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.

Prepping for Legion of Three Worlds

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Next Wednesday, I get my filthy little hands on Legion of Three Worlds. I’ve been prepping for this by, well, reading a lot of Legion. Watch this space for commentary and possibly annotations - Michael over at Legion Omnicom will be doing annotations, probably better than I ever could, but hey, we’ll see. My plan is to take advantage of my massive stash of Legion issues (somehow, I magically have access to just about every Legion story ever, excepting some of the Adventure stories - thank you, Interwebs!) to provide you with background information on what Johns ends up referencing, but obviously, I have no way of doing that ’til I actually have the book. =)

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet read Giffen’s Five Year Gap Legion, you really, really should. Except, of course, that it’s not in print, which is a shame, because it’s really one of the most amazing pieces of superhero comics you’ll ever see. Julian Darius over at Sequart has a phenomenal 12 part essay on Giffen’s run that is very much worth reading. It starts with this essay - there are links to the rest on the sidebar.

That essay is also collected in the forthcoming “Teenagers from the Future”, a collection of essays edited by Timothy Callahan of Sequart. I’ve been yearning for this book for ages - they had copies at their table at NYCC, but I forgot to have someone pick one up for me, and they weren’t at SDCC. Callahan was interviewed by Newsarama about that book and his book on Grant Morrison’s early years a couple weeks ago - it’s a good read.

EDIT: I think I may have found a way to actually get that book - Lulu.com seems to be selling it, printing on demand. I just ordered it. We’ll see how long I have to wait. =)

What’s That Header Image?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

In case you were wondering, the header image is a tweaked version of the first comic book panel I read and still remember to this day. It’s from Legion of Super-Heroes v3, #2, the second comic I ever read (I believe - it’s not impossible that I’m getting the order of the first two comics I read mixed up). That’s Keith Giffen’s art, a depiction of the Legion of Super-Villains using Last Supper-style imagery. The whole issue is burned into my brain, but the LSV section was particularly memorable for me, especially the next page, with Sun Emperor killing a servant girl by kissing her and burning her to death.

I’ve now got this issue in digital form, trade paperback, and single issue. I decided to use this image for the header because I wanted *something* wide and Legion-y, and this did the trick. I cropped it down, badly wiped Lightning Lord’s dialogue bubble, and substituted in my own text, using GIMP. I may try to clean it up further at some point in the future - we’ll see.

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.