Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: Legion Secret Origin #6

Recap: RJ Brande has formed the Legion. The United Planets was initially conflicted about the young team. However, the Legionnaires help thwart and attack from another dimension. Deputized and accepted, the team is ready to help. But everything isn't rosy. The wormhole the attackers came from is still there. A shadowy figure is trying to assassinate Brande. And the UP Security Directorate is still trying to manipulate things from the sidelines.

This is it, the last chapter of the Legion Secret Origin mini-series. Writer Paul Levitz does very good job linking all the plotlines in this story together and bringing them to a satisfying conclusion in this issue. I haven't always been on board with this mini-series given it's tangential look at the Legion's origin. It is a shame that this issue is the best issue. Had the whole mini been written like this, I might have enjoyed it much more.

Moreover, and this shouldn't be a spoiler given last issue, Levitz cements the Time Trapper as the Legion main villain. We had seen the Trapper ascend to a prominent status in the Baxter series and even the Five Years Later run. Now we know he has been there from the beginning.

But of all the things that happened in this story, the one that I think will stick out the most is the characterization of Phantom Girl. She is fun, adventurous, and very physical in her interactions, as though intangible people don't understand physical boundaries. It is interesting that she gets the deepest dive in characterization (although Brainiac 5 gets screen time too)!

On to the book!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #84

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #84 (September 1996)
title: "Emerald Legion"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Lee Moder

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

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Leviathan (body), M'Onel, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, XS

Guests: 
Inferno, Karate Kid, Lori Morning, Marla Latham, Nura Nal, R.J. Brande (cameo), Shvaungh Erin, Spider-Girl, Metropolis Necrological Institute android, Science police

Opponents: 
Emerald Eye of Ekron, Leland McCauley, two-bit crooks

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Who's Who: Durlans

 
Durlans
by Russell & Siskoid


Planet of Origin: Durla
Super-Power(s): Shape-shifting
Relationship to Legion: Withdrawn species that actually spawned one or more Legionnaires and its financial benefactor. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #298

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #298 (April 1983)
title: "The Edge of Nowhere"
writer/co-plotter: Paul Levitz
penciller/co-plotter: Keith Giffen
inker: Larry Mahlstedt
letterer: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger
cover: Keith Giffen & Larry Mahlstedt
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Wildfire, Dawnstar, Blok, Invisible Kid, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Colossal Boy, Shrinking Violet, Element Lad, Ultra Boy, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy

Guests: 
Duplicate Boy, RJ Brande, SP Officer Shvaughn Erin

Opponents: 
Karlak of Khundia

Monday, April 24, 2017

Legion Magazines, Pt 3


Back in the pre-Internet dark days, comic fans got their dose of industry news by subscribing to or buying magazines devoted to their hobby. Today's blog continues our look at the various publications which featured content about the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: Legion Secret Origin #5

Recap: The Legion is forming. Some elements in the United Planets support the team creation. Other parts fear this private army. The Directorate of Security, the shadowy trimuverate responsible for keeping the UP safe and running, also seem split. And, oh by the way, a wormhole to another dimension is opening with an invading army biding their time on the other side. This sounds like a job for Superman.

Legion Secret Origin #5 is the penultimate issue for the series and certainly pushes the plot forward as we rush to the ending. We get a glimpse of Superman. We see the team spring into intergalactic action. And we get a sense of who is behind all the assassination attempts on R.J. Brande.

But is it enough. This issue suffers a little bit in my knowing the series only has one more issue to go. I don't know if at the end of this issue that I feel the story has progressed enough to wrap up. I also don't know if I have been told enough story to make me happy.

As I have said in prior reviews, this is a tangential look at the Legion's origins. I have felt somewhat deflated after reading these issues because some things which have happened off panel would be more interesting to read than the things we are seeing. I wish I could remember how this was received at the time it came out.

Writer Paul Levitz continues to sprinkle in nice moments for the well-read Legion fan. And we see the team coming together somewhat. But this has felt lacking.

Thankfully, artist Chris Batista continues to shine with his crisp art.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #40

Legionnaires #40 (September 1996)
title: "Emerald/Violet"
writers: Roger Stern, Tom McCraw and Tom Peyer
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
associate editor: Ruben Diaz
editor: KC Carlson
special thanks: Mark Waid & Karl Kesel
cover: Jeffrey Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Leviathan (body), M'Onel, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, XS

Guests: 
Evolvo (flasback), Inferno, Karate Kid, Shvaungh Erin, Sun Boy, an Al'Khaulyte, Metropolis Necrological Institute android

Opponents: 
Emerald Eye of Ekron; in flashback - Empress, Scavenger, Tharok

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Who's Who: Dominators

 

Dominators
by Russell & Siskoid


Planet of Origin: Dominion homeworld
Super-Power(s): High intelligence
Relationship to Legion: Villainous species

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #297

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #297 (March 1983)
title: untitled ("Mettle")
writer/co-plotter: Paul Levitz
penciller/co-plotter: Keith Giffen
inker: Larry Mahlstedt
letterer: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger
cover: Keith Giffen & Larry Mahlstedt
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy; appearances by Sun Boy, Timber Wolf, Lightning Lad, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Ultra Boy, Phantom Girl

Guests: 
Night Girl, Matter-Eater Lad, Dr. Gym'll

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Legion My Way

Editor's Note:
This week we get a What If? essay from our newest member, Jude Deluca, aka Sarcasm Kid. Jude applied for membership in the Legion of Super-Bloggers with three fully-formed essays, which is the equivalent of Karate Kid throwing Superboy over his shoulder. Jude will be one of our regular essayists here on the Legion of Super-Bloggers. This time out he tells us how he would handle a new Legion series if it was up to him....

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: Legion Secret Origin #4


Recap: The Legion is just forming, organized by mega-rich philanthropist RJ Brande. The planet Anotrom was overrun by alien warriors. Now a wormhole has opened near Anotrom and an invading alien armada stands poised to enter United Planets. Meanwhile, more young super-powered youths, including Querl Dox and Tinya Wazzo, are heading to Earth, brought in to help cope with this new interdimensional threat and the lure of the Legion. All the while, the UP Security Directorate council is taking it all in and pulling some strings.

I have already reviewed the first half of the Legion Secret Origin miniseries and I have been of two minds. As an inculcated fan, I have enjoyed this sideways look at the origin. We have been dancing on the periphery of the team's beginnings, adding some details to the well known tale. And that is fine for someone like me who can recite the Legion's beginnings with ease. But I have worried that new fans would be either bored or lost or both.

Legion Secret Origin #4 turns the corner a little bit. There is more Legion action here. The team is together and in action. And the plot threads are starting to tighten into something cohesive. Add to that all of this 'seasoning', like peeks at the personality quirks of the Legionnaires in these early years.

I still think it might be a little tangential for someone new. But this issue is better.

Add to that the smooth art of Chris Batista who gets to stretch his artistic legs a bit. He really gives a youthful polish to these characters, especially Phantom Girl.

On to the book.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #83

Legion of Super-Heroes #83 (August 1996)
title: "Big Tears"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Lee Moder and Mike Collins

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

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kid Quantum (flashback), Kinetix, Leviathan, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, XS

Guests: 
Evolvo, Inferno, Karate Kid, Spider-Girl, Sun Boy, Taran and Garra Arrah (as visions)

Opponents: 
Dr. Regulus, Emerald Eye of Ekron, Leland McCauley

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Who's Who: Dev-Em

 
Dev-Em
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Dev-Em
Super-Power(s): Super-strength, super-speed, super-invulnerability, flight, heat vision and various other super senses
Planet of Origin: originally Krypton, then later retconned to be Daxam
Relationship to Legion: Ally, then villain

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Legion (v2) #284-296


As we are about to start the last part of the Paul Levitz-Keith Giffen newstand Legion of Super-Heroes run, let's review where we've been and what has gone before---! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Legion of Super Heroes S02 E01: The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow, Part 1

"The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow, Part 1" was written by Michael Jelenic and directed by Brandon Vietti.
Original airdate: September 22, 2007
Review by Glenn 'Continuity Kid' Walker.

Mission Monitor Board: Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, and Chameleon Boy.

Opponents: Imperiex, his army, and Dominator simulations.

Guest-stars and cameos: Superman X, Bouncing Boy.

When the "Legion of Super Heroes" animated series returned for a second season in September of 2007, while only a few months had passed for us, two years had passed for the characters, and the showrunners had opted for a grim and grittier representation of the team. We're not talking 5 Years Later grim and gritty, but things had gotten rough for the Legion. The heroes were older, leaner, and in some cases, meaner, but there were also some cool new characters like Chameleon Boy introduced as well.

There was also a continuing storyline (which thankfully meant the CW would have to show them in order, as opposed to the first season), and a season-long conflict with the super-villain Imperiex. And then there was Superman X. Yeah. Sigh. Superman X…


Friday, April 7, 2017

Review: Legion Secret Origin #3

What if you told an origin story and no new reader could understand it?

Sigh.

Legion Secret Origin #3 continues what I am calling a 'sideways' look at the team's origin. As I have said in other reviews, I bought this series off the rack but I have no recollection of it. So maybe this all will come together at some point. For now, I am reading this book and appreciating this sort of 'behind the scenes' look at the Legion's earliest days. But I keep wondering if anyone trying to learn about the Legion even understands what is going on.

So during this review I will point out some things that long-time readers will understand.. However, these nods to the past might not exactly be understood or even acknowledged by anyone picking this up.

Perhaps most of all, I am internally comparing this series to the other more recent Secret Origin (like Superman) or Rebirth (like Green Lantern) books that DC had been putting out at the time. Those were true retellings of those characters beginnings, a foundation for new readers to build on. I don't know if writer Paul Levitz quite understood the purpose of these.

As usual, Chris Batista provides clean, smooth art for the proceedings. This issue has a decent spectrum of places for Batista to shine. From the boardroom to deep space battles, there is a shine to the art here. But with this mostly being conversations, there is an almost sterile feel to the book.

Have I excited you to read the review?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #39

Legionnaires #39 (August 1996)
title: "Wishful Thinking"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Mike McAvennie
editor: KC Carlson
special thanks: Mark Waid & Karl Kesel
cover: Jeffrey Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Leviathan, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, XS

Guests: 
Baumsteed, Chuck Taine, Evolvo, Inferno, Karate Kid, Lori Morning, Rond Vidar, Spider-Girl, Shvaugn Erin, Sun Boy, Tenzil Kem, Science Police (named: Dugan, Jynkyns and Ralston)

Opponents: 
Dr. Regulus, Emerald Eye of Ekron (vision), Leland McCauley

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Who's Who: Damaxites

 
Damaxites
by Russell & Siskoid


Planet of Origin: Daxam
Super-Power(s): Super-strength, super-speed, super-invulnerability, flight, heat vision and various super senses
Relationship to Legion: Species that spawned one or more Legionnaires.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Best of DC #24

The Best of DC #24 (May 1982)
title: "Murder In Glass"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Carmine Infantino
inker: Rodin Rodriguez
letterer: John Costanza
colorist: Anthony Tollin
editor: Mike W. Barr
cover: Ernie Colon
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Colossal Boy, Sun Boy, Karate Kid, Wildfire

Guests: 
President Marte Allon

Opponents: 
Tarik the Mute and his android companion

Monday, April 3, 2017

Best of DC Digest #24 "Meet the Legion!"


Paul Levitz returned to the Legion after a few years absence to lead it to one of its greatest heights. Before he got to that point, however, there was still little gem. His chronologically first Legion of Super-Heroes story after his return is a much-forgotten treasure called The Best of DC Digest #24, from May 1982.

These 100 pages feature a brand-new story set around a classic 2-part reprint, plus another two separate reprints.

But what we want to showcase today is the feature of this book, the  "PLUS: 16 Pages of NEW COSTUMES!" that were head-lined on the cover.

Sandwiched in-between the framing sequence and the main reprints regarding Colossal Boy's mother being turned into glass and the other two separate reprints were, yes, sixteen pages of beautiful art by none other than George Perez.