Sunday, April 15, 2007

What you missed while I was being a slacker (part 1)

I've been a slacker the last week just because. I still saved up all the stuff I would have written about, though, so you get it a bit late and all at once.

  • Christopher Bird wants to be the new writer of the Legion book after Tony Bedard's (apparent) 6-issue run. You might have read his well-regarded "Civil War" rewrites.
    In addition to my regular and thoroughly glorious posting schedule, I will be adding a daily graphic to make sure everybody understands how awesome a Legion comic written by moi would be. I furthermore encourage all of you out there in Internet-land to link back to this post (which I'll be updating with links to the subsequent reasons as I post them) so that Googling "new writer Legion of Super-Heroes" sends people here!

    His main page here has links to each of his daily posts. Among the things he says he'd do:
    • Karate Kid will fight an entire planet
    • Naltor is destroyed, but the Naltorians didn't see it coming.
    • Brainiac 5 will still be a snarky, mouthy bastard. Because that's fun.
    • There's a new incarnation of the Legion of Super-Villains, from the anti-matter universe
    • The return of Matter-Eater Lad
    • Gorillas with lasers, or, whatever happened to Gorilla City?
    • A more feral Timber Wolf, because his name isn't Trenchcoat Lad.
    • A future Batman who's a vampire
    • Alexis Luthor, from the cartoon, is a major villain.

    Lots of people like what he has to say (or at least how he says it), including Blog@Newsarama, Journalista, BeaucoupKevin, Dr. Elmo, Krinndnz, the 4th Letter, and Major Spoilers (all of whom have comments on their sites about it), along with Blake Reitz, Gina DC, Randy Lander, Rob Donoghue, Rob Staeger, ComicsCrew, and Made of Glass.

    Meanwhile, Jarod Russell offers a couple of reasons why he would not be a good candidate.

  • Reading the early Legion stories in the new Showcase book is, apparently, a cross between smoking crack and wondering what kind of crack the creators in the early 60's were on.

    IF Magazine gave it their #1 spot for the week. Bitter Andrew, his nerd-senses all a'tingling, says "There’s something irresistible about a group of somewhat callous, somewhat stupid teenage superheroes flitting around an extremely dated-looking 30th Century". Bryan notes that "what amazes me is how whiny and attention-starved Superboy comes off". The New Bride, apparently fairly new to the Silver Age Legion, says "The lack of color is a little harder on this book as a lot of characters have similar looks and speach patterns. I have taken to memorizing collar shapes to identify the boys." Black and White Wonder has never ready any of the Silver Age stories, and says "I hope it's in the same alley as the Superman volumes, which would means more than 500 pages of pure Silver-Age greatness."

  • Speaking of Silver Age stuff, Paul and John review more Legion tryout issues, including the Dynamo Boy story, which introduced us to the likes of Eyeful Ethel, The Mess, Golden Boy, Tusker, Animal Lad, and Polecat. Martha Thomases at ComicMix waxes nostalgic about reading the Legion in those days. (Did you know that they named the Athramites after her?) BeaucoupKevin notes what a sore loser Alaktor was, and says that the Silver Age Legion was the best but maybe not the brightest. (Isn't Photoshop fun?) The Silver Age Matter-Eater Lad was nothing like the TMK-retconned personality implant he got - check out Adam P. Knave's reprint of Tenzil's first appearance. Finally, Legion Clubhouse points us to Evil Inc.'s Top 13 Super-Villain Teams of all time, of which the LSV is #13.

  • The other big thing in the news lately is the upcoming JLA/JSA/LSH crossover. We've been wondering which Legion, and signs are pointing to the pre-Zero Hour version (or more specifically, the pre-Five Year Gap version). Signs like the cover of JLA #8, featuring the Cockrum/Grell costume for Karate Kid, as seen on Brad Meltzer's page. Newsarama has some discussion about that too. Rokk at the Comic Book Revolution is looking forward to reading the story: "I am hoping and praying that all of these hints about the Legion that we have been getting over in the Justice Society of America, Action Comics and now here in the Justice League of America all lead to the return of the Levitz Era Legion." The New Bride has a story idea: "if they bring silver age Brainiac 5 in to this JLA/JSA/Legion crossover maybe he and Will Magnus and Mento from the Doom Patrol can form a sanity challenged scientists' support group."

More stuff in a day or so when I get a chance.


Wndola1 said...

Is Christopher Bird the one who did the amazing rewrites of Civil War? I would have paid for those issues.

RAB said...

I've been around the block often enough to be jaded whenever a fan says "if only they'd let me write this book!" Especially where the Legion is concerned, I've heard it a thousand times before. But Bird's ideas are really really good. I'd encourage DC to consider the sheer PR value of taking him up on this: the prospect of a fan with an online presence being recruited because of a cold pitch like this would bring in new readers purely for the curiosity value. True, there are pitfalls to this kind of thing -- Snakes on a Plane had great advance publicity but fizzled because of lackluster execution -- yet I'd still say it would be well worth the gamble.

Wndola1 said...

Maybe he should write a script for a oneshot so we can all see what it would look like?

Michael said...

Wndola1 - yes, I should have mentioned that he's the author of those Civil War rewrites.

RAB - the last time they hired a couple of fans to write the Legion (the Bierbaums), it was a disaster of such a magnitude that it nearly killed the franchise and directly led to the (first) reboot.

We had fannish theories like Lightning Lad really had the mind of Proty all these years, Element Lad is really gay so we have to make Shvaughn Erin a transsexual, anyone who joined after the Adventure run isn't real so we have to kill or maim them (Wildfire, Dawnstar, Blok, Tellus), my friend's girlfriend doesn't like this Legionnaire so we'll kill him off, etc.

We also have to remember that the internet != readership as a whole. There are those creators (industry wide) who will discount the internet while others embrace it.

RAB said...

Michael, I totally agree with you.

My point about Chris Bird's ideas is that they aren't purely "fan service" directed at sorting out some unbelievably obscure continuity glitch or satisfying some baroque fan theory. (Let's face it, that's the philosophy running DC right now -- we desperately needed a heavily promoted miniseries to explain that crucial question of "why was Doctor Light acting so wimpy that one time he fought the Teen Titans twenty-five years ago in a story no one but the miniseries writer remembers or cares about"? Et cetera and so forth.)

I've been around the block a few times. I reckon I've seen every pitfall facing the comics-fan-turned-comics-pro, played out to the gory finish...and I'm still willing to say that Bird's ideas strike me as entertaining.