Monday, March 2, 2015

Legionnaires' Reprise!


This is at last "My Legion"! With the publication of the most recent Showcase volume, DC has at long last gotten around to the ground-breaking issues of Superboy in which Dave Cockrum revived the Legion of Super-Heroes with hip new costume designs and a slick new look to the future in which they operated. Quickly the feature (as it had once before in Adventure Comics many years before) caught the imaginations of readers and took over the somewhat moribund Superboy comic.

But as quick as he arrived Cockrum left to head on over to Marvel where he'd pull the same trick with the X-Men. Let there be no doubt, Dave Cockrum saved both these teams with his chic sense of design, he took teams which screamed 60's and surged them forward giving them a gloss of the modern which redefined them visually. Mike Grell stepped in and took the reins of the Legion and while his awkward anatomy has always been a problem for me, he nonetheless successfully channeled what Cockrum had begun. Likewise John Byrne would pick up the mantle at the X-Men and take them forward, but always within the visual outlines of Cockrum's designs.

These stories (mostly written by Cary Bates and later legendary Legion scribe Jim Shooter) clicked with me immediately when I was beginning as a young reader to sample what lay beyond the Marvel Universe. It will be a hoot to read these stories again and travel at once both back in time and forward into a future which (for a while anyway) really looked and felt like the future.

Here are the issues in this volume which includes also the debut issue of Karate Kid.




























Added to these volumes below, the whole Legion saga is at our fingertips. The artwork might be black and white, but the imagination in these yarns is brightly colored indeed.






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2 comments:

  1. A really nice selection of covers shown here (must have taken you age to do this). Like yourself this is also "my Legion" (whivh was my favourite comic at this time) and this era contains some great wee stories and fantastic art work. The the short LSH back up story in Superboy 195 about ERG1 (later renamed Wildfire) is still one of my all time favourites along with Issue 200 the marriage of Duo Damsel and Bouncing Boy - great stuff - I will be buying this even although I still have most of the original comics shown here.

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    1. The success of the Legion during this time was so organic, just good stories and great artwork winning the attention of the comics world and for a time being showcased. It happens but not as often as we'd suspect. I read about the famous ERG-1 story long before I was able to snag a copy and read it. When I came to the character of "Wildfire" it was during his resurrection, and I agree for the time he was a fantastic character, iconic of the era.

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