Monday, August 23, 2021

Who's Who in the Legion #2 EXTRAS

by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Continuing the series where we spotlight the features that appeared at the beginning of each issue of the mini-series Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes (1988). This time out we continue with the history of the Legion, which had begun in the first issue. 

Let's start with the cover, which we forgot to mention last time. It's another Steve Lightle classic, but....I don't like it as much as I liked the first issue. I get the idea that current Legionnaires are somehow looking back at a previous adventure (last issue it was the Legion's original battle with Computo) but here it just doesn't gel for me as well as last time. Maybe because it has Timber Wolf and Element Lad on both past and present? Maybe Darkseid's head is too dominant in the center? Oh, well....

As we explained last time, editors Mark Waid and Karen Berger decided to add an extra something to the Legion's Who's Who series, and they decided to start the series off with a history of the group. 

According to Steve Lightle, it was his intention to do the entire history. However, due to miscommunication between him and the editors, he was unable to complete the assignment. He has said that he regretted not being given enough time to do the whole job. Also, his pages in this issue are inked by an uncredited Dick Giordano, and when Steve found out that he was not going to be given enough time to finish the work on his own, he stopped after three pages. 

Which is a shame, because not only are his pages crisp and vibrant (partly due to Giordano's inks) but they are in stark contrast with artist Greg LaRocque's pages, which sandwich them. Regardless of how you feel about Greg's work in general, a simple comparison between pages 4 and 5 shows how less attractive Greg's work is compared to Lightle's. 

That being said, Greg DOES knock the ball out of the ballpark on pages 6 and 7. When he is able to really open up and go epic, the work is good.  Although I still think the anatomy and postures are a bit off, and that Chemical King statue always makes me think of a zombie! Still, these two pages are clearly the best pages this time out.

The next two pages return to the text-art balance that we saw so much in issue #1, and with the art by Dave Hoover and Bruce Patterson, it's much more pleasant to look at. (Exhibit A; compare Dave's Tyroc on this page to Greg's Tyroc on page 5 and tell me which looks more like a real person). And that White Witch on page 9, yowza! 

Unfortunately, the last three pages suffer from bad layout design. There is preponderance of text and white space, and a jarring shrinkage of the illustrations. Every illustration on pages 11 and 12, for example, should have been printed at the same size rate as on page 10, or larger! Perhaps writer Barbara Randall (Kesel) was tasked with being more specific in the Legion's most recent adventures, possibly to entice new readers to pick up the book? Regardless of the reason, the pages are less than they could be. 

Also, random question: when did Universo EVER go barefoot!?! (page 2)

Anyway, that's my take on them. Now judge for yourself! 

Open them to see them at Colossal Boy size! 

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