Saturday, December 30, 2006

I, for one, welcome our new former X-Men overlord

You might remember that the internet broke in half when Steve Wacker jumped from DC to Marvel back in September. The big deal was that Wacker was editor of 52, but it didn't get much mention that he was also the editor of the Legion.

What you might not recall is that just before that happened, Mike Marts surprised everyone when he jumped from Marvel to DC. Over at Marvel, he was a Senior Editor and group editor over the entire X-Men line. At DC, he's still a Senior Editor but I don't know what's in his portfolio besides the Legion (the Newsarama link only mentions the All-Star line, so he's not busy). Last month's issue 24 was his first DC credit.

(Also gone with issue 24 is Wacker's assistant/associate editor Harvey Richards, replaced by Jeanine Schaefer. What does an assistant/associate editor do these days, anyway?)

Newsarama interviewed Marts after the announcement and gave him a DC pop quiz:

Newsarama: Can you name Batman's butler?
Mike Marts: Jarvis. Now wait – Alfred!
NRAMA: Who founded the Legion of Super-Heroes?
MM: Paul Levitz
NRAMA: Where does Wonder Woman come from?
MM: Joss Whedon.

Okay – a pass for now (counting extra credit on #2, and a near waffle on #1).

While I think Marts being on the Legion is a coincidence because he's just taking over one of Wacker's former books, I also think it's a nice coup to get a strong, well-respected editor with a good reputation. Now if he can just get sales up to X-levels...

Who did this art?

Update: The reason it looks like Kevin Nowlan art is because it is. For me, he has a distinctive way of drawing eyes, which is why I thought it was his in the first place. I verified it over at the Kevin Nowlan Yahoo Group. I found some posts by a guy at Upper Deck from April 2006 about a "pretty killer packaging illustration" he was doing for them. Too bad it's only on the box and not anywhere else, at least on a card or something.




Can anyone ID this artwork? It's from the box top of the new Vs. System card set starring the Legion, and it doesn't appear on any of the cards in the set. It looks a bit like Kevin Nowlan in the faces, I think.

Here's the whole box top:



And a closeup:

Friday, December 29, 2006

"Don't you remember when we teamed up to tackle the Ghost Ship of Space?"

Back in the day, they got "defeated".

Today, adults would say "the Legion of Super-Heroes get their asses handed to them by the Legion of Super-Pets."

The L337 H4x0r kids would say "omfg d00d th3y PWN3D teh |_3g10|\| cuz they r0xx0rzz!!11!"

In any language, here's a moment the Legion probably wishes they could forget, or at least they'd hope we forgot. From Adventure Comics #364, the Legion gets pwn3d by the Super-Pets (as presented by scans_daily).

Not Ultra Boy's finest moment.

Previously: The Incredible Super-Blog's awesome take on the story.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Issue 25 review roundup

As I said when the cover preview first came out, "I didn't see that one coming."

Well played, Mr. Waid. I had bought it hook, line, and sinker. And then you pulled the rug out from under me not once but twice this issue - first when the bad guy team turned out to be the Wanderers, and then when their leader was revealed. Nice. This worked for the old readers who knew many of the individual characters as either the Subs or the LSV (and even some old Legionnaires), and for the new readers with no preconceptions. One of my favorite issues in a long time.

It's good to have you back, you seem to have been preoccupied with some other book lately.

And now a look at the comicsblogosphere's reactions. Be sure to read a couple of potentially interesting thoughts down towards the bottom from photonex68, they're enough to make you go "hmmm" and I hadn't seen them anywhere else yet.

  • Matthew at Legion Abstract:
    Sweet Maria Sludgebucket! ... The best thing about this issue is that a lot of important action happens fast. I think this is where a bunch of dominoes start to come down. It's what I've been waiting for and I hope it continues.

  • The Original Losing Loser at Seebelow LJ:
    In a way, this is typical hit-and-miss Waid, with good moments and absolutely dopey ones. The Verdict: Cosi, cosa.

  • Dave van Domelen's Unspoilt Capsules (as he mentions in the comments):
    Well, that's certainly an interesting way to bring some classic stuff back without just copying it. And Brainy is in fine form. Recommended.

  • Zero Hunter at the CBR forum:
    All I can say is damn what a difference an issue can make. This was the Mark Waid that I was hoping for when he restarted this book. This issue was so much better than what has been going on that it didn't even feel like the same writer. ... Just a really great issue that actully read like the Legion should read.

  • Ami Angelwings' Heavenly Comic Reviews:
    OMG this book is a BLAST!!! Rly rly funny and just FUN in general :O The plot moves well and the characters are all so well written and amusing. The dialogue is rly great!!!! 5/5

  • Piper at the ComicBloc forums appears to be a new reader with little knowledge of the previous incarnations of the Legion:
    I really enjoyed this issue. Mark does a great job characterizing characters with just one panel. I thought it was brilliant that when White Witch seperated most of the Legion into groups of two we saw Element Lad with one of Triplicate Girl's dupes while the other two were somewhere else.

    I really like the idea of the Wanderers. Maybe I'm a dork but lately I've become a fan of all things Legion, so I wouldn't mind seeing these guys get their own book.

    Brainy's conversation with Dream Girl was pretty cool (I also want to specify that I love Dream Boy). I didn't realize until this issue that Light Lass was Lightning Lad's sister; was that revealed before? The revelation that the leader of the Wanderers is their other brother was a really cool reveal.

  • Photonex68 at Monsters -- from the Id!:
    Okay, for any faults this series may have, Mark Waid has won some kudos from me for bringing back Mon-El. That's right. Not Valor. Not M'Onel. Mon-El. And even better, he brings back Mon-El from the Phantom Zone using that wonderful red searchlight-looking thing that was the Phantom Zone Projector back in the days of the Silver Age. ... Definitely looking forward to the next issue.

    This review also brings out two continuity points:

    1. Retcon alert: Where does Lar Gand fit in post-Infinite Crisis 20th century history?
    What with New Earth after Infinite Crisis having a different history, it seems that Lar Gand was never a member of L.E.G.I.O.N. and so Brainiac 5 has to create the serum from scratch that, in the previous history, Vril Dox created.

    2. Are we sure this is the Supergirl we've been thinking she is?
    And another interesting tidbit out of all this is a hint that this isn't the Supergirl we think it is. The current version of Kara Zor-El in the 21st century didn't spend any significant amount of time with the Kents before the events of Infinite Crisis, so why does she say, "Okay, like Pa says...sometimes you can reason with a mule...and sometimes you've gotta crack him with a two by four"? Unless mules and two-by-fours existed on Krypton, and unless Kara referred to Zor-El as "Pa," then that's got a definite "Jonathan Kent farm wisdom" feel about it, like maybe this Supergirl is actually from an alternate universe where she did spend time with the Kents, and she merged with, and then split from again, the current version of Supergirl. Her proximity to the rupture in the universe/multiverse during Infinite Crisis makes it possible.

    Or maybe Waid just screwed up, of course. Still....


In the meantime, the Legion book has made some end-of-the-year "Best Of" lists:
  • The Legion of Doom discusses DC in 2006 (Infinite Crisis, One Year Later, and 52), and says that "Supergirl & The Legion of Superheroes is the best book DC puts out monthly right now."
  • Comics And... goes even further, saying "From the Archives to a long run of the series and reading the new series I have come to realize that this is the best super hero group ever."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What's in the box?

I got my box of Vs. System cards in the mail today. I won an ebay auction at only $40, which is way below the regular auction rate (around $60) and far below the retail rate (about $80 at my local comic shop). So what did I get for my $40?

Each box contains 24 packs, each with 14 cards, so that's 336 cards altogether. Each pack has one foil card, leaving 312 regular cards. There's 220 cards in the set (plus special "stacker" versions of three cards, and then a foil card of all 223). Of the 220 cards, 110 are "common", 55 are "uncommon", and 55 are "rare".

I counted 124 Legion-related cards in the set (see this post for my newly updated checklist), but that includes a number of cards from the "Foundations" storyline in the post-Zero Hour reboot continuity that starred Darkseid and his minions (but many of these cards don't show Legionnaires). If you don't count those, that's about 15 fewer cards to worry about.

In my box, I got a complete set of Commons (222 of 110, or 2.02 of each) and Uncommons (72 of 55, or 1.31 of each), but only about a third of the set of Rares (18 of 55, or 0.33 of each). This translates to a ratio of roughly 6 Commons to 4 Uncommons to 1 Rare per box. I ended up getting 3 Rares for every 4 packs, lower than I expected, but I didn't expect to get so many Uncommons.

None of my foil cards were duplicates. I fared better there, with 12 Commons, 6 Uncommons, and 6 Rares (equal to the proportion of cards in the deck but out of proportion to the other cards in the box).

But more importantly, I did get a full set of Commons and Uncommons. Of my 18 Rares I got, 9 were Legion related, which leaves just 19 Rares to complete my Legion set.

My extra foils went right to Ebay where they can be appreciated in a loving home, as did my "Mobilize" card which is apparently the most-sought-after card in the set. Those should offset much of the cost of getting those other 19 Rares. The rest of my unwanted cards will probably go there too, and I'll probably hang on to the Legion duplicate cards for a while for trades.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New creator for animated comic, maybe

Updated 12/27, 8pm Per the comments below, Chynna might be a writer or artist for the series, not only a writer.



Rich Johnston's Lying in the Gutters this week has alleged "green-light" news on a writer creator for the upcoming comic series based on the animated series:
CHYANNA OF SUPERHEROES

One of my fave comic creators, Chynna Clugston writes in her blog that she's working on a new upcoming Legion Of Superheroes series based on the cartoon, which she refers to as "Legion Animated."

As Scott at the Legion Clubhouse notes,
But there is no mention of this on her blog. Perhaps she was asked to remove it or maybe Rich imbibed a few too many eggnogs over the holiday.

We already knew that J. Torres and Scott Beatty will also be writing the comic.

New Heroclix coming

As I mentioned the other day, WizKids is coming out with a new line of Heroclix in the Spring. Scipio, the comicsblogosphere's resident expert on Clix weighs in on the figures over at the Absorbascon, including these Legionnaires:

#22-24 Mano
#52-54 Triplicate Girl
#55-57 Supergirl (modern version)
#73-75 Mon-El/Valor/M'Onel

Notice that they've added one Pre-Crisis figure, one post-Zero Hour figure, and one post-Infinite Crisis figure. Sheesh! Here's a list of who's who in the Legion of Super-Heroclix. (Mano pretty much had the same costume both pre-Crisis and post-Zero Hour.)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The news never stops

Just because I'm not posting doesn't mean there's not stuff going on in the Legion-centric world:

  • Comics Continuum reported that although official word on a second season of the Legion cartoon show has not appeared yet, "an announcement about the show's future is expected in the next month or so. However, ... scripts are being worked on for a new season."

  • The new Heroclix expansion set, coming in March, is confirmed or strongly rumored to have the following Legion-related figures, according to those in the know:
    - Confirmed: Supergirl (current version)
    - Strongly Rumored: "Legion of Superhero members (Valor/M'On-El?, Timber Wolf?, Tripicate Girl/Duo Damsel?, Bouncing Boy?), LSH villains (Mano? Tharok?)", new JSA Starman
    - Rumored: Proty (as a bystander)

  • In addition to the 120 or so Legion-related cards in the latest Vs. System CCG set (plus the same cards as foil), there is yet another set that appears to be foil only. These are the "stacker" cards, which when laid side by side produce a triptych, as they don't have the regular borders (or aren't supposed to). There's one stacker set here, featuring Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Live Wire.



    Compare this to the non-stacker cards:



    Carlos at vs-blog.com found a Live Wire stacker card that has a border (which it's not supposed to have). Don't know if that's a misprint or what.




Finally, a holiday treat. The Invincible Super-Blog reviewed the Superboy and the Legion story in which the team tries to find the Christmas star, from DC Special Series #21. It's awesome.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Under construction

Forgive the funky looks, colors, and formatting. I'm upgrading from the old Blogger template to the new one and I'm trying to figure out how to make it look better.

Update 3 a.m.
I think it looks decent. I finally figured out how to do the graphic at the top (trying to hand-code within HTML, XML, and CSS isn't easy). I don't know if I'm too keen on how the title looks under the Omnicom graphic, though, but I definitely wanted to get away from being constrained to the middle third of the page like I had on the old template.

Comments, suggestions, pointers to some pages with interesting coding I can borrow?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Legion TV schedule Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007

Via ToonZone and LegionWorld, here are the airdates and episodes for the Legion show for the rest of December and January. All episodes are supposed to air at 10:00 a.m. local time on The CW Network.

Dec. 23 - episode 1 "Man of Tomorrow" (3rd airing)
Dec. 30 - episode 3 "Legacy" (2nd airing)
Jan. 06 - episode 2 "Timber Wolf" (5th airing)
Jan. 13 - episode 5 "Champions" (3rd airing)
Jan. 20 - episode 4 "Fear Factory" (3rd airing)
Jan. 27 - episode 6 "Phantoms (3rd airing)

At the moment, this is just speculation about the Dec. 30th show, as I can't find a schedule that shows this one.

Notice that they've flip-flopped episodes 2 and 3 as well as 4 and 5. New episodes will return in February, including the Legion of Super-Villains show.

Previously:
schedule for Sept./Oct. 2006, Nov. 2006, early Dec. 2006

Trivia answers #6

Apparently this one was too easy, all the questions were answered within a day.


1. What were the properties of these Silver Age elements/compounds?
a. sigellium
b. serum XY-4
c. duralim
d. cancellite
e. zuunium
f. rejuvium

Sigellium was poisonous to humans, Serum XY-4 temporarily cured Mon-el of lead poisoning, Duralim was highly attractive to lightning, Cancellite froze Durlans in their current shape, Zuunium was the source of Timber Wolf's powers, and Rejuvium would rejuvenate anyone who ate it.


2. Who were the Best Man and Maid of Honor at the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel?
Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, respectively. Phantom Girl was holding a gemstone upon which Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel rested their hands during the ceremony. Here's the picture.


3. Which live-action TV show did a Legion super-villain appear in? (Luthor doesn't count, he's a Superman super-villain.)
Mordru, in the "Legends of the Super-Heroes" special in the late 1970s.


4. Name the charter members of the Legion of Super-Pets.
I thought this might trip up someone, but no luck. It was Krypto, Streaky, Comet, and Beppo (though why these 20th century residents never teamed up as the Super-Pets, I have no idea). Proty I was never a member, and Proty II joined later.


5. Supergirl and the Legion recently traveled to Rokyn, the planet where Kandor was enlarged. What was the first appearance (of sorts) of Rokyn in Legion history?
Terence Chua got this tough one - Rokyn was named in Adventure 356, though it never actually appeared until a Superman story in 1979 when Superman actually succeeded in enlarging the bottle-city of Kandor. Rokyn is Kryptonian for "Gift from God".


6. Which 20th century DCU character's face did Lori Morning wear on her shirt?
Blue Devil. Bonus: her shirt had the last name of former Legion artist Chris Sprouse on the back.

Friday, December 15, 2006

WB licenses out Legion, other properties

From the Business Wire, it looks like WB is finally licensing out the animated version of the Legion, apparently for a video game of some sort. (I added the bold font below).

Some relevant passages:

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. will make an investment in SCi Entertainment Group plc, (‘SCi’ Epic code: SEG) the parent company of publishing label Eidos Interactive Ltd, representing 10.3 percent of the company’s enlarged share capital. Additionally, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and SCi have entered into an agreement for licensing and distribution of games based on select Warner Bros. Entertainment properties. The investment, licensing and distribution agreements are all pending SCi shareholder approval.

A part of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has granted the licenses to SCi for the comic book version of Batman, the Looney Tunes, select titles from the Hanna-Barbera catalog and television properties The OC, Loonatics Unleashed and Legion of Super Heroes.

In addition, Eidos and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group have entered into a primary distribution agreement under which Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will provide warehousing, logistics, merchandising and media buying services in the United States to Eidos. Eidos will continue to run, through its US publishing office, all other aspects of its US operations including manufacturing, sales, marketing and PR.

Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment has licensed the rights for selected intellectual properties to SCi. SCi’s publishing label Eidos will develop videogames based on the properties. The licenses are:

* Batman, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera catalog, The O.C. (details deleted)
* Other animated properties. Eidos has also signed license agreements relating to the children’s animated TV programs, Loonatics Unleashed and Legion of Super Heroes.

Eidos recently put out the Justice League Heroes game and owns the Lara Croft/Tomb Raider games. Here's a Variety article from October explaining the purchase.

I'll see if I can dig anything else out of their PR guys.

Foreign Legion III

Previously: here and here

More foreign language reprint covers...


originally from Adventure 302


originally from Adventure 318


originally from Adventure 319


originally from Adventure 351


originally from Legion v3 34


originally from Legion v3 62

Thursday, December 14, 2006

December linkfest

Haven't done one of these in a while but there have been too many things to post about lately.

Characters

Over at the Comic Treadmill, H has been doing a thorough analysis of the Legionnaires. In part 4 he looks at Karate Kid, Light Lass, Chameleon Boy, and the Silver Age Weirdo Legionnaire. In part 5 he takes on Brainiac 5, Dream Girl, and Element Lad. I'm doing him a disservice by only mentioning them and not looking at them in detail, so check them out.

Matthew over at the Legion Abstract also does a bang-up job at analyzing the Legionnaires. Brainiac 6 at the Legion Clubhouse blog has been checking out the Fatal Five/Sun Eater story and recapping some of the Who's Who articles from her own unique perspective.

Meanwhile, Blockade Boy has been busy redesigning the Legion of Substitute Costumes for Fire Lad, Animal Lad, Polar Boy, Stone Boy, and The Mess.

Dave Cockrum

I wrote about Dave Cockrum and collected some remembrances here, here, and here. There were a lot of tributes, and these came out after I finished my set. Sleestak at Lady, That's My Skull has some good images. Querl Dox remembers Dave as "the common element in the two most significant revivals of the 1970s".

Jack C. Harris, who was the editor of the Legion title shortly after Cockrum left DC for Marvel, and tells the tale of how he personally gave Dave the two-page scene of the wedding spread when DC started giving artwork back.

Finally, Mark Evanier touched on some things that I had tried to (only with better results). Cockrum was the first of the new wave of young and rising stars in the 70s who started as the old guard was retiring.

But I always thought that the success of that strip — and of the willingness of Boltinoff to embrace the work of a "new kid" — marked a turning point in the history of seventies' comics.

Animated

Fist Full of Comics has two podcast interviews, one with Michael Cornacchia (Bouncing Boy) and one with Kari Wahlgren (Saturn Girl).

Christopher Bird addresses some misconceptions on where the Legion show came from in relation to the Justice League and Teen Titans shows.

Superman Homepage notes that the final season of Justice League Unlimited will be arriving on DVD in March. The Legion appeared in the "Far From Home" episode.

Vs. System CCG

The Vs-Blog noted that the crowds for the recent preview tournaments were smaller than expected based on previous tournaments. Wizard's Inquest magazine looks at some of the more interesting cards in the set.

Comics

Oh yeah, they still publish the comics, too. Rokk's Comic Book Revolution reviews the first issue of the new JSA series, and he's really excited.


The Stop Button
recently read "The Great Darkness Saga" for the first time with essentially no previous knowledge of Legion history. Check out the review for a firsthand account of whether "I can't read the Legion, there's too much history!" is true or not. Similarly, Graphic Content picked up the two most recent Legion trades, "Death of a Dream" (vol. 2) and Supergirl's "Strange Visitor from Another Century" (vol. 3). These guys also had pretty much no knowledge of the Legion, and came away with an overall positive experience.

Of course, you can't discuss Legion history without arguing over the relative merits (or lack thereof) of the Giffen/Bierbaum version. This "Comics Should Be Good" column at CBR starts talking about the Doom Patrol but swerves to the Legion pretty quick. And H opens up the Comic Treadmill vaults to review the original version of Adventure Comics #247.

Funny Stuff

Finally, a couple of funny items. Scott at the Legion Clubhouse got a copy of a 90s song called "The Wedding of Bouncing Boy". You can listen and sing along with lyrics that start off "Matter-Eater Lad was finally glad after shedding that 13 pounds / and Duo Damsel was getting hard to handle making the banquet table rounds". And Ben at Good Book Readin' takes a second look at the "Origins and Powers of the Legion" from Adventure Comics 365 - panel 1, for example, shows Phantom Girl with the power to perform table dances. After looking at the drawing, it's hard to argue against it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What does a lemming sound like?

I have no idea what I'll do with it, but I've got a comicspace page now because all of the cool kids are doing it. I don't even have a myspace page so I'm kind of fuzzy how all this social networking stuff goes. But I do know that whoever has the most friends wins, so I'll accept anyone who wants me to add them (unless you're a spammer) and I'll be asking to be added to those whose web sites I read regularly. Kind of like a live blogroll, I guess.

Look for me at http://www.comicspace.com/omnicom/ (but until I figure out what it'll be used for, you'll have to keep coming back here for your usual content).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tyr-riffic!

Comics Continuum reported Sunday that Khary Payton (the voice of Cyborg in the Teen Titans cartoon) will be doing the voice for Tyr in the upcoming animated episode that has the battle with the Legion of Super-Villains. The site also has more images of Tyr vs. Lightning Lad.

Update: the've confirmed over at Legion World that the six members of the Legion of Super-Villains will be (in alphabetical order) Esper Lass, Hunter, Lightning Lord, Ron-Karr, Tyr, and Wave. The original site, STX Superhero Report, has updated pictures.

  • Esper Lass was originally a telepath from Titan who tried to take Saturn Girl's spot in the Legion.
  • Hunter was the son of a guy who tried to hunt down the Legionnaires, but it eventually resulted in his death. The son tried to take revenge.
  • Lightning Lord was last seen as Garth's brother Mekt in "Champions" (1.05).
  • Ron-Karr's ability was to be flat, but it looks like now he's a true shape-changer.
  • Tyr is a badass who has a gun on his hand.
  • Wave was the "Legion on the Run" identity of Spider-Girl (think Medusa of the Inhumans, same powers), she's now an acrobatic menace with whip-like hair.

It would be poetic justice if Timber Wolf fights Tyr. That would hearken back to Superboy #197, the issue where the Legion took over Superboy's book. Dave Cockrum created Tyr and redesigned Timber Wolf (whose look was later adopted for some guy named Wolverine). I think the show's creative staff has shown themselves to be Legion geeks of a high enough order to pull this battle off.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Coming in March 2007

Some surprises in this month's solicitations. One new issue, two new trade reprints, a poster reprint, one obscure reference, and one that might feature a timeline-lost Legionnaire. Click the picture to enlarge.

Very interesting....

SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #28
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Barry Kitson & Mick Gray
Cover by Kitson
The Legion and the Wanderers have joined forces to take the Dominator War away from Earth and to an unfamiliar realm where life is cheap and victory is dear. And at long last, the Dominators' link to the events of 52 is revealed!
On sale March 28 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



The next volume in the trade paperback. Too bad we don't get a new cover, though.

SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES VOL. 4: ADULT EDUCATION TP
Written by Mark Waid and Tony Bedard
Art by Barry Kitson, Mick Gray and various Cover by Kitson
A new volume collecting SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #20-25! In this volume, Brainiac wants to bring the deceased Dream Girl back from the dead, and only the mind of a deadly enemy can help.
Advance-solicited; on sale April 25 o 192 pg, FC, $14.99 US



Yay! The first Showcase volume!

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES VOL. 1 TP
Written by Jerry Siegel, Otto Binder, Edmond Hamilton and various
Art by Curt Swan, George Papp, John Forte and various
Cover by Swan & Stan Kaye
A massive black-and-white volume collecting classic tales of the Legionnaires, from ADVENTURE COMICS #247, 267, 282, 290, 293, and 300-328, ACTION COMICS #267, 276, 287 and 289, SUPERBOY #86, 89, 98 and 117, SUPERMAN 147, SUPERMAN ANNUAL #4, and SUPERMAN'S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN#72 and 76!
Advance-solicited; on sale April 4 o 552 pg, B&W, $16.99 US



I thought that Adam Hughes cover would look great as a poster!

DC DIRECT POSTERS
Don't miss four stunning new posters featuring the lovely ladies of the DCU illustrated by the incomparable Adam Hughes!

SUPERGIRL
From the cover of Supergirl and Legion of Super-Heroes #23
Art by Adam Hughes
Advance-solicited; on sale August 22, 2007 o Poster o $7.99 US



Back to the gambler's planet of Ventura, with an unbelievable cover by Perez:

THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #2
Written by Mark Waid
Art by George Pérez & Bob Wiacek
Covers by Pérez
Green Lantern and Supergirl are off to Ventura on the trail of the bizarre case that began in issue #1! Ventura is a planetwide casino, which would be wild enough, but it has also become a backdrop for the Rann-Thanagar War! Guest-starring Batman and Blue Beetle!
On sale March 21 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



Starman probably appears here. Is he really the Legion's Thom Kallor?

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #4
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham & Ruy Jose
Cover by Alex Ross
Variant cover by Eaglesham
The saga of the world's first and greatest super-hero team continues in Part 4 of "The Next Age," by Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham & Art Thibert! The families of legacy heroes have been targeted by an evil force set out to end their bloodlines. Now our members find out how close to home tragedy is as their leader stands revealed. And the new mystery member set to join the Justice Society will surprise everyone - especially the members of the team!
Retailers: This issue will feature two covers that may be ordered separately. The Standard Edition cover is by Alex Ross; one copy of the Variant Edition, with a cover by Dale Eaglesham, may be ordered for every 10 copies of the Standard Edition ordered. Please see the Previews Order Form for further details.
On sale March 7 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Trivia quiz #6

More trivia... Answers in a few days.

1. What were the properties of these Silver Age elements/compounds?
a. sigellium
b. serum XY-4
c. duralim
d. cancellite
e. zuunium
f. rejuvium

2. Who were the Best Man and Maid of Honor at the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel?

3. Which live-action TV show did a Legion super-villain appear in? (Luthor doesn't count, he's a Superman super-villain.)

4. Name the charter members of the Legion of Super-Pets.

5. Supergirl and the Legion recently traveled to Rokyn, the planet where Kandor was enlarged. What was the first appearance (of sorts) of Rokyn in Legion history?

6. Which 20th century DCU character's face did Lori Morning wear on her shirt?

Animated Legion of Super-Villains

Oops, I meant that the next new episode will be 1.08, not the episode next week. Updated the text below. And as it turns out, new episodes won't show up until February. Sorry for the confusion.

Looks like KidsWB! is permanently on a 3 new/3 repeat schedule, with next week being the third repeat in the sequence (a rerun of "Fear Factory"). Their preview of the next new show includes the Legion of Super-Villains, which suggests that this is going to be episode 1.08 (skipping 1.07 for the moment). More pictures on the STX Superhero Report site.

Episode 8: "LIGHTNING STORM"
Much to the Legion's disappointment, Lighting Lad accepts an invitation to join an older, "cooler" team. Once there, however, Lightning Lad realizes these new heroes aren't exactly what they seem. Now, caught between the Legion and his new friends, Lighting Lad must decide once and for all where his loyalties lie.



From left to right, that's Ron-Karr (lower left, hard to see, but is visible in other pictures), Esper Lass (upper left), Lightning Lord (Mekt Ranzz again), Tyr, Wave (Spider-Girl in her "Legion on the Run" identity), and Hunter.

I missed the "Sing Along with Timber Wolf" clips yesterday, did anyone catch them?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Legion CCG pictures now online

While my "official" Legion Vs. System CCG checklist as been updated here, a number of sites have images of all the cards now, including (but not limited to) Doc X's card search and the Vs. Musings blog.

After seeing the pictures and reading the text, it appears that it's not ALL the post-Zero Hour version of the Legion, as surmised by the few previews we saw. A few elements of the post-Infinite Crisis (current) version are in there too, and even some pre-Zero Hour and Glorithverse items.

Several of the cards are scenes from the "Foundations" storyline with Darkseid, in which no Legionnaires appear (likewise with the Dark Servants). I've included them here anyway because they were introduced in a Legion storyline.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

JSA's new Starman

WARNING: this page discusses plot developments in Justice Society of Amerca #1, so this is your only SPOILER WARNING.

The new Starman in the new JSA series - the 9th, I believe, or maybe still the 8th - looks to be an interesting character, and possibly someone we'll need to keep an eye on here. From Legion fan Jef Peckham:

As a new team is formed one of the new member is a new Starman. He wears the Kingdom Come Starman costume. Fellow old fogies will recall he was identified in Kingdom Come as the original Thom Kallor Star Boy from before the first reboot. When not doing super-heroics, this Starman apparently spends his time in a Sanitarium. because he hears voices in his head and has been diagnosed as borderline schizophrenic. In one of his lines he refers to "Color Kids and Polar Boys." Also, on the last page which is listed as a preview for the coming year Someone is looking for Starman: someone who wears a Legion Flight Ring and a yellow costume with fringe on the sleeve. Can you say DAWNSTAR? I knew you could.

From Don McPherson's Eye on Comics:
I think the character that intrigued me the most was the new Starman. This incarnation of the character has been hinted at in Kingdom Come and James Robinson’s Starman series, and there are small but not subtle indications here that would seem to confirm that this is Star Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes after having travelled back in time from the 31st century. He’s damaged goods, a hero who’s gone a bit crazy and regressed to something of a childlike state of mind. It’s really an off-the-wall character to be included in a rather straight-laced super-hero book. The connection to the Legion will no doubt prove to be lots of fun for longtime DC readers such as myself. However, knowledge of the link to the Legion isn’t necessary to appreciate Johns’s characterization.

There's something going on here, that's for sure.

This new Starman is featured on the cover of issue 2.

Writer Geoff Johns had this to say (or not say) in a Newsarama interview in August:
NRAMA: Let's talk about some of these new characters on that cover. Who's the starry guy in the front? Starman?

GJ: That's Starman.

NRAMA: Can you tell us anything about him?

GJ: No, I'd rather not. But I can say he's very different than the other members.

But now that the issue has been published, check out WizardUniverse's discussion of that last page with Geoff Johns - a preview for the next year's worth of stories. (Thanks to "Captain Great" for the tip.)
WIZARD: ...Does that arm belong to the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Legion of Super-Heroes member we think it does?

JOHNS: That’s Dawnstar. You’ll see this [followed up on] very, very soon. All of these [scenes] take place in the first year, but this one is coming very soon. Obviously she mentions having to find Starman so he plays a major role in what’s coming up. We want to hit a couple of really high notes within the first 12 issues.

Toywatch: Animated-based figures coming soon

From the Legion-List mailing list comes word of a sneak peek at the action figure line based on the animated series. The Action Figure Insider forum has some discussion as well.

The December 2006 issue of Previews has an ad for ToyFare Magazine #116 (page 194), in which they'll have an article on the upcoming Legion action figure line.

From the ad:

We take you inside the hot new cartoon series and show you why it's the perfect successor to Teen Titans and Justice League Unlimited! Plus, a sneak-peek at the new toy line from Mattel!


Of course, AFI has been all over this for a long time. The latest news was a month ago, when one of the board posters (who is apparently in the know) said "I heard they will be out in 07. my meeting with one of the Mattel guys got pushed off till after Thanksgiving. I'm still working on getting info." None of the guys there has admitted to seeing any prototypes or hearing about which figures are in the first wave, though.

One other poster notes that
bear in mind that this issue of ToyFare comes out the same week as the American International Toy Fair takes place in New York. So, if we don't see the Legion figs in ToyFare the magazine, we'll see'em for sure at Toy Fair the event

The Toy Fair 2007 is in February in NYC.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

LSH Vs. System card checklist

Originally posted 12/2/06
Updated 12/27/06: Added boxes, playmat, t-shirt, wrappers
Updated 3/18/07: Added DLS-188 Need for Speed in EA format
Updated 1/21/10: Added World's Finest (DWF), Infinite Crisis (DCR), DC Exclusives (DCX) cards



Thanks to Doc X's Vs. search engine, I don't have to do this from scratch. Here's a checklist of all 220 cards from the Legion set. There's a link on that page that show each card's picture along with the stats.

This is what the Legionnaire subset looks like, I counted 124 of the 220 cards that are in some way Legion related (characters, locations, or scenes from the comics), plus two Extended Art (EA) cards and three Stacker (ST) cards that make a triptych. The "C" is for a common card, "U" is uncommon, and "R" is rare. And don't forget that foil cards exist for each of these, so that's a total of 258 new cards.

If you buy a box, you get a rules card too, which is about the size of four cards arranged in a block (then folded in half). This is not part of the numbered card set but it gets listed here anyway.

Finally, I've added all the ancilliary items at the bottom that are associated with the set but aren't technically part of it (like the tournament playmat and t-shirt) and the empty box and wrappers, for completeness.

DLS-001 - C - Andromeda, Laurel Gand
DLS-002 - C - Apparition, Tinya Wazzo
DLS-003 - C - Bouncing Boy, Chuck Taine
DLS-004 - R - Brainiac 5.1, Querl Dox
DLS-005 - U - Chameleon, Reep Daggle
DLS-006 - C - Colossal Boy <> Leviathan, Gim Allon
DLS-007 - R - Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krinn
DLS-008 - R - Dream Girl, Nura Nal
DLS-009 - C - Element Lad, Jan Arrah
DLS-010 - C - Ferro Lad, Andrew Nolan
DLS-011 - C - Jazmin Cullen <> Kid Quantum, Hero of Xanthu
DLS-012 - U - Kara Zor-El <> Supergirl, Lost in Time
DLS-013 - C - Karate Kid, Val Armorr
DLS-014 - C - Kinetix, Zoë Saugin
DLS-015 - C - Live Wire, Garth Ranzz
DLS-016 - R - Mon-el <> Valor, Lar Gand
DLS-017 - U - R.J. Brande, Philanthropist
DLS-018 - R - Saturn Girl, Imra Ardeen
DLS-019 - U - Sensor, Jeka Wynzorr
DLS-020 - U - Shrinking Violet <> Leviathan, Salu Digby
DLS-021 - C - Spark, Ayla Ranzz
DLS-022 - C - Star Boy, Thom Kallor
DLS-023 - C - Sun Boy, Dirk Morgna
DLS-024 - C - Timber Wolf, Brin Londo
DLS-025 - U - Triad, Luornu Durgo
DLS-026 - U - Ultra Boy, Jo Nah
DLS-027 - C - Umbra, Tasmia Mallor
DLS-028 - C - Wildfire, Drake Burroughs
DLS-029 - C - XS, Jenni Ognats
DLS-030 - R - Celebrity Status
DLS-031 - C - Flight Ring
DLS-032 - U - Foiled Assassination
DLS-033 - C - Legion Headquarters
DLS-034 - C - Legion of Super-Pets
DLS-035 - C - Legion World
DLS-036 - C - Let's Go, Legionnaires!
DLS-037 - U - Long Live the Legion
DLS-038 - C - Many Worlds
DLS-039 - R - New Recruits
DLS-040 - C - Past, Present, and Future, Team-Up
DLS-041 - R - Science Police Central
DLS-042 - R - Terror Incognita
DLS-043 - U - We Are Legion
DLS-044 - C - Youth of Tomorrow, Team-Up
DLS-045 - U - Atrophos, Chief Blight Scientist
DLS-046 - C - Brainiac 4, Dark Circle Leader
DLS-047 - R - Composite Man, Living Weapon
DLS-048 - C - Computo, Rogue Program
DLS-049 - C - Computo <> Mr. Venge, Hidden File
DLS-050 - C - Cosmic King, Legion of Super Villains
DLS-051 - C - Daxamites, Army
DLS-052 - C - Dominators, Alien Invaders
DLS-053 - U - Emerald Empress, Fatal Five
DLS-054 - C - Emerald Eye, Sentient Artifact
DLS-055 - C - Glorith, Seductive Sorceress
DLS-056 - C - Lightning Lord, Legion of Super Villains
DLS-057 - C - Mano, Fatal Five
DLS-058 - C - Mordru, The Merciless
DLS-059 - C - Ol-Vir, Legion of Super Villains
DLS-060 - C - Ra's al Ghul, Engine of Change
DLS-061 - C - Ra's al Ghul <> Leland McCauley, U.P. President
DLS-062 - C - Saturn Queen, Legion of Super Villains
DLS-063 - C - Shrinking Violet <> Emerald Empress, Emerald Vi
DLS-064 - R - Starfinger, Char Burrane
DLS-065 - C - Tarik the Mute, Legion of Super Villains
DLS-066 - C - Tharok, Fatal Five
DLS-067 - U - The Blight, Army
DLS-068 - R - The Persuader, Fatal Five
DLS-069 - R - Time Trapper, Temporal Manipulator
DLS-070 - R - Universo, Vidar
DLS-071 - C - Validus, Fatal Five
DLS-072 - C - Altered History
DLS-073 - U - Asteroid JS-1967
DLS-074 - C - Chain Lightning
DLS-075 - U - Dark Circle Rising
DLS-076 - R - Dominated
DLS-077 - U - Earth Enslaved
DLS-078 - C - Fatal Five Hundred
DLS-079 - C - Five Against One
DLS-080 - C - For Khundia!
DLS-081 - U - Khundian Warship
DLS-082 - C - Legion of the Damned
DLS-083 - U - Mutual Enemies
DLS-084 - R - Return of the Demon's Head
DLS-085 - C - Sorcerous Suppression
DLS-086 - U - Tempus Fugit
DLS-087 - R - The Sun-Eater
DLS-090 - C - Dark Champion, Mockery
DLS-091 - C - Dark Firestorm, Mockery
DLS-092 - R - Dark Kryptonian <> Dark Superboy, Mockery
DLS-093 - C - Dark Lantern, Mockery
DLS-094 - C - Dark Martian, Mockery
DLS-095 - R - Dark Superboy, Mockery
DLS-096 - C - Dark Thanagarian, Mockery
DLS-097 - C - Dark Warrior, Mockery
DLS-099 - R - Darkseid, Apokolips Now
DLS-102 - R - Darkseid, Nemesis
DLS-112 - R - 31st Century Apokolips
DLS-113 - U - All Hail Darkseid!
DLS-114 - C - Ancient Evils, Team-Up
DLS-115 - U - Ancient Throne
DLS-116 - R - Created from Hate
DLS-117 - R - Curse of Darkness
DLS-118 - C - Dark Fury
DLS-119 - R - Dark Matter Drain
DLS-120 - C - Joining the Darkseid, Team-Up
DLS-121 - R - No Match for Darkseid
DLS-122 - C - Omega Effect
DLS-123 - C - Price of Treason
DLS-124 - C - Prophetic Battle
DLS-125 - C - Servants of Darkness
DLS-126 - U - Shock and Awe
DLS-127 - U - Unravel Reality
DLS-136 - C - Connor Kent <> Superboy, Inspiration to the Legion
DLS-172 - C - 31st Century Metropolis, Team-Up
DLS-173 - C - Awestruck
DLS-178 - C - Death of a Legionnaire
DLS-184 - C - Legion Lost
DLS-185 - R - Level 12 Intelligence
DLS-186 - U - Lost in Translation
DLS-188 - R - Need for Speed
DLS-191 - C - Substitute Heroes
DLS-192 - C - The Future Is Changing
DLS-194 - C - United Planets HQ, Team-Up

DLS-004 - EA - Brainiac 5.1, Querl Dox
DLS-007 - ST - Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krinn
DLS-015 - ST - Live Wire, Garth Ranzz
DLS-018 - ST - Saturn Girl, Imra Ardeen
DLS-029 - EA - XS, Jenni Ognats
DLS-188 - EA - Need for Speed

New Rules card (comes with a box)

Preview tournament Playmat
Preview tournament Deck box
Preview tournament T-shirt

Vs. System Legion of Super-Heroes box
Vs. System Legion of Super-Heroes card wrappers (Live Wire, Cosmic Boy versions)

DWF-008 - R - Kara Zor-El <> Supergirl, Claire Connors [Team Superman, Legionnaires]
DWF-033 - C - Future Friends
DWF-210 - U - Engine of Change
DWF-219 - U - Matter-Eater Lad, Tenzil Kem [Legionnaires]
DCR-181 - C - Mordru, Dark Lord
DCX-020 - C - Atomic Axe
DCX-021 - R - Too Ordinary

Legion CCG sneak peak

The Vs. System sneak peek is this weekend for the new Legion set (supposed to come out around the end of the year). Here are some of the new stuff:

Metagame has images of the Extended Art foil versions of the XS and Brainiac 5.1 cards. The XS card is for participating, the Brainy card is for a prize (according to VSRealms).





Here are larger images of the playmat and T-shirt awarded to top finishers. There's also a deck box that goes along with them, but I haven't found any images yet.





Metagame also says that "the deck boxes given out this time around are plastic instead of tin. With a velcro flap, they won’t open as easily in your backpack, and they even come with an index board that features Legion of Super Heroes art."

More new cards:

Level 12 Intelligence (via Metagame)


Darkseid: Nemesis (via the Marvel_DC_TCG Yahoo group)


Terror Incognita (via VSRealms)


There are also some more Darkseid cards, but no new ones featuring the Legion.

Friday, December 01, 2006

More Cockrum memories

I'm pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of affection shown to Dave Cockrum on his passing, especially from the media (except for those who play up the "he died in his Superman jammies" angle). Here are a few more remembrances:

Mike Grell:

Dave left an indelible four-color mark on the comic industry. I owe much of my own career to the fortuitous timing of Dave's departure from the Legion of Superheroes, which opened the door for me to make my big break. Dave was on to bigger and better things - among them co-creating X-Men characters Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler - and his groundbreaking work has been an inspiration to generations of artists who followed.
...
They say you're never truly dead as long as there's one person who remembers you. Somewhere, someday, a kid is going to crawl into the attic and find his grandfather's stash of comics. When he opens his first Dave Cockrum book, he's going to be astounded.

And that, my friends, is as close as you can get to immortality.

David Miller (David Miller Studios at MSN dot com), in an email posted with permission:
Mike, here is my tribute to Dave Cockrum.

Well, as we all know, Dave Cockrum has passed on. And as we all know, I was a huge fan of his work.

Up until I was 10 years old I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up (like Spock!) But then I picked up Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #197 in a D.C. 3-pack.

And that was it for me. In that instant I simultaneously became a fan of The Legion, Cockrum and consumed with the desire to work in the comics' industry as an artist.

This is the Panel that did it: The Timber Wolf costume. No one other than Cockrum ever did that hairstyle in a way that didn't look ridiculous.


And that same issue introduced the coolest Villian I'd ever seen: Tyr!


Sure, it could be said that Cockrum swiped from the best: Wally Wood's influence was there ...


as well as Gil Kane's and Neal Adam's.


And I always had a suspicion that Murphy Anderson inked those legion tales, not Cockrum. But the end result was still galvanizing for me. And while Cockrum had his influences, he definitely had his own expression.

And at Marvel there was Giant Size Avengers #2. The climax to the Celestial Madonna storyline. A wonderful job with an uncredited inking job by The Crusty Bunkers (Neal Adams and friends).

And then there's the X-men. What can I possibly say about Cockrum's contribution to the Marvel stable of character's that would be even remotely adequate? Is it even possible to think about Marvel without the All New, All Different X-men? The title took a company that was on top and pushed them waaaaaaay over the top. I can't even begin to imagine what the company would look like without the X-men franchise.

And as much as I liked Cockrum's initial run on the book, I really liked when he took over Ms. Marvel and re-designed her costume. I think the reason she keeps coming back is because everyone loves that costume. I think if Cockrum had come on a little earlier to that book, or if it was after Claremont became a superstar writer, Ms. Marvel would have never been cancelled.

Behind it all, I think I always wanted to do something that Cockrum would approve of. I met him several times over the years and the closest thing I came to a compliment from him was "I almost want to like this"

My favorite Cockrum moment was when Bob Downs and I were up at Defiant comics for some reason and he was there. He had done a Warriors of Plasm Graphic novel for Shooter and was doing corrections on a page. I took that moment to really let him know how much I loved his work. He looked really, honestly, happy and flattered to hear my words. He reached out and grabbed my hand and shook it. And then we parted company. It was a great moment for me.

I saw Cockrum a couple of years ago at Heroes Con. Watching him confined to a wheel chair, on Oxygen . . . it just seemed so unfair. I showed him my Legion cartoon I made. But in his condition, I couldn't tell if he could enjoy it or not.

And now he's gone. And I feel the last of a great era is going with him. I hope the end brought him some peace and relief from the "thousand shocks that man is heir to". I guess there's no more else to say.

David Miller

Brad Parnell reminded me of an article he wrote for Fanzing in 2001, which goes into more detail about the Legion's transition from the Silver to Bronze Age with the arrival of Dave Cockrum.

You have to dig into the Daily Bugle to see that Marvel Comics has a nice tribute from Joe Quesada and the X-office. It would have been nice if DC put something on its page, but it's been a week and nothing yet.

Finally, to end this installment, here's the famous 2-page Legion wedding spread (click to enlarge):

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Legion TV schedule Dec. 2006

Via my TiVo schedule, since ToonZone doesn't have it ready, here are the airdates and episodes for the Legion show for December. All episodes are supposed to air at 10:00 a.m. local time on The CW Network.

Dec. 02 - episode 6 "Phantoms" (2nd airing)
Dec. 09 - episode 5 "Champions" (2nd airing)
Dec. 16 - episode 4 "Fear Factory" (2nd airing)
Dec. 23 - ???
Dec. 30 - ???

I don't know if they'll have new episodes on the 23rd and 30th. I'd suspect two more reruns then and then new episodes in January.

Also, don't forget that 12/9 is "Super Sing-Along Saturday", with Superman and Timber Wolf as part of the Kids' WB! Choir, which "will croon Christmas carols with a decidedly Warner Bros. twist, interspersing sing-along appearances between episodes throughout the morning lineup."

Previously:
schedule for Sept./Oct. 2006, Nov. 2006

Even more Vs. cards

From the official tournament FAQ, here are some more Legion-related cards (I'm not sure about which Darkseid cards to count yet) from the upcoming Vs. System CCG, some previously mentioned. The tournaments are this weekend.

Obviously, these are based on the post-Zero Hour reboot Legion, not the current one, from around the time of the "Foundations" storyline.

  • All Hail Darkseid!
  • Andromeda, Laurel Gand
  • Atrophos, Chief Blight Scientist
  • Connor Kent <> Superboy, Inspiration to the Legion
  • Dark Firestorm
  • Dark Matter Drain
  • Dominated
  • Dream Girl, Nura Nal
  • Five Against One
  • Joining the Darkseid, Team-Up
  • Karate Kid
  • Legion World
  • Live Wire, Garth Ranzz
  • Ra's al Ghul, Engine of Change
  • Return of the Demon's Head
  • Saturn Queen, Legion of Super Villains
  • Sensor, Jeka Wynzorr
  • Shrinking Violet <> Leviathan, Salu Digby
  • Time Trapper, Temporal Manipulator
  • Triad, Luornu Durgo
  • We Are Legion
  • Wildfire, Drake Burroughs
  • Youth of Tomorrow, Team-Up

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Cockrum obits

Due to his involvement with the X-Men, Dave Cockrum's obituary has now been written up in the New York Times, the LA Times, and the Associated Press, with those three reprinted in scores of papers and entertainment-based websites around the world. The AP story noted that he died in his Superman pajamas and a Batman blanket, and will be cremated in a Green Lantern t-shirt. (that surprised me - I figured it would have been a Nightcrawler one). Most of them mention how he reinvigorated the Legion before moving to the X-Men.

Evan Dorkin adds a Legion memory:

Costume design was a specialty of Cockrum's, who worked on DC's Legion of Superheroes book previously to the X-gig. LOSH is a book which practically demands bold and unique costumes in order to differentiate a seemingly endless load of bland, lookalike fratand sorority kids running around in a rocket ship clubhouse doing lots of silly crap. I read only one issue of LOSH as a kid (being fervently anti-DC at the time, I can't recall how I ended up with a comic from the dreaded "Distinguished Competition"), an issue which happened to feature the debut of Wildfire, a Cockrum-designed character I was instantly taken with. Wildfire died at the end of the story, and so did any further interest I might have had in the book. I didn't see Cockrum's art again until Giant-Size X-Men # 1 came out.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sing Along with Timber Wolf!

This week's sign of the impending Apocalypse... a press release from KidsWB! as seen on AnimatedBliss.com.

I still haven't found out what the next few episodes are going to be. If we continue the pattern, it'll be two more weeks of reruns (12/2 and 12/9) followed by three new episodes.

KIDS' WB! HOSTS SUPER SING-A-LONG SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 ON THE CW

Popular Kids' WB! Characters Croon Carols-with-a-Twist During Top-Rated Saturday Morning Kids Broadcast Lineup

BURBANK, CA (November 28, 2006) - Move over Mitch Miller - the Kids' WB! all-star lineup of characters will have viewers following the bouncing ball December 9 when The CW's No. 1 rated broadcast slate of Saturday morning children's programming hosts its first Super Sing-A-Long.

Led by animated favorites from Superman to Scooby-Doo, the Kids' WB! Choir will croon Christmas carols with a decidedly Warner Bros. twist, interspersing sing-along appearances between episodes throughout the morning lineup. The antics begin at 7:00 a.m. ET/PT.

While the characters harmonize, viewers will be encouraged to sing along at home, following the "bouncing ball" as it dances over on-screen lyrics.

The Kids' WB! Choir includes Shaggy & Scooby-Doo ("Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue!"), Superman & Timberwolf ("Legion of Super Heroes"), Batman & Robin ("The Batman"), Slam Tasmanian & Danger Duck ("Loonatics Unleashed"), Omi & Kimiko ("Xiaolin Showdown"), Krypto ("Krypto the Superdog"), Johnny & Dukey ("Johnny Test") and Zick & Bombo ("Monster Allergy"). Even the ever-silent Tom & Jerry ("Tom and Jerry Tales") will take part in the musical festivities.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What if?

What if...

What if Carmine Infantino agreed to give the two-page spread from "Superboy" 200 back to Dave Cockrum even thought that was against DC policy at the time?

  • Cockrum stays at DC as the artist of the Legion. A character named Nightcrawler appears as a member of the Outsiders. The team appears a number of times in the Legion series. When Jim Shooter takes over from Cary Bates, the book soars to new heights of popularity under the Shooter/Cockrum team. Perhaps Shooter eventually rises through the ranks at DC from writer to editor and into management.
  • Mike Grell finds other work at DC between his gigs doing Aquaman and Green Arrow backups, and his simultaneous work on "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" and "Warlord".
  • Over at Marvel, Len Wein co-creates with another artist a different All-New, All-Different X-Men revival, a team which does not include Nightcrawler, Storm, or Colossus. Without his input and those characters, the title probably does not get the critical acclaim it needed to eventually become a fan-favorite and a cornerstone of Marvel Comics itself.


What if the rumors of Shooter coming back to work on "a" Legion book are actually him doing "The Last Legion Story" rather than on the animated book? In his own words from an interview with CBR in 2000, here's what happened with that.
MDT: When do you think you'll be forgiven for your transgressions: real, imagined or manufactured?

JS: I don't care. I think there will always be assholes. I don't care. I've never really cared. I can't say it hasn't affected me.

My phone never rings. Nobody ever calls me. Am I such a bad writer? Am I the worst writer in comics that no one can use me? In fact, a while back, I was looking for some work.

I called Paul Levitz and I said, "Paul, I got one Legion story left in me. Call it Jim Shooter's last legion story. Do like Watchmen, do it like a series, 8 books, whatever and bind it in a book." Because I know the only thing they're making money on is the trade paperbacks. I said, "Look, it won't interfere with anybody, it'll be set back in the time when I wrote the Legion. Won't interfere with continuity. It'll be Jim Shooter's last legion story, I think I got some good ideas." He said, "I can't wait to read it."

He was in San Francisco. He said, "Look I'll be in the office Friday, I'll call you. Put together a list of the reference you'll need, I know you don't have any comics at your house. And think about what artists you'd like to have. We'll talk Friday and get going on this."

The last thing I said is, "Y'know, Paul, you have some people working for you that don't like me and this will piss them off. Are you sure that's not going to be a problem?" He said, "They'll go to their corners and sulk for a little while, but it'll be fine. I'll take care of it."

Didn't get a call Friday, didn't get a call Monday. Called him Tuesday. "The scars are deeper than I thought. It would be too much hassle. They would make things difficult. You don't need that and I don't need that." I said, "Ok, that's fine."

There's more at Howling Curmudgeons from 2005:
It is widely believed that [former editor Mike] Carlin was responsible for spiking a proposal by Jim Shooter to do a "Last Legion Story" at DC, pitched to and accepted a few years ago by Paul Levitz, who knows a little something about the Legion. Carlin's opposition is widely believed to result from personal animus arising from Carlin's training as an assistant editor at Marvel during Shooter's last, acrimonious days there.

Of course, the rumors might be totally false, in which case this is just a mental exercise.

Who are the other writers on the animated comic?

Via Legion Clubhouse comes the lead entry in this week's "Lying in the Gutters". This rumor gets an "Amber" from Rich's LitG, which means "there's likely an interest involved or the likelihood isn't set".

I understand that Jim Shooter will return to DC Comics in the summer, working on a "Legion of Super-Heroes" title.

This is the same super hero team that Jim Shooter first wrote when he was 13 years old.

It would make sense if Shooter were to do something for the upcoming comic based on the animated series, rather than for the regular series. Here's a ComicBloc discussion thread on the story.

(Jason "foenix" Gray says "I'm a huge Shooter fan, and welcome our gigantic Legion overlord.")

One writer who will not be doing the book is Vito Delsante (wikipedia). In a LiveJournal post yesterday, he listed the things he wanted to do in 2007 and the things he couldn't do. This was among those that he wasn't going to do:
Legion of Superheroes comic - I was asked to write it along with J. Torres and a few others. Unfortunately, Mike Siglain moving to 52 meant that he was no longer on the book, so one down.

However, after I commented on the post, he took it private so it's no longer visible unless you're authorized (and I'm not).

Cockrum proposal: LSH/Blackhawks teamup

The Dave Cockrum tributes keep coming in. Alan Kistler at Monitor Duty passes this link along: a proposal Dave had for a team-up of sorts between the Legion and the Blackhawks (who Dave enjoyed drawing). I had never heard of this before.

I'll let you read it without spoiling it, but it involves the Legion finding Blackhawk Island.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Death in the Family

Update 1 a.m. Monday: added CBA interview, Neil Gaiman links

Unless you've been travelling all day and have just logged in (pretty much like me), you've probably heard the sad news today that Dave Cockrum passed away Sunday morning.

My first Legion issue was #212, a year or so after Dave's last issue. My first Legion artist was Mike Grell, and he remains one of my favorite artists to this day. I didn't discover Cockrum's issues until a couple years later when I started looking for back issues. I didn't really know about his history with the Legion until much later, when I was able to piece things together and look at the run from the end of Adventure through Action Comics and into Superboy that I saw what an impact he had.

He was basically the first Bronze Age artist on the Legion, if you consider their Silver Age to have ended with the Action run, which was the end of Mort Weisinger's tenure as editor. He updated the look and feel of the 30th century, from the clubhouse to the costumes, dragging them all kicking and screaming into the 1970s. His stamp on the book was indelible and inspired the next artist, Mike Grell.

The two of them only did a single, otherwise unremarkable story together, the Devil-Fish story from Superboy 202. Cockrum pencilled it, Grell inked it. The Cockrum era was over, the Grell era began.

It's fairly common knowledge why Cockrum left the book and went over to Marvel (where he co-created the All-New, All-Different X-Men, including some characters adapted from some Legion designs) because DC refused to return the original artwork for the 2-page spread from Superboy #200, the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel (in DC's defense, at the time that was their policy). So who knows what might have been had Nightcrawler stayed in the 30th century, among many other things.
See the extended quote below for an interview with Dave where he recounts this.

Lots of tributes today from around the web. Here are some comments and reminiscings from others.

Mark Evanier:

When Murphy [Anderson] was asked to draw a Legion of Super-Heroes back-up story one day, he begged off — "too many characters" — and recommended Dave. Cockrum not only got that job but became the feature's steady artist and creative heart, helping to redesign the Legion and create new characters. Among his many strengths, he was a superb inventor of new costumes. Later, he did the same thing — only with greater success — when he and Len Wein revamped the old, cancelled X-Men strip into the new, highly-successful X-Men franchise at Marvel.

Johnny Bacardi:
I quickly fell in love with the amazing costume designs of these characters- some of the established Legionnaires even had groovy-looking new togs, and it was like a breath of fresh air to the previously Swan-stodgy Legion. So I set out to get as many Cary Bates/Cockrum SatLSH back issues that I could, through mail order or just being lucky enough to get them off some other magazine stand (no internet in 1974, remember, and no comics shops in those prehistoric days). Anyway, I eagerly picked up #202, and then came #203, featuring the "Wrath of the Devil Fish" story, which in my less-than-authoritative opinion is among the best things he ever did, art-wise. Then...#204, and Mike Grell. No more Cockrum. Whahoppen?

Mike Flynn, one of the founders of Legion fandom:
Of course, this is a sad and tragic loss for all of us as Legion fans, as comic fans, and, of course, as human beings. Dave was a fan just like the rest of us... he drew for FANTASTIC FANZINE, for Warren, worked as Murphy Anderson's assistant, all before telling Murray Boltinoff that "goddamn bet your ass" he was ready to be the regular artist for the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES strip in the back of SUPERBOY. Some of us might like to think that we had something to do with the strip's eventual rebirth, but it took an energy and a talent like Dave's to help others see what we saw.

Neil Gaiman reprints an essay he wrote a couple years ago for the Dave Cockrum Tribute Book:
The important stuff, the way I saw it was that super powers would allow you to survive school more easily. ...

I think that was why I loved the Legion of Super Heroes, back in my own personal golden age. There were lots of them. They lived in the future. And their powers seemed made for surviving school with. (There were school meals put in front of me that only Matter Eater Lad could comfortably have disposed of.) They had a clubhouse. They didn’t fight bank robbers, either. (Mostly they seemed to fight each other, even if they had been brainwashed by intergalactic evildoers. This also made sense to me. I had lived twelve years, and had come to the conclusion that bank robbers turned up more infrequently than they did in the comics.) And, most of all, for just a little while – oddly enough, while I was twelve – they had Dave Cockrum.

I ought to Google and find out what the first Legion story Dave drew was; on the other hand, I still know the first of his stories I read. It was called “Curse of the Blood Crystals”, and it was inked by Murphy Anderson. (I have always been a sucker for Murphy Anderson’s inking.)

And, almost immediately it seemed, Superboy’s comic had become The Legion’s, and Dave Cockrum was the Legion artist (Cary Bates was writing), and suddenly it was cool...

Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter has a good article about Dave. He even made a MetaFilter discussion.

In Dave's own words, here's the "secret origin" of his working on the Legion (from Comic Book Artist #6, from TwoMorrows):
CBA: You went over to DC from Warren?

Dave: Yeah. I started doing background inking, first for Tony DeZuniga (who was doing a lot of House of Mystery and stuff like that). They weren't running a stable yet, at that point. He was okay to work for, but his wife, Mary, was something else. She looked at my stuff and said, "Ehhh! Ten years, maybe, you might make it." I stayed long enough to work on five or six issues, but Murphy Anderson needed a background inker for the work he was doing on Curt Swan's Superman and Bob Brown's Superboy. He also got the "John Carter of Mars" strip, which I desperately wanted to help out with (being a John Carter fan all of my life) but Murphy wouldn't let me touch that. He'd say, "This is mine! Go away!" I worked for Murphy for about a year in a downtown Manhattan studio. It was great and I learned a lot, but the only trouble was that we did more bullsh*tting than working! So it turned out to be not that profitable and he finally closed down the studio.

While I was working for Murphy, the "Legion of Super-Heroes" strip became available. Murray Boltinoff, the editor, got Murphy to agree to ink it. Murray figured that Murphy would be responsible for the quality of the book and fix anything that I did wrong. Because Murphy was an old-time professional and I was the newcomer, Murray listed Murphy's name first on the credits, so everybody thinks that Murphy penciled those first three or four strips, when actually I did. It was the other way around: I penciled and he inked. But Murray thought that Murphy would be offended to be listed second, though he wouldn't have.

By the fourth "Legion" strip I did, Murphy was embroiled in "John Carter" and Superman, and he just couldn't help anymore. So he said, "You're on your own!" There was a lot of snowpaque on that art from correcting mistakes, but I got through it. It looked pretty slick and people said that it wasn't bad, so after that it was my book. Fan reaction was pretty good, because I was young and enthusiastic—and obviously the first one in a long time who much cared what was being done with The Legion—I even badgered Murray into allowing me to introduce new costumes, but he was timid about that. That was my best early work.

CBA: Around the same time were you doing some inking for Marvel? The Avengers come to mind....

Dave: I didn't start working for Marvel full-time until I had my little go-around with Murray and Carmine Infantino. DC wasn't returning artwork at that point, and Marvel was, but I asked for the double-page spread of the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel to be returned. I just wanted it for a souvenir, and Murray had said, "I don't see why not," and he apparently had it set aside to give to me. But Carmine came in the day I came by to pick it up and he said, "What's this?" Murray told him, and Carmine said, "You can't give this back to him. We don't do that." It was the only artwork that I had asked for back and I said, "Gee, guys, can't you bend the rules? It's all I'm asking for." He said, "Nope, can't do it." I said, "All right. See ya." (Just prior to this incident, I had gotten the Captain Marvel Jr. job from Julie Schwartz.) I then went over to Marvel and got some work, and asked Julie and Roy Thomas, "Do you guys mind if I keep doing Captain Marvel Jr.? Because I really tried hard to get that." Both of them said fine, but Carmine said, "No, he can't." So I made a clean cut with DC.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

J. Torres comments on animated Legion book

From a posting by J. Torres on the Comicbloc forums:

I'm not the only writer on the book. I've written issues #1 and #2 so far, and I'm working on a third story that will probably end up being used for #5 or maybe #6. Anyway, I'm hoping to contribute to the series as much as my editor (and schedule) will allow! Since the Subs are supposed to show up on the cartoon at some point, I can't see why they wouldn't end up in the comic book (and I'd love to write that issue!). The thing is, I hear the cartoon is struggling in the ratings so everyone please keep watching and tell all your friends or else they might not get to the episode with the Subs in it

It's news to me that the cartoon may be struggling, I hadn't heard of that elsewhere (and I've been tracking the ratings, which I'll get to in the next couple of days).

Of course, if they ever re-run any episode besides the Timber Wolf one, maybe more people would watch (if that's a problem). They've had six new episodes and four reruns so far - three new, three reruns, three new, and one rerun into the next cycle - with three of those reruns being the Timber Wolf episode.

Two Legion podcasts

I haven't had time to listen to either of them yet, but two Legion-related podcasts showed up in the last few days. If anyone has a chance to listen to them, please leave a note in the comments if there's any good stuff!

First, ComicGeekSpeak has a podcast in which, among other things, a bunch of fans discuss Legion trivia, posted Wednesday 11/22.

Can you name all of the Legion worlds in alphabetical order? Neither can we, but we brought a second Peter into the room to help us with our Legion of Superheroes Spotlight episode. Be prepared for loads of Legion lore as two Peters are always better than one.

Second, WordBalloon has an interview with Mark Waid, posted Friday 11/24.
Mark's been a DC comics fan forever, and says Adventure Comics #357 was a mind blowing experience. The comic featured a classic Legion Of Superheroes story, The Death Of Ferro Lad, written by teenaged Jim Shooter, and drawn by the legendary Curt Swan. Nowadays, Mark is making Legion history himself, as the writer of Supergirl and The Legion Of Superheroes, drawn by frequent Waid collaborator, Barry Kitson. Mark is also co-writing the weekly DC Comic "52". We get updates on both books, and delve into a bunch of other pop culture topics.

More Vs. cards

Previously: Vs. System previews for Ferro Lad, Live Wire, "We Are Legion", Dream Girl, Dark Firestorm, Brainiac 5.1, Dark Superboy, Fatal Five Hundred, Time Trapper, XS, "No Match for Darkseid", Dark Thanagarian

Here's a checklist of those cards known so far. Discussion, should you be interested, is at VSRealms and Metagame.



More card previews, via BatMite's pages here, here, and here:

Holy crap, is that actually Michael Golden art on the Mordru card?!

Cosmic King

Claudio Aboy

Mordru

Michael Golden

Legion HQ (Star City article)


Persuader


Chain Lightning



Via TCGPlayer.com:

Dominated (TCGPlayer article)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Great Name Dropper

And now for something completely different - yet still on-topic.

As I've mentioned from time to time, I have a number of search feeds that get me the web sites I discuss here (bless you, RSS!). I get a lot of different things, from ebay auction items to blogs to newspaper articles, and I still have to cull through the posts about the American Legion, the Legion halls, the French Foreign Legion, the Legion of Doom, Imperial Legion, Legion Quest, "legion of fans", "we are legion", etc. Digging through those is where I find things like Shawn Harrison announcing he got the Timber Wolf part before the series was officially announced.

Something else I ran across a while back was a reference to a 1960's music group called "The Legion of Super-Heroes". That obviously couldn't have been a coincidental naming - at the time, the Legion was headlining in "Adventure Comics". All I could find is that they put out exactly one single on Amy Records, #971, in 1967. The name of the A-side song was called "The Great Name Dropper part 1", and the B-side was "part 2". It was only released as a single, and I haven't heard of anyone finding it on a compilation anywhere. Aside from the song lyrics, I wondered would the record sleeve itself have any comic-book Legion stuff on it? How much of a Legion (comics) collectible is this thing really?

Then a little while ago, a guy named John Peel died. I had never heard of him, but he was big in the music/radio business in the UK, and he had a famous box of his 142 favorite 45's, of which the Legion's was #103 (just ahead of the Mighty Avengers!). Lots of people started talking about that list and everyone wanted a copy of this single, myself included. Here's how one music discussion site described the song that he heard on Peel's radio show:

John Peel sometimes plays a very strange record from the early Sixties called "the Great Namedropper" by the Legion of Superheroes. The record has all the qualities of a normal go go record : a great beat, twangy guitars and female backing singers. However over the top of the music an announcer names lots of pop acts of the day (such as Boy Bennett and His Rockets, Rosie and the Originals and Butch and the Bells). People in the studio shout and clap whenever they hear a bandname that they like. It's a brilliant record. I don't know if it's available on any compilations though.

Today, I can't answer the last question about the record sleeve, but I finally found a site with a copy of the mp3 file - today's post on "Living Too Late", a blog from a girl in England who was born 15 years after the song came out. The top of the page has a link to the mp3 file on the YouSendIt site, so you have to jump through a couple of hoops to get there, but it's otherwise a free and painless download. The file contains both the A-side and B-side, separated by a few seconds of blank space.

The song reminds me a lot of those mid/late 60's "surf rock" garage bands, the ones that were "one-hit wonders" like The Rivieras, The Rivingtons, The Trashmen, The Kingsmen, etc. It sounds as if the band was just goofing off in the recording studio and the mic was left on.

I'll drop it onto my iPod.

Issue 24 review roundup

Yay Mon-el! And he's really Mon-el again!

Starting off the reviews, more as they come in:

  • Matthew at the Legion Abstract:
    Don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining (yet) that we don't know what these guys are up to, or what Tarik the Mute's motivation is, or anything. That's fine. That will come out. And I know it's difficult. This comic book has a large cast, all of whom need some screen time, so there isn't a lot of time to spend on the villains**. All I'm saying is that I need a name for that guy in the green, with the orange eyes, who's stepping on Shadow Lass's head. (To invent an example.)

    Now some good stuff. Barry Kitson's art is at its usual high level. I was particularly intrigued by his rendition of Saturn Girl melding her mind with Phantom Girl's body as they visit the Phantom Zone. It's pretty cool.

    I liked Supergirl's stunt to defeat the LSV on Rokyn. I like Cosmic Boy's bitter, deadpan sense of humour. I like Ayla's warm personality.

    I sort of liked the scene where Cosmic Boy invites Supergirl to come back with the Legion instead of staying on Rokyn, but I was distracted. I couldn't help but wonder who was being manipulated here--me or Kara? Or both, I guess. I was definitely being manipulated...

    The comic wasn't as action-packed as I had hoped after last issue; basically the only fighting was Supergirl's scuffle with the LSV. But it did step along nicely, and next issue looks to have a lot more conflagration in it.

  • Ami Angelwings is a reviewer new to this site, who sounds as if she's younger than many of our veteran reviewers:
    I think what's great about the Legion of Superheroes is that they're not exactly part of the greater DCU, in that b/c they're in the 31st century, what they do has nothing to do with Batman, Superman or nebody else. B/c of that it's not necessary for the readers to know everything about the DCU. :) It's very self contained! ^^ Also all the characters are VERY likeable and very convincing as teenagers and young ppl who want to make a difference in the universe. I like the idea of various races, cultures and species from different planets co-operating together to do good :D And the names are so adorable! Yes it's girl/boy/lass/lad but it's cute that way xD And so simple! B/c they ALL do it like that, it makes it less stupid and just the way they want to name themselves :)

    The character interactions are soooo good, and even without a plot, every issue has been a joy to read! :D I rly rly do like and recommend this series in general. I just worry that they're gonna eventually send Supergirl home and that's gonna be it for this story :( But I'm enjoying it while it lasts!

  • Rokk's Comic Book Revolution shows some rare praise:
    I’m psyched for Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes # for one reason and one reason only: Mon-El. That’s right. He’s back! This move alone has rejuvenated my rapidly fading interest in this title. I know, I’ll have to put up with several annoying scenes with the ever vacuous Supergirl, but it will be worth it just to see Mon-El back on this title.
    ...
    Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #24 was a tale of two stories. The first half of this issue was more of the typical boring standard story that we have been getting on this title ever since Supergirl hi-jacked the Legion. On the other hand, the second half of this issue was a good read and rather interesting and engaging which is very much unlike the previous issues of this title.
    ...
    Once again, Waid shows in this issue exactly why I despise having Supergirl on this title. Supergirl makes the rest of the Legion totally irrelevant. But, what is even worse in this issue is that Supergirl is totally powerless and she STILL makes the Legion looking completely irrelevant.... I have been pretty harsh on this title ever since Supergirl hi-jacked the Legion. However, I really think that Waid is just about to turn the corner on the Legion and crank out a pretty entertaining story arc. Or at least I hope so.

  • DCU Boy at the Continuity Blog has a review of the last 6 issues. Interesting perspective on the whole arc so far from someone who is essentially unfamiliar with any of the previous versions of the Legion.
    This issue continues this series with great success, I still think this is series is highly underrated. ... The ending was good too, I look forward to next issue.

  • Graig at Rack Raids, the Four Color Valhalla:
    Waid, Kitson and team may have faultered a little following the end of their year-long introductory storyline, and initially the addition of Supergirl to the title was a hinderance, but in the past few Waid has really made it work, and with another gang as opposition to the team, were wading (no pun intended) back into some big-time fun superheroics.