Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Long Live the Legion

Hi! Dave-El here but not much to say today. Way too tired after a long day that would not seem to end.

But I felt compelled to acknowledge a piece of comic book news that broke Monday.

Legion of Super Heroes is getting cancelled

I'm going to be blunt: I was thisclose to dropping this title from my pull list at Acme Comics. Which is a shame because I really, really wanted to like this book since Paul Levitz returned to writing LSH over three years ago. Like a lot of Legion fans, I hold The Great Darkness Saga as perhaps the best LSH story ever. (My second favorite LSH storyline was Levitz's Universo tale where Dream Girl...yes, Dream Girl!...got a chance to be bad ass.)  Levitz had a handle on the Legion's impossibly large cast and even larger tableau. (After all, in the future, space is as much the Legion's backyard as Earth.) Paul had a knack for keeping a lot of things going at once and very few characters got ignored for long, even it was a just for a quick drop-in look to see what someone was up to.

But Paul Levitz in the 21st century never seemed to find that spark with his return to the Legion. Storytelling has changed drastically over the past 20 to 30 years.  Pages filled with panels and insets as the writer and the artist worked to give the reader more bank for the buck are things of the past while modern comics are filled with splash pages and big images with less detailed writing as all eyes are on the collected edition trade.

Some kudos to Paul for daring to take some chances. He brought new characters to the forefront which is good. Except there was this sense of the newbies being shoved down our throats while we wanted some more stuff with the classic Legionnaires who came off as cyphers as if it was understood the readers already knew who these characters were.  Too much new stuff Legion fans were not ready for and short shrift to the classic elements that would've kept readers riveted.

As I read elsewhere, Legion of Super Heroes was facing a daunting task in finding readers. New readers were not coming in, old readers were dropping out and there was zero in the way of cross-promotional ties either with 21st Century comics or outside comics stuff such as computer games, a tie in show or movies and merchandising.

So Legion of Super Heroes#23 on sale in August will be the last issue.  Of course, the Legion hasn't stayed down long before re-emerging in a reboot or relauch. One rumor is that DC wants to tie LSH to the currently very successful Justice League franchise. Justice Legion? I'm not sure...maybe...even if so, it will take a while to get used to that.

In the meantime, it is farewell but hopefully for only a short while.

Remember the rallying crying for Legion fans: "Long Live the Legion!"

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  • Left: Legion of Super Heroes by Curt Swan   
  • Right: LSH by Keith Giffen & Mike DeCarlo (last page of last issue of  Paul Levitz's 2nd LSH run)

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