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Another One Bites the Dust

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Pretty soon, the Legion of Super-Heroes will have had more reboots than they have characters. The team has starred in at least 15 different titles over the last 51 years, with at least 3 major reboots and a handful of minor ones along the way.

Now, it appears that another reboot is on the way. The latest incarnation of the team, Legion of Super-Heroes, is ending tomorrow with issue #50 and will return in yet another new series.

The new series would be the soon-to-be restarted Adventure Comics. DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio confirmed as much in an interview with Geoff Boucher for the “Hero Complex” blog at the Los Angeles Times:

We’re also bringing back one of the old-time favorite titles of DC Comics, "Adventure Comics." It will be back with a new No. 1 and with new stars but old stars at the same time. It’ll be pretty easy to guess who will be the stars of "Adventure Comics" if you know who the title was most identified with…

GB: Well, which era? Sandman, the Spectre, Dial H for Hero, Superboy

DD: [Laughing] And who did Superboy appear with?

GB: Ah. The Legion of Super-Heroes.”

That “new stars but old stars” comment could lead fans to believe another new reboot will soon be upon us. But is all of this really necessary?

Legion of Super-Heroes wasn’t DC’s best selling title by any means, but it wasn’t the worst either. It consistently ranked, albeit barely, in the Diamond Top 100. This usually meant that it would be safe from cancellation.

This point was brought up by current Legion writer Jim Shooter, who gives another possible reason for the reboot in an interview with Comic Book Resources:

“An unimpeachable source, an old friend in a position to know, tells me that sales of comics are down in general, and that sales of DC comics are down in particular, pretty much across the board,” Shooter explained. “Sales of ‘The Legion of Super-Heroes’ aren’t great, but they’re a lot better than those of some of the titles they’re keeping. I think canceling the book is a graceful way of getting rid of me. I complain too much and too loudly.”

The always controversial Shooter goes on to explain some of the complaints he has had, including having to create a “Super Lad” as per the request of DiDio, only to have the request rescinded after work was done on the character.

While the reason for the cancellation could be what Shooter implies, there could also be another reason. Perhaps DC wants to place an emphasis on the Legion to capitalize on the success of the Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds series. That miniseries by Geoff Johns and George Pérez is set to lead directly into Adventure Comics #1.

Of course, what the concept really doesn’t need is yet another Legion reboot. The team’s history is a muddled and confused mess the way it is (although Johns has helped straighten it out a bit). Another revamp where everything changes once again really is unnecessary. I’m hoping that if this is another reboot, it makes logical sense and is clear and concise.

So, Legion fans are going to have a few months without a book featuring the adventures of their favorite team. And what they get might be completely different than the Legion they know. Yes, everything might be changing once again, but the resilient Legion fans are probably used to this by now.  

Also out this week:

Daredevil #115:

I’d say that being Daredevil was a tough life, but that would be a gross understatement. Matt Murdock’s days are filled with one misery after another. The latest involves his old enemies the Hand and their new assassin Lady Bullseye. But this time, it seems like the bad guys have the upper hand, and Hornhead faces utter destruction. That is, unless he makes a deal with the last person he’d ever want to be indebted to. And he has no other choice than to make that deal.

Credit must go to Brubaker, Lark and company. They have introduced a character in Lady Bullseye that could have been lame in many other creators’ hands. They made her a force to be reckoned with, and a villain I’d like to see again.

Ed Brubaker (W), Michael Lark  (A), Marvel Comics, $2.99. Ongoing Series.

Batman: Brave and the Bold #1:

It seems that every TV show based on a comic book eventually becomes all about which comic book guest star they will have that season. The latest Batman cartoon fixes all that. Based on the Brave and the Bold comic, every episode will feature a guest star from the DC Universe. No waiting for a sweeps episode to see your favorite superhero, just wait a few weeks, and they are bound to show up.

As is the custom, the cartoon gets a comic book from Johnny DC. And show writer Matt Wayne is at the helm to makes sure the comic mirrors the tone of the cartoon. This offers fans a brand new outlet. If you don’t like the dark road your favorite characters have been taking the last 20 years, then you can see a kinder, gentler version of them here.

Matt Wayne (W), Andy Suriano (A), DC/Johnny DC Comics, $2.50. Ongoing Series.

Heathentown:

Small town America was at one time an example of the kinder, simpler life. People were neighborly, the pace was slow, and it was essentially a bucolic paradise. Then horror movies played with this view of the small town and turned them into secret hotbeds of evilness and death.

This is the type of small town Anna encounters. The death of her lover brings her to a small town near the Florida Everglades. Her loss becomes the catalyst that allows an ancient evil loose into our world. Now, her period of mourning is over, as she must struggle for her survival. But is her will to live strong enough to combat the unstoppable evil she inadvertently released? 

Corinna Sara Bechko (W), Gabriel Hardman (A), Image/Shadowline Comics, $9.99. Original Graphic Novel.

Buckaroo Banzai: Big Size #1:

You’d think that having the creator of Buckaroo Banzai writing comics filling in the gaps in the history of the cult character would make its fans happy. But certain BB fans have been vocal about Earl Mac Rauch’s stories. Apparently, he’s changed some previously established facts about his creation, and the meticulous fans are not pleased.

Well, Rauch is back with another one-shot dealing with the early days of Buckaroo, this time focusing on mission to save some asses (the animal kind, get your mind out of the gutter). We’ll see if this story, which promises some shake up in the hero’s life, is deemed acceptable by Banzai fans. Or will they be up in arms as Rauch contradicts himself once again.  Hell hath no fury like fans of a cult character scorned.

Earl Mac Rauch (W), Amin Amat (A), Moonstone Comics , $3.99. One-Shot.

Garth Ennis Battlefields: Dear Billy #1:

It looks like Dynamite is going to provide a home for Garth Ennis’ hard-boiled tales of warfare, and that should excite any reader. War stories are definitely in Ennis’ wheelhouse, and he excels at telling them. As long as he has a venue to keep writing them, every comic fan should be happy.

This version of his Battlefields series deals with a Nurse by the name of Carrie Sutton who gets caught up in the Japanese invasion of Singapore. She survives that horrific event, and eventually begins the healing process. But when a shot at vengeance falls in her lap, she must make a fateful decision—ignore it and get on with her life or pursue it and lose everything she built up forever.   

Garth Ennis (W), Peter Snejbjerg  (A), Dynamite Entertainment, $3.50. Three-Issue Miniseries.

Justice Society of America #23:

Geoff Johns is one of the biggest writers in comics today, but at one time he was the usurper who replaced James Robinson on JSA. But eventually, he came to be a respected writer in his own right and over the years became a fan favorite.

He has been associated with the Justice Society ever since his big breakthrough on the title. But in life, all good things must end. Johns is set to leave Justice Society of America, and this issue begins his final arc on the title. This might be the last chance you get to witness one of comicdom’s best writers working on the book that helped make him famous. You should jump on it while you can. 

Geoff Johns & Alex Ross (W), Dale Eaglesham (A), DC Comics, $2.99. Ongoing Series.

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William Gatevackes is a professional writer living in Mamaroneck, NY and is expecting his first child with his wife Jennifer. He also is a comic reviewer for PopMatters and is the comic book movie editor for Film Buff Online. Links to his writing can be found at his website, www.williamgatevackes.com

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