Thursday, February 28, 2019

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #119

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #119 (September 1999)
title: "Eat the Poor"
writers: Tom McCraw and Tom Peyer
penciller: Scott Kolins

inker: Ray Kryssing
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Phil Jimenez
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition/Phase, Brainiac 5.1, Karate Kid, Live Wire, M'Onel/Valor, Triad, Ultra Boy

Captain Comet, Gear, Koko, Lobo (cameo), Stealth, Strata (cameo), Vril Dox; game avatars (not true appearances): Batman, Deadman, Demon, Doctor Fate, Enchanteress, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Phantom Stranger, Sentinel, Spectre, Superman, Wonder Woman; cover only: Garryn Bek, Lady Quark, Lyrissa Mallor

Bishop Lokke, Bishop Lode, demons (game avatars), Emerald Eye of Ekron (cover only)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Who's Who: Psycho-Warrior

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Rejik Thomak
Super-Power(s): Access to all sorts of technology
Planet of Origin: Bunyon's World
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

TOS: Adventure Comics #376

Adventure Comics #376 (January 1969)
title: "The Execution of Chameleon Boy!"
writer and layouts: Jim Shooter
artist: Win Mortimer
letterer: Gasper Saladino
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan, Carmine Infantino, and Neal Adams
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board: Chameleon Boy. Cameos by Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Superboy, Supergirl, and Ultra Boy.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Write Stuff: Back To The Future Pt 1

In our series on comic magazines which featured articles on the Legion, one title was conspiciously absent: BACK ISSUE!, the fine fan publication produced by TwoMorrows and edited by fervent Legion fan Michael Eury. Starting with this post, we will review all the BACK ISSUE! issues that featured Legion content.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #4 Part 2

Today I finish my review of the penultimate issue of Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds.

I am exhausted.

It has been hard for me to wrap my head around this series. And Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #4 showcases my problems. There is an awful lot of casual death and violence. There is a boatload of Superboy Prime. There is a ton of exposition which should explain just what the hell is going on but doesn't really. Writer Geoff Johns continues to pile more and more plot and reveals into this series making it a cumbersome read.

Perhaps worst of all, so much time is spent filling in this insane plot that we barely have gotten the 3 Legions working together. We have a lot of Teen Titans! We have some Green Lanterns! We have a lot of Brainiac 5 interactions. But most of the Legion stuff seems to be happening as skirmishes in the backgrounds. Maybe we get a couple of panels now and then showing some Threeboots working with some Reboots working with some Retroboots. But not enough. The draw here, for me, was wanting to see these Legions mingling.

Of course, the art by George Perez continues to be exemplary. Perez just shines. It is lovely. And it is a mix of minute panels overstuffed with action and sprawling double page spreads.

But you need to remember this is issue 4 of 5. This book needs to be approaching a conclusion. Instead this book ends with a bombshell revelation. It also reminded me of one of my personal worst moments in Legion fandom. Johns is still adding story! How can he end this in one more issue?

And one more thing. I think it is somewhat damning that I had almost no recollection of this story as I reread for this review. Two major events happen in the back half of this issue, the portion I am reviewing today. I had completely forgotten them. I have to think that is a comment on how I feel about this book overall.

On to the review!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Reboot: Legionnaires #75

Legionnaires #75 (September 1999)
title: "Tyrants Three"
writer: Tom Peyer
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Chris Sprouse and Al Gordon
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Spark

Sener Cul; Wellurians

King Kradok; advisor and guards

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Who's Who: Prophet

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Father Sven Kalikos
Super-Power(s): Invulnerability, flight, solar blasts
Planet of Origin: Trewsk
Relationship to Legion: Antagonist

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

TOS: Adventure Comics #375

Adventure Comics #375 (December 1968)
title: King of the Legion!
writer and layouts: Jim Shooter
artist: Win Mortimer
letterer: Joe Letters
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Neal Adams
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board: the twelve contestants:  Karate Kid, Ultra Boy, Sun Boy, Chemical King, Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, Superboy, Brainiac 5, Timber Wolf, Bouncing Boy, Mon-El, Element Lad; cameo appearances by Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Duo Damsel, Invisible Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter Eater Lad, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Starboy, and Supergirl

Opponents: The Wanderers - Celebrand, Elvo, Dartlag, Immorto, Ornitho, Psyche, and Quantum Queen.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Karate Kid #6

Karate Kid #6 
"Showdown With Commander Blud!"
script by David Michelinie writing as Barry Jameson
art by Ric Estrada and Joe Staton
edited by Denny O'Neil
cover by Ernie Chan (penciller) and Mike Grell (inker)
cover date: Feb/March 1977
review by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage
dedicated affectionately to Glenn "Continuity Kid" Walker

Here we are again folks, slumming in 1977 New York City with a few members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. According to the cover (again by Ernie Chan and Mike Grell instead of Grell solo) Karate Kid has been "driven WILD, the Kid stalks friend and foe ALIKE!" It would have been nice if the Legion had appeared on the cover, too, cuz, you know, the Kid kicking Commander Blud in the face as illustrated here is just not that dynamic. Plus the lack of any background at all doesn't make this one of the better covers.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #4, Part 1

There is more behind us than in front of us when it comes to Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds! Here we are at Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #4! This issue is just as crazy as the prior ones. Lots of action! Lots of words! Some death! And finally the Time Trapper!

As has been the trend in this book, I feel more like I am riding the wave of this story. A lot is happening fast. I am on a shifting foundation, just trying to maintain my balance. And I am hoping not to fall. I am sure this all made perfect sense to writer Geoff Johns. But to me, it is like a series of quick interludes with not much solid story. Maybe it all comes together in the end.

The George Perez art has also been a constant on this book. His work here is as impressive as any book of his I have read. There is so much action. There are so many characters. The story is so bananas. I hope Perez got paid by the pen stroke. He'd be a millionaire! (Hmmm ... come to think of it, he is retiring!)

Still, this has been a bit too wild for me to say it is a great story. I wanted so much from this. But at times I feel lost. I suppose that makes perfect sense given it is linked to Final Crisis, the most inscrutable of the tent pole crossover events.

On to this half of the book.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day 2019

Happy Gal-I MEAN Valentine's Day, Legion Bloggers... No Wait I Did Mean Galentine's Day!

It's February 14th, a day in which we come together to celebrate LUUUUUUUUUUUUUV. It shouldn't matter what kind of love, whether it be platonic, romantic, or familial.

Okay no there ARE some kinds of love that are not okay but they're not really love, are they?

Anyway, to celebrate this lovely love day I once again commissioned Denise Zhang to do a little gift for Super Bloggers, featuring one of the longest standing Legion couples of all time.

Ladies, gentlemen, and enbies, the original Space Lesbians, Lightning Lass and Shrinking Violet.

Boy those Ranzz Twins sure have good taste in girlfriends, don't they?

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #118

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #118 (August, 1999)
title: "Shadow of the Sun"
writers: Tom McCraw and Tom Peyer
penciller: Scott Kolins

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

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5.1, Ferro, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Spark, Thunder, Triad, Violet

Koko, Superintendent Javert and his wife

Doctor Deacon, Doctor Savant, Lord Pernisius

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Who's Who: Professor Vultan

Professor Vultan
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Bothar Vultan
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Wildfire's mentor

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

TOS: Adventure Comics #374

Adventure Comics #374 (November 1968)
title: "Mission: Diabolical!"
writer and layouts: Jim Shooter
artist: Win Mortimer
letterer: Milt Snapinn
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Curt Swan & Mike Esposito
reviewers: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage and Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board: 
Dream Girl, Element Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Supergirl, Ultra Boy; cameos by the majority of the other Legionnaires

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

Scorpius, Taurus, the Taurus Gang (Black Mace, Mystelor, Quanto, Rogarth, Shagrek)

Monday, February 11, 2019

Action Comics #861

Action Comics #861
Title: Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes Part 4 of 6 - Chameleons
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Gary Frank
Inker: Jon Sibal
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editors: Nachie Castro and Matt Idelson
Executive Editor: Dan Didio
Reviewer: Jude Deluca aka Sarcasm Kid

PREVIOUSLY: The Legionnaires rescued Polar Boy and discovered Brainiac 5 is on his home planet of Colu. Superman meets up with several Legionnaires underneath Metropolis, then are ambushed by the Justice League of Earth. Forced to retreat, Superman, Dawnstar, Wildfire, Colossal Boy, and Polar Boy crash-land on Colu, where they discover Brainiac 5 is now in total control and plans to have them terminated!

There isn’t a lot of action in this issue (despite the title), as we mainly learn about what Brainy has been going through on his home planet. Secrets and motivations of the individual Justice Leaguers are brought to light. We also learn there’s another Silver Age Legion Reject within the League’s ranks, and the status of two more Legionnaires gets revealed in the process.

The issue does have a number of references to "The Lightning Saga," the story that ran in Justice League of America and Justice Society of America establishing this Legion's return. For those who don't recall, a group of seven Legionnaires (Star Boy, Karate Kid, Dream Girl, Wildfire, Timber Wolf, Dawnstar, and Sensor Girl) were sent to 21st Century Earth to invoke an experiment involving lightning rods similar to the ones used to revive Lightning Lad. We never found out what the Legionnaires were specifically trying to do, but as a side effect they inadvertently brought Wally West and his family back to the main DCU. At the end of the story, Star Boy and Karate Kid did not return to the future. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #3, Part 2

Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds #3 finally gives us readers what we were clamoring for ... three Legions fighting side by side against an army of super-villains. You think it would be a giddy romp, a visual smorgasbord for Legion fans. Well ... it partly succeeds.

One of the issues that I have had with this issue is that writer Geoff Johns is trying to stuff so much story and plot into these 5 issues that at times it becomes an ultra-dense mess of dialogue boxes and leaps of plot faith. In this half of this issue, there is a two page spread with a lot of information about a prior adventure that the Legions have already had together. I don't know about this story. Did it happen? Is this Johns filling in some prior mystery? Either way, I don't think I follow what he is trying to tell me. And remember that I am splitting these reviews up into 2 per issue. This is a big info dump in the back half of one issue. If this is key info, I wish it was explained more.

That said, Johns is probably meting out his exposition in big chunks like this to allow him the space to task artist George Perez with numerous splash pages and double splash pages. Perez goes from many inset small panels to large spreads of grand scale. I have heard rumors that this series was exhausting for Perez and I'm not surprised. I am also not surprised that it shipped on time ... a rarity these days when you get books like this. (That's right ... I'm looking at you Doomsday Clock! You too, Young Animal Doom Patrol!

And all of this is happening without the emergence of the Time Trapper as the puppet master in this miniseries. Will all this wrapped up in a pleasing way? Honestly, I don't remember. So I'm going in fresh.

On to the book.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Reboot: Legionnaires #74

Legionnaires #74 (August 1999)
title: "Aftershocks"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Jack Morelli
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: Mike McAvennie
adult legionnaire: Carmela Merlo
cover: Jeffrey Moy and W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Gates, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Star Boy, Ultra Boy, Umbra

Brika, Chuck Taine, Derek Morgna, Dirk Morgna, Dragonmage, Dreamer, Dr. Gym'll, ERG-1, Flutter, General Hol, Mysa, Shvaughn Erin, Tenzil Kem, Warden Sur, Winema Wazzo, Zyzan guardian (flashback); Science Police

Alux Cuspin, Ebb, Mordru (sleeping and unseen), Phy'r (flashback)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Who's Who: Professor Vndaar

Professor Vndaar
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Loar Vndaar
Super-Power(s): Telepathy
Planet of Origin: Titan
Relationship to Legion: Saturn Girl's mentor

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

TOS: Adventure Comics #373

Adventure Comics #374 (October 1968)
title: "The Tornado Twins!"
writer and layouts: Jim Shooter
artist: Win Mortimer
letterer: Ben Oda
editor: Mort Weisinger
cover: Neal Adams
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board: 
Brainiac 5, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Sun Boy, Superboy

The Tornado Twins

Monday, February 4, 2019

LEGION TOYS: Invisible Kid (DC Direct 2004)

I suppose you could say that the Matty Collector Set acknowledged this character by having an empty packing tray as a gag. While I think we'd have been happier with a translucent action figure instead, this turned my attention to the figure from the DC Direct Legion of Super-Heroes line. Although it's not easy to come by on the aftermarket, Lyle Norg a.k.a. Invisible Kid was in the set of figures sent to me by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage. Thanks again, Bilingual Boy!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #3, Part 1

Final Crisis Legion of  3 Worlds #3 is the halfway mark of the 5 issue series. And this review will cover the first half of this issue. That means when this review is over we are officially at the halfway mark of this story. And what a place to be at that fulcrum.

Like in the preceding two, writer Geoff Johns puts a lot into the issue. It is as dense as prior. But much of this piece is devoted to battle. Johns really does his best to showcase as many Legionnaires and as many villains as he can. As a result, artist George Perez is put through his paces, dealing with panels stuffed with characters as well as innumerable small inset panels focusing in on some one-on- one battles. If you thought Crisis on Infinite Earths was a heavy lift for Perez, imagine stuffing everything that happened in those 12 issues into 5. You catch my drift? Perez deserves a medal here.

Unfortunately, one thing that comes through in this review is that Johns is really playing as much in his own sandbox as he is in the Legion's. Certainly Superboy Prime, a Johns favorite, is playing a big role in this story. He isn't exactly part of classic Legion lore. But now we see that Sodam Yat, the Daxamite Green Lantern and another Johns fave, is also going to get serious screen time.

For me, I'd much rather have this be a series completely steeped in the Legion rather than looking outward to bring people in. Why not have three Mordrus combining their might? Or the Fatal Fifteen?

One last piece of intro is that this first half of the issue sort of reads like the back half of the last. There really isn't much plot progression here. I talk about the issues being stuffed. But much of that here is just sensory overload from the battles.

On to the book: