Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Who's Who: Marte Ida Allon

Marte Ida Allon
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Marte Ida Allon
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Mother of Colossal Boy; political ally

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #362

Adventure Comics #362 (November 1967)
title: "The Chemoids Are Coming!"
writer and layouts: Jim Shooter
artist: Pete Costanza
letterer: Ira Schnapp
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board: 
Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Duo Damsel, Karate Kid, Invisible Kid, Light Lass, Princess Projectra, Sun Boy, and Superboy; cameo appearances by several other Legionnaires

Opponent:
Dr. Mantis Morlo "the Chemical Conqueror," and his fantastic Chemoids!


Monday, October 29, 2018

The LSB Supports Diversity

Recently it has come to our attention here in our 31st-Century corner of the world-wide-web  that Mark Waid, well-known author of such classic comic book characters as Superman, Captain America, Daredevil, the Justice League, and, yes, the Legion of Super-Heroes, is being sued by a writer and comic book critic named Richard Meyer. In the lawsuit, Meyer alleges that Waid interfered with a contract Meyer had signed with independent comics publisher Antarctic Press. Meyer is suing Waid for $75,000 in financial damages and for defamation of character, as Meyer contends that Waid has described him in less-than-factual terms.

We here at the Legion of Super-Bloggers are not going to get into the merits of the lawsuit. However, it seems abundantly clear to us, a group of predominantly white men celebrating a fictional group of characters from nearly two dozen different planets that diversity is good.

In fact, the Legion of Super-Heroes is an icon of diversity. The Legion was one of the first mainstream super-hero teams to have more than just two "token" female members. Saturn Girl was one of the first female leaders in comics. From the very beginning, the Legion represented the positive aspects of diversity: we Earthlings could not only get along with each other but we could also get along with aliens, too.

Of course, we are not unaware that the Legion was created in 1958. A product of its time, the humans were all white for a very long time. But we learned that we could and did have green, orange, and blue friends, and the message was clear. The comics eventually got better and the humans more diverse. We could have Black, Asian, Latino, and LGBT friends. We saw the future, and it was good.

Mark Waid characterizes the lawsuit as an effort to try to intimidate and silence those of us who stand up publicly against bigotry and racism; against those of us who continue to defend non-white and/or non-male creators from harassment. As the plaintiff has managed to successfully arrange to publish his comic book, we tend to agree with Waid. And as for the defamation charges, if you are interested in what might have defamed him, go ahead and Google "Richard Meyer comics" and read what you find. We'll let him speak for himself.

We here at the Legion of Super-Bloggers agree that all people throughout the United Planets should be able to pursue their own happiness, away from bigotry and harassment. If you are a blue Talokian warrior woman but you want to write comics, you should be able to. Likewise, if you want to publish a story that is based on segregation or exclusion, that's your prerogative. But don't expect us to support it.

The Legion of Super-Bloggers supports diversity and equal opportunity, because that is what the Legion of Super-Heroes would do, and it's what's right.

To support Mark Waid in his fight against this lawsuit go to  http://www.markwaid.com/news/gofundme

Long Live the Legion! 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Retroboot Review: Legion of Super-Villains Special #1


Hey all,
I am continuing my retro-reviews of the Retroboot Legion series and I am finally starting to match up the internal chronology of the book with the reviews by covering two books which technically took place before the Legion of Super-Heroes #13 issue which I covered last week. 

The Legion of Super-Villains Special #1, written by Paul Levitz and drawn by Francis Portela came out the same month as LSH #11, setting up the ongoing plot of Saturn Queen and her team of evil-doers out to spread chaos throughout the galaxy.

We'll start with the obvious. I love Francis Portela's art. In this issue, we really get a sense of  Portela's style. He gives Saturn Queen, the lead character in this issue, a certain vibe. There is a sensuality to her without veering into cheesecake or over-sexualization. There is also madness in her, conveyed wonderfully in her eyes and expressions.

In retrospect the plot is a little off. It is clear that Saturn Queen is the leader of the LSV. But it is also clear that she herself is being manipulated by this Blue Flame creature. And since that being is an unknown, it feels like too much of a mystery. It also seems weird to see a group usually hell-bent on ruling and a fascistic order suddenly espousing chaos and anarchy.

I also have to applaud Levitz's attempt to broaden the Legion mythos by mixing in new villains like Akka, Sun Killer, and Immortus. 

Anyways, head back and reread my reviews for #12 and #13 to catch up with the LSV plot. Next week I'll finish my back-up recovery by reviewing LSH Annual #1.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #67

Legionnaires #67 (January 1999)
title: "Here Be Heroes!"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: Mike McAvennie
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
cover: Chris Sprouse
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Element Lad, Ferro, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Ultra Boy; cameos: Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Quantum Kid II, Thunder

Guests: 
Lori Morning; visitors and tour guides in the Crystal Caverns (including a 10-year-old boy called Dennis)

Opponents: 
Kono, Stormfront, an unknown collector (possibly Leland McCauley)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Who's Who: Marla Latham

Marla Latham
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Marla Latham
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Advisor

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

TOS: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #106 Point-Counterpoint

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #106 (October 1967)
title: "The Lone Wolf Legionnaire Reporter!"
writer: unknown
artist: Pete Costanza
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage and Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board:  
Honorary Legionnaire Jimmy Olsen, Brainiac 5, Mon-El, Duo Damsel, Element Lad

Opponents: 
Dreaded Dead-Line Doom

Synopsis:  
Jimmy Olsen is called into the 30th Century in order to help write this month's issue of The Legion Bulletin. As hard as he tries, though, Jimmy can't seem to find any news worth reporting on.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Who Drew It Better? Tales vs. Baxter 6-10


By Siskoid and Russell
Continuing our comparison of the covers to the Baxter version of the Legion (volume 3) and their reprints approximately one year later in Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The stories were exactly the same, but each issue had a brand new cover. So we go back to the age-old question: Who drew the better cover?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #13

The stereotypical Legion fan is someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of that gleaming future and the team. They are usually well-read, even of older books. And they know their stuff. It is a double edged sword.

For example, if you set up a LSH vs. LSV storyline, the standard Legion fan will have at their mental finger-tips the past LSV arcs. In particular, I think the initial Baxter series opening arc would be the primary comparison. And that arc is both important and beloved. So you better be ready for people to hold those arcs next to each other.

All that is my way of saying that the Saturn Queen, blue flame entity, LSV arc running through this retroboot Legion title is going to suffer when compared to the Baxter arc. It doesn't help that both portend and end with a dead Legionnaire, making them similar enough to really contrast. 

That Baxter arc had all the classic Legion villains squaring off against the team. This LSV has people named Atta and Immortus. There isn't enough gravitas and history to make it seem memorable. And the underlying plot of Worlds of Wisdom and blue baby beings is too insubstantial, at least in the middle chapter of LSH #13, to grab me.

On the positive side, I do like how the Legionnaires interact with each other in the crisis, fighting well as teammates.


And yes, I know I am presenting a middle chapter first. I promise, the LSV Special review will happen soon. 

On to the book.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Reboot: Starman #50

Starman (v2) #50 (February 1999)
title: "Lighting the Way: Then, Now and Yet To Be!"
writers: James Robinson and David S. Goyer
penciller: Peter Snejbjerg
inkers: Wade Von Grawbadger and Keith Champagne
lettering: Bill Oakley
colorists: John Kalisz and Graphic Colorworks
assistant editor: Peter Tomasi
editor: Archie Goodwin
cover: Tony Harris
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Star Boy, Umbra

Guests: 
Atmos, Insect Queen, Shade, Starman (Mother Box hologram of Ted Knight), Starman (Mikaal Tomas), Starman (Jack Knight); Science Police, Xanthusians

Opponents: 
Dark Colossus, Shadow Wraiths

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Who's Who: Marko Chang

Marko Chang
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Marko Chang
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Adversarial

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #361

Adventure Comics #361 (October 1967)
title: "The Unkillables!"
writer & layouts: Jim Shooter
artist: Jim Mooney
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Karate Kid, Duo Damsel, Brainiac 5, Superboy, Colossal Boy, Bouncing Boy, Star Boy, Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet, Ultra Boy

Opponents: 
The Unkillables, shoddy plotting, lackluster art

Monday, October 15, 2018

Legion of Superheroes S02 E07: Unnatural Alliances

"Unnatural Alliances" was directed by James Tucker and written by Brandon Vietti. Original Airdate: November 17, 2007. Review by Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane.

Mission Monitor Board: Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Duo Damsel, Star Boy, Superman X.

Opponents: Terra-Man and Imperiex (Sort of...)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #12


Welcome again to the retro-review of the Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes title.

Today I look at (and look back) at Legion of Super-Heroes #12, written by Paul Levitz with art by Yildiray Cinar. 

Looking back at my review, I find the grade of B/B+ a little inflated. There is nothing like an LSH/ LSV war to get the blood pumping, but this villainous team headed by Saturn Queen isn't exactly big enough to make me quiver. I also find this take on Saturn Queen, suddenly a murderous sadist, to be a bit off-putting. Yes, she is scary. But it seems so over the top that it takes me a little out of the story. And then, of course, when those murderous tendencies vanish when she is facing characters that 'matter', it is even more strange.

There are some high points. The battle against Lightning Lord, with Phantom Girl and Lightning Lass doing some serious lifting, is definitely worth the price of admission. And the Star Boy scene is a nice catalog of Legion reboots in a way.

But truly not much happened here. And after reading this it made me realize that the Durlan conspiracy story truly wrapped up too soon. On to the old review.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #110

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #110 (December 1998)
title: "The Power of Thunder!"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Scott Kolins 
inker: Ron Boyd 
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: Mike McAvennie
thanks to: Jerry Ordway
cover: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5.1, Invisible Kid, Live Wire, M'Onel, Spark, Thunder (joins), Violet

Guests: 
Captain Marvel (flashback), Cece's foster parents (flashback), Inspector Javert (flashback), Koko, S.H.A.Z.A.M. Computer; human and tiger citizens of Fawcett-World

Opponents: 
Dash Noir (flashback), Dr. Savant, Objective Order

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Who's Who: Marella Tao

Marella Tao
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Marella Tao
Super-Power(s): Power
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Relationship

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #360

Adventure Comics #360 (September 1967)
title: "The Legion Chain Gang!"
writer and layouts: Jim Shooter
penciller: Curt Swan
inker: George Klein
letterer: Milton Snapinn
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein
reviewer: Jason "Anachronistic Kid" Knol

Mission Monitor Board:
Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, and Ultra Boy

Opponent:
"President Boltax"



Monday, October 8, 2018

Action Comics #859


Action Comics #859 
Title: Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes Part 2 - Illegal Aliens
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Gary Frank
Inker: Jon Sibal
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editors: Nachie Castro and Matt Idelson
Executive Editor: Dan Didio

Legion Roster: Superman, Dawnstar, Wildfire, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, Invisible Kid II, Ultra Boy, Shrinking Violet, Blok


PREVIOUSLY: A rampaging Brainiac drone in Metropolis catches Superman's attention, but the drone turns out to be controlled by none other than Brainiac 5. A blast from the robot brings forth long buried memories and Superman recalls his first time meeting the Legion of Super-Heroes when Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad traveled to 20th Century Smallville. It's been a long time since Superman saw the Legion, and now they need his help, because as Superman discovers, someone's messed 31st Century Earth up, starting with the fact that Earth's sun is red and the Legionnaires are fugitives.

I'll be picking up where the previous reviewer left off and attempt to finish recapping "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes." As always there will be my hate/love/hate with Geoff Johns and what he did to the Legionnaires when he brought them back. I look back on how much I loved everything about this story. I can't believe I was so young, so naive, so stupid.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #11

Hey folks, Anj here.

At some point over on my Supergirl blog, I began reviewing this run of Legion of Super-Heroes. So much like I did with the New 52 Legion and the New 52 Legion Lost books, I will be doing retro-reviews of the Retroboot book. What I mean by this is I will post my review from 2011 here. And then after, I will post what my current thoughts are after a re-read.

What strikes me immediately about this old review of Legion of Super-Heroes #11 is that I am far more forgiving of this book. When I re-read the issue, my enthusiasm was tepid. And yet in the first like of the older review I am glad the book is 'firing on all cylinders'. Different times and different hopes for an LSH book make these retro-reviews interesting time capsules. Let's see what 2011 Anj thought!

Legion of Super-Heroes #11 came out last week and picked up right where the Legion of Super-Villains One Shot ended. I have to say that I think this title is finally clicking on all cylinders. This just feels like the Legion I want to be reading. And as a long time Legion fan who has picked up some of the reboots and ignored others, I am happy to be enjoying the Legion again.

Of course, one the beauties of the Legion is the deep continuity of the characters and the series. In fact, in some ways I think that continuity might be a double edged sword. For old-timers like me, the history and legend of the Legion is really one of the draws. I think many long-time Legion fans pride themselves on a deep understanding of Legion lore. But that same deep history might make it difficult for a brand new reader to pick up the book. But if you reboot and lose that history, you probably will lose the core foundation of the Legion fanbase. It can't be easy for the folks at DC to figure out what to do.

In this issue, for example, there is great characterization throughout, as events hearken back to some personal moments in the Legionnaires lives. Writer Paul Levitz knows that adding that depth to the characters is what makes this book so special. And I know exactly what he's talking about. But do new readers? Does it frustrate them?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #66

Legionnaires #66 (December 1998)
title: "Missing Persons"
writer: KC Carlson
pencillers: Mike Collins
inkers: John Stokes
lettering: Pat Prentice
colorist and story input: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Chameleon, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Violet

Guests: 
Chuck Taine, Danielle Foccart, the Foccarts, Invisible Kid II, Lori Morning, the Norgs, President Chu (flashback), Proty, R.J. Brande, Tenzil Kem; Science Police

Opponents: 
Charma, Grimbor (flashback), Luck Lords

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Who's Who: Mandalla

Mandalla
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Tari Wahlmunn
Super-Power(s): Hallucinations
Planet of Origin: Takron-Galtos
Relationship to Legion: Legion cadet

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #359

Adventure Comics #359 (August 1967)
title: "The Outlaw Legionnaires"
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, Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Matter Eating Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, and Ultra Boy.

Opponent:
The people of Earth.



Monday, October 1, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Star Boy (DC Signature Collection)



Alone...
He wants to be alone so he can process this
To a point of understandingness
Starboy! That’s who he is that’s not who he ain’t
Starboy! He knows it now and now it's the truth...
The Captain of Outer Space that is his brother, Uh-huh!
The Captain of Outer Space he knows it’s true, Uh-huh!
Alone...

He wants to be Alone...