Thursday, December 25, 2008

SQUEE-EEORRRRK! The Legion Album

Happy religious or non-religious holidays as needed to all my readers, without whom I'd be writing to nobody.

A while back, when I found the song by the group "Legion of Super-Heroes", I decided to see if I could make an album (or a "See Dee", as kids call it these days) of Legion-related music. Matthew at the Legion Abstract talked about a comic-song mix CD, and Scott at the Legion Clubhouse had a huge list of songs that could fit here, but I wanted my songs to be at least tangentially Legion related (so, for example, I leave out an obvious one, 1975's "Wildfire" by Michael Martin Murphey, a song about a horse).

So here's SQUEE-EEORRRRK!, an album's worth of songs by or about the Legion.

Meanwhile, other 30th/31st century residents have taken up music in the 21st century:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Smallville goodies

I hate having two good posts this close together (if you haven't seen it, I've got my Festivus 2008 post right below this), but here are some new goodies about Smallville.

Kryptonsite has a gallery of new photos from the episode, including one of episode writer Geoff Johns with the Legionnaires and one of the Persuader:

Here's the episode description, also from Kryptonsite:
The CW's Official Description (Added 12/20/08): DC COMICS’ LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ARRIVE IN SMALLVILLE FROM THE FUTURE TO HELP CLARK STOP BRAINIAC AND THE PERSUADER — The aftermath of Doomsday’s (Sam Witwer) attack on Chloe (Allison Mack) and Jimmy’s (Aaron Ashmore) wedding leaves Clark (Tom Welling) in shock, but before he can search for the kidnapped Chloe, The Persuader (guest star Fraser Aitcheson) appears and attacks him. Rokk (guest star Ryan Kennedy), Imra (guest star Alexz Johnson) and Garth (guest star Calum Worthy), also known as The Legion, step in from the future to help vanquish the Persuader and the group realizes Brainiac has taken over Chloe once again. Meanwhile, up at the Fortress, Chloe, as Brainiac, informs Davis he is Doomsday and was created to kill “the other Kryptonian” and destroy the world. Glen Winter directed the episode written by Geoff Johns (#3T7461).

(also: Kryptonsite's message board thread about the episode.)

Note that the Persuader actor's name was misspelled in the original description but fixed and linked here.

And here's the new trailer:

Festivus 2008

Today 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 2008 (so no whining about anything that happened last year). In no particular order:

  1. The Superman & the Legion story totally undercut the v5 storyline and got people thinking that Legion continuity was even more convoluted (and the reboots make it more convoluteder), leading to Shooter leaving

  2. The Legion cartoon got cancelled despite high ratings

  3. LSH v5 sales kept dropping even after Shooter joined (maybe partially related to #1)

  4. Although it was one of the themes of this year's San Diego Comic Con, and got the cover spot on the con program, DC paid no attention to the Legion at their booth - no pins, no posters - while heavily promoting other stuff

  5. The Superboy lawsuit is STILL not settled.

  6. Whatever happened to that Jim Lee/Paul Levitz Legion story that was supposed to come out months ago? Delayed until sometime in 2009, so I've heard, but nothing specific.

  7. Delays in the publishing schedule of "Legion of Three Worlds": #1 in August, #2 in October, #3 in December or January, #4 in February (allegedly), and #5 who knows. I know they're having problems with "Final Crisis" itself, but is it a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly?

  8. Karate Kid and Una in Countdown. WTF? Can anyone explain this? The only good thing I can recall out of this is when Supergirl met them and recalled "her" (v5) Legion.

  9. The cancellation of the animated Legion comic, "Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century"

Now to temper the List of Grievances, we also have some Festivus Miracles:
  1. It's the 50th anniversary of the Legion. I think it's a miracle they're still around!

  2. Heavy buzz factor on multiple fronts: Superman & the Legion, L3W as Final Crisis tie-in, Jim Shooter; various titles and storylines made end-of-year top 10 lists

  3. Despite the schizophrenic promotion in San Diego this year, the Legion's 50th was one of the themes, and it made the cover. Plus there was a great (but too-short) Legion panel.

  4. George Perez got to fulfill a lifetime dream of working on the Legion, in "Legion of Three Worlds".

  5. Dawnstar appeared in Vogue magazine

  6. Geoff Johns apparently wrote my Multiversal Retconitis essay (Batman has met three different versions of the Legion but never mentioned it before) into Action 864

  7. Teenagers from the Future. A scholarly book! About the Legion!

  8. Legion of Three Worlds: restoring Superboy to the Legion and the return of the Pre-Crisis and Post-Zero Hour Legions. Plus, George Perez and Geoff Johns!

  9. The Legion on Smallville. We'll be able to cover this one next year too.

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. In a dusty file room in a sub-basement somewhere in Legion HQ stand some file cabinets. Next to the one marked "Substitute Heroes" (no, really, there was a filing cabinet) is a cabinet labeled "Secret Weapons". What did we ever see that was in that cabinet?

  2. Where would you find Mog Vagor, Nimbok of Vaalor, and Duke Harrington of Maine?

  3. In the suit he wore to his first tryout, which Legionnaires' powers did ERG-1 demonstrate?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Also happening...

Also happening...

  • Via Comics Reporter, NPR has "Superman and the Legion" as one of the Best Superhero Graphic Novels Of 2008.
  • Martín "MaGnUs" Pérez at the Independent Comics Site has an update and excerpt from his essay on Legion costumes that appears in "Teenagers from the Future".
  • Michael Ausiello shows the new Smallville clip at Entertainment Weekly, with lots of spirited discussion in the comments.
  • Geoff Johns threw us another curve last week in Action Comics 872. In the city of Kandor, currently in the Arctic, the Kandorians are in Brainiac's ship, which has countless other bottle cities from thousands of worlds. Among the planets whose cities are said to be in bottles are Braal, Winath, and Tharr (home planets of Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad/Light Lass, and Polar Boy, respectively). In the Glorithverse, these were among the worlds seeded by Valor. Also, Tellus (last seen in the Adventure Comics special with the Guardian) has a one-panel appearance with Agent Liberty.
  • The new "Superman: Past and Future" TPB contains a reprint of "Superman" (V1) #295, the story that showed how the future with the Legion was different from the future with Kamandi, guest starring Xenofobe the GL. (See this post for more info on that issue, which was originally supposed to be in a now-cancelled Great Disaster Showcase volume.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"We are the Legion. We've come from the 31st century."

Maybe it's because I'm actually seeking it out, but I'm seeing a lot of sites show up on my search RSS feeds that have articles on the Legion episode of Smallville that I don't ordinarily see. And everyone seems to be excited about it. Buzz? About the Legion? Things are looking up.

I like the headline for this Newsarama article: "We Are the Legion, or, Someone Made Smallville Cool Again"

When it returns, Smallville returns with a bang, featuring an episode written by Geoff Johns and starring the Legion of Superheroes. The newest trailer features good shots of each of the core three (though no power usage yet, we DO get the Legion fist raise), along with teases for developments with the other characters like Chloe, Doomsday, and Mercy. The second half of the season is shaping up to be some of the best Smallville yet, and I can’t wait for January 15th.

TV Squad also has an article.

And here's the latest trailer, which some of you have already pointed out to me:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bits of Legionnaire Business

Random bits:

  • The Legion of Substitute Podcasters talks about ADV 300.
  • The Comic Treadmill has their penultimate look at the Legion in Adventure Comics, issues 376-378.
  • The Legion Abstract looks at the history of the Legionnaire Computo.
  • Wizard Universe published an article online reprinting their print story on the Legion's cancellation.
  • Via The Comics Reporter, the Washington Post lists the "Superman and the Legion" hardcover as one of the top six comics of the year.
  • Meanwhile, Wizard has Action Comics (including the Legion arc) as the best book of 2008.
  • Chronic Cerebral Evacuations is this month's web page spotlighting the relative lameness of Arm-Fall-Off Boy and Matter-Eater Lad. Like we haven't heard the arguments before.
  • The new crew at Blog@Newsarama has got a new feature on Mondays, called Legion Blogpost. After a kickoff/intro post, episode 2 takes a nostalgic look back at the v4-era Legion. Welcome to the Legionblogosphere, guys!
  • Paul and John Review (that is, make fun of) Adventure 371.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Waid, DiDio chat on Legion stuff

In separate interviews, Mark Waid and Dan DiDio have commented recently on the past, present, and future of the Legion. Thanks to roving reporter Murray for bringing both of these to my attention.

DiDio, via his 20 Questions column on Newsarama:

4. Do thresholds change in terms of the performance of a book? Do they change in tighter times? After all, we’ve seen a number of DC books cancelled recently...

DD: Some of the books were cancelled for story reasons; some were cancelled because of sales reasons. We don’t have a consistent answer for how these books are being handled – especially when you saw some of these things being done. But that said, people are going to realize very quickly that the cancellations of Robin, Nightwing, Birds of Prey and Legion of Super-Heroes are occurring for a very specific reason...

18: Any more information available on Adventure Comics? Can you confirm or deny that it will be the vehicle for the Legion of Super-Heroes?

DD: I can confirm and deny – that’s even better. I will tell you only one thing about it - Adventure Comics #0, even though it is reprinting the first appearance of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, it will also have a six page “Omens and Origins” that will get everybody talking and address multiple questions that are out there right now.

Oh, and it’s $1.00.

Waid, via chat on CBR's Comics Should Be Good. Here's the whole Legion part (minus a silly question about Sun Boy), but I've bolded the highlights and money quotes since I can't really pull sections out on their own, and added some line breaks to make it more readable here. Go read the whole interview, it's pretty interesting.
Brian Cronin: “With a little bit of time and perspective, what’s your take on your Legion reboot? What worked, what didn’t and what would you have done differently?”

Mark Waid: Legion reboot. Hrrm.
Mark Waid: I think what worked was a level of energy and enthusiasm Barry Kitson and I brought to the project. And I think the first bunch of issues is still really strong. But–my own failings as a writer aside (and you can look them up on the internet)–what didn’t work was the 30-page structure. It sounded great in theory–but we didn’t get started soon enough, and no way could Barry pencil 30 pages a month at the level he was working.
Mark Waid: So that meant fill-ins. But as the writer, you want the “choice” moments in your story to be told with your regular artist. BUT you don’t want to make a fill-in issue NOT important to the building story. It’s a dilemma. One I didn’t handle well, and one that made our first 12 issues feel like ten issues crammed into 12. There’s some legitimacy to the theory that the story moved too slowly.
Mark Waid: What DID work, I think, is that we DID get a BUNCH of new readers fresh to the Legion, and for every letter I got cursing me, I got one praising us for delivering an incredibly accessible book for new readers.
Mark Waid: Remember, too, at the time we relaunched, “rebooting” to the Adventure Comics days was Not An Option Available To Us. Had we simply done that, I think we’d have been revered. By 30,000 people. Big whoop.

Brian Cronin: Ha

Mark Waid: This is what I mean about swinging for the fences. I wasn’t trying in any way to be dismissive of existing Legion fans–I’m one of the STAUNCHEST Legion fans EVER, second only to Paul Levitz himself–but Legion fans alone were not enough in number to keep that franchise alive. So Barry and I tried to write for people who had never read the Legion. Like it or hate it, our run was at least eminently accessible to new readers.
Mark Waid: But something was off. We didn’t connect. I’m sure Tim Callahan will lecture me at condescending length about why that’s so, were I to ask him.

Brian Cronin: Would you have gone that route [back to the Levitz era] had it been available?

Mark Waid: I don’t think I would have gone that route, no. The Prime Directive was to make it super-abundantly clear that if you’d never read a Legion comic before, you could still pick up our book and BAM! Be in on the ground floor.
Mark Waid: Relaunching instead with a take that dated back to 1988 would never have sent that message.
Mark Waid: It’s working now, for Geoff, but the landscape’s much different than it was in 2004.
Mark Waid: Also, Geoff has DC editorial behind him. We did not. We had to get sandbagged by the goddamned “Lightning Saga” in JLA that, no fault of writer Brad Meltzer’s, was a total surprise to us and made us look like idiots.

Brian Cronin: Could you have not done a take on the Abnett and Lanning Legion that would have been accessible to new readers?
Brian Cronin: Or did the Abnett and Lanning Legion have too much of its own continuity to worry about?

Mark Waid: It’s not even that it had extensive continuity. It’s that all new potential readers BELIEVED Legion was a continuity nightmare, whether or not that was true.
Mark Waid: (Which it kinda was.)
Mark Waid: But even if it weren’t, we weren’t dealing with reality. We were dealing with perception. This is a fact: The perception was that Legion was totally new-reader-unfriendly.

Brian Cronin: But wouldn’t a third version of the Legion help bolster that?
Brian Cronin: If we’re talking perceptions, “Oh, the Legion, it’s so convoluted, they’re on their third reboot!”

Mark Waid: As opposed to what?
Mark Waid: Seriously. You’ve just advanced a total lose/lose scenario. Discuss.

Brian Cronin: But that’s what I mean – why go with what seemed to be a lose-lose scenario?

Mark Waid: Look, I agree, with 20/20 hindsight (again), the smart thing would have been to roll everything back to Levitz days. But Geoff and Gary Frank have an arrow in their quiver that we did not: Superboy.
Mark Waid: So had we done exactly what Geoff and Gary did recently–well, (a) we couldn’t have, because then-Superman editorial would have nixed it, and (b) IF we had, we’d have had to scrap everything the moment Superboy entered Legal Limbo for two years.
Mark Waid: So we would have had to retcon OURSELVES six issues in.
Mark Waid: What a quagmire.

Brian Cronin: Like the 5 years later Legion.
Brian Cronin: What was that - three issues into the new series that the reboot hit?

Mark Waid: Five issues in.
Mark Waid: What a nightmare.
Mark Waid: Look, it’s all timing. And my career is, creatively speaking, a virtual ode to lousy timing.
Mark Waid: Let’s move off Legion. You’re driving me to drink.

Brian Cronin: Hah
Brian Cronin: Sure

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Johns to leave JSA, follow up with Legion?

So Geoff Johns is leaving the "JSA" book with #26 (Comicbloc, Newsarama, CBR). He is also leaving "Action Comics" for the Superman origin miniseries.

I have more stories to tell, and the characters are endless, but that’s also true for the DC Universe. I’m ready to move on to some other challenges like returning to THE FLASH and SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN. And I am also obsessed with making sure that GREEN LANTERN, BLACKEST NIGHT and everything around it is the absolute best it can possibly be. ...and that’s only part of 2009. There are some new projects on the horizon.

That conveeeeeniently leaves an opening in his schedule to write the new Legion book in "Adventure Comics". But I think this is secret code. He's trying to tell us something. Let's look at it again with our 12th-level intelligence filter:
I have more stories to tell, and the characters are endless, but that’s also true for the DC Universe. I’m ready to move on to some other challenges like returning to THE FLASH and SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN. And I am also obsessed with making sure that GREEN LANTERN, BLACKEST NIGHT and everything around it is the absolute best it can possibly be. ...and that’s only part of 2009. There are some new projects on the horizon.

I'm just saying, that's all.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

TV Guide sneak peek at Smallville

The print version of this week's TV Guide has a new photo and short story (speaking to writer Geoff Johns) on the upcoming Legion episode of Smallville. Kryptonsite has a scan on their site.

Before the Legion can help Clark, they have to get over being starstruck about meeting their idol. "They know Clark from the equivalent of history books," Johns says. "They're all alien immigrants like him and they look at how he pioneered the way for aliens to come to Earth as a haven."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Trivia Answers #30

Well, Gopher got all the ones that nobody else got, so I guess it's time to post my answers. I had fun with that last one.

1. Which movie was reviewed on "Nik's Piks"?

The movie was called "Cadets", as seen in the intro story to "Who's Who in the LSH" #7. It was a drama about life in the Legion Academy.

2. What happened to the original training complex used for the Legion Academy when they moved the Academy out to Montauk Point, Long Island?
Speaking of which, that same story issue mentioned that the old Academy building was sold to a health and fitness club.

3. What is the most-reprinted panel in Legion publishing history?
The scene of the Legion council, from ADV 316 page 6, was used as the image for the Legion Outpost letters column for many years (as seen here at the Sannings' Legion Clubhouse).

4. Twice in early Legion stories, a male Legionnaire commented that a mission was too dangerous for Saturn Girl because she's a girl. Which male Legionnaires said that?
Both times it was Brainiac 5, in ADV 309 and 319.

5. What was Mordru's original name, and who was his father?
A relatively easy one. Mordru was born Wrynn of Gemworld, son of Topaz.

6. Besides Impulse (Bart Allen) and the Tornado Twins, which Legion character(s) have a direct link to the Flash family?
The one I was looking for was Devlin O'Ryan, who was the protégé of Iris West Allen. (As an aside, I hope they'll address which Legion timeline Barry went to, how Iris got back to the 21st century when she was previously seen in the now-defunct v4 timeline, and which future Bart comes from.)

7. This could be the most obscure question I've ever asked. Which three of the following people do not belong in the list with the others, and why? In alphabetical order: Affirmative Action, Asteroid Girl, Brainiac 5, Cosmos Lad, Disgusting Boy, Elektro Boy, Kwikster, Lightning Boy, Lightning Lord, Silent Girl, Spark, and Telepathy Lad.
This one requires you to know (somehow) that I'm talking about the parody and tribute covers to Adventure 247. All of the above except for Asteroid Girl, Cosmos Lad, and Silent Girl were all in the center seat; those three were on an end. See the Legion Wiki for all of the ADV 247 inspired covers so far. Jake did come up with some alternate answers (just not the ones I was thinking of).

Special bonus holiday question: Name three stories in which we saw the Legionnaires celebrating Christmas or another holiday celebration.
The three that I had thought of were the "Christmas Star" story (which also, if I'm not mistaken, was where we saw Colossal Boy celebrating Chanukkah), the Adult Legion story where Supergirl tries to hook up Superman with Saturn Woman, and the Klordny story. Gopher found a Halloween story which has apparently totally escaped my memory.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Trivia Quiz #30

No theme this week. And as it's just shy of midnight, technically I got in under the wire of posting this on the first Monday of the month.

1. Which movie was reviewed on "Nik's Piks"?

2. What happened to the original training complex used for the Legion Academy when they moved the Academy out to Montauk Point, Long Island?

3. What is the most-reprinted panel in Legion publishing history?

4. Twice in early Legion stories, a male Legionnaire commented that a mission was too dangerous for Saturn Girl because she's a girl. Which male Legionnaires said that?

5. What was Mordru's original name, and who was his father?

6. Besides XS, Impulse (Bart Allen) and the Tornado Twins, which other Legion character(s) have a direct link to the Flash family?

7. This could be the most obscure question I've ever asked. Of the following 12 people, which three do not belong in the list with the others, and why? In alphabetical order: Affirmative Action, Asteroid Girl, Brainiac 5, Cosmos Lad, Disgusting Boy, Elektro Boy, Kwikster, Lightning Boy, Lightning Lord, Silent Girl, Spark, and Telepathy Lad.

Special bonus holiday question: Name at least three stories in which we saw the Legionnaires celebrating Christmas or another holiday celebration (excluding Superboy or Supergirl 20th century stories).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ummm, hello... the return of Superboy?

They're talking about the new Superman origin story at Newsarama. What interests me is that not only are they going to restore Clark Kent's history as Superboy - with all that means from Legion continuity - but also just the fact that they're restoring Clark Kent as Superboy to begin with.

The heirs of Jerry Siegel currently have a lawsuit pending with Time Warner and DC Comics over the rights to the Superboy character. For a while we didn't see any Superboy at all: Conner Kent was killed (for how long, remains to be seen), they referred to the Earth-Prime Superboy as "Superman Prime", and they didn't publish any comics with Superboy. But then they came out with some reprint volumes (Showcase, 1050 Years, etc.) with Superboy on the cover, and Superman Prime is being called Superboy Prime again. Now they're restoring the Superboy history wiped out in the Crisis and Byrne revamp, and they are blatantly calling him Superboy (as opposed to "Young Superman").

Now, the lawsuit involving Superboy has not been settled, and in fact has been scheduled for sometime after the resolution of the Action Comics suit in which the Siegels are seeking to recapture their rights to Superman, in a method authorized by Congress.

Click on the "Superboy lawsuit" tab at the top for all the other posts here on that topic, and read Jeff Trexler's posts at Newsarama for all of the details. When last we heard (Wizard World Chicago back in June), Dan DiDio hinted that they were somehow allowed to use Superboy again, but no details on that have emerged (and Jeff is the one doing all the legal journalistic work on this case).

Geoff Johns, on Smallville and Superman: Secret Origin

On MTV's Splash Page, their blog for comics and movies, Geoff Johns talks about the Legion on Smallville (I love all of the buzz this episode is getting!).

“The concept of the Legion throws a wrench in Clark’s life,” Johns said. “They’ve already built up to a huge climax with Chloe and Doomsday, and then the Legion comes in and completely complicates everything.”

Johns pitched the show on introducing the time-traveling Legionnaires — Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and Cosmic Boy — by explaining that they would be relevant to Clark Kent’s life at this point in time (unlike some other characters who’d been introduced on the show although he wasn’t supposed to meet them until later — can you say Green Arrow?). And when the time came to talk villains, Johns brought in a bunch of his comic books to show them how the Persuader would translate in a cameo appearance.

...To translate the Legionnaires, Johns said there was some debate over whether they would wear spandex, but found middle ground in uniforms that give nods to their comic book appearances. “So you got Saturn Girl in red and white with Saturn on her chest,” he expained. “We had production meetings to talk through all the details. Do they have rings? What do they look like?”

Following the episode won’t require knowing Legion history, Johns promised. “If you’re not a Legion fan, it’s a lot of ‘Do you make your own destiny? Is it written in stone? Do your heroes live up to your expectatons?’ There’s a lot there for you. But if you’re a fan, we worked our asses off to be as faithful to it as possible. There’s so much mythology in this episode, I think the fans will be blown away.”

Meanwhile, he also talked to Newsarama about the upcoming Superman: Secret Origin. They've got a look at some of the covers which are linked together; the Legion stars on the second cover.

Notice that they are reintroducing teenage Clark Kent as Superboy, which is at the heart of one of the Siegels/DC lawsuits.

GJ: ...To me, origin stories - particularly "Secret Origin" stories in the DC Comics universe - are vital to the introduction of characters and mythology to the larger audience, and I think they can be to the long time audience as well. We haven't seen a modern day retelling of Clark's first adventure as Superboy with the Legion of Super-Heroes, or the day Superman met Jimmy Olsen or the origins of Superman's long time enemies like the Parasite and Metallo. More importantly, Clark Kent himself will be explored in his earlier years in a way I don't think he's ever been explored before. And freaking Gary Frank, one of the greatest Superman artists in history already, is illustrating it. Every cover, every panel, ever line.

For long time readers, with the inclusion of the Legion of Super-Heroes back in Superman's history, General Zod introduced and all the other changes made post-Infinite Crisis nearly 3-years ago, they've been requesting a definitive secret origin. Man of Steel was brilliant and Birthright was a beautiful book, but Superman: Secret Origin will be what lines right up for the modern day monthly books. It will feature new looks at the origin of not only Superman, but some of his greatest allies, enemies and supporting cast and it will tie into everything Gary and I have done so far on Action Comics as well as setting the stage for the future.

NRAMA: As readers of Gary and your work on Action know, you’ve been adjusting things on Krypton in New Krypton as well as touching upon Clark's early years, so what's the scope of this story, time-wise?

GJ: It goes from Clark's teenage years, through his first adventure with the Legion of Super-Heroes and into his arrival and introduction to Metropolis as Superman. We've included the first three covers with the interview and you can see a pretty big part of Clark Kent's history is being reintroduced as well - namely, Superboy. But with a bit of a twist.

NRAMA: Can you tell us any characters or beats that you're going to play up more than they've been mentioned previously? Any that you're going to de-emphasize?

GJ: You'll see Ma and Pa Kent, Lana Lang, Pete Ross, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Mordru, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, the Parasite, Metallo, Lex Luthor and others...

...And after Superman: Secret Origin, Gary and I already know what comes next. It'll be a monthly.

Would it be too much of a coincidence for Johns and Frank to be leaving Action Comics just when the monthly Adventure Comics (starring the Legion) starts up?

Déjà Vu 17: Sticky Fingers

Just grab a handful of them....

Sensation Comics #109 (6/52)
cover art by Murphy Anderson & Frank Giacoia
Justice League of America #10 (3/62)
cover art by Murphy Anderson

LSH v4 #6 (4/90)
cover art by Keith Giffen & Al Gordon

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bits of Legionnaire Business

Bits of Legionnaire Business from the last couple of weeks...

  • Kimota94 has some questions about "Legion of Three Worlds" that have yet to be answered (but presumably will by story's end, whenever that is), things like "What's really in that lightning rod? What's going on with Sun Boy, will his red-sun radiation be the downfall of Superboy Prime? And what are Polar Boy, Dawnstar and Wildfire travelling back to the 21st century to find?"

  • Former Legion artist Jim Sherman had another career as a graphic designer. He always thought that he designed the red/white/blue logo for Major League Baseball, but he was wrong. has the story, probably the only time you'll ever see the Legion referenced on ESPN.

  • The Tim Callahan edited book "Teenagers from the Future" is now available via Diamond, if you're interested. (via CBR)

  • The Legion of Substitute Podcasters review "The Secret of the Seventh Super-Hero" from Adventure 290.

  • TV Guide announced a casting scoop for the three Legionnaires to appear on "Smallville", in an article dated Nov. 20th. Too bad that Kryptonsite had identified all three by the 18th. The comments on the TV Guide site are interesting. IO9 and BuddyTV also have previews and comments, but no new info.

  • Starman appears in last week's "Magog" special, in which his origin was recapped. His starfield costume gets an origin too, and there's a flashback to the first Legion of Three Worlds teamup. He's also in this week's "The Kingdom". He becomes a grave digger. Who's he going to dig up?

  • Commenters at Ace Showbiz note that the actresses who play Supergirl (Laura Vandervoort) and Saturn Girl (Alexz Johnson) on "Smallville" were on the Canadian TV show "Instant Star" together.

  • CBR interviews Tim Callahan about "Teenagers from the Future".

  • The Comic Treadmill is winding down its last posts on the Legion in Adventure Comics. The most recent one covers issues 373-375.

  • A "Smallville" thing that just hit me - did it occur to anyone else that Aquaman and Green Arrow shared "Adventure Comics" with Superboy when the Legion first appeared, and now Aquaman and Green Arrow are guest-stars in a Superboy-ish TV series? I'm sure Geoff Johns knows, and I think it'd be a neat in-joke for those knowledgeable fans.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So somehow I missed my blogiversary here a couple weeks ago, on November 8th. Welcome to Omnicom Year 4.

Like all bloggers I'm fascinated by my hit count.
* 11/08/06: 50,000 visits
* 11/08/07: 170,005 visits
* 11/08/08: 316.730 visits
Interestingly, I seem to have about 150,000 visits per year for each of the last two years. I'd have figured that I would have had many more visitors in 2007-08 than in 2006-07.

My top 5 posts over the last year:
3/29/08 (702) - Superboy lawsuit
4/2/08 (666) - Legion of 3 Worlds
4/5/08 (679) - Legion of 3 Worlds
8/21/08 (854) - Legion of 3 Worlds #1 annotations
10/16/08 (697) - Legion of 3 Worlds #2 annotations

Last year I had 2 posts with over 1000 visits and one at over 3000 (when my Paul Levitz rumor was mentioned in "Lying in the Gutters).

Top 5 non-Google referrers: Legion Abstract (thanks, Matthew!), Absorbascon (thanks Scipio!), Legion World and Legion Clubhouse (thanks, Scott!), and CBR (thanks, Rich, even if I didn't 100% believe your Shooter story).

Top keywords: Sorry, they're all rather pedestrian and expected: "Legion Omnicom", "adventure 247", "Legion of Superheroes", "Legion of Three Worlds", "superboy lawsuit", "legion blog", etc.

You have to dig down into the single and double digits to find stuff like "lester spiffany stolen", "jessica alba nude", "terence chua annotations", "urgal psytrops", "how to pronounce ayla", "saturn girl bikini", "frunt klordny", and "how to draw squee".

Anyway, thanks to my readership - without you guys, I'd be typing to and for myself. To Freedom, Friendship, and Frunt!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Geoff Johns on Smallville's Legion

New interview with Geoff Johns at CBR today, discussing the Legion on "Smallville". Highlights:

Johns said the three young actors playing Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy absolutely “nailed it.” Canadian actor and singer Alexz Johnson landed the role of Saturn Girl, Calum Worthy (“Dr. Dolittle 3) lights up the screen as Lightning Lad, and Ryan Kennedy (“Blade: The Series”) completes the time traveling trio as Cosmic Boy.

“The Legionnaires did a wonderful job. They embraced the material and along with Glen embraced the lore,” said Johns. “They’re a great amalgam between ‘Smallville’ and the comic mythology. They are done in a ‘Smallville’ way but they are extremely loyal and true to core center to what the Legion is all about. And I was really blown away and ecstatic that the actors they cast could play Legionnaires so perfectly. I think they are phenomenal.

“Ryan brought the perfect amount of intensity to Cosmic Boy, similar to the intensity he current has in ‘Legion of 3 Worlds’. He really brought a humanity to Rokk too, that goes beyond the page. Ryan embodied the leader of the Legion to a tee.

“Alexz is Saturn Girl. You see her and you see Saturn Girl. Her demeanor, and the thoughtfulness that reads on her face at all times is exactly who Imra is.

“And last but not least is Calum, who is freaking hilarious. He was probably the one closest like his character – Lightning Lad, who captured the portrayal of Lightning Lad’s early years in my head. He’s fun, energetic, exciting – literally lightning in a bottle waiting to be unleashed.”

While Johns guards the story of the episode closer than Clark Kent’s secret identity, he did offer that it would feature the “Smallville” version of young Superman’s first meeting with the Legion.

As to whether or not we can expect more Legion in the future, Johns said, “I can tell you the door is left open pretty wide for them and other Legionnaires. If there’s a Season 9, I would love to write another episode.”

...Johns visited the set of “Smallville” in Vancouver for ten days during the shooting of his Legion episode. “I was working on set with the producers and the director, Glen Winter, and the actors, overseeing the script, checking in and brainstorming with executive producer Darren Swimmer, altering the script when we needed to alter it,” he explained. “We were really just trying to make it the best we could possibly make it. I watched the rough cut and I’m very, very happy.

Johns is thrilled with what he’s seen so far of the Legion episode, but can’t wait to see what the special effects team do with the Legionnaires. “The special effects and everything won’t be done for a little while since the show doesn’t air until January.”

Smallville preview (updated)

Update 11/21: added some clearer pictures, updated the Youtube link

Thanks to those who have emailed me about the preview for the upcoming Smallville episode starring the Legion. The show is taking a break until January, and the Legion episode (8x11) will lead off the second half of the season on January 15th.

(Unfortunately I haven't seen it yet, I'm several episodes behind in watching, so I don't know if anything in this last episode might shed some light on things. Please, no spoilers.)

Here's the teaser trailer for 8x11 and beyond, on YouTube. H/T to Anthony Riva for the original screencap. In the trailer, we see the three Legionnaires plus the Persuader (the armored mask and axe are the giveaway).

(Images via Kryptonsite)

That's nice and all, but I like my exclusive picture better.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

R.E.B.E.L. yell

Tony Bedard has an interview on CBR about the upcoming R.E.B.E.L.S. book.

Why bring the concept back as “R.E.B.E.L.S.” and not “L.E.G.I.O.N.”?

To be honest, I first pitched this as “L.E.G.I.O.N.,” but a couple of things became apparent as the series took shape. The first is that, on the heels of the cancellation of the regular “Legion of Super-Heroes” series, we didn’t want anyone confused that this might be a re-launch of “LSH,” or a sequel, or prequel, or whatever. There may be aspects of R.E.B.E.L.S. that were inspired by Legion, but “R.E.B.E.L.S.” is its own book set in the present-day DC Universe.

The other reason we went with “R.E.B.E.L.S.” has to do with our new premise. Brainiac 2 has been deposed from command of L.E.G.I.O.N., and his interplanetary police force has been turned into an army of occupation. Dox and his new strike team must fight an insurgent campaign, a guerilla war to free the people who paid good money for Dox’s protection. A situation like this happened once before, when Dox’s evil son stole his organization, and the series changed its name from “L.E.G.I.O.N.” to “R.E.B.E.L.S.” We figured that title is a better fit for the tone of our new series.

Set up the series for us, how does it open?

Brainiac 2 arrives on Earth with a crew of alien bounty hunters chasing him. His vast robotic police force has been usurped by an unknown adversary who, in one fell swoop, conquered all the worlds L.E.G.I.O.N. was supposed to protect. But Dox knows that Supergirl has what he needs – the key to winning back his command. Exactly what that “key” is will be a surprise, and it will require him to gather a new team which includes one former teammate, Strata, and four new allies who will be a whole lot of trouble for him. And a whole lot of crazy fun for us.

...Fill out the roster for us. Who else is on the team and what can you share about them?

I mentioned Strata, who hails from the same rocky race that gave us the classic Legionnaire, Blok. Strata was in the original “L.E.G.I.O.N.” series, and she provides a voice of reason and strong moral core to counterbalance Brainiac 2’s more excessive tendencies. We’ll also see Vril Dox recruit Wildstar, Tribulus, Bounder and the Emerald Princess, all of whom are reminiscent of some of my favorite LSH heroes and villains.

There’s a story reason why he chooses this group, and a logic to where they come from, but you’ll have to read the book to find out more. At the end of the day, this is an immensely powerful strike team, which Dox will need if he has any hope of defeating the new enemy who stole L.E.G.I.O.N. away from him, and now threatens the rest of the DCU.

First Smallville "Legion" image! Exclusive!

OK, so it's not an official image of the episode, but it is the first one out there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Meet Smallville's Lightning Lad

Kryptonsite reports that Calum Worthy will be portraying Lightning Lad in the upcoming episode of "Smallville" entitled "Legion".

Worthy is a Canadian actor, as are his co-stars Alexz "Saturn Girl" Johnson and Ryan "Cosmic Boy" Kennedy. You might have seen him a couple weeks ago in an episode of "Supernatural" playing an invisible peeping Tom (according to IMDB), and he's a recurring character on "Psych". Also, both Worthy and Kennedy were in that Dean Cain TV movie last year. Here's a fan video of him on Youtube. With that hair, he definitely looks the part.

Worthy is 17, Kennedy is 26, and Johnson is 22.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adventure Comics v3

Because we're Legion fans, we're accustomed to changes in title while keeping the numbering (such as Superboy -> Superboy & the LSH -> LSH v2 -> Tales of the LSH). Continuing with the tradition of rebooting a series back to #1, it wouldn't be right without a little-noticed title (like LSH v1) in the volume-number mix.

This upcoming series will be Adventure Comics v3, not v2. There was an Adventure Comics one-shot back in 1999 as part of the "Silver Age" "Return of the JSA" storyline, which is v2.

The original title started in 1935 as New Comics, running 11 issues (1935-36) as one of the very first comic books ever; the title showed that it had new material as opposed to reprints (an innovation at the time). Then it became New Adventure Comics from #12 to #31 (1937-38), at which point it became Adventure Comics from #32 to #503.

If only these flight rings actually worked...

Anyone need a Legion Flight Ring for their collection? There's one on eBay right now for $66, not too much above the original price of $54.95.

Too bad I missed it, but I would have posted on this one: you could have had Mark Waid's Legion flight ring, which went for $107.50. (Thanks to this week's Lying in the Gutters for this tip.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Coming Distractions: Feb. 2009

Coming in Feb. 2009:

Written by Otto Binder
Art by Al Plastino
Cover by Aaron Lopresti
One of the cornerstone stories of the DCU is reprinted in this special issue priced at just $1.00 featuring an important “Origins and Omens” backup tale! To celebrate the upcoming ADVENTURE COMICS #1, we’re reprinting a Silver Age classic from the title’s prior volume — ADVENTURE COMICS #247, the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Witness Superboy’s first encounter with three super-powered teens from the 30th Century – Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl! Featuring a new cover by Aaron Lopresti that’s an homage to the original!
On sale February 4 • 32 pg, FC, $1.00 US

I guess this answers the question of the numbering. But the Legion story isn't long enough to fill the whole issue; is this going to reprint the entirety of the original Adventure 247? Yet again? Cool cover, though.

Written by James Robinson
Art by Pablo Raimondi
Cover by Aaron Lopresti
An “Origins and Omens” issue! Mon-El has been trapped in the Phantom Zone since Superman was a teenager, and now he might finally be able to return to Earth! But how will he overcome the fatal lead poisoning that kept him away for so long? And with all the changes the blockbuster “New Krypton” storyline wrought, would he even recognize the planet he left behind?
Meanwhile, life continues to be difficult for Superman thanks to Earth’s growing anti-Kryptonian sentiment. “New Krypton” may be over, but its fallout has only begun! To be continued in SUPERMAN #685, which you can find on page 68!
On sale February 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Patrick Gleason & Rebecca Buchman
Featuring an “Origins and Omens” backup story! It’s the prelude to “The Blackest Night” as the “War of Light” continues to intensify! Mongul attempts to establish his hold on the Sinestro Corps by enslaving the planet Daxam and making it the home world of his Corps. What does Sinestro's right hand man, Arkillo, think of all this? And will Sodam Yat, the Green Lantern known as Ion, fight to save his homeworld, which he's vowed to never return to?
On sale February 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I threw this one in here for the Daxam reference.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #1
Written by Tony Bedard
Art and cover by Andy Clarke
Variant cover by Andy Clarke
The future is now in this all-new monthly series! Brainiac 2 is a hunted man. His cosmic police force safeguarded over 80 worlds until a mysterious adversary suddenly seized control. Now Vril Dox must recruit a new team to win back his command and free countless billions. But this time, he's basing his new group on the greatest heroes and villains of the 31st Century!
Guest-starring Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Andy Clarke), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Andy Clarke). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale February 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns & Jerry Ordway
Art and variant cover by Jerry Ordway
Cover by Alex Ross
“Black Adam and Isis” part 2 and featuring an “Origins and Omens” backup! The Justice Society faces off against a fully powered Black Adam and his wife, Isis, for control of the Rock of Eternity. But when Mary Marvel enters the fray, will she side with the Justice Society or join the Black Marvel family?
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 Jerry Ordway). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale February 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming, Paul Kupperberg
and Paul Levitz
Art by Keith Giffen, Robert Oksner, Carmine Infantino, and others
Cover by Keith Giffen & Bob Oksner
Collecting DC COMICS PRESENTS #52, 59 and 81, SUPERGÎRL #16 (1984), stories from SECRET ORIGINS #48, ACTION COMICS #560, 563 and 565, AMBUSH BUG #1-4, SON OF AMBUSH BUG #1-6, AMBUSH BUG STOCKING STUFFER #1 and AMBUSH BUG NOTHING SPECIAL #1 — whew!
Advance-solicited; on sale March 25 • 480 pg, B&W, $16.99 US


Written by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross and Peter Tomasi
Art by Alex Ross, Dale Eaglesham, Fernando Pasarin and Nathan Massengill
Cover by Alex Ross
Collecting JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #19-22, and the JUSTICE SOCIETY: KINGDOM COME Specials MAGOG, SUPERMAN and THE KINGDOM! Picking up where PART II left off, the Justice Society begins to dissolve as Gog vows to bring peace to Earth in a way that frightens some and thrills others. Torn between Gog's desire to help the world and the moral cost it comes with, it's old guard vs. the new as the line that was drawn is crossed.
Advance-solicited; on sale April 15 • 224 pg, FC, $24.99 US

Return of the R.E.B.E.L.S.

Thanks to Mo Titans for pointing this one out at It's not up on the regular sites yet for February's previews, but I'm sure it'll be there Monday afternoon.

I have no idea why someone who looks like Validus is on the team. Strata and Dox are recognizable. Anyone remember what happened to the regular cast at the end of the L.E.G.I.O.N./R.E.B.E.L.S. series?

R.E.B.E.L.S. #1
Written by Tony Bedard
Art and cover by Andy Clarke
Variant cover by Andy Clarke
The future is now in this all-new monthly series! Brainiac 2 is a hunted man. His cosmic police force safeguarded over 80 worlds until a mysterious adversary suddenly seized control. Now Vril Dox must recruit a new team to win back his command and free countless billions. But this time, he's basing his new group on the greatest heroes and villains of the 31st Century!
Guest-starring Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Andy Clarke), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Andy Clarke). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale February 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Legion to return in Adventure Comics

Hat tip to tyg for letting me know about this one.

As expected, the Legion will be returning - in some form - to the pages of Adventure Comics sometime next year. Hero Complex, the SF/comics blog at the LA Times, has an interview with Dan DiDio on the future of DC (pun intended). This part of the interview starts with the upcoming changes to Action Comics and how Superman is leaving that book for now.

DD: We’re also bringing back one of the old-time favorite titles of DC Comics, "Adventure Comics." It will be back with a new No. 1 and with new stars but old stars at the same time. It’ll be pretty easy to guess who will be the stars of "Adventure Comics" if you know who the title was most identified with...

GB: Well, which era? Sandman, the Spectre, Dial H for Hero, Superboy...

DD: [Laughing] And who did Superboy appear with?

GB: Ah. The Legion of Super-Heroes.

DD: So this is a lot of fun for us. "Action," "Adventure," and "Superman," these are some of our premiere titles, some of the titles with the longest history. To affect a real level of change on these titles is exciting for us. It makes our oldest and most enduring titles fresh again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trivia Answers #29

I should probably post my answers here before it's time for a new quiz. This month's theme was half Halloween and half Election Day. In other words, I see dead people (and vote for them)!

1. Which Legionnaires have worn the costume of another Legionnaire for some reason? (gender swapping is allowed here)

There were a lot, and this isn't going to list all of them (just the ones that we have thought of collectively).
  • Lightning Lass was disguised as Lightning Lad when he was dead
  • Sun Boy and Brainiac 5 masqueraded as Saturn Boy and Prince Projectur
  • Saturn Girl and Shrinking Violet swapped costumes while fighting The Immune
  • Chameleon Boy pretended to be Shrinking Violet/Yera on Imsk
  • Superboy/Ultra Boy pretended to be Reflecto
  • Wildfire inhabited Sun Boy's dead body (close enough)
  • Chameleon Boy posed as Bouncing Boy when the Legion held a competition to take on the Wanderers
  • The future Chameleon Girl (Yera) impersonated Shrinking Violet
  • In the Adult Legion story, Superman and Cosmic Man were disguised as each other
  • In another Adult Legion story, Brainiac 5 disguises himself as Superman
  • Supergirl had masqueraded as her cousin Superman (yes, and they have the same body type so that nobody could tell!)

I'm sure there are plenty of others that we missed.

2. Pre-Zero Hour, who were the longest- and shortest-serving Presidents of the United Planets?
The longest-serving was Tayla Wellington, while the shortest-serving was Jacques Foccart.
  • ??? ???? - Jul 2978: name unknown (assassinated in office by Universo)
  • Jul 2978 - Oct 2983: Kandru Boltax
  • Oct 2983 - Nov 2985: Marte Allon
  • Nov 2985 - Nov 2989: Mojai Desai
  • Nov 2989 - Apr 2995: Tayla Wellington (re-elected 2991; assassinated in office by Dominators)
  • Apr 2995 - May 2995: none
  • May 2995 - Jun 2995: Jacques Foccart (appointed after Earth's liberation; resigned)
  • Jun 2995 - Sep 2995: Troy Stewart (in office at Zero Hour)

3. How many times did Ferro Lad "appear" in a non-flashback situation after he died? (Pre-Zero Hour continuity only)
He first appeared as a ghost, then an exploding clone, then as a SW6 Legionnaire, then as a zombie.

4. When Marte Allon was drafted into running for President of the UP, who were her opponents?
The only one whose name was mentioned was Radley. The other never even got named.

5. Which Legionnaires (or close associates) have had a tie to DC's Vertigo characters?
I came up with Ivy, Lightning Saga Dream Girl, and maybe Lar Gand (his dead father appeared in an issue of Swamp Thing during Invasion, though Swampy wasn't Vertigo at the time). Jim remembered that the White Witch was shown in the original "Books of Magic" series when Mr. E took Tim Hunter time travelling.

6. Who is the President of the UP in the current (v5) continuity?
I'm glad Matthew said "Kin'thea Kieselbach" since I wouldn't have had a clue. Hey, sometimes I ask these questions and don't know the answer, hoping that someone else will.

7. Whose tombstone read "No Legionnaire served more honorably. No woman loved and was loved so deeply."?
That was on Phantom Girl's tombstone when she was believed killed in v4.

8. Of all of the UP Presidents that we know of, which ones had made prior appearances in a role other than President?
Pre-ZH: Marte Allon, Jacques Foccart, Troy Stewart
Post-ZH: R.J. Brande, Leland McAuley, Winema Wazzo
Hal - King Jonn was never UP President, and Universo wasn't Desai, he was his advisor Vid Gupta.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Meet Smallville's Cosmic Boy

Kryptonsite notes that Ryan Kennedy is listed in the IMDB as playing Cosmic Boy.

Kennedy is another Canadian actor, joining Alexz Johnson as Saturn Girl. Here's a picture of him in 2007 (at right) with former Superman actor Dean Cain ("Lois and Clark"). (click here if you don't see the picture below)

The "Legion" episode is supposed to air in January after the holiday break.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DiDio's new comments on the Legion and L3W

Thanks to Murray for bringing this to my attention. In his latest 20 Questions column at Newsarama, Dan DiDio says this about the Legion:

6: Going almost hand in hand with continuity – it seems that one would demand the other, a fair number of questions from readers concerned scheduling. It seems that it’s cyclical – it gets on track, falls off track, you give a broad statement about how you’re fixing it, and this time it will stick, it gets on track and then falls off again, and you give another, “This time we really mean it” statement. What’s the deal?

DD: You’re absolutely right. We do everything in our power to keep these books on track. We’re coming off a very big election year, and if I was running for office, I would tell you that every book for 2009 is on schedule, and each book has the creative team that will make it possible. The reality is, we are constantly juggling the schedule based upon the needs of the creative team, and the needs of the schedule, and we are weighting the value of each, and we wait and make choices based upon who’s involved in the process, and how important it is to maintain the schedule and maintain the consistency of the product.

Case in point - Final Crisis. As I mentioned in the last interview, it’s essential for us to have the last issue of Final Crisis come out in the month of January. Therefore, we are moving heaven and earth to make the book come out in the month of January, because so much follows.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds has an impact on our line because of the bits that take place at the conclusion of the series, but that impact does not occur until later in the year. So we are less aggressive to holding that particular book’s schedule than we were the lead book in Final Crisis. So therefore, you’re going to see Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds with months skipping in order to complete the story, but Final Crisis will be pushed to make sure it hits as close to its schedule as possible. ...

9: Back towards the subject material of the comics themselves – you mentioned Legion of 3 Worlds, but as we’ve reported, Legion of Super-Heroes ends with issue #50. Can you give any word as to where things are headed for the Legion in 2009? Obviously, in the Legion of 3 Worlds, there is a progression of events that’s suggesting a definite status quo change for the Legion...

DD: Legion of Super-Heroes has been a key franchise to the DC Universe since the ‘60s. It’s appeared in Adventure Comics, Superboy its own series, guest starred in a number of books, they’re going ot be appearing in Smallville very shortly, and have had their own animated television series. To think that after the cancellation of the series with #50 and after the conclusion of Legion of 3 Worlds that we have no plans in place would probably be a mistake.

We’re playing it kind of quiet now because we want Legion of 3 Worlds to play out so people will be excited about the conclusion, and from that conclusion, follow that story to others where those characters may or may not appear.

The bottom line is that Legion of Super-Heroes is a key franchise of the DC Universe, and it will never sit still or quiet for long.

Speaking of the delays, L3W #3 is now scheduled for Jan. 14, 2009 and issue #4 is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2009. Issue #5 has not been solicited yet but should come out sometime before July 2009. (Thanks to Ranse for the tip.) (Update: when I said July I was making a joke. I have no knowledge of when the final issue will come out.)

A couple of key quotes from DiDio I want to repeat and put in boldface:
To think that after the cancellation of the series with #50 and after the conclusion of Legion of 3 Worlds that we have no plans in place would probably be a mistake.

Legion of Super-Heroes is a key franchise of the DC Universe, and it will never sit still or quiet for long.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wizard World Texas 2008

I forgot that Wizard World Texas was this weekend, and was just up the road a piece (as they say in Texas) in Dallas. Here's the relevant commentary:

Via Newsarama:
Friday's DC Nation panel:

Satller [sic] did say that Legion of 3 Worlds is a VERY important book in the DCU for the next three years of story-telling.

Saturday's DCU: Crisis and Beyond panel:
Sattler admitted that he did not know if Jim Shooter will stick with DC after his Legion of Super Heroes run is complete.

(After his parting shots, I'd think not.)

Also, on Monday, the day after the convention, a press release came out saying that "The Topps Company announced today that WizKids will immediately cease operations and discontinue its product lines." Looks like they're going to try to sell the line off: "Topps will immediately pursue strategic alternatives so that viable brands and properties, including HeroClix, can continue without noticeable disruption."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Legion not on Thanksgiving

Update 11/15/08: this episode is not airing on Thanksgiving. It will be the first of a new group of episodes starting the second half of the season in January. Disregard the date below. These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along, move along.

Radar Online has the airdate for the Legion episode of "Smallville": November 27. That's Thanksgiving night. Good timing, huh?

In keeping with the one-word title pattern that the show has always had, episode 8.11 is called "Legion".

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mattel: LSH Figures Coming Real Soon Now, and We Mean It This Time for Sure

Missed this one from a couple weeks ago. Via the Action Figure Insider forums comes this Q&A with Mattel at Cool Toy Review:

Cool Toy Review: From a die-hard LSH fan...any new info you can share on action figures from the Legion of Super-Heroes?

Mattel: We will have a new JLU 4 pack on MattyCollector in Spring of 2009 featuring LOSH characters. We also have plans to bring them into other toy lines as well. We are all fans of Legion and eagerly want plastic versions of the 31st centuries greatest super team. The JLU pack will contain Brainiac 5.

This line was announced in San Diego over the summer. You'll recall that Mattel promised a toy line last year, but that was cancelled amid reportedly low orders.

This toy line would be based on the "Far From Home" episode of the "Justice League Unlimited" series a couple years ago, not the recent Legion series.

With Brainiac 5 confirmed, I suspect the other three might be Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, and Cosmic Boy, who appeared in the earlier "New Kids in Town" episode of the Superman series.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Meet Smallville's Saturn Girl

via IO9:

Telepathic cutie Saturn Girl is finally making her appearance on Smallville, thanks to Geoff Johns' episode that not only ushers in our perky hero from the future, but a few other members of the Legion of Super Heroes. Playing the girl who's inside everybody's minds is pop star Alexz Johnson.

That brings us to a fan page of Alexz's:
Yes, to answer questions that people keep asking me about: the rumours that Alexz is guest-starring in the long-awaited “Legion” episode of Smallville are true… she is filming this episode as she awaits the final mix of what may be the final song for her album...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Whoa. Did not see THAT one coming.

Remember what we talked about last week, about whether or not Adventure Comics was going to be revived?

Check out the preview to the upcoming "Adventure Comics Special Featuring the Guardian" over at Newsarama.

Then come back here and type in the comments about what your first reaction was, without revealing any spoilers (at least for the next day or so). Warning! Spoilers in the comments below!

Trivia Quiz #29

This month's theme is half Halloween and half Election Day. In other words, I see dead people (and vote for them)!

1. Which Legionnaires have worn the costume of another Legionnaire for some reason? (gender swapping is allowed here)

2. Pre-Zero Hour, who were the longest- and shortest-serving Presidents of the United Planets?

3. How many times did Ferro Lad "appear" in a non-flashback situation after he died? (Pre-Zero Hour continuity only)

4. When Marte Allon was drafted into running for President of the UP, who were her opponents?

5. Which Legionnaires (or close associates) have had a tie to DC's Vertigo characters?

6. Who is the President of the UP in the current (v5) continuity?

7. Whose tombstone read "No Legionnaire served more honorably. No woman loved and was loved so deeply."?

8. Of all of the UP Presidents that we know of, which ones had made prior appearances in a role other than President?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

More on Shooter's parting words

Jim Shooter had another brief interview with CBR the other day, to clarify some of his comments regarding artist Francis Manapul from his first interview.

Comic book fans and pundits in forum communities, message boards and across the blogosphere have been heavily active since industry legend Jim Shooter delivered some parting shots on his way out the door at DC Comics as the writer of the cancelled “Legion of Super-Heroes.”

... While he stands by what he said in his original interview, upon further consideration Shooter told CBR News that his comments about the book’s artist, rising star Francis Manapul, may have come off more “harshly than intended.”

... “My run on ‘Legion’ wasn’t everything that I had hoped for, but I probably got better than I deserved from Francis. Francis is already very, very good — outstanding, in fact — and as editor Mike Marts and I have both observed, he gets better and better as he goes. He will soon hurdle the few remaining barriers in his way and become an all-pro/MVP. Maybe working with someone else, maybe with better scripts to work from, he’ll get there faster.”

Here's some discussion at CBR about the original interview and the clarification, as well as The Occasional Superheroine.

Graeme McMillan at IO9 calls the two articles "How Not to Gracefully Exit Your Job". While I track overall sales for the Legion title over time, he notes that:
To put things in some context: Legion, under Shooter's reign, is currently DC's third-lowest selling superhero book, and one of the two series selling less was cancelled prior to the announcement of Legion's death.

And meanwhile, CBR's "Comics Should Be Good" blog asks: which Legion should a theoretical new series follow? If nothing else, it shows that there are fans of all versions and DC won't be able to please everyone (unless it's a rotating anthology of all versions).

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Smallville" filming, other updates from Geoff Johns

IGN has an interview with Geoff Johns about his episode of "Smallville" guest-starring the Legion. It's part of a much longer interview, and the Legion stuff (Smallville and otherwise) appears on the last page.

Asked about that episode, Johns said, "I'm actually in Vancouver all week for the filming. Wait until you see it. So far it's been amazing to be involved with the writers in Los Angeles, particularly Darren Swimmer. And the cast and crew have been awesome – Tom [Welling], Allison [Mack] and Kristin [Kreuk] are in my episode and they are freaking amazing. Tom came up with a fantastic addition to the Legion Code, he impresses the hell out of me. He keeps the energy up on the set, keeps things fun, and he's unbelievably smart. He approaches everything with incredible intelligence."

... Johns went on to add, "I love who they have playing the Legion. They look great. I'll talk more about them when they're announced. But they freaking rock. Legion rings, the villain's weapon -- holy s**t, wait until you see HIM-- "Grife!", they are the Legion."

... "I've never enjoyed myself this much on a set, ever. Watching everyone work so hard to bring the Legion to life is a dream. But the superhero of the show for me has been the director, Glen Winter. I'm amazed to watch him, how instinctual he is on the set, how much he's embraced the Legion, how he directs the actors and his shot choices…

... Asked if he had to make any tough compromises to make the Legion fit in the Smallville world, John replied, "I'm actually surprised by how faithful the Legionnaires will be to the comics. It's really faithful to the comic book series. Who they are as people, what they do, it's all in there. Obviously it's going to be a little different because they're just coming back for the first time to meet Clark. They're uniforms are the Smallville versions, not spandex. But I'm really happy with how faithful it is. And writing the first live action of the Legion is an honor."

Elsewhere in the interview, there's this:
IGN Comics: With the current Legion book coming to end with issue #50, it looks like Legion of Three Worlds might be the last huge Legion story we see for a while. Is this your attempt to close the book on all three of these Legions?

Johns: I don't know if you can say that. It's definitely not the last Legion story, just the last story of this era. There will never be a last Legion story.

I do hope I get to write the Legion again soon. I have a lot of ideas.

A 31st Century Halloween

Here's a repost from 2006 as I was too lazy to come up with something new.

How do they celebrate Halloween in the DC Universe?

They put on masks and stage pranks

They put on fat suit costumes and gorilla costumes (in the DCU? Of course!)

They dress up as infants

They put on outdated clothes

They even try on fetish wear

They go to costume parties where lots of others are also dressed as heroes

They dress up as pirates, yarrrr!

They dress up as zombies. Mmmmm, brains!

They dress in drag

They dress in group costumes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A new "Adventure Comics"?

As has been pointed out to me at least twice so far (and several times in the comments of the following Newsarama article), one can speculate that based on these comments from Dan DiDio at Newsarama (discussing Superman and "Action Comics"):

DD: ... there are so many fabulous twists and turns along the way, Geoff has done a great job of laying out basically, a blueprint for the Superman books that takes us through to the end of 2010, and it’s built around New Krypton, and quite honestly, the status quo changes every few months. That’s what keeps it exciting and interesting. Immediately, for example, in the month of March, there will be changes to Action Comics in regards to who the star of Action is, and you’ll see also when we bring back the title of one of the most beloved older DC series and present it in a new light as well.

... that we might see the return of "Adventure Comics". Historically, "Adventure Comics" has been an anthology title, starring Sandman, Manhunter, Starman, Superboy, Green Arrow, Johnny Quick, Aquaman, the Bizarros, Supergirl, Spectre, Black Orchid, Starman (Prince Gavyn), Plastic Man, Dial H for Hero, and the JSA over the years. It was the second title published by what later became DC Comics, starting in 1935. Oh, and of course, the Legion starred there for a while, too. DC has only four titles surviving with original numbering that started in the Golden Age ("Action Comics", "Detective Comics", "Batman", and "Superman"), and even though the series ended in 1983 in digest mode, it's still the 5th highest numbered DC title.

So let's assume that DiDio is indeed talking about a new "Adventure Comics". Do you restart it at #1, the easy thing to do, so that new readers can jump on a series with an issue 1? Or do you pick up from the old numbering, honoring the Golden Age legacy? And if so, what do you pick it up with - could the old series be considered to have ended with issue #478, after which it became "Adventure Comics Presents Dial H for Hero"; or with #490, after which it became "Adventure Comics Digest"; or with #503, after which there were no more issues?

And if you keep it as an anthology, as Jim suggested in an earlier comment, you could have the newly reintroduced post-Crisis Legion as the main feature and any number of other Legions (in particular, the post-ZH reboot and the current version) as a backup. I don't think the title would support two regular-length features in a double-size issue.

I got an email a couple weeks ago from Jason, one of my readers (who is the owner of the Legion_3008 Yahoo group, and formerly the Legion_3004 group). He had sent an email to Dan Didio expressing his displeasure at DC cancelling the Legion right at the end of "Legion of 3 Worlds", not a great way to celebrate the Legion's 50th anniversary. Dan replied (and I'm slightly paraphrasing, since I didn't ask for Dan's permission to reprint his email) that we should stay tuned, DC really does have plans to return the Legion to its former glory.

Which, of course, should really be obvious. They didn't hire Jim Shooter for nothing (though it didn't end the way everyone wanted), and they didn't build a miniseries written by one of DC's top writers, drawn by one of comics' top artists, and tied to DC's important crossover series to have the team/concept just sit there waiting for someone to come up with something. I have no idea who might be involved with the theoretical new title from a creative standpoint, but I'd bet that Geoff Johns is somehow involved.

Bits of Legionnaire Business

Haven't done one of these in a little while, so here's a linkdump of Legion-related stuff from the past week or so. "Smallville" news at the bottom.

  • First of all, anyone who thinks that DC is really going to "let the characters rest for a little bit and see where we go from there" following the cancellation of LSH v5, and who thinks that DC doesn't know what to do with the characters, should read this summary over at They know exactly what they're doing, and "Legion of Three Worlds" will end with a new status quo for the team(s), and all signs point to Geoff Johns being involved.

  • Tim Callahan had a long interview with Barry Lyga at CBR.
    One of the biggest Legion fans I know is author Barry Lyga, of "The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl" fame. His new novel, "Hero Type," landed in bookstores a few weeks ago, and I wanted to talk to him about how the Legion shaped his notion of storytelling and what we both thought about the past, present, and future of the 31st century's greatest super-team...

  • Foremer Legion editor KC Carlson reviews the DC Vault (Amazon link), a book with lots of fanboy collectibles (or reproductions) tucked inside. Among them is a reprinted version "of the poster that was included in Graphitti Design’s deluxe version of the History of the DC Universe — a mind-blowing group shot of over 50 DC characters as drawn (and signed) by over 50 legendary artists." That poster, which was never released commercially and is difficult to find on the secondary market, contains the White Witch as one of the characters in the jam poster (drawn by P. Craig Russell). Click to enlarge the picture. (Full disclosure: this is one book that I'm going to order with the 6% I get back from Amazon when you click on one of my links and buy something!)

  • Revealing a "secret" which was all but apparent during the Post-Zero Hour Legion run, that very same KC Carlson commented on Tim Callahan's review of L3W #2 that R.J. Brande was indeed supposed to be the long-lived Martian Manhunter. (original comment here, more discussion here.)

  • Matthew at the Legion Abstract shows off his son's costume. He might be eligible for the Legion in a few years.

  • The Legion of Substitute Podcasters produced episode 2, featuring ADV 267 and ACT 267 plus some recent stuff, and episode 3, featuring SBOY 86 and ACT 276.

  • Francis Manapul offers the original pencils to the wraparound cover to LSH v5 #50 on his home site, and answers some reader questions.

  • The "Supergirl on a comet" cover by Adam Hughes is offered as a computer background screen.

  • The Fortress Keeper at the Fortress of Fortitude has a unique, um, "prediction" for a spinoff of "Smallville" starring Supergirl and the Legion. Don't hold your breath for this one, but then again, given The CW, who knows.

  • Superman Homepage notes that the current issue of Smallville Magazine, issue #29, has an article "which explores Superman's relationship with the Legion of Super Heroes" in for those readers who don't know much about the Legion.

  • KryptonSite has the latest Smallville SPOILERS, so read at your own risk.
    UPDATED 10/29/08: Don't expect the Legion to be wearing full-on costumes. However, they will be wearing clothing that is evocative of their comic book counterparts, much like Clark has his blue shirt and red jacket.

    UPDATED 10/28/08: Alexz Johnson [IMDB, Myspace, fan site, fan site] who starred in The N's Instant Star, is said to be filming a role on Smallville this week. Could that role be that of Imra Ardeen, a.k.a. Saturn Girl of the Legion? Visit Rumorville for more details...
    - The villain Geoff Johns mentioned using is not Darkseid, Mordru, or the Time Trapper; however, there is an additional threat - it's not just Brainiac .

    UPDATED 10/14/08: Three Legionnaires from the future will appear - and if you're guessing it's the same roster that appeared in their first appearance way back when, you guessed correctly... the three Legionnaires will be Garth, Imra, and Rokk, who have powers of electricity, telepathy, and magnetism, respectively.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shooter dishes on Legion demise

That's the title of the article over at CBR, an interview with Jim Shooter on how his planned 16-issue story arc got shortened. Go read it.

“I had originally planned and written a detailed plot, over 16,400 words, for 16 issues, but we subsequently added an in-continuity, two-issue fill-in to buy time for [artist] Francis Manapul, who’d already needed to have two issues drawn by substitute artists. That brought the total for the arc to 18 issues,” explained Shooter. “The two planned fill-in issues were to be the ‘Dream Wedding’ sub-arc, drawn by Rick Leonardi, in which Brainiac 5 got engaged to Dream Girl’s spirit in Part 1 and got married—in Dreamland—to her spirit in Part 2. The first part got done [in ‘The Legion of Super-Heroes’#47, in stores this week], but the second part was axed.

“No, I didn’t begin to get in ‘everything I wanted.’ What saw print was not anywhere near what I imagined or what was called for in the scripts. Not even close.”

The article also discusses how Shooter was directed to come up with a "Superlad" from Krypton and then un-directed to do so.
"They actually fired me at one point for complaining too enthusiastically about a really aggravating snafu. I groveled enough to get my gig back – I have child support to pay – but they took Super Lad away. Then they canceled the book."

I hereby apologize VERY LOUDLY to Rich Johnston for casting doubt on his bar scene contacts. They were correct. My main concern was that his was the only source of information and there was no independent confirmation. So he was correct all along.
Shooter believes the decision to cancel “The Legion of Super-Heroes” has more to do with ending his stay at DC, as opposed to the publisher determining the title has run its course. “An unimpeachable source, an old friend in a position to know, tells me that sales of comics are down in general, and that sales of DC comics are down in particular, pretty much across the board,” Shooter explained. “Sales of ‘The Legion of Super-Heroes’ aren’t great, but they’re a lot better than those of some of the titles they’re keeping. I think canceling the book is a graceful way of getting rid of me. I complain too much and too loudly.”

... “But let’s focus on the real culprit – me. I guess what it really all comes down to is that my work wasn’t good enough to overcome all the small problems further down the line. If you’re out at first base, it doesn’t matter if you slide in at second.”

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ten Things Your Legion Collection Truly Needs

A couple of weeks ago we saw some interesting posts in the comicsblogohedron about things that you should have in your collection, from The Comics Reporter's "list of the 50 things they felt that every comics collection truly needs" to New York Magazine's Ten Oddball Things Your Comics Collection Truly Needs.

Here's my take on Ten Things Your Legion Collection Truly Needs.

In no particular order:

1. A copy of the Legion story from "Adventure Comics" #247. It doesn't matter if you own an original or one of the many reprints (nine times, at last count). This is where it all started.

2. That Damned Tabloid, the All-New Collector's Edition C-55 with the wedding of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. It's not the best story ever, but that's not the point. It's that it's just so big, and hard to store, and hard to find, and hard to keep in good condition. Plus, it features an in-continuity major event. And you have to get it signed by Mike Grell and Paul Levitz when you go to a convention, that's a rite of passage.

3. A Legion action figure. I use the term loosely here: you can go for the DC Direct action figures, the plastic statues that came in the rocketship-shaped box, any of the Heroclix, custom figures, the metal figurines that came out from Mayfair, the Happy Meal toys, or anything else like that.

4. The Great Darkness Saga, in the original comics or the trade paperback. Arguably the best Legion story ever.

5. The Ferro Lad saga, soon to be released as a trade paperback, or the original Adventure Comics issues. Jim Shooter, no older than 15, wrote this. Arguably the best Silver-Age Legion story.

6. Something merchandised: a Flight Ring, a set of stickers, a t-shirt, a poster, trading cards, etc. Just so you can bask in the coolness of having it.

7. Some original art. Doesn't matter if it's a convention sketch, a page of art from a published comic, something a fan drew that you bought on eBay, or just something you made up. Something that you own that nobody else has.

8. Adventure-era stories, preferably some of the early ones. There's just something wonderfully goofy and silly about DC Silver Age stories, especially the Superman-family of titles edited by Mort Weisinger. Super-Pets that travel 1000 years into their future? The Planetary Chance Machine? Queen Azura of Femnaz and the Revolt of the Girl Legionnaires? Computerized kissing games? Comics gold.

9. Some of the Jack C. Harris edited stories in the early 1980s (often written by Gerry Conway). Once you read those (Space Circus of Death, Dr. Mayavale, Lord Romdur) you'll have a better appreciation for everything else.

10. Holes in your collection. It's not just a hobby, it's an addiction. There will always be something you need to buy, whether it's a reading copy of an issue that came out 20 years before you were born or next month's new issue.

Some of these suggestions were real, some tongue-in-cheek. What stuff did I leave out that you think should be here?