Catching Up on the Legion of Super-Heroes

I’ve spoken to quite a few comic fans recently who are looking to get on board with the new Legion of Super-Heroes run. However, they’re not sure where to start. So, I thought I’d put together a trade list for just this specific purpose. The current iteration of the Legion (known as the “Retro-boot” or retro-reboot) picks up right after the Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986. The following trades can get you caught up to speed with the Legion.

Superman: Secret Origin (OPTIONAL)

Superboy meets the Legion for the first time

Following Infinite Crisis, Superman’s origin is revised once again. Now, when he was a teenager, he once again adventured into the 30th Century to become a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The tale of a young Clark Kent meeting the Legion is collected in this volume. However, it is one single chapter out of the six collected issues, so it’s not strictly necessary to read but is included in this list for those that may be interested.

O! Call back yesterday!

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes: The Early Years (OPTIONAL)
Another optional book, this volume collects a new take on the Legion’s early adventures that appeared in Adventure Comics. Written by Paul Levitz, the stories focus on the Legionnaires around the time of the first Khund invasion by the warlord Zaryan. More details are shed on the Legionnaires of this time, most notably Saturn Girl, and some dark secrets of the Legion’s past are revealed.
This book is not required to understand current storylines, but it is a fun look at the Legion of yesterday and was written at the same time as the current Legion series by Paul Levitz. It won’t be released until late March, so if you’d like to collect the individual issues, look for Adventure Comics 12 and 516-520 (all from the most recent run).
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga

The Legion returns!

After a long absence and different versions of the Legion, the original Legion of Super-Heroes returned to the DC Universe for the first time in almost 20 years in The Lightning Saga, a story running through Justice League of America and Justice Society of America. Legionnaires are discovered throughout 20th Century Earth for reasons that are a mystery, but they have a mission that involves the return of another hero…

Back to the 30th Century!

Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes
The first real “Legion” story since they’re return took place in the pages of Action Comics. Superman returned to the 30th Century to find xenophobia rampant and his own legend being exploited for the use of a racist group of “Earth first” heroes, led by a Legion reject now calling himself Earth Man. And a Crisis for the 30th Century is hinted at…
Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds

You want the Legion? We've got ALL the Legions!

First off, don’t let the title fool you: this story has NOTHING to do with Final Crisis, it just took advantage of the Final Crisis line and cover-structure.
Superboy Prime arrives in the 30th Century and is shocked to find he’s merely a footnote in history. Enraged, Prime gathers up a new Legion of Super-Villains and brings the fight to the Legion. The Legion summons Superman to help, but quickly realize they need the help of all the Legion… including the Legions of other timelines! It’s the Original Legion plus the Reboot Legion and the the Threeboot Legion, all teaming up to take on Prime… and a hidden villain who is masterminding it all!
This is highly reccomended, as not only is it a great story involving all the Legion variants, but it’s drawn by the great George Perez!
Long Live the Legion!
After Legion of Three Worlds, the Legion appeared as a backup feature in the new Adventure Comics series. Each story focused on a different Legionnaire and fleshed out the current status of the Legion. As of this blogging, there are no plans for collecting it in paperback, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. If you’re looking for the individual issues, check out Adventure Comics 1-4.

Mon-El in the 20th Century!

Superman: Mon-El Vol. 1, Superman: Codename Patriot, Mon-El: Man of Valor
During the New Krypton storyline in the Superman books, 100,000 Kryptonians were freed from the bottle city of Kandor and founded a new planet on the other side of the sun called New Krypton. In order to get to know his people better as well as keep an eye on General Zod, Superman departed Earth for New Krypton, but not before freeing Mon-El from the Phantom Zone to watch over Metropolis and the Earth.
Future Legionnaire Mon-El’s adventures in the 20th Century are tied into the happenings in the other Superman books pretty heavily, but they do provide a nice spotlight for Mon-El as a hero in his own right. As the story of New Krypton unfolds, it is slowly revealed that not all is as it seems: the members of the Legion’s Espionage Squad are in the 20th Century too, undercover for reasons unknown…
Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton, Vol 1, Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton, Vol 2

Brainiac is back, but Superman and the New Kryptonians will have some help from the Legionnaires

Brainiac returns to recapture what was stolen from him: the residents of the bottle city of Kandor, now known as the New Kryptonians. Superman, Mon-El, Supergirl and Superboy are aided by the now-revealed Legion Espionage Squad as they battle to save New Krypton from Brainiac’s forces.

It's time for a new Green Lantern to be chosen in the 30th Century

The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Choice
Paul Levitz returns with an all-new Legion of Super-Heroes series. In the first volume, a world is destroyed, children are kidnapped and the Green Lantern Corps of the 30th Century begins to be rebuilt. It’s the start to a new era of the Legion and Levitz is on top of his game! Great characters, lots of plot seeds being laid and good, old-fashioned Legion action.
This trade won’t be released until April, but if you’re looking for the individual issues now, it collects Legion of Super-Heroes (current series) 1-6.

That should catch you up to the current Legion series. In additon to the current Legion series, remember that the Legion Academy storyline has begun in Adventure 521 and that has great artwork from Phil Jimenez. It’s a good time to be a Legion fan and a great time to become one if you’re not!


My ultimate super-hero mix (which has become kind of an ultimate comic book mix) has been revamped and updated. It’s listed in track order (important, thematically).
1. Sunshine Superman – Hüsker Dü

2. Spider-Man – The Ramones

3. Divine Hammer – The Breeders

4. Flash’s Theme – Queen

5. Superman – R.E.M.

6. No More Heroes – Violent Femmes

7. Ring Capacity – Kirby Krackle

8. That’s Really Super, Supergirl – XTC

9. Misfits & Mistakes – Superchunk

10. In the Garage – Weezer

11. Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me) – XTC

12. Brainiac’s Daughter – The Dukes Of Stratosphear

13. Wonderboy – Tenacious D

14. God of Thunder – KISS

15. My Hero – Foo Fighters

16. Hush – Deep Purple

17. Surfing With the Alien – Joe Satriani

18. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me – U2

19. Thunderstruck – AC/DC

20. The End Is the Beginning Is the End – Smashing Pumpkins

21. Silver Gun Superman – Stone Temple Pilots

22. Iron Man – Black Sabbath

23. The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning – Smashing Pumpkins

Not dead!

So, the few people who follow this blog (whom I prefer to think of as the elite) may have noticed no real content since December 20th. Well, the holidays and other various life trauma have thrown my enthusiasm for blogging off for a bit, but I’m slowly pulling it back together. Things are turning around, and, among other things, that means a return to semi-regular content here at CPI. Hope you enjoy it!

Happy Holidays from Comic Planet Industries!

As you may have noticed, we here at Comic Planet Industries are taking a little break for the holidays. We’ll be back in a week or so with more great content. In the meantime, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!


SPOILER WARNING! This article will deal with some of the events of the most recent issues of Fables.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to sit down and read the entire Fables series from start to finish. It took me about 2 weeks and (with the exception of 4-5 book I picked up on new comic days) I read nothing else but Fables. Whew!

For those not in the know, the premise is simple: characters from all the old stories and nursery rhymes (called Fables) are real. When their homelands are conquered by an unknown Adversary, they escape to the Earth dimension and now live in a neighborhood in New York City. They keep their identities secret and try to adapt to living in the mundane or “Mundy” world.

Overall, it is definitely a series worth reading. The central gimmick (storybook/nursery rhyme characters living in modern times) never wears thin. The dialogue is crisp and the art is always eye-catching. Mark Buckingham’s pencils are emotive and at the same time simple. The variety of settings really works well with the comic book format, and you really believe these places exist, from Fabletown to the Homelands to Baghdad. I would recommend this series to anyone in a heartbeat.

But that’s not to say it’s always the best written series. The series as a whole gets away from the initial premise about 20 issues or so in, and from there it attempts more epic storytelling. The cast of characters is turned over several times, only allowing the reader a brief moment to adapt to a new cast dynamic before it changes again. That’s not really to my liking, at least not for a serialized story. It’s never dull and you’re always invested in the characters you’re reading, but the turnover harms the series as a whole in establishing emotional continuity.

Probably my favorite moment in the whole series. Should be telling that it comes in the 27th issue.

And when the series goes into a more epic story-telling mode, the charm of the Fables living in the real world is more or less ditched for a story of destroying the Adversary who conquered their home worlds. Which is all well and good, but it seems to come fairly early in the series’ life. I would have liked to see more stories in the Fabletown setting and more tension between Bigby and Snow White, but they quickly fall in love, get married with kids and leave their respective positions before issue 30, even.

What’s apparent is that this is a series about the characters. It started out with that being its strength, and throughout the series it remains what Fables does best. The bulk of the series involves wars, plots, and running from enemies, and all are very readable. But when one examines the actual structure of the plot, they are revealed to be a little flimsy. Most of the time, the pacing is way, way off. Take the latest villain, for example: Mr. Dark. Mr. Dark is released from imprisonment, spends an issue or two being menacing and building power, then proceeds to destroy Fabletown. After the Fables flee, he takes up residence there… and it’s about a dozen issues before anything really happens next.

The intervening issues deal with a lot of left-over character issues, including a power struggle among the witches of Fabletown and a different power struggle among the leaders of the Farm. Then, all of a sudden, Totenkinder returns and goes off to fight the Dark Man and fails, causing the Fables to flee even further.

A bad read? Not at all, but in retrospect, it seems like a bit of fumbling around before we get back to the real action. It’s even mentioned several times that they’re specifically avoiding Mr. Dark, which seems like a bit of lazy writing to avoid dealing with the immediate threat.

But ultimately, Fables is a great series and one worth buying every week. It has its problems, but the good very much outweighs the bad. I don’t regret dropping everything to catch up at all. As a whole, I give it a 7/10.

Reviews and Twitter

I think I’m going to start using Twitter to do my weekly comic reviews. Generally, anything I’m reacting to as I read books is quickly forgotten afterwards. It may be a little stream-of-conscious and unedited, but I think it will prove more fruitful. Don’t despair! Reviews are not going away, they’ll just be reserved for special occasions and old favorites I think deserve a little more appreciation. Remember, you can follow my tweets on @ComicPlanetInd! I’ll start each set of tweets with a hashtag #ReadingComics and each tweet related will have a hashtag for the book and I’ll try to include the issue number whenever I can (for instance, “#GreenLantern 60”).

My Picks, Week of 12/15

Long weekend, didn’t have time to post (holidays and all). Avengers was delayed this week, but Emerald Knights is a carry-over, so there’s that. With no Avengers, this looks like an all-DC week!

Green Lantern #60
I’ll admit, this book hasn’t really been setting things on fire the last couple of issues, but Johns knows how to hook people with a mystery. I’ll keep reading to find out what the deal with the Indigo Tribe is, as well as who the mysterious being collecting them is (my guess is Appa Ali Apsa, The Mad Guardian, knowing Johns’ propensity for re-using old characters).
Batman and Robin #18
Paul Cornell wowed me with his first issue in this arc, to the point where I found myself saying “wait, this is a fill-in story??” I wasn’t planning on picking up this book regularly once Morrison left, but they’ve got me hooked for this arc, at least.
Birds of Prey #7
Birds of Prey and I have a complicated relationship. I always find it to be well-written, but I rarely find it to be particularly interesting. It tends to focus on the friendship between all the various Birds, which is great but the action/adventure has a tendency to suffer because of that sometimes. I love Gail Simone’s work, I think Secret Six is absolutely fantastic, I just don’t think this is my usual cup of tea.
However, this new storyline starting has been getting a lot of good buzz, and I’ve got about 12 friends on Twitter who may murder me if I say anything against this book, so I’m keeping an open mind and giving it another try. Plus, a bad-ass Batman cover.
Supergirl #59
Boy, I’ll miss Sterling Gates on this book. Before he came along, the new Kara Zor-El was a mess of psychoses, indecision and a hefty dark side. Sterling took over and made me excited for Supergirl for the first since Linda Danvers was erased from continuity (I’m still pissed about that one). This is Sterling’s last issue, and I’ll be sad to see him go.
Time Masters: Vanishing Point #5
I know, I know, this barely has anything to do with Return of Bruce Wayne as advertised, but if you look at it, it’s basically the continuation of the previous creative team’s Booster Gold run. Maybe it’s nostalgia that I can’t give up on Dan Jurgens, but I’m still checking this one out. I like his take on Booster (not surprising, given that he created him), and the time travel story with Rip Hunter is pretty nifty, in this writer’s humble opinion.