Friday, December 21, 2007

A Legion Festivus for the Rest of Us

This Sunday is December 23, and you know what that means... it's Festivus time!

Festivus, which originated on an episode of "Seinfeld" in 1997, is a non-denominational holiday celebrated on Dec. 23 (or sometimes earlier, to avoid the Christmas rush). Instead of a tree, a simple unadorned aluminum pole is displayed, in opposition to the highly decorated Christmas trees. Two of the main elements of the holiday that involve people are the annual Airing of Grievances and the Feats of Strength. There are Festivus Miracles too, but they're not officially required.

So to celebrate, here are my list of Legion grievances. Please add your own in the comments, but remember they only can cover calendar year 2007 (so no whining about anything that happened last year). In no particular order:

  1. The Legion cartoon got all grim and gritty. After a fun first season, they totally revamped the characters, tone, and direction of the show. Producer James Tucker claims it was the network that wanted more action, so we essentially got rid of Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, and Bouncing Boy in exchange for Kell-El and Chameleon Boy. No "fun" episodes like the one with the Subs last season. Emo trendy facial hair on Lightning Lad. Bouncing Boy as leader sub-plot never referred to again. A two-year gap. A grown-up Superman who has grown into his powers and doesn't need the Legion. I realize I'm not the intended audience, and while I do admit to enjoying the overall story arc, I wish it had come about differently.

  2. The toy line from Mattel, announced and then quietly un-announced. We didn't find out until much later that the Big Box stores weren't interested in the line.

  3. Does anyone realize that Karate Kid is in "Countdown"? Does anyone really care? They've been running this storyline for over 30 weeks and we haven't seen any sight of a good payoff. What a letdown after his appearances in the Lightning Saga story. Is Giffen going to kill him off a third time?

  4. Speaking of which, Una? WTF? Has she shown a good reason to be in the present? And how did she get here?

  5. Barry Kitson signing an exclusive with Marvel. That caused Waid and Kitson to have to wrap up their storyline six months early and cut a lot of stuff short. On top of that, Waid didn't want to continue on the book without Kitson and so we got a six-month long fill-in arc (though fairly competently) by Bedard and Calero.

  6. Mike Grell is only doing a single cover (the alternate version) during the "Superman and the Legion" story in Action Comics. By his own admission, this is the only thing he's doing for the Legion's 50th anniversary.

  7. The Legion cartoon DVD coming out on three separate DVD releases to complete Season 1, which will then be collected in a 3-disc set at some point in the future.

  8. I'm disappointed in the sales figures, that more readers haven't been picking up the book. The Legion got the biggest bump in copies sold as a percentage of previous sales as a result of the line-wide "One Year Later" stunt, and all of those readers have now left. The book is back to its levels of where it would have been had Supergirl not joined. Of course, this is a DC-wide problem and not the Legion's, but still.

  9. No girl characters in the Happy Meal toys.

  10. Wikipedians didn't think my entry on Klordny was worth keeping, so it got deleted.

  11. Someone forgot to do a spellcheck on the title of the final Lightning Saga storyline. Translated from Interlac into English, it reads "Tle Villain Is tle Lero in Lis Own Story".

  12. Back in April, Dennis Calero had an interview with The Pulse in which he said that he was going to be the next Legion artist after Barry Kitson. Apparently he wasn't supposed to say anything yet (thanks, DC marketing, for the promotion there!), as the interview was revised shortly thereafter. Calero emailed me and asked me to pull my post in exchange for an interview later, which never took place. I'm sure that he probably simply forgot and I never made the attempt to get back to him, but still.
    Update later Friday night: after thinking about it, I rewrote this Grievance because I unintentionally put Dennis in a bad light the way it was originally written. Sorry Dennis!

Now to temper the List of Grievances, we also have some Festivus Miracles:
  1. DC is actively promoting the Legion's 50th anniversary, starting more than a year in advance.

  2. The Legion has buzz from two different writers: Geoff Johns (in Action Comics, and JLA/JSA with Brad Meltzer) and Jim Shooter.

  3. There's a Legion cartoon, and it was such a big hit in its first season that it was renewed for a second season.

  4. Happy Meal toys!

  5. Mike Grell, Paul Levitz, Jim Shooter, Keith Giffen, Jim Lee, and George Perez have all either done or announced a project involving the Legion.

  6. Wave after wave of Heroclix and Vs. cards.

  7. The Legion season 1 episode featuring the tryouts and the Subs.

The last of the Festivus traditions is the Feats of Strength, in which the guests wrestle with and try to pin the host to the floor. I think I've been doing that all year long with my trivia (see past quizzes here), but here are three bonus questions for you to wrestle with.
  1. Whose kids were Brin, Bran, and Loni?
  2. Whose kids were Ronn and Arna?
  3. Put these children (listed here alphabetically by last name) in chronological birth order: Lauren Gand, Pol Jath Krinn, and Dacey and Doritt Ranzz?


snell said...

I'm taking the risk of looking like I'm pimping my own blog, but I'm too lazy to retype everything, so here's my Festivus grievances about Karate Kid and Una in Countdown.

Unknown said...

Grim and gritty on one hand, but Krypto and Streaky cameos on the other.

Murray said...

Brin Bran and Loni... were they Brin and Ayla's kids from the Adult Legion story?
Not sure about Ronn and Arna.
I think that Dacey and Doritt Ranzz were born first (during the five year gap, maybe), then Lauren Gand (also born during the five year gap) and then Pol was born at the beginning of five years later.

Matthew E said...

I think it was Lauren, then Dacey and Doritt, then Pol.

Anonymous said...

Brin and Bran were twin infant boys and Loni was a toddler girl. They were the children of Timber Wolf and Light Lady.

Ronn and Arna were the children of Ultra Man and Phanton Woman.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure that Lauren Gand (born during the 5 year gap) was oldest, followed by Pol Jath Krinn (Night Girl pregnant in issue 1), with Dacey and Doritt Ranzz (Imra pregnant during the Roxxas assualt on Lightning Ring Plantation around issue 11-12) born thereafter.