Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week of 27 July 2011

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

I did not see any LSH content in DC Comics this week. However, I do have this:

Amazon Listing here


Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Karate Kid (Val), Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Sensor Girl, Starman/Star Boy, R.J. Brande, Sodam Yat

Just in time for the reboot of the entire DC Universe, here's a beautiful hardcover guide to the major heroes and and villains of the DC Universe. This book seems aimed at kids and casual comics fans, not the sort of well-informed readers who hang around here. OTOH, it does have Legionnaires: one listing for the Legion of Super-Heroes, along with individual listings for Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Karate Kid, Lighting Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, and Starman.

I don't know the source of all this informaton; it seems drawn from various different versions of the DC Universe, and there are some odd things out of left field here and there. Karate Kid, for example, is described this way: "Though fast on his feet, he's not always the quickest of his team to leap into action -- he always looks for a peaceful way to victory first. Karate Kid uses his fighting skills only when he must!" (It also notes that recently "...he was exposed to a rare version of the OMAC virus which left him incredibly sick" - which seems to be another way of saying "dead.")

My guess is that the book was edited with an eye toward impressionable kids, and they didn't want to encourage children to go out and emulate Val by dashing off after the Fatal Five alone, or leaping up to smash power spheres to save Orando....

Saturn Girl's write-up notes that she "...sometimes flies using her flight belt, rather than her Legion flight ring." Uh...yeah, sure.

Most interesting, however, is a note in Starman's entry: "Dream Girl (a.k.a. Nura Nal) is Starman's 31st century girlfriend and Legion teammate. Nura's power to see the future recently drew the attention of the evil Doctor Destiny, who kidnapped her and transported her to the 21st century. But Starman and the rest of the Legion of Super-Heroes were quick to travel back in time to save her."

Say what?!

I have a theory. Remember that Dreamy was one of the missing Legionnaires in L3W? Remember that panel in Adventure that showed the Legion rescuing Dreamy from 21st-century imprisonment? Remember how that whole thing was never addressed? At the time, I guessed that Dreamy was supposed to have been captured by Brainiac, but the writer just forgot and left her out.

Perhaps not. Perhaps there was a storyline somewhere involving Doctor Destiny. Anyone know anything about this?

Bottom Line: I wouldn't treat this book as canon in any way, and you've seen all the art before, but it's an attractive volume at a pretty attractive price ($16.99 undiscounted). To this Legion completist, it was definitely worth the price.



Week of 20 July 2011

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

DC COMICS: THE NEW 52 #1 (2011/09)
"Legion Lost/Legion of Super-Heroes"


Chameleon Boy, Chamelon Girl, Dawnstar, Dragonwing, Gates, Tellus, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Ultra Boy, Wildfire

CUTE BOYS: Brin, Jo, Tyroc (with hair!)

This is a free promo for the "New 52" (wonder what they'll call it in five years? "The same old 52"?).

We all have a lot of questions about this new restart at DC, and few answers about how it will affect the Legion. We've been told that the Legion will be among the books least affected; that ought to be a comfort.

Yet we've seen this happen again and again: DC changes Superman's background, and those changes alter the Legion's history. The Legion's creative teams go through all sorts of contortions to bring the LSH into conformity: pocket universes, Valor, reboots, Crisis after Crisis -- only to have DC, sooner or later, restore the status quo.

Here's what I'd like Paul Levitz to say to the DC powers-that-be: "Do what you like with the DC Universe, rearrange Superman's life however you want, eliminate Superboy or keep him, give Supergirl whatever origin you want. But don't expect me to change the Legion's history to match your fashions. I've got the Time Trapper and the Infinite Man on my side, along with as many alternate timelines as I want and the time-travel magic to move between them at will. If there are discrepancies, just don't worry about them."

And here's what I'd like him to say to the fans: "I will take care of the Legion, but don't push too hard. If you start complaining to DC about discrepancies between the Legion's history and the present-day DC universe, you're going to upset the applecart. Do you remember Glorith? Do you remember Valor? Do you really want them to dig out some fan writers to ruin the Legion again? Do you want another reboot? Or would you rather find out what happens next with these characters we all care about? Then just be cool, okay?"

Of course, none of this is going to happen. Sigh.


"False Victory"


Brianiac 5, Colossal Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Earth-Man, Element Lad, Gates, Invisible Kid (Jacques), Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Polar Boy, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Tellus, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Ultra Boy, Dyogene, Harmonia Li, Black Mace, Blue Entity, Chameleon Chief, Cosmic King, Hunter (Adam Orion), Lightning Lord, Questor, Radiation Roy, Saturn Queen, Spider Girl, Sun Killer, Terrus, Tusker

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Brek, Brin, Dirk, Gim, Jacques, Jan, Jo, Mon, Tyroc

Harmonia Li and Thom work together to take the Legion to the planet of the Wise, where they join in combat against the Legion of Suepr-Villains. The Legion appears to gain the upper hand, but Saturn Queen appeals to the Blue Entity, who tells her that Earth-Man is the key to her victory.

A surprisingly-straightforward story with lots of action. Dyogene gives the best explanation we've gotten so far of who the blue entity is: "...the nemesis of Oa, the doom from our original sin, reborn through mortal arrogance. He would topple the balance of the worlds, and sees this timeless sanctuary as a fulcrum...he will come here."

Last month I offered a pristine, shrinkwrapped copy of Legion Archives #1 to the commenter who guessed the actual identity of the blue critter. pblfsda suggested "a devolved form of Krona" -- a guess that instantly impressed everyone else. It looks as if pblfsda is on the right track, but let's hold off until next issue when All Should Be Explained...although my guess is that pblfsda will soon have a copy of Legion Archives #1.

On a more solemn note, this is the last Legion issue pencilled by Yildiray Cinar. I am very sorry to see him go; to my eyes, he captured the Legionnaires and their world in a unique and beautiful way. I wish he could have stayed through next issue, to bring the LSV storyline to its conclusion. I wish Mr. Cinar all the best in his work on Firestorm.


Notice that Lightning Lord mentions that Saturn Queen sent Zymyr back for "more pillagers," which explains the presence of hordes of villains in that magnificent two-page spread.

...That doesn't, however, explain what Cosmic King is doing here, while he's simultaneously infiltrating Legion Headquarters over in  Adventure

Hunter has gained the power to control wildlife (due to the blue entity's magic, which has been boosting the powers of all the villains.) This power is reminiscent of an old Legion villain, Jungle King/Monster Master.



On page 4, there's a puzzling figure right in front of the leftmost Legion crusier, to Dream Girl's right -- the one who says "It's clearly where the villains who ravaged Colu went..." By the logic of the situation, it almost has to be Brainiac 5...but he's colored completely wrong.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Week of 13 July 2011

There were no Legion appearances in DC Comics this week.


Week of 6 July 2011

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

First, apologies for being so late. It's been awfully hectic around here lately. Now on to the comic:

ADVENTURE #528 (2011/09)
"Graduation Day"


Bouncing Boy, Chemical King (memorial statue), Duplicate Girl, Ferro Lad (memorial statue), Invisible Kid (Lyle) (memorial statue), Karate Kid (Val) (memorial statue), Kid Psycho (memorial statue), Night Girl, Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, Crystal Kid, Dragonwing, Glorith, Gravity Kid, Lamprey, Nightwind, Power Boy, Proty I (memorial statue), Variable Lad, Cosmic King

CUTE BOYS: Bob, Chuck, Hadru, Special Mention for Jed & Tel

It's Graduation Day, and Lamprey is off to the S.P. outpost on Houp, while Power Boy, Nightwind, and Crystal Kid are off to the new S.P. special squad Takron-Galtos. Gravity Kid is upset; he and Jed have a tender farewell scene that confirms the two of them as a couple.

Meanwhile, a shadowy figure sneaks into Legion Headquarters, in service of Saturn Queen and armed with codes to deactivated all the alarms. It turns out to be Cosmic King.

Back at the Academy, Bouncing Boy, Duplicate Damsel, and Night Girl detect an ambiguous Headquarters alarm, and head off to investigate. They are followed by Comiet Queen, Chemical Kid, and Dragonwing.

In a nightmarish sequence in the Hall of Dead Heroes, the three Legionnaires are attacked by the HQ defenses, and then face Cosmic King himself. He gets the better of them, then turns to face the newly-arrived trio from the Academy.

All in all, a fun issue with plenty of action. The scene between Jed and Tel is sweet, although it would have been nicer to see them kiss. Oh, well, progress is progress, I suppose.


Houp, Lamprey's next post may be a misspelling of "Huop," an energy world inhabited by energy beings. The world was first mentioned in Adventure #377 (Feb 1969). It makes sense for Lamprey, with her electrical powers, to be assigned to an energy world.

Cosmic King has not really appeared much in action against this Legion. He was always more an Adult Legion villain. (Of course, the Retro Legion is pretty much an adult Legion, aren't they?) Unless I'm mistaken, this may be the first time he's been written by Paul Levitz. Anyone know for sure?


Monday, July 04, 2011

Week of 29 June 2011

I did not see any LSh content in DC Comics this week.

I did get my copy of the hardcover collection of Legion Lost. I re-read the series, and while I can see many reasons that people liked it, it really wasn't my cup of tea. I guess I just prefer my Legion a bit less dark and miserable.

Ah, well. It's still good to see the Legion popular enough for DC to feel they can make money off a hardcover like this.

Makes me think of some other series I'd like to see in hardcover or trade paperback. Just off the top of my head:

  • The death of Superboy
  • The Universo Project (maybe combined with "The Condemned Legion" from Adventure)
  • The Conspiracy storyline
  • The Emerald Empress series from late in the Levitz/Giffen run
  • Secrets of the LSH and Who's Who in the LSH in one volume
  • Earthwar
  • A Legion Weddings collection, including "The Weddings that Wrecked the Legion," Chuck & Luornu's wedding, Garth & Imra's wedding, Ultra Boy & Apparition getting hitched in the Earth-247 Legion, and probably one or two others I've forgotten
  • End of an Era
  • The whole 20th Century Exile storyline from Earth-247
  • A collection of Brainiac 5 Goes Crazy stories
  • Legionnaires 3 and Cosmic Boy
  • A collection of Legion of Substitute Heroes stories
  • Wanderers
  • Valor
  • Legion Worlds

Okay, DC, that should keep you busy for a while. Release these over the next couple of years, and you can charge me $20-$30 apiece. I'm stupid, I'll pay.

What about the rest of you? What Legion series would you like to see released in bound form?