Legion! Legion! Legion!

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

…get it? Three Legions? Legion of Three Worlds? Oh, but I am witty. Ok, not really. Anyway, Legion of Three Worlds #1 came out yesterday. Favorite bits so far:

  • A reappearance of the Xenophobic Jackass Future Kents from the Action story.
  • Superboy Prime lighting said Xenophobic Jackass Future Kents up.
  • The Hall of 1,000 Olsens.
  • The shoutout to the original Nightwing and Flamebird (is any of that in continuity at this point, or was it all wiped out by Crisis on Infinite Earths/Man of Steel?).
  • Prime whining about how he liked the old Legion costumes better (Geoff Johns’ interpretation of Superboy Prime could best be described as “Whiney Internet Fanboy with Godly Powers”, so it’s fitting that he’d bitch about Legion costume designs, an eternal kvetching point of Legion fandom).
  • Sun Boy strangely reminding me of Dirk in Giffen’s 5YG.
  • Superman’s always been the inspiration for the Legion of Super-Heroes - so Superboy Prime turning out to be the inspiration for the Legion of Super-Villains is kind of fun.
  • The erstwhile end of the Legion coming when the original three fail to save RJ Brande from an assassination attempt (when, of course, the Legion started when the original three successfully saved Brande from an assassination attempt).
  • Said assassination highlighting this very important Legion-related lesson: Never trust anyone in a purple hooded robe.
  • The idea that victory over Prime won’t come from beating the tar out of him but by redeeming him.
  • And, most importantly, nearly everything Perez drew - especially his Time Trapper and the entry to the Superman Museum.

Bits I didn’t care for quite as much: Perez’s Brainiac 5 - not entirely his fault, mind you; that hair is just icky looking, the awkwardness of Brainy’s “Hey, let’s get those kid Legions from other universes here too!” suggestion. Not bad, really. I’m not yet willing to pass judgment on the book as a whole, since we’re only 1 of 5 issues in and all, but Perez is the perfect artist for it, Prime is one of my favorite villains, and hey, it’s the Legion. For more thorough annotations and commentary, check out Michael Grabois at the Legion Omnicom, Timothy Callahan (the editor of the forthcoming Teenagers from the Future Legion essay collection I’ve mentioned before), and Douglas Wolk, who is like unto a god of comics criticism and annotating. Also, check out Callahan’s essential Legion reading list - it doubles as a decent quick summary of the Legion’s publishing history.

Fifty Things I Like/Love About Comics

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

So david brothers threw down a gauntlet - it’s the Hembeck Challenge: list fifty things you like/love about comics. david went with a list grouped by theme - Gavok one-upped him with a list with visuals for each item. I thought about going with 50 pages I loved, but decided that I’d rather save those for individual posts…and good god, that’d take a while. So what’d I go with? Well, how about fifty comics I love? Not single issues specifically - these can be representative of a series, an issue, a storyline, a book, whatever. The key point is that there’s 50, and the covers for each of ‘em are below the break.

(more…)

Coming Soon…

Monday, August 4th, 2008

I am currently working on a big freakin’ post on the evolution of Geoff Johns as a writer over the last 8-9 years. My thesis is that there was a major change in his use of continuity in 2004/2005, starting with Green Lantern: Rebirth, picking up steam in Infinite Crisis, and really blowing down the doors in his post-IC work - 52, Green Lantern (especially Sinestro Corps War), Action Comics, Booster Gold, Justice Society, etc…I’m reading through the major works of his career - JSA, Flash, and Teen Titans representing the “before” - I know, Teen Titans overlaps, but the tone was set for his run on the book before the changes really started showing up - and Green Lantern: Rebirth (and the ongoing), Infinite Crisis, Action Comics, and Booster Gold representing the “after”. I’m trying to figure out how exactly he went from being, as david puts it, a junior Roy Thomas (i.e., obsessively continuity-driven, loyal to the original works he’s referencing, not particularly innovative) to the guy who undid “Man of Steel”’s elimination of Clark Kent’s teenage costume and contact with the Legion. I’ve been working on it for the last week, and it’ll probably be a couple more weeks ’til it’s ready, but I just wanted to mention it to see if anyone can think of any books I should be reading for this and haven’t mentioned already. If so, lemme know in the comments.

Random Notes 7/29

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

This’ll probably end up being a semiregular thing - bits that don’t merit a full post by a long shot, but aren’t really Twitter material either.

  • My Windows/email work account has been locked or something along those lines - I think this is related to my password expiring on Sunday, but while I changed my password late Sunday night/early Monday morning, I still can’t login, and while my support case on this has been assigned to someone, they haven’t done bugger all in the 4 hours since they picked it up. Sigh.
  • There were good things to the con besides just seeing friends and the zoo - such as the Giffen panel, the Legion of Three Worlds tidbits Johns leaked, Douglas Wolk’s “Against a Canon of Comics” (congratulations on that well-deserved Eisner, Douglas!), and, of course, the Legion issues I snagged. Got copies of LSH v4 #3 (I love the Roxxas cover), LSH v3 #2 (second comic I ever read!), and LSH v2 #294, the finale to the Great Darkness Saga - and I got it signed by both Levitz and Giffen. Nifty!
  • Oh, and I saw a preview screening of Tropic Thunder, thanks to david, and it was fantastic. One of the most consistently funny movies I’ve seen in ages.
  • Doing research for a post on Geoff Johns now - I’m reading pretty much all of his work that I can find, trying to figure out exactly where he made the leap from “pretty good rehasher of retro characters/concepts/conceits” to “freakin’ brilliant reshaper of comics history into new forms”. I’m about midway through his JSA and Teen Titans now - it’s surprisingly hard to find his Flash run online, which is a pain. I’ll be ordering all the trades eventually anyway, but my desire for instant gratification has been thwarted.
  • On the plus side, though, I’m discovering the awesomeness of Peter Snejbjerg. I’ve seen his work before, but I hadn’t actually looked at his figure work quite so carefully before. I’m not a huge fan of his layouts (at least not as of like JSA #32 - he may well have improved since then), but damn, I love his faces and use of shading, especially his eyes.