Wednesday, December 12, 2007

1,050 Years of the Future

The BEAT has a look at DC's upcoming trade paperbacks, which includes the "best of" Legion collection, now given a title: "1,050 Years of the Future". When we discussed this last month, we each came up with a list of stories we'd put in the trade. This should be on sale in time for the 50th anniversary celebration.

Well, THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: 1,050 YEARS OF THE FUTURE has been announced and here's the solicitation:

Writers: Otto Binder, Jerry Siegel, Edmond Hamilton, Jim Shooter, Mort Weisinger, Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen, Mark Waid, Tom McCraw, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artists: Al Plastino, Curt Swan, Stan Kaye, John Forte, George Klein, Mike Grell, Keith Giffen, Kurt Schaffenberger, Howard Bender, Dave Cockrum, Jim Sherman, Joe Staton, Stuart Immonen, Olivier Coipel and Andy Lanning
$19.99, 224 pages

Now, a closer look at each of the stories:

  • Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958): a given, as the first appearance of the team
  • Adventure #304 (Jan. 1963): the death of Lightning Lad
  • Adventure #312 (Sept. 1963): resurrection of Lightning Lad
  • Adventure #354-355 (March/April 1967): the Adult Legion 2-parter
  • Superboy #212 (Oct. 1975): the Legion of Super-Rejects
  • LSH v2 #300 (June 1983): alternate continuities
  • LSH v4 #0 (Oct. 1994): intro of the post-Zero Hour team
  • Legends of the DC Universe 80 Page Giant #2 (Jan. 2000): bedtime story
  • The Legion #3 (Feb. 2002):

Well some of those are certainly surprises. A number of you had suggested LSH 300, but I thought it was too big to put in the book and the alternate futures wouldn't mean much without context. Apparently I was wrong, maybe you get enough context and maybe it's a way of showing issues that they otherwise didn't show (Earthwar, Computo, etc.). But it ties into the original Adult Legion 2-parter, which I wouldn't have chosen.

The death and resurrection of Lightning Lad was not only good storytelling, but it was a significant part of the recent Lightning Saga storyline.

Superboy 212 was obviously pandering to me, since it was my first issue. Maybe as the only "tryout" issue, and to have something by Grell? They should also include the page that was originally deleted, then published in "Amazing World of DC Comics", then remembered in time for the Archives issue.

The Legends of the DC Universe issue was a big surprise. It's listed incorrectly as issue 1 in the solicitation text, though. It's a Levitz script that has " The origin of Superman is told to the children who will grow up to be Legionnaires." (per the GCD). I'm sorry to say that I don't really remember this story.

I also don't remember what happened in "The Legion" #3, either. I'll update these based on what you guys tell me.

So that leaves us with 7 pre-Crisis stories, none from post-Crisis or v4, 3 from the post-Zero Hour era, and none from the current series.


Anonymous said...

The Legion #3 was the issue that introduced Legion World as the new headquarters and revealed that McCauley was actually Ra's al Ghul. It was a decent story if memory serves, but I don't think it's worthy of inclusion here.

Reboot said...

"Bedtime story"'s barely post-ZH, though - indeed, with the dead Apokolips of Foundations, it's kinda contradicted.

The continuity doesn't really matter whatever what you look at it though, because it's so it's utterly, utterly throwaway, and I can only presume it was included because of the writer's name. If you really needed a ten-pager, I would have gone with the Ultra Boy story from Showcase '96 #10.

Reboot said...

Otherwise, the postboot origin's "obvious" without being especially good - it does the job, sets up some better stuff for later, and scrolls off the page, seven out of ten - and The Legion #3 is so subplot-heavy that I have no idea how it'll read out of context/

Terence Chua said...

I'm just jazzed they're actually reprinting #300.

Anonymous said...

Not too keen on some (most) of the choices.

One thing though, this'll give as three more go-rounds with "the most told origin in all of comics."

Matthew E said...

I'm dashed if I would have made most of those choices. I'm dashed if I'm not.

First, is it just me or is this not a very big collection?

Also. Okay, some of those you have to have. The first story, the Lightning Lad stuff, fine. Is the Adult Legion thing really all that key? Is Superboy #212? I don't even think LSH #300 is.

I could improve this a lot just by making direct substitutions. Take out the Adult Legion stuff and put in the Sun-Eater story. Take out Superboy #212 and put in Wildfire's first appearance. Take out LSH #300 and put in the first Annual. Take out The Legion #3 and put in the Xanthu story from Legion Worlds. Take out the Legends thing, whatever it is, and put in, oh, the Swan tribute issue.

Then create a Volume 2 to fill some of those huge gaps.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if this book is giving us any hints as to the direction DC's going with the Legion in the coming couple of years. The emphasis on pre-Crisis ties in with the exposure Johns' "not-quite pre-Crisis Legion" is getting, and the inclusion of #300 with its alternate realities.....

Or maybe I'm reading too much into this?

Reboot said...

> I could improve this a lot just by making direct substitutions. [...] Take out The Legion #3 and put in the Xanthu story from Legion Worlds. Take out the Legends thing, whatever it is, and put in, oh, the Swan tribute issue.

They're not actually direct substitutions - The Legion Worlds #4 lead is 30 pages (or 38 if you mean the whole issue including the Dreamer backup) against a standard 22 for The Legion #3, and LSH v4 #92 is 22 pages vs. 10. [Plus the LW4 (and LW1) lead(s) has (have) some truly horrendous artwork. Of the LW leads, #3 & 6 are the only ones that's got art I'd call "good", although #5 is decent and #2 is just about serviceable). So that's 20-28 additional pages, or an extra whole issue,

> Or maybe I'm reading too much into this?

No, I don't think so at all. Hell, considering that Bedtime story is as close as the post-ZH LSH came to being directly inspired by Superman, and he's one of the holos (along with Batman, Wally-Flash and Wonder Woman) in the room when Brande's talking Rokk, Imra & Garth into signing up, I'm at least half-surprised the DnA issue wasn't one of the Foundations issues with Darkseided-Clark.

Jim Drew said...

Here's my summaries of the three postboot issues:

LSH v4 #0

Garth Ranzz is a runaway from Winath. Rokk Krinn is a teenage sports star from Braal. Imra Ardeen is a promising police cadet from Titan. And R.J. Brande is a very wealthy man. When the shuttle carrying them all arrives on Earth, the three, using their powers of lightning, magnetism, and telepathy, foil an attempt on the life of Brande. Working with Earth’s president, Jeannie Chu, Brande offers each of the three a job, forming a team of teenage superheroes: the Legion of Super-Heroes.

The Legion #3

The Lost Legionnaires are welcomed aboard the Bouncing Boy, shuttled to the captured Footstep Drive ship, and taken to the Zatar Nebula, the hiding location of Brande’s new project, Legion World. They learn the wonders of the project — planetary environments replicating each world of the United Planets — and meet new Legionnaire Gear. On Luna, President McCauley prepares a terraforming operation, but one he has had some special alterations added to. In deep space, M’Onel finds out that McCauley has been duping him, hiding things from him for a year. On Winath, the Legionnaires retrieve Spark, and she prepares to accompany Saturn Girl, Wildfire, and Invisible Kid back to Kwai-Space to convince them to join the new Legion’s effort; once there, they find indications of lightning pulses. On Earth, M’Onel confronts President McCauley, only to have red solar lights turned on him, at which point McCauley beats the crap out of M’Onel and then reveals himself to actually be… Ra’s al Ghul.

Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #2 (story #7)

The legend of Superman is told in varying forms throughout the galaxy: Braal, Winath, Apokolips, Sorcerer’s World, Earth, Titan, Imsk, and Colu. Searching for the true origins of the story is fruitless, even when it turns up an ancient volume penned by Lois Lane.

Michael said...

Duke, do you really think that the Legion has "the most told origin in comics", more than Superman or Batman?

Jonathan: that's the $64,000 question. Where are they going with all of this?

When we last discussed this, we were estimated 300 pages with 20 stories. We got 224 pages with 10 stories (though one was super-sized). And of the ten stories, collectively we came up with seven of them (missing only SBOY 212, LSH 0, and the Legends 80 Page Giant story).

Anonymous said...

**Duke, do you really think that the Legion has "the most told origin in comics", more than Superman or Batman?**

No, not the Legion. But that little crash landing on Korbal has been told a time or two. Don't believe me? Count 'em up.

Also, I can't remember where I got it from - the old lsh-l list maybe? - but calling it "the most told origin in comics" did not actually originate with me.

Anonymous said...

FYI, I just pre-ordered this book at Amazon for $13.59, I believe.
Good price!LLL!