Friday, February 24, 2006

My Collection - LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES [1984 Series]

Legion of Super-Heroes [1984 series]
35 issues [1984 - 1989]
1 - 9, 11 - 14, 31, 37 - 39, 43 - 45, 49 - 63

This was the series that DC launched as one of their first direct market only books with the popular Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen team carrying over from the original series. Since it was direct only, I didn't buy it originally, but the LSH was one of the first books I checked out when I got back into comics, just as Keith Giffen was making his return with #50. I actually have pretty mixed feelings about that last year of the book, and was pretty close to dropping it if it wasn't going to be cancelled anyway by the end.

Along the way I did pick up some of the back issues when I could find them fairly cheap (I also have some more of them in the newsstand market reprints). Some of them are a lot of fun, and the art was generally nice, but I really do think that Levitz peaked on the book on the first half of his long run and very little of the second half compares well. Some of that has to do with the contortions the LSH history went through thanks to other changes in the DC Universe, but ultimately Levitz isn't blameless in that either. Still good enough to keep, and readable enough that I'd buy the stuff I'm missing someday.

My favourite bits of the run:

#1 - #5, the big series opening battle against the Legion of Super-Villains, a really good example of the best of Levitz's writing, both in plot structure, building tension and characterization. Also some really good artwork by Giffen, although it's kind of a shame his involvement decreased so rapidly during the story. One of the reasons I think DC's big direct market only launch for both TITANS and LSH at the time was so misguided is that the artistic side of the creative teams that launched the books took off so quickly.

#13 is a nice example of the single issue spotlight on a team member that Levitz would do every now and then, this one with Timber Wolf going on a mission to fulfill a wish for a dead team-mate.

#37 - #38 is one of those stories that tried to make sense of the changes in DC history and the effects on the Legion, but probably made the whole thing worse, but was pretty fun to read, even (maybe especially) without the Superman issues it crossed over with.

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