Friday, March 23, 2007

Mark Waid Leaving the Legion

It's been almost a week since it was announced that Mark Waid and Barry Kitson were leaving the Legion of Super-Heroes with issue 31. Full story at the link.

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That alone is sad news. I'm a HUGE Legion fan! I've been collecting them since I started reading Comics. And as a long-time fan, I have to say I was liking the current incarnation of the Legion better than anything since the 5 Year Later period. While other creators had their takes on the Legion, I know I've enjoyed this version from Mark and Barry. The uniforms, the powers, even the reason for existing is slightly different than anything else that had been tried. And I thought it was working. I will miss Barry's art as well. I've been a fan of his from before his L.E.G.I.O.N. days!

But what makes me really sad is the comment from Mark Waid himself, saying how the internet would be applauding once the news hit. I thought his work was wonderful. This is a top-notch writer folks. He's one-fourth of the writing team responsible for the first ever weekly comic! His reverence for continuity is well-known. He was an editor before he wrote (or maybe he did both at the same time, I don't know).

He edited the Legend of Aquaman Special. It was that book that compelled me to write a letter. I had questions regarding Aquaman's continuity, where the first mini-series fit, and other things. It never got printed in a letter column because Aquaman didn't have an ongoing book at the time, but what I got was 10 times better! Mark Waid wrote me back – on real DC stationary! He responded to my questions, thanked me for purchasing the issue, and now that letter is tucked in with the comic. It was a special thing for a kid from Edmonton to get a response from the editor himself! The only other time I came close to being famous in a comic was the time my question to the Answer Man (Bob Rozakis) was answered in the Anniversary Issue of World's Finest (number 272, to be precise, great George Perez cover!). I could never make it to any of the conventions in the States because of the cost and most comic creators don't come to Edmonton, so you can see why getting something like that would be a special thing.

And then there was the time that Joanna Draper was working for DC and she asked for articles about comics in local papers be sent to her. At the time in was in University and the student paper had a huge article that I sent in. In return, she sent me an almost-complete set of Justice League Postcards (art by George Perez). I had never managed to get a set when they were originally released, but I appreciated the cards and they're still in my collection. Joanna's blog is something I read daily. Neat, huh?

Anyway, back to the point. Mark Waid did some really cool things with the Legion and he should be congratulated. Even though it looks like the Levitz era Legion is coming back in the pages of the Justice Society of America. I like Mark's version better than the 'Archie' Legion, Legion of the Damned, The Legion, and most other interpretations since the 5 Year Gap version.

Hopefully Mark and Barry's ideas and vision stick around. I liked their Legion.
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