Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ty Rockstar, Dream Girl, and Los Legionarios

Catching up on some random Legion-ness following my vacation...

Episode 8 of the spanish-language Legion history Los Legionarios is complete, and pretty interesting. If you don't know spanish, try translating them via Babelfish or Google. There's a link to each of the 8 segments (earlier, I posted links to the first three).

Photon Torpedoes has a quick look at Nura Nal: Dream Girl: Her Best Work Was on Her Back. It sounds dirty but it's a perfectly harmless commentary on how great a character she was when Paul Levitz was writing her.

The Comic Treadmill is all a-twitter about the upcoming Legion 15, which features some sort of return of Dawnstar, Blok (which I keep wanting to spell "Block", even though I know better), and Tyroc.

I don’t know how these three oldies will feature into the story - perhaps they'll be merged into one new character named Ty Rockstar - but I’m happy there will be a story featuring them (which shouldn’t be interpreted as an argument for the regular return of any of the three characters). And for those of you wondering where I stand on the issue, I am – in theory anyway – in favor of the decision to re-title the book Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

What were they thinking?

Heh. Typo Lad at What Were They Thinking keeps cracking me up with his Legion snarks. Relive classic sequences wherein we see:

Retroview: Cosmic Boy in Legends

Comics Should Be Good is beginning an ambitious look back at the entire Giffen/DeMatteis JLA series on January 1st. Before that, though, they're doing the Legends miniseries, which introduced the new JLA (as well as Suicide Squad and the new Cosmic Boy miniseries).

You may recall that Cosmic Boy, an amateur historian, travelled back to the 20th century with his main squeeze Night Girl to check out what it was really like 1000 years ago, now that the Crisis on Infinite Earths has mucked up history (but nobody really remembered the Crisis, so how they could know that history had changed escapes me. But I digress.). He appeared in the first two issues of Legends, with a cameo in issue 3, before spinning off into his own mini.

It's not your typical review of the Legends series, though. It's an incredibly snarky, hilarious recap of the issue. Here's Cosmic Boy's role in issue 1:

Next scene: Cosmic Boy is eating in a diner.

Cosmic Boy: I love the past!

Brimstone: Raar. I’m gonna kick your asses.

Cosmic Boy: Holy shit. He’s bigger than a couple of villains who would only be familiar to people who read the Legion of Super-Heroes. I will now fly around him for a page and a half talking about what I’m going to do to him in my gay pink costume.

Cosmic Boy blasts Brimstone who swats him away.

Brimstone: Raar. I’m gonna kick your asses.

Cosmic Boy: Man, I’m lame.

Justice League: Need a hand?

Cosmic Boy: You really have to ask?

Justice League: Well, it sets us up to be able to do a roll call for all the children who are unfamiliar with us. Vibe! Elongated Man! Vixen! Martian Manhunter! Gypsy! Steel! Firestorm!

Cosmic Boy: Where the fuck is Superman?

Please go and read the rest of the issue 1 recap. Cosmic Boy also appears in the issue 2 recap and is mentioned in the issue 3 recap (but doesn't really appear, but that's OK because he only had a cameo in the issue anyway).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I used to think Jim Drew was just a bit nuts when he got an Ultra Boy symbol tattooed on his arm. I'm a dedicated, dyed-in-the-wool Legion fan, but Jim took that one step further and is a dyed-in-the-arm fan. (I'll provide a link when I find a picture)

But then there's this guy, the Rev. O.J. Flow who writes for Newsarama. He's big into body art too, but his tastes run towards the comic book images. On his arms, legs, and chest he's got tattoos of Spider-Woman, Hellcat, Hawkman (as drawn by Perez), Dawnstar, Earth-2 Superman, a Mary Marvel lookalike, Earth-2 Robin and Huntress (from Crisis), Firestorm, Starfire, Wildfire, and Phantom Lady.

And I hate going to the doctor and getting a shot or having blood drawn. Yikes!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Reviews: LSH 12, Superman: Man of Steel vol. 4 TPB

Looks like I missed a review of LSH 12 in my earlier recaps. The Comics Shrew likes what's going on.

One of the necessary coping mechanisms of reading Legion is an appreciation of Elseworlds-type stories. Because, as often as the Legion gets rebooted, part of the fun has to be in discovering the new interpretations of old characters. In this, Waid has been close to spectacular. Not every change may be considered for the better, but he's definitely got somewhere to go with all of the Legionnaires and they are all pleasantly multi-dimensional.

The plot and purpose of the story arc... Waid has been very good about distracting us from the fact that it's pretty pedestrian. ... And you know what? It totally doesn't matter.

(Spotted via Good Comics)

A new review of the recent trade paperback Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 4 over at What's on My Musical Radar. DC is currently reprinting the early Byrne Superman stories from the late 80's (prior to the de-Byrning events of Infinite Crisis?). Volume 4 reprints the Legion/Death of Superboy/Pocket Universe storyline, from Superman (v2) 8, Action Comics 591, and Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) 37 and 38.
The series is, as a whole, very strong with Byrne doing a nice job staying true to the character but resetting what the editors at the time didn't feel the need for - in this particular volume, Superboy. For anybody who wants to understand the modern mythos of Superman, this is needed reading as it finally gets rid of the glitch that was created by Crisis and its aftermath when it was decided that Superman hadn't been Superboy even though the Legion of Superheroes wouldn't exist without him.

The middle story arc - the deletion of Superboy from the DC canon - is important reading and very well done. It references the near-invulnerable level of power that Superboy (and the pre-Crisis Superman had as well) as opposed to the more limited powers that Superman was briefly given post-Crisis.

Good stuff.

As always, go to my Legion reprint page for a list of what's been reprinted where.

Waid's new Newsarama interview on Supergirl, One Year Later

As you've probably already seen, Mark Waid has a new interview at Newsarama in which he talks (as much as he can say) about what's been going on with the current Legion title.

"One of the greatest creative strengths of the series - that it exists in its own little corner of the DCU - is, unfortunately, one of its greatest marketing weaknesses... because sales on all the DC books connected to Infinite Crisis are rising ... we're sort of lagging behind in the overall growth of DC in the marketplace. We asked ourselves repeatedly, ‘What sort of loud shot across the bow can we fire to get readers' attention without in any way compromising what we're doing? How can we 'connect' to the 21st century DCU without losing what makes the Legion's arena special? We discussed a half-dozen ways to do 'Superboy and the Legion Of Super-Heroes', but not a single one of them wasn't in some way convoluted or horribly retro. But when [Dan] DiDio suggested Supergirl, we knew we had something."

"Despite a lot of good work, we blew it with the post-Zero Hour reboot in '94. We were so desperate to be new and retro, to be innovative and familiar, to take no chances that might alienate the longtime fanbase, that we tried to be all things to all fans and ended up saying nothing. This time out, twelve years later, DC said to us, ‘This time, you have our full backing. Go all out and don't worry about the past. Reinvent the franchise from the ground up, as if it were being envisioned for the first time today.’ And it seems to have worked!"

Worked well enough that Waid can assure current Legion fans that when the series "leaps" one year ahead to 3006 with a sly wink and a nod to “OYL” (as opposed – according to Waid - to a full-blown 'Oh, my God! Where did Lightning Lad vanish to, and who are these three new Legionnaires?’ moment”), Supergirl will be an addition to the established series, not a major change to it, or continuity...

"Which Supergirl is it? Who is she, exactly, and how did she arrive in the 31st century?" asked Waid. "When she smiles warmly and answers those questions at the end of the first issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes, she drops a GARGANTUAN bombshell that leaves the Legionnaires literally slackjawed."

"Said bombshell is, in fact, a reverberation from an event in Infinite Crisis," concluded Waid. "I wish we could say more ... I'm dying to, because it's so cool ... but it's just too good a surprise to ruin."

Naturally, the various Legion-related message boards are running amok with speculation. The prevailing thought is that it's the latest version of Supergirl (as developed out of the Superman/Batman title). But if it's a reverberation from an event in IC, could we be seeing the return of the pre-Crisis Supergirl, plucked from a time before she died there? Remember, Marv Wolfman has repeatedly said that's how you could do a new Flash series with Barry Allen, since he was bouncing around the timestream before he died. You'd (and he) would have the knowledge that he was going to die and could exit the stage at any moment and go back to bouncing around time to his death.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's pre-Crisis Kara, wearing the costume of the current Supergirl since that's what the current Legion has in its past (although Matrix/Linda Danvers had a couple of costumes to choose from). And speculating even more wildly, with the return of the Multiverse, what if this is the Earth-2 Legion? (Although there was a comment by Lightning Lass, I believe, during the Crisis series that Earth-2 never had a Legion...).

What's the Earth-Prime Superboy have to do with all this? He's getting a new costume such that it would be a spoiler if DC Direct showed a picture of his new action figure. Maybe he dyes his hair and starts taking Profem?

Read my earlier post for eight possible Supergirls. Not all of them would be the bombshell Waid promises, though (like Supergirl 1,000,000).

Some reactions from around the comics blogosphere:

Photon Torpedos says:
I think this could be the shot in the arm that Legion needs right now. I like how Barry Kitson draws her on the cover to issue 16: sexy and powerful without making me feel like I'm looking at teenage porn.

Hey Kidz Comix has some interesting discussion on the matter in the comments section. "I'd just like to say that anyone who takes inspiration from Supertorso is automatically discredited in my book and probably is a bad person. :D"

A couple of Spanish-language blogs required me to use a machine translator (my Spanish is rusty enough, and this is easier on copy-and-paste).

Sergio Robla at the Zona Negativa reminds us in a post that translates and paraphrases the Newsarama (and translated back here) that
Having all this in mind, it was planned that the release point of the title would be during One Year Later, when the cards were already on the table. Evidently, what happens in the present in Infinite Crisis will not affect the future, since the future of the Legion has always been set after the events of IC, and Waid confirms that the last year of the current Legion title has always been post-IC.

Finally, Noticias DC has another recap of the Newsarama article. We find again the pitfalls of machine translation. The author paraphrases Waid:
12 años después de Zero Hour, hemos reinventado totalmente la franquicia sin traicionar el espiritu de la serie, y parece haber funcionado.

Babelfish translates this to:
12 years after Zero Hour, we have totally reinvented the tax exemption without betraying the spirit of the series, and it seems to have worked.

Add "franchise" to the list of words that doesn't machine translate from Spanish to English very well (like Invisible, which translates to Hair Net).

OYYUUUUUU ought to read this

Back on Nov. 18th, I presented a Tyroc trivia quiz in "honor" of his appearing on the cover to the upcoming Legion #15. Here are the answers. I know the whole blogosphere has been waiting patiently.

Part A. Fill in the blank (2 points each):
1. What island is Tyroc from?

2. What Broadway musical was the island's secret stolen from?

3. What's Tyroc's real name?
Troy Stewart

4. What other Legionnaires were present to show that the Legion was colorblind?
Brainiac 5, Shadow Lass, Karate Kid, and Superboy ("Superboy" 216)

5. In his native language, what does "Tyroc" mean?
"Scream of the Devil" according to "Who's Who in the LSH"

Part B. Match Tyroc's yells (spelling approximate) with their effects (1 point each):
1. EEYYAAAHH            a. spin
2. AHHRRRRRR          b. teleport
3. OYYUUUUUU          c. turn rubbery
4. ARRRRHHHH          d. wind
5. ZZZRRRUUGGHH    e. force field
6. UIUUIEEEE              f. sticky rain
7. ARRREEEEG            g. explosion
8. IRRRRWWWW        h. flame
9. CCCIIIRRR            i. lose balance
10. RRRYYYY              j. trees sprout tentacles

1-h EEYYAAAHH caused the Beta's jet packs to burst into flame
2-e AHHRRRRRR caused a force field that deflected their shots
3-b OYYUUUUUU caused Tyroc to teleport away
4-g ARRRRHHHH caused an explosion around Zoraz
5-a ZZZRRRUUGGHH caused Zoraz to spin like a top
6-c UIUUIEEEE caused the roads in Metropolis to turn rubbery
7-f ARRREEEEG caused sticky rain to fall
8-j IRRRRWWWW caused "the trees [to] sprout wildly growing tentacle wings!"
9-i CCCIIIRRR caused Superboy to lose his sense of balance
10-d RRRYYYY caused a "terrific wind" to be unleashed

Yells 1-3 are from "Superboy" #216, 4-5 from #218, and 6-10 from #222. These 3 issues are the "definitive" Tyroc yells, since Conway wasn't consistent in #263-265.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bizarro World trivia

Coming out the same time as LSH 16 (March/April 2006) is the Bizarro World TPB, reprinting the hardcover that came out back in February. The Legion Clubhouse has the list of the three Legion stories, new to that volume. These are tales told by Bizarro, so unless someone tells me otherwise, they can be treated as a dream, hoax, or Imaginary Story.

Speaking of the Bizarros, prior to this book, we've seen just two in-continuity stories featuring the Bizarro Legion, one pre-Crisis in Adventure 329 and one post-reboot in LSH v4 113-115 (not counting any dreams, hoaxes, or Imaginary Stories).

Trivia Question: Which three people appeared in both stories as a Bizarro Legionnaire (or as they said in ADV 329, a member of the Legion of Stupor-Bizarros)?

What a revolting development

"Revolt of the Girl Legionnaires" (Adventure 368) got the one-panel treatment over at What WERE They Thinking? the other day.

Monday, December 12, 2005

LSH 16: Oh, THAT Supergirl!

Earlier, I had speculated which Supergirl would be appearing in the newly retitled Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes book. Well, now that the March solicitations are out, it's pretty clear which one it is, and some of my far-fetched ideas are still pretty out there.

The solicitation, via Newsarama:

Written by Mark Waid
Art and cover by Barry Kitson & Mick Gray
It’s 1,001 years later…and guess who’s joining the Legion of Super-Heroes? It’s just what you think…and nothing you expect!
On sale March 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

(click to enlarge)

Update on 12/13:
Over on LegionWorld, artist Barry Kitson dropped some more hints early this morning about the future (no pun intended) of the Legion, whether it was One Year Later or not:
The book isn't skipping forward a year - we've always been post IC...the clues are there.

Supergirl's appearance won't rule out the reappearance of any past fact it may mean just the opposite...

Maybe it's the Earth-2 Legion? That might explain why they have Silver Age (Earth-1) comics.

On the same page, he has this on the drop in page count from 40 to 32:
The page count will be changing for two main reasons - firstly, we're going to be going onto the higher quality paper - which I'm really happy about - it should make the colors really 'pop'!
Secondly, to make it easier for us to avoid quite so many fill-ins - even with back-ups etc I was struggling to maintain all the detail and aim for as many 30 page stories as we could. Who knows, if we get well ahead on schedules we may get the extra pages back!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

More costume goodness

Typo Lad continues his look back at Legion fashion with Phantom Girl ("How Tinya Got Her Groove Back"), Pulsar Stargrave (aka "Doctor Disco"), and Laurel Kent ("aka ICK Lass").

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

TPB reviews: Darkseid and the Teenage Revolution

[edited for formatting]

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Comics Should Be Good was asking for suggestions on trade paperbacks to read. The new Legion TPB was one of those mentioned favorably. Well, he's read the book by now, along with The Great Darkness Saga TPB (For those keeping track, those are from The Legion of Super-Heroes volumes 2 and 5.), and he offers a review of each. Bottom line: GDS gets "I was always curious about this story, but it just didn't do it for me", while Teenage Revolution gets a cautious "yes":

It's too easy to make this a generational fight, and although he tried to mitigate a bit throughout the book, it wasn't enough. I didn't like that aspect of it, and it bothered me the whole time I was reading it. If it doesn't bother you, I say go for it - it's a fun superhero book.

You know, "Darkseid and the Teenage Revolution" would be a good name for a rock band.

For a list of other reprints, you can go to my Legion Reprint Page. Other TPBs with the Legion in it (content ranges from cameos to dedicated books) include the following:


  • Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told
  • Superman in the Sixties
  • A DC Universe Christmas
  • LSH [vol. 2]: The Great Darkness Saga
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

    Post-Crisis through Zero Hour

  • Legends: The Collection
  • History of the DC Universe
  • Superman: Time and Time Again
  • Books of Magic
  • Superman: Panic in the Sky
  • Impulse: Reckless Youth
  • Zero Hour: Crisis in Time

    Zero Hour reboot to Titans/Legion reboot

  • LSH [vol. 4]: The Beginning of Tomorrow
  • Flash: Dead Heat
  • Flash: Race Against Time
  • Final Night
  • Superman Transformed
  • Kingdom Come
  • JLA: World Without Grownups
  • DC One Million
  • The Kingdom
  • JSA: Justice Be Done
  • Superman: Our Worlds at War book 1
  • The Legion: Foundations

    Current Continuity

  • LSH [vol. 5] vol. 1: Teenage Revolution

More reviews of LSH 12

[edited to correct spelling]

Aya at Heroine Battleground likes the new book, especially you-know-who's arm-twisting appearance this issue.

There are parts of this Legion, that remind me of the 70s and early 80s. Some of the costumes are pretty cute or even sexy.

Now together with this picture [Princess Projectra] I can say, that the current run is a bit like a best-of Legion with elements from the 70s 80s and 90s. I like that. Give us more of that. I will stay with the title.

Sean Maher liked it too. Well, "liked" may not be the right word:
I really loved Legion of Super-Heroes this week. I mean, I fuckin' loved it. The title has come under fire of late for what folks are calling "pacing issues" or an overall slowness of the central plot. I really can't agree with you folks at all.

Kevin Brown at Silver Bullet Comics gives both the main and backup stories a thumbs up.
Waid knows what he's doing here. He's putting all the pieces in place. Showing us all exactly what the Legion is made of and how they handle the most extreme of situations. You can definitely tell he loves this book and its characters. He's having fun, and it's showing through to the reader. I have no idea how Waid is going to wrap this 13-issue epic up in the next issue, but he has me eager to find out. He definitely has this long-time Legion fan excited.

"Now Playing" Magazine's Tony Whitt gives another good review:
This has been one of the Legion's best years in a long time, and I can't wait to see how this first storyline resolves. Long Live the Legion! A-

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Night Girl fashion show

It's the continuation of the Legion Fashion Show over at Typo Lad's. We saw Cosmic Boy yesterday, so naturally today we look at his stalker, Night Girl.

You know, back in the day, it seemed perfectly natural to me (in a comic book sense) for a girl to have such a crush on a guy that she convinces her father to give her super-powers so that she can go to Earth to join the Legion and be his girlfriend. No, no creepy stalker overtones there!

Typo has a picture of Lydda's old costume (black bodysuit with a bouffant hairdo) and her new one (black bathing suit with her hair down).

The costumes look pretty interesting in person, too. I saw them at the 1998 San Diego Comic Con, worn by then-15-year-old Sidra Roberts. Yes, it was vaguely creepy for me to be looking at a 15-year-old dressed in a sexy super-hero costume, but hell, they wear a lot less when they go to the pool or beach. Sidra's mom Sheryl Roberts helped her make the costumes, and of course they were a big hit (especially the new costume).

Here's Sidra as the Adventure-era Night Girl, and here she is as the Grell-era Night Girl. Sidra competed in some costume contest and won a Best Costume award that year. It doesn't sound like it was the main contest at the con:

She won The Best Costume of the Show, given by an indie publisher, and received a box of chocolate covered macadamian nuts, which pleased her immensely. Later, when I went to buy a comic or two from the man who awarded the prize, I discovered that he produces furry animal pornography comics. Needless to say, I didn’t buy any, but Sidra winning the costume award from him cracked me up.

Sidra, Sheryl, and the rest of the family still go to cons together and have been publishing the Collector Times monthly since 1998, which I think is pretty darn cool. They're Houstonians like me, and I might forgive Sidra for going to Texas A&M next time I see her.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Costume, costume, who's got the costume?

What WERE They Thinking is way more snarky than I am, so I'll let Typo Lad handle a look back at Legion costumes in his new Friday series, The Legion of Superheroes Fashion Spectactular! Cosmic Boy (of course) gets the first treatment.

Some reactions to issue 12 (updated 12/4)

OK, so contrary to what I said before, the new Legion is in this week.

Sean "Kid Dork" Twist muses on the darkness in the new title, how it spun out of the original Crisis.

Okay, Legion of Superheroes junkie here. Which is a difficult thing to be, since of all comic geek subsets, this demands the most dedication and patience.

... But she could be back when the Legion is rebooted, since the Legion is always being rebooted. It's part of the pain of being a Legion fan.

Being a Legion fan requires dedication, patience, and....a lot of time to think about things like this and write about them in your blog.

Chris' Invincible Super-Blog, on the other hand, liked this issue:
Pretty much every single thing about this comic is awesome, but it really doesn't get a whole lot better than Page 14. ... Waid and Kitson are unquestionably two of the best in the industry, and this book proves it every single time it comes out.

Diana Kingston's reaction was somewhere in the middle:
There's a lot of action going on, a lot of movement, and in that sense it's as strong an entry in the series as the other issues. However, one very problematic element in this particular chapter is an increased reliance on contrivance.... It's a bit much, really. Granted that Waid is operating on an atypically-wide scale, and it hasn't reached eye-rolling levels yet, but it still knocks a few points off.

Graeme McMillan, no longer on a Fanboy Rampage, gave the issue an "OK". He's wondering if there are deadline problems with the book and is upset that the pacing of the series seems to be losing focus as it heads toward a conclusion. He's not fond of the backup story:
This issue’s back-up, the first not written by series writer Mark Waid (Firestorm’s Stuart Moore handles the writing chores, instead) misses the lightness of touch that Waid’s brought to the book so far, as Lightning Lad spends some time explaining why the Legion exists in a very worthy and dull manner, apparently with the aim of getting into Saturn Girl’s pants. Which is an interesting seduction technique, to say the least, but you know kids these days and their dedication to democratic ideals.

Johnny Bacardi doesn't like the backup either, as "we're given a backup story which is a bit of a drag as Lightning Lad attempts to pitch woo to Saturn Girl by giving her a Legion rally speech of some sort. It's dull and kinda dumb." However, he said "I still think Waid has handled this whole storyline clumsily, but when he's on, this book can be good." He gives it a B+.

Los Legionários

Here's an interesting site, It's a Spanish-language comics blog, and they're starting an 8-part look at "la Legión de Superhéroes". If you speak Spanish, you can find the introduction to the series (with a cover of LSH 300), followed by part 1 and part 2 already up.

If you don't speak Spanish, you can find machine-translated versions at Google for the intro, part 1 and part 2, but if you do that, you miss the little things like the Legionnaires names in Spanish (Cósmico, Saturno, and Relámpago were the founders). On the other hand, you can see why machine translations aren't all they're cracked up to be, as it translates "Invisible" in Spanish to be "Hair Net" in English. Ay yi yi!

The intro post has links to a past review of "Saga de la Gran Oscuridad" and a recap of Legion history from the Great Darkness Saga to the present.