Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Festivus 2009

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 2009 (so no whining about anything that happened last year). In no particular order:

    The first two are leftover grievances from 2008:

  • The Superboy lawsuit is STILL not settled.

  • 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.

  • The Legion is reduced to a backup strip for the first time since the early 1970s.

  • In the Smallville episode, the Legionnaires saying: "The only way to stop Chloe is to kill her."

  • The end of Final Crisis #6 had L1 Brainiac 5 showing the Miracle Machine to Superman. Not only had the Miracle Machine been eaten years before, but this scene was not seen or even referenced in L3W.

  • Not only that the Legion v5 book was cancelled, not only that the Final Crisis/L3W story forced Jim Shooter's story to get cut by four issues, but also that Shooter either walked out on the last issue and forced a ghost writer or chose to use a pseudonym to close out the series.

  • The latest retelling of the story of how Superman/boy joined the Legion lost the intention of the original story, how Clark Kent had to audition for a spot (even though it was all a joke). Now, they just asked him to join.

  • It took 11 months for the 5-issue monthly L3W to come out.

Now to temper the List of Grievances, we also have some Festivus Miracles:
  • George Perez. STILL on the Legion, even if L3W is delayed.

  • The Legion on Smallville. The Legion. ON LIVE-ACTION TV. By Geoff Johns. And it's one of the highest rated and most-liked episodes of the season.

  • Mon-El in a starring role in the Superman titles.

  • The return of Adventure Comics, featuring (at least for now) the Legion.

  • The return of R.E.B.E.L.S.

  • Action figures!

  • I hit my 1000th post.

  • Paul Levitz will return to be the full-time writer on the Legion. The internet broke in half at the news that he was leaving DC Corporate.

  • L3W returning all 3 Legions

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. Which Legion-related heroes and villains have been shown on both live-action and animated form?

  2. Who said this, and what were the circumstances? "Mmm... this is nice! I must kiss her again!!"

  3. Where did we see the Jaguar Court?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Action figure roundup

This month's Q&A with Mattel (by various action figure sites) had a few Legion figure questions and some vague answers. As always, I'll believe it when I see them. (round up via Toy News International)

Cool Toy Review:

Cool Toy Review: I know we ask about the Legion of Super-Heroes quite often, but that's because the Legion is cool! Can we look forward to more figures from the 30th century?

Mattel: Absolutely.

Action Figure Insider:
Q5. Whenever the Legion of Super-Heroes are released for the DCUC line can we expect to see them have a whole wave like wave 8 was for JSA or will they be peppered into other waves?

A5: We have some great plans for LOSH but it is too early for us to get into these specifics.

Kastor's Korner:
Kastor: With the Legion having such a large roster, Matty, what era is your favorite? Any characters from the team that are your favorite besides the big names (Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, Brainiac 5)?

Matty: When we do get to the Legion, we’ll most likely lean toward each characters most well known appearance. Aside from the big names, Wildfire, Ferro Lad, Mon-El and Dawnstar are personal favorites of Toy Guru.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Last Stand of New Krypton: no new Legion book (yet)

From today's DC blog The Source comes more info on the 8-part "Brainiac and the Legion of Super-Heroes" arc.

Note that this article reveals that the "soon to be named" title from the previous article is "Last Stand of New Krypton", to go with "Superman", "Supergirl", and "Adventure" (but for some reason, not "Action"). No new Legion book yet.

What is the LAST STAND OF NEW KRYPTON? Well, it’s basically New Krypton’s worst nightmare come to life, as Brainiac attacks the planet, determined to recapture the city of Kandor.

But General Zod has prepared for this moment since Brainiac first attacked the original Krypton. Only problem? Zod’s plan to save New Krypton will mean the destruction of the future.

So it’s up to Superman, Supergirl, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes to save the people of New Krypton and ensure the Legion won’t be wiped from the future’s existence. Good luck! Or, to quote editor Matt Idelson:

“This is the story that ties together tons of threads that have run through all the Super-books up to now, clearing the decks for the war we all knew was coming. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting months to see Brainiac restored to his full, horrific glory. And at last, we’ll get to see Superboy interact on an ongoing basis with the rest of the Superbooks’ characters.”

LAST STAND is a three-issue miniseries, weighing in at 30 story pages each, from writers James Robinson and Sterling Gates and artist Pete Woods. The first issue sports an amazing Andy Kubert cover and kicks off the latest chapter in the New Krypton saga, “Brainiac & The Legion of Super-Heroes,” which we teased right here not long ago. “Brainiac & the LOSH” is an eight-part story (plus an epilogue and a prologue) that will run in LAST STAND, SUPERGIRL, SUPERMAN, and because you demanded it, ADVENTURE COMICS. Secrets will be revealed, loyalties tested and would-be lovers will be reunited—for the first time? And, knowing that all signs are pointing to an epic WAR OF THE SUPERMEN, why not hop aboard now?


Trivia Answers #42

Trivia answers tonight:

1. List any five of Lori Morning’s aliases when she used the "Dial H for Hero" dial.

The ones I came up with, via Wikipedia: Future Girl, Fireball, Slipstream, Blip, Dynasoar, Chiller, Ink, Galaxy Girl, Plasma, Helios, and the Time Trapper.

2. Which of the following were the members of the Interplanetary Bank Beast Guards?
a. Asteroid Serpent
b. Hypno Beast
c. Jigsaw Creature
d. Invisible Eagle
e. Flame-Beast
f. Phantom Beast
g. Loudspeaker Beast

The three animals that made up the Interplanetary Bank Beast Guards were the Asteroid Serpent, the Jigsaw Creature, and the Loudspeaker Beast (a, c, and g). The Hypno Beast was from the planet Lurna (ADV 302), the Invisible Eagle was seen in ADV 247, the Flame Beast was from Krypton, and the Phantom Beast was from the planet Siria (ADV 308).

3. In the future of the Adult Legion, which of the children were shown to have NOT inherited any powers from their Legionnaire parents?
We saw Timber Wolf and Light Lass's kids Loni, Brin, and Bran; Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl's kids Ronn and Arna; Shrinking Violet and Duplicate Boy's kids (names not revealed); and the son of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel. Brin, Bran, and Loni were specifically mentioned to have not gotten their parents powers, and they never revealed one way or the other about Vi's kids.

4. It was announced this week that the next big Superman story will be "Brainiac and the Legion of Super-Heroes". When has Brainiac met the Legion or individual Legionnaires, not including any of the Superboys or Supergirls?
Roy said Showcase '96 #10 and #11, The "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" story (outside the Fortress of Solitude), and DC Comics Presents #80. I thought there must have been one scene somewhere in Crisis on Infinite Earths but I may be mistaken. But everyone forgot the last episode of the Legion animated series, the "New Kids in Town" episode of the Superman animated series where the Legionnaires went back to Smallville to track down Brainiac, and the "Legion" episode of "Smallville" where the Legionnaires went back to Smallville to track down Brainiac. The Adult Legion of Super-Villains plus Brainiac (and Electro) were in Action #286, but the Legion wasn't in there. I did not count Pulsar Stargrave.

5. Where should a Legion artist have written "after Michelangelo"?
During the Great Darkness Saga, Keith Giffen drew Shadow Lass and Darkseid taking the places of Adam and God in Michelangelo's "Creation of Man" painting on the Sistene Chapel ceiling.

6. Who was Mordru's eyes and ears in the 20th century?
I was thinking specifically of Lana Lang, but pretty much everyone in Smallville was.

7. Which team played the Naltor Dreamers in the 2995 Galaxy Series?
The Toonar Pilots, of course.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Trivia Quiz #42

First Monday of the month, that means it's Legion trivia time!

1. List any five of Lori Morning’s aliases when she used the "Dial H for Hero" dial.

2. Which of the following were the members of the Interplanetary Bank Beast Guards?

a. Asteroid Serpent
b. Hypno Beast
c. Jigsaw Creature
d. Invisible Eagle
e. Flame-Beast
f. Phantom Beast
g. Loudspeaker Beast

3. In the future of the Adult Legion, which of the children were shown to have NOT inherited any powers from their Legionnaire parents?

4. It was announced this week that the next big Superman story will be "Brainiac and the Legion of Super-Heroes". When has Brainiac met the Legion or individual Legionnaires, not including any of the Superboys or Supergirls?

5. Where should a Legion artist have written "after Michelangelo"?

6. Who was Mordru's eyes and ears in the 20th century?

7. Which team played the Naltor Dreamers in the 2995 Galaxy Series?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Brainiac & the Legion of Super-Heroes

From the DCU Blog The Source about Adventure Comics #8:

ADVENTURE COMICS #8 is the start of a four-issue arc connecting ADVENTURE to the next big Superman story - “Brainiac & The Legion of Super-Heroes.” James Robinson & Julian Lopez will provide a 10-page story about the Legion members who are in the 21st Century; Sterling Gates & Clayton Henry will provide a 10-pager about the Legion in the 31st Century; and Eric Trautmann & DC newcomer Pier Gallo (wait till you see this guy’s stuff!) will provide a 10-pager about General Lane’s Human Defense Corps.

The Superman writers have crafted a really fun and epic story in “Brainiac & The Legion of Super-Heroes” (which will run in ADVENTURE, SUPERMAN, SUPERGIRL and a tittle-to-be-named-later in March). Featuring Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Mon-El and the Legion of Super-Heroes, it not only brings to a head all the Legion subplots that DC has been laying down since the JLA/JSA “Lightning Saga” story, but also sets the stage for this summer’s blockbuster Superman event!

I found some sample pages pencilled by Pier Gallo on Andy Diggle's flickr page (Hawkeye and Batman), it looks good but I'm not sure if he's going to be doing any Legion stuff or just this one HDC story.

Here's the cover to ADV #8 (they've also got prelim cover sketches and a pencils-only version of this). I'm looking forward to the tittle to be named later - fanboy speculation, maybe a new Legion book, leaving Adventure to Superboy?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Even more Bits of Legionnaire Business

I think this finishes my getting caught up.

  • Mike the Bold offers some advice on where to start reading the Legion, the top 5 technical trappings of the Legion (in a post where he mistakes early November as the Klordny season, instead of mid-August), a spotlight on Tenzil Kem, the top 7 smooch-buddies in the Legion, and the top 5 Legion deaths.

  • The Fanboy Wife doesn't like the Legion or their skanky costumes. She's not up on Lightning Lad, has words about the Subs, and thinks Saturn Girl is a skank.

  • MightyGodKing thinks Quislet is 92% Awesome and offers 20 reasons why.

  • Kandou Erik discusses who the Legionnaires are in the 21st century in the current Superman arc. Hey, another one appears this week!

  • Writer J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Ninja Assassin) wants to write a "Brave & Bold" story featuring the Legion and the Doom Patrol.

  • Captain Toy reviews the DC Universe Classics Series 10 action figures, which include Imperiex as the "Build-a-Figure", meaning you have to buy the individual figures (Power Girl, Forager, Man-Bat, Robotman, and Beast Boy) to get the five parts of the large figure. Imperiex was the villain in the second season of the animated Legion show, but this version is from the regular DC Universe, from the "Our Worlds at War" story. I don't consider this to be a Legion villain figure, but your mileage may vary.

  • Legion Abstract, Get-a-Life Boy, Major Spoilers, and Comic Per Day review Adventure Comics #4.

  • Toon Zone notes in their review of the "Complete Superman: The Animated Series" DVD that "the booklet that lists the episodes sports images from The Legion of Superheroes" (animated series). Anyone got a copy to scan?

  • Collected Editions reviews the Legion of 3 Worlds hardcover, which apparently includes not only all of the regular and variant covers, but "unused" covers as well. The only one I know of is the one that's on the cover of this HC (zoomed in), which shows Superman with all three Legions. I think that was a promo that early on was supposed to be a cover. Anyone got this that can explain?

  • TradeKey has a great look back at some awesomely bad Legion costumes. I may revisit this one next time Fashion Week rolls around.

  • Comic Reviews by Walt echoes what many have been saying. With the recent success of the Green Lantern emotional spectrum rings, why not issue a Legion flight ring?

  • The Legion 4-pack of action figures from the Justice League line are on sale for 15-25% off (depending on how many items you order) from through Dec. 7th.

Friday, November 27, 2009

True Tales of the 31st Century

Stealing yet another idea (like yesterday's), here's one inspired by Chris Sims' (of the ISB) post on "True Tales of the Core Marvel Universe". That's a series of entries on just how bizarre and absurd the Marvel Universe can really be if you stop to think about it. I read that and thought that surely the Legion's time (all of their timelines) must have some wackiness that we normally take for granted with our suspension of disbelief, but "when you put it that way...."

  • In the Legion's time, a boy from the 20th century spent 1000 years in isolation in a buffer zone, unable to communicate with the outside world. After he got out of isolation, a magically cloned younger version of himself went back in time to replace his 20th century self after the 20th century version got prematurely killed by an evil magician from the 30th century.

  • In the Legion's time, a boy's mind was replaced by that of a sentient blob of protoplasm, yet his long-time girlfriend (who later became his wife) who was one of the greatest telepaths known, never knew.

  • In the Legion's time, members of the team have included a teenager who created a monster to kill his teammates, someone who couldn't tell a bottle of soda from an experimental serum, an emo bag of sentient anti-energy, someone who later married his stalker, someone who ate a magic machine, and an energy creature whose favorite phrase was "poop-a-doop".

  • In the Legion's time, they have their headquarters in the body of a dead alien.

  • What else do you have?

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    What's your favorite Legion story?

    I was listening to the Legion of Substitute Podcasters podcast #58 this week at work, and someone wrote to them with a question I thought I'd post here.

    The title of this post asks what your favorite Legion story is. But I'm not asking which story in which issue - tell me a quick story about what has been your greatest Legion-related find in a comic shop, convention, flea market, attic, or whatever, and why?

    Here's mine:

    At the 1995 San Diego con, a dealer had bought a large collection to sell and pulled out the top books to display. They didn't really get a chance to look at everything closely, the guy said. Jim Drew and I passed by the booth and I noticed a copy of Adventure Comics #247 in a display case, the first time I had ever seen a copy. It was way more than I wanted to spend for the convention ($150), but I rationalized it as a Congressional "off-the-budget" purchase. I was still wavering, and Jim told me that if I didn't buy it, he would. So I had to buy it. :) Of course, I didn't look at it closely enough until I got home, only to find out that (a) it had been restored (rice paper strengthening the cover, new staples, minor color touchups) and (b) the centerfold was missing. I wound up contacting him and getting a rebate the next year (which I wound up spending on Adventure 267 and Action 267 from him anyway).

    (If anyone here was reading Usenet or the LSH-L mailing list in 1995, this is the infamous "milkshake copy".)

    So for 11 years I had my copy of Adventure Comics 247, missing a centerfold. Someone sent me scans of what I was missing (a Little Pete gag page, a two-page ad, and the first page of the Green Arrow story), but I was always on the lookout for a spare centerfold from the issue. Of course, those never show up, so I eventually started looking for crappy beat-up copies with the centerfold intact, thinking I'd cannibalize the issue. And whaddaya know, a couple of years ago I finally found the right candidate. For the grand sum of $35, I bought a copy that was missing the cover and the first wraparound (which is the first two pages of the Legion story, and two ads) and had a detached centerfold. Score!

    That was also the year I got a complete set of the Legionnaire Slurpee cups too, but that's another story.

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    More Bits of Legionnaire Business

    More catching up...

    • From the 10/26 version of 10 Questions with Dan DiDio:
      5) Mbecks114 wrote:

      You've stated that Superboy will be more involved in the current Superman main story line soon. But when the Legion takes over Adventure Comics where will we be able to follow his adventures in Smallville?

      DiDio: There's one very logical place that Superboy will be appearing on a consistent basis. And then from there, as the Superman storyline heats up during the course of the year, you'll start to see him popping up in more and more of the Superman titles.

      Nrama: Well, I suspect you kind of answered the next part of his question, but Mbeck continues...
      Will he rejoin the Titans or at least be reunited with Tim, Bart, and Cassie?

      DiDio: See Answer 1.

      7) KentClark wrote:
      Any news yet about who will be doing Adventure Comics after Geoff Johns and before Levitz? And who is doing art for Levitz?

      DiDio: We haven't announced the artist, but as for who will be handling Adventure Comics between when Geoff leaves and Paul joins, it's actually going to be handled by a few people involved in the Superman writing team, because those stories will tie directly into the events in Superman and Action Comics.

      Nrama: Did you say "few" people? Or "two" people?

      DiDio: It'll be handled by the writers who are currently involved in the Superman, Action and Supergirl storylines.

      Nrama: So that means Greg Rucka, Sterling Gates and James Robinson, right?

      DiDio: Sort of. Mostly. You'll hear about it soon.

      But I can tell you something about what Paul's doing. Paul will actually be working on three annuals for DC Comics in the beginning of next year. The first one up will be a Superman/Batman Annual that Paul is writing, which we're very excited about because it features very interesting characters from beyond, so to speak.

      Paul is also going to be writing an Adventure Comics Annual which will be setting up much of his storyline in Adventure Comics. So really, his run kicks off with the Adventure Comics Annual first, then it goes into Adventure Comics itself. And as we realized by chatting, I believe this is the first Adventure Comics Annual ever, which I believe is also very exciting that Paul gets to do that.

      The third one, I don't want to announce just yet, because we're a little too far out.

      Nrama: Is this Superman/Batman Annual at all connected to the changes we're going to see to the Superman/Batman title?

      DiDio: It's just a stand-alone Superman/Batman Annual, although it's oversized. Did I mention the word beyond?

      Nrama: Oh jeez. I can't believe I didn't pick up on that the first time. So we're talking about Batman Beyond appearing in this annual?

      DiDio: Exactly. That's the story that Paul is writing.

      Nrama: Will it tie into the Batman Beyond mini-series that's coming in 2010?

      DiDio: No, it's just a stand-alone story dealing with Batman and Superman and Batman Beyond.

    • Chris at the Invincible Super-Blog was asked to sign a copy of Teenagers From the Future.

    • It's Nerdsville and Newsarama's Legion Blogpost review the "Legion of 3 Worlds" hardcover.

    • CBR's Comics Should Be Good is looking at a Year of Cool Moments. This particular one is from the conclusion of the Quiet Darkness storyline in v4.

    • The Trusty Plinko Stick found some convention/commission sketches of the Legion by the late Mike Wieringo (co-creator of Impulse).

    • Major Spoilers has a Hero History of Gazelle (and check out their many other Legionnaire histories too!).

    Finishing up soon....

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    Trivia Answers #41

    As always, you guys came up with some answers I never would have thought of, especially with my first question.

    1. Connect the Legion to the Star Wars movie "The Empire Strikes Back" in three steps. (No trickery, metaphors, or stretches of the imagination allowed.)

    I was trying to word this to get that the only answer was "Edmond Hamilton wrote the Legion, he was married to Leigh Brackett, who wrote the first draft of Empire." But several people completed a "six degrees of Kevin Bacon", including one with Kevin Bacon. Just goes to how no matter how carefully I word a question to get just one answer, you'll always find a way around it.

    2. Who was the first Legionnaire to have a single-word code name (no hyphens)?
    Kind of a trick question, I was wondering how many people would say "Wildfire". But in terms of publishing history, it's Superboy, in terms of chronological history including flashbacks, it's Supergirl. Had to put the no-hyphen rule so nobody could say "Mon-El" (who was actually inducted after both Superboy and Supergirl).

    3. Who from the 20th/21st centuries has ever joined the Legion, become an honorary member, or become a Reservist?
    L1 and L2 Superboys, L1 and L3 Supergirls, Mon-El and variations, Dev-Em, L2 Ferro, L1 Insect Queen, L1 Elastic Lad, L1 Pete Ross, Lori Morning, and the Super-Pets (not including Proty II). You forgot aboutImaginary Story Lois Lane & Bruce Wayne. I forget what the exact status of the Teen Titans is, as a couple of you mentioned them.

    4. Where was the first "real" Legion logo used? (That is, one that was reused, as opposed to a one-off.)
    The logo that appeared in "Adventure Comics" #300. See Todd Klein's blog which includes a 5-part Legion logo study (this appears in part 1 here).

    5. Which Legionnaires or close associates have the same (or nearly so) name as a Marvel character?
    According to Lorendiac's comprehensive list (v4), I see Alchemist, Andromeda, Blok, Bounty, Catspaw, Chameleon, Comet, Computo, Dyna-Sour/Dina Soar, Double-Header, Echo, Firefist, Hunter, Impulse, Inferno, Lamprey, Leviathan, Lightning Lord, Livewire, Neon, Nightwind, Omega, Omen, Persuader, Plasma, Psyche, Radion, Reflex, Shift, Slipstream, Spark, Spider-Girl, Sun Girl, Titania, Valor/Val-Or, and Wildfire.

    Tom said Jewel and Gear too; Roy suggested Dreamer, Phase, and Sensor, but I'm not familiar with their Marvel counterparts.

    6. According to Khundish law, a married woman becomes the wife of the man who kills her husband. Which Legionnaires were caught up in this situation, and why did the male not become the female's husband?
    Devlin O'Ryan accidentally killed Firefist, husband of Veilmist. But he was too young to be her husband, so she became property of the Khundish army, until Firefist got better. Thanks to Ken Austin for the original question (as seen at the bottom of the page here).

    7. Years before being flash-fried by Nemesis Kid, how did Karate Kid die the first time?
    He was killed by Alex Korlo using Rakurga poison. Ultra Boy revived them using the Legion's Deus Ex Machina, the Miracle Machine. Brainiac 5, Karate kid, Princess projectra and Superboy were also "killed" at this time, as seen in Adventure #378-379. Kudos to those who remembered "Rakurga"!

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    What about the Legion of Super-Pets?

    From Monday's 10 Questions with Dan DiDio:

    1) ICleverMan wrote:
    Yes, I am one of those freaks who adore the Legion of Super-Pets -- I own every appearance of each of them, including all Krypto stories.

    Since Krypto's return has been such a success, what are the possibilities we can see reinterpretations of Streaky, Comet and even some variation of Beppo (totally discounting the Peter David attempt at Comet)?

    DiDio: I never like to say never on anything, because there's always a writer who tends to surprise me. The funny part about Streaky is they showed Streaky in Wednesday Comics. Amanda Conner did a beautiful job with Streaky and Krypto in that book. And I think anybody would love the character except for the character's name, which always seems to get more giggles than anyone wanting to embrace the little kitty.

    On Beppo, probably not. I think what happened is that, we start to get a little too deep. One or two of those characters is interesting to see, but I think once you get a little deeper into a list of characters, it starts to weaken the brands or weaken the franchise too much because it doesn't seem like you're taking yourself too seriously.

    Because of Comet's origin and the way Comet was played, in the last incarnation of Supergirl, Peter David found an interesting way to make Comet work. But at this time, there's no particular plans to do that again.

    Newsarama: Krypto seems to be mostly featured in Adventure Comics. Now that the Legion of Super-Heroes is taking over that title when Paul Levitz becomes the regular writer next year, what will happen to Krypto?

    DiDio: There's a really good chance you'll be seeing more of Krypto in Superman. James Robinson is a huge supporter of the character. He's already used the dog a couple of times in the series. And I imagine he'll probably touch upon Krypto a little more, because James is a bit of a dog lover himself.

    Everyone forgets about Proty II in the Super-Pets.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Trivia Quiz #41

    Another quiz with no particular theme.

    1. Connect the Legion to the Star Wars movie "The Empire Strikes Back" in three steps. (No trickery, metaphors, or stretches of the imagination allowed.)

    2. Who was the first Legionnaire to have a single-word code name (no hyphens)?

    3. Who from the 20th/21st centuries has ever joined the Legion, become an honorary member, or become a Reservist?

    4. Where was the first "real" Legion logo used? (That is, one that was reused, as opposed to a one-off.)

    5. Which Legionnaires or close associates have the same (or nearly so) name as a Marvel character?

    6. According to Khundish law, a married woman becomes the wife of the man who kills her husband. Which Legionnaires were caught up in this situation, and why did the male not become the female's husband?

    7. Years before being flash-fried by Nemesis Kid, how did Karate Kid die the first time?

    Monday, November 09, 2009

    Bits of Legionnaire Business

    Here are a bunch of links that popped up in the last few weeks that I didn't get to post, in roughly chronological order. Part 1 of 2 (or maybe 3):

    • Gene Gonzales has been posting Legionnaire sketches, including Shrinking Violet (pencils here and inked here), Princess Projectra, Timber Wolf, Wildfire, Duo Damsel, Brainiac 5, and Phantom Girl. More coming in the next post.

    • Todd Klein revised and updated his Legion logo project. It now runs an intro plus five parts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Note: for some reason, the images only seem to load in Internet Explorer, not Firefox. If you read this before, you need to read it again, there's a ton of new stuff including many unused logos.

    • In part 6 of the Wonder Girl/Supergirl teamup on Random Happenstance, the girls wonder why Supergirl can't remember the Legion.

    • Newsarama's Legion Blogpost discusses Officer Wilcox of the Science Police in the 21st century, who is really... wait, what?

    • From the 10/5 Ten Questions with Dan Didio:
      9)needcomicmoney wrote:
      Will Geoff Johns be finishing his Legion story featuring Starman and the others who are secretly in the 21st Century?

      DiDio: Some of the story threads will move over to be handled by James Robinson, because a number of the Legion members in the 21st Century are integral to some of the events in Superman.

      Nrama: Will Paul continue the Legion that Geoff set up? We're not going to see another Legion reboot, are we?

      DiDio: Not another reboot. We're picking up on the story threads with the Legion right now. Some of the Legion stories that involve the characters in the 21st Century will be picked up on by James Robinson, and some of the storylines, as they move up to the 31st Century, will be written by Paul. But all the stories are building off current continuity.

    • Legion Abstract tries to put the clues together to figure out just who is a Legionnaire in the current retro-boot.

    • George Perez, at the Baltimore Comic Con:
      ...He's also spoken with upcoming "Adventure Comics" writer Paul Levitz, whom Perez has known since their teenage years, about some future projects, and has even spoken with DC Comics honcho Dan DiDio about a project.

      ...The panel kept a casual air as Perez began to field questions from the audience. Among the first ones he was asked if there were any dream projects he would like to work on. "After 'Legion of 3 Worlds,' I pretty much completed the cycle of my fanboy dreams," Perez said.

    • Legion Abstract quickly reviews Adventure Comics #3, with the comments section longer than the review.

    • Jim Lee shows off a piece that he and the Wildstorm crew did for Paul Levitz on the occasion of his arrival/departure. Click the link for a bigger picture and to see the framed version. (Via CBR's Robot 6)

    • CBR has a Q&A with Geoff Johns:
      CBR: First off, I guess the big news since the last time we chatted is that, after only six issues, you and Francis Manapul are leaving "Adventure Comics" and outgoing DC Comics Publisher Paul Levitz is taking over the book. Michael, Eric, Matthew E, Christian and Dennis want to know what this means for Superboy?

      GJ: I just finished #6, so I've finished the story Francis and I were working on. Superboy is one of my favorite characters. I'm not really the one to tell you what is next for Superboy, but I know he features prominently in the Superman universe from here on out, and the Teen Titans, as well, for starters.

      As far as the Legion goes, I'm beyond excited for Paul Levitz to return to "Adventure Comics" and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

      CBR: HawaiiPJ1959 had a question regarding Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl's children, Graym Ranzz, and their son, whom Darkseid transformed into Validus and sent back in time. He wants to know if the children of Garth and Imra Ranzz are still in existence.

      GJ: That will be something to ask Paul.

      CBR: Slewo was wondering if we'd see any explanation into why Barry would allow XS, his granddaughter, to live away from him at such a dangerous time, instead of having her live a semi-normal life with him and Iris.

      GJ: There are very big plans for XS in the future of the Flash universe. "The Flash" book and the "Kid Flash" book start next year, and the Flash universe is something I'm very committed to, both in comics and film.

    • I haven't even finished last season of "Smallville", but a Legion flight ring is a continuing plot point in the 2009-2010 season.

    • Artist George Tuska passed away on October 16th. 20th Century Danny Boy has a good writeup. Tuska did several issues over the years:
      • Superboy 172's "Brotherly Hate", 173's "Trust Me or Kill Me", 176's "Invisible Invader", 183's "War of the Wraith Mates" (1971-72)
      • "Trial of the Legion Five" (S/LSH 235, 1978)
      • the Amalgamax/Composite Superman story (World's Finest 283-284, 1982)
      • Star Boy, on the cover to LSH v2 #300 (1983)
      • The Gim/Yera story "Guess What's Coming to Dinner" (LSH v2 308, 1984)
      • The White Witch origin story (Tales of the LSH 314-317, 1984)

    Tuesday, November 03, 2009

    Trivia Answers #40

    The long-awaited answers to October's trivia quiz, whose theme was "random questions that don't have a theme".

    1. When did the Legionnaires stand in line with the Doom Patrol, Plastic Man, and Sargon the Sorcerer?

    On the cover to "Batman" #238, which for some reason had a Legion reprint.

    (click to enlarge)

    2. Who were the two Martians shown at Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel's wedding?
    J'onn J'onzz and Tars Tarkis. The Martian Manhunter's appearance here led to his appearances in the v4-era stories, while nobody was really quite sure what to do with Tars Tarkis (from the John Carter, Warlord of Mars series by Robert E. Howard Edgar Rice Burroughs).

    3. What does C.O.M.P.U.T.O. stand for?
    Cyber-cerebral Overlapping Multiprocessor Universal Transceiver-Operator.

    4. Who made the flight rings in the Adult Legion's time frame?
    Superman, on one of his trips to the future at Christmas time ("Action Comics" 289), found the material used to create mentally-controlled flying belts (not flight rings, as I mis-remembered). The Sannings have an analysis of this issue and think that Superman must have forgotten that they already had flight rings by this point but they're just humoring him.

    5. Which Legionnaires' first appearances were posthumous?
    Chemical King, Shadow Lass, Kid Quantum, Power Boy, and Reflecto. All but Kid Quantum were originally shown as statues in the Hall of (Dead) Heroes.

    6. Which Legionnaires have been related by blood?
    Pre-Crisis Superboy and Pre-Crisis Supergirl were cousins; Lightning Lad and Lightning/Light Lass (and their Legionnaires, L2, and L3 counterparts) are siblings; L1 White Witch and L1 Dream Girl are sisters; Kid Quantum I and II are siblings; Cosmic Boy and Magnetic Kid were brothers; Mon-El/Valor and Andromeda/Laurel Gand were cousins 1000 years removed; Invisible Kid II and Computo are siblings; the current Superman and L3 Supergirl are cousins, with L2 Superboy (Kon-El) some sort of relative as he's derived from Superman's cloned DNA; from the animated series, Kell-El was a future genetic derivative of Superman; and the Nolan brothers, who were Ferro Lads in the L1 and an alternate timeline. Plus, of course, the SW6 Legionnaires and their counterparts.

    There are a lot of near-Legion relationships, like Shadow Lass and Shadow Kid, and the Tornado Twins and XS, but I didn't include them.

    7. What did Mordru serve for dinner when Rokk visited (early v4)? Why?
    Elvabird Breast. It was probably the one food Rokk most hated. As anonymous said in the comments, "it was something Rokk grew sick of eating while raiding Imskian food supplies, which Mordru picked from his memories from the Braal-Imsk hostilities..." (I didn't remember that much detail.)

    Flashback: Bits of Legionnaire Business (part 6)

    Here's the last part of the "Bits of Legionnaire Business" stuff from the original Adventure Comics run. Thanks to Jo and Terri-Anne Sanning for hosting all the Silver Age letters columns at the Silver Age Legion Clubhouse.

    Adventure Comics 350, Nov. 1966
    Well, the suggestions for new Legionnaires continue to pour in from you fans. So here we are, back with a new batch of these "Bits of Legionnaire Business." This page represents only a fraction of the thousands of ideas that have deluged us. Of these, we've selected the ones we liked best - some intriguing "straight" heroes, others wild and kookie. We'll just pass along the top choices to our writers for possible use in future stories. One word of caution - try to get really original ideas. Many otherwise good heroes were rejected because they were similar to some we'd used before. Send your brainstorms to: BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS, National Periodical Publications, 575 Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022, preferably on a postal card. And now for this issue's collection:
    Niles Brown, Jefferson, Tex. - "Sound Boy uses sound waves to create a prison around enemies." . . . Andy Barnett, Phoenix, Ariz. - "Astro Lad has disintegration vision. He can disintegrate anything and then restore it to its original form." . . . Richard Kahn, Fair Lawn, N.J. - "Ripper Robert can rip himself in half to avoid bullets, then reunite." . . . Rand Lee, Roxbury, Conn. - "Vicious circle can materialize hoops of sizzling energy that weaken a person by sapping his strength."
    Robert L. Chambers, Caro, Mich. - "Monster Boy can assume any wierd form he chooses." . . . David Low, Florissant, Mo. - "The Traveler has the power to transport himself and others anywhere he wills, including other time-eras and dimensions." . . . Rudolph Valentino, Cedar Brook, N.J, - "Inertia Kid can increase the resistance that a body has to moving, and thus render it motionless.". . . Kim Boyce, Chicago, Ill. - "Pajama Pat can put anyone to sleep for any length of time."
    Billy Brennan, Collingdale, Pa. - "Fingertip Fred can make his fingers as long as he wants. Also, they can drill through stone or metal." . . . Mark DeWolfe, San Antonio, Tex. - "Cat Kid has the strength of a tiger, the courage of a lion, the speed of a cheetah, the ability to see in the dark - and when he falls, he always lands on his feet." . . . Paul Miller, Oakdale, Conn. - "Dynamite Dan can make anything explode." . . . Dan Solla, Freeport, Pa. - "Liquid Lad has the power to turn any solid, unliving thing into any form of liquid."
    Michael Willert, Woodlyn, Pa. - "Ape Boy can turn into any kind of primate, from the smallest monkey to a King Kong-sized gorilla." . . . E. Clements, San Diego, Calif. - "Remarkable Russ has the power of turning anything invisible to everyone's eyes but his." . . . William Francis Powell, Laurel, Miss. - "Steam Kid can change himself or anyone else into steam." . . . Glen Quasny, West Covina, Calif. - "The Human Sponge can soak up whole oceans into his body, or emit water from the pores of his skin."
    R. McNeill, Kingston, Jamaica - "Attracto-Lad has the power to attract or repel any form of energy or matter. He has one weakness, though - he can't attract girls." . . . Paul Vranish, Crosby, Minn. - "Water Lad can change into any form of water: rain, snow, fog, sleet, steam or smog." . . . Byron Holt - "Cyclotron Kid can split into atoms, changing matter to energy." . . . Patricia Stevens, Paris, France - "Tree Girl can change into a human tree." (Thanks to Pat for the chic costume sketches she included - but what else would you expect from Paris, the World Fashion Capital? -Ed.)
    Keith Okita, Aiea, Hawaii - "Mechanical Maid can turn into any mechanical apparatus by altering the atomic structure of her body." . . . Leon Smith, Greensboro, N.C. - "Diamond Duke is invulnerable, able to cut steel with his fingernails, has diamond strength, and can change carbon into diamond." . . . Bruce Carter, Montgomery, Ala. - "Time Lad can stop time for everyone but himself - once every 48 hours." . . . Mike Hill, Orillia, Ont., Canada - "Kayo Kid can render anyone or any creature unconscious for any desired length of time with no harmful after-effects."
    Alan Mandelbaum and Russell Weis, Oceanside, N.Y. - "Thin Girl can make herself as thin as a piece of thread." . . . Rick Rampone, Elkhart, Ind. - "Lie-Detector Lad has the power of making anybody within 25 feet of him tell the truth." . . . Stephen Phillips, New York, N.Y. - "Dee-zeez can give foes any illness, but is herself immune to all diseases." . . . Brian T. Strom, Northfield, Minn. - "Whirl Wizard's power is to shoot out whirling rays from his eyes. They cause enemies to whirl uncontrollably till they get dizzy."
    Hugh Simons, Chicago, Ill. - "Miss Break-Mass can break inanimate objects into atoms. She can also beak her body into parts, each one of which has an individual power." . . . Paul Remley, Ann Arbor, Mich. - "Gas Lad can breath in any gas and breath it out in another form. For instance, he could inhale helium and exhale oxygen." . . . "Jay Sabatucci, Arlington, Tex. - "Reflexo Lad; when he's hit, his arms automatically shoot out and sock his opponent by reflex action." . . . John Kimsey, Indianapolis, Ind. - "Suspense Spence can suspend anything in space or time."

    [2009 note: powers of Infectious Lass]

    Adventure Comics 354, March 1967
    Dear Editor:
    Lately, much attention has been given to Jeff Greenberg for his creation of Color Kid, now a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. It is my sad duty to inform you that he did not create Color Kid. In issue No. 311, Leslie Leibow, of Fairlawn, N.J., sent in Color Kid as a Bit of Legionnaire Business. When will you give credit where credit is due?
    -Elizabeth Kane, East Meadow, N.Y.
    (We already have, Liz - by crediting the first fan to send the idea in. Jeff's Bit of Business appeared in No. 309. And speaking of Jeff, read the next letter. -Ed.)
    Dear Editor:
    Thank you! Thank you! I am so proud! You have made Color Kid one of your most vivid and exciting new characters. Even though he is only a Substitute Legionnaire, he was the hero of "The Forgotten Legion" (which was one of your best stories in months). And why am I so proud? Because he's my character - I created him in your Bits of Legionnaire Business column. Well, I've made my contribution!
    -Jeff Greenberg, Los Angeles, Calif.
    (You sure have, Jeff! We fell your boy adds a great deal of color to the Substitute Legion - so there's no telling when he'll pop up next. -Ed.)
    Adventure Comics 358, July 1967
    Dear Editor: In No. 346, you told who submitted Weight Wizard and Blockade Boy, who appeared in "The Super-Stalag of Space". But you overlooked the originators of two other heroes. A check with "Bits of Legionnaire Business" in No. 340 shows that Plant Lad was dreamed up by Mike Young of Yakima, Wash., and Shadow Kid sprang from the mind of Dennis Coughlin, Palo Alto, Calif. How about giving them credit?
    -Charles Foley, Corinth, Miss.
    (We're glad to correct our oversight, Charlie. And if we ever use Shadow Kid - the only one of the four who survived the Stalag - we'll give Dennis a bonus credit. -Ed.)

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    Getting caught up

    Between being away and being sick, I've slacked off here. I'll try to get caught up. In the meantime, here's a new newsy bit from Dan Didio's Q&A on Newsarama.

    1) Emerson_Nickerson wrote:

    How big of foreshadowing are Cosmic Boys thoughts in Superman: Secret Origin #2 in relationship to the 2010 Superman event?

    DiDio: It does have some slight foreshadowing for the upcoming Superman storyline. And I would be misleading if I said that the Legion did not play into that story in some way, shape or form.

    I've got a whole bunch of Bits of Legionnaire Business to cover (plus the last part of the original Adventure letter columns), some trivia answers to give, and some new questions to put forth.

    But here's a question, I need a new tag for all of the Legion's new stories in Adventure Comics and in the Superman stories in the post-Lightning Saga, post-Legion of 3 Worlds, Johns-reboot timeline. Got any suggestions? Retro-boot, De-boot, Un-boot?

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Baltimore Con 09

    Still out of the country so I can't be the intrepid reporter you expect, but my Legion of Substitute Reporters is out in force. Here's a report from Ted from this weekend's Baltimore Con:

    Two bits of Legion news occurred at the Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend.

    First, when asked about his "wish list" for future projects, Perez discussed the creators with who he wanted to work rather than characters. Basically, L3W fulfilled his last wish from his fandom days. For him, working with creators is what is interesting when considering new projects. He volunteered that, having known Paul Levitz, since their days in fandom and would enjoy drawing a legion project for him.

    Second, I asked Mr. Perez what his feelings were about L3W. His response reflected a lot of fan criticism of the mini. He was originally disappointed that so much of the story hinged on non-Legion characters. He wanted the Legion to be more directly involved in solving the conflict. He came to understand that Kid Flash, Superboy and Green Lantern characters were needed to help the Legion reach a larger audience. This reach was important to ensure that the Legion would survive in the current environment. He was very complementary of Geoff Johns and his answers were always positive and upbeat.

    In an anecdote, Mr. Perez said that Johns sent him a full script for one of the early issues. In it, Johns listed all the characters to appear in one of those giant group scenes. Perez was not used to working from a full script and was a little taken aback. In COIE, Marv Wolfman's script basically said "draw characters here" without spelling out exactly who to draw. He then realized that Johns had essentially reversed engineered Perez' crisis work, spelling out in words the type of scene for which Perez is famous. Perez found it amusing.

    Thanks, Ted!

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Flashback: Bits of Legionnaire Business (part 5)

    Part 5 of 6 (the end is in sight!) of the various Bits printed in the Adventure Comics letter columns.

    Adventure Comics 342, March 1966
    In this issue we introduce another hero suggested by a reader in "Bits of Legionnaire Business." Color Kid was submitted by Jeff Greenberg, Los Angeles, Calif. Now for some new super-doers thought up by fans:
    David Krels, Milwaukee, Wis. - "Porcupine Pete. He can shoot quills from his body which are tipped with a stunning liquid. He's a great hero, but for some reason, nobody ever pats him on the back." . . . Greg Sanchez, South Gate, Calif. - "Glass Girl has the power to turn anything, including living beings, into glass for one hour." . . . Betty Borbely, Spencer, W. Va. - "Colorless Kate has control over anything that is black and white. She's a whiz with zebras and skunks." . . . Sal Iacopelli, Boonton, N. J. - "Negative Nell can explode objects or make them immaterial by projecting bolts of negative energy."
    Greg Kent, Goleta, Calif. - "Rocket Roy. He can turn into any size rocket and carry other Legionnaires through space." . . . Phillip Cano III, Yuma, Ariz. - Disappearing Dan. He can make anything disappear temporarily."
    [2009 note: a Sub]
    Adventure Comics 343, April 1966
    Arleen A. Abramowitz, Brooklyn, N.Y. - "Itch Witch, who can make her enemies itch terribly till they surrender to her." . . . Dan Solla, Freeport, Pa. - "Eve of Destruction. She can predict any disaster or hardship, but she can't predict anything good." . . . Michael Capobianco, Woodbridge, Va. - "Repeller Ray. He radiates a gravitational aura that enables him to control anything within one foot of his body. Thus, he could stop bullets or flying shrapnel before they hit him."
    Philip Cobb, Charleston, Ill. - "Duplication Deb. She can materialize an exact duplicate of anything; however, the duplicate only lasts for one hour." . . . Mike Pigg, Pasadena, Tex. - "Petri-Pal can petrify anything." . . . Michael E. Colby, Hewlett Bay Park, L.I., N.Y. - "Venus Vamp. She can make others handsome or ugly and can make people love anything." . . . Veronica Brown, Philadelphia, Pa. - "Amnesia Al, who can make anyone lose his memory."
    David Blank, Brooklyn, N.Y. - "Octi-Lad has six arms, which, with his legs, make eight limbs." . . . Melissa Cook, Bronx, N.Y. - Feature Femme can change other people's features." . . . Carol Ann Wendover, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - "Wolf Girl can change into a wolf and see in the dark."
    Adventure Comics 344, May 1966
    Shirley Smith, Hazel Park, Mich. -"Tina Truth has the power to make any person blurt out the complete truth about who he is, where he is from, and what he's doing." . . . Daniel McShea - "Annihilation Lad: with a mere glance of his eyes he can destroy anything." . . . Keith Dale Kries, Honolulu, Hawaii - "Snake Kid can change any object into a living snake." . . . Dan Solla, Freeport, Pa. - "Calorie Kid: he can make anybody so fat and heavy he or she can't move."
    Richard Smoley, Waterbury, Conn. - "Tropic Kid: he has the power to create monsoons, terrific heat, etc." . . . Kevin Martin, Houston, Tex. - "Speed Lad can speed up or slow down any moving object." . . . Phillip Cano III - "Metal Mike: he can change himself into any metal." . . . G. Abbott, Massachusetts - "Incredible Boy: by pointing to an object or person, he can make it go in the opposite direction."
    Adventure Comics 346, July 1966
    Dear Editor: In 1963, I sent you a "Bit of Legionnaire Business," suggesting "Color Kid," who can change himself or any object to any color of the spectrum. It was not only used in your column, but was used again later in a page of the BEST bits of business. I was happy that you'd printed it the first time, but now I was really overjoyed! Then, in your March issue, Color Kid showed up again, this time in the story, as an applicant for Legion membership. Even though he wasn't accepted, I was ecstatic! Never had I imagined that my creation would appear in print. It was a very big honor. Thank you! By the way, Color Kid was recommended to the Legion of Substitute Heroes. Did they accept him? -Jeff Greenberg, Los Angeles, Calif.
    (Yes - Color Kid is now one of the Substitute Heroes. And while we're thinking of it, we'd like to correct an inadvertent oversight. Two of the heroes in our recent "Stalag of Space" story were also submitted by readers: Weight Wizard by Maggie Fraser of Pleasantville, N.Y., and Blockade Boy by Tom Kegley, St. Paul, Minn. -Ed.)

    Tuesday, October 06, 2009

    Flashback: Bits of Legionnaire Business (part 4)

     Adventure Comics 319, Apr. 1964
    Bits of Legionnaire Business
    From Bobby Flash, Jersey City, N. J. "WEAPON LAD - he has the power to create any weapon in the Solar System after seeing it once." . . . Roberta Davidson, New Shrewsbury, N. J. "SONG GIRL - she can charm any person into obeying her orders by singing to them."
    Michael Pochan, Pittsburgh, Pa. "ANTIDOTE ANDY - he can concoct an antidote to neutralize any disease, poison or magic spell." . . . Chuck Davis, Ferndale, Mich.: "MEDUSA MAID - she has the power to turn any living matter to stone and back again." . . . Andy Purcell, Leoma, Tenn.: "MAGIC MISTRESS - she is a descendant of the wizard Merlin and has the power of super-sorcery, inherited from him."
    [2009 note: powers of White Witch]

    Adventure Comics 323, Aug. 1964
    Dear Editor: Why don't you have a story featuring the characters suggested by readers in "Bits of Legionnaire Business"? -Mark Santori, Chicago, Ill.
    (Coming up in the next issue! In this great story, the Legion battles the Legion of Super-Outlaws, all of whom are based on suggestions by our readers. We'll give credit to those who suggested these super-characters in our next Legion Outpost column. -Ed.)

    Adventure Comics 323, Aug. 1964
    When you have read "The Legion of Super-Outlaws" in this issue, you many wonder how these five super-youths came to be created. The truth is that we got them from you - our readers! All five were suggested in "Bits of Legionnaire Business" in the letter columns of ADVENTURE COMICS No. 309, 310, 311 and 314. Here are the names of the readers who thought up the members of the Legion of Super-Outlaws:

    BEAST BOY - suggested by Thomas Raimondo, Brooklyn, N.Y.
    GAS GIRL - suggested by Charlie Hendrix, Greenville, S.C.
    EVOLVO LAD - suggested by Mark Wade, Livermore, Calif.
    LIFE LASS - suggested by Eric Heidman, Hancock, Mich.
    DUPLICATE BOY - suggested by Steven Cohen, Newburgh, N.Y.
    From time to time, in our Legion stories, we plan to feature other super-characters submitted by our readers as "Bits of Legionnaire Business".

    Adventure Comics 337, Oct. 1965
    The three new super-characters who appear in this issue's feature story were thought up by three of our readers, who submitted the ideas to the "Bits of Legionnaire Business" department we used to run in this magazine. The creators of these characters were: James Vincent, Fairfax, Va. -BLACKOUT BOY; Tony Edwards, Yuma, Ariz. -STAR LAD [sic; should be Size Lad]; Bill Martin, Milwaukee, Wis. -MAGNETIC BOY.
    In the past, we have occasionally used other heroes suggested by our readers. For instance, the very first "bit of business" submitted was POLAR BOY, who became leader of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. We intend to use still others in the future.
    [repeating a number of suggestions from past issues, deleted for duplication]
    Our thanks to those who contributed these and other suggestions. If you have any original "Bits of Legionnaire Business," send them on a postal card and we'll publish the best ones in The Legion Outpost. Also, we'll have author Edmond Hamilton put many of them into his Legion stories. Send all cards to : THE LEGION OUTPOST, National Periodical Publications, 575 Lexington Ave., N. Y., N.Y. 10022.

    Adventure Comics 340, Jan. 1966
    Our recent request for more ideas for Legionnaires had brought an overwhelming response. So great has it been, in fact, that we're devoting this space to your suggestions. Many, unfortunately, were not usable - some because they were similar to others already submitted; others because they were variations to the real Legionnaires, or possessed powers close to those of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, or other DC characters. But here are the best suggestions submitted to date:
    Eric Hodges, San Francisco, Calif. - "Projecto Lad, who can project or retrieve anything from any dimension." . . . Rand Lee, Roxbury, Conn. - "Rainbow Girl - she has the power to split into four separate forms, each a different color and with a different power (Red - super-heat; blue-super-cold; yellow - super brightness; green - Kryptonite rays.)" . . . Lee Zimmerman, Lawrence, Kan. - "Sleep Lad, who has the power to make anything go to sleep." . . . Julie and Jack McLaughlin, Scarborough, Ont., Canada - Energy Lad. He can become pure energy and go anywhere in that form."
    Unsigned - "Molecule Moe - has the power of controlling every molecule in his body. He can speed them up and separate them until he's a liquid or even a gas. Or he can do the opposite, slowing down his molecules and moving them so close together that nothing can pass through him." . . . Peter Cooper, Detroit, Mich. - "Vampire Boy, who has the powers of the legendary vampire. He can become invisible, and turn into a bat, a wolf, a mist, or even specks of dust in the moonlight."
    Johnny Fulce, Dallas, Tex. - "Crystal Youth can turn to pure crystal." . . . Mike Young, Yakima, Wash. - "Plant Lad. His power is to change himself into any plant - for instance, long vines, a strong tree, or a cactus." . . . Brian Olmstead, Rochelle, Ill. - "Joking King. He can make people laugh so hard they're helpless." . . . Steven Petryszyn, Rochester, N.Y. - "Power Boy. He can drain the power - even a super-power - from any object or person and restore it or place it in another person."
    Paul Burns, Wilmington, Del. - "Distortion Boy - can project waves that distort vision and make him appear to be 30 feet away." . . . Brian Atherton, Stratford, Ont., Canada - "Alter Kid. He has the power to alter the shape, size, or controls of any machine." . . . Richard W. Gowen, Lynn, Mass. - "Imitation Kid . . . he has the power to vocally imitate any sound in the world." . . . Tom McCall, Jonesboro, Ark. - "Emotion Lass. She can change anger to calmness, sorrow to happiness, etc."
    Melissa Wiebers, Lanark, Ill. - "Length Lad can lengthen or shorten anything in less than a second - even parts of people's bodies." . . . Paul Stevenson, Kansas City, Kan. - "Quantity Kid. He can make one object into more than one, or make several into one. For example, he can turn Superboy into 3 or 4 Superboys; or he can make Sun Boy, Element Lad and Chameleon Boy into one person with all three powers." . . . Ken Grabarek, Chicago, Ill. - "Age Boy. He has the power to make himself or anyone else young, old, or middle-aged."
    Patrick Peduto, Jersey City, N.J. - "Mist Lad - he can change himself into mist and make weapons out of mist." . . . Dennis Coughlin, Palo Alto, Calif. - "Shadow Kid: has ability to turn himself into a shadow, in which form he has cold ray vision." . . . Gilbert Aubin - "Crazy Kid: he can upset a person's sense of balance, causing them to appear 'crazy.'" . . . Richard Bratt, La Puente, Calif. - "Hitch-Hike Hector, a youth who possesses the power to leave his physical body and enter another person's without their knowing it."
    [2009 note: a Reject later brought back by Geoff Johns, a couple of Legionnaires (Wildfire and Crystal Kid); two prisoners in the Super-Stalag, and a member of the League of Super-Assassins and LSV. Shadow Kid later turned out to be Shadow Lass' cousin Grev.]

    Adventure Comics 341, Feb. 1966
    Bubba Caton, Tampa, Fla. - "Water Boy, from the water world of Zeron. His people evolved the power of controlling water and shooting from their fingertips jets of water so intense they can knock out a person." . . . Billy Hayden, Oak Harbor, Wash. - "Suction Lad. He has the power to turn anything to smoke and inhale it, then eject it as smoke and cause it to materialize in any form he chooses." . . . Phil Morrison, Van Nuys, Calif. - "Atmosphere Girl. She can change the atmosphere of any world."
    Tommy Miers, Lone Star, Tex. - "Chemical Kid - Can produce any chemical or mixture of chemicals via rays from his eyes." . . . Brain Olmstead, Rochelle, Ill. - "Give-Up Girl can give off vibrations that make crooks surrender." . . . Dennis Coughlin, Jr., Palo Alto, Calif. - "Beam Boy; he can change into a beam of light to travel anywhere."
    Ronald Gillis, Dorchester, Mass. - "Detector Dick has the power of detecting the plans of any evil-doer on Earth." . . . Melissa Wiebers, Lanark, Ill. - "Backwards Boy can reverse the motion of anything and make it run backwards." . . . Patrick Chupp, Muskegon, Mich. - "Crystal Kid. He can change himself or anything else into unbreakable crystal."
    [2009 note: Lazon and Crystal Kid. I'm not going to comment about Ronald Gillis' character's name if reversed.]

    Monday, October 05, 2009

    Trivia Quiz #40

    The theme this week is "random questions that don't have a theme". And of course this didn't post last week, it was scheduled for today, the first Monday of the month.

    1. When did the Legionnaires stand in line with the Doom Patrol, Plastic Man, and Sargon the Sorcerer?

    2. Who were the two Martians shown at Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel's wedding?

    3. What does C.O.M.P.U.T.O. stand for?

    4. Who made the flight rings in the Adult Legion's time frame?

    5. Which Legionnaires' first appearances were posthumous?

    6. Which Legionnaires have been related by blood?

    7. What did Mordru serve for dinner when Rokk visited (early v4)? Why?

    Sunday, October 04, 2009

    Flashback: Bits of Legionnaire Business (part 3)

    Remember, these are the BEST of what was sent.

    Adventure Comics 310, July 1963
    Dear Editor: I've been reading with a great deal of relish the letters in your SMALLVILLE MAILSACK, particularly the paragraphs at the end you call "Bits of Legionnaire Business". Inasmuch as I have had the privilege of writing several of the Legion of Super-Heroes stories for your magazine, I have been amused, startled and overwhelmed by the ingenious suggestions of your readers for new characters and the imaginative powers attributed to them. Would it be possible for me, in the near future, to write a Legion story in which I would try to give some of these proposed heroes a "guest try-out?" I'm sure it would be a lot of fun.
    Edmond Hamilton
    (Great idea, Ed. Go ahead - and we'll give credit to the fans whose ideas you use. As most of our readers are probably aware, Author Edmond Hamilton is a highly successful science fiction novelist and we are honored to consider him our most versatile staff writer. Ed has written some of our greatest 3-part novels, including that recent smash hit, " The Last Days of Superman." His wife, who writes under the name of Leigh Bracket, is one of Hollywood's most talented screen writers. Her recent picture, "Hatari," was one of the ten top box-office hits. She is currently busy writing a new picture for her producer, Howard Hawkes, which will feature Rock Hudson. -Ed.)
    * * * *
    "Bits of Legionnaire Business"
    From Arthur Davis, Jr., Roanoke, Va.: "ESP KID - has extra-sensory perception powers." . . . Gregory Gallagher, Brooklyn, N.Y.: "WEAPONS LAD - can design ingenious new weapons without a workshop." . . . Steve Cohen, Newburgh, N.Y.: "DUPLICATE BOY - he has the ability to duplicate the power of any Legionnaire." . . . Gordon Thomas, Pilot Mountain, N.C.: "GEOGRAPHY GIRL - she has the unique talent of being able to exist in several different areas at one time!" . . . Phil F. Leibfred, Bronxville, N.Y.: "BACTERIA BOY - he can transmit a disease which gives enemies temporary sleeping sickness." . . . Jim Tilley, Rockaway, N.Y.: "SPIDER LASS - she has the power of converting her hair into a super web, and casting it around opponents." . . . Michael E. Colby, Long Island, N.Y.: "ILLUSTRATOR YOUTH - he can draw anything he has ever seen in seconds."
    Charles Christesson, Rio Grande City, Tex.: "LUNAR LASS - she has the power to turn people into lunatics for short periods." . . . Jon Ingresoll, Cleveland, Ohio: "MIDAS MAID - she can transmute anything she touches into gold." . . . Roger Ho, N.Y., N.Y.: "VOCAL WHIZ - he can perfectly imitate anybody's voice." . . . Randy Steele, Tunkhan Rock, Pa.: "CYCLONE KING - he can create twisters, monsoons typhoons, etc."
    [2009 note: a Sub, a member of the LSV, and powers of Infectious Lass and Element Lad.]

    Adventure Comics 311, August 1963
    From Mike Thompson, Dearborn, Mich.: "COPY BOY - he doesn't work on a newspaper, but he can copy anything he sees." . . . Billy Muffett, San Jose, Calif.: "WEIGHT LAD" - he has the power to make anything lighter or heavier." . . . Peter Sipchen, Richardson, Tex.: "SLOW-MOTION KID - he has the ability to slow down any moving object or person." . . . Michael E. Colby, L.I., N.Y.: "SPORT YOUTH - he is a champion in every type of athletics." . . . J. Adam King, Yellow Springs, Ohio.: "DEGREE DAMSEL - she has the power to alter the temperature of anything." . . . Leslie Leibow, Fair Lawn, N. J.: "COLOR KID - he can change the color of any object."
    Daniel Camerford, Buffalo, N. Y.: "BIZARRO BOY - he can turn into a Bizarro and fight against the Bizarros for the Legionnaires." . . . Mark Wade, Livermore, Calif.: "EVOLVO LAD - he has the power of going back, or forward, the Evolution track. For instance, he can change from a boy to a cave-boy, an ape, lemur, amphibian, fish, invertebrate, amoeba, and then to protoplasm. Or, from boy to a big-brained future boy." . . . Edith Frome, Newark, N. J.: "EL LASS - she can give super-powers to anyone whose initials are L.L." . . . Ben Wright, Waltham, Mass.: "ENDURANCE GIRL - she can survive without air, water, or food for several years."
    Karen D. Argis, Detriot, Mich.: "RADIO ROVER - he can connect with any radio in the Universe, without wires." . . . Mark Hawley, Burbank, Calif.: "COMPUTER KID - he can predict any future event." . . . Jeff Baker, Ft. Worth, Tex.: "MEDIC MASTER - he can cure any disease or illness ever shown on the Ben Casey or Dr. Kildare shows." . . . Jeanie Cox, Joplin, Mo.: "MIRROR MISTRESS - she can reflect, in her mind's eye, anything another person is thinking."
    [2009 note: a Sub, a Wanderer, and the powers of Dream Girl. Note that Mark Wade, creator of Color Kid, is not the same as Mark Waid, the writer. These days, Wade is, among other things, a space historian who runs the excellent Encyclopedia Astronautica. Color Kid was first suggested in issue 309 with the same name and powers.]

    Adventure Comics 312, September 1963
    Bits of Legionnaire Business
    From Dennis Persica, New Orleans, La.: "BIRD GIRL - she has the power of doing anything that any bird in the solar system can do." . . . Rex Osborne, Essex, England: "TIME GIRL - she possesses the power to alter time and evolution." . . . Mike Meridier, Kenner, La.: "BANISH BOY - he has the power to exile anyone to the Phantom Zone for a temporary time, without the need of a projector."
    John Maynard, Columbus, Ohio: "AIRLESS BOY - he can live anyplace without having to breathe." . . . Gary Haught, Akron, Ohio: "SPELL BOY - he has the power to cast a spell on any outlaw." . . . Tom Holberg, Forest Park, Ill.: "E.S.P. KID - he has the powers of second sight, telepathy and hypnotism." . . . Maggie Fraser, Pleasantville, N. Y.: "WEIGHT WIZARD - he can make himself weigh any amount, from an ounce to ten tons." Tom Kegley, St. Paul, Minn.: "BLOCKADE BOY - he can change himself into an invulnerable steel wall of any size or shape."
    [2009 note: a Wanderer and two of the imprisoned people in the Super-Stalag of Space.]

    Adventure Comics 314, Nov. 1963
    "Bits of Legionnaire Business"
    From Karen Hailey, Gholson, Miss.: "WISH GIRL - she gets anything she wants by wishing for it." . . . Billy Ilhany, Roanoke, Va.: "LANGUAGE LAD - he can translate any language in the universe." . . . Vincent Auleta, Long Island City, N.Y.: "HISTORY HANNAH - she can remember the exact date, year, hour and minute, in which any event occurred." . . . Philip McCrum, Chula Vista, Calif.: "INSECT KING - can duplicate the powers of any insect." . . . Charlie Hendrix, Greenville, S.C.: "GAS GIRL - she can change herself into a vapor and go under doors, through cracks, etc., and change herself into tear gas, laughing gas, etc." . . . Mervyn La Floyd, West Orange, N.J.: "NASAL HAZEL - she has the power of super-smell." . . . Dale Jenkins, Chicago, Ill.: "DAZZLE DANNY - has the power of temporarily blinding any person or animal with blinding colors." . . . Bill Schupp & Jim Cooper, Hinsdale, Ill.: "ROBOT MASTER - he can control any robot."
    [2009 note: one of the Heroes of Lallor, and the powers of Insect Queen.

    Adventure Comics 315, Dec. 1963
    Bits of Legionnaire Business
    From John Vogel, Silver Spring, Maryland: "ORBIT KID - he can hurl any object in perfect orbit around any world." . . . Greg Flood, Needham, Mass.: "EARTHQUAKE LAD . . . has the power to create earthquakes." . . . Arthur Collins, Crystal Lake, Ill.: "A.G.BOY . . . he can make any object float via his power of transmitting anti-gravity." . . . Frank Jennings, Eufaula, Ala.: LANGUAGE LASS . . . she has the power to speak in any language in the Universe." . . . Ernest Fode, Medicine Hat, Canada: "BIZARRO BOY - he can make a Legionnaire's powers work in reverse."
    Virginia Bruce, Bennetsville, S.C.: "CALENDAR GIRL . . . she knows every important date in past and future history." . . . R. Goo, San Bernardino, Calif.: "OMNIBOY . . . he can travel on and under land, beneath the sea, and in air or space." . . . Robert N. Behnke, Cresskill, N.J.: "GHOST GIRL - she is able to pass through any solid object."
    [2009 note: there was an Earthquake Lad of sorts in the Waid/Kitson Legion, but wasn't there someone with those powers (besides the Earthquake Beast) before that? Don't know why they put Ghost Girl here, that's the same as Phantom Girl who had already been introduced years before.]

    Adventure Comics 316, Jan. 1964
    Bits of Legionnaire Business
    From Mike Jones, Orlando, Florida: "BAT BOY - like his namesake, the bat, he has the power of hearing super-sonic frequencies." . . . From Carol Ogden, Hawthorne, Calif.: "CURSE KID - he has supernatural powers and can put hexes and spells on his enemies." . . . Eddie Jones, Rogersville, Tenn.: "DIMENSION DAMSEL - she has the power to visit the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th dimensions." . . . James Vincent, Fairfax, Va.: "BLACKOUT BOY - he has the power to blackout vast areas." . . . Glenn Rifkin, Paramus, N. J.: "TRACK LAD - he can track anything in the Universe."
    [2009 note: one of the spies from Murra as well as the powers of Shadow Lass, and the powers of Dawnstar.]

    Saturday, October 03, 2009

    Flashback: Bits of Legionnaire Business (part 2)

    Part 2 of my look at Silver Age Bits of Legionnaire Business. Characters of interest are in boldface, italics are the editor (in parentheses) and my notes [in brackets].

    Adventure Comics 301, Oct. 1962
    Dear Editor: Now that "Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes" has taken the place of "Tales of the Bizarro World", will you encourage readers to send in "Bits of Legionnaire Business"?
    Allen Pilcher, Memphis, Tenn.
    (Only if you can define for us what's a "bit of L.B." -Ed.)
    Adventure Comics 304, Jan. 1963
    Dear Editor: In a recent issue, Allen Pelcher suggested that you encourage readers to send in "Bits of Legionnaire Business." You responded that you would go along with his idea if someone would define what a bit of "L.B." was to be. Well, how about if a "Bit of Legionnaire Business" is a postal card with a few lines suggesting the name of a NEW super-hero to be admitted in the Legion, plus a suggestion of the super-power he might possess. Thus, a bit of "L.B." might be: "I suggest a new character, POLAR BOY, who has the power of freezing to ice anything in his area." How about it?
    Buddy LaVigne, Northbrook, Ill.
    (Great idea. Readers, take note and start sending us your suggestions on a postal card. We'll print the best ones and use all accepted new characters in future Legion tales. -Ed.)
    Adventure Comics 307, April 1963
    Dear Editor: In one of your recent SMALLVILLE MAILSACKS you encouraged your readers to suggest new members for the "Legion of Super-Heroes" and to list their super-powers. You said you would print the best ones under the heading "Bits of Legionnaire Business." So here is my nomination: ANTI-GRAVITY BOY . . . he has the power to make anything rise at will. 
    [2009 note: Ayla Ranzz got her "Light Lass" powers in Adventure 317.]
    Leo Manning & Stephen Gilpin, Dorchester, Mass.
    (We have been deluged with "Bits of L.B." from thousands of readers. Following is a list of the best of this month's lot. From time to time, Edmond Hamilton, the author of the current Legion series, will feature some of the new heroes and heroines suggested by readers which he deems the most interesting. So, if you have a "Bit of L.B.", send it on to us, ON A POSTAL CARD! -Ed.)
    Bits of Legionnaire Business
    From Lucinda Briggs, Port Alsworth, Alaska: "TELEPORT GIRL . . . she possesses the unique ability to teleport herself anywhere, through time, space, and matter." . . . From David Dickhereber, Wentzville, Mo.: "RADAR LAD . . . a boy who can detect any object and pinpoint its location on the map." . . . Roger Anderson, Eau Claire, Wis.: "BRAIN BOY . . . he has a super-intelligent brain." . . . Alexander Naumov, Paterson, N. J.: "GLASS GIRL . . . she has the ability to change into a glass statue." . . . Janet Hein, West N. Y., N. J.: "CREATIVE GIRL . . . she has the power of creating anything she wishes." . . . Mark Kaufman, Bronx, N. Y.: "RING GIRL . . . her power lies in her rainbow-colored ring, which can act as a stun ray, a blowtorch and also contains a super-compressed parachute."
    From Toni-Joe Frazier, Atlantic City, N. J.: "HUMAN DRILL BOY . . . he can drill through any substance." . . . Bill Hodges, Huntsville, Ala.: "VIBRATORY BOY . . . his power consists of emitting vibratory pulsations with which he can shatter any object." . . . James Cook, Phila., Pa.: "HYPNO BOY . . . he has the talent of super-hypnosis." . . . Ronald Domsky, Phila., Pa.: "MOLECULE BOY . . . he can re-arrange the molecules of any object to form something else; for example, he could change a crook's ray gun into a harmless pencil." . . . Stephen Maloney, Boston, Mass.: "UNIVERSE BOY . . . his powers are that he can talk, understand and translate the language of any race or civilization in any solar system of the Universe, past or present or future."
    Alan Geros, W. St. Paul, Minn.: "AMOEBA LAD . . . he can split in two, then each split part can split in two, and so on, just the way a real amoeba can multiply." . . . Jess & Steve Weiner, Little Neck, N. Y.: "RAIN GIRL . . . she can cause rainstorms at will, even in the Sahara Desert."
    Adventure Comics 308, May 1963
    Following are suggestions from readers for new members of the Legion of Super-Heroes: From Mike Meridier, Kenner, La.: "NIGHT OWL - a girl who has the power to produce darkness over a small area." . . . Richard Depoe, Syracuse, N. Y.: "ZODIAC BOY . . . who can change the future by altering a preson's horoscope." . . . Bob Marcus, East Meadow, L. I.: "BRITTLE BOY . . . who can break himself into hundreds of pieces and then re-unite." . . . Mike Witherspoon, Weatherford, Tex.: "KEY KID . . . a lad who has the power of opening any lock with his fingers." . . . Brenda Grant, Claremont, Calif. "Quiz Queen . . . a girl who can answer any factual question, because she has memorized every book in print." . . . Michael Colby, Hewlett, L. I.: "DETECTOR LAD . . . he has the power to learn the location of anyone in the Universe" . . . "JINX BOY . . . he can 'hex' criminals so that they encounter bad luck." . . . Harvey Pond, Milford, Conn.: "MIRAGE MASTER . . . he can create fantastic mirages merely by will power." . . . Jess & Steve Weiner, Little Neck, N. Y.: "RAIN GIRL . . . she can cause rainstorms." . . . Matthew Maynard, Seattle, Wash.: "NATURE BOY . . . he can cause tidal waves, stop waterfalls, make volcanoes erupt."
    [2009 note: Shadow Lass, Calamity King, and Princess Projectra's powers.]
    Adventure Comics 309, June 1963
    "Bits of Legionnaire Business"
    From Jeff Greenberg, Los Angeles, Calif. "Color Kid - he can change himself or any object to any color in the spectrum." . . . Thomas Raimondo, Brooklyn, N. Y. "Beast Boy - he has the power to transform himself into any animal he wishes." . . . Ed Stephenson & Dan Thompson, Risingsun, Ohio. "Computer Girl - she is a human lightning calculator and can figure out any problem in her mind." . . . Eric Heidman, Hancock, Mich. "Life Lass - she has the ability to transform inanimate objects into living things by willing it."
    From Ed Lima, New Bedford, Mass. "Cloud Boy - he can control the elements." . . . Tommy Fine, Braddyville, Iowa. "Healing Boy - he can heal any wound with a touch of his hand." . . . Barbara Reed, Yuma City, Calif. "Atomic Kid - he has the power of atomic radiation and the explosive force of an atomic bomb." . . . John Derer, Chicago, Ill. "Ray Lad - he can detect the presence of any sort of ray, such as gamma rays, cosmic rays, infra-red, ultra-violet, etc." . . . Alan Geros, W. St. Paul, Minn. "Amoeba Lad - he can split in half and keep reproducing himself, like an amoeba."
    From Reed Sechan, Chicago, Ill. "Snow Girl - she can create icebergs." . . . Rick Brown, Leasburg, Mo. "Mirage Lad - his mind can project any type of illusion." . . . Wayne Robinson, Louise, Texas. "Radioactive Boy - he can generate radioactivity at will." . . . Raymond Pearson, Jersey City, N. J. "Time Boy - who can travel into the past or future when he wants to." Judson Hoffman, St. Louis, Mo. "Key Kid - he can turn his fingers into keys to open any door or lock."
    [2009 note: a Sub, two Heroes of Lallor, and powers of Princess Projectra and Radiation Roy.]

    Friday, October 02, 2009

    Flashback: Bits of Legionnaire Business (part 1)

    Well, since my trivia quiz didn't go live as I planned (at least I don't think it has, I haven't been getting any emails from commenters on it; can someone tell me if it posted on the 1st?), here's something else I had planned while I'm waiting to get access to this blog again.

    Part 1 of a series.

    For those of you who are old enough, remember what it was like up to the late 80s/early 90s? Pre-internet, pre-Previews, into the early Direct Market. You might have had some fanzines or magazines (like Amazing Heroes) to tell you what was coming, but usually you just went to the drugstore every week and picked up whichever books came in. You didn't know what was coming up in the next three months, and there was nobody to talk to about your comics except your neighborhood friends. And the letters pages, of course. That's where organized Legion fandom came from in the early 1970s, those who created the Legion Outpost and Interlac APAs. But the Adventure letters pages were filled with notes about who they wanted to see next, suggestions for future stories, and bits of Legion lore as explained by "Ed" (Mort Weisinger, editor).

    One of the unique things about the Legion is that the readers actually had input into what the writers wrote, from the voting on leader elections (Superboy beating Wildfire, Dream Girl, Element Lad's continual runner-up state, etc.) to the suggestion for new characters. "Bits of Legionnaire Business" was a section of the old "Smallville Mailsack" (and later the "Legion Outpost") in which readers wrote in with ideas for new super-powered people. Quite a few were used; I counted the characters and/or powers of over 30 future Subs, Legionnaires, Heroes of Lallor, villains, and rejects. In the next few installments I'll be reposting the Bits sections from the letter columns with some commentary. Note how "Silver Agey" all the names and powers will sound, relics of a simpler time dating back to the dawn of the Marvel Age. (Remember, the month that Galactus attacked in the pages of Fantastic Four, DC was publishing stuff like the Space Canine Patrol Agents.)

    Thanks to Jo and Terri-Anne Sanning for hosting all the Silver Age letters columns at the Silver Age Legion Clubhouse.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009


    FYI, I'm on vacation in China this week. Unfortunately, they've
    blocked (as well as Facebook, Twitter, and lots of other
    sites) so I can't post directly, only via email. I have your comments
    emailed to me, so I can see what you're saying, but I won't be able
    to reply for a couple of weeks. I've got a trivia quiz pre-scheduled
    for today, and I've got some other stuff I can mail in.

    Oh, and the Chinese people in the 21st century look nothing like
    their 30th century counterparts as seen in the Lightning Lad/Saturn
    Girl wedding story. Perhaps it was because those Chinese were on the moon.

    Sunday, September 27, 2009

    More Bits of Legionnaire Business

    More stuff:

    Former editor KC Carlson (late v4/early reboot) talked about Legion of 3 Worlds from the perspective of both a former staffer and a fan. Go read it.

    I had a lot to be worried about, especially after my normally loving wife had cynically put it into my head early in the series that “you know, a lot of the characters are just gonna be cannon fodder. They’re probably going to kill off ‘your’ Legion to make room for a new one.” Thankfully, a chance meeting with Geoff Johns at last year’s Wizard Chicago Con gave Geoff the opportunity to say “I hope you’ll be pleased with what happens with ‘your’ Legion – especially with XS and Gates, who I loved writing!” Thankfully, I was very pleased at how the whole thing turned out, especially since most of the characters did survive, although it was often a brutal and bloody fight.

    ...Yeah, I’m still a little bent about the Legion just being the back-up, although I hear from “knowledgeable insiders” that this is more of a placeholder as DC’s PTB work out the details of just what the Legion’s place in the new DCU will exactly be. And it looks like with the recent announcements, Paul Levitz may now be more of a part of those discussions.

    ...When Mark Waid, Tom McCraw, and I spent several months determining how to streamline the Legion and all its various far-flung stoylines and situations prior to the big Zero Hour event – now known as the Legion Reboot – I kept trying to break down what the Legion was in its most basic form. I kept coming back to this phrase: “Kids in the future in space.” That was the Legion that I grew up reading, and I felt that’s what made the series so special.

    Legion Abstract has a long essay (with a neat little pun as the title) on the Great Darkness Saga (which DC should really put back in print now!) focusing on how Darkseid was portrayed in relation to the Legion.
    I once said that what the GDS was really about was fear. I don't think that anymore, but I do think I had a point. What I think now is that Darkseid and the Legion never really understood each other.

    I'm still several episodes behind in "Smallville" (and getting behinder) but apparently a Legion flight ring played a part in the season finale last May and in the season premiere this week. The FlickCast has a picture and a video clip. IO9 has more on this season of "Smallville" in general, but they also say that the Legion is rumored to reappear (wishful thinking or is this news?).

    Asgard Press has the 2009-2010 DC Calendar with vintage covers. For whatever reason, they chose the cover to Superboy 147 for October 2009. (Thanks Mike for the tip!)

    Get-a-Life Boy reviews the Legion in Comics for the 9/16 week.

    Comix Secret HQ looks at the Adult Legion of Super-Villains.

    And don't forget that the new miniseries "Superman: Secret Origin" ends issue 1 with a plug for issue 2 in which the Legion shows up. They used the 1970s "Superboy & The Legion" style logo.

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Bits of Legionnaire Business

    More bits...

    Some reviews of Adventure Comics #2:

    • Matthew at Legion Abstract "reviews" the issue, but the discussion in the comments section is more interesting.

    • Pulptone:
      "Characters I only know on surface value but everything you need to know about the story is right there. The comic reads just like it’s name. Adventure."

    • Comix101
      "Although this is my first introduction to the Legion I like what Geoff is doing here so far and look forward to the rest of the story... Absolutely recommend this book. Even if you’re not familiar with the characters like I am with the Legion, you will not be disappointed."

    • Paradox Comics
      "I’ve never been that fussed with the Legion of Superheroes but while I’m a way off from considering myself a fan, the second instalment of the backup was a lot more involving than the first, and I’m quite intrigued by the direction Johns is taking the story."

    • Newsarama's Best Shots
      "While I wasn't a fan of last month's debut, seeing the Legion in their natural habitat really was great this time around."

    • Rokk's Comic Book Revolution
      "And what hurts the pace Johns has decided to take with this series is that we already know that he is going to be leaving this book after issue #6 to work on the new Flash ongoing series, and taking Francis Manapul with him. This kills any sort of momentum that this series might have had as Johns has clearly written these first two issues as start up points for an even larger story he was waiting to tell. But because his run on this title ends with issue #6 any long-term plans he had for this series is thrown out the window as with a new creative team there will most likely be a new direction for this series.

      Also I am not too sure about the choice of Paul Levitz, former President of DC Comics, being helmed to take over writing duties. I am not familiar with Levitz's work but it feels like a strange choice for a series about a teenage superhero. And I am not taking his age into account but it is more that it has been a long time since he has written anything of note that he will probably be very rusty. Coming on to write a book like Adventure Comics seems like an odd choice for him to begin writing on an ongoing basis again.

    Superhero Times reviews the new DC Direct Booster Gold figure, whose sculpt includes a Legion flight ring on his right hand.

    Don "Get-a-Life Boy" Sakers thinks he's come up with a fairly ingenious way to fix the Legion timeline.
    The Problems:

    1. The Legion is 50+ years old, but its members are in early adulthood (20s - 30s).

    2. The Legion interacts with the "present day" DC Universe on a fixed 1,000-year interval.

    3. Reconciling these two conditions results in a Legion chronology that is ever-changing and ever-shrinking to match the current DC Universe.

    4. Everybody keeps messing with the Legion, and there is no agreement on fundamental principles.

    5. By the nature of the problems, most solutions are only temporary. Ideally, any solution should still stand when the Legion celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2058.

    Subzero at Tales from the Kryptonian thinks he's figured out why sometimes in the early stories the Legion was referred to as being from the 21st century instead of the 30th. Hint: it involves Cosmic King of the Legion of Super-Villains.

    Legion Abstract looks back at the Omen/Prophet storyline. Bonus points for the title of this entry: "Step 1: Omen. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Prophet!"
    Anyway, that's “Omen and the Prophet” for you. Not a great story, not as bad as its reputation, some obvious flaws, some points of interest. Give it another look.