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review 2020-06-14 21:24
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 11
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 11 - E. Nelson Bridwell,Cary Bates,Jim Shooter,Mike Grell

We're still getting some very wacky ideas from what should have been a straight-forward plot, such as the issues where the Legion teams up with a Science Police officer, or when Princess Projectra keeps getting sick. The women also keep getting weaker and weaker. The time will come when male writers will figure out how to tell a love story in a comic book without the woman becoming utterly hopeless. An exception creeps in with Night Girl's romance with Cosmic Boy, but her costume had to lose most of its fabric. I love Mike Grell's art, though, it's classic pop comic. He will make some questionable choices with costumes, too, but we'll get there when we get there. There is tension building in this series, and I can almost feel the Legion about to spring forward into the dark '80s. It's just waiting on the write author to pull all of the elements together.


Legion of Super-Heroes


Next: 'Volume 12'


Previous: 'Volume 10'

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review 2020-06-12 21:20
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 10
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 10 - Cary Bates,Dave Cockrum

This volume contains Dave Cockrum's landmark stint as the new illustrator for the series. The early 1970s was a tumultuous time in the industry and the many titles were being revamped and or canceled to make way for new creators and lines. Cockrum was fan of the series and made many costume decisions for the series, for better of for worse. He also made many character contributions. In the end, he committed fully to Marvel to work on the revived 'X-Men', creating Storm and Nightcrawler.


Despite other advancements, the stories here are still pretty shallow. The main writer is Cary Bates who doesn't seem to plan much for the long term in his storytelling. A lot of the new costumes were fan-service for the dudes that seem even more dated than the early '60s originals. In fact, there was a whole spread of costumes sent in by fans that thankfully were used only once or twice before settling into a slightly-less-cringey holey-jumpsuits and bikinis. Notably Phantom Girl gained pigtails and bell-bottoms and Princess Projectra's front bodice is only held together by two threads, for example. Chameleon Boy and Colossal Boy got thoughtful recreations of their costumes that complimented their characters. Huh. Funny.


Still, a whole lot of fun.


Legion of Super-Heroes


Next: 'Volume 11'


Previous: 'Volume 9'

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review 2020-05-26 21:23
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 9
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 9 - Jim Shooter

This volume collects issues mostly from 1969, which was also the year that the Legion stories were pushed from the lead feature of Adventure comics to a second-stringer in Action comics.


The stories however...a lot seems to have happened in the volume I had to skip due to costs. Action-wise, certainly, but character development is happening and the stories are taking on more stakes. These issues are sharper and (relatively) heavier-hitting. This includes the first "drug" storyline printed in a comic book after the comics code authority banned the subject - writers got around the censors by making the story about "toxic fruit". That story, as well as an earlier one where a criminal apprehends mind drugs that were for United Planets study only featured great psychedelic art. These issues also see the beginning of new costumes, open romantic relationships and dating stories for legionnaires, and other signs that these babies are growing up!


The Legion very easily could have been cancelled after the switch in venue, but they carry on stronger than they ever were before. The only blah note was the constant referring to the women as "doll". The women have always been treated as equals in 'Legion' stories, and it doesn't go away, but I could really do without the late '60s lingo in the 31st century.


Legion of Super-Heroes


Next: 'Volume 10'


Previous: 'Volume 8'

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review 2020-04-11 16:00
Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 7
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Vol. 7 - Pete Costanza,Jim Shooter,Curt Swan

I've said it before and then went and splurged on volumes anyway, but 'Volume 8' is notoriously high-priced. Some mixture of the notoriety of its stories and the scarcity of its edition makes it sell for three or four times the cover price. I'll be circling eBay for awhile before one comes up at a price I can live with. I mean, if I spend all that money on one book I can't buy other books!


Not that I'm reading much these days. It has been a struggle since this crisis began.


First of all, this volume had the best introduction so far: Tom Peyer treats these issues with irreverence and good humor while praising the strides the series makes. 'TEEN BEAT IS COMING!' indeed. It also felt that these issues, published mostly in 1967, were beginning to reflect in earnest the restlessness of youth and the political turmoil that was beginning to boil over. On the surface these issues and villains are as silly as they ever were, foiled at the last minute by a clever plan or a deus-x-machina. The issues are beginning to say something, however. It feels like there's something at stake and the characters are taking on real personalities.


I have a couple collections from the 80s I could look into, but I hate to abandon continuity at this point. Oh, who am I kidding. I'm gonna cave before May!


Legion of Super-Heroes


Next: 'Vol. 8'


Previous: 'Vol. 6'

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text 2020-04-11 03:12
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