Monday, June 30, 2008

Tenzil Kem for President?

Found this over at Channel 3 News.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wizard World Chicago '08: Starman figure

A new Starman figure from DC Direct, apparently from the Alex Ross designs for the JSA, was shown in Chicago this weekend:

click to enlarge

More pictures and comments on the Dooshbag Board of Dumbness and the DC message boards.

These are not necessarily the actual scale, they are just prototypes.

Superboy lawsuit: has a settlement been reached? (updated)

Update 9pm Sunday night: Jeff Trexler, who knows way more about this law stuff than I do, analyzes the news (see below).

Thanks to Sam for pointing out this nugget that I missed earlier in the discussion of the DC Nation panel at Wizard World Chicago this weekend, as reported by Newsarama:
Didio also paused to point out the special nature of Legion of Three Worlds. “We’ve got Geoff, we’ve got Geroge [sic], we’ve got SuperBOY Prime (yes, we can say that again).”

You may have noticed that since the Siegels filed their lawsuit claiming copyright to Superboy (the young Clark Kent that lived in Smallville) - coincidentally the same week that Superboy (Kon-El) died in "Infinite Crisis" - DC has not used any character named Superboy, and they've been cautious not to even use the name in convention panels.

That's not simply because, as some think, the Siegels filed suit for the Superboy rights. Kon-El, for example, has nothing whatsoever to do with the suit, and DC (which owns the trademark to the name "Superboy") is free to use the name however and whenever they want. They have chosen not to use it, I presume, out of respect and so as to not antagonize anyone further. (They did, however, change "Superboy" to "young Superman" on the Legion cartoon because of this.) The results of the last lawsuit, currently under appeal, was that the judge overturned a previous ruling that said the Siegels won Superboy and ordered each side to present more evidence showing that there were copyrightable elements in the original Superboy story that were not derivative of Superman (whose copyright DC owned outright at that point).

In the most recent court ruling, in which the Siegels were awarded the copyright to the Superman material in Action Comics #1 back in April, the judge, who is the same for both the Superman and Superboy lawsuits, ordered that:

–The parties are to spend the next 60 days negotiating a settlement.
–After the 60 days is up, the parties are to file a joint report on what happened.
–If they don’t settle, the trial in the Superman case is scheduled to begin on November 4, 2008.
–The court is setting aside ruling on the remaining issues in the Superboy case, along with setting the Superboy trial dates, until after the Superman trial is over.
(summary via Blog@Newsarama)

The 60 days were up in early June. The fact that DiDio says that they can say "Superboy" again suggests an outcome favorable to both parties.

More here (and elsewhere, I'm sure) as it develops. Maybe big news on a panel at San Diego next month?

Update 9pm Sunday night: Jeff Trexler at Newsarama has more. The 60-day deadline was pushed back to the end of June, but the parties haven't reached a settlement yet despite 23 hours of negotiations over four days.
In light of this report, DiDio’s reference to Superboy becomes even more interesting. It could be a sign that the parties, despite not reaching a complete settlement in time for the required report, have at least reached a shared decision regarding Superboy and are optimistic that the resolution of the remaining issues is in sight, if not already accomplished.

Still, for one party to reveal an agreement in principle before the settlement is finalized is not standard practice, particularly given the confidentiality agreement that parties often sign before a mediation begins. DiDio’s statement could be a slip — but it also could be a sign of something else.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wizard World Chicago '08: Bart's back and Shooter's still here (updated)

Four Three pieces of information from Wizard World Chicago:

  1. Bart Allen returns in "Legion of 3 Worlds"
  2. Shooter is still working on the Legion title
  3. The current Legion title will somehow lead into L3W
  4. DC is allowed to use the name "Superboy" again

Friday was the DC Nation panel:

Via Newsarama:
- Is Bart Allen coming back? DiDio: "You read the first issue of Legion of Three Worlds, right?"

At that point, Johns put his head down and shook it, then leaned toward the microphone in front of him and said, "You'll read it now."

"No plans at this time," DiDio said with a laugh.

Via CBR:
Will they bring back Bart Allen? "You have read the first issue of 'Legion of Three Worlds,' right?" Didio asked, and Johns hid his head in his hands.

"I haven't read it," Wayne said. "It hasn't come out."

"No plans at this time," Didio came back. "How did I cover, Geoff?"

Via Wizard:
DiDio and Johns hinted Bart Allen may return in Legion of Three Worlds.

The Crisis panel was Saturday.

Via Newsarama:
Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds: Didio asked Rucka to be Geoff Johns [who left the convention early] for a second. Rucka laughed, then reported, "I got to see issue #1 yesterday and..." he trailed off into a gaping expression. When he spoke again, he said simply, "It’s Geoff writing all 3 Legions, so you know... you KNOW." He also confirmed suspicions that "[George Perez’s] art is just outstanding." (What, there were suspicions that it was just mediocre?)

Legion of Super-Heroes: Didio said, “You’ll see how this legion feeds into Legion of 3 worlds by the end of the year.”

Didio also paused to point out the special nature of Legion of Three Worlds. “We’ve got Geoff, we’ve got Geroge, we’ve got SuperBOY Prime (yes, we can say that again).”

Via CBR:
Jim Shooter and Francis Manapul are still working on "Legion of Superheroes..."

Via Wizard:
Legion of Super Heroes: This series will lead into Legion of Three Worlds later this year.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


But cannot afford.

I've got a birthday coming up, in case anyone was looking for ideas.

Update 6/29/08: sold, for $6,600.

Did anyone notice....

... that the cover to the latest trade paperback changed from what was solicited?

As solicited, and shown on Amazon right now:

As on the DC Comics page, which still reads "Cover by Neal Adams":

(via the DC Archives Message Board)

The title is different, too. It was solicited as "1050 Years in the Future" but it came out as "1050 Years of the Future" which actually makes more sense. Too bad nobody updated the DC page for either the cover artist or the title.

The Neal Adams original came from the 1976 DC Calendar (also seen, cropped, as the cover to a 1977 reprint paperback from Tempo Books), while the Grell original came from the Limited Collector's Edition #C-49, which reprinted the 2-parter of the Legion vs Mordru (and was also seen, redrawn, on the cover to Archives vol. 12).

In a kind of reverse Déjà Vu, this kind of cover swap was also seen last fall.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Heroes Con '08, Day 2: There Can Be Only One!

Only one DC panel at this weekend's Heroes Con.

Via Newsarama:

Q: Will the Legion seen in Action be seen after Final Crisis?

DD: All questions will be answered in Legion of Three Worlds.

Q: How many Legions after Legion of 3 Worlds?

DD: One

Q: Will Bart Allen return?

DD: Next question.

Q: Will the Legion series based on the animated series end since the series has been canceled?

DD: We’ll have it for a little while longer.

(Nothing from CBR or Wizard from Heroes Con; they may be saving their travel budget for next week's Chicago Con.)

The "only one Legion after L3W" is, I believe, a major (but not surprise) spoiler. But the question is how - does that mean we'll have one title with one team, the other two off in publishing limbo, or some sort of merged team made up of members from the different continuities?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Astronaut Karen Nyberg

It isn't very often that my job and my hobbies overlap, but it happened this week when I was looking at pictures from the most recent space shuttle mission. I saw these pictures of astronaut Karen Nyberg, the first taken aboard the space shuttle and the second on board the International Space Station.

Who do these photos remind you of?

She reminds me a lot of Sussa Paka, aka Spider-Girl (the original one). However, Karen is way too nice to join the Legion of Super-Villains, and as far as I know, she doesn't have complete (or even incomplete) control over her hair. Or, at least, I've never seen her expand her hair in a web to try to entrap foes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Coming Distractions: Sept. 2008

Coming in September:

Written by J. Torres
Art by Ethen Beavers
Cover by Alexander Serra
Computer chaos hits New Metropolis, crippling the high-tech city and throwing the Legion into the Dark Ages as communications crash, starships collide and magic takes over! Brainiac 5 has to prove that science is stronger than sorcery...but will he have to give up his place in the Legion to do it?
On sale September 10 o 32 pg, FC, $2.25 US

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by George Pérez & Scott Koblish
Covers by George Pérez
Geoff Johns and George Perez continue crafting the Crisis of the 31st Century! As Superboy-Prime leads the Legion of Super-Villains against everything and everyone inspired by the legacy of Superman, the Legion of Super-Heroes are forced to call for help from beyond their world. Meanwhile, contingency plans are created by Brainiac 5 as he attempts to overcome Colu's devastating betrayal, Dawnstar and Wildfire pull off a startling rescue, but at a horrible cost to the universe, and Saturn Girl uncovers the source of the Legion's troubles.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by George Pérez that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale September 17 o 2 of 5 o 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott
Cover by Carlos Pacheco
Hell has been unleashed upon the earth, as all the villains from the DC Universe and the WildStorm Universe team up. And with the moon ripped from its orbit, the earth itself is being torn asunder. Could this final issue contain the end of two universes?
On sale September 17 o 6 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Jim Shooter
Art and cover by Francis Manapul & Livesay
Chameleon's hand is amputated! The menacing Intruder Planet is revealed as the source of the Alien Life-Eradicators! A longtime Legionnaire takes the first step down the path of darkness! Plus, the heartbreaking end of the oldest relationship in the history of the Legion!
On sale September 24 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Pencil art and variant cover by Dale Eaglesham
Cover by Alex Ross
"One World, Under Gog" continues! The Justice Society begins to dissolve as Gog vows to bring peace to Earth…in a way that frightens some and thrills others. But with Hawkman around, it's not going to be a simple debate. Plus, Starman reveals his concerns about the team's future to Mr. Terrific while Power Girl struggles to come to terms with her greatest desire!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Alex Ross), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Eaglesham). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale September 24 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Geoff JohnsCover by Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham, Art Thibert & Ruy Jose
The book collecting the first four issues of JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA is now available in trade paperback! Determined to rebuild the Justice Society, Green Lantern, Flash and Wildcat initiate a recruitment program, tracking heroes across the world and bringing in the new Starman, Damage, Liberty Belle and more!
Advance-solicited; on October 22 o 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham & Ruy Jose
Cover by Alex Ross
The Kingdom Come Superman continues to crusade against evil alongside his new Justice Society teammates - but is he the only one who can stand against the threat of Magog? And what are Gog's true motives? This hard-hitting new volume collects JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #13-18!
Advance-solicited; on sale November 26 o 160 pg, FC, $19.99 US

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stuff to spend your money on

Here's some stuff that you might want to consider purchasing in the near future:

  • I got this in the email the other day:
    If you haven't heard, comic book artist Gene Colan is ill and his family is getting crushed by the medical bills. To help his family, several writers and artists have donated items to be auctioned off.

    They just added a neat Legion item-


    Signed by producer JAMES TUCKER, writer/story editor ROB HOEGEE, voice of Bouncing Boy MICHAEL CORNACCHIA, voice of Timber Wolf SHAWN HARRISON, voice of Superman YURI LOWENTHAL, voice of Lightning Lad ANDY MILDER, voice of Saturn Girl KARI WAHLGREN

    Since it goes to a good cause, would you mind spreading the word by putting a blurb about it on your Legion blog?

    That's from the 2006 San Diego Comic Con, where all the voice actors were at a special panel (see here for the details of the panel).

    You may recall that Gene did a couple of Legion stories, one from LSH v2 #311 (the Wildfire/Dawnstar on Starhaven story) and a section of LSH v3 #27. (Plus, he pencilled the Timber Wolf figure on the cover of LSH v2 #300, too.)

  • TV Shows on DVD reported that volume 3 of the Legion cartoon is coming on DVD on September 9th, with the final five episodes of Season 1 ("The Substitutes", "Child's Play", "Chain of Command", "Sundown Part 1", and "Sundown Part 2"). Here is the box artwork:

  • The June 2008 issue of Alter Ego, by TwoMorrows, has a big cover story on Dave Cockrum. Included with the article (written by the Legion Companion's author Glen Cadigan) is some original Legion artwork to go with the story of how Dave got and left the Legion job.

  • Coming soon is Tim Callahan's book "Teenagers from the Future", a series of essays on the Legion spanning over 340 pages - hopefully ready in time for San Diego. I was looking around to find more about the official release date (Tim, care to chime in?) when I found this 12-part essay on Keith Giffen's contributions to and influence on the Legion, by Julian Darius at Sequart (columns 77-88). Start with the first part. Julian's essay will also be in the book.

Trivia Answers #24

Here you go with the answers to this month's Legion trivia, covering (roughly) annual crossovers and Final Crisis.

1. When has the Legion (or individual Legionnaires not counting any Superboy or Supergirl) met the Martian Manhunter?

The ones you guys got: At the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel; in late v4, as a friend of Nura; during Final Night; in "Martina Manhunter" (as Jim wrote) #11; and in a flashback to a never-before-or-since seen story, in "Martian Manhunter" 1,000,000.

The one I had that you missed: somewhere in the crowd scenes in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

2. Which Legionnaire was a member of the Monitor's first team at the beginning of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and why?
Dawnstar, of course. I couldn't remember why, and I was hoping you guys would come up with a definitive answer since my comics aren't readily available. Two came up with the answer that she was there to locate or track the Shadow Demons (back to the Anti-Monitor?). Sounds reasonable. What, you think I knew everything? :)

3. Which Legion-related character(s) died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths?
Kid Psycho and Supergirl. I don't think we heard of or saw anyone get killed on Takron-Galtos when it got zapped.

4. How does the prison planet Labyrinth fit in with this quiz?
It was the prison planet chosen after Takron-Galtos was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

5. Pre-Crisis, how many other people were left in the Phantom Zone when Mon-El was released?
When Mon-El was released for good (ADV 305), he went back to the Zone to give a "neener neener" shout-out to the criminals still there. Jax-Ur and others were depicted. But in ADV 323, Phantom Girl goes to the Zone and talks to the Mighty Gazor (or Ga-Zor, most likely), who is said to be the last person left in the Phantom Zone.

Given how important the Phantom Zone and its inhabitants were to Silver Age Superman stories, it's a little surprising that no writer picked up on this, that all but one Zoner were released in the 30th century. It sounds like something the Bierbaums might have touched on if the Pre-Crisis and Pocket Universe Supermen weren't written out. We can handwave that they were released on Rokyn under a red sun, having served sentences of over 1000 years (yet apparently not rehabilitated or reformed, though, judging by how they always interacted with Mon-El).

6. Who was/were the next Legionnaire(s) to join the Post-ZH reboot Legion following the initial draft?
I guess it depends on your definition of "following the initial draft". I was looking for Ultra Boy, M'Onel, and Element Lad, per the list of members in the Legion Wiki page. But Spark joined, followed by Andromeda/Violet/Kinetix, then Gates and Star Boy within the first year.

7. Which Legionnaire(s) died in an issue outside of the Legion's regular series at the time?
Supergirl and Kid Psycho, as noted above, died in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Lightning Saga versions of Karate Kid and Una died in the pages of Countdown. And reader infinity13307 reminded me that Valor died in his own book, which led to DOA and Zero Hour. I didn't count Monstress since she was killed in the miniseries which was the Legion's regular series (not appearing elsewhere at the time).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Déjà Vu 12: Flag Day

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ambush Bug

Once upon a time, back when comics were fun, Keith Giffen co-created Ambush Bug in the pages of DC Comics Presents. He showed up first in issue 52 and then again in issue 59, the infamous Superman/Legion of Substitute Heroes teamup. If you've never read it, stop what you're doing right now and go to your local comic shop and buy it, then read it. Or read it in the store, if they don't mind.

OK, so now you've read one of the best Legion stories ever. Levitz and Giffen at their peak. And really funny - who knew? That's the issue in which the Subs became a joke, by the way, which wasn't really fair to them, but they're fictional characters so they didn't protest too much.

Ambush Bug appeared in several of his own miniseries and specials in the 1980s, and the Legion had some odd cameos (because of Giffen).

For example, who can forget Julie Lad, from "Ambush Bug Nothing Special" (1992) (as seen here with R.J. Brande and Cosmic Boy)?

Over at the Legion Wiki, you can find a list of the Ambush Bug stories that the Legion has been somehow involved in, whether it's Bug talking to Paul Levitz, the Super-Pets, or the SW6 Legionnaires.

But now, Ambush Bug is coming back this summer, where Giffen promises to poke fun at all of DC's crossovers. I think somewhere in here we'll find that Bug is responsible for all the Legion reboots. It may even guest star Dark Proty, who makes his debut in an upcoming DC Nation page (sneak peek at the page on DC Nation's Myspace page).

Monday, June 09, 2008

Trivia Quiz #24

Oops, this is the second Monday of the month. I usually do this on the first Monday. Let me hop in my Time Bubble and see what I can do. In the meantime, this month's theme: It's summertime, which means it's time for the annual DC line-wide crossover. This year it's Final Crisis, so I'll cover the events of issue #1 as well as other crossovers.

1. When has the Legion (or individual Legionnaires not counting any Superboy or Supergirl) met the Martian Manhunter?

2. Which Legionnaire was a member of the Monitor's first team at the beginning of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and why?

3. Which Legion-related character(s) died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths?

4. How does the prison planet Labyrinth fit in with this quiz?

5. Pre-Crisis, how many other people were left in the Phantom Zone when Mon-El was released?

6. Who was/were the next Legionnaire(s) to join the Post-ZH reboot Legion following the initial draft?

7. Which Legionnaire(s) died in an issue outside of the Legion's regular series at the time?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Déjà Vu 11: Eyes Without a Face

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Flashback: Al Gordon, on v4 stuff (from 1997)

This flashback is from Steve Mohundro, part of his 1997 San Diego Convention report (if this is on the web, I can't find it; I saved it off to a file back then, so it may have come via email to a mailing list whose archives are not available any more).

Some interesting insight into how things came about in the early days of v4, as seen after the Zero Hour reboot. Steve is in all likelihood the world's biggest Kent Shakespeare fan. Here's his Legion web page.

Fresh back from San Diego, I thought I'd share a few non-spoilered (preboot) things I learned when I met former LSH writer/co-plotter/inker, TMK confidant, Kent Shakespeare's creator, Al Gordon:

HOW TMK (et Al) PLOTTED EACH ISSUE: Conference call. Al and Keith Giffen would call Tom and Mary Bierbaum (each on their own phone at their house), and they'd all discuss the issue.

"THE HAT": From what Al said he knows, this is more of a rumor than anything that was definitely planned. He claimed not to know anything more about it than just the basic concept.

THE PROFEM STORY: Al said that of all the stories they did, this one was the worst. He said that editorial mangling made it "more of a love story" but they actually wanted something even stranger. "It wasn't supposed to be just a transsexual thing," he told me. He described the story they wanted to tell as "a Vertigo story before there was Vertigo."

THE NINE-PANEL GRID: That was, of course, Keith's style, and something Al thought was a bit limiting. Al said he tried to push Keith into drawing at least a couple two-panel spreads, and that he was glad when Keith made the occasional splash page.

THE NEW CHARACTERS (KENT, CELESTE, KONO, IVY, DEVLIN): Actually, no details here, but I will eventually add tidbits about the plans for these characters, including backstory, to my website.

FURBALL AND BOUNTY: According to Al, when v4 started, Keith wanted to kill off Dawnstar and Timber Wolf, his two least-favorite Legionnaires. I believe Al said that it was he who told Keith, "You know, if you really hate them, you'd keep them alive but do something terrible to them." Then Keith told Al, "Fine, but you make these changes." So Al created the Furball persona and Bounty.

ON SUPERBOY, VALOR AND EDITORIAL DECREES: Apparently when the TMK Legion started, they had the first twelve issues all planned out. And numbers 1-3 were according to these plans. Then when they were forced to write Superboy out and try to replace him somehow, everything went awry (Al says).

And you can see that if they hadn't had to add Valor, we probably wouldn't have seen any of #4, 5, plus the retold origin, Laurel's Story and the first and second annuals in their current form. Who knows if that would have made the first year or so clearer, but it would have been different.

[Another poster later added this next paragraph:]
They weren't going to include him as in writing him into current stories - they would have included him by having the Pocket Universe retcon still be in effect (i.e., Superboy was a member of the LSH). When it was decided that Superboy was never a member of the LSH, that meant that the LSH's history was screwed and TMK put Valor in his place (ie, post Mordruverse).

ON 'THE QUIET DARKNESS:' This was Al's first writing work, so he's still pretty proud of it. He says that one of the things about the story that he's most proud of is that it has a beginning and an end, unlike previous issues of the Legion.

THE 'IT'S YOUR VERY OWN CALL FROM AL ... AND YOU'RE STUCK!" JOKE: "Oh that's just a joke Keith made up for the Ambush Bug (Nothing) Special," Al says. Apparently it comes from the fact that Keith Giffen is hard to get a hold of, and when a deadline approaches he disappears. So, Keith's house ends up getting full of "Call Al" notes. And Al says sometimes he would get Keith's wife on the phone and talk to her, instead.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Shooter: same rumors, new spin

From today's "Lying in the Gutters", which to date has been the only source of the "Shooter's leaving" rumor for the last month (which is not to say it's not true, just not multiple-sourced):


[Yellow Light]

On one hand, Dan DiDio's statement that Jim Shooter is definietly the writer on "Legion" because he has twelve issues of Legion written.

One the other, far too many comic pros at the Bristol convention (attended by DC) all convinced that Shooter had parted from DC. And the New York bar scene backing this up.

Could it be that Jim just worked well in advance?

We report, you decide!

Well that settles it, it must be true. You can't argue with the New York bar scene.

(thanks for the pointer, Murray!)

Wizard World Philly '08, Day 3: The Story That Paul Levitz Wants to Forget

From the DC Sunday Conversations: For the Love of Comics panel at Philly, via Monsura:

This prompted DiDio to talk about the three kinds of continuity at DC. There are three levels. The first is immutable, can’t be changed, stuff like Krypton blew up and Bruce Wayne’s parents get shot. There’s a middle level of things that can be altered or played with, and then there’s the third level, where things are ignored or forgotten. He brought up the example of the Paul Levitz Legion of Super-Heroes where Superboy learns the Legionaires are really hundreds of years old. Levitz said of the tale, "I’m not going to undo the story, I’m just never going to mention it again."

In that third continuity category is where that Legion story goes...

(Newsarama and CBR briefly mention this (without the Legion) in their DC Sunday Conversation writeups.)

I don't think they ever said "hundreds" of years, but yeah, it was a WTF? kind of story.

If you could erase a single story or plot element from continuity (or just "never mention it again"), what would you do?

I think I'd have to choose the issue where it's revealed that Proty's mind has been in Lightning Lad's body since his "resurrection".

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Speculation: LSH v6 coming next year?

Here's something Jim posted in the comments here a couple weeks ago that is making me think:

I'm right now betting on LSH v6 coming as fallout of Final Crisis. Shooter will be on LSH v5 through #49 or 50 -- which is right about at the end of Final Crisis -- giving him 14 issues rather than 18 (making it only a small lie, and maybe not even a *lie* if it wasn't specifically planned that way at the start) -- with a Legion revamp coming out the back end, spilling out of FC and Lo3W, featuring either the Lightning Saga Legion or a Hat Trick combo-Legion.

Now that we know Shooter is on for at least a year, that makes his 12th issue as #48. We also know that per last month's solicitations, "Legion of 3 Worlds" #1 comes out the same month as LSH v5 #45, and it's 7 issues, which means that L3W #7 comes out the same month as LSH v5 #51. Shooter was originally said to be on board for a 16-issue run, which would make his last issue #52.

That's awfully coincidental. I'd be wary of any solicitations for issue #53 and up, watching for another Flash-type sneak relaunch (as Mike suggested here several days ago).