Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Perez quote on L3W (updated)

Update 7/31:Added article on The Pulse, at the bottom

As related by Vee, a poster at Legion World, who met George Perez at the local comic shop:

Anyway, I head over to him and introduce myself. George immediately lights up when I mention being a Legion fan and being thrilled that he will get to finally do a Legion project. He tells me about the 4 large binders of reference notes he has put together of every version of every costume of every Legionnaire ever!!! (His way of phrasing it [Smile] ) And how he's bound and determined to get every single one of them into Legion of Three Worlds if it kills him.

He also says he is having the most fun of his life doing this mini and that he can't wait to see the reaction to it from Legiondom. He thinks it will make everyone very happy!

In another post in the same thread:
His biggest regret is never having had the chance to be the ongoing Legion artist. He said he could never manage the schedule today and do it justice, that he's slowed down too much at his he's putting everything he's got into this one project to make up for never having had the chance.

Thanks to Anonymous below in the comments for the tip, check out this article at the Pulse from last week:
"[Editor] Eddie [Berganza] told me he's surprised with three versions of the Legion that I'm trying to give each of them a sense of distinction," Perez continued. "I take the challenge of three Legions and making all the alternate dimension characters -- like three Cosmic Boys -- different, stylized characters. I didn't want them to appear as the same character at different ages -- like a dual role type thing. I didn't want it to be like the Mirror, Mirror episode of Star Trek, where there were doppelgangers played by the same actors."

Perez said, "When I was working on the different eras of the Legion, I would evoke the artists who were the most established ones at that point in time. These three versions of the Legion are very different, especially the current one. Barry Kitson and Francis Manapul are totally different artists, so distinctly different that I had to find a middle ground to make this 'present' version of the Legion diverse."

"I have three full loose leaf binders of references right now," Perez continued. "I gage my references by the pound. I print out all references to look at. I think this project will rival JLA/Avengers as far as the amount of individual reference sheets go."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SDCC08: Con Reporting Wrapup

Whew! What a con! There was so much to do, so many people to see (many of whom I didn't), so many places to go, that I barely knew what to do next. Here's my final update of Legion-centric coverage for San Diego 2008, including links to DC's podcast of the audio for some panels. I'll come back and update this later if more articles emerge, and I've got one final overall con report that - gasp! - includes non-Legion stuff.





SDCC08: Legionnaires on "Smallville" (update 1)

Update 1 (7/30): Added two more news sources, Ain't It Cool News and TV Guide, at the bottom.

Now who would have guessed that we'd hear a Legion bombshell at the "Smallville" panel? As you've probably heard, Geoff Johns will be writing the 9th episode of "Smallville" this season that guest-stars the Legion. "Smallville" episodes have single word titles; episode 4.09 will be titled "Legion". It made the usual news sites but was also picked up in more mainstream locations.

Basically, Johns knows the show's writers/executive producers/showrunners, that's how he got the job. As Smallville progresses and Clark Kent gets older - he's in his early 20s now - he's been meeting more traditional super-heroes (Green Arrow, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Black Canary, for example) that would have been out of place in the early seasons when he was still finding his powers.

Via CBR:

Johns couldn't say what members of the team would be featured - over its history, the Legion has counted dozens in its membership - but teased, "If you are familiar with the origin story, it's not that hard to figure out."

"I think we're going to be able to stay pretty close to the origin of these characters," said Johns. "They are from 1,000 years in the future and they'll have flight rings and code names and everything else."

Via Newsarama:
"I've known the Smallville writing team – Todd [Slavkin], Darren [Swimmer], Brian [Wayne Peterson] and Kelly [Souders] – for a long time," Johns told Newsarama. "I had an idea for an episode, so we all had lunch. And I pitched them the idea of bringing the Legion of Super-Heroes to Smallville. And we're off and running."

"I can't get into any specifics about the story we're telling because we’re still working on it all. But they're from the 31st Century. And it will be focusing on some obvious characters who first met Clark," Johns said. "It will be written to fit with Smallville, and I think it's going to be a really fun challenge to approach the Legion in a different way. But with me, you know you're going to see Legion rings, and they're going to be as true to the core as possible. It's going to be the Legion of Super-Heroes."

Other sites reporting on the panel included Wizard, TV Squad, and the LA Times.

CBR has a video interview with Johns:

Fan sites and forums discussing the news include Superman Homepage, Geeks of Doom, MovieWeb,, IGN, io9, Zap2It, Athena Guides, Spoiler TV, Comic Movie Geek, Superheroflix, Kryptonsite, SyFy Portal, and Kryptonsite again.

Update 1
Ain't It Cool News has a brief piece, saying it looks like Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl are all coming to “Smallville.” Of course, since the episode hasn't even been written yet (according to Geoff Johns in the video interview above), that's just speculation.

TV Guide also covered the Smallville panel.

I can't see the Legionnaires asking him to come back to the future with them (like the animated series), and since Clark Kent will remain costume-less, it won't be a straight adaptation of Adventure 247. But with Johns writing it, I do anticipate Garth, Rokk, and Imra in that Time Bubble.

SDCC08: Final Crisis, DC Nation II

Combining the few items from two panels, Friday's Final Crisis and Sunday's DC Nation II:

Q: Will we see v4 characters like Kent Shakespeare or Kono again?
A: (Geoff Johns) Probably, since George Perez wants to draw every Legionnaire ever

Q: What about the lightning rod from the Lightning Saga?
A: (GJ) See L3W, it plays a big part

Johns plugged L3W "if you like speedsters".

Johns also said that L3W settles the question of what the Legion really is.

There will be two Green Lanterns in the 31st century. Their oaths are different than the traditional 20th/21st century oaths. "It's so cool."

SDCC08: Sunday in pictures

A few more pictures from the floor on Sunday:

This is the JSA Starman figure coming soon from DC Direct.

SDCC08: Legion's 50th Anniversary panel

This was the big one, two full pages of notes to write up. Deep breath....

The Legion 50th Anniversary panel featured Paul Levitz, Mike Grell, Keith Giffen, Colleen Doran, Geoff Johns, and Tom & Mary Bierbaum. It was a packed house in a pretty large room. Paul began the panel by accepting an Inkpot award on behalf of Al Plastino, artist on the Adventure 247 story. Plastino still lives in New York but couldn't make it to San Diego.

Levitz asked each of the panelists for their fondest Legion memories:

  • Grell's fondest was when Joe Orlando called him to ask if he minded being recommended to draw the Legion. Dave Cockrum had just left and the book needed an artist. He said that doing the art was a nightmare at first but he was grateful to have Cockrum's sketchbook so he knew how to draw the characters. He said that it was just recently that he noticed that Shrinking Violet's costume, as originally designed by Cockrum, had an "S" and "V" on it in the black curly designs. Nobody else admitted to realizing that either.
  • Giffen's fondest was, he said, killing Karate Kid twice. Someone from the audience reminded him that he killed Karate Kid three times (Keith had forgotten about the SW6 one), and his face lit up.
  • Doran started out in the Interlac fanzine, doing fan fic and artwork. Giffen asked her if she would audition to be the new artist, but sadly she couldn't due to other commitments that in retrospect she shouldn't have taken. Her first issue was the tabloid wedding of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, and she said she went ape-shit over the Legion. As is commonly known, she had a huge crush on Element Lad to the point where if there was a pinup or solo story featuring him, DC went to her for the art for something like 18 years.
  • Johns grew up with the Adventure stories, and had a fondness for Polar Boy since he was short and could relate. Levitz's run got him hooked on the Legion and influenced his writing.
  • Tom Bierbaum's best memory was getting the chance to work on the book, and giving a personality to Matter-Eater Lad. He said that when he came on, Giffen had a story arc for Tenzil, but liked Tom's take on the character better.
  • Mary Bierbaum met Tom through Interlac and have been married for 26 years. She loved to hear Tom and Keith do dialog over the phone. She talked about Laurel Gand, how the character needed a name and so they looked in the dictionary. She wanted "Flying Buttress" but was overruled.
  • Levitz remembered falling in love with the coverless Adventure issues he found at the barber shop, and putting together his own collection. After The Comic Reader zine, he started working at DC and started on the Karate Kid title, but Carmine Infantino (DC's publisher at the time) pulled it away from him because he didn't know how to write, as Paul put it. When Jim Shooter left the second time, Levitz took it over and looked forward to working with Mike Grell; his first issue would be the Dawnstar issue, but then Grell left the book, leaving only the designs and the cover. On his second run later, he was determined to do it right, and wanted to do 100 issues straight (he went over: between LSH v2, LSH v3, Tales, and Annuals, he did around 110 issues).

Q&A time from the audience.

Q: Of all the stories you did NOT work on, what did you like the best?
A: Levitz said the whole Ferro Lad story arc. Grell said the same. Giffen chose Earthwar, which he said showed the Legion for the first time really realizing their potential. Doran said any Jimmy Janes issue. Johns and the Bierbaums chose the Great Darkness Saga, with Tom also choosing the two-part story from Adventure 350-351 where Superboy and Supergirl had to leave.

Q: What about the Legion do you love, and why does it have such a passionate fanbase?
A: Grell said the Legion has the most loyal fans in the entire comics industry. He thinks it's a great entry-level book, actually, because it features a whole team of young heroes with exciting stories. Johns argued the depth of the mythology, while Tom Bierbaum offered that back then it was the first of the new super-teams and the first real team book. Levitz said it was the ability to change (not just to die). Mary Bierbaum suggested that with such a large group, it was great for someone who loves a lot of characters and there's always someone that the reader can identify with.

Q: A new Legion fan, who started with the Waid/Kitson reboot, picked up the back issues and was unsatisfied with how the post-Zero Hour Legion finished off with a non-ending.
A: Johns said to read Legion of Three Worlds. XS is a main character, and Perez draws all three Legions.

Q: Will we see more of the Legion Subs?
A: Johns kind of sidestepped that one, but said that (he paused at this point, and said "what the hell, I'll spoil it here") he had big plans for Luornu (who he suggested be called "Una Damsel"): "I don't know how I got anything done with just three of me". She will be called Duplicate Damsel and can multiply into many, not just three.

Q: What or who did you have the most trouble with?
A: Giffen said "you can see where this is going for me." Tom Bierbaum had problems with the Dawnstar/Bounty character. Grell had troubles drawing Colossal Boy's costume with all of the buckles. The hardest to draw was his first issue, the death of Invisible Kid. He told the audience how he talked with the editor, who told him that not only was he going to kill off a popular character, but he was probably going to get hate mail for it. He did. Levitz's hardest one was Matter-Eater Lad (I would have thought he'd say Tyroc).

Q: The questioner said he was so angry with DC after Zero Hour for killing off the Legion that he stopped reading comics. He thanked Geoff for bringing them back.
A: You're welcome.

Q: We've seen a lot of reboots for the Legion. Is constant refresh good?
A: (unfortunately I was either writing or not hearing him, so I didn't get the answer to the question; I'll leave it here in case anyone else remembers the answer from Keith Giffen.)

Q: Has Levitz ever had to overrule someone who was planning to cancel the book?
A: No, there has never been a moment at DC when they were seriously planning to get rid of the book.

Q: Why did the "threeboot" take place?
A: Levitz said that the nature of the Legion is so complex that when they get a new creative team, it's an easy answer to just reboot and wipe the slate clean. Giffen offered his take on the Five Year Gap, saying that he did it that way so that it was far enough down the road from what Levitz did that they wouldn't have to dismantle the future that Levitz had built up for years.

Q: What story would you like to erase?
A: Before answering, Levitz noted to the crowd that two people who should have been there - E. Nelson Bridwell and Dave Cockrum, both deceased - were good to the fans and helped to make the Legion what it is. In answer to the question, Levitz replied with one he's said before, the story in which he tried to have them explain the prolonged life story. Giffen said he probably shouldn't have blown up the Earth. Doran wished she had been a better artist at the time she worked on the books. Johns, who hasn't been a Legion writer for very long, said that he was not intimidated by the depth of Legion history, but he wants to show those who don't know the Legion, just what makes them special. Tom Bierbaum said that they probably overextended themselves in writing the two Annuals, rewriting Ultra Boy's and Valor's histories. He said their reach exceeded their grasp and it kind of got out of hand. Mary wished that the "white event" (which led to the Glorithverse mini-reboot) hadn't had to happen.

Q: How did the lack of minorities in the Legion affect fandom?
A: Levitz and Grell both said that you had to consider what the industry was like at the time, looking at it in broader context as to why there were no minorities. Grell said that there was a nervousness in the industry, they were worried that they wouldn't do it right. He gave as an example, "The Rookie Who Betrayed the Legion" (Superboy 207), in which a Science Police rookie makes some bad choices but does good in the end. Dvron was originally going to be a black man, but editor Murray Boltinoff said that they couldn't do that because the story would show a black man in a negative light. He told Grell that they were planning a black Legionnaire to debut shortly anyway. Boltinoff told Grell to redraw all the faces to be white, but Grell deliberately left some black features. He still got hate mail, stuff like "that's a brother painted pink". He repeated the story he had given at his other panel about Tyroc's origin and costume and why there were no blacks in the 30th century, that he felt it was very racist and that it was like the old "send them back to Africa, keep America white" mentality. He designed Tyroc's outfit purposely like that in protest.

Q: Any plans for a Legion movie?
A: Levitz said there are no plans, but who knows what might happen.

Q: Did anyone see the cartoon?
A: Apparently only Doran did, she thought it was cute.

Q: There are lots of Legionnaires after all the reboots. Why do some go through different iterations while some tend to stay the same?
A: Giffen said it's really the writer and artist's prerogative. Johns added that sometimes a character, such as Timber Wolf (specifically mentioned by the questioner) has powers specific to his personality.

Q: What's the divergence point for the "Lightning Saga" Legion we saw in Action Comics?
A: Johns, writing Legion of Three Worlds, said that it's around the Crisis (which would be v3 #18) or so.

Q: Any plans for more Archives or a reprint of That Damned Tabloid?
A: No Archive plans for now, they're getting to the point where the individual back issues would be the same price as the book.

That wrapped up the hour-long program. Levitz concluded the panel by saying that they all are grateful to have gotten to play in the sandbox with some really cool toys, and the passion of the fans which allows them to play in the sandbox in the first place is unmatched.

(Here's the Comic Mix report)

Monday, July 28, 2008

SDCC08: Saturday in pictures

A sample of Legion-related photos from Saturday:

See, a female can actually wear the Supergirl costume. Granted, she has to be in incredible shape, but if is possible.

The line to get into the Legion panel goes all the way down to the doors (where the big red dot is), then back up against the windows, then back down to the doors again and back up to where the guy in the red shirt is. At the far left is my group, including Murray Fox (purple tank, facing away), Tom Bierbaum (white shirt), Denise Sudell (who was on the Gays in the Legion Fandom panel, in the black shirt), Joe Morano (in orange), Terence Chua (in green), and Angus MacLennan (laughing).

The Legion panelists, part 1: Paul Levitz, Mike Grell, and Keith Giffen

The Legion panelists, part 2: Colleen Doran, Geoff Johns, Tom Bierbaum, Mary Bierbaum

SDCC08: Friday in pictures

A smattering of Legiony photos I took on the Friday panels:

Geoff Johns, at his spotlight panel

Beth, aka "Caliente" from the Legion World message board, is like umm all nervous as she asks Geoff a question.

Sidra Roman, as the animated version of Night Girl. This is not her first Night Girl costume, she's been both the Silver Age beehive version and the Mike Grell costume version, about 10 years ago. I guess this makes her Triplicate Night Girl?

The rooftop party thrown by the Legion World fans, and the view of the Gaslamp District and convention center from the roof.

SDCC08: updates for Friday entries

I have updated the Keith Giffen panel and the Mattel toy announcement post, and added an entry for the "That 70s Comics" panel. The Mike Grell and Geoff Johns posts were already updated a couple days ago, if you haven't read them. What was originally there was a quick blurb posted from my cell phone from the panel.

I didn't attend the Gays in Legion Fandom panel, but here's a report from exnihil (who comments here from time to time), which also covers his take on the Grell and Johns panels.

There was nothing of Legion importance at the Final Crisis Management panel. George Perez wants to draw everyone who was ever a Legionnaire, and the lightning rod last seen at the end of Lightning Saga is kind of important.

Geez, I'm just barely finished with Friday and it's Sunday night already.

SDCC08: That 70s Comics Panel

Friday's "That 70s Comics" panel was hosted by Mark Evanier, and the panel consisted of Jim Starlin, Joe Staton, Mike Grell, Mike W. Barr, Bernie Wrightson, and Len Wein. This only covers those aspects of the panel that reference the Legion, which was not a huge amount.

One early topic of the panel was mentors - who were they and how did they help. Grell's was Joe Orlando, who gave not only art tips but mentoring advice. The guys on the panel were the new guys back in the 70s, really just the second generation of comics creators.

Grell said that when he first broke into comics, he found that even then the Legion fans were the most loyal audience, even though they were young. That was a good thing - Legion fans tend to stay involved forever. He gets a little disappointed, though, when some 40-year-old comes up to him with something he did that appeared when the guy was a kid, and says "this is the best thing you ever did," as if to say that everything done since then is crap.

Evanier told a Curt Swan story. Someone came up to him at a convention and asked if any of the characters were sleeping togther. Swan wouldn't confirm this for the guy. When he walked away, he told Evanier that he actually hated working on the Legion because the group was too big, he couldn't tell his Saturn Boy from his Matter-Eater Girl (that's a direct quote).

Starlin discussed the story of S/LSH 250-251, which had been scheduled for a 96 page (or thereabouts) one-shot. Then when those went away, the book got chopped down to two regular sized issues. He hated the result so much that he used the name Steve Apollo. He said that he "loathes" that job.

Joe Staton mentioned his blunders while doing the Legion, including that he could never get Matter-Eater's or any other Legionnaire's boots right, he kept putting them on the wrong feet.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

SDCC08: Sunday

Seeing as how I'm at the con and not in front of my computer, I'll find out the information at many of the panels first had, but you guys will have to help out keeping this thing up to date. Please post links to news stories on the web and maybe a news item or two, but don't quote huge chunks of text in the comments. I hope to update this page sometime tonight.

Obviously, I've fallen behind in catching up, but that's what happens when you don't go to bed until after 3 a.m. with an 8:30 wakeup. I'll finish up later, including a complete transcript (based on my notes) of the Legion panel.

The con wraps up today with a couple of items. The trivia match is based on the Legion plus other teen heroes.

Sunday 7/27
11:45-12:45 DC Nation: One Weekend Later
2:30-4:00 Pro/Fan Trivia Match

I'll be liveblogging any Legion stuff I overhear at my Legion Omincom Twitter feeds.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

SDCC08: Saturday

Seeing as how I'm at the con and not in front of my computer, I'll find out the information at many of the panels first had, but you guys will have to help out keeping this thing up to date. Please post links to news stories on the web and maybe a news item or two, but don't quote huge chunks of text in the comments. I hope to update this page sometime tonight.

I was partying with the Legion World crowd last night so I didn't get my updates to the Giffen panel or any notes to That 70's Comics panel. Hopefully in the next day or so. I'm working on getting autographs from the various Legion creators on the cover of the program; so far I've got Jeff Moy, Chris Batista, Keith Giffen, and Tom & Mary Bierbaum. I should be able to get Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Joe Staton, plus anyone else who's lurking.

The big panel today is the Legion 50th anniversary. The main reason I'm at the con this year, but light on other Legion-related panels today.

Saturday 7/26
12:45-2:00 DC: A Guide to Your Universe
3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Joe Staton
5:00-6:00 Legion of Super-Heroes 50th Anniversary

I'll be liveblogging any Legion stuff I overhear at my Legion Omincom Twitter feeds.

SDCC08: Toys coming at last? (update 1)

As I tweeted earlier, Mattel has finally announced that they'll be making Legion figures. Action Figure Insider has the scarce details, but nobody seems to have any pictures:

Legion figures are coming...

Justice League Unlimited - Target Exclusive. Will release to non-Target stores outside the US in Spring 09. ... Website 4-packs: Legion 4-packs

Not quite sure what all that means, but if it's in the JLU line, then the Legionnaires will most likely be based on the group seen in the "Far From Home" episode of JLU and/or the "New Kids in Town" episode of Superman: The Animated Series.

Update Sunday night: Action Figure Insider has images of all of the slides from the Mattel show. Here's the one that's relevant here, but pretty much all you can get out of that is that it's most likely in the Justice League Unlimited style.

Making an educated guess - and this is pure speculation - the members in the 4-pack should be Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, and Brainiac 5. The first three traveled back in time in "New Kids in Town" and Brainy was one of two main characters in the second one with Supergirl.

Friday, July 25, 2008

SDCC08: Keith Giffen panel (update 1)

Note: this post only discusses the Legion-related content at Keith Giffen's panel. There was a lot of other stuff that got talked about, including Ambush Bug, the Omega Men, Trencher, and Julie Schwartz. Robert Loren Fleming was there to help with the Ambush Bug stuff. That's Ambush Bug editor Jann Jones and Bug co-writer Fleming on the left, with Giffen on the right.

Giffen/Levitz reunion: "all Paul has to do is say yes". The LSH long poster burned him outn that's why he left v3. When Levitz left v3, Karen Berger asked Giffen back. When asked about v4 in retrospect, he joked that Tom and Mary Bierbaum screwed it up (they are in the audience and laughed). Karate Kid is always on his hit list, he was going to leave v3 and Levitz said "I'll let you kill him if you stay a bit". Blowing up the moon was a plot point, blowing up the earth was a temper tantrum (he and DC were pissed off at each other).

Update Sunday night

A more fleshed-out version of the above, from the Q&A portion of the show.
Q: were your style choices and changes deliberate? A: yes, I hate easy. I tried to tailor the art to the script.

Q: Rumors about a Giffen/Levitz reunion on the Legion in some way? A: All Paul has to do is say "yes". The fact that he's not saying "no" means he's being coy about it.

Q: Rumors about the long poster? A: Yes, it's true that working on that long poster burned him out and blew him off the book. He said he couldn't do it any more, his head wasn't in it, and the art suffered. He needed some time off to mentally recharge.

Q: What made you come back? A: Karen Berger, LSH editor, asked him to come back when Paul left the book. Mark Waid was editor at the time.

Q: How do you feel about v4 in retrospect? A: I feel that Tom and Mary Bierbaum screwed it all up (Tom and Mary, who were in the audience, laugh at this, along with Giffen and the rest of the audience). But despite how it ended up, he'd still do it again.

Q: What about Karate Kid? A: Karate Kid is always on his check-off list. He was ready to leave early in v3 when Levitz revealed that he was going to kill Karate Kid. That was enough to get Keith to stay for a little while longer at least.

Q: What happened at the end? (I only wrote the answer and not the question to this, so I'm speculating on what the question might have been.) A: Giffen and DC were pissed off at each other (reasons TBD) and Giffen was leaving anyway, so he blew up the Earth. Blowing up the moon was a plot point, blowing up the Earth was a temper tantrum. (Read here for another point of view of the Earth blowup issue.)

SDCC08: Geoff Johns panel (update 2)

Update 1: Legion-only notes from the rest of the panel.
Update 2: Here's CBR's writeup of the entire panel.

Summary: "Superboy Prime needs a good ass-kicking." L3W will have other Johns elements (Flash, GL, Action, Titans). XS has a big role in L3W. Wants to draw Sun Boy if they do another Who's Who. No plans to bring back Beppo. May see some v4 : Perez wants to draw every Legionnaire *ever*. Can't say right now anything about writing a new series. Will hear the 31st century GL oath.

Update Friday night: the rest of the story. Note that this only incorporates Legion stuff; he talked at length about the Flash and Green Lanterns, but I wasn't taking notes.

The panel was basically Q&A. DC editor Sattler was on the dais, ready to shut down Johns if needed.
  • L3W will be more DCU-centric than you might think, as it incorporates stuff from the rest of his writings, including Flash, Green Lantern, Titans and the Flash(es), plus some surprises.
  • XS will have a major role in L3W, but didn't really say if she's make an appearance in the Flash: Rebirth book, which has all the other speedsters.
  • He was asked if he still does (or would like to do) some art as opposed to writing. No, he doesn't, though if DC wants to publish an updated "Who's Who", he wants to draw Sun Boy but isn't quite sure why.
  • Writing the JSA is nothing compared to writing the Legion - they're a Legion, after all. He referenced a scene in L3W where he wrote something like "and then the post-Zero Hour Legion shows up"; he apologized to Perez for that, but Perez drew it anyway.
  • No plans to bring back Beppo the Super-Monkey. There is a line and he won't go beyond it, but Beppo is on the line. Maybe if he didn't have the cape and shirt.
  • Will we see the v4 Legion in L3W? There's a good chance. Perez told Johns that he wants to draw every single Legionnaire ever (something that came up in other panels too).
  • Johns likes Superboy-Prime but hates the character. He's such a jerk. He used the anecdote how Prime was out strolling in 31st century Smallville and met a robot dog-walker who told him to have a nice day. The dog growls at him and he tells the dog to shut up. He likes to punch people.
  • Ethan Van Sciver was up at the dais by this point, and a question was asked about Sinestro. Grell said they named "Atrocitus" the same way (atrocity + kewl ending). When asked if there were any Legion characters similarly named, I reminded him of Prince Evillo. Evillo will not be appearing in L3W.
  • One questioner asked if Superboy Prime could punch Dream Boy's head in.
  • Following Johns' Green Lantern:Rebirth and Flash:Rebirth, I asked if there was going to be a Legion Rebirth. Johns replied carefully that L3W was pretty much just that, with lots of surprises, but don't worry about a new series.
  • He can't say at this time if there's another Legion series coming after L3W.
  • The Green Lantern oath has changed by the 31st century, and we'll hear it.

SDCC08: Mike Grell panel (update 1)

Grell will be writing a new Warlord series (which hasn't been announced by DC yet). Pilgrim will come out Labor Day-ish. Stories about Tyroc and Dawnstar to come later.

Update Friday night: That was what I posted via text message to Blogger. Isn't technology great?

Anyway, this was a panel that shared the spotlight between Mike Grell and his upcoming book on ComicMix with Mark Ryan. He gave an account of how as a kid, he wanted to be the Lone Ranger when he grew up, then a lumberjack like his dear old dad, but he found that drawing was easier than being a lumberjack. However, being an architect was too hard because of the math, so he turned to commercial art. He got drafted and went to Vietnam, and met a guy who pointed him towards comic art, where they make a million dollars a year. He had a strip published in a local Chicago paper where the printing was so bad that it looked like a 3-D publication. He took his portfolio to Julie Schwartz, who gave him an Aquaman job as his first assignment. He said since he's been in the business about 36 years, someone owes him $35.5 million. Now he knows what he wants to be when he grows up. "My name is Mike, and I'm a cartoonist."

Grell met Mark Ryan in 1986 and they hit it off when Grell said "let's go to a bar". Ryan said that whatever Grell's characters can do, he can too (horse riding, sword fighting, bow and arrow, etc.). The new strip they're working on at ComicMix, called Pilgrim, is based on some psy-ops that the OSS (the CIA's forerunner) did during WWII, assuming that they never stopped to this day like they were supposed to decades ago. It'll be up around Labor Day on ComicMix.

Mike Gold, former DC and First editor, was moderator. He told the story of how Grell wanted to lighten up a Green Arrow arc, and Gold suggested that he "address the issue that you can only draw one face" - and thus was born the Green Arrow/Warlord crossover.

How did he get to do the GA book in the first place? Grell said that Gold planted the idea: "Green Arrow as an urban hunter", that's what sold Grell. Green Arrow is is all-time favorite character, even among those he's created.

Q&A time:
  • Will he be doing variant covers for the Legion book? Anything is possible.
  • Omnicom reader Exnihil asked about how Grell was so good at designing costumes, what was up with Tyroc's outfit? Grell lived in the midwest in the 1960s and followed the Civil Rights movement, and thought that the way it was explained why there were no blacks in the 31st century - they all moved to an island which then disappeared. He thought that was so incredibly racist that he protested by giving Tyroc a bad costume. Nobody at DC apparently understood the subtle protest.
  • Then I asked how he justified Dawnstar, given his thoughts on Tyroc, as she was an American Indian who dressed in buckskin and had super-tracking powers. He replied that while he came up with the name and design, and it was Paul Levitz who gave her the tracking powers. Gold also said that Grell just likes drawing women with wings.
  • Mike Flynn, a longtime fan (and partial namesake for Flynt Brojj) was said to have hated Cosmic Boy's bustier costume so much that he got a job at DC, allegedly in order to kill the costume (then he left DC immediately afterwards).
  • People keep calling him about a Warlord movie, but he tells them they have to go through Warner Bros. Then they hang up.

Mark Ryan spoke for a bit. They've been friends for about 20 years, and works in the movies most of the time. He likes working with Grell since Mike is a very cinematical person, his art looks like a "shot list" from a movie shoot. Grell returned the compliment, saying that Ryan's writing is very artistic. Mike Gold chimed in and said that he likes working with movie people/actors since they can both think and act visually.

Mike Gold mentioned that Grell would be returning to the Warlord in 2008 as the writer, and that he didn't think that DC had publicly announced that yet. Ooops.

SDCC08: Friday

Seeing as how I'm at the con and not in front of my computer, I'll find out the information at many of the panels first hand, but you guys will have to help out keeping this thing up to date. Please post links to news stories on the web and maybe a news item or two, but don't quote huge chunks of text in the comments. I hope to update this page sometime tonight.

Friday is huge. I probably won't even going to make it to the dealers floor today, and based on my experience with the DC Nation panel yesterday, who knows which of these I'll get to see and which I'll be shut out of.

Friday 7/25
11:00-12:00 Print The Legend: Mike Grell and Mark Ryan
11:30-12:30 Mattel and DC Comics: A Heroic Partnership
12:00-1:00 50 Years of Gay Legion of Super-Heroes Fandom
12:30-2:00 That ’70s (Comics) Panel
3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Geoff Johns
4:30-5:30 Spotlight on Keith Giffen
6:00-7:00 DCU: Final Crisis Management

I'll be liveblogging any Legion stuff I overhear at my Legion Omincom Twitter feeds.

SDCC08: Thursday in pictures

Some of the many pictures I took on Thursday:

I finally got to meet Bully the Little Stuffed Bull, who was all decked out in his Batman costume. Bully is a fan of the Omnicom as well; why, if we join forces, we could rule the blogosphere!

The folks at Legion World got themselves a booth with the other fan organizations. They're set up next to the 501st Stormtrooper Legion and the Rebel Legion. Good thing the Alien Legion and the Foreign Legion didn't have tables.

Some more original art.

Keith Giffen (with Robert Loren Fleming, in the Mattel booth)

Mike Grell

No convention report is complete without a Stormtrooper Elvis sighting.

Finally, how come the Legion of Super-Villains get their own parking instructions outside the Marriott?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SDCC08: Thursday (update 1)

Seeing as how I'm at the con and not in front of my computer, I'll find out the information at many of the panels first had, but you guys will have to help out keeping this thing up to date. Please post links to news stories on the web and maybe a news item or two, but don't quote huge chunks of text in the comments. I hope to update this page sometime tonight.

A fairly light start before the madness that is Friday and Saturday.

Thursday 7/24
2:00-3:30 Spotlight on Todd Klein
6:00-7:00 DC Nation

I'll be liveblogging any Legion stuff I overhear at my Legion Omincom Twitter feeds.

Update: never made it to the DC Nation panel. I was in the overflow line and they never got to me.

Via Newsarama:

... Johns discussion Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, featuring George Perez drawing "every Legion member ever."

... In a question that would not make sense to anyone outside of DC fans, "how many Cosmic Boys will we see after Legion of Three Worlds?" DiDio: "Read the book."

Via CBR:
..."If you heard news Paul Levitz and I were returning to the Legion, how would you respond?" Giffen asked, and the crowd was shocked into applause. "Just wondering."

Apparently there was something at the Superman: Man of Tomorrow panel. Via CBR:
...Can you use the Superboy name? Johns: "Superboy-Prime's a different character, we're okay with him. We can't really talk about it, though, that's more of a DC question."

...Are you going to play up the relationship between Superman and Superboy-Prime? Johns: 'That's the central focus point of 'Legion of Three-Worlds.'"

...After Legion of Three Worlds, are we going to see the Pre-Crisis Legion? Johns: "I can't answer that question. I wish I could."

Via Newsarama:
...“I’ve noticed the Superboy name pop up in solicits. Has that been cleared up?” Johns said, “Superboy Prime is a different character, so we can use him. But we can’t really talk about it.”

I also traded a dealer a splash page of original art from Mike Grell's Green Lantern/Green Arrow run for the cover to Karate Kid #5.

Here's what I had:

Here's what I have now (in black and white, of course; in place of the UPC code, which is blank on the original art, are the autographs of Ernie Chan (who had drawn the cover as "Ernie Chua" and Grell):

SDCC08: Wednesday

Preview night was a madhouse. I am afraid for what the weekend will look like.

Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen were among those in attendance at the DC booth.

Nearby, Alex Ross's site had his Legion mural running from ceiling to floor.

They didn't appear to have Legion pins this year, but the ones Wednesday might just have been a subset. Levitz told me that he has found and read this site from time to time, adding that if the internet as we know it today had been around then, he probably would have been a blogger too. Of course, he was writing the comic (with good results) while I'm writing here. I didn't get a chance to talk to Giffen.

Colleen Doran, over at her booth, chatted with me about her "Orbiter" book and space stuff. She's a fan of this site as well, even bestowing an award on it a little while back. But she said to her mom that this is a cute site. "Cute" isn't what I was going for, but oh well.

Took some pictures (below) of some original artwork for sale. Want.

Meanwhile, Geoff Johns had this to say...

Geoff Johns talked to Newsarama and had some interesting comments about Legion of 3 Worlds:

GJ: George and I want to deliver a mini-series that's epic and character-redefining. But while it's very large in scope, the set-up for the story's straight-forward. It's Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes versus Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains in the 31st Century. And then, like Brainiac 5 of the Legion says, “If this is a Superboy from a parallel world, we need to fight fire with fire.”

NRAMA: So to combat Superboy-Prime, the Legion brings in two other Legions from other Earths, right?

GJ: Yes. The Zero Hour Legion and the current Legion as written by Jim Shooter. It’s a bit of a celebration.

But the central focus of Legion of 3 Worlds is: What is the Legion's role in the universe? Because right now, you come in to see the Legion, and they are told by the United Planets they're useless now. That they don't matter. And as a lot of their members are scattered across the universe, thanks to their recent reintroduction in Action Comics, they're suddenly faced with the greatest threat they've ever come up against while their team is a wreck.

... It's not about rewriting history. DC has done enough of that. It's about building characters back up. From Cosmic Boy to XS.

And I’ve worked extremely hard to make this the most accessible book possible given the arena we’re working in.

...George Perez is a master storyteller. He knows these characters really, really well. He puts in so much work. I can't wait to see someone do annotations on the first issue. If you're a DC Universe fan at all, you'll be in heaven.

...For people who have been reading DC for awhile, we've got that Lightning Rod that Brainiac 5 has floating around. And that will definitely be explored. That's an important piece of the book. And Green Lantern fans will find some interesting things in there as well.

NRAMA: And finally, you said earlier that you're not resetting continuity. But you're going to address why there are three Legions and how they fit together?

GJ: Sure, this about who the Legion of Super-Heroes are, and what the next step is for the Legion -- and someone else important to the DCU. And what the future of the DC Universe is, both in the 31st Century and the 21st Century. A lot of this ties into what's going on now. Of course there will be issues that will deal with the different Legions when they show up. We'll address all of that. We'll address everything we can. But at the same time, the purpose is telling a clear, kick ass, Crisis-style story with me and Perez at the helm and Scott Koblish tearing it up on inks. I hope people give us a try.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

SDCC08: con book

First look at the con program book.

SDCC08: look for me

If anyone is at the con reading this, look for me. My badge has my name, of course, but I also added a tag with the Legion Omnicom logo and the icon of my Simpsonized head-shot (look to the left column here). I actually do look quite a bit like that picture.

I'll also have Omnicom business cards to give out, either at the panels or at the LegionWorld table, but those are mainly ads for those who don't know about this site, not you guys.

After Las Vegas last weekend, I'm going to need either a lot of caffeine or a lot of sleep when I get home.

Remember, you can also follow what I'm liveblogging about the con at the Legion Omincom feeds.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SDCC08: Twittering

Well I finally gave in and got a Twitter account for this site, which I don't really expect to use much but I think it'll be very useful for liveblogging the Legion-related panels from San Diego. Follow me there at the Legion Omincom feeds.

If anyone knows of any good tricks, tips, or anything useful, please post it in the comments. I plan to compile all of my "tweets" into something relatively coherent at the end of the day here, but if not, you can see what's going on there.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Comments: mine, yours, and Paul Levitz's

I have no idea what my posting schedule is going to be like for the next week. I'm on vacation and will have limited access to email. Plus, although there's free wifi at the San Diego Convention Center, I don't plan to take my laptop to the con, and typing on my iPod Touch or sending text messages is too difficult. I may get time at night but with all of the partying, who knows. I plan to set up posts to go live here each day of the con, and hopefully my readers who aren't at the con can post comments about coverage they've read on other sites (Newsarama, CBR, etc.)

Previously: what the DCU version of Las Vegas might look like.

Anyhoo, the Washington Post did an online chat with Paul Levitz on Friday, on Dark Knight and other stuff. A couple of Legion-related comments, plus one intriguing piece of info at the beginning.

Philadelphia, Pa.: Thank you for "The Legion of Superheroes". Are you planning on writing anything else in the future and, if so, what?

Paul Levitz: I have a Legion plot out to Jim Lee for a special book of his work that's being produced next year, and I hope I'll be able to do something more extended. Dan DiDio keeps talking to me about a Legion miniseries with Keith Giffen, and I would love to find the time.

Falls Church, Va.: A lot of people will cite "The Dark Knight Returns" as the big turning point in comics, but I just wanted to say that "The Great Darkness Saga" was the first time I ever said to myself, "This is it. This is everything that comics can be." You've never gotten enough credit for it, but you raised the bar and changed the industry right there.

Paul Levitz: Thank you very much. I don't think it remotely compares to what Frank did in "The Dark Knight Returns," but it's certainly one of the things I've written in my career that I'm proudest of.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brian Boitano and the Legion of Super-Heroes

Here's a verse from a song called "What Would Brian Boitano Do", from the South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut movie, which is one of my favorite movies. It was on the other night and I got hooked into watching it (again). It's a story pitch that just begs to be written into a miniseries.

When Brian Boitano travelled through time
To the year 3010,
He fought the evil robot king
And saved the human race again

Look at what powers he has: time travel, magical fire breath, and he doesn't take shit from anybody. He's a natural team-up with the Legion!

(Youtube video)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Legion v6?

From this week's Lying in the Gutters:


[Yellow Light]It’s handy that Jim Shooter worked so far ahead on "Legion," Because, even though he stormed off the book around March (hence his no show with DC at the Bristol convention), things were patched up nicely and he’s back on the book. Without missing a single issue.

Of course, when he does decide to gracefully step down, expect Geoff Johns to jump on that book like a... well, a rude word.

I understand that Marvel have been playing wargames on how to persuade Geoff Johns to jump ship at the end of his contract (over a year away) and what to do with him when they get him, so expect to see DC Comics fight back pre-emptively...

Now that's interesting.

First, it's an easy way around his earlier rumors that Shooter had left, now he conveniently has patched things up and is back on the book without losing a beat. That's not to say there wasn't anything on that front, but it's been 4 months without a single other person publicly confirming that Shooter may or may not have left (even anonymously).

Second, remember that whether or not there's any truth to that, Shooter's 16-issue arc would be over right around the end of Legion of 3 Worlds/Final Crisis, and if he decides not to stay, the book would be ready for another writer (although 16 issues is a relatively long time, putting Shooter on is really just a stunt). And Johns is already on record saying he'd love to write the regular Legion book, presumably "his" Legion from Action Comics. Would he give up one of his other books? Due to his announced plans for Superman and Green Lantern, who ain't got nothing on me, that would leave the JSA if he doesn't want to write 4 books a month.

It's not often that the Legion is used as the bait to induce a high-profile writer or artist: "Geoff, we'll give you the Legion if you stay at DC". How crazy is that?

San Diego is going to be interesting...

(Thanks, Murray, for the tip!)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

San Diego programming summary

As of today, here's the entire San Diego schedule, with panels that either will, likely will, historically have, or may have Legion content:

Thursday 7/24
2:00-3:30 Spotlight on Todd Klein
6:00-7:00 DC Nation

Friday 7/25
11:00-12:00 Print The Legend: Mike Grell and Mark Ryan
11:30-12:30 Mattel and DC Comics: A Heroic Partnership
12:00-1:00 50 Years of Gay Legion of Super-Heroes Fandom
12:30-2:00 That ’70s (Comics) Panel
3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Geoff Johns
4:30-5:30 Spotlight on Keith Giffen
6:00-7:00 DCU: Final Crisis Management

Saturday 7/26
12:45-2:00 DC: A Guide to Your Universe
3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Joe Staton
5:00-6:00 Legion of Super-Heroes 50th Anniversary

Sunday 7/27
11:45-12:45 DC Nation: One Weekend Later
2:30-4:00 Pro/Fan Trivia Match

San Diego programming, part 3: Saturday

Part 1 (Thursday and Friday)
Part 2 (Sunday)

Note that there was a change in Friday's programming, the Mike Grell spotlight panel has been changed to a Mike Grell/Mark Ryan panel promoting their new ComicMix project. I also added the Pro/Fan Trivia Challenge to Sunday's schedule, as the theme is "Young Heroes" including the Legion.

Here's what's up for Saturday July 26th:

12:45-2:00 DC: A Guide to Your Universe— Dan DiDio (senior VP/executive editor, DCU), Jann Jones (senior coordinating editor, DCU), and Ian Sattler (senior story editor, DCU), and countless DCU talent gather for a panel that’s not to be missed. Now that the Final Crisis is upon us, what lies ahead for your favorite heroes? Join Keith Giffen (Reign in Hell, Ambush Bug: Year None), Geoff Johns (Action Comics, Green Lantern), Aaron Lopresti (Wonder Woman), Brad Meltzer (DCU: Last Will and Testament), Grant Morrison (Batman, Final Crisis), Gail Simone (Wonder Woman), Phillip Tan (Final Crisis: Revelations), Peter Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps), Judd Winick (Titans), and others to get the answers. Room 6B

3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Joe Staton— In this show-and-tell with Q&A, writer Mike W. Barr (The Outsiders) talks with fellow Comic-Con special guest, artist Joe Staton about Joe's nearly 40-year career, including his current project Femme Noir, his co-creation of E-Man, and lots of other stuff, including Hulk, JSA, LSH, GL, Guy Gardner, Batman, Huntress, those 100 issues of Scooby Doo, and the "New Look" Jughead. Room 4

5:00-6:00 Legion of Super-Heroes 50th Anniversary— Fifty years ago, a trio of new super-heroes appeared on the cover of Adventure Comics no. 247. That humble beginning spawned the first great super team of the Silver Age of Comics: The Legion of Super-Heroes. Set in the 30th and 31st centuries of a DC Universe that may—or may not—happen, the Legion captured the hearts and minds of comic fans right from the start. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of this legendary team are DC’s president and publisher—and Legion writer—Paul Levitz, who moderates the panel featuring fellow Legion storytellers Geoff Johns, Colleen Doran, and Comic-Con special guests Mike Grell and Keith Giffen. Room 5AB

Programming also going on at this time: Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski, and JJ Abrams' "Fringe". I need to be able to triplicate myself during this hour, dammit.

Chameleon Boy vs. Spider-Man

While looking for the picture to accompany the recent trivia quiz answer about Chameleon Boy's breaking the fourth wall, I came across an entry on a huge Spider-Man site, I had no idea that Cham's diss of Spidey would have been noticed by the competition.

The Diss

But sure enough, it was addressed in the letters page of "Amazing Spider-Man" #47, a couple months later. Stan Lee didn't take that lying down.
Gerard Addonizio of Medford, Massachusetts writes, "While thumbing thru a Brand Echh comic, I came across something that infuriated me. Some orange-faced character belonging to an (ugh) group of super-boobs had just finished tying up a monster with his web after turning into a spider! He then said, "In case a certain web-headed character thinks I'm stealing his thunder, I'd like to remind him that I was changing to all sorts of weird shapes long before he walked up his first wall." As you know, he was referring to our own Spidey! You fellas usually make your Brand Echh references in a good-natured half-kidding way; and you've never actually pin-pointed any competitive mag or character. But they're getting nasty. I think you should really let them have it. I've never written before, but when I saw that statement, I just had to. Your comics are the greatest!" Stan replies that, "Quite a few indignant Marvelites have commented upon that same reference to Spidey in a mag which we shall charitably not identity. We deeply appreciate the concern of all you True Believers – but don't worry about it, gang. Any knock is a boost... and our ill-advised competitors have been unintentionally boosting us all over the place!" However, in regards to Gerard's letter, Stan wonders why it "took a mention in another mag to get you to write to us? Why have you chosen to remain aloof so long? Why haven't you cared enough till now? What have we done wrong – where have we failed? Must we contact our competitors and beg them to mention us in order to hear from you again?" I, on the other hand, wonder, "In what comic did this Spidey-reference appear, anyway?"

Let's look at Gerard's letter again. He talks about a "Brand Echh comic" with "some orange-faced character" who belongs to a group ("of super-boobs"). The panel he refers to is shown in the gallery at the top of this review. From the character's quote, we know he's been around longer than Spidey. So where do we begin? At this time, "Brand Echh" specifically referred to DC Comics so we can forget about ACG, Harvey, Charlton, and so on. So which DC character has an orange face and belongs to a group? [deleted] Legion of Super-Heroes? Chameleon Boy is orange-faced and can turn into a spider. Plus he first appeared in Action Comics #267, August 1960, two years before Spidey first appeared. Now we're onto something! The LSH appeared monthly in Adventure Comics at the time. If Gerard read the latest issue around the same time he read ASM #43 then we're looking for an issue of Adventure cover-dated sometime in late 1966. So, let's pull out our set of 60s Adventure Comics (which we all have in our collections, I know) and thumb through some issues. Aha! There it is! Adventure Comics #350, November 1966 with "the tale that will stun the world! The Legionnaires kick our their buddies Superboy and Supergirl" in "The Outcast Super-Heroes!" But we don't care about any of that. Instead, turn to page 20 where Chameleon Boy has turned into a spider to defeat a monster just as Gerard says. On page 20, panel 4, he winks at the reader and says... well, exactly what Gerard says he says! So, there you have it. I know many of you would not have been able to sleep until you found the answer to this forty-year-old question. Always happy to help in any way I can!

Having read some of the Spider-Man issues from the mid-60's, it's Amazing (pun intended) how different the Silver Age Marvels were from the Silver Age DCs. And what made E. Nelson Bridwell (or Mort Weisinger) put that panel in there in the first place?

San Diego programming, part 2: Sunday (updated)

Previously: Thursday 7/24 (final) and Friday 7/25 (preliminary)
Coming soon: Friday 7/25 (final), Saturday 7/26 (final)

Only one panel for Sunday, July 27th at San Diego, and who knows if it's Legion-related. The DC Nation panels typically have something, though. Plus, the Pro/Fan Trivia challenge!

11:45-12:45 DC Nation: One Weekend Later— Did you think one DC Nation panel was enough? You thought wrong! So much has happened with the DCU during Comic-Con but right here senior VP—executive editor Dan DiDio saves one last blockbuster announcement for the Nation! This is the panel to be at! Room 6A

2:30-4:00 Pro/Fan Trivia Match— The Purple Pros—Len Wein (Wolverine creator), Mark Waid (BOOM! Comics editor-in-chief), Kurt Busiek (Astro City), and Robert N. Skir (animated X-Men)—again take on the Black Ink Irregulars (Tom Galloway, Terence Chua, David Oakes, and John Sardegna), this time seeking to regain their youth by answering questions about young comics characters, those college age or below, including the convention theme Legion of Super-Heroes. This match is dedicated to longtime scorekeeper John Simpson, who passed away last October. Room 4

Friday, July 11, 2008

Trivia Answers #25

This month's theme was Marvel Comics.

1. The Imperial Guardsmen were Legion-analogs in the Marvel Universe. When did the Legion meet Marvel-analogs in the DC universe?

By my count, three times (with allowances for possibly more). The League of Super-Assassins (X-Men), Dead Earth Annual (Avengers), and Dr. XXX's team in the 20th century (X-Men).

I don't think the Khundish Legionnaires were Marvellian (Flederweb had wings like a bat and could stick to walls, Veilmist could teleport, Bloodclaw had metal claws, and Firefist had strength/speed/endurance and a built-in blaster). I suppose you could argue analogs to Nightcrawler and Wolverine, but that seems to be pushing it. Similarly, I think the Wanderers aren't close enough. And while three of the Fatal Five appear to resemble the Masters of Evil (Enchantress, Executioner, and Melter), the other two don't (Power Man and Baron Zemo).

2. More than once, when the Legion met a DC-Earth analog of the X-Men (in the above examples), one of the "X-Men" joined the Legion. Which Legionnaires, and which X-Men did they correspond to?
Hmmm, apparently I misremembered Ferro as being on the "X-Men" team in the 20th century, but others report it was his brother. In the League of Super-Assassins, it was Blok. Interestingly, both were the Colossus analog.

3. Which Legionnaire alias name, from a story by Jim Shooter, was later used by him in the Korvac storyline in Avengers, also written by Jim Shooter?
Carina Walter was an alias of Light Lass in Action 382, while Carina Walters was Korvac's lover and also the Collector's daughter in the Korvac Saga.

(Although I'd love to take credit for this question, it seems to have come from "retroman1964" on the DC Message Board).

4. It’s common knowledge that the character we know as Nightcrawler was originally created by Dave Cockrum for the Legion before he left DC for Marvel, where the character became a member of the All-New X-Men. What would this character’s name and backstory have been had he stayed with the Legion?
According to Dave Cockrum in the Nightcrawler FAQ, he was originally a demon, but after Jack Kirby's Demon, he became an alien instead. "His name was Balshazaar. He came from another dimension, and his people were the source of Earth's legends and mythology about demons. He kept most of the original demon's characteristics, though he wasn't quite as nasty as the original Nightcrawler. He also gained the ability to disappear in shadows."

5. In one Silver Age Legion story, a character broke the “fourth wall” of the comic and addressed the reader in the middle of a story. Who was this character, which Marvel character did he/she refer to, and what was the context?
Here's the panel, from Adventure 350. More on the backstory in a couple days.

6. Which Marvel character(s) “snuck” into the group photo as seen in LSH v2 #300?
Spider-Man is in the top row, just behind Sun Boy. (Incidentally, the caption in this picture says that it was for the Legion's 25th anniversary. Holy crap, that was 25 years ago!)

7. How did the Legionnaires aid the X-Men in the “Days of Future Past” storyline?
As Jim said, Brainiac 5 constructed a nullifier for the Sentinel power dampers for a while, before it was destroyed. See the Unlimited Access miniseries #1 and #2.

Wizard interviews Johns & Perez on L3W

Wizard Magazine apparently has (or will have) a story on "Legion of 3 Worlds", interviewing Geoff Johns and George Perez. What looks like an excerpt of the story is on their website. Here's the last question asked of the two:

New Legion ongoing?

JOHNS: I'd love to do it. It's just a matter of the right person to do it with and the time. But I'd absolutely love to write a monthly Legion of Super-Heroes book. I really want to write a Superman the Legion of Super-Heroes book. I don't know if it'll be a reality or not, but it's definitely something I want to do.

PÉREZ: In my case, probably unlikely. If nothing else, the ability to do that kind of a book on a monthly basis may be getting beyond my years. And by doing this where I get to draw all the Legions, what really is there left for me to do with [the team]? Revisiting past glories is not something I can easily do. Although, I would love to do at least one issue of Wonder Woman just so I can work with Gail Simone! [Laughs]

In one of my early posts here (slightly amended to remove the Mordruverse as a whole number upgrade), I created a software-type naming system for the various Legions:
1.0 = pre-Crisis
1.1 = post-Crisis
1.2 = Glorithverse
2.0 = post-Zero Hour
3.0 = post-Infinite Crisis
I guess that would make the "Lightning Saga" Legion to be version 1.3, though it appears to be intended to replace 1.1 and 1.2 completely and not be added on to the end of 1.2.

So let's suppose for the sake of argument that the new series that comes out of L3W stars the Legion 1.3 only, with the 2.0 and 3.0 Legions appearing from time to time as guest stars (think of the old JLA/JSA teamups of the 1970s and 1980s, the only place the JSA appeared at the time). Given what you've seen with the JLA/JSA/LSH teamup and the Action storyline, what would you think of a new Legion series written by Geoff Johns?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bits of San Diego Business #3: Thursday update

The Thursday programming schedule is back up. I'm not sure if it was there the first time, but the only thing I added to my Legion-centric filtered schedule is a Thursday panel spotlighting Todd Klein, letterer and logoist extraordinnaire. He's done almost all of the Legion logos dating back to the first one for v2 in the early 1980s.

Bits of San Diego Business #2: DC creators

Oops. Apparently they put the Thursday and Friday schedules up too early, the SDCC site has pulled them down. Supposedly they were not the final schedules, but if anything changes, I'll update my schedule page.

If you're new to the con, go read this from Tom Spurgeon, at the Comics Reporter.

Via Blog@Newsarama, here's a list of Legion creators who will be in San Diego this year (let me know if I missed any):
• Gail Simone (WONDER WOMAN, SECRET SIX) - final LSH arc before the current reboot
• Chris Batista (ROBIN, TEEN TITANS) - "Foundations" storyline

DC staff include:
• President & Publisher Paul Levitz
• Senior Editor Mike Marts

Also, Colleen Doran will be there, at the Image booth. And I can't believe I left off Mike Grell and Joe Staton (who are there but not currently with DC).

More later.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

San Diego programming, part 1: Thursday/Friday (updated)

Update July 10th: added Todd Klein panel on Thursday
Update July 12th: Mike Grell panel description revised,

Schedules are up for the first two days of programming at San Diego. Here's what we have when passed through a Legion filter. The last two days of programming will show up in the next day or so, with the Legion spotlight panel on Saturday afternoon.

Thursday is pretty light with just the DC Nation panel, but Friday has several creator spotlight panels (Mike Grell, Geoff Johns, Keith Giffen), a '70s comics discussion, a panel about gay Legion fans, and DC's Final Crisis panel.

Thursday July 24

2:00-3:30 Spotlight on Todd Klein—Eisner Award-winning letterer and logo designer Todd Klein (Sandman, Fables) is joined by moderator Mark Evanier (Fanboy, Kirby: King of Comics) for a discussion of his 30-plus years in comics, from early days on staff at DC and lettering by hand to his present-day freelance career on many titles for DC, Marvel, and others, mainly on the computer. Focus will be on the intricacies of lettering, logo design, and more, as Todd and Mark show and discuss images of classic comics logos. Todd will also cover his recent self-published signed prints by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman and give away several copies of each. Room 8

6:00-7:00 DC Nation—DC Senior VP/executive editor Dan DiDio hosts this gabfest with Keith Giffen (Reign in Hell, Ambush Bug: Year None), Geoff Johns (Action Comics, Green Lantern), Brad Meltzer (DCU: Last Will and Testament), and some of the top talent in the industry, talking and teasing upcoming stories! Come learn the secrets behind the most talked about events of the summer! Room 6A

Friday July 25

11:00-12:00 Print The Legend: Mike Grell and Mark Ryan— Comic-Con special guest Mike Grell (Legion of Superheroes, The Warlord, Green Arrow: the Longbow Hunters, Jon Sable, Freelance) and actor-writer Mark Ryan (Robin of Sherwood, The Prestige, King Arthur, voice of Bumblebee in Transformers), swap outrageous yarns and discuss the secret world behind their new project The Pilgrim with editor Mike Gold. Join Mike, Mark and Mike for a bit of insanity and Q&A session. Room 2
Spotlight on Mike Grell— The popular comics writer and artist Mike Grell is a Comic-Con special guest. He’ll talk about his career in comics and beyond, including some of his signature work, such as Warlord, Green Arrow, and Jon Sable. Room 2

11:30-12:30 Mattel and DC Comics: A Heroic Partnership— You’ve been a fan of Mattel’s popular DC toy lines, now find out the latest news, sneak peaks, and behind-the-scenes scoop on your favorite Mattel/DC action figures, including DC Universe Classics, Justice League Unlimited, The Dark Knight, and Infinite Heroes,—plus exciting new lines like Batman Brave and the Bold—as well as the world premiere of new action figures. Be on hand as representatives from Mattel, DC Comics, and Warner Bros. Entertainment offer an insightful Q&A. Brought to you by

You can ask about what happened to the Legion line - how far did they get, were there any prototypes or packaging made, why was it cancelled, etc.

12:00-1:00 50 Years of Gay Legion of Super-Heroes Fandom— The fiftieth anniversary of the Legion of Super-Heroes gives the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) fans a reason to celebrate. Join Prism Comics president Roger Klorese, Interlac APA central mailer and HIV + ME cartoonist Chris Companik, and a "legion" of pros and fans in a freewheeling discussion to find out, among other things, which male Legionnaire coveted the name "Light Lass," how Matter Eater Lad consumed whole planets without gaining an ounce, and why removing the pink from Cosmic Boy's costume made him look somehow...gayer. And girl, what's up with Element Lad? Room 3

12:30-2:00 That ’70s (Comics) Panel— It started with Nixon and ended with Carter, but in between the 1970s showcased an incredible influx of new comics talent unheard of since the beginning of the industry in the 1930s. Moderator Mark Evanier (who worked with Jack "King" Kirby on DC’s "Fourth World" books in the ’70s) hosts Comic-Con special guests Mike W. Barr (Camelot 3000, Batman), Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!), Mike Grell (Warlord, Green Arrow), Paul Gulacy (Master of Kung Fu, Sabre), Jim Starlin (Dreadstar, Captain Marvel), Joe Staton (Green Lantern, E-Man), Len Wein (Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk), and Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing, Frankenstein). Wow! That’s almost one panelist for each year in the decade! Room 8

3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Geoff Johns— His ideas have breathed new life into Flash, Teen Titans, Green Lantern, the Justice Society of America, and now Superman. Is there anything writer Geoff Johns can’t do? Probably not, but come ask anyway. Don’t miss this panel hosted by Ian Sattler, senior story editor—DCU, interviewing one of the brightest minds behind the magic of the DC Universe. Room 5AB

4:30-5:30 Spotlight on Keith Giffen— Comic-Con special guest Keith Giffen talks about his long career as writer and artist with friend and collaborator Robert Loren Fleming. Plus get the lowdown on their latest project: the return of Ambush Bug for DC Comics! Room 10

6:00-7:00 DCU: Final Crisis Management— The Final Crisis is here! Senior VP-executive editor Dan DiDio talks with Grant Morrison (Batman, Final Crisis), JG Jones (Final Crisis), Geoff Johns (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds), Brad Meltzer (DCU: Last Will and Testament), Greg Rucka (Final Crisis: Revelations), Phillip Tan (Final Crisis: Revelations), and others! Catch a glimpse of what will be one of the most talked-about events of the summer! Room 6A

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bits of San Diego Business #1: Roommate and trivia wanted

Bits of San Diego Business 1.1 comes from Tom Galloway, organizer and contestant in the annual Pro/Fan Trivia-Off:

This year's San Diego Pro/Fan Trivia will have Len Wein, Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, and Robert Skir going up against Tom Galloway, Terence Chua, David Oakes, and John Sardegna, with the questions being asked by Peter David. We're looking for people to write questions for it, with this year's theme being "Young Heroes". Specifically, we're looking for questions about characters college aged or below, from stories published from 1956-1986 (essentially the Silver Age and Pre-Crisis). For example, Superboy, Supergirl, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Robin, Teen Titans, Spider-Man, Human Torch, the original X-Men and Kitty Pryde, etc.. If you send in a Legion question, we request that you also send in at least one non-Legion question for each Legion question, as we don't want an excessively Legion dominated set of questions.

There are two types of questions in the match, toss-ups and bonuses. You should mark your questions with what type you think they are. Toss-ups can only be answered by individuals, while the full team can consult on the latter. The latter can thus (and should) be both harder and perhaps a bit more complex in terms of a correct answer. In general, questions requiring more than one answer ("Name seven of the villains who appeared in the story about Reed and Sue's wedding") should be bonuses, not toss-ups. Ideally, I think 90% of toss-ups should be answered correctly, while around 50-70% of bonuses should.

Questions should not ask for issue numbers (they can be included in the question, but try for more descriptive set-ups than just "Who was the villain in Forbush-Man #3?") or creators. We're interested in story content. Also, unless it was fairly memorable, please don't write questions on the order of "In Superboy #158, Lex Luthor revealed a particular fondness for what Martian dessert?" where this was never mentioned again outside of that one panel.

As an example, take a look at 2003's match, including all questions and whether and who answered them correctly, in this post.

I'll just note that ones I think were probably too easy were Tossup #10, Bonus #11, and Bonus #13. Ones I think were probably too hard were Tossups 2, 8, and 20.

Finally, if possible, try to add a bit of style to the questions, sothey're not of very basic forms like "What's the Top's real name?" "Who fought Forbush-Man in Forbush-Man #1?", etc. I like Tossups 3 and 14 from the 2003 match in this regard.

Questions should be sent to

The match'll be Sunday the 27th, 2:30, in Room 4.

Full disclosure: I was a member of the fans team, the Black Ink Irregulars, in 2001. We barely lost (by 10 points, one question). I have a better record than Paul Levitz, who went 0-2 in his years on the quiz. Note to question writers: Len Wein has historically had a tough time answering questions on stories that he wrote.

Bit #1.2 comes from Sheryl Roberts, who will be there with the Collector Times:
Most of my writers are staying at your hotel (the Holiday Inn on the Bay). One of mine can't come and I am left with a spare bed in a double. Do you know of anyone who doesn't have a room and wants to split the cost of a room? I hate to give that room up and shuffle my writer off to a room with 2 other guys without checking around and seeing if I can find him a room mate. I know you reach a ton of people with your blog and you probably talk to some of them. Considering the sheer weight of people descending this year to San Diego, I'm hoping that you might know someone who is looking for a room and room mate. Let me know if you know someone.

Please contact Sheryl directly if you are or know of someone who's looking for a room. Or, if you know of a message board or other location for matching roommates, please post that here in the comments.

Trivia Quiz #25

It's the first Monday of the month, which usually means it's trivia time! This week's theme: Marvel Comics (no, really).

The Legion has been around for 50 years, and they were the first costumed super-powered group of the Silver Age. They predate the X-Men, Avengers, and Fantastic Four (and even the JLA), though of course the Legion was never as big (sales-wise) as any of them. But from time to time, the Marvel Universe has snuck in to Legion stories, and that's what we'll cover today. Answers by the end of the week.

1. The Imperial Guardsmen were Legion-analogs in the Marvel Universe. When did the Legion meet Marvel-analogs in the DC universe?

2. More than once, when the Legion met a DC-Earth analog of the X-Men (in the above examples), one of the "X-Men" joined the Legion. Which Legionnaires, and which X-Men did they correspond to?

3. Which Legionnaire alias name, from a story by Jim Shooter, was later used in the Korvac storyline in Avengers, also written by Jim Shooter?

4. It’s common knowledge that the character we know as Nightcrawler was originally created by Dave Cockrum for the Legion before he left DC for Marvel, where the character became a member of the All-New X-Men. What would this character’s name and backstory have been had he stayed with the Legion?

5. In one Silver Age Legion story, a character broke the “fourth wall” of the comic and addressed the reader in the middle of a story. Who was this character, which Marvel character did he/she refer to, and what was the context?

6. Which Marvel character(s) “snuck” into the group photo as seen in LSH v2 #300?

7. How did the Legionnaires aid the X-Men in the “Days of Future Past” storyline?

Bonus question: can you think of any Legion-related covers that resemble Marvel covers? Here are some starters, I'll spot you the easy ones:

Friday, July 04, 2008

Holy Cow! Dig the Fireworks!

from Superboy 217, art by Mike Grell, via Dial B for Blog

It's the 4th of July, Independence Day, here in the US. Go watch some fireworks tonight!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

San Diego plans

So who is going to San Diego this year? I'll be there, as will a couple dozen fans from the Legion World message board (they've even got a booth there), and Sheryl & Co. of the Collector Times. Liftoff minus two weeks and counting!

Colleen Doran will be there too, at the Image booth. She'll also be on the Legion panel, which she said is on Saturday at 5pm. Of course, that's the biggest day of the con, so I hope there's no major programming on against it that I'd have to miss.

Anyway, I am doing some great panels at San Diego, and am especially excited to be on the Legion of Superheroes panel on Saturday. Most of you know what a huge Legion fangirl I was growing up and it will be wonderful to be able to celebrate the Legion’s anniversary at San Diego Comic Con! I got my start in comics in Legion fandom doing fanzines.

I will never forget getting a phone call from Keith Giffen, asking me if I’d like to audition to be artist on The Legion! Those were the days…

It was a real privilege to get to work with terrific writers like Keith Giffen, Mark Waid and Kurt Busiek, and those times count for some of my happiest memories working in comics. It will be a real pleasure reliving these happy memories with the fans at the show.

No word yet (that I've found) on what the entire programming schedule will look like.