Sunday, February 25, 2007

Waid and Kitson to leave S/LSH: what's next?

Update Sunday night: added further discussion links at bottom.

Obviously, the big news out of NYCC07 (for us, at least) is that Mark Waid and Barry Kitson are wrapping up their 30-issue run on Supergirl and the LSH this summer. No matter how you look at it, that's a long time to be on a book these days. (And it fits nicely into five 6-issue trades). As Graeme McMillan at Newsarama noted,
One of the more surprising pieces of news was kind of buried elsewhere: Barry Kitson’s Marvel exclusivity story contained the following:
Mark and I were already scheduled to be ending our run on Legion of Super-Heroes… [Our final issue] will probably be #30 (depending on scheduling at DC) which will give Mark and I a chance to tie-up all (or nearly all) the threads we started dangling in issue #1.

I’m kind of bummed about this, personally; I really dig Waid and Kitson’s Legion (dodgy mid-run slump excepted), so I’m sorry to see it end.

Suspiciously, issue 30 will come out shortly after 52 comes to an end. Now that series is promising the return of the Multiverse in some fashion. Are these two events connected - will the Multiverse bring some changes in the Legion? The current book was the first of the post-Infinite Crisis universe.

There are those who want to see the return of the Levitz-era Legion, post-Magic Wars, and those who want to see the return of the Glorithverse/TMK-era Legion (although that timeline was wiped out by the Zero Hour wave, I'm sure some handwaving and wall-punching could restore it). Newer fans are unfamiliar with those books and their Legion is that of Stern/ McCraw/ Moy/ Moder/ Abnett/ Lanning/ Coipiel. And there are those who are unfamiliar with even that one, who just started reading with the current series. Who do you include, who do you leave out? I'm talking about not just the Legionnaires but also the fans. You can't reboot the Legion again - once is bad enough, now this would be the third time. (If you go back, what would you call it, a de-boot? Un-boot?)

So in the comments, who would you like to see taking over the writing and art chores after Waid and Kitson depart? How would you like the book to be handled editorially, differently or similar to how it is now (theme, content, storylines, etc.)?

If you're interested, go read the discussion going on at ComicBloc (both the J. Torres area and the general talk area), CBR, LegionWorld, and the DC Comics message boards (here, here, and here).


Matthew E said...

I have no strong opinions about who should take over, but I have expressed my opinion at great length about what the state of Legion continuity should be, in my 'Legion Manifesto' posts at Legion Abstract. I believe strongly that it is the only satisfactory solution.o

Jonathan Miller said...

Well, there's always Jim Shooter's mysterious Legion, seriously, I have no idea who I'd want taking over the Legion. A knee-jerk reaction would be Paul Levitz (hey, I can dream), but the title's gone so far from where he left it, I have no idea what he'd be able to do with the series. (I'm at a bit of a loss whenever I read someone saying the current iteration "harkens back" to the Levitz Legion, as I don't see that at all.)

As for where it might go, well, I'd like the LSH's status with the UP confirmed. I'd love to see some kind of end--or at least a drawing back--of the "parents just don't understand!" crap. Some kind of rational portrayal of the future society (that doesn't keep contradicting itself) would be nice. A Legion Constitution would be great. I'd like to see young Clark Kent being brought to the future to train, since they've set that kind of thing up in the Action annual.

Obviously, not all of what I'm thinking would make all fans happy, and I have no idea where DC would be going with the series. I do think that if they want to keep sales up, they'd better do something though. Waid's promise of his new Legion being a #1 seller have not materialized thus far. I don't know as it's even in the top 20. Hopefully, we'll see a new creative team announcement (after some predictable fill-ins) soon and we'll have a better idea where things are going.

Tim Callahan said...

I've always said I'd love to see Grant Morrison tackle the Legion (I know most people see Grant as a deconstructionist, but he's really not, and he is capable of great Silver Age-style imaginative stories). I doubt Grant would be interested in such a thing, and most Legion fans would probably hate his approach but I would love to see it happen some day.

Realistically, I think I'd like to see Geoff Johns on the writing and Eric Wight on the art. On the other hand, if Robert Kirkman wasn't Marvel exclusive, I think he'd be perfect for the Legion.

Or Darwyn Cooke could take over the art and the writing. You guys could live with that, right?

Garth Ranzz said...

I don't think it is a coincidence that 52 is wrapping up at the same time as the Waid/Kitson Legion. Could prove to be interesting.

Garth Ranzz said...

Oh, and to answer Tim. If Darwyn Cooke took over the art and writing, I'd drop the Legion quick. Sorry but his style does not suit the Legion.

Patrick Wynne said...

Well, I'm probably in the minority here, but I really do think the Legion should be rebooted again. Waid's high-concept series is nice and all (though I've found it rather dull for most of its run), but I don't think it's sustainable for very long after he leaves. I'm not sure future writers will be able to work as well within the framework Waid has set up. I'm afraid we're in for a series of writers and artists who don't stay with the book long, causing the stories and the sales to plummet until we get the inevitable third reboot. So why not just head it off and reboot when Waid exits, leaving his series and concept intact and unsullied by writers not as invested in the setting he's created?

I'd like to see a more traditional superhero series for the Legion, just one with a higher dose of futuristic science fictiony stuff than most. Something that isn't tied so strongly to one creator's vision. I hate to call it this, but a more Levitz-style Legion works best, I think. (But not the Levitz Legion, as much as it pains me to say. That ship sailed long ago and it'd be pointless to bring it back, especially since it would necessitate ignoring the v4 stuff.)

As for who should be the new creative team, I dunno. My dream would be Alan Davis on both writing and art but I don't see that happening. Not to mention that he probably wouldn't stick with it for long. But what a glorious short run it would be! Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco would do an excellent job, I think, but they're both rather busy with other projects these days. Keith Champagne and Leonard Kirk? I enjoyed both of them on JSA and they could probably do a good job with the Legion. And I've long wanted to see what Peter Snejbjerg could do on the Legion; I could see him complimenting Robert Kirkman's writing quite well. How about John Rogers as writer (with or without Giffen)? Of these choices, I guess Champagne and Kirk are really the most realistic ones.

But no Jim Lee. Please, for the sake of my sanity, no Jim Lee!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see this comntinuity continue but, move forward towards something resembling the Levits or DNA era's.

For instance this is LEGION YEAR ONE if you will and the first issue of teh new team should be a update of the adventure 247 tale that takes palce during superman year one. This will also dove tale nicely with the ANIMATED continuity and the book could ( at least somewhat) resemble that book . Same core members but more mature stories.

If I were editor I would expand the page count by 8-12 pages. The front half of the book would be the main continuity with YOUNG SUPERMAN and the 8 page back ups would serve as a clearing house for all these creators taht say they want to do the legion. I'd invite them to do stories that tell side bar type tales, origins, year ones etc etc. It would be similar to the shorts that ran back up duty during the cockrum era.

Perez wants to do the legion? Fine here a spot for it. Jim Lee? do a definitive origin for Timber Wolf.....

Dream Team for teh Main Book? Busiek and Pacheco. dream teams for Back ups?
Jim Lee,
alan Davis,
Allred, Jaimie Hernandez, Timm, Cooke, Art adams, Steve Rude.

Greybird said...

"(And it fits nicely into five 6-issue trades.)"

Not if they leave out issue 15, it doesn't, unfortunately. As it appears, from the first three trades, that they have.

No TPB for Kitson's depiction of Dawnstar, Blok, and Tyroc. Maybe the Levitz legacy really is dead. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Kurt Busiek left Aquaman a few months ago to do an as yet unnamed "secret project", which could, in all likelihood be the legion.

I'd rather like to see Grant Morrison do the legion though.