Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Week of 26 December 2012

I didn't see any LSH conten t in DC comics this week. Of course, the local comic store wasn't open, so that may have something to do with it.

In the spirit of the season, here's a shot of Supergirl reminding the adult Legionnaires of their identities. Supergirl was a little brat sometimes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Week of 19 December 2012

Legion comics this week:

Legion of Super-Heroes #15 (2013/02)

The coolest part of this issue, from a drooling fanboy perspective, was getting to see the monitor board symbols for three of the four newest Legionnaires (albeit backwards). Chemical Kid's is a chemistry beaker. Dragonwing's is a...dragon's wing. And Harmonia's is the Chinese characters for "Harmony." Pretty cool, eh? (See addendum below.)

Oh, and the story is pretty good too. Some being of great power has an interest in Glorith, and there's a time storm...and some purplish-pinkish radiance...looks awfully Time Trapper-ish to me. (but maybe that's what we're supposed to think).

Salu seems to be rather bitchy to Reep -- maybe she still has a bug up her butt about Durlans.

(There's an interesting bit of reverse parallelism that I never really caught before. Colossal Boy and Shrinking Violet have powers that are opposite one another. And Gim loves Yera, while Vi hates her.) (Or did Vi and Yera have a tearful reconciliation? That was in the Giffbaum Legion, wasn't it? I must be getting old...)


Once I looked back, I saw that we've been shown the symbols for the four newbies before. In addition to the ones mentions, Glorith's symbol is a tree.

There's also been a change in Comet Queen's symbol -- or maybe this is Chronicler's Error. In the old days, her symbol was a swooping comet; now it's an Interlac capital C. The Interlac letter also appears as a a chest emblem on her costume. I'm going to choose to interpret this as a function of her psychological rebirth, a deliberate choice to recognize that she's not exactly the person she was before.

(Of course, Chemical Kid is a completely different person from Chemical King, but the same symbol is used for both. I don't think there are hard-and-fast rules about these symbols.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Week of 12 December 2012

Legion comics this week:

 Legion Lost 15 (2013/02)

Wow. This comic wasn't half bad. The author actually made the effort to tell readers who all these people are and what's going on...which improved the story tremendously.

All this time, I've been thinking of Legion Lost as a comic about the Legion, and I've been disappointed with the title. This issue makes clear, in a way I hadn't caught before, that Legion Lost is really about this group called the Ravagers, who I assume have their own book. There's all kinds of backstory going on with these characters and their relationship to Superboy and to this Harvest dude.

All very well and good, except I don't care about the Ravegers or Superboy or Harvest. And in the process of following their story, the writers have made a hash of the Legion characters and their backstories. Suddenly there's this secret Science Police organization devoted to keeping the time stream safe (whatever that means), and they have their own time bubbles, and various Legionnaires are supposed to be agents of this organization. Suddenly, time travel works with no problem, Legionnaires are keeping deadly secrets from one another and behaving in all kinds of uncharacteristic ways.

Oh, and Wildfire died. Don't worry, he'll get better. After all, Gates and Chameleon Girl died, and they got better. Death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days.

On the cover, this is touted as "Wildfire's Last Stand?" and next month we're promised the lost Legionnaires' "Last Stand!" I'm hoping that soon after, we'll see "Last Issue on the Stands!!" (indeed, rumor has it that Legion Lost is on DC's chopping block).


On a completely different topic, I've started working non a new Legion site. It's very incomplete and not ready for prime time at the moment, but come on over and take a look if you want.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Week of 14 November 2012

Legion content this week:

Legion Lost 14 (2013/01) - in which Daggor and Thrax attack Earth, the Legionnaires join with Superboy and some other guys that they met in that stupid crossover, the dreaded Harvest does his dastardly stuff, and the mysterious Science Police officer turns out to be friends with just about everyone in the 21st century. Yet the biggest mystery remains unanswered: When will this title be canceled?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week of 7 November 2012

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

There was a Kevin Keller trade paperback, reprinting the first few issues of his title. I think a Legion/Kevin Keller crossover would be fantastic. A bunch of Legion boys could come back to Riverdale in the present day, and Kevin could use his Super Fashion Sense to dress them all in the latest styles (from the skin out, of course). Then they could all join together to defeat the homophobes of Riverdale.

In a subsequent issue, Kevin and his boyfriend could travel to the 31st century to assist the Legion in battling xenophobes.

Many hijinks would ensue (and by "hijinks," of course, I mean "hot gay sex orgies.")

Who's with me?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Week of 31 October 2012

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

I did get a copy of Adventures With the DC Superheroes from 2000, which was a giveaway in grocery stores with purchase of 2 gallons of milk. It's mostly an activity book,. and one page is devoted to the Earth-247 Legion. There's a multiple-choice quiz and a spot-the-differences-in-two-pictures activity.

So far as I know (and with the exception of Cancelled Comics Cavalacade #2, which had a total print run of under a dozen photocopies), this completes my collection of Legion comic appearances.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Week of 24 October 2012

Legion content this week:

Legion: Secret Origin Trade Paperback - collects Legion: Secret Origin #1-6, and includes some extra pages of character sketches.

And, as promised, here is a quick picture of my poor Adventure #247 in its layers of protective plastic.

This is a comic with a history. It's been wet, there's been a little bit of attempted restoration, there was tape on the cover at one point...but all the pages are there, and they're all together. I can open it (gently) and read it just the way kids did when it first came out a few months before I was born in 1958.

It's no use telling me that this comic is in terrible shape, that it's technically worthless, that no self-respecting comic collector would give it a second glance. All those things may be true -- but it's mine, and I loves it. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Week of 17 October 2012

Legion comics this week:

Legion of Super-Heroes 13 (2012/12) in which Rokk gets injured, Grava gets scanned, Luornu gets pissed at Brainy, and Nura gets in a really good line.

Also comes the tiny, tiny notice that it's Legion Leader Election time again. No online voting, apparently: votes must be sent by snail mail to Legion Election, DC Comics, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 by November 16.

(For you younger folks, go to a place called "Post Office" and get a "postcard" -- use a "pen" or "pencil" to "handwrite" your vote one one side, then put the above address on the other and drop it in the "mailbox." The procedure isn't really hard -- go ahead and Google it.)

I'm very tempted to vote for Chemical Kid or even Glorith, just to cause trouble. But all right-thinking people will agree that Tinya deserves a turn as Leader. So please join me in spreading the word:

Phantom Girl for Leader!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Won it!

Well, the auction is over, and I spent Way Too Much Money to secure a battered, bedraggled copy of Adventure 247, the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes. It should be in my eager hands in a few days.

Even though I have nearly(*) every comic the Legion has ever appeared in, I missed out on Adventure 247 when it first came out (still being in the womb), and when I started collecting in earnest in the late 1970s copies were already too expensive. All this time, I've felt like something of a imposter in LSH fandom: every real diehard Legion fan owns a copy of Adventure 247.

Well no longer! Now I can hold my head up high and proclaim with the best of them: I have more money than sense.

(I'll post pictures when the comic arrives.)


* If anybody has a lead on that Adventures With the DC Superheroes giveway that came with milk cartons, or a photocopy of Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2, be sure to let me know.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week of 10 October 2012

Legion content this week:

Legion Lost 13 (2012/12) - Just in case you thought this series hadn't made enough of a hash of Legion characterization, you'll be relieved to know that there are whole new depths of hash yet unplumbed.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Week of 3 October 2012

There was no Legion content this week. I had great hopes for the Futurama comic, but alas there was nothing.

Abnett and Lanning have been getting a lot of buzz about their new title The Hypernaturals. Various folks have said it has the feel of the Legion. Well, in the sense that it has a team of characters who all have different super-powers, I suppose that's true.

I wasn't a big fan of Abnett and Lanning's work on the Legion. I suspect that those who see all kinds of similarities between the LSH and The Hypernaturals are big fans. I think that colors their experience of the comic.

Anyway, this current issue (#4) was touted as a good jumping-on place for new readers (after only 3 issues, the comic needs a jumping-on place for new readers?! That's not "like the Legion" -- that's bad storytelling.) Read it, didn't care for it. Of course, everyone has their own opinion.

If you're looking for somewhat-cute boys with super-powers, take a look at a new title called Hero Worship. It's a little too violent for my taste, and the boys aren't that cute, and they have too many clothes on, and it's been hard to find issues at my comic shop. But it seems to be an interesting story and might be worth your time to track down.

Currently I'm bidding Way Too Much for a Charlie-Brown's-Christmas-Tree copy of Adventure 247 (it's graded 0.5, which I think means "major pieces of all the pages and covers are there somewhere"). Point is, I'm about to buy the Legion's first story yet again, this time paying way more than I ever have before. Wish me luck!

Week of 26 September 2012

There was no Legion content anywhere this week.

Week of 19 September 2012

Legion content this week:

Legion of Super-Heroes 0, 2012/11 - An early story of the New52 Legion, before Brainiac 5 was a member. Shows Brainy's curiosity almost destroying the world (for perhaps the first time), and gives a nice origin of Tharok that's kinda consistent with the classic Legion. [This is the second Legion of Super-Heroes #0, just proving that if a comic sticks around long enough, everything happens again. Mark my words, sooner or later there will be another Legion of Super-Heroes #1,000,000.]

Legion Lost Volume 1: Run From Tomorrow Trade Paperback - for (a) insane Legion completists, and (b) those six sick sad unfortunate individuals who just can't get enough of the New52 Legion Lost.

Week of 12 September 2012

Legion content this week:

Legion Lost 0, 2012/11 - The origin story of the New52 Timber Wolf.

Week of 5 September 2012

There was no Legion content this week.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Week of 29 August 2012

No Legion appearances again this week.

From the back issues bin I got Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 45 (1960/06), which features the adorable super-powered Tom Baker, aka Power Lad.

Not only is Tom gorgeous, but he's also obviously gay. Let's start with the introduction:

What Superman actually said: "Jimmy, while I'm out of town I know you'll miss my sweet lovin'. Go find Tom Baker, and he'll keep you satisfied. Tip: Ask to see his 'power coil.'"

Power coil...right. I've never heard it called that before.

There's an explosion, and Tom gets super-powers, which he promptly demonstrates to Jimmy: super-blowing ability, super-bending-over, and super-massaging-balls. (I am not making this up.)

Tom quickly gives Jimmy "a ride" that leaves the young reporter breathless and in need of repair. Ahem.

"Super-experiment"...right. Call it whatever you want, Jimmy. (Notice how Tom's shirt is ripped? That was some super-experiment.)

Oh come on now, who but a gay boy would run out to see top fashion designers and get not one, but three different outfits? (I swear, I am not making this up.)

Again with the super-blowing. 

With repeated super-pile-driving thrusts, Tom widens the tunnel. I suppose this explains why Jimmy needed repair.

Oh, Lucy, delude yourself all you's not you Power Lad is looking at lustfully. He's using his x-ray vision to check out Jimmy.

Superman returns from out-of-town, and...

A "big thing," eh? I'll bet.

This pose pretty much speaks for itself.

It turns out (surprise!) that Tom Baker is not who he claims...

He is, in fact, an exchange student from Kandor, pinch-hitting for Superman care of Jimmy's needs while the Man of Steel was away. (That's the way Kandor looked in the old days.)

And this is the clincher...his name is Dik-Rey. Obviously, this lad is a Kandorian gay porn star, which is why Superman chose him to keep up with Jimmy's insatiable sexual appetite.

So there it is, Jimmy's gay Kandorian boyfriend. I don't know about you, but I think Dik-Rey should travel to the 31st century and apply for Legion membership. Or, I don't know, maybe he and Dev-Em could get some hot Kryptonian action going?

I'll leave you with one last picture of good ol' Dik:

Week of 22 August 2012

I didn't see any LSH appearances this week.

For those who need a fix of good-looking super-powered teenagers, conspiracies, and even some teamwork in action, America's Got Heroes 3 was out this week. A pity this is only a 6-issue series. If they did an ongoing series and kept up this quality, I'd buy it.

Week of 15 August 2012

LSH Comics This Week:

Legion of Super-Heroes 12 (2012/10) - So why did Comet Queen (apparently) turn traitor? My guess is that it had something to do with her missing memories: perhaps the Dominators offered a way to restore them, or maybe they've had her under control ever since Saturn Queen erased her memories. (That story was in Adventure 527.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week of 8 August 2012

Legion Content:

Legion Lost 12 (2012/10) - Why does Gates look human in the clinic, but looks normal when he's teleporting and when he's in the fight? Is the rule that he only looks human when Oz is in the same panel with him?


Kevin Keller gets to carry the Olympic torch in Kevin Keller 4 (2012/10); there's a variant cover that pictures Kevin as a "super-teen." Who else wants to see a LSH/Kevin Keller crossover -- maybe a retelling of the Dream Girl origin story, and this time all the boys can swoon over Kevin?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Week of 1 August 2012

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

I did get the new Warlord of Mars, in which Carthoris is looking mighty fine in his skimpy little harness and little else. The new Smallville Season 11 didn't have anywhere near enough skin showing.

And World's Finest, about the only other DC title I'm reading, continued to sparkle and fizz with a comprehensible plot, clever writing, good characterization, and wit.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Week of 25 July 2012

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

The new issue of Superman Family Adventures had appearances by the Super-Pets, but Proty was not among them.

Sigh. I miss Tiny Titans.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week of 18 July 2012

LSH Comics this week:

Legion of Suer-Heroes #11 (2012/09) - Don't worry, she has her reasons for apparently betraying the Leigonnaires. I just hope she doesn't have a noble death next issue...I know this isn't a popular view, but I really like her.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Week of 11 July 2012

LSH content this week:

Legion Lost #11 (2012/09) - same old story, but Timber Wolf's 21st century boyfriend is kinda cute, and Gates-as-a-human is adorable.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Week of 4 July 2012

LSH comics this week Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes hardcover: Collects ST/LSH 1-6 in a nice hardcover volume

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Week of 27 June 2012

LSH Comics this week:

Legion of Super Heroes: Hostile World TPB: Graphic novel collecting issues 1-7 of the "New 52" Legion comic. Includes 3 pages of sketches by Jim Lee, Francis Portela, and Walter Simonson.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week of 20 June 2012

LSH Content this week:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes #10 (2012/08)
Particularly nice: Cosmic Boy in a different outfit at the beginning of the story. Apparently this is his inconspicuous, secret agent look. It only assures that he'll attract notice, because he looks so hot that anyone who sees him, even Dominators, will want to do their best to talk him out of that outfit. Woof!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Week of 13 June 2012

LSH Comics this week:

LEGION LOST #10 (2012/08)

For your convenience, here's a capsule review of every issue of the new Legion Lost series (including this one):

The lost Legionnaires blunder around for a while. They argue with each other. Timber Wolf smells something unusual, and is separated from the group. It is revealed that some of them are carrying secrets, but those secrets are not shared with anyone, including the reader. We are given hints of their mysterious real mission or missions.At least one Legionnaire does something totally out-of-character.

Someone else is chasing them, for reasons that aren't exactly clear. One or more Legionnaires are apprehended. A rescue attempt goes awry.

By the end of the story, the Legionnaires despair that they are stuck in the past.


Saturday, June 09, 2012

Week of 6 June 2012

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

Also of interest:

World's Finest #2, written by Paul Levitz, is out, for those who are fans of good storytelling.

DC has announced that September will be Zero Month, with all issues numbered 0 (again). Apparently, the goal is to tell some of the backstory of the relaunched New 52, since readers have "questions...about how these characters came to be, especially when we started in the middle of their story." There's a lot of talk about "revealing new things about these characters" and "keeping the storylines fresh and exciting."

 Storylines and characters aren't kept "fresh and exciting" because of gimmicks like reboots, alternate Earths, and "revealing new things." Storyline and characters are kept fresh and exciting by good writing. If you constantly feel that you have to revert to an endless series of one-off gimmicks, then you need better writers.

I don't know precisely why DC doesn't have better writers. I have some guesses, based on anecdotes and my own feelings as a writer (although I write science fiction, not comics).
  1. Good writers want as much autonomy as they can get. This means a minimum of editorial control and adherence to arbitrary mandates (reboots, Zero Months, I'm lookin' at you). Note that Paul Levitz was able to resist a complete reboot for the Legion this time around.
  2. Good writers want to work on something they care about. Again, Paul Levitz with the Legion is a great example. I don't know exactly why he's writing World's Finest, but I'm betting that he cares about it.
  3. Good writers want respect for themselves, their creations, and their artistic judgment. If Alan Moore thinks a Watchmen prequel is a bad idea, listen to him. Give creators credit and a share of the profits before a court orders it (and without fighting endless lawsuits). Consult with creative teams before ordering wholesale changes in their creations.
  4. Good writers want to be make a living. I have no idea what DC's pay structure is like, or how it compares to other publishers. Perhaps it's fine. Probably there is some room for improvement.
If DC gives writers these things, they will attract good writers.

Let me digress and tell you about a story I just sold to a new anthology. I sold the story for a pittance; I'm fine with that. The editor is a friend, she asked for a story, I figured the exposure would be good, and I plan to use the story as part of a longer work in the future.

However, I had problems with the publisher's contract. (It's important to know that the editor had no control over the contract terms or timing.) For one thing, contracts weren't actually signed until after the book was in print, which is at least a major annoyance and at most copyright infringement. One strike against the publisher.

Then, there was a clause in the contract stating that, in perpetuity, authors could not allow their stories to be reprinted in any format without notifying the publisher months in advance.

Think about the implications. If my story were chosen for a Best of the Year anthology, I would have to notify the publisher before allowing it to appear. Now, I've had other stories in Best of the Year anthologies, and the quick turnaround would make it impossible to comply with this advance notice clause.

Beyond that, if I wanted to issue an ebook version of the story (I do), or include the story in a longer work (I do), or sell audio or video rights (I wouldn't say no)...I couldn't do it without notifying the publisher months in advance. And this would be true even 10, 20, or 50 years from now.

I protested against this clause. I asked that, at very least, it be given a time limit: say 6 months after publication. My requests were ignored. So when I signed the contract, I simply struck out that clause.

But...and here's the point of this whole dreary story...I also swore a mighty vow that I would never again write for that publisher.

This is what good writers do when they feel they've gotten a bad deal: they don't write for you again.

I note that this publisher seldom has anything from big name writers. (In this particular anthology, the two biggest names are Rosemary Edghill and me. All due respect to Rosemary, but neither of us is what you'd call "a big name writer.") Seeing their standard terms, I understand why.

And DC has to resort to gimmicks rather than writing to keep their stories "fresh and exciting." This tells me that they can't get enough good writers...which tells me they haven't been giving their writers a good deal.

Just my two cents worth....

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Week of 30 May 2012

I did not see any LSH content this week.

I tried.

Memo to DC: You could've sold me a copy of Ravagers #1, no matter how bad it is, if you'd only included a flashback to The Trainwreck Culling that showed the Legionnaires involved. Heck, I'd have bought it for one Legionnaire.

You know this. You sold me an issue of Super Friends with the Time Trapper in it. You sold me The Brave & the Bold #178 because it showed a freakin' Legion cruiser.  I bought an Aquaman comic because of one panel of someone who might have been Inferno. I once bought a Superboy comic because a character in a dream sequence wore a Legion belt. A belt, for Friv's sake!

You're willing to do every other crazy thing under the sun to sell comics...put Legionnaires in them. I'm stupid, I'll buy.

Other Interesting Stuff:

You might want to check out Image's new title America's Got Powers. Issue #2 came out this week. Super-powered teenagers, cute boys, a good story, an adorable main character who's trying to do his best is a hostile world, cute boys, very attractive art -- obviously, the influence of The Hunger Games has been good for comics. Between Morning Glories  and this, comics with lots of suspense and plenty of cute boys are everywhere. Get-a-Life Boy approves.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Week of 23 May 2012

LSH Content this week:

  • Teen Titans #9 (2012/07) - the sloppy conclusion of the messy Culling storyline (quick version: it stops)
Now available from and probably your local comic shop:
  • Legion Archives #13 - the long-awaited (13 9 years) next volume of Legion Archives
Also potentially of interest this week:
  • Astounding X-Men #50 (2012/07) - Northstar proposes to his boyfriend. Next issue (#51) is the big gay superhero wedding. When will superheroes learn: when you get married, dash down to City Hall and do it on your lunch hour. Big public weddings always result in disaster. Starfinger stole the bride. Garth and Imra's wedding caused That Damned Tabloid. Be like Gim and Yera: get married offstage.
In the news:
  • DC co-publisher Dan DiDio, who has been hinting for a year of the imminent appearance of a gay DC superhero, hinted this week at the imminent appearance of a gay DC superhero. He said that the superhero -- an established player in one of the series, originally introduced as straight -- will become "one of our most prominent gay characters." My money's on Lori Lemaris. [Sheesh, doesn't the guy realize that DC already has prominent gay superheroes? Vi and Ayla. Tel and his spouse, Jed. Doesn't he read the Legion?]

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week of 17 May 2012

LSH content this week:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes #9 (2012/07)
No Legion connection, but possibly interesting:
  • Mystery in Space #1 (one-shot) (2012/07) - I don't know which week this came out, but I grabbed it this week so it's here. This is an 80-page Vertigo anthology of nine different stories in the spirit of the old Mystery in Space. Two of the stories have significant queer content: one is a sweet girl-girl love story, and the other features three cute guys in a relationship. There are various other cute boys  in this comic, including a couple of adorable centaurs.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Week of 9 May 2012

LSH Content this week:

Superboy #9 (2012/7) "the Culling Part 2: Lost Claws"

Legion Lost #9 (2012/7) "The Culling Part 3: Unbeatable"

Also do not miss:

Morning Glories #18 (2012/4) - if you like cute boys kissing & messing around, you definitely want this comic. (If you haven't been following Morning Glories, you should be...not only a great story, but the art is fantastic and the boys are very, very cute.)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Week of 2 May 2012

LSH comics this week:

Teen Titans Annual #1 (2012/07) - "The Culling" Part 1

Potentially interesting:

Smallville #1(2012/07) - continuation of the TV series in comic form; Clark and Oliver are less cute than in person but still fairly hot.

World's Finest #1 (2012/07) - written by Paul Levitz


The multiverse is back in DC comics; this week saw the debut of the new Earth-2 and, in Action #9, Earth-23 and several others. What does this mean for the Legion? I think we can assume that the alternate Legions are all out there somewhere.

DC's new strategy looks like it can be summed up in two points.

  1. Have a new round of #1 issues at least twice a year
  2. Throw a million ideas at the wall and see what sticks
#1 reminds me of that old Calvin & Hobbes strip where Calvin is talking about the Stupendous Man comic, where every issue is #1. The strip ends with Hobbes saying, "Look at the great committee that did this one!"

#2 makes me think that the wall is already a mess and is only going to get messier. And who's going to clean it all up five years from now?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Week of 25 April 2012

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

Teen Titans #8 is a prelude to next month's The Culling crossover, which involves Legion Lost. It has some nice pictures of the new Bart mostly-naked.

Sorry I've Been Away

Get-A-Life Boy has been away for far too long, but he's struggling to get back.

First, it's been crazybusy around here

Second, falling off the once-a-week-Legion-post wagon is dangerous for an obsessive completist. The second week rolls around, and catching up is twice as hard. Then it's a month, and the backlog reaches "daunting" proportions. Two months, and one feels like Karate Kid fighting his way past those humanoid blobs that just split in two when you hit them. Soon, one might as well be Shrinking Violet trying to climb the Metro Tower while stuck at subatomic size.

Finally, there's a another Legion again. I was so hoping that the New-52 Legion would be identical to the Retro Legion, which was close-enough-for-government-work* to the Classic Legion.

Alas, no. DC has done it again, screwed with the Legion's backstory and messed things up. The just-concluded LSH: Secret Origin miniseries made it clear that the differences between New-52 and Retro Legions are substantial enough for me to call them two different alternates.

Ordinarily, I'm very much in favor of alternate Legions. But right now, I just don't have the time or energy for another alternate Legion. All the little iconic pictures, the details of membership and origins and powers and all that rot . . . .

So Get-A-Life Boy is re-evaluating his blog. As I see it, I've been trying to accomplish three missions here:
  1. Timely list Legion appearances, ideally weekly, to alert people to things they might have missed.
  2. Jaunty reviews, observations, and pronouncements from Get-A-Life Boy's own idiosyncratic viewpoint.
  3. References providing comic, date, story title, roll call, and cute boys for each Legion story.
These three missions don't have to take place at the same times. They don't even all have to appear in this blog. Let me tell you what I'm thinking, and then my (ahem) legions of fans can comment below.
  1. I'd like to continue trying to post a weekly list of LSH appearances. I'm thinking this would be the usual "Week of xxx" post, and I'll try to do it as soon as possible after I return from the comic store on Wednesdays.
  2. I want to keep doing reviews, observations, and snarky comments -- but they might not come in the same week the comic was released. I might also bunch 2 or 3 comics together, maybe an entire month, depending on how crazy things are. I see this kind of thing as less timely than the appearances list, but still worth doing as often as I can. I'm thinking I can title these posts "Bits of Legionnaire Business: (month/year)" or something similar.
  3. The reference stuff -- I don't really see this as being timely at all. Myself, I almost never look for this sort of thing for the past year...usually I want to know about anything from a few years ago to a few decades ago. I already have a site that does this sort of thing [yes, I know there's a decade-long hole in the middle, I'm working on it.] So I'm thinking I will continue to update that site when and as I can, and post notice and links to updates here.
So that's my current plan. What do y'all think?

(While you're thinking, I'm going to post this week's update. It won't take long.)

* Disclosure: In his day job, Get-A-Life Boy has a government job.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

DC's Escape Hatch

So what is DC going to do in the unlikely event that they get tired of "the New 52"? They can't very well have "The-Last-One-Wasn't-So-Final-After-All Crisis," can they now?

I believe they've already built in an escape hatch for themselves. And it's on the cover of every one of their new comics: "The New 52."

What does "the new 52" mean? Of course, the name comes form the fact that DC launched 52 titles at once, defining a new DC universe. What are you, Get-a-Life Boy, stupid? Everyone knows what "the new 52" means.

Okay, now let's suppose that one of the new titles gets cancelled. If When that happens, are they going to change their line to "the new 51"? Of course not. What are you, Get-a-Life Boy, stupid? It'll remain "the new 52" no matter how many or how few titles there actually are.

So why 52? Why wasn't it "the new 42" or "the new 37" or "the new 106"? Okay, comics come out weekly and there are 52 weeks in a year...but why should that be significant? It's not like they're issuing one of these titles each week or something. Was DC so enamored of the weekly 52 series that they want to name their new universe after it?

And if when DC decides to restore some semblance of the old continuity, what happens? Do all the characters wake up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette and realize it was all a dream?

Here's where the escape hatch comes in. Any time they wish, DC can reveal that "the new 52" is actually the previously-unexplored Earth-52, created (somehow) by the events of Flashpoint. Badda-bing, badda-boom, they can keep the remaining "new 52" titles in print, and bring back the old versions of previous titles.

You read it here first.


Friday, January 06, 2012

Week of 4 January 2012


Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Chekov, Garth, Kirk, McCoy, Rokk, Spock, Sulu

Castellan Kajz informs the Emperor that there are time travelers around. The Emperor asks why "he" didn't inform them.

The time-traveling team of Brainy, Imra, Rokk, Chekov, McCoy, and Spock run into turbulence in the timestream and crash-land in caveman times, several weeks after the point of divergence. They're attacked by cavemen armed with futuristic weapons, under the control of a powerful mind. Imra leads the team to that mind, and they find Vandal Savage.

In the present day, Cham, Garth, Tasmia, Kirk, Sulu, and Uhura get into the palace and fight their way to the throne room, where they find Flint.

Flint/Savage announces that he has had many names and titles, but the most important is Vandar the Stone, Master of Earth...and none will oppose him. But a shadowy figure with glowing eyes, present in both times, responds "That's what you think..."


Funniest single exchange of the comic, perhaps the series: Chekov is doing his usual "bragging about Russia" shtick, saying "the steam engine, the printing press, even scotch -- all invented in Russia." Cosmic Boy responds, "That's amazing. Our timelines must be even more different than I thought."

Kirk attempts to flirt with Shady, but he's met his match; she's used to worse people than him leering at her.

So why does this Legion recognize Vandal Savage? I can't recall any previous meetings between them. (Yeah, there was Crisis on Infinite Earths, but that's later in this Legion's timeline.) Maybe it was an untold story...or those ubiquitous history tapes.

Fint is the immortal from the Star Trek (original series) episode "A Requiem for Methuselah." The split-screen panel showing him in both timelines is probably a deliberate homage to a similar panel in Legion of 3 Worlds with the Time Trapper and Superboy-Prime.


ACTION 5 (2012/03)
"Rocket Song"

Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Superman

CUTE BOYS: With this art? Everyone looks grotesque.

I don't know what to make of this one. The story retells the Superman origin myth with updates appropriate to the New 52 universe (Jonathan Kent is a devious schemer who deceives the government, Martha is self-absorbed and weepy). Then we cut to an undetermined time (this series hasn't been very good about orienting the readers in time) when Superman's rocket is attacked by "the Anti-Superman Army," who steals its "Kryptonite engine." The theft is discovered by Superman and the three Legionnaires, looking all adult and gritty. In a further attempt to give the readers what they apparently want, Saturn Girl's boobs are huge and both Superman and Lightning Lad have padded crotches.

Look, I have sympathy for new Legion readers who say they're lost -- after all, there's a whole lot of backstory to catch up on. But this is issue #5 of a brand-new continuity, and I'm completely lost. That's not because of the long back-story -- I've read all four previous issues.

I just don't get the appeal of Grant Morrison. I couldn't follow Final Crisis either. Those who think he's so great...what do you see in his writing? Is it the grittiness, the despair, the frowning faces, the enormous boobs and padded crotches? Is it that you figure since you can't follow the story, he must be so incredibly intelligent and good that he's beyond you? (If so, I have news for you...the emperor is wearing no clothes.)

I don't know what to do with this version of the Legion. Perhaps that will come as we learn more...if we ever do. For now, I think this falls into the same category as the Adult Legion's early appearances in Superman and Action comics -- there's no thought for continuity or even sense, DC just realizes that they'll sell more comics if they have guest appearances from the Legion.



Week of 28 December 2011


Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl, Wynn Allon, Anisa, R.J. Brande, H'Hrnath, Marla Latham, Mycroft, Pheebes, Zarl, S.P. Chief Zoltorus(?)

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Garth, Lyle, Rokk, Wynn, Assorted U.P. soldiers

A lot going on here.

U.P. troops take Phantom Girl to Earth, where she meets with the Security Directorate and gives them a data cube containing everything Bgtzl knows about the invaders. She then joins the Legion.

Brainy, in Admiral Allon's ship above Anotrom, helps U.P. forces defeat an invader ship coming though the suddenly-larger wormhole.

Cosmic Boy, lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and R.J. Brande flight-test the new Leigon cruiser, the fastest ship in the U.P. Imra tells Brande that she tried to read the minds of the attempted assassins, but their minds are blocked and they were acting under the control of someone else. Brande announces that the Legion has better things to do than guard him, and he's going to get a bodyguard.

Another assassination attempt on Brade is foiled by his new bodyguard: Invisible Kid.


Tinya's entrance into the Security Directorate's office is reminiscent of her arrival in the new Legion HQ in the Legion's origin story way back in Superboy 147 (1968/06).

When Rokk tells Garth not to crash-test the cruiser, Garth responds "Did that once -- that was enough." He refers, of course, to the crash-landing on Korbal that led to him, Ayla, and Mekt getting their lightning powers.

Among the holo-images of potential Legionnaires is Reep Daggle, later to be Chameleon Boy. Later, Brande makes a note to "Check if Marla gets Reep's quarantine pa--" (probably "papers") -- Reep is, in reality, Brande's son -- a fact that the Legion will not learn for quite a while.

Brainy defeats the alien ship by using "an ancient technique called crossing the T...from before wars were fought in three dimensions." This, I believe, is a deliberate slap in the face to shows such as Star Trek which so often forget that their ships can move in three dimensions. You might remember a scene from Wrath of Khan where Kirk surprises Khan by bringing the Enterprise up from beneath Khan's ship -- the scene came as a surprise because it went against the usual two-dimensional tactics of the show.

Well, now we know where Kirk learned that maneuver...from Brainy himself, probably between pages in the Star Trek/LSH crossover series.

On a more serious note, Brainy's maneuver worked only because the alien ship was emerging form the plane of the wormhole's mouth...thus, in effect, reducing the battle to a two-dimensional one. To Admiral Allon and the other U.P. troops, two-dimensional battle plans were unfamiliar, because for the last few centuries battles were always fought in three dimensions.

Incidentally, this is an early example of Brainy's tactical genius -- which later figured into his rivalry with the Khund Field Marshal Lorca in "The Charge of the Doomed Legionnaires" (Superboy 217, 1976/06).



This is a reprint volume that contains Legion stories from various scattered sources, most of them recent.

The cover is from Adventure 0 (2009/04), and is an homage to the iconic cover of Adventure 247.

First up is "The Legion of Super-Heroes" from Adventure 247, most recently reprinted in the same Adventure 0 (2009/04). By my count, this is the tenth time DC has sold me this particular story. (The other nine are listed here.)

Next up, "Long Live the Legion Part One," the backup story from Adventure 504/1 (2009/10) (I reviewed it here.)

Then comes "Long Live the Legion Part Two" (Adventure 505/2, 2009/11, reviewed here), "Long Live the Legion Part Four" (Adventure 506/3, 2009/12, reviewed here), and "Long Live the Legion Part Four" (Adventure 507/4, 2010/01, reviewed here).

Then, totally out os sequence, comes "Batman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" from Action 864 (2008/06), reviewed here. This is a particularly good story to have. It's an epilog to the Superman and the LSH series and a prolog to Legion of 3 Worlds.

Next is the four-page cute (if inaccurately-titled) story "Friday Night in the 31st Century" from Action 800 (2011/06) reviewed here.

The final story is "Who is Clark Kent's Big Brother" from Action Annual 10 (2007/03), which retold and updated Mon-El's origin for a continuity that no longer exists.

All in all, this is a nice volume to have, with some historically-important Legion stories.

By the way...what ever happened to Lightning Lad's quest for the lost twin that Mekt claimed he had? I'm just sayin'....


Monday, January 02, 2012

Week of 21 December 2011

"Not What They Seem"

Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chemical Kid, Cosmic Boy, Dragonwing, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Glorith, Harmonia, Invisible Kid (Jacques), Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Polar Boy, Sensor Girl, Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Ultra Boy, Dominators, Res-Vir

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Brek, Dirk, Hadru, Jacques, Jan, Jo, Lar, Rokk

With coaching from Element Lad, Chemical Kid defeats Res-Vir. Between Cham, Mon-El, and the rest of the Legionnaires, the Dominators are sent back to the Dominion with their tails between their legs. (The mystery of why they wanted the Legion to follow them back remains unanswered.)

The team on Daxam discovers a lab working with what appears to be Kryptonite, apparently a tiny sample from a meteorite that Res-Vir collected before he disappeared.

Meanwhile at Legion HQ, Brainy continues to ponder the mystery behind the great power of Glorith's magical shields. Dream Girl visits and gives him the clue he needs: Glorith's shield displaces energy through time.

Finally, Shady welcomes Mon-El back and says it's good to see him acting like himself after such a long time. He replies, "You have no idea how long, idea."


It looks like things have come to a happy ending, but I'm guessing we're only at about the midpoint of this story arc. Several things are still unexplained:

  1. Res-Vir's serum, presumably provided by the Dominators, doesn't use Kryptonite but some other strange ingredient.
  2. The Dominators wanted to draw the Legion into the Dominion, where presumably some greater threat is awaiting them.
  3. Mon's enigmatic comment to well as her sudden friendliness toward him...begs explanation.
Meanwhile, here are not one but two absolutely stunning examples of good writing and good art working together.

First, Chemical Kid. Last issue we saw him start to realize that he was out of his depth. This issue, Element Lad coaches him into regaining his confidence and growing up a bit. Look at his face in the opening sequence. You see him go from total panic to tentative confidence to...humility. Look at how Jan encourages him while pushing him into the fray. Look at how Mon-El and Ultra Boy wait out of sight, keeping their eyes on things so they could swoop down in the nick of time. Look at how Mon-El, the Legion Leader, praises him -- both overtly and with the suggestion that lowly Chemical Kid could be on his level.

And finally, look at Hadru's response: "N-no, sir." Where's the brash, overconfident kid? Where's the juvenile delinquent? Where did this sudden respect come from?

The Legion, that's where. The older Legionnaires put Hadru into a situation where he had two alternatives: fail, or grow and succeed. And he rose to the occasion. (Don't you think Element Lad could have turned air into a foot-thick prison of intertron to keep Res-Vir at bay? Don't you think Lar and Jo couldn't have knocked him unconscious again? But no...they gave Hadru his opportunity.)

I think I'm starting to like Hadru Jamik...something I never thought I'd say.

The second stunning bit is the scene with Brainy and Dreamy in the lab.

This is Paul Levitz knowing his characters. Nura and Brainy have a lot of respect for one another, a lot of history together, and are good friends. At the same time, there's always been this tension between them; Nura's powers confound Brainy. Nevertheless, Brainy admits that Nura has a brain that is a worthy companion to his own.

Look, again, at the faces. Brainy, confused and resentful at this whole magic thing. Nura open and friendly, having an intellectual discussion with her friend. Then Brainy's eureka moment, followed by Nura's slightly annoyed expression.

Now think about what's actually going on here. Nura Nal dreams the future. Consider the implications.

Nura knew that she was going to be in Brainy's lab, and knew what both of them were going to say. She knew that she needed to go to the lab and give him the tidbit he needed to solve Glorith's shield.

Once you know that, it brings a whole new level of meaning to the conversation...and particularly to Nura's last remark. "Sigh...always lovely chatting, Brainy -- you listen so attentively..." She knew she was going to say that. She knew everything that both of them were going to say, and yet she had to go through it all, because that's how Dream Girl's life goes.

Like I said, stunning.


Week of 14 December 2011

LEGON LOST 4 (2012/02)

Chameleon Girl, Dawnstar, Tellus, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Wildfire, Alastor

CUTE BOYS: Brin, Troy, Various cops and students at University of Minnesota

Dawnstar gets her turn as narrator this time around, and we learn why she's never pursued a career at the Discovery Channel.

We left Brin and Yera in the mall, where Yera was struggling to control her body form while the cops are panicking. She explains that she only has half of her Durlan body-mass, not enough to control, and she reverts to the alien form. Tyroc and Wildfire arrive, and in the ensuing confusion Year escapes. Brin goes after her, leaving Drake and Troy to deal with the cops.

We learn that Tyroc delayed the mission to pck a lot of supplies into the time bubble's tesseract storage chamber, which is now inaccessible. Wildfire hints that Troy knew something was going to go wrong with the mission. This presupposes that Tyroc has the 12th level intelligence that would be necessary to get anything coherent from this narrative.

The boys catch up with Brin, who has caught up with Yera, who is unconscious. Suddenly the Black Razors show up, shouting their name in Highly Significant Huge Red Letters. Yes, you read that right...the major revelation of this issue is that the Legion is being tracked by none other than The Black Razors. No! I hear you gasp, not the Black Razors! Who could have expected THAT surprise turn of events? This is a revelation that rivals the big reveal of Sensor Girl's true identity, or the reveal that the ultimate villain behind the Great Darkness was Darkseid! I hear you take a breath, then add, By the way, who the hell are the Black Razors?

Why, the Black Razors are...uh...wait, I recognize their logo, I got nothin'. I know, let's try Google! A search for "Black Razors" DC Comics reveals...uh, nothing pertinent.

I know, I know! Maybe the Black Razors are something that the writer invented just for this series, and then chose to reveal in such a dramatic method in hopes that everyone would be so dazzled by the drama that they'd forget to say "What the hell?"

News flash...readers of Legion Lost have never stopped saying "What the hell?"

Ahem. Back to the issue. Dawnstar finds Alastor hiding at the University of Minnesota. She swoops down and snatches him away, dropping him in a nearby swamp where she and Tellus confront him. But Alastor refuses to listen to reason (wow, who'd'a guessed that the wacko racist villain wouldn't listen to reason?) and tells them that he has full control of his transformation. He transforms to his monster form, which contains Carggite DNA so he's able to split into three. Suddenly, Dawny's plan doesn't look so clever.

The issue ends with the standard horrify threat that there will be another one.

News is that the writer is bailing out of this train wreck with issue #6. Good riddance. Maybe they can find someone to throw dice or string together random words from the dictionary or whatever his plotting device is. Or maybe they'll just cancel the title and send the lost Legionnaires back where they belong.

I really hope that Gates has gone to get someone competent to end this misery.

Legion Universe: Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass
Cameos: Blok, Bouncing Boy, Colossal Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Invisible Kid (Jacques), Karate Kid (Val), Light Lass, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, SHrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, Timber Wolf, Ultra Boy, White Witch, Wildfire, Domintors, Khunds, Time Trapper, Universo

Imperial Planets universe: The Imperial Elite: (Emerald Empress), Emerald Eye, (Mano), Slar (Persuader), Ruk (Tharok), (Validus)

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Garth, Rokk, Chekov, Kirk, McCoy, Spock, Sulu, Trelane (and did anyone else notice little Alexander Rozhenko and Harlak on the cover with all the Klingons and Khunds?)

The Legionnaires and the Enterprise crew battle until they overcome their mutual hostility and decide they are on the same side. Each side produces a two-page spread about their respective universes. Brainy and Spock reveal that this is not a third alternate universe; this is, instead, the two universes have merged. Unless they can undo the merge, they're doomed to remain in this version of reality.

Before they can decide what to do, they're attacked by The Imperial Elite, this universe's version of the Fatal Five. The Enterprise crewmembers pair with individual Leigonnaires to defeat the bad guys; each pair gets a single page to do so.

Then Spock and Brainy refit a flying platform into a time machine, and Our Heroes split into two groups. Brainy, Imra, Rokk, Checkov, McCoy, and Spock go back in time to determine when this timeline diverged from reality, and the rest stay in the present (because the platform can only handle six). The stay-at-homes go off to track down the other time anomaly.

This series continues to be intriguing, and the parallels between the two universes continue to be delightful. If Jeff Roberson, the writer, ever wants a job writing the Legion, I would not object. As a matter of fact, once Legion Lost has died a deserved death, let's resurrect Adventure and give it to him. Or bring back the Wanderers. What are the Heroes of Lallor doing nowadays?

I don't know if I'm the first, but I'd like to enthusiastically call for a second Star Trek/Legion series once this one is done.


The big thrill this issue is the Imperial Elite, a nicely-merged version of the Fatal Five.

The Emerald Empress is an Orion woman -- they're green, after all, and deadly.

Mano is a Benzite, which is inspired. As far as I know, the Benzites didn't appear in the original Star Trek, but they are a Federation race who need breathing gear to survive in Earth environments. That's the nearest thing in the Star Trek universe to the poisonous atmosphere of Mano's homeworld Angtu. Good call.

The Persuader is a Gorn slaver named Slar, from the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror Darkly Part II." Great strength, armored skin, barbaric -- another good call.

Tharok is Ruk. In the Star Trek universe, Ruk was an android (played by Ted Cassidy) from the episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" Another good call, although honestly I had to look him up in Memory Alpha to remember him.

Validus is a Mugatu complete with single horn and see-through forehead. Unreasoning brute. Good call.


Week of 7 December 2011

A week that will live in infamy...because there was no Legion content in DC comics.


Week of 30 November 2011


Brainiac 5, Colossal boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl, Wynn Allon, Anisa, R.J. Brande, Marla Latham, Mycroft, Pheebes, Zarl

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Garth, Gim, Rokk, Assorted U.P. military men

While R.J. Brande and the Legion are admiring the new Legion HQ, another assassination attempt is made on Brande -- and quickly foiled by the kids. The Security Directorate approves an S.P. request to deputize the Legion for their work recovering the quintile crystal.

On Anotrom, Tinya tells Brainy that the attackers of Anotrom are probably the same creatures that have been destroying Bgtzl's colony worlds. Tinya reveals that she has a rare genetic gift that allows her to leave Bgtzl, unlike most of her folk.

A space warp opens and an attacker comes through -- looking oddly like Tyr or one of his people. Brainy's force field overloads the attacker's weapon and it explodes, apparently closing the warp.

Gim Allon (Colossal Boy) calls his dad (Admiral Allon) to talk about his future -- he asks if Dad has heard about this new Legion that's forming.

Back on Earth, the Legion foils a third attempt on Brande's life. At the Security Directorate, Mycroft muses about how they can use the Legion.

A very good story, well-told and nicely drawn. The Security Directorate remains mysterious, as do Brande's enemies and the attackers of Anotrom. Meanwhile, Levitz is having great fun messing around with the history of the Legion, adding all kinds of layers but on the whole remaining consistent with what we least, within the boundaries of Chronicler's Error.

It'll be fun to see where this goes.


The story of the Quintile Crystal was told in DC Super-Stars 17 (1977/11).

Tinya's genetic ability to leave Bgtzl doesn't necessarily contradict anything we've seen before. The only Bgtzlans I can recall that we've seen in our dimension are Tinya's brother Gmya, Ron-Vizl (a Bgtzllan assassin),  and Solon Darga (Phantom Lad)...and the last two might have just had the same gift.

Gim Allon mentions that he's recovered from "the meteor accident" -- that would be the one that gave him his Colossal Boy powers.