(W) Keith Giffen, Jeff Lemire (A) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Keith Giffen, Michelle Delecki In Shops: Sep 18, 2019 SRP: $3.99
The citizens of Dangerfield, Arizona, are beset by strange goings-on after the “Invasion” that rocked the DC Universe, but only five misfit kids seem to notice them. Can they uncover what’s happening before some sinister force collects them all? Find out in this new miniseries! And in the backup feature with story and art by Jeff Lemire, the Peacemaker is on a top-secret mission from Checkmate and Amanda Waller to find a mysterious weapon before the Russians can.
I want to circle back to something that I discussed in a video a few weeks ago, and that’s the idea of “unfinished teams” when it comes to toy lines. It’s a phenomenon that plagues a lot of collectors, and not just line completists. Often, fans of a particular team begin buying figures based on that group, only to see the figures stop without the basic, core team ever being finished. Sometimes, a line even gets several figures in before screeching to a halt; then, false hope comes when another line picks up the baton, only for that to fold, too. Today, I want to talk specifically about one of the most popular and, simultaneously, misunderstood teams of all time, and how they’re ripe for figure rehabilitation. I’m talking, of course, about the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino in 1958, the Legion became one of the most popular and longest-running DC Comics teams of all time. The group was in some form of continuous publication from 1958 through 2013; they first appeared as teen allies of Superboy from the future, and grew into a sprawling team whose membership came from more than two dozen planets. The Legion occupied Adventure Comics for several years before bouncing around as a back-up feature at the beginning of the ’70s; finding a home in the Superboy series, they eventually received co-billing by 1973 and completely evicted Superboy in 1980.
In the early ’80s, the team’s popularity was white-hot with the team of writer Paul Levitz and artist Keith Giffen; their “Great Darkness Saga” in 1982 is considered an all-time classic. They were so big that a second book was launched in 1984; Legion of Super-Heroes was sold only in comic shops, while Tales from the Legion of Super-Heroes was sold everywhere. After a year, Tales started reprinting the direct market title, but proved popular enough to run three more years. The 1984 LSH ran until 1989, when the book got a new number 1 and a story that picked up five years later. Known to some as the “Five Year Gap” Legion, the new series told challenging stories about an occupied Earth and the Legion fighting to free it.
In 1994, the old Legion was pushed aside for a new Legion inZero Hour. The young Legion was fairly popular, but that continuity only lasted 10 years before a completely new one came in. Referred to as the “Threeboot,” this new angle only stuck around for five years. In 2007, the original Legion returned in the JLA/JSA “Lightning Saga” crossover. Every version of the Legion got to play together in the Final Crisis tie-in Legion of Three Worlds. When the “New 52” settled in in 2011, the Legion again had two books, but these were gone by 2013. Since then, there have only been teases and hints that the Legion was coming back, most recently in Doomsday Clock.
The core concept of the Legion (“teen heroes from the future!”) is pretty durable, and has proven pretty adaptable to other media. The Legion have appeared in episodes of Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited, Smallville, The Flash, and Supergirl. Beginning in 2006, they had their own animated series for two seasons. The Legion has also popped up in direct-to-DVD films like JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, Lego DC Comics Super-Heroes: Justice League – Cosmic Clash, and this year’s Justice League vs. The Fatal Five.
For all this, the Legion have had a relatively finite showing in action figure form. There’s been a lot of representation in HeroClix, and a handful of figures (Brainiac-5, Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, and Saturn Girl) made it in the DC Animated line offered online. In the DC Direct days, just over a dozen Legionnaires were made, along with villain Mordru; the Legion members were Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Brainiac-5, Star Boy, Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg), Ultra Boy, Mon-El, Timber Wolf, Colossal Boy, Sun Boy, and Ferro Lad, as well as Superboy and Supergirl. These were well-made figures, but a consistent complaint was that the figures were made in their 1960s costumes, when their later 70s and 80s looks were by far the most popular versions of the characters.
Those looks were reflected in the online exclusive boxed set that DC Universe Classics offered through Mattel’s MattyCollector in 2011; that epic 12-figure boxed set included Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Matter-Eater Lad (YES.), Wildfire, Karate Kid, Superboy, Brainiac-5, Chameleon Boy, Ultra Boy, Timber Wolf, a super-sized Colossal Boy, and sidekick Proty. A figure of Star Boy/Starman Thom Kallor was also available that same year as an orderable figure through Matty’s Club Infinite Earths subscription series. Legion villain Validus made it into production as the Collect-n-Connect figure in one wave. DC Universe Classics was gone at retail by 2012, and the subs dried up by 2014. The DC Multiverse line became Mattel’s DC offering in 2016, but aside from the arguable inclusion of various Supergirl figures, no Legion members have hit shelves since.
So what have we learned, Charlie Brown? When McFarlane Toys takes over the line in 2020, it’s high time for some Legion. For one thing, outside of Saturn Girl and Supergirl, there have been ZERO other women produced as figures. And this is for a team with a huge number of female characters. Dawnstar would likely be the most popular, given her unique appearance, but fans have waited a long time for mainstays like Phantom Girl, Shadow Lass, White Witch, Duo Damsel, Sensor Girl, and many more. Likewise, we’ve been left hanging for years on visually interesting characters like Blok, Gates, and Tellus.
When the McFarlane line starts, it’s very likely that we’ll start with new versions of the big three and others right away. Such has always been the way of new DC lines. But I’d really like to see McFarlane embrace the idea of scale equilibrium and create some complementary, long-requested figures to make up the balance of those assortments. There are plenty of gaps in the JLA, the JSA, the Titans, the Outsiders, and more, but for a team that’s been around since the late 1950s, there needs to be some more respect given to the LSH. Long Live the Legion, kids.
(W) Keith Giffen, Heath Corson (A) Gus Vasquez (A/CA) Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer In Shops: Mar 13, 2019 SRP: $3.99
With the mall in ruins and the forces of the Nanite King advancing on them, it looks like the end for the Scooby Gang! But an unlikely ally appears to give them hope. Will the resurrected Fred Jones be the savior humanity needs? Plus, Atom Ant heads to Gotham City to face his most difficult trial yet: an evening with Batman!
(W) Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis (A) Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer, Gus Vasquez (CA) ChrisCross
In Shops: Dec 12, 2018
While the resurrected Fred Jones unleashes his army of monsters on Scooby and the gang, Daphne continues to spiral further into guilt and depression, terrified of losing Fred twice. Fortunately, the gang has another secret weapon: Scrappy-Doo and his mysterious mentor. Plus, the trials of Atom Ant continue as another member of the JLA tests the super-insect to see if he’s worthy of joining the League!
(W) Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis (A/CA) Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer
In Shops: Nov 14, 2018
Fred is alive?! Or is he something else…whatever he is, he’s not the same man he once was. What happened to him? Where has he been? And how will his return affect Daphne, Scooby and the gang? All answers revealed in this issue…
(W) Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis (A/CA) Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer
In Shops: Oct 10, 2018
This Daphne-centric issue focuses on the history of our favorite monster-killing mistress, from her relationship with her unforgiving father to the tragic death of Fred Jones. But the past has come back to haunt Daphne in the form of a savage new monster that’s hunting her. How can she survive a creature that feeds on her sorrow and guilt?
In his return to creator-owned comics, Keith Giffen teams up again with artist Benjamin Roman for an all-new, dark humor miniseries—Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits—this November.
Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits is a most peculiar shelter. Within its walls, Agatha and her niece, Julie, care for damaged and dysfunctional rabbits. But now it’s in danger—from a wealthy businessman who will stop at nothing to tear it down.
Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #1 (Diamond Code SEP180039) will hit comics shops on Wednesday, November 7th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, October 15th.
Written by: J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen
Art by: Patrick Olliffe, Tom Palmer
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover by: Rags Morales, Andrew Dalhouse
Variant cover by: Patrick Gleason, Stephen Downer
Assistant Editor: Liz Erickson
Editor: Harvey Richards
Nerves of Steel: Jim Chadwick
U.S. Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: September 12, 2018
A new creature commander emerges from the shadows and it only wants one thing, the ultimate monster-killer herself—Daphne! Even with Scrappy-Doo, the gang is no match for this rabid monster madness. Worst of all, Daphne seems to have lost the will to live. Is one person worth the price of survival of the human race?
(W) Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis (A) Pat Olliffe, Tom Mandrake, Tom Palmer (CA) Kaare Andrews
In Shops: Aug 08, 2018
Cliffy is torn between his loyalty to the recently returned Scrappy-Doo and his friendship with Scooby. Meanwhile, Daphne and Scrappy bond during a gruesome monster hunt. And who is the mysterious new creature lurking in the dark?