Sunday, July 29, 2007

Continuity Notes: Glorithverse and Five Years Later

Continued from here.

Paul Levitz wrapped up his long and triumphant tenure as Legion writer in 1989. The comic book was cancelled, in order to restart it a few months later with a new creative team (Keith Giffen, Tom and Mary Bierbaum) and a new direction. The first page of the new series was nothing more than the words 'Five Years Later' on a dark background, and a lot had occurred in the five in-story years since the end of Levitz's series: the Legion had disbanded, the United Planets was in economic trouble, Earthgov was corrupt and riddled with Dominators... But what I want to point out is that there hadn't been any continuity shifts. LSH4 #1 existed in the same continuity, exactly, as LSH3 #63. The continuity tweak came a bit later.

See, the pocket universe retcon wasn't good enough for somebody. I don't know who at DC had their briefs in a bunch about it--it may be common knowledge for all I can tell, but I've never heard--but it seems that it was intolerable that the Legion have any memories of Superboy. Never mind that they were remembering a Superboy who was entirely fabricated by the Time Trapper, and never mind that that Superboy wasn't around any more. Nothing would do but that the Legion's history get torqued even more, to correspond with DC's new pravda that not only was there no Superboy, but there never had been a Superboy. Not even a little bit.

On the one hand, Levitz's pocket universe had made this a little easier for Giffen and the Bierbaums to accomplish. On the other hand, they were still staring at the core problem: how do you have a legion of superheroes who were inspired by Superboy if there is no Superboy? It doesn't make any sense. So here's what they came up with:

In Levitz's series, Mon-El had died of the injuries he suffered in the battle that killed the Time Trapper. Five Years Later, he and the Trapper both revived: Mon was too tough to die entirely, and he was (more or less) a product of the Trapper's pocket universe, so the Trapper used him as a vessel to keep himself alive too. The Trapper wanted to use Mon-El to bring himself back to full power, so he could keep doing what he had always done. He revealed that his time manipulations (involving R.J. Brande, among others) had led to the Legion's creation in the first place, and that this was all to keep Mordru from conquering everything forever, and he was counting on Mon-El to therefore be on his side.

Mon wasn't having any of it, though, and destroyed the Trapper. When this happened, all of the Trapper's creations likewise perished, including the pocket universe and all his other manipulations. 30th-century reality then snapped back to its 'default state', to the timeline that would have happened if the Trapper had never interfered and the Legion never been created. The resulting reality is what's often called the Mordruverse, in which Mordru did indeed conquer everything. Problem is, Mordru a) remembered the previous state of things, and b) has a big mouth. He couldn't stop bragging to his harem about how he came out ahead of the Time Trapper and the Legion. One of his wives, Glorith, was not only listening carefully, but was also working with a resistance movement, and had some time-manipulation powers of her own (Glorith actually had a pre-COIE existence as one of the Time Trapper's flunkies). So Glorith took the scraps of information she had and cast a magic spell to try to duplicate the Trapper's manipulations and reinstate the previous reality.

And it didn't entirely work. What she got was a reality, the Glorithverse (because she cast herself in the role of the Time Trapper), in which there was a Legion, and Mordru didn't rule the universe, but there was no Superboy and no Supergirl. Instead, the Legion had been inspired by the 20th-century hero Valor (which was Mon-El's new name... well, they couldn't keep calling him Mon-El, could they? That's a Kryptonian name!), who had... well, the whole Valor/Mon-El mess deserves its own Continuity Notes entry. Instead of Supergirl, this reality had a Legionnaire named Andromeda, who was really Valor's relative Laurel Gand.

The idea is that Legion history was still mostly intact, but with Valor in for Superboy and Andromeda in for Supergirl, and everything else adjusted to fit that. This was a more violent change to continuity than the pocket universe retcon had been, but it's probably the best they could have done under the circumstances. (The famous Legion Help File actually goes through and figures out just how all the old Legion stories have to be changed to account for this. I personally would find no joy in exploring these details, especially since DC seems to have abandoned this whole reality anyway.)

Some points about this continuity adjustment and on this era of the Legion in general:
- the continuity change should be considered separately from all of the other new and controversial stuff that Giffen and the Bierbaums were up to

- a lot of what we know about the Five Year Gap comes, not from comic books, but from a role-playing games supplement the Bierbaums wrote for Mayfair Games, called 2995: The Legion of Super-Heroes Sourcebook. I’m gonna have to try to get a copy someday. Although most of the information seems to be available online

- the Five Years Later period of the Legion is much darker than Legion storytelling had ever been before. The art is often murky and the writers often don’t tell you things you’d like to know. So it can be kind of hard to follow. Because of all this, this period is sometimes regarded as completely separate from the Levitz run that preceded it, even to the point of calling it a complete reboot (which is not strictly correct, but feels like it)

- the Legion creators were trying to get all mature and experimental with this comic book. Which meant, to a great extent, that they borrowed some tricks from Watchmen. Nine-panel grid, backstory presented in the form of fake ads and textpages and stuff, storytelling that left things implicit rather than explicit… I’m always glad to see people try stuff, but not everyone liked it

- it put Mon-El under a bigger spotlight than the character could really handle. I mean, I like Mon-El a lot, but he's not a superstar and you can't make a superstar out of him

- it led to the creation of a couple of excellent characters in Andromeda and (although it's more complicated than I make it sound) Kid Quantum, in addition to all the other good characters who showed up in this run

- the whole Mordruverse/Glorithverse exercise was unnecessary, pointless and misguided. What would have been wrong with just saying to Legion creators that they weren't allowed to mention Superboy anymore? Just don't talk about him! You don't have to go back and revise anything! But oh no. It's not enough to pull up the crops; you have to salt the earth too. (An imperfect analogy. Because DC certainly didn't prevent future Superboy/Legion stories. Just a couple of years after this retcon, DC staged its 'Death of Superman' event, which resulted in the creation of a new character: Superboy! Who went on to join the Legion! And then just this year, we found out that actual Superman had some adventures with the Legion in his youth! I think Bill James said it best when he said, "Jesus, these people will drive you crazy sometimes.")

Perhaps no-one will object if I use this space to revisit the discussion surrounding the 2x+unboot Legion, aka the Lightning Saga Legion. The relevance is this: the Five Years Later Legion is one of the main reasons why the 2x+unboot Legion isn’t the original Legion. I didn’t know we needed any reasons, but apparently we do.

See, the appearance of the 2x+unboot Legion has been hailed all around as ‘the return of the original Legion’. And my position on that is complicated:
- I know damn well that they aren’t the original Legion.
- But it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing that says they have to be the original Legion; I’ve become fond of many Legions that aren’t original.
- I hate it when people get stuff wrong. Whether it matters or not.
- But it’s not my job to correct them. Plus, I don’t want to be That Guy.
- So, much as it bugs one part of me, I don’t say anything when people say it’s the original Legion. Unless they invite comment, or something.
- But when someone from DC, like, oh, say, Geoff Johns, who of all people ought to know better, calls them the original Legion, as he sorta did on the ComicBloc forums a while ago, that gets my back up. And I did respond to that.

The differences between the history of the 2x+unboot Legion and the original Legion are many. Some are major, and some are minor; some reach way back into early Legion history, some are more recent. But they’re there. True, some of the differences that date back the earliest are the most minor; Dream Girl’s link to the Dreaming, for instance. It’s enough to qualify the 2x+unbooters as a rebooted version, if only from a nitpicker’s point of view, but fortunately there’s more that we can say.

The most recent changes are things like Karate Kid’s resurrection. Let’s walk through just why this can’t have happened to the original Legion:
- Karate Kid died in the first arc of the 3rd series of LSH, the Baxter series. We know that he wasn’t alive during the rest of the Baxter series. We have no information that he was alive during the Five Year Gap. We can be pretty sure he wasn’t alive during the first part of the Five Years Later series, and we know he was dead during the arc where Mordru causes corpses to rise up and attack everything, because he was one of them. And we didn’t see him alive before End of an Era. So if he came back to life, where was he?
- The 2x+unboot Karate Kid said he had been saved from death by ‘the big three’, which presumably means Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy. If they had a time-travel adventure to bring him back, when was it? In the few issues between Val’s death and Garth, Rokk and Imra retiring from the Legion? If so, then where was Karate Kid after that? It’s not likely it was after that, since we know pretty much what all three of them were up to during all that time, and having Legion-style adventures wasn’t part of it for some very good reasons. Rokk and Imra did return at different times to active duty, but Garth never did.

The most sensible explanation for the 2x+unboot Legion is this: you take an alternate version of the original Legion, almost exactly the same but not quite, and then make some more changes to them in the immediate post-Crisis on Infinite Earths era. Because the most striking thing about them is that they’re very reminiscent of the Levitz era. That’s about how old they are; the costumes are about right; the roster is about right. It’s the simplest explanation, and it’s the one I subscribe to. And, I point out, such a Legion can’t be accurately described as the original Legion. Because the original Legion is the Legion that 5YL happened to, and 5YL obviously never happened to the 2x+unboot Legion.

I’ve encountered the theory that the 2x+unboot Legion is really the original Legion, post-End of an Era; that the Legion just happened to go through whatever changes were necessary to turn the late-5YL-era Legion into the 2x+unboot Legion. To those of us who’ve read the 5YL stories, this is ridiculous. It’s like saying that you can unscramble an egg by putting it in the freezer.

Oh, if you were determined to force such a theory to work, you could; you could start at End of an Era and say, well, the older Legionnaires time-merged with their SW6 clones, and then some extra characters disappeared, and others reappeared, and… But why would we go through such an exercise, when there’s a simpler explanation available to us? (The one I gave two paragraphs up, I mean.)

It’s weird. I posted in that Geoff Johns thread on ComicBloc, to object to his use of the word ‘original’, and I couldn’t believe the arguments I got. The people I was disputing with were not prepared to entertain the notion that this Legion wasn’t the original Legion, and if they had to mangle facts and common sense to stick to that, then that’s what they’d do. But why? Why not just say, “Okay, they aren’t the originals, I don’t care, they’re close enough for me, go away”? I’d accept that; perfectly sensible response. But oh no. Geoff Johns said that it’s the original Legion, and that’s all there is to it. I don’t get it.

That’s another argument: DC owns the characters, so DC gets to do what they want with them; if DC says they’re the originals then they’re the originals. My response: yes, DC owns them, DC can do whatever they want with them, no problem. But DC doesn’t own the word ‘original’ and doesn’t get to define its meaning. The original Legion is the Legion that appeared in the original comics that I paid original money for back in the original 1980s.

Another line of discussion about this that I’d like to pursue is that of DC’s intent with these Legions. I think it’s an important one, too. See, another argument is this: the post-Crisis Legion wasn’t original, because it had the pocket universe reboot. And the Glorithverse Legion was even less original, because of all the stuff with Valor instead of Superboy. So how can I call the Glorithverse Legion original but not the 2x+unboot Legion?

It’s a good argument, and here’s my answer for it. First, it’s true that you could put forth a scenario where, after COIE, the Legion’s history matches that of the 2x+unboot Legion. And you could say that all of the original Legion’s history after COIE happened to some other version of the Legion, and the 2x+unboot Legion is the real original team. But that itself is a retcon, and a big one.

Second, it’s obvious to me, from how Levitz and Giffen and the Bierbaums treated the pocket universe retcon and the Glorithverse retcon, that they were trying to preserve as much of the Legion’s history as possible in the face of stringent editorial demands. They couldn’t keep everything the same, but they obviously tried to keep as many things the same as possible. The post-COIE and Glorithverse Legions were clearly intended to be basically the same entity as the original Legion.

The 2x+unboot Legion is a different story. They were introduced in a five-part JLA/JSA crossover. Because of the size of these groups, because of the limited number of Legionnaires in the story, and because those Legionnaires spent the whole story either amnesiac or secretive, we don’t actually find out a lot about this Legion in those few issues. And what are the things we do find out? Ways in which they’re different from the original Legion. Lots of them. Many of those differences were not at all necessary for the plot of the story; Starman’s implication that Night Girl became a Legionnaire, for instance. What can we conclude but that Johns and Meltzer were trying as hard as they could to establish that this Legion was different from the original?

So I’m confused when it comes to DC’s intent. In the story, it looks like they’re trying to tell us that the 2x+unboot Legion is not the original Legion. In their public communications, it looks like they’re trying to tell us that the 2x+unboot Legion is the original Legion. What’s up?

My theory: what’s up is that we’ve discovered an interaction between DC’s artistic and commercial motivations. Commercially, DC wants to try to make some money by selling the original Legion to the public. Very fine; more power to them. So why don’t they do just that? Because, artistically, they don’t want the original Legion just as it was; they want to put their own spin on it. Also very fine; more power to them. How to compromise? They make the changes and pretend that they didn’t. And that’s where they lose me.

It’s one of the curses of our age: that companies or politicians or whoever can say the most ridiculous things in public and expect to be taken seriously. It doesn’t matter if their public positions can be refuted, because a) hardly anybody’s listening, b) probably nobody will challenge them on it, and c) there aren’t going to be any consequences anyway. The only important thing is to have a public position that sounds like you want it to sound, while you do whatever you want in private.

You might think, then, that I fancy myself some kind of crusading journalist, out to blow the lid off of one of the biggest scandals of our time. Nah. I’m just trying to clear things up for people who are into Legion continuity. DC doesn’t care what I’m saying, for a very good reason: I’m a hardcore comics fan and as such am almost completely irrelevant to their bottom line. So are you, probably.

Have you ever come across this idea? DC believes that they have two (for the purpose of this discussion) kinds of fans: the hardcore fans who go to conventions and read or write comic-book blogs and argue about Legion continuity and stuff, and the regular mainstream fan, who doesn’t. And of the two kinds of fans, the second group is much, much larger, doesn’t communicate with the first group, and doesn’t worry about the same things. And I have a hunch that DC is right about this.

So whatever I have to say about DC’s representation of this Legion as original is no big thing to them, because DC’s main audience isn’t going to read it and doesn’t care. DC knows which side its bread is buttered on, and it isn’t my side. All right; whatever. I just want to make a point of saying that I don’t appreciate DC trying to snow-job me with the word ‘original’. It’s dishonest and insulting. (And while I’m at it I might as well say that I would like to see the real original Legion come back someplace in the multiverse. Maybe they survived End of an Era with no permanent effects, shook off that Legion-on-the-Run malaise, sorted out their membership with the SW6 group… I’d like to see it. Could be some good stories there.)

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48 Comments:

Blogger SteveM said...

When I wrote up the initial articles on the Legion Wiki about the Glorithverse era, someone offered to send me a PDF of the 2995 sourcebook, so it does exist somewhere in electronic form. Me, I have a copy of the original that's bound to fall apart eventually.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Darren said...

This article is really interesting to me. I haven't read the recent JLA/JSA/Legion story yet, but from reading the teasers I assumed that the story took place sometime during the original Legion's run before Karate Kid died, like it was a flashback story from the Legion's point of view. Can you post a link to the full list of things that are different between the Legion from JLA/JSA and the original Legion, such as the Night Girl comment you mentioned?

2:56 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I first listed the differences between the Legions here. Since I wrote that, though, the Sensor Girl/Karate Kid thing has been cleared up a little bit: presumably Jeckie became Sensor Girl after Val died, just as in the original comics, but then 'the big three' had a time-travel adventure and rescued Val.

On the other hand, there are more potential differences now: Timber Wolf had a line of dialogue in the last issue of the crossover that suggested that Light Lass/Lightning Lass was dead. (That's not the only possible interpretation of the line, though.)

Also, Una's appearance in Countdown is worthy of note. Una is apparently what Triplicate Girl is calling herself now that she's down to one body. In original Legion continuity, Luornu did have only one body for a while; the Time Trapper killed her second body in LSH3 #50, and then Glorith brought it back in LSH4 #42 (or thereabouts)(note that this crosses from post-Crisis continuity to Glorithverse continuity). As far as I know she never called herself 'Una' during that time, but that's the time when she might have.

I also originally thought that the Lightning Saga took place between the Great Darkness Saga and Karate Kid's death. That theory actually held water for a while. But eventually it became obvious that Johns and Meltzer were up to something completely different.

stevem: Yeah, I'd like to have a paper copy, but I know time is probably running out on me. Oh well; I'm not going to sweat it too much.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

I think the Legion is the perfect place to track dc's regime changes (although it is all under Levitz so regime might not be the correct word).
First there is the "explain away Superboy" era.
Then there's the "Superboy never existed and you can't even have anything that suggests that he did!" era (which I recalled being blamed on the Legion editor at the time Dan Ras-something)
Then there's the "Let's have a Superboy, but he isn't Superman!" era.
Now we have, "Yes there was a Superboy but we can't call him that" era where they erase all the changes from the last 20 years. From having people like Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen be replaced to Superman being the ONLY survivor of Krypton, everything is being put back like it was in the early 80s and they don't care how they do it. Don't ask questions!
I'm sure that in 20 years they will be retconning away this Supergirl as a confused Daxamite and claim that Hal Jordan really is dead.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I would prefer to believe that DC, though an institution and not an individual, is capable of learning, and won't be doing anything so silly in the future.

That's what I would prefer to believe.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Yestin said...

The use of the double+ legion smacks of blatent pandering to me. The writers wanted to use their own version of the Legion, and then slapped old costumes on them to trick the old fans.

And even more odd, the changes from the old legion all appeared to be totally arbitrary.

-Why have Projectra wearing her post-Val-death costme?
-Why does Dawnstar have to do with Thanagar? They never explain why she wasn't on earth with the others.
-Wildfire is Red Tornado? Really? Is he Firestorm too?


All that would have been fine, if it had just been an interesting/fun story. For example, I didn't mind Starboy's mental instability, or Dream Girl's connection to the dreaming. Those are good examples of a retcon that doesn't change the past, only expands on it.

Fortunately there are two great legion monthlies being printed right now, and maybe all this strange stuff will be straigtened out by Legion of Three Worlds stuff.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

yestin:

-Why have Projectra wearing her post-Val-death costme?

It seems to be because Val was brought back only after Jeckie had become Sensor Girl.

-Why does Dawnstar have to do with Thanagar? They never explain why she wasn't on earth with the others.

Well, they don't explain why any of the Legionnaires were where they were. So that doesn't really bug me.

-Wildfire is Red Tornado? Really? Is he Firestorm too?

Actually I have a theory that Wildfire has something to do with the Red Inferno robots that T.O. Morrow mentioned early in 52.

Fortunately there are two great legion monthlies being printed right now, and maybe all this strange stuff will be straigtened out by Legion of Three Worlds stuff.

I'm not sure if or when we're going to see 'Legion of Three Worlds', but a better candidate for straightening things out is the upcoming Legion arc in Action Comics. Not that I think that arc is going to be completely satisfying; I imagine it'll establish a lot of the 2x+unboot's history and their current status quo, but will leave the deeper continuity questions alone. Which is okay. I don't have to understand something as long as I know what it is that I don't understand.

8:56 AM  
Blogger WAYNE said...

I think the Legion in the recent JLA/JSA crossover really is the original Legion, pre-Five Year Gap. What if the "Big Three" who rescued Karate Kid from death were Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman? Apparently dying and resurrection will be a big theme in the Final Crisis that "Countdown" is leading to. I also noticed every little costume inconsistency and which characters were missing from the Fortress.....I do look forward to an explanation, because NOTHING I've seen adds up so far, such as how Star Boy fast-forwards to Starman, or how he references XS. I think the "Legion of three Worlds" is a refernce to all 3 incrantions of the Legion.....

2:46 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think the Legion in the recent JLA/JSA crossover really is the original Legion, pre-Five Year Gap.

I think it is not, and I think I've defended that position pretty well on this blog. Although I agree that the JLA/JSA crossover Legion is more similar to the original, pre-5YG Legion than it is to anything else.

What if the "Big Three" who rescued Karate Kid from death were Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman?

That would be kind of cool. I can't think how such a story could arise, but that's where imagination comes in.

Apparently dying and resurrection will be a big theme in the Final Crisis that "Countdown" is leading to.

Personally I'd like a break from dying and resurrection.

I do look forward to an explanation, because NOTHING I've seen adds up so far, such as how Star Boy fast-forwards to Starman, or how he references XS.

For Starman, the idea is that when the seven Legionnaires were sent back in time, Star Boy went off course because he wasn't supposed to be one of them. Instead of going where he was supposed to go, he was in the Kingdom Come universe for a long time, during which his antischizophrenia meds wore off and he aged a bit, and eventually found himself on New Earth in Dr. Mid-Nite's care. That's all fine, but it only explains itself and not anything else. And you answered the XS thing yourself:

I think the "Legion of three Worlds" is a refernce to all 3 incrantions of the Legion.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous RDB said...

Wonderful analysis as always, Matthew.

My views on all this stuff evolve on at least a daily basis. If anyone is interested, here is what I am thinking today:

First, Geoff Johns is the current creative force behind Superman. It's easy to forget this, since his work on Action Comics has been SOOOO delayed and his Green Lantern/52/Sinestro Corps/Booster Gold/JSA stuff has been much more high profile. Johns (no doubt in collaboration with DiDio, Busiek and whomever) decided he really wanted to bring back much of the Silver Age mythos associated with Superman. This includes, among other things, the Legion. Johns clearly feels strongly (if his writing in JSA is an accurate indication) that the idea of a young Clark Kent learning how to be superhero from the Legion is a valuable, fruitful part of the Superman mythos.

Once he decided this, he had to decide which Legion Superman would now be associated with. He could have saved us a bunch of trouble and used the Legion currently published by DC. But clearly, Johns wanted access to the Silver Age stories (like the death and resurrection of Lightning Lad), and the current Waid/Kitson Legion doesn't seem to fit those stories very well.

Also, Johns has become DC's chief practitioner of taking an "external" factor--continuity inconsistencies--and "internalizing" them into stories. That, at its heart, is what Infinite Crisis was--a conflict created by how "wrong" the DC characters have been since the first crisis.

Therefore, Johns (in his mind) brings back the "original" Legion, creating the possibility that at least some of those Silver/Bronze age stories "happened" in current DC continuity, just not with the same Legion DC is currently publishing, which creates more potential stories.

I think what bothers me about the differences between the real original Legion and the 2xu Legion is that they are not treated by the storytellers AS differences. So, it's OK to internalize some continuity glitches into the story, but not others. The shame is, it would be so easy to do. With regard to Wildfire being Red Tornado, you can just have Supes saying "I never knew that!" Wildfire could even reply "You knew Superman, but we couldn't let you bring that knowledge back with you, at least until now." With this approach, Superman internalizes the confusion of the reader. Then, you can move on, and address it (maybe) at some point when there is a good story to tell about it. You could do the same for Star Man's mental illness (which I think is really cool, BTW). Thus, the reader's confusion is mirrored by Superman's own uncertainty about how well he REALLY knew his Legion friends. Which, coincidentally, seems to be the whole theme of the upcoming Superman/Legion story in Action.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Thanks for the kind words.

I think what bothers me about the differences between the real original Legion and the 2xu Legion is that they are not treated by the storytellers AS differences.

I'm not sure what you're saying here... do you mean that the storytellers are pretending that they haven't made any changes, that they're trying to tell us that Wildfire's been Red Tornado all along and you and I just never picked up on it? Well, whether that's what you're saying or not, it is kind of the impression I'm getting, and it is annoying.

9:48 PM  
Blogger He Who Wanders said...

Excellent article, Matthew. It summarizes the Mordruverse/Glorithverse/Satanicverse (sorry!) changes to the Legion in a manner that is easy to understand (no small feat!), and also presents a convincing argument for why it matters that the "Lightning Saga" Legion isn't the original team.

I read with great interest your debate on the subject on Comicbloc. It occurred to me that some fans view Johns and/or DC as having almost messianic properties: they say it's the original Legion and therefore it is so. It is not for us mere mortals to question why. (I loved your retort to one fan, to the effect of, "Can Johns say I have a million bucks. Because I can use it.")

For what it's worth, I agree wholeheartedly with your position. I'm not sure how much the changes hinder my enjoyment of the old Legion's "return." It does put a damper on my desire to follow their adventures in other titles, though.

Did I miss something? I'm not sure where the description "2x+unboot" comes from or even how it applies to this Legion. I tried to figure it out -- "two times plus unboot" -- but still can't see the connection. It is rather catchy, though.

It occurs to me that "the big three" could refer to Superboy, Mon-El, and Ultra Boy, who were the three mightiest members of the original Legion. Of course, this would mean Mon wasn't dead when KK was brought back, but, hey, everything else is suspect, so why not? (It also means that Superboy was active with this Legion post-COIE, but has apparently forgotten it. Curse those post-hypnotic suggestions.)

P.S.: If Johns says you have a million bucks, can you get him to say the same for me? I could use some of that godly power to bend reality. :)

10:55 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Thanks.

My main concern about this Legion is that whoever's writing them won't bother to develop them properly as characters because, in their minds, that work has already been done by Paul Levitz et al. way back when... but in reality, they should be treated as new characters in many ways. (Compare that to the meticulous character work done by Waid and Kitson on their version.) Maybe I'm selling Johns and whoever else at DC ends up with this Legion short; maybe they're already aware of the issue and are doing the work. But I haven't seen a story yet that's about this Legion, so nothing's been proven to me.

Nothing would please me more than to see this old/new Legion succeed wildly, from an artistic and commercial point of view. The potential is there for great stories to be told about them; I've never denied that, and I hope it's what happens. But DC has to do it; it isn't going to happen automatically just because the characters look like the Levitz crowd.

Did I miss something? I'm not sure where the description "2x+unboot" comes from or even how it applies to this Legion. I tried to figure it out -- "two times plus unboot" -- but still can't see the connection. It is rather catchy, though.

I was wondering if anybody was ever going to ask. The term is of my own coinage, and it has two meanings: first, that the Legion it refers to is supposed to come from two reboots ago, so you have to 'unboot' it twice to get there. Second, it's a reference to the novel 1984, in which the language of this dystopian society had been twisted to serve the interests of the tyrants in charge. You know, war is peace, freedom is slavery, all that stuff. Anyway, people in that novel referred to really bad things as 'double-plus-ungood': ungood = bad, double-ungood = really bad, double-plus-ungood = worse than really bad. So, through the allusion, I'm trying to convey that the authorities are telling us that this is the Legion from two reboots ago, but it's not. (The fact that the expression in the novel refers to something worse than really bad is coincidental; I don't mean to imply that this version of the Legion is any kind of bad.)

It occurs to me that "the big three" could refer to Superboy, Mon-El, and Ultra Boy, who were the three mightiest members of the original Legion. Of course, this would mean Mon wasn't dead when KK was brought back, but, hey, everything else is suspect, so why not?

That's a possibility. As you say, the Superboy/man thing doesn't quite fit, but I wouldn't worry about the Mon-El angle; there was lots of time after Val's death during which Mon-El was alive, so whether they had the 2x+unboot Mon-El get killed by the Trapper or not, there's still a way to make it work. Least of my concerns.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Marionette said...

If I'm going to be picky, and I am, the original Legion included a Lightning BOY whose colours were red and yellow, and Cosmic Boy wore a fishbowl helmet. The second appearance of the Legion featured characters who claimed to be the children of those who appeared in the first one.

Now I personally think this was the Legion playing one of their jokes on Supergirl, but it's never explained.

The history of the Legion is full of stealth retcons, whether it's adding backstory that adds texture to the narrative with little or no change, or deleting entire characters from their continuity. The only true 'original' Legion is the one that appeared in Adventure #247.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

marionette: I can respond to your comment on two levels.

First, on a factual and literal level, you're absolutely right. (And I’m pretty sure that you already knew that I know that.)

There are reasons why I choose to regard Meltzer’s and Johns’s continuity alterations in a different light from how I regard the ones you cite, but I won't insult your intelligence by going into them; you could come up with them yourself quite easily if you haven't already.

Second is the level on which I try to figure out what you're getting at. As best I can tell, and please correct me if I'm misreading you here, you're implying that I'm making too big a deal out of this, and the 2x+unboot Legion is close enough to the original Legion that we might as well call it that and not sweat the difference.

Well, as soon as we found out that I had a blog devoted to exploring the minutiae of the Legion and you didn't, we knew that we had different ideas about just how much time and energy we were willing to spend on such a subject. And that's cool. So I'm not concerned that this difference should show up again in the middle of the present discussion. I’m making a bigger deal out of this than you would, but then of course I am; what else would I do?

I was perfectly prepared to believe that the Legion appearing in the JLA/JSA crossover was the original Legion. No reason you should have known this, of course. But for the first one or two or three issues of the crossover I was calling them the original Legion. As the crossover went on, Johns and Meltzer persuaded me differently. I'm a straightforward guy; I tend to believe my eyes. Johns and Meltzer kept showing me more and more evidence why this Legion wasn't the original Legion, and eventually, after some deliberation, I said, "Okay. I guess it's not them, then; they must be a new group."

That's my informed opinion as a fairly proficient LSH aficionado. There are things that could change my mind back to its original position, but DC's unsupported word is not one of them.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

Great googly moogly.

I'm new to reading the Legion with the "Threeboot," but I've always been curious about the mechanisms of the reboots and continuity wangles of the old Legion books.

Ye gods, this is messed. My brain died a little bit while trying to figure out the "Lightning Saga" logic.

These posts reminds me more than a little bit of X-Men books. Around 1980, they ran a cool two-issue story about an alternate future. Then later in the eighties, a few characters from that alternate future came to the present. After all, if it was such a cool story, why not revisit it, right?

Then came characters from different alternate futures, parallel dimension versions, and breakdancing robot clone versions. "Revisiting" ran amok.

What made it all so much worse were the hamfisted ways they'd occasionally try to force it into coherence, or, worst of all, when a new writer and/or editor would decide to scrap the old coherence-forcing idea and implement a new one. The result: jibberish, at least to a casual reader of x-books.

The Legion looks like it suffered (or, in the recent JLA/JSA stories, still suffers) from similar problems: revisiting plot mechanisms that needed to be left alone, farting around with the dreaded parallel universe conundrums, and retconning. Oy.

Were I editor, I'd impose a "one story only" rule on any parallel universes and time travel bits, just to keep this crap under wraps. Those worms are too damn hard to cram back in the can. The Pocket Universe made sense when you described that single Levitz story. But to monkey with it again? Madness. It's continuity plutonium. Touch it and your hair falls out.

I congratulate you on the mental exercise it took to parse all this out. It looks like a fun parlor game, though it could drive you to drink.

An unrelated question for those who know -- the piece here suggests that the nine-panel approach of the 5YL Legion was derived from Watchmen. Keith Giffen has used the nine-panel grid for his entire career; it's practically his signature. He's even joked about it in Ambush Bug comics. But I'm not all that familiar with KG's work in pre-Legion days. Did he pick up a love of the nine-panel grid with the Legion, or did he come to the Legion with the approach already formed?

3:43 PM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

Okay, I just answered my own question -- Giffen's nine-panel style predates "Watchmen." "Watchmen" came out in 1986-87, and Giffen was already in full-blown nine-panel-grid mode by 1985, with the first "Ambush Bug" miniseries. The Bug books were also rife with weird meta-tricks like pages from books shown in-panel used to impart information to the reader, etc. I'm sure "Watchmen" influenced him and the series--it influenced everybody, a lot--but not in those particulars.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I congratulate you on the mental exercise it took to parse all this out. It looks like a fun parlor game, though it could drive you to drink.

Thanks. It might seem like it, but this is all well-known stuff among hardcore Legion fans. We haven’t gotten into the really complicated things yet, like just who is Phase, and what did Bart Allen remember?

Giffen's nine-panel style predates "Watchmen."

Cool. I didn’t know that. Thanks. This is one of the reasons why I regard the comments section as an important part of the whole ‘continuity notes’ project…

7:00 PM  
Blogger Reboot said...

From what I understand, the Glorithverse softboot came about because Mike Carlin HATED where TMK were going. And he was the Superman editor, and thus took advantage of that fact to demand the removal of anything connected with his books (i.e., Superman, the kind-of-sort-of already-removed Supergirl and the name Mon-El) from LSH history.

By that story, the Bierbaums came up the Valor idea, after Keith Giffen got really mad and began to plot opening the next issue with a young Rokk Krinn boarding a ship for Earth...

[Then, of course, after all this was done, it was pointed out how important the Pocket Universe was to Post-Crisis Superman's history, and so it was reinserted in Time and Time Again in a fashion that really made no difference to the Legion either way, and has an obviously-relettered "Glorith, the Time Trapper" over a picture of the actual Time Trapper in the explanation.]

> It occurred to me that some fans view Johns and/or DC as having almost messianic properties: they say it's the original Legion and therefore it is so. It is not for us mere mortals to question why.

While. for me. DC died in mid-2003 with The Legion #34 and Young Justice #55, and any movement since has been subsidence in the cemetery...

[The post-Zero Hourverse has to exist to an absolute end, anyway. We saw it at the end of The Legion #14, "cold, starved by entropy, drained of time and of all but the last few glimmers of light". Anything which ends before that is an alternate timeline, so all 52½ post-Infinite Crisisverses are just a badly corrupted Hypertimeline...]

PS: shouldn't it be ++unboot, rather than 2x+unboot?

8:59 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

it was reinserted in Time and Time Again in a fashion that really made no difference to the Legion either way, and has an obviously-relettered "Glorith, the Time Trapper" over a picture of the actual Time Trapper in the explanation.

Did it explain what Glorith wanted with a pocket universe in the first place? Because as you set it out, it doesn't make any sense; Glorith found R.J. Brande and Valor in the mainstream DCU. What purpose does the pocket universe serve for her?

11:19 PM  
Blogger Reboot said...

Basically, it was later "clarified" into being the real Time Trapper after all, and they were confused enough by the methods not to notice the purple cloak, etc.

Or something like that.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

(squints) (frowns) (shrugs)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Greybird said...

You seem to me to be wanting to have it two ways.

When it's a Pocket Universe being cobbled together to save Superboy - with the reasonable objection, "Didn't that make all the Smallville adventures happen on another Earth?" - you're saying that it's all part of the original Legion, one seamless (if convoluted) continuity.

When it's smaller variances that are evident - whether by lack of attention to detail or by the imprecision of time-travel scenarios - in this group of Legionnaires who've traveled back to the present, you're saying that it's another Legion entirely.

I'd say that the simpler route is to say that the first Crisis wrote finito to the original continuity and Legion, and that we've been seeing variants since then from its effects washing forward: CoIE-to-the-Gap, Pocket Universe, Mordruverse, Glorithverse, Zero Hour reset, threeboot, Lightning Saga.

We're not going to get Superboy back, anyway, not while intellectual property lawyers rule the universe of art (Mordru? Trapper? feh, piddling amateurs). So the original Legion is never coming back. But you'll have greater or lesser approximations. The Lightning Saga is the closest such group thus far. Isn't that good enough?

... And could you tell us again why you keep calling it "2x+unboot"? I've long lost track of where you first did so. Even for continuity-tracing fans, this kind of coinage is a bit arcane.

(posted 6 August)

9:40 PM  
Blogger Greybird said...

Erhm, apparently you did do this last, and I skimmed the comments above too rapidly.

"DoublyUnbooted" might do the job without its looking like one of Brainy's equations.

I'd say that the last thing we need, though, with all due respect, is yet more continuity jargon, in semi-math form or not. And now that you link it to Nineteen Eighty-Four, it definitely puts a negative topspin on this latest Legion appearance, whether you intend to do so or not.

That book has iconic power, as does Animal Farm - how many times have we all said, "Some animals are more equal than others"?

You may not, in fact, have a negative view of the Lightning Saga. Your Newspeak-ish coinage - with the link being explained - suggests, though, that you do.

(posted 6 August)

9:52 PM  
Blogger Reboot said...

Here's the page & a bit I meant. Like I said, the mention of Glorith is fairly obviously relettered (even if the "only known him a short time" isn't).

12:12 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Hectic right now! Thorough responses later.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

greybird:

You seem to me to be wanting to have it two ways.

There are differences between the two cases. (Leaving aside the question of whether we can call the pre-empting of the 5YL era a ‘smaller variance’.) First, the post-Crisis and Glorithverse Legions were as close to being the original Legion as editorial fiat would permit them to be, and presented to us as such. This isn't the case with the 2x+unboot Legion; DC clearly intends them to be different from the original Legion, but won't admit it.

Second, the post-Crisis and Glorithverse eras were, at the time, the only stories presented to us that accounted for the Legion's activities after Crisis on Infinite Earths. They weren't competing with any other Legion versions*. But once the post-Crisis and Glorithverse comics existed, they couldn't be just ignored: they established an account of the Legion's activities that the 2x+unboot Legion does seem to be competing with. In such a case, you call the stories that came out first 'original'.

If Johns and Meltzer had presented us with a Legion that resembled the original Legion strongly, but had Superman integrated into their story instead of Superboy, and didn't have Supergirl, and had a different history for Star Boy to reflect his new status as a JSA character, I would have been okay with calling that Legion the original Legion. Even if it there was a problem reconciling them with the post-Crisis and Glorithverse Legions, I would have tried to find a way. Because the intent would have been clear. But Johns and Meltzer hit us over the head with so many differences in the brief windows of opportunity available to them, differences that reached way back into LSH history, differences that weren't necessary (or even, for some of the changes, desirable**) if the only purpose was to weave the original Legion back into DC continuity, that I just can't see that intent there, and therefore I can't make it all fit. I'm willing to meet DC halfway, but I can't supply both halves.

And let me ask this. I've said more than once that I don't care if the 2x+unboot Legion is the original group or not; I'm prepared to buy comics about them anyway and will judge those comics (and the characters within) on their quality. So when I discuss whether they're the originals, to me, that's a debate over a technical point. I don't have anything invested in it. I'm just evaluating the evidence that's before me. And when this 'Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes' arc in Action Comics comes out, it's conceivable that there'll be evidence in there that will change my mind. I don't think that'll happen, but if it does, I will change my mind, without embarrassment. It's nothing to me if they're the originals or not. It's not an 'exacting standard' because it's not a standard at all. It's semantics. (I don't say, 'just semantics'; semantics are worth our attention.)

So why's it so important to you, or anybody, whether they're the originals or not? You could have just said, 'Matthew, you've got a point, but Dawny's got her wings and it's close enough for me and that's all I care about.' I believe it's because you believe that there's a value judgment attached to whether a given version of the Legion is original or not. Like, you say:

The Lightning Saga is the closest such group thus far. Isn't that good enough?

“Good enough” was never the point at issue. The Lightning Saga group is a valid version of the Legion. Isn’t that good enough?

You may not, in fact, have a negative view of the Lightning Saga. Your Newspeak-ish coinage - with the link being explained - suggests, though, that you do.

One reason why I use '2x+unboot' is that I think it's clever and when I think up something that I think is clever, I like to use it.

As for the negativity... you do have a point. I am trying to be as fair to this version of the Legion as possible. It's like... you know what it's like? It's like the Toronto Maple Leafs. I'm sure this little excursion won't mean much to anybody who lives outside the Toronto area, but here goes anyway.

The Maple Leafs are the NHL hockey team in Toronto. They haven't won the Stanley Cup in over forty years, which is a fairly long time by NHL standards. Compare them, though, with the other major-league teams in Toronto: the Raptors haven't won any championships, but they're new enough that there's no stigma to that, and they have a very promising team; the Blue Jays (who I am a fan of) have two championships in the last couple of decades; the Argonauts have won multiple Grey Cups in the same span of time. The Raptors, Jays and Argos have all been somewhat competitive recently; the Leafs have missed the playoffs the last two years (in a league in which you can get into the playoffs if you can go to the bathroom by yourself).

The Leafs are, by far, by far, the most popular sports team in Toronto.

They enjoy a degree of support among Toronto fans that they have not earned at all, especially compared to the other three teams. To an outside observer, it looks like the Leafs organization figures that, as long as they have all this support, there's no pressure on them to actually be good. And they are not good. I don't claim that there's a connection.

I'm not a hockey guy. I don't care about the Leafs at all, although I have the same vague sort of goodwill for them that I have for the Raptors and Argos, because they're the local teams. But I do resent the amount of support that they're getting, unearned, that the other teams are not getting, despite better performances.

The 2x+unboot Legion is like the Leafs. I like them, because they're the Legion. But I resent the amount of support they're getting, unearned, that the other Legion versions are not getting, despite some excellent comics that have featured them.

So that's one way in which I am negative about them. Another is that I resent DC's trying to sell me a bill of goods by calling them the original Legion when they're no such thing. And I have some misgivings that DC won't feel any pressure to actually make this new Legion any good, as long as they can just coast by on the strength of resembling the original Legion. If this Legion turns out to be worthy of comparison to the original Legion, nobody will be happier than me... but as far as my own usage is concerned, I'm going to let the name stand.

* that is, once LSH #300 maneuvered the Adult Legion stories off to the side a bit.
** I'm thinking specifically of the Wildfire/Red Tornado thing here.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

reboot: When did that happen? Was that... when was that?

10:39 PM  
Blogger Reboot said...

You sound befuddled :)

Adventures of Superman #478; Time and Time Again, Phase VII.

Superman's been bouncing through time, hitting the three LSH founders in their early days, the late-WW2 JSA, the Cockrum-era Legion, prehistoric Earth and a couple of trips I forget, and has just landed in the 5YL Legion period.

About twenty minutes later, the "Linear Man" blows up the moon to send Supes home.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I am befuddled, a little.

I just went to comics.org to find out when that was published but their database was down. Was it before Zero Hour?

12:37 PM  
Blogger Reboot said...

Glorithverse, surprisingly enough (although a couple of bits from TATA got a revisit in Lgs 61/LSH4 105), as Valorgirl/Andromeda being present in the fb might clue you into.

This specific issue was apparently published between LSH4 18 & 19.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I was just wondering if it was maybe from the reboot period, for some eggless reason.

Oh well; it's all been swept away now. I hope.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous KillJokrz said...

Hello,
I've been reading the Legion since Legion Annual #1, my first issue, and have missed them since they faded from existence at the end of End of an Era. Everything since that moment have been hints of an idea wrapped in a moment inspired by self referential crap revisiting old idea after old idea...and dressing up in snake skin calling it NEW.

That said, there is NOTHING in print disproving the current Lighting Saga Legion as being just as they seem to set out to be: The Legion of Super Heroes...pre 5 Years Later.

If Cosmic Boy is the the Time Trapper, then there is NO reason Karate Kid can have been "saved" during the Gap. Period.

If some undisclosed ADVENTURE takes place during said GAP causes Bouncing Boy's wife to call herself UNA while she travels back in time....then so be it. Reflecto never had it so good!

The readers were never privy to what REALLY happened Pre 5 yrs later and that was allways a time left open for the imagination.

As far as the Legion is concerned this could and may well be an ADVENTURE that at it's conclusion they simply forget ever happened because their mission was a success. Similar to the "original" team-up with the JLA/JSA when they FIRST met Darksied. Years before The Great Darkness Saga.

In the spirit of ORIGINALITY, until the story ends I am all for reading it to its end before I begin cross referencing published issues against non 5 year gap ones.

I do appreciate the passion that goes into trying to debunk the current alleged return of everyone's favorite Legion...I do!

However, in trying to educate us readers of your blog about how DC is trying to "pull something" and "it aint right"....is where you lose me.

This has been the first glimmer of hope since the SNAKE uncoiled its fake arms and just like Lyle Norg met Jacques Foccart( in the DREAMING?), I'll just wait n see what really is going on.

Guess that makes me a 3rd type of comic fan. :)

3:32 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, at this point, I've presented all the arguments I have, and you've either decided to subscribe to my newsletter or not. For now, all we're doing is waiting on further information from DC. There are a lot of things that could come out of the upcoming arc in Action Comics, but I don't happen to expect 'me eating my words' to be among them.

As for this:

This has been the first glimmer of hope since the SNAKE uncoiled its fake arms

...that's where you lose me. Because I've scarcely met a version of the Legion that I didn't like; I miss the originals too but I haven't spent all this time pining for them, because there have been too many good new Legion comics to read in the meantime.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous KillJokrz said...

No pining, sir. Just a refreshing sigh of seeing the return of old friends.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I understand that... but to me, the problem is that we haven't had it demonstrated that they are, in any meaningful way, old friends. Whether they're technically the original group or not, are current writers going to be able to present them to us with the same feel as Paul Levitz did? Because, if not, it's going to disappoint a lot of old-school fans. To me, as long as they're written well (which isn't automatic either), it doesn't matter if they evoke that ol' Levitz spirit or not, but I don't think everyone's with me on that.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Yestin said...

I think perhaps some of the different opinions about the 2x+unboot legion come from the reader's opinion about the Lightning Saga story itself. For my money, it wasn't really much of a "Saga", having a bunch of characters wearing Pre-boot costumes only added confusion.

Since I have no particular emotional connection to that set of costumes, I viewed the 2x+unboot legion as just another timeline. I thought "hey they look like the 80s legion, maybe that's who superman hung out with now". So I had no predisposition to dislike them, in fact I liked the idea of creating a Legion for Superman's past, separate from the main LSH book.

The first problem was that the story bored me and was full of jarring chracterization. The plot, while fun at first, petered out in the second half. The ending was... nonsensical. After 5 issues, we still don't know why the Legion came back in time, why they were scattered and amnesiac, why they expected to die, etc

The second problem was that every time the Legion did something it drew attention to the fact that they didn't fit into continuity, which again distracted from the story.

3:32 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That could be. I didn't dislike the story, but it certainly had its weaknesses; not a lot happened and it was obviously designed to accomplish two things (introduce the 2x+unboot Legion and reintroduce the Wests) which could have been done in a single issue.

Early on, it looked like it could have been better than that. If, you know, Degaton and the Ultra-Humanite and Despero had actually been part of this story.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but any Legion where Mon-El was "Valor" and all of the Biernbaum's little pet fan-fic notions get shoehorned and plastered all over the characters whether it makes sense or not...is NOT the original Legion.

I grew up reading about Garth and Imra married. Not Imra and Proty-who-deep-down-everyone-knows-is-Proty-but-they-call-him-Garth.

In fact, if the Lightning Saga Legion leads to such fic-fic distortions being obliterated and forgotten, I'll be glad.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, that era of the Legion was my favourite, so I'm only sympathetic to your views up to a point. But I do understand what you're saying.

All I can say is, from a continuity standpoint, it was as close to being a seamless part of original Legion continuity as it was possible for it to be. Whether you could bring yourself to sign up for the content is an important but separate issue.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous KillJokrz said...

"All I can say is, from a continuity standpoint, it was as close to being a seamless part of original Legion continuity as it was possible for it to be. "

That pretty much sums up for me why I want to focus my Legion love towards the Legion appearing in JLA/JSA. I've read pretty much all the Legion stories since they first appeared and I felt the closure of END OF AN ERA, but any chance of filling in those "gaps" in between are fine by me.

I'd rather see that then another version of "What -If Legion", thats just cheap and lazy.
The "old friends" being refered to werent limited to Paul Levitz's stories. It was the entire Legion history I was thinking about.
And that spirit seemed to have been jarred the MOST with the JLA/JSA/Legion crossover.
So if any writer is given the go ahead to continue the adventures from the MAGIC WARS....and decides to have Karate Kid rescued from death ( possibly as a time lost Legionarrie and Jeckie finds happiness for only a short time)....

More power to em!

1:48 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That pretty much sums up for me why I want to focus my Legion love towards the Legion appearing in JLA/JSA.

Well, I hope that it works out for you. But I think people are ascribing all kinds of qualities to that Legion that they haven't shown at all yet.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is the 5 year later stories collected in a trade paperback somewhere? I remember a time when that was the only book I was reading...

2:26 PM  
Anonymous tim p. said...

what if the Lightning Saga is from New Earth's future.

New Earth has proven to be influenced by very precise periods while at times maintaining perhaps just a spiritual connection.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

No, the 5YL stories haven't been collected. Not many Legion stories have, other than the archives, up until the threeboot. For the original Legion you've got the twelve volumes of archives, then the Great Darkness TPB (out of print but findable), and the upcoming Eye for an Eye arc. For the reboot Legion there's a TPB for their origin and first adventures (The Beginning of Tomorrow, I think) and the Darkseid story DnA did (Foundations). Nowhere near enough. There's no good reason for not having trades of Legion Lost, for one thing.

Tim P: There are so many plausible ways DC could arrange the various Legions among the futures of their various worlds that it's stopped being an interesting question to me. It's possible that the answer, when they get around to revealing it, will turn out to be interesting, but I wouldn't put money on it.

2:20 PM  
Blogger crood said...

Your comments about Una do not fit the facts we've seen.

Her first body's death at Computo's hands occurred before Karate Kid joined the Legion. Her second body's death occurred after her Karate Kid's deat. He would not have called her "Triplicate Girl", only to have her correct him with the Una name, unless he'd worked with he under that name.

In their guest appearance in Supergirl, she stated her other bodies were still in the future.

Since the Computo incident was established as having occurred in "Lightning Saga", we can only presume here third body was restored at some point, just as Karate Kid had been

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This much can be said for the 5YL run;there's no middle ground among Legion fans.Either it's the Legion's apotheosis or it's half-baked fan fiction.Don't know of many other comics that have that kind of polarizing effect.That's an achievement of some kind,at least.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

One thing I particularly like about it is that they were trying stuff. I always like it when people try stuff.

4:09 PM  

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