hello, legion of superheroes fandom. I’m back briefly, to being losh trash, to just say that I absolutely adore Cosmic Boy (aka Rokk Krinn). The tv show paints him out to be a villain (or at least more of a jerk than he probably ought to have been portrayed as), which really irks me because he’s a really good-hearted guy.
Yeah, he’s in love with Imra Ardeen, and Garth Ranzz is one of the main characters- so yes he’s going to be seen as a rival. In s1, you see him making decisions with his emotions (i.e. keeping Imra with him rather than letting her go with Garth). Yeah, it probably wasn’t the best call, but he’s team leader, probably about 18 years old, dealing with the problems of like 30 other teenagers, plus supervillians, and Space Travel. Also, age of adulthood is 14 on his planet (which is very poor and he left as soon as he was a legal adult), so for the past four years he’s basically been the only legal adult taking care of a bunch of kids. Yeah, probably a little stressful.
S2, you see his best friend/girl he still has a crush on knocked out, in a healing coma that has no set end date. He’s still only about 20, but now he’s in charge of a team with at least one or two deaths on its hands, plus the knowledge that if they don’t stop Imperiex, the future of the universe is doomed. Now I’ll look at a couple of the episodes.
The Timber Wolf mess: it really looked like Brin had murdered his dad. He had reason to! Dr. Londo is not a good person. Rokk’s only trying to do his job, which is keep the number one rule of the Legion: don’t kill anyone. So yeah, he’s gonna go after Brin and try to take him in. “But Brin said he didn’t do it!” well, 1) Brin doesn’t have the greatest history with self-control and 2) a guilty person can also say they didn’t do it, doesn’t make them less guilty. So, I don’t really disagree with Rokk’s actions here.
Now, for Karate Kid. I too really like Val, guys. But he doesn’t have superpowers. Rokk is a stickler for the rules- it’s his thing. No superpowers, no admission. Plus, they’re in the middle of a war. Andrew Nolan (Ferro Lad), White (Triplicate Girl), and probably Lyle Norg (Invisible Kid- Invisible Kid II had a cameo, so we can only assume Lyle is dead and Jacques has taken his place) have all died for the cause- Rokk has to live with that. So someone suggesting that they bring in someone who has no powers? It’s a ridiculous and unnecessary risk to him. He doesn’t want to bury more kids who are dying for the cause.
tl;dr: Cosmic Boy can be a jerk, but he’s a really stressed guy who’s just trying to do his job and keep this kids alive
You once stated the Fantastic Four were the actual best super team. Why is that?
Assuming there’s even a nominal need to explain it any further than “they were Jack Kirby’s main project for just shy of a decade,” or for that matter “it’s the team Ben Grimm’s on” or “they’re where Doctor Doom comes from,” it’s actually a little more complicated than it might seem, because it’s not quite a matter of them collectively being the best characters in comics. Ben’s right up there, and Reed’s great too in the right hands, but Johnny’s while fun still pretty one-note, and while Sue works in the context of the group, I still feel like after all these years people haven’t quite fully fleshed out her deal in the same way as the others. Pound-for-pound, they hardly match up to the Justice League. But a team is a lot more than the sum of its parts; it’s the dynamic, the context they’re framed in, and the scope of what you can do with them. And in those regards, no one else is even close.
Let’s cover the other major players. I like the Doom Patrol from what I’ve read (Morrison’s run and what there’s been so far of Way’s), but they seem really shifty in terms of lineup in spite of being a small group, making it tougher to build long-term stories around character dynamics, and most of their adventures seem to be them just trying to wrap their minds around what’s happening to them; like the Spirit, they’re the spectators, not the spectacle. The X-Men are…a whole piece in and of themselves, but long story short, as far as I’m concerned they’ve spent over 30 years coasting on a run that got by on trying *slightly* harder than its competition at the time and a strong if muddled central metaphor, with any attempts at doing anything actually interesting with them since then smothered as soon as they start to gather any steam. Ditto Teen Titans, without even the symbolic strength of the central concept; all they’ve got is the cartoon, and DC’s spent over a decade resolutely making sure absolutely none of what made that show work gets into the comics. The JSA is Fine, Just Fine, and Jay Garrick and Ted Knight are both great, but their integration into the main DCU was - aside from scrapping the multiverse - the biggest mistake DC ever made in terms of large-scale continuity reengineering, and aside from the pretty clearly failed Earth-2, everything with them for the last 30 years has been built on the back of that illusion that any of them are in any way anywhere near as important as Superman or Batman. I’ll cop the Legion of Superheroes might have more meat on the bone than I’ve seen, but I’m not willing to shell out however many thousands of dollars on archive editions I’d need to find out, and while I imagine the Defenders were great under Steve Gerber, that seems to have largely been it for them.
That leaves the big two. I’ve covered it before, so keeping it relatively short: the Justice League is the best team in terms of average character quality so long as we’re sticking to the Big Seven model, but because each of them is iconic and important enough that they all have their own stuff going on, the focus in their best runs is on big action, with character work necessarily taking a back seat. They try to shake it up sometimes with B-listers, presumably on the basis that that’s how the League was conceived of in the first place, but it never works; the minor characters in the beginning were elevated to the A-list by sheer dint of being on Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman’s team, and shortly afterwards the rules of that world and who was important in it were codified enough that you couldn’t really replicate that more than once in a blue moon with one or two characters. The Avengers meanwhile were originally more genuine B-listers - only truly elevated above that by the movies, or if you’re being generous Bendis - and as such the Avengers as a group was the most significant thing in any individual members’ life, turning it into a meaningful institution that made them more than the sum of their parts, while the Justice League has always been less than the sum of its own. But at the same time, while they can do more within the boundaries of being the big team than their distinguished competition, they themselves just aren’t as big a team, and can’t compete on those grounds. Maybe I’d have a different mindset if the Avengers were a big deal to me personally, but as far as the ‘classic’ members go, I maybe, generously, care about four or five of them at all.
The Fantastic Four on the other hand? For starters, they’re a pretty universally regarded perfect balance of powers and personalities - tough enough to get into some wild adventures but not so overwhelmingly so that they can’t be easily thrown in over their heads; arranged character-wise with personality quirks both complimentary and irreconcilable that let you just as easily show them hugging it out or at each others throats. But the deal-maker is that rather than a club, or a gathering of the big guns when they have time off from their solo adventures, or an after-school hangout, or a strikeforce, or a ragtag bunch of misfits, or about 938 backup dancers of varying degrees of quality lucky enough to have Wolverine and Emma Frost to carry them, they’re a family, both born and found, and moreover they’re a family of explorers. And that makes all the difference.
Obviously there’re other teams that work as families in reality or in spirit, but the FF work that way in terms of dynamic, even above their status as superheroes. Yes, if they hear about the Mad Thinker wrecking downtown they’ll go deal with that, so you can tell regular superhero stories with them. But at the same time, you don’t need any elaborate explanation to get them to the Savage Land or the Negative Zone, or even to Yancy Street; they’re as likely as not to head out there on vacation (or to stop Ben from tearing it down in the latter case). They’ll go do big, interesting things purely on the basis of going to do it together as a family, and when it’s a family that diverse in terms of interests and personal goals, that means you can organically throw them in a bunch of different directions. And because they’re science adventurers above all with superheroics as just one option on the table, that gives you all the justification needed to dish out any wild high concepts you like, on the simple basis that Reed’s interested and the rest will humor him if it means a fun afternoon. And when real danger finds them, they care for each other and argue with each other and worry about each other and keep each other on their feet the way family does, perpetually keeping the emotional stakes as high as possible.
So yeah. They play off each other perfectly, you can justify them going nearly anywhere and doing nearly anything, and at their heart they have the warmth and the bickering and the strength that comes with family. And Kirby threw everything he had at them, and they have Ben Grimm and fight Doctor Doom. That’s why they’re the best. And among Marvel’s myriad other problems at the moment, its world is always going to be the lesser and the lonelier for it whenever it’s missing The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine.
The Legion of Super-Heroes gets its own feature beginning with Adventure Comics vol.1 No.300. While the Legion will eventually be known as one of the great, long-running soap operas in superherodom, its early adventures are one-offs with a tendency to be strongly Superboy-focused.
For instance, the villain faced here – Urthlo – turns out to be a lookalike robot created by Lex Luthor and powered by “Hate Tapes,” appearing in the 30th Century to destroy Superboy and his futuristic pals…
This was a project I started about a year or so ago and I had nearly lost when my computer hard drive died. Sadly I never went back to it and even now I just get the urge to redo it after spotting some things that nag me.
Leaguers are secretly alive in the 31st century: Clark by the yellow sun, Bruce by lazarus pits, Diana by living with gods, Barry by speed force, Hal by becoming will power, and Billy by staying Shazam. They meet to pull strings to help the legion.
headcanon that just like clark brings 21st century phrases to the legion (you can’t convince me that karate kid in jla adventures: trapped in time didn’t get the phrase ‘hater’ from clark), he also brings 31st century slang from the past
“LUTHOR YOU’RE SUCH A PIFFLE-DIFFLE” “i’m a… what.”
Well, the last episode had a depressing ending. And this was
the episode that was supposed to come out the week after as it is the fourth
episode in production, but got mixed up with Phantoms. Looking back at what I
said, that mix-up may have been intentional from Kids WB so that they woudn’t
leave too many kids traumatized in a span of 7 days. I mean, Phantoms was also
on the dark side, but not as much as this episode.
Quick warning as during the overall review I featured some screenshots from other things that feature zombies and bloody ghosts.
Starting the episode off is a movie that the focal
characters are watching, which is clearly based off on Alien. Although Bouncing
Boy seems to be the only one really into it. I’m guessing that maybe because
Superman had already seen the franchise and the others don’t have much interest
in old films, or they are still trying to cope with what happened in the last
episode. You know, the whole Alexis trying to murder them thing.