Friday, June 12, 2015

A Pause To a Salute 5YL And A Question For Readers

Last week I reviewed Legion of Super-Heroes #38, "The End".

As I said there, the issue marks something of a shift in the book as well. Keith Giffen's guidance essentially ends in that issue.

Soon after, some of the creative decisions that made this book feel unique slowly went away.

And somewhere, somehow, the dense feel of the stories also goes away. The mysterious, nuanced, layered feel of the stories kind of ebbs. The book becomes a more straightforward superhero book.

While it remains an interesting read and definitely embraces all things Legion, it just feels like it stops being something of a challenge. Perhaps it is that very challenging nature that makes it such an acquired taste. Maybe it was that dense nature that made it divisive.

And when you add creative and risky decisions like 9-panel grids and text pages, and odd rest issues into the mix, I am not surprised that this book wasn't beloved by everyone.

Obviously I love this book and in particular this earliest part of the run.

So I wanted to pause one week just to let these first three years of the run linger for just a little bit.

And  I wanted to ask a couple of questions to anyone who comes here.

What is your favorite moment in this book? What do you love about the book?

If you haven't commented before, or rarely comment, or are a regular commenter, I want to hear it. I want to hear from you so I can stay in this space of joy for just a bit more and share that time with others.

As for me, there is no doubt what is my favorite moment.

The scene were the Legionnaires briefly debate killing Roxxas stands out vividly. Jan, of all people, reminds them that the Legion doesn't do that. That killing Roxxas would change them, would make something other than Roxxas die in that room. And that is the purest essence of the Legion.

Even in the darkest times, even when faced with the vilest evil, they are heroes and inspirations.

Next week, I'll restart my reviews.

But I wanted to stay here for just a bit more. Thanks for indulging me. And please leave a comment!


  1. I was one of the long-time Legion fans who hated this book with a passion at first...but gradually learned to respect it, not as an LSH story, but as an awesome SF tale. I always will dislike what was done to Timberwolf, Dawnstar, Cosmic Boy, Blok, Mysa, Sun Boy but for the most part I learned to disassociate myself from my nostalgia and enjoy the ride (firmly believing that as some point the 'real' timeline would be reset).

    My favorite moment in the book was not depicted in a single scene. It was in the use of minor characters, especially the Subs. I loved how they were no longer being treated as a joke. And I loved the expanded roles for characters like Ron-Karr, Crystal Kid, Spider Girl, Infectious Lass and Calorie Queen.

    Your reviews have given me a new appreciation of the 5 Year Gap Legion..

    1. I am with TomG here. When I read the first new issue I recall tossing it aside in dare they?!

      But I stuck with it, and ended up enjoying it for what it was....a super cool SF slash Fantasy world, but not really my/the Legion. By the time that Zero Hour came along and Rokk Krinn was revealed as...well, I hated it again.

      My favorite moments were the murder of Blok, which I KNEW would re-create the Legion in a way Roxxas could not understand (and I didn't like the character all that much, anyway) and the 2nd battle between Mon-El and The Time Trapper early in the run. There was SO much potential to that re-swipe......(sigh).

      Otherwise, I was definitely one of those readers who "read" the book, but didn't "get" the book.

  2. I had a hiatus in my comic reading for most of my teens (read: the eighties), and came back for Giffen’s heyday in the DCU (Legion, JLI, L.E.G.I.O.N, Invasion!). Having always loved the Legion, I jumped into this title, and it was both something that catered to my newfound “maturity” but with a strong callback to my early reading years. I was enthralled.
    In those pre-internet years, it made me go back, re read, try to find out information. When none was available, I sat back and relaxed. I loved the characterization, how the actual growth and maturation of the characters was depicted.
    Also, as a recently out gay man, storylines such as Vi and Ayla’s, Jan and Sean, the annual 3 really resonated in ways I wasn’t expecting.
    Favorite moments… I have so many it’s difficult to say: Lar’s “maybe the best man I ever knew was your creation” moment, Laurel’s “it’s time to roll the dice, and pray for sevens” (not knowing WHO that was, my money was on Jeckie)… but my all-time favorite is issue #12. “We’re back”, the simple-type “The Legion of Super Heroes” splash page (my eyes tear up just by thinking about it).
    As I mentioned in other comments: this is my all-time run on my all-time series, by my all-time favorite creator. Long live, indeed.

  3. Oh yes, Tom, the use of the Subs as rebel fighters was indeed awesome. Best bits for me... the Matter-Eater Lad issue, the Glorithverse issue and Mon-El's sacrifice there, and what they did with the SW6 Legion, though I suppose that's still to come.

  4. One of my favourite moments, not just in this series, not just in comics, but in all of culture, comes when SW6 Laurel is escorting the Dominator commander offworld and they have this exchange:

    Dominator: "Humanity." How foolish is your "humanity", which allows blood enemies to live. One day I do believe this weakness will be the end of you all.
    Laurel: No, sir, on the contrary. It's our humanity that's always saved us. Just as it's your hatred that's destroyed you.
    Dominator: Mmm... Just possibly... you may have a point, human.
    (Later, alone in space)
    Dominator: may have a point...

  5. Love all these scenes.

    The Subs are so integral to Terra Mosaic and are true soldiers and heroes.
    I posted those Laurel panels on Twitter just a couple of weeks ago! Love that exchange.

    And I also love #4 and #5 - Monel and Glorithverse, shaking up a universe already shook up! So great!

    But LSH#12 is such a great issue, my favorite of the run.

  6. First, congratulations to Anj for completing his reviews covering the first three years of this book! You've done such a great job! I look forward to each and every Friday review! (Confession, as a member of the Legion of Super-Bloggers, I get to sneak a peek at Anj's reviews a few days early each week. Perks of the job!) It's an incredibly dense book, but each of your reviews was clear, concise and captured the exciting spirit of this era!

    I've chronicled my own love of the 5YL era here on this site previously, so I don't want to repeat myself too much.

    For me, I had to work hard to understand this series as this was my introduction to the Legion series. The excitement of research and discovery helped cement my investment in these characters. This book felt like it was going somewhere during the first three years. Each issue held something unexpected. I loved learning more about this world as the story slowly unfolded. It was compelling!

    My favorite moment? This right here. Read the text again. Still brings tears to my eyes. Dang it, I'm tearing up as I type this!!

    Thanks, Anj! LLL!

  7. My favorite moments were the tiny character bits that may have only been one or two panels, like the Brin flashback where the doctor assures him there are no androids around.

    1. Two words & a photo sum up my love of 5YL...Laurel Gand!

      I always enjoyed the costumes too; the ones designed by Keith Giffen and Stuart Immomen's costumes too.