Wednesday, March 29, 2006

April 15th isn't always bad

Yeah, it's tax day, but April 15, 2006 is also Legion of Super-Heroes Day (not to be confused with Klordny week). That's when the long-awaited episode of Justice League Unlimited is scheduled to be aired on Cartoon Network (at least, that's the day Comics Continuum says it'll be on - blame them if it's not!). Who knows if we'll actually see it then or not. Heck, we may see the Legion's series with Superboy before we see this episode with Supergirl!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sold Out!

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16 is sold out, and DC is issuing a second printing. The new cover is a pencils-on-white version of the regular, first printing cover.


First Printing


Second Printing



Looks like I'll need another Field Guide soon.

In other news, SLSH got reviewed by Now Playing Magazine's website:
Kara Zor-El’s reintroduction into the Legion’s world is handled with exactly the right measures of shock and awe, and a healthy dose of dramatic irony for the audience to enjoy. From the very moment that famous "S" appears, to the startling panel in which Kara makes her first full-out appearance, you can almost hear the Superman theme playing in your head. That’s how much of a sense of moment writer Mark Waid has invested into this story. And as for the second, and far more important, revelation that this issue has on offer, whoo boy. It’s most certainly not a plot twist that you’ll see coming, and if this title weren’t already worth reading, then finding out the answer to that little mystery would make it so.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Animated Legion news 19: Story editor Rob Hoegee

I don't know how he does it, but Comics Continuum has provided yet another name for the upcoming Legion series staff: story editor Rob Hoegee.

Rob (IMDB) has been a writer and/or story editor on several episodes of the Teen Titans show, and wrote an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures.

Hoegee joins James Tucker (show runner, head designer), Kelly Ward (voice director), Norm Ryang (backgrounds, props), and Eric Canete (backgrounds) on staff.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Déjà Vu 2: the Nine Planets Ice Cream Parlor

Apparently, the Nine Planets Ice Cream Parlor is a hot tourist attraction in the 30th Century:



From Adventure Comics 247


From Action Comics 267

via Silver Age Comics


Previously:
Deja Vu 1: Kitson's covers

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Reviews: Supergirl and the LSH 16

Updated 3/24: Added reviews from Comic Book Revolution, The Comics Fan, and The Incredible Super-Blog
Updated 3/26: Added review from Graeme McMillan, Comics Fairplay, Red X, SilverBulletComics, Jeffrey Bridges

new reviews added at the bottom



Well, it says "1001 Years Later" on the cover, but it feels only one issue later (did a year really pass?). The Legionnaires are still telling people they got deputized by the UP. Suddenly, a shot rang out - one going near light speed, headed for Earth. Yes, it's Supergirl as we could see by the cover, with what writer Mark Waid promised was a blockbuster. It sure took me by surprise.

Here are some online reviews of the issue, in no particular order (to be updated as more reviews are posted):

  • Michael at Tales to Mildly Astonish raves about the issue - it's "The Comic You Should Be Talking About."
    Since the announcement that the Maid of Might would be added to both the roster and the title, most fans have been wondering how Kara Zor-El, the current Supergirl appearing in both her own title, set in the 21st Century, and Legion, set in the 31st. A number of people have assumed that she would be timesharing between centuries, as the Pre-Crisis Kara did with the Pre-Crisis Legion. There has been much hueing and crying from some corners that this is a shameless exploitation and overmarketing of the character, whom very few people seem to like, anyway.

    It should go without saying that I think these people are morons.

    Consider: The hype on this series coming out of DC is that exactly how Supergirl can be in two centuries at once is the big mystery. And when has it ever been that the most obvious solution to a mystery was, in fact, the solution? Hell, when was the last time Mark Waid *didn't* juke us one way while setting up the real answer to be completely different?

    I've had a sneaking suspicion that the Legion Supergirl not only wouldn't be Kara Zor-El doing the timeshare but, she wouldn't be Kara at all. And, having read this issue, I think my suspicion is confirmed.

    Go read the article to see who he thinks Supergirl is. "That spells nothing but trouble for the Legion. I can't wait to see what's next."

  • Sean Maher's Quality Control is happy too:
    Supergirl's appearance as co-title of Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes looks like it might be fun. I'm glad to have Mark Waid back on scripts - last issue was a fill-in writer, and I didn't like it much - and Barry Kitson's back on pencils. Happy days.

  • Crazz at the Comic Book Observatory was pretty succinct in his dislike of the story:
    Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes was horrible. If you're considering picking that up, I would recommend that you don't do it, it's not worth it.

  • Don MacPherson's Critiques on Infinite Earths (which has been around for at least as long as I've been online, since the days of rec.arts.comics.* on Usenet) had a good review:
    Waid and Kitson offer up a fairly solid issue of this ongoing series and given the new title and addition of a key character to the case, the script wisely gets back to the generation-gap premise behind this incarnation of the Legion while incorporating the team's new legitimate status. There are a couple of strong scenes that hold the promise of greater conflicts to come, but it felt as though too much time and energy was devoted to the buildup of Supergirl's arrival. This isn't the first of the "One Year Later" titles to spend an entire issue leading up to a point that's plain to see on the cover of the comic book itself. I certainly hope it's the last.

  • Rokk at the Comic Book Revolution has another take on the matter:
    The Legion is being shoved back in the shadow of yet another Superbrat. This time one even more annoying than Superboy. Yup, Supergirl. Gross. I am totally disgusted that such a pathetic excuse for a character is going to take over the title from the oldest teen super team in the history of comics. The Legion has a glorious and storied history (despite DC’s best efforts to destroy it) and deserves better than to be made an after thought to a re-tread Supergirl. I think this is a huge mistake by DC and one that may cost them many long standing readers like me. And, I don’t see where this move will bring in any new readers. Sorry, I must have missed the memo where this annoying new Supergirl suddenly became the hottest thing in comics.

    Visit the site for more.

  • Bill Radford, The Comics Fan, is hesitant:
    But out of curiosity, I picked up this week’s issue, which sees the title evolve into “Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes.” Superboy was an integral part of the team when I was introduced to the Legion, so it’s nice to see a Super-somebody back with the team. And Supergirl’s perplexing disclosure at the end of the issue will keep me on board, at least for now.

  • Chris Sims' Incredible Super-Blog is cautiously optimistic:
    ...But what they do have is the best appearance of the Jeph Loeb Supergirl to date. She doesn't come off as irritating or ditzy like she does in Superman/Batman, she keeps her clothes on unlike her own book, and her costume even fits in with the Legionnaires'. It took Mark Waid and Barry Kitson to do it, but I may actually end up enjoying stories with her.

    Not only that, but she actually looks like a human when drawn by Kitson, not some super-elongated silly putty Super-Torso girl.

  • Graeme McMillan, currently one of the Savage Critics, questions the role of Supergirl in the renamed book:
    Like Birds of Prey last week, this is pretty much the same book as it was prior to (One Thousand and) One Year(s) Later, and as a result, it’s the non-Supergirl aspects of the book that are more interesting – the political status of the Legion, the somewhat bratty attitude of the main characters, and just how much society doesn’t like them. I’m hoping that Supergirl doesn’t overwhelm what made those aspects, and what made the first year of this book work so well for me (Waid’s humor, and the done-in-one pacing that also moved larger plots forward simulataneously), but given that the title of the book has been changed, I’m not sure if I’m that hopeful. This issue was Good, but the series has been much stronger than this.

  • Heidi Meeley at Comics Fairplay gives it a "meh":
    Insubordination and rebellion are still the mainstays here. Though given credibility by the UP, the kids are still alright. What Supergirl's presence will add is beyond me, but it is a fascinating concept. Grade: C+.

  • Red X is a new convert to the Legion:
    I am familiar, however, with the Girl of Steel who does appear in the book. She doesn't appear until nearly the end of it, which I like. This is also supposed to be a 3-part saga, with the book itself getting a change from what it used to be called. I liked how it was labeled on the front of the cover as 1,001 Years Later, confirming it's continuity along with the other 1 Year Later DC books. Supergirl, who is revealed to be the current Kara Zor-El, admits to one of the members that the Legion doesn't exist, and that her appearance in their Century is simply due to the fact that she's dreaming it all. Quite a jawdropper when I first read it. I'm eager to see how it turns out, and eager to eventually pick up Supergirl #6 and Teen Titans #34.

  • Ray Tate at SilverBulletComics gives it 4 bullets for Supergirl fans but only 3 for everyone else:
    I've been a long time Legion fan. I followed both the pre-Crisis Legion and the original post-Crisis Legion. I followed Legion reboot numbers one and two. The third reboot felt like one reboot too many, and needless to say I haven't had any interest in the fourth reboot, represented by the fifteen issues prior to this one. What changed my determination to ignore the latest reboot to hesitant curiosity? One name. Supergirl.

    The plot, not involving Supergirl, with nods to Isaac Asimov's Caves of Steel helps establish the rebooted Legioinnaires as representatives of the United Planets. They abuse their new powers, but they also do good. Honestly though, I could not have cared less. I'm in this latest reboot for Supergirl.

  • Finally, Jeffrey Bridges over at the Supermanhomepage forum, gave an enthusiastic thumbs up, the kind of review the DC was hoping others would have:
    Story - 5: Well, now I have another book to buy every month. If this wasn't one of the most fun comics I've read in years, I don't know what is.

    A whole lot happens in this issue, the first "1001 Years Later" story after Infinite Crisis. And yet amidst all of that there's time for development of one of the characters. Not only that, but the entire world Legion interacts in is incredibly fresh, imaginative, interesting and compelling.

    Friends, do yourself a favor and pick up this book.

    If you want to read it solely for the Supergirl factor, the jury's still out on exactly how big of a role she'll be playing in this book. Only Mark Waid and DC know that for sure.

    But I have absolutely NO trouble giving this book a high recommendation and telling you that you'd do well to add it to your pull list. If future issues are as good as this one (and the first six in the TPB I read), this is an absolute can't-miss book. I've got something new and exciting to look forward to each month and it's even got Supergirl in it, to boot.

    I have to tell you though, at this stage, she's just icing on the cake. I'd buy this book with her involvement or no.

    By the way... WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING READING THIS?

    Go out and buy a copy of this book. No, really. Go. I'll wait.

    {twiddles thumbs}

    Honestly.

    {hums theme from "Superman: The Movie"}

    The Homepage will still be here when you get back!

    {reads the Legion TPB again}

    GO GET IT. NOW! You can thank me later.*

    {goes off to get some popcorn}

Krypton Companion

Coming in July 2006 from TwoMorrows ($29 plus shipping):


224 page Trade Paperback - by Michael Eury

THE KRYPTON COMPANION unlocks the secrets of Superman’s Silver and Bronze Ages, the days when kryptonite came in multiple colors and super-pets scampered across the skies! Writer/editor Michael Eury explores the legacy of classic Superman editors MORT WEISINGER and JULIUS SCHWARTZ through all-new interviews with NEAL ADAMS, MURPHY ANDERSON, CARY BATES, RICH BUCKLER, NICK CARDY, JOSÉ LUIS GARCÍA-LÓPEZ, KEITH GIFFEN, ELLIOT S! MAGGIN, JIM MOONEY, DENNIS O’NEIL, BOB OKSNER, MARTIN PASKO, BOB ROZAKIS, JIM SHOOTER, LEN WEIN, MARV WOLFMAN, and other fan favorites! Plus: Super-artist CURT SWAN’s 1987 essay “Drawing Superman,” JERRY SIEGEL’s “lost” imaginary story “The Death of Clark Kent,” MARK WAID’s tribute to Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman’s appearances in the media and in Marvel Comics, and rare and previously unpublished artwork by Swan, Adams, WAYNE BORING, ALAN DAVIS, ADAM HUGHES, PAUL SMITH, BRUCE TIMM, and other Super-stars. Bonus: A roundtable discussion with modern-day creators (including JOHN BYRNE, JEPH LOEB, and ALEX ROSS) examining Superman’s influential past! Plus a (last-page) Introduction by Bizarro No. 1 (by Seinfeld writer David Mandel), and a super cover by DAVE GIBBONS!

(via Superman Through the Ages)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Action figure update

The WWLA post-con report by SDComics at the Action Figure Insider message boards confirms what Mattel employee "Boy Wonder" said, as mentioned here earlier:

It's too soon to say if Mattel will be making toys based on the upcoming Wonder Woman and Flash movies, but Boy Wonder did confirm that yes, Mattel will indeed make action figures based on the new Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon. They haven't started yet, but the designers are excited.

I'm still not convinced that this is a reference to the upcoming series, rather than the "new" JLU episode. Later in the discussion, SDComics says that Mattel wants to make figures for every character that appeared in the JLU series that it has a license to, but on the other hand, the theoretical Wonder Woman and Flash movies are separate from JLU or Superman Returns.

On Mattel being restricted to only the Superman/Batman family of characters:
To quote Boy Wonder "The sky's the limit". As long as the characters are part of the Superman and Batman families, Mattel can make comic accurate versions of them. And again, they're not restricted to just the modern age. If Mattel wanted to do, say, an Earth 2 Huntress or a Golden Age Batman, they can.

Since the Legion is a spinoff of Superboy, it's not out of the realm of possibility we could see some more comic-inspired Legion figures too from Mattel like the Silver Age figures from DC Direct. Bikini Saturn Girl, anyone?

(via Scott at LegionClubhouse)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Animated Legion news 18: Superboy

Two new names to be added to the Legion series roster: Yuri Lowenthal and Eric Canete.

Another day, another voice reported by Comics Continuum... today's announcement: Yuri Lowenthal (IMDB, official site) as Clark Kent/Superboy. Lowenthal has done a number of voiceover roles in animation and video games.

Superboy is the central character in the series, and his development as a hero is a key theme. He will wear the traditional Superman costume.

In other Legion news reported by the Continuum, Eric Canete (IMDB, blog) is a background artist for the show. Canete has been a storyboard artist for The Batman, Teen Titans, Men In Black, Godzilla, Starship Troopers, and Aeon Flux. In the comics world, he is also known for his WildStorm series Cybernary 2.0 and has worked on Majestic, MEK, and Deathlok. A couple of interviews from 2001 (Cybernary) and 2002 (MEK). Recently, he's been seen as the cover artist for Marvel's New Universe Justice one-shot and DC's DCU Villains Secret Files.

The Continuum also reports that an official announcement about the show should come this spring, as opposed to all of the numerous unofficial announcements we've been reading and hearing about for the last few months.

Canete joins James Tucker and Norm Ryang on the production side of the house. Lowenthal joins a group whose voices include Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Emerald Empress, and Timber Wolf.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Wizard World LA '06: Day 2

Via CBR, Wizard World's DCU: One Great Year panel had some interesting hints about the upcoming Supergirl and the Legion series:

While “Superman/Batman” may be undergoing some creative team changes, “Legion of Superheroes” is undergoing a title change.

“Legion” writer Mark Waid said that, as of this month’s issue, the book will be re-dubbed “Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes.” How she arrived in the 31st Century and what her relationship is to the character in the “Supergirl” series is something yet to be revealed.

“1,001 years later she shows up and the mystery is ‘Well if you’re Supergirl, who’s that back in your other series that Greg Rucka is writing back in the 21st Century?’” Waid said. “It’s like King Arthur suddenly showing up in our time or Robin Hood or something. To these people (the Legion), she’s a legend. These people in the 31st Century are not even sure if she existed or not or if she was just a creature of myth or something. When she shows up, she’s going to have a huge bombshell surprise at the end of that issue. That is going to fuel the next few issues, it turns out the mystery is not just about her, it’s about the whole 31st Century.”

Newsarama's coverage just sums up the final statement:
Mark Waid said the mystery surrounding how Supergirl winds up in the 31st Century in Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes isn’t just a mystery about her, but it’s a mystery about the entire 31st Century itself.

However, it also has a few items from the Q&A at the end:
  • M’onel [or Mon-el] in Legion? Waid: “Soon? No. Eventually? Yes.”
  • Waid’s favorite character to write – “Brainiac 5.”
  • Saturday, March 18, 2006

    Where do we get those wonderful toys?

    Scott at LegionWorlds has found a mention in some ToyFair 2006 news of an upcoming release of DC Battle Dice from Playmates Toys (to go along with their Marvel Battle Dice) that is planned to include some Legionnaires in waves 3 and 4. Here's a description of how to play (it sounds way too complext to recap here). Photos of the wave 1 and 2 figures and accessories can be seen here, and the last two photos on the page show placards of the lineup for wave 3 (including Livewire, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy) and wave 4 (including Brainiac 5.1 and Ultra Boy). The lineups, code names, and sculpts could change, however, since the game designer Matt Forbeck said

    I don’t believe anything’s set in stone for those yet. I haven’t begun work on those sets, for instance.

    Also, another LegionWorlds poster discovered a post on the Action Figure Insider message boards in which the poster (toyfreak) recounts a conversation he had at Wizard World LA '06 with a fellow forum poster (Boy Wonder) who works for Mattel and who is involved somehow with the design of the DC line of figures:
    and they are working on a legion of superheroes line for the cartoon

    Based on the context, it sounds like these would be figures based on the "Far From Home" episode of Justice League Unlimited, not from the upcoming series.


    I learned a month ago but forgot to mention that two Legion characters will be represented in the upcoming HeroClix "Giants" lineup: Colossal Boy (in current "Micro Lad" costume) and Validus. (Thanks to Angus MacLennan for that tip!)

    My Legion Action Figure page is open 24/7 for those interested in filling out their wish lists.


    Add to those the planned Vs. System CCG set (Fall 2006), the Shadow Lass and Emerald Empress Heroclix, already out, and the inevitable toys based on the new show (from Taco Bell to Frosted Flakes, I'm sure), I'll have to add another shelf in my comics room Legion collectibles collection.

    Wizard World LA '06: Day 1

    From CBR, the "DCU Nation" panel had only one Legion-related item. In the Q&A session following the prepared statements was this:

    Mark Waid wants to bring back Bouncing Boy to the Legion, but his artist and everyone else seems to be against him.

    I'd think that once the Legion cartoon starts up in the fall, there will be a stronger push to get him back in the Legion book, as fans of the show start checking out the source material.

    Update 3/18: While looking for something else, I found a link to the Waid/Levitz panel at the Baltimore Comic Con in September 2004, prior to the intro of the new Legion. Apparently Chuck has been an issue for a while:
    Bouncing Boy is a point of contention between Waid (who wants him on the team) and Kitson (who is resisting). "I think a big fat 250 lb. guy hurtling at you at a hundred miles an hour is a damn cool super-power," Waid said to applause.

    Back to the present, the ComiX-Fan forum has another report from WWLA06 with this info:
    • After Supergirl joins the Legion of Super-Heroes, Mark Waid hinted that there would be some familair faces joining the team.
    • The Legion Letters page is Mark Waid's favorite part of the book. It was joked that Mark Waid was actually writing all the letters himself.

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    LSH solicitations: June 2006

    Legion-related books on sale in June:

    • Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes 19
    • Absolute Kingdom Come HC (reprints Kingdom Come 1-4)
    Stuff I missed last month that's on sale in May:
    • Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes 18
    • Showcase Presents: Superman vol. 2 TPB (reprints Action Comics 267, the Legion's 3rd appearance)
    • Power Girl TPB (reprints JSA Classified 1-4)

    Update 3/14: caveat emptor - as Jonathan Miller notes in the comments section, the Superman Showcase volume might only reprint the Superman story and not the Legion story.




    SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF THE SUPER-HEROES #19
    Written by Mark Waid
    Art by Barry Kitson & Mick Gray
    Cover by Kitson
    Chameleon takes center stage as he puts his detective skills to work on a challenging case that could have major consequences for 31st century Earth! Plus, get to know the Legion's newest member - no, it's not Supergirl!
    On sale June 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


    ABSOLUTE KINGDOM COME HC
    Written by Mark Waid
    Art and cover by Alex Ross
    The unforgettable, best-selling miniseries by acclaimed writer Mark Waid and superstar painter Alex Ross returns in a special oversized, feature-packed Absolute Edition - just in time for its 10th anniversary!

    Set at the dawn of the 21st century in a world spinning inexorably out of control, Waid & Ross weave a tale of youth versus experience, tradition versus change, and what defines a hero. KINGDOM COME is a riveting story pitting the old guard - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and their peers - against a new, uncompromising generation of heroes that declare war against each other to determine the future of the planet.

    This Absolute Edition is a whopping 340-page slipcased hardcover featuring a new wraparound image by Ross. Also included is an extended character sketch section, a peek into Ross's own sketchbook, text pieces by Waid and Ross, annotations of the entire series, rare art (from magazines, trading cards, T-shirts, the novel and more), promotional images, a gallery of DC Direct Kingdom Come product, the evolution of a story page, and much more!

    Advance-solicited; on sale July 12 • 8.5" x 13" • 340 pg, FC, $75.00 US




    Stuff that I missed last time around:

    SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #18
    Written by Mark Waid
    Art by Barry Kitson & Mick Gray
    Cover by Kitson
    Where did Supergirl come from? Whatever happened to Brainiac 5, and just what did he do with Dream Girl's body? Who is Dream Boy? Plus, which of the Legionnaires has a secret identity - as a Science Police officer?
    On sale May 24 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


    POWER GIRL
    Written by Geoff Johns, Paul Levitz and Paul Kupperberg; Art by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Staton and Dick Giordano and Mary Wilshire; Cover by Adam Hughes

    Discover the origins of one of the DCU's most powerful heroines in this new collection featuring Power Girl stories from SHOWCASE #97-99, SECRET ORIGINS #11 and the sold-out JSA CLASSIFIED #1-4!

    Is Power Girl the cousin of Earth-2's Superman? Granddaughter of an Atlantean mage? From the future or an alternate dimension? All Karen Starr knows is that she exists in a world that doesn't fit. When her powers begin changing or blanking out altogether, she searches for answers long denied her. The clues lead her to the deranged Psycho-Pirate, who may break her mind before she learns the truth.

    This collection features her first solo adventure, plus her second secret origin and the sold-out first four issues of JSA CLASSIFIED, key stories tied to the cosmic events of INFINITE CRISIS!
    DC Universe | 176pg. | Color | Softcover | $14.99 US
    On Sale June 7, 2006


    SHOWCASE PRESENTS: SUPERMAN VOL. 2 TP
    Written by Jerry Coleman, Bill Finger and Otto Binder
    Art by Curt Swan, Wayne Boring, Al Plastino and Kurt Schaffenberger
    Cover by Swan & George Klein
    The second Showcase spotlighting the Silver Age exploits of Superman features ACTION COMICS #258-275 and SUPERMAN #134-145! The Man of Steel faces off against a wide array of threats, from the impish Mr. Mxyzptlk to the deadly alien Brainiac to the utterly incomprehensible Bizarro.
    Advance-solicited; on sale June 14 o 576 pg, B&W, $16.99 US

    Animated Legion news 17: Emerald Empress

    The voices of the Legion show are slowly being revealed... today's revelation from Comics Continuum: Emerald Empress, as voiced by Jennifer Hale (IMDB, official site)

    Hale is an animated voice-over veteran, best known (in these circles) as the voice of Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat, on the Spider-Man cartoons, and has had numerous roles on the Justice League show as Inza Nelson, Giganta, Killer Frost, and Zatanna.

    A summary of who's known to have been cast so far:

    Heroes


    Villains

    Saturday, March 11, 2006

    Animated Legion news 16: Brainiac 5

    Updated 3/12: Adam Wylie (best known as the young Zach on the TV series Picket Fences) is the voice of Brainiac 5. Thanks to poster Sheer over at LegionWorld.

    A LegionWorld forum member named Hurrikane has posted on 3/11 what he says is a concept drawing of Brainiac 5:




    Compare that with the original group shot, later verified (by Bruce Timm) to be by series head James Tucker:



    The first thing that jumps out is that it shows Brainy as some sort of robot (like his ancestor) or cyborg. The second thing is that the drawing styles are different. The Brainy picture is signed by what appears to be "Tucker", but the face doesn't jibe with those on the group shot. Given that the group picture was an early concept drawing and that Timm has said the style of the Legion show has gotten closer to the regular DCAU style (more Timm-ified), it's possible this is more reflective of the animation style. It's better than the original as seen in the group shot.

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    Animated stuff

    Just a few animated-related items to point out:


    • The Wikipedia entry for Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes was posted today by Dr. R.K.Z and linked this blog at the bottom. Thanks Doc!
    • "Far From Home" debuts in the US next week. Of course, since it aired in the UK a month ago, you can download it already. Here's a link to a torrent file for it.
    • Discussion on Newsarama on this thread, and also this thread, in which one poster named SaturnKnight reveals that he saw the concept sketches last summer (and has been keeping quiet about it since then) and says that
      Bouncing Boy looked cool as hell. No, really--I'm serious. After this cartoon comes out, you will actually be able to say the words "Bouncing Boy" and "cool" in the same sentence.

    • Several different threads talking about the show on ToonZone, here and here.
    • Discussion even on the TrekBBS board.
    • Pedro Garcia's Designing the Legion post at Adlo! Novelti Librari discusses Ovi Nedelcu's designs - in Spanish.

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Animated Legion news 15: Lightning Lad, new logo

    Thursday's Comics Continuum has the first look at a logo for the Legion series:


    They've also got a short interview with Andy Milder, the voice of Lightning Lad, who says that his character will be the Legion field leader, and confirms that Superboy, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Timber Wolf, Phantom Girl and Bouncing Boy will be in the show. No word yet on Cosmic Boy or XS, who were both seen only in previous concept drawings, but "other Legionnaires" will appear.
    Lightning Lad, however -- this is a true honor. A founding member and, for my money, one of the coolest-powered heroes? Fantastic.


    Meanwhile, Newsarama's Steve Fritz interviews Terry Kalagian of Cartoon Network. Or, as Miss Sara Scribbler notes, it's more "no information" than "disinformation":
    Fritz then goes on to ask her about the oft-rumored Hellboy cartoon (which I think has a chance to be outstanding). Kalagian answers, "I'm not allowed to talk about it, not yet." Okay, folks, reality check here. This is Cartoon Network, not the Pentagon. And to make things worse, after Fritz mentions graphics he's seen on the net, she says she's aware of them but can only say how excited she is about it. And she does the same thing when Fritz asks her about Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes and Doom Patrol. She says, "You know I can't say anything about it, Steve. You know it."

    Now, bear in mind that this interview happened after CN's upfront presentation for the coming year, so there's really no reason I can see for her not to be a little less coy about these shows, all of which I'm going to guess we'll see on CN sooner or later.

    This isn't the first time Fritz has referred to the show as Supergirl and the Legion (here's one from January), but he seems to be the only one doing so despite seeing the concept art with Superboy.

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Animated Legion series: what we know so far

    An ongoing summary of my "Animated Legion news" bulletins...


    (click to enlarge)


    Originally posted 3/7/06.
    Update 3/09/06: Added logo, voice director, characters
    Update 3/11/06: Added Brainiac 5 concept drawing
    Update 3/12/06: Added Brainiac 5 voice actor Adam Wylie
    Update 3/13/06: Added Emerald Empress voice actor Jennifer Hale
    Update 3/14/06: Added Justice League Unlimited info
    Update 3/21/06: Added Superboy voice actor Yuri Lowenthal, background designer Eric Canete
    Update 3/25/06: Added story editor Rob Hoegee
    Update 4/06/06: Added Cosmic Boy and Triplicate Girl
    Update 4/08/06: Added info on 13 episode season
    Update 4/15/06: Added Winema Wazzo voice actor April Winchell
    Update 4/16/06: Added writer Matt Wayne
    Update 4/24/06: Added CW network info, official description
    Update 4/26/06: Added staffers Ben Jones, Amy Wolfram, Derrick J. Wyatt, and Irineo Maramba
    Update 5/01/06: Added preview picture
    Update 5/02/06: Added Cosmic Boy voice actor Wil Wheaton
    Update 6/01/06: Added Dave Johnson, updated Allen Heinberg, updated cast picture
    Update 6/13/06: Added Mekt Ranzz
    Update 6/21/06: Added writer Stan Berkowitz, new image and logo
    Update 6/22/06: Updated Superboy/Superman status
    Update 6/27/06: Added David Slack, writer
    Update 6/28/06: Added AJ Vargas, co-producer
    Update 7/01/06: Added Phantom Girl voice actor Heather Hogan, character designer Glenn Wong
    Update 7/06/06: Added Timber Wolf voice actor Shawn Harrison, Bouncing Boy voice actor Michael Cornacchia


    The Powers That Be had been pushing for an animated Legion series for a long time, at least as early as 1998. The Legion had already been seen twice in the DC Animated Universe, once in a 1998 episode of Superman: The Animated Series titled "New Kids in Town" that featured Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, and Cosmic Boy along with a pre-Superman Clark Kent against Brainiac, and once in a 2006 episode of Justice League Unlimited titled "Far From Home" that featured Brainiac 5 and Bouncing Boy teaming up with Supergirl, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern against the Fatal Five.

    The new Legion of Super-Heroes series was quietly but officially announced on March 1, 2006, and publicly announced on April 24. A working logo (strongly reminiscent of the 1973-79 Superboy and the Legion logo) was unveiled on March 9 on Comics Continuum, while the first team picture was shown on the SupermanHomePage on May 1. The new logo and a promotional image of the team (above) was shown on June 21 at the 2006 Licensing Show.

    The first recording session for the series was on Feb. 10, 2006, when they had a big meet-and-greet with all of the voice talent and producers. One voice actor was told it takes about 6 months to complete an episode. There will be thirteen half-hour episodes in Season 1, already in production. The show will be part of the "Kids WB!" block on the new CW Network in the Fall of 2006, set to air at 11 a.m. Eastern time. US production on the show is expected to be complete by the end of July, with only the overseas animation left to do.

    The KidsWB! press release announcing the show gives the premise for the series:
    LEGION OF SUPER HEROES, 11:00-11:30 am: In the year of "Superman Returns" at Warner Bros., Kids' WB! is proud to present a new series developed especially for the "Too Big For Your TV" block by Warner Bros. Animation, inspired by the DC Comics legend. One thousand years from now, a group of teenage super heroes travel back in time to recruit the greatest hero of all, Superman, and enlist him their fight against evil in the 31st Century. While their intentions were good, their time travel skills were not, and Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Bouncing Boy and Timber Wolf end up going too far back into the past, accidentally retrieving the young Superboy the young Superman, before he moved to Metropolis. Together, this unlikely Legion of Super Heroes bands together to defend the rights of all free worlds and uphold the laws of the newly formed United Planets. That is, if they don't kill each other first. LEGION OF SUPER HEROES combines humor with high-stakes, grand-scale super heroics to create the ultimate sci-fi, super hero fantasy for kids of all ages. Each episode of this fast-paced, character-driven action comedy will pit Superboy and the Legion against otherworldly threats and adversaries who challenge the team on both super heroic and emotional levels. The series is executive produced by Sander Schwartz, and produced by Linda Steiner and James Tucker for Warner Bros. Animation.

    One unknown is how the recent legal case over the rights to the character of Superboy may or may not impact the series. Unconfirmed reports say that "Superboy" is being re-dubbed to "Superman", supported by the change in wording of the press release (see strikethru above).

    People who are involved with the series:
    • James Tucker (IMDB), a former JLU co-producer, will be in charge of the Legion series. He has been shepherding character design.
    • Linda Steiner (IMDB) is a co-producer and joins the team from the Teen Titans show.
    • AJ Vargas (IMDB), an associate prodcuer of the Titans show, is another co-producer.
    • Stan Berkowitz (IMDB), former JLU writer, has written at least one episode of the show (not on staff).
    • Eric Canete (IMDB, blog) is a background artist for the show. Canete has been a storyboard artist for The Batman, Teen Titans, Men In Black, Godzilla, Starship Troopers, and Aeon Flux. In the comics world, he is also known for his WildStorm series Cybernary 2.0 and has worked on Majestic, MEK, and Deathlok.
    • Rob Hoegee (IMDB) is a story editor and co-producer for the series. Hoegee is another refugee from the Teen Titans series where he was a writer and story editor.
    • Ben Jones (blog, IMDB) is a director and did the same for the Titans show.
    • Dave Johnson (MySpace) is on the art team, probably in a role similar to Art Director.
    • Irineo Maramba (IMDB) is a storyboarder and ex-Titans staffer.
    • Norm Ryang (IMDB, blog) is the prop designer. He did a lot of the props and backgrounds on the Teen Titans show.
    • David Slack (IMDB) wrote one script for the show as a freelancer.
    • Kelly Ward (IMDB, info) is the voice director. Ward started out as an actor (the blond T-Bird Putzie in "Grease") but moved to voiceovers and then moved on to producing, writing, and voice directing.
    • Matt Wayne (IMDB), a former writer on the JLU series, will be one of the staff writers on the show.
    • Amy Wolfram (IMDB) is a freelance writer and is an ex-Titans staffer.
    • Glenn Wong, another ex-Titans designer, is doing character designs.
    • Derrick J. Wyatt (blog, IMDB) is a character designer and ex-Titans staffer.

    People who are NOT involved with the series:
    • DC Animated Universe head designer Bruce Timm is NOT involved in the Legion series.
    • It was rumored in 2005 that Allan Heinberg ("Young Avengers", "Wonder Woman", TV's Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, and The O.C.) would have a big role with the series. At the time, he was the main story editor and wrote the original series bible, but left due to other commitments. He's not with the show any more.

    This probably incomplete list of characters is based on who has already been voice cast or has otherwise been confirmed, and who have only been seen in the concept drawings. Lightning Lad will be the Legion field leader. The fact that at least two Legionnaires will be recurring (and not regulars) suggested that the Legion show might be modeled after the JLU cartoon, with a core group and lots of others who appear from time to time. Writer Matt Wayne confirmed as much: "It will be a takeoff on the classic Legion, but like the JLU, we’ll pick and choose characters to use." As for villains, Tucker has said, "It's safe to say that the Fatal Five will be showing up several times, as well as a few other well known Legion foes," while Jones said we'll see "a mix of old Legion villains and new characters."


    Heroes

    Villains
    • Emerald Empress (Jennifer Hale: IMDB, official site)
    • Mano
    • Persuader
    • Tharok
    • Validus
    • Mekt Ranzz, brother of Lightning Lad


    Early. Concepts and model sheets were commssioned by at least two artists, including Ovi Nedelcu, and Ben Caldwell. These two drawings below are early concepts from series designer and head honcho James Tucker (the group shot was colored by a member of the LegionWorld message board). Compare the early concept with the first released picture.





    Let me know in the comments section if you know anything I don't have up here.

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    Taken Out of Context 2

    Sometimes you just can't help making fun of the Legion when you take individual panels out of context.


    This one doesn't have any Legion panels, but it's really funny. How to Get a Girl in Ten Days, step 3:
    "Surprisingly, a thorough knowledge of the Legion of Super-Heroes only works on like 43% of the female population, so you're going to have to do something that has a much more universal appeal, like tree-climbing."

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Added to the IMDB

    I submitted the new Legion series to the IMDB, and fixed the JLU episode which had a big error. Who knows when (or if) they'll get added. Here's what I put in, which is as much as I know (with some speculative guesses).

    Update summary


    • "Legion of Super-Heroes" (2006)

      • New Title - Add

        Plain Title: Legion of Super-Heroes
        Type: tv
        Sub-Type: series
        Status: incomplete
        Year: 2006-????
        Source: ...none of the above

      • Production Status - Add

        Status: Filming
        Update: 5 March 2006

      • Miscellaneous Link - Add

        Type: MSC
        Url: http://news.toonzone.net/article.php?ID=9249
        Desc: Information presented at 2006 Cartoon Network "upfronts"

      • Release Dates - Add

        Country: USA
        Date: 2006

      • Country of Origin - Add

        USA

      • Languages - Add

        English

      • Color / Black & White - Add

        Color

      • Genres - Add

        Animation

      • Directors - Add

        Name: Tucker, James (IV)

      • Production Companies - Add

        Company: Kids' WB [us]

      • Cast - Add

        Name: Milder, Andy
        Character: Lightning Lad
        Attribute: (voice)

      • Writers - New Name (this section)

        Name: Tucker, James (IV)

      • Writers - Add

        Name: Tucker, James (IV)

      • Producers - Add

        Name: Tucker, James (IV)
        Occupation: producer

      • Alternate Titles - Add

        Aka: "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes" (2006)
        Country: (USA)
        Attribute: (working title)



    They also mixed up the cast and titles for the Legion's JLU episode, which at this writing has "Ancient History" as the Legion's episode instead of the next one.

    Update summary

      "Justice League" (2001) {Ancient History (#5.11)}

      • Release Dates - Add

        Country: USA
        Date: 18 March 2006

      • Miscellaneous Corrections - Add

        Type: Titles (new/changed)
        Text: The title of this episode "Ancient History" and the next episode "Far From Home" are reversed. The cast with Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, etc. are in the "Far From Home" episode, which comes before "Ancient History" chronologically by air date.

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Continuity Wave

    From the "Crisis Counseling #5" discussion with Dan DiDio on Newsarama. No spoilers, unless you haven't read Infinite Crisis #4 yet.

    NRAMA: Also, in the issue, Alex Luthor spilled the entire plan, noting that Superboy pounded on the wall to finally shatter the “heaven” that he had placed them in at the end of the last Crisis. Thumbnail sketch – the pounding of Superboy on, essentially, the “wall” of a universe. What did it do to the DCU?

    DD: The true ramifications of the “wall pounding” will be seen in the Infinite Crisis Secret Files. What you will soon discover is that following Crisis on Infinite Earths, the one world we were left with was not completely settled and still subtlety resonated with the echoes of the multiple earths. The pounding on the wall of reality by Superboy sent shock waves throughout the universe, slightly shifting timelines and history of those characters that were most affected by the original Crisis.

    For fans out there who’ve been wondering, or in some cases yelling, these “continuity waves” will help explain away the reboots, revamps and continuity inconsistencies since Crisis on Infinite Earths.

    John Byrne's Doom Patrol series, where the old team appears in current continuity not dead, was given as an example of how the "continuity wave" affected them. Meanwhile,
    NRAMA: Finally, to wrap this abbreviated session up, now that we’re close to the end of Crisis, the question of how the Legion would be connected – if at all – to Crisis has been dogging you since the first Crisis Counseling sessions. Can you explain who they are, relative to the Crisis? They’re living in a Post-Crisis world, right? In essence, the Post-Crisis Legion?

    DD: That’s a story Mark Waid is waiting for the right moment to tell.


    Of course, by "Post-Crisis" he means "Post-Infinite Crisis" as distinguished from "Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths". And yes, Mark Waid has said before that this version of the Legion is the post-IC version since issue 1. My theory is that at the end of the Titans crossover, Shikari accidentally found herself in the 31st century of the other Earth created at the end of Infinite Crisis 4, not her "home" 31st century which was the Earth created at the end of Zero Hour (for convenience, let's call that newly created planet Earth-2.1). We just haven't seen her since, but as a tracker, she could theoretically find her way back to her home universe.

    How has the Legion been affected by the "continuity waves" since the original Crisis? Let me count the ways (a bunch off the top of my head, and I'm sure I'm going to miss some) ...

    1. Pocket Universe, death of Superboy, how did Superman meet the Legion if he died as a teenager, how did Kara Zor-el join the Legion if she never existed in the Pocket Universe, the Legion meeting the post-Byrne reboot Superman (right before Superboy's death, also during Time and Time Again)
    2. The Tornado Twins are Flash's descendants, no wait, they're his kids from when he went to the 30th century just prior to the Crisis
    3. Who's Who in the LSH entries (Dev-Em is a survivor of Krypton who went to live in the 30th century and work for the ICIC, no wait, he's a mutant from Earth who created his own powers, no wait, he's a deranged lunatic from Daxam)
    4. The Mordruverse
    5. Valor and Andromeda were always members of the Legion
    6. The SW6 Legion
    7. The Earth blows up, apparently getting better sometime in the future (e.g., Abra Kadabra from the 64th century)
    8. Legionnaires appearing and disappearing during End of an Era just prior to Zero Hour
    9. Post-Zero Hour rebooted Legion, meeting Superman during Time and Time Again
    10. The status of Inferno and Impulse/Kid Flash, who came from the post-Zero Hour future, in the current DCU continuity
    11. The status of the post-ZH Star Boy in relation to Starman legacy
    12. The status of Mordru as a JSA villain vs. when he becomes a Legion villain

    Animated Legion news 14: It's Official!

    It's official! At the "Upfront" meetings today (March 1st) where TV execs tell the media what new shows they've got coming up, Cartoon Network announced a bunch of new stuff, most importantly (to us) the Legion cartoon.

    As reported by Ben on ToonZone:

    At the first part of their upfront presentation in New York this morning, Cartoon Network announced their slate of new projects and acquisitions for the coming year.

    [snip the first half of the article]

    A new Legion of Superheroes series is in the works, and though they said the show was still unnamed, CN did say the new show would include Superboy.

    Comics Continuum has a bit more (but not much):
    The series featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes is headed for Kids' WB!, although it might eventually air on Cartoon Network, like The Batman.

    Oddly, the Legion series was not mentioned in CN's official press release, though (or in articles posted to Variety, TV.com, Broadcasting & Cable, or MultiChannel News, all of which covered the story).

    More as it develops...

    Animated Legion news 13: James Tucker in charge

    Via a posting on the Toonzone message board, I found a discussion on the sketchbooksessions message board with some more about the Legion series, except this discussion has posts from Bruce Timm and Ben Caldwell.

    Timm says that the drawing we've seen purporting to be the "final" concepts was a very early development design by James Tucker (which identifies the mystery artist) who, from my understanding of the discussion, is the main designer for the series and probably head producer. Timm says that the more recent designs "kick all kinds of ass" and he's looking forward to it. Tucker is one of the co-producers of the Justice League series. Here's an interview he did with Justice League Animated last fall, and another for ToonZone.

    Timm also confirmed that he's not attached to the Legion series, but he is working on something else hush-hush.

    Ben Caldwell said that his designs looked nothing like what we saw, but "they looked, in fact, like i was trying to second guess what other people wanted to see in a post semi-timm cartoon." This is the note that made its way to other forums that Caldwell was not the artist, which had been mentioned here earlier too. He then posted several of his drawings to his own message board, which have also made their rounds.

    Caldwell also posted them in a separate thread on the sketchbooksessions board, complete with a Cosmic Boy drawing we hadn't seen yet. He said he did a lot more, these were the "least worst" ones because he thinks his designs were too conservative.


    So there we go... the mystery artist was James Tucker, who's apparently in charge of character design, but the designs have evolved from what we originally saw and they look better.

    Still no word on whether Allan Heinberg (Young Avengers, The O.C.) is involved in any way on the show, as had been rumored as far back as last summer (I last mentioned it here)

    Superman of 2965

    So I was finishing up last month's CBG a few days ago and ran across a reference to a backup series that ran in some of the Superman titles in the mid-60s (starting in Superman 181 in Nov. 1965), called "Superman 2965". He was Superman's descendent 1000 years from now. I always thought it was an Imaginary Story series, since there was no Superman flying around the 30th century unless he was visiting from the 20th century, but the Supermanica site says he "is not an imaginary story, parallel world, hoax or dream but an eddy in the timestream of classic Superman mythos."

    I was going to write about it here to see if anyone knew what his story was in relation to the "classic" DC 30th century. Before I could do that, though, I happened to take a look at Newsarama's preview for LSH 16, and (minor spoiler) there's a guy in it who's a dead ringer for Superman/Clark Kent, down to the glasses and spit-curl on his forehead. It's too close a resemblance to Superman to be a coincidence, but the kicker is that the guy's name is Klar. There's no way that name was unintentional - especially when Superman 2965's name was Klar Ken T-5477, and double especially when the writer is uber-Superman-geek Mark Waid. Scott Mateo on the ComicBloc forums picked up on this too, and also remembered that he made an appearance a few years ago after the Superman Red/Blue thingy. They're discussing it on the Newsarama forum as well, and someone mentioned Kent Shakespeare's name as a possibility.

    Homage, Superman's descendant, or just a throwaway gag? We'll see soon enough...

    Some animated discussion

    As Bonnie Raitt might have sung, "People are bloggin', talkin''bout Legion, I hear them whisper, you won't believe it..."

    OK, she probably wouldn't have sung about the Legion, but still, people are alternately excited about the prospect of a Legion series and repelled by some of the designs we've seen.