Friday, November 30, 2007

Morrison's "All-Star Legion of Super-Heroes"?

Via Millarworld, here's an interesting bit from Wizard's "Best of 2007" issue. Grant Morrison has a couple things to say about the upcoming end of his "All-Star Superman" arc.

MORRISON: ...But there will be some more after [issue 12]. We’re planning to do some All-Star specials with other artists.

WIZARD: Are the specials going to fit into the continuity of the previous 12 issues?

MORRISON: Yeah. It’ll be the world of All-Star Superman, but you might get to see what it was like in the first year of his career or an adventure with the Legion of Super-Heroes—that kind of thing. There were a bunch of stories that I had left over because I knew we were only going to do 12. I had an idea for an All-Star Superman/Batman book, and a bunch of ideas for that ended up feeding into the notion of doing these specials."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Brainiac's back (on the TV show)

Interestingly, Warner Bros. got Corey Burton to reprise his role as Brainiac on this week's episode of the Legion, "Message in a Bottle". Burton did the voice of Brainiac for the DC Animated Universe shows such as "Superman: The Animated Series" and "Justice League". Burton's Brainiac appeared in the very first Legion episode in the DCAU, "New Kids in Town" from the Superman series (see World's Finest, Legion Wiki links).

Renowned voice actor Corey Burton reprises his celebrated role of Brainiac from "Superman: The Animated Series" in the Saturday, December 1 episode of "Legion of Super Heroes" entitled "Message in a Bottle."

Burton made his Brainiac debut in the S:TAS series premiere on September 6, 1996. More than 11 years later, Burton easily slipped back into the role.

"Brainiac is such a tasty character ­ so effortless, so wonderfully still and quiet. It really allows me to play great subtleties. The words perform themselves with a character like that."

Burton says the voice is a bit of a homage to famous voices from the annals of science fiction.

"It's just my basic mental image of a robotic intelligence, based partly on the Hal 9000 from 2001, and the detached narration from the original Outer Limits. The voice is very arresting in its quietness ­ that makes it that much more frightening."

To say the least, Burton was happy to reprise the role.

"I always thought Brainiac was the coolest character. He's completely detached from the violence ­ to him, it's just a consciousness. He doesn't breathe, he doesn't struggle ­it's just the pure vibration of the words themselves that make his delivery so cold and emotionless."

In "Message in a Bottle," Superman and the Legion must venture into the legendary bottled city of Kandor in order to stop Imperiex, who seeks an advanced Kryptonian technology believed to be hidden inside. In order to help the Legion and clear his "family" name, Brainiac 5 must delve deep into his memory banks to access information from the original Brainiac.

They've got a comment about this first picture that cracks me up. They're so serious about it - an "important note".
Of the images, one important note: the image violet.jpg represents that in a tiny world that fits inside a bottle, Shrinking Violet would be a giant.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Flashback: How old are the Legionnaires? (from 1995)

Here's another flashback post, from 1995, via the Compuserve Comics and Animation Forum. Back in the olden days, many of the comics creators were active on the moderated message boards (and to some extent on the unmoderated Usenet newsgroups). Among those on Compuserve were many Legion creators, including Mark Waid, Tom McCraw, Kurt Busiek, and Jeff Moy.

This came out around the time of the zero issues, in response to questions about the various members ages. Tom McCraw, writing to Mark Waid for confirmation, suggested these. Waid read it and never commented on it; nevertheless, I don't know how canonical it was (if at all).

In response to Juliana Kristi's question on the age of the Legion members I've listed below. Mark, You may correct me if I goof on someone.

Cosmic Boy - Rokk Krinn - age 15
Saturn Girl - Imra Ardeen - age 15
Live Wire - Garth Ranzz - age 14
Apparition - Tiny Wazzo - age 15
Triad - Luornu Durgo - age 16
Leviathan - Gim Allon - age 17
Kid Quantum - James Cullen - age 16
XS - Jenni Ognats - age 14
Invisible Kid - Lyle Norg - age 16

On Chameleon and Brainac 5 I'm still trying to figure out the math on Coluan and Durlan timelines. (and it's making my head hurt.) Hopes this helps anyone who wants to know.


"I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my...."

"... Message in a bottle..." Or so sang The Police.

Speaking of which, "Message in a Bottle" is the title of LSH episode 2.08, the last new episode of 2007. Hey, last year at this time we had only 5 episodes and we were seeing endless reruns of "Timber Wolf". With just 5 new episodes to go for the season, I predict we'll see three of those in February and the 2-part season (series?) finale in May.

Series finale? Well, remember that the KidsWB block is going away, with programming supplied by another company, so there's no guarantee the Legion will be back in the fall.

Anyway, on to this week's episode, with info courtesy of Warner Bros...

The Legion of Super Heroes offers its final new episode of 2007 this Saturday, December 1 with a huge adventure in the tiniest of lands.

In the episode entitled "Message in a Bottle," Superman and the Legion must venture into the legendary bottled city of Kandor in order to stop Imperiex, who seeks an advanced Kryptonian technology believed to be hidden inside.

Set to air December 1 at 11:00 a.m. ET/PT on Kids' WB! on The CW, "Message in a Bottle" is written by Joseph Kuhr and directed by Scott Jeralds and Brandon Vietti. Adam Wylie voices the Gatekeeper, while Kari Wahlgren stars as Shrinking Violet and Richard McGonagle lends his pipes to the Chancellor.

Kandor, huh? And who's that cyborg Superman?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Legion of Super-Human Detritus

At this point, I should explain that I have been negligent in bringing you the continuing reviews of the Legion of Super-Human Detritus. Paul and John have, for a while, been presenting the Legion rejects starting in the early Adventure issues - where, coincidentally, many of the "Justice Leaguers" in the current Action Comics run are appearing. Once presented, Paul and John approve or disapprove of them. Their current entry, as seen here, contains a yearbook picture version of what they looked like when they appeared ages ago.

My thoughts on these characters have been logged on the Internets for all to read. I love them all, even as I love to mock them. I'm just super glad that the Legion of Throwaway Characters is getting their time in the sun. Sure hope that The Mess shows up before this is all through (Alternate version of this joke that I forgot to use: I sure hope that Lester Spiffany is behind all of this).

Individually, most appeared for a panel or two, as recounted below (though they haven't yet gotten to Rainbow Girl).

In 12-ish posts, John and Paul have reviewed:
  • Part 1: Lester Spiffany
    "Lester's role in the proceedings quickly emerges: he is there to assure the reader that in the future there will still be douchebags."

  • Part 2: Storm Boy
    "Did he think that he'd do well as a member and that everyone would just laugh it off when they found him out? Listen, Storm Boy, if a Legionnaire loses his or her powers at two o'clock they're out the door with a selection of erased memories by four thirty. They don't even get a party."

  • Part 3: A bunch of no-name rejects, except for the very last guy in brown who turns out to be Matter-Eater Lad on his first tryout
    "Part three in our series of tributes to the common and/or crappy superteen of the future is devoted to the poor shmoes who had their Mom (or their Mom's robot, at least) sew up a costume and drive them down to Legion HQ but weren't quite distinctive enough to merit their own tale of rejection."

  • Part 4: Eyeful Ethel, The Mess, Dynamo Boy, Golden Boy, Polecat, Animal Lad, and Tusker
    "There follows a period of time where Dynamo-Boy is a member of the Legion and is devoting all of his time to having everyone else kicked out. I have no images of this, but rest assured, it all happened due to Ridiculous Legion Thing No. 3: Bylaws. The Legion charter's full of all kinds of ridiculous rules, and every time someone runs afoul of them and gets kicked out for getting married or failing to salute the Legion flag everyone acts helpless, like it's the US Constitution, rather than a set of rules laid out by three 14-year olds on a rainy Saturday afternoon."

  • Part 5: Radiation Roy, Ronn Kar, and Spider Girl
    "Spider Girl and Radiation Roy's fighting skills may have improved, but only when they are fighting each other. Seriously, even if I were using panels from the right fight scene they'd still be getting their asses handed to them. Suddenly moral and ethical considerations don't seem so important - who loses out when you inspire only the most bumbling and ineffective to become super-villains? Not the Legion - for every screw-up they turn away they get another easy victory to impress the ladies (or gents) with."

  • Part 6: Rann Antar
    "I can see his plan now: "I'll throw the feathers up in the air, then spray them with my formula. The Legion will give me a standing ovation as heavy feathers rain down upon them. The boy Legionnaires will go out to plan a parade in my honor while the girls wrestle for the right to kiss me. It will be the best day of my life.""

  • Part 7: Magno Lad, Chameleon Kid, Phantom Lad, Esper Lass, Micro Lad, Calorie Queen (the Legion of Super-Rejects)
    "I mean even if they beat their counterparts into comas, these losers are never going to get in to the Legion. They'll serve some time and then have to go door-to-door in any neighborhood they move into in the future, warning everyone with superpowers that they have a history of making ridiculous challenges."

  • Part 8: Lamprey, Nightwind, and Crystal Kid
    "Today I'm reviewing three of the most boring-ass characters in the occasionally spotty history of the Legion of Super-Heroes."

  • Part 9: Alaktor
    "He was totally just covering for his embarrassment over the tryouts - there's no way that he meant to press the button that made his belt go 'ROAR.' Dude screwed up and then improvised some evil to cover for it."

  • Part 10: Micro Lad (again)
    "The guy's trying really hard to have delusions of grandeur but can't quite get it right. See? He installed spooky mood lighting for when he talks to prisoners but he ruins it by making piggy faces."

  • Part 11: Command Kid
    "Theme number two? People pointing out his questionable tendencies. This is basically just some heavy foreshadowing of the fact that he turns out to be a bad guy, not unlike his terrible hair, bad costume or the title "The Lad Who Wrecked The Legion"."

  • Part 12: Infectious Lass, Absorbancy Boy, Quake Kid
    "I must say, the mucus cape show real devotion to a theme. It's possibly my favourite hero accessory of all time. Screw bat-cloaks and Spidey-mobiles and those little wings on the sides of the Flash's head - a cape that looks like it's made of snot, that's where it's at."

For all your work, Paul and John, I deem "No Further Explaination" OMNICOM APPROVED.

Previously: Rejected! and Rejected Rejects, part of Dial B for Blog's "create your own Legion reject" contest

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Manapul on the evolution of a cover

Current Legion artist Francis Manapul has a blog post on the evolution of the cover to LSH #39 (recently announced for February).

From this:

to this:

Previously: the evolution of the cover to #38

In other Manapul original art news,
I'm pleased to announce that we will soon begin selling Francis' Legion of Superheroes artwork starting with issue 37! Francis and John Livesay have agreed to split the artwork as whole issues, and Francis will receive 2 of every 3 issues completed. Francis will have all of the artwork from issue 37 and we will make it available for online purchase in December. We will let you know the exact date once Francis receives his art returns.

Here's the first item he had for sale, some concept sketches for the team.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Legion DVD Easter Egg discovered

This came over one of the Legion mailing lists and Legion World: news of a newly-discovered Easter Egg on the animated Legion DVD, that I hadn't heard about yet and couldn't even find anything on.

Was running my DVD and while on the main menu happened to be going through the selections and when I pushed the button to move up, it highlighted the Superman emblem on the screen. For the heck of it, I hit enter to see what would happen. The DVD brought up a page with the Interlac alphabet, lower and upper case. That's a nice bonus feature. Didn't see it listed on the box though.

You can find the Interlac alphabet yourself (plus a free downloadable font) at Interlac's Wikipedia page. And visit the font's creator's page here and here for the story behind the story.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Coming Distractions: Feb. 2008

Coming next February, via Newsarama: The end of the longest Karate Kid story ever!

Story by Paul Dini
Story consultant: Keith Giffen
12 script by Adam Beechen; art by Carlos Magno & Rodney Ramos
11 script by Sean McKeever; art by Jesus Saiz & Jimmy Palmiotti
10 script by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Ron Lim & Mark McKenna
9 script by Adam Beechen; art by Al Barrionuevo & Art Thibert
Covers by Stephane Roux
With the recent devastation behind them, the new Challengers return to our universe to face their next challenge. Also this month: a returning hero, a surprising future for Pied Piper, and Karate Kid fulfills his destiny.
COUNTDOWN 12 on sale February 6 •
COUNTDOWN 11 on sale February 13 •
COUNTDOWN 10 on sale February 20 •
COUNTDOWN 9 on sale February 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank & Jonathan Sibal
Cover by Frank
Variant cover by Keith Giffen
The penultimate chapter of "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes!" Crushed by the Justice League of 3008 A.D., Superman and the Legion uncover the horrific secret behind the conspiracy against the Man of Steel. But with the League of Legion Rejects a step ahead of Superman's every move, who can finally turn the tide of the battle?
Retailers please note: This issue will feature two covers that may be ordered separately. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (featuring a cover by Gary Frank), retailers may order one Variant Edition (featuring a cover by Keith Giffen). See the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale February 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Looks like Chlorophyll Kid, Rainbow Girl, Stone Boy, and... The Mess?

Written by Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham & Ruy Jose
Cover by Alex Ross
Variant cover by Eaglesham & Jose
"Thy Kingdom Come" continues! The Justice Society has been tracking the "Heartbreak Slayer" — a mysterious serial killer targeting super-villains — for months. Now, as new members are welcomed into the fold and the Society expands, the JSA will come face-to-face with an evil that threatens the future they stand for.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Alex Ross), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Eaglesham & Jose). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale February 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 USOn sale February 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Jim Shooter
Art and cover by Francis Manapul & John Livesay
The fortunes and status of the famed Legionnaire Princess Projectra are forever gone. But in the wake of the most devastating moment of her young life, Projectra gains an unexpected ally. Plus, Timber Wolf’s inner fury is unleashed — and another Legionnaire’s life may hang in the balance!
On sale February 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Matt Manning
Art and cover by Alexander Serra
With the Man of Steel a thousand years away, Brainiac 5 takes the time to complete his records of Superman’s time with the Legion, including a never-before-seen adventure on Mars. One of Superman’s future allies has a legacy at stake — can the Legion help Superman set it right?
On sale February 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.25 US

Plus, advance solicits for the following reprint trades:

Written by Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham, Ruy Jose, Fernando Pasarin and Rodney Ramos
Cover by Ross
A stunning new volume collecting JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #7-12, featuring the prelude to and the first three parts of "Thy Kingdom Come," the sequel to the classic KINGDOM COME! Welcome the newest member to the Justice Society of America: the Kingdom Come Superman! Coming from an Earth plagued by heroes-gone-extreme, how will this Superman react to an incarnation of the Justice Society he never knew?
Advance-solicited; on sale April 16 • 160 pg, FC, $19.99 US

Written by Dan Jurgens and John Byrne
Art by Jurgens, Byrne, Al Vey, Ty Templeton and others
Cover by Jurgens & Templeton
Witness the 1980s adventures of the time-traveling Booster Gold in this action-packed Showcase edition collecting BOOSTER GOLD #1-25, and ACTION COMICS #594! Over 600 pages of comics for less than $17 bucks!
Advance-solicited; on sale March 26 • 624 pg, B&W, $16.99 US

Written by J. Torres, Jai Nitz, Christine Boylan and others
Cover by Steve Uy
Art by Chynna Clugston-Flores, Steve Uy, Ethen Beavers and others
Collecting the first six issues of the explosive new comics series based on the hit Kids WB! cartoon! Don’t miss these exciting adventures, as the Legion takes on the Fatal Five and more!
Advance-solicited; on sale March 19 • 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US

Wizard World Texas '07

Oh yeah, there was a convention in my home state this past weekend. (Which is one of the problems WWTX is having, but I digress...). A few items of note:

Friday 11/16
Not directly related (yet), but via Newsarama:

Don’t get too sentimental about his recent death. Bart Allen’s story is not over, according to DiDio.

And maybe we shouldn’t be overly bummed about Conner Kent. When asked if there were plans for Kon-El, the answer provided was a coy “Maybe.”

Recall that a Flashy-looking character was captured in the wand at the end of the Lightning Saga story that also brought back Wally West. Is that one Bart or Barry? If it's Bart, then Bart could end up in the future of a world/timeline in which he never existed.

Meanwhile, a poster on ComicBloc noted that "In last month's Wizard magazine, Jim Shooter says that there will be a new character that if he mentioned it by name DC would send someone over and nuke his house."

Anyone have that Wizard? And let's speculate, who could be the new Legionnaire such that their very name would inspire a Shooter nuke?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Musings about Multiple Earths

Matthew at Legion Abstract got me thinking about Earth-2 again. A while back I proposed some theories about placing all of the different Legions into a coherent continuity such that nobody is upset about "their" Legion being left out. Well, of course I was mostly wrong, but that won't stop me from looking at it again with fresh eyes and the benefit of having read Infinite Crisis and 52.

So, to recap:

  1. Superboy of Earth-1 joined the Legion, which was from the future of Earth-1. We'll call this the Earth-1 Legion.
  2. Post-Crisis, Superboy was from the Pocket Universe and there was only a single Earth (let's call it Earth-Sigma, from the engineering notation where the Greek letter sigma means "summation"). The Legion was from the future of Earth-Sigma. Superboy later died.
  3. Post Mordruverse, the Legion was created never knowing about Superboy, who did not exist because Superman never had a career as Superboy (just like Earth-2). This Legion was very similar to the Earth-1 Legion, with some heroes the same and some changed (analogous to the Justice Society of Earth-2 and the Justice League of Earth-1). Let's call this one the Earth-2 Legion for now.
  4. Post Zero Hour, there was a new Legion with some characters the same as the previous version, but with a completely different history for them and for the Legion. Let's call this one the Earth-5 Legion for now.
  5. As a result of the Infinite Crisis, the multiverse returned, and a new Legion came into being. In this future, the stories of Earth-1 appeared in comic books that survived 1000 years (just as Barry Allen on Earth-1 read the comics adventures of Jay Garrick on Earth-2). Let's call this one the Earth-4 Legion.

In putting this together, I realized that in order to make it all work, I had to posit a Law, which I'll call the Legion Law, that went into effect at the time of the original Crisis. And that is: since the Crisis, you can't visit your own planet's past or future if you try to go too far.

First, we also have the Lightning Saga Legion to worry about. As far as we know, Superboy was a member, and he lost contact with the team after the Crisis. With the exception of the Pocket Universe/Death of Superboy story in v3, pretty much all of the post-Crisis stories can still stay if we assume that Superboy just wasn't there (OK, the Conspiracy story needs work too). Everything up to the Mordruverse reboot should be able to stay in this timeline (which unfortunately means Black Dawn too). There's nothing (yet) that says that the Lightning Saga Legion couldn't be the same Legion that we stopped reading about at that point. So for purposes of this essay (as of today), the Lightning Saga Legion follows sometime after LSH v4 #4. That keeps the Earth-1 timeline more or less intact. Superman (as the younger Superboy) was a member of this team.

During the Crisis, the Monitor and Anti-Monitor thought that there was but one Earth (Earth-Sigma), but due to reasons unknown, they couldn't see the others behind the dimensional walls. Early in v4, rather than rebooting the universe, Mon-el and the Time Trapper merely sent us looking at a totally different timeline, that of Earth-2. When the v4 Legion crossed over with the then-current (pre-Zero Hour) timeline, it was really the Earth-2 Legion travelling to Earth-Sigma, though nobody realized the dimensional barriers were still there, and each thought their Earth was the only one. The new multiverse was revealed, not created. Now, in the new multiverse, we have an Earth-2 which (at least according to "52" #52) resembles the Earth-2 of old, with an older Superman, a Power Girl, a Helena Wayne Huntress, and a JSA. This Earth's future was never revealed, so who's to say that the v4-era Legion was not the Legion of Earth-2? We just don't know what happened to them after Zero Hour.

The Zero Hour event merely shifted the dimensional walls, so that the future of Earth-Sigma now appeared to be that of the post-Zero Hour Legion, when in actuality it was just the future of Earth-5. (I use Earth-5 here because that Legion had Thunder as a member, and the "Shazam Family", who used to be from Earth-S, in the multiverse is now from Earth-5. Notice the S/5 similarity?). The barriers of time prevented time travel within the same Earth's timeline, so that you could only go from Earth-Sigma's present to Earth 5's future, and vice versa. The next version of Superboy, Kon-el, was a member of this team.

Post Infinite Crisis, we have another Earth, one in which the heroes of today were only comic book characters. There was no Superman or Batman, just fiction. The dimensional barriers that fell during the Infinite Crisis revealed this Earth, and the Supergirl of Earth-Sigma (now called New Earth) travelled to the future of a different Earth. We can call it the Earth-4 Legion, which is where the Charlton heroes live in their pre-Crisis versions.

So now we have a multiverse. We've got Earths 1, 2, 4, and 5 (reserving Earth-3 for the evil Legion who encountered Superboy in "Smallvile"), each with their own Legion.
  • Earth-1's Legion was last seen in LSH v4 #4, right before the Mordruverse reboot. Their history between then and the Lightning Saga is as yet unrevealed (but which includes the resurrection of Karate Kid).
  • Earth-2's Legion was last seen at Zero Hour.
  • Earth-4's Legion is currently being seen in LSH v5.
  • Earth-5's Legion was last seen prior to Infinite Crisis, with a quick stop on Earth-247 which no longer exists.

And the current New Earth (formerly known as Earth-Sigma)? We don't know what their Legion is like, since you can't travel too far into your own future. But we do have a "Legion of Three Worlds" coming up soon.

We need Rip Hunter (and Booster Gold) to sort this out. Three characters who co-existed (Superman, Kon-el, and Supergirl) were members of three different versions of the Legion, and several people (such as Batman) have met members of more than one Legion.

Of course, this is total speculation and only time will tell if any of it is worth the paper it's printed on.

eBay update

Some eBay auctions that I told you about recently have ended. Hopefully one of you was the high bidder:

This Mike Grell cover to Action Comics 861 failed to get a bid at $2500, so it was relisted. It made it as high as $909 in a second listing, but that didn't meet the reserve. As far as I know it's still for sale.

This Alex Ross cover to the Overstreet Price Guide sold for $22,000 to a live bidder at the Heritage Auction.

This Bob Layton concept cover of a "Days of Future Passed" Legion sold for $300 to Miki Anamanthadoo, a prolific collector of Legion art.

Legion action figure line: it's dead, Jim

I spoke out on this over the summer, about why Mattel kept putting off a line of Legion action figures, when everyone and their brother from the rest of the Justice League show was getting one. Yesterday I found a post on Action Figure Insider that pointed to this interview at TheFwoosh with "Toy Guru", a senior Brand Analyst at Mattel, conducted last week that apparently explains what happened.

I guess I just want fans to know that we do listen to them and are working incredibly hard to get figures out they have been asking for. I know fans are sick of hearing “wait and see” but because things change so quickly at Mattel we can’t announce new toys until we know for sure they will be at retail. (remember the Legion of Superheroes toys? That line wasn’t picked up at mass retail and we are trying to avoid situations like that again, which is why you see us waiting to announce stuff).

He actually posted similar news about a month ago, but I wasn't checking AFI:
Just need to know what will be picked up before we announce anything! You can understand we don't want to announce toys that won't make it to shelves (look what happened with Legion...) This is what we have meant by "a little patients" [sic]. If all goes well fans of JLU will be very happy.

So it doesn't sound good for a new line of figures. There must be some sort of prototypes out there, though, since Mattel had to show something to the retailers, and there was even an article in ToyFare solicited. Now all we need are some insiders to provide pictures, and maybe we'll have more than just this one blister pack concept (that I borrowed from AFI):

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Hmmm. Apparently I previewed the Justice League Heroclix set back in August but never followed up.

Here are the new figures that came out in September in the Justice League set - the Silver Age Bouncing Boy, the current Dream Girl, the Glorithverse Tharok, and the post-Zero Hour Time Trapper (complete with their comic cover inspiration where I have found them).

Is that picture of the Time Trapper holding the cube with the different "L" symbols on it an interior picture? I couldn't find it on any cover. Looks like the Time Trapper picture is from a panel in LSH v4 #105, on which they also based the Vs. card. Thanks to Scott for the heads-up, I knew it was familiar but I thought it was on a cover.

And I'm not sure where the image of Bouncing Boy might have come from - he didn't get many covers, and the only recent one I could find was LSH v2 #304 (but he was completely round when drawn by Giffen, not a ball with a head, arms, and legs).

Plus a Legionnaires card that I'm sure lets you do something cool with it:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Unnatural Alliances" preview pics

Yes, I know I never got around to the last new episode "Who Am I?". That's because I still haven't watched it yet (and I'm way behind in all my other TV watching), so I'll probably end up just putting some of my comments and the torrent link and calling it a day.

Anyway, here are the new pictures from this weekend's new episode, "Unnatural Alliances". Next weekend is a rerun, but the weekend after that is yet another new episode (2.08). If they're going to hold any back for Sweeps, they're running out of episodes. I suspect we'll see three new ones in February, then a 2-part finale in May, but that's just speculation.

When Terra Man, a villain from the future, arrives in the 31st century to hunt down a child, the Legion quickly acts to save the boy and keep him clear of Imperiex¹s obvious plot. But after Imperiex proves to be the boy¹s protector, the Legion must uncover why.

"Unnatural Alliances" is written by Keith Damron and directed by Brandon Vietti. Jeff Black plays Terra Man; Duo Damsel is voiced by Kari Wahlgren; Bumper Robinson joins the cast as Star Boy.

Notice that Duo Damsel gets herself a new costume this episode, and Star Boy finally gets a voice. But who'da thunk we'd see Terra-Man?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Greg LaRocque

Former Legion artist Greg LaRocque contacted me the other day to say that he'll be selling original art on eBay soon. To whet your appetite, here's an image he sent me titled "Greatest Hero of Them All" (click to enlarge):

For the young'uns, LaRocque pencilled the bulk of the v3 run in the '80s, from issue 15 to issue 48 (following Steve Lightle and preceding the return of Keith Giffen).

LaRocque is one of those artists who absolutely shines with the right inker. He was lucky to have had two of them on the Legion books, Larry Mahlstedt for a few issues at the beginning and then Mike DeCarlo for most of the run. Here are the covers to those issues (at the Grand Comics Database).

Update 11/13/07: Here's the auction for this piece on eBay, starting bid of $100.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

TwoMorrows: Only a Day Away

TwoMorrows Publishing is having a half-off sale on magazines for the month of November. You can pick up one of these issues for only $4.50 each:

Back Issue #14

BACK ISSUE #14 goes back to the future—saluting the world of tomorrow—in our star-studded “Future Issue”! For the first time ever, DAVE COCKRUM and MIKE GRELL are interviewed together in an exclusive “Pro2Pro” on their groundbreaking stints on Legion of Super-Heroes. ... With an all-new Legion of Super-Heroes cover by MIKE GRELL and BOB McLEOD!

Back Issue #22
In Back Issue 22: “Dynamic Duos”! Two “Pro2Pro” interviews reunite ... Legion of Super-Heroes’ PAUL LEVITZ and KEITH GIFFEN

I covered Back Issue #22 here earlier.

TwoMorrows also published the Best of the Legion Outpost and the Legion Companion, both still available (but not part of the sale).

Friday, November 09, 2007

Trivia #17 answers

This month's sorta-theme: Rings and Things. Apparently it was too easy, though I think I may have gotten everyone in an obvious miss.

1. Name three special properties of the Legion Flag.

The flag is indestructible, can be seen for miles, and glows in the dark, as first seen in Adventure 308. It didn't have the "power" to make someone salute, that was a section of the Legion Constitution.

2. Which Legionnaires' costumes had one or more letters on the front?
As noted, we had Phantom Girl's "P", Ferro Lad's "Fe", Invisible Kid's "i", M'Onel's "M", Element Lad's "E" (in both English and Interlac), Superboy's "S" (all three Superboys), Supergirl's "S" (both Supergirls), Shadow Lass's "S", and Lightning Lad's "Lightning Boy", Cosmic Boy's "Cosmic Boy", and Saturn Girl's "Saturn Girl" (the latter 3 from Adventure 247).

But what everyone forgot is that everyone in the post-Zero Hour reboot (like this cover) plus the young Legionnaires in the Glorithverse (like this cover) all had belt buckles on the front of their costumes that displayed the letter "L", and most of the adults in the Glorithverse/v4 time frame had jackets with an "L" on the sleeve (like this cover). This wasn't meant to be a trick question, but I just remembered this the other day.

3. What happened to Lori Morning's H-Dial? Whose was it originally?
Lori gave the dial to Brainiac 5.1 so he could use it to stop the Rift, and it was destroyed. According to Infinite Earths, "Lori Morning was secretly given Robby Reed's H-Dial by the Time Trapper, which he had stolen from its display at the Space Museum."

4. Which two Legionnaires were responsible for the creation of the Legion Flight Ring pre-Crisis? Post-Zero Hour?
Brainiac 5 was one of the two each time. Pre-Crisis, Mon-El created Element 152 and Brainy made the rings, while post-Zero Hour, Brainy accidentally affected a sample of Valorium and Invisible Kid made the rings.

5. Name two times King Arthur's sword Excalibur appeared in Legion continuity.
Pre-Crisis, Supergirl found it as part of her initiation test, and it rested in London until Darkseid's Servants came for it during the Great Darkness Saga. Scott suggested that it showed up in the Laurel Gand spotlight issue but I don't remember exactly.

6. What different symbols has Ayla Ranzz had on her costumes?
Lightning bolts at her intro, then briefly a cloud after she became Light Lass, then a feather until she got her lightning powers back. In the current version, she's got an up-arrow.

7. Legion Flight Rings have consistently had several properties that makes them useful. Name some of them.
Most often, it was used as a telepathic communicator, tracker, homing beacon, distress signal, or translator, and of course it gave the wearer flying ability. But sometimes the writer would add other capabilities, like transuit wearing, invisibility, and as a key guard in the Legion Cruiser.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

New goodies on eBay

If you have a few thousand dollars lying around with nothing to spend it on, why not check out these eBay auctions?

The original art to the Mike Grell alternate cover of Action Comics 861, starting bid at only $2500:

Or for just a bit more, you can have the original Alex Ross painting for the Adventure 247 recreation cover of the 1999 Overstreet Price Guide, in a Heritage silent auction, starting bid of $4000:

Blogiversary: starting year #3

Holy crap! Today's my 2nd blogiversary. Two years ago today I put up my first post.

My stats, 11/08/06: 50,000 visits
My stats, 11/08/07: 170,005 visits (as of a minute ago)

My top 5 posts over the last year:
3/6/07 (1,101 visits) - animated show "Chain of Command" entry mentioned in "Wil Wheaton dot Net"
8/6/07 (713) - Superboy lawsuit update
8/20/07 (1,195) - Jim Shooter rumor mentioned in "Lying in the Gutters"
9/10/07 (556) - Shooter at the Baltimore Comic Con
10/29/07 (3,122) - Paul Levitz rumor mentioned in "Lying in the Gutters"

In comparison, my top ranking post last year: 2/18/06 (442) - first look at animated show concept art

Top keywords: Sorry, they're all rather pedestrian and expected: "adventure 247", "Legion Omnicom", "Legion of Superheroes", "Legion Sourcebook", "adventure247", "jla/jsa/lsh", "legion of super heroes season 2", etc.

You have to dig down into the single and double digits to find stuff like "saturn girl pink bikini", "cheesecake", "the legion michael the cosmic space alien armee", "supergirl sex stories", "ayla pronunciation", "jessica alba nude", "legion of super heroes nude", and of course, "Who is One of Marvel Comics' most iconic villains and the archnemeses of the Fantastic Four?"

Anyway, thanks to my readership - without you guys, I'd be typing to and for myself. Looking forward to Year 3 with the 50th Anniversary of the Legion next spring.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Trivia Quiz #17

This month's sorta-theme: Rings and Things.

1. Name three special properties of the Legion Flag.

2. Which Legionnaires' costumes had one or more letters on the front?

3. What happened to Lori Morning's H-Dial? Whose was it originally?

4. Which two Legionnaires were responsible for the creation of the Legion Flight Ring pre-Crisis? Post-Zero Hour?

5. Name two times King Arthur's sword Excalibur appeared in Legion continuity.

6. What different symbols has Ayla Ranzz had on her costumes?

7. Legion Flight Rings have consistently had several properties that makes them useful. Name some of them.

Friday, November 02, 2007

New TPBs - and what would you include in a Greatest Hits?

Via Collected Editions, there are more Legion TPBs coming out next year:

May, 2008

  • Legion of Super-Heroes (50th Anniversary Edition) - a collection of issues from various eras
  • Countdown to Final Crisis volume 1

July 2008:
  • Countdown to Final Crisis volume 2
  • Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes - the Geoff Johns Superman plotline

Also coming in 2008:
  • Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Quest for Cosmic Boy (Collects Tony Bedard's first story arc on the series, issues #32-36, but oddly not #31)
  • Dec: Legion of Super-Heroes: An Eye for an Eye (collecting LSH v3 #1-5)
  • Feb: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA VOL. 2: THE LIGHTNING SAGA HC (collects JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #0 and #8-12 and Justice Society of America #5-6)

Let's just say for the sake of argument that DC has given us the opportunity to select which stories go in the 50th Anniversary trade (they actually haven't, in case anyone's wondering). Let's make it somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pages, which I'll say is 15-20 regular-length stories (Archives #1 had 19 stories, #2 had 14 stories). What would you put into the book? Since this is the 50th anniversary, everything is fair game from April 1958 to April 2008 where the Legion had a starring or guest-starring role. Think of it as "The Greatest Legion Stories Ever Published" that they haven't come out with yet.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Legion sales charts, 1960-2007

Last time I did a sales chart review was back in May, so here's the update (but I do have some good info there, so please re-read). Going from the micro to the macro view:

1. Sales of v5

The good news is that it looks like sales are finally stabilizing. However, all of the sales boost from the "One Year Later" event have evaporated, but to be fair, that's pretty much the case across the DC line. Average sales are now back to what they would have been prior to the OYL event. The big spike in Dec. '06 was for the alternate Adam Hughes cover.

2. Sales, 1996-2007

I used 1996 as the starting point here because that's the point at which reliable data starts. Prior to this, the only way to estimate sales figures are by multiplying sales as tracked by Capital Cities (which was only a fraction of the entire print run) and using a fudge factor developed for the entire DC line for that calendar year, and applying it to every title equally, to show what that fraction scaled to. This point in 1996 happens to pick up at the Final Night storyline, so you can see all the other DC company-wide crossovers that followed, like Genesis and DC 1,000,000. What's interesting is that sales were falling pretty consistently until Abnett and Lanning took over, and then sales rose until the series was cancelled in late 2004. Compare those to the present series' sales, and things don't look so bad. Sales of the main title now have finally dipped back to the point where they were in late 1996. To look at it another way - sales are still the highest they've been in 12 years.

3. The big picture

Looking at this one, you can see how whacked-out things were in the 1960's, and how much the Batman TV series really skewed everything. You can also see sales bumps from the Bates/Cockrum era, and each of the Levitz scripting eras, plus the sales drop from the Conway issues. You can also see how messed up the data is from 1986-96, I chose to put in the fractional data that Capital Cities had (accurate numbers, but not the whole story) rather than put a bogus fudge-factored number that makes the plot look even worse. And look at some of those huge sales drops from year to year - 79,000 drops between 1966-67, for example, or the 88,000 lost sales from 1971-72. It's obvious the newsstand market of the Silver and Bronze Ages is much different from the direct market today.