Tag Archives: legion of super-heroes

DC Comics’ Paul Levitz

21 Aug

I met Paul Levitz, former President & Publisher, editor and writer of DC Comics, at the Singapore Toys Games & Comics Convention 2011 yesterday.

For more than 35 years with DC Comics, Levitz was responsible for hiring talents such as John Byrne, Marv Wolfman, Keith Giffen and Alan Moore. My favorites among his works as a writer include All Star Comics in the late 1970s, featuring the resurrected heroes of the Justice Society of America. He is credited with creating the Huntress of Earth-2, Helena Wayne.

My favorite of all Levitz’s contributions would have to be his run on Legion of Super-Heroes in the 1980s. He wrote Legion from 1981 to 1989, including the classic “Great Darkness Saga” where the LSH faced off against Darkseid.

Legion, with its ensemble cast  of more 30 super-powered teens from the 30th Century, was easily my favorite book at the time. I have the emblem of one of its members, Timber Wolf, tattooed on my arm. Even the electronic hardware I have at home (PCs, network drives, etc) are named “Ayla”, “Kara” and “Imra” after female Legion members.

Paul Levitz returns as writer for Legion of Super-Heroes on 21 September 2011 as part of DC Comics’ “New 52” line-up of new #1 comic books.

Grumpy Fanboy’s Top Super-Heroines in Miniskirts

30 Oct

Recently I read about a town in Italy where the local government is trying to ban women from wearing miniskirts. That got me thinking about how miniskirts – once very fashionable – seem to be in decline in comic books. OK let’s face it, miniskirts may not be the most practical outfit when in a fist fight with a crazed costumed homicidal maniac. But they sure make a great fashion statement and symbolize a woman’s right to wear whatever she wants.

Here’s my list of top five super-heroines who fight for truth, justice and the right to show off their legs:

Arisia

Arisia of Graxos IV is the Green Lantern of Sector 2815. She breaks the rules by not only being the single non-adult Green Lantern I know of (she joined the Corps at the age of 13), she also deviates from the norm in her choice of uniform. Arisia’s suit is strikingly different from the usual green & black other Green Lanterns wear. Sassy and proud. Arisia is an original. You go, girl!

Elasti-Girl

Film actress Rita Farr gave up a glamorous acting career to become the Doom Patrol’s powerhouse. Able to grow to giant size (sometimes to over 100 feet tall), Elasti-Girl must have been an intimidating – and distracting – sight to her enemies as they looked up at her.

Mary Marvel

Mary Batson (adopted name Mary Bromfield), twin sister of Captain Marvel’s alter-ego Billy Batson, is the female member of the Shazam Family. As Mary Marvel, she shared the powers of the wizard Shazam, making her nearly as powerful as “Earth’s Mightiest Mortal”, Captain Marvel. Over the years, she has switched from a red to a white outfit but, thankfully, always kept the miniskirt.

Marvel Girl

When the members of the original X-Men switched from their original black & yellow uniforms to something that better fit their individual personalities, Jean chose this green & yellow number. The costume was dropped when Jean became Phoenix. Years later, she chose to wear it again during the X-Men’s desperate attempt to save her from execution at the hands of the Shi’Ar Empire in my favorite – and now classic – Dark Phoenix Saga story arc.

Supergirl

Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl), in tribute to her more famous cousin, opted to wear his costume but with a decidedly female twist. During the 1970s, Supergirl dropped the miniskirt in favor of the more fashionable (at the time) hotpants. But somehow, she keeps coming back to the miniskirt, from the white & blue outfit of the 1990s to the miniskirt she wears today.

Grumpy Fanboy’s Top Legion of Super-Heroes On-screen Appearances

5 Sep

Toyfare #158 announced that DC Direct will soon be launching 12 new action figures from Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes. I’ve always had a soft spot for teenagers with super-powers – Captain Marvel, the Teen Titans, the X-Men – but I love the Legion most of all.

Since they first appeared in Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958), the Legion of Super-Heroes has rarely had more than cult-status success, never quite achieving the popularity levels of other comic book teams like the Justice League, the Avengers or the Fantastic Four.

So if you’re a long-time Legion fan like myself, you’ve waited breathlessly for any appearance of the Legion outside the pages of the comic books. Here’s a quick look at all their on-screen appearances so far:

“New Kids in Town”, Superman the Animated Series

Aired in 1998, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy and Saturn Girl travel back in time and team with young Clark Kent. Although these three get the most air time, other Legionnaires make cameo appearances, too.

You get no more than a glimpse of the Legion but seeing these familiar characters for the first time in animation was a real treat. To my knowledge, this is the first time the Legion appeared in a story outside of the printed page.

“Far From Home”, Justice League Unlimited

Aired in 2006, Brainiac 5 and Bouncing Boy travel back in time and bring Supergirl, Green Arrow and Green Lantern to the 31st century to rescue the rest of the Legion from the Fatal Five. You also get to see Blok, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Timber Wolf, Ultra Boy and Wildfire in action. At the end of the episode, Supergirl decides to stay behind and fulfill her destiny as a full time Legionnaire.

Overall, a satisfying story though I wish it had focused on more of my favorite Legionnaires. (I mean, why Bouncing Boy???) I also particularly enjoyed the emphasis on  Kara, who appears in her more familiar blue & red outfit for the first time in the series.

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series

Aired in September 2006, the Legion with a core team of Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Superman and Timber Wolf were introduced with its own full series. Other Legionnaires such as Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Colossal Boy, Ferro Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, and Triplicate Girl would also appear in later episodes. The series lasted two seasons, the longest ever on-screen run of the LSH.

The extended exposure was terrific and the series even revisited familiar events in Legion lore, such as the death of Ferro Lad at the hands of the Sun-Eater. I did not like that Brainiac 5 was turned into a machine and that (again) Bouncing Boy was selected to be a central character. The introduction in the second season of Superman X, a clone of the original, to fight side-by-side with the original Superman was a strange choice. What were they thinking???

“Legion”, Smallville

Aired in January 2009, the Legion of Super-Heroes appeared in live action for the first time ever.  Reprising their first appearance in the comics, the original Legionnaires Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl travel back in time to rescue Clark from a time-displaced menace.

As much as I hate Smallville for its low production value, lousy acting and – most of all – its penchant for shitting all over DC Universe continuity, I couldn’t help but download this episode. Seeing the original three Legionnaires raise their flight rings and say “Long Live the Legion!” still makes this appearance worth seeing.

Check out my Youtube channel for more appearances of the Legion of Super-Heroes in my Virtual Action Figure Collection. LLL!

Grumpy Fanboy’s DC Comics Secret Identities Quiz

3 Sep

DC Comics recently revealed that, following Bruce Wayne’s return from the dead, Dick Grayson will hang on to the cape & cowl. That means that two characters will get to call themselves the Batman. (The last time this happened was during the aftermath of the Knightfall story arc, when Wayne forcibly reclaimed the Batman mantle from Jean-Paul Valley by beating him to a pulp. This time, it seems the sharing of the Batman name will be on decidedly friendlier terms.)

DC Comics has had a long career of characters sharing hero names. Over the years, names like Green Lantern, the Flash, Green Arrow, Doctor Mid-Nite, Doctor Fate, Wildcat and Starman have been passed down to a younger generation of heroes (usually family members or former sidekicks).

Think you know a lot about the secret identities of DC Comics characters? Take this quiz and find out.