Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dr. Mayavale update

You know, a part of me - a very small part - wanted to see J. M. DeMatteis adapt his story from Legion (v2) #268 for the animated series. I wanted to see if anything could be salvaged, given nearly 30 years of experience as a writer. Over at the Ditko Comics Blog, discussed here earlier, JMD himself chimed in to add some comments about none other than Dr. Mayavale.

Don't worry, guys—I wouldn't think of adapting this story for the Legion cartoon.

Oh, how the errors of our youth follow us down through the decades!

When asked how closely Ditko followed the original script:
As for changes in the script...well, considering this story was written in (I think) l979, I have no recollection whatsoever!

I hope to have more from DeMatteis soon.

(I'm really glad it's Dr. Destiny over in JSA and not Dr. Mayavale.)

Revisiting Starman

Apparently all I had to do was wait and someone would do my job for me. In this case, it's re-evaluate the Starman situation now that JSA #4 is out, which is what E2Brutus at the Comic Bloc forum did a few days ago.

Back in January I explained all of the different Starmen who are related to the Legion, and expounded on what the JSA's Starman was saying in issue 2.

It's now clear that he was referring to Dawnstar (from issue 1) and Dr. Destiny and Dream Girl (from issue 4), plus a gratuitous plug for the upcoming Great Disaster storyline in Countdown.

So on the last page of issue 4 is Dream Girl (the pre-Glorithverse version, apparently) with Dr. Destiny, who feeds on dreams, plus either real or imagined versions of Cosmic King, Lightning Lord, Tyr, and Darkseid. We have seen a lot of Cosmic King and Lightning Lord in the comics lately, haven't we?

Notice, interestingly, that Dawnstar calls him Starman while Dream Girl calls him Star Boy.

E2Brutus re-parses the rest of what he says, and reminds me of the bit about a Star on Thanagar (maybe a Dawn Star?). Perhaps Power Girl's "journey" will begin either in the Lightning Storm arc or Countdown.

Here's the review of Rokk at the Comic Book Revolution for JSA #4, along with a ComicBloc forum discussion.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Critical Perspective

Here's an interesting idea that I hadn't seen before...

I'm working on this new book, scheduled for release next year, which would provide a scholarly approach to the never-quite-taken seriously, even at the height of its popularity (yet 49-years-old and counting) Legion of Super-Heroes saga.

I'll be writing bits of it, but I'm also drafting writers from every walk of life to contribute something smart to the book.

But what I'd like to know is (a) is anyone here familiar with the Legion (I haven't seen much mention of it on any thread) and (b) what would be some cool/interesting/unique/philosophical/fancy approaches to scholarship that you'd like to see?

Tim Callahan asks over at the Barbelith message board, "what else must we include in such a book? What would you want to read? What would you (dare I ask?) want to write?"

I know some people who have already written essays that would probably be a good fit. (I know there are more but I can't remember where I put the links.)

Update: On the LegionWorld thread mentioned in the comments below, Tim gives his email address as

Update 2: Tim has much more over at his own site, geniusboyfiremelon.

Emerald City Comic Con '07 this weekend

Among the guests at this year's Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle will be Mark Waid, Mike Grell, and Kurt Busiek. Saturday afternoon has the latest DC panel:

12:00pm - 1:00pm What's New In The DCU?
The DC Universe continues to build excitement every week with 52 - and it's going to explode when WORLD WAR III hits in April! Join DC Editor Joan Hilty with special guests Matthew Clark (Outsiders), Mark Waid (52, Brave and the Bold), Kurt Busiek (Superman, Aquaman, Astro City), Greg Rucka (52, Checkmate) and more to discuss what's new in the DCU!

Anyone planning to be there?

LSH HeroClix Starter Set - now with Spider Lad and Wolverine Boy!

HCRealms points out that the Legion HeroClix Starter Set coming in a couple months might be misidentified slightly in this Wizard Universe advance order:

Playable out of the box, the DC HeroClix: Legion of Super Heroes Starter Game contains seven exclusive new sculpts with character cards...

...Includes the Hulk, Spider-Man, Magneto, Captain America, Wolverine, Hobgoblin, Elektra, Sabretooth, and more of your favorites.

These figures, from the ad, must be Elektra Girl and Hulk Lad.

Monday, March 26, 2007

MidSouthCon '07: Perez to draw the Legion

Well damn, I had the info bookmarked and forgot to get it out this weekend. Mark Waid was one of the guests at the MidSouthCon in Memphis this past weekend. The one interesting bit of news is that George Perez might finally have a chance to draw the Legion. But which one?

Vaklam at the Noetic Concordance met up with Waid at the con, and among the things he reported was:

He also discussed the future of The Brave and the Bold which looks like it's going to keep having the stuff I want to read. Issue 5 has the Legion of Super-Heroes in it!

According to the latest solicitations, issue 4 has Lobo and Supergirl (and remember, issue 3 is Batman and Blue Beetle vs. some version of the Fatal Five!). Issue 5 hasn't been solicited yet, so we don't know if this is a cameo or a full-up team-up. It will be published the same month as LSH 32. But with the return (in some way) of the Multiverse in 52 in the next couple months, which Legion will be teaming up with someone?

Animated Stuff

Now that we've got 11 of the 13 episodes shown, I'm belatedly seeing a pattern in the directing. The three directors (Ben Jones, Lauren Montgomery, and Tim Maltby) simply rotate every three episodes, going by production number. So Ben did episodes 1, 4, 7, and 10 ("Man of Tomorrow", "Fear Factory", "Child's Play", and "The Substitutes"), Lauren did episodes 2, 5, 8, and 11 ("Timber Wolf", "Champions", "Lightning Storm", and "Chain of Command"), while Tim did episodes 3, 6, and 9 ("Legacy", "Phantoms", and "Brain Drain"). Thus, Tim and Ben should do the last two of the season, assuming this pattern holds up. It must have been because they were aired out of order that prevented me from seeing this.

Anyway, here are a number of items that might warrant some attention, related to the TV show:

  • Among the Emmy nominees was Mark Keefer, who you may recall me bringing up here from last summer. He was one of the nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation. On his own site, he reacts to his nomination.

  • Wil "Cosmic Boy" Wheaton was in the studio recording again on Friday and conjured up the spirit of Admiral Ackbar. Later, he recapped the session (as much as he could) with kudos to the rest of the guest cast and wishing he could reveal the episode title (which itself is a spoiler). This is at least his second episode.

  • DCAUYojimbo reviews the series to date, episodes 1-11.

  • Furdell thinks he/she may have underestimated the show, based on seeing the most recent episode "Chain of Command". On the other hand, Andy at the Beetle's Nest thinks that based on that episode, Lightning Lad was being a dick. Quote of the day: "I think this really would be a better show if it were called Brainiac 5 and the Legion of Idiots He Courageously Deals With".

  • I went to Cartoon Palace, who produces the torrents for download, to ask why we never saw the hi-def version of the torrent for "Substitutes". One of the guys there said "oops, we had it here all the time and forgot to put it out for everyone." So now it's available, and you can complete your collection.

  • It's been several days and still nobody has the torrents of the season finale online yet, from the UK airing. Come on, internet, what's your problem?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tony Bedard's comments on CBR

Thanks to Matthew for the tip.

Tony Bedard, upcoming Legion writer (for at least six issues) after Mark Waid leaves, has his own message board on CBR. Here's what he has said in the last couple of days about what we might see:

I agree with the view that all the Legion incarnationss have their own merits. While "my" Legion probably remains the Levitz/Giffen version, and my faves include Mon-El, Timber Wolf (with the big sideburns and wolf logo) and Wildfire, I also have a thing for the original Silver Age version. I like the old costumes, and I like that the current incarnation harkens back to those costumes in many ways. I also like the Cosmic Boy/Saturn Girl/Lightning Lad triad at the heart of the group. And I like the Superboy inspiration.

Comics, especially ones as venerable as the Legion, undergo chamges and revamps all the time, but I think we can embrace all the best aspects of these various versions.

Anyhow, we'll see if I can't hit on a few of those old aspects in my run.

In another post, he says:
I'd also love to work on a L.E.G.I.O.N. series. That was one of my favorite books, and I think Vril Dox is among the very best characters in all the DC pantheon.

As for what I'll do in my LSH run, I want to pay off on the long-running election for Legion Leader, on Supergirl's future with the Legion, on how the Wanderers anbd Sun Boy's Terror Firma crew will coexist with the Legion...and yet all of this will be addressed through smaller sub-arcs forcusing on three or four Legionnaires at a time.

And some butts will be kicked, too.

Previously: interview with Newsarama earlier this month.

Last summer, when it was announced that he'd be co-writing a few issues with Mark Waid (busy with 52), he had some comments on what he wanted to accomplish and how much of a fan he was. Here are reviews from issues 20, 22, and 23.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Great Disaster

No, I'm not talking about the Giffen/Bierbaum era, or any of the reboots. This is about the Great Disaster that we heard about in the DC books of the 1970s, and something that appears to be popping up in the upcoming Countdown (see below). So I dug into my archives and pulled out something I wrote for the LSH-L mailing list in Dec. 1996. It's about how the Legion is involved with the Great Disaster, or at least how they were pre-Crisis.

A number of DCU characters are tied in with the Great Disaster: the Atomic Knights, Hercules, OMAC, Kamandi, the New Gods, the Olympian Gods, perhaps Hex, and (indirectly) the LSH, Green Lantern Corps, Tommy Tomorrow, and a couple of Sandmen.

The Atomic War that was part of the Great Disaster took place in October 1986 (see "Hercules Unbound" or the Atomic Knights series in "Strange Adventures"). The Atomic Knights appeared with Hercules ("Hercules Unbound" 10), who was freed during the early days of the war. In that issue, Hercules and the Knights find the water stolen by Skuba in "OMAC" 7-8. But OMAC's world was in the technological near-future ruled by corporations, and Hercules and the Knights are post-war; the Hercules issue takes place right after the OMAC issues. Finally, the Atomic Knights and Hercules were retconned out of existence in 1983 in "DC Comics Presents" 57, where it's revealed that the whole future of the Knights was just a dream of Gardner Grayle. So that would imply that OMAC and Kamandi would be gone too, but both appeared with Superman later (OMAC in DCCP 61 and Kamandi in DCCP 64). Who knows. It was all erased in the Crisis, anyway...

...which took place in 1985-86. Hmmmm...

Post-Crisis, OMAC's grandson Kamandi gets found by Capt. Horatio Tomorrow, and Kamandi gets renamed Tommy, rather than going out into the world that's filled with mutated sentient animals.

Anyway, Hex appeared to take place in the same post-atomic war future that the Atomic Knights did, but I don't recall if there was any direct or indirect connection. And of course, the Legion met Hex in issue 10 while trying to get back home from the 20th century.

The Great Disaster, by the way, was started when Darkseid fought Zeus for the Anti-Life Equation. The presence of Ares causes World War III.

Then there was "Superman" 295 (Jan. 1976). Story entitled "Costume, Costume, Who's Got the Costume?" by Maggin/Swan/Oksner.

Basically, a guy dressed as Father Time steals Superman's costume and vanishes. Superman goes to the Fortress (in a non-indestructible costume) and uses the Time-Screen to find it (by focusing on the JLA signal)... 1000 years in the future, in the ruins of Metropolis.

So he breaks the time barrier and "through the worst of all possible worlds he tumbles... an age undreamed of in the wake of worldwide calamity [picture of humanoid animals]... a time a century hence when humankind is nearly left extinct and mutated intelligent animals fight each other for domination of the ruined planet.. till a race of super-developed men and women arises nine centuries later to overthrow their animal overlords... It is here, in the ruins of "ancient" Metropolis, that Superman touches ground..."

So he gets to 2975, but it's not the Legion's time. Jaxon is wearing Superman's costume, on the steps of the ruins of the Galaxy Building. They fight, and Superman remarks that "You're no ordinary Earthman! Your ancestors must have come from another planet like I did!" Jaxon replies "The Words of Knowledge fall from your mouth as if you were a priest.. but only a mad priest would fight the wearer of the Mighty One's clothes!"

Jaxon claimed to have liberated the costume from the man-gorillas, last seen holding it in "Kamandi" #29. In that story, the Mighty One was said to have perished during the Great Disaster, leaving only his costume. During the fight, 20th Century Metropolis keeps materializing, and when Superman says "Moons of Krypton!", Jaxon drops to his knees, since only the Mighty One knows that name (apart from the priests). Suddenly the costume appears on Superman, the future people disappear, and Father Time shows up.

Only it's really Xenofobe, the Green Lantern of sector 2814 in the 30th century. "The idea was to set right the course of Earth's future... which was upset during a battle the Green Lantern Corps of the future had -- er -- will have -- with a nasty character known as the Time Trapper! The Trapper arranged things so that the energy from our power rings entered the time-dimension, wiping out all earth's possible futures but one -- a future in which a natural disaster ended mankind's reign on earth.. so that the Trapper's foes -- the Legion of Super-Heroes -- never existed! To set things right, I arranged a battle between you and the mightiest of future beings, Jaxon, causing you both to generate power that countered the ring energy, thereby restoring all possible futures! Thus the Legion exists in one possible future, Jaxon in another..."

Or something like that.

In the unpublished Kamandi #61 (which finally appeared in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade), it was explicitly stated that the Legion is in an alternate future of Kamandi. Additionally, Kamandi is an alternate reality's version of Jed Walker, one of Kirby's Sandman's supporting cast (and brother of Rose Walker, of Gaiman's Sandman's supporting cast). I'm not quite sure how that works out, since Kamandi is 100 years in the future, but who am I to say...

Since that was written, a lot of DC history has come and gone (and come back again). But what's relevant recently is the Atomic Knights, the Battle for Bludhaven in the aftermath of Infinite Crisis, and the Command-D bunker buried somewhere below the city.

Diamondrock over at Title Undetermined thought of pretty much the same history connections there as I did ten years ago. Check out his thoughts too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Steve Ditko's Legion

There are those that think that Steve Ditko is one of the great comic artists ever. They point to things like Marvel's Silver Age Spider-Man and Dr. Strange, and Charlton's 1970's The Question, among others. But I came of comic-reading age in the 1970's, long after Sturdy Steve had stopped working on those books. I was into more realistic artists like Curt Swan (Superman), Dick Dillin (JLA), Irv Novick (Flash), Jim Aparo (Batman), etc., and by the early 80s we had George Perez (Teen Titans), Mike Grell (Warlord), Mike Golden (Micronauts), Bill Sienkiewicz (Moon Knight), and many more. Ditko's work, when it showed up as a fill-in somewhere, was just too "off" for me to like. And while I can appreciate his contributions to the field, I tend to dislike (even today) a story with his artwork. It's just an acquired taste that I never acquired.

Why bring this up now? And why here?

Well, the Steve Ditko Comics Weblog is in the midst of reviewing his work on the Legion book from their perspective, so I figured I'd chime in from mine.

You would have thought that the early 1980s would have been a new golden age for the Legion. With issue #259 in January 1980, they finally forced Superboy out of the book that started out as his in 1949, and they had a book of their own for the first time. And what happened? With Jack C. Harris as editor and Gerry Conway as writer (assisted by J. M. DeMatteis), from 1980-81 we got the Space Circus of Death, the menace of Arma Getten Dagon the Avenger and the brief return of Tyroc, a space genie, Dr. Mayavale, one of the worst Mordru stories, and space pirates. True, there were some decent stories (the Dark Man and the Reflecto saga) but more often than not, they weren't. One thing that that in my mind didn't help was the rotating artwork. You'd get a couple Jimmy Janes issues and then you'd be blindsided by a Steve Ditko job. And the inkers didn't help ether: Frank Chiaramonte on Curt Swan = good, over Steve Ditko = bad, for example.

Bob at the Ditko blog says that one reason why Ditko got these fill-in jobs (seven issues in all) was because the Legion editor at the time, Jack C. Harris, was a frequent Ditko collaborator. And despite their admiration toward's Ditko's work, even the Ditko blog admits that "unfortunately for the most part Ditko's brief tenure as fill-in artist didn't intersect with the well-written eras." People often look at Gerry Conway as the sole blame for this under-enthusiastically received time, but some of the credit (or blame) must also be laid at the feet of the editor as well.

Within a year, though, the editor had changed (Mike W. Barr) and so did the writers (Roy Thomas at the end of the Reflecto arc, and then Paul Levitz) and artists (Pat Broderick and then Keith Giffen). Talk about what a change in creative teams can do to a book!

Of the seven issues Ditko did, they've reviewed six of them so far, leaving only Legion (vol. 2) issues 267 with Vibrex and the Legion flight ring flashback. and 268 with Dr. Mayavale unreviewed yet. Sadly, they don't have a copy of the Mayavale issue to review. (Update: Bob has now reviewed issue 268, and wishes hadn't.)

Some choice quotes:

Superboy and the LSH 257 (Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel on an ice planet): "This is one of those Ditko stories to pick up when you've exhausted all others."

Legion (v2) 268 (Dr. Mayavale): "All I can say is that I'm glad at age 10 I picked up the issue after this, or I might never have read an LSH story again. ... Except for the hands, this is all sorts of bad. I'd say the hands are worth about the 39 cents I paid, if you paid the full 50 cent cover price you might want your money back."

Legion (v2) 272 (origin of Blok): "I like Chiarmonte's work on some pencillers, but on Ditko it comes across as a bit bland and flattening... Sorry for going off at length on the story. I was having trouble believing it myself. ... Ditko's art wasn't too bad, but nothing really sticks out."

Legion (v2) 274 (space pirates): "Yeah, space pirates. It's sometimes amazing this book lasted through this period to get to the good stuff on the other side. Despite the story, there's actually some fun artwork by Ditko in this one, what with the goofy aliens and fight scenes."

Legion (v2) 276 (Mordru as Lord Romdur): "Anyway, suffice to say that like most LSH books of this era it makes very little sense if you're not familiar with the characters. If you are, then it makes no sense at all. ... But overall, seriously, if you don't already have Ditko's LSH stories I can't recommend seeking them out."

Legion (v2) 281 (Molecule Master): "The last of the seven LSH stories Ditko drew is, fortunately, the best by far of those I've read. That's hardly a compliment, given the others (and I'm in no hurry to track down the two I don't have, one of which has a reputation as one of the worst LSH stories ever)."

Well what do you know, it looks like we agree on some things after all.

Legion TV schedule March/April 2007

Season finale April 28th! Of course, the UK got it today, so they're only 5 weeks ahead. On the other hand, they saw all 13 episodes back to back over three weeks, and now it's 49 weeks of reruns for them.

Via "Suddenly Seymour" at LegionWorld, here are the airdates and episodes for the Legion show for the rest of March and all of April (plus an educated guess for the first week of May).

March 24 - episode 7 "Child's Play" (2nd airing)
March 31 - episode 10 "The Substitutes" (2nd airing)
April 7 - episode 8 "Lightning Storm" (3rd airing)
April 14 - episode 10 "The Substitutes" (3rd airing)
April 21 - episode 7 "Chain of Command" (2nd airing)
April 28 - episode 12 new "Sundown, part 1"
May 5 - episode 13 new "Sundown, part 2" (season finale)

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.

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Episodes 1.12 and 1.13 (UK): Sundown, parts 1 and 2

Update 3/21: The ToonZone site now has recaps of both parts.

I didn't realize that when Cartoon Network UK started airing the Legion series, it would be on a daily basis. So they just got the first episode on March 5, and the season finale is today and tomorrow.

Update: Scott at Legion Clubhouse tells us that the US appearance of the finale will be April 28 and May 5.

If you want to read a detailed account of both episodes, check out the recaps in the ToonZone forum. I haven't read it, so don't spoil it for me in the comments!

I expect the torrents to be out in the next few days.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Kevin Sharpe - new artist

The new artist, at least for the first post-Waid/Kitson issue, is Kevin Sharpe, according to the latest solicitations. Sharpe did the fill-in art for issue 8 (here are some sample pages). He's also worked on stuff like "Army of Darkness", "Highlander" and "Battlestar Galactica" for other publishers.

Coming in June 2007

Solicitations for DC's June releases are out. Here's what's coming in our corner of the DC Universe (or multiverse).... two Legion books, two reprint TPBs, and a Starman appearance.

Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Kevin Sharpe
Cover by Barry Kitson
The Dominators storyline comes to a surprising conclusion that will change the lives of the Legionnaires irrevocably!
On sale June 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Scott Beatty
Art by Sanford Greene & Nathan Massengill
Cover by Steve Uy
Auditions can be scary, especially when the team you’re trying out for is the Legion of Super-Heroes! But a small-planet girl is about to make good when a big-time threat proves more than the Legion can handle. So say what you want about substitutes, we think they look pretty good together!
On sale June 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.25 US

Written by various
Art by various Cover by Brian Bolland
Cub reporter Jimny Olsen stars in this light-hearted volume collecting his most memorable adventures from the late 1950s and 1960s, guest-starring Superman! Jimmy undergoes startling transformations into Elastic Lad, The Wolf-Man of Metropolis, The Human Porcupine and more in these stories from SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN!
Advance-solicited; on sale July 5 • 192 pg, FC, $14.99 US

52 VOL. 2 TP
Written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid
Breakdowns by Keith GiffenArt by various
Cover by J.G. Jones
Continue to explore the DCU’s lost year in the second volume of a 4-book collection featuring death, danger, romance, terror and the never-ending search for heroism! This 304-page volume — sporting a new cover by J.G. Jones — contains the lead stories from 52 WEEKS 14-26, plus commentary on each issue by creators and editors, conceptual drawings, sketch material, thumbnails and more!
52: A year without Superman; a year without Batman; a year without Wonder Woman…but not a year without heroes.
Advance-solicited; on sale July 25 • 304 pg, FC, $19.99 US

Written by Brad Meltzer
Art by Ed Benes & Sandra Hope
Cover by Michael Turner
Variant cover by Phil Jimenez & Andy Lanning
Best-selling author Brad Meltzer and superstar artist Ed Benes bring you the final chapter of "The Lightning Saga," as the villains are revealed!
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 & Andy Lanning, may be ordered for every 10 copies of the Standard Edition ordered. Please see the Previews Order Form for further details.
On sale June 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

(Last part of the JLA/JSA crossover)

Newsarama interview with Tony Bedard

Newsarama's got an interview with the upcoming Legion writer Tony Bedard. He's signed on for six issues to start with. His first issue was Superboy 210 with Soljer (which predates my entry into Legion fandom by two issues!).

Here are excerpts:

NRAMA: As you take over the series, is it in the process of changing? With Supergirl having shown up in Legion after Infinite Crisis, the reveal on why she's there taking place in Week 50 of 52, Issue #30 teasing a "turning point" for the Legion, and a possible Star Boy of Legion fame showing up in Justice Society, there seems to be some exciting Legion buzz happening here ...

TB: I'm not giving the series a make-over. It doesn't need one. I'm just doing some character-focused tales in the wake of some very big, earth-shaking conflicts. And if you see a resurgence of the Legion in other books, I attribute that to the great job Mark and Barry (and Wacker and Marts) have done on the Legion relaunch. It's a mainstay of the DCU once again.

NRAMA: So the book itself isn't changing focus when you take over?

TB: The only change is to shift from the global saga of the Dominator War to a few stories focusing on small groups of Legionnaires on specific missions.

NRAMA: Let's just talk about your story. What can Legion fans expect with issue #31 and beyond?

TB: Following the grand finale of the Dominator War (you won't believe how that one turns out), we will deal with the aftermath of the election of a new Legion Leader and the fact that we have competing super-groups with the Legion and the Wanderers (led by Lightning Lad's brother, Mekt Ranzz). Finally, there's the whole matter of Supergirl's place in the 31st Century and how can she be in the present and the future at the same time? But all of it will revolve around a major change in the Legion brought about by the explosive finale of the current Dominator storyline.

NRAMA: Ah ha! "Major change!" Now we're getting somewhere. OK, then, how about one more loaded question. As one of the writers on the new weekly series Countdown, can you tell us if Legion will tie in to Countdown at all?

TB: Countdown does have a Legion connection to it, but my Legion storyline won't tie into Countdown. How's that for cryptic?

NRAMA: [laughs] OK, Tony, your excitement is contagious. Is that what you're hoping to bring to the Legion? A little fun and excitement?

TB: If I bring a tenth of the wonder and excitement that Legion brought to me when I was nine years old, that'll be enough. Beyond that. I just want to give some attention to a few underexposed characters, and celebrate why we love the Legion. It's such a vast, fun universe, and a great, inexhaustible cast of characters.

The Wil Wheaton Effect

On Monday March 5, one of my search feeds caught a reference that Wil Wheaton had made on his blog, discussing his episode "Chain of Command". This was about 9 pm or so. He linked back to me for the torrent files, so I quickly put up a welcome page for the people I knew were going to check this out for the first time.

Although not one of the approximately 1300 or so new visitors left a comment, they tripped my blog stats. Here's how Google Analytics measured the Wil Wheaton effect here until things settled back to normal:

Tuesday's hit count was almost three times as high as my previous highest, but I'm not sure if anyone stayed. Well it was fun being a link in a celebrity's blog for a few days, anyway.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

J. Torres with some LSH31C info

J. Torres recently posted about the New York Comic Con, and what he's got planned for the LSH31C comic:

I also met with my favorite editor Jeanine Schaefer and artist extraordinaire Alex Serra about Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century. I told them about some of my new story ideas including one involving the Legionnaires meeting Thanagarians. I'm also pushing for a Lobo and/or Booster Gold issue since they've both made cameos on the show. Plus, I found out about some cool plans for the second season of the show that will affect the comic book. And I've probably already said more than I should have...

"One Shot Hero" now on YouTube

David Miller put his "One-Shot Hero" flash video up on YouTube recently. It's the same version that's on his web page (you may recall it from this post here last fall), but easier to watch now. However, the video is in 14 small segments, so use this handy-dandy index to make sure you catch all the sections.

Linkfest, March '07

I have to stop collecting these and post them sooner.

Wacky Silver Age-ness

  • Jonathan and Paul review the Adventure-era tryouts. Relive the glory of Lester Spiffany, Storm Boy, and a bunch of unnamed applicants who are revealed to be The Lavender Target, Ask-Me-How-I-Recently-Lost-Over-65-Pounds Lad, Awesome Girl, The Bouffant, You'd Look Great in Powder Blue Kid, Biting Brad, Chet Kord (Ted's descendant), The Spelunker, The Two-Fisted Seismologist, and Gastrointestinal Discomfort Boy.
  • Dorian at Post-Modern Barney reflects on the Legion of Super-Jerks.
  • Scott at Polite Dissent notes that it must be a drug company conspiracy.
  • Over at Prism Comics, Chris Sims reviews A Very Special Episode of the Legion. Drugs are bad, mmm-kay?
  • ComixBear wonders why there's a flying carrot in the 30th century.

Fashion in Action
  • Chris at the ISB reviews Orion the Hunter's costume, and declares it a Crime of Fashion.
  • Project: Rooftop and take a week to review the best submissions for Supergirl costume updates. Here are parts part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6. Meanwhile, scans_daily looks at the last time this happened, back in 1970 (part 1 and part 2).
  • Gone and Forgotten takes a look back at reader submissions for Legion costumes, too.

  • Colleen Doran posted some of her Element Lad commissions.
  • Colleen also posted an Element Lad commission she got from Curt Swan.
  • Not to be outdone, Allan Harvey at Gorilla Daze found some very early (1980!) artwork that Colleen had used while a member of the Interlac apa.
  • In non-Colleen drawings, here's a look at what one corporate trainer does when he's stuck in a meeting.

Legion on TV
  • Here are a couple of reviews of the animated show from people who had never seen an episode before, or were unfamiliar with the show.
  • Gordon at Blog This, Pal! watched the most recent new episode ("Chain of Command") and said "This One's for the Fat Guys".
  • Animated Legion vs the Animated Teen Titans - ho'od win? This answer might surprise you.
  • Will the Legion appear on "Smallville"? That question was asked at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction convention last month. Sadly, the answer is no, according to series producers Millar and Gough.

  • Christopher Bird posts this example of Wildfire and Dawnstar, the original "emo" couple, 20 years before we knew what "emo" was.
  • Chris at the ISB reminds you that even if you have the second-most useless power in the entire Legion... It Can Always Get Better.
  • T. Collins says BEHOLD: Ral the Orchid!
  • But suddenly... Karate Kid flipped out and beat the crap out of everyone.
  • Jeremy reveals how Blockade Boy, Weight Wizard, and Plant Lad escaped from Nardo's Super Stalag of Space - they all played dead. Then the last two came back to the 21st century looking for Blockade Boy.
  • Matthew at the Legion Abstract provides some character reviews of Dawnstar, Gear, and Brainiac 5.
  • Christopher Bird reminds us that despite a 12th-Level intelligence, Brainy can be pretty stupid sometimes.
  • Siskoid's Blog of Geekery takes a look back at some of the other Legion tryouts throughout the years.

That's enough for now.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Wizard World LA '07: A Leak in the DCU?

Wanted to put this in a separate post so it wouldn't get lost in the updates to my earlier DC Nation recap.

Superman Homepage
apparently has a transcript (in italics, below) of what was said at the panel Friday (where we also learned about Tony Bedard and a Supergirl/LSH/WWIII connection:

One fan referenced Brad Meltzer using Frank Miller's "Dark Knight" as continuity in "Justice League of America" and another book (though I couldn't hear which) referencing "Kingdom Come" as merely one very small example of the mess that DC continuity has become (as we all know it's gotten particularly bad in the Superman line). Again, Didio seemed honest and open about it, and actually admitted it.

Yeah, we're doing that, you're honestly right. Something's going on! There's a plan, there's a plan. A lot of these, there's a lot of references going on. You're going to see the world of the Legion start to leak it's way into the DCU in current time... there's a lot of things happening. And it's moving to... it's moving somewhere. How's that for being as vague and annoying as possible?

A leakage, huh? Like, for example, the pre-Crisis Star Boy grown up to be Starman, chased down by Dawnstar from their universe into the post-Infinite Crisis universe? (Not to be confused with the Glorithverse Star Boy or Dawnstar, whose wings got clipped in the TMK era.) That could easily explain how the Kingdom Come Starman is the pre-Crisis version while still keeping the post-Zero Hour Star Boy as the one that Jack "Starman VI" Knight met in the 30th century.


Wizard World LA '07: Day 1 - new writer announced

Newsarama brings news from Wizard World LA's DC Nation panel Friday that Tony Bedard will start off as the Legion's next writer, at least for a bit.

DiDio then said that Tony Bedard is going to be doing some issues of Legion of Super-Heroes after Mark Waid.

After Mark Waid?

Reached for comment Friday evening, Waid told Newsarama:

"Since it's been announced, I may as well confirm. Because Barry [Kitson's] moving to Marvel and we've been the Legion team since the relaunch, I can't see doing the book without him.

"The timing of it all means we had to move our plans up a few months, so issue #30 will be our last, and I'm moving on.

"That booming noise you hear is the sound of message board posters around the world whooping in delight. Judging by the internet, I will not be missed."

There's some of that message board poster reaction further on after the main article.

Also at the panel, they said that World War III will explain why Supergirl is with the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st century.

CBR has the same news (minus the Waid quotes), but clarifies the new creative team situation a bit.
With news of Mark Waid and Bary Kitson’s departure from “Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes” already out, DiDio revealed that writer Tony Bedard would be handling the series for several issues before the new as yet unknown creative team took over. On a related note, DiDio mentioned that the mysteries surrounding Supergirl and her adventures in the future will be explained in DC’s upcoming “World War III” storyline.

On the other hand, Comics Continuum's write up implies that the new team is known just not announced:
"We have a writer and an artist," DiDio said cryptically. He added that Tony Bedard will be writing some issues and then an announcement will be made.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Trivia #9 answers

As usual, you got just about everything that I asked, and you even thought of stuff that I hadn't thought of.

1. How many of the marriages, deaths, other relationships, and events seen in the original Adult Legion story (ADV 354-355) can you name that actually occurred in mainstream pre-ZH Legion continuity?

We saw: Deaths of Chemical King and Reflecto; marriages of Lightning Lad/Saturn Girl and Bouncing Boy/Duo Damsel (but didn't Night Girl/Cosmic Boy also get married?); Matter-Eater Lad went to the Bismoll Senate; Colossal Boy was forced to quit due to an injury that prevented use of his power; Polar Boy and Timber Wolf joined the Legion.

2. What are the highest and lowest selling Legion-related comics in the last 10 years?
The lowest-selling issue was Legion Science Police #4 (13K) and the highest-selling issue was Titans/Legion Special #1 (61K). If you want to cover just the main Legion books, you'll have to look at the second-to-last issue of Legionnaires for the low point (15K) and the first issue of the current series for the high point (60K).

Here's a chart I last updated in January, showing sales from late 1996 to early 2007. I don't have data earlier than the Final Night crossovers.

3. Which identical or very similar power sets have been wielded by both male and female Legionnaires? (Example: Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass)
The ones that I thought of were Leviathan/Violet, Kid Quantum I/II, Dream Girl/Dream Boy, Sun Boy/Inferno, Superboy/Supergirl, and Mon-El/Andromeda. I had forgotten about the teleporter in the Khund Legionnaires (Veilmist), who'd correspond to Gates (if we assume Gates is a male).

Others suggested Timber Wolf/Catspaw, Dragonmage/White Witch, Blok/Monstress, and Tellus/Saturn Girl (assuming Tellus is male). I'm not sure if I'd consider any of them to be similar enough for this question, but your mileage may vary.

4. Name three 30th century sports.
My original three were Moopsball, Magno-ball, and Bat-ball. I don't remember robot boxing, Spaceball or volleyball, but if you say they were there, I'll take your word for it.

5. In current continuity, which members have joined the team since the series started? (All others were shown to be members in issue 1. This question refers to "real" Legionnaires with flight rings and code names and pictures in the opening credits.)
As mentioned, Invisible Kid, Timber Wolf, Supergirl, and Dream Boy have joined since issue 1.

6. What was unique about Animal Lad's rejection at Legion tryouts?
He was rejected by the evil Dynamo Boy in Adventure #331 because he was a good guy and couldn't be corrupted. Why he never chose to reapply later once the real Legion came back, who knows. (And I don't necessarily believe the Who's Who entries for some people, if it didn't appear in the regular comic I tend not to count it as canonical, such as "David Emery" from Titan who gave himself Kryptonian powers and called himself Dev-Em.)

7. Lar Gand was held in a Zone that has had at least three different names across the various continuities. What names has the Zone gone by in that time?
Depending on which reboot we're talking about, it was either the Phantom Zone, the Bgztl Buffer Zone, or the Stasis Zone.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Three Emmy noms for LSH show

The Legion animated show picked up three Daytime Emmy nominations today, all for music and sound:

Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction And Composition
Bj's Teddy Bear Club * TBN
Bratz * Fox
Dive Olly Dive! * Animania
Lazy Town * Nickelodeon
Legion of Super Heroes * Kids WB!
     Michael Mccuistion, Composer
     Kristopher L. Carter, Composer
     Lolita Ritmanis, Composer
Postcards from Buster * PBS
Reading Rainbow * PBS
Sesame Street * PBS
Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! * Kids WB!

Carter, McCuistion, and Ritmanis are Dynamic Music Partners. Carter composed the show's theme song.

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation
The Batman * Kids WB!
Legion of Super Heroes * Kids WB!
     Robert Hargreaves, Supervising Sound Editor
     Mark Keatts, Supervising Sound Editor
     Mark Keefer, Dialogue Editor
     Michael Garcia, Dialogue Editor
Loonatics Unleashed * Kids WB!
Sesame Street * PBS
Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! * Kids WB!
Xiaolin Showdown * Kids WB!

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation
Legion Of Super Heroes * Kids WB!
     Edwin O. Collins, Production Mixer
     Robert Hargreaves, Re-Recording Mixer
     John K. Hegedes, Re-Recording Mixer
Reading Rainbow * PBS
Sesame Street * PBS
Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! * Kids WB!

Congratulations to the nominees. The Emmys will be given out on June 14-15, 2007.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

LSH now airing on Cartoon Network Europe

Apparently the Legion animated show has just started airing overseas last week (why didn't any of my UK readers tell me this?) on Cartoon Network Europe, according to the network's web site. I don't know what order they're airing in, but if someone could fill me in, I'll provide more details from what I have.

Incidentally, the show is broadcast on the European branch of Cartoon Network, whereas in the US it's part of the KidsWB! network. Even their websites are different. The overseas one is actually updated, and it has a flash game like Bejeweled (only with Legionnaire heads) and some pictures that the US site doesn't have.

The show is apparently not being broadcast on Cartoon Network Europe in Polish, Swedish, French, Danish, Romanian, Hungarian, Spanish, German, Italian, Norwegian, or Dutch, only English.

UK site, with various banner ads

US site

Trivia Quiz #9

Congratulations to Craig for taking the time to go through all those covers and getting the logos all correct!

I sense that the logo quiz didn't go over as well as I hoped, so here's your regular text-only trivia for the month.

1. How many of the marriages, deaths, other relationships, and events seen in the original Adult Legion story (ADV 354-355) can you name that actually occurred in mainstream pre-ZH Legion continuity?

2. What are the highest and lowest selling Legion-related comics in the last 10 years?

3. Which identical or very similar power sets have been wielded by both male and female Legionnaires? (Example: Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass)

4. Name three 30th century sports.

5. In current continuity, which members have joined the team since the series started? (All others were shown to be members in issue 1. This question refers to "real" Legionnaires with flight rings and code names and pictures in the opening credits.)

6. What was unique about Animal Lad's rejection at Legion tryouts?

7. Lar Gand was held in a Zone that has had at least three different names across the various continuities. What names has the Zone gone by in that time?

Trivia Quiz - Special Edition #1 answers

Congratulations to Craig Richardson for getting every one of the logos correct in my special logo quiz from last week. He even got the obscure ones, and then put them in correct chronological order.

I didn't get as many people trying to guess this time. Was it just too much work? I've got a much easier visual quiz for the next time I do one.

Here are the logos, properly attached to their comics, in the proper order.

H. Adventure Comics #247

C. Adventure Comics #300

D. Adventure Comics #331

O. Superboy v1 #147

B. Superboy v1 #172

U. Adventure Comics #403

F. Superboy v1 #183

V. Legion of Super-Heroes v1 #4

L. Superboy v1 #197

R. Superboy v1 #207

W. Superboy v1 #213

Q. Superboy v1 #223

X. Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #259

T. Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #312

P. Legion of Super-Heroes v3 #8

M. Legion of Super-Heroes v3 #30

I. Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Volume 1

S. Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #28

A. Legion of Super-Heroes v4 Annual #4

K Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #89

E Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #99

G Titans/Legion of Super-Heroes: Universe Ablaze #2

N Legion of Super-Heroes v5 #11

J Legion of Super-Heroes v5 #13