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Brian Hague
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 1:04am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Carlos, I wonder if a corollary to "every issue is somebody's first" is "every issue is somebody's favorite." There is definitely something about the Legion that grabs hold of some readers and does not let go. I know that my earliest encounters with the team (reprints of the first Mordru story and the Adult Legion tale) are some of my favorite comics of all time. I can certainly understand finding something to like in all of that, especially with all of the (stern voice) "very serious" business taking place in those pocket U and post-pocket U stories. I can't, but I can understand that someone coming to the title for the first time might.

I've said before that I've spoken with someone whose entire fandom is built around the concept that the "X-Cutioner's Song" crossover in X-Men is the epitome of the comics medium, with its many intricacies and complications spanning countless titles, requiring the reader to go here, there, and everywhere to track down every little permutation and enjoy every little jot and tittle! He swears it all pays off in ways the non-believer can never understand. Of course, it's one of his first comic stories, so it's pretty much perfect. 

I get that feeling, and I'm glad that you got to enjoy it as well. 

Eric J, I agree completely about Brennert. He has two credits for Marvel. One is shared with Marty Pasko on a Star Trek issue that had to be cannibalized because he based it on a television episode and Marvel did not have the rights to it. The result created literally the worst line to ever come from Kirk's mouth, Gold Key stories included.

When introduced to Janice Rand's fiance, a disembodied intelligence contained within a floating pyramid (originally written as a Medusan from "Is There In Truth No Beauty?") Kirk responds to his spoken greeting with, "It-- I mean, he-- talks??" 

I am pretty damn sure that is not in Brennert's original script, and if it is (God, I hope it is not) but if it is, it's because Kolos, the Medusan ambassador from the show, did not.

His other story, from Daredevil #192, in which Ben Urich and his wife go shopping for a house, is one of the very, very few stories in comics to have made me cry. As many have said, it's a shame it couldn't have been included in the recent hardcover collection of his DC work. :-)

As for whether Year One is still in continuity or not, I know it was directly referenced in Kevin Smith's amateurish "Widening Gyre" wherein Batman confessed to pissing himself when the sautee pan flash he rigged went off. Because he scared himself, you see. That's how scary he is. And how much of a kid he was back then. Gosh. So cool, right? (eye roll.) 

Whose daughter Batgirl is these days is probably up for grabs, I suspect, but then it usually is, right? Miller's work is sadly no more sacrosanct or free from reinterpretation by the current crowd of carpenter ants than anyone else's. 

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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 5:29am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

 John Byrne wrote:
A guy I used to know years ago had an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel. I used to wonder why he’d not become a writer. Then one day I asked him about the backstory on a character I was thinking of using. He gave me what I needed, but then went on with “of course you’ll want to reference THIS, and THIS, and THIS, and THIS...”

None of which had anything to do with my story.

That's the bad side of fan-turned-pro in a nutshell.   

What passes as the majority of 'pro' writing these days is really just mediocre fan fiction given an expensive stage and a shiny facade.  

If you want to know how derivitively recursive and navel-gazing the 'pro' stories a decade from now are going to be you only have to attend a current Marvel or DC film and endure 'that' fan whose idea of fun is reciting minutiae of character trivia off a spreadsheet in your ear instead of watching the film.   That's what's important to that new breed of fan.




Edited by Rob Ocelot on 03 October 2019 at 5:32pm
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Carlos Velasco
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 7:00am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

This is an interesting offtopic... what does exactly turn a writer (or an artist) into a pro or a fan-turned-pro?

Geoff Johns, for example... I can't take his stories seriously an he's one of the ones regarded as fan-turned-pro. What is he doing exactly to achieve this title? I can feel it, but I can't describe it.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 7:28am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Stan Lee said “Never give the fans what they think they want.” Fans turned “pro” tend to do exactly that.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Gentlemen (and ladies, if we have any reading), these are wonderful expressions - both positive and negative. Well done!

Brian H., I did not use "I'm My Own Granpa" for your song... I heard (successfully) "The Ballad of Jed Clampett." It's great!

I once swore that the last new comic I'd ever buy would be a Legion of Super-Heroes book. I'm even a pseudo honorary legionnaire... got my flight ring and everything. (Haven't gotten it to work because my will power obviously isn't strong enough yet.)* I hear that a new LSH is coming out... written by Bendis. The horror in my soul is dark and angry.

*Have I tested my flight ring? Sure. Stood outside and thought real hard about flying. Why would I be any more able to fly by jumping off a roof? But a lot of character origins seem to require jumping off a roof to see if they can fly. I don't get it. If I absolutely had to leap up and out to try to fly... I'd do it over a swimming pool. 'Cause even if I can't fly, I can swim! :D
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Dan Parker
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

 Brian Hague wrote:
** Sing it with me...*** "Now, many many years ago I left GCPD, I was married to a florist who was pretty as could be. This florist had a grown-up daughter who had hair of black. She thought she was her mother and two worlds went out of whack..."

*** Sung to the tune of "I'm My Own Grandpa."


This killed me.

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 9:35pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Eric S., that is good advice. :-)

Also, thank you to you and Dan for your kind words!

I do not know at this point what to make of DC's latest run at the Legion. Being a Legion fan of long duration, I actually made the trip to a comic store and picked up the first issue of the new Millenium, which tracks a character they are keeping super-secret for no reason whatsoever (just another pull from the "who are we doing nothing with?" list) through DC's future where we find that our central protagonist is kind of stupid (you didn't notice what for how long?) and that Supergirl all-grown-up is a smiling politician and apparently a liar in what looks like a jab at Hillary. That can't possibly be right, can it? In any case, old stories like Kirby's tale of Superman's costume are uncrated and lots of people from the story are killed, because, hey, death. Who doesn't love it by the truckload, right? The Legion themselves do not seem to actually appear in this run-up-to-the-Legion story, but who knows? Maybe in part two. Also, I picked up the Superman issue in which the Legion all appear, at the moment in history they came to celebrate, and find their calculations just that much off. While their roster is more diverse, they bear no real difference from the last few Legions we've seen trotted out, all showing up en masse, grinning like idiots, and just really, really earnest about being super-heroes. Which is fine, but there's still no story or reason for them to exist yet. They're just suddenly there.

It could all work out fine, but it could also be one more giant nothing-burger from the future timeline that brought you bags full of nothing-burgers many times before.

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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 12:19am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Those who planned CRISIS either didn't think about or just didn't care about how it was affect certain characters. I was a Legion of Super-Heroes fan, and have cared about 0 versions of the team since CRISIS. I don't know if ALL-STAR SQUADRON was cancelled because of COIE, or if it was already on the chopping block. But CRISIS did it no favors.

And Barry Allen should not have stayed dead anywhere near as long as he did.

DC has done way too many reboots for my taste, and some of the things done since make `confusing' things that CRISIS had to `fix' look like nothing by comparison. (ie, two Wally Wests.)

By the way, has that `there are 3 different Jokers' garbage been explored or explained since Batman found out from the Mobius Chair?






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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 1:40am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Getting back to the original questions "What worked? What didn't? COULD it have worked?"--

What worked?
BLUE BEETLE being in the middle of the JLA and the DC universe was probably a good idea.  His friendship with Booster Gold seemed natural and was one of the highlights of a JUSTICE LEAGUE series I only read years later.

SUPERMAN by JB really did streamline Superman and set the stage for the next few years of stories by good talent like Roger Stern, Kerry Gammill, George Perez, Bob McLeod, etc.  (Still love the Earth One Superman by Curt Swan, etc. more though.)

WONDER WOMAN was always a beloved character, but she never really had any great stories until the George Perez and John Byrne runs.

What didn't work?
Oh gee, where do I start?  I think we all have plenty of answers for this above and in other threads.  But I will emphasize one: SHAZAM!  Big, big mistake to shoehorn Captain Marvel and friends into the already crowded DC universe, making both him and Superman less unique and important in the remaining Earth (an Earth which never had a good name, by the way).

Could it have worked?
Yeah, it could have worked...if everybody had been on the same page.  One of the greatest reasons for the success of Marvel Comics was the "benevolent dictatorship" of Stan Lee.  We can never diminish the contributions of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and other great talents, but it was Stan Lee's vision that kept the Marvel Universe coherent and something that others could build on, a strong foundation that future dumb editorial decisions couldn't really ruin.  Post-CRISIS DC needed some sort of "iron hand" to keep it coherent, someone to put his or her foot down and say either "Brand new start for every series!" or "Soft reboots (like MAN OF STEEL or BATMAN: YEAR ONE) for everyone"--reboots that streamlined things without slashing and burning every character's origin and history, substituting a "fake history" in its place.  
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Carlos Velasco
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 1:56am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Intrigued by the messages here about a new Legion, I managed to read a few of the latest DC comics. I wish I hadn't... I never learn my lesson.

Firstly, the most interesting titles by far were the Batman and Watchmen reprints... that says a lot.

Based in the covers, I tried reading the last Deathstroke and DCeased issues and both issues of "Legion Millennium" or whatever is called.

Deathstroke was terrible, uninteresting, boring... The original Deathstroke stories by Marv Wolfman the 80s in the Titans (or some of his work with "similar" characters such as Vigilante or Gangbuster) are light years ahead of this garbage.

DCeased appears to be some kind of event that happens in the Elseworlds, so they have more liberty and any character can die without consequences... That's the only positive. Pointless dialogs, a major character dying in the most stupid way... This shouldn't even exist.

The Millennium Legion thing was confusing as hell, the first issue was not about the Legion and the Legion looked silly in the second and final issue. The new Legion series will probably be equally bad.

The main series of Crisis and Invasion, as well as Millennium and Legends crossovers by JB, Levitz and Ostrander, are comic book masterpieces compared to modern comics.


Edited by Carlos Velasco on 04 October 2019 at 4:12am
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 3:52am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Deathstroke was terrible, uninteresting, boring... Marv Wolfmans' work in the 80s in the Titans and even Vigilante or Superman, where he introduced Gangbuster, is light years ahead of this garbage.

=========================================================

Carlos, Christopher Priest is writing Deathstroke, not Marv Wolfman unless I am mistaken.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 3:57am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Those who planned CRISIS either didn't think about or just didn't care about how it was affect certain characters. I was a Legion of Super-Heroes fan, and have cared about 0 versions of the team since CRISIS. I don't know if ALL-STAR SQUADRON was cancelled because of COIE, or if it was already on the chopping block. But CRISIS did it no favors.

========================================================

All-Star Squadron ended because Roy Thomas felt the characters / title needed a fresh start after Crisis. In essence, All-Star Squadron # 60 is the final issue. It carried on for 7 more as Roy wanted to show fans how certain stories could happen without Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc., but that was essentially treading water until the launch of Young All-Stars.

Young All-Stars started off strong, and then after issue 14, it seemed Roy's heart wasn't in it anymore as he was trying to salvage what he could from COIE.

The last few letter columns of YAS are something as Roy doesn't hold back with his thoughts on the matters.
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