Monday, April 30, 2018

Karate Kid #3

Karate Kid #3 
"The Revenger"
script by David Michelinie writing as Barry Jameson
art by Ric Estrada and Joe Staton
cover by Mike Grell
cover date: August 1976
review by Glenn 'Continuity Kid' Walker
Editor's Note: This is the third and last review of the 1970s Karate Kid series that Glenn Walker completed for the Legion of Super-Bloggers before his untimely death in December. Glenn was looking forward to reviewing this entire series, so had written up and prepped three full posts before he passed away.
We here at LSB could not imagine not using these wonderfully written reviews; not only as entertainment on their own, but also one last testament to our friend's talent and enthusiasm. ~Russell

As with the first two issues of this series, the cover is another beautiful work by then regular Legion artist Mike Grell. This one, darker than the usual Grell fare and hinting at what would come a few years later in his career with Green Arrow and Jon Sable Freelance, has Karate Kid in a meelee with the titular villain of this issue and an unnamed combatant. Also, Iris Jacobs is in her unfortunately usual damsel in distress position on the floor in the background. It's a cover that almost perfectly captures what this story should have been. I love this cover, and it should be noted that in every case, Grell has delivered what he was supposed to - a dynamic cover meant to sell the comic, and it's a trick that has worked every time so far. I really wanted to read this comic based on the cover. The truth inside is more than somewhat disappointing.

Friday, April 27, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #6

This reread has been an interesting exercise for me.

Heading in, I can remember not liking the book that much. Rereading I am finding more here than I remember liking although most of it is around character interaction and less about plot.

Perhaps it is the upcoming 'Harvest' storyline that eventually leads me to dislike the book. 

This issue is a mix of original team Fabian Nicieza and Peter Woods with new writer Tom DeFalco and guest artist Matt Camp. It reads very much like the first issues which makes me think Niceieza did most of the heavy lifting. 

And it is great that Tyroc is in the spotlight here, a Legionnaire who has never quite gotten his due. He is the leader of this team, by default. And he is learning the ropes.

The art remains delicious, the highpoint of the series. And a panel you'll see soon of Wildfire and Dawnstar is stunning. It is a shame Matt Camp didn't get a lot to do in comics. His stuff is crisp.

On to the book.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #102

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #102 (March 1998)
title: "Heroes"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jason Armstrong

inker: Ron Boyd
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:  
Monstress, Star Boy; flashback: Leviathan

Atmos, Insect Queen, Kid Quantum II, Konk, Phrenologax Lad, Xanthians

Khunds, Natra Dellons

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Who's Who: Kid Psycho

Kid Psycho
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Grill Opral
Super-Power(s): Mental force fields, psycho force drills, telekinesis
Planet of Origin: Hajor
Relationship to Legion: Reserve Legionnaire

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #338

Adventure Comics #338 (November 1965)
Title: The Menace of the Sinister Super-Babies
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artist: John Forte
Letterer: Milton Snappin
Editor: Mort Weisinger
Cover Artists: Curt Swan and George Klein
Reviewer: Sarcasm Kid

Mission Monitor Board: Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Light Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy

Opponents: Glorith of Baaldur, Time Trapper

I picked Adventure #338 out of all the Silver Age issues to review because Glorith is my favorite of the Legion Big Bads. She is so nasty and petty compared to the Time Trapper and Mordru, but nasty in a non-complicated way....unlike Mordru with all that stalking abuse subtext between him and White Witch (again, Johns, thank you SO much for bringing all that back in LO3W). As a sidenote, I’ve been referring to the universe the 5YL Legion comics take place in as “Earth-338” since this was Glorith’s first appearance. Also this issue is hilarious with the way the Time Trapper is acting like some Saturday Morning Cartoon Villain with all his evil plans.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #7

The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #7 (December 2007)
title: No Boys Allowed
writer: Jai Nitz
art: Ethan Beavers
letterer: Mike Sellers
colorist: Heroic Age
editor: Jeanine Schaefer
cover art: Alexander Serra

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

Villain: Circe

Special Appearance: The Amazons of New Themyrscira

Friday, April 20, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #5

I guess I was a little bit desperate to like a Legion book because I keep opening my old reviews with how good Legion Lost is. I really liked the book back then it seemed. Meanwhile, the older Anj can't help but see the flaws.

I wonder though, perhaps what I like about this book is the details. I see the trees and I am ignoring the forest. Legion Lost #5 is just that sort of issue. The characterization of Dawnstar and Tellus is solid. I like Dawnstar's reluctance to wade into physical battle. I love how she counts on Wildfire's protection. I love Tellus' strategy and his way of defeating the villain. And, of course, I love Wildfire's personality and action. There is a 'boom' moment in this book. 

And Pete Woods' are continues to sparkle.

But the big plot. The Hypertaxis Virus, the defeat of Alastor, his motivations ... it all is off for me. And just like that it, and writer Fabian Nicieza's run on the book, is over. So things aren't great and they are changing. My gut tells me it is not for the better. Maybe we didn't know how good we had it until it was gone.

But rereading that Wildfire page ... oh so Vegeta ... made me smile once again. I had forgotten about it! BOOM!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reboot: Legends of the Legion #2

Legends of the Legion #2 (March 1998)
title: "Resistance - The Secret Origin of Spark!"
writers: Barry Kitson and Tom Peyer
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Albert De Guzman
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Spark, Star Boy, Ultra Boy, Umbra; flashback: Live Wire

Antennae Boy, Chuck Taine, Color Queen, Doro, Infectious Lass, Night Girl, Porcupine Pete; flashback: Feg Arzz, Dalya Ranzz, Garla, Hegga, Kirth Ranzz, Zakk Arzz, Winathians

Flashback: High-Brow, Klamorr, Lightning Beasts, Lightning Lord, Slopp, Violence Queen

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Who's Who: Kantuu

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Kantuu
Super-Power(s): Phenomenal Cosmic Powers
Planet of Origin: Djinn
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #337

Adventure Comics #337 (October 1965)
title: The Weddings That Wrecked the Legion
writer: Edmond Hamilton
artist: John Forte
letterer: Milton Snapinn
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan and George Klein
cover letterer: Ira Schnapp
reviewer: Bits Boy (AKA Legion Lad)

Mission Monitor Board
Superboy, Sun Boy, Colossal Boy, Phantom Girl, Ultra Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Chameleon Boy, Mon-El, Brainiac 5, Light Lass, Cosmic Boy, Element lad, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Triplicate Girl


Night Girl, Chlorophyll Kid

Would-be invaders from planet Murra

Monday, April 16, 2018

Spider-Boy & the Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099

Spider-Boy Team Up
Title: “Too Many Heroes – Too Little Time!”
Writer: R.K. Sternsel (A mash up of Roger Stern and Karl Kesel)
Penciller: Ladronn
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Ralph Felder
Editor In Chief: Bob Harras
Review: Jude "Sarcasm Kid" Deluca

Guys, I apologize for the lack of articles from my pen on this site. The last couple of months haven’t really been good for me, and it’s been hard to focus on the Legion without getting depressed about them.

Dawnstar hasn’t been in the latest Bombshells comics and I still have to work on those Action Comics reviews, but for now here’s a special one-off I ran by Russell. I originally proposed this as part of a series discussing different Legion homages and pastiches from other comic companies like the Imperial Guard, the League of Infinity, the Pantheon of Heroes, and Superduper. The Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099 were the easiest to start with because they only appear in one issue.

Friday, April 13, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #4

Welcome to the review of Legion Lost #4, an issue which I think encapsulates a lot of what was wrong with the New 52.

It is an okay issue. The art by Pete Woods is great. It continues the idea of rotating narrators which allows us to get a sense of what each character is thinking about themselves and the team members. But it also is still in the odd plot of stopping a plague in the past, a plot I don't like. And there are parts in the book that make sense. You'll see when you try to figure out what is going on with Yera.

But the biggest thing about this issue which is pure New 52 is the announcement that the writer is leaving. Fabian Nicieza is gone. Think about that. DC blew up their continuity. They announced 52 new titles based on the best pitches. And 4 issues in there is such dissonance between creator and company that they are going separate ways. The same thing happened with Hawk and Dove. The same thing happened with George Perez on Superman. How can DC have been so short sighted that they didn't realize that so many of their titles weren't going to work. 

Even worse than Nicieza leaving is the news that Tom DeFalco coming on. DeFalco is about as old school as you can get. Not exactly screaming 'bold new direction'. 

But let's not destroy this issue for editorial nonsense. The truth is that the Dawnstar aspect of the issue is really well done. And Pete Woods kills it. 

On to the book.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reboot: Legionnaires #58

Legionnaires #58 (March 1998)
title: "If a Man Be Made of Iron..."
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
pencillers: Jeffrey Moy and Philip Moy
inkers: Philip Moy and W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau and Glen Robbins
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Star Boy, Triad, Umbra, Violet, XS

Andromeda, Douglas Nolan (flashback), Dr. Gym'll, Dr. Mollie D'Ennum, Dr. Ryk'rr, Ferro's mother (flashback), Koko, Lori Morning (Dialed heroes: Ink), Magno, Marla Latham, Shvaughn Erin, Superman (flashback), Tenzil Kem, doctors, French policemen

McCauley employees, Mordru (flashback), a Durlan thief

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Who's Who: Kandru Boltax

Kandru Boltax
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Kandru Boltax
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Earth President, ally

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

TOS: Superboy #124

Superboy #124 (October 1965)
title: "The Insect Queen of Smallville!"
writer: Otto Binder
artist: George Papp
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewers: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage and Michael "Nostalgic Kid"Lane

Mission Monitor Board:  
Superboy, future Legion Reservist Insect Queen

Lana Lang acquires a special alien ring which grants her abilities of various insects.

Monday, April 9, 2018

DC Archive Sampler (2004)

Look at this comic cover!
I found it at a Half-Priced Bookstore about a year ago.
It was in a bag, taped up and protected. I'm not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when I come across books I have never seen before....we all do it, don't we? I mean, that's what covers are for, right?

Would YOU have bought it?

Friday, April 6, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #3

I continue my look at 2011's Legion Lost book here on the blog.

This was an interesting reread for me as things I gloss over in the first review stuck out as more painful in my reread. And the things which I seemed to like a lot I think I liked a smidgen less. As a result, I have a slightly downgraded opinion of this. 

For one, the Legion deciding not to ask the other super-heroes, especially Superman, for help out of concern for infection control seems silly now. Humans are infected and milling about shopping malls. This isn't a contained situation. Second, the fact that Timber Wolf can drive a car with the skill of a stunt driver seems foolish. It would be akin to me knowing how to race a stage coach. Lastly, the idea of the Legionnaires being mutated by the virus such that Wolf can fire his finger nails is a bit cringe worthy in retrospect.

Things that do stand out. I like the pattern of writer Fabian Nicieza using a different team member as the narrator each issue. I like that Wolf's more animal nature is part of his life. And contrasting that to the savagery of humans was nice. And the art by Pete Woods continues to shine. That mall splash page below remains incredible. On to the review.

Legion Lost #3 came out 2 weeks ago making this a late review.

We are three months into the DCnU and it is funny how my responses to some books have changed since the opening issue. I really didn't like the first issue of Legion Lost. I put the book on life support saying it had a short period of time to grab me. I thought the second issue was better with a nice narration by Wildfire and smoother art by Pete Woods.I still wasn't fond of the idea of the stranded Legion fighting a plague in the past. But it was a nice improvement.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #101

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #101 (February 1998)
title: "Jump"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jason Armstrong

inker: Ron Boyd
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:  
Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Spark, Star Boy, Violet

Doctor Gym'll, Insect Queen, Lucy, Shvaughn Erin, a scientist, a zookeeper

"Big Brain", Lightning Beasts; flashback: Lightning Lord

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Who's Who: Izaya

Izaya the Inheritor
by Russell & Siskoid

Alter Ego: Highfather
Super-Power(s): Super-human strength and invulnerability, focuses energies from the omnipotent Source through his staff
Planet of Origin: New Genesis
Relationship to Legion: Ally

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

TOS: Adventure Comics #336

Adventure Comics #336 (September 1965)
title: "The True Identity of Starfinger!"
writer: Edmond Hamilton
artist: John Forte
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & George Klein
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

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


Monday, April 2, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Proty (Mattel 12-Pack)

by Derek William Crabbe
It's the greatest pack-in in a Legion of Super-Heroes 12-Pack Box Set next to a 24-carat gold plated Legion Flight Ring! It's....Proty!  Well, I guess technically, it's Proty II, but who's counting dead Protys?