RandoMonday: Legends #1

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Legends #1 by John Ostrander (plotter), Len Wein (scripter), John Byrne (penciller), Karl Kesel (inker), Steve Haynie (letterer), Tom Ziuko (colorist), Mike Gold (editor), and Byrne (cover) (there’s another name written on the cover to this issue, but I can’t make it out and it’s not listed anywhere that catalogs such information; if anyone knows whose name that is, please let me know)

Yeah! A number one issue comes up in the randomizer, and it’s the event follow-up to Crisis (in the editor’s notes near the back of the book, Dick Giordano is quoted as calling it “Crisis Two”)! Legends helped reintroduce some characters or new takes on characters and even launch new books post-Crisis. We get Darkseid and his cronies attempting to discredit the superheroes  in an attempt to make humanity “more compliant”. This issue focuses on Firestorm, the new version of Flash, aka Wally West, with Changeling taking on a supportive role, Captain Marvel, the Big Red Cheese, and Cosmic Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes. At the very end, the Detroit era Justice League shows up to help Cosmic Boy take on new villain Brimstone. It’s also the first appearance of Amanda Waller and the hint of the Suicide Squad.

Even when I first read this series, I thought that the basic premise was a little weak. After all, how can humanity so easily turn its back on the superheroes that they admire and depend upon so much? Of course, there’s some subtle and not so subtle manipulation going on via Glorious Godfrey and other Darkseid minions, including convincing Billy Batson that he killed villain Macro Man and vowing that he would never become Captain Marvel again. However, the creators do a fairly good job juggling all the plots and characters while getting into the heads of a few to provide some much needed characterization and potential character development. I enjoyed in particular the talk between Flash and Changeling, where Wally talks about the pressure he was feeling to live up the legacy of Barry Allen. When Changeling challenges Wally to sidestep the issue by becoming someone else (for example, “Blue Bolt or Speed Demon or Charlie Hustle…”), Wally brushes that suggestion off by telling his friend, “If I do that, the legend dies, and I refuse to allow that to happen”. This is the series in a nutshell from the heroes’ perspective.

It was also nice at that time to see Byrne drawing more DC characters. Maybe half of his Man of Steel miniseries introducing the post-Crisis Superman had come out by this time, so I was hankerin’ for more of his work in the DCU. Karl Kesel does a good job at keeping Byrne’s line work in check and evoking Kirby with the Fourth World characters.

Despite my issue with the premise, I recall really enjoying this series, and I plan to do a spotlight on the whole series one day, either here or on the podcast.

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Snapshot … LSH Costumes

I found a fun blog that has a bunch of fan art (of a sort) featuring some of my favorite characters. As you can see, here are several costume evolutions of some of the Legion of Super-Heroes. If you want to see more LSH costumes over time, or many other DCU characters, head on over to BoyBlue’s DC Universe blog.

Let’s start with the grande dame of the Legion, Saturn Girl.

I think I like the Reboot version (4th from the right) the best, maybe followed by the one to the right of that from the Threeboot (2005, according to BoyBlue’s Saturn Girl page). How awful is the next one to the right (Threeboot 2008)?

Now for one of my favorite Legionnaires, Rokk Krin, aka Cosmic Boy.

Other than the pasty costume from the 70s, I pretty much like all of Cos’s costumes. If I had to choose, I’d probably go with the 80s version first, followed by the Threeboot black and blue suit, though the Reboot version (second from the left) is pretty cool too.

Back to the ladies, featuring again one of my favorites, and one of the longest serving Legionnaires, Phantom Girl.

Except for the original (with the large P on her chest), the 2nd and 3rd costumes from the right, and the sleeveless version, I pretty much like all of Tinya’s suits. My favorites though are the Reboot versions (at both ends).

The powerhouse of the group, Mon-El, hasn’t had too much variety in his suits, if you don’t count the Green Lantern recruit suit (blech).

The classic look is one of my favorites (3rd from the left), but I always wondered how he was able to pull off a skin-tight vest look. I also like the Reboot version (when he was known as M’Onel) with the starfield accents (but lose the gold armbands) and the New 52 version (on the right), though the blue patches on the forearms have to go.

Last, but not least, is one of the unluckiest Legionnaires, Luornu Durgo. She could split into three bodies (Triplicate Girl), then Computo killed off one of her selves. Later, another of her duplicates (when she was Duo Damsel) was killed off before the Legion was rebooted and she came back to the the traditional three (Triad, a much better name). (There was also the Mark Waid Threeboot Legion run where Cargg was actually populated by duplicates of Luornu, which was an interesting idea.)

Hmm, I think I like the first Reboot costume the best (3rd from the left), though the 80s duo-toned body suit (2nd from the left) is kind of neat.

So, it appears that I like the Reboot suits the most, which is interesting because I only spent about a year with the Reboot Legion (I’m sensing a back issue itch all of a sudden). I really wish BoyBlue had done an Ultra Boy collection. Or maybe I should go do that myself!