I asked Mike Grell earlier today if he was going to be contributing anything to whatever anniversary plans DC has for the Legion next year. Here's his response (posted with permission, and in his all caps style):
I'M NOT DOING ANYTHING FOR THE LEGION ANNIVERSARY ISSUE PER SE, BUT I HAVE DONE A VARIANT COVER FOR ACTION COMICS #861 - "SUPERMAN AND THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES" PART 4. THAT'S AS CLOSE AS I GOT. I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO DO A PAINTING, BUT TIME AND THEIR BUDGET WERE SHORT. BEYOND THAT AND THE BIT OF INFO I JUST PICKED UP OFF THE NET (BELOW), I DON'T REALLY HAVE ANY OTHER INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT OR THE ANNIVERSARY. YOUR SOURCE IS BETTER THAN MINE.
"Your source" refers to my noting that Paul Levitz is rumored to be doing something. The "bit of info" he refers to is this solicitation that has already been made public:
ACTION COMICS #861
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank & Jonathan Sibal
Cover by Frank
Variant cover by Mike Grell
“Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes,” Part 4! Superman’s mission to reunite the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st century continues on the one planet more dangerous than Earth: the cold, knowledge-obsessed world of Colu! But what fate has befallen Brainiac 5? And what are the horrible secrets behind Earth’s “new" super-heroes — the Justice League?
Retailers please note: This issue will feature two covers that may be ordered separately. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (featuring a cover by Gary Frank), retailers may order one Variant Edition (featuring a cover by Mike Grell). See the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale January 30 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I have not seen this variant cover, though, nor do I expect to see it before January 30, 2008.
It's too bad that the Powers That Be couldn't make something work out. It's amazing to think that Grell is basically the oldest (in terms of how long ago he worked, not age) Legion artist out there. Think about the long line of Legion artists - John Forte, Curt Swan, and Win Mortimer cover the entire "Adventure" and "Action" runs! George Tuska did a 4-issue run in Superboy before Dave Cockrum took over, and after Cockrum came Grell. (Tuska is still around, but I don't really consider him to be one of the "regular" artists.) So really, Mike Grell is just the 5th main Legion artist since its founding. Guess we'll have to live with the Action 861 variant cover as "close enough".