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  1. #1
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    Default Legion of Super Heroes - the Levitz/Giffen Era Reviews

    This thread will post links to reviews on the Paul Levitz / Keith Giffen era of the Legion that began back in 1982. The first couple issues featured art by Pat Broderick before Giffen came on.

    Legion of Super Bloggers review of Legion of Super Heroes #284 - Medicus One is attacked, two Legionnaires resign, and Timber Wolf gets a facelift.

    http://legionofsuperbloggers.blogspo...oul-thief.html


  2. #2
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    Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes was the first title to become a favorite during the Dave Cockrum era. Eventually, I lost interest in the title and all-things DC (especially after finding Dave Cockrum again over at Marvel's X-Men).

    I slowly started picking up DC titles again when New Teen Titans #1 debuted. A cover from Levitz/Giffen LSH was displayed in one of the Comic magazines -- probably 'Comics Scene' showing a group of Legionnaires stranded on an icy planet. That made me interested in giving the title another try. I didn't actually pick up an issue until the Great Darkness finale -- and then was hooked all over again.

    I don't think I actually lost interest again until the Abnett and Lanning era. I couldn't stand Copiel's art in those days. He's come a long way since! But I've supported all of the Legion titles that followed. I'm still on board with the Bendis/Sook series -- though it pales in comparison to the Cockrum run and early Levtiz/Giffen run.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcekada View Post
    A cover from Levitz/Giffen LSH was displayed in one of the Comic magazines -- probably 'Comics Scene' showing a group of Legionnaires stranded on an icy planet. That made me interested in giving the title another try. I didn't actually pick up an issue until the Great Darkness finale -- and then was hooked all over again.
    That was issue #289, which will be posted on here in a few weeks. The issue before it was the first I had bought. I had seen LSH guesting in some other DC books so I was familiar with some of the characters, but like you, I became hooked with the Levitz/Giffen team.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcekada View Post
    Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes was the first title to become a favorite during the Dave Cockrum era. Eventually, I lost interest in the title and all-things DC (especially after finding Dave Cockrum again over at Marvel's X-Men).
    I had a similar arc. I'd buy the occasional issue of just about anything, Marvel or DC, off the spinner-rack at the supermarket if the cover caught my eye, but the Legion of Superheroes was the only title I actively hunted down and followed. And soon I found myself reading X-Men as well, having followed Dave Cockrum from company to company, apparently. And yeah Teen Titans 1 was the rebirth of my love for DC, as well! (Although I never stopped loving the Legion.)

    The team was just amazing, it had something for everyone, it seemed, magic and tech, aliens and 'metahumans,' detective types and bare-knuckle brawlers and romance and interpersonal drama aplenty. It was a smorgasboard.

    And, best of all, it was set in it's own far-flung future, centuries away from the annual summer crossover nonsense that would interrupt every other title for two to three months a year and steal the momentum of any long-form storytelling they were attempting.

    With twenty plus members, Levitz was a master at having some minor character bits simmering in the background of every issue, with a dozen threads running at a time, behind the bigger story of the day. I was in awe of that, as a wannabe writer, and I am not at all surprised that so few Legion writers since have been able to handle that as deftly. (IMO)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    With twenty plus members, Levitz was a master at having some minor character bits simmering in the background of every issue, with a dozen threads running at a time, behind the bigger story of the day. I was in awe of that, as a wannabe writer, and I am not at all surprised that so few Legion writers since have been able to handle that as deftly. (IMO)
    I read an interview with Levitz - and I think someone posted something similar on one of these Legion threads - where he would literally draw four or five lines down on a piece of loose leaf paper. The first column would have the main story idea for the current issue on top. Underneath it, he would write all the upcoming story ideas. In the next column, he would basically move everything up with the next major storyline on top and the remaining upcoming storylines underneath. And he would keep adding to the upcoming list. He said it helped him keep up with all the story ideas and would help ensure that every Legion member would be included at least every few issues.

  6. #6
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    All of the issues leading up to Great Darkness Sage were read after the conclusion. Some, I didn't read until recently (past 10 years) when they were collected in the most recent hardcover, so some came across a little dated. There was a little more suspension of belief back then. There are places in the stories where the Legionnaire should have been hurt more than they were, but that was typical of the Bronze Age. I think Broderick worked best as a Firestorm artist, but he wasn't bad here. Patterson was a very heavy inker, who added definitive look to the finishes. Tanghal was also a heavy inker, but maybe a little less stylized than Patterson.

    I'll be able to comment more when we get to the issues that I read in the 80s -- because I've reread those -- and will have greater callback to my reactions.

  7. #7
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    This thread has inspired me to pull out my Great Darkness Saga and The Curse Deluxe Editions, and hopefully find time to re-read along with the reviews.

    Now if only I can find which box they're in...
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  8. #8
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    I'm loving all the enthusiasm towards these classic Legion issues. I appreciate everyone's input so far.

    Legion of Super Bloggers review of Legion of Super Heroes #285 - The Khunds attack space station Nullport. Meanwhile on Orando, Projectra's father, King Voxx, is murdered. In a backup story (first Legion art by Keith Giffen), Dream Girl meets with her home planet's leader, the High Seer, to help find out why the residents of Naltor no longer have their visions of the future.

    http://legionofsuperbloggers.blogspo...eroes-285.html


  9. #9
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    Legion of Super Bloggers review of Legion of Super Heroes #286 - the Legionnaires play volleyball (no, really), Chameleon Boy makes a bold decision on how to handle the Khunds, and Sun Boy saves the day during and attack by Dr. Regulus. Meanwhile, Projectra and Karate Kid face down the new queen's cousin Pharoxx.

    http://legionofsuperbloggers.blogspo...eroes-286.html


  10. #10
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    After purchasing the large collection of "The Great Darkness Saga", I have tried introducing friends to this period in Legion history. I always start them off with "A Crown For The Princess" backup story from #286.

    I think this is a good starting point as it features only two Legionnaires and the setting of Orando, which I feel is such a contrast to the rest of the 30th Century, is not overwhelming.

  11. #11
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    I'll admit I've always been a bit reluctant to get into "Legion of Superheroes" because of how long and complicated its history is but I've finally decided to take the plunge. I recently read "Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes" Volumes 1 and 2, and absolutely loved them. Now I fully intend to collect more, starting with the rest of the Levitz/Giffen era.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hareluyafan1 View Post
    I'll admit I've always been a bit reluctant to get into "Legion of Superheroes" because of how long and complicated its history is but I've finally decided to take the plunge. I recently read "Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes" Volumes 1 and 2, and absolutely loved them. Now I fully intend to collect more, starting with the rest of the Levitz/Giffen era.
    I'm not sure if you're a "collections only" reader, but I see the majority of these issues in $1 bins all the time. If you're into hunting down singles, the whole run can be found very affordably.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj View Post
    Legion of Super Bloggers review of Legion of Super Heroes #286 - the Legionnaires play volleyball (no, really), Chameleon Boy makes a bold decision on how to handle the Khunds, and Sun Boy saves the day during and attack by Dr. Regulus. Meanwhile, Projectra and Karate Kid face down the new queen's cousin Pharoxx.
    I always thought Pharoxx might be an interesting addition to the Legion of Super-Villains. Many adversaries of traditional Legionnaires like Lightning Lord and Chameleon Chief are members, so it could be neat to see both a mystical villain on the team (lower tier than Mordru!, who'se more of a 'Big Bad' IMO than a team villain), and an adversary to one of the lady Legionnaires (who are somewhat lacking in specific foes, like Regulus or Lightning Lord).

    Regulus was a fun villain. He inspired me to write Sun Boy fanfic!

  14. #14
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    I don't know why it took Karate Kid's death for a write to finally utilize Projectra better. The ability to case realistic illusions is no small talent - yet writers never took the time to showcase it properly. Honestly, though, that can be said of most of the females -- and some of the males as well.

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hareluyafan1 View Post
    I'll admit I've always been a bit reluctant to get into "Legion of Superheroes" because of how long and complicated its history is but I've finally decided to take the plunge. I recently read "Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes" Volumes 1 and 2, and absolutely loved them. Now I fully intend to collect more, starting with the rest of the Levitz/Giffen era.
    One of my biggest gripes about DC is just how much of the Legion is not collected in any form. For being such a big book is has very few collections with issues 259-283, 314-325, and issues 14-63 of the "Baxter" series never being collected. That is 84 issues not counting annuals with most of them being by Levitz. If nothing else the "Baxter" series should be collected in full.

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