Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Who's Who: H'Hrnath

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: H'Hrnath
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Nullport
Relationship to Legion: Resource

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #332

Adventure Comics #332 (May 1965)
title: The Super-Moby Dick of Space 
writer: Edmond Hamilton
artist: John Forte
letterer: Milton Snapinn 
editor: Mort Weisinger 
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein 
cover letterer: Ira Schnapp 
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board:
Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy

Dr. Lanphier

The Super-Moby Dick of Space

Monday, February 26, 2018

Earthwar: The Legion's First Saga

Editor's Note: 
This week we present an essay from our Legion of Super-Blogger Applicant Long-Winded Lad. 
Let us know what you think and if you would like to see more essays on the page! 

Oh, the glory days of the Legion. Writer Paul Levitz has a grand idea: a five-part saga that draws on every single Legionnaire, as well as the Reservists, the retirees, and the Subs. A massive invasion that overwhelms the UFP. All masterminded by a mysterious villain, a legendary figure of DC villainy that remains unknown until the very end of Part IV. Then, in Chapter V (named after the villain), the villain is miraculously defeated. Major consequences of the story that will play out for months, if not years.

And just to put a big bow on it, each chapter will have a key word in it that ties it all together, so later it can be referred to by a handy name. The story became part of Legion legend.

Then, four years later, Paul Levitz did the exact same thing again. And this time it was even better.

Friday, February 23, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #22

The end is near.
It's not good I fear.

The New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #22 is the penultimate issue for the title. The fight with the Fatal Five ends very quickly and rather neatly. Almost too easily. It made me wonder why the team would let the galaxy unravel so much if the answer to beating the villains was so quick to obtain. After all, a bunch of teammates have died! How could they let it happen.

There are some wrinkles here I liked. The use of Sensor Girl's power was nifty. Imra, Ayla, and Brek are big parts of the win. And how the hell is Val Armorr there??

But this was the death knell. The book and the team hasn't come back since. 

And I have to say, I am an easy grader. I think maybe I was feeling bad for the book back then.

Legion of Super-Heroes #22 came out last week, the penultimate chapter of this series which may spell the end of the Legion for some time. With no new Legion book being publicized, with JLA3K taking its place as a future team, and with all avenues of re-energizing the franchise explored (reboots, old boots, bringing the band back together) and having failed, it might be time for the Legion to take a breather.

It is sad for a Legion lifer like me to say that. I have been saying 'Long Live the Legion' since I was in elementary school, since Imra was in a pink bathing suit and Vi had an intricate green/black jumpsuit. But this book has been on a sort of treadmill for a while, probably since Waid's threeboot for me. I can't remember the last time I was excited to read a Legion comic. And that's depressing.

So we come to this issue where the Legion has to fight and defeat the Fatal Five in 20 pages in order to set up next issue's denouement, swan song, finale. As a result, the action is relatively fast with some quick defeats on the parts of the villains who have been destroying the universe unscathed for the last handful of issues. For an old-timer like me, it was great to see some of the original Legionnaires and the original Substitute Legionnaire playing such a big part.

That said, there is a fair amount of stuff left unsaid. Paul Levitz doesn't seem to have the space here to satisfactorily tell the tale of this final battle. And the art by Jeff Johnson is fine but it felt like an understudy playing the lead in a play. Shouldn't the end of the Legion get more than this?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #56

Legionnaires #56 (January 1998)
title: "The Better Part of Valor"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Todd Nauck 
inker: Pamela Eklund
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
M'Onel, Monstress, XS; Brainiac 5 (documentary footage), Chameleon (cameo), Cosmic Boy (documentary footage), Sensor (cameo)

Athramites, Chuck Taine, Dreamer, Graydon Peters, Lume, Lori Morning, Magno, R.J. Brande, Rond Vidar, Superboy (documentary footage), Superman (documentary footage), Tenzil Kem; Braalians (flashback), Daxamites, Valorians (documentary footage)

Dark Circle, Khunds

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Who's Who: Hagga

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Hagga
Super-Power(s): Mysticism, sorcery, crankiness
Planet of Origin: Orando
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #331

Adventure Comics #331 (April 1965)
title: "The Triumph of the Legion of Super-Villains!"
writer: Jerry Siegel
penciller: Jim Mooney
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Superboy, El
ement Lad, Mon-El; cameos by Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl, Invisible Kid, and Cosmic Boy

Guest Stars: 
The Legion of Substitute Heroes: Polar Boy, Night Girl, Stone Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, and Fire Lad

Dynamo Boy, the Legion of Super-Villains (Cosmic King, Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen)

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Legion Companion

The Legion Companion is the 2003 book all about the Legion. Perhaps you have heard of The All-Star Companion, or The Justice League Companion, or The Fawcett Companion? Well there is one out there all about the Legion, as well. And today we're going to talk with the man behind it, Mr. Glen Cadigan!

Friday, February 16, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #21

The end is nigh.
The carnage is high!
Tinya said bye.
Tharok's powers are making me say 'how? why?
And I'm tired.

When the best I can do in an old review, and the best I can do in a newer review, is pick out panels as maybe showing character progression and continuity, you know things are rough.

And now I wonder why Giffen came and left so quickly here. And I wonder if DC told Levitz to just go bananas since this continuity, this Legion, was probably not coming back.

But it is bad. So bad I rant in the intro, so bear with me.

We are nearing the end aren't we.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Reboot: Action Comics #741

Action Comics (v1) #741 (January 1998)
title: "A Cautionary Tale"
writer/penciller: Stuart Immonen
inker: José Marzan Jr.
lettering: Bill Oakley
colorist: Glenn Whitmore
separations: Digital Chameleon
assistant editor: Maureen McTigue
editor (troubadour): Joey Cavalieri
cover: Stuart Immonen

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition (cover only), Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy (cover only), Ferro, Gates, Saturn Girl (cover only), Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy (cover only)

Ashbury Armstrong, Ben Hopkins, Carrie Axelrod, Dan Turpin, Jack (a journalist), Jane (a news anchor), Jimmy Olsen, Julianna Berkowitz, Koko, Lena Luthor, Lois Lane, Maggie Sawyer, Mayor Buck Sackett, Misa, Miss Roche, Scorn, Shvaughn Erin, Superman, Susan Berkowitz, the WGBS helicopter team

C.O.M.P.U.T.O., Lex Luthor, Tu-Pock

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Who's Who: The Guardians of Oa

by Russell & Siskoid

Full title: Guardians of Oa (aka Guardians of the Universe)
Super-Power(s): add
Planet of Origin: Oa (formerly Maltus)
Relationship to Legion: Allies, behind the scenes support

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #330

Adventure Comics #330 (March 1965)
title: "Secret of the Mystery Legionnaire!"
writer: Jerry Siegel
penciller: Jim Mooney
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Triplicate Girl, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Mon-El, Chameleon Boy, Star Boy, Colossal Boy, Shrinking Violet, Lightning Lad, Ultra Boy, Element Lad, Light Lass, Sun Boy, Superboy, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl; cameos by Phantom Girl and Matter-Eater Lad

Dynamo Boy and his Space Pirates

Monday, February 12, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Ultra Boy (Mattel 12-Pack)

by Derek William Crabbe
Is it just me, or is this action figure interpretation of Ultra Boy screaming to be played by Jared Padalecki? He has probably out-aged the role, but I think Padalecki, circa Season One of Supernatural, would make a terrific live-action Jo Nah. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #20

We knew the end was coming. The feel of the story had that 'last ditch effort' feel to it. And now, around the release of New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #20, the news was official. The book was cancelled.

Now all that was left was wrapping up the ongoing Fatal Five storyline. Unlike prior issues, Keith Giffen's name is nowhere on this. Was there a falling out between Levitz and Giffen? Did Giffen leave the sinking ship before it went down? Did he just have other things to do? On his own, Levitz does his best to keep the story moving along. I was very happy to see so much dedicated to the Black Witch, someone with great potential who was left a bit on the back burner.

That said, there is still the wonkiness of this arc that irks me. People dead are back. Powers that were gone are now back. Phantom Girl continues to not act like Phantom Girl. There are a few 'easy' answers to difficult problems. It just feels a bit slipshod, as if Levitz is careening down a hill.

Thankfully,. Francis Portela is back and the art is just stupendous. In particular, his Validus and Mysa are gorgeous. And the splash page where Mysa reveals the plot to the Legionnaires is just fantastic.

On to the old review.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #99

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #99 (December 1997)
title: "When the Reign Comes"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Lee Moder and Derec Aucoin

inker: Ray Kryssing
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

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

Impulse, Iron (flashback), Koko, Oracle, Phase, Robin III, Shvaughn Erin, Superboy, Taptree, Tiffany Cross; Happy Harbor nuclear power plant technicians


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Who's Who: Gorax

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Gorax
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Lythyl
Relationship to Legion: One of the three judges of Lythyl

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #329

Adventure Comics #329 (February 1965)
title: "The Bizarro Legion!"
writer: Jerry Siegel
penciller: Jim Mooney
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bizarro Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board: 
Saturn Girl, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Invisible Kid, Lighting Lad, Chameleon Boy, Brainiac 5, Light Lass, Ultra Boy, Mon-El, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad

Bizarro Superboy and his Legion of Stupid Heroes: Bizarro Saturn Girl, Bizarro Lightning Lad, Bizarro Invisible Kid, Bizarro Brainiac 5, Bizarro Chameleon Boy, Bizarro Cosmic Boy, Bizarro Ultra Boy, and Bizarro Mon-El

Monday, February 5, 2018

Lois Lane #50

“Lois Lane’s Luckiest Day”  
Lois Lane #50 (July 1964)
Writer: Leo Dorfman
Artist: Kurt Schaffenberger
Review by Emsley Wyatt 

Editor's Note: Recently, it was brought to our attention here at Legion of Super-Bloggers that we had missed an important Legion appearance in our The Original Series reviews. Ultra Fan Emsley Wyatt reminded us of Lois Lane #50, and even offered to review this guest-star appearance for us. So take it away, Emsley....!

Friday, February 2, 2018

New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes #19

Hoo boy.

We are approaching the end of the New 52 title and Legion of Super-Heroes #19 continues the funeral dirge of this series and these characters. All the problems I have been having since Keith Giffen rejoined the book - the odd characterization, the senseless killings, the grimy art - are all magnified here. The writing should have been on the wall that this was coming to an end.

My opening comments on the old review hold true. I don't know if DC gave the creative team the ultimatum to shake things up to save the series but it feels like it. And I wonder if Levitz and Giffen thought the easiest way to do that would be to sink into the grim, gross comics of the time. We have on screen deaths, off screen deaths, and on screen loss of limb. It all feels so 'Forever Evil'. It all screams New 52. And I don't mean that as a compliment. Add to that Phantom Girl acting like a coward and Emerald Empress acting like the Joker and you can understand why long time Legion fans were scratching their heads. It might say Legion on this gatefold 'WTF' cover, but that's not what it read like.

The art is a mix of Scott Kolins at his Kirby-est and Jeff Johnson. It is an odd mix of Kolins' rough look and smoother looking pages by Johnson. 

It still amazes me that this book was the last formal look we had at the Legion.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #55

Legionnaires #55 (December 1997)
title: "Control"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
cover: Jeffrey Moy
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon, Element Lad, Kinetix, Live Wire, Monstress, Sensor, Star Boy, Umbra, Violet; pictures only: Invisible Kid, M'Onel, XS

Athramites, Charlz Wynzorr of Orando, Chuck Taine, Lori Morning (Dial H: Dyna-Soar, Chiller), Magno, Moort, Muhr-Rey, Omar Magz, Proty; Science Police, Orando servitors

Composite Man, President Chu (behind the scenes)