Friday, July 26, 2019

Broad Live the Legion!

Let's talk about this, the group drawing of the new Legion of Super-Heroes shared by incoming author Brian "Blah blah blah" Bendis in his interview with Seth Meyers:


Thanks, Computo
Before we start annotation, let's start with 'number zero': the Legion as an ensemble.  In short, this looks great, it looks like the Legion should, and if you don't think so, well...
you're wrong.

Nobody cares, least of all me, that "this isn't the Legion I grew up with," so shut yer yaps.  Your precious past is STILL THERE, preserved in about 10,000 different volumes of old LSH stories available to you in a wide variety of formats. Go back and read them if you want, I know I do that myself.

God knows, we must revere and preserve the Legion's honored past and traditions.
More than any other DC intellectual property, the Legion of Super-Heroes isn't about your past; it's about our future.  If you want to spend your life living in the past, what the sprock are you reading the Legion for anyway?!

Similarly, "The Diversity Issue". YES, this version of the Legion looks more 'diverse' than many we have seen before, and no one cares if that triggers your atavistic reactionary incel-self.  Because just as the Legion has always been about the future and not the past, it has always been about diversity. Different people from different planets and species/races with different powers, committing to do great things by creating a greater synergy from their differences.  Again, if you aren't into that concept, then what the sprock are you reading the Legion for anyway?

And, last: please note that Legion looks like they are having fun and enjoying one another's company.  They aren't angry sad-sack Marvel characters, forced to band together against a cruel society that hates and fears them because "They Are Different".  They are friends and teammates, clearly eager to join forces to do good for the galaxy.  And that's the people in whose hands I want the future to be.

Now, the annotations.  Help me unpack all this!

1. The only guess I have here is Ferro Lad, but that's almost certainly wrong.  What's that symbol on his chest; Hello Kitty?  Is this Hello Kitty Lad?  Maybe I am not as okay with diversity as I thought. Could it be... Proty 2?  That would be amazing.

Cuz Proty 2 will sprock with your head, man.

2. Obviously, Gim "Colossal Boy/Leviathan" Allen, being a **** and looking like someone gave him a black eye recently, which would all be fairly on point for him.  Note to DC: it IS a cooler name, but given what else you are publishing this year, naming him "Leviathan" could cause some confusion.

3.  Well. That's Dr. Fate, no debating that.  That'll be interesting.

Let's hope we don't have to endure a Bendis re-telling of THAT origin story.

4. Blok (or is it Strata, his female counterpart?). Regardless: it's Future Concrete.

5. Lessee... White. Female. Dressed like Felix Faust at Easter. Let's assume it's the White Witch.  Usually she is THE magic-wielder in the Legion (although sometimes other members have had powers with magic source, they seldom 'wield' magic), so having Dr. Fate around is even more intriguing.

6.  Skeletor Lad? Atomic Skull Boy?  Nurse Phosphorus?  Mister Bones, Junior?  Halloween 5.0? Translucent Kid?  The Phantom of the Future Paradise? Yo Soy El Esqueleto de Juan? Mano-cure? DAVID S. PUMPKINS?!

Maybe it's Invisible Kid, having fun.

7. Shadow Lass, a.k.a. Shady.

8.  Sun Boy or Inferno or Fiery-Face Lad if you wish.  A sort of human torch, if you will, standing beside a big rock-person Thing.  Good call.

9.  A Lantern? A Yellow Lantern?  Well, that's an interesting choice.  Like Dr. Fate, it shows some through-line to the present-day DCU... but Yellow? Interesting.  Maybe it's a ... Gold Lantern?

10.  Chuck "Bouncing Boy" Taine, with an uncharacteristic mop of red hair.  Look, I'm okay with Princess Projectra being a giant snake, but giving Chuck red hair may be crossing the line.  This just isn't the Legion I grew up with!

11.  PINK LADY.  Well, it's about time we got some adult beverage representation in the Legion!  Not everyone drinks Silverale, you know.  Anyway, it's probably Princess Projectra but I miss Sensor Girl!

12.  Given the Asian look and martial artsy costume, I'm going to guess Karate Kid.  I can't believe they are actually going there.


13.  Reep "Chameleon Boy" Daggle.

Can't this be his default form? Pretty please?

14.  Another imaginative reinterpretation of Triplicate Girl, a.k.a. Triad.  We'll see how they make it work this time.  She may not be the most combat-threatening Legionnaire, but existentially she is TERRIFYING.

15. Dream Girl / Dreamer.  Always a baller.

Or, as they call her on "Supergirl", Phone Cord Girl.

16.  Mon-El / M'On-El / Valor.  But if you don't already know that you probably aren't reading this.

17. Saturn Girl, still trying to make her logo work.

18. Star Boy, based on the characteristic costume.  No beard, thank god.

19. I'm thinking Pink-Punk-Hair-Loss Lass is Shrinking Violet.

20.  Jon "Superboy" Kent. Great, sure, fine; anything to put an end to The Super-Sons Saga.

21.  Brainiac 5. Smiling. I'm sold.

22.  Tinya "Phantom Girl/ Apparition" Wazzo.  The hair braids and costume holes are a dead giveaway.

23.  Lightning Lad; classic costuming, red hair. Two arms, even.

24.  Dawnstar. Sigh.  I think there's some sort of magical covenant that Dawnstar can't die until Cher does (sometime AFTER the 23rd Century).

25.  Cosmic Boy, yummy as ever.

25.  Goateed hippy-boy Element Lad, his logo funnier than ever and who knows nothing and should shut up.

You wanna argue with Brainiac 5?
Good luck with that.

26. XS, the Legion's superspeedster and descendant of the Flash.

27.  The most clean-cut version of Ultra-Boy ever.

28.  Wildfire.  The Sonny Bono to Dawnstar's Cher.

30.   Matter-Eater Lad, looking like beans rice and inertron didn't miss 'im.

31.  And Timber Bear. I mean, Wolf. Yeah; no; I mean Bear.


John C said...

Really, the only problem with Sensor Girl is that Levitz decided not to roll with making her Supergirl instead of changing pretty much everything about Projectra for the big revelation. It makes sense editorially, but still kind of weak.

#27 also looks like Light Lass more than XS, though. I think that's a feather (or a robotic vulva, maybe), the blue in her costume looks the same as Lightning Lad's, and the faces seem like they're supposed to resemble each other.

Does the person we're assuming is the White Witch (#5) have some sort of robot hand? Or is that a staff?

Dawnstar (#24), to be fair, looks less offensive than she ever has before, but...uhm...yeah.

#1...Catspaw, maybe? Although looking at it repeatedly and ignoring the chest insignia, the character kind of looks more fish-related than cat-related. And it's a huge stretch, but the only possibility I can see for #6 is maybe Atmos, who originally spent most of his time missing chunks of his torso.

I have to say, though, other than "Microsoft Element Lad," the designs are pretty nice, if more current than futuristic. And I like the idea of stronger connections to the current DCU instead of limiting it all to just Superman. I wonder if the reason for the Yellow Lantern and Dr. Fate, though, might be related to the Justice League 3000 title.

Anonymous said...

This would make me optimistic, as the Legion should, but... Bendis. Is he able to write a bunch that looks like this? Or will Rokk and Garth be beating each other to death with Arm-Fall-Off-Boy's severed limbs while Imra mind-wipes her teammates by the end of the first issue?

Oh well. Long Live the Legion!

-- Jack of Spades

Bryan L said...

Is he able to write a bunch that looks like this?

I'd argue no. Bendis has never shown much ability to handle a large group. His style lends itself to single heroes with supporting casts, whose stories can move slowly while Bendis engages in page after page of dialogue.

In addition, he's never been able to effectively write in any other voice than current (which makes no sense but let me explain). His grasp of English is very limited to modern-day speech. You'll have future heroes using current slang that would never make it to the 30th century. Though he may throw in the odd "sprock" or two.

Unknown said...

I've never found Bendis much good at creative battle choreography, which you need for the highly varied powers of the Legion, and is a very underrated comic writer's skill. For all the Marvel angst, Chris Claremont, for example, always provided good, intricate use of powers by interacting team members. Most of Bendis's favourite characters have been generic brawlers.

Bryan L said...

I hadn't ever thought of it that way, Unknown, but you're right. When Bendis does try group books, fight scenes are mostly "taking turns," not working together. He would never have come up with the old "fastball special." It's just foreign to him.

And I know it sounds like I'm slagging Bendis, but I'm not. He's very good on certain types of books and characters, like Daredevil or Miles Morales. But publishers keep hiring him for his star status, and putting him on books for which he's unsuited. And I also think his star status gives him editorial immunity, so a lot of his clumsiness ends up in the final product.

Mike S said...

The only silver/bronze age members who seem to be missing are Invisible Kid (maybe he is there, just not visible), Ferro Lad, Chemical King and Tyroc. Maybe the skeleton guy in the green armor could be Chemical King? Not sure the legion needs two guys in containment suits.

Mike S said...

Taking another look, I think Element Lad is bumping into Invisible Kid.

Hal Shipman said...

Here to agree with Mike S. I heard that Chemical King theory earlier and like it, as much as it makes me sad for the character. No love for him, man. And the Invisible Kid knocking over Element Lad explains the blank spot as well as Jan's posture.

Hal Shipman said...

Oh, and I just realized that Saturn Girl is "looking" right at Invisible Kid as well.

Hal Shipman said...

FWIW - when I say I like the Chemical King theory, I mean that it makes a lot of sense. When I say it also makes me sad, I'm talking about how he is possibly trapped in a containment suit (while looking like a skeleton). His history became one of sadness, since Earth War and then every single flashback story.

And, IIRC, Levitz said it was Jeanette Kahn who made the call about Supergirl. That said, there is an elegance to the Projectra solution I like. Her whole thing before was that her illusions are screwing with people's senses anyway. That felt like a logical power-up to me.

Anonymous said...

Bendis has always struck out whenever he's assigned to a comic book, based on my own experiences reading his "stories". Even his street-level stuff falls flat to me. Perhaps if another writer had been assigned to this I might have had hope here, but alas...

Dr. CoffinNails said...

Sorry, but in my opinion, this just looks godawful! Also, Bendis is a crap writer. R.I.P. the Legion (but it will "Live Long" in our hearts and memories).

cybrid said...

"publishers keep hiring [Bendis] for his star status"

And I have no idea what said status is based on to begin with. Oh well.

If that's Chemical King, he may not be trapped in a suit, he may be using it just because it's more convenient. No way to tell as of yet.

If Pink-Girl is Shrinking Violet, though, wouldn't she be...shrunken? ;-)

cybrid said...

On another note, since Doctor Fate's not a young adult, that can't be Doctor Fate. It's just someone else wearing the helmet. So it's *A* Doctor Fate, I guess. Or perhaps just a FATE. OSLT.

Also, could that be Quislet behind Chameleon Boy's left ear?

cybrid said...

Upon reflection, I think they should've changed enough character designs so that at least half of the Legionnaires are now non-humanoids or at least more overtly non-Earthborn. I mean, this reboot's going to be gone within two and a half years tops and forgotten well before the reboot that will follow the reboot immediately after this one, so what have they got to lose? ;-)

I'm hoping Scipio's interest in the Legion will last long enough for him to expound at length upon a Silver Age Legion storyline or two as he's expounded at length upon Joe Coyne, the Octopus, "Jean Loring Has Escaped!," and other such concepts. That's not a suggestion, mind you, because he hates those, it's just a hope...

Marcos said...

I swear the chest logo on #1 looks more like Timber Wolf's classic logo than the one on #31. But #1 is more birdlike. Maybe that's what Thanagarians look like in the 31st-century?

I agree with the above posters that #27 is Ayla and that there's an Invisible Kid between her and Jan.

Marcos said...

Also, why are Jan and Imra holding hands? Wonder if the two of them and Rokk are in a three-way relationship? That'd be breaking some new ground (assuming you don't count Luornu's extra selves in her relationship with Chuck..).