Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Sales Data for Superman & LSH: Millennium

Thanks to Comichron, we have some sales numbers to look at - but only up through LSH: Millennium, we'll have to wait til next month to see what the regular series shapes up like. There's no sales data yet on the new series, but expect it to be high because (a) multiple covers and (b) flight rings. I'll go out on a limb and be optimistic and say LSH #1 will hit 65k sales. No predictions for the future after that just yet.

  • Superman #14 - 47,777
  • Superman #15 - 47,857
  • LSH: Millennium #1 - 48,389
  • LSH: Millennium #2 - 39,489
For historical context, in the last 20 years, here are the issues that have sold at least 39k copies (note that the top seller, Adventure #4, came with a Lantern ring):

Jan-1085,145Adventure Comics v34
Oct-0873,914Legion of Three Worlds1
Dec-0864,412Legion of Three Worlds2
Apr-0961,358Legion of Three Worlds3
Oct-0461,047Teen Titans/The Legion Special1
Feb-0559,944LSH v51
Feb-1059,876Adventure Comics v35
Jun-0956,888Legion of Three Worlds4
Oct-0956,706Adventure Comics v31
Sep-0955,970Legion of Three Worlds5
May-0654,826Supergirl & the LSH16
Mar-1053,721Adventure Comics v37
Nov-1153,285LSH v71
Jul-1050,106LSH v61
Nov-1149,952Legion Lost v21
Mar-0548,584LSH v52
Sep-1948,389LSH: Millennium1
Sep-1947,857Superman15
Aug-1947,777Superman14
Jun-0647,697Supergirl & the LSH17
Nov-0947,296Adventure Comics v32
Feb-0845,803Supergirl & the LSH37
Jul-0645,520Supergirl & the LSH18
Apr-0544,824LSH v53
Dec-0944,431Adventure Comics v33
Aug-0643,918Supergirl & the LSH19
May-0543,408LSH v54
Mar-1042,514Adventure Comics v36
Dec-1142,504LSH v72
Sep-0641,679Supergirl & the LSH20
Jun-0541,664LSH v55
Dec-0641,554Supergirl & the LSH23
Jul-0540,970LSH v56
Oct-0639,852Supergirl & the LSH21
Oct-1939,489LSH: Millennium2

For the September issues, looking at Comichron data:
  • The #1 book was Spawn #300 at 262K
  • The next ten DC books on the list are Doomsday Clock, DCeased, Batman, Harley Quinn, and Justice League.
  • LSH: Millennium #1 was the #26 overall book and the #11 DC book.
Getting back to the October issues, here's what Comichron says regarding Diamond sales:
  • The #1 book was X-Men #1, at 255K
  • The next ten DC books on the list are Joker, Harley Quinn, and/or Batman
  • The next eight DC books after that are Superman, Batman, and/or DCeased
  • After that comes Event Leviathan, Superman, Action (all Bendis), Green Lantern, and LSH: Millennium #2 at 53rd; LSH Millennium #2 outsold everything DC has that's not Batman & Co, Superman, or Green Lantern.
Looking back at the current Superman series, Superman #13 sold 52,000 copies, that's the closest comparison I can make on a Bendis book - it's the highest non-Batman, non-JLA, non-DCeased book for the month, and is the #15 book for DC in July. (This issue got a bump because of the cardstock cover for some reason, it's normally selling around 49k). Sales are flattening from the Bendis relaunch, which is to be expected - issue 1 sold 133k, issue 2 sold 77k, issue 3 sold 67k, that's normal for a new title.

In comparison, going backward in time:
  • Nov. 2011: the New 52 Legion started at 53K sales, sank below 20k with issue 9, and ended with about 15k
  • Oct. 2008: Legion of 3 Worlds started out with 74k and ended with 56k, and it had George Perez
  • May 2006: Supergirl & The LSH #16 (her first issue) hit 54K and that dropped to the low 20s by the end of that series. 
  • Dec. 2001: Abnett/Lanning's The Legion started at 30k and dropped to 23k
That brings us back to 2001 almost 20 years ago when the market was different. You have to go back to the earliest days of the Reboot in 1995 to find a time when the Legion was regularly selling over 30k.

In the past, the Legion series have all bottomed out around 15-20K, suggesting that's the core base that will always buy a Legion title: v7 (New 52) at 15K, v6 (Retroboot) at 22K, Adventure at 19K, v5 (Threeboot) at 22K, The Legion (Reboot) at 23K, and LSH v4 and Legionnaires (Reboot) at 17K.
    So this is a long-winded way of saying that any any significant sales increase over what we've seen before will probably be due to people who have NOT been Legion fans. And given the choice between bringing in new fans vs appeasing old fans, I think DC would rather grow for the future. The 5YL stories started 30 years ago in 1989, the Reboot 25 years ago in 1994. People get older and you have to bring in new readers.

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    A Field Guide to Legion Cover Variants, 2019

    The Field Guide to Legion Cover Variants, part 7: 2019
    1958-20052006-20072008-20092010-20112012-2014, 2015-2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

    (Retcon note: this was the first part of the Field Guide I published, but it's actually part 7 chronologically.) 

    Given all of the different covers (variant and otherwise) that have appeared for the newest Legion book, including the Superman and Supergirl issues that introduced them and the LSH: Millennium series, I thought it would be a good idea to put up a Field Guide to the Legion cover variants 2019. Let me know if I've forgotten any!

    Superman v4 #14 - August 28, 2019
    This issue and Supergirl #33 were originally to go on sale on 08/14/19, but less than a week prior to that date, DC asked retailers to destroy all copies of these issues and told them that replacement copies would be sent to go on sale later. This issue was delayed to 08/28/19, Supergirl #33 was delayed to 09/04/19. DC's stated reason was that the original issues had covers that featured a "Year of the Villain" logo, but these issues had no ties to that event so they would be re-issued with new covers. This reasoning was questioned, as there was another issue on sale the same week, Catwoman #14, that also had a "Year of the Villain" cover logo and a story that had no ties to the event, and that issue was not recalled. Subsequent speculation centered around the introduction of the new Legion of Super-Heroes in the Superman and Supergirl issues, and the depiction of Lightning Lad's ethnicity. In the published issue, Lightning Lad is portrayed as dark-skinned, in leaked images of the original printing, Lightning Lad was light-skinned. The second printing featured the standard cover by Reis and Prado with an orange background instead of blue, and went on sale 10/2/19.

    Superman #14
    Original standard cover (recalled)
    Art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
    Superman #14
    Replacement standard cover
    Art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
     

    Superman #14
    Variant cover (recalled)
    Art by Adam Hughes

    Superman #14
    Replacement variant cover
    (minus the Year of the Villain logo)

    Superman #14
    Second Printing (orange background)
    Art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado



    Supergirl #33 - September 4, 2019

    Supergirl #33
    Original standard cover (recalled)
    Art by Eduardo Panisca
    Supergirl #33
    Replacement standard cover
    Art by Kevin Maguire

    Supergirl #33
    Variant cover (recalled)
    Art by Derrick Chew

    Supergirl #33
    Replacement variant cover
    (minus the Year of the Villain logo)



    Superman #15 - September 18, 2019
    The first cover below was solicited in Previews, but when the decision was made to change Lightning Lad's skin color, DC opted to have a new, different cover created (both by Ivan Reis) and the second one was the published cover. The original cover with the light-skinned mohawk version of Lightning Lad was never published.

    Superman #15
    Original standard cover (never published)
    Art by Ivan Reis
    Superman #15
    Published standard cover
    Art by Ivan Reis

    Superman #15
    Variant cover
    Art by Adam Hughes



    Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 - September 4, 2019
    The variant cover by Bryan Hitch is part 1 of a 2-part connected cover featuring all of the characters seen over the two issues in the miniseries. The complete art (both halves) will be used later for variants of LSH: Millennium #2 and LSH v8 #1.

    LSH: Millennium #1
    Standard cover
    Art by Ryan Sook
    LSH: Millennium #1
    Variant cover
    Art by Bryan Hitch



    Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #2 - October 2, 2019
    LSH: Millennium #2 was also caught up in the effort to change Lightning Lad's ethnicity. In the original solicited version of the standard cover, featuring Saturn Girl holding up a flight ring through which we see Superboy, Bouncing Boy (to the left of Superboy) was dark-skinned and Lightning Lad (to the right of Superboy) was light-skinned. For the final version of the cover, the ethnicities were reversed. The original version was never printed. Here's a close-up comparison:

    And looking at the cover, you can see Light Lass change ethnicity too, just above Ultra Boy's shoulder from his raised arm, below Shadow Lass, and above Element Lad.
    A version of the entire Hitch image - left half as seen on issue 1 and the right half on issue 2 - was sold at the 2019 New York Comic Con as a convention exclusive. This version is a wraparound cover printed on foil.

    LSH: Millennium #2
    Original standard cover (unpublished)
    Art by Ryan Sook
    LSH: Millennium #2
    Published standard cover
    Art by Ryan Sook

    LSH: Millennium #2
    Variant cover
    Art by Bryan Hitch

    LSH: Millennium #2
    New York Comic Con 2019 convention exclusive (foil)
    Art by Bryan Hitch



    Previously: The Field Guide to Legion Cover Variants 2006-2017
    Next: The Field Guide to Legion Cover Variants, 2020

    Thursday, November 14, 2019

    Superman: Time and Time Again part 1

    This 7-issue story arc wound between the three Superman books at the time - Adventures of Superman, Action Comics, and Superman (in that order) - for just over two months. To set the stage, Clark Kent has just revealed his secret ID to Lois Lane, and she's not sure what to make of their relationship following this revelation.

    The Legion of Substitute Podcasters talk about it in episode 578.

    This story arc was later reprinted in trade paperback as "Superman: Time and Time Again".


    Adventures of Superman 476: Time & Time Again, part 1 of 7 (on sale 1/29/91)
    • A time traveler called the Linear Man appears, and sets off an alarm that brings Booster Gold to Metropolis. The Linear Man is looking for Booster because he has violated the natural laws of time for his own selfish means, and it’s his duty to bring him back. In trying to stop him, Superman accidentally grabs his time controls, which opens up a hole in the time/space continuum. Superman and the Linear Man get sucked into the portal, leaving Booster behind. Superman wakes up surrounded by a fire (where his cape gets burned away). He arrives in the 30th century on page 17, and we see the rest of his meeting with the Legion from his perspective.  
      • Page 22: Superman mentions that he’s met Brainiac 5, Blok, Sun Boy, and Invisible Kid, referring to Superman #8 & Action #591, which is his past but the Legion’s future. Saturn Girl says she recognizes some of those names, meaning all but Blok since the other 3 joined very early in the Legion’s time (all before Adventure 300).
      • When this was published in 1991, the Legion’s appearance here was supposed to be the Silver Age version of the 5YL Legion, because that’s what was being published at the time. But after the Reboot, in Legionnaires 61 (1998), we see this exact scene from the perspective of the Legion (instead of Superman), and it’s presented as the Reboot Legion instead of the 5YL Legion with some shenanigans caused by the Time Trapper. Roger Stern was a writer on the Superman titles of 1991 and also the Reboot Legion, so he repurposed the scene to keep the rebooted continuity intact.
    Action Comics 663: Time & Time Again, part 2 of 7 (on sale 2/5/91)
    • Flashback to part 1 for those who don’t read Adventures of Superman. Superman asks the Legionnaires to tell them about his future, to make sure he did return after this. Saturn Girl says their records are spotty, but before she can continue, the fire (from earlier) blows up again and Superman is transported back in time to WWII. He wakes up and is taken by a bystander to the nearby circus, because his costume looks like that’s where he belongs. He’s having trouble seeing, but he finds out that he’s in 1943 and decides to stay with the circus until he gets better. His act is Samson, the strong man, where he breaks chains and lifts elephants. He spends 2 months there. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, Booster says he knows some people who might be able to help find Superman. Superman leaves the circus and goes to Metropolis where he saves FDR, who tells him that he should join the Justice Battalion. Superman goes off to Washington to find the JSA, but the Spectre stops him, saying it’s too early for him to meet the JSA. Spectre sends him to a train station in Nazi-occupied Warsaw where he says Superman is needed.
    Superman 54: Time & Time Again, part 3 of 7 (on sale 2/19/91)
    • June 1943, Superman is spotted by the Nazis but leaves. Nazi General Zeiten captures the soul of a Jewish prisoner in a magical crystal. Superman flies to the Warsaw Ghetto, where he overhears the Nazis talking about using the Jews as test subjects for their atomic experiments. Superman recognizes the general as someone he’s met before, “Mister Z” (Superman #51), and wrecks the experiment lab and stops a train carrying the Jews. The Nazis drop their bomb anyway, but Superman catches it and takes it out of the atmosphere. The explosion causes him to disappear.
    Adventures of Superman 477: Time & Time Again, part 4 of 7 (on sale 2/26/91)
    • Page 7: Wildfire is a new member who hasn’t had a chance to read up on Legion history, which suggests that this takes place circa Superboy 201 when he joined (in the comments to our podcast episode, David Spofforth says "If I had to nail down an exact placing for the sun eater episode, I’d put it precisely between Superboy 202 and 203. Wildfire didn’t get his new name until 202 and the non-reaction to Superman’s mention of Invisible Kid means it should go before one Invisible Kid’s death in 203"). That sounds good enough to me! Per the Sourcebook timeline, this was in June 2981; the Linear Man says that Superman came out of the time stream about 7 years too soon, and the closest thing in Legion history (5YL version) to that would be Glorith’s destruction of Daxam in January 2988 (as seen in LSH v4 Annual #1); in pre-5YL history, that would probably be the revival of the Infinite Man and the battle with the Time Trapper (as seen in LSH v3 #50) in February 2988.
    • Page 14: Superman says he just met Garth “a couple of days ago” but recall he spent 2 months in the circus in 1943 right after that.
    • Page 20 panel 1: this is clearly the Cockrum-era Legion, since the cruiser has a small bubble up front and not the big bubble over the whole saucer section like it was under Grell; also, notice that Wildfire’s faceplate goes down underneath his chin, which was how Cockrum drew it, as opposed to how Grell drew it ending above the chin.
    Coming soon: why are we interrupting the LSH v4 Five Years Later with a Superman story arc that only guest-stars the Silver Age and Bronze Age Legion in only some of the chapters? Long story short: events in T&TA have a direct and major impact on the Legion v4 series going forward. You'll have to wait to see how.

    Friday, November 08, 2019

    LSH v4 #18 annotations: The Dark Circle

    Annotations for Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #18


    Here's the original art from this cover, from the collection of Miki Annamanthadoo:
    LSH 18 Cover by Giffen Comic Art
    Inker Al Gordon said about this piece: "This cover took me a day and a half to Ink... sigh. [...] I was just looking at the cover... and I don't think there's much Pen on it at all... Some of those last detailed guys in the far BG seem to be outlined with Brush and just a little Pen used inside the figures. Looks like I Inked the danged thing with Brush mostly. No wonder I was dizzy for a week afterwards."

    Notes:
    • Page 3 panel 4 – is that Marte Allon?
    • Page 5 panel 3 – Dr Gym’ll used to be the Legion’s doctor, he was last seen briefly in the Magic Wars (LSH v3 #62) before making a quick appearance in Furball’s flashback in issue 6.
    • Page 6 panel 1 – that’s a Lightning Ring Plantation ship, named after Andrew “Ferro Lad” Nolan
    • Page 8 panel 6 – Note that Cargg is now spelled Carggg with 3 g’s, because triplicates each need a “g”.
    • Page 10 – we have never been to Cargg (or Carggg) before, though we did get an intro page of it in “Who’s Who in the Legion” #4
    • Page 10 panel 4 – note that Shadow Lass is wearing a protective suit (and not a transuit). The high exposure to solar radiation makes the planet dangerous to visitors, as they are required to wear protective gear at all times.
    • Page 15 – Valor is almost worshipped as the seeder of Carggg (among other places)
    • Page 19 – the action on this page suggests that not a lot of time has passed since the battle on 3/22, and we saw the deaths of the Tornado Twins on 3/27 (next issue takes place 4/11), so this is likely the last few days in March to the first week in April
    • Page 20 panel 6 – set up for a future showdown with the Dark Circle
    • Page 22 panel 1 – Celeste, Bounty, Jan, and Devlin returned to Earth a while back (issue 15, about 2 months ago story-wise). Celeste was healed by the green glow back in issue 12
    • Page 22 panel 4 – Last we were told, the trio was with Jan, but Circe doesn’t know that (if that’s who this is here), and also doesn’t know that Bounty is spying on her
    • Page 23 – the Underground, aka Khundish sympathizers, bombed the holo-studio where Marella Tao was reporting. We last saw her in issue 10 
    • Page 24 – Jo has finally made it to Earth, but 5000 years in the past (circa 2000 BCE). Recall that he’s been there since issue 10 (on 12/3/94, which was 4 months ago story-wise).
    • Page 25 – Dark Circle propaganda. Notice the repeated use of “intellectuals and elitists”. This is a common class-based charge by right-wing groups, because anyone who is intellectual or elite is not “one of us, the common people”. 
      • Via Wikipedia on Elitism: “Some synonyms for "elite" might be "upper-class" or "aristocratic", indicating that the individual in question has a relatively large degree of control over a society's means of production… As a term, "elite" usually describes a person or group of people who are members of the uppermost class of society, and wealth can contribute to that class determination… In politics, the terms elitism and elitist are often used to disparage a politician's views as out of touch with the interests of the "average Joe". The implication is that the alleged elitist person or group thinks they are better than everyone else, and put themselves before others as a result. The definition of elitist is similar to that of the word "snob".”
      • Here’s a 2016 Salon article explaining how the terms are used in modern America. “The juxtaposition of the “real America” with “elitist America” exposes the actual meaning of all the endless denunciations of the elite. It is not anti-elitism. It is anti-intellectualism. … Many Americans reflexively distrust anyone who demonstrates expertise or excellence in analytical intelligence. It is not that Americans are not smart, but that they often view the intellect as functional, namely in its capacity for commercial success.” In other words, they don’t trust the experts because the experts are intellectual elites, and not part of “real America”.
    Following this issue, we have to digress into a Superman story arc called “Time and Time Again”. Big picture: Superman bounces around through the time stream and meets the Legion during three separate time periods (Silver Age, Bronze Age, and 5YL Age), with some dramatic consequences that directly impact this series - which is why we're doing them now. I think we can do that storyline in two episodes, plus we’ll also have LSH v8 #1 to review, so we won’t be returning to issue 19 for a few weeks.



    Here's what we know of the timeline to date. I'm color coding them based on whether the date appeared in the 2995 Sourcebook (yellow), it's a confirmed date that was given in the comic (green), or an estimated date based on keeping track of events and days (blue). Bold text is something new added this issue.
    • 2/17/89 – Mekt admitted to Labyrinth Penal Institute (LSH v4 #10)
    • 6/23/89 – Magic Wars end (LSH v3 #63 – date as given in the 2995 Sourcebook)
    • October 2989 – the Great Collapse
    • 4/13/90 – Communique from Earthgov President Wellington, trying to legally disband the Legion, with Imra, Rokk, and Cham “currently out of the picture” (LSH v4 #1) 
    • April 2990 – Validus Plague ravages Winath; former Legionnaire Brainiac 5 helps (LSH v4 #3)
    • 6/7/90 – Legion Academy closes (LSH v4 #16)
    • 7/6/90 – Former Legion Academy heads Chuck and Luornu Durgo Taine open the United Planets Militia Academy (LSH v4 #16)
    • TBD 2990 – Earthgov secedes from the United Planets, and the Science Police Earth splits from the Science Police Proper. (LSH v4 #2). Since then, “resistance forces have opposed Earthgov since the introduction of repressive measures… but with little success to date.” (LSH v4 #13)
    • 4/12/91 – Tinya goes missing (LSH v4 #2)
    • 5/8/91 – Search for Tinya called off; Sun Boy is leader (LSH v4 #2)
    • 5/27/91 – Mekt released from Labyrinth, rehabilitated (LSH v4 #10)
    • 6/9/91 – Planned date of wedding of Tinya and Jo (LSH v4 #2)
    • TBD 2991 – Garth and Imra, having left the Legion, start the Lightning Ring Plantation (LSH v4 #3)
    • 1/21/92 – Rebirth Summit (LSH v4 #1) 
    • 7/6/92 – LSH leader Polar Boy disbands the Legion, mentions Black Dawn which “cost” the Legion (LSH v4 #1); Mordru coronated as the Supreme Teacher of Sorceror’s World (LSH v4 #6)
    • TBD 2992 – Brek Bannin arrested for insurrection (LSH v4 #11)
    • 4/11/93 – Announcement of upcoming wedding of Grev Mallor (of the City People) to Kahnya Nahtahnie (Lady Memory of the Hill People) on Talok VIII
    • 8/14/93 – wedding of Grev Mallor and Kahnya Nahtahnie 
    • 1/17/94 – Marzal reappears over Africa and the corrupt Earthgov destroys it, but not before Tyroc escapes (LSH v4 #16)
    • 10/22/94 – Raid on anti-government terrorists, but ringleader Vidar (aka Universo) is not captured; Cham tells Marla he’s leaving (LSH v4 #1) 
    • 10/23/94 – Cham begins to recruit members for the new Legion, first approaching Rokk; Vi leaves the Imsk army for Winath; Dominator agents help Roxxas escape from Labyrinth (LSH v4 #1)
    • 10/25/94 – Attack on Jo and Kono on Rimbor; Loomis and Lydda en route to Kathoon (LSH v4 #2)
    • Fri 11/21/94 – Blok is killed by Roxxas the Butcher [Sourcebook] (LSH v4 #3)
    • Thu 11/27/94 – Mordru crushes Rond Vidar’s ring; Rokk and Cham finally meet up with Jo and decide to go to Tharn to rescue Mysa; Dominators and Shvaughn Erin watch the tape of Roxxas and Blok, whose body is delivered to Winath; Mon-El resurrected (LSH v4 #3)
    • Fri 11/28/94 – Mon-El goes to Talok VIII, then Shadow Lass and Mon-El visit Brainiac 5, then Mon-El destroys the Time Trapper (LSH v4 #4)
    • Sat 11/29/94 – Mordruverse (LSH v4 #5)
    • Sat 11/29/94 – Cham, Rokk, Jo, Kono, and Furball arrive on Tharn and are captured by Mordru; after being hired by Earthgov to find Blok’s killer, Celeste, Devlin, and Bounty leave for Trom (LSH v4 #6)
    • Sun 11/30/94 – Celeste, Devlin, and Bounty meet Jan on Trom (LSH v4 #6); with the help of Laurel Gand, Rokk’s crew rescues Mysa and Rond from Mordru but are teleported to Grocz; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, and Jan leave Trom for Winath (LSH v4 #7)
    • Mon 12/1/94 – Rokk, Cham, Jo, Kono, Furball, Rond, Laurel, and Mysa travel from Grocz to Zirr (LSH v4 #8)
    • Tues 12/2/94 – Rokk, Laurel, and Rond take some R&R time on Zirr with baby Lauren, while the others go to Winath; Marla reminisces (LSH v4 #8); on Cygnus IV, Roxxas watches a holo of Laurel Gand; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, and Jan arrive on Winath (LSH v4 #9)
    • Wed 12/3/94 – Rokk and Rond arrive in the morning, having left Laurel behind on Zirr; everyone (Rokk, Rond; Cham, Jo, Kono, Furball, Mysa; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, Jan; Brainy, Garth, Ayla, Vi, Imra) is on Winath when Roxxas attacks; Bounty, Mekt, Cham, and Celeste are seriously injured, while Jo disappears and is presumed dead; Earthgov linked to Roxxas; Tenzil arrives on Earth (LSH v4 #10)
    • Thu 12/4/94 – On Winath, Roxxas is on the loose, and kills a doctor and nurse in the Bloomfield Free Clinic. On Earth, Tenzil participates in the Batcave dig, meets with Shvaughn and Brek (who is released for the first time since incarceration 2 years prior), has dinner with Prosecutor Jakobi, then falls asleep. (LSH v4 #11)
    • Fri 12/5/94 – Tenzil and Brek in court; Holo Scene news article on the trial (LSH v4 #11); Celeste is healed by a green glow; the former Legionnaires team up to capture Roxxas, who reveals Dominion control of Earthgov (LSH v4 #12)
    • Wed 12/10/94 – All-points bulletin on Persuader, who meets Kent Shakespeare in on Quarantine trying to attack Char Burrane Jr. (LSH v4 #12) Persuader is defeated by Kent and SP Captain Gim Allon, who then takes Kent to Toonar. (LSH v4 #13)
    • Thu 12/11/94 – Kent leaves Toonar for Winath; Laurel fights Khunds in deep space; Tenzil and Brek on Gnogg. (LSH v4 #13)
    • Sun 12/14/94 – The Legion is formally reinstated
    • Mon 12/16/94 – Tenzil, Brek, and Calorie Queen are taken to Tartarus by Prince Evillo; Tenzil banished to the Realm of Darkness (LSH v4 #14)
    • Thu 12/25/94 – Garth, Cham, and Rokk remotely survey Talus (LSH v4 #14)
    • Fri 12/26/94 – Tenzil and Sugyn return from the Realm of Darkness, only to hear that Tenzil has been declared dead and his Senate seat vacated. (LSH v4 #14)
    • Sat 12/27/94 – Loomis writes his report on Talus’ suitability for being the new HQ; Tenzil leaves Brek behind on Tartarus and heads for Winath (LSH v4 #14)
    • Sun 12/28/94 – The reformed Legion establishes headquarters on the asteroid world of Talus
    • Sat 1/3/95 – Tenzil Kem rejoins the Legion
    • Sun 1/11/95 – Orando falls to the Khunds  (LSH v4 #15)
    • Mon 1/12/95 – The Legion agrees to team with the United Planets Militia to beat back a Khundish invasion that threatens the heart of the United Planets.  (LSH v4 #15)
    • Exact date unknown – Cham meets with a Khundish double agent; Venegar falls to the Khunds, who then make a deal with the Hill People of Talok VIII; the UP Militia tries to decide if Xolnar or Talok VIII will be attacked next; Valor and Shadow Lass appear on Talok VIII; Khunds attack Xolnar; Circe wants Dirk to give a pro-Dominator speech (LSH v4 #15)
    • Exact date unknown  Last stand on Xolnar; introduction of the Resistance on Earth (LSH v4 #16). 
    • Sun 3/22/95 – Khund decoy fleet arrives at Talok VIII, while the main fleet attacks Xolnar, leading to the death of Jed “Power Boy” Rikane; after destroying the Talok fleet, the Legion and the UP Militia arrive at Xolnar to finish the Khundish fleet; Glorith sent to the end of time; the Khunds are driven back to pre-2995 borders, and the Legion concludes its participation in the war against Khundish encroachment (LSH v4 #17)
    • Wed 3/25/95 – Don and Dawn Allen are arrested by Earthgov (LSH v4 #17)
    • Thurs 3/26/95 – Don and Dawn Allen are put on trial (LSH v4 #17)
    • Fri 3/27/95 – Tensions increase on Earth with the execution of Legion friends Don and Dawn Allen. (Note that 3/27/95 is a Friday, while the comic says it happened on a Monday) (LSH v4 #17)
    • Sat 3/28/95 – Daily Planet article on the Allen executions (LSH v4 #17)
    • Exact date unknown – Valor and Shadow Lass help counter a Dark Circle attempt on Queen Projectra’s life on Orando, then remove the Dark Circle cultists from Carggg; Universo and Jacques meet; holo studio bombing allegedly by one of the Resistance groups (LSH v4 #18)
    • April 2995 – Imra & Garth’s twins due (LSH v4 #3)
    Unknown dates:
    • Black Dawn: something big and bad happened. Polar Boy says “you know what that cost us”. Sun Boy was a previous leader. By the time it happened, Chameleon Boy had left the Legion and “watched everything fall to pieces” (LSH v4 #1). Timber Wolf was irradiated during Black Dawn, eventually turning him into Furball. Char Burrane (Starfinger II) was somehow involved. (LSH v4 #12)
    • Rokk and Loomis are injured at Venado Bay on the Braal side, and Rokk lost his powers. Salu was somehow involved on the Imsk side. Imsk won, as the army is occupying Braal. (LSH v4 #1) She says that Braal attacked Imsk, and they were just defending themselves. She was head of security on the damper project and knew what it would do, but fought against it (not hard enough, in her admission). (LSH v4 #10)
    • Kent Shakespeare and Gim Allon are both ex-Legionnaires, but it’s unknown when or under what circumstances they left. (LSH v4 #12)

    Friday, November 01, 2019

    LSH v4 #17 annotations: The Last Battle



    There's someone named "Lareina" in here, anyone know if that's a reference to someone in Legion fandom?
    • Cover is part 3 of a triptych with issues 15 & 16

    • Page 2: Brainy’s eye is getting better, in the last issue it was completely covered with a bandage. Some time has passed since the last issue.
    • Page 5 panel 9: RIP Jed “Power Boy” Rikane
    • Page 6 panel 5: Looks like Glorith has been taking fashion tips from Emma Frost
    • Page 7 panel 5: the villain monologing their master plan – Glorith plucks some weapons from the past as a ruse to allow her to gain access to magical artifacts (though we don’t find out what the plan is, what the artifacts are, or what happens to the artifacts)
    • Page 11: RIP Kiritan, sent on a suicide decoy mission Page 12 panel 7: that’s a miscolored Brainiac 5, note the patches near his right eye. The colorist darkened the hair (supposed to be blond) and the beard (supposed to be just scruff).
    • Page 18 panel 5: Galt escapes, maybe to fight another day. I don’t think we ever see Galt again, so add this to the list of dropped plot threads, along with “all the probes are spies of Mordru’s” and “Is Devlin O’Ryan a member of the Dark Circle?”
    • Page 20 panel 2: the “chronal howitzer” was last seen being thrown by Roxxas at Jo Nah back in issue 10, which caused him to go back in time.
    • Page 22: Don and Dawn Allen are arrested on Saturday, put on trial Sunday, and executed on Monday. Article is from Tuesday. The twins were age 29, putting their births in 2965 (revised timeline).
      • The Sourcebook has this at 3/27/95 (which is a Friday, not a Monday)
      • Also born in 2965: Atmos, Chemical King, Porcupine Pete, and Tyroc
    • Page 23 panel 2: the Allen twins were executed in retaliation for Iris Allen exposing the Dominators’ links to Earthgov and Roxxas.
    • Page 24 panel 6: Don Allen’s rescue of his sister was just a hallucination, he was executed while in custody next to her
    • Page 24 panel 8: this is one of the three biggest character assassinations that the writers performed in this series (the others being Proty/Garth and Sean Erin), essentially turning Dirk into a traitor. This isn’t the sort of thing he’d do after leaving the Legion, he’d never turn his back on his friends, former teammates, and his home planet. So NOW he’s having second thoughts about joining up with Earthgov?
    • Page 25 panel 4: Lareina mentioned (named after ???)
    • Page 25 panel 6: last we saw Devlin, he was traveling with Bounty, Jan, and Celeste back to Earth (back in issue 15, which was about 2 months ago). Apparently he’s been busy since then, since he’s now working as part of the Resistance with Shvaughn and Jacques.
    • Page 25 panel 9: credits are missing for the first part of the issue (pencils by Brandon Peterson, inks by Carlos Garzon, pages 1-21)
    The timeline is fuzzy as to when the events of these three issues happen. The only dates we know come from the Sourcebook and bookend this 3-parter, so we can't know the specifics of what happened when except for these two events:
    • Mon 1/12/95 – The Legion agrees to team with the United Planets Militia to beat back a Khundish invasion that threatens the heart of the United Planets. (LSH v4 #15)
    • Sun 3/22/95 – the Khunds are driven back to pre-2995 borders, and the Legion concludes its participation in the war against Khundish encroachment (LSH v4 #17)
    And now, a long digression on the history of Iris Allen, the Tornado Twins, Impulse, and XS. They are all retconned multiple times over the next decades, spinning in and out of events of this issue.
    • Pre-Crisis
      • Iris Allen was originally born in the 30th century, but was sent back in time (see Flash 203) to live in the 20th century. There, she met and married Barry Allen, and right before Crisis on Infinite Earths they left the 20th century for the 30th (see Flash 350). They lived happily ever after, for a while, until Barry died in the Crisis, but not before knocking up Iris.
      • In the Silver Age, Don and Dawn were descendants of Barry Allen, and that was pretty much all we ever saw of them. They had one story (ADV 373), and then made a couple of non-speaking cameos later in the Bronze Age.
    • Post-Crisis, Pre-Zero Hour
      • In the 5YL continuity, Dawn Allen was unmarried and Don Allen was married to Carmen Johnson and had a son Barry II (as seen in this issue). This was not followed up in the Legion book, but was in Flash's book (by this time, Wally West). The article in this issue says the Tornado Twins’ brief career was 14 years ago, or 2980-81; their first appearance was in late 2978 or early 2979 (revised timeline), 16 years ago, so they must have been active for about 2 years, putting their retirement around the time they appeared on Mars for the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel (SBOY 200).
      • Just a few months before the Zero Hour reboot, Iris came back to the 20th century to ask Wally West to help her with Bart (Flash #92). She told Wally the story of Don and Dawn, how they sacrificed their lives to help protect the Earth from the Dominators, who took Bart (Don’s son) and experimented on him. Iris rescued him and brought him back to Wally. Bart soon became Impulse in the 20th century. Iris stayed in the 20th century. Impulse is pre-Zero Hour, so they had to retcon him for the post-Zero Hour reboot.
    • Reboot/Post-Zero Hour
      • In the Reboot continuity, Dawn was married to Jeven Ognats and they had a daughter Jenni (later known as XS). Don was married to Carmen Johnson, who we found out later had changed her name from Meloni Thawne, and their son Bartholomew (aka Barry II) later became Impulse. Post-Zero Hour, the Dominator invasion occurred about 15 years before the Legion's existence (which is why Jenni was the right age to be a Legionnaire), so Impulse and XS were contemporaries of the Legion in this timeline as opposed to their parents being the Legionnaires' contemporaries in the pre-Zero Hour timeline. President Thawne, a corrupt descendant of the supervillain Professor Zoom, arranged for the Twins' murder several months after their children's birth.
    • Retroboot
      • In Legion of 3 Worlds #3, it was revealed that Iris, Don, and Dawn had traveled from the New Earth (home of the Retroboot Legion) to Earth-247 (the parallel Earth where the Reboot Legion lived). After Barry's death in the original Crisis, the Twins and their families (Bart and Jenni having already been born) became the target of Professor Zoom, who was attempting to sabotage Don and Meloni's marriage. Both families escaped to Earth-247, and the Twins died soon after in unknown circumstances. Both cousins were reunited with their grandmother Iris, and both also rapidly aged to teenagers within days. After Wally’s apparent death in Infinite Crisis, Bart grew up and became Flash IV. He too was apparently killed but he was revived as a teenager in Legion of 3 Worlds, and spent time with the Titans.
      • After Legion of 3 Worlds, XS leaves her Earth-247 teammates to stay with the Retroboot Legion, but doesn’t really do anything (as far as I remember). Hasn’t been seen in New 52 or Rebirth yet.
    • New 52 & Rebirth
      • In the New 52 universe, Bar Torr from the future came back to the 21st century, and the Legion Lost team recognized him (Legion Lost #9).
      • Wikipedia doesn’t help me understand what’s going on with Bart in Rebirth continuity.
      • Iris was rejuvenated and youthened due to close contact with the resurrected Barry, and since Rebirth she’s remembering her pre-Flashpoint life (it’s all complicated and I’m not reading it so I only know what Wikipedia says).


    Here's what we know of the timeline to date. I'm color coding them based on whether the date appeared in the 2995 Sourcebook (yellow), it's a confirmed date that was given in the comic (green), or an estimated date based on keeping track of events and days (blue). Bold text is something new added this issue.
    • 2/17/89 – Mekt admitted to Labyrinth Penal Institute (LSH v4 #10)
    • 6/23/89 – Magic Wars end (LSH v3 #63 – date as given in the 2995 Sourcebook)
    • October 2989 – the Great Collapse
    • 4/13/90 – Communique from Earthgov President Wellington, trying to legally disband the Legion, with Imra, Rokk, and Cham “currently out of the picture” (LSH v4 #1) 
    • April 2990 – Validus Plague ravages Winath; former Legionnaire Brainiac 5 helps (LSH v4 #3)
    • 6/7/90 – Legion Academy closes (LSH v4 #16)
    • 7/6/90 – Former Legion Academy heads Chuck and Luornu Durgo Taine open the United Planets Militia Academy (LSH v4 #16)
    • TBD 2990 – Earthgov secedes from the United Planets, and the Science Police Earth splits from the Science Police Proper. (LSH v4 #2). Since then, “resistance forces have opposed Earthgov since the introduction of repressive measures… but with little success to date.” (LSH v4 #13)
    • 4/12/91 – Tinya goes missing (LSH v4 #2)
    • 5/8/91 – Search for Tinya called off; Sun Boy is leader (LSH v4 #2)
    • 5/27/91 – Mekt released from Labyrinth, rehabilitated (LSH v4 #10)
    • 6/9/91 – Planned date of wedding of Tinya and Jo (LSH v4 #2)
    • TBD 2991 – Garth and Imra, having left the Legion, start the Lightning Ring Plantation (LSH v4 #3)
    • 1/21/92 – Rebirth Summit (LSH v4 #1) 
    • 7/6/92 – LSH leader Polar Boy disbands the Legion, mentions Black Dawn which “cost” the Legion (LSH v4 #1); Mordru coronated as the Supreme Teacher of Sorceror’s World (LSH v4 #6)
    • TBD 2992 – Brek Bannin arrested for insurrection (LSH v4 #11)
    • 4/11/93 – Announcement of upcoming wedding of Grev Mallor (of the City People) to Kahnya Nahtahnie (Lady Memory of the Hill People) on Talok VIII
    • 8/14/93 – wedding of Grev Mallor and Kahnya Nahtahnie 
    • 1/17/94 – Marzal reappears over Africa and the corrupt Earthgov destroys it, but not before Tyroc escapes (LSH v4 #16)
    • 10/22/94 – Raid on anti-government terrorists, but ringleader Vidar (aka Universo) is not captured; Cham tells Marla he’s leaving (LSH v4 #1) 
    • 10/23/94 – Cham begins to recruit members for the new Legion, first approaching Rokk; Vi leaves the Imsk army for Winath; Dominator agents help Roxxas escape from Labyrinth (LSH v4 #1)
    • 10/25/94 – Attack on Jo and Kono on Rimbor; Loomis and Lydda en route to Kathoon (LSH v4 #2)
    • Fri 11/21/94 – Blok is killed by Roxxas the Butcher [Sourcebook] (LSH v4 #3)
    • Thu 11/27/94 – Mordru crushes Rond Vidar’s ring; Rokk and Cham finally meet up with Jo and decide to go to Tharn to rescue Mysa; Dominators and Shvaughn Erin watch the tape of Roxxas and Blok, whose body is delivered to Winath; Mon-El resurrected (LSH v4 #3)
    • Fri 11/28/94 – Mon-El goes to Talok VIII, then Shadow Lass and Mon-El visit Brainiac 5, then Mon-El destroys the Time Trapper (LSH v4 #4)
    • Sat 11/29/94 – Mordruverse (LSH v4 #5)
    • Sat 11/29/94 – Cham, Rokk, Jo, Kono, and Furball arrive on Tharn and are captured by Mordru; after being hired by Earthgov to find Blok’s killer, Celeste, Devlin, and Bounty leave for Trom (LSH v4 #6)
    • Sun 11/30/94 – Celeste, Devlin, and Bounty meet Jan on Trom (LSH v4 #6); with the help of Laurel Gand, Rokk’s crew rescues Mysa and Rond from Mordru but are teleported to Grocz; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, and Jan leave Trom for Winath (LSH v4 #7)
    • Mon 12/1/94 – Rokk, Cham, Jo, Kono, Furball, Rond, Laurel, and Mysa travel from Grocz to Zirr (LSH v4 #8)
    • Tues 12/2/94 – Rokk, Laurel, and Rond take some R&R time on Zirr with baby Lauren, while the others go to Winath; Marla reminisces (LSH v4 #8); on Cygnus IV, Roxxas watches a holo of Laurel Gand; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, and Jan arrive on Winath (LSH v4 #9)
    • Wed 12/3/94 – Rokk and Rond arrive in the morning, having left Laurel behind on Zirr; everyone (Rokk, Rond; Cham, Jo, Kono, Furball, Mysa; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, Jan; Brainy, Garth, Ayla, Vi, Imra) is on Winath when Roxxas attacks; Bounty, Mekt, Cham, and Celeste are seriously injured, while Jo disappears and is presumed dead; Earthgov linked to Roxxas; Tenzil arrives on Earth (LSH v4 #10)
    • Thu 12/4/94 – On Winath, Roxxas is on the loose, and kills a doctor and nurse in the Bloomfield Free Clinic. On Earth, Tenzil participates in the Batcave dig, meets with Shvaughn and Brek (who is released for the first time since incarceration 2 years prior), has dinner with Prosecutor Jakobi, then falls asleep. (LSH v4 #11)
    • Fri 12/5/94 – Tenzil and Brek in court; Holo Scene news article on the trial (LSH v4 #11); Celeste is healed by a green glow; the former Legionnaires team up to capture Roxxas, who reveals Dominion control of Earthgov (LSH v4 #12)
    • Wed 12/10/94 – All-points bulletin on Persuader, who meets Kent Shakespeare in on Quarantine trying to attack Char Burrane Jr. (LSH v4 #12) Persuader is defeated by Kent and SP Captain Gim Allon, who then takes Kent to Toonar. (LSH v4 #13)
    • Thu 12/11/94 – Kent leaves Toonar for Winath; Laurel fights Khunds in deep space; Tenzil and Brek on Gnogg. (LSH v4 #13)
    • Sun 12/14/94 – The Legion is formally reinstated
    • Mon 12/16/94 – Tenzil, Brek, and Calorie Queen are taken to Tartarus by Prince Evillo; Tenzil banished to the Realm of Darkness (LSH v4 #14)
    • Thu 12/25/94 – Garth, Cham, and Rokk remotely survey Talus (LSH v4 #14)
    • Fri 12/26/94 – Tenzil and Sugyn return from the Realm of Darkness, only to hear that Tenzil has been declared dead and his Senate seat vacated. (LSH v4 #14)
    • Sat 12/27/94 – Loomis writes his report on Talus’ suitability for being the new HQ; Tenzil leaves Brek behind on Tartarus and heads for Winath (LSH v4 #14)
    • Sun 12/28/94 – The reformed Legion establishes headquarters on the asteroid world of Talus
    • Sat 1/3/95 – Tenzil Kem rejoins the Legion
    • Sun 1/11/95 – Orando falls to the Khunds  (LSH v4 #15)
    • Mon 1/12/95 – The Legion agrees to team with the United Planets Militia to beat back a Khundish invasion that threatens the heart of the United Planets.  (LSH v4 #15)
    • Date unknown – Cham meets with a Khundish double agent; Venegar falls to the Khunds, who then make a deal with the Hill People of Talok VIII; the UP Militia tries to decide if Xolnar or Talok VIII will be attacked next; Valor and Shadow Lass appear on Talok VIII; Khunds attack Xolnar; Circe wants Dirk to give a pro-Dominator speech (LSH v4 #15)
    • Date unknown  Last stand on Xolnar; introduction of the Resistance on Earth (LSH v4 #16). 
    • Sun 3/22/95 – Khund decoy fleet arrives at Talok VIII, while the main fleet attacks Xolnar, leading to the death of Jed “Power Boy” Rikane; after destroying the Talok fleet, the Legion and the UP Militia arrive at Xolnar to finish the Khundish fleet; Glorith sent to the end of time; the Khunds are driven back to pre-2995 borders, and the Legion concludes its participation in the war against Khundish encroachment (LSH v4 #17)
    • Wed 3/25/95 – Don and Dawn Allen are arrested by Earthgov (LSH v4 #17)
    • Thurs 3/26/95 – Don and Dawn Allen are put on trial (LSH v4 #17)
    • Fri 3/27/95 – Tensions increase on Earth with the execution of Legion friends Don and Dawn Allen. (Note that 3/27/95 is a Friday, while the comic says it happened on a Monday) (LSH v4 #17)
    • Sat 3/28/95 – Daily Planet article on the Allen executions (LSH v4 #17)
    • April 2995 – Imra & Garth’s twins due (LSH v4 #3)
    Unknown dates:
    • Black Dawn: something big and bad happened. Polar Boy says “you know what that cost us”. Sun Boy was a previous leader. By the time it happened, Chameleon Boy had left the Legion and “watched everything fall to pieces” (LSH v4 #1). Timber Wolf was irradiated during Black Dawn, eventually turning him into Furball. Char Burrane (Starfinger II) was somehow involved. (LSH v4 #12)
    • Rokk and Loomis are injured at Venado Bay on the Braal side, and Rokk lost his powers. Salu was somehow involved on the Imsk side. Imsk won, as the army is occupying Braal. (LSH v4 #1) She says that Braal attacked Imsk, and they were just defending themselves. She was head of security on the damper project and knew what it would do, but fought against it (not hard enough, in her admission). (LSH v4 #10)
    • Kent Shakespeare and Gim Allon are both ex-Legionnaires, but it’s unknown when or under what circumstances they left. (LSH v4 #12)