Boy, it’s been a long time since I updated my reading. The main reason for this, unfortunately, is that I haven’t been reading much for the last couple of months, as I’ve been caught up in other pursuits. So a couple of weeks ago, I started carving out a bit more time for reading.
- Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb
This is a book that people in fandom either adore or despise, depending on how comfortable they are with being poked fun at. While McCrumb’s caricatures are, in most cases, over the top, and in a few cases unfair, this is still an amusing romp. And I still love the moment when touring Scottish folksinger Donnie McRory discovers the filkers, starts to play “Wild Rover” for them, and after hearing the first line they belt out, stops and exclaims with outrage, “What’s all that rubbish, then? Have ye been monkeying about with the words??”
I read this book when it first came out back in 1986 or so, and still enjoy revisiting it from time to time. It has a sequel, Zombies Of The Gene Pool, but unfortunately there are further books about Jay Omega after that one that I am aware of.
- The Legion Of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 1 (DC Comics)
The Legion Of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 2 (DC Comics)
The Legion Of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 3 (DC Comics)
The Legion Of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 4 (DC Comics)
When I was a kid, Legion of Super Heroes was one of my favourite comics. Of course, this was in the early 80s during the Levitz/Giffen period when I started reading the title, and it was only through the occasional reprints that I ever saw any of the early days of the group.
Recently, while I was over at khaosworks apartment to bring him to Atlanta in preparation for his flight home for the summer, I asked him if I could borrow some of his Legion collections, and he loaned me the first six volumes of DC’s Archive editions. These contain all the Legion stories from their introduction in Superboy back in 1958 up through about 1968-69 or so, i believe. And I’ve slowly been working my through them.
To be honest….as much as I love what the Legion became, and as much as I can see the flashes of that future here and there…a lot of these stories are terrible. Maybe I’d have felt differently if I was a kid in 1963 reading them for the first time, and maybe my adult taste for the sort of thing that Vertigo comics publishes have spoiled me from more innocent Mort Weisinger fare, but gosh…
Most early Legion stories fall into one of four broad plots:
1) Someone attempts to join the legion but is rejected, so they vow horrible revenge for being spurned.
2) Someone attempts to join the Legion and his accepted, but is secretly working to destroy the group.
3) A member of the Legion behaves in a totally out-of-character manner for some reason (often inadequately explained), leading to conflict within the group.
4) A mysterious villain appears, possessing just the right sort of powers to counter and disable every single member of the group, even though each of them has a distinctly different power.
Sometimes, just for fun, 2 or more of these 4 basic plots were combined together.
To be fair, these were written over 40 years ago for an entirely different sensibility (and for a much younger prospective reader). Some of it is just typical Weisingerian melodramatic nonsense that grates on my nerves in large doses. And of course, these stories were backup features in Adventure comics and spread across several months originally, and suffer a bit for being read in large chunks anyway.
And even though I pick them apart, and shake my head over them as I read them, they’re still a lot of fun, because I know that about 15 years from the time these were written, they will turn into the comics I read and loved when I was 10.
Very enjoyable if you’re especially interested in the early history of the LSH, or just like reading Silver Age comics.