Showcase Presents: The Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 4 Paperback – Oct 5 2010
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About the Author
James Shooter is a writer, artist, editor, and publisher for various comic books, most notable for his successful and controversial run as Marvel Comics' ninth editor-in-chief. Cary Bates is an American comic book, animation television and film writer. Curt Swan was the artist on Superman for over three decades. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This work contains classic tales but, more than three decades later, it's fairly obvious that the Legion was in transition when these issues were published. The last traces of the late 50s/early 60s Legion and the start of the "disco era" can be seen in these comics. While Superboy dominates some of the stories, he plays less of an important role as the comics continue and the Legion members--some of them for the first time--truly come into their own.
There are some gripping and important tales here and a little camp. Still, for the most part, these comics hold up well despite being first released from 1968-1972. The team probably made more changes in those four years than it did in its first decade--something that is clearly on display in this collection. While Legion fans do not--and should not--rank the stories in this collection up there with say the "Great Darkness Saga" or "Legion Lost," this is an important era for the team. Comics fans in general, and Legion fans in particular, will enjoy the more than 500 pages of comics in this collection.
It begins with Jim Shooter's notable run on the series. During this time, Shooter accomplishes 3 important tasks. First, he makes us care about the characters as individuals instead of as powered heroes to be plugged into plots. He then creates some memorable moments with the return of the Fatal Five and the introduction of Mordru. And finally, he introduces a much cleaner writing style and sense of continuity to the feature. During most of this time, the book is drawn by James Winslow "Win" Mortimer. Mortimer is not a spectacular artist, but he is consistent and his story telling keeps the plots moving along nicely.
Next we see the return of writer E. Nelson Bridwell. Bridwell's first run on the Legion was marked by great character creation but was fraught with continuity and basic writing errors. Here the author is in much better form, and though he does not contribute much in the way of a new legacy for the Legion, his storytelling leads to some cracker jack tales of espionage and intrigue. During this run, Mortimer remains the artist until the introduction of George Tuska. Tuska's work is a departure from previous Legion artists. At times it appears rough, but it has a different energy - I dare say, a darker energy - than previous depictions of our stalwart future teens.
The third writer to come onboard during this volume is Cary Bates. This is a young Bates, not yet molded by venerable editor Julius Schwartz. Some of the writing is pretty rough (partially, I would think because of page count restraints), but you can see flashes of the brilliance that Bates will eventually bring to The Flash in later years. Bates writes a couple of issues drawn by Mortimer and a couple drawn by Tuska. And then comes Dave Cockrum... and everything changes. Just as James Shooter upped the story telling and characterization in the writing of Legion of Superheroes, Cockrum raises the artistry of the book. This helps the volume end on the same high note with which it began, and sets the stage for many great LSH stories to come!