Friday, August 12, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different...

So seeing as how the previous entry was kind of brief, here's something covering another of my current obsessions - Premier League Football. It was either this or rambling on about homebrewing, but with the season starting tomorrow, I figured why not? Just to be safe, I'll toss in some DC references to keep the Core Audience happy.

My thoughts on the Premier League Teams of the 2011/2012 Season

Arsenal - What. The. Hell. Arsene? When Fabregas and Nasri indicated they wanted out, they should have been shipped out the door ASAP. That’d give the club some cash to spend on replacements plus the time needed to make sure they gel with the team. Of course, given Arsene’s transfer record, he might have blown the entire wad on a rather cheeky seven year old.
Question to be Answered this Season: Is there any Arsenal player whose description of quality is not immediately followed by “when fit”?
Expectations for this Season: Beautiful games, Europa League finish.
Corresponding DC Character: Arsenal's reputation for tactical brilliance but lack of staying power makes Wonder Woman the obvious choice. As a member of the Trinity she's respected, but like Arsenal, can you remember the last time she's actually done anything big?

Aston Villa - Losing Young and Downing on the wings may deprive Bent of the opportunities he needs to score. N’Zogbia is not quite cut from the same cloth - he seems to harry the flanks as a winger more than set up other players. Still, with former crosstown nemesis McLeish in charge (“The manager of my enemy is my friend so long as he’s heart-healthy.”), I’m not sure Villa will even bother to attack. They’ll just park the bus and hope to get the ball up to Bent on counter attacks.
Question: Was Given simply outclassed by Hart at City, or has he really lost it?
Expectation: McLeish locked in his office with a pickaxe, desperately trying to fight off the shambling horde pounding on his door.
DC Character: Defensively minded with a single weapon, Bent, that's used to smash stuff? Steel.

Blackburn Rovers - Say what you want about Venky’s, but I really like their starry-eyed idealism. It will be sad to see their outrageous hopes (“Let’s sign Ronaldo! Messi! Santa Claus!”) beaten down over the course of the season. A good season for Blackburn will be staying in the Premiership. A great season will be avoiding the relegation zone all together.
Question: Do you feel like chicken tonight?
Expectation: More chicken jokes.
DC Character: Hawkman.

Bolton Wanderers - Owen Coyle had a good season last time round and I think he can eek out another one. He’s lost some of his forward power with Elmander departing, but then it seems Johan fell out of favor about halfway through last year. Still, if Bolton keeps up its reputation for being the Finishing School of the Premier League and takes on a few more loans, keeps its own players fit (Davies and Reo-Coker), and doesn’t let the bigger clubs totally loot its back line, they should be fine.
Question: Is a team made up of loaned players really a team?
Expectation: Not as cheeky as Newcastle, but I bet they’ll have a few surprising games.
DC Character: Coyle's Bolton seems to always be tinkering, bolting on new parts here and there to see what works, so Cyborg.

Chelsea - So you know when your mom borrows one of your tops in an effort to show that she’s still young and vibrant? (Shut up. My family was weird.) That’s Chelsea. New manager Andre Villas-Boras is the sexy top. Hopefully between his sequins and billionaire James Bond villain/owner Abramovich’s money (let’s torture the analogy and call his money SPANX), Chelsea can get its act together. Roman should crack into his vault of superweapons and get an exoskeleton for Essien, rocketboots for Torres, and anti-malaria pills for Drogba. He just better be sure and lock up when he’s done. No telling what Ashley Young would do to the grounds staff with a laser rifle.
Question: Luka Modric? Really? Abramovich could afford to clone a soccer playing velociraptor, put it in Nikes, and unleash it on the pitch and he’s going for Luka Modric?
Expectation: Where Chelsea lands in the Top 4 is more up to how hungry their rivals are, not how hungry they are.
DC Character: Deep pockets? Posh Neighborhood? Wonderful toys? Batman all the way.

Everton - Poor Everton. They kept their head down all summer, training hard, saying to themselves “This will be the year we start strong!” and then someone goes and tries to burn down the site of their opening game. The Toffees are not a flashy team. Their strength lies in the grim inevitability of their progress - start weak, end strong. Hopefully this year with the lack of new signings they can simply continue the vector from last season.
Question: Brother, can you spare a dime?
Expectation: Top half of the table. If the top quarter was not so close this year, I’d say they’d almost have a Europa League shot.
DC Character: Someone who has been hanging around since the beginning, is no slouch when it comes to power, but is often forgotten? Aquaman.

Fulham - Maybe this manager will stick? Better yet, maybe Martin Jol has some sort of magical elixir bartered from a talking fish that will keep his players fit. They’ll need it too with Europe beckoning. From watching Liverpool last season, the Europa League is a bit of an albatross, but maybe that’s just sour grapes. Still, they have the talent to give some of the bigger clubs a run for their money.
Question: Why the hell is Landon Donovan the face of American Soccer when Clint Dempsey beckons?
Expectation: Fulham is the Dark Horse of the league this year. Michael Jackson statue will become a sacred totem.
DC Character: Strangely able to pull victories out of nowhere, thinks positive, attractive, tricky-but-not-sneaky? Zatanna.

Liverpool - Dalglish and Comolli (Coming this summer to TNT!) seem to have a similar approach as I do when playing Football Manager - First Thing We Do is Spend, Spend, Spend. Although we should remember that a big part of that cash came from Abramovich’s helicopter, tossed out the window in order to make room for Torres in the overhead storage compartment. Still, new owners FSG has spent big and so big things are expected. I came to Liverpool last season because I sensed a Bad News Bears style storyline developing - early transfer woes, sulking strikers, a bedraggled manager, and corrupt owners. But instead of getting the rag-tag band to work together and triumph despite the odds, FSG has instead opted to buy new rags.
Question: Is the biggest threat to Liverpool internal? It’s not like they can turn Stevie away if he wants to play, but the dude is one more groin explosion away from being the Hindenburg.
Expectation: Champions League or go home. No, seriously, Kenny. The movers are on standby.
DC Character: Given King Kenny hit the ground running when he took over halfway through last season, The Flash feels about right, especially when you consider the long standing race for number of titles with Man United.

Manchester City - City isn’t so much a team as a group of stars temporary rallied around the same flag. Problem is, that flag’s name is Carlos Tevez and he’s on his way out. So can Sergio Aguero fill those boots? On paper, the team should be nigh-unstoppable - Aguero up front with Silva, Toure, and maybe even Nasri lurking not too far behind with Hart and Kompany (Coming this summer to TNT!) protecting the net. But until the team gels, they’re going to continue to get beat by their crosstown rivals.
Question: Where does Super Mario go from here? Full on Rodman?
Expectation: They’ll keep their Champions League spot, but will need to choose which league to focus on if they want to win anything.
DC Character: A huge cast of characters, sometimes with competing, confusing storylines as to who is Numero Uno? Sounds like Green Lantern to me.

Manchester United - The team to beat. They are almost boring in their quality. At least last season we had The Rooney Saga (opening band, The Berba Love Experience) to keep us entertained while we waited for the inevitable. This season, we can look to the back for our drama. A new, young keeper trying to fill the net of a recently retired legend will be the ongoing narrative, provided the twins (and I think it’s hilarious that ManU has a pair of twins - it’s just spot on) don’t have some sort of wacky sex scandal.
Question: Will green and gold overtake the red and white?
Expectation: Blah blah blah top of the table blah blah.
DC Character: For anyone who has ever said "I don't like Superman because he's so good at everything he's boring," Man United is not the team for you.

Newcastle United - Newcastle fans should pitch in the five quid and a hot meal it takes to hire Cuba Gooding Jr. these days to have the actor just show up on owner Mike Ashley’s doorstep and do his ‘Show Me The Money!’ routine. The fans will all laugh and smile, but nobody will give Cuba a lift to the bus stop. Seriously, though, the exodus of Magpies is shocking. Carroll, Nolan, Enrique, and likely Barton too? I could understand shedding the Champions-level squad players, but these guys sort of carried the team last season. At least do something with the, what, 50 million pounds made off of transfers?
Question: Seriously. Where did the money go? Does Ashley just look down his squad list, get to Nile Ranger, say “That’s an awesome name!” and then wander off for a pint every day?
Expectation: Welcome to a few years of bottom half finishes. We’ll keep the 12 slot warm for you.
DC Character: Cheeky, not able to hold onto his toys for long, and just sitting on a pile of wealth, Green Arrow. Like the Magpies, he spent some time dead (out of the Premiership) and when he came back, everything was... different.

Norwich - One of the three promoted clubs. They have a good trajectory, having had successive promotions over the last two seasons, so we’ll see if that was a fluke or not. I know little about them, beyond the fact that one of their majority stake holders is a professional TV chef. Look out for networking opportunities at Blackburn games!
Question: Will you be the next Blackpool?
Expectation: Hanging in there at 17th.
DC Character: Keeping with the team's nickname, we'll go with Black Canary.

Queens Park Rangers - The second of the promoted clubs. I only know two things about them - their manager, Neil Warnock, looks like Dobby the House Elf and their star player, Adel Taarabt, tried to get a transfer away from the team almost immediately after promotion. Neither of these facts bode well for the club.
Expectation: Just keeping the London seat warm for you, West Ham.
DC Character: Since you'll only be with us a little while before your prowess fades, Hourman seems appropriate.

Stoke City - I am not sure where this mental connection came from, but when ever I think about Stoke City, I start thinking about mullets and the song ‘We Built This City’ by Jefferson Starship starts to play in my head. I’m not sure this is fair to the team, mainly because Stoke players are all huge monsters who prowl the pitch like Uruk-Hai and could pound me into powder with minimal effort. Still, they have Europa League play this year, but I don’t think they’ll get very far. However, the learning experience might teach them something and we’ll see a bit of finesse creep into their game.
Question: Please don’t hurt me?
Expectation: Midtable finish. The sooner they get done with Europe, the higher on the table they’ll reach.
DC Character: Tough and with a tendency to punch first and ask question later. There might be class lurking beneath that exterior, but you'll have to look past the obvious to see it. Power Girl.

Sunderland - The Black Cats are a cagey team. They’re sort of a big fish in the smaller pond of dedicated midtable finishers. Hopefully, this season sees them climbing higher than 10th, but that’ll be largely based on the performances of some of their recent signings (Connor Wickham) and whether or not their more experienced veteran core can stay in one piece. They’re not the flashiest team, but for what they do, they don’t need flash.
Question: So you know when you're out with friends and a bunch of them leave to go fetch another round, leaving you with a friend-of-a-friend who you only sort of know but have little interest in getting to know better and the feeling seems mutual so you both start checking your phones? Yeah. That's happening right now.
Expectation: Midtable. 8th or 9th, tops.
DC Character: Reliable, predictable, powerful when needed? Keeping with Sunderland's home grounds, let's say Dr. Light (non-rapey version, of course).

Swansea City - The last of the promoted teams and the first Welsh team in the Premiership. I’m pinning all my Blackpool hopes on them, so don’t let me down, Swans.
Question: Seriously, are you this season’s Blackpool?
Expectation: Relegation, unfortunately. All Welsh songs are sad songs.
DC Character: Some good times together right before something horrible befalls you? Fare thee well, Elongated Man.

Tottenham Hotspur - Sorry about the riot, Spurs. At least that got the Modric Saga off the front pages? I can understand the desire to keep him - if he goes, other players (Bale) might be sooner out the door than later. Still, Spurs need a striker really bad. The Scarecrow just isn’t doing it and the rest of the lot are so blah that they’ve formed a single unit (Keanelyuchefoe) in my mind. ‘Arry has the reputation for wheeling-dealing, so I bet we’ll see some new faces on the team before the end of August, so in a way, I guess the fires helped the team. Hrm...
Question: Modric, in or out?
Expectation: Ambition bound only by how far Arsenal falls. Man City has usurped your place as the Riser To Watch.
DC Character: Not only is he also threatened by fire, but Martian Manhunter is as powerful as the Big Names, even though people don't always acknowledge that fact.

West Bromwich Albion - So my son’s name is Westley and when I wanted to get him an infant Premier League jersey, the obvious choice came down to West Ham or West Brom. I chose the former based on a reference from The IT Crowd, and look at the good that did him. WBA is looking up - manager Roy Hodgson brought Zoltan Gera in from his old club to help give striker Peter Odemwingie some back-up, Ben Foster in goal, and a shored up back line. There’s a lot of hope here that WBA can repeat its performance from the latter half of the season.
Question: Seriously, Roy? England? You know the Kop was being sarcastic, right?
Expectation: A fight with Sunderland for 8th or 9th.
DC Character: Roy has a reputation of being a big planner. This year, it looks like he has a lot of tools in his belt, so Red Robin it is.

Wigan Athletic - You lucky ducks. I have no idea how you’re still in the League. I sympathize, I do, as it must suck to be stuck smack dab in between the largest concentration of other clubs in the country (Manchester clubs, Liverpool clubs), but I don’t understand how a club that spent most of last season being the Washington Generals can stick around in the Premiership. This year will be harder with the loss of N’Zogbia, so the hopes fall in the lap of youngsters like McCarthy, which is risky at best.
Question: How many goats do you sacrifice at the start of the season to stay up?
Expectation: Somehow hanging in there.
DC Character: Who gets blown up almost annually yet always comes back? Red Tornado.

Wolves - I have not been following the Premier League long enough to hate a team, but I hate the Wolves. I have no idea where this came from - maybe it was their rough, brutal play? Maybe its because they stuck around while Blackpool was relegated. Maybe it’s because their victory over Liverpool was the Reds’ nadir. I dunno why, but I hates dem.
Question: Where do you get off?
Expectation: Comeuppance.
DC Character: Lobo - a reputation for violence and inexplicable staying power.

My final predictions: Man United, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Villa, Fulham, WBA, Everton, Sunderland, Stoke, Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, Wigan, Norwich, Swansea, QPR, Wolves


As I've said before, I read my comics mainly in trade form. For the DC reboot, I might pick up a run of issues of a particular titles (stupid iPad has its hooks in me - I read the Red Robin series on it recently and had a good time), but only after reading a bunch of reviews and waiting until a narrative arc finishes.

The only exception will be Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, which I will buy Day Of Release.

Why? Well, for one, it's about Frankenstein's Monster teaming up with a bunch of the Creature Commandos to fight evil. This smacks of Hellboy and even if it's only 80% as good as Hellboy, that still makes it 100% better than most of the comics out there.

Second, there's a scene in the recent Flashpoint Frankenstein tie-in where Frankie wakes up in WWII, tracks down Hitler, and chops his head off.

Sold. If you only buy one NuDC comic, please buy this one.

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE (#43/52) will be the only DC Reboot title to make it into the Drewniverse unchanged based on those two points alone.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Global Guardians

Back in the Justice League, I mentioned the existence of a United Nations sponsored superhero team. Well, the Global Guardians are it. In the Drewniverse, they'll be taking the role of the old Justice League International - that dimness that lets the light of the Justice League glow brighter by comparison.

Created by the United Nations in response to the formation of the Justice League, the Guardians' first mission was to serve as a counter balance. Nations who did not have members in the League, or who were worried by who the League chose to include, needed some reassurance that they were not being left behind. The United Nations, worried that a perceived "superhero gap" could start an arms race, quickly stepped in to create the Guardians. While this has reassured many nations, the arms race is still occurring, covertly.

One of the reasons that various nations are attempting their own state-sponsored hero programs is that, well, the Guardians are sort of a joke. Beggars can't be choosers, but even someone trapped in a burning building imagines themselves being saved by Superman, not Doctor Mist or the Huntsman or whomever. Combine that with the "team creation by committee" aspect of the Guardians, and you have a team that is definitely not the best at what they do, even though they've been vetted by diplomats and PR flacks.

Unlike the Justice League, who choose their own members and actually pay attention to things like tactical considerations and personal interaction, membership in the Global Guardians is decided by committee and rotations, much like the UN Security Council. Like the UNSC, there are a set of 'permanent' heroes on the team and a set of 'rotating' members. The Permanent heroes roughly correspond to their Security Council counterparts (the glaring exception being the USA) and are on the team unless the UN votes them off (which would be pretty hard to do). They are:

  • Doctor Mist (USA) - The glaring exception and the leader of the team. We've seen the Doc before in the Immortals entry. An immortal wizard-king from Africa, Doctor Mist has stepped into the world of heroes, seemingly because the US thought it would be a great PR move to give "a first round draft pick to the developing nations that need it so much" (actually, they wouldn't want to waste one of their headliners on a UN joke). Most other heroes encountering Doctor Mist in this role think him befuddled at worst, slumming it at best. Of course, the Doc is playing a long game here. His secret plans for the team will help drive some of the action of the series. His powers are of the standard Wizarding Set - illusions, gem enchantment, alchemy, etc.
  • Crimson Fox (France) - A pair of super-speedsters teaming up to fill in the same role. The nature of Constance and Vivian's power is such that only one of the two can use it at a time, so they sort of trade off. How fast they can go is proportional to the distance between them, which makes teaming up together rather impractical. Their pheromone powers are sort of wasted when it comes to Vivian, who's gay, and Constance, who's married, so they tend to not publicize that they even have them, let alone use them. Being in the team is a huge strain on their family relationships given the distance they have to establish while "at work."
  • Saint Peter (Russia) - Just because he is called a saint does not mean Peter is one. It's just a name, of course, but a much better one than the one he used to have. A cybernetic supersoldier, Peter is the team's "heavy" and provided a level of brooding danger that the PR flacks say appeals to the youth of today. Not much is said about Peter's past as it is not very well known - he's undergone so many upgrades that anyone who actually knew this relic of Cold War menace wouldn't be able to identify him now.
  • Celestial Archer (China) - When her brother, the first Celestial Archer, died protecting the city of Harbin from the Immortal Demon of Winter, his powers passed down to his younger sister Chang'e. Fresh faced and naive, she takes her great power and responsibility very seriously. However, there is a package waiting for her, another gift from her brother sent after his death. In the package is a journal detailing not only the corruption of the Chinese Super Functionaries system, but a flaw in the Mandate of Heaven that grants the Archer her powers.
  • Jack O'Lantern (United Kingdom) - Born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Jack was picked by the UK as a way of reaching out to their Irish cousins - who, of course, were very quick to point out how orange a jack o"lantern is. Jack brings strength, agility, and Irish wit to the team. His lantern, a pumpkin mounted on a staff, when lit causes those cast in its light to tell the truth (it also dispels illusions, breaks codes, and translates texts) and can shoot fire out of its mouth. It sometimes talks to Jack, but only he can hear it.
The current rotating roster is based on the regional blocs of the rotating members of the Security Council at this time. So we have Fire (Latin America), Fortune (Eastern Europe, based on Gypsy), Sandstorm (Asia and Arab Group), Freedom Beast (Africa), and Amazing Man (Africa) all kicking around as of Issue #1 of Global Guardians (#42/52).

So what do the Global Guardians spend their time doing? Not guarding much of anything, that's for sure. Photo ops, acting as 'superhero ambassadors,' and relief work seems to be their main duty, a fact that frustrates most of the team. This frustration will eventually boil over during the first story arc (after a montage of heroes being stopped from actually helping anyone) as the team tries to slip its leash and actually act like heroes. To be a Global Guardian is to be fake at best, frustrated at worst.

Of course, as team members rotate out, Doctor Mist might have a few words with them about other... opportunities... that might be available for honest men and women who want to help change the world for the better. Several previous rotating members may have already taken the old man up on his offer, so at the end of the first arc when the current crop of rotating heroes depart, our focus will follow Fire as she shifts to a more covert team of global guardians tasked with guarding the planet against its biggest threat:


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


So yesterday, I presented a Legion of Super-Heroes that filled some of the vacuum left by the lack of the Justice Society of America. It's an unfortunate consequence of time that the characters of the JSA, and to some degree the Golden Age, cannot come along for the ride. The JSA is so tied to a particular era that stretching them to the modern age strains even the limits of comicbook credibility. Sure, sure, we have time travel and the like at hand to bring the characters themselves up to the present, but pop culture's memories of the time just before and after World War II are so dim that the grounding of the JSA crumbles.

Not every Golden Age character need meet the same fate as the JSA. The Trinity survived and stayed vital to comics, reborn in the Silver Age after the nation's fascination with crime and horror comics got Wertham'd away. Unfortunately for Golden Age Flash and Green Lantern, those early reboots fundamentally changed the characters, abandoning Jay and Alan back to the mists of history. This fate does not apply to all of the JSA, however. Some characters could easily be rebooted into the modern age - Hourman, Dr. Midnite, and Wildcat, just to name a few.

But does bringing Wildcat, for example, into the modern age really do much for the character? At his core, Wildcat is a sort of rough-and-tumble two fisted character. He gets by on his street smarts, his wits, and his iron determination. I'm not sure how successful he'd be in the modern age without some additional hook. Witness, for example, the updated Wildcat who is, uh, actually part cat. I guess that works, but mutant cat-dude feels done before. I think it would be a waste to reboot Wildcat as essentially an ensemble player, especially considering the legacy the character has.

So for the Drewniverse, lets' rebuild that legacy. Wildcat (#41/52) will actually be a title in three parts.

  • The first part, Wildcat: The Roaring '20s, details the early two fisted career of Ted Grant, boxer turned crimefighter. After he discovers that his opponent in a title bout was ordered to take a dive so that Ted could win, the young champ starts following the money, coming into conflict with the mob. When he refuses to take a dive, the mob destroys Ted's gym, killing his coach/adoptive father in the process. Ted swears revenge and starts up as a mystery man, busting heads in old-timey Gotham City. This would sorta be 'Wildcat: Year One' if you catch my drift. 
  • The second part, Codename: TOMCAT, follows the story of Ted Grant's son, Edward. Ted retired from crimefighting in order to fight Nazis at the start of World War II. He made it through the war intact and eventually settled down in Gotham with a nice nurse he met overseas. Their son, Edward, carries on his father's legacy, not by fighting crime on the rooftops of Gotham City, but by traveling the world fighting Communism in the late 60s in a James Bondian (Casanova?) manner. Edward Grant is a suave operator, a hep cat cut from the Mad Men mold. He'd deal with metahumans somewhat - nothing as brash as Superman up-up-uping and awaying, but psychics and weird science and the like.
  • The third part would take place in the modern day. Claws would detail the adventures of Rosalie Grant, Edward's daughter. Edward stayed in the game as long as he could but eventually was forced to retire, pushed out by young upstarts like Amanda Waller and that King Faraday ponce. He dedicates himself to his daughter, training her in everything he knows (think the father/son relationship from Psych here). When he goes missing, Rosalie discovers there is more to herself than she knew - she inherited a gift from her mother, a psychic ability to see ghosts! Now teamed up with her dead grampa, she must do what it takes to save her father (and maybe learn the truth of her mother in the process).

Since we're going for a legacy theme here, one trait of the Wildcat comic will be its use of interlocking, sometimes even concurrent, storylines. Experimentation encouraged. Imagine a comic where three stories are told across the same page, each a parallel of the other. Or better yet, imagine a 21 page comic divided into three parts that comes with a set of seven transparency sheets. Each sheet matches a page of each comic and contains the text of word bubbles -  the text matches up across the art of each of the three mini-stories, even if the storylines themselves are slightly different. Weird stuff like that. The idea being to tell conventional stories in unconventional ways, with a secondary goal of establishing some history to the Drewniverse.

Through the pages of Wildcat, we'll be able to get a glimpse of some of the other inhabitants of the Drewniverse. Immortals like Vandal Savage or Felix Faust could show up, while younger versions of Dinah Drake or Wesley Dodds can help flesh out the modern storylines they appear in.

One of the hardest things about a total reboot is the loss of the legacies that make DC comics unique. I know we can't cling to the past and the expense of the future, but to do the reverse seems like just as big of a mistake. Hopefully Wildcat will help provide that bridge between Then and Now that's sorely needed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Legion of Super-Heroes

Where does continuity end? How removed can a series be from the rest of the setting and still be called part of it? The is just one of the many problems The Legion of Super-Heroes introduces into the Drewniverse. While they are removed by a thousand years of future history, the Legion also creates continuity problems, working against world-shaking reveals and the like. I mean, if you have a club of kids in the 31st century dedicated to the hero worship of early 21st century heroes, they'd know all about the Big Events of the past. Given that we're writing this reboot knowing that everything will come around again in 10-15 years or so, that means that the Legion becomes a defacto spoiler.

The Entities that coil about the center of the Lantern Conspiracy will not devour the universe - we know this because the Legion exists. Superman will not give up on his humanity and run mad with dictatorial power - the Legion still praises him. Darkseid will not destroy the Earth, Atlantis will not rise from the waves, and Brainiac will not put the moon in a bottle. To push the Legion farther away from being spoilers - creating Time Barriers or Bubbles or Amnesia Rays or whatever, just further removes them from the continuity. At that point, they just become generic Teens Innnn Spppaacceee.

I'm loathe to do that to the Legion. Not because I have any love for them - I should be honest that I don't really care for them - but because historically, creating a hero or group that operates without interaction or awareness of other heroes or groups is what causes continuity screw-ups that end up necessitating re-reboots. Remember Superman and Batman were born in isolation and operated for years without acknowledging that their worlds were the same. Binding them to the same continuity created some "It's best if you don't think about it too hard" headaches that remain to this day - the locations of Metropolis and Gotham City, for example.

That said, I've already acknowledged that the Legion exists in the Drewnieverse. As a young lad, Superman had several adventures with the Legion, called to the future by their Temporal Zeta Beam. These adventures would be covered in short arcs in Action Comics, the anthology Superman title. The Legion encountered here would be the "classic" Legion - Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and so on. Every so often, they'd call up Clark and have him zip forward into the future in order to help save a planet that's slipped its orbit or stop a galactic dictator or something. "We can't tell you everything, Superboy," Cosmic Boy would say, "Because we don't want you accidentally changing our past. But we know you're going to need the experiences you get here sometime in your future, so let's get to work!"

Very positive, very bright, very fake.

The Legion of Super-Heroes in its "teens changing the universe" guise is for the most part a lie. I remember reading about search and rescue dogs used to locate survivors following a disaster. If the dogs could not locate a survivor by the end of the day, one of the dog's handlers would hide him or herself in the rubble and let the dog search them out. Apparently, they had to do that because otherwise the dogs would get depressed or stressed at their failure. That's the role of the Legion in the Drewniverse - they exist to provide comfort to our heroes, lest they get subsumed in the Grim Grimdarkness of their daily grind. The comfort our heroes by showing them a future world where yes, challenges still exist, but they are extremely black and white ones and can be overcome through positive thinking and stick-to-itiveness. The 'future' that Superboy is brought to is not the Legion's own - it's one of the many possible futures that exist. The Legion would hand-pick one of these futures on the cusp of crisis, pull Superboy into it, and go about saving things.

As Superboy grows into Superman, the Legion keeps at it, bringing him forward into a possible future where he can confront and defeat a foe cleanly. It's almost like a heroic vacation, a chance to use your powers for good intentions without paving the way to hell. In the real world, Superman must feel like he can't save a cat from a tree without worrying about if that's the best use of his time. Sure, it only took 15 seconds, but that 15 seconds could have been used studying human DNA to locate genetic markers for cancer or something. Legion victories are complete victories. When he's too busy to head off into the future, Superman refers some of his Justice League pals.

So in Legion of Super-Heroes (#40/52), we'll be pulling back the curtain surrounding Legion activities. We will follow the story of those Legionnaires who work (mostly together) to set up opportunities for the heroes of today to not only train, but reinforce their own moral decision that what they are doing with their powers is right. The Legionnaires act as peers to developing heroes, often interceding early in the hero's development ("Green Arrow! The future needs you! Come with us!") and subtly teaching them moral and ethical lessons before returning them to their time (complete with a warning to not discuss their adventures in the future for fear of altering the Legion's past).

Basically, the Legion of Super-Heroes in the Drewniverse will fill the same role as the JSA does in pre-reboot DC.

While the Cosmic-Saturn-Lightning trio make for good facemen, the actual leader of the Legion will be someone smart enough to deal with the logistics of time travel and alternate futures with some prior experience in setting up bottle realities - Brainiac 5. He/it will be the true nucleus of the Legion, tasked with its creation and maintenance from birth. Everyone else is someone who has been recruited into the Legion, selected from thousands of variations of themselves to fill some role B5 found lacking. The rest of the Legion is not aware how thoroughly Brainiac has planned things - heck some of the recent recruits are in the dark as much as the heroes they pull up from the past. Even those "in the know" think they are pulling one over on the heroes of yesteryear in order to inspire and train them, not aware that they themselves have had one pulled over on them.

This setup will hopefully give the Legion an active role in the 'modern' Drewniverse, allow for them to interact with the rest of the cast of heroes but in a setting limited enough that they won't be in a position to spoil future events. Plus, it gives a training element to the setting, one that we're missing now that time's implacable march has stolen the JSA from us. Then there is the mystery of the Legion's true goals and Brainiac 5's motivations, something that will unfurl over the course of the comic. Revelations, such as Brainiac 5's creator (an alternate future Superman who took over the galaxy), would come as counterpoints to revelations that occur in the main setting.

Legion of Super-Heroes will not be the only Legion comic in the Drewniverse, but it will be the only one in the starting 52. The later comic, Legion, would require a bit more motion to the setting, seeing as it would be based on both the 'training' premise and a callback to that other Legion that exists in the DC Universe...