At a time when most of comics was tiptoeing around the notion of gay, bi and lesbian people existing – much less being portrayed well – The Legion of Super-Heroes was making text out of subtext with characters such as Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass, and doing it during one of the series' most creatively daring periods.
Yet as the fate of the character Shvaughn Erin illustrates, a step forward for some can often leave others behind.
Q: Do you think it's possible for the Legion of Super-Heroes to work today, or are the trappings too corny? -- @jdkrach
A: My first instinct on this one is to say yes, and not just because the Legion was, for a long time, one of my absolute favorite comics. The entire superhero genre is, after all, full of corny ideas that have become timeless, right down to the fact that the entire thing is built around the idea of a very nice man who came from space and fools everyone into thinking that he's a very nice man from Kansas by wearing a pair of glasses.
But the Legion represents an entirely different question. It's not just the optimism of a bright future and names like "Lightning Lad" that can come off as corny, it's the entire universe that allowed them to exist in the first place --- and for a team that's been rebooted more times than just about anyone else, they sure do seem to have a hard time keeping up.
DC's Convergence crossover is built around pitting cities pulled from different eras against each other in an ultimate battle to determine which continuity reigns supreme, and as you may already know just from reading that sentence, that can get a little confusing. With all the Gothams and Metropolises (Metropoli?) throwing their heroes against each other, we thought it might be useful to offer our readers a handy guide to telling Pre-Flashpoint from Post-Crisis with a series of Bottle City Travel Guides!
Today, we're taking a trip to the Metropolis of the 30th Century! Well, one of many Metropolises of one very specific 30th century, so... this is already getting a little too complicated.
Ever since I wrote that Ask Chris a few weeks back about how I'd rebuild the Legion of Super-Heoroes, I've been seized with the desire to go back and re-read some of the classic Legion stories from the Silver Age, but when I sat down to do just that, I was really surprised. Not because the stories are weird, mind you -- I knew they were pretty bonkers from the first time I read them, and they certainly haven't gotten any less weird since -- but because they threw the light on one of the most grievous oversights of my writing career. See, as happy as I was with the lineup I came up with for that column, I left out the character who is unquestionably the most powerful member, the actual, official "King of the Legion." I speak, of course, of Bouncing Boy.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
Q: If you had to create an iconic but stripped-down version of the Legion of Super-Heroes, like for a TV show, which eight to ten characters would be on it? -- @benito_cereno
A: One of the weirdest things about the DC Universe right now -- which is full of exactly as much weirdness as you'd expect from a 75 year-old superhero universe that's less than three years into a baby-and-bathwater reboot -- is that the Legion of Super-Heroes isn't a part of it. I mean, no, they were never the biggest franchise DC had to offer, but they were a pretty constant presence from 1958 to just a little while ago, and there's a good reason for that. I mean, they're teenagers from the future. That's quite literally a concept that never gets old.
That said, it's only a matter of time before they get rebooted, so let's while away some time figuring out just who I'd put on the new team.
Today the comics community mourns the loss and celebrate the life and work of cartoonist Al Plastino, a veteran of DC Comics whose enduringly popular creations include the Legion of Super-Heroes and Supergirl. Plastino was in the news this year after it was discovered that the artwork for which he was most proud, created for a story in which Superman undertook a mission at the behest of American President John F. Kennedy, was available in a high-priced auction and not donated to the late President's museum as Plastino said he'd been promised.
While other sites may be content to bring you Rocktober, Shocktober or Mohawktober, ComicsAlliance is committed to commemorating the things that really matter! That's why this month, we're bringing you 31 days of the Legion's stalwart Cosmic Boy as we celebrate Rokktober...
Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why each and every week, we turn to you, to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions...
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