Monday, January 18, 2010

Geek Archaeology

My mother is in a cleaning phase, so a few days ago I received a tube with a ton of posters rolled up inside. All of them one-time (mostly high school and college) wall decorations, most of them completely forgotten 'til now. It's been kind of a trip to go through them and see what I used to put up on the wall... this. Legion of Super-Heroes poster, circa 1983, obtained by me 1987 or so, on wall from 1987 or so through, oh, let's say 1995.

If there's one thing that could tempt me back to a comic book shop, it's the news that Paul Levitz is returning to write Legion of Super-Heroes (link via Legion Omnicom). It's sort of the equivalent of Rollins and Ginn joining up to do Black Flag again -- even if the results suck, it's kind of awesome. The Levitz/Keith Giffen era of LSH is one of my all-time favorite comics, and a recent reread of some of the highlights held up nicely. I know that this won't turn the clock back to the golden age (for me) of the mid-'80s, but I'll probably at least check it out.

By the time I got into the LSH, this poster (by Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt) was already legendary and well-nigh impossible to find. I got mine at one of Time Warp Comics' fantastic auctions; I remember it well because I had been salivating over the poster, and when the bidding opened, some acquaintance of my brother's started bidding against me, just out of spite, I guess. (He later claimed that some mysterious stranger had encouraged him to bid. I also remember the kid's name solely because of this incident, which doesn't speak well of my ability to let things go.)

Anyway, I won the poster, and it had a place of pride on my wall for most of the next decade. It is, basically, just about every character who had appeared in Legion up to that point -- no small feat as that was more than 20 years of history in a character-crowded comic. By the end of the 1980s I could name about 95 percent of the characters on this; now, it's faded away to the main characters and a few scattered others. I'd like to say I've used the freed-up brain cells well, but it's mostly "hockey stuff" or "Eastern European politics" or "that time I did Goldschlager shots."

Levitz left the Legion in (I think) 1989; since then, it's had some good runs (I still hold up the "Five Years Later" storyline as a comics high point, and Mark Waid's reboot was cool) and some bad runs (a lot of the other stuff). The new series probably isn't enough to get me to hang this poster up again, but there's something that just feels right about Paul Levitz and the LSH getting back together. Things are as they should be.

(More stuff on the poster here.)


Timothy said...

Now try to find the secret penises I drew on it years ago.

fredoluv said...

kinda amazing how many friends have had this poster over the years...

Therese said...

Funny! Ah, high school & college era posters. My best one was probably a 9-color chart of verb forms in Classical Greek ... no one ever tried to outbid me on that one, though.