Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Super-Blog Team Up: Legion Who's Who Top Ten!

Usually Wednesdays here on The Legion of Super-Bloggers is Who's Who Day. However, today's we're participating in the latest SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP! This time out the blog crossover celebrates top ten lists! So we decided to look at the original Who's Who profile pages for the Legionnaires and pick our Top Ten "Best" profiles. Our judging criteria was simple: artistic merit (was the art good?), artistic design (was the page layout good?), coloring (were the surprint color and the main figure color coordinated?), and the character's pose (was s/he just standing there?). After that, it was mostly a free-for-all about which characters we all liked better....!

Let us know if you don't agree!

1. Timber Wolf by Steve Lightle
Most dynamic, best overall use of space, nicest contrast of colors

2. Mon-El by Steve Lightle
Active shot, nice mix of static and dynamic poses, cool "extreme close-up" 

3. Karate Kid by Steve Lightle
Nice color contrast, nice example of the static pose that suggests action

4. Wildfire by Dave Cockrum

Anj: It is the world's worst kept secret that Wildfire is my favorite Legionnaire. So I was thrilled to see Dave Cockrum provide the art for his page in Who's Who. Cockrum's costume designs are dynamic and visually appealing to begin with. But Wildfire's costume is somewhat mutable with the "star and wings" symbol sometimes being small and sometimes dominating. 

Here, Cockrum draws the default Wildfire during the heyday of the Levitz/Giffen book. The main pose is a bit static although there is a sense that Wildfire might be bracing for an oncoming attack as opposed to just attacking. The surprint art stands out with this electric blue color, a nice contrast to the red/orange of Wildfire himself. The surprint images showcase his powers nicely with a closeup of him shooting beams from his hands and a group shot shooting energy from his faceplate.

Remember, one of the "rules" of Who's Who was to have a picture of the character out of costume in the background. This is usually a "secret identity" face shot. But as Wildfire has no body, Cockrum shows his suit being shredded and Wildfire's energy leaking out. Thus he follows the rules in a way unique to the character.

5. Tyroc by Norm Breyfogle
Although the main character is very static, this is one of the most active backgrounds; color contrast is excellent

6. Tellus by Steve Lightle

Anj: While Tellus might have never been embraced by the Legion fandom, he certainly gets a king's treatment by Steve Lightle on this page. Starting out with the main character picture, Lightle gives us a very detailed look at the character. You get a vivid, almost tactile sense of the wrinkles of the characters skin. The anatomy including bony protuberances of the elbows as well as the tucked under vestigial hind legs emphasize just how alien Tellus is within the standard humanoid Legion. It is a beautiful main image of the patient.

Lightle really takes advantage of the whole page by utilizing the surprint space completely. We get a shot of Tellus without his helmet (the "out of costume" shot?). We get an extreme close-up of his face, again showcasing the bizarre anatomy of the character. And then a nice action shot of Tellus' using his telekinesis. But Lightle then colors the rest of the page in the deep blue ink of the surprint giving a feeling of the watery environment of Tellus' home.

The logo for the character is trying to mimic coral I suppose, but it is a bit too rough-hewn for so fastidious a character.

7. Polar Boy by Steve Lightle
Although the main figure is static, the background is active AND is unique, overall "ice" motif is handled well

8. Sun Boy by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (praise be his name)
Great interaction between main figure and background (melting wall), great design of surprint images, great colors

9. Duo Damsel by Mary Wilshire

Tim: This is, in my opinion, one of the coolest Legion Who's Who entries, and the coolest visual of a superpower! We see, in one simple image, not just a woman turning from a crouch to a profile view, but the demonstration of her powers at the same time! You can see it as three women (genius as she used to be Triplicate Girl), or one woman splitting into two (hence the new moniker, Duo Damsel). Props to the art team of  Mary Wilshire and Dick Giordano... It's like MC Escher created a comic book character! 

10. Shadow Lass by Steve Lightle

Tim: Shadow Lass is HOT! I remember reading this issue of Who's Who many years ago and thinking, "Why are there no beautiful blue skinned girls on Earth?" This image struck a chord with a young me (and I'm betting many others). First, she's beautiful. Second... see number one. If I had one complaint, it would be the red surprint. As much as I love this entry, I can't help but imagine how it would have looked with a blue surprint. Too much blue? Or would it have really accentuated the shadows in the background? The world may never know, but thanks to this gorgeous image by Steve Lightle... we can dream, can't we?

But which are YOUR favorites?

As mentioned, several different blogs have teamed-up today to cover their own favorite Top Ten lists! While we're featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes here, you should visit these other comic blogs to see how they spotlight their own favorite characters and niches today. Visit them now, visit them later, and visit them often!

Long Live The Legion!


  1. Finally a list that gets it right...Wildfire, Timber Wolf and Polar Boy!! All Prime Time Players!! Great Job!!

  2. Steve Lightle really got to show off on the pages he did - gorgeous stuff!

  3. I like almost all of these. Steve Lightle is, of course, one of the all time greatest Legion artists, so I am not surprised to see so many pieces by him on this list. I'm also happy that Dave Cockrum was represented. He's one of my favorite artists and (as you are well aware) revitalized the LSH in the early 1970s. Duo Damsel by Mary Wilshire is really stunning and effective. Can't neglect the fine inking by the legendary Dick Giordano on that piece, either!

  4. My favourite here is Polar Boy, but Karate Kid is also great, and that upshot of Tyroc is ... memorable.

    It's funny that Duo Damsel kept the colour scheme of that one-mission only Night and Days costume, given it took away any notion that there might be just one woman if she needed to fool folk.