (Classic Legion): Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Superboy (Retroactively conjectured: Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl - see what Michael has to say about this)

How many times has DC sold me this sotry? Let me count the ways:

1. SUPERMAN ANNUAL #6 [25 cents]
2. ADVENTURE #491 (digest) [95 cents]
3. LSH ARCHIVES #1 [$49.95]
7. SHOWCASE PRESENTS LSH #1 (trade paperback) [$16.99]
8. LSH: 1050 YEARS OF THE FUTURE (trade paperback) [19.99]
9. ADVENTURE COMICS #0 [$1.00]

TOTAL: $95.07

What can I say? More money than sense, I guess....

Besides the new cover and nice reprint of a story I already own eight times, what we were all interested in was the backup "Origins and Omens" feature and a clue about the future direction of ADVENTURE. Will it star the Legion?

And the answer is: Fraid not. The "Origins and Omens" story features Luthor, Brainiac, and the ex-Guardian Scar; it seems to tie in to the upcoming "Blackest Night" series and hints at the return of Kon-El (who is not shown wearing his Legion flight ring.)

However, two house ads in the back of the comic are interesting. The first sets the stage for SUPERMAN #686 and ACTUION #875: the headline says "The Never Ending Battle...Just Got Some More Help" and it shows the Guardian, the new Nightwing and Flamebird, and...Mon-El.

The second interesting hosue ad is a thumbnail of the cover of ADVENTURE #1, with two figures visible only in silhouette. First, the cover has a layout that recalls ADVENTURE #300 and similar covers. Second, One of the non-silhouetted figures is Starman...and on his shoulder is a bare hand wearing a Legion flight ringl. Third, one of the silhouetted figures might be a flying guy with a cape -- Mon-El? (Of course, it could just as easily be Tellus.)

In any case, ADVENTURE should join the list of titles to watch for Legion content, along with SUPERMAN and ACTION. Come to think of it, I would advise watching all of Geoff Johns' comics...the Legion or individual Legionnaires can pop up at any point.

"Legion of 3 Worlds Book Three"

ROLL CALL (Retro Legion): Blok, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Girl, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Invisible Kid (Jacques), Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Mon-EL, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Rond Vidar's corpse, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superman, Timber Wolf, Ultra Boy, White Witch, Wildfire

ROLL CALL (Earth-247 Legion): Andromeda, Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Gates, Gear, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum, Kinetix, LeVIathan, Live Wire, Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Spark, Star Boy, Timber Wolf, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Valor (not called M'Onel), Wildfire, XS

ROLL CALL (Teenage Revolution Legion): Atom Girl, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Colossal Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Phantom Girl, Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Supergirl (flashback), Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy

ROLL CALL (Legion of Super-Villains): Beauty Blaze, Black Mace, Chameleon Chief, Cosmic King, Dr. Regulus, Earth-Man, Echo, Emerald Empress, Esper Lass, Golden Boy, Grimbor, Lazon, Lightning Lord, Magno Lad, Mano, Micro Lad, Mist Master, Neutrax, Ol-Vir, Persuader, Radiation Roy, Saturn Queen, Silver Slasher, Spider Girl, Storm Boy, Superboy Prime, Terrus, Tharok, Titania, Tusker, Tyr, Universo, Validus, Zymyr

ROLL CALL (Retro Legion, Flashback to first L3W adventure): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chemical King, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Karate Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Timber Wolf, Ultra Boy,

ROLL CALL (Earth-247 Legion, Flashback to first L3W adventure): Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Kid Quantum (James), Leviathan, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Triad, XS (as a baby)

ROLL CALL (Teenage Revolution Legion, Flashback to first L3W adventure): Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Projectra, Saturn Girl, Star Boy

ROLL CALL (Friends, Family, & Others): Don & Dawn Allen (holograms), Impulse, Koko, Lex Luthor, Myg (Karate Kid), Sodam Yat

Wow! Worth the wait. I laughed, I shivered, and several times I shouted out "yes!" aloud.

This is what good writing is all about. In a single double-page spread, several mysteries are explained: the first "Legion of 3 Worlds" adventure, how XS and Bart can coexist, how three different Legions have interacted with 20th/21st century DC heroes, what happened to the Tornado Twins, and even why the post-Zero-Hour Legion appeared on "Earth-247" in INFINITE CRISIS.

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: So the Fatal Five attacks the force field protecting Legion Headquarters. Validus zaps it with his mental lightning. The Emerald Empress blasts it with energy from the Emerald Eye. The Persuader chops at it with all the force of his Atomic Axe. Mano unleashes the full power of his disintegrating disc. And Tharok...shakes his fist at it.

Good thing Ron-Karr wasn't there....

(Come to think of it, where is Ron-Karr?)

And I guess Eyeful Ethel couldn't get a substitute teacher to cover for her that day.

Interesting that Valor is no longer calling himself M'Onel.

And please, please tell me that Glorith is not lurking anywhere in the Multiverse....


8. Gates: "I suppose, regardless of the world, they are still vertebrates."

7. Beauty Blaze: "You want us to burn a hole in the street?"

6. Lightning Lad: "I totally called this, didn't I, Cos?"

5. Blok: "I heard you complaining under there." Jo: "And Tinya says that never helps."

4. Wildfire: "So this is the bedroom of a madman? I thought there'd be more brains in jars."

3. Ultra Boy: "Three Phantom Girls? I hope I'm not dreaming,"

2. Lightning Lad : "It's pronounced WINE-ath, not WIN-ath." Spark: "We pronounce it Win-ATHE."

1. Brainiac 5: "You do know that negativity is a sign of eleventh-level intelligence." Brainiac 5: "Is not."


12. The most Interlac in-jokes per square inch of any double-page spread in history.

11. Another dead Karate Kid (by now, it's a tradition).

10. Sodam Yat's new version of the Green Lantern oath.

9. "He just went up, up, and away!"

8. Comics in Clark-Prime's backpack (ACTION #550, GREEN LANTERN #171, and LSH #306)

7. The Avenue of Heroes.

6. Shrinking Violet using the tiny guns that were designed for her way back in ADVENTURE #367.

5. All the trophies in Legion HQ, but especially the satellite from ADVENTURE #247.

4. Managing to fit in Lyle, Condo, and (I guess) James Cullen.

3. "Welcome to Smallville: Home of 'The Super-Boy.'"

2. Finally settling the dispute over how to pronounce Winath (and, by extension, every other name that fans have argued over.)



7. Clark's career as "The Super-Boy."

6. Inconsistencies in pronunciation (i.e. WIN-ath, Win-ATH, Win-ATHE) (and, by extension, spelling, etc.)

5. Why no-one except Adult Brainy knows about the Three Legions, Jenni, etc.

4. Jenni, Bart, and the Flash Family being in different universes.

3. Inconsistencies in costume/membership/age of the three Legions in the first L3W adventure ("And the Legions of three worlds were pulled together from different Earths and different times.")

2. How different Legions could interact with present-day DC heroes ("When time-traveling one can shift into the multiverse.")

1. ANY other inconsistencies, past, present, or future ("When time-traveling one can shift into the multiverse.")


5. "Live Wire's back!"

4. Double-page spread on p. 4-5

3. Double-page spread recounting the first L3W adventure.

2. Bart's costume erupts from his Flash ring.



12. Who's minding Graym while all this is going on? What about Cub, the son of Apparition and Timber Wolf?

11. How many other Legions are out there, what Earths are they on, and when do we get to see them? (I, for one, would like to see Kent Shakespeare, Devlin O'Ryan, and even Celeste Rockfish again.)

10. Where are Gazelle, Dream Boy, and the newly-resurrected Dream Girl of the Teenage Revolution Legion?

9. Are the Wanderers, the Subs, or the Heroes of Lallor going to show up?

8. Are Bouncing Boy, Una, and Quislet (Retro Legion) going to have parts in this?

7. Where are Chameleon Boy, Element Lad, Sensor Girl, and Tyroc (Retro Legion)?

6. How does Tellus figure into all of this?

5. What do we call the Earth that Superman comes from? Earth-One? Earth-Zero?

4. What's up with Luthor's hair?

3. When is Thom coming back?

2. What Earth is the Teenage Revolution Legion from?

1. Why does this have to stop after two more issues? Why can't it be a 12-issue series, or better yet, 52?


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Anticipation Lad

LEGION OF 3 WORLDS #3 is due out today. And I just found myself, sitting at work, literally counting the hours until I can get my hands on that comic. Oh, and ADVENTURE #0 should be out as well.

I've been anxiously waiting for Legion comics most of my life.

The first time I remember feeling such anticipation for a comic was waiting for ADVENTURE #370 (the second half of the "Mordru the Merciless" storyline). I was nine years old at the time. When I was in college, the cumulative waiting for the five parts of Earthwar just about drove me crazy.

After the Magic Wars were over, my level of anticipation for Legion comics settled down -- through the various reboots, most of the time it's been "Oh, is it time for the new Legion comic already?" Still, there were times when a ghost of the old feeling came back.

Then there was the Lightning Saga. And "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes." And I found myself (rather happily) once again acutely aware of when each new comic was due out.

But this magical year when the Legion and I are both fifty...LEGION OF 3 WORLDS is due out today, and I'm counting the hours. And somewhere inside, I am nine years old again.

Just two and a half hours to go....


Sunday, February 01, 2009

New Layout

I redecorated. I got bored with the old layout.

I hope this one will be a little easier to read and more useful.