Sunday, December 18, 2005

Waid's new Newsarama interview on Supergirl, One Year Later

As you've probably already seen, Mark Waid has a new interview at Newsarama in which he talks (as much as he can say) about what's been going on with the current Legion title.

"One of the greatest creative strengths of the series - that it exists in its own little corner of the DCU - is, unfortunately, one of its greatest marketing weaknesses... because sales on all the DC books connected to Infinite Crisis are rising ... we're sort of lagging behind in the overall growth of DC in the marketplace. We asked ourselves repeatedly, ‘What sort of loud shot across the bow can we fire to get readers' attention without in any way compromising what we're doing? How can we 'connect' to the 21st century DCU without losing what makes the Legion's arena special? We discussed a half-dozen ways to do 'Superboy and the Legion Of Super-Heroes', but not a single one of them wasn't in some way convoluted or horribly retro. But when [Dan] DiDio suggested Supergirl, we knew we had something."

"Despite a lot of good work, we blew it with the post-Zero Hour reboot in '94. We were so desperate to be new and retro, to be innovative and familiar, to take no chances that might alienate the longtime fanbase, that we tried to be all things to all fans and ended up saying nothing. This time out, twelve years later, DC said to us, ‘This time, you have our full backing. Go all out and don't worry about the past. Reinvent the franchise from the ground up, as if it were being envisioned for the first time today.’ And it seems to have worked!"

Worked well enough that Waid can assure current Legion fans that when the series "leaps" one year ahead to 3006 with a sly wink and a nod to “OYL” (as opposed – according to Waid - to a full-blown 'Oh, my God! Where did Lightning Lad vanish to, and who are these three new Legionnaires?’ moment”), Supergirl will be an addition to the established series, not a major change to it, or continuity...

"Which Supergirl is it? Who is she, exactly, and how did she arrive in the 31st century?" asked Waid. "When she smiles warmly and answers those questions at the end of the first issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes, she drops a GARGANTUAN bombshell that leaves the Legionnaires literally slackjawed."

"Said bombshell is, in fact, a reverberation from an event in Infinite Crisis," concluded Waid. "I wish we could say more ... I'm dying to, because it's so cool ... but it's just too good a surprise to ruin."

Naturally, the various Legion-related message boards are running amok with speculation. The prevailing thought is that it's the latest version of Supergirl (as developed out of the Superman/Batman title). But if it's a reverberation from an event in IC, could we be seeing the return of the pre-Crisis Supergirl, plucked from a time before she died there? Remember, Marv Wolfman has repeatedly said that's how you could do a new Flash series with Barry Allen, since he was bouncing around the timestream before he died. You'd (and he) would have the knowledge that he was going to die and could exit the stage at any moment and go back to bouncing around time to his death.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's pre-Crisis Kara, wearing the costume of the current Supergirl since that's what the current Legion has in its past (although Matrix/Linda Danvers had a couple of costumes to choose from). And speculating even more wildly, with the return of the Multiverse, what if this is the Earth-2 Legion? (Although there was a comment by Lightning Lass, I believe, during the Crisis series that Earth-2 never had a Legion...).

What's the Earth-Prime Superboy have to do with all this? He's getting a new costume such that it would be a spoiler if DC Direct showed a picture of his new action figure. Maybe he dyes his hair and starts taking Profem?

Read my earlier post for eight possible Supergirls. Not all of them would be the bombshell Waid promises, though (like Supergirl 1,000,000).

Some reactions from around the comics blogosphere:

Photon Torpedos says:
I think this could be the shot in the arm that Legion needs right now. I like how Barry Kitson draws her on the cover to issue 16: sexy and powerful without making me feel like I'm looking at teenage porn.

Hey Kidz Comix has some interesting discussion on the matter in the comments section. "I'd just like to say that anyone who takes inspiration from Supertorso is automatically discredited in my book and probably is a bad person. :D"

A couple of Spanish-language blogs required me to use a machine translator (my Spanish is rusty enough, and this is easier on copy-and-paste).

Sergio Robla at the Zona Negativa reminds us in a post that translates and paraphrases the Newsarama (and translated back here) that
Having all this in mind, it was planned that the release point of the title would be during One Year Later, when the cards were already on the table. Evidently, what happens in the present in Infinite Crisis will not affect the future, since the future of the Legion has always been set after the events of IC, and Waid confirms that the last year of the current Legion title has always been post-IC.

Finally, Noticias DC has another recap of the Newsarama article. We find again the pitfalls of machine translation. The author paraphrases Waid:
12 años después de Zero Hour, hemos reinventado totalmente la franquicia sin traicionar el espiritu de la serie, y parece haber funcionado.

Babelfish translates this to:
12 years after Zero Hour, we have totally reinvented the tax exemption without betraying the spirit of the series, and it seems to have worked.

Add "franchise" to the list of words that doesn't machine translate from Spanish to English very well (like Invisible, which translates to Hair Net).


tenzil said...

Earth Prime Superboy's costume is a spoiler?

That makes no sense. Superman/Superboy wears a pretty consistent costume.

Unless he wears MON-EL's outfit and moves to the 30th Century with Supergirl.

Michael said...

Well, all I can say is what I've read. Here's a Newsarama article that metions his new costume (look towards the bottom). "Upcoming Infinite Crisis figures will include Power Girl, Alex Luthor, OMAC, and Superboy Prime with his new costume design."

I can't find the exact cite, but some interview (with DiDio?) said that they unveiled the sculpts for the new figures, but they couldn't show Superboy's new costume since it would be some sort of spoiiler for Infinite Crisis.