Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Bad Ideas

A few posts down, I asked you for what you thought were "the five worst ideas in the 50 year history of the Legion".

Here are mine, in chronological order:

1. "How about if we take our two top-selling books in the entire company, make them direct-sales only, and then replace the regular book with reprints?"

2. "These Bierbaums, they're long-time fans. Even though they have limited industry experience, they must have some good ideas. Let's pair them with a strong co-writer and a hands-off editor."

3. "Don't worry, the Superman reboot won't affect the Legion. We have a fool-proof plan to keep everything in continuity."

4. "Legion continuity is irretrievably broken. We have no choice but to completely reboot the series."

5. "Let's reboot the series again. We can get new readers, obliquely tie into a popular miniseries, and besides, the fans are already used to reboots."

8 comments:

Ricardo said...

I hope in #2, you meant Tom Peyer. Otherwise, it was the best Legion idea ever.

Michael said...

No, I meant that it was a bad idea to leave the Bierbaums with Keith Giffen, who needed someone strong (like Paul Levitz) to bounce ideas off and to reign him in when necessary. Tom, Mary, and Keith basically had nobody to say "no" to them up until the Earth blew up.

The editor was Michael Eury, who was so hands-off that he let Keith Giffen blow up the Earth because he knew he could get away with it and nobody was paying attention (see here and here).

By the way, are you by any chance the same Ricardo who was active on the Legion mailing lists in the late 90s?

Winter said...

I think you left out the biggy..The Magic Wars and the 5-year gap. We finally get Sensor Girl / Timberwolf in charge of the Legion and bam..the first OMGWTF happens..reboot to a new issue #1..then that reboots by issue #4..my head hurts.. I think that was the forerunner to the concept that it was okay to totally redo the Legion from scratch on a whim.

murrfox said...

Weren't there a couple of editors on the five year gap stories? Waid was there at the beginning (this was his first chance to remake the Legion), and I think Dan Raspler was there, too... maybe around the time of the Great Darkness Saga. Neither one of those guys are exactly hands off, from what I remember.

murr

Michael said...

@Winter - there's nothing inherently wrong with jumping ahead in time. Comics do it, TV series are doing it (Lost, Desperate Housewives). It's all in the execution. LSH v4 started out reasonably well but got off track and never got back on. There was no reboot per se in the first four issues, but the Mordruverse reboot was dictated from outside, by the Superman reboot which had happened years before. The edict was "get rid of all Superman-related references" which took out Mon-El, Superboy, and Supergirl. That reboot brought in Valor and Andromeda, which opened the door for Proty/Garth, Kid Quantum, and Glorith.

@murrfox - yes, but specifically singled out Eury for a reason. Waid edited issues 1-5, both Waid and Eury are credited on issue 6, and Eury did 7-12, Raspler did 13-25, then Eury came back for 26-37. For some reason there was a long transition after that, Eury and KC Carlson were both credited on 38-42. As I noted, both Giffen and Carlson have said that the reason Giffen blew up the Earth was because nobody was paying attention (which I take to mean editorially).

The Great Darkness was years before (1982 vs early 1990s). What most people think of as the "Conway era" was also the Jack C. Harris era, so he has to take some of the credit/blame. Harris was editor up through issue 276, then Mike W. Barr did 277-286, followed by Laurie Sutton, whose first issue was also Keith Giffen's. Sutton's short stint included just 287-295, which encompassed the Great Darkness Saga. Then Karen Berger came on, and stayed with the book through the end of Levitz's run years later.

murrfox said...

I referenced the Great Darkness Saga when I should have mentioned the Quiet Darkness... which was when Raspler was the editor. I had forgotten the Eury was both between Waid and Raspler and after Raspler.

Myself, I liked what Eury did with the book, and didn't really enjoy Raspler, and actively disliked KC Carlson's contributions to the book. Which, of course, leads right into your own #4 (continuity is broken... we have to reboot).

murray

Charlie E/N said...

Wow, I guess it's all perspective. Personally I enjoyed the Giffenbaum Era (until the post-Earth-kablooey bit) and enjoyed the reboot after that (apart from the issue where they all sing).
The new reboot works in places and falls in others. Shooter's current stuff is improving as it goes. Hopefully he's just rusty.
And who knows what the L3W will bring.

the HZA said...

1. New names! New costumes! Heroes on the run from the law! Lasting for about three and a half issues!

2. The fans didn't like it when we undid and redid everything, so let's burn it to the ground and start fresh. Fresh is good!

3. Element Lad as a power-crazed evil god.

4. Chuck Taine as a chauffeur.

5. Matter-Eater Lad as a cook. Seriously. That doesn't even make any sense.

Honestly, most of the things that fanboys hate on (gender-bending Shvaughn Erin, the destruction of Earth, the various tiny reboots such as the Mordruverse), I have no problem with. I loved that single issue in the Mordruverse. I loved the issue where the Earth is destroyed, and the issue immediately following it.

Different strokes, I suppose.

--hza