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LEGION OF SUPERHEROES + SMALLVILLE

November 27, 2008

Mention it and suddenly it’s all over the web. Blog post with spoilers and pictures of the Legion Smallville style(and the visiting future villian reveal). But we have to wait ’til January…

WARNING: IF YOU HAVEN’T EVER READ THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES THIS WILL MAKE NO SENSE SO CHECK OUT THE MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM CARTOON AND SKIP TO ANOTHER POST — poetry, Shakespeare, movies, weather, Disney, books, art — I’m sure you can find something.

The Legion Omnicon Blog with some comment and links and an i09 blog Legion roundup of “is there a future for the Legion and will it contain Geoff Johns(writing Smallville episode) or Keith Giffen or Paul Levitz.” I vote for Giffen or Levitz or whoever they vote for. They had some of the strongest runs on the Legion ever.

So maybe I can stop working on the blog entry nobly offering to put the rest of the things I do on hold(after Shakespeare this summer, of course) and revive the Legion. Jim Shooter’s version has been too over the top with sex and traumatic violence — tangent: did anyone see this Sunday’s Mother Goose and Grim; they do the groaner pun better than anyone else on the funny pages); plus Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl are the foundation of the Legion, along with Cosmic Boy, who has been too absent.

So while we’re on the Legion thing and since I will be shelving my why I’m such a comic geek and should get the reboot job post(and yes, I bought a Flight Ring and thought they should have offered a 10k gold version), here are my Legion thoughts and memories in no particular order…

The Great Darkness Saga is the reason I started collecting comics — I had to buy my brother’s copies because he wanted to keep them in the bag and I wanted to read them…do something of that caliber, with that level of echoing consequence without resorting to the easy and obvious. Giffen’s reboot five years into the Legion’s future was exquisite, entertaining, crudely drawn, sometimes brutal but great. Levitz’s run was phenomenal; Light Lass’s return to her lightning powers is a fantastic story. My favorite Legion characters/couples — and yes, if you’re not a Legion fan, you won’t realize everyone has a favorite couple: Dawnstar and Wildfire — Wildfire was missing from the current incarnation; it’s the future, have a character made of disembodied energy, it’s cool and a very interesting dramatic problem; Lightning Lass and Shrinking Violet, they earned their relationship the hard way, they really work together, just go with it; Brainiac and Supergirl — Brainy and DreamGirl started out ok but is way off the rails now, besides Nura and StarBoy worked and didn’t work excellently; Matter Eater Lad is essential as is the young Clark Kent — although Supergirl and the Legion combined well. As I said Cos is essential; I hadn’t really been missing Timber Wolf, but he fit with the Projectra storyline, Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl always rocked…

And enough nostalgia. The Legion starts out with three strong characters, goes from there and if you’re going to reboot, do it with good writers not just blasts from the pasts. Be brave, daring and visionary. Blow up Earth again if you must and make it a personal story, make it matter. Too often the Legion is just an army up against a stronger, differently limbed army. Do those three things and then I can be excited about the Legion again. I miss that. It came back, but started to slip away before Shooter’s return and now the thrill’s gone. I’m frankly glad not to see what else Shooter was going to have the villains paw.

I am looking forward to Smallville. And seeing what develops from there. And I’ll go back and reread Johns’ Legion of Three Worlds issues. I gave them a quick skim and liked more than dissed.

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