Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What Makes the Legion?

Greg (aka Elmo) thinks he knows.

Inspired by Christopher Bird's essay on what he thinks is wrong with the current Legion (as also mentioned here), Greg put together a pretty good list of what are the essential elements that make up the Legion. If you don't have them, it's not the Legion, no matter who's writing or who's rebooting.

NYCC: Brace Yourself for Another Comic Con Season Already

DC announced its lineup for the 2nd New York Comic Con next month (Feb. 23-25). Obviously there will be more to come, but here's how it's shaping up for Legion related programming and guests:

Guests with Legion credits will include Brian Azarello and Cliff Chiang (maybe someone can find out WTF Infectious Lass is doing in the "Tales of the Unexpected" backup story with Anthro, the ghost of JEB Stuart, I... Vampire, and talking Nazi gorillas), Adam DeKraker (S/LSH inker), Keith Giffen (former LSH v4 writer), Sanford Greene (artist on LSH31C #2), Andy Lanning (former LSH writer), George Perez (wannabe LSH artist), Gail Simone (the last writer of The Legion), and J. Torres (LSH31C writer). DC editorial will be there too, including Paul Levitz (former LSH v3 writer and DC President and Publisher) and Mike Marts (current LSH editor).


Friday 2/23
DC Nation
The call for the NATION to gather has gone out again! Don't miss the special unveiling of what will sure to be the most talked about event of the coming year! Moderated by Senior VP - Executive Editor DCU Dan DiDio, and featuring VP - Sales Bob Wayne, Senior Editor Mike Marts, Coordinating Editor Jann Jones, writer Paul Dini and writer/artist Keith Giffen.
This is the one where they'll talk about the new WWIII/Countdown picture. The Legion is somehow involved (at least to the extent that there's a Flight Ring in the image.)

Saturday 2/24
DCU: A Better Tomorrow - Today!
The DC Universe has been transformed by the events of 52. Living in a world one year later, discover the fate of your favorite heroes in this compelling presentation and Q&A! Moderated by Senior VP - Executive Editor DCU Dan DiDio, and featuring VP - Sales Bob Wayne, writers Paul Dini, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Greg Rucka and Gail Simone, artist Pete Woods and more.

Brain Drain preview

This is post #402. I missed #400 because I was paging Mark Waid. Grife!

Anyway, Comics Continuum has screencaps for the next All-New! episode of the Legion, called "Brain Drain" (episode 1.09, airing out of order). Featuring Superman, Timber Wolf, and the Rolling Head of Brainiac 5! (Finally, more Timber Wolf other than endless reruns of his debut and so far only significant episode.)

Check out the Continuum page for some words on the episode from James Tucker: "It's an episode that deals with Superman's friendship with Brainiac -- and also the contradictions of that friendship because of their unknown history."

Don't forget, this is the first of four new episodes to air weekly through February. Of course, that'll probably be it until May sweeps.

Happy National Gorilla Suit Day!

Even Brainiac 5 celebrates National Gorilla Suit Day!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Paging Mark Waid

Maybe if I put his name in the title and say it three times he'll appear, just like Beetlejuice...

Mark Waid

Mark Waid

      Mark Waid

Mark, can you say anything about whether or not there are plans for an event next year that will celebrate the Legion's 50th anniversary?

For the benefit of the readers, the Legion is the very first super-team of the Silver Age, debuting in April 1958. It predates the Justice League of America (1960), the Avengers (1961), the Fantastic Four (1961), and the X-Men (1963).

Countdown to the Legion's 50th Anniversary

You know, it didn't occur to me until I read it over at Duke Harrington's place.... That big teaser picture everyone is talking about - remember that Legion flight ring next to Blue Beetle's hand? Duke reminds us that the Legion's 50th anniversary is next year, with the April 2008 issue. That's just 13 issues from now.

According to this week's Lying in the Gutters, that teaser picture will tie into the 52 followup, called Countdown, where the week after 52 #52 comes out, is Countdown #51, counting down to zero. Might we see the return of some Legions with the multiverse during the series?

Coming soon....

Coming this Wednesday:

It's not Klordny Week, but what else do you have to celebrate right now?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Countdown to the Multiverse?

Update 1/26 at 4pm: Yep, that little yellow dot is indeed a Legion flight ring. Newsarama has a high-res version of the picture.

In case you haven't seen it yet, DC released a promo image for... well, something. Speculation seems to be that it's related to either the upcoming WWIII (from 52) or from the rumored weekly comic called Countdown as the 52 followup.

"Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction."

There are no Legionnaires in it, unless you squint really hard and think enlarge the picture to see that the conspicuous yellow dot near Blue Beetle's hand is a Legion flight ring. (Click the picture to enlarge it, or go to Newsarama for a high-res version.)

The reason I'm posting it here is that speculation seems to be leaning towards this representing (among other things) the return of the Multiverse: there are characters from the former Earths-1, 4, S, and 8, plus a couple in old costumes, plus some Elseworlds characters. Are there going to be 52 Earths? There are (probably literally) dozens of Legion continuities to choose from...

On the other hand, the last time I tried some future speculating in here a year ago, I posted some guesses that turned out to be just a bit off. They included someone thinking that Superboy-Prime would end up in the 31st century as the new Mon-El, and my thought that the current Legion would be revealed to be the post-Infinite Crisis Earth-2 Legion (with the post-Zero Hour Legion as the Earth-1 Legion). Well, that last one might still have some ring of truth.

Follow the discussion on CBR and Newsarama, and keep watching the skies...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Christopher Bird on "What's Wrong with the Legion?"

Christopher Bird, a Legion geek along with the rest of us, has written a very interesting critical review of the whole Waid/Kitson series to date. There are things that need fixing, in his opinion, and he presents a pretty reasonable argument.

He opens with this:

I have always said that if I was allowed to pick any one comic to write - any one - it would simultaneously have to be Legion of Super-Heroes, and could not in any way be Legion of Super-Heroes. It is my Grail, my monolith in 2001, my (insert metaphor of simultaneous longing and dread here).

I want to write that comic very badly, but at the same time, I recognize that it's quite possibly the most difficult assignment one can pull in superhero comics - a huge, almost unmanageable cast, the demands of writing a Big Two comic book with none of the bonuses (you can't just bring in Batman for a two-part story when you feel like it) or the usual cheats (all the usual-suspect characters are for the most part long dead, so it can't just be Lex Luthor behind everything), plus on top of that you have the insanely stupid and constant editorial demand that Legion storylines set in the 31st century tie into present-day continuity (because when somebody writes a Batman comic, they of course have to account for how their Batman story ties into the launch of the Second Crusade).

All of that having been said, I still feel the need to express dissatisfaction with Mark Waid's current Legion of Super-Heroes run. It's funny, because usually I'm a huge Waid booster - he's had his share of turkeys, just like every writer (Kingdom Come, the tail end of his second run on Flash, et cetera), but when Waid hits it, it's always out of the park. I consider his recent Fantastic Four run to be some of the best F4 comics in history - surpassing Byrne, and right up there as worthy successors to Stan n' Jack. And Empire, despite having terrible names for the supervillains (one of Waid's major failings has always been that he's crappy, really crappy, at coming up with character names) is a masterstroke.

But when I read his Legion - it doesn't work. I can see where a lot of it would work in a comic other than Legion of Super-Heroes. If this was Mark Waid's Space Teens it would probably be a much better comic. But anyhow. A few points:

Here are his points. Go over there for the explanation.

1.) The name of the comic is Legion of Super-Heroes.
2.) We're twenty-six issues into this comic and most of the team doesn't have personality or character worth mentioning.
3.) The pacing sucks.
4.) The central trope of "young versus old" is both stupid and limiting.
5.) The comic is completely unapproachable to people introduced to the Legion through the cartoon.


I realized it, but I didn't realize it.

In a comment over on The BEAT, Kevin Huxford notes:

I’d think there’d be a bit more comparing DC’s FCBD reprint offerings versus Marvel’s completely new offering. Or something about how the FCBD Legion offering is coming so quickly after the copy that customers are expected to pony up cash for.

He's right. Free Comic Book Day is May 5th, while the retail version of this book comes out for sale on April 18th.

For what it's worth, I've decided that my abbreviation for this title will be "LSH31C". Much easier than typing in "Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century", though only marginally easier than "Legion Adventures".

Here's what the cover will look like with the FCBD trade dress. Notice that the logo is based on the logo from the TV series (to be expected, of course).

Over at Every Day Is Like Wednesday, Caleb looks at the FCBD selections, of which LSH31C is one.
Additionally, I can’t imagine it being a book that’s going to lead to life-long comics readers or, if it does, that it’s the best one to start them on. I’m about as nerdy a DC reader as you can get (Hell, I blog on their comics, for chrissakes!) and even I’m leery of the LOSH. The first year’s worth of Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s current series is the longest I’ve ever read any Legion series, and I wouldn’t have even attempted that if it weren’t a hard reboot. Legion continuity is a fucking desert full of mirrors, and any traveling into it are risking their own sanity.

That said, I do plan on reading this new series for a couple of issues, at least. All of DC’s cartoon tie-ins are incredibly hit-or-miss, but this one has the advantage of Chynna on art chores. Of course, Chynna writing and designing her own LOSH series would be even cooler than this, but I’ll take Chynna art wherever I can get it.

S/LSH #26 review roundup

Update 1/28 Added reviews from Rokk, Vincent Murphy, B. Schatz, and Jeff Bridges at the bottom.
Update 1/25 Added reviews from Ken Cuperus, Ludickid, Stephbarton, and Graig at the bottom.

Issue 26: now it's starting to kick into high gear. But there was something about this one that was... I don't know, a bit "off". Maybe it was the ending - the robots are building this huge dispersal unit that looks like a Dominator. But they're robots, what do they care for form and image? Why go to all the time and trouble to build a giant hollow wooden badger Dominator robot that's just going to be torn apart or explode?

By the way, anyone else notice that the arrows on the back of Light Lass's top keep changing from panel to panel? I wonder if that's deliberate on Kitson's part. If it is, I think it's cool.

Apparently the pre-Zero Hour stuff with Lar Gand has been Superboy-punched away; no more L.E.G.I.O.N. tenure in his history now. Also, we find out that Supergirl does go back the the "One Year Later" DC universe at some point, though she could spend quite a while with the Legion before going back home:
Mon-El: A thousand years ago, when he was about your age, your cousin Kal-El saved my life! He put me in the Phantom Zone because I'd been poisoned. I've been there pretty much ever since.
Supergirl: You know Kal?
Mon-El: I know you. You'll meet me again later in your life, once you finally return to the 21st century.
Supergirl: Okay, good! So I do make my way back to my own time eventually?
Mon-El: Yes, but not until after...
Supergirl: After what?
Mon-El: Never mind. Nothing.

First point: Mon-El says that the Kal-El he met was Supergirl's age, which would make Kal younger than he is now when Lar Gand got sent to the Zone. That's a story that might be told in the upcoming Action Comics Annual, in which Mon-El appears (in flashback?), or maybe not.

Second point: Yes, we know Kara will be going back to the 21st century, that was a given considering she's got her own title set in the present. But thanks to time travel, she could stay here another 10 years and then travel back 990 years instead of 1000 to get back to where she was supposed to have been. And hey, wouldn't you know it, in a few months we'll see Supergirl returning from the future in one of the 52/WWIII issues in week 50.

Third point: We're now back to the classic "Kal-el put me in the Zone". Most recently it was Kon-el putting him in the Stasis Zone (somewhere around here).

Something else bothered me this issue, really a minor point that from something that you never notice until it's not right, the lettering. It's clear that this is some kind of computer lettering, which I have no problem with, but there was an extra gap after the bold-faced text, which was just slightly jarring enough to be noticeable. That's the fault of letterer Travis Lanham, assistant editor Jeannine Schaeffer, and editor Mike Marts. I'm not the only one who noticed it, either.

On to the other reviews...
  • Matthew at the Legion Abstract did a good job of tying together many of the loose ends that I had forgotten about (like the object Supergirl was chasing in her first appearance here back in issue 16, among other things).
    But I’m not satisfied yet. I want to know how Tarik the Mute comes into this. I want to know how that weightlifter Dominator who attacked Sun Boy and his merry band comes into this. And I want to see some meaningful fighting.
    I keep thinking there’s something missing from this issue, but there’s nothing I can put my finger on. There’s action, there’s character stuff, it’s all well done, the plot is pushed along sufficiently… I think it’s just that I’m ready for this arc to be over. We’ve been dealing with the Wanderers and Dominators and the stupid robots since #16, and this is #26. That’s too long.

  • Dave Van Domelen's Unspoilt Capsules and Awards:
    Nice FF #1 cover homage, with a camera angle twist. The origin of the Ranzz powers is the main focus this issue, told via multiple viewpoints and to multiple audiences in a nice little narrative device. The plot is a bit slow-moving, but the scripting is good. There's some weird spacing issues with the lettering, like they were trying to force-justify the lines too wide, and it can get irritating at times. Recommended.

  • Ami Angelwings' Heavenly Comic Reviews:
    A bit of a let down, esp compared to all the other issues! We find out that Supergirl will eventually be returning to her own time. Which is sad :( Esp if she becomes current Supergirl *shudder* Also, I think they packed way too much exposition into one comic, and it got a bit confusing at the end. Rly interesting cliffhanger tho and a GREAT Brainy line! 3/5 Angelwings

  • Ken Cuperus at Revoltin' Developments:
    Great read if you have the patience to figure out who everyone is and what role they play in the bigger picture. I'm really digging the latest reboot by WAID and KITSON. Supergirl's solo book may be unreadable, but the character is right at home here in the far future. And for my money, BARRY KITSON is the best, most underrated artist in the industry.

  • The Original Losing Loser (ludickid) at the Seebelow LJ site:
    Waid is starting to establish a pattern here: 20 pages of boring sociopolitical wrangling and plot-hatching I couldn’t care less about, followed by just enough of a big cliffhanger at the end so I won’t get completely bored. Sorry, Mark, it’s not enough: if you don’t scale it down and start playing up the soap character, this book’s going on the “do not pull” list next month. The verdict: Nod-inducing.

  • Stephbarton, on the Comicbloc message board:
    First, I have to confess, I dropped the book with this issue. Mainly, I am poor college student and figured I would go the less expensive trade route on this series.

    So, this issue (that I read in the store) obviously did not grab me enough to make me keep buying the book on a monthly basis. However, I still thought it was an good issue, it just seems to lack action to me and thus not worth my $3 (hey, that's a meal at BK).

    So, next issue should be interesting, but this issue had WAY too much standing around and talking for me to keep getting the book. So for now, I just have to see how things go in the comic store.

  • Graig at Rack Raid:
    Writer Mark Waid gives the Legion an 1980’s epic action feel reminiscent of the Titans, Legion and X-Men books of the time, which is to say that the dialogue is a little clunky at times, but the premise, set-up and execution of the story are top notch and completely fun. There’s not a lot of social or political contemplation going into this one, but instead a super-heroes-overcoming-huge-obstacles scenario fit for young and old alike.

  • Rokk at the Comic Book Revolution:
    The Revolution has been stunned that we actually enjoyed the last issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes... I’ve been liberal in my venom for this title when I have disliked an issue, so it is only fair that I’m liberal in my praise when I feel that Waid is finally turning out quality reads on the Legion.

    I have criticized Waid for what has seemed to be an alarming lack of focus and a pace that would make a snail seem as fast as a cheetah. However, Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #26 suddenly brings together three different plotlines and gives them razor sharp focus and a clear direction. The Robot Rebellion plotline, the Dominator plotline and the mysterious individual recruiting super powered teens have now all converged together to create an overall storyline that has the potential to be wildly entertaining.

  • Vincent Murphy at Spandex Justice:
    And, you know, any comic with Giant Robots automatically becomes better. Giant Dominator Robots are even better. I liked the cockiness of Supergirl, Mon-El and Ultra-Boy thinking that they could handle anything, only to fail (though Mon-El seems a little too familiar with members of the team, calling Brainiac 5 “Brainy” at one point).

    I admire what Mark Waid is trying to do here, but the pacing on this comic is extremely leisurely. Plodding, almost. In itself, that’s not a bad thing, but combined with the limited amount of character development, it becomes a very generic comic. But I’m still intrigued by the whole Dominator angle (and how it eventually fits in with the rest of the DC Universe).

  • B. Schatz at the Comixtreme message boards:
    What makes this series work so incredibly well is how Waid has managed to use classic pieces of the Legion's history -- Mon-El, the Wanderers and Mekt Ranzz, specifically -- and put these old pieces back together in new but totally logical ways. What's more, the addition of Supergirl hasn't taken over this book the way some people feared it would. The story is coming together beautifully, and it's one of the books that floats to the top of my read pile every month.

  • Jeff Bridges at Superman Homepage:
    A robot battle. A GIANT (and that word does it no justice) robot. Character conflict and depth. And a tie-in with Supergirl to how Mon-El got into the phantom zone and a tantalizing cliffhanger of things to come, both with the Dominators and with Supergirl's eventual return to her own time. Honestly, I don't think I could ask for more from an issue of this book.

    [However,] The giant robot, who I can only surmise is supposed to be the Machine God (as there wasn't a single other robot larger than humanoid size in the book), looks entirely different than it does on the book interior and is even the wrong color. So why isn't it a 5? It's got everything that makes a cover great, right?

    It's because the size of the Machine God on the cover is MINISCULE compared to the size of the Machine God in the book interior. And the sheer scale of the Machine God on the interior on that bewitching interior splash page was SO impressive that the entirely different-looking, wrong colored giant robot on the cover seems tame in comparison. If I hadn't read the book, this cover would be a 5.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Thanks to H over at the Comic Treadmill for the recent kind words and adding us to their Blog-o-Mania.

Additionally, the Legion of Doom recommended the Starman posts here for those trying to follow the Starman saga. Thanks, I appreciate the linkage!

Legion in the 31st Century

You've probably also heard that the new comic coming out in April (written by J. Torres, art by Chynna Clugston-Flores) based on the animated series will be called Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century - although why they passed up on the legacy of "Legion Adventures" title is beyond me, since the actual title is so much easier to remember. Here's the cover by Steve Uy:

  • Newsarama has an interview with Torres.
    New Teen Titans and Legion of Super-Heroes were among my favorites comics as a kid, so when I heard there was a Legion cartoon in development I knew there would eventually be a Johnny DC comic book series. Ever since then, I've been letting every DC editor I know that I wanted to contribute to said series, and here I am. But I'm not the only writer on the book and there will be rotating creative teams. I did write #1 and 2, plus a story that I believe will be #4 or 5, and I'm working on another story right now. I'm going to write as many of these as they let me. ...

    We're skewing it "older" than Teen Titans Go! but it's still all-ages. Jeanine [Schaefer, editor] also wants to take some risks and do "big" stories so we've talked about really cool guest stars and some unlikely villains. The story I'm working on right now is one of these "big" tales with surprise guest stars. So, I guess you can see we'll be going off the show's path a little bit, but there will also be some definite "in continuity" issues, like #1 and #2, which are follow-ups to the pilot episode and Timber Wolf episode respectively.

  • Meanwhile, the leadoff artist has her own blog. Here's what the interior art by Clugston looks like:

  • CBR, among other places, has the DC press release about Free Comic Book Day later in the spring. This book will be one of two DC issues (note to completists like me: this is technically a new cover variant issue, with the FCBD logo), its "gold-level" book for all ages.

Roundup: animated news and stuff

Update 1/28, 2pm: The promo mentioned at the bottom of this entry was for the next new episode, "Brain Drain", not the rerun of "Fear Factory".

Lots of stuff to catch up on about the animated show, some of which you may have seen elsewhere... And remember, only one more rerun then four new episodes in a row for the month of February!
  • Producer James Tucker was interviewed by Comics Continuum (part 1, part 2). An excerpt:
    The Continuum: Obviously, you're aware of the Legion fan base...

    Tucker: Oh, sure.

    The Continuum: And generally, the reaction has been really good.

    Tucker: Yeah, I was shocked. Working with Bruce on everything, usually the first gut reactions to a show are negative -- even if the show goes on to be very popular and well-respected.

    Starting with Superman ­ there wasn't a big Internet for people to glom on to back then ­ but a lot of people were comparing it to Batman: The Animated Series. And they were disappointed it wasn't Fleischer. The first reactions are always negative, same with the New Batman Adventures, same with Batman Beyond, same with Justice League, same with Justice League Unlimited. When Justice League Unlimited was first announced there, was a barrage of negativity.

    So when Legion didn't get that, I was like, "Uh-oh, I must be doing something wrong." (laughs)

    I look at Legion as a great franchise and there's only a few things that needed to be changed to suit the intended audience. So why throw it all out if I didn't have to? It just makes my job easier. I didn't have time to reinvent it, and I wouldn't have wanted to. I tried to keep the gist of what the Legion was. ...

    Although I hear it is adult-skewing and I don't know how that happened.

    The Continuum: I would think because of the fan base.

    Tucker: I would think so, too. The fans have been great. Legion fans are awesome. ...

    The Continuum: So you're excited about the prospects of a second season?

    Tucker: I'm excited about the stories we've talked about and the direction we're taking with it. The great thing about Legion is that reboots are kind of built into the history of it, and I think Legion fans are flexible enough where if things are changed, it won't feel so radical. If we get our shot, things will change. That's what I like about Legion. You're not fixed to one specific continuity. It's open to change.

  • People are still voicing their opinions on the show: Sunil is waiting patiently for the next episode, Tempest says that the "lineup has zero charisma and needs a retool", Mela is complaining that there are too many reruns, and Bully rates the show #23 on his list of the Top 50 Fun Things of 2006.

  • Shawn Harrison, the voice of Timber Wolf, tells us about going to the studio to record a promo for last weekend's episode. He's got pictures and a video. What's odd is that the video clip says that it's an all new episode about a trip to Timber Wolf's home planet, which Shawn says was for this past Saturday's episode, but that episode was a rerun of "Fear Factory" on 1/20 it's actually for the Feb 3rd episode called "Brain Drain" (episode 1.09), which is new.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Leah Adezio

You know how the internet has opened up the definition of "friend"? You've got your friends you hang around with at work and home, the distant friends who used to be geographically close. With the internet, that's expanded to "online friends", the people who you virtually hang out with via email, on the message boards, in chat rooms, newsgroups, blogs, etc. Sometimes online friends become real friends and meet in person.

In 1994 I got my first computer, and joined Compuserve's Comics and Animation Forum (hi Doug Pratt, wherever you are!) just as Zero Hour was hitting (for the Legion, that was "End of an Era"). A few weeks later, as I recall, the forum suddenly emptied for a week because everyone went to San Diego. I had never been to a major con before, because I didn't have friends who were into comics that would go, and I wouldn't know anyone else there. But I joined the conversations and discussed everything under the sun with lots of great people, and by summer of 1995 I couldn't wait to go, since now I knew this whole collection of people that I called friends, even though I had never met any of them in person. One of those people was a woman named Leah Adezio.

For my first trip out to the convention, I wanted to go several days earlier and play around in LA being a tourist. I found out that Leah was going to be in LA visiting a another CIS'er, Joanna Sandsmark - if I remember correctly, none of us had met in person before - and we made plans to hang out for the day at Universal Studios. I had a great time and it was all the more special that I had people to go with and have fun - although I had never met them before, we had all talked through the Compuserve message boards.

The half dozen or so times I went to the San Diego con since 1995, I'd always see Leah, usually hanging out in the lobby of the Hyatt or the second-floor bar with any number of people from the online forums (by 1996, we had both moved over to the rec.arts.comics.* newsgroups on Usenet). She'd give me this big hug and it was as if we had known each other for years. We'd continue conversations from the year before as if no time had passed. We'd talk about the Legion, or Aquaman, or her family, or my job at NASA, or just whatever was going on at the time. She was one of my convention friends.

I only actually saw her in person a half dozen or so times, all within the confines of the convention after that first trip to Universal. The last time I saw her was (I think) in 2002 in San Diego. In reality, I barely knew her, but when I saw the news that she was gravely ill just a day or so ago, my heart sank. She was literally the first person I met from the internet, and she was fun to be around. I'll miss not having her to talk to next time I go to San Diego. She died this morning.

Elayne Riggs, a good friend of hers (and someone I got to meet in person after sharing Compuserve and RAC) has more here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Legion TV schedule Jan./Feb. 2007

Finally! New episodes the entire month of February. Via Comics Continuum, here are the airdates and episodes for the Legion show for the rest of January and all of February. All episodes are supposed to air at 10:00 a.m. local time on The CW Network.

Jan. 20 - episode 4 "Fear Factory" (3rd airing)
Jan. 27 - episode 6 "Phantoms (3rd airing)
Feb. 03 - episode 9 new, "Brain Drain"
Feb. 10 - episode 8 new, "Lightning Storm"
Feb. 17 - episode 10 new, "The Substitutes"
Feb. 24 - episode 7 new, "Child's Play"

Notice that we haven't had back-to-back episodes in order since 1-2-3. On the other hand, we'll have ten episodes to endlessly replay until the final batch of three new episodes - hopefully we won't have to wait for May sweeps for that.

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.

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.

This is the Legion of Super-Villains episode.

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.

The Legion of Substitute Heroes! Legion rejects! Please have Arm-Fall-Off Boy.... I expect we'll see Ferro Lad join in this episode.

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.

Previously: schedules for Sept./Oct. 2006, Nov. 2006, early Dec. 2006, late Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007

What did Starman say?

In this Wizard Universe interview, Geoff Johns says:

WIZARD: You’ve said that Starman’s lines, though they seem random, will all make sense in the end. Any lines in particular from this issue to pay attention to?

JOHNS: He mentioned the name “Kenz Nuhor,” and if anybody does a quick search on the Web, they can find out a lot more about who that is. Starman’s entire history can be figured out in this issue. Every single line he says to Power Girl means something. Eventually we’ll lay it all out for you, but if you work a bit you can figure it all out. If you’re a DCU geek you’ll get it, and if not, he’s just a cool, crazy character who got lost somewhere.

OK, let's see what Starman says in JSA #2....

1. "Thou shalt not kill! It's part of the code!"
2. "I don't like murder. This whole horrible thing has gotten me uncomfortable. My powers aren't supposed to work this way. I make things heavy, you see? But this... Murder is... Kenz Nuhor, does that name mean anything to you? Is that the name of murder? 10 votes to 9!"

Briefly: Kenz Nuhor was a guy who was in love with Nura "Dream Girl" Nal, who was in love with Thom "Star Boy" Kallor. The jealous type, he tried to kill Star Boy, but Star Boy killed him in self defense. The Legion, which at the time had a "no killing" clause in its Constitution, held a vote to see if he should be allowed to stay, but in a 10-9 vote, kicked him out. You can read the whole story from Adventure Comics 342 (March 1966) here at Scans Daily. Obviously, this is pre-Zero Hour.

However, I don't recall a time when any Star Boy had the ability to make things super-lightweight as well as super-heavy.

3. "You're going on a journey, Power Girl, bouncing around like I did, like a beach ball."
4. "Do you hear her? She's crying. I wish she would stop crying. She said it's a doctor... a bad one, too. Not like my friends at Sunshine Sanitarium... But... Oh, no... there's a storm coming. A Lightning Storm."

"Lightning Storm" is a reference to the upcoming JLA/JSA teamup called "Lightning Saga", which starts in April. The 5-part saga will be in JLA 8-10 and JSA 5-6. (Alternately, it could be a reference to the upcoming Legion of Super-Villains episode of the same name of the animated Legion series, but probably not.)

Supposedly Dawnstar (who we saw previewed in issue 1) will appear right after the JLA/JSA crossover, in issue 7.

Don't yet know who "her/she" is - Dawnstar?

As for bad doctors, here's a list of DC super-villain doctors from the Unofficial Who's Who: Alchemy, Bedlam, Cyber, Daark, Death, Destiny, Double X, Excess, Fang, Light, Moon, Phosphorus, Poison, Polaris, Psycho, Regulus, Spectro, Seven, Trapps, Tyme, Tzin-Tzin, Vortex, and Zodiac. None of them sound like they're good candidates.

5. "It's coming, isn't it? The Great Disaster. I have to find her and him and her. She's talking to me and he doesn't know and I have to find them all before the storm."

Don't yet know who "her" #1, "him", and "her" #2 are.

The Great Disaster which was started by the great nuclear war of 1986, brought about Kamandi's timeline. Maybe coincidentally, the ending to the recent "The Battle for Bludhaven" showed a "Command D" bunker....

6. Mr. Terrific: "I've been working on a theory involving superstring, dark matter, and hyperspace for the last year and a half. Some scientists believe gravity is a weak signal from a parallel universe. I think Starman just proved them right. How did you know how to do that?"

Starman: "Third grade science. I got a B+. And it helped me... I think I know... I was trying to come back here but I landed somewhere else first... and I was trapped! Trapped someplace that got blown to Kingdom Come."

There's no such thing (in real world) as "Some scientists believe gravity is a weak signal from a parallel universe," that's not just comic-book physics. (I corrected this - I thought it was comic-book physics!) But I think it's important here - Thom controls gravity, so maybe they're setting him up to be from a formerly-unseen parallel universe (the new Earth-2 maybe?).

And his last statement, plus the page itself, strongly suggests that this Starman is not only the grown-up version of the pre-Crisis Star Boy (from his Kenz Nuhor comments), but also the same Starman that was seen in Kingdom Come.

(Oh, and the villain behind the scenes in JSA #2 is most likely Per Degaton, a time-travelling Nazi with whom the JSA has lots of experience. And I bet the new Steel is the guy who got turned to metal, not the guy with one leg. But enough off-topicness.)

Review roundup: JSA #2

Sorry, I waited too long after last week's comics came out (including the delayed Supergirl and the Legion #25 for half the country) to post the rest of the reviews. Too much going on this week with Starman and Infectious Lass. So here's the roundup for the latest JSA issue, starring Starman - who appears to be the pre-Zero Hour Star Boy as well as the Kingdom Come Starman. But who's the guy from the Starman series who goes by Danny Blaine?

  • Rokk's Comic Book Revolution:
    I love how Johns is handling Starman’s character. Starman is by far the most intriguing character on the JSA. You know that all of Starman’s ramblings are just full of little clues. And after the opening scene I am even more excited because this Starman has to be the Star Boy from the Levitz era Legion. We know from last issue and the beginning of this issue that Starman totally freaks out whenever there is a murder. In the beginning scene of this issue he mentions a name: Kenz Nuhor. ...

    So, yeah, it looks like the Levitz era Star Boy has somehow managed to survive both the Zero Hour reboot of the Legion and the second re-boot of the Legion in 2005. I cannot wait for Johns to explain just how Star Boy managed to pull that off.

  • Chris' Invincible Super-Blog:
    ...There was just as much of a reminder of what I don't like about [Geoff Johns] in the character of Starman. It's hard enough to read with the constant reminders of how much Johns loves the fun-but-overrated Kingdom Come, but the apparent reveal that it's actually KC Starman only makes slightly more sense than my original theory that it's pre-Crisis Starboy from the Legion of Super-Heroes, and I'm not entirely sure that's not the case. It's pretty needlessly complex, and only barely ties in with the stuff from Starman where we find out that Post-Crisis Starboy's going to come back and--well, you know the rest. Suffice to say that it's convoluted, and that his "mental problems" put him right up there with Maxine Hunkel on the Characters I Wish Would Stop Talking Now list.

  • Let's see what SteveReads:
    Because of course the, as Elmo would put it, pants-wettingly good 'big surprise' in this issue is the final-page revelation that our [Starman] is THE [Starman], and not the version we know from the Legion of Super-Heroes but the adult version we all saw in the background of our most holy text, 'Kingdom Come.'

    'Kingdom Come' of course being the fantastic 'imaginary story' of a future DC universe in which the super-heroes have retired from the world stage and super-powered anarchy reigns unchecked. That graphic novel stands as one of the six greatest superhero books ever made...

    This issue's final page introduces the mouth-watering prospect not only of Legion involvement but of dipping back into that potential future universe.

    In short, 'Justice Society of America' is ripping forward on all cylinders! We shall certainly report on its next issue!

    There's also a good discussion in the comments about Legion fandom itself.

Johns has given a couple of interviews lately with some interesting commentary:
  • From Wizard Universe:
    WIZARD: So with that last page, is it safe to say that this is indeed the Starman from Kingdom Come?

    JOHNS: Yes. There’s still a lot more to him, and the next arc coming up is essentially all about Starman.

    WIZARD: Back to Starman: He looks remarkably like how the adult Star Boy looked back in the old days of Legion of Super-Heroes, and of course that’s who the Starman in Kingdom Come was supposed to be: a grownup Star Boy. Between this and the arm of another old Legion member, Dawnstar, showing up on the last page of issue #1, it seems like there’s quite a few Legion references finding their way into this book…

    JOHNS: Well, you look at JSA being the very first superhero team and the Legion being the last. In a strange way, the teams do have something in common. There is just something so cool about linking the very first team and very last team of this universe.

    WIZARD: Where do you stand on the Legion of Super-Heroes? Are you a fan?

    JOHNS: Yeah, I love the Legion. My uncle had those old Adventure Comics issues by Jim Shooter when I was a kid. I really got into the Legion when Paul Levitz wrote it and then again when Keith Giffen did the “Five Years Later” story. I also really liked the Legionnaires book drawn by Chris Sprouse back in the ’90s. Those first six issues or so were just awesome.

    WIZARD: You’ve said that Starman’s lines, though they seem random, will all make sense in the end. Any lines in particular from this issue to pay attention to?

    JOHNS: He mentioned the name “Kenz Nuhor,” and if anybody does a quick search on the Web, they can find out a lot more about who that is. Starman’s entire history can be figured out in this issue. Every single line he says to Power Girl means something. Eventually we’ll lay it all out for you, but if you work a bit you can figure it all out. If you’re a DCU geek you’ll get it, and if not, he’s just a cool, crazy character who got lost somewhere.

  • From the Galveston Daily News (free registration required):
    Q: You packed a lot of action and a lot of history into “[Infinite] Crisis.” Any favorite moments or ideas you just couldn’t find room for?

    Johns: Oh, absolutely. It already feels like that story is 800 pounds on a 600-pound-capacity elevator, but there were tons of things. I had an idea for the (futuristic team of heroes) Legion of I wanted to do, and I wanted to expand the villain-hero war.

Coming in April 2007

As you've no doubt read elsewhere, the big news about April is the long-anticipated release of the comic based on the animated show, called Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century (instead of Legion of Super-Heroes Adventures or even Adventure Comics Starring the Legion of Super-Heroes). And note that this will be the Free Comic Book Day offering from DC, so if you're into cover variants, here's another one you'll need to pick up in May. Notice to the anal retentive: the cartoon doesn't have a dash between "Super Heroes" while both the original and the cartoon spinoff comics do.

Add to that the regular title, some 52 related titles, some oddball spinoffs like Brave and Bold, and the return of the JLA/JSA crossover. Keep an eye on Teen Titans (for Sun Girl) and Tales of the Unexpected (for Infectious Lass), too.

Written by Keith Champagne
Art by Andy Smith & Ray Snyder
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver
The war rages on, extending from the far reaches of space, where Supergirl encounters a missing hero, to the darkest depths of the ocean, where the fate of Aquaman is revealed.
In stores April 18; 32 pg, FC, $2.50 US

This one's got the return of Supergirl. Not quite sure what that means or where it fits in with Legion continuity, but here's a heads-up anyway. This comes out concurrently with 52 #50.

Written by Mark Waid
Art by George Pérez & Bob Wiacek
Covers by Pérez
It’s Batman and Blue Beetle versus the Fatal Five in the team-up book to end all team-up books! Who’s brought these Legion villains into the fray? The Lord of Time, who has pulled in assassins and villains from throughout the history of the DCU!
On sale April 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

And just to mess with our minds, this looks like the Pre-Crisis Fatal Five. The last couple issues have visited Ventura, the Gambler's Planet.

Written by Brad Meltzer
Art by Ed Benes & Sandra Hope
Cover by Michael Turner
Variant cover by Phil Jimenez
Beginning the long awaited, epic crossover between the new Justice League and the new Justice Society, uniting the combined writing talents of best-selling author Brad Meltzer and comics mega-star Geoff Johns for the ultimate team-up! “The Lightning Saga” 5-parter begins with the mystery of who Trident is, and how his identity crisis will change everything!
Retailers: This issue will feature two covers that may be ordered separately. The Standard Edition cover is by Michael Turner; one copy of the Variant Edition, with a cover by Phil Jimenez, may be ordered for every 10 copies of the Standard Edition ordered. Please see the Previews Order Form for further details.
On sale April 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham & Art Thibert
Cover by Alex Ross
Variant cover by Eaglesham
Part 2 of the 5-part JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA/JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA crossover with “The Lightning Saga!” Batman and Starman break into the depths of Arkham Asylum in search of the one person who may be able to reconcile Starman's past. But with nightmares literally around every corner, that person may be dead before they reach him. Plus, a battle within the Fortress of Solitude reveals the key to it all, especially the members of the team!
Retailers: This issue will feature two covers that may be ordered separately. The Standard Edition cover is by Alex Ross; one copy of the Variant Edition, with a cover by Dale Eaglesham, may be ordered for every 10 copies of the Standard Edition ordered. Please see the Previews Order Form for further details.
On sale April 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Mark Waid
Art by Barry Kitson & Mick Gray
Cover by Kitson
The surviving Legionnaires and Wanderers face off against the entirety of the Dominator Empire to prevent the destruction of the galaxy!
On sale April 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by J. Torres
Art by Chynna Clugston-Flores
Cover by Steve Uy
An all-new series spinning out of the smash-hit TV show, written by J. Torres (TEEN TITANS GO, Sidekicks, Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures) and drawn by the creator of the indie favorite Blue Monday, Chynna Clugston-Flores!
To stop the Fatal Five from destroying Metropolis, the Legion of Super-Heroes travel back in time for reinforcements, because this looks like a job for...Clark Kent?! Can six teenagers from the future help a mild-mannered reporter become the Man of Steel, or will the Fatal Five determine his destiny before it’s even begun?
Retailers: Please see the solicitation for the Free Comic Book Day Edition of this issue elsewhere in this issue of Previews.
On sale April 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.25 US

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Animated LSH news 60: more updates

Comics Continuum has another update on animated LSH news...

  • Khary Payton, previously announced as the voice of Tyr, is also going to be doing the voice of Hunter (aka Orion the Hunter). He was also the voice of Cyborg on the Teen Titans show.

  • A bit of old news, I think:
    Look for at least two new members to join the team before the season is over.

    Unless someone from the Legion tryouts episode actually joins, based on the descriptions of the remaining episodes (1.07 through 1.13), it sounds like this will probably be Cosmic Boy (previously announced as being voiced by Wil Wheaton) and Ferro Lad in episode 11 for this 3-episode arc:
    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.

    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.)

  • Two comments from series producer James Tucker: "Chain of Command" will have "a very serious tone," and that the show has not [yet] been renewed for a second season yet, but an announcement is expected soon.

The Starman conundrum

My head hurts from trying to reconcile the various Star Boys and Starmen. Let's see, does this make sense (comic book sense, at least) to anyone?

  • The original Star Boy was last seen with the rest of the Legion prior to the Glorithverse reboot (following the Mordruverse issue of v4). He had a nifty and influential costume. His Glorithverse counterpart faded away with Zero Hour.

  • The post-Zero Hour version was a different person with a new costume and a new history. This one day, at Legion camp, he met a time-travelling Jack Knight (aka Starman VII) from the 20th century, and he found out his destiny included going back in time to the 21st century where he would take the name Danny Blaine and be known as Starman VIII.

  • In Kingdom Come, an Elseworlds tale, we met a guy with a costume visually based on the pre-ZH Star Boy's. He's known as Starman VIII, and in the official annotations to the book it is said that he is Thom Kallor from the 30th century (but which one?).

  • In Starman #80, a time-travelling Starman meets Jack Knight again, but he's a Thom Kallor (which one?) from the end of his career rather than the beginning. He's wearing the Kingdom Come suit, though with yellow gloves instead of white. It is to be assumed that this is the post-Zero Hour version, since that's the one Jack met in the future and that's the one who was being published at the time. But Thom tells Jack that the future is not set: while Jack's present was the past of Thom's 31st century, Jack's future might not be Thom's present.

  • Meanwhile, back in the 31st century, there's another Star Boy who is black.

  • In JSA #2, yet another Starman appears. This one also wears the Kingdom Come Starman's costume, but there's a good reason for that - at the end of the issue, he reveals that not only is he a white man (and thus not the current post-Infinite Crisis version), but that he was trapped in the Kingdom Come timeline and he makes references to having been the pre-Zero Hour Star Boy.


OK, now over on Wizard Universe, here's what JSA writer Geoff Johns has to say about this:
WIZARD: So with that last page, is it safe to say that this is indeed the Starman from Kingdom Come?

JOHNS: Yes. There’s still a lot more to him, and the next arc coming up is essentially all about Starman.

(There's a LOT more about Starman, the Legion, and the JSA in that interview. Check it out!)

For those who want to read about the Kenz Nuhor incident and what that "10 to 9 vote" means, check out this comprehensive article.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

WTF is she doing there? (updated)

Update 1/15: Added the Scans Daily link at the bottom.

How in the heck did the pre-Zero Hour Infectious Lass end up in this week's Tales of the Unexpected #4? In the backup story featuring Dr. Thirteen, she says she's been hiding in the 31st century for the last 30 years. Is this yet another pre-ZH Legionnaire in the "New Earth" era, or is this going to have been a dream/hoax/imaginary story?

I love how Johanna describes the scene:
So I’m reading about Dr. 13 trying to keep from having a nervous breakdown while fighting Nazi gorillas accompanied by a vampire and a Confederate ghost and a flying pirate ship... which I admit, is pretty amusing... and then...

Infectious Lass shows up! She’s always been one of my favorites, because she so nicely breaks the mold of girls having quiet and polite powers, like telepathy. She has a messy ability with immense potential scope.

Only in comics would a sentence about a ghost-busting detective, talking Nazi gorillas, vampires, Confederate ghosts, and flying pirate ships not cause anyone to bat an eyelash. Ha!

ComicBloc is talking about it too.

Update: Here's the Scans Daily post of this story to date. I see how Infectious Lass fits in: she's there with I...Vampire, the Haunted Tank's JEB Stuart, Anthro, Captain Fear and his flying pirate ship, the Primate Patrol (Nazi apes), and Genius Jones. I hadn't read the whole thing until now - as they said over at Scans Daily, "Words cannot describe the utter crackapallooza about to unfold."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Animated LSH news 59: casting and comics

Today's Comics Continuum has a metric butt-load of new information about the animated Legion show -- and one piece of info that's six months old already.

  • It's Porcupine Pete! That means Double-Header and Infectious Lass aren't far behind.
    James Arnold Taylor, who voices the lead role in Kids' WB!'s Johnny Test, is providing a guest voice in the Legion of Super Heroes animated series.

    Taylor is playing Porcupine Pete in the upcoming "Substitutes" episode, which springs out of the classic Keith Giffen comics story.

    Taylor is also does the voices of Mekt "Lightning Lord" Ranzz and Jo "Not Ultra Boy Yet" Nah, both from the "Champions" episode.

    It's odd that CC says that this Subs episode (episode 10, sometime later this year) "springs" from a Giffen story. As far as I can remember, the only Subs stories Giffen worked on were the Superman/Ambush Bug/Subs issue of DC Comics Presents and the Subs Special, both written by Paul Levitz.

    The episode description below recalls the very first appearance of the traditional Legion of Substitute Heroes from Adventure Comics 306, not the Levitz/Giffen story:
    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.

  • Anyway, two other voice actors are noted: Tara Strong, who we heard previously as Alexis Luthor in episode 1.03 "Legacy", will be the voice of Esper in episode 1.08 "Lightning Storm" (the Legion of Super-Villains episode). And Taylor Negron, who you'll remember as the Pizza Dude from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", is the voice of Starfinger. Go back and re-read my announcement of Negron's work back in July of last year, that's the one that first appeared on director Ben Jones' site and then quickly made it here in July 2006.

  • Next, they report that Stan Berkowitz wrote the "Lightning Storm" episode. According to an interview with WorldsFinestOnline that he gave in June 2006 (as recounted here):
    Earlier this year, I worked on an episode of "The Batman" dealing with The Riddler's backstory, and an episode of "Legion Superheroes" about the conflict between profit and altruism. I had a great time working on both of them, and look forward to seeing the finished versions in September of this year.

    Of the six episodes we've seen so far, Berkowitz's isn't one of them. I don't know if this is his only Legion episode, but viewers of the Justice League cartoons will remember some of his episodes (like "Tabula Rasa", "A Better World", "Secret Society", and "Wild Card"). Heck, at the rate they're showing new episodes, it might be September 2007 before we get to see his episode.

  • Finally, we've got a title and a creative team for the first issue of the comic based on the animated series.
    The comic based on the TV show will be called The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century and will launch in April. The first issue will be written by J. Torres, with art by Chynna Clugston-Flores.

    Chynna's LJ is here, while Torres's message board is here (see earlier posts about Torres here and here).

Trivia answers #7

Well, after 7 quizzes and 49 questions, I finally stumped the crowd. I'm not surprised that nobody got the first question here, I didn't know it when I heard it. I had to look it up and sonofagun, there it was in print. Now you know Mark Waid's favorite Legion trivia question.

1. In pre-Crisis continuity, who was the next person to join the Legion after Dream Girl?

The guy was never named, but he's known unofficially as False Pretenses Lad. Here's a couple of panels from Adventure 327, which was also the issue that introduced Lone (Timber) Wolf. Click to enlarge.

He's also the first in a line of traitors and other bad guys to join the Legion. These two panels are the entirety of his appearances in pre-Crisis continuity. Bet you didn't know that the Emergency Board was that important!

2. What did Pulsar Stargrave lose when he fought Ambush Bug and the Legion of Substitute Heroes?
His nose was bitten off. "His dignity" would also have been an acceptable answer.

3. What's the street address of the Legion HQ?
It was once shown as 344 Clinton Street, which 1000 years before had been the address of Clark Kent in Metropolis. It was later identified as Weisinger Plaza. (I also seem to recall "Nolan Place" or something like that, but I can't find a reference. Anyone?)

4. Name any five members of Marvel's Imperial Guard, along with the Legionnaire he/she/it corresponds to.
By my count, there have been at least 35 different Guardsmen over the years that represent at least two different Legion continuities (not counting those Guardsmen who are not Legion analogues). I'm not going to list them all here, but I've listed them all on the Legion Wiki.

5. Who was the primary Legion editor (in terms of number of years) during the following periods: 1958-69, 1970-79, 1980-89, 1990-99, and 2000-2007? Mort Weisinger had the longest tenure of all Legion editors, but who had the shortest tenure as editor (not counting assistant or associate editors)?
I was cataloging the list of Legion editors for the Legion Wiki and thought this was a neat question.
* 1960s: Mort Weisinger (1958-70)
* 1970s: Murray Boltinoff (1971-77)
* 1980s: Karen Berger (1983-89)
* 1990s: KC Carlson (1992-98)
* 2000s: Steve Wacker (2003-2007)
Shortest tenure: Mark Waid, who edited just six issues (LSH v4 #1-6, 1989-90). Incidentally, the second-shortest stint was by Laurie Sutton, who edited only eight issues from 1982-83; however, most of those issues were the Great Darkness Saga.

6. For what specific reason was Plaid Lad denied membership at his tryout? Hint: he wasn't the only one in Legion history who was given this explanation.
Tenzil and Cham gently broke it to him that "Until you learn to control your unique abilities, you'd be as great a danger to us as to our enemies." Yeah, Plaid Lad. Isn't that what they told Polar Boy and Infectious Lass?

National De-Lurking Week Roll Call

So they tell me it's National De-Lurking Week here in Comicsblogistan.

I get around 200 visitors a day, but only a handful leave comments. How about all you Lurker Lasses and Invisible Kids perform a Legion Roll Call? All of you coming here via a Google Image Search, what are you looking for? If you got here from a search, do you hang out and read? I'm curious.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Eric Canete's animated show backgrounds

You may recall that Eric Canete was one of the background artists for the first season of the Legion show (see previous posts here and here).

On his blog today he's got some conceptual artwork for New Metropolis in the 31st century, including several ideas for the LSH clubhouse. They wanted to keep the "upside-down rocketship" theme for the HQ, and Eric has some ideas posted. Here are a couple of them, check out his page for the rest.

The funny thing is, I did so many concept images that covered how the structures would look on this future Earth, only to realize the characters didn't stay on Earth very much! I mean, after the first episode, they went everywhere but Earth! Haha! I still had so much fun doing it as it was an extremely challenging, creative process.

You also might recall that in a couple episodes so far, they've called the clubhouse "Computo" (uh-oh!). According to Eric, it is (or was supposed to be) alive!
...The structure that's supposed to look like a crash landed rocket ship is an actual living organism that is a card carrying (well, in this case a 'ring bearing') member of the crew. That's just weird; he's got the Legion guys walking around in his guts. Ah, those kooky DC Comics writers.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Trivia quiz #7

Answers in a few days.

1. In pre-Crisis continuity, who was the next person to join the Legion after Dream Girl?

2. What did Pulsar Stargrave lose when he fought Ambush Bug and the Legion of Substitute Heroes?

3. What's the street address of the Legion HQ?

4. Name any five members of Marvel's Imperial Guard, along with the Legionnaire he/she/it corresponds to.

5. Who was the primary Legion editor (in terms of number of years) during the following periods: 1958-69, 1970-79, 1980-89, 1990-99, and 2000-2007? Mort Weisinger had the longest tenure of all Legion editors, but who had the shortest tenure as editor (not counting assistant or associate editors)?

6. For what specific reason was Plaid Lad denied membership at his tryout? Hint: he wasn't the only one in Legion history who was given this explanation.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Lies, damn lies, and statistics (part 3 of 3): Legion ratings

And here's part 3 of my number-crunching posts - this time, for the first time here, we look at the TV ratings of the animated Legion show (I did a quick look at the first week back in September here).

First off, I am not an expert at deciphering ratings or everything that goes into and comes out of them, I just present the numbers. This plot shows the Nielsen ratings for the 10:00-10:30 a.m. half hour, that is, the Legion animated series and its competitors. When I was a kid, there were only the three networks. Today there are five over-the-air networks and four cable networks: ABC, The CW, NBC, Fox, and CBS (which doesn't have kids programming at this time), plus Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, and ToonDisney. (Click image to enlarge)

Thanks to Cynthia Turner's Cynopsis for the data.

As can be seen in this plot, Nick's "Fairly Oddparents" is the clear leader, with everyone else jockeying for the rest of the audience. The CW's Legion show is in the second tier of shows (it's the red line with the yellow triangle). Interestingly, three of the eight networks have changed the show in that time slot since the beginning of the season.

The rating point on the left side represents the number of people watching the show. Each point for the 2006-07 season represents 1,102,000 viewers. So the Legion has been getting somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 million viewers per episode. Compare that with the 33,985 who bought issue 24 of the parent comic. Just something to think about.

The other piece of data that goes with the ranking is the share, that is, what fraction of the viewing audience is watching that particular show (which I don't have plotted, but it would look pretty much the same as this one). At that half hour, roughly 2/3 of the people watching TV in the USA are watching "children's programming", and 6-8% of the people watching TV are watching the Legion.

Other than presenting the data, I'm not sure what else to make of it all. It can be seen that the Legion show is a solid performer and holds its own against the competition. I don't see any reason why not to renew it for a second season, but then again, I'm not the one making the decisions.

Fortunately, DC is attempting to capitalize on the viewership by preparing a new "Johnny DC" comic based on the TV series. Confirmed or rumored creators include J. Torres, Scott Beatty and Chynna Clugston.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics (part 2 of 3): Legion sales

Next up in my numerical trio of posts is a look at sales of the Legion book(s). I've been doing this every few months since last April, where I first took a look at 10 years worth of sales (see here for all of the analysis).

Yes, unfortunately, sales are still falling. There was a huge spike at the "One Year Later" issue and then a smaller one with the Adam Hughes variant cover, but still declining nonetheless. The silver lining is that sales are still higher than they were ten years ago.

First, a look at sales on the Legion of Super-Heroes (v5) and Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes comic. (Click to enlarge). Recent data comes from Marc-Oliver Frisch's sales data at The BEAT.

It looks to me like sales will level off around the 30K mark.

Now for the big picture: sales over the last 10 years.

Sales of the current series have dropped far faster than at any point in the last 10 years, but as I mentioned, they're still higher than at any point in the last 10 years. Compare the current book with the most recent book prior to the new reboot, The Legion. Read my first post in my sales analysis for what was going on prior to the current reboot.

I'd like to take the data earlier than 1996, does anyone have or know how to get at the data relatively easy?

Lies, damn lies, and statistics (part 1 of 3)

Happy New Year, everyone. This year I resolve to blog about the Legion here. I don't think that will be too hard.

I'm not going to do a year-end roundup like everyone else seems to be doing (unless there's a great hue and cry for one), but I will note that my Google Analytics stats tell me that once my readership leveled off in the spring, about 200 of you have been visiting every day, on average. Frankly, that both amazes and pleases me. Thanks, y'all! For calendar year 2006, I had 59,677 visits and 94,463 page views. I'm not sure which is the more important number.

My top five referrers are the animated Legion's Wikipedia entry, the late Webmatic Blogatron 3000, Legionworld, LegionClubhouse, and the Legion Abstract.

Nothing interesting in the search queries, either, except for some reason my third biggest search is for "Ronn-Karr". Ten people have found me via "Dude, where's my pants", six for "nine planets ice cream", five for "Jessica Alba nude", and three for "supergirl sex stories". At least I'm not high up on the list for that one.

Onward and upward....