Thursday, April 03, 2008

New Johns, Perez interviews: Maximum Squee-age

CBR (in their new trade dress) has part 2 of a 5-part interview with Geoff Johns, whose Superman & The Legion story ended this week. But he's not done, of course, as we have seen in the promos for "The Legion of Three Worlds". Part 3 will cover his work on the JSA, so we should find out more about Starman there. Highlights (and go read it for more):

“It’s a dream to work with George [Perez], especially on Legion of Super-Heroes,” Johns continued. “And I think the title, ‘Legion of Three Worlds,’ says it all. We are going to have a ton of characters in this, so only someone as insane as George is going to tackle this. George has had a lifelong dream to work on the Legion. And I have had a lifelong dream to work with George. And I love the Legion of Super-Heroes, obviously.

The fan favorite writer summed up “Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds” as a big ‘”DCU story,” which has already earned itself the nickname “Crisis of the 31st Century” amongst DC’s editorial staff. Explained Johns, “It’s really focused on the Legion of Super-Heroes and Superman and where the Legion is going after the ‘Action Comics’ arc; where the universe is and how difficult it is for the Legion to do their job. And just as the Legion is facing this really big question of ‘Do they need us anymore? Are we doing any good? And people are like, ‘no,’ things go from bad to worse and Superboy-Prime shows up.”

Returning to “Action Comics,” next month’s issue #864 is an epilogue to the Legion arc and it deals with Batman, Superman and Lightning Lad. “It acknowledges everything that is going on right now with the Legion and pushes it forward and then wraps everything up so we can start ramping up to ‘Brainiac.’”

Maybe this time Batman will say something about having met a couple different versions of Karate Kid lately.

Meanwhile, over at Newsarama, George Perez talks about the upcoming book (complete with the pencils to one of the promo pages):
Newsarama: We talked to you way back in 2006 about your hopes of doing a Legion comic once you finished work on Brave and the Bold. Smart Newsarama readers could have just looked at our interviews with you to guess what you were doing next. Has this been in the works that long, or did it take them awhile to find the right Legion comic for you?

George Perez: Well, actually, after the first time I talked to them about it, Steve Wacker was still working at DC, and he was doing the Legion books. And there was talk about certain Legion projects. Some of that fell by the wayside once he left the company. But there were constant talks, and I thought the closest I was going to get at that point was drawing the Legion in Brave and the Bold.

Then Dan Didio told me all these plans for Final Crisis and that the Legion would be one of the sister books. One of the projects I wanted to do even when I was talking to Steve about this was a comic that collected [i]all]/i] versions of the Legion. I thought that would have been a real joy. So when I found out it was the main focus of Legion of 3 Worlds, of course I said that has my fingerprints all over it without my even touching it. And Dan agreed, because I wanted to do it, but also because I'm one of the crazy guys who volunteers for one of these "cast of thousand" assignments. It was pretty much a done deal.

NRAMA: How long did you research, and what kinds of things were you researching, before you got started on the Legion project?

GP: I spent over a month getting together the number of references that needed to be gathered. Even then, it's still sometimes contradictory because the Legions have gone through so many changes that when they give me a specific request for a character, the references they send me might be contradictory to what the story calls for wherein a character's costume has changed.

NRAMA: Can you tell us what's on the cover?

GP: I literally drew the Legions of three worlds. There's the Abnett/Lanning Legion, the classic Legion that's been appearing in Action, and the current Legion that Jim Shooter is currently working from the original Mark Waid/Barry Kitson era. So all three Legions appear on the cover of issue #1.

NRAMA: That teaser image in Action Comics was pretty intense.

GP: Yeah! I had a lot of fun doing that. By the way, the inker on that, who hasn't been credited, is Scott Koblish. He's inking the series. The only thing I'm inking is covers. In fact, the last issue I did -- issue #10 of Brave and the Bold -- was incorrectly credited to Bob Wiacek inside. They've already apologized to poor Scott Koblish. But anything that is interior artwork for the Legion project will be inked by Scott Koblish. And it's amazing all that detail he puts in. Sometimes he even surprises me. Like in Brave and the Bold, there was a little shot of Superman, and even I didn't draw the insignia when it was that tiny. Well, it was in the inks when he brought it back. A man after my own heart.

NRAMA: When we had talked before, you had said you were a Legion fan when you were younger, right?

GP: Oh, yes. I was very much into it. That's one of the challenges. Of course I'm grateful that Geoff is using the classic version of the Legion as the main focal point in the first issue -- taking them from Action. Because it's like, while I enjoyed doing the Legion in Brave and the Bold, it was almost like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. There wasn't something quite right about them because they weren't the same Legion I grew up with. So there's one scene that I did get to draw some of the Legion in the 1980s version of the costumes -- not quite the originals, but then again, Mon-El hasn't really changed his costume all that much -- but getting to draw Matter-Eater Lad in his original green and black and yellow costume... those are the things I hope to be able to put into this story a bit more. It will probably deal with some of their history, so I'll get to draw some of the classic renditions of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

NRAMA: OK, I asked you who your favorite was when you were a kid. Who's your favorite Legion member to draw now?

GP: I like drawing Dawnstar. The wings are always a lot of fun to draw. And Shadow Lass. There's something about being able to play with the dark and light costume.

NRAMA: OK, we talked about your favorite Legion members. Since this mini-series also focuses on the villains of the 31st century, who are you favorite Legion of Super-Villains characters?

GP: I like the Fatal Five, but that's probably because there's more than one of them! And I like Mordru. He's charging in that first teaser page, so you already know he's going to be part of the Legion of Super-Villains. You know, there are villains in that charging scene who were not members of the Legion of Super-Villains originally. Mordru never was, and neither were the Fatal Five. So Geoff is trying to collect a bunch of villains under the banner of Legion of Super-Villains, with Lightning Lord and Cosmic King and Saturn Queen at the forefront, being the ones who are parallel to the founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

I think I just squeee'd all over my keyboard.


Greybird said...

"GP: I like drawing Dawnstar. The wings are always a lot of fun to draw."

Well, that was always clear! On both counts!

Now we pteraphiles get to see Perez doing Legion sequential art, not just an occasional cover. I don't think I can stand this much pleasure!

Terence Chua said...

And Dream Girl just because I thought she was, you know, a foxy character. She reminded me of an actress named Joi Lansing, who played Superman's wife in an episode of The Adventures of Superman.

I can see that.

MaGnUs said...

I've squeed as well. God, it's going to be fantastic!