Comics

Missed Directions: The Good Kind of ‘Legionnaires’

Guess Who Just Got Back Today: The Legion of Super-Heroes returns in epic style to the publication lists of DC, with legendary writer Paul Levitz once more at the helm.

Guess Who Just Got Back Today: The Legion of Super-Heroes returns in epic style to the publication lists of DC, with legendary writer Paul Levitz once more at the helm.

You don’t need 12th level intelligence to tell you that it is beyond time for the Legion of Super-Heroes to return in epic style to the pages of DC Comics. And that’s exactly what takes place in Legion of Super-Heroes #1 by Paul Levitz (who returns to the series after a 20 year hiatus) with art by Yildiray Cinar. What’s a stake in the all new Legion adventures? Just about everything.

In many ways, the re-launch of Legion of Super-Heroes is what "Brightest Day" should have been--filled with dramatic significance and high adventure. There’s scientific hubris, time travel, planetary destruction, politics and a first issue cliffhanger most people would not see coming--all set in the 31st Century so many of us have come to know and love and to which want to return over and over.

In revisiting the new adventures of my old friend’s in the Legion as they battle not only cosmic forces, but those of intolerance and the human--all too human--nature of all humanoids it occurred to me that Legion of Super-Heroes might be the most relevant and bankable of all DCU properties to be readied for adaptation to the big screen. Think it over.

Forget Batman. Forget Superman. Forget Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. Forget Justice League. It’s time to give fans and the general public something so radically different, but so in keeping with the great heroic traditions of the DCU, that they won’t know what hit ‘em. This is embodied by the Legion of Super-Heroes. These are heroes who came together to live the legendary values Superman while dealing with a galaxy full of trouble. The storylines are endless – as are the opportunities for a dazzling ensemble cast.

Legion of Super-Heroes has always been carried along, in essence, by legions of devoted fans. It has always amazed me that this title over the years has not been embraced by the multitudes of DCU aficionados. It’s strange that this jewel of a title comes and goes and comes and goes the way it does. It seems to me that at some point it’s really due to hit the collective mind and be embraced by fans and the general public alike as it is--in many ways--the culmination of the DCU.

Whether or not the series goes anywhere in terms of adaptations, I’m just glad that it’s back with the type of compelling, engaging storytelling I have come to expect from any Legion of Super-Heroes title. Welcome back, old friends. To not mark this fine occasion of the Legion’s return would surely be a missed direction.

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.


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White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

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The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

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Culture

Net Neutrality and the Music Ecosystem: Defending the Last Mile

Still from Whiplash (2014) (Photo by Daniel McFadden - © Courtesy of Sundance Institute) (IMDB)

"...when the history books get written about this era, they'll show that the music community recognized the potential impacts and were strong leaders." An interview with Kevin Erickson of Future of Music Coalition.

Last week, the musician Phil Elverum, a.k.a. Mount Eerie, celebrated the fact that his album A Crow Looked at Me had been ranked #3 on the New York Times' Best of 2017 list. You might expect that high praise from the prestigious newspaper would result in a significant spike in album sales. In a tweet, Elverum divulged that since making the list, he'd sold…six. Six copies.

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Books

'The Art of Confession' Ties Together Threads of Performance

Allen Ginsberg and Robert Lowell at St. Mark's Church in New York City, 23 February 1977

Scholar Christopher Grobe crafts a series of individually satisfying case studies, then shows the strong threads between confessional poetry, performance art, and reality television, with stops along the way.

Tracing a thread from Robert Lowell to reality TV seems like an ominous task, and it is one that Christopher Grobe tackles by laying out several intertwining threads. The history of an idea, like confession, is only linear when we want to create a sensible structure, the "one damn thing after the next" that is the standing critique of creating historical accounts. The organization Grobe employs helps sensemaking.

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