I did not see any Legion content in comics this week.

One more week to go before the last issue. frown

I did not see any Legion content this week.

There's a new Kevin Keller comic with cute boys kissing and a really gay-positive story. 

I did not see any Legion content this week.

There was a new Young Avengers comic with some cute boys kissing and a shocking development on the last page, but that's about all.

I did not see any Legion content in comics this week.

 

With the final issue of Legion of Super-Heroes coming up and nothing else on the horizon, I thought I'd look back at previous Legion-less gaps.

The longest gaps between Legion appearances happened at the very beginning of the Legion. Between the Legion's first appearance in Adventure 247 and their second in Adventure 267, there was a gap of 19 months. Then it was another 18 months before the Legion's next appearance in Action 267.

The next largest gap I could find was in the early 1970s. Between Action 392 and Superboy 172 was a gap of 6 months.

And the gap between the end of LSH v. 3 and the first issue of LSH v.4, the infamous Five Year Gap, which I remember as being endless? Two months.

Bottom line: in the last 55 years, the longest we've gone without the Legion is about a year and a half. In the last 50 years, the longest we've gone is 6 months.

One Legion comic this week: Legion of Super-Heroes 22 (2013/09).

Well, now the Legion is acting like the Legion!

Ayla pulls herself together and blasts the Persuader (which Garth doesn't seem to be able to do). Imra shows what she's made of, with a great line: "I've faced Darkseid. You don't scare me."

Jacques and Brek return from the weird dimension, only to find out that the fifth member of the Fatal Five is the Promethean Giant that Tharok's been controlling. Okay, that was cool. And it recalls Tharok's mental control of Validus in the original Fatal Five.

Jeckie appears along with Val, who has mysteriously come back to life. This keeps happening; if I choose to believe that Jeckie's love is strong enough to bring him back from the dead, who's gonna tell me I'm wrong?

Anyway, Jeckie releases the Giant from Tharok's control -- another nice echo of the original Fatal Five, when it was Jeckie who released Validus from Tharok's control.

It falls to Brek (following Imra's suggestion) to finally defeat Tharok, by freezing him to absolute zero, "the temperature at which there's no energy for electrons to move." (Which makes comic-book sense, but is absolutely lousy science -- at absolute zero, matter becomes superconductive, which means electrons travel with zero resistance. Well, zero resistance would have rendered Tharok inoperative anyway, so I'll let it slide.)

Back on Earth, Luornu mourns another dead body ("Like a chunk of my soul has been ripped out") -- at least she has plenty more to spare. And a tearful Brainy confesses to the assembled Legionnaires that it's all his fault.

I can't help but hope that Levitz brought Karate Kid back to piss off Giffen (even though his return has been in the works since the Legion Academy in Adventure.)

It's nice to see the Legion coming back, although it's hard to see why they couldn't pull together like this earlier. 

One more issue to go.

One Legion comic this week: Smallville Season Eleven #15 (2013/09).

Now this is a Legion that works. And this is a Superman who's noble and compassionate, a Superman you believe could inspire heroes for a thousand years.

And the Legion! Great costumes, characterization spot on, these are heroes who see a problem and jump into action, doing what they can. A Legion that uses teamwork to accomplish the impossible.

I'm ready to see the Legion spinoff from this title...all-digital, if necessary. There are so many stories to be told, so much to find out. They've got Kara (Supergirl) for the Superman connection; they've got ten seasons of tv continuity to draw on for new stories. I'm ready.

 

Oh, there's also new Young Avengers and the long-awaited sixth issue of America's Got Powers, both comics filled with cute boys.

 


 

 

I did not see any Legion content this week.

I'm pondering what to do in this space when there aren't any more Legion appearances. Week after week of "I did not see any Legion content this week" would be pretty sad.

Maybe a monthly "Fifty Years Ago" would be an interesting way to pass the time....

Well, there are still two more issues left, so for now I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

I did not see any Legion content in comics this week.

There's more news of Justice League 3000. Apparently there will be no Legion connection. And it's being written by Keith Giffen, who in my opinion is every bit as good a writer as he is an artist...which is to say, not at all to my taste. I can't see any compelling reason to pick up this book.

While I'm at it, I think I'll drop World's Finest...I've been waiting a long time now for something to happen, and it hasn't.

That will leave Smallville Season Eleven as the only DC comic I'm buying. I have over six thousand comics in my collection, and I'd guess at least five thousand of those are DC titles...but there's really nothing at DC any more to keep me even mildly interested -- except, of course, Smallville Season Eleven. (Which I imagine they will cancel soon.)

For the last, oh, forty years I've been buying each new Legion comic (except for the Giffbaum years when I quit in disgust, and a few short hiatuses between titles) -- it's going to feel odd to go to the comic store month after month and spend money with no Legion to show for it...no DC comics....

Unless...the Legion starts appearing as a backup feature in Smallville Season Eleven...then starts to push Clark out of the comic...until the name changes to Smallville: Legion of Super-Heroessmiley

One Legion comic this week: Legion of Super-Heroes 21 (2013/08).

The remaining Legionnaires gather on Earth for a showdown with the Fatal Five Three. Element Lad resists the temptation to turn the oxygen in the villains' bodies into chlorine; Shrinking Violet resists the temptation to shrink inside the Eye and shatter it like she did before; Harmonia doesn't release the power of the winds, water, and rock against them; Lightning Lass doesn't short out Tharok's circuitry; Cosmic Boy doesn't toss them around by the iron in their hemoglobin; and Dream Girl flat out refuses to use her power at all.

Instead, the Legionnaires bravely fall down continuously and scowl at the Fatal Five Three.

At the end of the issue, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad show up...and somehow, it's a hopeful moment.

I have no doubt about Imra's ability to save the day. After all, she's the strongest telepath in the universe -- nothing with a mind can resist her. (As Universo once said to her, in fear, "The two most powerful beings in the universe -- you just looked at them, and they fell over.")

What really annoys me about this whole arc is how passive and whiny the Legionnaires have been. Yes, they've had bad things happen, and they're excused for being a bit demoralized...but honestly: Tinya fleeing to another dimension with the intention of never coming back? Dream Girl refusing to look into the future? Cosmic Boy doing nothing of consequence?

This isn't the Legion that defeated Mordru, Darkseid, the Legion of Super-Villains, and the Time Trapper.

There's one last loose end, one that might be a red herring or a clue to the last issue. On page two, the following exchange takes place between Cos and Brainy:

Cos: Don't overthink it, yell for help.

Brainy: Obviously. The question is from who...and where?

Cos: See if you can reach--

Brainy: As I said -- obviously...but maybe there's another possibility too -- before the quarks fade out again...

Who are they talking about? Garth and Imra, I suppose, are either "obviously" or "another possibility" -- but who's the other one?

When I read that, my first thought was that Cos was going to say "Superman." But flashpoint barrier, time travel doesn't work, yadda yadda yadda.

So who else is there? XS? The Legions of the other Two Worlds? The Subs? Computo? Mordru? The Infinite Man? Ronn Kar? 

I guess we'll see next issue.

One Legion comic this week: Smallville Season Eleven 14.

I've been late to this party: it turns out that Smallville Season Eleven started life as a digital comic published weekly at Comixology.com. Each issue of the print version collects three "issues" of the digital version.

Instead of trying to keep up with the digital comic, I 'll continue to list the print version only here (I'll cross-reference to the digital comic when possible). If DC cancels the print comic but continues the digital one, and if they continue to feature Legion content...well, I'll put on my flight ring and fly across that bridge when we come to it.

This story continues the arc from last issue. For the first time we get to see more Legionnaires from this alternate universe, including some old familiar faces -- I've tried to identify them all, but with some of them we only see the backs of their heads. Anyway, I made my best guesses.

The existence of this digital comic raises an interesting question -- when if the next incarnation of the Legion crashes and burns, is it possible that DC would consider doing a digital-only Legion comic? What do y'all think?

I did not see any Legion content in comics this week. I also did not see any Legion content in books, video, or other media. I did have a dream that featured Brainiac 5, my old high school, and a speech contest. Brainy lost the contest because he gave his speech in Coluan; I think the winner was a purple camel but things are a little fuzzy...probably lingering effects of too much time travel.

I did not see any Legion content this week.

There's a Smallville Season 11 special that has an interesting take on the Martian Manhunter's origin, plus a throwaway sight gag for Lost fans. That's about all I found interesting.

I did not see any Legion content in DC Comics this week.

There was a new issue of Young Avengers, with lots of cute boys and some tender moments. Hulkling and Wiccan continue to be the cutest couple in all comicdom (although rumors are that Kevin Keller is going to have his first kiss in an upcoming issue.)

Lots of news today.

First, a new Legion comic: Legion of Super-Heroes 20 (2013/07).

Glorith, Cham, and Jo arrive on the Sorcerer's World to find the place falling apart. then rendezvous with Mysa and Blok. They find that Validus (under the direction of Tharok) is tearing the planet apart. They fight, but even the linked magic of Mysa and Glorith isn't enough to defeat Validus -- so Mysa moves the Sorcerer's World out of the universe...leaving Validus flaoting alone in space.

Tinya, meanwhile, decides the only way out for her is to "get out of here, even if it means never coming back." With a whispered "Goodbye, Jo," she fades away as the Promethian Giant's finger moves through her.

Jacques and Brek are in another dimension, the one that Jacques discovered he could teleport to. They see the ghosts of Lyle, Ferro Lad, and Earthman.

On a Legion cruiser in the ruins of Weber's World, Mon-El is in stasis and Brainy waxes depressing to Jan, Nura, Ayla, Vi, Rokk, Shady, and Chemical Kid.

Jo and Cham, previously on the Sorcerer's World, materialize in the ruins of Legion Headquarters just in time to face the Persuader, standing over a prostrate Luornu.

And that's the comic.

Humph.

So the following are off in other dimensions: Tinya, Jacques, Brek, Glorith, Mysa, and Blok. Mon-El is injured, Dirk is dead. I'm not going to count Luornu out yet -- it's not certain she's dead, and even if she is, she has extra bodies to spare.

I am not liking this storyline.

 


Second, there are two graphic novel collections of interest: Legion of Super-Heroes vol 2: The Dominators, and The Culling: Rise of the Ravagers (in case you missed The Culling, guest-starring Legion Lost...and believe me, if you didn't read it, you won't miss it at all.)

 


Third, there's ominous news in Legion land. By now you've probably heard that Legion of Super-Heroes is being canceled as of issue 23 (the October 2013 issue, due out in August).

So Giffen's killed the Legion again. Typical.

Word is that this doesn't mean the end of the Legion franchise; apparently there is some "new direction for the future of the DC universe" coming. People are bandying about the term "Justice Legion," speculating on a new concept for the Legion -- perhaps that they get their inspiration not from Superboy/Superman but from the Justice League.

The all-knowing blowhards of comics fandom have already decided that the new thing is awful (of course, these are the same blowhards that decided the Legion is awful).

I dunno. I want to keep an open mind.

Let's suppose the next phase is some kind of "Justice Legion," with the Legion inspired by the Justice League. (For the sake of accuracy, I must point out that the the Legion is the senior franchise; the Legion predates the Justice League.) (And all things being equal, wouldn't the Legion be inspired by the Justice Society instead, as the original super-hero team? Or has that changed in the New-52 45 continuity?)

Ahem. 

My first quesiton would be, is this going to be an entirely new alternate Legion, or are they going to try to pick up the New-52 Legion from where it is at the end of issue 23?

Of the two, I'd rather see an entirely new version. New versions of the Legion can be fun. Another reinterpretation, another roll of the dice, another set of assumptions thrown out the window. Mon-El, Chameleon Boy, and Andromeda as the Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman analogs of a new Legion? XS in place of the Flash, Rond Vidar as Green Lantern, Vi as the Atom? That could be fun, in an Elseworlds sense. 

On the other hand, doing "Legion picks itself up and, re-inspired by the tale of the original Justice League, tries to carry on" would be a lot harder. (Or, at least, doing it well would be harder.)

Oh, what am I saying? DC doesn't care about telling a good story, or making things fun -- DC cares about revamping, reinventing, just for the sake of novelty and getting mention in the comics press. Whatever they do to the Legion this time around won't last more than a year or two.

Hell of a way to celebrate the Legion's 55th anniversary year.

Anyway, I'll continue to read the Legion, I've been doing it for more than 45 years and it's become a habit. When discussing Doctor Who, my husband says the greatest thing about the show is that if you don't like anything about it, all you have to do is wait...it'll change. The same is true of the Legion.

So what if they screw up the Legion? So what if it gets canceled and goes into comic book limbo? We've been through all this before. Sooner or later, the Legion will surface again as a backup feature in whatever comic has Superboy on the cover, and then they'll push him out.

All together now:

Long Live the Legion!

 

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Get-a-Life Boy writes and reviews science fiction. Check it out here.

 


 

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Legion statuette images and some costume variation images created by Jim Gallagher, based on Curt Swan's sketches.

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