Friday, March 24, 2017

Review: Legion Secret Origin #1


Welcome to Legion Secret Origin Fridays, in which I will review the mini-series of the same name which came out at the end of 2011, right around the time the New 52 had kicked off.

Last month I ended my review run on the Threeboot Legion. Prior to that I had done an in depth look at the pre-Zero Hour 5YL run. Neither are 'traditional' Legion of Super-Heroes books. So when I was deciding what I was going to do for the site after the Threeboot, I thought I would try to do something more classic.

Now I doubt that anyone would ever ever ever say that something that came out of the New 52 is 'classic'. But at the same time, this Secret Origin mini-series was written by longtime Legion scribe Paul Levitz. At the time there were two (two!!!) monthly Legion books on the shelves. In the years prior, DC had success with Secret Origin books for Green Lantern, Flash, and Superman. And this mini-series was going to define the Legion for a new age. So why not review it.

It both helps and hurts that I have absolutely no recollection of this series at all. It means I will come in fresh and without any of the preconceived notions of the New 52. It also means it wasn't memorable. And after reading this first issue, I have to say, I don't know if this was the right way to try to introduce a new generation of Legion fans to the book or the characters.

Written by Paul Levitz with lovely art by Chris Batista, Legion Secret Origin runs six issues. Will it reinvigorate or douse the fire of Legion fandom? We shall see.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #38

Legionnaires #38 (July 1996)
title: "Trouble on Titan"
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, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Kinetix, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Triad, Ultra Boy, XS

Guests:
Arn Kwin, Aven, Bertor Ardeen, Dr. Gym'll, Jancel Ardeen, Sydne Ardeen, Xamuel Ivar, Titanians

Opponents: 
All in flashback: Banderkat, Composite Man, Mano, President Chu

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Who's Who: Mentalla

Mentalla
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Delya Castil
Super-Power(s): Telepathic suggestion
Planet of Origin: Titan
Relationship to Legion: Legion Applicant, then member of the Fatal Five, then Martyred Hero

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes 1980

Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes #1-3 (Jan/Feb/March 1981)
plotter: E. Nelson Bridwell
writer: Paul Kupperberg
penciller: Jimmy Janes
inker: Frank Chiaramonte
letterer: Ben Oda
colorist: Gene D'Angelo
editor: Jack C. Harris
covers: Jimmy Janes & Dick Giordano (#1), Dick Giordano (#s2-3)
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Monday, March 20, 2017

Warlord Worlds episode 14


Editor's note:
Today we're proud to present a special introduction to our friends Ruth & Darrin Sutherland and their great podcast & FB page dedicated to Mike Grell, The Warlord Worlds. 
You can find them at: http://www.warlordworlds.com/ and at https://www.facebook.com/warlordworlds/

Everyone reading this blog knows who Mike Grell is...or should! Theirs is a fan podcast and Facebook page devoted to the comic creations of Mike Grell including The Warlord, Jon Sable, Green Arrow...and the Legion of Super-Heroes!  Episodes feature summaries and reviews of a variety of issues from each series. In addition, episode 8 features an interview with Mike Grell himself, and they recently recorded another interview for an upcoming episode.

They are up to 14 episodes, and added the Legion to their repertoire in episode 12. Their past guests have included our very own Legion of Super-Blogger Dr. Anj. This time they welcome guest Michael Lane of the Comics In the Golden Age podcast and Jeff Messer of The Geek Brain podcast. Mike is a long-term Legion fan, and has jumped on-board the Legion of Super-Bloggers space cruiser. We hope to get posts from him on a regular basis in the future...starting with this one! Michael comments on Superboy/Legion #206, and was nice enough to write up a quick review of the stories in that issue for us, too. So read his review below and then check out the podcast here:
 http://www.warlordworlds.com/ and at https://www.facebook.com/warlordworlds/

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #81

Legion of Super-Heroes #81 (June 1996)
title: "Sundown"
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:  
Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Leviathan, Live Wire, M'Onel, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, XS

Guests:
Chuck Taine, Derek Morgna, Dr. Leiner, Lori Morning, Marla Latham, R.J. Brande, Rond Vidar, Winema Wazzo, Athramites, doctors, a TV anchor, Morgna Industries technicians

Opponents:
Sun Boy; Dr. Regulus (in flashback)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Who's Who: Flare

Flare
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Ray Sah
Super-Power(s): Converts light into heat, flight
Planet of Origin: Rimbor
Relationship to Legion: Villain; member of the Fatal Five

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #283

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #283 (Jan 1982)
title: "The Startling Secret of Wildfire"
writer: Roy Thomas
penciller: Howard Bender
inker: Bruce Patterson
letterer: Ben Oda
colorist: Gene D'Angelo
editor: Mike W. Barr
cover: Jim Aparo
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Wildfire, Lightning Lad; cameo appearances by Superboy, Phantom Girl, Chemical King, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass, Matter-Eater Lad

Guests: 
Lamprey, Nightwind, Crystal Kid

Opponents: 
ego, pride, ignorance

Monday, March 13, 2017

Home-Made Legion Club-House


Editors' Note: Today we here at the Legion of Super-Bloggers would like to present a "How To" lesson from Ultra Legion fan Emsley Wyatt. He contacted us recently with some photographs of his home-made Legion of Super-Heroes Club-House. We thought everyone would like to have a look at his creativity, and he gladly sent us the following essay. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Threeboot: A Requiem


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interrèd with their bones. 
Mark Antony from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Friends, Legionnaires, UP residents, lend me your ears.
Because after 15 months of reviews, my look at that Threeboot Legion has come to a close.
It is hard for me to believe that I have come to the end. But in some ways I am happy it has as the last several months of reviewing the Shooter run hasn't been easy.
More than any run, it seems like this volume has both good and evil. I unlike Mark Antony, I don't want the bad portion of this run to live on. And I don't want to bury the good. I want to take a broad look at the Threeboot one last time. And really, what I want to hear most is from everyone out there. What did you think of this run of the Legion? Did you love it? Or hate it? Are there moments that stick out? What do you think?
And unlike many versions of the Legion, despite the Threeboots' short run, there are definitely  discrete and distinct runs within the 50 issues. So let's dip our toes one more time.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #37

Legionnaires #37 (June 1996)
title: "Decisions"
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:  
Andromeda, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Invisible Kid, Jan Arrah, Kinetix, Leviathan, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Valor, XS

Guests:
Brad Majors, Chuck Taine, Keema Delf, Lori Morning, Marla Latham, Proty, R.J. Brande, Tenzil Kem, Athramites, Vyrgan ambassador

Opponents:
Empress, President Chu; virtual versions of Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd and Weather Wizard

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Who's Who: Caress

Caress
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Chi Tsan
Super-Power(s): Acid excretion
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain; member of the Fatal Five

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #282

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #282 (Dec 1981)
title: "If Answers There Be..."
plotter: Roy Thomas
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Jimmy Janes
inker: Bruce Patterson
letterer: Ben Oda
colorist: Gene D'Angelo
editor: Mike W. Barr
cover: Dick Giordano
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Lightning Lad, Karate Kid, Blok, Dawnstar, Phantom Girl, Superboy, Ultra Boy

Guests: 
Lana Lang as Insect Queen, Reflecto

Opponents: 
The Time Trapper, Dirigible Dictator

Monday, March 6, 2017

Secret Origins #46

"The Little Clubhouse That Could!"
writer: Gerard Jones
penciller: Curt Swan
inker: Ty Templeton
letterer: John Costanza
colorist: Tom McGraw
editor: Mark Waid
cover: Elliot R. Brown
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage
Fortress Lad created by KC Carlson

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad

Guests: 
RJ Brande, Fortress Lad

Opponents: 
Mnemonic Kid

Friday, March 3, 2017

Threeboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #50


Recap: A hard-light world and its army has been invading the United Planets. The actual world exists only in the ether, an 'internet database' that exists only on a virtual level. The Legion is the last line of defense to keep this other culture from erasing reality from existence.

Meanwhile, Princess Projectra is planning her own coup, armed with the power of all Orando magic. A nasty aspect of Brainiac 5's persona has gained corporeal existence and is running around. Cosmic Boy and others have been recruited by mystery heroes from the 41st century. Saturn Girl has had a tryst with Lightning Lad, breaking up the Legion's power couple. And Brainy has proposed to Dreamy.

But none of this really matters.

Legion of Super-Heroes #50 was the last issue of this threeboot run. The book was canceled.

In many ways, I'm thankful.

Jim Shooter has had something of a rough run on the book. His issues have been somewhat scattershot in their approach. There were too many plotlines and far too much sexism and cheesecake for my taste. And while I would have a hard time overlooking those flaws, the biggest in my mind has just been the nasty feel to the book and characters. No one seems to like each other. No one gets along. There is a lot of pseudo-swearing and intersquad battles. It would be hard to believe this group coming together and shouting 'Long Live the Legion'.

I feel that DC may have pulled the plug abruptly on the book. Shooter uses a pseudonym on this book, Justin Thyme. I am sure this is explained somewhere on his blog. And art is not by Francis Manapul here but the serviceable if less polished Ramon Bachs. But with the book canceled, we get almost no closure on everything that had been simmering away.

How sad that I was happy the book was ending.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #80

Legion of Super-Heroes #80 (April 1996)
title: "Trust"
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:  
Andromeda, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Invisible Kid, Jan Arrah, Kinetix, Leviathan, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Valor, XS

Guests:
Dr. Micah Aven, Marla Latham, R.J. Brande, Winema Wazzo, the President's bodyguards, Science Police, Titan Home Guard, U.P. delegates

Opponents:
Empress, Mano, Persuader, President Chu, Tharok, Validus

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Who's Who: Black Mace

Black Mace
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Mitch Yardreigh
Super-Power(s): Great strength and agility; shattering mace
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain; member of Taurus Gang