Thursday, September 18, 2008

Legion #700?

Over at Blog@Newsarama, Tom "Grumpy Old Fan" Bondurant discusses the latest DC solicitations, and notes this:

Obviously DC has sentimental reasons for keeping Action Comics, Detective Comics, Superman, and Batman in their original numbering. Action and Detective are in the high 800s, and Superman and Batman are in the high 600s. However, the other five “foundational” titles (Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Justice League of America, and Legion of Super-Heroes) have each been restarted with new first issues within the past five years, despite the youngest of them (JLA, by my estimation) being in the neighborhood of fifty years old.

... Additionally, if my math is right,* the January issue of Legion of Super-Heroes could be #700, as well as being the current title’s issue #50.

* [The original title picked up Superboy's numbering and ended with issue #325. Vol. 2 {actually v3} ended with #63, vol. 3 {v4} with #125, and Legionnaires -- which effectively made the Legion a biweekly title -- ended with #81. Add to that 12 issues of Legion Lost + 6 Legion Worlds + 38 The Legion + 49 current issues = 699.]

I think I disagree with using the Legionnaires title in the numbering. The stories didn't continue from one title to the other back and forth like a true bi-weekly. I do agree with Legion Lost and Legion Worlds, though, as they were the only Legion book at the time and theoretically could have been story arcs in a hypothetical main title rather than miniseries. He also rightly skips the #0 and #1000000 issues in the numbering, just like the other series did at the time.

8 comments:

Baal said...

Shouldn't it actually be Adventure Comics 1,000 or something?

Michael said...

No, because the Legion was just one of many many features in "Adventure Comics". The title continued on without them with issue 381, up through issue 503 (by then, the title was a digest).

The original "Superboy" title from 1949 changed to "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes" with issue 231, then "Legion of Super-Heroes" (v2) with issue 259, then "Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes" with issue 314, with another 12 issues of new material. "Tales" ended at 352 with reprints from 326-352. The new Legion title (v3) restarted with #1 concurrent with "Tales" 314.

In that article, Tom is arbitrarily picking and choosing titles to make his numbering fit. We don't discount the reprint issues of X-Men prior to the Wein/Cockrum restart, so why discount the reprint issues of "Tales"? "Legionnaires" was concurrent but not a bi-weekly part of publishing (like, for example, the Superman titles were in the 90s), especially before the Zero Hour reboot.

I'd put it at 352 + 63 + 125 + 12 + 6 + 38 + 49 = 645.

Duke Harrington said...

Michael,

Let me take issue with a few points, and them offer some math of my own:

* I agree that we can't count the Adventure run, because it was an anthology title, even if the Legion was the sole feature in the book for much of its run. By the same token, we cannot count the Action Comics run.

* I disagree with counting the pre-Legion issues of Superboy. If we do, then what we are doing is counting the consecutive number of a single series with title changes. In that case, we have to stop at Tales #352. It seems to me, however, that the point of this exercise is to count Legion comics under the assumption of a continuous run.

* I disagree with not counting the zero and million issues, because those were published in the place of a regularly numbered issue the month they came out.

* I would argue against the inclusion of the reprint Tales of issues. The reprint X-Men books, you'll recall, were the only X-Men publications at the time - not so with the Legion reprints.

* I would argue that Legionnaires did constitute a bi-weekly book for the Legion in the postboot era.

So, my numbering would look like this:

Superboy and the LSH: 197-258 (62)
LSH v2: 259-313 (55)
Tales of the Legion: 314-325 (12)
LSH v3: 1-63 (63)
LSH v4: 1-125,0,1M (127)
Legionnaires: 0,19-81,1M (65)
Legion Lost: 1-12 (12)
Legion Worlds: 1-6 (6)
Legion: 1-38 (38)
Legion v5: 1-46 (46)

That would make next week's issue #486

Now, if we ignore various and sundry solo series, reprint issues, team-ups, crossovers, and cameos, but include the mini series and specials that are arguably about the entire team.

All-New Collector's Edition C-55 (1)
Secrets of the Legion: 1-3 (3)
Legion of Three Worlds: 1-5 (5)

And what the heck, toss in the Legion's origin in Superboy v1 147, since that was a effectively a solo Legion book, and . . .

Well what do you know, LSH v5 #50 is actually #500!

Michael said...

I disagree with counting the pre-Legion issues of Superboy. If we do, then what we are doing is counting the consecutive number of a single series with title changes. In that case, we have to stop at Tales #352. It seems to me, however, that the point of this exercise is to count Legion comics under the assumption of a continuous run.

No, what we are doing is counting the issues as if the title continued as a single series. You can't say that "Superboy" #197 would be this mythical Legion #1.

You're kinda sorta counting the number of issues with Legion stories since SBOY 197.

Marvel did it with Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, and Dark Horse did it with Nexus, retroactively renumbering the previous issues as a "whole number" along with the current series.

You're being completely arbitrary with what you're including and excluding, in order to make #500. The 0 and 1M issues don't replace any numbered issue in any other series, so you can't do that here. You'll have to exclude S/LSH 238 because that was a reprint. Why exclude "Legionnaires 3", "Superboy's Legion", or "Cosmic Boy" and keep random issues like Superboy 147 but none of the other Superboy issues? If you include the 0 and 1M, why not the Annuals? Why not DC Superstars issue with the Quintile Crystal story, or the DC Special Series issues with the Chemical King story or the Christmas story? Why not the Secret Origins issues?

After rethinking it, I'm (arbitrarily) declaring that if it's not the "main" series, it doesn't count in the numbering. So even though "Tales" kept the numbering and went into reprints, the new v3 series was considered the main one and "Tales" was the spinoff.

Thusly...

* Superboy/Superboy & the LSH/LSH v2: ended at 313
* LSH v3: 1-63
* LSH v4: 1-125
* Legion Lost: 1-12
* Legion Worlds: 1-6
* The Legion: 1-38
* LSH v5: 1-46 (as of now)

Those are the "main line" of Legion titles, everything else was a spinoff.

My new and improved formula gives #603 as LSH v5 #46.

Anonymous said...

For the most of us, all this is just confusing.

I'm thinking their using Legion of 3 worlds as a method to link them all up and say the "Legion" is all these guys put together now. So everything up to, and including 3boot is the same series of Legion now. :-/

Okay, that pretty much confused myself. I'm actually wondering if #700 is just to say better as as issue #700 sounds better then some like #638. And besides... I don't think by now they even know how much storyline the Legion has got up to themselves anymore.

Nikki said...

I hadn't considered legion a 'foundational' title at all. They mess around with it so much compared to the others its hard to consider it up there with the others that are so much more consistant.

MaGnUs said...

I wouldn't count anything that wasn't called Legion Of Super-Heroes; not even Legion Lost and others that existed during times there was nothing else.

PenaltyKillah said...

LSH v5 #15...

Blok: Hey! Shouldn't this be Issue #568!?

Add 35 more issues to our #50, and it'll be "#603", with "#600" coming a month from now. Apparently, DC had already set some official number or something. Feel free to count how they figured it out.