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?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Heroclix

Here are the Legion-related figures from the new "Arkham Asylum" set of Heroclix.

Interestingly, the three villains are in their "Absolute Power" costumes, from the out-of-continuity arc of the same name in "Superman/Batman" #14-18 (and reprinted in the Superman/Batman Vol. 3: Absolute Power hardcover) rather than their regular costumes as seen in L3W.

032 LIGHTNING LORD (veteran)

037 ELEMENT LAD (rookie)

039 COSMIC KING (veteran)

057 SATURN QUEEN (veteran)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coming Distractions: Jan. 2009

Coming up in January: the final issue of LSH v5. And JSA (with Starman) - that's it for the month, unless I missed something in the reprints. Legion of Three Worlds #5 will ship in February.

Written by Jim Shooter
Art and cover by Francis Manapul & Livesay
It’s the final issue! The climactic conclusion of the Universal Annihilation War is here and every Legionnaire, every reservist and even the United Planets’ Young Heroes battle to save existence. Also featuring the return of Cosmic Boy, the death of a longtime Legionaire and a gorgeous wraparound cover!
FINAL ISSUE On sale January 28 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham
& Nathan Massengill
Cover by Alex Ross
“Black Adam and Isis” part 1 and a “Faces of Evil” issue! The new Justice Society regroups just in time to face one of their greatest and most personal enemies — Black Adam! The sorcerer Felix Faust has imprisoned the soul of Isis, Black Adam's deceased wife. But the Black Marvel just figured that out, and nothing will save Faust from his wrath — nothing except maybe the Justice Society of America. And everybody will be in for a surprise when they discover how Isis has changed since her death at the hands of the Four Horsemen. Will she be a friend to the world — or will she be its destruction?
On sale January 28 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trivia Answers #28

Oops, I forgot to post the answers to the last trivia quiz from last week. The theme for the month was villains.

1. Who was Jan Jor?

In the Adult Legion story of Adventure Comics #354, when the Legionnaires are checking through the records of former members who have had criminal records, a person on the screen named Jan Jor, who is 32 years of age in 2983 (or born in 2951) would have been 13 around this time. It is possible, then, that the yellow-costumed youth's name is Jan Jor [aka False Pretenses Lad], according to at least one site's speculation.

2. Which villain(s) possessed all (or nearly all) of the Legionnaires' powers?
My answers were Composite Superman and B.I.O.N. I had forgotten about Amalgamax, who was Composite Superman 2.0, and Composite Man from the post-Zero Hour Legion. Someone offered Mask Man from ADV 310, but he was a Mr. Mxyzptlk descendant who I don't recall having the abilities of all the Legionnaires. I could be wrong.

3. We know who used the names Bob Cobb, Betsy Norcross, and Marie Elkins while in 20th century Smallville fleeing Mordru. But what were their cover stories: who were Bob, Betsy, and Marie?
Anonymous for the win! Impressively, s/he got all of them:
* Mon-El used the name Bob Cobb and masqueraded as Clark Kent's cousin, a traveling salesman.
* Shadow Lass and stayed with the Langs and passed herself off as exchange student Betsy Norcross.
* Triplicate Girl portrayed Marie Elkins, a relative of Chief Parker's wife.

4. Of the members of the LSV, who were direct (or nearly so) counterparts of Legionnaires in terms of powers?
Lightning Lord - Lightning Lad
Saturn Queen or Esper Lass - Saturn Girl
Cosmic King - Element Lad
Sun Emperor or Beauty Blaze - Sun Boy
Micro Lad - Shrinking Violet
Magno Lad - Cosmic Boy
Ol-Vir - Mon-El

Chameleon Chief could change the forms of other things around him, so he wasn't a counterpart of Chameleon Boy. And Phantom Lad wasn't in the LSV.

5. Which non-Legionnaire helped the Legion defeat Mordru in his first appearance?
I deliberately left this vague to see what people would come up with. I was going for "first appearance" as in the first time we actually read a story about him, which would have been ADV 369-370. The White Witch helped defeat Mordru; Pete Ross, guessed by someone else, also fits here, though I should have said "future Legionnaire" since I was only looking for the Witch.

6. On the other hand, which two then-active Legionnaires did not help fight Darkseid in the Great Darkness Saga, and why?
Anon again: Chameleon Boy was serving time on Takron-Galtos, and Shrinking Violet was secretly a captive of the Imsk Liberation Front. Although, if he was in jail, was Cham considered active duty at the time?

7. Which Legion-centric alien races, pretty much never before seen in the 20th century, aided in the invasion of Earth in the INVASION! miniseries?
Khunds, Dominators, Durlans, Daxamites, Imskians, and the Gil'Dishpan.


8. In "honor" of the impending cancellation of LSH v5 with #50 and the inevitable subsequent relaunch of LSH v6 #1, name as many of the issue #1's the Legion has ever had as you can. Include series and miniseries starring individual Legionnaires, small groups of Legionnaires, or anyone closely related to the Legion.
As usual, you guys got some that I had missed, but there are still ones you didn't get. I was looking for issue #1's of a Legion-related series, not necessarily all #1's that the Legion or a Legionnaire was in (so that drops out things like the Adventure Comics 80-Page Giant #1 and Unlimited Access #1, and all of the various Superman, Superboy, and Supergirl series). The ones on my list that you missed:
* Legion of Substitute Heroes Special
* Legion of Super-Heroes Archives
* Official Legion of Super-Heroes Index
* Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Annotated "Legion of Three Worlds" #2

Also check out the annotations by Douglas Wolk and Tim Callahan.

For first appearances and creators of all the characters, see these pre-annotations for the Pre-Zero Hour Legion (including Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis, Glorithverse, and Lightning Saga), Post-Zero Hour Legion, Post-Infinite Crisis Legion, and villains.

My annotations for issue #1 (main, follow-up).

Written by Geoff Johns; Art by George Pérez and 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. DC Universe | 40pg. | Color | $3.99 US On Sale October 15, 2008

Cover (full version): Three Saturn Girls, the Pre-ZH/Lightning Saga one featured, with the Post-IC version and the Post-ZH one in the background.

Cover (sliver version): Lots of Legionnaires from all three groups.

From here on, I'm going to refer to the three Legions as L1 (Pre-Crisis + Lightning Saga), L2 (Post-Zero Hour), and L3 (Post-Infinite Crisis). The "Glorithverse" Legion I'll call L1.5.

Page 1
  • Shikari, of L2. They're still lost (a reference to the series "Legion Lost"). When last we saw them, they were lost in the time stream, but Shikari had discovered the L3 Earth. She briefly reunited with the team during the Infinite Crisis on Earth-247, but the team hasn't been seen since.
  • The Legion has faded out to white with each reboot; see examples here In particular, note the last one, with the L2 Legion fading out; they fade in here much the same way.

Page 2
  • Panel 1: The L1 White Witch is on the Sorcerer's World, held captive by Mordru. This echoes the Glorithverse version of the Legion; Mysa was held captive by Mordru at the beginning of the v4 series as well.
  • Panel 2: She's also the sister of L1 Dream Girl.
  • Panel 3: White Witch has somehow tapped into her sister's prophetic dreams. Shikari (misspelled here as "Shakari") and L2 Dreamer - not related to the White Witch in their continuity - can see into the L3 timeline.
  • Panel 4: Lightning Lad, Light Lass, and Star Boy at the memorial statue to the deceased Dream Girl, all L3. At the foot of her statue, in Interlac it reads "Nura Nal/Dream Girl". The "Light" of the Legion - a reference to Light Lass?
  • Panel 5: Superboy-Prime gives his rings to L1 Saturn Queen and Lightning Lord, in a dark homage to the Legion's flight rings.
  • Panels 6-8: The Time Trapper doesn't want anyone to see any future that he doesn't control.

Page 3
  • Panels 1-2: L1 Mordru and his mages have stolen her magics.
  • Panels 3-8: it's Blok, Wildfire, and Dawnstar to her rescue. Blok and White Witch had a relationship, as did Dawnstar and Wildfire. Due to their natures, Blok and Wildfire could not have physical relationships with their partners as other humans could.

Page 5
  • Panel 1: Rond Vidar, son of Universo, was a Green Lantern, a fact unknown to the Legion for most of the time they knew him. His father was a Green Lantern before him, and when he was expelled from the Green Lantern Corps, the ring passed to Xenofobe until Rond was old enough to wield the ring. By this time in the 31st century, Rond is one of only two Green Lanterns left.
  • Panel 5: Mordru. He's got a new helmet these days.

Page 6
  • Panels 2-3: Mordru calls up the dead - Glorith, Dragonmage, and Evillo. Glorith, in pre-Crisis continuity, was a minion of the Time Trapper. She failed in a mission and he turned her into protoplasm. In the L1.5 continuity, she was restored and took the place of the Time Trapper. Dragonmage was a magician who joined the SW6 Legionnaires. Evillo was another magician, the dictator of Tartarus. Mordru says that these three died at his hand; it's unclear how Glorith may have been killed by Mordru, as she was killed by the Time Trapper. This is the first we have heard that Dragonmage and Prince Evillo were killed by Mordru.

Page 7
  • Panel 1: "I saw Legions dying, and I saw a new one rising." A prophecy of the future.
  • Panel 3: The White Witch first appeared as the old crone The Hag, an associate of Prince Evillo. In her next appearance, she was young and beautiful. It was never revealed how this change took place; Mordru says here that he transformed her as he taught her magic.

Page 8
  • Panel 3: Rond Vidar says that he beat Mordru once in the past. The only time they met was in L1.5 after the reformation of the Legion, so something similar must have happened in the L1 past.

Page 9-10
  • The newest incarnation of the L1 Legion of Super-Villains, all wearing their S-rings. From top to bottom, left to right: Neutrax, Beauty Blaze, Golden Boy, Universo, Persuader, Terrus, Lazon; Zymyr, Tusker, Lightning Lord, Mist Master, Silver Slasher; Ol-Vir, Storm Boy, Superboy-Prime, Mano, Tyr; Emerald Empress and the Emerald Eye, Grimbor, Saturn Queen, Spider Girl, Black Mace, Esper Lass; Sun Emperor, Cosmic King, Micro Lad, Radiation Roy; Validus, Tharok, Echo, Dr. Regulus, Earth-Man, Hunter, Chameleon Chief, Titania, Magno Lad. Several of these have never been associated with the LSV before (such as Universo, the Fatal Five, Earth-Man's Justice League). There are some continuity problems with this lineup.
  • Beauty Blaze and Echo had never appeared in the L1 timeline before, they were members of the LSV during the Adult Legion story (later revealed to be an alternate timeline). Echo "appeared" and was a Legionnaire during the Five Year Gap in the L1.5 timeline.
  • Validus had been revealed to be the son of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, taken back in time and mutated by Darkseid, shortly after the end of the Crisis. He was later restored to his normal appearance as a child. Thus, it is unknown if Validus's parentage is still valid.
  • Tharok had been killed in a clash with the Dark Man, a clone of his. He somehow returned in the L1.5 timeline, the method of resurrection not revealed (as far as I can remember). It is unknown how Tharok has been resurrected.
  • Likewise, the Emerald Empress died immediately after the Crisis in the original L1 timeline.

Page 11
  • Panels 2-5: Some of the events of the Sinestro Corps War with the Green Lanterns.

Page 12
  • Panel 3: Superman says of Superboy-Prime, "... he lost everything. Earth-Prime was destroyed. His friends and family killed. He was banished to limbo for years. Who knows what that kind of isolation can do to somebody?" Umm, hello, how about Lar Gand, who you put in the Phantom Zone for a thousand years? He turned out OK.

Page 15
  • Panel 2: In Interlac, the sign with the Legion "L" symbol reads "anominaly vector 386"; the sign with Dr. Regulus's head says (in mirror image) "-ulugus"

Page 18
  • Panel 7: As mentioned earlier, Universo was a Green Lantern before he was expelled from the Corps. His son Rond Vidar was given his ring.

Page 19
  • Panel 10: Universo refers to Rond Vidar's son. That's new; in L1.5 continuity, he had a daughter with Laurel "Andromeda" Gand.

Page 21
  • Panel 4: Is Mysa saying "no" to Rond Vidar's death because she disagrees with Saturn Girl that he's dead, or is she saying "no" because she can't believe it?
  • Panel 13: That's the lightning rod that contains what is widely theorized to be Bart Allen's energy.

Page 22
  • Panel 4: The ruins of Oa. Last time we saw Oa was a flashback which showed why the Guardians were banned from Earth, due to interference from Green Lantern who would soon be known as Universo.
  • Panel 5: Statues of past Green Lanterns, including (facing the reader) Katma Tui, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner.
  • Panel 6: fallen statue of Hal Jordan.
  • Panel 9: we find out who this is at the end of the story.

Page 23
  • Panel 1: the Legion visits the original HQ of the Justice League of America. The cave had been used by other groups after the JLA, but appears to have been restored to the early JLA's decorations.
  • Panel 4: Phantom Girl uses Aquaman's old security code to deactivate the alarm.
  • Panel 6: I'm not a Silver Age JLA expert, so I'll miss many of these artifacts. That's Despero's chess set at left, Wonder Woman's shield at top, and pictures of the Demons Three (Abnegazar, Rath and Ghast) with their artifacts (the Green Bell of Uthool, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath and the Red Jar of Calythos). The Legion met the Three and Mordru in the midst the annual team-up of the JLA and JSA when the two teams were on Earths-1 and 2, respectively (JLA 147-148).
  • Panel 7: that's Starro, Amos Fortune's card, Amazo, and the Time Commander's helmet. The JLA of this era never fought Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor.
  • Panel 10: With the JSA portrait in the background, Phantom Girl holds the "crystallized mexus of all earths from all parallel universes", which is how the JLA first contacted the JSA (JLA #21).

Page 24
  • Panel 1: Wildfire, Dawnstar, and Polar Boy are at the Time Institute to get a Time Bubble to travel back to the 21st century for reasons as yet unknown. The Time Institute, run by Chronarch Circadia Senius, housed (among other things) the Time Beacon which allowed time travellers to home in on the correct timeline. In the background are images of time travellers Rip Hunter, Goldstar (Booster Gold's sister), Skeets, and an unidentified man (Booster Gold?).
  • Panel 5: Mon-El and Shadow Lass are off to the Sorcerer's World and then to Oa. Those of you who have read the Sinestro Corps War should know who the Daxamite on Oa is.

Page 25
  • Panel 2: White Witch mentions a red sky, a reference to the red skies of the Crisis but also a reference to The Bleed, the space in between universes. The two Legions that assisted with the Tornado Twins must be a reference to the original team-up of the Legions of Three Worlds. The Tornado Twins are Don and Dawn Allen, the twin children of Barry Allen from when he and his wife Iris were in the 30th century immediately prior to the Flash's death in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. It's not clear here which timeline the Twins belong to; the Silver Age L1 Legion first met the twins, who said they were the descendants of Barry Allen. In the L1.5 timeline, the twins were killed by the Dominators. In the L2 timeline, the twins were the parents of Bart Allen (father Don), aka Impulse, and Jenni Ognats (mother Dawn), aka XS.
  • Panel 7: note the presence of lightning, a common symbol of the Flash family.

Page 26-27
  • On the left, it's the L3 Legion; on the right, it's the L2 Legion. On the L2 side, note that Livewire is still stuck in the crystalline body of the deceased Element Lad.
  • L3 Legion, left to right and top to bottom: Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Star Boy, Colossal Boy, Atom Girl, Saturn Girl; Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Light Lass, Ultra Boy, Triplicate Girl, Lightning Lad; Projectra, Karate Kid, Chameleon Boy, Timber Wolf; Triplicate Girl, Brainiac 5, Shadow Lass
  • L2 Legion, left to right and top to bottom: Umbra, Karate Kid, Ultra Boy, Chameleon, Triad, M'Onel, Ferro; Brainiac 5.1, Andromeda, Sensor, Star Boy, XS; Spark, Cosmic Boy, Timber Wolf, Shrinking Violet, Dreamer; Kid Quantum, Saturn Girl, Apparition; Gates, Live Wire/Element Lad, Wildfire; Triad, Invisible Kid, Shikari, Gear, Kinetix.

Page 28
  • Panel 1: White Witch suggests that the L2 and L3 Legions may not be able to return home. I smell foreshadowing.
  • Panel 9: Heh, I like the Brainys bickering. L2 Brainiac 5 refers to his time travels to the 20th century while the team was split (the other half remained in the 30th century).

Page 29
  • Panels 1-6: Sun Boy is still moping. Wonder when he'll recover?

Page 30
  • It's AWWWNNN!
  • Panel 3: One of those Validuses is likely a Reep Daggle.
  • Panel 8: Don't forget, the Time Trapper is behind everything.

Page 32
  • See? It's Sodam Yat, the Daxamite Green Lantern. Geoff Johns has said this isn't just a Legion story, it contains elements of all the books he's worked on, whether it's just cameos (the Teen Titans last issue in the Superman Museum, the Rip Hunter/Booster Gold images in this issue) or major characters (Superman, from Action Comics) or storylines (the Green Lantern legacy and the Sinestro Corps War). At this point, Sodam Yat is over 1000 years old, having been introduced in the Sinestro Corps storyline, where he was destined to be one of the greatest Green Lanterns. He was last known in the 21st century as Ion.

One thing to note: Since we see Sodam Yat here, that pretty much confirms that this version of the 31st century is the future of the current DC Universe (or rather, that of New Earth of the 52-Earth Multiverse). Until recently, it had been strongly suggested that the L3 Legion's 31st century was the future of the mainstream DCU.

Legion of Substitute Podcasters

I'm not quite sure who these guys are Subs for, but there's a site that just went live that features Legion-oriented podcasts (mp3 files for downloading or streaming). They call themselves the Legion of Substitute Podcasters, and they can be found at I've also added them to my blogroll on the left.

We’ve heard that people have a tough time understanding the Legion of Super Heroes. It’s hard to keep track of which Lad, Lass, Boy or Girl is which.

Let us make that a lot easier for you.

Join Paul French, Ric Croxton, Darren Nowell, and our mystery Legionnaire for a fun ride through the history of the future!

Their first podcast, featuring Adventure 247, is up.

(Via Tales from the Longbox)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Smallville spoilers!

Update: this isn't new news, it's been on the Kryptonsite spoilers page for a couple weeks.

Via Tombstone25, here's an alleged summary of the Legion episode of "Smallville". Warning, here be potential spoilers!

- 8x11 Legion:
This episode is written by Geoff Johns and directed by Glen Winter. It's three superheroes - Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad (although they might not use those names) — on a mission from Superman in the future. The threat of Brainiac - who has taken over Chloe's body - brings three super-heroes from the future back to the past. Eventually they work together to try and separate Chloe from her Brainiac side. This episode features a Legion villain that Johns himself is surprised he was able to use. No word on who yet, but it could be Darkseid, Mordru, or the Time Trapper. Erica Durance [Lois Lane], Aaron Ashmore [Jimmy Olsen], Cassidy Freeman [Tess], and Justin Hartley [Oliver Queen/Green Arrow] do not appear in this episode.

I have no reason to believe this is a hoax or otherwise false, but I also have no independent confirmation.

This is one of the episodes that Kristin Kreuk [Lana Lang] appears. Insect Queen, anyone? Too bad Jimmy Olsen's not in this one, no Elastic Lad.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Legion of Three Worlds #2 out this week

Looks like it'll be a late night for me this Wednesday as I put up the annotations for L3W #2.

Inker Scott Koblish has a few teasers for us on his page. From last Monday:

Issue number two of FC: Legion of 3 Worlds comes out in around 8 days, I'm exceptionally proud of how well that book came out - I've seen the color and Brian Miller and co. did an absolutely fantastic job. I don't think i've ever been on a book where there have been as many individual characters, just a cursory count puts it at well over 100, and Brian did mersmerizingly great work. I wish I could share it with everybody right now, but patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait.

And from today, with a sneak preview of Blok rescuing the White Witch while whooping up on some zombie skeletons:
Lotsa stuff in issue 2: Lotsa villains, lotsa Legionnaires. Hope everyone likes it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Trivia Quiz #28

The new Legion of Super-Villains team in "Legion of Three Worlds" is a collection of the worst of the worst bad guys who have plagued the Legion over the years. (Note that issue #2 is scheduled for next week, October 15th; issue #3 for Dec. 3rd; and issue #4 for Dec. 24th.) Here are some villainous questions:

1. Who was Jan Jor?

2. Which villain(s) possessed all (or nearly all) of the Legionnaires' powers?

3. We know who used the names Bob Cobb, Betsy Norcross, and Marie Elkins while in 20th century Smallville fleeing Mordru. But what were their cover stories: who were Bob, Betsy, and Marie?

4. Of the members of the LSV, who were direct (or nearly so) counterparts of Legionnaires in terms of powers?

5. Which non-Legionnaire helped the Legion defeat Mordru in his first appearance?

6. On the other hand, which two then-active Legionnaires did not help fight Darkseid in the Great Darkness Saga, and why?

7. Which Legion-centric alien races, pretty much never before seen in the 20th century, aided in the invasion of Earth in the INVASION! miniseries?


8. In "honor" of the impending cancellation of LSH v5 with #50 and the inevitable subsequent relaunch of LSH v6 #1, name as many of the issue #1's the Legion has ever had as you can. Include series and miniseries starring individual Legionnaires, small groups of Legionnaires, or anyone closely related to the Legion.

Friday, October 03, 2008

L3W sales figures

A couple of months ago I set up a poll to see what you thought the sales would look like on the first issue of "Legion of Three Worlds". Well, the results are in.

It's a good thing that exactly 100 people voted. That makes the math much easier. The most popular vote was 60,001-70,000 with 27%, followed by 50,001-60,000 at 23%. Actual sales as reported by THE BEAT: 68,306. (I had predicted a start in the 70s, so I wasn't far off.)

Here's how the sales data for the Final Crisis spinoffs were interpreted at our official source for sales data, THE BEAT:
08/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 of 3 — 68,306

08/2008: Last Will and Testament #1 — 67,063

08/2008: Superman Beyond #1 of 2 — 63,137

08/2008: Revelations #1 of 5 — 58,434

Following the pattern established by Final Crisis and Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge, August’s new set of spin-off titles all come in with underwhelming sales.

They seem to be in the same league as the competition’s Secret Invasion: Thor, Secret Invasion: X-Men and Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man, granted, but let’s keep in mind that those books provide random and repetitive punch-’em-ups which are cursory at best to Secret Invasion proper. The Final Crisis spin-offs, on the other hand, were promoted as major parts of the storyline and are by the company’s top-flight creative personnel.

That none of them managed to crack 70,000 units certainly supports the notion that the market was tired of Final Crisis long before the first issue shipped. The fact that their debut issues are all cuddling up within 10,000 units of each other also suggests that retailers didn’t quite know what to do with them, mind you, so it’s still possible that we’re going to see some major corrections in the next few months.

Record of gimmicks: All of these comics were supported with 50/50 variant-cover editions. All of them had a $ 3.99 price tag, except for Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1, which was $ 4.50 and came with a set of cardboard 3D goggles.

Polls are still open for your prediction on the final issue.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More other stuff

More stuff:

  • Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!! on the LSH v5 cancellation:
    But I still think DC treated [Shooter] badly. After months of rumors that he was being canned from Legion, and months of speculation that Legion of 3 Worlds meant that Geoff Johns' version of the Legion was taking over, DC made only the most terse and non-committal of public denials. And now the other shoe drops--he's not being replaced, Legion is being canceled. Before Shooter's storyline is fully finished. Just coincidentally immediately after LO3W finishes.

    ... So. After all the fanfare about hiring him, it's buh-bye. Go peddle your wares elsewhere. DC used Shooter as stunt casting, and then tossed him aside. Whether it's because the sales were too low, or because Geoff Johns cleared his throat, Shooter deserved better.

    Secondly, we should note that the while Legion has been on "hiatus" before, the was usually an intervening mini-series, such as Legion Lost or Legion Worlds. DC may already have something planned, and is just playing this pretty close to the vest until they're ready to announce. But if they don't, this "hiatus" will mean that, for the first time in almost half a century, DC won't be publishing any Legion of Super-Heroes. Happy 50th, Legion!!

  • Howard Chaykin interviewed Adam Hughes at Baltimore last weekend. One topic that came up was the alternate cover Hughes did of Supergirl for the Legion book:
    Hughes explained why he was drawn to comics as opposed to advertising, where his slick artistic style could make him a lot of money. The answer for Hughes? Total creative freedom. “DC asked me for a cover of Supergirl at one point,” Hughes said. “But they didn’t tell me anything else. I was like — any editorial direction, please? Is she in a bikini? A parka? What?” Hughes then said that very cover soon became a poster and a print.

  • Wizard has a quick look at the main good guys and bad guys in "Legion of Three Worlds".

  • I missed it here, but last month's issue of Comics Buyer's Guide #1646 (Oct. 2008) had the Legion on the cover, for an L3W story. The article has a history of the Legion, interviews with Johns and Perez, and an article by Andrew "Captain Comics" Smith on the Legion Roll Call (for the Legion up to the Crisis). Smith's roll call is very impressive, including not only the Legion of Super-Pets but also False Pretenses Lad (named "Some Guy in a Yellow Jumpsuit" here).

    Part 1 of Smith's roll call can be found on the CBG site as a pdf download. Part 2 is also available and covers the post-Zero Hour reboot and the current version, plus an explanation of the publishing history (and all those titles named "Legion of Super-Heroes").

    This is last month's issue so you might not be able to find it on the newsstand. Here's a copy on eBay.

  • Tim Callahan checked out some of Jim Shooter's scripts in Baltimore.
    But I did get a chance to thumb through a few of Shooter's Legion of Super-Heroes scripts at the Baltimore Comic-Con, and I found them to be fascinating. Not because of the quality of the writing, necessarily, but because of their density, and their length. I've seen a few scripts by some of today's top writers -- Morrison, Fraction, Aaron -- and all of them have relatively short panel descriptions and just maybe a few quick links to online reference material. Shooter's scripts are not quite Alan Moore thick, but they're close. Each one must have been about 50 or 60 pages, including extensive panel descriptions and lengthy supplemental material with images and descriptions of the look Shooter was going for.

Cancellation followups

  • Kevin Melrose at Blog@Newsarama asked me yesterday if I had anything to say about the LSH v5 cancellation. He ultimately didn't use anything I said, choosing to run some good quotes by the Legion Abstract's Matthew Elmslie instead.
    “The Threeboot Legion never really lived up to its potential,” said Elmslie, who contributed to Timothy Callahan’s Teenagers From the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes. “Mark Waid, followed ably by [Tony] Bedard and Shooter, built a lot of strengths into it, including a plausible, well-conceived premise for the Legion’s place in the world, and the strongest and most subtle characterization the Legionnaires have ever had. (And Kitson’s art — followed ably by [Dennis] Calero and Manapul — was tremendous.) But the stories were too long and slow, the villains were mostly ciphers, and fans were split on whether Waid’s innovations were any good or not. Still, if we had to pick one of the three Legions to star in a comic book … the Threeboot version has the most story potential going forward.”

  • Meanwhile, remember how Rich Johnston kept insisting that "the New York bar scene" said that Shooter had quit the Legion? Apparently, not so much, actually. Shooter says he was notified last month of the impending cancellation (in time to wrap up his 16-issue arc in 12 issues).

    And remember how he said that Tony Bedard would be writing the Legion after Shooter's run was over? Oops, what he really meant was that Bedard would be writing a L.E.G.I.O.N. book. Slight difference.
    In the wake of the “Legion Of Superheroes” cancellation LITG’d back here, I can confirm that Tony Bedard is writing a new “L.E.G.I.O.N” series based on the eighties/nineties series.

    At that older link, he wrote:
    More San Diego creator talk tells me that the Jim Shooter’s "Legion Of Super Heroes" title ends with issue #50.

    It will be replaced with a new Tony Bedard LSH project, and the Levitz/Giffen Legion project will also see publication.

    Here's what we discussed in this space at the time. And I'm sure that someone in the comments here noticed that issue 50 would be roughly concurrent with the end of L3W, so it's not like it was a major stretch to link the two.

  • Shooter, interviewed by Newsarama as published on Aug. 19th (boldface added by me):
    NRAMA: ...Do you think the Legion will be around another 50 years from now?

    JS: It wouldn’t surprise me. There’s something wonderful about this series. Even if it were to go away for a while, it’ll be back.

    Think he might have been hinting at something?

  • Some discussion over at Millarworld, ComicBloc, the DC Message Board, and LegionWorld. Jason Grey's Foenix site and Alan Kistler at ComicMix also weigh in.

  • Tom Spurgeon, at the Comics Reporter:
    ...Not that DC canceling stuff or a Legion title biting the dust is ever news, but I had to wonder: how many times out in official fashion is that for this series? Six? Seven? Eight?

  • Jef Peckham, over on the Legion mailing lists, wrote that he met Shooter at the Baltimore con this past weekend. Shooter told him that his arc was plotted to go to issue 54, and that almost all (but not all) of the subplots would be wrapped up by issue 50.

  • Other stuff

    So here's a bunch of stuff I was going to get to before we heard about the latest cancellation (more on that in another post, this is for non-cancellation stuff), still trying to dig out from under my Hurricane Ike-imposed internet blackout.

    • The Comic Treadmill reviews Adventure Comics 367-369. Oh noes, they're almost at the end of reviewing the entire Adventure run!
    • Writer J. Torres explains what he had planned for the LSH31C comic, had it not been cancelled.
    • John Kahane lists his top 5 bad ideas in Legion history.
    • This unfortunately came and went during my down-time, but "Ordinary People Change the World" had a Legion-related auction. The group, started by author Brad Meltzer, is raising money to restore the Jerry Siegel home in Cleveland, coming from Siegel & Shuster Society Charity Auction (as seen in this CBR article). Mark Waid had donated the original Curt Swan cover to the Legion Index #2, and it sold for $7600 on eBay.
    • ToonZone has a review of the LSH v3 DVD (that's the cartoon, not the 1980s comic series).
    • Someone's got a couple of rare Legion promo items on eBay from the 1980s, the first being the 35th Anniversary promo from 1983 and the second being the "Flight Ring Village" promo from 1989. At this writing they're $3.99 each with no bids.
    • Christopher "MightyGodKing" Bird has reason #45 why he should write the Legion.

    Also coming out of Baltimore, apparently prior to the cancellation news, was this info from the Superman panel, which hints at more of the Johns post-Crisis v3-ish Legion:
    The Supergirl/Superman interaction with the Legion of Super-Heroes was asked about, given that Superman now had spent time with the "original" Legion and Supergirl logged some hours alongside Waid and Kitson's “threeboot” Legion. Geoff Johns assured the fans that the overlap would be made clear.

    ...The current reintroduction of the Science Police was brought up and it was asked if they were tied to the Legion Science Police. Robinson promised an upcoming arc featuring the secret behind the Science Police.

    ...The Superman team does have plans for Mon-El.