Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jim Lee's variant LSH covers

The DCU Source blog today released the first of Jim Lee's variant covers, to appear on LSH v6 #1:



Via the Fire Wire comes this Newarama video from last week's C2E2 in Chicago (jump to the 2:00 mark), in which he discusses the series of covers.


Paul Levitz's last decision as publisher, as Lee says, was for Jim Lee to do variant covers for the first six Legion issues. He says the Legionnaires were his favorite characters from when he was growing up. First is Saturn Girl from the 70s in her pink costume (his favorite era) - but in the video, note that they show her in her 60s red outfit in the background. Each cover will feature one Legionnaire from 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s but not in that order, along with spaceships and the HQ. You'll be able to put them together and show a whole chronology of what the Legion has been about.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Today's Earth Day. Earth-Man says take care of your favorite planet!







Earth-Man probably spits into the wind, too. 
 

She's still preoccupied with 1985...

And nothing has been alright since
Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985
   -- Bowling for Soup, "1985"

Scans_Daily has some excerpts from the 1985 "Amazing Heroes" Preview Issue. AH was a great magazine. First annually, then twice a year, they'd publish a mammoth volume listing everything from the major (and not so major) companies and what's coming up. This issue talks about things like the untitled "Batman Special Project" (Batman 10 years in the future, by Frank Miller), "Crisis on Infinite Earths", "Marvelman", and "Watchmen".


So let's see what 1985 had in store for the Legion...


Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Great Darkness Saga (Deluxe Edition)

Look what's shown up on Amazon.com: Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga (Deluxe Edition), available for pre-order now and coming in November.

Via Collected Editions:

A hardcover Great Darkness isn't a great suprise, given that the original book is out of print, that Levitz is about to begin a new run on Legion, and that DC already announced a new Legion of Super-Heroes: Prologue to Darkness paperback that leads in to Great Darkness. What is a surprise is the deluxe format, which makes the hardcover a bit bigger and, in my opinion, adds some extra value for the reader even if they already own an old, dog-eared copy of Darkness.
However, the Prologue book (previously announced in February) has been removed from Amazon:
... Maybe the deluxe edition contains the Prologue issues, too (at an announced 416 pages, the deluxe edition is about twice the size of the original Great Darkness trade paperback).
The original, out of print trade paperback version of Great Darkness only runs 192 pages.

C2E2 '10: Flash/Green Lantern

Some bonus news from the Flash/Green Lantern: Revelations panel at C2E2....

Via CBR:

The "Green Lantern Corps" title itself will be taken over by Tony Bedard, of whose work the panel spoke highly. Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler explained this new work will will affect "R.E.B.E.L.S." as well, a title he felt is "deserving of a wider audience."
 
An audience member asked after the status of the Tornado Twins and John Fox considering the first arc of "The Flash" deals in time travel to the 25th Century, and Johns promised, "Eventually, you will see them" though whether it happens in this first arc remains unknown.
Via Newsarama:
Meanwhile, Tony Bedard is taking over Green Lantern Corps. With his background of R.E.B.E.L.S., he was the "perfect guy to jump in and join our Corps." Ganthet will remain a Green Lantern. Kyle Rayner and John Stewart, Boodikka and Soranik Natu will be dealing with a returned Cyborg Superman.  

Q: With the 25th century angle, can you spoil whether we'll see Tornado Twins and John Fox? Johns: No. Eventually you will see them. 
  
Q: More Rainbow Girl? Johns: That's a question more for Paul Levitz. 

C2E2 '10: DC Editorial

Didn't see anything out of the DC Nation panel on Friday at C2E2 in Chicago, but Paul Levitz was one of the speakers at the DC Editorial panel on Saturday:

Via CBR:

"I filled my brain with too many Legionnaires and home planets," Levitz joked, about his return to "Legion of Super Heroes." He said he enjoyed the power of god that a writer enjoys over his characters. "When you go to a high school reunion, you don't really get to decide who had a failed marriage."

...Will we see the traveling Legion or the Legion in the past in Levitz's "Legion?" Levitz said that his book will pick up a lot of the material established by Geoff Johns, but the specific points the fan mentioned were addressed by Robinson in "Adventure Comics."
Via Newsarama's live blog:
Sattler introduces Paul Levitz, talking about the Legion of Superheroes. "I filled my brain with too many origin planets and issue numbers, which is why I cannot recognize human beings," Levitz cracked.

...Levitz compares it to a high school reunion, in the fact that there are people with bad marriages and poor choices and those you simply wish were dead.

...Q: What's up with the various Legion teams? Levitz: A lot of what I'm doing is picking up on recent arcs on Superboy as well as Legion of Three Worlds -- Earth Man is big in the first arc, Gates transports people around in the second arc, Shrinking Violet will vomit as a result.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

C2E2 '10 Preview

Anyone going to the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (aka "C2E2") this weekend? It's run by the same people who do the New York Comic Con and is not related to the old Chicago Comic Con/Wizard World Chicago. Here's their lineup this weekend:

Friday:

4:30-5:30
Mark Waid Takes On The Trivia Fans
Trivia King Mark Waid single-handedly battles a panel of expert fans in a Silver Age trivia match for the ages! Pit your knowledge of Marvel and DC’s 1960's comics when these titans clash! Nothing will ever be the same again! Moderated by Craig Shutt, writer of the Ask Mr. Silver Age column for the Comics Buyer’s Guide.

If you're going to Chicago and not going to the DC Nation panel, go here. Watching Mark Waid in a trivia contest is a sight to behold. It's like a magic trick, you sit there and wonder how he does it.

4:45-5:45
DC Nation 
The DC Nation finally returns to Chicago! We’re always looking for new recruits, so be sure to come on by as Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and some of the industry’s top talent lead the way to give you the inside scoop to all current and future Nation members!

Maybe someone can ask about the alleged Legion flight rings we heard rumors of.

Saturday:

3:15-4:15
DC Universe Editorial Presentation
Your guides to comics’ greatest Universe include Co-Publishers Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, Geoff Johns and the some of the industry’s best and brightest stars!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trivia Answers #46

Special all-Mike Grell issue!

  1. Name two places where Grell drew himself in a published Legion issue.
  2. The one everyone knows is the All-New Collector's Edition C-55 (aka "That Damned Tabloid"). The other one is from the Meet "Iron Mike" Grell feature from Superboy 205.
  3. Grell took over from Dave Cockrum. How many published stories did they collaborate on?
  4. Just one - Grell's first issue (Superboy 202) was Cockrum's last. Cockrum pencilled "Lost - A Million Miles From Home!" and Grell inked it.

  5. One of Grell's stories on the Legion prominently featured "a black man who had been colored pink". Who was this man? (I need the actual character's name, not the one he mis-remembered in an interview.)
  6. Long story short: Cary Bates wrote a story in which a man seemed to turn against the Legion, for Grell to draw. Grell drew the man as black. Editor Murray Boltinoff said that they couldn't show a black man being the bad guy, even if he turns out good in the end. Plus, they were going to introduce a black Legionnaire soon. So they just colored him white. In Glen Cadigan's "The Legion Companion", Grell says: "It was about a young man who’s one of the Space Troopers who comes into a conflicting situation. He has to make a choice. Like a lot of us, he makes a couple of mistakes, but then he turns out all right. He does the right thing in the end. I saw that as a very positive thing." He's talking about Dvron (from Superboy 207), but in that interview he mis-remembers him as Soljer. See this Comic Book Legends Revealed episode for more quotes and pictures.
  7. Why did Grell leave the artist's job on the Legion book?
  8. From the Legion Companion: "I got off the title because Warlord had just been made monthly, and I was also doing Green Lantern/Green Arrow at the time. Given the choice between one or the other, since Green Lantern/Green Arrow, at that particular moment, was my favorite title - Green Arrow was always my favorite comic book character - it was a really simple choice to make."
  9. What was the most recent Legion-related work Grell had published?
  10. The alternate variant cover to Action Comics #861, one of the "Superman & The Legion" issues. (I own the original art to the preliminary pencil sketch to this one!)

  11. Grell co-created Dawnstar with Paul Levitz. The way Grell tells it, what parts of the character did he come up with, and which were Levitz's?
  12. From the Companion again: "I came up with the visuals for her, and the concept of her having wings and being an American Indian. That was about it. Paul [Levitz] came up with her superpower, and I'm pretty sure he came up with her name." She first appeared in Superboy 226.
  13. Which of the following Legionnaires, listed alphabetically, did Grell design a new costume for (not counting minor alterations due to artistic license)? Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl
  14. Surprisingly (to me), the only costume that Grell redesigned was Cosmic Boy's. All of the other redesigns in this list came before. (Note that while a caption in the original story says that Colossal Boy got a new costume too, but he actually got that one in the original Wildfire story in Superboy 195). He started out blue and orange, then was red and blue (as seen above in the Cockrum/Grell panel), then he lost the blue arms and legs for bare skin.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Trivia Quiz #46

Special all-Mike Grell issue! One of the most popular artists of the Bronze Age Legion, his Legion art is still highly sought-after. He's one of my favorite artists, and he drew my very first Legion story (Superboy 212). This is for "Iron Mike" Grell.

  1. Name two places where Grell drew himself in a published Legion issue.
  2. Grell took over from Dave Cockrum. How many published stories did they collaborate on?
  3. One of Grell's stories on the Legion prominently featured "a black man who had been colored pink". Who was this man? (I need the actual character's name, not the one he mis-remembered in an interview.)
  4. Why did Grell leave the artist's job on the Legion book?
  5. What was the most recent Legion-related work Grell had published?
  6. Grell co-created Dawnstar with Paul Levitz. The way Grell tells it, what parts of the character did he come up with, and which were Levitz's?
  7. Which of the following Legionnaires, listed alphabetically, did Grell design a new costume for (not counting minor alterations due to artistic license)? Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl

      Monday, April 05, 2010

      Now, with 100% more Twitter!

      You may notice that I've stuck the Omnicom Twitter feed over there on the left. If you don't already follow me there, you can read the last few things I've posted. Some of it is the typical inane chatter you see on Twitter, but about half is re-announcing (or "retweeting") stuff other people say that I think you guys would be interested in. Also, I've got a feature that puts a link there for every post I do here.

      For example:

      This is stuff I'd normally put in a "Bits of Legionnaire Business" column but it's easier this way.

      Paul Levitz to make NJ appearance next month

      Via Dan Veltre, a Legion fan and the owner/operator of Dewey’s Comic City in Madison, NJ (who, back in the day, was a member of INTERLAC and was a co-CM for a time):

      It’s a bit early for this announcement but we couldn't wait to let everyone who reads this in on the news that PAUL LEVITZ, the former President and Publisher of DC COMICS, and the writer of the new LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES series will be here at Dewey’s signing copies of LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1 on Thursday, May 20th, from 5:30pm until 7:30pm. The relaunched Legion series, LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1 arrives the day before Paul’s appearance, on Wednesday, May 19th and we’ll have plenty of copies of that issue (and even a few copies of the variant cover) available for Paul to sign. Besides being the writer of the new LSH series, and running DC COMICS for many years, Paul is also the writer of some of the most classic and best remembered LEGION stories ever, notably the outstanding Great Darkness Saga, starring the LSH & Darkseid from 1982. This will be Paul’s first area creator appearance since returning to the creator side of comics. More information over the next few weeks.

      Friday, April 02, 2010

      WonderCon '10: Jim Lee & Paul Levitz's LSH story (finally!)

      Jim Lee spoke with CBR in conjunction with the DC Nation panel at WonderCon today (their story had to have been pre-written, as it appeared to go live with the conclusion of the panel on which Lee was speaking). Amidst news of his Dark Knight book with Frank Miller, he had this to say:

      Just because he's shying away from some cover work doesn't mean Lee will step away from the drawing board as his new duties as Co-Publisher take effect. The artist told CBR, "There's an overt acknowledgement by the rest of the executive team that one of the ways I help DC Comics the most is by doing creative work. The same goes for Geoff Johns, so to that purpose, we are given the latitude to take on projects and fit them into our schedules. So putting this book back on a track is the biggest part of my creative efforts this year. That, and a ten-page story I am doing with Paul Levitz featuring the Legion of Superheroes from the late 1970's that will be a centerpiece of a new art of Jim Lee book called 'Icons,' coming out this July."
      You might recall this March 2008 post which had information on the Icons book that was due out in October 2008. Titan Books now has it listed as coming out in October 2010. (In a couple of DC Source blog posts last week, we saw the not-cover and the real cover to ICONS, which Robot6 and ComicVine say is supposed to come out in August. We'll see.)

      WonderCon '10: Geoff Johns & DC Nation

      Newsarama live-blogged the Geoff Johns and DC Nation panels at WonderCon today. Nothing Legion-related that I saw in the Johns panel (though the live-blogger may have missed something), but there was this from the DC Nation panel:

      "The one big legacy group from the DCU that I can't find any substantial recaps for is the Legion—do I just have crappy retailers?" DiDio: "There are no crappy retailers." He continued, talking about Paul Levitz's return to the Legion of Super Heroes, saying that the writer (and former DC president)'s original run on the characters was one of the best received DC comics of all time.
      I'm not sure what the "substantial recaps" refers to here, but we should find out later.

      WonderCon '10 this weekend

      If you find yourself in San Francisco this weekend, WonderCon is there too. Here's their programming lineup for upcoming new stuff and spotlights on creators with Legion credits:

      Friday 4/2

      3:00-4:00 Spotlight on Geoff Johns One of comics' top writers just became DC Comics' chief creative officer. WonderCon special guest Geoff Johns talks about his new role at the comics company he calls home, plus those Blackest Nights, Brightest Days, rebirths, and secret origins he's become famous for! Room 103

      3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Colleen Doran WonderCon special guest Colleen Doran, the artist of many comics for Marvel and DC, including Sandman, Wonder Woman, Amazing Spider-Man, Legion of Superheroes, Tori Amos: Comic Book Tattoo (published by Image), and creator of A Distant Soil, talks to moderator Derek McCulloch, Eisner Award nominee for Stagger Lee. McCulloch and Doran will discuss their upcoming original Vertigo graphic novel, Gone to Amerikay, as well as other future works by Doran, including Stealth Tribes by Warren Ellis, and an upcoming graphic novel collaboration at Houghton Mifflin with novelist Barry Lyga. The panel will include a slide show with never before seen art. Room 236/238

      4:00-5:00 DC Nation!— The DC Nation returns to San Francisco! Co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio are joined by chief creative officer Geoff Johns in their first convention appearance together as DC's new management team! Join Jim, Dan, and Geoff as they begin the next era of greatness for DC Comics! Room 103 

      Saturday 4/3

      12:00-1:30 DCU Editorial Presentation— Senior story editor Ian Sattler and countless DCU talent gather for a panel that's not to be missed. With the Brightest Day fast approaching, what does that mean for your favorite universe? Got a question for your favorite DCU creator? Come on by...this is the place to be! Room 103

      Sunday 4/4

      12:30-1:30 Spotlight on James Robinson WonderCon special guest James Robinson is one of the hardest working writers in comics. He currently writes Superman and Justice League of America and is about to tackle the DC event, War of the Supermen. Robinson talks about what’s next for this fan-favorite writer with James Sime, owner of San Francisco’s Isotope Comics. Room 104

      Thursday, April 01, 2010

      Arm-Fall-Off Boy: The Man, the Myth, the Legend

      CHAPTER 1: The Introduction

      When you have a series with the history that the Legion has, dating back more than 50 years, you accumulate baggage, for better or worse, sometimes both. One concept both awesome and silly is the try-outs. In 50 years, I think the Legion is still unique in that it holds them. And dating back to the Silver Age, you've got your winners and you've got your losers.

      This is not about one of the winners.

      Today, on April Fool's Day, when everyone else is joking about serious things, I'm going to seriously cover one of the Legion's biggest jokes: Arm-Fall-Off Boy.

      Most of the time when you see an article on the internet talking about the lamest super-heroes ever (like this, this, this, and this) three Legion-related characters often show up: Bouncing Boy, Matter-Eater Lad, and Arm-Fall-Off Boy. They don't seem to realize that Arm-Fall-Off Boy, at least, was created specifically to be lame, and therefore shouldn't really count against lame characters.

      Anyway, in honor of April Fool's Day, here's a look at the history of Arm-Fall-Off Boy and his literary "older brother", Ear-Fall-Off Floyd.

      [Note: I got started on this too late and didn't have enough time to get in touch with Jay Zilber or Roger Stern for their sections. I'll fill in the appropriate info if and when I get it.]


      Also: visit Arm-Fall-Off Boy's Facebook page.


      CHAPTER 2: Ear-Fall-Off Floyd

      But believe it or not, Arm-Fall-Off Boy's roots go back to at least the 1970s, well before he first appeared in print. Legion fandom grew up in the late 1960s and early 1970s through letter columns and fanzines like Interlac and The Legion Outpost. Among the many members of these groups, for varying lengths of time, were people like Tom & Mary Bierbaum, Jim Shooter, Mike Flynn, Harry Broertjes (whose names together inspired the Shooter-created character Flynt Brojj), Jay Zilber, and Gerard Jones.

      Ear-Fall-Off Floyd (who briefly had his own now-deleted Wikipedia entry from which this information was taken) was a comic book superhero parody strip in which the would-be hero's "superpower" was that his ear would fall off in moments of crisis, written and edited by Jay L. Zilber and drawn by Jim McPherson. He appeared in the fanzine Fandom Funnies #3, December 1976. Fandom Funnies #3 was a parody of The Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom (currently The Comics Buyer's Guide), titled "The Buyer's God for Comic Fandom". Ear-Fall-Off Floyd, whose name pretty much describes his super-power, was featured in two stories, one drawn in the DC Comics style, the other in the Marvel Comics style.

      Here are a couple of images of Floyd from a statue, from photos on Jay's public Facebook page. Apparently the sound of one's ears popping off is POIK.



      I couldn't get in touch with Jay himself, though, to see what he had to say about Floyd. I'll update this section if I get more.


      CHAPTER 3: Arm-Fall-Off Boy and the Pre-Zero Hour Legion

      Now, flash forward from 1976 to 1989. Writer Gerard Jones and artist Kurt Schaffenberger turned in their story for "Secret Origins" #46, featuring the secret origin of the Legion Clubhouse. In this story, the clubhouse was actually a facility sent by Jor-El and Lara of Krypton before it blew up; their son Kal-El would, of course, need Kryptonian supplies. But in the Post-Crisis DC Universe, that couldn't have happened, so the story was scrapped and a new one commissioned (this unpublished story survived and can be seen, among other places, at Superman.nu).

      Mark Waid, editor of "Secret Origins":
      I want to say that, as the SECRET ORIGINS editor, I pitched him writer Gerard Jones when we had to come up with an emergency replacement story for his original Schaffenberger-pencilled HQ origin. But it's entirely possible that Gerry came up with AFO on his own; historical records, as they say, are sketchy at best.  Either way, it was after KC Carlson pitched "Fortress Lad" as the centerpiece hero of the story.
      The published story, written by Jones and with art by Curt Swan and Ty Templeton, brings Fortress Lad into continuity, but also introduces a failed applicant named Arm-Fall-Off Boy.

      KC Carlson recalls (or not):
      I'm sorry to say that I can't help you in determining the origins of Arm-Fall-Off Boy. I suspect that he's a creation of Mark Waid or Gerry Jones' fevered brains. And don't believe Waid's denials for a second. Ever since Mark Waid has become Evil, he's been backtracking or denying everything that he's ever said or done that fundamentally made him Mark Waid in the first place. Now, that's evil.

      God help me, I'm already credited with the creation of Fortress Lad. Isn't that enough?

      Wikipedia says that Gerry Jones created him. They would know. They're Super-Geniuses there.

      Seriously though, I have no idea who came up with Arm-Fall-Off Boy. I was as surprised to see him in that story as was everybody else. Except maybe his mom, the former Arm-Fall-Off Girl. Perhaps she, along with the unnamed father, are the actual creators of Arm-Fall-Off Boy.
      Now, to briefly digress, listen to Mark Waid's podcast "15 Minutes with Waid - Fortress Lad's Lament" in which he discusses the original Jones/Schaffenberger story and then the Fortress Lad story.

      So that left Gerard "Gerry" Jones, writer of the Legion Clubhouse story. I asked if he had any recollections about it to share:
      Early in my comics-writing days I joined Interlac briefly and even afterward hung out with several of its members. From one of them — possibly Mike Forrester or Mike Valerio, but maybe someone else entirely — I'd heard, or thought I'd heard, about a pseudo-character in Legion fandom called Arm-Fall-Off Boy. It could be that they were saying "Ear-Fall-Off Floyd" and I misunderstood, or it could be that one of them had misunderstood Ear-Fall-Off Floyd as Arm-Fall-Off Boy and passed it on to me. In any case, when I stuck Arm-Fall-Off Boy into that Secret Origins story I thought I was making a nod to Legion fandom but later discovered that I'd accidentally brought in something entirely new. Had we had more time I probably would have talked to Waid about it and gotten all this clarified, but that story was a last-second replacement for an earlier story that had been cut. Which is fortunate, ultimately. Now we have Arm-Fall-Off Boy, and yet Ear-Fall-Off Floyd is still out there awaiting his moment in the spotlight.
      ... I think I left [AFOB's design] mostly to Curt, although I believe I did specify that when his arm pops off we should somehow see the open socket in his body. It was a thrill to be working with Curt Swan on a Legion story, I must say.
      You may not remember, but Arm-Fall-Off Boy has the distinction, as seen in this issue, of being the very first rejected Legion applicant. As can be guessed, his power was the ability to detach his limbs (in particular, his arms) with a PLORP and use them as clubs. The Legion didn't quite think that this was up to their standards of applicants, and considering he was their first applicant, that says something. Oh, and that's Fortress Lad of the planet Fwang in the familiar red and yellow in the back right corner of the first panel below.


      Also: "A" is for Arm-Fall-Off Boy.

      This was Arm-Fall-Off Boy's first and only appearance in Pre-Zero Hour continuity.


      CHAPTER 4: Splitter and the Post-Zero Hour Legion

      Believe it or not, Arm-Fall-Off Boy was lame in three continuities. After the Zero Hour reboot, Floyd Belkin applied to the Legion from Lallor, in Legionnaires #43 (the big try-out issue), as Splitter. That didn't go over well either. His costume is similar to his alternate-universe counterpart, but the Earth-247 version is much less bulky. Note Live Wire's comment about "Arm-Fall-Off Floyd".


      Later, Splitter tries to help out in a battle, but has a panic attack and goes to pieces - literally. Wait, what's that sound that his limbs make as they pop off? POIT? Nearly the very same POIK that we saw and heard above, coming from Ear-Fall-Off Floyd.


      Roger Stern wrote this issue. I asked him about his updating of Arm-Fall-Off Boy to Splitter, and where the name Floyd Belkin came from, but I contacted him too late to get a reply for this article (and I'll come back here with an update once I do). I figured that Floyd was an obvious reference to the earlier Ear-Fall-Off Floyd.

      Ian Rowland says:
      It is my crusade to make the comics people bring back Arm-Fall-Off Boy. I want the TV people to make an Arm-Fall-Off Boy live-action TV series, and Hollywood to make a major motion picture. Superman, Batman etc. are all very dull compared with Arm-Fall-Off Boy. Think of the merchandising - for the first time in history, you could have a doll or action figure where it doesn't matter if the arm comes off!

      Can you imagine a comic book artist coming up with this idea? Discussing it with the guys down at the office? Isn't it majestic that someone actually gave the go-ahead for this character to appear? Life is more wonderful than we can ever imagine.
      To the best of my recollection, this is the only place that Splitter appeared.


      CHAPTER 5: Arm-Fall-Off Boy and the Animated TV Show Legion

      The third Floyd appeared in the animated TV series continuity, in Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #16, written by Matthew K. Manning and art by Shawn McManus (cover by Alexander Serra). In this story, which is actually Floyd's story with the Legion as supporting characters, we see how even getting rejected by the Legion doesn't necessarily mean that you're TOO lame.

      The original solicitation:
      Written by Matthew Manning, Art by Shawn McManus, Cover by Alexander Serra

      It's the issue you've been waiting for: The untold story of Arm-Fall-Off Boy! The embarrassingly powered would-be Legionnaire wants nothing more than a flight ring and for Saturn Girl to know his name. But since flight technology and easily detached limbs don't always mix, Arm-Fall-Off Boy has his work cut out for him!
      Note that while the costume is similar, Floyd is now very scrawny, very far removed from his original counterpart.

       

      Writer Matthew K. Manning posted on his blog at the time (May 2008) a series of sketches showing the evolution of this cover and how they came about using one that was a parody of the cover to Adventure 247. I asked him about his use of AFO Boy in that series:
      Well it wasn't too hard to research Arm-Fall-Off Boy's history, as he's only made a few appearances that have all found their way into my collection over the years.  Essentially, this story came about as I was working up a Legion back-up pitch to try to show to Steve Wacker back when he was editing the title.  Unfortunately, the book ended before I got a chance to finish the pitch, and so I was stuck with a story that I really liked with no title to find a home for it.

      When the new Legion cartoon debuted, I petitioned to write the tie-in comic, and despite becoming one of the title's regular writers, only ended up penning three issues before its cancelation.  Luckily enough, in that time I was able to sneak my Arm-Fall-Off Boy spotlight issue through.  Getting Shawn McManus to draw the issue made it even better, as I've been a fan of his since his Sandman days.  And the icing on the cake was Alex Serra's cover, an homage idea I pitched to him and luckily, both he and my editor, Jeanine Schaefer liked.  The "Applicant 247" in-joke was all Alex, though. 

      I'm sure if the series continued, Arm-Fall-Off Boy would have at least made a cameo or two in other issues.  And if I ever get another shot at writing a Legion book, I'll do my best to continue Floyd's illustrious legacy.  Because if I don't, who will?

      CHAPTER 6: Acknowledgements

      Thanks to (alphabetically) KC Carlson, Gerard Jones, Matthew K. Manning, Mark Waid, and Jay Zilber, all of whom provided some information here and allowed me to excerpt their emails.


      Previously on April Fool's Day:
      2009: What if Superboy met the Legion on Facebook?
      2008: Easiest Legion Quiz Ever and Mordru's Vaudeville Career
      2007: Legion cartoon season 2 episode list
      2006: Animated Legion exclusive news