Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Slap in the Face

I've seen several reactions to the end of LSHv7. Some of them were written by people who felt personally offended by the way things turned out. "It was a slap in the face to all Legion fans!" Things like that.

Doesn't get us anywhere to think like that. I mean, of course you don't like it, and wish it had turned out some other way. But nobody is trying to provoke you or anything. Come on: Paul Levitz feels contempt for Legion fans? Unlikely.

So just take it easy. DC and its people are trying to figure their way through this just like we are, and as bumbling and obnoxious as they've been, there's no malice in the simple act of cancelling a low-selling comic, or in the diplomatic quadrilles that surround it. It's as simple as this: we want it to be one way. But it's the other way. (1)


(1) Marlo.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading Legion of Super-heroes since I picked up Adventure 247 at my local grocery store, yes I am that old. I have seen the good times and the bad, cancellations, art work that shouldn't have been published and stories that have gone nowhere. I have stayed a loyal fan of the Legion. I am confident that the Legion will return, possibly in a different format, but it will still be the Legion, and I will still read it.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call it a slap in the face but it could have been fleshed out. Leaving things unresolved with Phantom Girl and with the "Legion Lost" cast seemed a little off.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Anon 1: Or, let's hope, maybe it will be even more so the Legion.

Anon 2: Oh, sure. But a) anytime a comic book is cancelled there are going to be things left up in the air; it's unavoidable. And b) would it really have helped anything to have wrapped those things up? Not enough to make a difference, I'm thinking.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Jip said...

Let's hope there are more Legion Tales (even if it's not on a monthly basis). Quality before quantity. Right now, however, the Powers that Be at DC seem to want a Dark and Edgy universe, it's going to take skilled writer(s) to pull it off.

JMHO, I think part of the anger about the finale (and the whole series) is that fans and readers were expecting better from someone with the experience level as Levitz. Having beloved and established characters behaving in a manner inconsistent with canon did not help matters.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

We've had a few weeks now to get used to the idea that there won't be a Legion comic coming out anytime soon, and the world hasn't ended yet. The more time passes like that, the more I come around to the idea that DC should wait until they can do it right before they try to bring back the Legion. And since they can't do anything right at the moment, they might as well wait until their entire editorial staff falls down open sewer gratings or gets their heads stuck in the escalator or something, and we've got some new blood in there who, it is to be hoped, has a clue.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fans are so touchy.I can't pretend to know what Levitz felt about the Legion's stoppage,but to me the final issue had a mood of sorrow rather than anger.I'm sure nobody at DC wanted things to end up as they have;they would've preferred to keep taking the fan's money.
I feel nothing about the Legion's hiatus.Fact is,I haven't enjoyed anything Legion since the TV show ended.I doubt I'm the only one who feels that way:Fans on other message boards prefer to talk about Legions past than the current stuff.Maybe that's what we need to do--look to the past,rediscover what worked,and find a way to bring that past success to the future.

12:33 AM  
Blogger Eric Schultheis said...

I think folks, myself included, are particulary upset by the suggestion that everything we were reading for the past few years took place in Earth 2. A surprise retro reboot in a throwaway line in the last issue.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Anon: I think Legion fans as a group have been fixated on the past, the distant past in relative terms, for way too long now. I don't see why, myself; the Silver Age was probably pretty fun when you were in it but I wasn't there and it just seems kind of stupid to me. We've had much better comics since then! Some of them fairly recently! But a lot of people just don't want to hear it.

Eric: Yeah, the Earth-2 thing. Look, the Earth-2 thing doesn't matter. If DC brings the Legion back then they're going to do it however they want to do it and figure out the continuity later. (And if they don't then of course it doesn't matter.) So whether they left the retroboot Legion on Earth-1 or stealth-relocated them to Earth-2 is of no consequence as it doesn't allow or prevent DC from doing anything they want to do anyway. So for someone to insist on sneaking that little detail into the last issue is just a waste of time, and bit of handwaving that only distracts from what the comic book is really about. On the other hand, it's working: fans are discussing it like it's an important thing. So what can you do.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Starlight said...

With more than a touch of irony I found out about the cancellation on my beloved Legion as I went on line to buy my first We Are Legion purple t-shirt today. I had all what now know is the final set of issues in a drawer ready to read. I've read them now and feel a little empty.

The character I nicknamed my true self after Starman/boy is lost rather pathetically. At least Sunboy's death was powerful - Giffen and Levitz at their destructive best. But with The Legion I never wanted destruction, just a never ending adventure.

Which brings me back to the beginning reading about the Fatal Five at age 7. I've bought The Legion ever since for 48 years. I was born in 58. The year of The Legion. We are attached. It's been the only comic I purchase and read for many years now and now it's slipped away again.

Who will play Cockrum next and save the day?

I was a big Fan of the early Five Year Gap Hidden stories. Maybe a more gritty Legion will survive and grow.

My main piece of advice is call it The Legion.

A close look at my logo for my performance coaching business will see more than a passing resemblance to The Legion logo.

Shooter has fallen. Giffen has fallen. And now even Levitt had fallen. Yet the army of Legion fans never say never. The spirit lives on.

Long Live The Legion.

Tim aka Starlight - Creative Cosmic Guide

11:50 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I wonder if maybe not a lot of people are in the mood to think about the far future these days.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Jip said...

People do think about the future, but not in an optimistic way...

That plus also, (almost) everybody is still on the "Dark and Grim" bandwagon...

1:38 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Plus they're mostly thinking about the near future. I'm not sure that there's a sense out there that we're even going to get to the far future.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Jip said...

Sad, but true...

An optimistic far future is what the Legion was originally founded on. Since that vision is no longer in style, it has been a MAJOR challenge to plot and write stories.

2:28 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It can still be done, though. Nothing wrong with swimming against the tide.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dispute the notion that people aren't interested in stories of an optimistic future anymore.For instance,the last two Star Trek movies were quite successful.
The trick is to plot and write stories that are interesting and entertaining.That's something the LSH has has trouble doing in the past few years.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Star Trek is still popular, yes... but then again, it's Star Trek. I'm not sure the case generalizes.

You're quite right about the Legion.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also born the year of the Legion (58) and started collecting with the original computo/death of triplicate girl two parter, back in shooter's glory days. I loved the bierbaums, thought the merging of the sw6 legion and the original legion at the end of the multiverses was great storytelling, and am used to ups and downs.
The problem I have had with this recent reboot is next to no characterization. Same problem I had with Man of steel--page after page (or in the case of the movie scene after scene) of legion and enemies power punching each other through buildings and landscapes, literally chewing up the scenery--much like getting stuck in a loop of a video game.
I do hope the legion comes back--but back with an emphasis on characters, on dialogue, on the legion's powers getting them out of interesting jams (and not just biff bam kapow). And I do wonder if that is possible in this climate. The legion can do gritty (think of the bierbaums) but they will never just stare into the abyss.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, that's important, but.

Do you remember a sitcom called [i]The Naked Truth[/i]? Starred Tea Leoni? Probably not; it wasn't on for too long.

The premise was, Leoni played a reporter who lost her job and had to go work for a sleazy tabloid, and as such she had all these bizarre demeaning assignments as she tried to rake up muck on various celebrities. And she was conflicted because she was obviously doing terrible things to get these stories, on the one hand, but on the other hand, she found that she loved doing that stuff and was having the time of her life.

That lasted for about three or four episodes, which I quite liked, but the ratings weren't very good, so they changed the show to be about the characters working at this magazine--it wasn't a tabloid anymore, now it was a magazine--and their relationships. And the show wasn't as interesting anymore and it died a few episodes later.

My point is this: all shows (and comic books) do stuff about character and relationships. You can't get away from it; it's part of human storytelling. The thing that makes you unique is whatever else you're doing that nobody else is doing.

The thing that makes the Legion unique is that the stories are about teenaged superheroes in the distant future. Sure there will always be stuff in there about character and relationships, but what the Legion offers that nobody else can is futuristic superhero action. Which doesn't have to be, shouldn't be, wall-to-wall puncheminnaface, but something intelligent, or even inspired, that takes advantage of the futuristic setting and ideas. That's what I want.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Kaitland Helton said...

I was born midway through the Reboot Legion, yet the first Legion book I ever read was published in 2006. Consequently, I don't "miss" the old Legion(s). I did read this version of the Legion from Legion of Three Worlds on. I was sad to see the characters go, as I had my favorites... ... ... BUT, I was not sad to see the book cancelled. It missed a lot of opportunities to tell good stories, assumed the Reader knew all the infrequently used characters. Much as I hate to say it, let me figure out who's who. you don't need a balloon with name, powers and homeworld over every character. And... don't even try to write an intricately woven soap opera if you don't know how.
Now skip to Memorial Day 2017 (yesterday) my friend says "Great ribs eh?" Oddly I was reminded of Sun Boy. The Legion was a weird book in the end.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Yeah, it wasn't that great. It was Caretaker LSH. I wonder if DC is capable of better.

8:25 AM  

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