Friday, August 31, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #6


Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #6 is another of those issues that is surprising to me.

It has become something of a mantra of an introduction for these reviews but I find myself enjoying these issues more on this trip through them than when I first read them. I must have been generally displeased because I have never gone back and reread these. Nor do I have any specific memories of the run other than a general dislike. I keep waiting for the series to turn the corner and remind me why it is forgotten in my mind.

I thought for sure this was going to be the issue. I do remember strongly disliking the pairing of Shady and Earth Man. And this cover puts it front and center. Last issue we found them together in bed. Now we have this cover, presumably after that climax (pun intended).

Instead, I found this to be another interesting issue. This one didn't have a true main plot, instead keeping all the subplot balls in the air with some progression. It actually is split into three short stories. The first, 'Acceptance', has full Francis Portela art and is just gorgeous. The second, 'Leadership', is something of a backdoor pilot for the Legion Academy run in the rebooted Adventure Comics. It has standard hyper-detailed Phil Jimenez art. And the last is a single pager with art by Yildiray Cinar announcing an old school Legion Leader election.

On all fronts, writing, art, and even Legion nostalgia, this was a winner.

On to the particulars.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Reboot: Science Police #1-4

In August of 2016, before we started reviewing the Reboot era, our fearless leader Little Russell Burbage reviewed the Legion: Science Police mini-series. 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 impression of the story, in context with the rest of their Reboot reviews.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Who's Who: Leland McCauley

Leland McCauley
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Leland McCauley III
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #354

Adventure Comics #354 (March 1967)
title: "The Adult Legion!"
writer and layouts: Jim Shooter
penciller: Curt Swan
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, Cosmic Man, Element Man, Lightning Man, Polar Man, Saturn Woman, Superman, Timber Wolf

Cameos:
Bouncing Boy, Colossal Man, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Duplicate Boy, Lightning Lady, Matter Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Woman, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Ultra Man (and a host of cameos).

Opponents: Douglas Nolan and the Legion of Super-Villains.


Monday, August 27, 2018

DC Super-Stars #3


DC Super-Stars #3 was one of the first Legion comics I bought that wasn't the actual Superboy series. When this issue came out I was a huge fan of Mike Grell and Cary Bates' Superboy/Legion series. And I was one of those fans who was eager and willing to purchase MORE Legion stuff if DC would just get it out there. 1976 was a good time for Legion reprints; there was this issue and a few months later there was the Limited Collectors' Edition C-49 book which reprinted the classic Mordru saga. I bought them both, so I'm assuming they sold well....

I'm showcasing this issue today because over in our TOS Tuesday slot we are about to get to these actual stories. And I gotta tell ya, as a kid reading this Adult Legion story I was *totally* confused!! Old costumes. Old relationships. New members. Dead members. Favorite Legionnaires NOT featured. This story is quite a trip for a young fan of the mid-Seventies. But we'll get to the details of the stories tomorrow. 

I remain confused to this day, but not so much on the plot but on the story choice. Of all the great Legion stories that DC could have chosen to reprint to fill these 36 pages, they picked the controversial and slightly confusing "Adult Legion" stories. I wonder, Why?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #5


Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #5 is another solid issue in the beginning of this new era of the team. At his peak, Paul Levitz was able to juggle a number of subplots in the LSH title, promoting ones to the A slot while keeping several B-plots percolating.

Last issue, we saw the mystery of the Ranzz Twins kidnapping essentially finished. So the Earth Man redemption arc takes the foreground here. In fact, I think Earth Man is basically the axle that this title has spun around so far. Even in scenes where he is absent, other members are talking about him or  the government is wooing him. Xenophobia is a powerful plot device. And now, maybe more than in 2010, it is good to read stories about it to inform opinion.

Unfortunately, we also get one of the weirder elements of the Earth Man story begun with a doozy of a closing panel.

But outside that, Levitz continues to enrich the mystery of Harmonia Li, the search for a new Green Lantern, and the Durlan conspiracy. All of these are slowly reaching a boil. This issue really nudged things along!

The art is still by the solid duo of Yildiray Cinar and Francis Portela. They split pages here but each covering a different locale so it doesn't seem to off-putting. Cinar does a good job with the battle sequences with a few panels worth looking at closely.

On to the book.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #65

Legionnaires #65 (October 1998)
title: "Days of Reckoning!"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Jeffrey Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum II, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Umbra, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Andromeda, Chuck Taine, Condo Arlik, Dr. Ryk'rr (unseen), King Charlz, Koko, Leejah (Composite Girl), Lori Morning, Magno, Prefect Lamar, R.J. Brande, Tenzil Kem; Durlans, Metropolis citizens, Orandan servitors, Science Police, Winathians

Opponents: 
Amilia Crugg, Brainiac 4 (flashback), Dark Circle (flashback), Khunds, Leland McCauley, Zakk Arn

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Who's Who: LSV Tarik the Mute

Tarik the Mute
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Benno Tarik
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #353

Adventure Comics #353 (February 1967)
title: "The Doomed Legionnaire!"
writer & layouts: Jim Shooter
penciller: Curt Swan
inkerGeorge Klein
letterer: Milton Snapinn
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage, Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane, and Jason "Anachronistic Kid" Knol

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy, Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra, Sun Boy, Superboy; cameos by Invisible Kid, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Colossal Boy, Chameleon Boy

Opponents: 
The Sun Eater, The Fatal Five (Emerald Empress, Mano, Persuader, Tharok, Validus)

Monday, August 20, 2018

Variant Covers part 2



by Bits Boy

We continue our look at Legion-related variants, and we're up to the sixth volume of the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #4


Legion of Super-Heroes #4 was another fine issue in this forgotten run of the Legion properties. This is a forgotten volume for me, possibly because it unravels as it moves forward. But as of now, this title feels like classic Legion and I mean that in the best possible way.

Writer Paul Levitz was always able to juggle several plotlines within Legion books but usually one of them dominates. Here, the main plot is the Ranzz family saving their sons from a Darkseid cult. It all wraps up rather neatly. In fact, if Levitz doesn't come back to it (and I honestly don't remember if he does) I might think too neatly. If you are an Ayla Ranzz fan, like I am, than this is a particularly excellent issue.

Levitz also lets the predicament of the Titan refugees percolate a bit, both on Earth and on Naltor. The Harmonia Li mystery deepens. And the Earth Man subplot is nudged forward as well, including the one subplot which I do remember and definitely don't like.

The art is the mix of Yildiray Cinar pages and Francis Portela pages. The two have different styles. The more I read this book, the more I realize that their styles don't necessarily complement each other. Both are quite fine. The Ranzz pages are fantastic.

So overall, this was a surprisingly entertaining issue. And that made me happy. On to the book.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #108

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #108 (September 1998)
title: "The End"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jason Armstrong

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

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum II, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Andromeda, Koko, R.J. Brande, Weeden; Coluans, Durlans, Science Police

Opponents: 
Brainiac 4, Composite Man (flashback and corpse), Dark Circle, Dominators, Evolvo (flashback), Gil'Dan (Brain Globes of Rambat, flashback and mention), Khunds, Leland McCauley (flashback), Luck Lords (flashback), Sclarian Raiders, Time Trapper, Tyrazzians

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Who's Who: LSV Sun Emperor

Sun Emperor
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Nigal Douglous
Super-Power(s): Heat and flame projection
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #352

Adventure Comics #352 (January 1967)
title: "The Fatal Five!"
writer & layouts: Jim Shooter
penciller: Curt Swan
inkerGeorge Klein
letterer: Milton Snapinn
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage, Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane, and Jason "Anachronistic Kid" Knol

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy, Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra, Sun Boy, Superboy

Guests: 
Cameos of various other-worldly heroes whose names are not given and who are never shown again

Opponents: 
The Sun Eater, The Fatal Five (Emerald Empress, Mano, Persuader, Tharok, Validus)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Legion Cameos #1: Silver Age Superman


Welcome to a new series of posts that is going to focus on cameo appearances by the Legion: those stories in which they appear but for only for a page or two, or perhaps even only a panel or two. Roles that are notable but not significant enough to devote an entire post.

These will not necessarily be in chronological order, although each post will likely focus on a particular era or theme. There is no limit to how far afield the issues discussed may be from regular Legion continuity so long as a Legionnaire, or perhaps just a traditional Legion villain, makes an appearance. This one is for those completists out there who may enjoy knowing about every Legion appearance, no matter how small. So a big welcome from Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane, and let's get this one started with some Silver Age Superman fun!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #3


Legion of Super-Heroes #3 continued the trend of my liking the issues more on this reread than when I read them initially. I am a bit flummoxed. I know that this eventually dovetails into the New 52 series which I recently reviewed and semi-trashed. Maybe at some point it turns a corner.

Writer Paul Levitz with artists Yildiray Cinar and Francis Portela give us a standard wonderful Legion issue with three plots. Levitz was known for keeping a couple of subplots brewing in the background, completing one thread, promoting another, and adding something new. By doing this, Levitz was able to keep the large cast engaged and keep readers interested.

Here the main plot involves Earth Man. I haven't been a fan of this character and didn't/don't like him being in such a prominent role here. But you can see that Levitz is working towards a redemption arc here. We already see him being taught lessons by the Legion and his GL ring.

The subplots are what grabbed me more here. Saturn Queen is really elevated to a major big bad, sadistic and insane. The Ranzz family is on the move to track down their lost sons and run into a new god. And Harmonia Li seems to have a history. Give me more of this!

The art by Cinar is solid in a sort of old school iconic look. But Portela continues to glitter in the Saturn Queen pages. I love Portela's shiny, slick style.

On to the book.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #64

Legionnaires #64 (September 1998)
title: "Time Out!"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Jeffrey Moy and Philip Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum II, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Admiral Everett, Andromeda, Chuck Taine, Composite Girl, Condo Arlik, Kono, Lori Morning, R.J. Brande, Shvaughn Erin, Tenzil Kem, Wynema Wazzo; Durlans, Science Police

Opponents: 
Composite Man, Dark Circle, Evolvo, Gil'Dan (Brain Globes of Rambat), Gil'Dishpan, Khunds (Amilia Crugg), Leland McCauley, Sklarian Raiders, Time Trapper

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Who's Who: LSV Ron-Karr

Ron-Karr
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Ron-Karr
Super-Power(s): Become two-dimensional
Planet of Origin: Neptune
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

TOS: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #99

Jimmy Olsen #99 (January 1967)
title: The One Man Legion 
writer: Jim Shooter
artist: Pete Costanza
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein
reviewers: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage and Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane 

Mission Monitor Board:
Honorary Legionnaire Jimmy Olsen in the identities of Element Lad, Lightning Lad, and Sun Boy.  Cameo by Superman

Opponents:
The Weapons Wizard

Synopsis:
Jimmy receives a special birthday present from the Legion of Super-Heroes. He is given costumes matching those of Lightning Lad, Element Lad, and Sun Boy which give their wearer the powers of each hero. Jimmy tries to use the super-powered costumes to battle the evil Weapons Wizard and his army but things do not go as planned. Before finally turning the tables on the villain, Jimmy gets beaten, shot, electrocuted, frozen, blown up, and almost drowned. If you hate Jimmy Olsen, this is the story for you! 

Monday, August 6, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Tyr (DC Universe Classics Series 14)

by Derek William Crabbe 
Named after the one-handed Norse God of War, Tyr is one of the few Legion of Super-Heroes villains to be immortalized in plastic form multiple times.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #2


I am rather amazed and quite thrilled to be reviewing the Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #2 issue. In some ways, there is a sort of cosmic serendipity to my going back to this series now. In my heart, I remembered being overall disappointed by this series. I would be much more likely to revisit the classic Levitz/Giffen books or the 5YL books than reading this run again. It was this blog assignment that led me here.

I don't want to make this a political blog but suffice it to say that America is pretty tense right now. Whether it is race or gender or sexuality or citizenship, the whole nation seems to be resting on a powder keg and the fuse has been lit.

And here, in the Legion, the main storyline revolves around immigration and culture wars. Some of the lines uttered by the mob here in the gleaming future sound remarkably familiar. And Earth Man, a fascist xenophobe, is both a villain the Legion is watching over but also a hero to those who agree with his opinions. It is eerie how much I see America today in this future world.

Writer Paul Levitz really ratchets things up here. Earth Man's regime has ended. The team has been re-instated. But things are hardly stable. As a team they are trying to figure out how to insert themselves into things again. And a more super-threat in the form of Saturn Queen is lurking on the edges.

The art is mostly done by Yildiray Cinar who continues to bring a very solid house style to the proceedings. Future Legion artist Francis Portela does a couple of pages in the middle, bringing his sleek style to one scene. I loved Portela's work.

On to the book!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #107

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #107 (August 1998)
title: "Brainspotting"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jason Armstrong

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

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kid Quantum II, Spark, Triad, Violet

Guests: 
Coluans, Koko

Opponents: 
Brainiac 4, Composite Man, Dark Circle, Dominators, Evolvo, Gil'Dan (Brain Globes of Rambat), Khunds, Leland McCauley, Sklarian Raiders, Time Trapper (flashback)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Who's Who: LSV Radiation Roy

Radiation Roy
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Roy Travich
Super-Power(s): Radioactive blasts
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain