Friday, August 16, 2019

Review: Adventure Comics #518


Adventure Comics #518, written by Paul Levitz with art by Kevin Sharpe, continues to turn back the clock and look at the earliest stories of  Superboy and the Legion.

As I have said in prior reviews of the title, it is an interesting concept for a number of reasons. I think one of the major problems with any Legion reboot is the fear of isolating or offending the continuity-rabid older fan base of the characters. This title's concept is probably heaven-sent for that crowd, allowing the more seasoned Legion lovers to enjoy a look backwards. But this title also allows Paul Levitz to further define and refine this early period of the team while, in essence, teaching any new Legion fans what the team was all about back in the day. We haven't seen any frank re-telling of Legion stories but we have danced around some of the big events in Legion Lore. And outside of, in my opinion, one major gaffe (having Saturn Girl sleep with Cos and then mind wipe him in #517), it has accomplished those goals nicely.

For newer fans, this book also helps to build a foundation for the team which has a lot of history to cover. And it allows the reader the ability to look at a character closely from where they have been (in Adventure) and where they are now (in the Legion main book). Certainly the Saturn Girl in the main book is different than the one here, so contrasting those portrayals helps the reader see just how much these characters have grown.

My one concern as an older fan as I read this book is that I may not appreciate the context of the story if indeed it is meant to embellish a sliver of the Silver Age. I consider myself a huge Legion fan but my knowledge of their earliest history is okay ... not encyclopedic. And as a result, newer fans might be struggling more.

On to the story!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #10

Legion Lost #10 (February 2001)
title: "Rosette"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Olivier Coipel
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel & Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Element Lad (image), Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire

Opponents: 
Progenitor, Progeny

Recap: 
A team of Legionnaires is lost in a remote part of space, and perhaps time, having slept in stasis thanks to the intervention of the since-missing Element Lad. They've been on the run from the xenophobic Progeny ever since, but now the Progeny fleet has caught up to them...


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Who's Who: Starburst Bandits

Starburst Bandits
by Russell & Siskoid


Members: No individual names ever given
Super-Power(s): Bursts of stellar energy from their palms
Planet of Origin: Unknown
Relationship to Legion: Adversaries

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #2

L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #2 (March 1989)
title: "So You Want to be a Despot?"
plot/breakdowns: Keith Giffen
script: Alan Grant
penciller: Barry Kitson
inker: Mike DeCarlo
letterer: Gaspar
colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
assistant editor: Art Young
editor: Karen Berger
cover art: Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon

Future L.E.G.I.O.N.airres: The Durlan, Garryn Bek, Lyrissa Mallor, Stealth, Strata, Vril Dox.

Their Opponent: The Computer Tyrants of Colu

Recap: After escaping from the Starlag prison during the Invasion! series, Vril Dox has tricked his fellow escapees into attempting to free his people from the Computer Tyrants of Colu. Their attempt appears to have failed after they are seemingly killed in an explosion.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #12

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #12 
(April 2008
title: Lone Wolf
writer: Matthew K. Manning
artist: Ethen Beavers
letterer: Sol Cirpiano
colorist: Heroic Age
editor: Jeanine Shaefer
cover art: Alexandra Serra

Mission Monitor Board: Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, and Timber Wolf

Cameos: Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, and Superman.


Villains: Random bad guys


Friday, August 9, 2019

Review: Adventure Comics #517


I wish I had a better sense for the overall response to the Adventure Comics reboot back in 2010. The comic had become a sort of flashback title for the Legion, looking back at the earliest days of the team, trying to rebuild and refine the group's history.

Who was this title's demographic? Old timers like me, hoping to rekindle our passion for the team, while updating the early part of their timeline? New Legion readers, who may be having a hard time grasping the current title and might need this book to build up a back story? Both?

The comic market has barely been able to sustain any Legion book for the better part of 2 decades. Could it sustain 2 books? And did having two titles at two different points in time make it more confusing for new readers? I suppose there are a ton of X-books out there at different times so maybe I am overthinking things.

As for me, I am enjoying this reread more than I thought I would. I feared that this book might end up reading like straight reprints of stories I had already read. What Paul Levitz was doing was adding nuance to well traveled Legion stories and themes, bringing new perspective for the older Legion readers while building a history for the newer readers. In some ways it reminds me of Geoff Johns and his ability to reintroduce Silver Age elements to the Superman mythos while updating them enough to feel fresh.

Adventure Comics # 517 continues that 'best of both worlds' feel, bringing us one of the earliest Legion adventures back when the team consisted of only the original three, but adding some characterization to Saturn Girl.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #9

Legion Lost #9 (January 2001)
title: "Lost & Alone"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Pascale Alixe
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel & Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire

Guests: 
The Barontyk, the Dr'pp'rr, the Sumal

Opponents: 
Progeny

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Who's Who: Sklarian Raiders

Sklarian Raiders
by Russell & Siskoid


Planet of Origin: Sklar
Relationship to Legion: Adversaries

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #1

L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #1 (February 1989)
title: "Homecoming"
plot/breakdowns: Keith Giffen
script: Alan Grant
penciller: Barry Kitson
inker: Mike DeCarlo
letterer: Gaspar
colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
assistant editor: Art Young
editor: Karen Berger
cover art: Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon

Future L.E.G.I.O.N.aires: The Durlan, Garryn Bek, Lyrissa Mallor, Stealth, Strata, Vril Dox.

Their Opponent: The Computer Tyrants of Colu

Recap: During the three part Invasion! series, a coalition of alien races invaded Earth. Humanity was deemed too dangerous because of the meta-gene that gave them the propensity to develop superpowers. Dissenters and other aliens were being held by the coalition at Starlag, but the Coluan prisoner Vril Dox and the Omega Men led a revolt at the prison. As the first issue of L.E.G.I.O.N. opens a ship full of surviving escapees from Starlag has arrived at the planet Colu seemingly to return Vril Dox to his home.

Monday, August 5, 2019

LEGION TOYS: Brainiac 5 (DC Direct 2002)



Now we're coming full circle and getting to the characters who have had DC Universe Classics figures, but who I didn't actually review the first time around. Inventor of the Legion Flight Ring! The man who created the anti-lead serum that allowed Mon-El to leave the Phantom Zone! The guy who created a villainous Computo before Hank Pym ever thought about creating Ultron! And of course the creator of his own signature device, his Force Field Belt, we're talking about Querl Dox a.k.a. Brainiac 5!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Review: Adventure Comics #516

The year was 2010 and DC had just put out a new Legion of Super-Heroes title, one picking up on Geoff Johns' restructuring and reverting the team's history to the Baxter series continuity. No 5YL. No Archie book. No Threeboot. We were back to old times. And as such, it made sense that DC would want to put out a comic that would review some of the team's history ... something to get the new readers up to speed to the old timeline. Writer Paul Levitz said that he was picking up the team's continuity after his 'Magic Wars' arc from way back in 1989.That was 20 year old history he was dusting off.

Adventure Comics felt like that recap book, a way for Levitz to make sure key historical points were reviewed and retold.

Adventure Comics #516 tells R.J. Brande's story which intertwines with Legion history pretty closely. There is a lot of exposition here, Brande appearing after his death as a holographic story-teller, retelling his life story to the Legionnaires present. Of course, they all know this story or most of it.

In fact, that was one of my own selfish concerns here. I know most of this story too. Would this issue be worth my time? Luckily Levitz throws in some new flourishes that I enjoyed. And the overall theme, that Brande is as big a hero as any Legion because of the changes he brought to the universe, is a nice one.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Reboot: Legion Lost #8

Legion Lost #8 (December 2000)
title: "Lost & Found"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Olivier Coipel
inker: Andy Lanning
lettering: Comicraft
colorist: Tom McCraw
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Olivier Coipel & Andy Lanning
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Shikari, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire; psychic images: Apparition, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Spark, Violet

Guests: 
Singularity

Opponents: 
Lorcan psionic imagers