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#925880 - 04/15/17 12:13 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: thoth lad]  
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Originally Posted by thoth lad


There was the sequel called "Secrets of the Legion so Secret They've Been Kept Secret!" After readers complained about 26 pages containing only CLASSIFIED stamps, DC released a further series, "Hidden Mysterious Legends of the Legion!"

Originally Posted by stile86
Not much else to say except that I stifled a sigh when Jo "disappeared". I suddenly remembered what storyline this was leading to and how disappointed I was when I first read it. Oh well maybe rereading I will find
some gems I missed last time.


Yes, come with us to reread the hidden gems in the Reflecto Saga. Please. >sob< Don’t leave us in there! >choke< smile


LOL!
If I am ever feeling a bit down I just have to read a post from Thoth and I am feeling much better (except perhaps from my mouth muscles aching from laughing too much).

#925881 - 04/15/17 01:11 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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#274 The Exaggerated Death of Ultra Boy

Well this story wasn't a bad start at all.

I have to say I don't really like Steve Ditko's artwork. However there are some good spots like the opening page which matches well with the narrative, and while much of the rest feels stiff it still conveys the important points well such as the Imra/Timya memory sharing and Jo's reaction to seeing Tinya.

I thought Gerry Conway's writing was pretty good but my appreciation increased even more following Thoth's analysis. Conway did a good job of paralleling the two storylines and the balance of the story is excellent.

The Imra/Tinya moment is really good and much appreciated, both for not just moving on past Jo's apparent death with business as usual but also for the character development for both women.

There is a bit of a mixup in the timeline with the team heading off to foil a pirate attack before it actually begins, unless Captain Frake enjoys "trying out the new meat" in the middle of an operation. (Kinky?) On the other hand perhaps the Legion's alert actually came from Dream Girl who is otherwise unaccounted for. (She does appear in the statue scene along with the mysterious statues of Cos and Tyroc.)

Always feels a bit strange to see Legionnaires using weapons. Cox could probably rip the ship apart magnetically quicker than his laser rounds.

Overall not bad at all. If only the quality remains at this level, although Thoth's comments and my own memories leave me with some trepidation.


#925882 - 04/15/17 01:15 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Oh and one further thought on #273

Was it really necessary to have an empty bed in the hospital to prompt Tinya to ask after the missing Jo? Do hospitals regularly leave a bed vacant in a room for each person that has died BEFORE getting to the hospital? Why not have just enough beds or use the beds for other patients? And even if there is an empty bed why should Jo need it to make her wonder where Jo is?

It's the sort of flimsy plot point sometimes thrown into stories which is not only flimsy but not really needed in the first place.

#926000 - 04/16/17 05:17 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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LSH #275 Of Pride, Passion and Piracy

Another quite reasonable story from Conway. The plot progresses well (even if I agree with Wildfire in the opening scene which feels a bit too expositional).

As Cramer and Thoth have said the development of Jo's turn away from the pirates is handled well and a at a satisfying pace. It is also nice to see other characters being developed, although the Vi/Drake bit was better than the Brin and Gim parts which felt a little awkwardly squeezed in. Interesting that Tinya does not appear at all, and yet the one small mention of her not only excuses but satisfies.

Conway was apparently trying for a tragic note with Jo almost being rejoined to his teammates but then being lost again, and it works a bit but also a bit "here we go again".

Overall I like this. May it continue. (I can dream can't I?)

#926001 - 04/16/17 06:29 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Hey Stile! Good to see your comments on these issues. The empty bed scene - pretty clumsy indeed. I hadn't thought about it and wonder now if we should blame the writer or the artist.

Set your trepidation aside and prepare to attack the Reflecto Saga. We have a sword & sorcery interval with the next issue (#276) then it's on to the hunt for hidden gems.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#926201 - 04/17/17 03:03 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: stile86]  
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Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
I've always maintained that if Star Boy had, in fact, made the tree limb super-heavy, it might have broken Nuhor's neck and killed him anyway. Of course, there is a slim chance that he might have lived. The Legion Code says nothing about rendering anyone a quadriplegic.


Hopefully the branch would have killed him. Thom would have a lot of explaining to do when the footage showed him beating the guy to death with a branch. "Steal the love of my life back?! I don't think so!" >thump< >thump<

Of course, the trial of Thom missed out a key witness.
Superboy: I present Douglas Nolan. Douglas, you can see across parallel realities. What other actions could Thom have taken.
Douglas: Thanks for having me Kal. It's nice to get off that gurney, where I strapped like Hannibal Lector once in a while. Using my powers... I see... nope. Thom's pretty much hell bent on killing the guy in every universe.
Superboy: Um... you can go now Douglas.


Originally Posted by stile86
LOL! If I am ever feeling a bit down I just have to read a post from Thoth and I am feeling much better (except perhaps from my mouth muscles aching from laughing too much).


awwwww.. thanks.


Originally Posted by stile86
I have to say I don't really like Steve Ditko's artwork. However there are some good spots like the opening page which matches well with the narrative, and while much of the rest feels stiff it still conveys the important points well such as the Imra/Timya memory sharing and Jo's reaction to seeing Tinya.


It's something that's well worth mentioning. As indifferent as I am to Ditko's work on the Legion, it certainly doesn't seem to derail Conway's story. I've seen plenty of comics by more in form artists where that doesn't happen.


Originally Posted by stile86
The Imra/Tinya moment is really good and much appreciated, both for not just moving on past Jo's apparent death with business as usual but also for the character development for both women.


A few of the Legionnaires went down in my estimation over their attitudes towards Imra. How dare they be fallible? smile


Originally Posted by stile86
There is a bit of a mixup in the timeline with the team heading off to foil a pirate attack before it actually begins...

I read it that there's a deep space alarm that goes off alerting the Legion to a ship in the area rather than a ship attacking. Frake and Jo are "walking the plank" before the attack, but after an alarm has been triggered. smile


Originally Posted by stile86
unless Captain Frake enjoys "trying out the new meat" in the middle of an operation. (Kinky?)


And the Sentient Perv of the week award goes to stil86... and don't tell me that "Cox" reference was a slip. smile


Originally Posted by stile86
On the other hand perhaps the Legion's alert actually came from Dream Girl who is otherwise unaccounted for. (She does appear in the statue scene along with the mysterious statues of Cos and Tyroc.)


Considering how obsessed with statues of themselves the Legion are, I took the Cos and Tyroc ones to be part of a wider collection of all the team that's just out of shot. I reckon there's a Sculptor Lad character we just never see. Either that, or the most unpopular Legionnaires of the month, get their statues taken into the Hall of Heroes as a hint to improve their attitudes. smile


Originally Posted by stile86
Always feels a bit strange to see Legionnaires using weapons.


We just don't get to see Gim using the giant cannons often enough! What's the point of having the armoury if you don't use it? smile


Originally Posted by stile86
Was it really necessary to have an empty bed in the hospital to prompt Tinya to ask after the missing Jo?

Cos was all for putting a body bag on the bed and Tyroc called to put a gravestone on it, in place of a pillow. That's why their statues are with Nolan, Norg and Arlik's smile

Originally Posted by stile86
Interesting that Tinya does not appear at all, and yet the one small mention of her not only excuses but satisfies.


Conway was apparently trying for a tragic note with Jo almost being rejoined to his teammates but then being lost again, and it works a bit but also a bit "here we go again". [/quote]

Good spot on Tinya not being there. Considering how important she was last time, and to the whole Jo/Tinya bond, that's a bit of a susrpirse. And I agree about it being functional, but getting to the same end point.

Can I also ask who this guy on page 2 is?

[Linked Image]

I reckon it's Sculptor Lad just off to do some Gim and Brin statues . They've both been whiny and that's unpopular enough to get them moved to the Hall of Heroes. Is Sculptor Lad Marla Latham? smile


"...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."
#926225 - 04/18/17 01:49 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: thoth lad]  
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Originally Posted by thoth lad
Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
I've always maintained that if Star Boy had, in fact, made the tree limb super-heavy, it might have broken Nuhor's neck and killed him anyway. Of course, there is a slim chance that he might have lived. The Legion Code says nothing about rendering anyone a quadriplegic.


Hopefully the branch would have killed him. Thom would have a lot of explaining to do when the footage showed him beating the guy to death with a branch. "Steal the love of my life back?! I don't think so!" >thump< >thump<


With this and Glorith's Tree Dude, we have the makings of a Trees of the Legionverse thread.


Quote
Is Sculptor Lad Marla Latham? smile


A young, time-traveling Marla Latham, invoking yet another untold Legion tale.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#926226 - 04/18/17 02:04 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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LSH #276, Who Dares Enter Lord Romdur's Castle? ByGerry Conway, art by Steve Ditko & F. Chiaramonte, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters Ben Oda

[Linked Image]

A Legion team seeks three lost U.P. explorers on Avalon, a feudal-level planet. They are stopped by a knight and soldiers; only Projectra going full princess stops the melee. They are brought to the local lord, who asks if they have come to free the King from Lord Romdur. A strange apparition appears, saying he is Lord Romdur, and warns them to not interfere.

A knight explains to them that Romdur appeared from an unknown place the day of King Leon's coronation. Romdur took possession of a castle, warned the King not to intefere and left in a rain of black hail. As assault on Romdur's castle failed miserably, with Romdur enslaving the King and his men with sorcery.

The Legionnaires set out with the knight to investigate, encounter many obstacles and suspect the knight of sabotaging their mission. The approach the castle, which is high above the ground, and deduce that Mordru is Lord Romdur. As they enter the castle, an image of Mordru explains that he requires a new world since the magical resources of Zerox are exhausted. Mordru himself appears, attacks the Legionnaires. The knight arrives and spears Mordru with his sword which allows Star Boy to bring down Mordru. They find King Leon and the three U.P. explorers; the king tells them that his men are on the northern border. The King also tells them that the knight is his son.

Comments:
The cover, as is so often the case, has little to do with the story. It might have been a more enticing story had Jeckie declared herself queen of Avalon and – what? - knighted Sun Boy.

I just didn't find this story very interesting. The legionnaires fight a series of mystical and material foes, display their powers, complete their fantasy quest. The big reveal that Romdur is Mordru doesn't follow a number of clues, just the observation that the castle is raised above the ground. Seriously, who was reading the name Romdur and thinking to rearrange the letters? The entire fight with Mordru is settled far too quickly; the great mage is felled by an ordinary sword and Star Boy. It might have made more sense for the knight/prince to have a magic sword for that task. The reveal that the knight is really the crown prince is thrown into the final panel and left to drop with a dull thud. So what? Why did the prince have to conceal his identity from the Legion?

This doesn't seem like Mordru's style; why does he have to hide in the castle? Is he building up his magical powers slowly?

It is curious that Zerox is supposedly losing its magic. This could have been threaded throughout future stories to culminate in the Magic Wars, but I don't believe there was another reference to this.

The three U.P. explorers aren't explained; they're just a device to get the Legion to Avalon. Are they scoping out the planet as a potential source of raw materials for the United Planets?


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#926322 - 04/19/17 03:51 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: thoth lad]  
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Originally Posted by thoth lad

Can I also ask who this guy on page 2 is?

[Linked Image]

I reckon it's Sculptor Lad just off to do some Gim and Brin statues . They've both been whiny and that's unpopular enough to get them moved to the Hall of Heroes. Is Sculptor Lad Marla Latham? smile

I thought for a moment it was Star Boy who smetimes wore a crewcut? But no, his haircut in #274 was different. It must be Sculptor Lad!

#926323 - 04/19/17 05:07 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Superman Family #207

This is a Supergirl story, period. The Legion are only there to be potential victims and to provide the background for the villain. There brief moments in the spotlight (two pages plus exposition from Supergirl on a third) don't really show them in a good light. The only one to demonstrate powers or abilities is Cham with the powerful ability to change into a metal greyhound (in puffs of smoke apparently and two heads at once - exactly what part of his body IS he changing into the dog in that panel?), perhaps Brainiac 5 with the ability to explain the obvious to his teammates who can't figure it out without him, and Blok with the ability to ... talk ... slowly. (Should I include Imra with the ability to tell her husband what to do?) After a demonstration like that is it really surprising she doesn't share her secrets with them?

Perhaps I am being a bit harsh, but I really have to wonder, did this story come from how to include the LSH in a short Supergirl story or was it the other way around? "What can we do with Supergirl in 12 pages? I know! Let's take her back to her Kryptonoan home (because that's never been done before - how many times has her cousin gone back to Krypton?) but have it all just be an illusion, like hypnosis. Now what villain do we have with hypnosis (super-hypnosis to affect a super)? How about that LSH villain Universo? He'd be perfect!

He certainly was perfect with his super-duper-interstellar-reaching hypnosis. Why he has to go to so much trouble every other time to take over the earth if he can do this I don't know. Still Supergirl was pretty powerful with her interstellar vision as well as Thoth pointed out.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
There's a discussion of our technology and Colu elsewhere on this forum, so it particularly struck me how odd it seems for an advanced civilization to have table lamps. Ugly table lamps.


I agree, but that isn't the biggest problem with this. Universo not only apparently can't tell the difference between a table lamp and a weapon, this table lamp apparently has a trigger and emits scary light bursts (well I suppose it is a lamp) and smoke rings. Kara obviously remembered running around the house, pretending to shoot bad guys, with her parents chasing after her telling her to put the lamp back on the table.

I have never read this story before and my life was no poorer for it. Frankly, if this was intended to encourage Supergirl readers to get into the Legion I think it would have failed. The somewhat affectionate byplay between her and Brainy might have intrigued one or two but that's about it.

#926602 - 04/20/17 04:12 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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LoSH #276

Six Legionnaires find themselves on a medieval world, trying to track down 3 UP explorers.

It’s Ditko on the art, and the opening splash page of the marketplace eases me into the story nicely. I’m reminded of a number of fantasy and sci fi settings where the heroes have to do just the same. Being aware of the primitive attitudes of some planets, it’s perhaps an odd choice to have Cham and Shady on the team. It could potentially derail the success of the mission.

Jeckie notices that the culture reminds her of her home world, but is very oddly not the mission leader. Star Boy, not known for his diplomatic skills, steps forward. To be fair to him, there was always going to be a fight, and the six realize that themselves. It’s an excuse for Conway and Ditko to show them all in action individually. There’s peltny of dialogue as the fight goes on as the reader gets an introduction to their powers. Although one guard seems to collapse at Cham’s hands on hips pose.

I’m struck by the “We Legionnaires enjoy testing our ability to survive.” Line by Cham. Enjoy testing their skills perhaps. But anyone who loves jumping into harm’s way may not live too long.

With the skirmish over, we go back to the plot as it should have been with Jeckie taking charge. The group are quickly taken to Lord Harlund. He’s your stereotypical tired, besieged noble who is about to give into despair before the timely arrival of the heroes. Generally, they spend two to three hours before such an encounter to work on sagging shoulders, whiny voice and a tired stare that’s about to give into the inevitable. But Harlund does well with what little time he’s had.

The Legionnaires don’t even have time to ally themselves with Harland. Just asking about who’s behind Harland’s extra sagging shoulders is enough to bring the nosy villain of the issue into the story. Romdur the wizard looks like a psychedelic child’s identikit attempt gone wrong.

Like Mayavale, Ditko’s visuals do have a very odd lasting appeal to them. That’s not to be sniffed at in a genre of identikit villains.

He basically tells the heroes to butt out and throw down a few lightning bolts, as stipulated by the Wizard’s guild.

One of the bolts looks to have affected Tinya, who had gone immaterial. What I do notice is how hands on Dirk is with her. Being Dirk, it comes across as more seedy than supportive. Years later, he’d try the same thing, only for Tinya to rebuke him for it, in a sort of creepy way.

Phantom Girl tells Dirk that she goes immaterial out of instinct. That too, would be something Jo Nah would say years later. That he doesn’t turn off his powers needlessly. Shady shows some proactivity by tracking which direction the wizard came from.

It’s a very nice panel from Ditko. We don’t see Shady use her flight ring. She’s on the castle window ledge, looking out at the adventure to come. We see her fly down to finish her speech and to bring the reader into a flashback by one of the supporting cast, who led the guards’ attack back at the start. So, art that gives the story momentum and a character introduced to provide action but who, having been introduced to the reader, is familiar enough to give back story too. Good and effective.

It’s your standard story. Warrior King, beloved by his people who have never heard of democracy, is afflicted by vile magicks by an evil wizard who sets himself up at a handy quest location, in this case Skull Peak. If you’re going to call something “Skull Peak” you deserve everything you get. No evil Warlock sets himself up on Fluffy Bunny Mountain, so why not call everything things like that?

The fear in the locals, and the evil of the interloper are done well enough. The King leads an army against the wizard, and only a handful return. The remainder have been enslaved, killed by shadow demons (see Crisis) or worse…

There’s a few games that would later have similar premises, not to mention a small horde of role playing games. So, it’s no easy task that’s set before our heroes this issue. Now Cham’s already said that testing themselves against mortal peril is what being a Legionnaire is about. But just in case, the three explorers that the team were on the planet to find were last seen going to the Wizard’s place on Skull Peak.

The team travel in proper quest fashion, on horseback through the perils of the Grey Marsh. We’re given an unconvincing excuse as to why they don’t use flight rings. But if they were low in the air, we couldn’t get the subplot where Jeckie is injured and Star Boy turns against the knight form the start of the issue. There’s also the start of a subplot where Phantom Girl looks to have destroyed a creature. I was waiting for someone to say “and if you’ve killed it, you will be expelled from the Legion.” But the team go to lengths to establish that it was a construct. With Star Boy on the team this issue, I wonder how Phantom Girl voted when he was expelled.

After a science fail from Shady, the group reach the evil wizard’s castle, w Ditko does well in showing to be an odd, looming affair; a creature of stone living on the mountaintop. Seeing the body of the castle on stilts, the team automatically assume that it doesn’t look like a spider, nor a lurking creature or a skull. But that it can only mean that the builder had a fear of being on the ground. And that can only mean Mordru.

Mordru should be a very scary villain, and we’re on pages 22-23 when the reveal comes. Is this a two parter? No it’s not. Shady, who’s faced Mordru before, bravely runs interference so that Star Boy can use his powers on the castle structure. He’s the perfect character to have around, if you want to bury someone under a ton of rubble. A mystic sphere and a few lightning bolts are all that Mordru has to offer before he’s entombed.

Considering the trouble the team went through to clear Tinya earlier in the issue, you’d have thought that Star Boy would have thought twice about collapsing the entire castle. Handily, all of the King’s enslaved troops were elsewhere. The King and the three UP explorers, were conveniently in a presumably reinforced dungeon. As the castle was on stilts, it’s not clear where the dungeon would actually be. It’s also not clear what happened to any other servants Mordru had about the place. Who looks after the prisoners for example?

The knight from the start is the one who helps Star Boy get enough time to use his powers after Shady is incapacitated (but not killed, showing that Mordru is really losing that fear factor). I’m not sure if we’re ever told that the lance he’s using is iron, or some material traditionally used to against mystical forces. Star Boy’s animosity towards the man is resolved and it’s revealed that he’s the Prince of the region. So, no elections on Avalon for another generation at least.

Overall, this is a mediocre issue. It’s a diversion from the last few and gives us a different setting. It follows a tried and tested fantasy plot, with a twist of familiarity at the end. Mordru adds nothing more to the story, even if he has moved away from the Sorcerer’s World. It’s a far cry from his first appearance though. Considering how consistently well the Fatal Five are portrayed, it’s a bit disappointing to see a major villain defeated so easily.

There’s no moral greyness to the tale. The xenophobia hinted at in the opening scene is never used to show the locals the error of their ways. Nothing comes from Tinya being affected by the fog, or from Jeckie being injured by the plant.

Star Boy gets the spotlight this issue, but I don’t feel we get to know a great deal more about him. Perhaps he’s got an issue with authority figures. Perhaps he’s a little distrustful, but not to the extent he can’t see past it. Like the fog creature, there’s nothing that substantial in the end.




"...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."
#926701 - 04/21/17 12:14 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: thoth lad]  
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She ran and called him Wildfire.
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Originally Posted by thoth lad
With Star Boy on the team this issue, I wonder how Phantom Girl voted when he was expelled.



Tinya, like all the girl Legionnaires except Imra, voted Not Guilty, as I recall. The explanation given was that they sympathized with Thom because of his relationship with Nura.

As for Imra, she served as judge during the trial, so she should have recused herself from voting. But she voted Guilty nonetheless.


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#926771 - 04/22/17 06:07 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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LSH #276, Who Dares Enter Lord Romdur's Castle?


Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
I just didn't find this story very interesting.

Originally Posted by thoth lad
Overall, this is a mediocre issue.


I couldn't agree more, although what little appreciation I have for this story was enhanced slightly by thoth's highlighting a few of its good points, ones I certainly hadn't noticed before.

There's nothing really wrong with the story (i.e. no mistakes or continuity errors) but there's nothing really great about it either.

In particular I think that Mordru is given a very poor showing, especially for such a major villain. Star Boy does such a good job of burying him that he will remain here on Avalon right up to the Great Darkness Saga. In fact his few brief panels in that later story showing him utterly defeated and drained do more to give the impression of his enormous power and threat than this story shows. Years ago after reading the later Levitz story I was very curious to learn more about this apparently major villain, but was quite disappointed when I came upon this story. It wasn't until I had been able to go back and read his first appearance along with the dramatic Earthwar story that I began to understand what made him such a threat.

Gerry Conway has written an impressive number of comics over the years, with several popular characters to his credit. Possibly his most famous story, written when he was about 20, is the death of Gwen Stacey, an excellent and well paced script. This story is not that one. There is a very interesting quote from him included in the article on wikipedia, where he acknowledges how many of his stories written during his youth were either very good - or not so much.
Originally Posted by Gerry Conway from an interview posted on http://www.fantasticfourheadquarters.co.uk
Precocity is a well-known curse; most of the pressure I felt as a younger writer was self-imposed. I wanted to be accepted by other writers and artists as an equal, which put me in some awkward situations – pretending to be more mature than I was, emotionally and professionally. As it happened, I was pretty good at faking a maturity I didn't have, which had advantages and, obviously, some disadvantages. I think people often forgot how young I was, and expected me to perform at a level that was actually beyond me. The result was, I was pretty stressed for most of my early career as a writer, and I often felt like I had no idea what I was doing —which was true. I wrote instinctively and from the gut; when those instincts were appropriate to the material I was writing – for example, when I was writing [The Amazing] Spider-Man — the results were something I was quite proud of, then and now. When my instincts were off, I didn't have the experience to either recognize it, or to compensate for it, with results that were more uneven.

An interesting and revealing comment from him. However LSH 276 was written about 10 years later. Whatever lessons he may have learnt in the meantime are not apparent here.


#926971 - 04/23/17 04:20 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: stile86]  
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Originally Posted by stile86
An interesting and revealing comment from him. However LSH 276 was written about 10 years later. Whatever lessons he may have learnt in the meantime are not apparent here.


I think you nailed it in your post. After those 10 years he could turn out stories that had nothing really wrong with them, when he needed to. Or more likely, when the idea didn't quite transfer to the finished product. By this time, he'd being doing lots of work across a number of varied books for DC, with the variation imposed by Conway having a contract through the DC Implosion. Perhaps that also allowed him to produce the fantasy driven plot here, that was ok without really being rising above the average. It should also be said, that it's not up to the par of a lot of Conway's previous Legion issues and that every run has its uneven qualities.


"...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."
#927005 - 04/24/17 03:52 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Thanks for that Conway quote, Stile. Since Conway went on to write for TV mystery/legal shows, I wonder if mysteries were his real interest and he was told to design a fantasy plot - or maybe was just fooling around with a different genre.

We weren't told that the sword was iron, as Thoth pointed out, but it would have made sense and could have been mentioned in the story. The way Mordru was written here, they might have defeated him by pelting him with mud balls.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#927134 - 04/25/17 03:49 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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LSH #277, Because YOU Demanded it, “Behold Reflecto” aka “The Man Who Chained Earth” Gerry Conway(plot) & Roy Thomas (script) , art by Steve Ditko & F. Chiaramonte, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters Ben Oda

[Linked Image]

Legionnaires are rescuing a sinking ship, crewed by Dromedans, who do look like camels and can't swim. As the ship continues to sink, Phantom Girl phases through the deck to investigate. She is caught by tentacles which has ensnared the vessel; she's knocked out and rescued by a red-haired man in a yellow and orange suit. As he gives her mouth-to-mouth resucitation, Tinya imagines that this is Ultra Boy. He takes her to the surface as Karate Kid and Timber Wolf free the ship from the tentacles. The unknown hero flies Tinya back to Legion HQ, as Brainiac 5 observes them approaching and sends out an alarm to other members.

The hero identifies himself as Reflecto, humbly assures them that he's a good guy but not up to their standards and has nothing more to say. At this point, the rest of the team arrives with the rescued Dromedans, who explain that they were attacked by an airship which caught them with chains and used magnets to open the hatch and seize their cargo. The airship then fired a beam which caused sea plants to grow and wind around the ship. Reflecto has flown off, unnoticed, while the Dromedans were speaking; SPs arrive to aid the Dromedans.

Wildfire angrily (what else?) accuses Lightning Lad of failing to retain and question Reflecto. Garth agrees that his leadership has been one big screw-up and resigns, to the shock of all.

At the North Pole, a polar bear is captured by an inventive device; the inventor turns out to be Grimbor the Chainsman. He vows vengeance on the Legion and Earth for his beloved Charma, who died in prison. He activates a satellite which deploys chains to encircle the planet. A Luna-Earth shuttle has a fatal encounter with the chains. The SPs investigate; their ship is destroyed by the chains and they escape in astro-suits.

At this point, Grimbor appears before Earth Council and demands amnesty, informing them that it's only a holographic image of himself in prison. He also demands that the Legionnaires be given to him for “personal disposal”, reminding them that Earth will starve without food from the colony worlds, and gives them 24 hours to respond.

Lightning Lad puts his resignation on hold and splits the team into three groups: one to investigate the chains, another to discover what cargo Grimbor stole from the Dromedan ship and the third to liase with Earth Council, with Val and Jeckie remaining on watch at HQ. As the teams fly off, Reflecto emerges from behind a building and flies off after Tinya, observed by Val and Jeckie.

Comments:
To my surprise, I enjoyed this issue; there's a lot going on and the giant chains are just borderline goofy. If the Reflecto story had been wrapped up in the next issue or two, this could have been a nice little arc.

You couldn't get two more disparate titles between the cover (Reflecto - and just who demanded it?) and the opening page (Grimbor).

The gems, or at least, items of interest:

* The Dromedans, who must take dangerous work (for them, fearing water) because of economic decline.

* The fact that Earth is fed by colony worlds and is not at all self-sustaining.

* The married Legionnaires in everyday morning life, Garth & Imra unclothed in bed, Chuck & Lu having breakfast (with reference to 3rd helpings for Chuck - always joke about the fat guy). It's not explained if Chuck & Lu are visiting or have returned to active duty, unannounced.

* Garth's bombshell resignation, followed by his very effective leadership in the moment of crisis.

* Gim's considerable reluctance to be on the liaison team with Earth Council, due to friction with his mother.

* The mystery of Reflecto. You figure he's Jo Nah, but he doesn't look like him. Is his memory damaged, is he hiding, where'd the suit come from? His speech pattern is very formal. With those colours and that name, one might expect him to have Sun Boy-like powers.

* The return of Grimbor, who talks and lives like a cliché villain, but is an unusual foe presenting a considerable threat.

* A dose of reality with the deaths of people in the Luna-Earth shuttle.

*There are still polar bears in the future! Well, in their future, at least.

Blok had an out-of-character moment, calling Bouncing Boy "bubble-bottom". Pretty cheeky for the new guy on the team. In some later issue, I recall Bouncing Boy will be insulted again as "bubble-butt".









Holy Cats of Egypt!
#927164 - 04/25/17 11:00 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Future]  
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Originally Posted by Future
click to enlarge click to enlarge


The future is open? I see what you did there!

Legion of Super-Heroes Archive 17 contains the following for your weekly review pleasure:

- Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes #1-3
- LSH v2 #273
- Superman Family #207
- LSH v2 #274-279
- Brave & Bold #179
- LSH v2 #280-283


Ha! This cover is so great, just saw it now. Excellent job! Secrets of the Legion is one of my all time favorite stories. A great pity that Lucifer 7 was never used in the Reboot, he would have been a much better villain that UGH Tangleweg UGH frown

#927211 - 04/25/17 03:43 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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LoSH 277

This issue has an impressive cover. A new member to be introduced is often a good jumping on point for readers. He’s a mysterious new member too, adding to the appeal. He descends, like a shining angel, in front of the Legionnaires, carrying one of their own. Phantom girl adopts a traditional distressed damsel pose. We have our Wolverine clone and our spin off series character in Timberwolf and Karate Kid respectively, shocked at the new arrival. A character associated with Legion leadership, Cosmic Boy, is also awed (his costume is the most revealing of the group, thanks to the progressive Legion.) All of this takes place in front of the Legion HQ, with its big “L” symbol showing that this is a team of means. And the readers demanded it, according to the blurb! A book that listens to the readers! And it’s true! Old time readers picking the book up, will recognise Reflecto rom the cover of the Adult Legion stories. He’s not just mysterious, he’s ill-fated too. And it’s all drawn by George Perez. It must have been quite a treat for a new reader to turn the page and read the “honoured by a thousand worlds…” text

Our story starts normally enough, as the Legionnaires on the cover (including Light Lass) get to show off their powers in rescuing a cargo ship. This is something that Conway has used frequently, and to good effect. The heroes are confident, sure of their powers. Each uses their powers to progress the mystery of why they can’t refloat the craft. There’s a sense of continuation to the story. Events from the last few issues are referenced, giving the feel of an ongoing view of the Legionnaires lives, and not just a standalone story.

After finding anomalies in the cargo deck, Phantom Girl discovers that the ship is being pulled down by seaweed that acts to deliberately sabotage the ship. Unfortunately, despite using her powers she is knocked unconscious as she tries to weaken the weed’s control.

It’s a bit disappointing that, especially in the age of telepathic earplugs and transuits, that Tinya’s teammates feel they can’t contact her or go to her assistance. Black mark for veteran team leader Cosmic Boy here. But then, if the Legionnaires could have remembered Tinya, she wouldn’t have had to be saved by the mysterious figure that flies at super speed, locates exactly where Tinya went into the ship and provides her oxygen through the means of the super smooch.

Having been reminded about the threat to the boat, everyone else, including the weed gets back on track. Lone Wolf learns a lesson in teamwork. It’s good to see he can be captured as easily as Tinya was. He’s helped by Karate Kid, and the team rescue the crew. It takes all their effort, and Cosmic Boy can’t spare anyone to find out more about the mystery man. “If only we could spare the time…”

“Well, I could save Pol from the Archmage Coz, if only I could spare the time…”

We get little throw away moments from the characters that remind the reader of their pasts. How close Jo & Tinya are (in a Lori Lemaris fantasy) and how Brin got his powers for example.

Reflecto is definitely a good guy, obligingly re-enacting the cover, by returning Tinya right back on Legion Plaza in front of the HQ. Still, I wonder why Reflecto didn’t just get the water out of her lungs at the first available moment, say on the righted ship.

Seeing her still form in the arms of a stranger, Brainiac raises the alarm. Wildfire looks to attack (there’s also a firm reminder that Drake and Blok’s relationship is just platonic. There has to be a thread in there.), but the others see that she is alive.

To be fair to Drake, he’s the one who raises the idea that Reflecto could be an infiltrator. The others back Reflecto, but there was a spell when there was a spate of infiltrators. It also reinforces Wildfire’s continued support of the academy system.

Reflecto’s silence as to his origins comes across as more huffy than reasonable. It’s portrayed as a reaction to Drake’s near accusations, but no one really bothers to delve a little further, respectfully keeping their professional distance. It’s that professionalism that got Garth & Imra to change into costume at the emergency alarms going off, after all.

The group learn more about the mystery that was attacking the ship, as Reflecto makes his exit off panel. I quite liked the Dromedans in this issue. They could have come across as a bit jokey, but they are out of their environment due to some harsh economic conditions, and are just trying to earn their way in the UP.

Their attacker has advanced technology including tractor beams, rocket chains and a plant growth ray. It’s the last that seems a bit forced, as if the threat was thought of well before a satisfactory reasons for the villain to have such a device.

Drake continues his criticism of Garth back in HQ, and Garth quits as leader. We see the responsibilities he feels, even if Drake doesn’t criticise him for all of it. It’s a strong moment, because it’s the near loss of Phantom Girl that’s made up his mind, not some giant galactic battle. Imra is shocked that Garth didn’t discuss it with her.

The issue switches to our villain for nearly the rest of the issue. That’s quite unusual not only in terms of quantity, but that it’s not intercut with anything the heroes are up to. There are a lot of large panels too, making me think that this section was a little padded out. We learn that the sea heist was just part of the plans of Bondage Boy Grimbor. He’s wants vengeance for his lost love Charma. She has been killed by being put in a woman’s prison where her powers have caused them to turn against her. Grimbor is going to pay back Earth and the Legion for her death by encircling the Earth in giant energy chains. Chains that prevent food and aid from reaching the planet.

Like the Dromedans needing to work out of their conform zone, I like the idea that the mother world is now dependant on its colony worlds. It adds texture to the United Planets structure, as well as showing how vulnerable a system it can be.

Gim’s mom and UP President, Marte Allon alerts the Legion and Garth goes into full leadership mode, assigning teams and tasks. Why Gim is overruled in no uncertain terms. At the back, Blok insults Bouncing Boy, showing the difference between his grimmer personality here and Levitz’s later run. Showing these leadership skills now, and tabling his resignation to deal with the threat, is a sure indicator that he’ll stay on at the end and that this was a mini crisis of confidence.

As the team race off to save the Earth, Tinya’s team is tracked by Lurker Lad Reflecto. Our mystery man seems to have nothing better to do than hang around (presumably just outside Brainy’s sensor range, and wait for Phantom Girl. But who is he and in what way will he join the Legion?

The very good final panel shows Val and Jeckie walk back to Legion HQ. Above them, the giant chains can be seen across the sky

Overall, this is another decent issue. They Silver Age appearance of Reflecto is at odds with a more mature Legion team. But Conway does use that, by having Drake (a Bronze Age hero) be the one to point out some of the issues behind a mystery hero. With Kal and Jo gone, Reflecto matches their power sets, with a touch of Sun Boy visuals thrown in for good measure. Readers worried about the team relying on Mon El could see that there wouldn’t be a drop in that department.

We didn’t get much overt character development here, with Reflecto taking up that space. But Gim’s plot moved forward in a panel after Garth’s slap down, and that may be a part of the issues to come. Garth’s leadership issues were another thread as was Drake and Brin’s personalities within the team framework. Conway did get a fair bit in behind the main and sub plot.

Grimbor is a standard one trick vengeance vehicle, and it’s best to focus on his Deathstroke hunting scene than his costume. I remember the giant energy chains as being silly, but their appearance here does seem to work. It’s a large scale, themed threat from a technologically advanced, well prepared villain. How Grimbor plans to stop the chain generators being destroyed from outwith Earth remains for another issue.

Would we have the sky writing in Chew if it wasn’t for Grimbor? I think not smile


"...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."
#927281 - 04/26/17 11:54 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: thoth lad]  
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Originally Posted by thoth lad

And it’s all drawn by George Perez. It must have been quite a treat for a new reader to turn the page and read the “honoured by a thousand worlds…” text.


Maybe they should have just sold the cover!

Quote
Wildfire looks to attack (there’s also a firm reminder that Drake and Blok’s relationship is just platonic. There has to be a thread in there.), but the others see that she is alive.


Never thought of a Drake/Blok relationship before, but you have to figure Blok would at least be resistant to fire burns.

Quote
To be fair to Drake, he’s the one who raises the idea that Reflecto could be an infiltrator. The others back Reflecto, but there was a spell when there was a spate of infiltrators. It also reinforces Wildfire’s continued support of the academy system.


Drake's suspicion adds another mystery, just a hint to the reader that Reflecto might be a bad guy after all.

Quote
I quite liked the Dromedans in this issue. They could have come across as a bit jokey, but they are out of their environment due to some harsh economic conditions, and are just trying to earn their way in the UP.


I liked them too. Their story was a sad one, which kept them from being jokey and reminiscent of (or foreshadowing) Jar-Jar Binks.

Quote
Their attacker has advanced technology including tractor beams, rocket chains and a plant growth ray. It’s the last that seems a bit forced, as if the threat was thought of well before a satisfactory reasons for the villain to have such a device.


Even Grimbor seeks to diversify, or maybe he just took up gardening.

Quote
Drake continues his criticism of Garth back in HQ, and Garth quits as leader. We see the responsibilities he feels, even if Drake doesn’t criticise him for all of it. It’s a strong moment, because it’s the near loss of Phantom Girl that’s made up his mind, not some giant galactic battle. Imra is shocked that Garth didn’t discuss it with her.


I was surprised that Drake declined to take on the leadership when Garth threw it open to anyone, and even supported Garth to the extent of saying not to switch leaders in the middle of a crisis.

Quote
Grimbor is a standard one trick vengeance vehicle, and it’s best to focus on his Deathstroke hunting scene than his costume. I remember the giant energy chains as being silly, but their appearance here does seem to work. It’s a large scale, themed threat from a technologically advanced, well prepared villain. How Grimbor plans to stop the chain generators being destroyed from outwith Earth remains for another issue.


Haven't looked ahead to the next issue, but it occurred to me that the chains could be a holograph covering up an energy field. Of course, actual link chains would be a lot more scary; everyone could understand a holograph, but real chains are hard to get your head around. Maybe that's why we didn't see any more of Brainiac 5; he's blowing some circuits trying to figure it all out.



Holy Cats of Egypt!
#927350 - 04/27/17 12:00 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Just want to pipe in to say you guys are the best. I know I said I'd be back full-time, but I've been struggling to catch up--hopefully I'll do so shortly. In the meantime, I read Secrets of the LSH #3, which was as underwhelming as part 2, and the Superman Family issue, which wasn't much of a story at all, so I don't have much to say on those. Oh, other than one single panel of Supergirl and Brainy together (like 10 years after their last panel!!!).

Hopefully should be back next week!

#927380 - 04/27/17 05:25 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Originally Posted by Cramer
Maybe they should have just sold the cover!


At least it wasn't quite the drop off in quality from the cover to the last page. I was fearing the worst with this one.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Never thought of a Drake/Blok relationship before, but you have to figure Blok would at least be resistant to fire burns.


I'll look at Blok's academy issue more closely now smile

Good point about the burns too. When he gets a more physical form in the Levitz issues, it would make sense for him to try and find someone he can have some physical contact with.

Originally Posted by Cramer
I liked them too. Their story was a sad one, which kept them from being jokey and reminiscent of (or foreshadowing) Jar-Jar Binks.


Alas, Jar Jar was the one that didn’t make it. Oddly he seemed to have been thrown overboard before Grimbor’s attack. smile

Originally Posted by Cramer
Even Grimbor seeks to diversify, or maybe he just took up gardening.


I’d definitely read the Grimbor vs Chlorophyll Kid Special.

Originally Posted by Cramer
I was surprised that Drake declined to take on the leadership when Garth threw it open to anyone, and even supported Garth to the extent of saying not to switch leaders in the middle of a crisis.


Picking up on Drake’s energy form, I think he has a lot of outward conflict issues due to his physical form. He wants to provoke a response. Not because he actually has a better alternative, but because it makes him feel human, and he’s only too well aware that he doesn’t have a human body anymore. Drake would be challenged later on his opinions (Levitz/ Johns) and wouldn’t have be able to expand on his views.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Haven't looked ahead to the next issue, but it occurred to me that the chains could be a holograph covering up an energy field. Of course, actual link chains would be a lot more scary; everyone could understand a holograph, but real chains are hard to get your head around.


They start off as energy beams, and the visuals and then the dialogue follow that, which I think is more visually effective than if they had just been beams.

Originally Posted by Cobie
Hopefully should be back next week!


Look forward to it. Only a well manned/womaned/sentiented Legion World squad should enter the Reflecto Saga. smile


"...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."
#927452 - 05/05/17 12:01 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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LSH 277

I have to admit I rather liked this issue as well. I thought the writing was really pretty good. There was lots of characterisation, some developing of characters but even more supporting of our heroes not being just cardboard cutouts. Even the "extras" such as the crewmen and the spaceport staff acted realistically. The pacing was also quite good with a good opening and an excellent cliffhanger finish. The artwork was also reasonable with a few standout moments that really complemented the writing like Tinya's drowning fantasy, Garth's appearance as he put his own wants on hold and faced the crisis, and the final panel.

If the rest of the Reflecto saga lives up to this standard we will be doing well. (I have read it before but many years ago so it is refreshing seeing it through new eyes.)

"Bubble-Bottom"? Seriously? I suppose it is alliterative with the same initials as his code-name but Chuck is very restrained in not bouncing all over Blok's head. Perhaps Blok is still trying to figure out human mannerisms (after all he is still confused by them in the years to come) and has been spending too much time with Timber Wolf. His friendship with Brin is strongly portrayed in later issues along with Brin's own name-calling such as "Pebble-Head". In fact in the very issue Brin refers to one of the crewmen as "Camel-man" which could well be construed as racist, so perhaps we can lay the blame at Brin's feet. Nevertheless I hope one of the other team members has a friendly little talk to Blok about appropriate references to comrades.

#927453 - 05/05/17 12:08 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
The gems, or at least, items of interest:

Nice list of highlights. Picked up a couple of things I had missed in my own reading.

Originally Posted by thoth lad
This issue has an impressive cover. A new member to be introduced is often a good jumping on point for readers.

Good points about the cover. I never thought of it as being attractive to new readers, nor had I noticed the attribution to George Perez. Nice analysis.

Pretty much agree with all you both had to say.

#927454 - 05/05/17 12:25 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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I was looking back through the re-read project discussion thread and found this:

Originally Posted by thoth lad - 01/09/15
Close up of a sobbing thoth Lad, head in hands in a darkened room.

Voice over: This poor man was left to start the Reflecto saga on his own. He had no one to turn to when the plot became convoluted. No one to share the sense of betrayal of being drawn in by Perez covers.

Spare just 20 minutes a week on the Legion World Re-reads thread, so that thoth lad doesn't have to suffer alone again.


We're all here for you Thoth, we're all here.

#927455 - 05/05/17 01:30 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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>sniff< thank you


"...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."
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