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#934939 - 07/29/17 03:23 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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thoth lad Offline
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LoSH 287 - Backup

Mon-El’s grin at Shady’s huff over an interrupted vacation, belies the very ominous captions on the opening page. “…a world that has been forgotten…no, let us say instead, erased… a world who inhabitants were too cruel, too cold…to survive into this enlightened thirtieth century. A world whose ashes may yet be the setting for the final battle of the Legion of Super-Heroes.” I’d expect huge storylines to be front and centre in most titles, but this one starts in a back up and builds in stages.

A planet has drifted into the major interstellar trade routes. Investigatory probes have not returned, so two nearby Legionnaires investigate. They find a bleak world with an oppressive atmosphere. It’s vicious structures are placed in a cold, rocky world that Mon El notes he hasn’t seen even in his thousand years spent in the Phantom Zone.

In the few Levitz 2.0 issues, we’ve seen Mon El step up to fill in for Superboy. He screams on three occasions when dealing with the world’s automated defences, before Shadow Lass surrounds them with her protective darkness. The machines deactivate. Now that could have meant that they simply couldn’t locate their targets. But it’s made clear on a couple of occasions that it’s the darkness itself that the machines respond to.

The couple are summoned via their rings to help Val and Jeckie form the last back up story, and leave the world. Behind them a dark plume rises from an open air sarcophagus. Its occupant awakes into this new century illuminated by the pits that still burn across his world. Even the simply action of stretching, is tied into acts of violence and darkness. As Mon El tells Shady that he’ll get the world declared off limits, the figure below plans to test this universe with the aim of ruling in darkness over it all.

I first read this issue well after I had got the later ones, and there are plenty of clues here as to who the main villain was going to be. There’s even a handy from behind shot of his distinctive head, as Lar and Tasmia fly off.

I’ve never been impressed by the art in this one. Mon El looks a bit too distinctive. Shady doesn’t look as bad. If anything it’s her peevishness that’s a little out of place this time round. If asked to render a now desolate, forgotten word that still has hallmarks of its evil past, the art does tick all the boxes. Perhaps it’s my lack of 4th world reading, or later Byrne renderings in Superman that made me expect something more.

I think the defence robots/systems are almost cartoonish, and I imagine Apokalips falling when they outsourced their Menace department to ACME. But for all I know Kirby had hundreds of things looking just like those populating that world. And they do just what the script wants. Reading it here, I still get a disconnect between the visuals and the captions. The captions tell us that the villain is deep in a crypt, but he’s shown watching (well, he’s looking up and we see the word balloon) the heroes depart. So, I was never sure where exactly he was supposed to be. Deep underground, or on the surface. Looking at it again, I think he’s supposed to be a lot further down in one of the fire pits that we’re told about. But it’s a tough ask to get those conflicting instructions into a single frame, so we get what looks like a much shallower pit.

We’ve had a few villains so far. Organus had writing, if not visual, promise (Getting his to steal Brin’s powers for that somersault still looks odd). We’ve also had the organ leggers in that issue, the robotic faced villains on Naltor, Pharoxx and the return of Regulus. While the Khunds have offered large scale threats we’ve seen them used here around other stories and as a general UP threat. This story, for all its blatant foreboding promises a villain up there with Mordru and the Trapper in both scope and power.


"...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."
#934942 - 07/29/17 03:59 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
[Interesting tidbit that Gim borrowed a ship from his mother’s private shipyard – is that private as in private presidential, or private Allon family?


Marte Allon was a school teacher before her election, correct? I don't recall what Gim's father does for a living, but, even in the 30th century, it's doubtful that a school teacher would make enough to have her own private shipyard. Maybe she's rich and slumming.

Quote
Cham as a rock layer and the hollow asteroid is another of these far-fetched bits that doesn’t bear much thinking about.


Yeah. There seems to be no reason for him to put himself at risk of burning up on re-entry by "coating" the asteroid with his body; however, it makes a nice visual demonstration of his power.

Quote
I liked the depiction of Khundia and the fact that there were women who weren’t dressed like “I Dream of Jeannie”.


Good catch--a point in the Khunds' favor.


Originally Posted by toth
A trio of Legionnaires against the Khunds seems very few this issue, and I remember all those they could have brought with them.


True. Much depends on the purpose of Cham's mission. If they were only going to gather intelligence, a smaller, more compact team might be necessary (Cham as the brains, Gim as the brawn, Salu as the one who can get into tiny places). Alas, the purpose is never revealed to us.

Quote
I’m willing to go along with Ayla feeling that her world would end without Brin. Someone should have had a word with her ages ago. But lots have people have been there. If anything, Levitz’s arrival has seen Brin act more as a team player than ever, providing a lot of hope for them as a couple.


One of the really nice things about this issue is that it sets up Ayla for the drastic changes she will make after the Great Darkness Saga: breaking up with Brin and quitting the Legion. This arc could be seen as the story of Ayla growing up and coming into her own.

Good point about Brin. This side of him is much more appealing than the angsty loner who can't stand civilization.

Quote
I’ll go along with Imra’s realisation that she doesn’t have anything as powerful as Ayla’s feelings. We’re all different, so it’s not something that you necessarily have to beat yourself up about. However, Imra has been emotionally isolated from her teammates for a very long time. Just remember the comments they made about her during the Reflecto arc. Her wish to change things, and to rescue Brin is a strong moment for her. I wonder if this is overcompensation, and that it’s this that becomes an issue in the stories to come.


Another aspect I'm enjoying about these stories is that the characters' motivations become more complex and open to interpretation. Levitz draws on our previous associations with the characters without spelling everything out for us.

Originally Posted by Annfie
My one real bone to pick with the art on the backup (and, by implication, the script as well) is that it doesn't make it clear HOW the Mystery Villain is awakened and set free.


Good catch. Even if Tasmia and/or Lar awakened the villain, I don't think either should be held responsible. Things happen, and they had no way of knowing the consequences of their actions. But it's just as likely that Darkseid awoke when he was ready, and that his awakening coincided with Lar and Tasmia's visit. As with the character motivations, we're left to draw our own conclusions.



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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#934962 - 07/30/17 07:58 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: thoth lad]  
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Originally Posted by thoth lad

I think the defence robots/systems are almost cartoonish, and I imagine Apokalips falling when they outsourced their Menace department to ACME.


[Linked Image]


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#934963 - 07/30/17 08:14 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: He Who Wanders]  
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Originally Posted by He Who Wanders

Chameleon Boy. Still conflicted over his own emotions, Cham leads an ill-advised mission to Khundia, which amounts to an invasion of a hostile world. The Legion did this sort of thing routinely in the past, but now there are constant reminders that Cham’s actions may carry legal and political consequences. None of this matters to Cham, though. He browbeats the others with his right to lead the mission and to order them about. This young man desperately clings to a shred of his former identity, which has been demolished by the revelation that R.J. is his father. The only aspect that remains constant for Cham, it seems, is his role as permanent leader of the Espionage Squad.

(This shifting identity comes off as ironic, considering Cham’s powers. He has made a career out of imitating other people, animals, and objects. Like an actor who has lost himself in the role he plays, Cham seems to have completely lost any sense of his own identity here.)

Cham seems intoxicated with his own power as Espionage Squad leader. I can’t help but wonder if he thinks R.J.’s billions will get him out of any legal difficulties that arise from this mission—or if he’s even thinking that far ahead. Perhaps Garth pegged it correctly that Cham is leading a suicide mission. In any case, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Cham as much as I deplored his actions; I wanted his mission to succeed, even though I knew it wouldn’t.


Very interesting insights into Cham's possible motives. He may well be conflicted between suicide mission and reliance on R.J.'s money and influence. The idea that he's lost his identity would explain a lot - and indicate how affected he has been by R.J..


Quote
SPOILER WARNING

If I recall correctly, we learn from a later story that Yera, the Durlan impostor, had replaced Vi just before the ill-fated mission to Khundia. If so, this gives us an entirely different perspective on “Vi’s” actions in this story.


SPOILER REPLY
Which further illustrates, in hindsight, Cham's confusion. His Durlan senses should have identified another Durlan, I would think.


Quote
Colossal Boy. Gim remains a bit player in all this, but an effective one. I can only speculate that he agreed to go along with Imra’s mad plan because he’s loyal to his teammates, he wants to save Violet (for whom he still has unrequited feelings) and/or out of defiance toward his mother, whose presidential directive has hamstrung the Legion. However, we don’t really need to know his motivation—not every Legionnaire needs to “star” in every story.


I still see Gim as immature in a lot of his actions. Taking the ship strikes me as a bit of a prank or a dare, but I overlooked the "saving Vi" motivation, which must have been strong, and the defiance toward Marte.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#934982 - 07/30/17 04:55 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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She ran and called him Wildfire.
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^A straitjacket bazooka could only have been designed by DeSaad!


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#934990 - 07/31/17 12:22 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Brain-Fall-Out Boy Online content
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I'm not sure how future spoilers are handled in this thread: do we limit discussion to what's published as if we hadn't read future issues? Or can I ask the question about #286 I'm dying to ask?

#934992 - 07/31/17 01:55 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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We don't have an official policy that I know of. So feel free to post your question. I'm dying to know what it is!


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#935006 - 07/31/17 06:07 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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According to Wikipedia, #286 was Yera's first appearance. I've looked over the issue pretty thoroughly, but I can't see anything for that to be based on. Was there any in-story hint given that we can recognize the point at which the switch happened? I realize that she must be Yera at this point just because it's the start of a mission where in hidsight it had to be Yera, but that doesn't mean this is where the switch happened, right? As far as I can tell, it could have been Yera at Nullport for example.

#935013 - 07/31/17 07:55 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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In the reveal issue, they do the memory scan and see she pulls the switch "Just before" the mission to Khundia. Hard to say the exact moment it happened, whether she was snatched off-panel while they were prepping the mission, or if she was replaced before Cham recruited her.

#935014 - 07/31/17 07:57 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Fat Cramer Offline
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The deception was explained - or will be - in #305, when she's revealed to be Yera; Levitz just had her state that the switch was made at the time of the Khundian mission. I don't think there are any real clues. In the letter column in #311, they claim that this was planned a year and a half in advance of the reveal i.e. when writing the Suicide Mission story.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#935044 - 07/31/17 06:03 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
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Originally Posted by Cramer
She’s maybe the only one among available Legionnaires who could pull off the rescue mission. Brin is surprised it’s her and, one assumes, not Ayla who has come to help. But Imra has the experience, the authority as a founder/former leader and the sheer force of will to get away with it; who’s going to argue with her? It’s a mess, and she deals with it.


It's going to be interesting tracking her through her strong showing her to her equally strong showing in the Baxter Universo saga and beyond. At the very end, there’s an acknowledgement that she was the team’s best leader. This issue gives a glimpse as to why that is.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Cham as a rock layer and the hollow asteroid is another of these far-fetched bits that doesn’t bear much thinking about. The actual battle with Kharlak is thankfully (for me) short-lived, but provides a good occasion to display Brin’s considerable athletic talents.


I was wondering if there’s an alien life form that can survive re-entry, and Cham is imitating it. Why he feels the need to is a mystery. Perhaps it’s to protect the others form the heat inside the rocky inner shell. While things like the cartoonish head on an alien body is funny, I probably prefer a bit more definition on Cham’s powers. Not that we’ve ever really had that.

As for Brin, he does seem to be establishing a niche for himself with Levitz. Possibly in the same way Mon El has moved into Superboy’s boots. With Val on leave, there’s room for an agile, melee driven fighter on the team.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Tsk! Since I'm on the spoiler roll, the baby is Izaya. smileAnd Brin & Imra get all huggy next issue!


Gah! Well…Neil Gaiman’s death is waiting for them all at the end of the DCU…so there…



Originally Posted by Cramer
Mekt went evil, Garth had a breakdown. Maybe his 5YL calm was the result of medication. Or Imra worked a few mind tricks on him.


Perhaps Garth’s inner Proty was otherwise occupied. Odd that this would happen just as Brande would be revealed as Reep’s dad, and that Brande would be shown as very close to the Proteans…hidden story there.

Combining this with Imra’s decisiveness when confronted by Ayla here (and Tinya previously), perhaps this pushes her to think that a falimy life with Garth, even one away from the Legion will bring her similar happiness.


Originally Posted by Cramer
It worked for Prince Valiant!


I’ve never liked Price Valiant because of his hair either. My brain cell tells me I didn’t like Valiant first, before I saw Garth. But why? Clearly some flashback to Arthurian battles in my ancestry.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Moons of Colu! You're right. Garth is the new Wildfire!


I bet Drake had stupid hair too. The accident had one upside. smile

Originally Posted by HWW
Like an actor who has lost himself in the role he plays, Cham seems to have completely lost any sense of his own identity here.)


Possibly why he clings to the only solid thing he has, his Espionage position.

Originally Posted by HWW
I can’t help but wonder if he thinks R.J.’s billions will get him out of any legal difficulties that arise from this mission—or if he’s even thinking that far ahead. Perhaps Garth pegged it correctly that Cham is leading a suicide mission.


I was thinking that help form Brande was the last thing he wanted. Consciously at least. If it’s a suicide mission, then it casts some fresh perspective on Cham’s mind. I’d really hope he’d not take two colleagues into it, no matter how grim things seemed. But the Secrets reveal is certainly paying off under Levitz’s pen.

Originally Posted by HWW
Every Legion leader has faced trials, but Garth’s head is wedged too far up his hindquarters to see that. He takes Cham’s actions personally, and, when the Legion needs him most, he quits as leader. Good riddance.


Yups. Although memory tells me it hangs over him for some time to come. Which probably means the Comic Cliché of sitting in darkened rooms, while others fight your battles until…

Originally Posted by HWW
Gim remains a bit player in all this, but an effective one. I can only speculate that he agreed to go along with Imra’s mad plan because he’s loyal to his teammates, he wants to save Violet (for whom he still has unrequited feelings) and/or out of defiance toward his mother, whose presidential directive has hamstrung the Legion. However, we don’t really need to know his motivation—not every Legionnaire needs to “star” in every story. .


Really good insight into Gim’s motives there. All excellent reasons why he would go. Together they are very compelling.

Originally Posted by HWW
This scene reminded me of any number of WWII films, in which an allied infiltrator, posing as a German soldier, is exposed when someone speaks to him in German and he does not know how to respond. Nothing ruins a cover more quickly than being asked for a match to light a cigarette.


Always happens. That’s why MI6 started extensive language courses for its operatives. Soon, they were all speaking in dodgy accents, but slowly and very loudly so the locals would be sure to understand. smile

Originally Posted by HWW
I can’t help wondering if he felt forced to draw this way. The cartoony, off-the-wall style, which he adopted later, seemed more natural to him (though, in my view, much less appealing).


I don’t know if a lot of artists go through the same number of influences on the printed page. Perhaps it’s just that we know of Giffen’s that makes them stand out more. I like to think he was developing and experimenting as he went. I seem to recall there’s a story coming up that bears an uncanny resemblance to the 5YG work that would appear later.


Originally Posted by HWW
They go through the motions of acting like lovers whose competing desires conflict with their duty as Legionnaires.


I think that there’s an element of this right at the heart of their relationship, so seeing them like that works as development for me smile I agree that both serve the plot well here. Mon as Super-Stand in to show how powerful the villain is, and Shady to give a whopping insight into the nature of the threat. It was nice seeing Lar’s sheer determination and Shady saving his butt.

Originally Posted by HWW
Marte Allon was a school teacher before her election, correct? I don't recall what Gim's father does for a living, but, even in the 30th century, it's doubtful that a school teacher would make enough to have her own private shipyard. Maybe she's rich and slumming.


His dad is shown as involved with the UP fleet at some point in the retroboot, so it might be a loaner form there.


Originally Posted by HWW
Much depends on the purpose of Cham's mission. If they were only going to gather intelligence, a smaller, more compact team might be necessary (Cham as the brains, Gim as the brawn, Salu as the one who can get into tiny places). Alas, the purpose is never revealed to us.


An espionage story without a plot, isn’t much of a story and that’s partly what we got here. It was all about getting Cham into the position and having them escape than having any other purpose.

Originally Posted by HWW
This arc could be seen as the story of Ayla growing up and coming into her own.


A lot of Levitz Legionnaires will have to question what they believe in, while the action goes on around them.

Originally Posted by HWW
Even if Tasmia and/or Lar awakened the villain, I don't think either should be held responsible. Things happen, and they had no way of knowing the consequences of their actions. But it's just as likely that Darkseid awoke when he was ready, and that his awakening coincided with Lar and Tasmia's visit. As with the character motivations, we're left to draw our own conclusions.


There’s a plot point later that does show the villain as able to take information form others. That was from Mon too. But I like to think of the dark world as returning after a cataclysmic earlier battle, after which it was foretold that the galaxy would be free from its blight for a millennium. And here we are at the end of that.

Since that time, the colony worlds have sprung up and what would have been a quiet orbit previously, now takes the world into shipping lanes. If anything, the UP probes might have activated the place. None of them came back after all. Any follow up lifeform may have been enough to raise the villain, or perhaps the cycle was already running when they arrived.

How do you fire a bazooka from a straitjacket? Next on the Querl and Tenzil Sanatorium Show!


On Vi

#284 – sitting next to Gim in the background during a meeting.

#285 - Trapped under a fallen cruiser. Would the real Vi have managed an easier escape by shifting between the molecules of the debris? But then, she does find that there was sabotage, which was the Plot point of having her stuck under there in the first place. She’s keen to investigate, and knows her way around Khundian technology. She also shrinks down to follow circuit paths. In the final panels, she’s tells the others that there’s nothing wrong with keeping feelings private. Promoting her cover? Perhaps, but Star Boy associates it clearly with Vi’s normal personality.

#286 – Initially a background character in HQ. She knows what Cham’s personality is supposed to be like, when he acts out of character, and comments that next, she’ll become like Nura. Knowledge that only Vi would have, or an admission to the acting potential of Yera?

#287 – Confident enough to step between Brin and Reep’s argument. Compliant in following Cham’s orders, but he does have authority. I did note that as the three entered the asteroid, Brin tells Cham not to be so theatrical. Beside him is the actress Yera, and this might be one of the early examples of Brin’s accurate intuition. Yera’s use of a distorter and having to blow her cover also carry more weight when later events are revealed. Vi also looks to support Cham, who clearly has personal issues.


She survives the Khundia mission. While not showing much combat prowess, she does shrink to “microscopic size” when hitching a ride out on Brin.

In summary, there’s not much to show the change until next issue. Some of her dialogue does seem to relate to what personality should be like. Likewise the Khundia mission is all about infiltration and disguise. Both might be telling. We’ve already seen Levitz plan ahead, so I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt that this wasn’t just retrofitted in.


"...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."
#935052 - 07/31/17 08:03 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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I wish I'd realized last year that you guys would be getting to this classic Levitz/Giffen run so soon. I did a re-read of the run all the way thru 325 (no Baxter) in late 2016. Much as I love it, it's just too soon for me mentally to re-read it again. I'll enjoy reading your posts, though.

I suppose I'll hold off on re-reading the Baxter series until you guys reach it, though.


Still "Lardy" to my friends!
#935054 - 07/31/17 08:24 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: thoth lad]  
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She ran and called him Wildfire.
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The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Originally Posted by thoth lad

Originally Posted by HWW
Gim remains a bit player in all this, but an effective one. I can only speculate that he agreed to go along with Imra’s mad plan because he’s loyal to his teammates, he wants to save Violet (for whom he still has unrequited feelings) and/or out of defiance toward his mother, whose presidential directive has hamstrung the Legion. However, we don’t really need to know his motivation—not every Legionnaire needs to “star” in every story. .


Really good insight into Gim’s motives there. All excellent reasons why he would go. Together they are very compelling.


Thanks.

Originally Posted by thoth


An espionage story without a plot, isn’t much of a story and that’s partly what we got here. It was all about getting Cham into the position and having them escape than having any other purpose.


Point taken, but I think there actually is a plot--we're just not given much insight into the crucial purpose of Cham's mission. That omission may be deliberate. I don't think this is an espionage story so much as the story of a Legionnaire (or several Legionnaires, actually) suffering a breakdown. The espionage angle is just a plot device.

Originally Posted by thoth


How do you fire a bazooka from a straitjacket?


Very carefully. wink

Thanks for the breakdown of Vi's appearances leading up to this issue.

In # 305, Cham says, "...she began her impersonation the morning I led that stupid mission to Khundia" (p. 7). This suggests to me that the switch occurred between 286 and 287, allowing for a day or two of prep time for the mission. This supports your theory that the familiarity Vi displayed with her teammates in 286 came from the real Vi.


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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#935055 - 07/31/17 08:40 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Originally Posted by He Who
“Save the Suicide Squad” has the distinction of being the first fully realized lead story of Levitz Mk. II. The tale springs naturally from the characters and the situation they find themselves in (or have blundered into)


Very well put. I also appreciated your insights into the characters, especially Cham.

Originally Posted by Cramey
That's a surprise - praise for a Giffen issue, albeit with caveats! wink


LOL I'm just as surprised as you! But, as I said before, I think Bruce Patterson prettified and solidified Giffen's pencils a great deal. Hopefully when Mahlstedt comes back soon as Giffen's default inker, I'll find more to like. I do have to admit I'm a bit worried that GDS might suffer from the shift in plotting -- Levitz solo to Levitz/Giffen -- about halfway through, but we shall see.

Originally Posted by He Who
As I re-read this story, I noticed some of the weaknesses Annfie has pointed out in Giffen’s art. These weaknesses are most apparent in the establishing shots inside Legion HQ (pp. 2, 5, and 11, for example): There is a certain flatness and “sameness” to the backgrounds which make them appear fake. Nevertheless, Giffen’s art is cleaner and more exciting than any art we’ve had in quite a while.

I can’t help wondering if he felt forced to draw this way. The cartoony, off-the-wall style, which he adopted later, seemed more natural to him (though, in my view, much less appealing)


Agreed about the flatness of the images you mentioned. Also, I've found, in previous reads of this LSH era, that Giffen's pages tend to strike me as rather static and stiff, as well as over-crowded with too many little panels and too much superfluous detail. Oddly enough, I think those criticisms could also be applied, in unsentimental hindsight, to a lot of the lesser work of George Perez, to whom I (favorably) compared Giffen's 287 art. And hopefully, the art in the next few issues will surprise me as pleasantly as that in 287.

As for Giffen's later, stranger, crazier style, the ultimate irony is that it brought him accusations of outright plagiarism, albeit of an obscure-to-American-readers European artist named Jose Munoz. Even so, I've gathered that there was quite a bit of controversy about this in the mid-1980s fan press.

Originally Posted by He Who
When this issue came out, it wasn’t among my favorites because it didn’t spotlight any of my favorite Legionnaires, except Garth (and in a less than flattering way) and Mon-El (who doesn't do anything interesting). I was also used to larger mission teams, so the three-member team shown here seemed a paltry offering. However, Levitz does so much with all of the Legionnaires featured in the lead story and with the story itself, that he caused me to reevaluate my preconceptions about what good writing is. For that, I will be eternally grateful.

This story rocks. The characters drive the plot, which, in turn, reveals many surprising and long overdue insights about our heroes.


Again, agreed. Levitz does definitely know the nuts & bolts of good serial writing better than most of his generation IMO. Of course, it doesn't hurt that one of his writing teachers was none other than Frank McCourt.

Originally Posted by Pal-Lardy
I wish I'd realized last year that you guys would be getting to this classic Levitz/Giffen run so soon. I did a re-read of the run all the way thru 325 (no Baxter) in late 2016. Much as I love it, it's just too soon for me mentally to re-read it again. I'll enjoy reading your posts, though.


Thanks, Lardy. But just a reminder that it's never too late to chime in, even if it's not until a couple years from now. I've been considering going back, at some point sooner rather than later, and doing full reviews of selected stories from Volumes 11 through 17. Maybe even reaching back to the Adventure era, during which my re-read participation was spotty.

Originally Posted by Pal-Lardy
I suppose I'll hold off on re-reading the Baxter series until you guys reach it, though.


Yay! Glad to hear that. As I've said before, it's the first 3 years of Baxter (especially Year 2 and Year 3) that I'm most passionate about as far as the Levitz LSH goes. To have more people participating "in real time" would be wonderful!

#935066 - 08/01/17 01:52 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Paladin]  
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Originally Posted by thoth
Perhaps Garth’s inner Proty was otherwise occupied. Odd that this would happen just as Brande would be revealed as Reep’s dad, and that Brande would be shown as very close to the Proteans…hidden story there.


Wow! I'd totally missed that possibility. What a great retrofit! Garth/Proty's on edge because R.J. is possibly on to him or the whole Durlan/Protean thing seems to be getting out of hand... and Garth's Proty-senses wouldn't pick up on the Yera deception because he's so muddled with anxiety and stress. Could be quite the trip down the rabbit hole with that hidden story.

Originally Posted by Paladin
I wish I'd realized last year that you guys would be getting to this classic Levitz/Giffen run so soon. I did a re-read of the run all the way thru 325 (no Baxter) in late 2016. Much as I love it, it's just too soon for me mentally to re-read it again. I'll enjoy reading your posts, though.


It did sort of sneak up on us, time-wise. I had the impression it would take longer to get there as well. Your comments on any of the stories from whatever you remember reading would be well appreciated!

Originally Posted by Annfie
As for Giffen's later, stranger, crazier style, the ultimate irony is that it brought him accusations of outright plagiarism, albeit of an obscure-to-American-readers European artist named Jose Munoz. Even so, I've gathered that there was quite a bit of controversy about this in the mid-1980s fan press.


Wasn't aware of this controversy. When somebody imitates Kirby, it's a tribute. I wonder what the problem was.


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#935072 - 08/01/17 06:10 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: He Who Wanders]  
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Originally Posted by HWW
Originally Posted by thoth
An espionage story without a plot, isn’t much of a story and that’s partly what we got here. It was all about getting Cham into the position and having them escape than having any other purpose.


Point taken, but I think there actually is a plot--we're just not given much insight into the crucial purpose of Cham's mission. That omission may be deliberate. I don't think this is an espionage story so much as the story of a Legionnaire (or several Legionnaires, actually) suffering a breakdown. The espionage angle is just a plot device.


Oops. I was actually trying to use the example of reading a spy novel, only to find that there was no espionage in it. The Legion issue is saved quite a bit (as HWW mentions) as there are other intertwining plots.


Originally Posted by HWW
Originally Posted by thoth


How do you fire a bazooka from a straitjacket?


Very carefully. wink



Thanks HWW. As you know, I'm trying to be careful after my helicopter-in-a-neckerchief incident.


Originally Posted by HWW
...This suggests to me that the switch occurred between 286 and 287, allowing for a day or two of prep time for the mission. This supports your theory that the familiarity Vi displayed with her teammates in 286 came from the real Vi.


Is there a feeling that the reader should have had a tip off of some kind? Or do some of the above comments work in hindsight, so the reader can piece it together?


"...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."
#935089 - 08/01/17 08:57 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: thoth lad]  
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[snip]
Originally Posted by thoth lad
Originally Posted by HWW



[quote=HWW] ...This suggests to me that the switch occurred between 286 and 287, allowing for a day or two of prep time for the mission. This supports your theory that the familiarity Vi displayed with her teammates in 286 came from the real Vi.


Is there a feeling that the reader should have had a tip off of some kind? Or do some of the above comments work in hindsight, so the reader can piece it together?


I'd go with the second. But I first read these stories after the big reveal, so... shrug

Cham says, "She must have," etc. But he can't be sure.

With what we know about technology now, I bet this would be a tougher story to pull off today.


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#935098 - 08/01/17 11:15 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: thoth lad]  
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Originally Posted by thoth lad


Is there a feeling that the reader should have had a tip off of some kind? Or do some of the above comments work in hindsight, so the reader can piece it together?


The first real tip-off comes in "Cold and Lonely..." when Gim works up the courage to confess his feelings to her and she reacts with doubt and confusion.

#935107 - 08/01/17 02:48 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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She ran and called him Wildfire.
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Another tip-off occurs in 298, IIRC, when Gim and Duplicate Boy have their showdown over Violet. Dupe remarks that Vi is not the woman he thought she was. On the surface, it's a comment from a jilted lover, but it's also a tip-off that Dupe sees something that isn't quite right. Vi's reaction is also not what we would expect; she simply averts her eyes. We're led to believe that the real Vi would behave much differently. In 305, the Legionnaires point out that they had trouble believing the real Vi would give up on her love for Duplicate Boy so easily.


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#935113 - 08/01/17 05:20 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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thoth lad Offline
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Hey, what is this? spoiler open season? smile next thing some idiot will be revealing that it was Ambush Bug that chided RJ Brande that he didn't spend enough time with the little folk, and that he also had a 50% off coupon on the Earth Shuttle...oops. D'Oh!


"...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."
#935122 - 08/01/17 08:16 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
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These aren't spoilers; they are historical research. But, just in case:

Marie Antoinette gets beheaded.


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#935125 - 08/01/17 09:30 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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cleome51 Offline
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Much later, of course:

Gim and Yera split up because, uh... I dunno'. Something to do with Satan showing up to collect on a promise. No, wait that was Marvel. shrug I dunno'.


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#935126 - 08/01/17 09:31 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
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She ran and called him Wildfire.

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laugh


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#935128 - 08/01/17 09:33 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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cleome51 Offline
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[bows]

I'm overqualified to be an editor at either company.

Uh, I am enjoying these threads though. Sorry I haven't got much to add since I don't have the books in front of me. Once in awhile somebody brings up something I've read recently in my library copy of the omnibus, though. Or something like this that I remember really well despite the ravages of time.


Hey, Kids! My "Cranky and Kitschy" collage art is now viewable on ipernity! Drop by and tell me that I sent you.
#935137 - 08/02/17 03:57 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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LSH #288 The Legionnaire’s Made for Burning by Paul Levitz, art by Keith Giffen & Bruce Patterson, letters by Patterson, colors Carl Gafford

[Linked Image]

Val and Jeckie are in a dungeon, Val punishing a stone pillar and Jeckie bemoaning her fate. They try to escape but are stopped by Pharoxx and taken for execution.

Brainy surveys the new holographic monitor system at HQ, then joins the meeting to discuss the situation on Orando and the five missing from the Khundia escapade. Garth and Ayla weep over past mistakes.

On Orando, Dream Girl and Ultra Boy greet Shady and Mon-el, just as Val and Jeckie are about to burn at the stake. Hagga, the Sorceress Royal and Jeckie’s grandmother, reveals that she resented Jeckie leaving Orando, thought she’d be a weak Queen and gave Pharoxx immunity to Jeckie’s power. The Legionnaires arrive to free Val and Jeckie but are stopped by Hagga – and all of them are about to burn at the stake. Nura denigrates Hagga’s power and uses her tremendous will power to free herslef with her flight ring. She then vows to blot out the sun, with shadow provided by Tasmia.

The five missing Legionnaires have crashed on an icy asteroid and try to survive with limited supplies. Imra’s leg is injured, Cham keeps apologizing and the others bicker. Brin takes Imra to a quiet place to rest and the two hug while discussing their respective partners. Cham finds Gim and Violet kissing in the wrecked ship.

While Hagga attacks Nura, Tasmia kicks a wooden stake at the old witch and Nura slugs her. This breaks the captivity spell and all six Legionnaires descend on Pharoxx. Val takes him on personally and defeats him. Jeckie is hailed as Queen, then faints. Val later announces that he will remain on Orando with Jeckie.

Comments:

Orando’s tradition of hasty execution wraps up the Pharoxx story in one issue. I think this was more effective than dragging out some tale of Val and Jeckie in prison while the rescue team slowly make their way to the dungeon, fighting mystical and medieval menaces.

I also enjoyed that although the rescue team included the Legion’s heaviest hitters, it was Dream Girl and Shadow Lass who broke free and disabled Hagga’s power, before the fists moved in to seal the deal.

For an icy asteroid, there’s a lot of hot action developing. Given the build-up over many issues of Gim’s devotion to Violet, it’s not too surprising that they wind up in an embrace. Gim’s been very attentive and we haven’t seen much of Duplicate Boy lately. Imra and Brin’s hug, which looks like comfort in a bad situation, is more curious, given how unemotional Imra has been. One suspects that her conversation with Ayla in the previous issue may have affected her – and she’s likely both concerned about and annoyed with Garth, putting her in a vulnerable emotional position.

There’s a lot of sulking and griping in this issue which, while very un-Legionish, serves to give these characters more real personalities and signals the reader that there are troubled times ahead for the group.

It’s been sort of a joke around here, but is there a count of how many times Jeckie has fainted? Levitz may have added that as a nod to her past fainting spells.

The issue ends with Val and Jeckie remaining on Orando. Readers may well expect that this is their exit story and they’ll remain as occasional, reserve members if needed. Won’t we be surprised!


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