Before I get started, I need to make an admission. I was going to make my next Legion review Tales of the Legion #316. However in reading, I realized that I was skipping an issue. I’ll certainly be happy when I get to the end of this year they published two Legion books every month.
It's been long enough that I feel like I can get back to the task that I set for myself back when I last wrote Reviews of Old Comics on a weekly basis, the coverage of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the era that I got hooked on them. This issue is actually one that I didn't read until many years later. In the 1980s, Annuals were a little harder to come by than they are now. These were the days before comics were exclusively in comic shops. The direct market was still in its infancy, with DC still in the first year of it's line specifically for comic shops. Often, one wouldn't know an Annual was coming out until it was seen on the newsstand or spinner racks. Some vendors might not even carry the Annuals. Many times, the Annuals would be self-contained stories and if it was missed or overlooked, a reader wouldn't even realize it for months.
In the mid-season finale, Supergirl was badly beaten by Reign, a new villain that is secretly her friend, Samantha. Reign's purpose is to be a sleeper agent of the Kryptonian Worldkillers. The beatdown was very public, and witnessed by her friends at the DEO, including her ex-boyfriend, Mon-El who has been living in the future as a member of the Legion Super-Heroes, with his wife, Saturn Girl. Four more Legionnaires remain in stasis pods on their trapped ship. In this episode, Mon-El awakens another Legionnaire to help Supergirl while Reign continues to wage destruction on National City. Oh, spoilers abound.
I initially started this review of an old comic reviewing an early independent comic featuring one of the earliest creator-owned characters of the Bronze Age of comics, E-Man #2. I abandoned that after months of trying to sum up a comic that not only featured of the most bizarre stories around a bizarre character, but also a story from the legendary Steve Ditko that seemed a little different in tone. After a while, I had to accept that my heart was just not into reviewing a comic just to get another Review of Old Comics done. I wanted to review something I was a little more nostalgic for, and that meant revisiting the Legion of Super-Heroes.
In the current season of Supergirl, the Legion of Super-Heroes is slowly revealing itself to be a big part of the story with Supergirl fighting the Kryptonian threat of Reign. Mon-El, introduced last season as an eventual love interest for Supergirl, vanished at the end of last season due to lead poisoning from Earth's atmosphere. Now, announcements have been made for casting two members of the Legion, Saturn Girl, already appearing in two episodes, and Brainiac 5, traditionally a love interest for Supergirl from almost his first appearance. Spoilers abound after here, so don't say you were weren't warned.
As I mentioned last time, I love the concept of an unlimited Multiverse. The exploration of alternate histories makes for a plethora of interesting stories. This installment of Exploring the Multiverse looks at one of my favorite stories from DC's Elseworlds series, Superboy's Legion.
Wow. It's been a while, hasn't it? Let's skip the apologies and continue like nothing happened to keep me from reviewing old comics and sharing a love of the Legion of Super-Heroes. I even love the Legion when they shared their title with Superboy. I'm taking a break from reviewing every single issue put out in order and instead jumping to one that I remember getting at a discount store in a Whitman 3-Pack.
With next fall's television schedule packed with comic book shows, it seemed like the perfect time to break out a list of comics we'd love to see as a TV series. The rules are simple, the comic cannot have already been adapted for television, nor already be adapted from a television series. Sorry, Jem and the Holograms, but seriously bring that back with the tone of this current comic series. Also, animated adaptations are not included in being previously adapted. We're talking about live action television series here.
I got turned onto the art of Alexander Serra through of the various Legion of Super-Heroes groups that I follow on Facebook. In Googling this artist, I found precious little, but noticed that he has had some published work over the years, but his blog is a great repository for some fantastic artwork. He also produced a couple of great little comics for Saturday Morning Webtoons, Lopopo's Lost Sock and The Tried And Failed Gang which are both available to download FOR FREE.
Let's see if we can't get this tradition of reviewing old comics started again with an issue of the short-lived Legion spin-off, Valor. When DC editorial decrees necessitated the Legion of Super-Heroes writing Superboy out of their history, the inspiration for the Legion's founding shifted to Mon-El, but renamed him Valor. This series followed the crossover event Eclipso which ended with a young Lar Gand earning the name Valor from Superman.
I came to notice Gene Gonzales' work through a Facebook group centered around the Legion of Super-Heroes. Over the past year, Gene Gonzales has been doing commissions of the Legion, especially in obscure costumes. He brings a joy to drawing when you read his blog, and his work is crisp and clean. He draws characters with honor to their heritage, and does enough drawing to make almost any artist feel like they're slacking off.