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.

Legion of Super-Heroes #21 came out last week and that means there are only two more issues left in this incarnation of the Legion, which is essentially a glomming on of an old incarnation of Legion. I have to say that after reading this issue now, I can't help but feel some resonance with all I feel about the Man of Steel movie.

The ending is marked by a lot of carnage, a lot of destruction, and a lot of death ... all in some mad dash to 'relevancy in the current comic market' ... all to make the comic 'modern'. If that is what we have come to with the Legion, maybe it is time to move on to Justice League 3000.

Now I am sure that this opening paragraph is going to lead to the usual comments about me as a reader. That I am stuck in the 50s, that I want sticky-sweet stories without conflict, that I want the heroes to be so pure as to be boring.

And frankly I am sick of that.

You know what I want? Good stories.

My favorite Legion era is the years around Great Darkness Saga into the Baxter years. Reread those stories. There isn't gore or carnage or heroes killing people. And they stand up to 3 decades of time.

My second favorite Legion era? The Five Years Later book, a dystopic look at a future bogged down by politics and isolationism. Different milieu for a Legion book to be sure. But the team was still heroic, trying to do what was right in a tougher time.

Heck, I even like big noisy brawls if they are part of the story not the purpose of the story.

I don't know if the last 5 years have brought good Legion stories. And I don't know if this loud Fatal Five story packed with killing and pandemonium leading into the demise of the book is any different. The concept of the Legion has suffered so much recently that Keith Giffen ... whose fame is built on the foundation of the Legion ... said the word Braal in an interview like it was a swear word, like it was the antithesis of a good comic. What a shame.

Paul Levitz seems to be speeding to the finish line, trying to put in some character flourishes that echo prior greatness, that utilize the wonder of the Legion. And Jeff Johnson is on art here, bringing a Scott Kolins feel to the book which feels consistent.

But the Legion is about to go away ... and it feels like it is going away for a while this time. And that depresses me.

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Ultra Boy (Mattel 12-Pack)


by Derek William Crabbe
Is it just me, or is this action figure interpretation of Ultra Boy screaming to be played by Jared Padalecki? He has probably out-aged the role, but I think Padalecki, circa Season One of Supernatural, would make a terrific live-action Jo Nah. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #20

We knew the end was coming. The feel of the story had that 'last ditch effort' feel to it. And now, around the release of New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #20, the news was official. The book was cancelled.

Now all that was left was wrapping up the ongoing Fatal Five storyline. Unlike prior issues, Keith Giffen's name is nowhere on this. Was there a falling out between Levitz and Giffen? Did Giffen leave the sinking ship before it went down? Did he just have other things to do? On his own, Levitz does his best to keep the story moving along. I was very happy to see so much dedicated to the Black Witch, someone with great potential who was left a bit on the back burner.

That said, there is still the wonkiness of this arc that irks me. People dead are back. Powers that were gone are now back. Phantom Girl continues to not act like Phantom Girl. There are a few 'easy' answers to difficult problems. It just feels a bit slipshod, as if Levitz is careening down a hill.

Thankfully,. Francis Portela is back and the art is just stupendous. In particular, his Validus and Mysa are gorgeous. And the splash page where Mysa reveals the plot to the Legionnaires is just fantastic.

On to the old review.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #99

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #99 (December 1997)
title: "When the Reign Comes"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Lee Moder and Derec Aucoin

inker: 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, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Gates, Saturn Girl, Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy

Guests:
Impulse, Iron (flashback), Koko, Oracle, Phase, Robin III, Shvaughn Erin, Superboy, Taptree, Tiffany Cross; Happy Harbor nuclear power plant technicians

Opponents: 
C.O.M.P.U.T.O.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Who's Who: Gorax

Gorax
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Gorax
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Lythyl
Relationship to Legion: One of the three judges of Lythyl

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #329

Adventure Comics #329 (February 1965)
title: "The Bizarro Legion!"
writer: Jerry Siegel
penciller: Jim Mooney
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bizarro Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board: 
Saturn Girl, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Invisible Kid, Lighting Lad, Chameleon Boy, Brainiac 5, Light Lass, Ultra Boy, Mon-El, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad

Opponents: 
Bizarro Superboy and his Legion of Stupid Heroes: Bizarro Saturn Girl, Bizarro Lightning Lad, Bizarro Invisible Kid, Bizarro Brainiac 5, Bizarro Chameleon Boy, Bizarro Cosmic Boy, Bizarro Ultra Boy, and Bizarro Mon-El

Monday, February 5, 2018

Lois Lane #50

“Lois Lane’s Luckiest Day”  
Lois Lane #50 (July 1964)
Writer: Leo Dorfman
Artist: Kurt Schaffenberger
Review by Emsley Wyatt 

Editor's Note: Recently, it was brought to our attention here at Legion of Super-Bloggers that we had missed an important Legion appearance in our The Original Series reviews. Ultra Fan Emsley Wyatt reminded us of Lois Lane #50, and even offered to review this guest-star appearance for us. So take it away, Emsley....!

Friday, February 2, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #19


Hoo boy.

We are approaching the end of the New 52 title and Legion of Super-Heroes #19 continues the funeral dirge of this series and these characters. All the problems I have been having since Keith Giffen rejoined the book - the odd characterization, the senseless killings, the grimy art - are all magnified here. The writing should have been on the wall that this was coming to an end.

My opening comments on the old review hold true. I don't know if DC gave the creative team the ultimatum to shake things up to save the series but it feels like it. And I wonder if Levitz and Giffen thought the easiest way to do that would be to sink into the grim, gross comics of the time. We have on screen deaths, off screen deaths, and on screen loss of limb. It all feels so 'Forever Evil'. It all screams New 52. And I don't mean that as a compliment. Add to that Phantom Girl acting like a coward and Emerald Empress acting like the Joker and you can understand why long time Legion fans were scratching their heads. It might say Legion on this gatefold 'WTF' cover, but that's not what it read like.

The art is a mix of Scott Kolins at his Kirby-est and Jeff Johnson. It is an odd mix of Kolins' rough look and smoother looking pages by Johnson. 

It still amazes me that this book was the last formal look we had at the Legion.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #55

Legionnaires #55 (December 1997)
title: "Control"
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: Carmela Merlo
cover: Jeffrey Moy
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon, Element Lad, Kinetix, Live Wire, Monstress, Sensor, Star Boy, Umbra, Violet; pictures only: Invisible Kid, M'Onel, XS

Guests: 
Athramites, Charlz Wynzorr of Orando, Chuck Taine, Lori Morning (Dial H: Dyna-Soar, Chiller), Magno, Moort, Muhr-Rey, Omar Magz, Proty; Science Police, Orando servitors

Opponents: 
Composite Man, President Chu (behind the scenes)