Friday, July 28, 2006

Animated episode descriptions

The Superman Homepage has what appears to be a complete episode list and description of the entire Season One. My comments in italic.


Episode 1: "MAN OF TOMORROW"
When fearsome villains the Fatal Five set their sights on the newly formed Legion of Super Heroes, three of the Legion's members go back in time to get help from the greatest hero of all time: Superman. Instead they find Clark Kent, aware of his powers but not yet of his grand destiny.

The pilot episode.

Episode 2: "TIMBER WOLF"
A mysterious scientist asks the Legion to help capture a dangerous creature. They succeed, only to discover the creature is nowhere near as dangerous as the scientist himself.

Episode 3: "LEGACY"
Superman unknowingly saves the life of Alexis, one of the wealthiest people in the galaxy. Alexis and Superman become fast friends, but when Superman's Legion responsibilities get in the way of their friendship, Alexis decides to do something about it...

Maybe a Luthor thing. Can you have a Superman series without a Luthor?

Episode 4: "FEAR FACTORY"
During a cosmic storm, the team takes refuge in a creepy, derelict space station. On board, one-by-one, each Legionnaire faces his or her deepest fear -- and then disappears.

Episode 5: "CHAMPIONS"
While supporting Lighting Lad as he competes in the challenging Galactic Games, Superman and Phantom Girl uncover a sinister plot by the Fatal Five! Lightning Lad has troubles of his own when he finds his biggest competition from someone close to him.

Back in June, we learned that "Mekt Ranzz, Lightning Lad's brother, will appear in an episode." This sounds like it, unless it's Ayla here.

Episode 6: "PHANTOMS"
When Superman accidentally opens a gateway to a phantom dimension, a young man with powers identical to his is freed in the process. Now Superman must not only stop this destructive visitor, but also rescue the Legionnaires when they become trapped in the vistor's dimension.

Make way for Mon-el, stuck in the Phantom Zone!

Episode 7: "CHILD'S PLAY"
A young sorcerer arrives on Earth and causes a heap of trouble. In an effort to send him home, Superman learns of his vulnerability to magic, while Phantom Girl puts her diplomatic skills to the test as she travels to the sorcerer's secretive world to ask for help.

A "young sorcerer" could theoretically be Mordru.

Much to the Legion's disappointment, Lighting Lad accepts an invitation to join an older, "cooler" team. Once there, however, Lightning Lad realizes these new heroes aren't exactly what they seem. Now, caught between the Legion and his new friends, Lighting Lad must decide once and for all where his loyalties lie.

Episode 9: "BRAIN DRAIN"
A major malfunction sends Brainiac 5's genius IQ plummeting. To obtain the rare element needed to save him, Superman and Timber Wolf must travel to the most inhospitable planet in the galaxy -- and thanks to a transporter accident, they have only Brainy's head to guide them.

It's that time of year again -- Legion Auditions! This year's crop is hardly promising, with most hopefuls turning out to be comic duds. But when the Legion is overwhelmed fighting a mysterious foe in Earth's upper atmosphere, a group of rejects takes it upon themselves to save the world below... with outrageous results.

Holy crap! The Legion of Substitute Heroes! Legion rejects! Please have Arm-Fall-Off Boy.... I have a suspicion we'll see Ferro Lad in this batch - see the season finale for why.

Episode 11: "CHAIN OF COMMAND"
When disaster strikes Lightning Lad's home planet of Winath, the Legion is called to help. Lightning Lad's efforts to take charge are thwarted however when long-absent Legion leader Cosmic Boy arrives with an enigmatic new hero in tow.

At the San Diego panel, we were promised "familial Ranzz", so who's that with Cos here, Ayla?

Episode 12: "SUNDOWN, PT. 1"
The Legion is put to the ultimate test when an ancient weapon known as a Sun Eater comes to life. The Legion mounts a heroic defense, but the Sun Eater proves too powerful. Now at full strength, the unstoppable Sun Eater sets its sights on Earth...

Part one of a two-part episode

Episode 13: "SUNDOWN, PT. 2"
With the Sun Eater on a direct course for Earth's sun, the Legion has no choice but to ask bitter enemies for help to stop it. Superman meanwhile has his toughest battle yet when he discovers the stealthy alien controlling the sinister machine. In the end, the Legion triumphs... but at a terrible cost.

Part two of a two-part episode.

The Legion panel revealed that we'd see "Cosmic Boy for 3 episode arc at the end" so he must be in these two as well. I had figured we would not see the Sun-Eater saga - maybe Computo or Mordru instead - because of Ferro Lad. But what if he joins during tryouts in episode 10?

Post SDCC report 3: Legion Panel

(Earlier: coverage from Titans Tower Monitor, Legion World, and Wizard Universe.)

Comic Book Resources and Comics Continuum are finally catching up on posting full articles on the panels from last week's San Diego Comic Con.

There's not much new that we haven't already covered, but here are a few good quotes from the CBR article:

  • From Andy Milder, voice of Lightning Lad: "I grew up reading 'Legion'... I was a big 'Legion' fan. My cat was named Streaky when I was kid."
  • From story editor Rob Hoegee: "the Legion teaches Clark how to use his power and Clark teaches the Legion how to be heroes... and it's a nice little synergy between this up-and-coming hero who certainly is in a league of his own in the universe and a group of ideological kids who essentially looked up to this person all their lives."
  • Hoegee again: "Legion fans are the most devout. They're like Cubs fans" and said that longtime fans would like the show, they also stressed, "we're doing this for kids, first and foremost."

Comics Continuum has a story on the panel too (via Legion Clubhouse). Superman Homepage picks up some coverage and the readers weigh in there too.
[Quoting Hoegee:] "They decide they need some help in a big way, so Brainiac-5 decides, 'Hey, let's just go back in time and get the greatest super-hero ever.' Only they don't end up in Metropolis Justice League-era. They get there a little too soon and find Clark Kent, who is certainly aware of his power but now quite yet of his grand destiny.

So, after convincing him, 'Pop in the time bubble and we'll bring you back in the past at the exact same moment you left,' he decides, 'Yeah, I think I will go. I think there's something else in this life for me and I want to find out about it.' And he goes to the future."

Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Superman, enjoys the dynamic between his character and the rest of the Legion:
"The really interesting thing about playing this Superman is that he doesn't know his powers all that well," he said. "He doesn't know what he's supposed to do or was meant to do. They've taken him our of this place where he's still trying to figure out what it all means, whether he should hide it for the rest of his life or really do something important with it."

Thursday, July 27, 2006


The Legion is famous for their rejects - some turned out to be pretty good Legionnaires later, some have similar powers as other Legionnaires, some have what we might consider to be useful powers, and some, well, some are just wrong.

Over at the original Legion Clubhouse, Jo and Terri-Anne recount the Adventure-era rejects. Other reject pages include the DCU Guide and Chaim M. Keller's Legion Help File.

Supergirl, Shrinking Violet, Bouncing Boy, and Sun Boy were all rejected on their first go-round. Polar Boy made a career out of being a Reject, co-founding the unfortunately-named (in retrospect) Legion of Substitute Heroes, before finally joining.

The other Subs - Night Girl, Chlorophyll Kid, Fire Lad, Stone Boy, and Color Kid - did pretty well for themselves as well. The guys even made it to the main team for a time during the Five Year Gap (a time of which little is known).

Lester Spiffany, Storm Boy, and Dynamo Kid all tried to cheat their way on to the team.

You'd think that some of them might have useful powers - Color Kid, for example, not only had as useful a power as Princess Projectra, but he could also change the chemical properties of Kryptonite just by changing its color (handy, if you have a Kryptonian on the team). Or Camera Eye, who could project events he's seen, rejected because it's not valid in court (yet someone who merely tells what he's seen is considered an eyewitness and is valid), yet useful as a member of the Espionage Squad. Or Rainbow Girl - she was better than Triplicate Girl, Sun Boy, and Polar Boy put together: she could split into four, each with a separate power of either heat, cold, light, or kryptonite.

Some of them even took it badly and either joined a super-villain team or came at the Legion on their own. Some struck out on their own (Jungle King), some joined the Legion of Super-Villains (Ronn Karr, Radiation Roy, Spider Girl), some formed their own teams like the Legion of Super-Rejects (Micro Lad, Magno Lad, Esper Lass, Calorie Queen, Phantom Lad and Chameleon Kid) and later joined the LSV. One even had villianous intents when applying (Alaktor). Absorbancy Boy tried to strike back as Zoraz. Cera Kesh tried to strike back with an Emerald Eye.

But then there are the ones that everyone fondly looks back on when thinking about Legion rejects. Like Double-Header, who thought that two heads being better than one was a worthwhile power, or Antennae Boy, whose big ears could receive random radio signals (even though both later did join the Subs). Eyeful Ethel had a ring of eyes on all sides of her head. The Mess could attract dirt. Polecat stank. Tusker could grow really long tusks. Calamity King caused accidents. Infectious Lass made people sick. Arm-Fall-Off Boy's power is self-explanatory. Plaid Lad. Porcupine Pete, Accordion King, Barber Boy, Calcu-Lad, Estimate Boy, Fortress Lad, Quake Kid, and X-Bomb Betty.

It's this last list that Dial B For Blog is interested in. They're holding a contest for the greatest Legion reject as created by the fans. Deadline is next Friday, August 4th, 2006.

The whackiest DIAL B FOR BLOG contest ever! To be accepted, you have to be rejected! Your mission: create an applicant for membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes who would be rejected by the LSH! The winner gets to pick the subject of a future Dial B for Blog. (Sorry, but for security reasons, losers will not be getting a Legion flight belt!)

Check out the submissions so far (issue #340). Can you top Matter-Drinking Lad, Princess Projectile, Boring Boy, Kryptonite-Lead-Magic-Red Sun Kid, or Drama Queen?

In the same vein: here's a little humor list: the Top 9 Legion of Substitute Heroes Rejects.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More stuff from SDCC

Also on eBay (of course!), the promo card given away at the Warner Bros. booth, and a postcard that was given out at the Legion panel. Too late to buy it, though.

And in case you didn't see the comment in the post a couple entries down about the Animation Magazine cover, apparently it's a convention exclusive since the regular August issue doesn't have that or even a story.

S/LSH issue 20 reviews

Now that things are settling back down post-SDCC, here are the delayed reviews of issue 20, which came out on the eve of the con.

In no particular order:

  • The Golden Lasso gives it a C+.
    Unfortunately I still wind up quite concused in regards to a lot of the plot. Earthgov, the United Planets, the Science Police...I don't really understand what these all are or why the Legion (and teenagers in general) are so against them. I guess it's just a case of me needing to track down the trades, but I wish Waid would do a better job of helping new readers understand why the Legion partnering with the UP is a bad thing.

  • Dave van Domelen gives it a recommendation:
    While the Brainy subplot continueswith a nice nod to the past, a new arc begins on the main plotline (plus a bit of somewhat hamfisted comedy relief politics on the side). Colossal Boy's origins are finally revealed, and I think Waid is working from one of those "Is your character a Mary Sue?" checklists regarding Supergirl. Which could be hilarious, or could fall completely flat, but it's not really either yet. Recommended.

  • Rokk at the Comic Book Revolution isn't pleased but provides a very thorough and thoughtful analysis:
    The teen versus adult plotline rears its tired and boring head again in the beginning of this issue. ... The Dream Girl resurrection storyline is starting to wear out its welcome. ... Waid continues to write stories that further bolster my position that Supergirl makes the rest of the Legion totally superfluous. ... The final scene in this issue was laughable. Seriously, I busted out laughing so hard that I sprayed Café Bustelo all over my computer. ... Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes is one of the slowest moving titles that I have read in a long time.

    Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #20 is a terribly average issue. Average art and a slow story with some cheesy dialogue at times makes for a read that is rather ordinary. ... I can’t recommend this title to anyone outside of a die-hard Legion fan or a die-hard Supergirl fan.

  • Matthew at the Legion Abstract offers this:
    This issue was full of activity, and that's what I like to see. Not a lot of fighting, but still things happening. I also like... hey, I also like about everything. I like how we know the Legionnaires well enough after nineteen issues that the U.P. propaganda could be funny to us, because we know without them having to be there to say so how abhorrent the PR was to them. I like how, for the first time I can remember, Cosmic Boy looks completely out of his depth. I certainly like how someone (turned out to be Element Lad) finally told Brainy that he was wrong for trying to bring back Dream Girl. The only thing that would make this issue better is if it was the culmination of a storyline. Or maybe if it had some suspense--even with everything that's happening, there's no real tension surrounding the Legion at the moment.

  • The Fortress Keeper at the Fortress of Fortitude has this quick review:
    Giant rampaging teens. Bizarro Brainiac. Informericals of the future. The coolest Supergirl we’ve seen since ... well, nearly ever. Ho hum, another fine issue.

  • Ray Tate at Silver Bullet Comics isn't as pleased.
    The plot in Supergirl & the Legion of Super-Heroes reads something like an old Flintstones cartoon. ... This is not the Legion. This isn't even a bad imitation of the Legion. It's like Mark Waid squandered the money earmarked for personality construction on lapdances. Only one of the Legion displays likeable traits and talks like a normal person that has feelings and intelligence. That Legionnaire is Supergirl, and the irony of this whole thing is that Legion of Super-Heroes is the only place you can find her winning charm.

  • Jeffrey Bridges' Mild Mannered Reviews liked it:
    The story is absolutely back on track from last issue, although some of the flow seemed to get mucked up here and there. I don't know if this is from the addition of Tony Bedard, or exactly what input he had on the issue, but in a few places it felt a little off, especially some of the dialogue.

    The reason I knocked it down from a 5 to a 4 is because some of the poses seemed odd or just entirely goofy, and I've not noticed that before. I don't know if that was Kitson or someone else, but either way I found it a little distracting at times.

  • The Clandestine Critic says:
    It seems like writing 52 is too much for Waid, as Bedard joins him on writing duties. This is in keeping with Kitson, who doesn’t last on solo art duties for more than an issue now it seems, this time providing layouts for DeKraker (who does a good job with his slick superhero work, with a touch of Leonard Kirk softness to it).

    The book seems to be building to something, which had better be spectacular, as the instalments aren’t dazzling. I hope its worth it – I shall have to review my decision to buy this if it isn’t.

Post SDCC report 2: animated reactions

Some more reactions from around the blogosphere to the big Legion panel this weekend at San Diego:

  • Johanna - pwn3d?
    Thanks to Michael’s coverage of Legion-related bits from San Diego, I’m actively interested again. I can’t believe I’m contemplating buying collectible card game packs just because they feature the characters. (But only if I can get the box as well!) I haven’t been that kind of collector in a while.

    Ha! I've converted another one! :)

  • Kalinara of the Pretty Fizzy Paradise calls out "Trepidation Ho!" (which has nothing to do with prostitution).
    In general it sounds interesting enough. But one part really makes me pause:

    "Brainiac 5 is the biggest departure from his comic book counterpart; Although descended from the evil Brainiac, Brainiac 5 is very much learning what it means to be a real boy. The creators likened him to Pinnoccio."

    Um. What?

    They're turning Querl Dox into Data?!?!

    And later in the comments:
    I'm cool with the robot thing. The "Real Boy" thing is what throws me. What's wrong with being a robot that *likes* its superiority to humans?

  • This guy at the Beetle's Nest is already putting in his orders for merchandising tie-ins.
    I know it's not a big part of the Legion of Superheroes mythos, certainly not as well known as their Flight Rings, but when the new LSH cartoon comes out and the toys hit the shelves, I hope they make an Omnicom. And I hope it's cool. Let me explain...

    Can you imagine how many kids you could rope by selling them a handheld, portable computer for like $30? ... But if I were in the AOLTIMEWARNER/DC marketing department, I would seriously be trying to figure out just how much of a toy computer I could build for under $40. Put a camera on there, give it 64MB of memory so they can store a few MP3's, hire some x86/ARM hacker to code a couple of applications for it, and if you market it just right -- accentuating the fact that the Omnicom is a working computer, and not an educational toy -- you could have the next big thing.

  • Davy is excited:
    I've wanted to see it for some time..., but now that I know the release date, know a few details, and have seen a small clip ..., it feels very real, and my anticipation reached that point where I just can't contain it today.

    I just can't wait for September 23.

  • Finally, from the Power of Tiga comes this succinct question:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mark your calendar for Sept. 23rd

According to Comics Continuum, the Legion show will debut on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2006.

Based on this weekend's Newsarama interview with James Tucker, it sounds as though the name of the show might be "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes". Someone even used that article as a basis to rename the show's page on Wikipedia.

Now, given that (a) the guy who wrote that article is Steve Fritz (no offense, Steve, if you read this!) who has at least twice in the past (see here and here) referred to the show as Supergirl and the Legion even after it was known to be Superboy, and (b) all promotional material - even from this past weekend - still refers to it as simply "Legion of Super-Heroes", I'm not so sure about this alleged renaming. I'll keep referring to it as "Legion" until I hear otherwise officially.

Update: The Wikipedia page was changed back within a couple hours. Apparently I'm not the only one who wants to wait to see if it's official.

Animated Starfinger

Titans Tower Monitor mentioned it from the Legion panel in San Diego, and now it appears that director Ben Jones has added something about it to his site that I don't recall seeing there before.

We've got some great stuff lined up, too. There's a story with Starfinger lined up that I'm really excited about (Taylor Negron is playing Starfinger).

Assuming that's true... I'm sure I'm not the only one whose biggest memory of Negron is him in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. As he says on his web site,
My hot friend Amy Heckerling directed Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and asked me to appear as a favor. It took no more than one day to shoot. I got all the pizza I could eat, and it was a bleep on my professional radar. I am billed in the final credits as "Taylor".

I drive home and appeared in fifty other movies and yet, nearly every day, someone mentions, "Hey, you're the Pizza Man." Once, in England, a skinhead yelled out, "You're the bloke who delivered the pizza to Spicoli!"

Looks like the Pizza Delivery Guy just might be Starfinger too.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Animation Magazine 8/06 cover story

Update 7/27: Scott at the Legion Clubhouse has the issue and a scan of the page. A previous commenter says that this is not the regular cover, it's the special convention-only version, so keep checking eBay.

I don't know yet if this is the cover to the regular issue or if it's a special San Diego convention-only cover, but the August 2006 Animation Magazine has the Legion on the cover. Here's a link to an eBay auction (not mine) from someone who's selling it for $1.99 plus $5.00 shipping (one left). I'll be getting mine soon and unless anyone else knows before then, I'll scan the relevant info here.

Or, for $18 (at this writing), you can get the magazine plus a whole lot of swag.

Update 7/27: There's a short feature at the back with photos of many of the staffers interacting with the Legionnaires, and a little bit about the show.
Up next is Legion of Super-Heroes, DC's famously complicated sci-fi soap opera. After a very serious tone on Justice League and a kid-friendly take on Teen Titans, Legion finds a middle ground to both keep the strengths of the comic intact while making it work for the target audience of boys ages six-11.

Post SDCC report 1: Perez and Legion panels

Everyone's getting home today and posting their photos and transcribing their notes from the panels they attended. Here's one from Thursday's George Perez panel and two from the Legion panel on Friday. (Also see my original Thursday/Day 1 and Friday/Day 2 posts from over the weekend.)

Titans Tower Monitor reports from the Perez panel that, yes, he wants to draw the Legion (as we've known for a while). But why?

On tackling Legion: George mentioned how he would like to one day do some Legion work, since he has not done any interior art on Legion. He cited Bouncing Boy and Chameleon as his favorites - and the "Legion babes" as well. "Girls in Spandex and mini-skirts. What's not to like?"

Shawn "Timber Wolf" Harrison made it back in one piece. Apparently he wasn't looking very hard because he said "I didn't really see many unusual freaks." Maybe he was distinguishing them from the usual freaks. Interesting comment:
During the panel we, the voice actors, finally got an opportunity to see a clip of our characters animated and I was quite impressed. I know it's going to be freaky to see the animation synced to voice in the near future.

All parties involved seemed very pleased with the progress of the show. We met a lot of people affiliated with the show that we normally don't see when we record. You can tell they're genuinely enthused about Legion which actually got me even more excited about the show. Let's hope the show does well.

Nightwing at the Titans Tower Monitor has a report from the panel (go there for more) along with some pictures.
Tucker and Hoegee described the show; In the 31st century, super-heroes havent been around for awhile, so a group of teenagers gather together and form their own club. And yep, they've got a clubhouse and flight rings, just like in the comics. Stylistically, they described the show as a "middle ground between Teen Titans and Justice League Unlimited."

The show owes a lot to the Silver Age version of the team. When asked why they used old names like "Lightning Lad" instead of "Livewire," James Tucker said simply, "Classic. Old School. It works." And Rob Hoegee talked about capturing the fun and adventure of those comics. Both agreed the original code names worked best for those very reasons.

As for the use of members, the team said it was like casting a TV show; You look for the right mix of characters. But this IS teh Legion - and you will see a bunch of fun cameos in the first season. One fan asked, "Supergirl, Mon-El or Ultra Boy?" James Tucker said one of those three characters will appear in season one. We were also assured the Legion wouldnt be the Legion without Matter Eater Lad. "Just beause you don't see them in the line-up, doesn't mean they aren't in Legion," Tucker assured us.

As for villains, look for the Fatal Five to be a major thorn in their side. The team also seemed very excited about their take on the classic Legion foe, Starfinger. The 2-part season finale would be very "menacing" and is an adaption of a classic Legion story.

Finally, director Ben Jones wrote in a comment to Friday/Day 2's post that the titles to episodes 1 and 3 that I had heard were wrong. I updated the info on that page and at the Wikipedia.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Legion v5 sales through June

Here's a look at sales of the Legion book through June's issue 19, as compiled by the Legion Clubhouse. Click to enlarge.

As expected, there's been a dropoff in sales from the big "One Year Later" event, but that's across the board on all DC titles. Supposedly this book got the biggest percentage bump from the event. The dropoff is flatter than it was for the first four issues, suggesting that more people are sticking around.

San Diego Con '06: wrap-up

Sounds like the con is winding down. Reports say it's the biggest one ever. With nothing on the schedule for Day 4, I figured I'd post a wrap-up and summary here. Any post-con reports and such will go in a separate post.

If you only read a posting on this site during the con once and never went back to it, I had been updating them throughout the day (and even the next day) so you might have missed some stuff. To recap:

Day 0:

  • images of the standup at the DC booth

Day 1:
  • summary of the panels - DC Nation panel; Mattel announces a line of action figures for the new animated series; George Perez wants to do the Legion comic series; musical composers for the show
  • from the floor - a chat with the music guys; an interview with writer Matt Wayne

Day 2:
  • summary of the panels - cast and crew and a preview of the Legion series; 52: A Year in the Life
  • from the floor - interview with producer James Tucker; preview of the Vs. System card game (here and here)

Day 3:
  • summary of the panels - DCU One Year Greater

Hope to see some of you next year in person at the con, but if I do go, you won't see updates as quickly as I have done this year!

That's a wrap!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

San Diego Con '06: day 3

Here are the Legion-relevant events today:

1:00-2:30 DCU: One Year Greater
5:30-7:00 Animation Story Meeting

  • From CBR come these hints from the One Year Greater panel:
    Levitz announced a new series of direct to video animation movies, designed with fans in mind, a first for animation, said Levitz. "We want to tell some of the story and characters bits that are important to you," said Levitz.... The films will be in a comic books style and not fitting the Timm, "Legion" or " Teen Titans" styles, or any other animation styles. These films will be very true to the comics in all aspects.

    "That's just the start," said Levitz. He took suggestions from fans for future projects, and they mentioned "Kingdom Come" and other big projects. The mention of "Great Darkness Saga," a classic story by Levitz, prompted the publisher to say that he's already written a book this year ("JSA"), and jokingly added he's earned some time off.

    Didio asked for secrets from every creator to be revealed. ... Waid hinted at Supergirl returning to Krypton.

    The panel was asked which character they'd like to work on.
    * Brad Meltzer: All Star Squadron, Teen Titans, Legion of Super-Heroes.

    Was there ever a Superboy? "Superman did something when he was younger," said Busiek.

  • Newsarama interviewed Paul Levitz after the panel. In discussing the push towards animation:
    NRAMA: Speaking personally, and putting aside the political umbrella for a moment - what would you like to see adapted?

    PL: I'm an old fart - I want to see the '60s stuff. I'm not sure we'll ever get around to it though. The magic age of comics is the stuff where you remember where you were when you bought it, and where you were when you read it. I'm old enough so that the things that I remember are probably not what the bulk of the potential audience for these things remembers.

    Give me Adventure Comics #346, #347, or #353, #353 - the death of Ferro Lad, and I'll remember when I opened the wrapper of the subscription mailer, and how I felt that day. I'd love to see something like that happen, but I don't think that's going to be on the top of the list. I think there's a somewhat more modern world to explore.

    NRAMA: But still - if they come knocking, asking about adapting The Great Darkness Saga from your Legion run...?

    PL: I'd be honored…but we're having a hard enough time keeping that stuff in print and are having a hard enough time selling that stuff as a comic book, but time will tell. I'm always thrilled when people remember my work. As a writer, you want an audience, and to have written things that people remember years later is one of the great thrills to having played in this business. It doesn't have to be being remember a lot, anymore, but it feels good when it does.

  • The animation panel tonight is supposed to have some of the writers from the Legion series. Hopefully we'll see a report by tomorrow.

Friday, July 21, 2006

SDCC animated stuff: exclusive photos

Some new photos that I hadn't heard about from anyone else yet, courtesy of my two colleagues in the Espionage Squad. All photos by Joe Morano and Sidne Ward, please do not display these photos anywhere else.

From the Upper Deck booth, makers of the Vs. System of card games, come these two photos. The first one is the standup outside of the booth, the second is a mockup of the box with the Legion deck. Here's the promotional flyer I found yesterday on the Upper Deck web site, and here's a lot more about the deck.

Next, Warner Bros. had their own booth, separate from the DC booth. The Legion gets a prominent banner, and attendees get a special promotional trading card. (The gray border is the background of where the card was when the photo was taken, it's not on the card itself). I like how the card has the identical images as the banner, just moved around to fit a different size area - the magic of computers.

Finally, this is an exclusive picture because nobody else has a picture of Joe. You've seen the banner before, though, in the Preview Night photos.

SDCC animated news: James Tucker interview

Newsarama has a great interview with Legion producer/showrunner James Tucker. Some of the highlights:

NRAMA: There are many versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes over their 40+ years of existence. How would you describe yours?

JT: Well, I feel blessed to have a property like Legion that has very passionate fans who have endured multiple reboots of the series and still are in love with the idea of the Legion. There are a lot of great eras of Legion, and all of them have things that we cherry-pick from.

Our Legion won't belong to any specific era of the book, but I sort of think it has the lighter tone of the Silver age stories with the intensity of the later stories from that era that Jim Shooter ushered in, along with the funky spirit and energy of the later eras. Although, again, we sampled from almost all of the eras.

NRAMA: Who are the key members of this Legion? Obviously you have 50+ members to consider, so doing them all, all the time is out of the question.

JT: The key members initially will be Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Bouncing Boy, Timberwolf, Phantom Girl, and to a lesser degree, Triplicate Girl. And Superman!

NRAMA: We did a little poll among the staff for main names in the Legion. Will any of the following be there?

Cosmic Boy Chameleon Princess Projectra Mon-El Ultra Boy Colossal Kid/Giant Boy Invisible Boy Karate Kid Shrinking Violet Shadow Lass

JT: Five won't be in the first season, but the rest will. That's all I'm gonna say.

NRAMA: That said, we know the powers of the various characters of the comic, but what can you say about their personalities?

JT: Lightning Lad is eager, hot-headed and prone to fighting first and thinking later.

Saturn Girl is level-headed and ethereal, composed at all times but also very physical. Glen Murakami always thought of her character as someone who doesn't really understand physical boundaries and is always touching people and knowing their deepest thoughts.

Brainiac 5 in our Legion will be younger than all the other members and yet the smartest one. I have always thought of him as kind of a "Little Man Tate"-type character. A kid who is so smart he's sent to college when he's only 12. For the purposes of the show, we messed with his character a little bit (or a lot, depending on who you ask) by making him very much a descendant of old-school Brainiacs, and therefore he's still basically a robot boy. His deep desire, though, is to be more human, like his team mates. So, in a way, he's somewhat like Pinocchio. I think this version of Brainy is closest to the DnA version in personality combined with the robotic aspects of the character Gear from that series. I was definitely inspired by Oliver Coipel's rendition of him when designing him.

Phantom Girl is a princess who is kind of spoiled, but ultimately very devoted to being in the Legion. She has a somewhat sarcastic attitude to cover the fact that she really gets a kick out of finally being with other kids like herself.

Bouncing Boy is kind of the everyman member of the Legion. He's very down to earth and pragmatic. In a lot of ways he plays Bones to Brainiac 5's McCoy (Star Trek comparison). We play him a little bit for comedy, but when it's time for action he's the first one to lead the charge.

Timberwolf is a loner but longs to be closer to people. His appearance makes him look a bit feral, but his personality is anything but. He's the cool dude who's actually insecure inside.

Read the discussion on this on the Newsarama message board.

San Diego Con '06: day 2

From all reports, a fun first day. But Thursday is much less crowded than Friday or Saturday, we'll see what everyone has to say. I'll try to get reports throughout the day related to these events in today's con lineup. Tonight's the big debut for the animated show.

1:00-2:00 Spotlight on Jim Mooney
1:00-2:00 Warner Home Video's Superman Through The Ages
4:00-5:00 Bruce Timm Retrospective/Legion of Super Heroes
6:00-7:00 DC: 52: A Year in the Life of the DCU

  • According to The Kingdom, the "Superman Through the Ages" panel was "The panel with Superman people, but really just about Donner's Superman II." He doesn't mention any Legion connection, but from the description I figured Yuri Lowenthal (the Legion's Superman voice actor) might have been there. CBR has more coverage.

  • Here's an EXCLUSIVE camera-phone picture of the Timm/Legion panel, courtesy of Sidne Ward (better pictures coming later).

    From left to right, that's Linda Steiner (producer, at the podium), James Tucker (producer), Rob Hoegee (story editor), Shawn Harrison (Timberwolf), Kari Wahlgren (Saturn Girl and Triplicate Girl), Michael Cornacchia (Bouncing Boy), Yuri Lowenthal (Superman) and Andy Milder (Lightning Lad).

    First word of the Legion panel comes from LegionWorld poster "Kent Shakespeare", who has these things to say:
    • There will be 13 episodes, including a two-part finale based upon a classic LSH story; probably a Silver age story.
    • They're starting with a heavy Silver focus, but have picked and chosen from various eras. Various creators claim to be staunch longtime LSH fans. Someone (artist Chris Battista?) said, having worked on LSH for a year and helped reintro Superboy, he really praised the new cartoon.
    • It's young, inexperienced Superman, not Superboy, even tho the sole promo card still lists Superboy. They skirted talk about the Siegel lawsuit, so that's the most likely reason.
    • First season will feature several Fatal 5 stories; they avoided specifics on others.
    • They showed two videos; one, Kal is being knocked about by the Emerald Empress. Garth, intead of blasting EE himself, instead spends his efforts trying to coach Supes how to use his super-breath.
    • The theme they say they're going for is that Supes brings the spirit/innate paragonism to the LSH, LSH brings the experience and know-how to young Kal.
    • Brainy seems to be a machine - with a stretchble neck, and presumably other limbs.
    • Garth has a lighning-shaped scar/tatoo/whatever around his eye; it turns white when he's using his powers.

    Another LegionWorld poster drops these clues:
    morsels for now: Matter-Eater Lad. Familial Ranzz. Cosmic boy for 3 episode arc at the end. Triplicate Girl's voiced by Saturn Girl's voice actor.

    Someone found out the titles of Episodes 1 and 3: respectively, "The Journey Begins" and "Superman's Quest". The page with the list of episode titles at Wikipedia was updated within the hour. (Note: these are not the titles, according to director Ben Jones in the comment below.) That's Kari Wahlgren, who does the voice of Saturn Girl, who will also do the voice of Triplicate Girl.

    Wizard Universe finally got their report up, and it's a good one.
    The teaser showed off the Fatal Five, a shape-shifting Brainiac 5 and the Legion fighting to take down a Timberwolf gone feral. Hoegee described how the Legion depicted in the series is basically a club that’s just starting out and decide to be superheroes. They get in over their heads with the Fatal 5, and Brainiac decides to go back in time to find the greatest superhero of all time to help out—Superman. Unfortunately, they go back too far and get a young Clark Kent, still unsure of his powers. (A second cartoon clip showed Lightning Lad telling Superman to use his ice breath, to which Superman replied, “My what?”) The Legion teaches Clark to use his powers and Clark teaches the Legion how to be heroes. Meanwhile, he has to deal with the knowledge that there’s an entire museum dedicated to exploits he hasn’t even performed yet. Hoegee said just because you don’t see a character doesn’t mean they’re not in the Legion. In fact, the panel promised that Matter-Eater Lad will appear.

  • A poster at the ComicBloc forums has this from the 52/A Year in the Life panel:
    It was pretty much the only major news from todays 52 panel at the SDCC, but the Legion will be showing up in the pages of 52 sometime soon ...

    But someone else asks if it will be the Legion or the L.E.G.I.O.N.?

    CBR has this hint:
    The Legion Of Superheroes may show up in "52". Rucka had a sudden revelation, seemingly on the panel, of how to do it.

Urban Legends Revealed

Brian Cronin at CBR's Comics Should Be Good puts up a weekly "Urban Legends Revealed" column. The theme for this week is the Legion, and all three urban legends are from me (well OK, 2-1/2).

1. Did Dave Cockrum intend for Nightcrawler to be a Legionnaire? (This one is on my old Legion page).

2. Did Keith Giffen really mean to kill off a bunch of Legionnaires by pulling names from a hat? (You just read this one last week.)

3. Did Giffen blow up the Earth while nobody was watching? (This was last week too, from the part that Johanna wrote.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Vs. System card game sneak peek

We told you earlier about the Vs. System CCG that's coming this fall. Tipped off by a poster at the Vs.Realms message board, here's a sneak peek at the upcoming Legion booster deck (which also features the Teen Titans and the conclusion of Infinite Crisis). The poster points to an Upper Deck web site with a PDF file of what a flyer for the "2006 DC Legion of Super-Heroes Solicitation".

(We'll find out soon enough whether we get a peek at the cards in San Diego!)

Welcome to the 31st Century!
At the dawn of the 31st Century, the Legion of Super-Heroes protects the United Planets from the perils of the future. The Legionnaires, joined by the Teen Titans, battle the forces of Darkseid’s Elite, the Fatal Five and other Future Foes to keep the universe safe for everyone!

Help the Legionnaires bring security, stability, and order to the entire galaxy, or destroy them and it. Which ever side you choose, the universe will never be the same with the addition of these young heroes to the Vs. System! Set features fan favorite DC Comics characters, including Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Superboy, Robin, and many more!

Click to enlarge the image below. For the full PDF file, go to the Upper Deck site.

San Diego Con '06: day 1

Let the madness begin!

11:30-12:30 DC Nation
1:00-2:30 Mattel Action Figures
4:30-6:00 Spotlight on George Pérez
6:00-7:00 Scoring For Superheroes

  • Nothing Legion-related at the DC Nation panel (CBR, Newsarama, WizardUniverse), except that post-IC Superman may have been Superboy. (Sadly, it's too late to go back and undo the whole post-Crisis Superboy/Pocket Universe mess!)

  • As expected, the Mattel panel announced a line of Legion figures based on the new series. From CBR:
    A "Legion Of Superheroes" toy line was announced, tying in with the new cartoon series from Warner Bros. Not much could be revealed, but Mattel called the show "breathtaking" and think fans will love it.

    There's no definitive lineup for the first wave of "Legion" toys, except that Superman was in it for sure.

    Action Figure Insider has a bit more:
    Superboy & the Legion of Superheroes animated cartoon will have a line of figures. First wave should include Superboy, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, Cosmic Boy, Bouncing Boy, and possibly Timberwolf. They are still deciding the exact character mix.

  • WizardUniverse reports from the George Perez panel pretty much what he's said at conventions all this year:
    Of course, there were cheers when Pérez admitted that after years of working on the biggest team books in comics—Avengers, JLA, Titans and more—he’s never drawn one particular team. That’s something he plans to change, though.

    “I do need to rectify a sin in my career,” said Pérez. “I’ve never drawn a Legion of Superheroes series.”

    “We’ve been talking about it at DC with the editors,” he continued, “but nothing’s definite yet… We’ll have to see how Brave & the Bold goes and then figure out what’s next.”

  • Titans Tower Monitor has a report from the "Scoring for Super-Heroes" panel. Comics Continuum has the reason why they didn't talk about the Legion much:
    The three announced at their panel at Comic-Con International on Thursday night that they will be the music composers for Legion of Super-Heroes, the new Kids' WB! animated series.

    [Kristopher] Carter didn't want to say too much about the show but reminded con-goers that the Legion will be featured on Friday afternoon as part of the Bruce Timm panel at Comic-Con.

    Here's the pre-con chat I had with Carter.

SDCC animated news: chat with Matt Wayne

Comics Continuum talked with Matt Wayne in San Diego today. He's not on staff, but he did write two early episodes, and having come from being story editor on Justice League, he's familiar with the character because "I worked with Superboy back when when he was a man". (Even though he's officially not Superboy any more.)

The Continuum: What are the titles of your episodes? Who do they feature and what are they about?

Wayne: Not sure I'm allowed to say. Episodes Two and Five, titled "Timber Wolf" and "Champions" respectively. The first introduces a new Legionnaire to the team, but I won't say which one. The second takes place at the intergalactic games, and there are big stakes for Lightning Lad.

The Continuum: Were you a fan of the Legion? How does it feel to see a Legion show?

Wayne: I'm a fan of the goony, early Legion stories. And for very different reasons, the Levitz/Sherman, Levitz/Giffen stuff. When I wrote Shadow Cabinet at Milestone, Dwayne McDuffie sat me down and told me to read up on those runs, because that's how you do a team of heroes with a big roster. So I'm a fan from way back, if not all the way back.

What's particularly exciting about the show to a Legion fan is that it's kind of a reboot. Meaning everything is happening for the first time, without all the baggage of years of crises and clones and deaths. It goes back to what made the Legion great: Teen heroes in a mostly bright future.

Animated LSH news 47: Music to my ears

Thursday at San Diego:

6:00-7:00 Scoring For Superheroes— Join award-winning composers Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion, and Lolita Ritmanis (Teen Titans, Justice League Unlimited) for a rare behind-the-scenes look at music scoring for animation. This panel, moderated by journalist Jon Burlingame (Variety), will feature video clips, audio clips, and insider info about their upcoming projects. They will be joined by special guest Glen Murakami (Teen Titans), who will discuss their music for the Teen Titans series and upcoming DVD Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo. Q&A following! Find out more at Room 6A

One of the "upcoming projects" mentioned in above is, of course, scoring the Legion series, according to Kristopher Carter, part of the Dynamic Music Partners. Via email, he told me last week that
I can say that we have been in discussions about it, and a formal announcement is forthcoming, so please stay tuned!

He asked me to hold off announcing it until Thursday so they could break the news at San Diego.

Incidentally, Carter told me of the musical legacy between the two Timm-verse episodes, "New Kids in Town" (from Superman: The Animated Series) and "Far From Home" (from Justice League Unlimited) while discussing "New Kids":
I wrote the score to that episode, and it remains one of my favorite "Animated Superman" episodes I worked on. I was able to bring back my "Legion" theme from that show in the Justice League Unlimited's "Far From Home" episode!

So there you go. Bet you didn't know that the Legion had theme music already! No word yet if that theme from the "Timmverse" will be a part of the new show or not, but we should find out very soon.

Here's a great interview the musical team did with ToonZone last year, where they discuss all of their shows and how they do the wonderful things they do.

And here's Titans Tower Monitor's reporting of the Dyanmic Music Partners' panel at San Diego.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

San Diego Con '06: day 0

I talked to a friend at San Diego for Preview Night. She said that there must be 80,000 people there already, and the bulk of the con doesn't even start until tomorrow morning. Yikes!

Anyway, LegionClubhouse points me to Newsarama's coverage, which starts tonight with a photo of the animated Legion standup at the DC booth.

New images of Superman and Bouncing Boy, but the others are the same drawings used for the promotional flyer given out at the Licensing Show last month. Notice that in the flyer, Timber Wolf's and Brainiac 5's belt buckle "L" is reversed, those images were flopped for better composition (but someone forgot to fix the buckle).

Note that it's different that the one from the Licensing Show in New York last month:

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Coming soon

Just announced this week... Supergirl and the Legion #23, with a special variant cover (retailer gets to order 1 for every 10 regular issues) by Adam Hughes!

On sale July 19 (this week):

On sale July 26:

On sale August 16:

On sale August 23:

On sale Sept. 20:

On sale Sept. 27:

On sale Oct. 25:

Recent stuff you might have missed

Couple of minor reprints to report, courtesy of Jef Peckham, plus some surprise cameos:

There's a Legion cameo of sorts in the recent Brave New World #1. In the two-page spread at the very end, on the screens around the room are images from various series. At the top center, right above the purple doors in the page break, is an image about a square nanometer that shows a Kitson-drawn Supergirl with Phantom Girl in the background, from the cover to issue 16. I have no idea how he spotted that.

The Superman: Infinite Crisis trade paperback from last week reprints the story from the Secret Files in which we see various Legions in shards of crystal.

In Supergirl 7 from two weeks ago, we saw the evil Saturn Queen appear. But given the half-dozen or so versions of that character we've met over the years, which one is this? (Probably the one from the recent Superman/Batman arc.)

Finally, in last week's Superman 654, we see Big Blue fighting alongside Metropolis' Technology Squad, a division of Metropolis' Special Crimes Unit. "People call them 'The Science Police.' It's a screwy nickname, but who am I to criticize? They get the job done." The forerunners of the 31st century SPs? We'll find out in about 1000 years.

Not going to San Diego either

I miss going to San Diego for the "Nerd Prom". I had a lot going on last summer but this time I'm plugged into the blogosphere and following what's going on. There's just way too much to see and do, and even the five-day con (including Wednesday night) seems like not enough. You need a time bubble to simultaneously go to all the parties, panels, and dinners you want. Tom Spurgeon probably has the most-linked-to article on what to do, see, and expect.

Oh yeah, there's going to be some Legion stuff there! Here's a summary of what I posted earlier for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (click the links for the details). I haven't found any updates to these items. The bold items are all but guaranteed to have some LSH stuff (all related to the animated versions), the others you'll have to take your chances with.

11:30-12:30 DC Nation
1:00-2:30 Mattel Action Figures
4:30-6:00 Spotlight on George Pérez
6:00-7:00 Scoring For Superheroes

12:30-1:30 Hey, Kids! Blogs About Comics!
1:00-2:00 Spotlight on Jim Mooney
1:00-2:00 Warner Home Video's Superman Through The Ages
4:00-5:00 Bruce Timm Retrospective/Legion of Super Heroes
6:00-7:00 DC: 52: A Year in the Life of the DCU

1:00-2:30 DCU: One Year Greater
5:30-7:00 Animation Story Meeting

Nothing that I could find!

Michael Eury will be at the TwoMorrows booth at the con. Perhaps someone can ask him about what happened on the Legion title during his run as editor (as mentioned here earlier), just prior to KC Carlson taking over as the Earth blew up (two events which were not connected).

Also, the G4 Network's "Attack of the Show" program (DirecTV channel 354) will be broadcasting live from the convention floor on Friday night, 8pm Eastern/5pm Convention time, with some followups next week.

Over in Artists Alley: Al Gordon, Mick Gray, Adam Hughes, Jim Mooney, Jeff Moy, Phil Moy, and Terry Shoemaker, among many others. (I bought a page from Terry a few years ago and mailed it to myself at home, but it got lost in the mail.)

Upper Deck will have a booth there, ask them about the upcoming Vs. System set with the Legion coming this fall, maybe they've got a sneak preview.

For anyone who's going, have fun and tell me all about the Legion stuff! I'll post news as I get it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Starlin on the Legion

Update: added links to the stories being discussed, and added a link at the bottom with more info on Steve Apollo.

No, he's not doing anything new on the Legion book, but Newsarama recently talked Jim Starlin into answering fan questions (while discussing his upcoming stuff). Here are the ones involving the Legion:
Would you ever be interested in doing a few stories with Legion Of Super-Heroes?

And if so, do a story about the Infinite Man?

Jim Starlin
Have to admit I’m not a big Legion of Super Heroes fan. Yeah, I know I did a couple of stories involving the characters but I never really bonded with them. Don’t care much for the X-men either. Now everyone can be mad at me. Have no idea who the Infinite Man is. He anything like Kirby’s Infinity Man?

...Three questions come to mind:
3) What would it take to get you to return to the Legion and save it from the evil grasp of Mark Waid?

Jim Starlin
3.) In the past I have been accused of being overly daring and foolhardy but even I wouldn’t dream of challenging the power of the Waid.

Jeff Albertson
5) What happened with the Legion of Super-Heroes Omega story? The first LSH you did was wonderful (Rubenstein is one of your finest inkers), the second I didn't enjoy so much -- the story seemed oddly paced, and the inking was inappropriate. (I wouldn't mind you doing more Legion, but I like the current Mark Waid series, so don't listen to OM about that.)

Jim Starlin
5.) The Omega story was originally a 64 page annual that got cut down to whatever it ended up getting printed as. Didn’t like the end product so much that I asked for my name to be removed from it.

They had to credit someone for the art, though, and the name "Steve Apollo" was used. Here's some more about the two "Steve Apollo" issues from DC's message boards (and from Glen Cadigan, author of the Legion Companion).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Hat Trick

Update 7/16/06: More stuff added to the bottom of this, courtesy former editor KC Carlson (via Johanna Draper).

Dipping into my old email archives, here's a compilation of some messages from 1998-2001....

The story of what Keith Giffen was going to do with the Legion when the SW6 Batch came in is pretty far out. You might read this and not believe it, but it's true. Giffen's plan is known in Legion fandom as "The Hat Trick", and it's got nothing to do with hockey.

The name itself started either with the early mailing list [lsh-l] or on usenet's Legion newsgroup, rec.arts.comics.dc.lsh. The earliest reference to the incident was in my 1995 San Diego Con report, posted to the newsgroup Aug. 9, 1995. In San Diego, a bunch of Legion fans got together to hang out. One of those fans was then-editor KC Carlson, who told us some interesting stories. The rest of this post is taken from my con report, Troy McNemar’s con report (not online), a Feb. 1999 AOL chat that Giffen attended, and Jef Peckham’s June 1999 Heroes Con report (not online).

According to KC Carlson, this was around the time when Giffen was debating on whether to stay with the Legion or not. KC was editor at the time.

Giffen described this time period in Legion history as "the one story I wish I could have finished up right."

Stitched together from three different reports:
His plan was this: the SW6ers were the real Legionnaires, and the "adults" were clones created by the Dominators circa Adventure #348-349ish - so for the last 20 years or so, we had been reading the Legion of Cloned Super-Heroes. The adults’ secret programming would kick in and the two teams (kid SW6 and adult LSH) would have a “massive battle” to the death -- with the victims chosen at random, their names literally pulled out of a hat by the writer(s). Then after it was all over, the two teams would make up, then the senior team would then leave United Planets space for the Vega System and call themselves THE OMEGA MEN in their own book.

KC at this point said, basically, "No way, this is not going to happen", and that made up Giffen's mind to leave the series.

Asked a few years later, according to Peckham's Heroes Con report, Giffen corrected this version, saying he wasn’t going to have it where half would die and the rest join as one Legion.
He only planned that "some" would die, considerably less than half, perhaps 5 to 10, in the battle to free Earth from the Dominion. After that, the older Legionnaires were going to be given Earth and the defense of the UP headquarters, while the younger team were going to the edges of UP space and act as the last line of defense, in a new book to be called The Omega Men.

Keith said it was TPTB's insistence on the removal of Mon-El, simply because of the "El" name, was what led the Bierbaums to write the “Mordruverse” issue of V4. He said it was all the Bierbaums doing, and he refused to be associated with that issue over his objections with what was TPTB wanted accomplished.

He claimed that TPTB at DC had been pressuring the creators to pay less attention to continuity and Legion history, and in fact were looking for a reboot years before it actually happened. He also said that this pressure to toss out 30 years of Legion history was what ultimately made him quit the book. As a side note, he said that he destroyed Earth as he left because "no one was watching."

So there you have it. An urban legend that's actually true.

Update: More info from KC and Johanna via email, reposted with permission.

Johanna says: "If you want to add the following from KC, you're welcome to. (This is kicking off from the last paragraph from Giffen.)"

I wasn't aware of any plans to reboot the series before we actually did it in Zero Hour. We (me, Mark Waid, and Tom McCraw) came up with the idea ourselves, and Carlin and Levitz signed off on it. There may have been some tinkering regarding the SW6 characters in getting the Legionnaires book started, but Michael Eury is the person to ask about that, since that series went through several false starts before it came to market.

Keith says that he bumped off Earth because no one was paying attention, and he's right. The book was editorially transitioning again, and the Earth blowing up issue wound up being my first. However, not many people know that TPTB had noticed what Keith was doing, and as soon as I started, they asked that that issue not be published. I had to fight for its publication, because that issue was virtually complete when I walked in the door. It was suggested it be cancelled, but it was so close to publication that trashing it would have thrown the schedule completely off, and I didn't want to start by making the book late.

I also understood that several hoops had to be jumped through to get Neil Gaiman to sign off on the Death cameo, and I didn't want that to go to waste, because I thought it was a good bit. Although I had nothing creatively to do with that issue, I was happy to fight for it, because I thought it was an excellent piece of work.

Animated: sneak peek online

As expected, within a short time after the show "Behind the Shield" aired on the WB network, the Legion's promo in it has been digitized and uploaded to YouTube (Thanks to "wgz4life" at for uploading it). It's only 38 seconds, but it shows part of a battle between the Legion and the Fatal Five (in particular, Lightning Lad, Superman, and Emerald Empress).

Peter Fries at ToonZone notes that the background music was from the Superman Returns movie. This will not, however, be the music for the series (more on that later).

There were three other clips. In the first one, Lightning Lad fight and Superman are fighting off giant spider robots and Timber Wolf (in Furball mode). In the second one, we see all of the Legionnaires, including a Triplicate Girl who splits into three (duh!), each with a different hair color - white, orange, and purple. In the third, we see Superman and the Legion.

Interestingly, in the long clip, note that Lightning Lad is telling Superman how to use one particular power, suggesting that they might have to train him in how to be Super since he came to the future from a time before he became Superman. The first few seconds of the YouTube clip were cut off, and we see a brief shot of Clark looking up in awe at a Superman statue.

Comics Continuum says "It appeared that all the images and scenes were from the first two episodes, which introduce Clark Kent/Superman and Timber Wolf to the Legion world."

The LegionWorld forum has all four clips available to view or to save. Comics Continuum has some screen captures, including this one (notice the upside-down rocketship HQ in the background):

Follow discussion of the sneak peek on ToonZone here and here, LegionWorld, Captain Comics, Comic Book Resources, and Comic Geek Speak.

Also discussing it on their blogs: Tin Foil Hats, and more to come.

Update 7/19: TitansGo has a full downloadable clip, all 22.8 MB of it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Foreign Legion II

Previously in the Foreign Legion: here

Original here, Spanish cover here

Original here, Spanish cover here

Original here, Spanish cover here

Original here, Spanish cover here

Original here, Spanish cover here

Original here, Spanish cover here

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Linkdump, July '06

Well with a couple of days with no new announcements, here are some things to keep you busy reading in the meantime. One more week til San Diego!

  • Blockade Boy has the scoop on the Duplicate Boy movie, starring Charlie Brown (from Peanuts) as the title character.
    A reputed Hollywood insider calling himself "Blockade Boy" opines that the casting of Charlie Brown in the role is "pure genius." Said Blockade Boy, "Duplicate Boy's Who's Who entry from September 1985 says, and I quote, 'He has no training in use of his powers, personal combat, or much of anything else.' You know you're pathetic when even the slimmest biographical profile is at a loss to name things you're good at. Listen, honey, I met the guy and I can tell you right now all the stories about him are true. He's just a good-looking lunkhead who skates by on a natural talent he never bothered to develop. He's like that guy who was a football hero in high school and ten years later he's a janitor. Not that Charlie Brown ever struck anybody as good-looking or heroic, but hey, he's still a lame-ass. Just like Duplicate Boy."

  • Blog@Newsarama pointed me to a discussion between Chris Maka, who thinks that "Darkseid is a largely overrated and not particularly exciting villain", and Marc "Not the Beastmaster" Singer, who says that "Darkseid is one of the great archetypal characters, and one of the last to arrive in comics". Displayed is the awesome, awesome cover to LSH v2 294 with the Legion bowing down to Darkseid. Both writers, however, agree that the Great Darkness Saga is one of the best Darkseid stories ever.

  • Michelle Pessoa notes the potential for the creation of the 21st century Legion of Super-Villains.

  • I can't believe I forgot to post this one. From the Invincible Super-Blog:
    It's one of those things where you read it, read it again, and then have to go tell someone else about it before your head explodes, which is the sort of thing you're going to have to expect when you're reading a series predicated on a bunch of teenagers going back in time for the sole purpose of screwing with Superboy because they like him so much. And I feel it's only fair to warn you: it may very well blow your mind.

  • The Matchstick recalls for us the battle royale between the Legion of Substitute Heroes and the Legion of Super-Pets. As he says, it truly is the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.

  • The seebelow LJ site has a casting call for a proposed Legion movie - if it were made in 1986, and directed by John Hughes.

  • From a mention in a recent Legion issue about how Metropolis runs through most of the Atlantic seaboard comes this interesting discussion about the urban sprawl of the 31st century - a Californiopolis on the west coast, a Texopolis on the Gulf Coast, a Centralopolis in the Midwest, etc.

  • You probably read this already, but when Superman Returns came out there was an interview with Joyce Kaffel, the daughter of Mort Weisinger, about her growing up with Superman. The Legion gets a brief mention but it's a fun article regardless.

  • This guy wants us to sign a petition to "bring back the TRUE Legion of Super-Heroes". Ironically, his "real version" is the reboot version (1994-2005). He's got 84 signatures as of this writing.

  • I forgot about this one. This guy lost his cell phone, which had been customized with a Legion sticker on it (his own personal Omnicom, I guess). After buying a new one, "my biggest concern sadly was what new sticker to apply to the back of it. For some reason I have to indicate some kind of nerd affiliation on my cell phone." Here's what he came up with.

  • Speaking of phones, here's what can happen if you have all your Legion action figures standing up next to a window in a thunderstorm. I mean, besides turning into the Composite Superman.

Oh, and with all the upheavals in ComicsBlogistan lately - THE BEAT moving to Publishers Weekly, Great Curve moving to Newsarama, Comics Should Be Good moving to CBR, WizardUniverse and TCJ starting news and/or blogs - if anyone wants to pay me an obscene (or maybe just mildy disgusting) amount of money to move, they can buy me out too. I'm just sayin', that's all.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"New Kids in Town" on BOOM - tonight!

In case you don't have the Superman DVD or you haven't downloaded the torrent to your computer... Set your TiVo, VCR, DVR, Betamax, computer, or omnicom for the BOOM network on tonight (Tuesday, July 11th), at 11:30 pm EDT (10:30 CDT, probably 9:30 MDT and 11:30 PDT). The network, a spinoff of Cartoon Network, is showing the "New Kids in Town" episode of "Superman: The Animated Series".

In the episode, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Chameleon go back in time to visit the young Superman before he moves to Metropolis. No, it's not the new show, in this one they're chasing Brainiac back in time to Smallville, at a period before Clark became Superman.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Animated LSH news 46: creative team updates

"Faroutspacenut" (the super-hero identity of one of the show's insiders - no, not this one) updated the Legion show's Wikipedia page on Sunday and added two new directors and four new writers that were unknown to me. Here's their list. The new names (or names with new titles) that I did not have before are in boldface.

This is probably not a complete list.

Executive Producer: Sander Schwartz
Producer: James Tucker, Linda Steiner
Associate Producer: A. J. Vargas
Director: Ben Jones, Tim Maltby, Lauren Montgomery
Voice Director: Kelly Ward
Writers: Stan Berkowitz, John Esposito, Rob Hoegee, Rob Hummel, Marty Isenberg, David Slack, Scott Sonneborn, Matt Wayne, Amy Wolfram
Story Editor: Rob Hoegee
Art Director: Dave Johnson
Character Designer: Derrick J. Wyatt, Glenn Wong
Storyboards: Irineo Maramba
Backgrounds/Props: Norm Ryang, Eric Canete

  • Tim Maltby (IMDB) previously directed some Scooby-Doo and Batman videos.
  • Lauren Montgomery - who I'm betting is not the porn star of the same name - doesn't seem to be listed in the IMDB. The only reference to her that makes any sense is as a co-author (and co-artist) with Legion background artist Eric Canete on a book called "Beauty and the Beast".
  • John Esposito was a writer on Teen Titans. His IMDB entry is probably mixed up, it looks like they have him combined with the guy of the same name who wrote a couple of screenplays and co-produced "From Dusk Til Dawn". (Of course, that may be his stuff too!)
  • Rob Hummel (IMDB) comes from Invader Zim, where he "appeared" a couple of times. Probably not the same Rob Hummel who is a senior VP at WB Studios.
  • Marty Isenberg (IMDB) comes to the Legion by way of the various Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, and X-Men animated shows.
  • Scott Sonneborn (IMDB) has probably the most interesting credit - besides Beavis and Butt-Head and Celebrity Deathmatch, he also wrote for Jenna Jameson's reality-type show called Jenna's American Sex Star.

The Legion Fight Song

Remember the Inferior Five? The Silver Age group (from Earth-12) had their own book from 1967-68. In issue 2 they had a series of super-hero fight songs - one of which was for the Legion. This one was sung to "Stars and Stripes Forever" and was written by E. Nelson Bridwell (who wrote a number of Legion stories in the late 60's and early 70's.)

I dare Mark Waid and the James Tucker/Rob Hoegee/AJ Vargas team to use this in their respective series. I double dog dare them.

The Legion of Super-Heroes
Is the club that will beat every bad guy
We'll fly through the reaches of space
and each time we'll score an ace

We'll police every world that exists
And we never will wind up making zeroes
We'll clash with the foe in the lists
The Le-gi-on of Super-Heroes!

What this suggests about the previous existence of an Earth-12 Legion is left as an exercise for the reader.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

San Diego Con programming part 2

OK, the Saturday and Sunday schedules are up for the San Diego Con. Here is the jam-packed Thursday/Friday Legion-centric schedule. The rest of the weekend isn't so busy, so you'll have time to shop and go listen to other stuff (because it's not ALL about the Legion!).


  • 1:00-2:30 DCU: One Year Greater
  • 5:30-7:00 Animation Story Meeting— Travel to a dark place, seldom seen by outsiders: an animation story meeting. See and hear how an idea for an animated superhero story goes from one-sentence premise all the way to full-blown, beginning-middle-and-end story (with hardly any blood being spilled). [Participants include Amy Wolfram and Stan Berkowitz, who have written at least one Legion episode each.]

  • Nothing that I could find!

These are, of course, preliminary and subject to change. Those of you going, we want reports, podcasts, YouTube videos, and blog entries!

Badass week at the ISB

Earlier in the week I asked you to vote for Karate Kid as the Toughest Man in Comics - a guy who "has such an incredible mastery of martial arts that it's considered a super-power", a guy who gave Superboy a run for his money in his tryout, a guy who kicked Darkseid in the head. But he lost in the Invincible Super-Blog's contest. Not that he lost to some pansy characters: he beat out Orion, but came in 5th place overall behind Thor, Punisher, Conan, and winner by a landslide, Sgt. Rock.

So how do you follow up the Toughest Man contest? With a Toughest Woman contest, of course. But the ISB already crowned a winner, so to speak: Princess (later Queen) Projectra. Her Bad-Assiest moment, the one that got her the title, was the v4 Legion of Super-Villains story in which Karate Kid was killed by Nemesis Kid.

And that's where Legion of Super-Heroes #5 picks up with one of the most badass things I have ever seen in comics starts.

That's Princess Projectra, whose only super-power is making pretty convincing illusions that Nemesis Kid is completely immune to. You know, just so we're clear on what happens next.

Last year, when Wonder Woman snapped Max Lord's neck to keep him from turning Superman into an unstoppable killing machine, people got mad about it, and she was acting to save lives. But here?

Not only does Projectra snap that dude's neck purely for revenge, but she then turns around and asks her friends if anybody's got the balls to tell her that wasn't the right thing to do.

And that? That's the hardest shit since Straight Outta Compton. FACT.


The Toughest Woman in Comics

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Superman: Behind the Shield with Legion sneak peek

As you've no doubt read elsewhere, KidsWB will be showing a sneak peak at the Legion show (even prior to San Diego!) next weekend on your local WB station, called Superman: Behind the Shield. It looks like you'll have to watch in between the commercials to get these, though, as it's not a show of its own.

If you go to the KidsWB website, you can see what it's all about.

KidsWB takes you Behind the Shield, a special event hosted by the Man of Steel himself, Superman! All morning you’ll soar behind the scenes of one of the summer’s most exciting movies and discover some of its super special-effects secrets! Plus you’ll be the very first to see a world premiere sneak peek of the brand new KidsWB TV series, Legion of Super-Heroes, featuring Superman. Behind the Shield: a Superman special event, starting next Saturday morning beginning at 7 on KidsWB.

ComicsContinuum did a better job than I could at getting screen grabs:

Interesting remake of Tharok and Persuader.

Thanks to LegionWorld for the tip.

Trivia answers

I promised I'd get to these...

1. In "real" continuity, twice so far we've seen a Bizarro Legion of Super-Heroes (one pre-Crisis in Adventure 329 and one post-reboot in LSH v4 113-115 - not counting any dreams, hoaxes, or Imaginary Stories, like the recent campfire story). 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)?

I asked this one a while back but nobody tried to answer then either. Brainiac 5, Mon-el, and Lightning Lad all appeared in both stories.

2. When written by a competent writer, what specific thing happened each time Tyroc yelled "OOYYYYUUUUU"?
Apparently you forgot my Tyroc trivia quiz. This was his teleport yell. The "competent writer" crack was aimed at Gerry Conway, who inconsistently made up random sounds for Tyroc's yells when he wrote the Legion in the v2 260's, as opposed to his first few appearances when they were consistent.

3. It's commonly known that Dave Cockrum originally invented the X-Man we know as Nightcrawler as a member of a Legion spinoff group, before he left DC. What other major X-Man was inspired by a character Cockrum created for a Legion spinoff?
It was Storm, as Jonathan Miller thought. Cockrum had created a character named Quetzal for his "Outsiders" spinoff, and another character called the Black Cat. He took Quetzal's look, Black Cat's costume, and put them on a weather character the X-Men editors wanted, and got Storm. Cockrum's Wolverine was going to have been a Devastator, but that one ended up being used for Fang, the Imperial Guardsman (who was a Timber Wolf analog), not Marvel's Wolverine. See my page on Cockrum's Outsiders and Devastators.

4. Over the years, Dev-em has had at least three separate, totally different, totally contradictory origins. Briefly describe them.
Jonathan Miller was right on this one. First he was a Kryptonian, a 20th century knave and a 30th century spy. But when there were no more Kryptonians, he became a Titanian mutant who gave himself powers mentally; this only appeared in the Who's Who book. Finally, he was an insane Daxamite who blew up the Moon. There's a guy in the Cult of Conner in the 52 series named "Devem", but it remains to be seen if and how he's connected.

5. Which Legionnaire once had super-powers greater than Superboy's (pre-Crisis)?
Matthew got this one right, Star Boy briefly had Kryptonian level powers with no weaknesses, but those wore off and he was left with his mass-inducing powers. Mon-el always had his lead problem, even with the serum.

6. Prior to the Five Year Gap, under which Legion leader did the team see the most members join (regardless of how many terms they served as leader)?
Jonathan Miller said Invisible Kid (Adventure 348-370; 1 new Legionnaire - Shadow Lass) or Lightning Lad (SLSH 247 to LSH v2 291; 1 new Legionnaire - Blok), neither of which were right. Tenzil said Element Lad (LSH v2 306 to LSH v3 30-something; 5 new Legionnaires - Magnetic Kid, Polar Boy, Quislet, Sensor Girl, and Tellus) or Dream Girl (LSH v2 291-306; 1 new Legionnaire - White Witch). My initial guess would have been Saturn Girl, since she was leader in the early days (Adventure 304-336), but she only had 5 new Legionnaires (Mon-el, Element Lad, Lightning Lass, Dream Girl, and Command Kid). All right now, everyone slap your forehead and say "oh yeah! d'oh!" when I say that Cosmic Boy (through Adventure 303) recruited 14 new Legionnaires: Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Invisible Kid, Brainiac 5, Supergirl, Superboy, Ultra Boy, Star Boy, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Bouncing Boy, and Matter-Eater Lad.

7. Who was the only then-active Legionnaire who did not appear during the Great Darkness Saga, and why?
Everyone got this one, it was Shrinking Violet, who had been replaced by the Durlan Yera at the time.

8. Over the years, how many different Legionnaires have had kids? Assume the three major eras (pre-Zero Hour, post-Zero Hour reboot, current) are different characters.
Not counting any dreams, hoaxes, Imaginary Stories, or Adult Legion timelines, Matthew got the ones I was thinking of: Pre-ZH Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl's pair of twins Garridan and Graym (sons), and Dacey and Doritt (daughters); Pre-ZH Cosmic Boy's son Pol, with Night Girl; Pre-ZH's Andromeda's daughter Lauren, with Rond Vidar; and Post-ZH Apparition and Ultra Boy's son Cub.

9. Which Legion-related character suffers from Taphephobia?
Again, Matthew got this one. Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive, which always brings down Mordru.

10. Which members of the Legion of Super-Villains were members of the Legion of Super-Heroes at any point (regardless of how they got into the LSH)?
Thinking about one future's worth of continuity is tough enough, but the LSV had multiple versions from multiple timelines. First, when Dynamo Boy snuck his way onto the team, he kicked everyone else out and let in Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen, and Cosmic King. Later, ex-Legionnaire Nemesis Kid joined the LSV. During the Five Year Gap, Echo joined (this one is debatable, since he joined the Adult LSV which is not considered canonical). Towards the end of the v4 run, Spider-Girl joined the Legion. Here's a good attempt at figuring out the LSV's timeline.