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July 17, 2006


Dave Intermittent

These are the only Legion comics I still own. Partisans can try and tell me that run isn't the real Legion but the hell with that; that run is MY Legion.

David Van Domelen

I started reading Legion with the final issue of the Baxter series, and for a long time was reading in both directions as I dug deeper into back issue bins to flesh out the backstory while continuing to get new comics. Fortunately, I had a Legion fan friend to help me figure out what was up during those first few post-five-year-gap stories. :)


Sounds like your experience was fairly close to mine, Dave. I'd read enough Legion stories in the 70s and 80s to identify most of the characters on my own, but like you I was scooping up back issues while buying new ones.

This made the bitter reaction of some longtime fans rather puzzling, since those last Levitz issues really weren't very good. Of course, in comparison to what came later...

Greg Morrow

My first Legion was S/LSH 255, which may possibly be the absolute nadir of the pre-5YL title. I was 11. I had different (i.e., poor) tastes back then, and this brightly colored future universe of dozens of heros with names and powers and homeworlds to memorize hooked me, and the series climbed steadily after that for several years, so it's no surprise that it planted itself deeply into my Golden Age.

Dave Van Domelen

Codenames and homeworlds to memorize...oh dear, the old Legion were our Pokemon.

Erik Germani

Hi, Mr. Singer... I'm a really big fan of your writing, and I was quite pleased to return to your blog and see it brimming with new posts after that little drought that was going.

This comment is actually related to your Pirates Review, but I was hoping you could illuminate something for me.

I have come across some of the racial stereotypes to be found in fiction - I've heard of the magical negro, and some of the others. In your review, you'd mentioned many and more that I hadn't heard of - the hypersexualized image of black people was one I had not considered before.

In any case, you pretty much systematically take each black character and name it as some sort of stereotype - my question is: what are examples of positive black characters? For instance, I thought the black ship's officer was a positive character - he was heroic and level-headed. But this apparently is a slave character.

Hope to hear back, and thanks a lot for writing this blog (loved that link to the Harper's article, btw).



Erik: I've moved your question over to the Pirates thread, and thanks for the kind words.

Greg: I think most readers might name 260-61, the Space Circus of Death, as the absolute nadir, but you're within six months of the bullseye so who's quibbling? But you're right about the overpowering variety of characters being a prime selling point, as I write in the follow-up.

Dave: Yes.

Greg Morrow

Eh. The Space Circus had the virtue of Steve Ditko art (which is a fairly dubious virtue to me, but other people have more and/or different tastes).

255 had generic art, a generic alien, and a maximally hokey plot involving the strange properties of Kryptonian glass (q.v. Superman #330), and a time travel journey that took the Legionnaires on a visit to the only inhabitants of the planet Krypton, the El family.

At least bad LSH stories try harder....


Thanks for standing up for the early 5YL. But I don't know about that "lifted from the pages of Watchmen." Giffen was using the nine-panel grid in the Seventies in Defenders.


And rarely since (although he'd use it quite a bit after Legion). The overall design is so Watchmen-influenced, even down to the wordless covers, that the nine-panel grid seems to come with the package.

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