Friday, May 23, 2008

Collected Editions

Something for you to discuss while I take a vacation from the computer this holiday weekend...

Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that DC wants to come out with three new trade paperbacks of Legion material this summer/fall, but they have some specific criteria:

  • One volume should be a tie-in of some sort with Final Crisis
  • One volume should be a "Best Of" book, spotlighting a particular creator, creative team, character, or group
  • One volume is your choice

Let's further stipulate that each volume should be roughly 200-250 pages, and can include stories that have been reprinted before.

My suggestions:
  • Vol. 1: Since the Time Trapper is the villain in "Legion of Three Worlds", I'll use this as the Final Crisis tie-in. Issues to reprint: selected pages from Adventure #317, #318, #322 (Iron Curtain of Time); Adventure #321 (first major appearance); Adventure #338 (Super-Babies, Glorith app.); Superboy #223; Legionnaires 3 #1-4; Legion v3 #50 (Conspiracy); Legion v4 #4 (Mon-El vs TT); Legionnaires Annual #3 (XS). Maybe a bit too long, though.

    (I was startled to find that Time Trapper made so few appearances prior to the Crisis!)

  • Vol. 2: Best of Jim Shooter (also ties in with his current v5 run). Issues to reprint: Adventure #346-347 (Karate Kid, Projectra, Ferro Lad), #352-353 (Fatal Five), #365 (Shadow Lass), #369-370 (Mordru), #373 (Tornado Twins), Superboy #211 (Roxxas), #212 (Super-Rejects), #213 (Ultra Boy), #218 (Absorbancy Boy), #219 (Duplicate Boy), #221 (Grimbor and Charma)

  • Vol. 3: I guess I'd start with stuff that should be reprinted but hasn't yet. The first ones that stand out are the wedding of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl (Superboy & the LSH #236, All-New Collector's Edition C-55), Earthwar (Superboy & the LSH #241-245), the Starlin stories (S/LSH #239, #250-251 but restored to how it was originally produced), and the "no Green Lanterns" story (LSH v2 #295).

    My other choice for vol. 3 would be Legion v2 #282-289, starting with Wildfire's origin and then continuing with Levitz/Broderick and Levitz/Giffen, leading up to the Great Darkness Saga, which has already been reprinted. The Reflecto Saga is too big to add to this volume, which I think is better than Reflecto (which immediately precedes it).

Note: I chose the title for this post after the "Collected Editions" blog, who was kind enough to consult with me for some Legion trivia that they included with reviews of the various reprint volumes back in January. Here are the reviews of volume 2 ("Death of a Dream"), volume 3 ("Strange New Visitor"), volume 4 ("Adult Education"), and volume 5 ("Dominator War"). And read some collected Legion trivia from yours truly, parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, along with the answers. We worked the trivia out back in January but I never got around to thanking them.


RAB said...

The idea of a Time Trapper collection is very sound thinking. It sounds much like those odd Countdown tie-in reprint spotlights with the cool cover art but the selection of stories here makes a lot more sense than some of those did.

For a Shooter collection, I'd definitely want one of the lesser stories replaced with Superboy #224 -- his previous farewell to the book but also, sadly, the very best story of his second outing on the Legion and the one that showed how good he could have been. Probably Grell's best work as well.

I think there also needs to be a big all-in-one Dave Cockrum Legion collection -- with all due respect to Legion fandom, Cockrum's art was the single greatest factor in revitalizing the series and bringing it back from near total obscurity to taking over an existing comic once again. It was huge at the time (and could have been vastly more huge were it not for editorial shortsightedness) and is of greater historical significance to the industry when you consider what he did next.

It's a crime that DC hasn't been pushing reprints of Cockrum's Legion stuff for all these years...but a lot of the time, DC still shows vestiges of the old plantation mindset that claimed "it's our wonderful characters who sell comics, not the lowly peons who create them." A Shooter collection and a Cockrum collection would go a long way to proving me wrong.

collectededitions said...

Hey, and thank you for making our blog so Legion-rrific at the beginning of this year.

I especially like that idea of a Time Trapper collection; I find the villain fascinating, but most of my experience with him has been in regards to the Superman/Superboy pocket universe. And didn't they reveal around Zero Hour-time that the Time Trapper was actually Cosmic Boy? Has that ever been addressed, and do you think there's a change they might touch it in Legion of Three Worlds?

Don Sakers said...

As far as the Time Trapper being Cosmic Boy...

In LSH (1989) 105, June 1998, the Time Trapper says, "I've watched you Legionnaires for a long time, studied you, fought you, even 'saved' you. I've been both 'villain' and 'hero' to you. I may even be one of you. I have been, you know."

I think this is one of those multiverse/hyptertime things: in one version of events, the Time Trapper was Cosmic Boy. In another version, he was a renegade Controller. In one version he was killed by Mon-El, in another he was destroyed by Glorith, in yet another the Infinite Man had a go at him. For a while the Time Trapper was the embodiment of entropy, and could never be destroyed. (I wouldn't be suprised to find out that he is an aspect of one of the Endless from Sandman, possibly Destruction.)

But like all good comic villains (and heroes), he keeps coming back, bigger and badder than ever.