Friday, September 29, 2017

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #3

Welcome back to throwback reviews of the New 52 Legion with some added commentary from the benefit of time. 

I will be honest that I thought for sure every issue would be looked down upon by me. The New 52 overall isn't a time I necessarily care to revisit. But this issue, aided mightily by the incredibly lush art of Francis Portela, is really a fun trip.

One thing that I definitely liked here in Legion of Super-Heroes #3 is the Levitz gave the members in the book the characterization that I had come to expect to see. A smug, confident Sun Boy. A smart and fun Phantom Girl. A powerful Mon-El. A cautious, cerebral Element Lad. A strategizing Cham. It was all there. And Portela's art, from panel construction to expressive work complemented everything wonderfully. This was a very good Legion book. So let's head back to 2011.

Legion of Super-Heroes #3 was released last week and did a good job of moving the Dominator storyline forward in a hurry while allowing more of the Legionnaires to shine.

It has been something of an interesting arc to read from a metatextual point of view. This was the first arc of the DCnU, the jumping on point for new readers, the place for people who have been away from comics to come home to. And yet, this wasn't a reboot. And we are dropped into a pretty continuity heavy story involving new Legionnaires, Daxamites, the Dominion ... and most of it without in depth explanation. Could a new reader pick this book up and understand it?

For a lifelong Legion fan like me, this has actually been a fun read. It definitely started slowly but the last two issues have built up some momentum and this one in particular was a wild ride.

And, as I have said from the beginning, I love Francis Portela's art here. Just lovely stuff. He uses a nice mix of close-ups, distant shots, and points of perspective to add some dynamics to the battles here. Really slick stuff and perfect for this futuristic book. Old Legionnaires artist Chris Sprouse does a good cover here, the specter of the Dominion looming in the background.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #47

Legionnaires #47 (April 1997)
title: "Lost in Time"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
associate editor: Ruben Diaz
editor: KC Carlson
big fat help: Roger Stern
cover: Jeffrey Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Andromeda (cover only), Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Magno, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, XS

Chuck Taine, Dragonmage, Ferro, Inferno, Koko, Lori Morning, Marla Latham, Proty, Rond Vidar, Shvaughn Erin, Tenzil Kem, Science Police (Jim), hospital guards and staff, 20th-Century police

Evisceratronic, Mordru

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Who's Who: Command Kid

Command Kid
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Jeem Rehtu
Super-Power(s): Illusion-casting
Planet of Origin: Pretzor
Relationship to Legion: Villain who joined the Legion with false intentions

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

TOS: Adventure Comics #312 Group Review

The Legion of Super Bloggers Group Review on
Adventure Comics #312 (Sept, 1963)
title: The Super Sacrifice of the Legionnaires!
writer: Edmond Hamilton
penciller: John Forte
letterer: Milton Snapinn
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
editor: Mort Weisinger

Mission Monitor Board: 
Superboy, Lightning Lass, Sun Boy, Chameleon Boy, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, cameo by Lightning Lad


Death itself

The Legion finds a way to possibly re-animate Lightning Lad, but the price is costly---the life of one other member! See if you can guess the identity of The Bravest Legionnaire.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Secret Origins #8

Secret Origins (v3) #8 (November 1986)
title: "The Shadow of the Past"
writer: Paul Levitz
artist: Tom Mandrake
letterer: John Workman
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Robert Greenberger
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Friday, September 22, 2017

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #2

Welcome to the retro-review of the New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #2. For those not here last week, this review was originally posted on my Supergirl site the week it was released back in 2011. I am reposting here, exactly as it was then. But I am adding some added comments in blue. 

I think I was happy that the Legion survived the universe clearing of the New 52 and continued on its current course. But it is clear that, looking back at this, some of the warts that happen in this run were obvious even from the beginning. I wonder if writer Paul Levitz was caught betwixt and between. He needed this book to hit the ground running (remember how well all the New 52 #1s sold??) but he also was picking up on decades of history. It is the universal conundrum of the Legion. Blow it up and restart, irking long time fans (are there many of us left?). Or keep right on plodding along hoping to pick up new readers.

I'll comment on my specific issues now at the end of this review. For now, here is 2011 Anj's thoughts.

Legion of Super-Heroes #2 was released last week and continued the story of the attack on Panoptes, a UK watchworld. Remember, the DCnU is not a relaunch but instead a reboot. In the case of the Legion, it is more of a renumbering as the title picks up exactly where the last one left off. So without some inherent 'newness', it is up to writer Paul Levitz to reinvigorate the book, to bring in new readers and keep them.

One way of doing that is to bring in new members. And while we have learned a lot about DragonWing, Chemical Kid, Glorith, and Comet Queen from their Adventure Comics arc, they haven't had much time to shine here. One thing that I think will provide some grist for the mill will be the reaction of the older Legionnaires to these rookies and their inexperience.

Artist Francis Portela is the new artist on the book and his work suits the title well. His style is a clean, energized look, with maybe just a hint of anime, which works well on the book.

But the story itself is pretty standard fare so far with a probable Dominator plot to undermine the United Planets. There might be too much politics, too much back story to grab a truly new reader who might not know what a Dominator is.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Reboot: Plus the Legion of Super-Heroes Specials

In 1996 and 1997, DC published a number of "Plus" specials that teamed up various characters. By virtue of being stranded in the 20th Century, the Legion was featured in TWO of those specials, though neither time the headliner, always the guest. Our fearless leader Russell covered the Superman + the Legion special some time ago, so while we will give our thoughts - we're Reboot completists - we will let his fine article stand as the only synopsis. On the other side of our comments, we will fully tackle Sovereign Seven + the Legion. May God have mercy on our souls...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Who's Who: Circadia Senius

Circadia Senius
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Circadia Senius
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Pax Colony
Relationship to Legion: Time Institute contact

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TOS: Adventures Comics #311

Adventure Comics #311 (August 1963)
title: "The War Between the Substitute Heroes and the Legionnaires!"
writer: Edmond Hamilton
artist: John Forte
letterer:Joe Letterese & Milton Snapinn 
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover:Curt Swan & George Klein 
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board: 
Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Sun Boy. Cameos by Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Lightning Lass, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Superboy, and Ultra Boy.

Guest Starring:
Chlorophyll Kid, Fire Lad, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Stone Boy 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bombshells United #1

Title: Bombshells United #1 - American Soil
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Marguerite Sauvage
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Cover Artists: Terry and Rachel Dodson
Variant Artist: Babs Tarr
Editor: Jessica Chen

So the first thing you're probably wondering is, what's a DC Bombshells review doing here? Well if you've been on Legion World or paying attention to DC's variant cover solicits, you'd know this series features the unexpected appearance of a Legionnaire.

DC Bombshells started life as a series of statues designed by Ant Lucia, before becoming a variant cover theme and then gaining its own digital comic series. What could've been an excuse for DC to shill gratuitous cheesecake art with absolutely no plot turned out to be their most feminist and empowering comic to date, and considering this began when the New 52 was still going, that's really saying something.

Marguerite Bennett, plus a rotating cast of artists including Marguerite Sauvage, Mirka Andolfo, Laura Braga, and several others, has created an alternate take on the DCU during World War II, where the majority of the world's greatest heroes are all openly queer women. Wonder Woman, Batwoman, the Batgirls, Supergirl, Stargirl, and so many others are reimagined with a 1940 retro Bombshells design. The original series dealt mainly with the Nazi Party in Germany and Europe, but this new series, "Bombshells United," takes place in 1943 and examines the internment of Japanese-American citizens following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Considering what's been going on in the world for the past few years this is extremely relevant.

Friday, September 15, 2017

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Hello all. It's Anj and I'll be "starting" my reviews of the New 52 Legion book on Fridays today. I put starting in quotes because I will be reposting my reviews of the book from when they first came out. Incredibly, that was 6 years ago. Given that I didn't want to completely re-review the books but not wanting to let these older comments stay untouched, I thought I would add new comments to the old post. Hence, 'Blue Ink Anj' will be the 2017 fan commenting on my own comments. 'Black Ink Anj' is the original post. 

Looking back, I was thrilled that the Legion was part of the New 52. Levitz was writing the book before this new number one, a retroboot based off of Geoff Johns' Legion story arc in Action. Despite it being a new continuity, the Legion wasn't being rebooted, instead picking up right where it left off. And Francis Portela was staying on art. Portela was the closest to Steve Lightle we had had on a Legion book since ...well ... Steve Lightle. Optimism was high even if I didn't agree with a company wide reboot. But here we are. Set the time bubble for 2011 and Legion of Super-Heroes #1.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #90

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #90 (March 1997)
title: "Face to Face"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Lee Moder

inker: Ron Boyd
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Alan Davis
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Gates, Saturn Girl, Spark, Ultra Boy

Aven of Titan (mind construct), Ferro, Inferno, Koko, Shvaughn Erin, mental institution personnel

Dr. Psycho

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Who's Who: Chemoids

by Russell & Siskoid

Super-Power(s): Counter Legionnaires' powers
Planet of Origin: N/A
Relationship to Legion: Villain's army of artificial henchmen

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

TOS: Adventures Comics #310 Point-Counterpoint

The Legion of Super Bloggers Point-Counterpoint Review of
Adventure Comics #310 (July 1963)
title: The Doom of the Super-Heroes
writer: Edmond Hamilton
penciller: John Forte
letterer: Milton Shapinn
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein
editor: Mort Weisinger

Mission Monitor Board: Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Lightning Lass, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Superboy, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy 

Opponents: Mask Man

Synposis: After the Legion undergo their annual re-dedication ceremony, they are attacked by a new villain, Mask Man. He can duplicate all of their powers and quickly decimates the team, killing several members. The Legionnaires track the villain to Doll World, but only lose more members. The team flees to a planet nearby to build a defensive citadel, but Mask Man continues to strike down more Legionnaires. Finally, the last surviving Legionnaire, Superboy, realizes his amazing powers must be due to magic and learns the secret of defeating the villain and restoring the Legion to life.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #4

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #4 (September 2007)
title: Higher Education
writer: Christine Boylan
art & cover: Steve Uy
letterer: Phil Blasman
editor: Jeanine Schaefer
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board: Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Superman, Triplicate Girl.

Villains: The Fatal Five - Emerald Empress, Mano, Persuader, Tharok, Validus. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fridays with Anj: Where We've Been and Where We're Going

Over the last several months, 'Fridays with Anj' have been spent reviewing the last of the newsprint books from the 80s titled Legion of Super-Heroes. The team was heading to the Baxter series and the Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes continued newsprint stories.

But it was these stories that neared the end of the Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen super-team of creators. And there is definitely something special about his particular run of the book. For me, this was a treat because you just get to see how deep Levitz and Giffen dove into the Legion mythos. There is action here. But mostly these stories are primarily about character. The action seems secondary. I just had to pause for a second to discuss some of the highlights.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #46

Legionnaires #46 (March 1997)
title: "Questions and Answers"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Jeffrey and Philip Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
associate editor: Ruben Diaz
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeff Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon, Invisible Kid, M'Onel, Sensor, Star Boy; in dreams/memories: Cosmic Boy, Kinetix, Saturn Girl, Spark, Triad

Andromeda, Dragonmage, Dreamer, Lori Morning, Rond Vidar, Durlans, Science Police, Legion fans, restaurant staff, boat accident victims (its owner, Piper); in dreams: Azra Saugin, Babbage, Superboy (Kon-El), Thanot Saugin

Mordru, Mysa; in dreams/memories: Emerald Eye of Ekron, Emerald Violet, Knockout

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Who's Who: Charma

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Charma Drisden
Super-Power(s): Hypnotic aura makes men love her and women hate her
Planet of Origin: Turabeau
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

TOS: Adventure Comics #309

Hey Fellow Legionnaires! It's your old pal Tim, aka Kord Kid, back again! 

As i mentioned last time I posted Russell, our fearless leader, has tasked me with looking back at some of the Legion's Silver Age adventures. I love these goofy early adventures, so of course I said "Sign me up!" One day, I may regret that, but for now I'm going back to the future with Adventure Comics #309...and the story, "The Legion of Super-Monsters!" by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte!

Monday, September 4, 2017

The New Fatal Five: Who And What Are They???

In the pages of "Supergirl," writer Steve Orlando has been slowly establishing a brand new version of the Fatal Five dedicated to taking down the Girl of Steel. The only similarity this version has with any of the others is that the leader, or rather, the ringmaster, is none other than the Emerald Empress. This isn't the first time the Empress has put together the Fatal Five, but as of this incarnation she's now the only consistent member of every version, sort of like Robotman in the Doom Patrol.

That doesn't mean this group has no similarities to the original.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #313

This is it ... the last newsprint issue of the Legion of Super-Heroes ... sort of.

Legion of Super-Heroes #313 was the last issue before the title transitioned to Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes. It also meant that the 'main' storyline for the team was going to shift to the Baxter series.

I can only imagine how hard that continuity was for Paul Levitz to keep in his head. He needed to write a year's worth of stories in Tales that didn't impact or interact with the Baxter stories. Those stories were going to be reprinted in Tales a year hence. I can only imagine the headache. No one in Tales could mention the takeover of Orando, the missing Legionnaires after that fight, or deaths and people quitting. And yet, we also had to have stories that could be squeezed in continuity wise between this story and the beginning of the Baxter.

But enough about the future. This issue closed out the in-depth look at the Science Police and the terrorist bomber arc. It also gave us the usual nice character moments and subplot teases. For me, the best part of this was that look at the science police and its mechanics. This isn't an army.

On to the book.