Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Moved to new site

With the (temporary?) end of the Legion, this seemed a good time to move to my own Legion site.

Over there you'll find a post on what I would do with the Legion, plus weekly posts on what was going on with the Legion 50 years ago, 40 years ago, 25 years ago, and 10 years ago.

In addition, there's a whole lot of information about the Legion, with more being added every day.

Come on over and take a look.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Week of 21 August 2013


Just one Legion sighting this week:
Legion of Super-Heroes 23, the last issue and the last Legion appearance for a while.
This is a wrap-up issue. Dirk and Thom and confirmed dead and memorialized on Shanghalla. Tinya is missing and Brainy can't contact her.
Mon-El is still critical and unconscious in a medical chamber. Shady says she's going to take him home -- I presume she means to Daxam, with the best medical care anywhere.
Gigi Cusimano comes to drop a bombshell: The U.P. Council has voted to disband the Legion. This has been coming a long time -- the Legion's been having trouble with the Council since Legion of Three Worlds, and the recent mess has left them crying out for a scapegoat.
There are four poignant epilogues. The first shows Nura being welcomed back to Naltor, with a hint that It's All Been A Dream. (Jacques has also hinted this in the past few issues.)
The second epilogue has Luornu and Chuck pledging eternal love, and supposedly retcons the entire New52 Legion into the New52 version of Earth-2. Which I suppose leaves the Morrison version of the Legion in New52 Earth-1, or whatever they're calling the place now. It's really hard to care, especially as it's all going to be different in another ten years anyway.
The third epilogue shows Jeckie and the newly-regenerated Val arriving at Orando.
The final epilogue shows Rokk, Garth, and Imra on Winath with Garridan and Graym playing in the background, and ends with Imra proclaiming that the Legion's story never ends, while Mr. Levitz signs off with the obligatory Long Live the Legion.


I've been pondering the place of the Legion in DC Comics, their fate this time around (as well as the fates of other versions), and the fact that the Legion just can't seem to find a mass audience in today's comics world.
I wonder if it's not inevitable. I can't say I understand what today's comics readers are looking for, other than blood, guts, and boobs. What seems to succeed violent, sadistic, misogynistic, simplistic, and childish.
I don't think the Legion can be any of those things.
I've heard that the Legion's large cast is a deterrent (but somehow large casts in the X-Men and the Avengers aren't a drawback). I don't think there's a way to do the Legion without a large cast.
I've heard that the Legion's convoluted history is a deterrent (but somehow the convoluted histories of Batman, the X-Men, and the Green Lanterns aren't). I don't think the Legion can avoid having a history -- even if it starts over again from square one, in a year or two there'll be a history that will inevitably be part of current stories.
I've heard that the future, science-fictional setting of the Legion is a deterrent. I don't think the Legion can work without its future setting.
I've heard that the Legion isn't "edgy" enough -- which I think is code for sadism and violence. Well, the Legion's tried dark-and-gritty, and there was plenty of sadism and violence in the Giffbaum years. I just don't think the Legion is, fundamentally, compatible with sadism and violence (or "edginess" if you prefer).
It's odd, Batman and Superman and Spiderman and all the rest die and beat each other to bloody pulps all the time...maybe the difference is that they come back -- whereas the Legion (the first  comic to have a character die permanently) has always treated death and violence as consequential and, in many cases, irreversible.
In so many ways, I just can't see the Legion finding a successful place in today's comics environment.
So what's the answer?
There are a certain number of Legion readers who will buy the book no matter what. I don't know what that number is -- ten thousand, eight thousand, five thousand? It's not enough to sustain a print book.
But what about a web comic? How much do an artist and writer get paid per issue? If five thousand readers would each pay, say, $3 a month for a digital version (I know I would), that's $15,000 a month or $180,000 a year -- do artists and writers get $90,000 a year per book? Somehow, I don't think so. (Even if you assume DC and Comixology take their cuts, throw in an Annual and a special issue or two, and you could still be talking $50,000 a year each for artist and writer. Not chicken feed.)
If DC thought there was a demand, they could package six months or a year's worth as print collections and sell them -- the same 5,000 loyal fans would probably buy them, and any other sales would be additional gravy.
Just an idea.


Everyone seems to be pitching DC their take on a revival of the Legion. I, of course, have one, and I'll present it in an entry over on my Legion website.
For now, hokey as it sounds: Long Live the Legion!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Week of 24 July 2013

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

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week of 17 July 2013


One Legion comic this week: Legion of Super-Heroes 22 (2013/09).
Well, now the Legion is acting like the Legion!
Ayla pulls herself together and blasts the Persuader (which Garth doesn't seem to be able to do). Imra shows what she's made of, with a great line: "I've faced Darkseid. You don't scare me."
Jacques and Brek return from the weird dimension, only to find out that the fifth member of the Fatal Five is the Promethean Giant that Tharok's been controlling. Okay, that was cool. And it recalls Tharok's mental control of Validus in the original Fatal Five.
Jeckie appears along with Val, who has mysteriously come back to life. This keeps happening; if I choose to believe that Jeckie's love is strong enough to bring him back from the dead, who's gonna tell me I'm wrong?
Anyway, Jeckie releases the Giant from Tharok's control -- another nice echo of the original Fatal Five, when it was Jeckie who released Validus from Tharok's control.
It falls to Brek (following Imra's suggestion) who finally defeats Tharok, by freezing him to absolute zero, "the temperature at which there's no energy for electrons to move." (Which makes comic-book sense, but is absolutely lousy science -- at absolute zero, matter becomes superconductive, which means electrons travel with zero resistance. Well, zero resistance would have rendered Tharok inoperative anyway, so I'll let it slide.)
Back on Earth, Luornu mourns another dead body ("Like a chunk of my soul has been ripped out") -- at least she has plenty more to spare. And a tearful Brainy confesses to the assembled Legionnaires that it's all his fault.
I can't help but hope that Levitz brought Karate Kid back to piss off Giffen (even though his return has been in the works since the Legion Academy in Adventure.)
It's nice to see the Legion coming back, although it's hard to see why they couldn't pull together like this earlier. 
One more issue to go.
So how long do y'all think it will be before the Legion (in some form) is back? Put me down for around 9 months.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Week of 10 July 2013


One Legion comic this week: Smallville Season Eleven #15 (2013/09).
Now this is a Legion that works. And this is a Superman who's noble and compassionate, a Superman you believe could inspire heroes for a thousand years.
And the Legion! Great costumes, characterization spot on, these are heroes who see a problem and jump into action, doing what they can. A Legion that uses teamwork to accomplish the impossible.
I'm ready to see the Legion spinoff from this title...all-digital, if necessary. There are so many stories to be told, so much to find out. They've got Kara (Supergirl) for the Superman connection; they've got ten seasons of tv continuity to draw on for new stories. I'm ready.

Oh, there's also new Young Avengers and the long-awaited sixth issue of America's Got Powers, both comics filled with cute boys.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Week of 19 June 2013


One Legion comic this week: Legion of Super-Heroes 21 (2013/08).
The remaining Legionnaires gather on Earth for a showdown with the Fatal Five Three. Element Lad resists the temptation to turn the oxygen in the villains' bodies into chlorine; Shrinking Violet resists the temptation to shrink inside the Eye and shatter it like she did before; Harmonia doesn't release the power of the winds, water, and rock against them; Lightning Lass doesn't short out Tharok's circutry; Cosmic Boy doesn't toss them around by the iron in their hemoglobin; and Dream Girl flat out refuses to use her power at all.
Instead, the Legionnaires bravely fall down continuously and scowl at the Fatal Five Three.
At the end of the issue, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad show up...and somehow, it's a hopeful moment.
I have no doubt about Imra's ability to save the day. After all, she's the strongest telepath in the universe -- nothing with a mind can resist her. (As Universo once said to her, in fear, "The two most powerful beings in the universe -- you just looked at them, and they fell over.")
What really annoys me about this whole arc is how passive and whiny the Legionnaires have been. Yes, they've had bad things happen, and they're excused for being a bit demoralized...but honestly: Tinya fleeing to another dimension with the intention of never coming back? Dream Girl refusing to look into the future? Cosmic Boy doing nothing of consequence?
This isn't the Legion that defeated MordruDarkseid, the Leigon of Super-Villains, and the Time Trapper.
There's one last loose end, one that might be a red herring or a clue to the last issue. On page two, the following exchange takes place between Cos and Brainy:
Cos: Don't overthink it, yell for help.
Brainy: Obviously. The wuestion is from who...and where?
Cos: See if you can reach--
Brainy: As I said -- obviously...but maybe there's another possibility too -- before the quarks fade out again...
Who are they talking about? Garth and Imra, I suppose, are either "obviously" or "another possibility" -- but who's the other one?
When I read that, my frist thought was that Cos was going to say "Superman." But flashpoint barrier, time travel doesn't work, yadda yadda yadda.
So who else is there? XS? The Legions of the other Two Worlds? The Subs? ComputoMordru? The Infinite Man? Ronn Kar
I guess we'll see next issue.

Week of 26 June 2013


I did not see any Legion content in comics this week.
There's more news of justice Leave 3000. Apparently there will be no Legion connection. And it's being written by Keith Giffen, who in my opinion is every bit as good a writer as he is an artist...which is to say, not at all to my taste. I can't see any compelling reason to pick up this book.
While I'm at it, I think I'll drop World's Finest...I've been waiting a long time now for something to happen, and it hasn't.
That will leave Smallville Season Eleven as the only DC comic I'm buying. I have over six thousand comics in my collection, and I'd guess at least five thousand of those are DC titles...but there's really nothing at DC any more to keep me even mildly interested -- except, of course, Smallville Season Eleven. (Which I imagine they will cancel soon.)
For the last, oh, forty years I've been buying each new Legion comic (except for the Giffbaum years when I quit in disgust, and a few short hiatuses between titles) -- it's going to feel odd to go to the comic store month after month and spend money with no Legion to show for it...no DC comics....
Unless...the Legion starts appearing as a backup feature in Smallville Season Eleven...then starts to push Clark out of the comic...until the name changes to Smallville: Legion of Super-Heroessmiley

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week of 12 June 2013


One Legion comic this week: Smallville Season Eleven 14.
I've been late to this party: it turns out that Smallville Season Eleven started life as a digital comic published weekly at Comixology.com. Each issue of the print version collects three "issues" of the digital version.
Instead of trying to keep up with the digital comic, I 'll continue to list the print version only here (I'll cross-reference to the digital comic when possible). If DC cancels the print comic but continues the digital one, and if they continue to feature Legion content...well, I'll put on my flight ring and fly across that bridge when we come to it.
This story continues the arc from last issue. For the first time we get to see more Legionnaires from this alternate universe, including some old familiar faces -- I've tried to identify them all, but with some of them we only see the backs of their heads. Anyway, I made my best guesses.
The existence of this digital comic raises an interesting question -- when if the next incarnation of the Legion crashes and burns, is it possible that DC would consider doing a digital-only Legion comic? What do y'all think?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Week of 5 June 2013

I did not see any Legion content in comics this week. I also did not see any Legion content in books, video, or other media. I did have a dream that featured Brainiac 5, my old high school, and a speech contest. Brainy lost the contest because he gave his speech in Coluan; I think the winner was a purple camel but things are a little fuzzy...probably lingering effects of too much time travel.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Week of 29 May 2013

I did not see any Legion content this week.

There's a Smallville Season 11 special that has an interesting take on the Martian Manhunter's origin, plus a throwaway sight gag for Lost fans. That's about all I found interesting.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Week of 22 May 2013

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

There was a new issue of Young Avengers, with lots of cute boys and some tender moments. Hulkling and Wiccan continue to be the cutest couple in all comicdom (although rumors are that Kevin Keller is going to have his first kiss in an upcoming issue.)

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Week of 15 May 2013

There's a new Legion comic, a couple new-ish trade paperbacks, and some stunning news. You can read my take on it all at my Legion site.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Week of 8 May 2013

One Legion comic today, and an unusual one: Smallville Season 11 #13.
If you haven't been following Smallville Season 11, it's a continuation of the TV show in comic format. As such, it's outside standard DC continuity (whatever that is).
I'm calling this as a distinct alternate Legion, albeit one that's an offshoot of the one in the Smallville TV show.
This is the first part of a three-parter, and it's got some interesting twists. Earth is in conflict with New Krypton, formerly the Kryptonian colony Argo. Earthgov, represented by Minister Kirt Niedrigh, views the Legion as collaborators with the Kryptonians. There are plenty of hints of the xenophobic "human supremicist" theme in this version.
Booster Gold is there, too, and has a Legion ring just like he's supposed to. Brainiac 5 is caucasian and looks like the actor who played him in the series. Clark and Garth are just plain cute. When the two of them meet once again, there's a definite sexual charge in the air. (Plus there's the fact that for much of the story, Garth is holding onto one of Clark's balls, and no, I'm not making that up.)
All told, it's a refreshing take on the Legion, and a fun little comic. I'm definitely looking forward to the next issue.


As always, check out my new Legion site, and email me if you want an account so you can leave comments and such.

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Friday, May 03, 2013

Week of 1 May 2013

I did not see any Legion content this week. The new issue of World's Finest has Power Girl and the Huntress fighting Desaad, who at times bears a striking resemblence to the Time Trapper...but I'm sure that's just the tattered purple robe and hood plus general menacing posture. In other words: No Legion stuff to see here. Move along. Move along. ----------

Monday, April 29, 2013

Week of 24 April 2013

I did not see any Legion content this week. There was, however, a new issue of Young Avengers, and damn Hukling and Wiccan are the sweetest couple anywhere in comics! ----------

Week of 17 April 2013

Sorry, folks, I forgot to post here. If you haven't had a chance yet, check out my new Legion site at http://donsakers.com/lsh/ I can see a time in the not-too-distant future when I'll move posts over there instead of here. ---------- New Legion comic today, hooray! This one mainly concentrates on the new Emerald Empress, who is a finalist for the Otto Award for Worst-Hairstyle-on-a-Villain-of-Villainess. (The Otto Award is a 31st century award that I just made up, named in honor of Otto Binder, the Legion's creator.) We're still in the Fatal-Five-Stomps-on-the-Legion, things-are-getting-worse portion of the narrative. Mon-El is banged up so bad that everyone fears he might be dead (gee, that's never happened before in a Levitz/Giffen collaboration). Next issue we're promised that things are going to get even worse as Validus steps into the fray. I hope this doesn't turn into one issue of pounding on the Legion for each of the Fatal Five, followed by Brainy's hidden plan delivering everyone from danger in the last issue. Actually, if Levitz is true to form -- and if he can resist the Giffen influence -- I'd look for the Legion's salvation to come from either one or more inactive members (think Luornu & Chuck and Garth & Imra showing up in Earthwar), or one of the "weaker" members (think Dream Girl from the Great Darkness). If I had to guess, I'd look toward Mysa and the Sorcerer's World. ----------

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Week of 27 March 2013

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

I have been pondering the Legion's popularity. In this post over on Legion Abstract, Matthew worries that the Legion is going to be cancelled, and wonders if "...the audience for the Legion of Super-Heroes may have permanently shrunk to the point where these characters just can't support their own title anymore."

I've also been cataloging the Legion's appearances from their first cancellations, the run in Action Comics and Superboy, which has got me thinking about Superboy.

They kept trying to ditch Superboy. He resigned, then came back. He resigned again, then came back again. He finally left permanently...and came back again. Eventually, he died.

The Earth-247 Legion eventually gained Superboy (Connor this time) as a member. There was Superboy's Legion. With the Earth-Prime Legion, Supergirl took the place of Superboy. The renaissance of the current Legion started with adventures involving Superman.

Why? What is it about Superboy?

I'd like to suggest that casual readers need to have some familiar element as a point of entry to the Legion. Liam and LaDonna Legion-fan, who've read the Legion for years, are happy to buy anything that says Legion on it -- but when Cameron and Cecy Comic-reader pick up a Legion comic, they see nothing that looks familiar to them. So they put it down, thinking "I'll never be able to follow this."

If Matthew is right and there aren't enough Liams and LaDonnas out there to support the title, we need to give the Camerons and Cecys something.

So despite my reluctance to see the Legion tied too strongly to the DC present day, I will state the following as a Law of the Legion: The Legion needs a Superboy.

It doesn't have to be "Superboy" as such. It can be Supergirl, Superman, someone with the S-shield and the cape. A familiar symbol.

And now I have an ingenious way to give the Legion a "Superboy" while still retaining some distance from the current DC universe and allowing the writers maximum creative space. Picture this:

A "Superboy" joins the Legion. He's clearly not Kal-El/Clark Kent. Might as well make a whole "Who is Sensor Girl?" storyline out of "Who is Superboy?"

Turns out, he is...(wait for it)...the son of Superman.

"But wait," I hear you cry, "Superman doesn't have a son, except maybe Chris Kent who might not even exist any more. There's no way DC is going to introduce Superman's son into current continuity just to make Legion fans happy."

You're right. Superman doesn't have a son now. But he will, at some indeterminate point in the future. (We know Superman will have descendants.) We never need to see that part of it. We never need to establish a timeline, or a continuity, or even tell who his mother is. We don't even need to know if the kid is an only child or one of many. All we need is for "Superman's Son" to be involved with the Legion in the 31st century.

Why would Superman's son hang out with the Legion? Picture Superman raising this super-powered teenager. "Son, you need to learn how us use your powers, you need experience, you need a firm grounding in morality. I learned a lot of these things from my time with the Legion -- now I'm sending you to them for a training period."

A brand-new character who can legitimately be called Superboy (although if they want to make it Superlad or Superkid or even Superboi I won't complain.) A character who wears the S-shield and cape, and has a firm connection to the present-day Superman. A character from our near-future, hanging around in a time that's new to him -- a nice character for Cameron and Cecy Comic-reader to identify with.

Just as "Superboy's time" was a permanent 15 years before "Superman's time," the "new Superboy's time" could be a permanent 15 years after Superman's time. That provides a nice buffer against any craziness that DC imposes on the "present." We can further use the whole "this is only one possible future" dodge to make the Powers That Be feel better.

Who knows, "future Superboy" may even get his own title. Which the Legion could then invade, and finally turn it into Future Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

What about it, Mr. Levitz?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week of 20 March 2013

Two Legion appearances this week.

Legion of Super-Heroes 18 (2013/05)

Wow, someone agreed that Keith Giffen's art is ugly, so they had Scott Kolins and Tom Derenick do a Keith Giffen impersonation. They tried their best to make everyone and everything look ugly, but couldn't quite pull it off. There are an awful lot of gritted teeth and scowls. Ah, well, at least they varied the grid of panels quite a bit.

All tech based on quarks (which seems to be just about everything modern) has stopped working, all across the United Planets. Brainy, of course, can get things working with pre-quark technology.

This is all the fault of the newly-upgraded Tharok, who seems to be everywhere. The result is a world in which technology fails, economies collapse, Legionnaires quarrel amongst themselves and abandon their teammates, and they call one another by first names rather than codenames. You can just see them ditching their costumes and going to utilitarian grey jackets with lots of pockets as the unvierse collapses and the Legion, wracked by tragedy, becomes irrelevant.

Oh, wait, been-there-done-that.

Seriously, what does Keith Giffen contribute to these collaborations? Deciding which Legionnaires to casually kill off? Coming up with new ways to justify technological and economic collapse? Creating smirking characters and angry mobs who suddenly turn against the Legion? Gritting his teeth and scowling a lot?

I still have faith in Paul Levitz. I'm hoping that the collaboration went this way: Giffen thought of some really terrible things to do the Legion, then Levitz figured out how to make it a coherent story (and tell it in less than 25 issues) that comes to a satisfactory ending.

Action Comics 18 (2013/05)

Okay, I have admitted that I'm too stupid to understand what Grant Morrison does. So take this with a grain of salt.

Superman's fighting with Mxyzptlk's son(?) through all of space and time (?). He get the upper hand by having everyone in the universe (?) say their names backwards, which somehow turns the bad guy into a big stone statue (?), which Superman then throws into the moon.

The Legionnaires, having traveled through time in order to save Superman, stand around in a hospital with the dying Myxyzptlk (?) until a guy arrives who is "a damaged edge" of the bad guy (?). They attempt to get him into their time bubble in order to...do something (?)...but right about then they all join the crowd saying their names backwards (except Imra's last name is back to Ardeen instead of Ranzz, so maybe she forgot she and Garth were married, or maybe they got divorced, or who know what) and that takes care of everything -- without the Legionnaires having to lift a finger -- so why were they part of this story to begin with?

There's also a group of weird guys who apparently have (or will have) their own comic, who decided to come aboard for the publicity, because they certainly don'thave anything to do with the story either.

At the end, presumably, Universo no longer takes over the United Planets in the 31st cenury...or maybe this whole alternate Legion ceases to exist...because we never get to see any resolution of that whole thing, not even an attempt to explain why this Legion looks so different from the one in Legion of Super-Heroes (Jeckie's a snake named Sensor, Shady's called Umbra, Chameleon Boy grows up to be just Chameleon, Gim is alive and called Colossal Boy rather than Leviathan, Chuck is Bouncing Boy...in general it's a has of classic Legion and the Legion of Earth-247.)

One would almost think that this whole story was penned by someone who's so convinced he's a Great Talent that he sees no reason to respect the creations of others, follow any kind of continuity, tell a coherent story, or make the slightest bit of sense.

Nah, that couldn't be. Everyone assures me that Emperor Morrison is wearing a magnificently beautiful suit of clothes.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Week of 13 March 2013

I did not see any Legion content this week.

Now that we're at one Legion title a month, a lot of weekly reports are going to start out that way. We can have seventy-five Batman titles a month, Justice Leagues all over the place, the entire Superman Family including adoptees and third cousins twice removed, and one comic for each one of the 3600 Green Lanterns (not to mention lanterns of red, yellow, blue, indigo, orange, pink, black, white, ecru, puce, vermilion, and the two colors Barsoomians have that we don't) -- but we get one Legion comic.

There's more than enough going on in the Legion universe to support multiple titles. For a start, how about these:
  • New Wanderers (the Legion formerly of Earth-247)
  • Heroes of Lallor 
  • Legion of Earth-Prime 
  • Legion Academy 
  • Legions of Many Worlds (a different alternate Legion in each issue, either existing ones or new)
  •  Science Police (Power Boy, Gravity Kid, Lamprey, Nightwing, Roon Dvron, Gigi Cusimano, Shvaughn Erin, etc. -- who couldn't make an exciting comic out of that lineup?) 
  • Legion of Substitute Heroes (about time someone portrayed them as heroes rather than fools) 
  • Sorcerer's World (you know Mysa is up to some amazing adventures with all kinds of magic-users - let's see them) 
  • Legion of Super-Villains (focus on individuals or small groups and show what they're up to in between getting together to menace the entire universe)
  • Legion: Untold Tales (there are lots of untold stories from the early Legion, like the Legion's first encounter with Mordru - let's see these interpreted through the retro/new52 lens the way Levitz did with Legion: Secret Origin) 
  • Legion Espionage Squad (come on, they deserve their own title, don't they?)

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more possibilities, but for now I could be satisfied with a dozen Legion titles a month.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Week of 6 March 2013

I did not see any Legion content this week.

I continue work on my new Legion site; drop by and take a look.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Week of 27 February 2013

I did not see any Legion content this week.

We have a new hamster. His name is Corflu and his super-powers include super-wheel-running, super-cheek-stuffing, and super-nest-building. Like Comet and Krypto, he's white all over; once he's old enough, I think he would make an excellent member of the Legion of Super-Pets.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Week of 20 February 2013

This week there were two comics with Legion content.

Legion of Super-Heroes 17 (2013/04) is the start of the Fatal Five story. It's drawn by Keith Giffen, so of course everything looks ugly and squashed. And, of course, the panels are all done on a strict boring grid, mostly variations of six panels per page.

Levitz drops us directly into the middle of a confusing, hectic story with little background and less explanation of what's going on -- so it feels very Giffen-written as well.

Why would a good writer like Levitz do this to his readers? Well, because it's Levitz, there's good reason. The Legionnaires are confused and have no explanation of what's going on...and Levitz puts readers right in the same place.  We instantly feel what the Legionnaires are feeling.

This is a chancy strategy for a writer. If the hectic confusion goes on too long, readers will just throw up their arms and walk away from the story. (That's exactly what happened during Giffen's non-Levitz run on the Legion.)

However, this is Levitz. I have confidence that by the middle of the next issue, we'll start to have some explanations. Clues in this issue already point to an underlying sense of what's going on.

Bottom line: Potentially a great, suspenseful introduction to a major storyline, with some really ugly art.

Action Comics 17 (2013/04) was billed as the conclusion to Grant Morrison's storyline. Well, the story doesn't seem to come to any conclusion, it looks like it will be continued next issue.

I say "doesn't seem to" because I can never follow Morrison's storytelling. Final Crisis left me totally at sea -- I've read plot summaries that seem to make sense, but damned if I can find any of it in the actual comics.

So maybe the story concluded in this issue, and I just can't tell.

Anyway, the Morrison version of Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl bounce around in time a lot, talking about how they have to do something to keep Superman from dying and Universo taking over the world...but all they seem to do is keep arriving late for everything. (They also pester Clark Kent's landlady for the exact date the Kents died -- why the Legionnaires thought the landlady would know this, or why they didn't just look up the obituaries online, is unexplained.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Week of 13 February 2013

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

I did get America's Got Powers #5 (of 6), which has been a long time coming but was worth waiting for. Cute teenage boys (some of them very large) with superpowers, government conspiracies, good vs. evil, not bad for a Legion off-week.

BTW, if you want an account on my Legion site (www.donsakers.com/lsh), leave a note here or send me an email. I'm getting lots of what look like spambots applying for accounts, and I don't want to miss any legitimate requests.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Week of 6 February 2013

I did not see any Legion content this week.

There's a new issue of Kevin Keller that's just sweet beyond words. I think I finally get the appeal of Archie comics. I assume that Kevin Keller is about the same romance/comedy mix as the other Archie titles, except the formula is so much more meaningful to me when it's gay boys rather than straight boys & girls.


Saturday, February 02, 2013

Week of 30 January 2013

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

I did take the opportunity to re-read the entire run of  the recent Legion Lost title, and you know what? It's just as bad as I remember.

Okay, there are many reasons it was bad. There were too many ideas crammed into too few pages. Most of those ideas were obviously what I call "hey-wouldn't-it-be-cool" ideas, novelty for the sheer sake of novelty, without any thought of fitting into a larger narrative. Worse, most of these ideas were never followed up.

In addition, the title had two writers, who apparently never talked with one another about their conceptions of the series. The first guy at least seemed to have some idea of where he wanted to take the time-lost Legionnaires; the second guy just used the book as a companion title to Superboy and Ravagers, thus turning the Legionnaires into supporting characters in their own title.

All that aside, the most awful thing about this title is that everything constantly reset to zero. In the final analysis, nothing happened. The characters went through a series of apparent adventures -- at least three of them even died -- yet at the end, they were unscathed and unchanged. (All right, Gates was physically scarred and Tellus grew legs...but emotionally and psychologically, they were the same.) All the apparent sacrifices were pointless, because no one paid any cost.

As various critics have pointed out, the Legion is all about change. Characters grow, change, even die. There are real prices to be paid, and the characters are altered by their experiences. That's what makes the Hall of Heroes such a powerful image: the Legionnaires are aware of the prices they've all paid. That's what makes it worth while to follow convoluted Legion continuity: we understand the present Legionnaires by knowing what they've faced in the past.

In this day and age, a Legion series that goes 16 issues without anyone changing or paying a price is a series that's the opposite of everything the Legion means.

And that, in my opinion, is why Legion Lost was so bad.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Who's This Mystery Woman?

At the end of Legion: Secret Origins #6, Triplicate Girl shows a slate of potential Legion candidates. This is set just prior to the Legion's recruitment of Superboy.


So who are these? The top row is easy: Star Boy, Superboy, and Shrinking Violet.

The boys in the bottom row are Brainy and (I presume) Sun Boy.

But who's the girl in the bottom row? She's not Phantom Girl, who was already a member at this time. There's not another dark-haired female Legionnaire until Shadow Lass (this ain't her) and then Dawnstar (also not her).

Night Girl, maybe? Laurel Kent? Life Lass? Yera in disguise? Supergirl in her secret identity? (Does Supergirl even have a secret identity any more?)

I'm baffled. Anyone?



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Week of 23 January 2013


Legion content this week:
Legion of Super-Heroes 16 (2013/03)

Cham and Vi go on an Espionage Squad mission, Validus is missing, Brainy discovers something about Glorith, and the results of the Leader Election are in. I'm not going to tell you who won, but if you click on the cover to the left there's a spoiler.
Let me just say that I'm happy with the results, perhaps happier than the winner is.

I'm less happy with the art. Cos looks downright homely, Tinya looks silly, and Vi just looks odd. The depiction of Cham is okay, it makes him look more alien, somehow.
I understand that Keith Giffen is coming back soon, so maybe they're trying to get us used to ugly-looking people. (Look at Saturn Girl in the viewscreen -- she has a very Giffen-esque look about her.)


Over in Marvel-land, I got Young Avengers #1 (2013/03). It features Hulkling and Wiccan, one of the most adorable gay male couples in comics today. The art is nice, the story is comprehensible, the dialogue isn't stilted, the cliffhanger ending is suspenseful...I had to keep looking at the cover to make sure it was a Marvel comic.
Definitely recommended for anyone who likes to see cute boys in love.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Week of 16 January 2013


Legion content this week:

 Legion Lost #16 (2013/03)

 This is the last issue.

 Well, folks, apparently it's over. Nobody important died, most of the unimportant people lived, Nathaniel Adym has gone into the past -- and good riddance to him. Our time-lost Legionnaires are still in the 21st century.

 Now it's left up to Brainy and Paul Levitz to clean up the mess. I'm not worried, both of them are up to the task. Brainy's research on Glorith's time powers is certainly headed in that direction. And as for Paul Levitz...well, he's used to cleaning up the messes that the rest of DC makes of the Legion. He's done it so often.
I fully expect that the Lost crew will be reunited with the rest of the Legion in due time, that Gim will come back where he belongs, and that there will be much rejoicing.
As for the secret missions that half the Lost Legionnaires were on, as well as the mysterious Echo division of the Science Police -- I trust that we can forget all about that.
Phew!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Week of 9 January 2013 Part 2


Legion Content This Week:


Action 16 (2013/03) - has two Legion stories: The Second Death of Superman and Future Tense.

The first story is the Adult Legion that's appeared in Action before, but with more detail. The second one is, presumably, a story of the teenage years of that Legion.
Except, speaking as a demented fanboy, it's all a mess. The adult Legion is based on the Earth-247 Legion: Shadow Lass is "Umbra," Sensor is a giant snake with robot arms, and Chameleon Boy is just "Chameleon."
But the teen Legion in the second story are based on the original Leigon. It's "Colossal Boy" instead of "Leviathan," Chameleon is Chameleon Boy, and Chuck Taine is Bouncing Boy.
Yet the two storylines are obviously linked -- these are clearly supposed to be the same Legion at different points in time.
Needless to say, this Legion is incompatible with the New52 Legion that Paul Levitz has been writing about.
I'm calling this a legitimate alternate version, which I'm designating "Morrison New52" until a better name turns up.

I understand that creative teams need their freedom, and that there are many versions of the Legion to pick and choose from. But people, this is exactly why readers complain that the Legion is too complicated. A new reader who's been following the New52 Legion faithfully suddenly runs into an incompatible version..."Umbra, I thought her name was Shadow Lass?" "Sensor...is that the same person as Sensor Girl? Why is she disguised as a giant snake?"
Me, I don't care. Another alternate version of the Legion is fine with me. I've been reading the Legion for nearly 50 years, and am an obsessive fanboy. But wasn't the point of this whole New 52 thing to attract new readers?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Week of 9 January 2013

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

Addition: However, an alert reader did...so I'm going to talk about that Legion content in another post.

However, in working on my new Legion site, I did find a 47-year-old blooper chronicler's error.

Cast your minds back to Adventure 341, part two of the two-part Computo saga. In the previous issue, Computo executed Triplicate Girl. On page 3 of the current issue, the Legionnaires assemble to grieve for her:

But wait, who's that in purple-and-orange, with her back to us?

After the Legionnaires construct a memorial that gathers Triplicate Girl's disintegrated particles and sends them to Shanghalla, they get a surprise:

There she is again!

"But we saw you die!" says Superboy. More like "But we saw you standing in between Ultra Boy and Light Lass, just a second ago!"

I guess the other Legionnaires were too grief-stricken to notice that the woman they're mourning is in front of their eyes the whole time. "Super-senses" indeed!

Actually, my real guess is that this figure is supposed to be Phantom Girl, but the colorist messed up.

A little digital recoloring, and voila!...Phantom Girl:





Thursday, January 03, 2013

Week of 2 January 2013

I did not see any Legion content in DC comics this week. I didn't see any Legion content outside DC comics this week.

I have been having a tremendously good time working on my new Legion site, which is filled with all kinds of Drupally goodness (I've been learning Drupal), and I estimate is going to take me roughly until the Legion's time to finish up.