Sunday, June 27, 2010

iPhone Wallpaper

I made this wallpaper for my iPhone 3GS. Click to make it larger.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Week of 23 June 2010

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

"The Day After Titanfall" 


Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Earth-Man, Gates, Invisible Kid (Jacques), Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Sun Boy, Tyroc, Ultra Boy, Wildfire, also Saturn Queen
HONORARY MENTION: R.J. Brande (image only), Superboy (Kal) (variant cover only)

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Dirk, Garth (looking somewhat haggard), Gim, Jacques (if he would only get rid of that stupid goatee), Jo, Mon, Rokk, Tyroc [I don't feel I know him well enough to call him "Troy." I think the appropriate word would be "Sir."]

Two covers. The variant one has a nice picture of Superboy (Kal) and Krypto with the Legion Clubhouse in the background, and a logo clearly inspired by the old "Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes" logo.

A good follow-up issue after the series started with such a bang.

Brainy and a team of heavy-hitters clear rubble from Titan's destruction from traffic lanes, until Saturn Queen turns up. She's there to see the destroyed Titan in person (it was, after all, her home planet), but she takes time out to take over the minds of Brainy and the others, most notably poor Ultra Boy. She sends him to Earth to destroy Legion Headquarters, but eventually Phantom Girl stops him.

Gates takes Dream Girl and Dawnstar to Naltor to ask the Naltorians to harbor some Titanian refugees until they can be resettled. Meanwhile on Earth, Cosmic Boy sends a team to quell incipient race riots where Earth supremacists are protesting the arrival of refugees from Titan.

Saturn Girl, in her time bubble, returns to the point when the twins disappeared, and gets an image from their minds that may help her find them. On Winath, Lightning Lad interrupts his investigation of Mekt's birth to go after Imra and the boys.

While all this is going in, Earth-Man is learning more about his Green Lantern ring, whose existence he has kept hidden from the Legion.



Tyroc is back (and looking terribly butch). Dream Girl is back. If you're keeping count (and who isn't?), this completes the roster of the eight Legionnaires listed in L3W as missing. Chameleon Boy Element Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Quislet, Sensor Girl, and Tellus were on Espionage Squad duty in the 21st century.

Tyroc explains that he is "fully recovered from Earth-Man's power-sucking tube." As sexy as that sounds, it probably just means Tyroc has been recovering since Superman & the LSH.

Dream Girl's absence (she was last seen in the Lightning Saga) and the reason for her return are unexplained. The teaser page in Adventure #1/504 showed her in the 21st century, bound into some kind of machine, repeating "The dream will die" over and over while Conner and Mon-El burst in upon her. In the background some monitor screens (or perhaps windows) showed futuristic cityscapes and planets.

Here's my guess: Dreamy was supposed to play some part in the Last Stand of New Krypton storyline. I'm guessing that she was going to be a prisoner on Brainiac's ship; that the images of planets and cities behind her related to the bottled cities and their future worlds; and that "The dream will die" referred to Brainiac's plan to kill Superman.

So why didn't Dreamy wind up in that storyline? It's almost as if some incompetent writer didn't read his notes carefully enough, or read them and then totally forgot to put Dreamy in, or just had his tiny little mind overloaded by too many characters and too many pointless pages. In Brande's name, let us all hope that this incompetent writer never gets his mitts on the Legion again....

Mon-El seems to indicate that he and Shadow Lass have broken up. I dearly hope this isn't permanent, because they've been one of the most stable Legion couples. The last time we saw them, in L3W, they seemed happy enough. What happened? Did Shady catch Mon and Sodam Yat in bed together and get all pissy about it? That hardly seems likely; Shady hasn't minded all the other boys that Mon has fooled around with. Maybe because Mon and Sodam are both Daxamites?

ADDITION (24 June 2010): I just caught this. That incipient riot, where the xenophobic people of Earth were protesting the arrival of refugees from Titan? Yeah, it's "Painted Desert Camp." And where's the Painted Desert? You got it: Arizona.

And what's going on in Arizona in the present day? Xenophobes protesting the presence of people who share 99% of their genes.

Political commentary in a Legion comic? Who'd'a thunk it? Refreshing, isn't it?

(The protesters carry a n Interlac sign that says "Go Home." Considering that the Titanians' home was destroyed, it's a pretty stupid sign.)

(Also, notice that the Medi-center at Painted Desert Camp bears both the Red Cross and Crescent. A nice multicultural touch. Do I sense the hand of our favorite Turkish artist?)


Saturn Girl's "time sphere" is now a "time bubble." It was always "time bubble" before. Geoff Johns says "time sphere," Paul Levitz says "time bubble." Let's call the whole thing off.

Chameleon Boy says that Earth Humans and Titanians share 99% of their genes. In Last Stand of New Krypton, Titan was settled in the 21st century by an alien telepathic race called Lanothians. Perhaps in the ensuing thousand years, there has been an enormous amount of interbreeding between Humans and Lanothians/Titanians...but enough to share 99% of their genes? Perhaps there is some other explanation. A thousand years is a long time....


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Week of 16 June 2010

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

THE BOYS #43 (6/2010)
"The Innocents: Conclusion"

ROLL CALL: Auntie Sis, Bobby Badoing (not-Bouncing-Boy), Kid Camo (not-Chameleon-Boy), Klanker (not-Ferro-Lad), Ladyfold, Malchemical (not-Metamorpho), Stool Shadow (not-Phantom-Girl)

CUTE BOYS: Hamish, Kid Camo, Malchemical (totally evil, but cute), Guy-with-Star-on-Cape

The Super-Duper storyline is over. Which means I don't have to buy this comic any more. And not a moment too soon....


R.E.B.E.L.S. #1 (8/10)
"What Happens in Vega... Conclusion"


Adam Strange, Amon Hakk, Captain Comet, Lyrl Dox, Pulsar Stargrave, Starfire, Tribulus, Vril Dox, Wildstar, Xylon

CUTE BOYS: Adam Strange, Lyrl Dox (new hairstyle, hooray!), Shreegar Val, Vril Dox, assorted Tamaranian and Rannian cannon fodder

Dox, for once, brings about peace. Tamaranians and Rannians will share the planet New Rann, also L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters. Meanwhile, Lyrl Dox turns a pulsar into a sapient being.

BITS OF L.E.G.I.O.N.NAIRE BUSINESS: In a previous continuity, Pulsar Stargrave was a Legion villain who claimed to be part of the Dox line (possibly Brainiac 5's father, possibly the original Brainiac). This time around, it looks like we're witnessing the birth of Pulsar Stargrave as Lyrl turns Pulsar LGM-1 into a sapient construct. We don't know if Pulsar Stargrave exists/existed in the Retro Legion's timeline, but I'm betting he does/did, and this is his origin.

The Pulsar LGM-1 actually exists, and the story they tell is essentially true. Discovered in July 1967, it is now known as PSR B1919+21 (previously CP 1919, aka PSR J1921+2153). It's located about 2300 lightyears form Earth -- which means that even if Lyrl destroyed it today, the light from that destruction won't reach Earth until 1300 years after the Legion's time. Good work!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Disguised 21st Century Legionnaires

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

Get-a-Life Boy did it so you don't have to: I sat down with two years worth of Superman Family comics to find the Legionnaires that were disguised in the 21st century. To recap, they were:

  • Chameleon Boy disguised as Science Police Supervisor Control (Rachel)
  • Matter-Eater Lad disguised as restauranteur Mitch
  • Quislet disguised as Science Police Hovercam MTSP02
  • Sensor Girl disguised as Science Police Officer Wilcox

I will update my own listings of the pertinent comics; others may want to do the same. Note: I omit appearances by any Legionnaires except those listed above, specifically Tellus, Mon-El, Una, and Karate Kid. They were obvious the first time around.

  • Superman 862 (1/09): Control (Rachel) [Cham]
  • Action 874 (3/09): Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Superman 686 (5/09): Control [Cham], Hovercam MTSP02 [Quislet]
  • Superman 687 (6/09): Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Superman 688 (7/09): Mitch [Tenzil], Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Superman 690 (9/09): Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Superman Secret Files 2009 (10/09): Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Action 880 (10/09): Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Supergirl #44 (10/09): Control [Cham], Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Superman 692 (11/09): Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Superman Annual #14 (2009): Mitch [Tenzil]
  • Superman 693 (12/09): Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Superman 694 (1/10): Control [Cham], Hovercam MTSP02 [Quislet], Mitch [Tenzil, Wilcox [Jeckie]
  • Superman 695 (2/10): Control [Cham], Wilcox [Jeckie]

One last word: Sometimes a storyline seems rotten when you read it one issue at a time over months; when you sit down and read the whole thing it one setting, it is better than you remember.

The whole New Krypton storyline is not one of those. It was just as awful this time around.


Week of 9 June 2010

I did not see any Legion content in DC Comics this week. I suppose we can't complain, the last three weeks have been great.


Friday, June 04, 2010

Week of 2 June 2010

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

ADVENTURE #12/515 (8/10)
"Playing Hooky"


Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Superboy (Kal), Triplicate Girl; also R.J. Brande

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Gim, Kal, Lyle, Rokk (and don't miss shirtless little Jason Todds in the preview of Red Hood: The Lost Days)

This issue has two covers, and boy do Legion fans want both. The variant one is an interpretation of the Great Darkness cover where all the Legionnaires are on their knees to Darkseid, and it looks spectacular. The standard cover, showing Superboy and the Legion, is rather static and the figures are disturbingly distorted. I guess Yildiray Cinar was too busy.

Paul Levitz gives us a sweet story of young Kal-El visiting the future so he can be himself. He plays off the same device that Geoff Johns used with another Superboy (Conner) Adventure #1, a checklist: in this case, Kal's list of things he can't do in his own time. Nothing of much consequence happens, in a cosmic sense, but Superboy has a "pretty much perfect" day.

The only real shadow across his perfect day is that he gets kissed by all the girls, but none of the boys. I'm guessing that's for another list.

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: The costumes and roster put this early in the history of the Legion. Luornu is still Triplicate Girl, Gigi Cusimano is still at the S.P. Academy on Mars waiting for her first assignment.

Imra puts a block in Kal's mind: "sort of a post-hypnotic command, to keep you from being intimidated or confused -- you won't recall clearly anything you learn in the 31st century about your own future -- and each visit here will be almost like a dream." Later, upon returning to the present, Kal tells Pa Kent: "I think I saw some of my future, Dad. But it's all fuzzy -- like it was a dream. A really good dream. You know how it all starts fading after you wake up?"

This is all canon. In classic days, the whole "post-hypnotic suggestion" thing came about to explain how Superboy and Supergirl could be in the Legion together if they didn't meet until he was Superman. Originally, I believe, the post-hypnotic suggestion was self-imposed. Later, the concept was expended to cover both Kal and Kara, and included many of the details that they learned in the future. Saturn Girl was brought into the act much later.

It's a fun concept, especially the way it's treated here. But it's one of those ideas that, when you start looking at it too closely, begins to fall apart. Do we really believe that young Imra Ardeen has the power to play such sophisticated games with Superboy's mind? Or that she could so easily overcome her reluctance to mess with teammates' minds? Do we really believe that these mental blocks won't have some psychological costs for Superboy/man? What about the morality of this whole thing?

I'm not sure that there's a better solution, and the whole "like a dream" treatment is promising...but I'm still uneasy about the future of the concept.

Brainiac 5 serves Kono juice at Superboy's party. The Legion has been drinking kono juice for a good long time.


Imra says that she is an orphan. This is a difference from the classic Legion, in which the Five Legion Orphans were Brainiac 5, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Mon-El, and Superboy.

Imra's ID tag identifies her as "Imra Ardeen-Ranzz" -- but at this time she wasn't married and so was just "Ardeen." R.J. Brande's tag gives his homeworld as Durla, which is correct, but at this point in history it was pretty much a secret -- and I'm afraid it gives away something Levitz is setting up for next issue, namely that Brande is Chameleon Boy's father. I'll bet these ID tags are added at a late date from a standard list for each character, and we can't really expect whoever's adding them to keep up with two different time periods.

Imra specifically mentions that they are in the 31st century. That's...possible, I suppose. If the "current" Legion exists in 3010 CE (which Legion of Super-Heroes #1 says it does), and the Legionnaires there are in their 20's (say, Cosmic Boy is 25, 26), then this story could be taking place in 3001 CE and Cos could be, say, 14 or 15. But it strains credulity to think that this young Imra is only 9 years removed from the mother of twins in LSH #1.

Legion creators, listen up: It's always been a mistake to be too exact about dates in the Legion. Even insisting on the traditional exactly-1,000-year-gap leads to trouble sooner or later. If you want to fix Legion chronology and use specific years, I told you how here. Otherwise, for the next few years, just say that the teen Legion (featuring Sueprboy) is in "the 30th century" and the older Lgionnaires (featuring Superman) are in the 31st. I am a geeky fanboy, trust me: I know what I'm talking about.


"A Time Beyond Hope"



CUTE BOYS: Mon, Terry McGinniss, Green-Haired Victim Boy, Assorted Metropolis Toughs, and what about that centerfold advertisement for Unnatural History, eh? I know where I'll be at 8 pm on June 13th.

Paul Levitz has been busy lately. Here's a story set in "the not-so-distant future," the world of Batman Beyond.  It's a nice little story, pretty much self-contained, with all sorts of Levitz touches. Mon-El's appearance, in just two panels toward the end, is perfectly justified, totally in character, and makes nonsense of the claim that the Phantom Zone would be off-limits for the rest of the 21st century.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to drool over the Unnatural History boy....