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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Riding the lightning

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #5 -- It's taken a while for Johns to hit his stride for me again since this book rebooted, and I still don't think he's all the way back to full strength. But at least with this issue I'm no longer bewildered and appalled to find myself living in a reality where I'm enjoying TEEN TITANS more than JSA every month.

I'm enjoying a great many aspects of the current storyline as it runs between JUSTICE LEAGUE and JUSTICE SOCIETY. One is that it's reminiscent (deliberately so, I'm sure) of the pre-CRISIS tradition where the JLA and JSA would team up, usually along with one other DC superteam, to handle some... well... 'crisis', actually. I'm also enjoying all the Gaiman and Moore references in this latest issue. And I very much like the fact that apparently, superheroes who were involved in the original CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS can now remember it, as well as their pre-CRISIS existences, and I'm very much enjoying the fact that the Legion has been restored to its roots, as a Superboy spin off.

If I'm annoyed by anything, it's that according to recent revelations by WizKids, the new LEGION OF SUPERHEROES HeroClix set will contain, among other figures, something called Young Superman. This seems to be a pretty straightforward indicator that apparently Superman will never have had adventures under the name Superboy, and that aggravates the crap out of me, but I'm trying to emphasize all the good stuff we got in this issue, instead of the few exasperating ungrace notes.


And best of all the good stuff? Superman once again has statues of the pre-CRISIS Legion in his Fortress of Solitude -- and they're mostly wearing Dave Cockrum costumes.

Beyond the Cockrum costumes, well, for a Silver Age DC fan, that two page spread on pages 18 and 19 are like coming home again, to a warm and comforting place you thought had long since been razed to the ground and replaced with a Burger King, or a drug rehab center, or something. I mean, a Legion with a Mon-El in it again? The original Invisible Kid? No Kid Quantum, and everybody has their real names once more instead of that stupid ass Triad and Live Wire and Umbra and Chameleon horseshit? I'm in fucking heaven.

Not everyone in this LSH is in a Cockrum costum. The Cockrum era was, of course, a skank fest (although not so much as it became later under Mike Grell; while most of the Legion costumes in the Alex Ross graphic to the left are Cockrum designs, the Cosmic Boy outfit that looks like it escaped from the Rocky Horror Picture Show wardrobe trailer is by Grell) and since that long lost time period, sensibilities have... er... matured somewhat. I asume this is why Imra Ardeen isn't in that adorable pink halter-leotard thingie Cockrum put her in. (Realistically, Saturn Girl has always been a bit of a prude and it was never particularly characteristic that she'd wear something like that anyway, unless she was drunk or being mind controlled or something. If she did wear it in public sometime, well, being telepathic, she would know exactly what all the male Legionnaires, and maybe Dream Girl, too, would be thinking whenever they see her in it, so she'd be unlikely to repeat the experiment.) Princess Projectra is, lamentably, wearing her Sensor Girl outfit rather than wearing her own Cockrum skank-suit. Of all the hot chicks from that era of Legion, only Shadow Lass is allowed to retain her skimpy Cockrum swimsuit.

Still, these are quibbles. This is far, far closer to a recognizable Legion of Superheroes than I ever expected to see presented in a contemporary DC comic again, and I'm deeply appreciative of Geoff Johns for giving it to me. I have no idea how this presentation of the Legion matches what is currently established in the ongoing SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES title (it's not written by anyone I admire, so I'm not buying it) but I don't need to know that, either. For a brief, probably feeling moment, I find myself basking in the warmth of Silver Age DC Superman and Legion of Superheroes continuity again, and for as long as I'm allowed to, I shall revel in it.

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