The Legion — the one super-team that DC really struggles with (well, they struggle off-and-on with several, but the Legion has been a continuity problem for the publisher for decades). This episode, David and Chris discuss the newly-revamped and ‘Bendis-ized’ Legion, along with favorite creative teams on the book over the years and favorite/least favorite Legionnaires.
See that photo up top? The one that tries to cram all of the Legionnaires in one group shot? That quickly and succinctly demonstrates many of the things wrong and right about the Legion.
First off, it’s huge. How many characters, total? Does anyone really know? That’s a pretty daunting task for new readers. Who are these characters? How do we as readers get to know them?
Enter Brian Michael Bendis, brought on by DC to give some new life to its Superman titles. Along the way he aged Superboy and by doing so reinstated the canonical reason for the Legion to exist in the first place.
Diversity is also a hallmark of this new iteration of the team. Not only is Bendis trying to give the characters more internal complexity, he is also reimagining the characters as a group of men and women (and aliens) of a variety of races, genders, and shapes.
Did you read Millenium 1 & 2 (and, no, we aren’t talking about the forgettable 1980s-era mini-series of the same name), the issues that relaunched the Legion? Do you have ANY idea why Bendis chose Rose/Thorn as the central figure of the narrative? No? Neither do we. The best they can figure is that Rose/Thorn is/are so obscure that any changes won’t send ripples throughout the DC timeline (and it’s ALREADY a timeline crippled by ripples).
It’s hard to discuss any comics written by Bendish without digressing into all of the OTHER comics he has written or is currently writing. In the case of DC, Bendis is helming a(nother) reboot of Superman, this one featuring what David feels is a ‘cheap way out’ — Superman revealing to the world that he is Clark Kent (or is it the other way around?).
In any case, Bendis is full-on DC for the moment, including the creation of his own imprint, Wonder Comics. The imprint features the Wonder Twins (Gleek!), the return of Young Justice (except that by the time you read this it has already been cancelled), and an odd title known simply as Naomi. We are both concerned that these are short-lived ideas and books that won’t last very long (see Young Justice note above).
Moving past Bendis, we take a look at favorite runs/creative teams on Legion. For David, there can be no doubt — the greatest team to work on the book is the team of Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen, whose run began with Legion 287.
Chris loves this run as well, including possibly the most famous story arc in Legion history: The Great Darkness Saga.
Any mention of Giffen and the Legion leads to a discussion of the (in)famous and inscrutable Five Years Later reboot of the Legion .
And as a side note, this episode includes Chris losing his mind and making the absurd assertion that Mr. Terrific was created by Giffen during the Five Years Later run. David sets things right, thank goodness.
As a final mention of great Legion stories, Chris remembers the very good Geoff Johns Superman and the Legion storyline.
For their final segment, we tackle the truly challenging topic of naming our favorite, and then least favorite, Legionnaire.
David’s favorites: Ultra Boy and Timber Wolf
Chris’ favorites: Bouncing Boy and Matter Eater Lad! Yes. No kidding.
David’s least favorite: Tellus. Chris’ least favorite: Blok
And with that, David and Chris end episode two. Please send us your thoughts, comments, and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.