Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Who's Who: Captain Baktra

Captain Baktra
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Kamil Baktra
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Dromedania
Relationship to Legion: Victim

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TOS: Adventure Comics #307

Adventure Comics #307 (April 1963)
"The Secret Power of the Mystery Super-Hero"
written by Edmond Hamilton
drawn by John Forte
lettered by Joe Letterese
cover by Curt Swan & George Klein
 review by Glenn 'Continuity Kid' Walker   

Mission Monitor Board: Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Invisible Kid, Sun Boy, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, and introducing Mystery Lad/Element Lad

Opponents: Roxxas and his space pirates. 

Guest-stars and cameos: Superboy, Bizarro, 'Green Guy,' and 'Camera Eye Kid.'

"The Secret Power of the Mystery Super-Hero" is the first appearance of Element Lad and features the story in which he joins the Legion of Super-Heroes. Element Lad, who started his career as the now somewhat forgotten Mystery Lad, was always a favorite of mine. I always thought that he was seriously underused and had a frequently misunderstood superpower (though not as much as Chemical King). I never cared for the pink costume, but when Dave Cockrum gave him the drastically different and very dynamic green costume, I liked him even more. We'll get to my review in a moment, but first there's that pesky Superboy...

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Write Stuff, Pt 5

It's been a while, but we're back! And we continue our look at magazines which contain Legion-related articles and features.
When last we left our reviews, we had completed an alphabetical rundown up to "C". So now it's "D"-day and beyond ...

DRAW! 3 (2002)
Published by TwoMorrows, this quarterly magazine is described as the professional "How-To" magazine on cartooning and animation, each issue featuring in-depth interviews and step-by-step demonstrations from top comics professionals. It’s still going strong after 15 years, quite an achievement.
In its third issue, artist Paul Rivoche contributed an article on “designing and dreaming”, explaining how he visualized layouts.
One of the example he used was his conceptualization of the Bouncing Boy, the Legion's vessel from the threeboot (LEGION WORLDS #3).

GTM 164 (2013)
The long-running GameTradeMagazine splashed the Legion on its cover this issue to promote the Heroclix Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes Series.
Unfortunately, the article itself only ran for half a page and the only depictions of figures shown for this set were of the non-Legionnaires.
But if you're a Legion completist, you know you'll want this item for the collection.

The concept wasn't bad: a book enumerating the 100 most important comics of all time (up till then, of course).
Such lists are always going to be subjective, but most of the usual suspects are there, including
There are other nifty features in the book, such as a rundown of oddball comics, and a feature on charity comics and heroes “lending a hand”.
The big letdown is a section on the “doofiest” issues ever, compiled by the magazine's staff, some of whom clearly show their ignorance of comics history.
Among the entries is ADVENTURE COMICS 398, the lead story of which is presumed by the un-named writer to be an original tale,
  and which is then slammed for its silliness. He's completely unaware this story, “The Maid of Doom”, starring Supergirl and the Legion of Super Pets, was a reprint of a story from the 60s, when most of the Weisinger run was equally as ludicrous and pretty much accepted as the norm at the time.

It's 1994, and there are two Legion groups out there … the original, and the Dominator batch of clones. (Although, as writer Tom Bierbaum has stated elsewhere, it had been his intent for the SW6 group to have been the originals, had his run continued …)

This issue does an exemplary job of providing a historical account of the group, showcasing the major conflicts, adventures, and events up to the present, embellished with nice short little bios of almost every major member (Dragonmage is missing).
Interestingly, the timeline includes revelations from the Legion Sourcebook, such as Atmos, Crystal Kid, Storm Boy, Echo, Reflecto, and others joining the Legion during the Black Dawn crisis.
There are good interviews with the likes of Tom McCraw, Jim Shooter, Keith Giffen, Tom Bierbaum and even Mark Waid (before he became the Legion's scripter).
o round things off, there's a price guide for Legion books and Legion trading cards, for which there is also a short article.


Bits Boy runs the comprehensive Legion completists’ site Bits of Legionnaire Business.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Terrificon and Keith Giffen

Hey all!

I know everyone is eager to read my review of Legion of Super-Heroes #313, the last issue before the commencement of the Baxter run. But life here is busy and I haven't had a chance to write that review because I have been prepping for TerrifiCon this weekend.

While I did go to Boston Comic Con this year, I am considering TerrifiCon my 'big' convention, going all three days and really stuffing by bag with issues to get signed.

If you peruse the guest list, you'll see a great mix of both current and legendary creators. Many of these creators I have never run into before at a convention and many are huge presences in my comic book life. Marty Pasko. Steve Englehart. Peter David. Paul Kupperberg. Jerry Ordway. Marv Wolfman. Roy Thomas. Etc etc. It is an amazing list.

Oh, and there is this creator...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #88

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #88 (January 1997)
title: "Fast Times"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Lee Moder
inker: Ron Boyd
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Ruben Diaz
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Alan Davis
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Kinetix, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy, XS

Impulse, Inferno, Kitty Faulkner, Koko, Max Mercury, Rep. Carl Mellor, Rond Vidar, Sen. Dottie Money, Shvaughn Erin, S.T.A.R. Labs staff; in flashback: Flash II, Iris West

Lab accidents

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Who's Who: Bounty I

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Jaeger Tallspirit
Super-Power(s): Tracking
Planet of Origin: Minerstown
Relationship to Legion: Pardoned villain

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

TOS: Adventure Comics #306

Adventure Comics #306 (March 1963)
title: "The Legion of Substitute Heroes!"
writer: Otto Binder
artist: John Forte
letterer: John Letterese
editor: Mort Weisinger
reviewer: Siskoid

Mission Monitor Board: 
Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy

Chlorophyll Kid, Fire Lad, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Stone Boy, Science Police, Stone Boy's family, Chlorophyll Kid's family, a news anchor

Flying Crime City, Plant Men, sea monsters

Monday, August 14, 2017

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #62

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #62 (July 1962) 
title: Superman's Phantom Pal
writer: Leo Dorfman
artist: Curt Swan and George Klein
cover: Curt Swan and Sheldon Moldoff
editor: Mort Weisinger

Supporting Cast
Perry White, Lois Lane, Lucy Lane, Superman

Mission Monitor Board
Elastic Lad and Mon-El

Jax-Ur, Professor Vox, and Dr. Xadu

Friday, August 11, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #312

Legion of Super-Heroes #312 is the penultimate issue of this particular run of the book; the Baxter Book is right around the corner. With the main title shifting and all major plotlines moving there, the creative team needed a neat little story to fill the last two issues here. And, in what I think is a brilliant move, this story is a more in-depth look at the Science Police.

One of the things that most Legion fans pride themselves on is their encyclopedic knowledge of the team's members and history. So, something like the Science Police, a presence in almost every issue but not really explored, is almost a frontier. It would be easy to just say the SciPo are just future cops. But this is the 30th Century. There has to be more.

And for fastidious readers, this issue is stuffed with Interlac. You could spend an hour translating all the screens and signage in this book. Perhaps that is why they gave us the alphabet last issue.

As usual, storytellers Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen infuse a crime procedural story with the usual subplots and character moments that this run is famous for. Giffen is on pencils but instead of usual inker Larry Mahlstedt, Giffen's art is finished by inker extraordinaire Karl Kesel.

It has been a while since I have revisited these issues and I know I only have one left. But I have been pleased as punch with reviewing these. Just wonderful.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Reboot: Impulse #21

Impulse #21 (January 1997)
title: "A Little Knowledge"
writer: Mark Waid
penciller: Craig Rousseau
inker: Wayne Faucher
lettering: Chris Eliopoulos
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt
editor: Paul Kupperberg
with thanks to: Otto Binder
cover: Humberto Ramos & Wayne Faucher
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Saturn Girl, Spark

Impulse, Koko, Max Mercury; statues of Flash I, II and III