Who's Online Now
0 Legionnaires (), 1 Murran Spy and 17 Spider Guild Agents online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Television Trouble-Finder
Time-Scope
Legion Trivia 5
by Invisible Brainiac. 07/20/17 07:49 AM
Teen Titans Trivia II
by Invisible Brainiac. 07/20/17 07:48 AM
Kill This Thread XIV
by Invisible Brainiac. 07/20/17 07:47 AM
Would you rather ... 2
by Invisible Brainiac. 07/20/17 07:47 AM
Inane One Word Posts XXX - keep it clean
by Quislet, Esq. 07/20/17 07:16 AM
Answering Questions with Questions XVI
by Quislet, Esq. 07/20/17 07:06 AM
I am thinking of a DCU character part IV
by Myg - Andy S. 07/20/17 06:31 AM
Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18
by Ann Hebistand. 07/20/17 06:27 AM
Universe-Monitor
DC Comics
Legion Wiki
LMBP Yahoo! Group
LMB Wiki
Facebook Legion World
Twitter Legion World
Legion at Cosmic Teams
Legion of Super-Bloggers
The Legion Omnicom
Legion Abstract
Year 3000 - Legion RP site
The Future Begins Now - Legion RP site
We Are Legion - Legion RP site
Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe - Legion
Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics - Legion
Legion of Super-Heroes Online Companion
Hero History at Major Spoilers
Interlac, the Legion of Super-Heroes APA Facebook group
Klordny: Devoted to the Legion of Super-Heroes
APA 247 Yahoo! Group
It's OK, I'm a Senator
Get-a-Life Boy's Legion of Super-Heroes Site
Titanstower
The Legion Files
Heaven4Heroes - Legion
Legion of Super-Heroes fanfic
Glamazonia presenta: Legione Dei Super-Eroi
Super Future Friends
Legion of Substitute Podcasters
Blockade Boy
The Legion of Super-Heroes - Kevin Leung's Original Comic Art Gallery
The Superhero Network Entertainment Group
Omnicom
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 4 of 4 1 2 3 4
#921685 - 02/06/17 09:37 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Café Cramer
#270, Who is the Dark Man? By Gerry Conway, art by Jimmy Janes & Frank Chiaramonte, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters Milt Snapinn

[Linked Image]

Mon-el, Shady, Wildfire, Jeckie, Vi and Colossal Boy are imprisoned in a sphere of neutron energy. Shady is able to see that they are in a crevice, surrounded by unknown creatures of darkness. Mon tries to punch his way out, as does Wildfire, but both fail.

On Earth, Timber Wolf investigates the beach from which the alarm came and calls into HQ for help. Lightning Lad berates him for acting alone, hears his report, then sends him to find the Legionnaires at the Allons apartment. Light Lass appears, in negligée, and is ordered by an angry Lightning Lad to join Timber Wolf. Garth and Imra fly off to the beach, but are netted by Mano and the Empress. Saturn Girl reads the villains minds and learns that Mon and Shady were captured and Tharok is working with someone called The Dark Man. She warns Ayla telepathically, just as Ayla is confronted by Persuader and Validus. She manages to escape, and also evades a blast from Tharok.

Brin reaches the Allons, hears about the attack and The Dark Man, just as Ayla arrives.

On the Dragonbane, the Five meet with The Dark Man. Tharok asks when they will be paid for capturing Legionnaires, but receives a painful mental blast and a warning to obey.

Ayla and Brin fly to a prison on Mount Everest to ask the Super-Assassins for information. They refuse, except for Blok.

Projectra comes up with an idea to free the imprisoned Legionnaires, by creating an illusory copy of one of the beasts outside the sphere. As the beast attacks his image, the sphere is shattered and the Legionnaires escape.

Above Earth, Brin, Ayla and Blok seek the Dark Man's homing signal, which Blok had known when as one of the Assassins.

On the Dragonbane, the Five are squabbling, when they suddenly lose gravity. Persuader deduces it's Light Lass. Light Lass makes mental contact with Saturn Girl, locates Garth and Imra, then she, Brin and Blok board the ship. Brin runs ahead, finds the control chamber and sees The Dark Man – who he recognizes as Tharok, restored to wholeness.

Comments:
There's a lot of action in this issue and a sense of urgency develops as the story jumps between different locations.

The cover suggests that even Tharok doesn't know who the Dark Man is, despite being controlled by him. The others of the Five mentioned The Dark Man as Tharok's partner, not his master. Did Tharok try to present that he was more in control than was the case? Later, Mano will openly question whether they are partners or slaves.

The Silhouetted Dark Man made me think of the Servants of Darkness. I wonder if Levitz took inspiration for the GDS from this story?

Projectra is gaining depth! She comes up with the idea that frees the Legionnaires from the sphere all by herself. She isn't used much in the Conway run, but when she does play an active role, her powers have considerable impact.

Those Super-Assassins sure are snotty villains! Of course, we know how the Blok story turns out, and there were indications in the Super-Assassins story that he had a different way of thinking. At this point, though, one might have wondered if Blok was leading them into a trap.

Although all the Legionnaires get to admirably display their powers, there aren't too many revealing character moments. Garth moans about being leader, is angered by Brin's lone wolf actions and bickers with his sister; Brin is defiant.

The ending is quite a surprise. Is this really Tharok? What's going on? I can't wait to see the reaction of the rest of the Fatal Five, let alone the other Legionnaires.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#921690 - 02/07/17 05:28 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
Cobalt Kid Offline
Bold Flavors
Cobalt Kid  Offline
Bold Flavors

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
If you don't want my peaches, ...
Legion of Super-Heroes #270

Part 2 of the Dark Man Saga is another winner, and once again I’m surprised by just how much I enjoyed this issue. Enough is enough: I’ll just admit that this is a damn good story, and “Conway Era” is actually pretty darn good! This issue exemplifies that, as from start to finish, there is just a lot to like here.

Being a part 2, this story has an expected and welcome amount of action and forward momentum. This is nicely balanced out by some really fantastic characterization throughout the issue with several diverse characters showcasing their abilities and smarts. Paramount among them are Timberwolf and Light Lass. Brin’s dichotomy of being a loner and a Legionnaire is on full display here; but what I like best about it is that in my opinion, he is never really a loner at all in this issue. Instead, he calls for help when its needed and he works best when he’s with Ayla. Yet he’s also allowed to show his aggressive, independent side. Meanwhile, Ayla come across wonderfully here as she brilliantly outsmarts the Persuader and Validus, co-leads the charge to find the Dark Man alongside Brin and then kicks off the battle at the end of the issue by really flexing her “making things lighter” abilities.

Besides them, many others also get a chance to shine. Princess Projectra has a fantastic scene as she gets them free, showing her as a capable and clever Legionnaire who never loses her cool. Mon-El steps up as a leader early on in the issue. Colossal Boy adds the finishing touch to Jeckie’s escape plan by turning around and knocking back the sea monster. Saturn Girl very smartly does an “info dump” into Ayla’s mind (a download before that term was used, essentially). Mano acts out in rage at being pawns of the Dark Man. Validus shows his juvenile rage against the Persuader, and the Emerald Empress very smartly captures Garth & Imra. All of these characters had a great moment. To a lesser degree, so did Violet, Shady and Wildfire too!

The only one characterization I didn’t love was Lightning Lad, as he is a bit too over the top towards Imra and Ayla, and he makes a comment about Imra not running twice for leader. That being said, he has good reason to be mad at Brin, and that is always a good motif to use for a leader. I feel that between Gerry, Roy and early Paul, they take it a bit too far with Garth, however at this point in Legion history and end up making him look like a very weak leader. But at this point, that hasn’t quite shown itself yet. Instead, we empathize with his stresses though perhaps find him a bit annoying.

Overall, the story itself paces very nicely. The action is crisp and the mystery of the Dark Man lingers. It’s revelation at the end is interesting. It’s not all that amazing and almost instantly acknowledges that it won’t have too many major ramifications since its very nature, as an “other Tharok” really can’t exist beyond one issue. But that isn’t a bad thing. Not every story needs to be Mordru / Darkseid / Time Trapper level, and this is more of a “higher consequences than usual but the fate of the universe isn’t at stake”. It’s a good middle ground stakes-wise. And the story is crafted nicely enough where I enjoyed the build-up and revelation.

The other big part of this story is the reintroduction of Blok as he decides to help Ayla and Brin. He isn’t utilized much even here, and is more of a mystery than anything—and that works well too. His unique look make him appealing in an aesthetic sense, which is seen when he backs up Ayla and Brin in those final pages. He appears tough and menacing, and the mystery adds to the appeal. I’m curious to see how well they pull it off to make Blok a member. I know I’ve always found it kind of an odd addition to the Legion roster, though somewhere along the way, I gained a soft spot for Blok. For this issue alone, the idea of a villain being recruited by Ayla and Brin to help them rescue the Legionnaires just flat out works and adds an additional wrinkle to the story that makes it more unique.

Lastly, the art by Jimmy Janes is superb here. I really like the way he draws Brin in those final pages, and the scenes underwater are fantastic. He is truly an underrated artist in Legion lore. The great inks by Frank Chiaramonte give a strong, steady line and by now the paper quality and coloring techniques have greatly improved. The issue just looks really great!

All in all, another solid issue!

#921691 - 02/07/17 05:31 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
Cobalt Kid Offline
Bold Flavors
Cobalt Kid  Offline
Bold Flavors

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
If you don't want my peaches, ...
FC, I also noticed the similar look to the Dark Man and the Servants of Darkness. I think you may be right. Or at least, Keith Giffen may have been influenced when he designed them, as he likely went back and took a look at recent issues before he began his run.

#921712 - 02/07/17 10:52 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
LoSH 270

The six Legionnaires captured by the Fatal Five last issue, find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic in a bubble formed of Neutronic energy that Mon El can’t break through and Wildfire can’t disrupt. Super conveniently Neutronic energy disrupts the Legion Flight Rings communication technology. That Fatal Five thinks of everything. Well, everything except just killing the Legionnaires back on the surface.

The plot recap is kept to a merciful single page, and the scene shifts to something else that has problems communicating, whether there’s Neutronic energy or not.

Timberwolf checks out the scene of Shady & Lar’s capture. It’s basically an excuse to show him as a Wolverine clone. But then he surprisingly does contact HQ. Just to cement how moody, sulky and infantile edgy, cool and dark he is, he has a barbed comment about Garth and Imra spending some quality time together. Were they on Monitor Duty? Garth rightly rebukes Brin, but ends up falling out with Ayla, who defends Timberwolf, and tells Imra to basically mind her own business.

Imra seems to forgive him, safe in the knowledge that she’s a much better leader. She even tells him he has a lot to learn, which Garth is happy to accept. It’s a nice touch that he doesn’t go into a tantrum. He’s genuinely trying to be a good leader, even if it doesn’t always work out. He’s right to criticise Brin. But it’s his sibling relationship that gets in the way with Ayla and Imra.

Brainy! Will you fix the nassing security, already? How many villains are just walking around in HQ? This issue Mano and Empress have time to put up nets to catch flying Legionnaires. Garth has time to electrocute himself, while Imra has time to get important plot points from the minds of the Five and implant the info to a still dressing Ayla.

Perv Persuader breaks in, along with Validus and Light Lass is forced to fight. Her powers seem to have the effect of forcing The Persuader to begin a long narrative concerning the events around him. Validus presumably punches him to shut him up as much as for the glancing blow (the only strike The Persuader ever makes) received from the Atomic Axe.

Ayla embracing Brin in the wreckage of the Allon’s apartment is a touching moment. As the Five confront the Dark Man about his plans, we’re left in no doubt that Tharok is not in command. We’re also reminded that the cast of Legionnaires has been reduced to two. This is a nice touch by Conway, allowing for some spotlight time for Brin and Ayla.

With both aware, through different sources, of the Dark Man they travel to the Everest Penitentiary (by the 30th century, they’ve somehow managed to get rid of the tourist climbers.) to interview the League of Super wannabe Assassins (Legionnaire death count = 0).

The League don’t take kindly to being asked to help, and try to attack. The prison’s defences rebuff them in a way that should make the Takron Galtos warden hang his head in shame. Mind you, Titania ripped up the floor, but chose not to tunnel any further. Escape only comes from helping, which Blok chooses to do. He’s a brooding character and trust is clearly an issue (captured very nicely in an alternate world scene later in #300). He doesn’t make a bid for freedom, however, and there’s the thought that he could be drawing the two Legionnaires to be trapped by the Dark Man.

The villain is not popular with the rest of the Fatal Five, as they bemoan being ordered around by him andTharok. Their complaints are cut short by an attack from Light Lass. She leads Brin and Blok in an attack on the Fatal Five. It’s a strong moment for a character, who has rarely had a chance to shine. She telepathically contacts Imra. This would useually be through telepathic earplugs, but there seems to be a stronger rapport here.

We don’t get to see Blok use his strength, which is a shame, as it would have cemented (tee hee) his power to the readers. Brin, true to character and in a nice payoff to his earlier appearance this issue, goes on alone. We get to see those acrobatic skills that really make him a Legionnaire and he discovers that the Dark Man is a wholly human Tharok! This subplot would be pinched years later for the Infinite Crisis with Luthor subbing for Tharok.

Backing up a few pages, and the Legionnaires trapped in the Atlantic escape through Comic Cliché. From the people who make containment traps keyed to only a single power set, we present containment bubbles that only contain from one side! Everyone in the sphere has been shown to use their powers, which is good character control from Conway. Well, Vi offered moral support… Jeckie comes up with the idea to get them free. With another grouping, it would have been Cham to get them free. The Legion escape, and remarkably don’t go >squish< from the pressure. It’s indicated that they can just swim to the surface without any issue. Obviously this is all taking place just off the beach.

It’s a well-constructed issue, with the separate plots from last issue leading, with plenty of action, towards the reveal at the end. The cast is whittled down to a desperate duo who need help from their foes to proceed. We get a prospective ally in Blok who could well be a foe. There are good moments for Brin and Ayla. But the others aren’t neglected. The exchange between Imra and Garth is a good one and, as mentioned, nearly everyone else gets to at least show their powers off. There are plenty of Legionnaires available at the end to begin to turn the tables next issue. Let’s hope we get more on Ayla, Blok and Brin before that happens.

We also have the very good subplot where we see the genuine discord in the villains’ group. The Five never took kindly to Tharok’s orders. They liked it even less when the Empress seemed to become his second in command. But having someone else in charge is really hacking them off.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#921713 - 02/07/17 11:04 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Cobalt Kid]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Originally Posted by Cobalt Kid
FC, I also noticed the similar look to the Dark Man and the Servants of Darkness. I think you may be right. Or at least, Keith Giffen may have been influenced when he designed them, as he likely went back and took a look at recent issues before he began his run.


I didn't notice that at all! smile Good spot!


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#922045 - 02/14/17 02:26 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Café Cramer
#271 What is the Dark Man? By Gerry Conway, art by Jimmy Janes & John Calnan, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters John Costanza

[Linked Image]

Timber Wolf is confused by a fully-human Tharok in a sphere, having only recently seen the half-robot version. The Tharok look-alike, in turn, claims that he is not Tharok, and departs in his sphere. As Timber Wolf falls acrobatically to the floor, he is ensnared by leg shackles. Ayla flies in the direction of his scream, but is interrupted by the Empress. Ayla sends some rubble flying to blind the Eye and escapes.

Imra and Garth are still bound and use the opportunity to recap the previous issue for the reader. Imra manages to locate the true Tharok's mind, in a state of disarray, and take control of it, compelling him to shut off the ship's power.

The five Legionnaires who escaped their submerged sphere gather aboard a Legion cruiser, which they have summoned, and begin a search for the Fatal Five. They receive a message from the Science Police that their ship is violating commercial airspace by landing in the North Atlantic, but the message had been sent before they escaped. Jeckie concludes that other Legionnaires had used this cruiser and that they could be found in the North Atlantic.

Ayla searches for Brin within the massive Dragonbane, finds the computer room and lucks out by hitting the right button for a memory program, which recounts Tharok's backstory. As a shadowy figure lurks in foliage and watches her, Ayla continues with the recording, which shows the scientist who built Tharok's robot half in his lab, with a clone of Tharok's brain. The brain takes over the scientist's mind and commands him to create a new body. The result is The Dark Man, who proceeds to liquify the scientist; Ayla calls him a life-force vampire. Suddenly, the Dark Man grabs her shoulder.

Blok finds Brin and frees him, then leads him to the master computer room. At the same time, the Fatal Five find and free Garth and Imra, saying they need Imra's help to heal Tharok's headaches. As she succeeds, the Five agree to be temporary allies with the Legionnaires against the common foe.

The team aboard the Legion Cruiser discover the powerless Dragonbane. Blok and Brin find The Dark Man, holding Ayla captive in a tree. As Brin scales the tree, attacked by vines, the team from the Cruiser break into the ship. The Dark Man takes control of Ayla, who makes the Legionnaires weightless. Brin attacks, Blok uproots the tree, Brin saves Ayla as she falls. The Dark Man lands in a soil vat, is attacked by Tharok and both disappear from existence. The Legionnaires declare that the remaining Four will be going to jail.

The story ends with Marte Allon celebrating her election with the Legionnaires.

Comments:

A few surprises in this issue, particularly the Legion-Fatal Five temporary alliance. It's not the first time they've worked together, but now it's the Five appealing for help. Their dismay over Tharok's incapacity to lead them is unexpected, since they all operated individually at one point.

As in the previous issue, there's a lot of action and rapid scene changes which keep the story moving at a brisk pace - and which enable the Legionnaires to show off their powers.

The Dark Man's origin is a bit of a stretch, but anything in comic books can be explained by a good dose of radiation. There are a few highly convenient events to move the story along: Saturn Girl remains able to mentally communicate, despite being bound, Ayla just happens to find the right button to active a stored account of the Dark Man's origin, an empty Legion cruiser just happens to be within range to call (what if the Legionnaires who had originally been on it needed it as well?).

Brin and Ayla seem to spend more time saving each other as fighting the Dark Man and the Fatal Five.

The Dragonbane must be bigger on the inside, since that was an awfully large oak tree.

A few TV references: the Star Trek symbol (sideways) on the unnamed scientist's shirt and the closing “So say we all” from Battlestar Galactica.

The whole affair must have destabilized the Fatal Five/Four, since their normal M.O. is to escape at the end; this time, they are going to jail. Legion fans can bet, however, that they'll escape in short order and Tharok will have miraculously survived his obliteration.

The final scene with President Marte Allon suggests a happier relationship between Earthgov and the Legion from now on. Or does it? Gim's concern over what this means for him sets the stage for future conflict.



Holy Cats of Egypt!
#922074 - 02/15/17 07:55 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
It’s quite a cover with the Ranzz twins taking opposing sides. Has Garth flipped his leadership lid early, by siding with Tharok? There’s a nice parallel with the Legion needing the Five going back to their first battle together against the Sun Eater.

Two Legionnaires and the Super Assáassin Blok enter the lair of the Fatal Five, where a further two of their number are held captive. Timberwolf has discovered that the Dark Man is a wholly human version of Tharok controlling the cyborg version.

It’s a good set up and Jimmy Janes art has made it visually strong too. But there are a few things that jar along the way. The Timberwolf/ Darkman encounter has a lot of captions and internal monologue (which does show the Legion that this Tharok is telepathic). A lot of it is needless, as it falls into the trap of telling us what the very good Janes is already showing us.

For plot reasons the Dark Man retreats. For a similar outcome every floor panel in the HQ must have traps underneath it, if we are to believe that the super acrobatic Timberwolf just happened to land on one. That’s about as believable as photon bursts knocking out the Legion flight ring’s communications ability.

Light Lass encounters the Emerald Empress. She cleverly uses the debris established in one panel to strike against the eye in the next, causing it to lash out wildly. At first it seems odd that the eye would be so easily distracted, but I quite like the idea that Sarya isn’t as in control of it as it sometimes appears. Ayla or “blonde vixen” Ayla manages to escape.

But then the Plot Demon intervenes again as Ayla, a seasoned Legionnaire, is too overcome with thoughts about Brin to receive telepathic communications from the captive Imra.

Last issue, Blok had an opportunity to impress when the trio reached the ship. Following Brin, then Ayla’s scene in this issue, the stage is set for Blok to shine. Instead, he wanders a corridor, more a golem than something truly sentient.

First impressions count. This story was one of the early back issues I managed to get my hands on. Blok left me less than impressed.

Considering the other slightly jarring plot devices above, Blok’s cluelessness becomes a way of getting Imra to contact the cyborg Tharok. It’s not exactly the best way of showcasing a new prospective member. Blok has been a bit short changed, but perhaps they were still uncertain over his membership credentials at that point.

Someone who isn’t short changed is Imra, who expands her telepathic powers to take over (the admittedly weakened) mind of Cyborg Tharok.

Elsewhere, the other Legionnaires hit on the solid idea of checking for trouble to try and locate the Five. No forced tracking Validus’ energy or Mano’s energy hand. They just check the news.

It works, although the shuttle they get the clue from is the one that Timberwolf and pals used to get to the Five’s HQ. What’s odd here is that there was no indication that Brin and Ayla ordered the ship anywhere else. In fact, you’d think they’d want it nearby in case they have to rescue hostages quickly.

In order to tell the readers more about the Dark Man/ Tharok connection Ayla stumbles onto a series of videos on the main computer. Tharok is saved by Zadronian (take that Retroboot!) scientists after the nuclear device he’s carrying detonates atomises his left side. Since everyone around him survived, it was presumably a charge in the device that damaged him or one of the Legion’s greatest foes would be Radioactive Sludge Lad.

But that radiation has had an unexpected effect. One of the scientists had taken a sample of Tharok’s brain, and cloned it! Like a good 1950s monster movie, the cloned brain grew and took control of those around it, resulting in a wholly human Dark Man version of Tharok. Sensing the existence of the cyborg Tharok, he wasn’t about to share the universe with it. He’s a life force vampire and, in a chilling scene, appears behind Ayla as she’s viewing the tapes.

Elsewhere, Blok (doing a good job of auditioning for The Wanderers) stumbles onto Brin while Garth and Imra are freed by the rest of the Five, concerned over Tharok’s worsening condition.

All of these characters, and the rest of the captured Legionnaires converge on the Dark Man. The villain fails to use Ayla to fend off some of them, and Blok uproots a tree to get him to fall from the branches. On the ground, he’s close enough to Tharok that they attack each other. Both disappear in a burst of energy. This is an ending usually reserved for a character with a time displaced version showing up in the same location. The Dark Man and Tharok are distinct beings, so it’s not a satisfying ending.

It’s not really a satisfying conclusion. After all the build-up, a battalion of super characters gang up on the villain as he emerges from a mud pit.

Wildfire’s team could have been off on one of those distracted-by-the-villain side missions for the story’s duration, without there being too many required changes. The only character who was really needed was Colossal Boy, due to the Marte Allon subplot. That could have been combined easily with Imra & Garth capture.

That would have left a lot more pages to develop the Blok subplot. As it stood, it could have been removed without too much interference. His link comes from the Dark Man setting up the Assassins, and this closes off that arc. But he does so little in the story despite the set up opportunities. Additional space could have been spent on the Fatal Five and their decision to free the Legion and the subsequent uneasy alliance. Not to mention a more satisfying encounter between Tharok and his nemesis.

We end with Marte Allon as president of Earth. Colossal Boy wonders how it will affect him, in a bout of selfishness, passing for foreshadowing.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#922081 - 02/15/17 12:28 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
... since that was an awfully large oak tree.


That was Chlorophyll Kid. Everyone else turned up to beat up the Dark Man after all...

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Legion fans can bet, however, that they'll escape in short order and Tharok will have miraculously survived his obliteration.


After this story, I remember The Emerald Empress turning up and then the Persuader (and prisoner Validus) as strong, solo villains. But was this the last appearance of the classic Fatal Five Line Up?



"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#922088 - 02/15/17 03:21 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
Cobalt Kid Offline
Bold Flavors
Cobalt Kid  Offline
Bold Flavors

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
If you don't want my peaches, ...
Legion of Superheroes #271

So after two very good installments, I was all geared up to soak in the finale...and I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. There was some good parts, but a lot of storytelling missteps just made the final part fall flat.

From the get-go, one of the problems in this issue is the artwork is very sloppy in places--as if there was some kind of rush job and either a second penciler or inker had to come in to finish panels. Weirdly, a lot of this sloppiness is in the first half of the issue.

Artwork aside, the biggest complaint is the final battle really should have been its own issue. The LSH and Fatal 5 teaming up is kind of monumental and we don't get to see it at all. The battle with the Dark Man, and the resolution with a double villain death happens in the blink of an eye. We barely see Blok do or say anything, and the Legionnaires who made a daring escape last issue actually contribute zero to the story. There were all these fantastic moving parts and all of them are wasted (save Brin and Ayla getting a lot of spotlight). In the very near future, DC and Marvel both would start allowing for better paced stories with enough room for some phenomenal payoffs. I guess we're just not there yet. (And in the more current era, things went too far to a more padded, drawn out standard).

There are still some good moments, but the jumbled pacing and rough art pulled me out of the issue. Maybe most importantly, this issue paved the way for some better stories to come: by removing Tharok, future writers would see the various other members of the Fatal 5 as more than just part of the larger team, and we would get some excellent Emerald Empress and Validus, and then later Mano, stories. Blok would miraculously join the LSH (seriously, how could anyone ever expect that after this story???) and emerge as a totally unique new character. And the Marte Allen subplot will provide some of the more interesting Legionnaire-parent moments in LSH lore.

#922089 - 02/15/17 03:28 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: thoth lad]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
Cobalt Kid Offline
Bold Flavors
Cobalt Kid  Offline
Bold Flavors

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
If you don't want my peaches, ...
Originally Posted by thoth lad


Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Legion fans can bet, however, that they'll escape in short order and Tharok will have miraculously survived his obliteration.


After this story, I remember The Emerald Empress turning up and then the Persuader (and prisoner Validus) as strong, solo villains. But was this the last appearance of the classic Fatal Five Line Up?



It is indeed! For a few decades at least. They don't all reappear together until the reboot (which isn't technically them), and then the retroboot where Validus, Tharok and the Emerald Empress are all basically reverted back to normal without explanation.

#922092 - 02/15/17 09:32 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
There was the story in the early Legionnaires title, that had four out of the five (no Validus). That was close. They might have popped up in Crisis too I suppose.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#922145 - 02/17/17 07:09 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Café Cramer
I'd pretty much forgotten that Tharok wasn't seen again until the Legionnaires story with the new Empress(es). No explanation given for his survival, IIRC.

The final battle could have been its own issue - or cut down on all the running around in this issue. To see the Legion and the Five working together, with mutual animosity on full boil, would have been tasty.



Holy Cats of Egypt!
#922167 - 02/17/17 11:18 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
I'd pretty much forgotten that Tharok wasn't seen again until the Legionnaires story with the new Empress(es). No explanation given for his survival, IIRC.


The reason was that not all genius, sly super villain plans work out.

In this instance, Tharok wanted to rebuild himself under the noses of the United Planets. Unfortunately he chose a weekly galactic periodical called Build-Your-Own-Cyborg. In only 900 issues and costing the annual GDP of a post Magic Wars planet, he returned! Only there had been a few changes since he'd been away... Earth was gone for a start...


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#922308 - 02/20/17 09:49 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Café Cramer
#272 The Secret Origin of Blok By Gerry Conway, art by Steve Ditko & Frank Chiaramonte, colours Bob LeRose, letters Todd Klein

[Linked Image]

Wildfire tests Blok's invulnerability, calls him a “baddie” and meets with three other applicants for Legion membership: Lamprey, Nightwind and Crystal Kid.

Dawnstar demonstrates her evasive flying skills through an obstacle course of moving pistons; Blok just smashes through it and considers that he fulfilled the objective of not being smashed by the pistons. It's time for a break, so Blok tells the others his life story.

Humans landed on his planet one day and named it Dryad, thinking there were no “human” life forms, only trees and plants. They only later discover that the rock-like sentients had been silently waiting to see if the settlers intended harm. Thereafter, the two species worked together peacefully.

Meanwhile, the Starburst Raiders (last seen in #252) break out of their Himalayan prison. Just as the Warden's staff discover that their guns were fake and that the Raiders' starburst power was in their physical bodies.

Wildfire is distrustful of Blok and complains about him to Lightning Lad, who tells Wildfire to give Blok a test to determine his skill and courage.

Sun Boy encourages Blok to continue his story, who relates how Dryad's sun was about to go nova. The residents were evacuated by Legionnaires. Young Blok and five of his human friends believed it was the Legion who ordered them off their planet and blew up their sun. These human children were later given super-powers by The Dark Man, and Blok remained with them as the League of Assassins, hating the Legion.

Lightning Lad rushes in with flight rings for the applicants so that they may help fight the escaped Starburst Bandits. The Bandits are after their horses, held at the Metropolis Zoo. Wildfire and Sun Boy are knocked out; Blok, for whom the flight ring is inadequate, is dropped to the ground by Dawnstar.
The other three applicants think this is just a test and are stopped by the reality of the starbursts.

Blok approaches the Bandits, whose starbursts bounce off him and flatten them. As a result, he wins Legion membership.

Comments:

Oh my! This is a mish-mash of a story, but we get a few glimmers.

At least the mystery of what Blok was doing with humans and calling them brother and sister is solved.

Also, his character as a gentle, thoughtful giant is put into the context of his race: a very patient, accepting group with advanced cognitive skills. If the human settlers had been more destructive, would the Bloks have risen up and crushed them? Unfortunately, we never learn what they called their own planet, how they lived, what they ate, how their society was organized. They just fit into the Thanksgiving feasts and human games. It's a wonder some of them weren't smashed to make buildings and roadways.

It's a stretch that Blok and his friends were the only children who misunderstood that the Legion was there to help them. Where were the parents in all this? They'd have to be quite young to not understand what was going on, yet we see them as equal to the Legionnaires in age when they become super-assassins. Maybe the Dark Man aged them artificially?

The Starburst Raiders' written language is pretty interesting. This predates the Interlac alphabet (1984, according to Wikipedia; the concept of Interlac dated back to 1969). However, this is not a fully-constructed alphabet as opposed to a bunch of random symbols. The Dr. Mayavale story included some Durlan language, but were there other alien languages in comics before this? It's a logical addition to a sci fi comic but it would take Levitz and Giffen to properly codify a new language and use it consistently.

You've got to have some sympathy for a bunch of criminals who try to rescue their horses above all else. The horse thing did surprise me – when they said they had business to attend to on the other side of Earth, I figured they were going after the Legion, ho-hum. Save Our Horses was a better plot development. Sadly, the magnificent beasts, or their offspring, must still be lingering in the Metropolis Zoo.

I read at the Legion of Super-Bloggers that the three Legion applicants were designed by fans, which is pretty cool – but they totally wash out, which isn't cool at all. We never even get to see them use their powers.

The Legionnaires were very accepting of Blok. It's not like they haven't had traitors in the ranks before; they should have been more suspicious. Even Wildfire, when he realized he'd hurt Blok's feelings, felt bad and apologized.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#922350 - 02/21/17 10:57 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Legion #272

“Who will be the newest member of the Legion of Super-Heroes” proclaims the title, while sowing us that it’s going to be Blok. On his previous showings I’ve not found him terribly interesting. Janes draws Nightwind well, and she’s the most interesting character on the cover for me. Funnily enough the bottom right of the cover advertises Dial H For Haberdashery Hero and the newest member of the Legion was nearly Lori Morning at one point.

Wildfire, as one of the Legionnaires associated most with training rookies, is taking Blok through some tests. Conway does well in continuing the roles some of the Legionnaires become most closely associated with. Wildfire is called the Trainee Leader at one point to reinforce this. Dawnstar (for where Wildfire is…) congratulates Dirk for being able to remember the names of three others, which seemed a bit blunt (but oddly within her personality, as shown in a later confrontation with Tinya). There’s no way Dirk would forget the names of anyone female. smile

The other three recruits are Nightwind, Lamprey and Crystal Kid. All were fan suggestions and received entries in the Amazing World of DC Comics, with nice John Workman art. It’s a reminder (as is the Dial H ad) of a time when readers could see their creations see print, and it wouldn’t necessarily be seen as a cynical attempt to mine ideas or gimmicks.

Conway gets Dawnstar to run the tricky obstacle course first. It’s a nice touch to give panel time to another of the most recent recruits, showing us that she’s now very much part of the Legion.

Blok can be seen as ponderous and slow of thought, but he’s actually quite incisive. Both here where he disables the obstacle course and in a later issue where he works out the identity of a Green Lantern. Timberwolf is another example where the Legionnaires don’t fall into a stereotype. He is sometimes considered to a bit slow witted by Levitz, but it’s countered by an instinctive grasp of a situation, such as Sensor Girl’s identity.

Nightwind & Lamprey’s main goal in their most prominent Legion appearances is to sit and listen to infodumps.

The story could have just gone on to be Blok’s story, with a training scene at the end to show his suitability for the Legion. But Conway breaks it up to provide a bit more action. He does this firstly by interspacing the tale with events relating to the training session. A natural break for a story is created when Wildfire goes off to get a cleaning crew for the ruined obstacle course. But he goes further, by bringing in a subplot involving the Starburst Bandits. Both the Bandits and Blok were introduced by Conway back in the early #250. Their plot then combines with the training session, and origin story, allowing Blok to shine against proper villains.

The Bandits launch an escape attempt just as the authorities come to the conclusion that the weapons they used in their previous appearance were conduits of energy they held naturally. While they do use that energy as part of their escape, they use an ancient clichéd ruse to get out of their cells in the first place. It’s one of a number of down notes in the story. Conway’s introduction of futuristic jargon doesn’t really pay off and the aliens in the prison the Bandits escape from are odd for the sake of it. The dialogue in some of the scenes is a little overly worthy with examples such as “so mine is by far the greater sin” and “to salve my wounded ego” But behind these there’s an arc for Wildfire. An off the cuff comment from Lightning Lad not only reminds us of Drake’s predicament in the suit, but also of Garth’s leadership skills (which he does seem to have at least some of).

As Blok completes his story, the subplots merge and the group go to confront the Bandits who have released their steeds from a zoo, and aim to raid the Earth. It’s a comic cliché that in order to make your new hero look good, the older hero has to take a fall. Here, Wildfire and Sun Boy are incapacitated in moments when the group confront the bandits. If Wildfire were the applicant, and so seemingly dependant on his technological containment suit, you’d wonder why he wasn’t rejected for membership.

Nightwind, Lamprey and Crystal Kid fare no better. Thinking that the attack is an exercise, they rush into battle and are easily beaten. We see nothing of what they’re capable of, to compare them against Blok. Conway sets up Blok’s finale very nicely, by providing us with aspects of his powers. He’s too massive to fly on his own, so he needs Sun Boy and Dawnstar’s assistance. That leads into Dawnstar having to drop him, when Sun Boy is incapacitated. This is another set up, to delay Blok’s confrontation with the Bandits to the moment when all bar Dawnstar (“I’m afraid I’m a tracker, not a stomper”) have been defeated. He’s simply impervious to the Bandit’s powers.

Earlier in the story, Blok says that he absorbs mass. That, along with his ability to reflect energy back onto the Bandits are aspects of his abilities we don’t see again. Whatever Conway had in mind wasn’t really picked up on during the later Levitz run. His reduction into a tough, strong man of stone didn’t distinguish him, power wise, too much from any passing Kryptonian, Daxamite or Ultra Boy.

It interesting to note in connection to Blok’s reflective powers, that there’s a Reflecto storyline on the way.

But the change in emphasis of Blok’s powers is easily matched by the change in the details of his origins. In #253 he is called “cousin” by Silver Slasher. In this issue, it can only be a name used to show the bond between settlers and the indigenous population.

But the Silver Slasher calls him Blok in place of the name he once had. We also learn from Slasher that Blok has been tuned into a “hideous monster” indicating that the form we see wasn’t his original one. Certainly Slasher has been transformed as part of the Dark Man’s process. So, there’s no reason to think that Blok wasn’t once human too. These details are quietly dropped, focussing on Blok becoming something a bit different.

The Legion are considered to have blown up the home world (Korlon then and Dryad now) of the assassins. In this issue it’s simply that the children at the time didn’t understand the devastation that was about to hit their world, and that the Legion saved them. We’re told in #253 that this happened only a half dozen years ago. The assassins have aged extremely quickly as they look to be not far off the age of the Legionnaires. There’s a point about how easily radicalisation can set in, and how old pains can be exploited. It’s a good point. You’d like to think that any number of survivors of the planet would have been able to tell the children the truth. But a look at our own world shows that this is often not enough. Who knows what hardships the survivors faced elsewhere in the UP. Fuel enough for a generation of youngsters to grow… and hate.

Finally, we see that the settlers have a great relationship with Blok’s race (although there’s a bit of early stonecutting that makes me wonder). But later storylines would make a lot of Blok being the last of his race. He seems to age at the same rate as the other sentients on Korlon/Dryad. It’s very unlikely that the humans would leave the others behind, or for the Legion to allow such a thing to happen.

In summary, there are a number of pros and cons to take away from this issue. There’s some poignancy in Blok’s origin (which I probably appreciate more with this reading than I did previously) and with Drake’s condition. We see 3 new applicants. Two of these would end up as Legionnaires (albeit off panel) later on. Blok adds something different visually to the team, and does have some distinct personality traits. He embodies the old cliché of villain turned good guy. As he was shown not to be as ruthless as the other assassins from his first appearance, this has been foreshadowed and doesn’t seem gimmicky. The cons have been outlined above, and probably outweigh the pluses overall, making it a slightly below par issue, with highlights.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#922361 - 02/21/17 11:55 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: thoth lad]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Café Cramer
Originally Posted by thoth lad
Funnily enough the bottom right of the cover advertises Dial H For Haberdashery Hero and the newest member of the Legion was nearly Lori Morning at one point.

Further proof that it's best to not know the future.

Quote
Dawnstar (for where Wildfire is…) congratulates Dirk for being able to remember the names of three others, which seemed a bit blunt (but oddly within her personality, as shown in a later confrontation with Tinya). There’s no way Dirk would forget the names of anyone female.


Hah! I missed that little jab at Mr. Sunshine. I wonder why the writers didn't make Dawnstar the outside voice, generally reserved for the more alien Legionnaires - Blok, Tellus, Quislet - to comment on character and social mores. Dawnstar certainly had the blunt honesty required.

Quote
A natural break for a story is created when Wildfire goes off to get a cleaning crew for the ruined obstacle course.

Which could have been accomplished with a call on some communication device... his real goal must have been to go kvetch to Garth about Blok.

Quote
But behind these there’s an arc for Wildfire. An off the cuff comment from Lightning Lad not only reminds us of Drake’s predicament in the suit, but also of Garth’s leadership skills (which he does seem to have at least some of).


Garth pretty much caved under the pressures of leadership, but he does show a good understanding of people and motivation, as illustrated there.

Quote
Earlier in the story, Blok says that he absorbs mass. That, along with his ability to reflect energy back onto the Bandits are aspects of his abilities we don’t see again. Whatever Conway had in mind wasn’t really picked up on during the later Levitz run. His reduction into a tough, strong man of stone didn’t distinguish him, power wise, too much from any passing Kryptonian, Daxamite or Ultra Boy.


Curious as to why these powers were discarded. They would have distinguished him and increased his versatility.


Quote
Finally, we see that the settlers have a great relationship with Blok’s race (although there’s a bit of early stonecutting that makes me wonder). But later storylines would make a lot of Blok being the last of his race. He seems to age at the same rate as the other sentients on Korlon/Dryad. It’s very unlikely that the humans would leave the others behind, or for the Legion to allow such a thing to happen.


Maybe in leaving the planet, Blok's people lost some vital force and perished? That could have led to a few resentments....Blok might have survived due to the Dark Man's tampering. It's certainly an untold story, whatever happened.

I really wonder why writers couldn't maintain consistency with these backstories.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#922392 - 02/22/17 12:38 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Further proof that it's best to not know the future.


It's not a period of the Legion I'm super familiar with. I know her mainly from around the start of the DnA stuff.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
I wonder why the writers didn't make Dawnstar the outside voice, generally reserved for the more alien Legionnaires - Blok, Tellus, Quislet - to comment on character and social mores. Dawnstar certainly had the blunt honesty required.


That later issue with Tinya quickly established a mini generation gap within the Legionnaires. I’m sort of glad she’s not a voice character. They can end up as being a little one track, and Dawny is better than that. She’s someone I like more as time goes on.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Which could have been accomplished with a call on some communication device... his real goal must have been to go kvetch to Garth about Blok.


Just think of all those spoiled character arcs, and nicely plotted issues when Brainy got the Computo majordomo to clear up everything instantly. No need to excuse yourself for kvetching at all.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Garth pretty much caved under the pressures of leadership,


I’m blaming having a dreadful haircut for most of his breakdown. Future rereads will tell me what issue it’s from. smile

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Curious as to why these powers were discarded. They would have distinguished him and increased his versatility.


I remember this era as being a bit muddled on the writer front. It was a little surprise that it was Conway on both the introduction to Blok and this story. I think later writers, just took the character at face value and went with that. He does get to talk to rocks at some point though. SO, if the Earth is invaded by Pet Rocks, he’s your guy.

Maybe in leaving the planet, Blok's people lost some vital force and perished? That could have led to a few resentments....Blok might have survived due to the Dark Man's tampering. It's certainly an untold story, whatever happened.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
I really wonder why writers couldn't maintain consistency with these backstories.


I think that the later Blok origin is a bit better than just having an altered human. So, it’s one that I don’t try to pick apart too much. Perhaps it’s a simple as a better idea occurring to the writer once he got further into the book. There’s often a lot of set ups put in without knowing exactly what the pay-off is going to be.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#922396 - 02/22/17 05:00 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,390
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,390
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
The comments about Blok's and the League of Super-Assassins' ages relative to the Legionnaires' got me to thinking about when the evacuation of Korlon/Dryad might have occurred. The timeline in the LSH Sourcebook puts the events of this year (Lightning Lad's leadership) in Year 11 of the Legion's history. There's no indication as to when the evacuation occurred, but "a half-dozen years ago" would place it in Year 5, during Brainiac 5's leadership.

There are some problems with this. The Legionnaires involved in the evacuation included Shady and Brin, who did not join until Years 6 and 7, respectively. They and the other Legionnaires are shown wearing their Cockrum-designed costumes, which they did not adopt until Year 9. However, if we allow for artistic license, we can put the evacuation of Dryad in Year 7 or Year 8, which allows for three or four years before the survivors reappeared as the LSA. (This also squares with Jo's "half-dozen years ago" comment, assuming he was being imprecise.)

It's difficult to tell how old Blok and his friends might have been at the time of the evacuation (more artistic license), but, if they were 10-11, that would make them 14-15 when they appeared as the LSA--roughly the same age the Legionnaires were when they started.

Of course, the LSH Sourcebook was written by Levitz, and there's no indication that Conway had a similar timeline in mind. However, it was generally acknowledged that some time had passed since the Legion's founding and that the heroes were well into their 20s at this point, even though they were still depicted as being in their teens (yet more artistic license). So the accounts could match without any age manipulation from the Dark Man.

Now, if we can just ignore the fact that Superboy must have been an eternal teenager . . .



Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#922406 - 02/22/17 11:53 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,287
Café Cramer
You did the math - and made it work well enough!

Part of the problem is Blok and the others are depicted visually as youngsters, but they could have been teens and just as oblivious to the truth of the situation as little kids.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#922430 - 02/23/17 06:06 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Future]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
And thanks to the story involving longevity, the Legion will be considered lads and boys and girls at an age beyond what we'd use in this time.

So there are alot of years in what the Legipnverse would call youth, and a lot of varying levels of maturity.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#922489 - 02/24/17 07:51 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: thoth lad]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
Cobalt Kid Offline
Bold Flavors
Cobalt Kid  Offline
Bold Flavors

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,580
If you don't want my peaches, ...
LSH #272

Sorry to be late again (as I appear to be every 3 or 4 issues) but better late than never, I suppose. To sum up my comments briefly: on the one hand, I like that we at last get a new member in Blok who I’ve warmed to over the decades, and I also like the dubious introduction of Nightwind, Lamprey and Crystal Kid. On the other hand, and really it outweighs the good quite a bit, this was a bit of a hum drum issue with Steve Ditko’s pencils looking even more dated than usual, use of Star Bandits bringing with it annoying translation narrative boxes that took me out of the story, and no real explanation about what makes Blok Legion material. So all in all, kind of a bad issue, though I do like that the Legion is continuing to evolve.

It’s hard to say if the way I’m reading Blok is Conway’s intent, or if I’m just placing my later knowledge of his character from Levitz’s run into his ‘voice’, but I really like the stoic personality of Blok who is slow to temper and calmly self-depreciating. He has enough personality here to make his Legion membership worthwhile on personality & look alone, even if his powers bring nothing really special to the team.

As I’ve mentioned before, I like Nightwind, Lamprey and Crystal Kid a lot, but I’ve forgotten how “throwaway” they are in their first appearance—probably because they’re so forgetful. Their next appearance with Wildfire is the issue I usually recall, and then of course their later appearances under Levitz’s tenure.

Originally Posted by thoth lad
The story could have just gone on to be Blok’s story, with a training scene at the end to show his suitability for the Legion. But Conway breaks it up to provide a bit more action. He does this firstly by interspacing the tale with events relating to the training session. A natural break for a story is created when Wildfire goes off to get a cleaning crew for the ruined obstacle course. But he goes further, by bringing in a subplot involving the Starburst Bandits. Both the Bandits and Blok were introduced by Conway back in the early #250. Their plot then combines with the training session, and origin story, allowing Blok to shine against proper villains.


This is a great observation Thoth, and I agree. The story is plotted out really well by Conway and allows for different sequences to let characters shine and keep readers interested. I think the problem lies in the art making some of these sequences seem boring. If Dave Cockrum or Mike Grell were drawing this story, it probably would have been much more memorable.

#922504 - 02/24/17 01:50 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 16 [Re: Cobalt Kid]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 18,207
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Originally Posted by Cobalt Kid
If Dave Cockrum or Mike Grell were drawing this story, it probably would have been much more memorable.


In an alternate world, Dave gets his Legion art returned (albeit unofficially) and sticks with the book. Wondering how to get his unused characters on the team, he combines Trio and Typhoon...but instead of Storm, Nightwind joins the team.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
Page 4 of 4 1 2 3 4

Monitor Duty
Forum Statistics
Forums14
Topics20,172
Posts943,720
Legionnaires1,675
Most Online162
Jun 6th, 2017
Newest Legionnaires
xxx, Knightshade, EzraLas, houseofel, KidJustice
1675 Registered Legionnaires
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
Time Bubble
Holo-Vids
21CL Shrinking Violet
Catalyst Queen for Legion AU Project
Color Kid by Jay Fosgitt
Roll Call
Dain
Dain
Somewhere in the Multiverse
Posts: 539
Joined: April 2006
Show All Member Profiles 
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0