Friday, March 14, 2008

Wizard World LA '08 - day 1: Superboy, the gateway drug

I forgot that Wizard World LA is this weekend. Here are the relevant newsy bits from the DC Nation panel (updated with new CBR and Wizard info, which appeared after I first posted this; thanks Paul!):

Via Newsarama:

  • A fan asked about a rumor that Geoff Johns would be writing a Legion of Super-Heroes mini-series (perhaps with Van Sciver as artist), and DiDio again said he wouldn't comment on rumors but that he'd find out at the end of the month.

  • DiDio asked the audience about Jim Shooter's current Legion of Super-Heroes - who was reading it and if they liked it. A fan that indicated he wasn't satisfied said that he liked what Mark Waid and Barry Kitson were doing, and was disappointed so far about the Shooter run. Another fan said it was "really flat."

  • DiDio polled the audience again - this time about what their favorite incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes was: the Levitz/Giffen Legion, the Abnett/Lanning/Coipel Legion or the Waid/Kiston Legion. It was a fairly even split between the three.

  • DiDio then asked fans if DC could publish a comic called "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes," who would buy it. "You got the name back?" an audience member quipped. "I said if we could do it," DiDio responded. "I don't want any more rumors starting." The response to the question from the audience was lukewarm, with only a few hands being raised before DiDio moved on.

  • When continuing to discuss team books, Van Sciver said he liked "the idea" of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, since Superboy is a "gateway character" that everyone knows, that would allow readers to get to know the rest of the characters.

Here's CBR's coverage:
As to exactly which Legion of Super-Heroes Geoff Johns will be writing in the rumored miniseries mentioned in LYING IN THE GUTTERS, DiDio declined to comment, but Bob Wayne said, "Aren't there two or three versions in 'Action Comics'? I'd say he's writing all of them."

A fan asked what the response is like to Shooter's "Legion of Super-Heroes?" DiDio turned that question to the crowd, asking "Do you guys like Shooter's Legion?"

"No," said one fan. "It's so flat. There's no tone to it. All the characters seem to be replacable with each other. The storyline doesn't seem to be going anywhere."

DiDio then asked fans to raise their hands if they liked the Giffen/Levitz Legion, then the Legion Lost group, and then the Waid/Kitson version. Hands were raised for each group. "If we did a book called 'Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes,' would you buy that?"

"You got the Superboy name back?" asked a fan.

"I said if!" DiDio said. He then asked the LA crowd why they liked the idea of Superboy as part of the Legion, to which most fans answered, "Because he's a 'gateway' character," explaining that without Superboy as an anchor, many readers are lost in the formidable Legion roster.

Wizard's own page says that they have "All the news you need from the frontlines of conventionland as it happens!". Unfortunately there are only a couple of stories there from early in the day.
Wizard's story of the DC Nation panel has some new info:
A fan asked if any of the characters from Countdown will have their story followed once the weekly concludes. Didio joked “If they survive. Who survives?” Beechen continued the joke by saying “Well, not Karate Kid.”

Questions regarding which Legion of Super-Heroes Geoff Johns writes in his book were met with elusiveness. Van Sciver joked that Geoff writing the Legion is a “great idea.” Wayne chimed in saying, “But I thought there is three or four or five different version of the Legion. I think he’s writing all of them.” Didio said the answer would come by the end of the month.

Regarding whether or not the JSA Starman will be sticking around, Didio told to fan to “save that question for tomorrow.”

Near the end of the panel, discussion turned to the Legion of Super-Heroes. Didio asked the audience if they like Jim Shooter’s Legion of Super-Heroes, which garnered various responses. When asked why they didn’t like it, one fan that enjoyed the Mark Waid/Barry Kitson Legion and thought the new direction was too much of a drastic change. Another fan said it was “very flat” and that “there’s no tone to it.”

Didio polled the audience as to which Legion is the most popular: the original Pre-Crisis Legion, the Legion Lost team or the current incarnation. The results were rather evenly split, with a slight leaning toward the pre-Crisis team.

Van Sciver asked if any Legion character would be able to hold their own title. Responses varied, but included Timber Wolf and Cosmic Boy.

When Didio asked if DC could publish a book called “Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes” would anyone purchase it. The general response was positive, but a fan asked if that means DC got the rights back to the name. Didio quickly responded “I said if we could. Don’t you be starting any rumors with that.” He asked the audience why they would read that title, a fan responded that Superboy served as a gateway character that allowed people who didn’t know the Legion to pick up the book. Van Sciver added that “I like the idea of ‘Superboy and the Legion’ because like he said, Superboy is a gateway character. We all know Superboy, so through Superboy we can get to know all of the 20,000 characters.”


Paul Newell said...

Just letting you know, Michael, that CBR have a few revisions to their first version of the story, including adding the "gateway character" stuff.

Also Wizard have an article up now. Thanks for pointing it out.

Terence Chua said...

Huh. I kind of like Shooter's Legion more than Waid and Kitson's take because it has a bit more texture to it and more of a team feel. YMMV, I suppose. Maybe it's an age thing - I wonder how the demographics were split in that straw poll.

Of course, ultimately my heart is really with the Legion that Geoff Johns is playing with quite nicely in the Action Comics run. Bring that incarnation back, and all (well, some) will be forgiven.