Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

On the chopping block: Legion of Superheroes.

I hate to say it, but right now, I'm debating removing Legion of Superheroes from my pull list.

It's not that it's a bad comic. I like the Legion and this incarnation has some real nice moments. It's just...when I come down to it, I'm largely apathetic about it. There've been a few months were for whatever reason, they didn't get shuffled in with the rest of my issues and to be honest...I didn't miss them.

I'm not sure what it is, to be honest. I loved the post Zero-Hour incarnation and have fond memories of the original (though I liked the former better, as it was a bit easier for the comic neophyte I am to find/get caught up on)

I don't think it's Supergirl. Sure she's not like the real Supergirl, but I find her cute enough. I still think there will be a twist there (unless there has been already, one of the issues I'm missing is the most recent) and I do find the thought intriguing.

I think it's more that...I'm not feeling the group solidarity that I remember from the earlier editions. Part of that might be the general lack of interaction between the three team founders this time around. In Zero Hour and the original version it seemed like there was a lot more interaction between those three. And I do think that might effect the group dynamic on a whole. The foundation upon which the building is built. Or something like that.

I'm also not sure I'm digging Brainiac 5's characterization in this one. I thought the conflict between him and Cosmic Boy was interesting, but this Dream Girl plot has basically isolated him from the group.

I found the teenage rebel/revolutionary concept to be an interesting take on it, but I'm feeling a disconnect from where it's going now.

I do think Colossal Boy is neat. But...

I'll give it another issue or two. But right now it looks like I'll have an extra three dollars per month soon enough.



  • At November 18, 2006 9:42 AM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At November 18, 2006 9:44 AM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    Oh, you haven't read last month's issue? Things seem to be picking up a little, after a few months of aimlessness. Plus Barry Kitson's back, which is certainly a plus.

    I think what you were talking about with the 'group solidarity' may be the same thing I was trying to get at here. But I don't think it's not there because it's not there; I think it's not there because Waid is trying to build it.

    Do what you have to do, of course. In some ways I envy you the freedom of being able to just not get Legion comics if that's what you want to do: it's a trick I've never been able to manage.

  • At November 18, 2006 11:15 AM, Anonymous Loren said…

    I miss when Lightning Lad used to have sideburns. ;)

    But, in all seriousness, I feel ya. I don't know what it is about this version of the Legion that isn't clicking with me. I've bought every single issue of this new incarnation and I've enjoyed it, but it's almost as if it's forgotten as soon as I put it down. I don't find myself waiting for the next issue like I do so many other series.

    I've thought about taking it off my pull list as well, but, I'll give it a little longer to see how the Supergirl thing plays out. If I'm still not feeling it, I may drop it as well.

  • At November 18, 2006 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been feeling similarly conflicted, and in fact I think I left LSH off of my last pre-order.

    Although since I tried that before and didn't even last two months, I'm not declaring a permanent quit--but comics are not cheap and I do want to cut back somewhere, and LSH and the new Flash were the ones I felt least bad about cutting.

  • At November 19, 2006 4:05 AM, Blogger Elayne said…

    "I don't know what it is about this version of the Legion that isn't clicking with me."

    Well, many of the characters just don't seem that sympathetic to me. And I'm saying this as a HUGE fan of Mark's writing, and as someone who knows how fond he is of the Legion.

    It seems to me his premise here was "you must pull for these kids because they're rebels against a stodgy grown-up world and they're kewl" and, as what I hope isn't a stodgy grown-up, I felt immediately alienated. It's like the '60s mantra "never trust anyone over 30" when there were plenty of interesting older people the hippies followed in those days (Timothy Leary, Mahesh Yogi, etc.). I don't know that you can simply divide any world, even a fictional one, that easily and neatly by age as "young is good, old is evil." That's certainly not going to work with the Legion's older fans!

    And yes, maybe we should all drop out of reading (and writing and drawing) comics now that we've reached a certain age. But I don't believe that. I think these stories, under skilled direction, can truly be "ALL ages" rather than "just for under-30s" or "just for over-18s". There's no reason to go out of your way to alienate much of your potential audience with your initial premise.

    (Also, some of us don't buy another part of Waid's premise for the current Legion, that utopias are bad because they're boring; that's a problem for the writer to solve, not for the readers to accept on sight. In real life I would presume many of us strive for such utopias!)

  • At November 19, 2006 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It seems to me, though, that a utopia that's boring isn't truly a utopia, in much the same way that any heaven that doesn't have Huck Finn in it isn't a heaven where I'd wanna go when I died.

    I really do like this Legion, "Eat it, grandpa" attitude and all.

  • At November 19, 2006 9:40 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    matthew: I can appreciate that he's working towards's just...I always feel if some sense of solidarity hasn't manifested by the tenth issue or so, it probably won't.

    (I do tend to think if the core of Lightning Lad/Saturn Girl/Cosmic Boy were more strongly established, I wouldn't notice as much)

    loren: Hee. Sideburns are my enemy. :-)

    That's my feeling. I don't hate it. It's not a bad read but...

    brainfreeze: *nod* Well, we can start buying again when it looks up. :-)

    elayne: It'd be nice to see some more sympathetic adult figures to ease the balance, I think.

    I think the idea behind a flawed utopia is that it's the journey to perfection that's important. Not the destination, because humanity is inherently flawed, and thus can never quite reach that point.

    rob: :-) Everyone's utopia is a little different, anyway, which helps complicate things.

  • At November 19, 2006 2:46 PM, Anonymous Indicia said…

    I was quite a fan of the new legion incarnation at the beginning. But by issue seven or so, I found that I started to lose interest. There was freshness and energy at the beginning, but it seems to have dropped off. I stopped reading altogether at issue 17. For more or less the same reasons that you have stated, I'd say. Supergirl wasn't really a factor. The energy and interaction just wasn't there.

    Too bad, really.

  • At November 20, 2006 3:25 AM, Blogger The Fortress Keeper said…

    Whether or not future Kara is really Supergirl, she's a heck of a lot more appealing than the character appearing in the Supergirl comic.

    That said, I do like this incarnation of the Legion about as much as I liked the original group (I grew up on the Cockrum/Grell Legion).

    Maybe it's just because the whole flawed Utopia bit reminds me of Gold Key's Magnus: Robot Fighter - which admittedly may be before your time.

  • At November 21, 2006 2:07 AM, Anonymous Michael Rawdon said…

    I've been reading the new Legion series in paperback collections. The Legion is kind of like Aquaman: DC keeps bringing them back, and they're often entertaining, but rarely great. (For my money they haven't been great since Paul Levitz' first run on the title, back when Jim Sherman was illustrating them.)

    I think both the Legion and the JSA are more-or-less past their sell-by date. Both of them are largely grounded in nostalgia for their lengthy history. In the Legion's case, that history no longer exists in publishing canon. In the JSA's case, it becomes less relevant with each retcon and the farther we get from World War II.

    I think a really clever writer - with sufficient backing from DC - could launch either of them by grounding them in a new context which somehow evokes the nostalgic feelings of the original teams. But I doubt it'll happen in my lifetime.

    Anyway, it's hard to get too choked up about all this when the best comic book series of the last ten years - Astro City - just started up its latest series. You gotta keep your eyes on the prize!


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