Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Legends: That Other Crossover
Is everyone still breaking their necks to either deify or vilify last week's release of Infinite Crisis #1? Somehow, simultaneously, everyone seems to have suddenly realized their either love or dislike of Crisis On Infinite Earths.
All well and good. It keeps the mind off of sex, drugs and Armageddon 2001, I guess.
Last week, in the LCS that I run I found myself inexplicably drawn to the trade paperback racks and sitting there, lonely and forgotten, was a copy of Legends. I read it and upon finishing it, I realized something. Legends, unlike Crisis, had impact. It holds up.
Where Crisis failed to cohesively reinvent The DC Universe, Legends pretty much accomplished what it set out to do: re-introduce and re-establish the icons of The DC Universe.
The Martian Manhunter
Post-Crisis, The DCU was a very fractured place with its' icons jockeying for some kind of identity other than the ones they'd had for some fifty years before. Gone was the Superman who built nuclear reactors while Lana and Lois clapped approving, unknowgly cheering for their own oblivion. That Superman was replaced with one who was like "us." He was burdened with human frailties, self-dou...
This one was a p****.
He was constantly explaining why he couldn't do the things he used to do. Why? The Crisis had made him more "man" than "super" and I was becoming very bored very quickly. I wanted to like this guy. He was always telling me why I shouldn't.
Post-Crisis, Wonder Woman hadn't yet made her grand superhero entrance. She was to busy learning English, looking at everything with wide-eyes and praying butt naked to Zeus while he looked on approvingly, thinking, "Daddy's trying to tap that ass."
We had a Batman. One not particulary interested in being seen with other superheroes. Thanks to Frank Miller, his head just wasn't there anymore. We had a Superman. A metrosexual Superman but a Superman, nonetheless. When would we ever have a Wonder Woman could join this crazy fray?
Legends established The DCU as it stands today. Legends re-ignited The DCU.
Where Crisis destroyed, Legends re-built. The Martian Manhunter, then languishing as a member of Justice League: Detroit is placed next to icons with a forward eye towards establishing him as the very conscience of The Justice League.
Where did the former Kid Flash, Wally West take his first steps in becoming The Flash for a whole new generation of readers?
Captain Marvel, once seen as nothing other than a lesser Superman is re-inserted into the DC mythos as simply what he should be: A young boy who with one magic word becomes enabled in conquering his fears.
When the evil Darkseid unleashes a scheme to turn public opinion against the world's superheroes, it's left to them to save the world that no longer wants but needs them and they did it. That's what heroes get together and do.
Legends hold up because it did what it needed to do, establish and get out of the way. Legends was the book that gave recent DCU inductee, The Blue Beetle, the light-hearted personality we came to love. Before, in Crisis, he'd been portrayed as a short tempered science guy. Without Legends, you wouldn't have liked The Blue Beetle so much.
Legends established The Justice League as something other than "Superman, Batman Wonder Woman and Everyone Else." Gone were The Big Three, replaced with lesser known yet just as capable characters like Black Canary, Dr. Fate and Guy Gardner.
Legends gave us Guy Gardner.
We'll forgive them.
Legends gave us The Suicide Squad, as well.
We'll love it for that.
Did I mention that John Ostrander wrote Legends?