Sunday, May 22, 2022

Legionnaires #1 Annotations: Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!

Annotations for Legionnaires Annual #1:


  • Part of the 1994 Elseworlds annuals theme, typically unrelated to the main book. This one is completely standalone, and maps the Legion roughly onto Arthurian legend.
  • Page 1: we’ve been to Thanagar twice before in the pre-Zero Hour universe: some Hawk-people were killed by Professor Ivo (LSHv3 Annual 1), and it was attacked by Daxamites under control of Darkseid (LSHv2 294). It was also mentioned as the site of a Science Police convention (SBOY 217) but we didn’t go there.
  • Page 2: Rokk pulling the Nth metal out of Thanagar with Brande seems to parallel Arthur pulling Excalibur from the stone with Merlin. 
  • Page 4 panel 3: Avalon was the place where King Arthur's sword Excalibur was made and later where Arthur was taken to recover from being gravely wounded at the Battle of Camlann. Since then, the island has become a symbol of Arthurian mythology, similar to Arthur's castle Camelot. In regular continuity, we saw Avalon where Mordru temporarily made a home (in Lord Romdur’s Castle) and then a bit later when Darkseid dug him up and stole his powers.
  • Page 9 panel 2: In the Threeboot, the Legion flight ring was retconned to being made of Nth metal. 
  • Page 11: take a drink for a Legion traitor!
  • Page 13: even though he was a traitor, do we still take a drink for a dead Legionnaire?
  • Page 15: take a drink for a golden statue
  • Page 17 panel 2: is Tenzil eating Thor’s hammer Mjolnir?
  • Page 22: take 3 drinks for 3 dead Legionnaires (Dox, Lyle, Brek)
  • Page 25 panel 5: “either we hang together or we hang separately” is a paraphrase of a saying attributed to Ben Franklin at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
  • Page 26 panel 2: Jeckie’s “spell of making” is from the movie “Excalibur”  
  • Page 27: I found the page of original art on Heritage, it sold for only $74 in 2018
  • Page 28 panel 1: Imra is in subcircle 9; in Dante’s Inferno, the 9th circle of Hell was “dedicated to those people who betrayed their loved ones, friends, best friends, countries, cities, guests and even their masters”, and of course Imra has betrayed Rokk by having an affair with Garth
  • Page 42: Garth rescuing Imra is reminiscent of Lancelot rescuing Guinevere from being burned at the stake after being found out regarding their affair
  • Rough analogs for the Arthurian legend in this story:
    • Rokk = Arthur
    • Imra = Guinevere
    • Garth = Lancelot
    • Mekt = Mordred
    • Brande = Merlin
    • Nth Metal = Excalibur
    • Avalon = Camelot
    • Miracle Machine = Holy Grail
    • Dark Circle = Morgaine le Fey (or maybe the Saxon hordes)

Sunday, May 08, 2022

RIP George Perez

Coming so soon on the heels of the loss of the great Neal Adams, is the loss of the great George Perez. This was not unexpected, but even though after his December diagnosis he said he had a few months left, just because you know it's coming doesn't make it easier.

So like with Adams, I'm not going to eulogize Perez, you can read the many tributes around the internet, all of which say he was a genuinely nice guy. Instead, I'll present a gallery of his Legion work from 1980-2013.

I just wanted to post this picture up top as one of the great "FUCK YEAH!" moments in Legion history, which was drawn by George.

In general, while doing my research, I'm breaking this down into three categories, though only showing the covers to the first set:
  1. Covers of Legion books
  2. Covers of books that a Legionnaire or two may be on, but it's not a Legion story
  3. Interior art
In 1980-81, shortly after arriving at DC from Marvel, Perez did a great number of covers across all titles, among which were six issues of LSH v2 (268, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281). He also drew Colossal Boy on the jam cover to LSH v2 300.

In 2007, Perez joined with writer Mark Waid for a six-issue story arc called "The Lords of Luck", featuring Batman, Green Lantern, Supergirl, Blue Beetle III, Lobo, and the Threeboot Legion versus the Luck Lords and the Fatal Five. The Legion cover-starred in issue 5 but the Luck Lords and the Fatal Five were throughout the whole arc. There was a new cover for the reprint collection.

In 2008-09, while the rest of the DC Universe was going through a Final Crisis, the Legion was involved in a side-story that involved the Retroboot, Reboot, and Threeboot versions of 3 worlds. The DC Universe #0 issue was a prelude that had a tease of "Legion of 3 Worlds" that didn't otherwise appear in the miniseries. The first printing had the Retroboot Legion in the center, while the second printing had the Threeboot Legion. An unused version of the cover of DC Universe #0 became the cover to the collected edition of the series, which had all three Legions.

Each of the issues of the miniseries had a variant cover (one full cover and one "sliver" cover). Issue #1 had a couple other versions, the first being a pencils-only version of the full cover (as the RRP variant) and one with that image as a sliver, as the second printing. 

After it was all over, Perez was at the Baltimore Con in 2009 and had this to say about working on L3W:

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, he would enjoy drawing a Legion project for him.

Perez did an interview in 2019 saying that this miniseries was basically the last thing on his bucket list that he wanted to draw.

Well, the irony is that the Legion, when I was growing up, was one of my favorite comics. I mean even over The Avengers because I loved all of the characters, all of the costumes, all the color.

I thought, one of the first comics I would ever do if I got the chance — other than well, I knew I wanted JLA, I knew I wanted The Avengers — but I really wanted the Legion of Super-Heroes. And then it took so long in my career to finally do a Legion of Super-Heroes story. I did a few covers, I did a few little pinups… but I’d never worked on a Legion story. They appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths, but then again, who didn’t?

Finally, Perez drew the cover to LSH v7 #20 in 2013 - and although I own the issue, I have no recollection of ever seeing it before today when I discovered it while researching this blog post. One final "new" (to me) cover on Free Comic Book Day and the day it was announced that he had passed away.

He also drew a number of covers that had a Legionnaire on the cover, though it wasn't a Legion book:

  • Crisis on Infinite Earths 1-10
  • Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe 3-5, 13-18
  • DC Universe: Legacies 5, 6
And finally, issues that had interior art featuring (or at least guest-starring) the Legion:
  • DC Comics Presents 38
  • Best of DC Digest 24
  • Superman v1 423
  • History of the DC Universe 2

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

LSH v4 #59 annotations: Let's Start Wrapping Up All the Subplots Before It's Too Late!

Annotations for LSH v4 #59:


  • The overarching theme of this issue is: “we need to wrap up all of the subplots this issue because we’re up to End of an Era”
  • Page 1: The Khund bomb exploded at the end of the previous issue.
  • Page 3 panel 6: notice that in this issue, when we have a transition to a flashback within the story, we are led to the next page (or panel) by someone’s hair. 
    • Transition out by Jewel’s hair, transition back with Furball’s hair on page 7 panel 1
    • Transition out by Jacques’ hair in page 7 panel 5, back in with Infectious Lass’s hair on page 10 panel 1
    • Transition out by Shadow Lass’s hair on page 11 panel 2 and back in on page 12 panel 2
    • Transition out by Ayla’s hair on page 16 panel 4, back in on page 17 panel 5
  • Page 7 panel 2: Flederweb joined the Heroes of Lallor, who took off so that we don’t have to concern ourselves with them any more.
  • Page 7 panels 4-5: Oh, and no need to worry about that Universo subplot anymore, either
  • Page 9 panel 5: Oomar is a planet in the Tenth Galaxy, it’s where the addictive Lotus Fruit grows wild (ACT 378)
  • Page 12 panel 4: Celeste, formerly made of Green Lantern energy, is now a Darkstar. The Controllers created the Darkstars just like the Oans created the GLs.
  • Page 13 panel 4: this flashback follows the end of Legionnaires #16, which came out last week (real publishing time) – recall this issue of LSHv4 came out the same week as last week’s feature Valor #21
  • Page 15 panel 2: have to wrap up the “who is Phase from L.E.G.I.O.N.” subplot before Zero Hour renders the answer moot. Recall that in the LSH v4 Annual #1 it was Glorith who sent Tinya back in time and swapped her for the Durlan who later became RJ Brande.
  • Page 16 panel 1: Jo leaves for 1994, where he will appear next in L.E.G.I.O.N. #68 – but we’ll get to that later. We will see him – and the SW6 Livewire, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy, who left in a time bubble in Legionnaires #16 a couple weeks ago – in the pages of Zero Hour before they return to “End of an Era”.
  • Page 19 panel 4: Tyroc has dispatched the Legionnaires to take care of Polestar, which we’ll see in Legionnaires #17 in a little while
It's beginning to look a lot like Zero Hour....

Cutting down the timeline to just the last few days of story as we get close to Zero Hour. 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 (cyan). Bold text is something new added this issue. Italics are unknown dates. 

Due to the timelines in the stories bouncing between 2995 and 1994 and things happening "simultaneously" 1001 years apart, I'm keeping the events in the order that they happen to the people involved, not strictly chronological by day and year. To make it easier to follow, the 1994 dates will be in red text and anything outside of time (like at the beginning or end of time) will be in blue text.
  • Thu 9/28/95: The Legion tries and fails to protect Starfinger III from the Khunds, while fighting the Legion Academy, the Khundish ex-Legionnaires, and the mind-controlled Heroes of Lallor; Polestar leaves for New Earth while the rest of the team go to Weber’s World; Valor finds something strange with Dev-Em; Rond Vidar finds something strange in the time stream (LSHv4 #57); Ayla is growing younger since the battle with Glorith, and to comfort her, Vi reads her a bedtime story (LSHv4 Ann #5).
  • Fri 9/29/95: Arriving at Weber’s World, the team tries to stop the Khunds’ bombs from destroying the planet; Dawnstar arrives and meets Wildfire; Firefist kills Veilmist; and after studying at the Infinite Library, Glorith travels to Tharn where she restores Mordru’s powers to help her conquer the universe (LSHv4 #58). Meanwhile, SW6 Brainy & Triad find that Valor has been retconned from history (Valor #13, Legionnaires #16 pages 9-10), so a team of Legionnaires goes back in time to find out what happened (Valor #14, Legionnaires #16 page 10).
    • Outside of time: the Legionnaires enter the time stream and crash their Time Bubble (Valor #15); the Legionnaires fight Valor and find out that Lori is Glorith (Valor #16), and then fight Glorith, but Valor succumbs to the effects of his lead poisoning and dies; SW6 Valor appears (Valor #17); Brainiac 5 tells SW6 Valor that he will have to spend another 1000 years in the Phantom Zone in order to save time, and Valor does not take it well (Valor #18), but the presence of Waverider and seeing his fellow Legionnaires vanish changes his mind. Once he accepts his fate, the Legionnaires appear back in their own time and the legend of Valor is restored (Valor #19, Legionnaires #16 page 11). From Vanishing Point, the Linear Men see a timequake affect the 30th century (Valor #20), which causes Dream Girl and Star Boy to appear (Legionnaires #16).
    • Fri 9/29/95: The Legionnaires instantly return to their present, unaware of their meeting with Glorith and the Valors (Valor #15-19, Legionnaires #16 page 11); Star Boy, Dream Girl, and Bouncing Boy appear with the Legionnaires and Ferro Lad is long dead, leading Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad – who seem to be the only ones aware that something funny is going on – to take a Time Bubble to figure it out (even though Invisible Kid and Rond Vidar are secretly aware that something’s happening); Polestar appears at New Earth (Legionnaires #16, LSHv4 #59); Rond, SW6 Brainiac 5, and SW6 Invisible Kid arrive on Weber’s World in a time bubble at the same time as with Mon-El, Shadow Lass, and Dev-Em, but they're all too late to prevent the death of Laurel Gand from the Khund bomb; Jo leaves for 1994 to find Tinya (LSHv4 #59).