Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #305

How do you critique a book that floored you when you read it as a kid?

Legion of Super-Heroes #305 shocked me back when I first read it off the rack and it still sort of shocks me to this day. This was the culmination of a storyline which had begun back in Legion of Super-Heroes #287, the abduction and replacement of Shrinking Violet. Once again, it showed just how far ahead Paul Levitz was thinking back then. In this day and age of rebooting, renumbering, and quick axes on creative teams, I cannot imagine this approach in comics today.

Moreover, at this point, the reveal wasn't an 'out of the blue' shock by this issue. Levitz was inserting clues and dropping hints, bringing the readers up to speed. I, of course, didn't pick up the clues back then. But now, rereading these issues, it is as all there. Still, stunning twist.

With the Projectra/Armorr wedding plot done, the Weber's World plot done, and now the Violet plot done, Levitz starts laying down track for the next set of stories. And once again, we see just how far ahead Levitz was plotting. We see the beginning of the LSH/LSV arc which opened the Baxter run here. And we see the continuation of the Dawnstar arc which will eventually be covered in the later issues of Tales of the Legion. Both of those arcs see completion in over a year.

As always, Keith Giffen brings great art to the proceedings. There are some places where it looks like it may have been inked by someone other than Larry Mahlstedt, but he is the only inker listed.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Reboot: Legionnaires #43

Legionnaires #43 (December 1996)
title: "New Blood"
writers: Roger Stern and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inkers: W.C. Carani and Philip Moy
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
associate editor: Ruben Diaz
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Jeffrey Moy & W.C. Carani
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Chameleon, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Magno, Sensor, Star Boy, Triad, Umbra, XS

Arachno, Athramites, Blast-Off, Brad Majors, Cannus, Cat-Claws, Chlorophyll Kid, Chuck Taine, Derek Morgna, Dirk Morgna, Dragonmage, Dreamer, Hectorrr Arroo, Keema Delf, Lori Morning, Macaw, Night Girl, Particon, Polar Boy, Radion, Spider-Girl, Splitter (Arm-Fall-Off Boy), Stone Boy, Tenzil Chem; Cameos for Blockade Boy, Charma, Color Kid, Comet Queen, Crystal Kid, Dev-Em, Fire Lad, Graffiti King, Kid Psycho, Infectious Lass, Ladybug, Monstress, Plant Lad, Sugar & Spike (as teenagers), Tellus, Weight Wizard; lots of would-be heroes

Leland McCauley

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Who's Who: Animal Lad

Animal Lad
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Ennis Janhson
Super-Power(s): Ability to turn people into animals, and animals into people

Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Legion reject

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

TOS: Action Comics #289 Point-Counterpoint

The Legion of Super Bloggers Group Review on
Action Comics #289 (June, 1962)
title: "Superman's Super Courtship!"
writer: Jerry Siegel
artist: Jim Mooney
editor: Mort Weisinger

Mission Monitor Board: 
Supergirl, Superman, Phantom Woman, Cosmic Man, Chameleon Man, Duo Damsel, Sun Man, Saturn Woman, Lightning Man

Helen of Troy, Super Woman of Staryl, Fred Danvers, Edna Danvers


Supergirl sees a romantic movie on TV about a man who loses his love because he didn't speak up before she gets married. So Supergirl decides to play Cupid and introduce Superman to "the right girl." Her three candidates are Helen of Troy, Saturn Woman of the Adult Legion, and Superwoman from the planet Staryl.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Joe Prado and Lightning Lad

In last week's review post I mentioned that I was extremely fond of Joe Prado’s rendition of Lightning Lad from Action Comics #864. Today I'm going to go into details about this fondness. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #304

As I was finishing my take on Legion Secret Origin, I was wondering what would be the next Legion time period that I would review. Russell recommended the last year of issues in Legion of Super-Heroes Vol 2, covering Legion #300-313.

I didn't know how to respond.
I didn't know if I could do the job.

This book and this time period is revered by me. It is the high water mark for this incarnation of the team. It is Levitz and Giffen and Mahlstadt knocking it out of the park each issue. It is dripping with early  teen nostalgia. Could I do a good job of critiquing books that I inherently will love unabashedly?

Then I thought about Legion of Super-Heroes #304. It is one of my favorite issues in this run, embodying the complexity and depth that Levitz and Giffen were known for. This is an issue almost exclusively focused on the Legion Academy students, little known and seldom used characters that the creators somehow breathe life into. Their interactions with the bigger team and the universe around them shows how vast the Legion mythos is. And, as usual, they reference Legion history, showing how far that reaches. An Legion issue that is about their farm league is one of my favorites of the run! That is heavy praise.

But you be the judge.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Reboot: Final Night / Legion of Super-Heroes #86

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #86 (November 1996)
title: "Heart of Iron"
writer: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Lee Moder
inker: Ron Boyd
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Ruben Diaz
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, Ultra Boy

Batman, Captain Marvel, Flash III, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Impulse, Inferno, Kitty Faulkner, Martian Manhunter, Obsidian, Ray, Shvaughn Erin, Superboy, Superman, Warrior, Wildcat, Wonder Woman

Lex Luthor, Sun-Eater

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Who's Who: An Ryd

An Ryd
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: An Ryd
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Rimbor
Relationship to Legion: Pawn in supervillain plot

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

TOS: Adventure Comics #290 Point-Counterpoint

The Legion of Super Bloggers Point-Counterpoint Review of
Adventure Comics #290 (November, 1961)
title: The Secret of the Seventh Super-Hero!
writer: Robert Bernstein (?)
artist: George Papp
letterer: Milton Snapinn
cover: Curt Swan & Stan Kaye
editor: Mort Weisinger

Mission Monitor Board: 
Superboy, Sun Boy, cameos of Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Chameleon Boy, Phantom Girl, Cosmic Boy

Ma Kent, Lana Lang, Krypto, Police Chief Parker

Clark Kent lookalike Tom Tanner, Sun Boy impersonator, Cyclops robot

Sun Boy comes back to Smallville to work with Superboy in re-assembling a dangerous criminal weapon. At the same time, a runaway from the state reform school who resembles Clark Kent arrives in Smallville and impersonates him as Superboy is busy with Sun Boy. Sun Boy turns out to be an imposter, as well, and the two imposter plot-lines come together in a surprising way.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Action Comics #864 Review/Recap

Action Comics #864 (2008)
Title: Batman and the Legion of Super-Heroes
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Joe Prado
Inker: Jon Sibal
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Matt Idelson
Assistant Editor: Nachie Castro
Cover Artist: Kevin Maguire
Reviewer: Jude Deluca, a.k.a. Sarcasm Kid

I have what you’d call a love/hate relationship with Geoff Johns’ writing. Well, it’s more hate than love at this point.

Things I love: Stars and STRIPE, the variety in the different Lantern corps, Bette Kane as Batwoman, that he actually tried to do something with Duela Dent, the One Year Gap Titans, Cyclone, Darla Dudley, Rainbow Girl in the Subs, the Legion rejects he brought back, and Action Comics #864.

Things I hate: Um, actually…

I don’t wish to use this as another excuse to rant about my dislike of Geoff Johns in gross detail. I’d prefer to sum it up by saying that over the years the glaringly racist, homophobic, juvenile, patriarchal, and misogynistic elements of his writing took a toll on me around the time “Brightest Day” began and which only grew worse with the birth of the New 52. I started to hate seeing his name associated with any projects for DC, especially those concerning the Titans, the Legion, and Wonder Woman, and I would rest better knowing he had no further involvement at DC.

That said, Action Comics #864 still holds a very important place within my heart and remains one of my favorite comics for a number of reasons I’ll divulge in this review/recap.