Tuesday, July 31, 2007

San Diego Con '07: wrap-up

Three main Legion-related topics to cover in the wrap-up of San Diego '07: the comics, the animated show, and the toys. I'm going to combine all the news from all the panels into something semi-coherent. Here are the notes for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

THE COMICS

  • There are several versions of the LSH out there – “two... well, really three” according to Geoff Johns – and Supergirl #21 and #22 will start to reveal what’s going on. We are going to see even more versions of the 52 Earth’s versions of the future Legion of Super-Heroes, and Conner Kent may also play a part in one of these scenarios. The Legion and other time-related mysterious in the DCU, including events surrounding Booster Gold and the fact that Batman has recently met two different versions of the Legion and will soon meet a third, will all be explained in a “big Legion story” in the future, in all likelihood the Action storyline drawn by Gary Frank coming this fall. In that story, Superman goes into the future to visit the Legion of Super-Heroes, with results likened to revisiting people you knew in high school and seeing that they changed in unexpected ways, how the people you knew don't hang out anymore. We were told that three versions of the Legion are to appear in this series – more than likely, the “Legion of Three Worlds” case we were told about in the Lightning Saga story.

  • Dan DiDio explained that multiverse stories will all be about New Earth characters traveling to other worlds to explore them and that there will not be multiple versions of series taking place on different Earths. Not going to see a Legion of Legions title....

  • When asked about the reboots of the 90s and whether the reworking of characters is a necessary evil, DiDio said he likes to go back to what people remember most, using the example of Supergirl - people remember her as Superman's cousin, not as any of the other iterations of the character. "What do people remember most, what do people react to the most" is what's important, and building a contemporary world around them. A number of people on the panels said that if they could reverse any action in DC's history, they'd make it so that Superboy never got removed from the Legion.

  • DiDio reminded the panel (and audience) that next year is the 50th anniversary of the Legion. I'm glad to hear that. They've celebrated the 50th anniversaries of the Golden Agers starting in the late 80s, and we're now entering the 50th anniversaries of the Silver Age teams and characters. I'm surprised that DC never made a big deal about the 50th for the Martian Manhunter and the Flash (Barry Allen), but obviously I'm glad to see that DC is making a big deal about the Legion's.


THE TOYS

  • Despite my rant against Mattel, they probably don't really hate Legion fans. It just seems that way with what felt like a tease, with them promising figures and then pulling back. In the comments in that other post, Peter mentioned some internal reorganizations that have delayed things, and even Mattel apologized for not having a lot of new stuff for this con. Maybe soon, though they said "the future of this line is still up in the air."

  • Anyway, Mattel is changing the name of the Justice League line to DC Super Heroes. "Legion of Superheroes and Teen Titans animated shows can also be folded into the line." That suggests rather than a Legion line, we might see Legion figures in a DC Super Heroes line. That's all fine and dandy, except for the fact that now the Legion figures have to compete with the dozens of new Batmen, Supermen, Robins, Jokers, Two-Faces, and Luthors. Compounding matters is that they're only going to issue 25 characters a year, so we'll be lucky to see one or two a year at that rate.


THE CARTOON

  • Tucker mentioned that the first season was sort of the Silver Age and the second season will be more in the vein of the Bronze Age. Season Two is a year and a half to two years after Season One. Lots of changes happened between that time including new members such as Chameleon Boy.

  • Alex Polinsky (who also does Matter-Eater Lad) is Cham's voice, and he was unfamiliar with the character and had to check the Internet for references. Cham is in the Legion because his father (R. J. Brande?) funds the group. He's going to be the goofy, comedy relief character and not the more serious character in the comics, described as "Eddie Haskell as a shapeshifter." He likes to get in trouble, and he's a smack talker.

  • Imperiex plays out throughout the entire Season. Phil Morris (Jackie Chiles from "Seinfeld") plays the villain. Producer James Tucker said "In the comics he kind of sucked, to be honest... We needed a villain who we could do anything with, who didn't have baggage like Darkseid, and a guy who had some heft to him. We picked somebody the fans wouldn't be too mad if we tweaked, and somebody we could develop."

  • Among the other new or returning Legionnaires: Dawnstar, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Matter-Eater Lad, Tyroc, and Dream Girl. There's a new opening sequence but it sounds like the theme music stays the same. The Subs will only appear in cameo. Returning villains include the Fatal Five and the LSV, plus new villains Nemesis Kid, Grimbor and Computo. Triplicate Girl turns into Duo Damsel at some point - hmmm, I wonder how?

  • The other new Legionnaire is Superman - a clone from the 41st century. Yuri Lowenthal is providing voices for both. He's a cross between Mon-El and Superboy (Kon-El). He was bred as a warrior, and he meets his cross-time cousin who is now older, wiser, and more powerful.

  • Finally, this quote from Tucker explaining why the drastic change from season 1 to season 2, seems to be troubling lots of people: "The great thing about the Legion is every so often they do a reboot."

Now we have a couple weeks to catch our collective breaths before Wizard World Chicago.

Other stuff going on

So did anyone notice a convention going on this past weekend? Other stuff happened too.

  • Spotted in the wild: a set of Legion figures from McDonald's, on eBay (where else?).





  • Spacebooger shows that the Legion really knows how to rap.

  • Booksteve has a house ad for Adventure 300. The 21st Century is so futuristic! I must drop them a postal card.

  • Just before he left for San Diego, ace letterer (and logo-ist) Todd Klein had a 3-part history of Legion logos. Did you know he created just about every logo since the one that debuted in LSH v2 259? Here's part 1, part 2, and part 3. You might recall my Legion logo trivia quiz, too.


Next up: hey, we had a new issue out; and San Diego wrapups for the cartoon and comic series.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

San Diego Con '07: day 4 (update #1)

Update #1: added IGN coverage



There's no Legion-related programming going on today in San Diego, but I hope whoever's there catches the Pro/Fan Trivia contest.

So since there's nothing to update for today, I'll update stuff from earlier in the con that

  • THE BEAT informs us that DC has mp3 podcasts of their panels and photos from the panels there. Here's the pages for Thursday (Group Therapy), Friday (DC Nation), and Saturday (New Worlds Order).

  • IGN has coverage of Thursday's Countdown panel, Friday's DC Nation and animated Legion/Batman panels, and Saturday's New Worlds Order panel.

    One new item from IGN's coverage of DC Nation panel: "There are really three Legion of Superheroes. Batman will meet this third version."

Saturday, July 28, 2007

San Diego Con '07: Day 3 (update #2)

Update #1: added New Worlds news from Newsarama
Update #2: added info from CBR



Saturday 7/28 at San Diego is the final DCU panel. We've probably heard all there is to hear at the Countdown, Group Therapy, and DC Nation panels, but who knows?

1:30-2:45 DCU: New Worlds Order — The crisis is over, isn’t it? With 52 finished, the DCU is counting down and the Monitors are watching closely. Come play catch-up, have your questions answered, and learn what lies ahead for the DCU in this extensive slide show presentation moderated by Dan DiDio (senior VP/executive editor DCU) and Bob Wayne (VP, sales). Joining them will be coordinating editor Jann Jones, senior group editor Mike Carlin, group editor Eddie Berganza, plus Tony Bedard (Birds of Prey,), Adam Beechen (Robin), Paul Dini (Detective Comics), Justin Gray (Countdown), Geoff Johns (The All New Booster Gold), Dan Jurgens (Booster Gold), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Jesus Merino (Superman), Carlos Pacheco (Superman), Jimmy Palmiotti (Countdown), Grant Morrison (Batman), Ivan Reis (Green Lantern), and Gail Simone (The All-New Atom). Room 6B

Via Newsarama:
DiDio then turned attention towards an Action Comics image by Gary Frank of Superman with a Legion flight ring. Johns said it's about Superman going into the future to visit the Legion of Super-Heroes, and equating it to revisiting people you knew in high school and seeing that they changed in unexpected ways.

Via CBR:
Gary Frank will be on "Action Comics," which was likened to "going back to your old home town and finding that the people you knew don't hang out anymore," Didio said. Three versions of the Legion are to appear in this series.

Friday, July 27, 2007

SDCC 07: Mattel to Legion Fans - Drop Dead!

That's the impression I've been getting from Mattel regarding Legion figures. Every other character seen in the Justice League show (or so it seems) has gotten their own figure. Except the Legion. And despite fan support, they don't seem to be in a hurry, they have too many other versions of Superman and Batman to release.

This year Mattel won the master license to the entire DC universe. They can make toys of whatever characters they want in whatever format they want, so they're not limited to (for example) only characters that appeared in the Justice League show. To say that their physical showing and their proposed plans at San Diego this year have been underwhelming would be an understatement, according to those who follow the action figures more than I do.

Mattel has teased us with a line of Legion action figures for a while now. I've been at this close to 2 years and here's what I've reported:

  • March 2006, Wizard World LA
    "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."

  • June 2006
    "there is a full toy line in the works from Mattel"

  • July 2006, San Diego Comic Con
    A "Legion Of Superheroes" toy line was announced, tying in with the new cartoon series from Warner Bros. Not much could be revealed, but Mattel called the show "breathtaking" and think fans will love it. There's no definitive lineup for the first wave of "Legion" toys, except that Superman was in it for sure....

    Superboy & the Legion of Superheroes animated cartoon will have a line of figures. First wave should include Superboy, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, Cosmic Boy, Bouncing Boy, and possibly Timberwolf. They are still deciding the exact character mix.

  • Dec. 2006, ad in Previews Magazine for an upcoming article in ToyFare Magazine:
    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!

  • Feb. 2007, New York Toy Fair, the article in ToyFare is cancelled
    the Legion action figure line has been pushed to 2008, which suggests that previews for the line might not be on view until San Diego. I haven't heard a "why" from anyone yet. All they will say is LOSH is now an 2008 line.

  • March 2007
    we went to the folks at Mattel and asked them what the status of this line was. According to Dan Salazar from Mattel, this line will now see release in 2008.

  • June 2007
    Mattel releases a packaging preview to Action Figure Insider, then pulls it

  • July 2007, San Diego Comic Con
    Q: When will we see Legion Of Super Heroes?
    A: How does the audience feel about it? (Everyone claps.) The future of this line is still up in the air.

Hell, frickin' McDonald's is releasing a line of figures before Mattel.

San Diego Con '07: Day 2 (update #3)

Update #1: added news on the Mattel/DC panel
Update #2: added DC Nation panel news, animated panel news
Update #3: added animation panel news from CBR



Here's what those lucky enough to be in San Diego get to see on Friday 7/27. Got to work late today, so don't expect any updates until after midnight.

11:30-12:30 Mattel and DC Comics: A Heroic Partnership — You’ve been a fan of Mattel’s popular DC toy lines, now find out the latest news, sneak peaks, and behind-the-scenes scoop on your favorite Mattel/DC action figures, including DC Super Heroes, Justice League Unlimited, The Batman, and DC Superfriends, plus exciting new lines and never-before-released information. Join Mattel toy designers, and Warner Brothers and DC Comic representatives for an insightful Q&A. Room 10

See my rant here.

Action Figure Insider has some of the "news".
  • Mattel is changing the name of the Justice League line to DC Super Heroes. "Legion of Superheroes and Teen Titans animated shows can also be folded into the line."

  • "DC + Mattel + WB: Beyond Batman and Superman, over 3000 characters available... our chance to give the fans what they want! The vault is open, so what's next?" (the next slides show 3 new Supermans, 3 new Batmans, 3 new Robins, 3 new Two-Faces, 3 new Jokers... sigh....) Coming in 2008: a new line of 25 figures plus variants, but you'll have to wait until Wizard World Chicago to see them

Toy News International has the Q&A:
Q: When will we see Legion Of Super Heroes?
A: How does the audiance feel about it? (Everyone claps.) The future of this line is still up in the air.

Q: Will we see the Legion Of Super Heroes in the 6" Classic line?
A: It's possible.


4:15-5:45 Warner Bros. Animation: The Batman/Legion of Super-Heroes — This action-packed 90 minutes is split between two Warner Bros. Animation standouts: The Batman and Legion of Super Heroes. The Caped Crusader crew just picked up its fourth Emmy Award heading into a season that promises even more punch, courtesy of guest appearances from some Justice League pals. Supervising producer Alan Burnett (The Batman), producer-director Michael Goguen (Batman: The Animated Series), renowned voice director Andrea Romano, and the voice of Batman himself, Rino Romano, will discuss the upcoming surprises. LOSH enters its second season with double the action as the group adds new members—and a new ally from across the space-time continuum—just in time to face a daunting new villain. Producer James Tucker (Justice League Unlimited), director Brandon Vietti (Superman Doomsday), and story editor/writer Michael Jelenic (The Batman) will be joined on the panel by cast members Yuri Lowenthal (Superman on LOSH), Phil Morris (Seinfeld, Smallville), and Alex Polinsky (Charles in Charge). TV Guide senior editor Rich Sands will moderate both halves of the panel. Room 6B

Nightcrawler over at Legion Clubhouse has some info (more than I have here, so check it out), including:
  • Season Two is a year and a half to two years after Season One. Lots of changes happened between that time including new members such as Chameleon Boy.

  • Imperiex plays out throughout the entire Season. Karate Kid will be there and appears in the opening among the known Legionnaires (Tyroc, Shrinking Violet, etc.) After I left, I wish I would have looked harder for Colossal Boy or Cosmic Boy, cause I can't recall either now.

  • Dream Girl gets an episode, but the Subs will only be in cameos this Season. The guy who voices Chameleon Boy was unfamiliar with the character and had to check the Internet for references. He's going to be the goofy, comedy relief character and not the more serious character in the comics. The Fatal Five and the LSV return (in fact in the clip shown it looked like they were teaming up?).

  • Tucker mentioned that the first season was sort of the Silver Age and the second season will be more in the vein of the Bronze Age. Including an appearance by Grimbor.

  • And Dawnstar! She's coming up too! Invisible Kid was mentioned as well.

CBR has more:
  • "The great thing about the Legion is every so often they do a reboot," Tucker said. "Going into the second season, the mandate was to up the ante. Season one was the Silver Age version of the legion. Season two we wanted to make it the Bronze Age, things happen that are a lot more exciting and dangerous. The show's got a lot more hard hitting action. It's darker visually, and the plots are more adult, but not adult skewing. It's a lot more exciting of a show."

  • On the new clone Superman: "There's a little bit of Mon-El in him," Tucker said, "and a little bit of a character i can't name, but you recognize the color scheme." That seems to imply possibly the late Kon-El, who also had some super-clone issues.

  • Phil Morris is now the voice of Imperiex, who will be the overarching threat to the Legion and the galaxy this season. "In the comics he kind of sucked, to be honest," Tucker said. " We needed a villain who we could do anything with, who didn't have baggage like Darkseid, and a guy who had some heft to him. We picked somebody the fans wouldn't be too mad if we tweaked, and somebody we could develop. He's way cooler in the show. You'll grow to appreciate him as a villain in his own right."

  • Chameleon Boy is joining the show as a regular character. "He's there because his dad kind of funds the Legion," Tucker admitted. "We wanted to bring another thing of comic relief," Goguen said, "which is what Alex brings to the character. He's still a serious super hero, and he can still kick ass." "We described him as Eddie Haskell as a shapeshifter," Tucker offered, or Danny Bonaduce on 'The Partridge Family.'" Polinsky said, "He likes to get in trouble, and he's a smack talker, I love him, he's a great character."

  • As for what other Legionnaires we can expect to see, the panel noted Karate Kid, a return for Matter-Eater Lad (also voiced by Polinsky), Dream Girl, Computo, Nemesis Kid, Dawnstar and Invisible Kid. "He's in every episode," Tucker quipped. The Legion of Substitute Heroes could be seen in cameos, "and Tyroc rocks."

  • As for dream LSH stories to adapt, Tucker would go for Earthwar or the Heroes of Lallor, saying that to do The Great Darkness would need more time and more than a network show could handle. "Maybe on a DVD, so put your votes in."


6:00-7:00 DC Nation — Come one, come all, rise up and join the DC Nation! Meet Dan DiDio, senior VP/executive editor DCU, as he invites you to be part of the revolution! Discuss surviving 52, living in a multiverse guarded by Monitors, and trying to discover the secret of the cosmic chess game as the DCU counts down. Rise up and shout—The Nation is waiting! Room 6A

CBR starts off the coverage:
  • "Batman's now met two different versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes, is he going to start putting the pieces together?" asked a fan. Geoff Johns confirmed that the World's Greatest Detective is, indeed, realizing that something's up.

    Hey, maybe hes's recovering from the effects of Multiversal Retconitis!

  • Q: When are we legally allowed to have Superboy back? A: [Question ignored!]

Wizard Universe has a little more:
How many versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes are floating around? Johns’ answer was “Two... well, really three”.

Newsarama didn't have anything more to add.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not-So-Happy Meals

I've been reading grumbles from readers and posters that they're upset about McDonald's not offering any female characters in next month's Legion Happy Meal deal. As I mentioned, they often have a "girl's toy" and a "boy's toy". The boys this time get the Legion figures, while the girls get "Build a Bear". (Note that I had previously said they get Polly Pocket, but I just realized that was the 2006 offering!).

Here's how one McDonald's describes what's in the August 2007 Happy Meal set:

Build a Bear Workshop & Legion of Superheroes Happy Meal
Dates: August 3rd thru August 30th

A celebration of Build a Bear's 10th birthday! Build and customize your own stuffed animal at McDonald's! This happy meal includes 8 new animals in adorable new outfits. Each animal comes with a fabric heart inside, just like the retail bears!

Build a Bear
Hearts for You & Vanilla Fudge
Fru Fru Poodle & Curly Teddy
Nikki's Bear & Playful Puppy
Spring Bear & Kitty

Legion of Superheroes began as a comic and is now an animated television series! The story takes place in the 31st century where a group of teenage superheroes go back in time to recruit the greatest super hero of all....Superman! This collection features 8 figurines that are delivered in comic book styled containers featuring scenes from memorable episodes and exclusive collector card!

Legion of Superheroes
Superman and Timberwolf
Lightning Lad & Mano
Tharok & Brainiac 5
Bouncing Boy & Validus

Not everyone is pleased, though, at the lack of female characters. A couple of examples:
  • Wabbitseason says "But still, the Legion has always been filled with female members, even leaders. It feels weird to not see that reflected in its toys. But no one wants girl toys. Except... y'know... girls."
  • madripoor_rose says "McDonald's is doing a Happy Meals tie-in promotion with Legion Of Superheroes cartoon...without one single female character getting a toy. Protest here please, and pass it around."
  • marag says "Just when I think I can't get more pissed...something happens to annoy me more. Right now, I'm irked because McDonalds is doing Happy Meal toys for the Legion of Superheroes, eight of them, and they don't include one female character. ::eyeroll:: I mean, it's not like there are any prominent female Legionnaires or villains in the toonverse, right?"

But see, the thing is - and I'm not defending McDonald's for doing this, just explaining what I think their reasoning is - the people complaining are not the target audience. Happy Meals are made for kids, probably 4-10, not those old enough to be their parents. Yes, parents drive their kids to the Happy Meal place and they're supposed to be providing guidance to their kids on what to eat and whatnot. But the toys, those are for the kids to play with. Always have been. If there are adults who collect and play with them, great, but you're not the target audience.

A 9-year old boy does not want an icky girl action figure - girls are dolls, and boys don't play with dolls. Girls are stupid. Boys want to play with boy toys, and fight, and break things. On the other hand, super-heroes and action figures are about fighting, and a 9-year old girl would (I presume, never having been one) rather play teddy bear dress up than play with icky boy toys. Boys are stupid.

Of course that's a sweeping generalization that doesn't always apply. But a large part of the time, it does. So it's more cost-effective to make toys that only appeal to the generalized public, otherwise they'd get stuck with toys nobody wants. And that hits at their bottom line.

San Diego Con '07: Day 1 (update #6)

Update #1: added CBR's coverage of the Countdown panel
Update #2: added Countdown coverage from CBR, Wizard, Comics Continuum, Pulse
Update #3: added Newsarama coverage of Group Therapy panel
Update #4: added Bully's picture. No other news on Group Therapy panel, nothing yet on action figures panel or Death of Superman viewing.
Update #5: added the Pulse coverage of Group Therapy
Update #6: added info from Superman/Doomsday panel



Here's what's on tap for today, Thursday 7/26 in San Diego. All times are PDT. Check back periodically for updates, a couple hours or so after the panels (by then Newsarama, CBR, and the rest will have posted their reports).

Picture of the day: Bully and the Legion outside the DC booth


Non-panel animated show news from Comics Continuum (go there for a couple pictures):
Phil Morris is pulling double duty in the DC Universe on television this fall.

In additional to returning as Martian Manhunter in The CW's Smallville, Morris is providing the voice of Imperiex, the big villain, for the second season of Kids' WB!'s Legion of Super Heroes. Morris has also been reported as the voice of King Faraday in the Justice League: New Frontier direct-to-video movie.

A promotional card given away at the Warner Bros. booth at Comic-Com International provided cast details for Season 2 of Legion of Super Heroes, as well as a first look at two versions of Superman fighting Imperiex.

Yuri Lowenthal is providing voices for both versions Superman, described as Superman and Kal-El. One is a closed [sic - should be "cloned"] version of the original from the 41st Century.

Kari Wahlgren is returning as Saturn Girl, and she is also voicing Duo Damsel instead of Triplicate Girl. Somthing happens to the character early in Season 2.

Alex Polinsky is providing the voice of Chameleon Boy.

Morris, Polinsky and Lowenthal are scheduled to attend The Batman/Legion panel on Friday at Comic-Con, where footage from Season 2 will be shown.

12:15-1:15 DC Countdown . . . to the End? — The DC Universe survived 52, but will it survive Countdown? This can’t-miss panel looks at the new year-long adventure and the ramifications of a DCU with 52 universes. The Monitors are watching closely as Jason Todd, Donna Troy, and Jimmy Olsen are joined by a cast of hundreds! Hosted by senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio and senior group editor Mike Carlin, the panel includes Countdown writers Paul Dini (Detective Comics), Tony Bedard (Supergirl and The Legion of Super-heroes), Adam Beechen (Robin), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Justin Gray (Jonah Hex), Jimmy Palmiotti (Superman Confidential), and more. Room 6B

CBR starts off the panel report. Here are the relevant points:
  • “Can you tell us anything about what's going on with the Legion and the various versions running around?” asked another fan.

    “There is a story to all the versions,” Mike Marts assured. “By this time next year you'll have a lot more clues as to what's happening.”

    “Supergirl #21 and #22 touches on that,” Tony Bedard indicated.

  • “If you could take back one editorial or policy decision in all of DC's history, what would it be?” asked another fan.

    “I would have to say, taking Superboy out of the Legion because it messed up EVERYTHING,” Jurgens stated, which Tony Bedard seconded. The crowd really liked that one.

  • Another fan asked that if the original “Crisis” was undertaken to clean up the original multiverse, what steps is DC taking to make sure the new multiverse is very easy and accessible.

    “We're governing it very tightly,” DiDio said, explaining that multiverse stories will all be about New Earth characters traveling to other worlds to explore them and that there will not be multiple versions of series taking place on different Earths.

  • DiDio then indicated that all the Legion and other time-related mysterious in the DCU, including events surrounding Booster Gold, will all be explained in a “big Legion story” in the future.

The same panel, via Newarama:
  • Next question was about the various Legion continuities apparently running around currently - both in the Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes title and the one in the "Lightning Saga" storyline. Marts said that some answers should be coming soon, and DiDio reminded the panel (and audience) that next year is the 50th anniversary of the Legion, [sic]

  • A fan asked the relatively hard-hitting question "If you could take back one editorial or policy decision in DC's history, what would it be?" DiDio said the whole panel should answer the question ... Jurgens said taking Superboy out of the Legion of Super-Heroes... Beechen agreed with Jurgens' answer... DiDio didn't really answer.

Via Comics Continuum:
  • Asked about the Legion, Marts said there are several versions of the Legion running around. "There is a grand story to this," he said, noting things will come into focus next year. Bedard said to check out Supergirl #21 and #22.

Via The Pulse:
  • When will they explain what's going on in Legion?

    MIKE MARTZ: “there are several versions of the LSH out there” right now.

    Bedard said, "See Supergirl #21 & #22 for some answers."

  • Panel members were asked about any “mistake” in DC storylines they would take back?

    There was consensus that they shouldn’t have taken Superboy out of the LSH and created the pocket universe.

Via Wizard Universe:
  • The team then riffed on what they would change about the continuity of the DCU. Among them were removing Superboy from the Legion of Super-Heroes, separating Vertigo from DCU continuity, the death of Conner Kent in Infinite Crisis, crippling Barbara Gordon and not rebooting every single DC character after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  • Why are there 2 different versions of the Legion? It will be explained in detail next year (which also happens to be the Legion’s 50th anniversary).


5:00-6:00 Action Figure Times Toymaker Q&A — Ever wanted to know why your favorite character figure was limited, or just what toy companies are thinking? How about the recent movement of toy licenses from one manufacturer to another? Here's your chance to ask the manufacturers (both big and small) about their favorite figures and statues. What questions have been burning in your mind? Panelists include Eric Mayes, 4 Horsemen; Jamie Wilson, Weta; Jeremy Atkins, director of publicity for Dark Horse; Mark Tuttle, HeroClix brand manager; Guang Yang, CEO, SOTA Toys, Inc.; Frank Supiot, Kotobukiya; and Chuck Terceira, director of Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles. Room 4
Haven't found any coverage of this at all yet, surprisingly.

6:00-7:00 DC Group Therapy: Leagues, Legions, Societies, and Teens! — The DCU is home to the world’s greatest super-heroes, and they have banded together in teams with one common goal in mind: justice. Whether they’re rambunctious teenagers from the future, WWII veterans teaching a new generation, the super-powered elite, or the sidekicks who have forged their own way, they are among the DCU’s greatest assets. Don’t miss this important panel featuring the best teams that define heroism in the DC universe. Geoff Johns (Teen Titans, Justice Society of America), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey) and Tony Bedard (Supergirl and The Legion of Superheroes) will be teamed with senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio, group editor Eddie Berganza, senior editor Mike Marts and editor Mike Siglain to bring you teamwork as you have never experienced before. Room 6A

Intrepid reporter Sidne Ward reports "We'll potentially see something of the 52 Legions."

Coverage from Newsarama suggested that the questions were more about Birds of Prey, Batman and the Outsiders, Superman/Batman, JLA, and JSA. I was disappointed at reading the panel notes - with the Legion's writer and editor there, you'd think that they'd make more of a big deal about the Legion. However, according to The Pulse, "There were no big revelations, because they are saving all that for the DC Nation panel later in the week."
  • The next question dealt with the names of the Legion of Super-Heroes characters - the more traditional "Lightning Lad" versus the more "modern" Livewire - and if it was "a necessary evil" to get back to the more traditional names. DiDio said he likes to go back to what people remember most, using the example of Supergirl - people remember her as Superman's cousin, not as any of the other iterations of the character. "What do people remember most, what do people react to the most" is what's important, and building a contemporary world around them.

From The Pulse:
  • When asked about the re-boots of the 90s (i.e., calling Lightning Lad “Live Wire”), and whether the reworking of characters is a necessary evil, so that readers appreciate the classics, Dan DiDio responded, “I like to go with whatever people remember most.”

    He cited Supergirl – and the one who is Superman’s Cousin. That is why there is a return to the classic heroes in the current DC regime.

    Dwayne McDuffie said, “you have to keep trying new stuff,” but you go with what works best.

  • Yes – we are going to see even more versions of the 52 Earth’s versions of the future Legion of Super-Heroes. Conner Kent may also play a part in one of these scenarios.

8:30-10:30 World Premiere! Superman Doomsday — Superman is dead—or is he? All will be revealed at Comic-Con’s world premiere of DC Comics, Warner Bros. Home Video, and Warner Bros. Animation’s Superman Doomsday. It’s the highly anticipated first DC Universe made-for-DVD release presented by Warner Premiere and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Inspired by the best-selling graphic novel of all time, Superman Doomsday is an epic tale of heroism and tragedy, sacrifice and redemption. The film is rated PG-13 for action violence. The voice cast is led by Adam Baldwin (Serenity, Chuck) as Superman, Anne Heche (Men in Trees) as Lois Lane, and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Lex Luthor. DC Comics’ Gregory Novek will moderate the post-premiere panel that includes executive producer/director/writer Bruce Timm (Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Animated Series), directors Brandon Vietti (Legion of Super Heroes) and Lauren Montgomery (Legion of Super Heroes), writer Duane Capizzi (The Batman), and, quite possibly, members of the voice cast. And stay ’til the end—there might just be a glimpse of future DC Universe films. Ballroom 20
Newsarama has a review of the movie itself. CBR has a panel report but despite a former director, current director, and current voice casting head for the Legion show being on the panel, there was nothing Legion-y discussed. The Great Darkness Saga was not mentioned as an upcoming movie either.

San Diego Con '07: day 0

Wednesday night is Preview Night at San Diego. Here are a couple of photos from Sidne Ward, intrepid reporter-at-large:



Legion, season 1: This is at the DC booth


Legion, season 2: This looks like it's from the Warner Bros. booth. I should get a better picture tomorrow (unless we see another, better one online somewhere else)


From Mark Evanier:
The Single Most Heard Phrase This Evening at Comic-Con...
"My God, if it's this crowded on Preview Night..."

I think they said that last year, too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Legion TV schedule August 2007

All reruns until September.

Via Comics Continuum, here are the airdates and episodes for the Legion show for August 2007.

July 28 - episode 8 "Lightning Storm" (4th airing) - last aired 4/07/07
August 4 - episode 12 "Sundown, part 1" (2nd airing) - last aired 4/28/07
August 11 - episode 13 "Sundown, part 2" (2nd airing) - last aired 5/03/07
August 18 - episode 10 "Substitutes" (4th airing) - last aired 4/14/07
August 25 - episode 11 "Chain of Command" (4th airing) - last aired 5/26/07

The Sundown 2-parter was never "released" as a high-def torrent. I'll see if I can get the cappers to make it available.

Previously: all the other schedules

Episode reviews:
1.01 "Man of Tomorrow" (4 airings, last 7/7/07)
1.02 "Timber Wolf" (6 airings, last 6/2/07)
1.03 "Legacy" (3 airings, last 6/9/07)
1.04 "Fear Factory" (4 airings, last 6/16/07)
1.05 "Champions" (4 airings, last 6/23/07)
1.06 "Phantoms" (4 airings, last 7/14/07)
1.07 "Child's Play" (4 airings, last 6/30/07)
1.08 "Lightning Storm" (4 airings, last 7/28/07)
1.09 "Brain Drain" (4 airings, last 7/21/07)
1.10 "The Substitutes" (3 airings, last 4/14/07)
1.11 "Chain of Command" (3 airings, last 5/26/07)
1.12 "Sundown, part 1" (1 airing, last 4/28/07)
1.13 "Sundown, part 2" (1 airing, last 5/3/07)

Geoff Johns, on "Booster Gold" and that flight ring

From today's Comic Book Resources story on the upcoming Booster Gold book:

"Dan's made suggestions, one of which plays a big role into something we already had planned for the second arc," Geoff Johns said. "He has told me which Legionnaire's flight ring Booster is wearing which will play into a story later down the road."

Such explorations into Booster and DC lore will be made in "The All-New Booster Gold," serving to reward old school fans returning to the adventures of Booster Gold as well as endearing new readers to the intricacies DC Universe. "You'll note a lot of easter eggs," Katz confirmed. "The aforementioned Legion flight ring, among others will date back to the original 80's run. We should also probably tease that "52 Pick-up" has a few specifically sly guest appearances that set-up our second arc - title withheld for suspense - which we think should get people talking and please long time Booster fans."

Originally, it was the Post-Crisis Brainiac 5's ring and force field belt. Now he's got at least three Legions worth of rings to choose from.

Tony Bedard, on "Supergirl" and Karate Kid

Tony Bedard will apparently be writing half of the DC Universe books if he keeps up this schedule. He will be doing a 3-issue arc on the "Supergirl" book, which makes sense given that he's also doing "Supergirl and the Legion", plus part of "Countdown" and "Batman and the Outsiders" later this year. CBR had an interview with him:

TB: She has a lot of things going on. We've got the “Amazons Attack” going on, where Supergirl and Wonder Girl do something they think might help end the war and end up making things a lot worse. I'm dealing with the aftermath of that. It's about as big a disaster as you could imagine.

Also, we have Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl running around in “Countdown” and have Supergirl encounter them and deal with some of her history in the Legion of Superheroes. She doesn't remember all that time she spent in the future with the Legion, and I want to address that.

RT: I haven't been reading the book on a regular basis since Jeph Loeb left, but I get the impression that Kara is pretty much @*^&ing up everything she tries to do. Is she ever going to do something right?

TB: My first issue deals with that. My personal belief is that you learn more from your mistakes than from when everything is going right for her.

I don't want to make her a disaster, though. I would like for her to be a more positive, upbeat character.

Also, artist Renato Guedes has a very different visual take on her that I really like. I don't like the skinny, lean, hypersexual superheroine for her because she's only 17.

Coming soon: "Supergirl" 21 and 22, pictured below, with two of three Karate Kids.


Legionnaires on Vs. System "World's Finest" cards

Update 8/5/07: Thanks to Peter Vandeneng for alerting me to the Ra's al Ghul card (DWF-210).



The latest wave of cards for the Vs. System, titled "World's Finest" (featuring Batman, Superman, and their related super-teams) includes four Legion-related cards, probably left over from the last deck. Click each to enlarge. This set has not been released yet and images aren't up on the Upper Deck site, but I got these from a reader of the vsrealms.com message board. The entire set can be seen on DocX's search page.

DWF-008: Kara Zor-El <> Supergirl, Claire Connors [Team Superman, Legionnaires] {R}
DWF-033: Future Friends {C}
DWF-210: Engine of Change {U}
DWF-219: Matter-Eater Lad, Tenzil Kem [Legionnaires] {U}



Supergirl


Future Friends


Engine of Change (Future Ra's al Ghul)


Matter-Eater Lad

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Legion-blogging San Diego

Like last year, I'll be blogging the San Diego Comic Con from my kitchen table. I'll be scouring the comics news sites and blogs from those who are there, looking for the news and packaging it for you.

A quick rundown of Legion-related programming this weekend is below; see this earlier post for the full explanation of each of the programs. Boldface items are those that directly involve the Legion, the rest are maybes.

Wednesday 7/25
No programming, it's the Sneak Preview night

Thursday 7/26
12:15-1:15 DC Countdown . . . to the End?
5:00-6:00 Action Figure Times Toymaker Q&A
6:00-7:00 DC Group Therapy: Leagues, Legions, Societies, and Teens!
8:30-10:30 World Premiere! Superman Doomsday

Friday 7/27
11:30-12:30 Mattel and DC Comics: A Heroic Partnership
4:15-5:45 Warner Bros. Animation: The Batman/Legion of Super-Heroes
6:00-7:00 DC Nation

Saturday 7/28
1:30-2:45 DCU: New Worlds Order

Sunday 7/29
12:30-2:00 Pro/Fan Trivia Match: The Multiverse

Among those in Artists Alley are inker Mick Gray, pencillers Jeff and Phil Moy, and penciller Terry Shoemaker (one of my all-time favorite Legion artists). There are roughly 1.5 billion other pros there, according to their list.

Happy Meal Toys web site

McDonald's has updated their Happy Meal web site to include the upcoming Legion toy set. Here are a couple of screen captures of the flash animation on the site; for more, go there or check out more pictures at the Legion Clubhouse. Each figure comes with a clamshell case and a bio card.









Monday, July 23, 2007

Superboy's Super-Lawsuit: a Non-Update

I keep getting hits to my post from last year on the Superboy lawsuit, most recently from this CBR forum discussion entitled Is "S****b*y" a forbidden word at DC? from the recent return of Superboy-Prime in the Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps story, so I figured I'd write a non-update (since there has been little legal movement made public). The two big questions seem to be "How can Superboy and Superman be two different characters?" and "Why doesn't DC just pay the Siegels?". As with anything dealing with lawyers, it's complicated. It's also part of a much bigger legal battle involving Superman himself, but that's not relevant to this discussion here.

And I am not a lawyer, so this is my interpretation. (For a much more detailed description, read this series of Newarama articles.)

Way back when, Siegel and Shuster created Superman. In the origin story, there's a panel or two of baby Clark and then later teenage Clark at his parents graves. In an attempt to create a new series, Siegel proposed a concept called Superboy, who was Superman as a boy. DC (then National) passed on the concept but used it later without compensation. Siegel, naturally, was upset and sued. In 1947, a court ruled that Superboy was from a legal standpoint a different character than Superman - Superboy was a young Clark Kent in Smallville, while Superman was an adult in Metropolis with a different supporting cast. Yes, it sounds stupid to us, but that was the ruling then and it's the ruling that has shaped the case for the last 60 years.

Not being stupid, Siegel realized he could make more off of Superboy by selling the rights to DC than he could by selling it to someone else. DC bought the rights in 1948, which under copyright law lasted 28 years (to 1976). Congress later extended copyright time another 28 years (in this case, until 2004), at which point those who sold their copyrights decades earlier simply had to notify the rights holder that they would be taking back their copyright when the 56 years expired. Thus, under US copyright law, the Siegels had to take him back or else forfeit the rights to DC.

That's what the Siegels did, they told DC that when the time was up, they wanted Superboy back (my guess is to re-license it back). By then, DC was a cog in the great Time Warner empire, where comics characters make far more in licensing than they do in comics. Things like the Superman movie, which stars an adult Kal-el/Clark Kent in Metropolis, and the TV show "Smallville", which stars a young Kal-el/Clark Kent in Smallville. So the Siegels and Time Warner's lawyers went to court to fight over Superboy. Time Warner argued, basically, "how can they be different characters when one is just the grownup version of the other, and we own the grownup one?". The judge said "hold on, I've got this 1947 court case that said they were different, and not only that, but DC later bought the rights which indicated that they agreed with the original ruling that Superboy was owned by Siegel" and awarded Superboy to the Siegels. DC/Time Warner disagreed (if they lost the case, they'd have to pay out megabucks for Smallville episodes aired after the agreement ran out in 2004) and the case is on appeal. The judge also said that if it was up to him, he would rule that the Smallville show is a violation, but he noted that the rights to Smallville were not up for litigation in that particular case and that his statement had no legal bearing.

This all happened, apparently coincidentally, right around the climax of Infinite Crisis in which Kon-el died, so naturally the thought was that he was killed off because DC couldn't do a Superboy. Setting aside the lead time required to write, draw, and publish a comic, the only thing that DC "lost" was the right to have a character named Superboy who was a young Clark Kent in Smallville. In theory, Kon-el would probably have been safe since his background was different. Superboy of Earth-Prime is another story, though, since he really is a young Clark Kent. But if they just call him something else (like "Prime", for example) that's apparently enough to work around it. Superboy from the Legion's TV show was too close for comfort, so they worked around it by calling him "a young Superman". I have no idea about things like the recent Legion Showcase volume with Superboy on the cover, whether those reprints are covered under the same agreements as new material.

So that brings up the other frequently asked question, why doesn't DC just pay off the Siegels? Well, part of it is that the rights are not owned by DC Comics, it's that they're owned by Time Warner - which is a huge corporation. And corporations just hate to pay money to people who can set precedents and inspire others to file suit.

And that's the story. The Siegels requested Superboy back because under US law they are legally entitled to, and Time Warner won't pay them to use him. In April 2007, according to Time Warner's quarterly report, "the Company filed motions for partial summary judgment on various issues, including the unavailability of accounting for pre-termination and foreign works" regarding the Siegel lawsuit, as well as "the Company filed a motion for summary judgment on non-infringement of the Company's Smallville television series." These motions have not been ruled on yet, to my knowledge.

For more background read this Feb. 2005 article from Inside Counsel about DC's lawyer (prior to the ruling), April 2006 article from Variety, this very thorough April 2006 article from Newsarama (which contains links to the summaries of the actual legal documents), and the Time Warner Form 10-K from May 2006 (search for "Superboy").

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Déjà Vu 4: Holy Human Siamese Knot, Batman!

I totally missed this reference. I caught the "Binder Alley" reference but not the Human Siamese Knot - I thought that Waid was just goofing around. From scans_daily, here's a panel from Brave and Bold #5:



... and the "inspiration" for it (via YouTube video clip):



How did they get out of it? The leftmost Triplicate Girl must wiggle her ears while the rightmost one moves the fourth (ring) finger on her left hand. That's the key to getting out of a Human Siamese Knot, which I just remembered.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wikipedia doesn't like Klordny

Ah well. Wikipedia has deleted the entry for "Klordny". They didn't accept my argument that it's well known within the comics community as valid.

The source of this holiday is DC Comics, which makes DC Comics not eligible as an independent reliable source. Also, any other source contribuing to the facts of the holiday are not independent from that holiday. Even if Klordny (magazine) is notable, it does not make Klordny (holiday) notable. Adding to the article the fact that people know about it, write about it, and have written for a magazine by the same title (regardless of its content) would be original research. Their collective knowledge about the holiday may make the holiday important and famous, but without reliable source material, the topic is not "Wikipedia notable."

The entry is still available at the Legion Wiki, though, which is a much better source of Legion info than Wikipedia anyway. (Or it will be once it's fleshed out more.)

(Previously discussed here.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Multiversal retconitis

What might the medical term be for forgetting things that happened in a previous continuity even though that continuity is still valid? Multiversal retconitis? (Note: as of this moment, there are no Google results for that made-up term. If you ever see it, you know where it came from.)

Here's my diagnosis of Batman's multiversal retconitis.

1. Batman met the Legion during one of the JLA/JSA teamups (JLA 147-148). This was recently referenced in "Countdown" #45, where they were called the Earth-1 Legion. He met the Legion again in "Brave and Bold" 179, and met Karate Kid in issue 198, then got their help fighting the Composite Superman in World's Finest 283-384. That makes Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy (2x), Colossal Boy (2x), Cosmic Boy (2x), Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad (2x), Princess Projectra (3x), Saturn Girl (2x), Shadow Lass (2x), Shrinking Violet (2x), Sun Boy (2x), Ultra Boy, and Wildfire (2x) that he'd met, most more than once.



2. Batman met a second Legion during the events of Final Night and the Genesis wave. This was the Legion that appeared after the universe was recreated after the events known as Zero Hour, and was last seen on Earth-247 during the Infinite Crisis. At the time, part of the Legion was trapped in the 20th century (known informally as "Team 20"). Apparition, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Gates, Inferno, Saturn Girl, Spark, Triad, and Ultra Boy (plus Shvaughn Erin) were the members. That's the second version of Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Triad, and Ultra Boy that he had met, yet he never said anything. Maybe super-telepath Saturn Girl could have caught something, or super-smart Brainiac 5. But no.



3. Batman met a third Legion, chronologically, when he was tossed forward in time in "Brave and Bold" (vol. 3) #5. He met Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Dream Girl, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Triplicate Girl, and Ultra Boy. That's the third version of Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl, and Ultra Boy that he had met; and the second version of Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, and Shrinking Violet. You'd think that super-smart Brainy or super-telepath Saturn Girl might have picked something up, but no. You'd think that he might have mentioned something to, maybe, I don't know, Superman, when he got back.



4. Batman met a fourth Legion, chronologically, during a story known as "The Lightning Saga" while teaming up the JLA and JSA. We don't know the full details yet, but Batman met Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Karate Kid, Sensor Girl, Starman, Timber Wolf, and Wildfire. That's the second time he's met Wildfire, Dream Girl, Starman, and Sensor Girl/Projectra, and the third time he's met Karate Kid. You'd think that he might have said something during the whole five issues, maybe "hey, I just met the Legion and this isn't the same group even though they have the same names!" Batman apparently recalls fighting Karate Kid in the future because he's ready to fight him in the present (even if it's a different version), yet says nothing.




So what is Batman suffering from? Senile dementia? Alzheimer's? Multiversal retconitis? Is there a doctor in the house? Paging Polite Dissent...

Coming soon: Superman's got a very advanced case of multiversal retconitis.

More Legion Happy Meal pre-sale auctions

Looks like more people are getting in on the Legion Happy Meal toy auctions on eBay. As of this writing, there are three complete sets being offered and four individual figures.

Remember, these are PRE-SALE auctions, nobody actually has them in hand yet. You are bidding on a set of toys that you can get yourself at McDonald's (if you have one nearby you). The only reasons to buy a pre-sale set are if you don't have a Mickey D's nearby, if you're in a country where they don't have this offer, or if you just don't want to take the effort to get them yourself and don't mind paying someone to get them for you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Odds 'n' ends

Stuff that I haven't gotten around to posting plus some hot-off-the-press news, and I want to put it out here before it gets too obsolete. I just deleted all my unused links to reviews of various issues of S/LSH, JLA, JSA, LSH31C, Action, the Showcase volume, and Countdown. (It's too bad that I didn't get to write up Waid's last issue.)

  • As mentioned earlier, Mattel won the master license from DC. What does that mean? From a July 2 press release:
    Warner Bros. Consumer Products has awarded Mattel, Inc., with the master toy license for complete DC Comics Universe of characters and properties. In addition to the rights to existing DC Comics characters/animation/movies, the multi-year pact provides Mattel with the rights to produce toys based on future DC Universe film and animation projects that are developed and produced during the term of the agreement. Mattel will support the DC Universe characters across all of its key brands including Hot Wheels, Radica, Fisher-Price, Tyco and Mattel Games. The financial terms of the deal were not released.

    Nothing specifically mentions the Legion here, of course, but Mattel now has the license to make any toys of any DC property. How about Saturn Girl Barbie? Legion Cruiser Hot Wheels? An Omnicom by Radica? See this article on Action Figure Insider for a little more, and this article for an interview with some folks at DC Direct who discuss what the differences are between Mattel's license and DC's in-house line.

  • Canada's YTV recently announced their fall schedule, which includes the Legion. It says that the show "premieres Saturday, September 8 at 11 a.m. ET/PT", so I don't know if that means Season 1 or Season 2. Any Canadians want to chime in?

  • Newsarama today has the first teaser for "Final Crisis". That's what we're counting down to, but we already knew that because the Lightning Saga Legion mentioned that. The image has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal), Flash, and Hawkman. The tag line - "Heroes Die. Legends live forever."

  • Newsarama also has a hero history of Karate Kid (all of them). They note that Supergirl #22 will somehow apparently have the Lighting Saga Karate Kid (left in the present) and the Waid/Kitson/Bedard Karate Kid (from the future) meeting up. Maybe it's a leftover from when Batman meets the Legion in Brave & Bold? In a recent Newsarama interview, Dan DiDio noted that "Whoever owns that ring [seen in the Countdown preview image] is going to be in a world of danger that they just might not survive." Let's see, a Legionnaire in trouble, Keith Giffen is there... can he kill off Karate Kid a third time?

  • Next week's TV Guide is the Sci-Fi spectacular (or something like that). Of particular importance is an image of the Legion - but they're updated. Thanks to the Legion Clubhouse for the tip, go there to read a transcript. Click the picture to enlarge.

    Basically, a more grown-up Superman returns to the 31st century just in time to be recruited with the Legion by a group from the 41st century - led by a clone of Superman - to fight Imperiex. According to producer James Tucker, ""The comic-book purists are probably going to balk at first, but I think we've done a really good job of combining some aspects of DC Comics characters they know into this character." It sounds like this clone is closer to Kon-el.


  • Legion Clubhouse also points out that the Legion makes another Vs. System card appearance in the new World's Finest set (which covers the Superman and Batman families of characters). The new cards:
    DWF-008 - Kara Zor-El <> Supergirl, Claire Connors
    DWF-219 - Matter-Eater Lad, Tenzil Kem
    There may be more, but it's tough to tell until the pictures are released. Here's where you'll find them whenever the images are out.

  • Speaking of toys and games, the Legion Heroclix Starter Game set finally came out. It looks pretty cool and even contains a surprise - Shrinking Violet, sort of. They have a Clix disc with her stats on it, but it's just a "puck", there's no figure, since she's shrunken. They've got maps and a couple of movable artifacts (a comm dish and a news-bot). Jon Hex and Poptown review the set. There's a map from a 31st century battle and one from the 21st century. The future map has interlac writing, I'll have to decipher it later (I just got the set this past weekend). Jeff at Kneel Before Blog built a 3-D version of the map.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Legion Toywatch: Happy Meal preview - no girls allowed

Update Sunday: There's another pre-sale for the whole set on eBay, "buy it now" for $9.99 plus $10 shipping. If you live outside the US where there might not be a promotion, here's your chance.
Update Monday: That one sold, of course. The next one up for sale is now at $14.99 plus shipping. Get 'em while they're hot!
Update Tuesday: Another quick sale. Fourth one is up for sale at $19.99 plus shipping. These are getting expensive, it's gone up $10 in two days! I guess the seller is seeing that there's a market for them if they sell via "buy it now" within hours of its listing. (No, I'm not the seller, by the way.) If you buy it because you saw it mentioned here, please leave a note in the comments.



(Thanks to Peter Fries for bringing this to my attention)

Someone with apparently some inside knowledge has put up a Legion Happy Meal sneak preview on eBay. There will be eight figures in all: Superman, Timber Wolf, Lightning Lad, Mano, Tharok, Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, and Validus. Yes, that's 8 of the 9 main male characters of the Legion and Fatal Five minus all four women (Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl, and Emerald Empress, plus the Persuader). That's McDonald's call, I guess, over who to include. Maybe this is a "boys show", and everyone knows that boys don't like to play with girl toys.



Remember, the promotion runs Friday Aug. 3 thru Thursday Aug. 30, 2007. And they will let you just buy the toy, you don't have to buy the whole Happy Meal (unless you want to have the box too).

Update to add: On the other hand, these are still the first-ever figures for Timber Wolf, Mano, Tharok, Bouncing Boy, and Validus outside of Heroclix (and all but Chuck have been immortalized in Heroclix plastic). DC Direct has already had Superman, Lightning Lad, Timber Wolf, Brainiac 5, and Superboy figures.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Trivia Answers #13

Updated 7/13: fixed the answer that Matthew mentions in the comments.



This month’s theme was Time Travel. As usual, you got them all in just a few days (but it took extra time to post the answers due to the Legion of Super-Gamblers trip to Las Vegas).

1. Supergirl was just elected Legion leader (in a shady vote). What happened the last time a Kryptonian was elected leader?
As John said, "Superboy gets elected leader, but Wildfire takes command because Supes was only a part-time member." Superboy (1st series) #225.

2. The "Lightning Saga" Legion recently came to the 21st century. Of course, that’s not the first time that Legionnaires visited the past. But by my count, only 7 6 of the "traditional" Legionnaires (no retcons, no villains, etc.) never visited the 20th century during the ADVENTURE era (where Timber Wolf and Chemical King were the last to join). Which ones?
Here is the list of Legionnaires who were members during this time:

Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid, Colossal Boy, Star Boy, Supergirl, Brainiac 5, Shrinking Violet, Superboy, Sun Boy, Bouncing Boy, Ultra Boy, Mon-el, Matter-Eater Lad, Element Lad, Lightning Lass, Dream Girl, Princess Projectra, Ferro Lad, Karate Kid, Shadow Lass, Chemical King, and Timber Wolf.

Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad went back to recruit Superboy. Mon-el, Duo Damsel and Shadow Lass went back to escape Mordru. Phantom Girl and Shrinking Violet were two was one of Supergirl's Super-Girlfriends, while Shrinking Violet came back to help Lois Lane in her 50th issue. Chameleon Boy once aided Superboy in protecting his secret identity from Lana Lang. Ultra Boy went back as part of his initiation task. Invisible Kid, Sun Boy, Element Lad and Light Lass went back with other Legionnaires as part of the Superman Super-Spectactular (Action 309). Bouncing Boy helped play a prank on Jimmy Olsen (Jimmy Olsen 72). Star Boy went in his first appearance to flirt with Lana. Brainiac 5 went back in Adventure 309, and Colossal Boy went in issue 315. Princess Projectra was part of the team that went back to get Superboy and Supergirl in issue 351.

That leaves Matter-Eater Lad, Dream Girl, Karate Kid, Ferro Lad, Chemical King, and Timber Wolf.

3. Not everyone traveled back in time – some went forward. From what time periods did all members of the Legion of Super-Pets travel from?
Krypto came from Superboy's time. Streaky, Beppo, and Comet came from the "present", which was Supergirl's time. Proty II didn't travel in time at all to get to meetings, unless he was running late. Comet first came from a couple weeks in Supergirl's future (she hadn't met him yet), but after that he was contemporary with the others from her time.

4. The Legion has fought a number of villains with 20th century roots, but which villain(s) survived from the 20th/21st century to the 30th/31st to fight the Legion, rather than traveled through time?
The ones I was thinking of were Mordru, Ra's al Ghul, Darkseid, Prof. Ivo, and the Emerald Eye. I left Brainiac out because I forgot what his true story was, whether he really had made it or not. And I forgot about Scavenger.

5. Who implanted a post-hypnotic suggestion in Superboy's mind so that when he went back to the 20th century, he'd forget anything he'd learned about his future while he was in the 30th century?
I didn't think anyone would remember that Supergirl gave it to him first, not Saturn Girl. But of course, you did remember.

6. Back in the days when new applicants had to perform a task, what was Ultra Boy tasked to do? There are two answers to this, pre-Crisis and Glorithverse.
Pre-Crisis, he had to find out Superboy's secret ID. Glorithverse, he went to find out what happened to Valor.

7. Their encounter with Lori Morning was not the first time the Legion had had to deal with the H-Dial. When was the first?
They met up with Superboy in "New Adventures of Superboy" #50, chasing the H-Dial and the guy who stole it from the Metropolis Museum of Heroes and Legends. He took it back to 20th century Smallville with the Legion in pursuit.

8. In Adventure 247, when the Legion traveled back in time to recruit/tease Superboy, how did the powers of each of the three Legionnaires manifest themselves?
Cosmic Boy had magnetic eyes from special serums, Lightning Boy clapped his hands to make electricity, and Saturn Girl read minds and sent mental commands.

Klordny up for deletion on Wikipedia

A little more than a year ago, I wrote an entry for Klordny in Wikipedia. It has recently been considered for deletion as essentially "unworthy" for inclusion.

[The] article is about a fictional holiday with one major appearance 30 years ago, and a group that took its name from the fictional holiday. Prod removed without comment. There do not appear to be any reliable sources that attest to the notability of this fictional holiday either within DC Comics continuity or the real world. The real-life group information is "sourced" by a blog entry and a link to a yahoo group, which do not pass WP:RS [Reliable Sources].

There are currently two votes for Deletion of the article, and within a week or so it'll be gone unless I can come up with some good rationale for keeping it around. Does anyone have any "reliable sources that attest to the notability of this fictional holiday either within DC Comics continuity or the real world"?

If you have a Wikipedia account and you have something rational to say, by all means please do so. But don't turn this into a Stephen Colbert/elephants/truthiness thing.

Don't worry, the Klordny entry at LegionWiki isn't going anywhere.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Flashback: John Byrne on the Pocket Universe

Since the topic du jour is multiple universes, here's a look back at the Pocket Universe. I've been saving this one for a rainy day, but it makes a good companion piece to what Matthew put up Monday at the Legion Abstract.

It's no secret that John Byrne doesn't like the Legion - he's said it plenty of times before, one example of which is here at the Byrne Robotics forum (if you're not a member, basically the way the Legionnaires tricked Superboy in ADV 247 hit too close to him as a kid, and he's held a grudge against them since then). But that doesn't stop him from drawing a kick-ass Legion:



But how responsible was Byrne really for the post-Crisis mess we found ourselves in due to the forced omission of Superboy? Here is Byrne's description of the creation of the Pocket Universe (from Comic Buyers' Guide #997, which I'm guessing was early to mid 90s, but I don't have the issue in question any more), as taken from the old v4-era Legion FAQ. This is from no later than Nov. 1995, as I found a copy of it in my archives that I sent to the LSH-L mailing list then.

And that brings us to the death of Superboy.

No, it wasn't 'a parallel universe or Earth-2 or just lack of continuity' that necessitated the death of Superboy in LSH #38. Actually, it was that ol' hobgoblin of small minds, an excessive allegiance to continuity which triggered this tale. Especially ironic, given that the prime mover in all this was Paul Levitz, he who has sneered his very best sneer at the Marvel mentality which demands canonical continuity.

Here's what happened:

Early on in the genesis of the 'new' Superman, I went into the DC offices for a conference with Jenette [Kahn], Paul, Andy Helfer, and Dick Giordano. We were getting, at that point, very close to the moment at which my pencil would actually have to touch paper for the first time, and we all wanted to be sure we knew where we were going.

[Digression about Krypton deleted.]

One of the points I kept coming back to at this meeting was the matter of Superboy. We'd agreed there would be no Superboy in the new chronology (Confession: I now consider this a mistake. Ah, well...) and several times during this one meeting I addressed myself specifically to Paul, who, as scribe of LEGION, would be most directly affected by the 'removal.' If there was no Superboy--and never had been--how did the Legion come into existence? What was their inspiration? It was easy enough to fudge all the Legion stories in which Superboy had appeared, but hadn't the original Legionnaires created their club as kind of a tribute to Superboy? My suggestion was simple enough: When I was a child in England I had a book about the adventures of "Young Robin Hood." Like the Disney Kids or the Muppet Babies, this little tome presented the adventures of Robin and Marian, Little(r) John, and Tuck--everyone, in fact--with no regard to the mangling this caused to the original legend. And that, of course, is the best thing about legends: Since little or nothing is really real, it doesn't much matter what you shovel into the box. Only purists (like me) would be offended by, say, John Watson meeting young Sherlock Holmes years before Arthur Conan Doyle said they met. So, as Steven Spielberg must surely have said to himself, why not? This seemed to me the solution to the Superboy problem: Superman himself had become legendary by the time--Superboy was simply retrofitted into the legend. Paul nodded sagely at this and said he had his own solution and I should not worry.

I didn't worry--until I got a panicked call from Andy Helfer, a few months after I started the project. 'There's no Superboy!' Andy exclaimed. 'That screws up Legion continuity!' This was followed by a hollow *thunk* as my forehead hit the drawing board.

Short form: Something had to be 'done' about Superboy, and the story which saw print, replete with its pocket universe and villainous machinations, was the 'solution.' I still think my idea--retrofitting the legend--would have been better, but at least I got to draw Krypto, and that alone was worth the aggravation."

I wonder what Levitz's solution was to have been? And I also wonder how they could have easily "fudge[d] all the Legion stories in which Superboy had appeared". Perhaps someone can ask Levitz at San Diego in a couple weeks.

(By the way, if this gets picked up in the Byrne Robotics forums, please let me know so I can read it. I don't normally read that forum.)

Monday, July 09, 2007

San Diego Legion programming

Legion-centric programming for the San Diego Comic Con coming up in a couple weeks:

Thursday 7/26

12:15-1:15 DC Countdown . . . to the End? — The DC Universe survived 52, but will it survive Countdown? This can’t-miss panel looks at the new year-long adventure and the ramifications of a DCU with 52 universes. The Monitors are watching closely as Jason Todd, Donna Troy, and Jimmy Olsen are joined by a cast of hundreds! Hosted by senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio and senior group editor Mike Carlin, the panel includes Countdown writers Paul Dini (Detective Comics), Tony Bedard (Supergirl and The Legion of Super-heroes), Adam Beechen (Robin), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Justin Gray (Jonah Hex), Jimmy Palmiotti (Superman Confidential), and more. Room 6B

The first of three DCU forums at the con. Karate Kid is supposed to be one of the central characters in Countdown.


5:00-6:00 Action Figure Times Toymaker Q&A — Ever wanted to know why your favorite character figure was limited, or just what toy companies are thinking? How about the recent movement of toy licenses from one manufacturer to another? Here's your chance to ask the manufacturers (both big and small) about their favorite figures and statues. What questions have been burning in your mind? Panelists include Eric Mayes, 4 Horsemen; Jamie Wilson, Weta; Jeremy Atkins, director of publicity for Dark Horse; Mark Tuttle, HeroClix brand manager; Guang Yang, CEO, SOTA Toys, Inc.; Frank Supiot, Kotobukiya; and Chuck Terceira, director of Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles. Room 4
Voice your opinion on the new Legion Heroclix Starter set and ask for more.


6:00-7:00 DC Group Therapy: Leagues, Legions, Societies, and Teens! — The DCU is home to the world’s greatest super-heroes, and they have banded together in teams with one common goal in mind: justice. Whether they’re rambunctious teenagers from the future, WWII veterans teaching a new generation, the super-powered elite, or the sidekicks who have forged their own way, they are among the DCU’s greatest assets. Don’t miss this important panel featuring the best teams that define heroism in the DC universe. Geoff Johns (Teen Titans, Justice Society of America), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey) and Tony Bedard (Supergirl and The Legion of Superheroes) will be teamed with senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio, group editor Eddie Berganza, senior editor Mike Marts and editor Mike Siglain to bring you teamwork as you have never experienced before. Room 6A
Not bad, given equal billing with the JLA, JSA, and Titans.


8:30-10:30 World Premiere! Superman Doomsday — Superman is dead—or is he? All will be revealed at Comic-Con’s world premiere of DC Comics, Warner Bros. Home Video, and Warner Bros. Animation’s Superman Doomsday. It’s the highly anticipated first DC Universe made-for-DVD release presented by Warner Premiere and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Inspired by the best-selling graphic novel of all time, Superman Doomsday is an epic tale of heroism and tragedy, sacrifice and redemption. The film is rated PG-13 for action violence. The voice cast is led by Adam Baldwin (Serenity, Chuck) as Superman, Anne Heche (Men in Trees) as Lois Lane, and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Lex Luthor. DC Comics’ Gregory Novek will moderate the post-premiere panel that includes executive producer/director/writer Bruce Timm (Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Animated Series), directors Brandon Vietti (Legion of Super Heroes) and Lauren Montgomery (Legion of Super Heroes), writer Duane Capizzi (The Batman), and, quite possibly, members of the voice cast. And stay ’til the end—there might just be a glimpse of future DC Universe films. Ballroom 20
Director Vietti is new on the show this year, while Montgomery was a directory on Season 1. Wonder what the future films might be? Lots of people want to see the Great Darkness Saga, which is rumored (or at least hoped for).


Friday 7/27

11:30-12:30 Mattel and DC Comics: A Heroic Partnership — You’ve been a fan of Mattel’s popular DC toy lines, now find out the latest news, sneak peaks, and behind-the-scenes scoop on your favorite Mattel/DC action figures, including DC Super Heroes, Justice League Unlimited, The Batman, and DC Superfriends, plus exciting new lines and never-before-released information. Join Mattel toy designers, and Warner Brothers and DC Comic representatives for an insightful Q&A. Room 10
Mattel now has the license for the entire DC line of heroes, not just the animated ones. In addition to that, look for a preview of the Legion figures coming out next spring-ish.


4:15-5:45 Warner Bros. Animation: The Batman/Legion of Super-Heroes — This action-packed 90 minutes is split between two Warner Bros. Animation standouts: The Batman and Legion of Super Heroes. The Caped Crusader crew just picked up its fourth Emmy Award heading into a season that promises even more punch, courtesy of guest appearances from some Justice League pals. Supervising producer Alan Burnett (The Batman), producer-director Michael Goguen (Batman: The Animated Series), renowned voice director Andrea Romano, and the voice of Batman himself, Rino Romano, will discuss the upcoming surprises. LOSH enters its second season with double the action as the group adds new members—and a new ally from across the space-time continuum—just in time to face a daunting new villain. Producer James Tucker (Justice League Unlimited), director Brandon Vietti (Superman Doomsday), and story editor/writer Michael Jelenic (The Batman) will be joined on the panel by cast members Yuri Lowenthal (Superman on LOSH), Phil Morris (Seinfeld, Smallville), and Alex Polinsky (Charles in Charge). TV Guide senior editor Rich Sands will moderate both halves of the panel. Room 6B
Phil Morris is new to the show, and this is the first I've heard of his involvement. The only new character I know of is Chameleon Boy, but who knows if that's him or not. Polinsky voiced Matter-Eater Lad and Chlorophyll Kid on the show.


6:00-7:00 DC Nation — Come one, come all, rise up and join the DC Nation! Meet Dan DiDio, senior VP/executive editor DCU, as he invites you to be part of the revolution! Discuss surviving 52, living in a multiverse guarded by Monitors, and trying to discover the secret of the cosmic chess game as the DCU counts down. Rise up and shout—The Nation is waiting! Room 6A
The second of three DCU panels.


Saturday 7/28

1:30-2:45 DCU: New Worlds Order — The crisis is over, isn’t it? With 52 finished, the DCU is counting down and the Monitors are watching closely. Come play catch-up, have your questions answered, and learn what lies ahead for the DCU in this extensive slide show presentation moderated by Dan DiDio (senior VP/executive editor DCU) and Bob Wayne (VP, sales). Joining them will be coordinating editor Jann Jones, senior group editor Mike Carlin, group editor Eddie Berganza, plus Tony Bedard (Birds of Prey,), Adam Beechen (Robin), Paul Dini (Detective Comics), Justin Gray (Countdown), Geoff Johns (The All New Booster Gold), Dan Jurgens (Booster Gold), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Jesus Merino (Superman), Carlos Pacheco (Superman), Jimmy Palmiotti (Countdown), Grant Morrison (Batman), Ivan Reis (Green Lantern), and Gail Simone (The All-New Atom). Room 6B
The final DCU panel.


Sunday 7/29

12:30-2:00 Pro/Fan Trivia Match: The Multiverse — The Purple Pros (Len Wein, creator of Wolverine; Mark Waid, writer of 52, and two versions from parallel worlds to be named later) take on the Black Ink Irregulars (Tom Galloway, Terence Chua, David Oakes, and Hal Shipman) in a contest of trivia about the Multiverses of both DC and Marvel, moderated by Keith DeCandido (Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Deathless). Room 4
Not necessarily Legion-related, but it's got Waid and potential questions about the Legionverses. You think my trivia is hard, you should listen to these guys. It's a lot of fun - I was on the Black Ink Irregulars one year (in which we lost) and at least one of the regular commenters here has also been on the team a few times.