Friday, November 02, 2007

New TPBs - and what would you include in a Greatest Hits?

Via Collected Editions, there are more Legion TPBs coming out next year:

May, 2008

  • Legion of Super-Heroes (50th Anniversary Edition) - a collection of issues from various eras
  • Countdown to Final Crisis volume 1

July 2008:
  • Countdown to Final Crisis volume 2
  • Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes - the Geoff Johns Superman plotline

Also coming in 2008:
  • Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Quest for Cosmic Boy (Collects Tony Bedard's first story arc on the series, issues #32-36, but oddly not #31)
  • Dec: Legion of Super-Heroes: An Eye for an Eye (collecting LSH v3 #1-5)
  • Feb: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA VOL. 2: THE LIGHTNING SAGA HC (collects JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #0 and #8-12 and Justice Society of America #5-6)

Let's just say for the sake of argument that DC has given us the opportunity to select which stories go in the 50th Anniversary trade (they actually haven't, in case anyone's wondering). Let's make it somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pages, which I'll say is 15-20 regular-length stories (Archives #1 had 19 stories, #2 had 14 stories). What would you put into the book? Since this is the 50th anniversary, everything is fair game from April 1958 to April 2008 where the Legion had a starring or guest-starring role. Think of it as "The Greatest Legion Stories Ever Published" that they haven't come out with yet.


murrfox said...

Off the top of my head... the first (and best) Legion annual with Computo which introduced Invisible Kid 2. A standalone story that showcases Levitz and Giffen at the top of their game.
That was an easy pick... when I start to pick out other favourites, I get hampered by the fact that they are either multi-part epics, or they come from eras that probably wouldn't be included in anyone else's Greatest Hits (I'm thinking Gerry Conway and Jimmy Janes).

Matthew E said...

I insist on Earthwar, multi-part or no. It's got to come back into print sometime!

More thoughts later.

Eric TF Bat said...

Speaking of Geoff Johns's arc, what's with the cocaine-addict eyeballs everywhere? How can he have been in the industry this long without learning to draw eyes? I mean, I know Liefeld did OK without the remotest talent for drawing anatomy or facial expressions, but that was the nineties. This is just bizarre, and horribly distracting.

And don't get me started on that abortion of a subplot about Clark Kent being all weak and wimpy again. And where's Lois? He is still married to her, isn't he?


Oh well, it's only a short arc. I'm sure I'll survive. It's certainly not convincing me to pick up Superman again. I collected it faithfully from the original Byrneboot all the way to the unreadable For Tomorrow, after which I gave it up. I'm getting the Superman And The LSH arc, but after that I'm dropping it like a poorly-scripted hot potato.

collectededitions said...

Michael -- Your site was very helpful for me in figuring out what issues were in the Eye for an Eye trade -- probably obvious to any good Legion fan, but I kept getting confused by all the reboots! Anyway, coming up in a month or so on Collected Editions we'll have reviews of the new Mark Waid Legion series trade; not the best Legion, perhaps, but we've been enjoying the cartoon and we're excited to start reading the new trades. Anyway, hope you stop by and give us some insight once the reviews are up. Great site!

Michael said...

Some off-the-top-of-my-head comments on what to include in the Greatest Hits.

I think there are some "must have" stories that will help the casual reader, whether the stories are among the "greatest" or not. These include the first Legion story in Adventure 247 and the origin story from Superboy 147.

Other stories to add:
- Probably one of the Supergirl stories, either her first one with the Legion or one where she joins.
- Resurrection of Lightning Lad (as a tie-in to the Lightning Saga storyline)
- The two-part Ferro Lad/Fatal Five story
- The two-part Mordru story
- Wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel
- Wedding of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl (from the tabloid)
- Murder Most Foul (Levitz/Starlin)
- Superman, Ambush Bug, and the Legion Subs

That's 12 right there, leaving room for no more than 8 more. The problem is that most of the later books were so plot-heavy, containing A, B, and C-level continuing plotlines, that it's hard to pick just one issue with enough standalone content.

I have no idea which of the v4-era stories, which of the post-Zero Hour reboot stories, or which of the post-Infinite Crisis stories to include in a "greatest hits" package. Maybe the first issue of v4?

Jonathan Miller said...

I'd include the "Super Stalag of Space," the first and/or second Universo story(ies), the "One of Us is a Traitor!" story with KK, Jeckie, Ferro Lad and Nemesis Kid joining, the first Adult Legion story....

Ok, those are all Adventure era, I know. For later stuff, the "Why are there no Green Lanterns on Earth" story, "The Day after Doomsday," definitely LSH 300 (and just about anything surrounding it, except for "Omen and the Prophet"), Earthwar (I wish), some of the 2nd Shooter run (can't think of a story offhand)....maybe "Soljer?"

Really, anything that leans on the "Classic" Legion would be great with me.

(Oh, and "Under the Sea!" from the pre-boot Legionnaires book.)

As for the Reboot Legion...hmm. It's hard to pick out an individual storyline. The entire first year with the buildup to the White Triangle was my favorite bit of post-boot, but I'm not sure about a single or two-issue story.

Rivers said...

We must have the two stories from the Shooter Era with Karate Kid and Nemesis Lad and the first Sun Eater stories.

Stuart said...

1. Adult Legion story from Adventure;
2. Adventure Comics #346 - JS first story, intro of KK, PP, FL and NK;

3. Two (2) Part Mordru story from Adventure;

4. One Shot Hero from Superboy #195and Wildfire's return a few issues later in S&LoSH;

5. The Future is Forever from LoSH #300;

6. Four (4) issue crosover with the death of the pocket-universe Superboy;

7. Legion of the Damned;

8. Issue #1 of Waid & Kitner's LoSH

Reboot said...

If we're looking specifically for (relative) standalones from the post-ZH... tricky...

On the basis that they're the longest-running artists (and the fact that there were basically only two blocks of writers on the entire ten-years), I'd say for one each from Moder, Jeff Moy and Coipel, and one or two on top of that.


Legion Lost #5 (DnA/Coipel) would be my first choice. It's the Brainiac 5.1 (as he still was then) spotlight. Pretty much the point at which Coipel started to hit his stride, it's about the most standalone issue in all of Lost (which I would want represented) and it has several nice moments.

Legionnaires #24 (Peyer/McCraw/Jeff Moy), Origin of Triad after Triad-Neutral's beaten nearly to death.

Legion of Super-Heroes #77 (Peyer/McCraw/Moder). Okay, it's another origin issue, and another B5 Spotlight to boot. If the double double-dip is too much, substitute LSH109 (Carlson/Moder, Vi deals with her post-Eye trauma)

The Legion #9 (DnA/Stephen DeStefano) Light-hearted Cub/Timber Wolf romp with a bit of a sting at the end.

And, for a short, the LW4 backup (Abnett/Leonardi); a Dreamer monologue that doesn't have a lot of plot, but the tone and the last few panels get me every time.

Other alternatives would be LSH62 (McCraw/Waid/Moder; Tangleweb/Death of KQ1), the Brainiac Adventures 5-pager from LSH100, Lgs66 (Carlson/Collins; Invisible KidS origin); Lgs75 (Founders vs. regime that uses LSH iconography based around them; Peyer/J Moy), Lgs77 (Stern/McCraw/J Moy; Swimsuit Issue), TL24 (Umbra Spotlight, DnA/Lightle).

John Kahane said...

This is a great question, Michael. For me, there are certain stories that need to be there...amd these are just some of the many...

Adventure #247 (duh!)

Superboy #147 (the origin of the LSH)

Adventure #304 (Lightning Lad sacrifices himself for Saturn Girl)

Adventure #308 (In which Lightning Lad returns, but it's really Lightning Lass)

Adventure #312 (The sacrifice of Proty to bring back Lightning Lad)

Adventure #316 "The Renegade Super-Hero" (The story of Ultra Boy being thought to be a criminal, was the first full-length story in the Adventure period)

Adventure #332 (Lightning Lad loses his arm; relevant to the current run of the animated series)

Adventure #340-341 (The original 2-issue Computo story)

Adventure #346-347 (the first Jim Shooter story, that introduced the Khunds, and Ferro Lad, Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, and Nemesis Kid, and the Khunds)

Adventure #352-353 (The first appearance of the Fatal Five, and the Sun-Eater, and Ferro Lad's death)

Adventure #369-370 (The first appearance of Mordru the Merciless)

Superboy #195 and Superboy starring the LSH 201 (The return of ERG-1, aka Wildfire)

Superboy starring the LSH #200 (The wedding of BB and DD)

Superboy &LSH #228-229 (The death of Chemical King, and the lovely way in which the hunt for his killer was resolved)

All-New Collector's Edition #c-55 (The wedding of Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad, and the return of a deadly Legion foe)

Superboy &LSH #241-245 (The Earthwar Saga)

And that would be Volume 1. :)

Matthew E said...

A lot of my suggestions have already been mentioned. How about issue #2 (the Naltor issue) of the current run? Or the DnA issue that had Timber Wolf versus the Fatal Five? Or the issue of LSH31C featuring Infectious Lass? Maybe the Curt Swan tribute from the reboot? One of the Matter-Eater Lad issues from 5YL? 'Night Never Falls On Nullport'?

Michael said...

Remember, this is not "what are your favorite stories", it's not "The Best of Adventure Comics", it's the 50th Anniversary compilation. You can't have 15 of your 20 stories in Adventure Comics alone.

And you can't reserve 1/3 to 1/4 of the book for a single storyline of 5 issues, so sorry Earthwar, we'll save that for another TPB someday. Two-parters only.

The LSH 300 story only makes sense in context of having read the previous issues. You'd have to include the Computo, Adult Legion, Earthwar, Dark Man, and many more just to see where the divergences are. You could make a whole TPB of just those.

Also consider that the Lightning Saga is going to be released around then. To tie in, you should probably have the resurrection of Lightning Lad from Adventure and the Star Boy origin/spotlight from LSH v2. I like the "no Green Lanterns" story, it also ties in with GL which is hot again.

So, given my 12 stories above, add:
- Star Boy spotlight
- No Green Lanterns
- Computo annual

Now I'm at 16 (8 Adventure, 3 pre-Levitz II, 4 Levitz/Giffen, v4 #1) and I haven't even touched the reboot or current version. Back to the drawing board.

Guess I'll have to dump a Supergirl story, the Mordru 2-parter, and the Ambush Bug/Subs story, leaving 12 pre-Zero Hour stories. Man, this is hard! Can we get maybe 6 or 7 post-ZH reboot issues and 1 or 2 current version issues? I think that's a reasonable ratio.

Reboot said...

Well, for six-seven reboot standalone issues, no arcs, these would be my choices (see above for most of my reasoning). Ordered chronologically, except for the two shorts...:

1) Legion of Super-Heroes #62 (McCraw/Waid/Moder)
2) Legionnaires #24 (Peyer/McCraw/Jeff Moy)
3) Legion of Super-Heroes #109 (Carlson/Moder)
4.0) The Brainiac Adventures 5-pager from LSH100
4.5) LW4 backup (Abnett/Leonardi, 8 pages)
5) Legionnaires #75 (Peyer/J Moy)
6) Legion Lost #5 (DnA/Coipel)
7) The Legion #9 (DnA/Stephen DeStefano)

And the two I didn't want to drop were LSH77 and Lgs 66...

Duke said...

This is harder than it seems and, as others have said, including post bronze age stories is hard, because of the introduction of subplots and "epic" story arcs.

But, off the top of my head, I'd include:

1. Adventure Comics #247. A no brainer. The only question is whether Background Boy should be green or not.

2. Superboy #98. The introduction of Ultra Boy is, IMHO, a gret story and the best representation of the pre-series era when Legion members popped up all over the Superman titles.

3. Adventure Comics #301. The origin of Bouncing Boy is, I think, the best of the Siegel run, plus it plays heavily on the even minor powers can be super theme.

4. Adventure Comics #312. The revival of Lightning Lad is just such a classic story/cover. I'd inlcude either this or Adventure Comics #332, Super-Moby Dick issue as the representation of the Hamilton/Forte era

5. There are so many great books to consider from the latter half of the Adventure run. However, for my money, the best bet is the two-part "Outlawwed Legionnaires" story from Adventure #359-360.

6. The origin from Superboy #147 is a must, I think.

7. There should be a book from the Action run. I pick Action #378, "The Forbidden Fruit" as an example of how the Legion often quietly led the trends in comics, since it predates the more well-known Green Lantern and Spider-Man drug books, I think

8. Superboy 195 is the ultimate Legion applicant story and a good Cockrum/Bates book, also representing the "lost years" between ongoing series.

9. Superboy/LSH #218 is a great representation of the Grell era, I think.

10. S/LSH #231. Since I skipped their debut, I need a Fatal Five story. Plus, since I want something from the 60-cent giant era, why not pick one with Sherman art?

11. Legion of Super-Heroes #275 I always dug Captain Frakes. I think this once represents the Conway/Janes are as well as can be done.

12. Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1. With no way to include all of the Great Darkness Sage, this one gets in the best of the Levitz/Giffin era, I think.

13. DC Comics Presents #59. Yeah, the early Adventure issues are probably a more respectful representation of the SUBS, but this book still makes me laugh out loud 25 years later.

14. Legion of Super-Heroes #13. This Timber Wolf spotlight is about as done in one as it gets from this era, it makes a nice Levitz/Lightle book. Plus, is ties in to the death of Karate Kid book, which I did not include because I already had Levitz/Lightle books.

15. LSH #38 is a good preview of the post-crisis flailing the title would go through for the next decade as it tried to figure out how to exist without a Superboy.

16. LSH v4 #1. Three words that would drive a wrdge in Legion fandom for the next five years . . . "Five years later."

17. either LSH#33 Kid Shoehorn as an example of fan theories gone wild, or LSH#40 "Guess Who . . . Wrong" as an example of how to piss of Legion fans.

18. LSH #76 Star Boy intro is a decent example of how the reboot tried to pay homage to classic tales, while Gates is just classic.

19. I dunno. Some DnA/Coipel book, I guess. Maybe the Legion Lost issue where Monstress gets fried.

20. LSHv5 #? The Triplicate Girl date issue hits is fairly well self-contained and hits most of the themes I think Waid was hoping for.