Monday, April 23, 2018

The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #7

The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #7 (December 2007)
title: No Boys Allowed
writer: Jai Nitz
art: Ethan Beavers
letterer: Mike Sellers
colorist: Heroic Age
editor: Jeanine Schaefer
cover art: Alexander Serra

Mission Monitor Board: Bouncing Boy, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Superman, Triplicate Girl

Villain: Circe

Special Appearance: The Amazons of New Themyrscira

Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: Legion Lost #5


I guess I was a little bit desperate to like a Legion book because I keep opening my old reviews with how good Legion Lost is. I really liked the book back then it seemed. Meanwhile, the older Anj can't help but see the flaws.

I wonder though, perhaps what I like about this book is the details. I see the trees and I am ignoring the forest. Legion Lost #5 is just that sort of issue. The characterization of Dawnstar and Tellus is solid. I like Dawnstar's reluctance to wade into physical battle. I love how she counts on Wildfire's protection. I love Tellus' strategy and his way of defeating the villain. And, of course, I love Wildfire's personality and action. There is a 'boom' moment in this book. 

And Pete Woods' are continues to sparkle.

But the big plot. The Hypertaxis Virus, the defeat of Alastor, his motivations ... it all is off for me. And just like that it, and writer Fabian Nicieza's run on the book, is over. So things aren't great and they are changing. My gut tells me it is not for the better. Maybe we didn't know how good we had it until it was gone.

But rereading that Wildfire page ... oh so Vegeta ... made me smile once again. I had forgotten about it! BOOM!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reboot: Legends of the Legion #2

Legends of the Legion #2 (March 1998)
title: "Resistance - The Secret Origin of Spark!"
writers: Barry Kitson and Tom Peyer
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Albert De Guzman
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Spark, Star Boy, Ultra Boy, Umbra; flashback: Live Wire

Guests: 
Antennae Boy, Chuck Taine, Color Queen, Doro, Infectious Lass, Night Girl, Porcupine Pete; flashback: Feg Arzz, Dalya Ranzz, Garla, Hegga, Kirth Ranzz, Zakk Arzz, Winathians

Opponents: 
Flashback: High-Brow, Klamorr, Lightning Beasts, Lightning Lord, Slopp, Violence Queen

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Who's Who: Kantuu

Kantuu
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Kantuu
Super-Power(s): Phenomenal Cosmic Powers
Planet of Origin: Djinn
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #337



Adventure Comics #337 (October 1965)
title: The Weddings That Wrecked the Legion
writer: Edmond Hamilton
artist: John Forte
letterer: Milton Snapinn
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein
cover letterer: Ira Schnapp
reviewer: Bits Boy (AKA Legion Lad)

Mission Monitor Board
Superboy, Sun Boy, Colossal Boy, Phantom Girl, Ultra Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Chameleon Boy, Mon-El, Brainiac 5, Light Lass, Cosmic Boy, Element lad, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Triplicate Girl


Guests

Night Girl, Chlorophyll Kid

Opponent
Would-be invaders from planet Murra

Monday, April 16, 2018

Spider-Boy & the Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099

Spider-Boy Team Up
Title: “Too Many Heroes – Too Little Time!”
Writer: R.K. Sternsel (A mash up of Roger Stern and Karl Kesel)
Penciller: Ladronn
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Ralph Felder
Editor In Chief: Bob Harras
Review: Jude "Sarcasm Kid" Deluca

Guys, I apologize for the lack of articles from my pen on this site. The last couple of months haven’t really been good for me, and it’s been hard to focus on the Legion without getting depressed about them.

Dawnstar hasn’t been in the latest Bombshells comics and I still have to work on those Action Comics reviews, but for now here’s a special one-off I ran by Russell. I originally proposed this as part of a series discussing different Legion homages and pastiches from other comic companies like the Imperial Guard, the League of Infinity, the Pantheon of Heroes, and Superduper. The Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099 were the easiest to start with because they only appear in one issue.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Review: New 52 Legion Lost #4


Welcome to the review of Legion Lost #4, an issue which I think encapsulates a lot of what was wrong with the New 52.

It is an okay issue. The art by Pete Woods is great. It continues the idea of rotating narrators which allows us to get a sense of what each character is thinking about themselves and the team members. But it also is still in the odd plot of stopping a plague in the past, a plot I don't like. And there are parts in the book that make sense. You'll see when you try to figure out what is going on with Yera.

But the biggest thing about this issue which is pure New 52 is the announcement that the writer is leaving. Fabian Nicieza is gone. Think about that. DC blew up their continuity. They announced 52 new titles based on the best pitches. And 4 issues in there is such dissonance between creator and company that they are going separate ways. The same thing happened with Hawk and Dove. The same thing happened with George Perez on Superman. How can DC have been so short sighted that they didn't realize that so many of their titles weren't going to work. 

Even worse than Nicieza leaving is the news that Tom DeFalco coming on. DeFalco is about as old school as you can get. Not exactly screaming 'bold new direction'. 

But let's not destroy this issue for editorial nonsense. The truth is that the Dawnstar aspect of the issue is really well done. And Pete Woods kills it. 

On to the book.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #58

Legionnaires #58 (March 1998)
title: "If a Man Be Made of Iron..."
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Jeffrey Moy and Philip Moy
inkers: Philip Moy and W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau and Glen Robbins
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Star Boy, Triad, Umbra, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Andromeda, Douglas Nolan (flashback), Dr. Gym'll, Dr. Mollie D'Ennum, Dr. Ryk'rr, Ferro's mother (flashback), Koko, Lori Morning (Dialed heroes: Ink), Magno, Marla Latham, Shvaughn Erin, Superman (flashback), Tenzil Kem, doctors, French policemen

Opponents: 
McCauley employees, Mordru (flashback), a Durlan thief

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Who's Who: Kandru Boltax

Kandru Boltax
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Kandru Boltax
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Earth President, ally

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

TOS: Superboy #124

Superboy #124 (October 1965)
title: "The Insect Queen of Smallville!"
writer: Otto Binder
artist: George Papp
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewers: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage and Michael "Nostalgic Kid"Lane

Mission Monitor Board:  
Superboy, future Legion Reservist Insect Queen

Summary: 
Lana Lang acquires a special alien ring which grants her abilities of various insects.


Monday, April 9, 2018

DC Archive Sampler (2004)


Look at this comic cover!
I found it at a Half-Priced Bookstore about a year ago.
It was in a bag, taped up and protected. I'm not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when I come across books I have never seen before....we all do it, don't we? I mean, that's what covers are for, right?

Would YOU have bought it?

Friday, April 6, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #3

I continue my look at 2011's Legion Lost book here on the blog.

This was an interesting reread for me as things I gloss over in the first review stuck out as more painful in my reread. And the things which I seemed to like a lot I think I liked a smidgen less. As a result, I have a slightly downgraded opinion of this. 

For one, the Legion deciding not to ask the other super-heroes, especially Superman, for help out of concern for infection control seems silly now. Humans are infected and milling about shopping malls. This isn't a contained situation. Second, the fact that Timber Wolf can drive a car with the skill of a stunt driver seems foolish. It would be akin to me knowing how to race a stage coach. Lastly, the idea of the Legionnaires being mutated by the virus such that Wolf can fire his finger nails is a bit cringe worthy in retrospect.


Things that do stand out. I like the pattern of writer Fabian Nicieza using a different team member as the narrator each issue. I like that Wolf's more animal nature is part of his life. And contrasting that to the savagery of humans was nice. And the art by Pete Woods continues to shine. That mall splash page below remains incredible. On to the review.

Legion Lost #3 came out 2 weeks ago making this a late review.

We are three months into the DCnU and it is funny how my responses to some books have changed since the opening issue. I really didn't like the first issue of Legion Lost. I put the book on life support saying it had a short period of time to grab me. I thought the second issue was better with a nice narration by Wildfire and smoother art by Pete Woods.I still wasn't fond of the idea of the stranded Legion fighting a plague in the past. But it was a nice improvement.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #101

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #101 (February 1998)
title: "Jump"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jason Armstrong

inker: Ron Boyd
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Spark, Star Boy, Violet

Guests: 
Doctor Gym'll, Insect Queen, Lucy, Shvaughn Erin, a scientist, a zookeeper

Opponents: 
"Big Brain", Lightning Beasts; flashback: Lightning Lord

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Who's Who: Izaya

Izaya the Inheritor
by Russell & Siskoid


Alter Ego: Highfather
Super-Power(s): Super-human strength and invulnerability, focuses energies from the omnipotent Source through his staff
Planet of Origin: New Genesis
Relationship to Legion: Ally

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #336

Adventure Comics #336 (September 1965)
title: "The True Identity of Starfinger!"
writer: Edmond Hamilton
artist: John Forte
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Superboy, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Chameleon Boy, Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Light Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Colossal Boy, Ultra Boy, Lightning Lad; cameos by Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Sun Boy, Mon-El, and Star Boy

Opponents: 
Starfinger

Monday, April 2, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Proty (Mattel 12-Pack)


by Derek William Crabbe
It's the greatest pack-in in a Legion of Super-Heroes 12-Pack Box Set next to a 24-carat gold plated Legion Flight Ring! It's....Proty!  Well, I guess technically, it's Proty II, but who's counting dead Protys?

Friday, March 30, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #2


Welcome back to my retro-review of Legion Lost. This week I take a look at Legion Lost #2.

As I said before, I have basically forgotten this whole series and so this issue, one you think I would remember, really felt fresh. Wildfire is my favorite Legionnaire and this issue is really something of a deep dive into his character. He is a tortured soul, a ball of energy anthropomorphized by a containment suit who cannot really interact with people in a personal way. And here, he tries to help someone similarly cursed.

The thing here is the new energy person seems a bit too comfortable with his new reality. And also, is the second issue the right time for a Wildfire character study. I suppose Nicieza has to introduce these character to potential new readers brought here by the lure of the New 52.

For me, the voice of Wildfire is dead on and that makes me happy. I still don't like the 'back in the past to fight an epidemic' which, per the Legion's history, didn't happen. Maybe the Legion should do nothing since, to them, it didn't happen. 


And I also have to say that Pete Woods is doing great stuff here. I love his work here.

On to the retro-review.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Reboot: Legends of the Legion #1

Legends of the Legion #1 (February 1998)
title: "Guts"
writers: Barry Kitson and Tom Peyer
penciller: Todd Nauck
inker: Larry Stucker
lettering: Albert T. De Guzman
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Spark, Star Boy, Ultra Boy, Umbra; flashback: Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Saturn Girl, Triad, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Antennae Boy, Chuck Taine, Color Queen, Doro, Infectious Lass, Night Girl, Porcupine Pete; flashback: Inferno, Karate Kid, Spider-Girl, Emerald Dragons, settlers of the whale, a Rimborian kid

Opponents: 
Flashback: Bone Spike Gang, Space Whale

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Who's Who: Interplanetary Bank Beast-Guards

Interplanetary Bank Beast-Guards
by Russell & Siskoid


Known members: the Loud-Speaker Beast, the Asteroid Serpent, the Jigsaw Creature
Super-Power(s): see individual notes below
Planet of Origin: Unknown
Relationship to Legion: none; battled the Legion once when under the control of the evil Apollo

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #335

Adventure Comics #335 (August 1965)
title: "Starfinger!"
writer: Edmond Hamilton
penciller: John Forte
inker: Sheldon Moldoff
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy

Opponents: 
Starfinger

Monday, March 26, 2018

Legion of Super Heroes S02 E05: The Karate Kid

"The Karate Kid" was directed by Scott Jeralds and Brandon Vietti, and written by Eddit Guzelian. Original airdate: October 27, 2007. Review by Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane.

Mission Monitor Board: Chameleon Lad, Cosmic Boy, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Nemesis Kid, Superman, and Timber Wolf.

Cameos: Blok, Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Duo Damsel, Shrinking Violet, and Tyroc.

Opponents: Grimbor the Chainsman

Friday, March 23, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #1

Hey all, it's Anj again. 

Fridays for the next several months will be a look back at my New 52 Legion Lost title. I reviewed this over on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary when it came out in 2011. But I haven't thought about it much since then. My overarching feelings were one of disappointment. That much I do remember. But specifics? I don't recall many.

As a result, these reviews will be a bit retro, like my recent reviews of the New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes book. I will post the old review but I will open and close with new thoughts as I reread the book. I must admit, this will truly feel new to me. I don't remember it at all.


As I say in this review of Legion Lost #1, I am not a fan of the "Legion trapped in the present" storyline, whenever it happens. So to have a whole series based on that is already disappointing. To then hinder the characters by making them weakened just by the present day atmosphere is another downer. If I am reading Dawnstar, I want her to be Dawnstar. I want her to have her powers.

I am a bit harsh on Pete Woods art in this review. In retrospect, it is pretty slick. I like the look of the Legionnaires. Even Wildfire's new look is pretty cool. What I don't understand is this team's makeup. Lots of hotheads in this group.

Anyways, onto the book.

Legion Lost #1 came out last week, the second Legion book in the DCnU.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #57

Legionnaires #57 (February 1998)
title: "Troubled Minds"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy

inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
adult legionnaire: Carmella Merlo
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Admiral Everett, Andromeda (flashback), Ar'by, Aven, Bertor Ardeen, Dr. Gym'll, Jancel Ardeen, Koko, R.J. Brande, Science Police Commander Hagbard, Sydne Ardeen, Winema Wazzo, Winema's aide, Xamuel Ivar, Titanian border guards, U.P. representatives

Opponents: 
Dark Circle, Sklarian Raiders; Dr. Psycho (flashback)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Who's Who: Immune

Immune
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Dr. Murleen Dreeu
Super-Power(s): Immunity to disease
Planet of Origin: Xorma
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #86-87 Point-Counterpoint

Jimmy Olsen #86 (July 1965)
title: "The Team of Olsen and Brainiac!"
writer: Jerry Siegel 
penciller: Curt Swan 
inker:George Klein
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein

and 
Jimmy Olsen #87 (September 1965)
title: "The Arena of Doom" 
writer: Jerry Siegel 
artist: Al Plastino 
editor: Mort Weisinger 
cover: Curt Swan and Sheldon Moldoff 
reviewers: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage and Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Synopsis
While covering a story, Jimmy sustains severe brain damage. Brainiac offers to help but secretly replaces Jimmy's brain with an electronic one. Now programmed to serve Brainiac, Jimmy lures Superman into a trap. The Man of Steel quickly defeats Brainiac. The villain agrees to restore Jimmy's brain in exchange for his freedom, but places him under hypnotic control. Now teamed with Lex Luthor, Cosmic King, Lightning Lord, and Saturn Queen, Brainiac forces Jimmy to steal kryptonite from the Fortress of Solitude and lure Superman into another trap. Weakened by the kryptonite, Superman offers to help the villains if they would agree to spare him. Lex and Brainiac want to accept, but are outvoted by the Legion of Super Villains. Jimmy executes Superman by exposing him to the kryptonite, but the moment Jimmy realizes what he has done, the villains are encased in transparent globes. It turns out that thee kryptonite is not real, but merely a container holding the bottled city of Kandor. Superman's cowardly behavior was so that he could bide time until the citizens of Kandor could activate a special machine to entrap the villains. Whew!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Karate Kid #2

Karate Kid #2 
"The International Dooms of Major Disaster"
script by Paul Levitz and David Michelinie writing as Barry Jameson,
art by Ric Estrada, and inks by Joe Staton,
cover by Mike Grell,
cover date: May-June 1976,
review by Glenn 'Continuity Kid' Walker

Editor's Note: This is the second of three reviews of the 1970s Karate Kid series that Glenn Walker completed for the Legion of Super-Bloggers before his untimely death. Glenn was looking forward to reviewing this entire series, and had enthusiastically written up and prepped three posts before he passed away due to illness in December of last year.  
We present the review to issue #2 to you today and will present the review of #3 next month. We do this not only as a  memorial of sorts to our friend, but also because they are so well written. To not use them seems like a monumental waste. We hope you agree. ~Russell  

This issue was actually the first issue of Karate Kid that I purchased off what was then a spinner rack in the Anning's 5 & 10 (now a specialty ice cream shop) in my home town. First I was stunned to see a comic titled Karate Kid. I think it was a sudden move from DC Comics, and they'd kept it a bit on the down-low from Legion fans unless you were really paying attention (which I must not have been). But here it was, a beautiful Mike Grell cover with Karate Kid protecting the United Nations and a redhead (always my favorite, so much so I married one) from the despicable and dangerous Major Disaster. The Legion fan in me had to have it.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A look back ... And a look forward ... At Friday's With Anj


Hello all, it's Anj again.

It is hard to believe but in a couple of months I will be hitting my four year anniversary on this blog.

It was back in the spring of 2014 that The Irreedemable Shag asked me to be on the site and I had to say yes. The Legion has been a near constant in my comic book fandom. How could I say no?

I have been manning Fridays here since then. It is an interesting side truth that since this blog went live, no Legion book has been on the shelves. We have come close to a dramatic comeback. We have seen characters and heard hints of it since Rebirth. We even have a live action Legion on the Supergirl show.

But no comic.

And I recently had the (un)luck of covering the book that was the final nail in the coffin, the New 52 Legion. So what is next for the team? And what is next for Fridays? It is an interesting question. And I will try to answer both, in a way, by looking at what I have done before.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes Secret Files and Origins #1

In August of 2016, before we started reviewing the Reboot era, our fearless leader Little Russell Burbage reviewed the Legion's 1998 Secret Files (the first of three such specials). So for the issue's recap and an alternative opinion, please follow THIS LINK back to the original review. No redundancies, Siskoid & Shotgun will only give their own impressions of each "File".
Legionnaires Three (Legion origin)
Shotgun
I’m surprised they chose to retell the origin of the Legion from Triad’s point of view. Her perspective is an interesting twist on what we first read what...? Almost two years ago already? It was pleasant to revisit the beginning of our story as so much happened since then. I must admit that I was a bit scared it would only be a retelling, so I was happy to find the new story at the zoo. It does bring up some questions though. I remember the team being a lot less in sync during the bomb incident during their introduction at the U.P. Assembly. Since this story at the zoo actually happened before the bomb, and we know it’s happening before since they still wear the super generic costumes and are only the original three, one would assume they’d be able to work together more efficiently in a second crisis, no? Anyway, as Brande's assistant, Triad gave us plenty more information on his struggle with the installation of the United Planets and the idea behind the Legion.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Who's Who: Holdur

Holdur
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Hald Atovio
Super-Power(s): Super grip
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #334


Hey, it's Anj from the Supergirl site Comic Box Commentary, looking back at one of my favorite issues from the Silver Age, Adventure Comics #334, 'The Unknown Legionnaire'!

 People should know by now that I love the Legion and this issue has the bonus of including the Silver Age Supergirl as well. But the biggest mystery of the comic is who is the Unknown Legionnaire? Who is he? And why is he the 'greatest super-hero of all time'??

Now trust me, this is a wild story. One of the things that amazes me is how jam packed these Silver Age stories are. I mean, this is a dense story with plot twists and major turns and multiple scenes changes. This would be a 6 issue arc in today's books and here it was told in a crisp 17 page story.

And, of course, knowing my particular interests, I felt obliged to review this issue.

Monday, March 12, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Timber Wolf (Mattel 12-Pack)



by Derek William Crabbe
Brin Londo a.k.a Timber Wolf was sporting a Dave Cockrum designed Wolf-Man hairdo long before a certain two-bit Hulk villain burst onto the X-scene! But that's not the only thing they shared in common! Much like that hairy Berserker who calls everybody Bub pined away for Cyclops' girl, Brin was also macking on Lightning Lad's girl, Saturn Girl, when they all thought they were gonna croak in space!

Friday, March 9, 2018

The New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes: A Eulogy


Hey all, it's Anj.

I have been manning Fridays for a while here on the blog, reviewing Legion books and reliving my fandom one issue at a time.

But sometimes it is a hard job.

Last week I finished my retrospective view of the New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes. And I can say, it wasn't easy. So allow me a brief post to sort of put together some overall thoughts about this volume. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts about it.

I had issues with the New 52 as a whole. I was not excited for a company wide reboot. I especially didn't like the fact that it was mostly company wide with Batman and ancillary books like the Legion basically unscathed. And I didn't like the darkening of the universe as a whole. This was not a fun or inspirational or uplifting universe at all.

As for the Legion? Well, as a New 52 book which was following its older continuity, it is neither fish nor fowl. Is it a new team? No. Is it a good jumping on point for new readers interested in sampling the New 52? Not really. Is it the Legion that old school fans wanted? I don't think so.

The whole run seemed to struggle with trying to find itself. Was it a darker Legion in a more dystopian future? Was it a new younger team with its rookie recruits leading the way? Was it a classic Legion? Was it trying to be all of those things, ultimately being none of them?

And looking at the book as a whole, did the pace of the run make sense? Were their 'fill-in' issues that seemed oddly placed? Were there arcs that made sense? It seemed to stop and start over the two years. And that sputtering hurt it as well.

On to some moments ...

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Reboot: Inferno #1-4

Inferno #1-4 (October 1997-January 1998)
titles: "Run Come See the Sun", "A Houseful, a Holeful", "Girls Interrupted", "Who by Fire"
writer: Stuart Immonen
penciller: Stuart Immonen
inker: Wade von Grawbadger
lettering: Albert T. De Guzman
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Stuart Immonen and Wade von Grawbadger
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Inferno

Guests: 
Charlie Woodcock, Donna Ferri, Donovan Winter, Eldrid Hayes, Helen Cage, Jane Washington-Carter, Jilly Major, Saturn Girl, Sophie Desjardins; mall cops, mall customers; flashback only: Apparition, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Evolvo, Gates, Inferno's parents (Jonn and Maja Anderson), Karate Kid, Live Wire, Shvaughn Erin, Spark, Spider-Girl, Ultra Boy; cameos only: Ferro, Invisible Kid, Superboy, Triad

Opponents: 
Mall parasite (entity unnamed); flashback only: Emerald Eye of Ekron, Leland McCauley

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Who's Who: High Seer of Naltor

The High Seer of Naltor
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Beren Kah
Super-Power(s): Precognition
Planet of Origin: Naltor
Relationship to Legion: Ally

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #333

Adventure Comics #333 (June 1965)
title: The War Between Krypton and Earth
writer: Edmond Hamilton
penciller: John Forte
inker: George Klein
letterer: Milton Snappin
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board:
Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Element Lad, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl.

Opponent: Themselves

Monday, March 5, 2018

GEE WIZARD: The Write Stuff part 7


To round off our look at the various publications that featured articles about the Legion, we feature WIZARD magazine, the high-end product that emerged during the comic speculator boom in 1991. At its prime, with its glossy pages and focus on all aspects of the industry, including independent publishers, trading cards, toys, games, and market information, the magazine and its subsidiaries enjoyed monthly circulation of more than 100,000 copies.

Yet, despite this, the Legion rarely featured in WIZARD's 233-issue run. By 2011, with the onset of Internet comic book sites that offered the same sort of content for free, the magazine's subscriber base was so low that it had no option but to cease publication.

Friday, March 2, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #23


On August 26, 2013, I posted this review of Legion of Super-Heroes #23, the final issue of this volume. That is just over four and a half years ago. That was the last time a new Legion book was on the shelves. Amazing.

And, looking back at this issue and this review, I have to agree with almost everything I said. In fact, at times I look almost prescient in my thoughts. 

This is a depressing ending for the team. I point that out throughout the review, characters saying how sad it is that the Legion is finished, wondering if a better version of themselves exists out there, and walking out of their now empty headquarters. It seems like Levitz realized that this was his last issue with the team and so decided to get a little metatextual. 

At least we get Kevin Maguire on art! Love seeing Maguire on anything. So seeing him drawing some of my favorite characters is a treat.

I would love to hear people's thoughts about this issue. Because it depressed me to read it again. How could we get here? And how could DC let it happen?

Legion of Super-Heroes #23 came out last week ... the end of the Legion.

There certainly have been blips and pauses in the Legion's history, some months without stories of this storied team. But somehow this one seems more final. In a New 52 world painted only grimy and gritty, an optimistic future and a team like the Legion seems out of place. Even some creators have talked about the Leigion as if it were toxic, Keith Giffen swearing that JLA3K will be nothing like the Legion and there won't  be visits to Braal (as if the planet's name is a dirty word).

That's right, a darker and grimmer JLA3K will take the place of the Legion.

Perhaps what is sadder is that this title tried to become rougher, filling the last story with meaningless death and destruction, trying to shove the square peg of the Legion into the round hole of the New 52. As a result, this last Legion story is about as un-Legion as you can get. It truly saddens me that this issue is the gravestone for the franchise because there is no optimism, no team spirit, no love in this issue. And for those Legion fans who have stuck it out, we at least deserved that. Instead we got death, despair, and disbanding.

Sure there are some familiar beats and one major continuity wrinkle but the thing that stuck out for me was some of the dialogue here. There are plenty of lines that sound like they could be coming from writer Paul Levitz or even long time readers, lamenting what has happened to this team and, metatextually, this book.

The art here is by one of my favorites Kevin Maguire and he brings his usual panache of facial expression and clean lines. I wonder if he got this gig because he was originally named as the artist for JLA3K before the title was considered too dark for him.

This book ended. The Legion are basically in comic limbo right now. And I didn't even get a 'Long Live the Legion!' Enough intro. On to the book.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #100

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #100 (January 1998)
title: "OK C.O.M.P.U.T.O."
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Lee Moder and Derec Aucoin 
inkers: Drew Geraci and Ray Kryssing
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Durlan (flashback), Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Highfather (flashback), Impulse, Koko, Martian Manhunter, Metal Men (Iron, Lead, Mercury, Platinum, Tin, Veridium), Metron (flashback), Phase, Robin III, Shvaughn Erin, Superboy, Superman, Taptree, Tiffany Cross; innocent bystanders

Opponents: 
C.O.M.P.U.T.O., Luck Lords (flashback)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Who's Who: H'Hrnath

H'Hrnath
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: H'Hrnath
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Nullport
Relationship to Legion: Resource

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #332

Adventure Comics #332 (May 1965)
title: The Super-Moby Dick of Space 
writer: Edmond Hamilton
artist: John Forte
letterer: Milton Snapinn 
editor: Mort Weisinger 
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein 
cover letterer: Ira Schnapp 
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board:
Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy

Guest:
Dr. Lanphier

Opponent:
The Super-Moby Dick of Space


Monday, February 26, 2018

Earthwar: The Legion's First Saga


Editor's Note: 
This week we present an essay from our Legion of Super-Blogger Applicant Long-Winded Lad. 
Let us know what you think and if you would like to see more essays on the page! 

Oh, the glory days of the Legion. Writer Paul Levitz has a grand idea: a five-part saga that draws on every single Legionnaire, as well as the Reservists, the retirees, and the Subs. A massive invasion that overwhelms the UFP. All masterminded by a mysterious villain, a legendary figure of DC villainy that remains unknown until the very end of Part IV. Then, in Chapter V (named after the villain), the villain is miraculously defeated. Major consequences of the story that will play out for months, if not years.

And just to put a big bow on it, each chapter will have a key word in it that ties it all together, so later it can be referred to by a handy name. The story became part of Legion legend.

Then, four years later, Paul Levitz did the exact same thing again. And this time it was even better.

Friday, February 23, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #22


The end is near.
It's not good I fear.

The New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #22 is the penultimate issue for the title. The fight with the Fatal Five ends very quickly and rather neatly. Almost too easily. It made me wonder why the team would let the galaxy unravel so much if the answer to beating the villains was so quick to obtain. After all, a bunch of teammates have died! How could they let it happen.

There are some wrinkles here I liked. The use of Sensor Girl's power was nifty. Imra, Ayla, and Brek are big parts of the win. And how the hell is Val Armorr there??

But this was the death knell. The book and the team hasn't come back since. 

And I have to say, I am an easy grader. I think maybe I was feeling bad for the book back then.

Legion of Super-Heroes #22 came out last week, the penultimate chapter of this series which may spell the end of the Legion for some time. With no new Legion book being publicized, with JLA3K taking its place as a future team, and with all avenues of re-energizing the franchise explored (reboots, old boots, bringing the band back together) and having failed, it might be time for the Legion to take a breather.

It is sad for a Legion lifer like me to say that. I have been saying 'Long Live the Legion' since I was in elementary school, since Imra was in a pink bathing suit and Vi had an intricate green/black jumpsuit. But this book has been on a sort of treadmill for a while, probably since Waid's threeboot for me. I can't remember the last time I was excited to read a Legion comic. And that's depressing.

So we come to this issue where the Legion has to fight and defeat the Fatal Five in 20 pages in order to set up next issue's denouement, swan song, finale. As a result, the action is relatively fast with some quick defeats on the parts of the villains who have been destroying the universe unscathed for the last handful of issues. For an old-timer like me, it was great to see some of the original Legionnaires and the original Substitute Legionnaire playing such a big part.

That said, there is a fair amount of stuff left unsaid. Paul Levitz doesn't seem to have the space here to satisfactorily tell the tale of this final battle. And the art by Jeff Johnson is fine but it felt like an understudy playing the lead in a play. Shouldn't the end of the Legion get more than this?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #56

Legionnaires #56 (January 1998)
title: "The Better Part of Valor"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Todd Nauck 
inker: Pamela Eklund
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
M'Onel, Monstress, XS; Brainiac 5 (documentary footage), Chameleon (cameo), Cosmic Boy (documentary footage), Sensor (cameo)

Guests: 
Athramites, Chuck Taine, Dreamer, Graydon Peters, Lume, Lori Morning, Magno, R.J. Brande, Rond Vidar, Superboy (documentary footage), Superman (documentary footage), Tenzil Kem; Braalians (flashback), Daxamites, Valorians (documentary footage)

Opponents: 
Dark Circle, Khunds

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Who's Who: Hagga

Hagga
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Hagga
Super-Power(s): Mysticism, sorcery, crankiness
Planet of Origin: Orando
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #331

Adventure Comics #331 (April 1965)
title: "The Triumph of the Legion of Super-Villains!"
writer: Jerry Siegel
penciller: Jim Mooney
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Superboy, El
ement Lad, Mon-El; cameos by Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl, Invisible Kid, and Cosmic Boy

Guest Stars: 
The Legion of Substitute Heroes: Polar Boy, Night Girl, Stone Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, and Fire Lad

Opponents: 
Dynamo Boy, the Legion of Super-Villains (Cosmic King, Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen)

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Legion Companion


The Legion Companion is the 2003 book all about the Legion. Perhaps you have heard of The All-Star Companion, or The Justice League Companion, or The Fawcett Companion? Well there is one out there all about the Legion, as well. And today we're going to talk with the man behind it, Mr. Glen Cadigan!

Friday, February 16, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #21

The end is nigh.
The carnage is high!
Tinya said bye.
Tharok's powers are making me say 'how? why?
And I'm tired.

When the best I can do in an old review, and the best I can do in a newer review, is pick out panels as maybe showing character progression and continuity, you know things are rough.

And now I wonder why Giffen came and left so quickly here. And I wonder if DC told Levitz to just go bananas since this continuity, this Legion, was probably not coming back.


But it is bad. So bad I rant in the intro, so bear with me.

We are nearing the end aren't we.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Reboot: Action Comics #741

Action Comics (v1) #741 (January 1998)
title: "A Cautionary Tale"
writer/penciller: Stuart Immonen
inker: José Marzan Jr.
lettering: Bill Oakley
colorist: Glenn Whitmore
separations: Digital Chameleon
assistant editor: Maureen McTigue
editor (troubadour): Joey Cavalieri
cover: Stuart Immonen

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition (cover only), Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy (cover only), Ferro, Gates, Saturn Girl (cover only), Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy (cover only)

Guests:
Ashbury Armstrong, Ben Hopkins, Carrie Axelrod, Dan Turpin, Jack (a journalist), Jane (a news anchor), Jimmy Olsen, Julianna Berkowitz, Koko, Lena Luthor, Lois Lane, Maggie Sawyer, Mayor Buck Sackett, Misa, Miss Roche, Scorn, Shvaughn Erin, Superman, Susan Berkowitz, the WGBS helicopter team

Opponents: 
C.O.M.P.U.T.O., Lex Luthor, Tu-Pock

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Who's Who: The Guardians of Oa

Guardians
by Russell & Siskoid


Full title: Guardians of Oa (aka Guardians of the Universe)
Super-Power(s): add
Planet of Origin: Oa (formerly Maltus)
Relationship to Legion: Allies, behind the scenes support

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #330

Adventure Comics #330 (March 1965)
title: "Secret of the Mystery Legionnaire!"
writer: Jerry Siegel
penciller: Jim Mooney
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Triplicate Girl, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Mon-El, Chameleon Boy, Star Boy, Colossal Boy, Shrinking Violet, Lightning Lad, Ultra Boy, Element Lad, Light Lass, Sun Boy, Superboy, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl; cameos by Phantom Girl and Matter-Eater Lad

Opponents: 
Dynamo Boy and his Space Pirates