Thursday, August 28, 2008

SW6 Try-Outs

LEGIONNAIRES #2, DC Comics, May 1993
In the 90s, the Legion became all dark and nasty and adult, so they didn't have try-outs anymore. They were too busy becoming lesbians, or transsexuals, or disguised Proties, or werewolves, or whatnot. But writers Tom & Mary Bierbaum saw there was a reason for a teen Legion that was fun and happy-go-lucky, so they unveiled the SW6 Legion, a batch of clones that were just like the LSH of old, except a lot more hip. It gave us a Ferro Lad that could outlast an issue, and some pretty sexy babes thanks to artist Chris Sprouse. SW6 started in the regular Legion book, and then moved to their own title: Legionnaires.

And guess what? They could hold tryouts. They could, but they didn't. So halfway through their second issue, their meeting gets interrupted...
How DARE they not uphold this Legion tradition? What's next? Scripts that make sense? So of course there's a mob of super-teens clamoring for a shot at the new Legion. I guess they didn't notice you had to be a clone of the original LSH to be in the SW6 club.

The gang is willing to give it a shot though, and up first is X-Bomb Betty.
Aside from being a sexpot, she has the power to not get sued by Marvel for putting an X on her costume without the proper trademark. Oh wait, this is the 30th century... the copyright no longer holds. No, her power is to create a 150 million megaton explosion... but she can do it only once. Homage to Wildfire's original appearance? As Superboy would say... aw, you know by now.

Next up is Cera Kesh, who doesn't have a codename yet, but I think it probably would have been Plain Jane.
She has unrefined telekinetic powers, and after dropping Live Wire on his ass, he calls her names and makes fun of her chunkier disposition, acne and split ends. That sends her straight to an alley where she is destined to meet the Emerald Eye, which will turn her into a new Emerald Empress as part of the Return of the Fatal Five storyline. If you've got your Legion clichés card handy, go right ahead and checkmark the box next to "rejected hero will turn into a villain". I'll wait.

Anyway, they saved the best for last! Plaid Lad! The guy can turn any textile into plaid. And if you thought that would be enough to get him rejected, THE POWER ALSO TENDS TO GET OUT OF CONTROL!
It never rains but it pours for the Tartan Teen. Matter-Eater Lad (whose a real hoot in this incarnation) has the last laugh: "I'm sorry, Plaid Lad, but until you learn to better control your unique abilities, you'd be as great a danger to us as to our enemies." Dissed by the guy whose power is to eat stuff. That's got to be the worst.



De said...

Legionnaires #2 had just come out when I met Chris Sprouse. He was a local to the Northern Virginia area and his sister worked in one of the local comic shops.

I told him how much I liked the art for the series and asked if Plaid Lad would ever show up again. His answer? "I hope not, because plaid is really hard to draw."

Matthew E said...

I once had an idea about how to make a really cool character out of Plaid Lad:;f=1;t=004924#000009

SallyP said...

Oh those wacky Legionaires. THe art is cute though.

Siskoid said...

De: Great story!

Matt: Great idea! I'd even say "ESPECIALLY human patterns" because that's what Brainy sucks at.

Scipio said...

I loved the Cera Kesh storyline; it was very powerful. And it really solidified the image of Lightning Lad as a jerk.

"Jumping fishhooks", by the way, was the signature exclamation of Pieface Kamalku.

Oh, but I think I must correct you. That's NOT the SW6 Legion. That's pre-Archie Legion that existed in the brief interregnum between Zero Hero and the threeboot. You know; the one that visited Atlantis. That's why the Cera Kesh story got retconned away...

Siskoid said...

Man, there have just been TOO MANY Legions, haven't there?

PenaltyKillah said...

This IS the SW6 Legion, not the Reboot. Note the huge Legion insignias on their belts, the older, adult Chameleon on their team, and the fact that the founders actually interact with each other to the point of extreme bickering (and one 'killing' the other).

For real!

You could say that SW6 was the 'beta' version of the decade-long Reboot period, from the costumes to the codenames. Back then, Mark Waid barely had ANY sentimental bit of the Legion to hold on to for Reboot, since it had to be a complete reboot, eh?

Siskoid said...

That's correct.

The adult Legion and Legionnaires were published concurrently. This is still the post-Crisis Legion.