Monday, February 02, 2009

Legion of Super-Heroes #50 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Brainiac 5 figures out the way to deal with the mysterious enemy is to upload some Legionnaires into their virtual domain. One of those Legionnaires is Invisible Kid, who insists on having some modifications made to the version of himself that gets sent in there. Those modifications turn out to be really useful as a way for Brainy to get a handle on this programmed reality and just what's what in there, and he takes control of the whole thing and stops the attack. As he reconstitutes the Legion team into their bodies, he figures he might as well use the same technique to remanifest Dream Girl, complete with her eyes. And that's it for the threeboot.

Review:

I didn't actually get this issue until Sunday the 1st. But I'm not really a stickler when it comes to spoilers, so I was quite cognizant of the online reaction to this issue before I got my copy. Based on what, for instance, the boys and girls on the Legion World forums were saying, LSH v5 #50 was one of the worst comics every published by DC. When I opened it, I was expecting, basically, twenty-two pieces of used toilet paper, attached by two staples. My reaction after reading it?

Man, some people out there are overreacting.

First I'll talk about what is there, and then I'll get to what isn't there.

The art is by one Ramon Bachs. I was not previously familiar with this gent's work. Certainly, he's no Manapul, but I think there's only one of those around, so I won't hold that against Bachs. No, really, the art is above average for Legion fill-in art; I've seen way worse art than this in Legion comics. There's no problem with the job Bachs did. There were quite a few panels I liked... let me pick one out... how about the top of page 6, where the Legionnaires arrive in destroyerspace or whatever we're calling it?

The story, by someone of a shy and retiring disposition, focuses entirely on resolving the destroyers/intruder-planet storyline. And it does a decent job of this. Brainy and Lyle's solution to the invaders was perfectly plausible by superhero-comic standards.

I'd also like to note that the issue was fairly self-contained, which, as you know, I appreciate.

The trials and tribulations of Dream Girl have been an unsavory mess for way too long. Waid and Bedard and Shooter, in my opinion, completely mishandled the whole thing. There was a lot of potential there – neat stuff, a Legionnaire whose existence is purely theoretical – but we just got a lot of mischaracterization instead. Given what has gone before, though, her resurrection in this issue isn't a bad development, and the possibility of it happening occurred to some of us a couple of issues ago.

My biggest complaint: Gazelle was acting totally out of character all issue long. She's not recognizable as the character Shooter created.

One thing about these aliens: in their methods and goals, they're quite a bit like Brainiac (in the JLU and LSH cartoons, if nothing else), aren't they?

It's quite possible, even likely, that I didn't mind this comic so much because my expectations had been set low before I opened it. Because we had been promised a lot of stuff for this issue that we didn't get: Shooter and Manapul, Cosmic Boy, a Legionnaire dying, a resolution of the Projectra stuff... I guess the lesson is to never trust the solicits. It's not like this is the first time they've been inaccurate.

Here's what I thought happened. I figured that DC needed the threeboot Legion to match, at the end of this issue, the threeboot Legion shown on that splash page in FC:L3W #2. Therefore, they couldn't bring back Cosmic Boy, they couldn't do anything to get Jeckie off the team... et cetera. And that made sense to me. But why, then, do they allow Sun Boy and Gazelle and Dream Girl continued active membership, when those three weren't shown on that splash page? I dunno.

The Projectra storyline, in particular... that's the big one. One of three things is going to happen with that:
1.her insanity and crimes are going to be addressed in whatever Legion comic comes out of... uh... it'll be addressed someday.
2.the threeboot Legion isn't going to survive FC:L3W in any form that keeps the question of Projectra's actions relevant.
3.the whole thing will just never be brought up again.

Bets?

I sympathize with everyone who wasn't happy with this comic book. It wasn't what we were hoping it would be. It was the last chance for LSH v5 to show the potential we had all seen in it over the last four-plus years, and DC's handling of this issue seemed to show less interest in achieving that potential than ever before.

And if anyone should be mad about that, it's me. I've been blogging, all this time, about how great this take on the Legion could and should be. I've been defending it on message boards. And it turns out, I can handle myself okay when talking up this Legion to just about anybody... except DC. I believed in this team more than they did, and now I'm just sitting here looking like a jerk. So, okay: nice one, DC! Got me that time!

But it's not worth making a big thing about. In a way, we all knew something like this was coming, right? As soon as we saw Dawnstar's arm on the last page of JSA #1, that should have tipped us off right there. Couple of years later, and now the threeboot is being chopped up for firewood to burn in the FC:L3W furnaces.

Man, the threeboot was abandoned by a lot of people, wasn't it? Steve Wacker quit on it. Waid and Kitson quit on it. DC cut its legs out from under it. All kinds of readers quit on it. Even Shooter and Manapul bailed on it before the end.

But I still like it.

Anyway, #50 was a competent comic book, but it's no way to say goodbye to the threeboot. So I'll try to put something together myself, sometime before the next Legion series starts. I suspect I'll have quite a bit of time to think. Meanwhile let me leave you with this:



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31 Comments:

Blogger Rickshaw1 said...

Sorry Matthew, i cannot agree.

Yes, some panels were drawn okay. But then you have to admit that some really stunk up the house. Take the Invisible Kid second "reveal" to "Gazelle". The character looked like he went from Superman to Supertot. The scenes with the team flying and IK is the "superman" version are also bad. I did not take the art to task simply because I believed it to be a function of timing, that the fill-in artist simply didn't have the time to do it as well as he could have. I did see some touches of very good art, such as the bottom panel of page one, but then I would see the last page, and it was substantially less than par.

The only portions of art that were objectively good were the ones of the actual alien invasion race. But, that can be attributed to the fact that it was the first, and hopefully last time that they have been seen, so there is no previous visual reference for them.

More subplots were jettisoned than Obama shedding embarrasing mentors before the election. Nothing on Jeckie. Nothing on Brin. Nothing on the return of Cos. Nothing in fact on the vast majority of the cast.

The conclusion: Yes, this did wrap up the series, and thank God for that. However, it's obvious that while the writer had Shooters story outline if nothing else to try and finish with, they lacked his vision or a true understanding of the storyline, including what the writer him/herself came up with.

Legionaire's died, and were then cloned into new bodies. Yet the author had themselves set up that what went into the Virtual World was not in fact the soul of the people going in. So, what you basically had at the end of the story was souless, animated bodies that happened to have the memories and "personality programming" of the now deceased legionaires.

Add to this the final page line thanking the longtime readers for their support, a single line in tiny print, and it becomes apparant that little real effort went into producing this book other than trying to get it out on time.

You may think we over-reacted to this issue. I think many of us were in fact far to kind.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Marina said...

Here's what bothers me the most: I never thought I'd finish a Legion Series thinking It could be worse...

Honestly, I was dreading to open this issue. The previous one had horrible things happening to some of my favorite characters, and the previews stated that someone was going to die! Turns out it wasn't too bad. I liked the solutions and didn't mind the loose ends so much. Things don't have to make sense all the time. This is a comicbook, not an exercise on logics. But to say that was the best way to close v5... hellz, no!

Ultra-boy was drawn kind of cute.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Rickshaw1: No, the art wasn't *great*, but as fill-ins go, it was fine.

I know that subplots weren't resolved, and that's regrettable (and I'm going to be interested to see if any of them are ever picked up on again), but that doesn't affect what actually *is* in the comic book.

As for the 'soulless animated bodies' thing... I'll have to check that again. (And it'll take a while, because my copies of #1-49 are hundreds of miles away from me at the moment.) But that's a detail that can be easily waved off as a lost nuance of technical exposition, and I don't plan on treating it as anything else.

The thanks-to-the-fans line didn't bother me. Should they not have said it? Of course they should have said it. Imagine how offended you'd be if they didn't. Still, talk is cheap. If DC appreciates us, which I'm generally willing to accept, then what they should do is show it, and the way to show it is by publishing good Legion comics. Which is exactly what they seem to be having trouble with these days. But I don't think it's because they don't want to.

it becomes apparant that little real effort went into producing this book other than trying to get it out on time.
I agree with this. However, I also think it's been... not uniformly true, but more or less true, since Supergirl showed up. Certainly since Geoff Johns started sticking his oar in.
If #50 wasn't the last issue of the series, if it was just another fill-in, people wouldn't be complaining like this. It's only the special expectations that we have for a final issue that cause us to judge it by a different standard. On a scale of 1 to 10, this comic book is maybe a 4. I could go as high as 5. But people are talking about it like it's -30, and it's just not that.
Marina: the best way to close v5 is to not close it! Ahhh, it was all so unnecessary. If they had just left it alone with a good creative team it could have been an amazing comic book. But oh no. Nothing would do but that they had to pretend to bring back the original Legion. Torpedoed right below the waterline.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as front covers go, that was amazing, some of it was close to coming right off the page. I must admit, the issue wasn' bad overall. I was expecting a real horror inside, but everything was nicely wrapped up that needed to be. But it felt like the end of one story and the beginning of another. And the bit with dream girl felt like just some random thing thrown in to have a happy ending.

It felt like Shooter got the last laugh on DC overall somehow... I suddenly adire how this issue fell into the situation it is in.

My choice of for the last few panels... It would have been Projecta throwing a rage fit in her room at being defeated rather then Dream Girl coming back tolife. It would have hit the emotional side a lot more seeing her reactions to loosing everything once again.

10:34 AM  
Blogger rdb said...

Hey Matt! Great analysis as usual. Despite my rantings on Legion World, I about agree with you on #50's merits as an individual comic. But given the circumstances, it's impossible to NOT conflate the production on #50 with the ending and entire run of the 3Boot.

I would LOVE, at some point, to get your take on the premise of the 3Boot, which you sum up beautifully with those 2 panels. I think Waid INTENDED the 3Boot to be a comic version of what became the millenial generation/Obama campaign sort of phenomenon. He actually pre-dated it by a couple of years, but in a few places got it right, and in most places blew it by making the Legionnaires sound like baby boomers from 1970. But it was still a very interesting idea, seemingly well-suited for the Legion, and everyone hated it! What amused me is that the hatred toward the idea seemed to confirm that hardcore Legion fans are REALLY old. The fans took the Legionnaires' "underage" attitudes personnally, and there's probably nothing better than having the heroes insult your core readership to torpedo a comic. Anyway, I would be very interested in your take on that.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

One way of looking at it is to say that this issue ended the threeboot but didn't resolve it. Basically, DC is putting all its Legion eggs in one basket, a basket that we can't see and aren't even really sure exists.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

rdb: Thanks! My ideas about the Boomer-or-Millennial nature of the threeboot are already summed up by the first article in the Columns page on this site, The 346th Great Awakening (a radically revised and expanded version of which appears in the book Teenagers from the Future, available now). But I'm going to be writing more about the threeboot later on, and I'm sure I'll touch on this again.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rdb:

...What amused me is that the hatred toward the idea seemed to confirm that hardcore Legion fans are REALLY old...

I've only read portions of Waid/Kitson, but I don't hate it. There are some flaws I've seen, but I was expecting to genuinely loathe it, given all the "warnings" from "hard core fans" I heard about it first.

...The fans took the Legionnaires' "underage" attitudes personnally,...

Hmm. Most of the complaints I heard had more to do with the implausibility of a historical AND social movement of the magnitude Waid descirbed not just originating, but being exclusively maintained, by people thought of as "underagers." It does ring a little false, but I assume that was addressed at least in part in some of the stories I haven't gotten to read yet.

Then you've got the inevitable contradictions that arise when a huge corporation tries to package rebellion and sell it back to the people who crave some form of rebellion, but that's a whole other sidebar-- so never mind.

...and there's probably nothing better than having the heroes insult your core readership to torpedo a comic.

I don't know how much that would matter if DC genuinely promoted their product to a wider audience in a forward-thinking manner. I'm not the first person to mention this [waves at Matt] and likely I won't be the last. I hate to be a cynical old fart, but the truth is that the quality of entertainment is of secondary importance to how effectively its marketed-- when it comes to profitability. DC was treating fans as a small base to be milked for more and more money when I left fandom a couple of decades ago. (Hence all the crossovers, special editions, and so forth meant to make buying one or two series to follow a story impossible. To be fair, so was Marvel.) That doesn't seem to have changed at all, in the time I've been gone. Companies would rather wring dry the fans they've got rather than aggressively seek new fans, and this is what you get.

-- cleome45

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Darrell Lawrence said...

This is about all I have to say about it:
http://www.legionarchives.com/images/three_dawny.jpg

3:14 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

cleome: Greater minds than mine have dashed themselves against the bulwark of just why it is that DC and Marvel aren't trying for wider audiences. I just don't get it. What's the downside?

Darrell: Yes, that seems to be what's happening, but:

- I don't like it because it's obnoxious, and
- whatever it is we get in return had better be good, and I am not at all sure that that's what's going to happen.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt:

...What's the downside ?...

I stand by an earlier theory. The one where freeing up money for advertising and promotion would mean firing a bunch of Executive-Assistant-Something-or-Others. I've looked at the credits inside the trades that I've checked out of the library. Apparently it takes upwards of two hundred people to put one of those things out, apart from the writer, artists, colorist, letterer, editors and printers.

All kidding aside, I had to skip out of voting "Yay" or "Nay" to the Threeboot at the Legion World poll. Someday I'll hopefully get to read the whole thing, not just sections, in the correct order. Until then, abstention seems like the fairest choice. :/

-- cleome45

12:16 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't buy that. It takes money to make money. And we're talking about, potentially, making a *lot* of money.

Obviously you wouldn't bother to expand your audience if it was less profitable to do so. But how could it be?

As for the yea-or-nay thread, I found it a simple enough decision. Did I like it? Yes? Then I vote 'yea'.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...But how could it be?

Well, I never claimed my theory was one I would go with in any kind of authority position. I would like to believe that somebody important would think more along the lines you describe, but... [shrug]

I'm just glad that the debate about Threeboot isn't quite as... intense as one I stumbled onto regarding 5YL-- over at another board whose identity escapes me now. It was a pretty recent discussion about comics a couple of decades (???) old at this point;Ten posts or so in the flames were so high on both sides that you could've thrown a BBQ and invited your whole neighbo(u)rhood. Yikes. o_0

-- cleome45

4:36 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, it's not really much of a debate. I'm one of the bigger threeboot fans around and I can't argue that it was a roaring success. There are people out there who will say it was an abomination and I don't know what to say to them... and even if I came up with something I wouldn't be able to say it very strongly.

5YL, on the other hand, was a) the first time there had been a big shift in style, tone and continuity (and all at the same time!) for Legion comics, and a lot of people couldn't handle it, couldn't realize that what they were seeing was great.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel confident at this point not considering Threeboot an "abomination." As a reader who wandered gradually away from superheroes into non-heroic "alternative" stuff before leaving comics behind almost altogether (for a very long time)-- I didn't have a violently negative reaction when I first saw Threeboot, and I probably never will. My first thought was that in the years I'd been gone, superheroes and "alternatives" had swapped a lot of what I would have once described as their respective "typical" characteristics. There seems to be a recurring complaint with Threeboot that "nothing happens." That there's a lot of people standing around yapping and not enough action. But I don't consider that a negative thing, given that I love exposition and talking heads if they're put together well.

I have no idea whether the creative or editorial people were trying to deliberately make that association in readers' minds, but I felt it right away.

I was also a real sucker for a lot of Kitson's designs, especially the cityscapes. :)

-- cleome45

5:11 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, I don't think it's an abomination either, obviously, but you'll be shocked to find out that some people out there can be kind of narrow-minded about the Legion.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Christopher Bird said...

I'm kind of in the middle. I didn't think it was the abomination a lot of online fans immediately deemed it to be, but then again I didn't think it was particularly good, either - just Yet Another Mediocre Legion Comic, the latest in a long long line with little to no sense of urgency, adventure or joy to it. I read comics like this and I completely understand why sales are dwindling across the board at a record clip.

As for the future of the threeboot - and for that matter the original reboot Legion - the foreshadowing is already on the wall, where "valued" reboot characters like XS are being revealed to REALLY BE FROM NEW EARTH! and the threeboot edition of Sun Boy gets offed for no more reason than to give Original Version Sun Boy an angstful character moment.

We're going to get Johns' recycled Legion, almost certainly, and we'll get it maybe twice a month in Adventure Comics. If I was going to come up with a plan to permanently kill the franchise, it would look something like that.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Twice a month? You mean twice a year or something, right?

I think that the threeboot had the seeds of greatness in it, but that the execution was off. Waid and Bedard and Shooter all came up with some really intriguing ideas, but seemed unable to turn them into good fast-moving superhero stories. (As opposed to Johns, who can tell a story like nobody's business but has yet to come up with a single idea for the Legion that captures my attention.)

Actually, I think DC might have the right idea for how to handle the Legion: with their appearances in JLA/JSA, Action, FC:L3W, et cetera, they're exposing the Legion to readers who've never seen 'em before, and building interest. Creating demand. A stint in the Adventure Comics timeshare ought to have the same effect. By the time DC's ready to give the Legion their own series again, there should be a big audience ready for it.

The only thing I'm not sure about is whether the new take on the Legion is going to be any good. All I can see from here is Door Number Three.

3:01 PM  
OpenID coldrian said...

I'm glad you posted those last two panels. They just speak volumes of why I like this Legion so much. I know a lot of Legion fans prefer a fraternity-type Legion, but I prefer my Legion this way, as a non-exclusive group bound only by the goal of changing the ways things are. I would've included the panel at the end of this version's Dominator War, where Cosmic Boy talks about the Legion not being a team, but a movement, where everyone willing to fight for change is welcome to call himself/herself a Legionnaire.

Issues 1-13 were awesome. Just awesome. And i'm still looking for words to express why those were awesome and supremely important. Those are the Legion issues I'll be keeping for a long time.

The majority of readers are probably looking forward to the post-L3W version, but I know I'm not. I'll be waiting for the next reboot, which I hope will bring back a threeboot type version, not the retroboot version we're seeing now.

Thanks, Matthew, for all your work covering and supporting the Threeboot. I really appreciate it. Thanks!

5:42 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, the post-FC:L3W Legion, whatever (and whenever!) it turns out to be, could be good. It could be really good! I hope it is! But it certainly doesn't have to be.

I'm looking forward to a really good regular Legion comic. As soon as DC can make one.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, and, sorry:

Thanks for the kind words. I enjoyed every minute of it and I just wish more people had seen what we saw.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

As an issue of the Legion, #50 was... eh. Okay. Not great, but not disastrous; there have been far worse individual issues. It tied up a couple plots, as it should.

The problem is that this wasn't an issue, this was the issue, the one which should have wrapped it all up and sent it off with a bang (rather than a whimper).

This issue was the epitome of a series limping to a close, being taken out behind the barn and shot.

Everyone involved takes a share of the blame, but if I were to toss the lion's share of it, it would be to Waid. The Legion world he set up was ultimately cold and soulless, without enough of the traditional superhero tropes to keep things rolling along (and without stuff like the fill-in-the-gaps of the TMK Legion to replace with). We never learned how this Legion was created, what gave them their initial drive, and what kept them going past that. They simply were, and that's not enough. There was no sense of wonder, no deep threat(ooh, robots!), just a prevasive "Yeah, whatever, suck it old guys."

The only reason to come back was because it was the only Legion option out there.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I can go along with a lot of your complaints, but it's nothing that couldn't have been fixed. But by who? Waid ducked out, Bedard wasn't given the time, and Shooter certainly didn't seem inclined. The threeboot had the seeds of greatness in it and DC forgot to water them.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Matthew E wrote:
The threeboot had the seeds of greatness in it and DC forgot to water them.

That's my problem: what "seeds of greatness"? What facets of the threeboot Legion were there, unexplored or underutilized and not present in the reboot Legion that preceded it, which could have/should have made this version of the Legion something for the ages? What will be bemoaning five years from now as lost chances?

Name three such "seeds". I don't think you can manage two.

I think back over the past four years, and I can barely remember significant plot details. Three or four novel characterization variants and relationship switch up, maybe, but too few and too far between, nothing to really make me long for more threeboot stories.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Name three such "seeds".

1. The idea of the Legion as a superheroic social movement is a really neat one. I would have liked to see it explored in depth. We've had superhero stories for seventy years now and it's all too seldom that anyone tries to seriously explore what superheroism is all about and what it could be all about. This was such an opportunity.

1a. I also liked the whole generational aspect of things, but I realize that that's just me and it got in the way for most people.

2. Waid's characterizations of the Legionnaires were top-drawer. Yes, there were some that he never quite got to develop, but most of them (Cosmic Boy, Sun Boy, Light Lass, Supergirl) were good and some of them (Chameleon, Invisible Kid) were nothing short of genius. I wanted more of it, but Bedard and Shooter were unable or unwilling to follow up.

3. In the first half or two-thirds of his run, Waid experimented with different ways of communicating things to the audience. This is something that I have to write an article about someday, because I haven't come to the end of figuring it out yet. But there was a lot going on there, and I wonder where it all could have gone.

4. Does the art count? Because the regular artists on this title have been fantastic.

5. There were a lot of miscellaneous notions that surfaced here and there that could obviously have been the seeds of interesting stories. Bizarro-Brainiac. A Legionnaire who only exists as a dream in the minds of her teammates. Cargg. The Knights Tempus. Validus the Storm-God.

6. One thing Shooter did do, and to me it's the best thing about his run, is to try and inject some real science fiction into his stories. So you had Gazelle with her glycol, and real-but-previously-unknown-to-me features of the solar system like the Scattered Disk, and things like that. No reason that couldn't have been done in the reboot, I suppose...

That's what I came up with. I don't know if I could think of more if I spent time on it; maybe one or two.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

See, we're going to differ greatly on what a "seed of greatness" is.

To me, tweaking the presentation of characters that have been around for 40-50 years doesn't qualify. Creating new characters which echo strongly with the readers would -- look at Blok and Quislet, or Kono, or XS and Gates and Kinetix. I'll grant you that Invisible Kid's revamp ranks up there with the likes of Senator Tenzil, though (although it owes a lot to the reboot Lyle, IMHO).

I feel similar about the injection of science elements. If that were the basis of the bulk of the Threeboot, maybe it would be such a "seed", but I don't know that it is anything to echo through the ages. It was part of the frosting, not part of the cake.

And also the "miscellaneous notions". Yeah, some were good (and some were crap), but we get those in any era. They have to come back as a recurring theme to transcend to a higher level.

(One thing I'll agree with, though, is that Threeboot was definitely about new ways of seeing the familiar characters and tropes, be they non-speaking telepaths or multiplicating Carggites or a broadly colonized solar system. Cumulatively, I'll go for "looking at everything from a new angle" as a seed of greatness, as something that we'll look back on positively with this Legion.)

I'm not sure what you mean about Waid experimenting with ways to communicate to the audience. But even then, things like that and Kitson's and Manapul's art are really more personal to the creative team members. The threeboot shines because of them, but they don't seem tied to it to me.

I think I'll also go along with the "superhero as social movement" as a seed of greatness. It's easy to look back and dismiss it with "Suck it, grandpa", but there was more breadth to it than that in the first year and a half, and Shooter echoed angles of it in his first few months. Superheroes have been mostly assumed in other versions of the Legion, but this gave a new and possibly memorable angle on things. I'm not personally convinced that we'll later look at it as anything more than a storytelling experiment -- I don't know that there are good legs for it -- but that shouldn't stop it from being considered a "seed".

2:20 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

My nomination for best new character introduced in the threeboot: Theena. Why the flip didn't Shooter use her for anything?

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The weird thing about the threeboot knockers is that they all seem to be huge fans of the 5YL stuff.Weird,because all their complaints about the threeboot also apply to the 5YL era.To each their own poison,I guess.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I've never noticed such a pattern. I kinda had the idea that the anti-threeboot crowd were largely (certainly not exclusively) Legion traditionalists who didn't like 5YL any better than they did the threeboot. (And then of course there are the frustrated reboot Legion fans, whom I must admit I feel for.) I don't see the two eras as all that similar, myself.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2 eras weren't similar,but the complaints were.5YL fans had gripes about the reboot that could've been countered with examples from 5YL.To wit...
*Retconning gone wild(Element Lad's girlfriend was a man all along!Garth was Proty all along!Mon-el was Superboy,sort of,all along!And so forth,ad nauseam)
*Legionnaires acting out of character(Sun Boy becomes a quisling and dies a painful,pointless death.Maybe their Sun Boy,but not mine.And then Wildfire uses the corpse as a container.Maybe their Wildfire...)
*Sketchy,drawn-out storytelling(It took years for the supposedly pivotal events of Black Dawn to be revealed,and then it was done with a throwaway flashback sequence.And who was Kent Shakespeare anyway?)
And the piece de resistance;Dawnstar gets her wings clipped,rejoins her colleagues disguised by nothing but a name change...and no one recognizes her.Rrrright....If that's an example of the best Legion ever,I'll take Sneckie.
Sorry-not trying to ignite a flame war.Hung around the DC boards and a few others and still have scars from the"traditionalists".They were screaming about the threeboot long before the first issue saw print,and kept screaming all thru the run.According to my totally unscientific survey,most of the hard-line old-timers(HALOTS?)used the 5YL stick to beat down the threeboot.And the only thing they hated as much as the threeboot was the reboot.
The baffling thing about the HALOTS is how shallow their Legionlove is.There's been debate as to whether the retroboot should be considered the original Legion or not,but for these birds that matters less than whether or not,say,Star Boy has a beard.That's it.They're more concerned with who's dating who or what they're wearing than what they're doing or how they're depicted.Their views on the Legion are so rigid and specific you wonder why they even bother with the comic.They would be happier going thru their back issues and staring at their action figures.Looking at them,you have to wonder if it's wise to read the same comic book for too long.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, I've dealt with them too. Nothing that bugs me more than, for instance, someone who claims to be so much of a Legion fan that he/she hasn't bought a Legion comic in 20 years. Ah, well, if I can change one person's mind on this blog I'm not wasting my time.

10:54 AM  

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